Recently I attended a lecture given by Anita Sarkeesian. While the lecture itself wasn’t on the topic of inclusive gaming or misogyny in MMORPGs, she’s been in the eye of the storm and the forefront of the #gamergate shitshow. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Basically, regardless of how it began, it was the apex of a conversation in multimedia demanding positive change in a traditionally uber-niched nerd-o-sphere. One side said women were making false claims and it was about “ethics in journalism,” while the other side said, “I don’t think death and rape threats or identity theft to the point of driving someone out of her home qualifies as ethics, journalism, or something that anyone anywhere should get away with.” Meanwhile, the industry at large has been experiencing massive growth and attention, with newer research claiming that women are making up the majority of the gaming population (even though some people will argue the validity of mobile games being lumped in with PC or consoles).
No matter your stance, the Gamergate hashtag has officially been popped out of existence, thanks to outspoken people who want to see the industry change for the better. It’s not just about women, but anyone who’s been bullied while attempting to have fun with, and develop, games they truly enjoy. (Though, granted, women in general are the primary targets.)
Presented by Ghostlight Theatricals, From Kings to Controllers seeks to take the conversation to the part of your brain that enjoys art and fiction. Like narrative games. Funny, that. Derived from Shakespeare’s “The Rape of Lucrece,” we’re entered into the world of a female game developer who’s sick of the same old, same old. Over the course of the play, the male and female characters exchange ideas about money vs. ethics, new vs. tried-and-true, and attack vs. rape—all the while referencing actual events that have been reported during and since Gamergate. It is recommended that you make yourself aware of (i.e. read) the Shakespeare work before attending this play. Jenny Crooks directs a troupe of bright, young theater nerds who tackle a serious subject with grace and humor.
A note from the playwright, Stacy D. Flood:
There is something magical about video games. We are transported. We become heroes. But the true heroes here are the ones onstage tonight and the ones behind the scenes, in addition to those in countless offices and groups online who struggle day‐after‐day for empowerment, equilibrium, and an end to harassment — to each I am eternally humbled, and to all, I truly hope you enjoy the show as much as I enjoyed forming the blueprint for it!
FKTC premieres this weekend, March 4, and runs through March 19 at The Ballard Underground (that’s right, folks, there’s more to do in Ballard than drink and make beer!). Tickets range from $12-15.
If you’re a nerd, but not an avid theater-goer, this is your play. If you’re a theater nut who’s sick of the seeing the same tired shows, here’s something new for you. And if you’re heading to the conventions this season, this play will give you something to talk about while waiting in line.
GUYZ. This topic is important. And relevant. Go! Engage! Get your finger off the space bar and change your status to “AFK.”