You know, I’m not surprised that Law & Order: Special Victims Unit decided to go this route. They’ve done so before. In an episode called ‘Game,’ where they had some teenage boys rape someone and then run them over with their car. I don’t suppose I have to tell you all which game that is emulating. So yeah, this is nothing new. But when I saw their latest episode, ‘Intimidation Game,’ I was in awe. In absolute awe. Why? Because never have I seen such bad cardboard cut-outs. Never in my life have I seen these kinds of strawmen. The villains in this episode weren’t as subtle as Saturday morning cartoon villains! For real, this is more subtle –
I can’t even begin to describe how bad this episode was. You have a character who is a mash-up of Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn. All of these people are shoved into one stereotype. She is kidnapped by this EVIL GamerGate, ISIS, Anonymous organization. Then, they play an EVIL game that involves rape and torture. The cops come in, save the day, and it’s “Game Over!” For real, the use of gaming lingo in this episode is terrible. Absolutely terrible.
Where do I begin…? For starters, they have Ice T’s character being the one who explains all the gaming lingo. Yeah, because that’s not a cop-out. Zing! Then they make GamerGate into this ISIS-class organization. Given that the victim in the story is modeled after Brianna Wu (in part), I’m not surprised. After all, Crypt Keeper Wu (for real, all I can see whenever she is on screen is the Crypt Keeper. It’s weird…) has been trying her damndest to make everyone believe that all of her detractors are terrorists. At the same time as she is saying that her new game is like a cross between Heavy Rain and Mass Effect. I already talked in a First Take about how that is bullshit. And, of course, the villains can’t tell between reality and video games. Naturally. It wouldn’t be enough for them to be evil villains. No, they have to be people who can’t tell between fantasy and reality. They even end that show with Ice T’s character saying that he can tell the difference.
Oh, and don’t forget the pandering to how EVIL net neutrality is. Because if we don’t lock down the Internet, AnonyISISGate wins! Oh no! Hey, if the show is going to treat this like a Saturday morning cartoon, so will I.
But there is a more rage-filling side to this. Right as the episode ends, you already see that Polygon has come out with an article, where they have a *trigger warning* at the top, talking about how realistic this episode is. Really?! Really? Yes, because Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn have been TOTALLY kidnapped, raped and tortured, right? Oh yeah, that totally happened. And all gamer men hate on them because they are women, right? Yup, that’s a real thing. Oh, and the girl at the gaming conference who got beaten in a bathroom, that’s another thing that happened, right? It’s one thing to caricature gamers. The shitty writers at Law &Order: Stupid Voters Unit can do that all they like. But when you, a publication that is trying to be taken seriously in the real world, say that this is just like the real world, you are throwing away what little journalistic integrity you had left. But that isn’t saying much.
Funnier still, Jason Schreier, the guy who said that “objectivity is a silly thing to strive for,” wrote an article for Kotaku about this episode. Only he decided to condemn it, stating that it makes all gamers look like misogynists. Are you fucking kidding me?! You are saying this, Jason?! You?! That’s just so rich. So fucking rich. After all, you are part of the reason that this episode exists! They even mention Kotaku by name! How much money did Kotaku have to shell out for that little plug-in? All of this wouldn’t have happened if you and yours hadn’t been colluding with one-another and made your “Gamers Are Dead” articles, where you went out of your way to make gamers look like terrorists. You are a fucking hypocrite, and your inability to see that is mind-boggling. At least Polygon has the balls to stick with their bullshit narrative. You and yours have been trying to whitewash history for months, now. Like that article where the best gamers of this year are us. Revisionist history, anyone?
But despite what you may be thinking, I don’t hate this episode. It’s too funny to hate. For real, it is just so ridiculous that I can’t help but think that it’s all hilarious. This is a funny episode of a terrible show. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a show that exemplifies a belief that men are pigs, sex is scary and women are constantly in danger from life. I’m not surprised that it did this. Every time they have tried social commentary, it is a strawman factory. This time is no exception. I suppose I could get mad that the middle-aged moms who watch this might take it seriously, but you know what, it’s still too funny. This episode is like a parody of itself.
And Kotaku and Polygon’s responses have just affirmed that. Brilliant.
Until next time, a quote,
“I know the difference between the game and reality.” -Ice T’s character, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit