I noticed this when I first started scrolling through the Demand A Better Ending... Facebook page and again when I started posting here at Hold The Line: the myth about the angry fanboy just got shattered.
Part of the problem with the way gaming journalists presented #Retake to their audiences was how they portrayed it. "Oh, it's just the fanboys again. God, they'll get angry over anything... idiots." They aren't entirely wrong. I've been around enough message boards and comment threads and multiplayer lobbies to see the stereotype at work. Sadly, it is accurate... up to a point. However, a quick scroll through the #Retake Facebook page or the members at HoldTheLine.com and you'll notice something a little different from your average fanboy rage-fit: the women.
Yeah, women. And in a surprising number too. I'm trying to think back to the last time there was a huge video game controversy and how many women I saw pitching a fit about it but I genuinely can't. Sure, there'd be a few here or there... but go back to the #Retake Facebook page and scroll through the comments again. Lots of guys, yeah, but a damn lot of women. None of them seem to be trolling or whinging or autistic weirdos either. At Hold The Line, a lot of the staff, the ones organizing and motivating everyone, are women. One enterprising woman even went by herself to PAX East armed with cookies and three folders full of fan feedback to personally hand-deliver to BioWare. I'd cheekily ask you to give me another example of this kind of thing happening in the past but we both know that there's no real precedent for it. Usually when there's news about women in gaming, it's because some dude acting like a sexist fucking douchebag or someone took a picture wearing nothing but a couple of N64 controllers.
This is just more proof that the naysayers may not want to hear: #RetakeMassEffect isn't what you want it to be. It spans ages, classes, countries, and gender. This is why you should be worried. This isn't a small faction of unhappy dudes, this is a cross-section of everyone. Blame it on fundamental changes in gaming demographics. Blame it on BioWare telling a good story that went off the rails at the very last second. Blame it on Garrus just being too damn hot. Just don't pretend this isn't a pretty huge deal.
#RetakeMassEffect and Gender Equality
Blog entry posted by The Defenestrator, Apr 9, 2012.