Since before the start of GamerGate, the social justice community has targeted gamers as the most “-phobic” and “-ist” group that walks the face of the Earth. They’ve been pegged as the originators of “harassment campaigns” against this person or that, always with the excuse that the reason it happened was that the victim was a “woman,” or “trans,” or a minority of some sort.
No matter what interchangeable accusation you used, the message was always the same. Gamers were evil, intolerant detriments to our civil society. They hate developers, games, and more due to their bigotry and hatred of one group or another.
While this has been proven false time and again — especially seeing as how the gaming community is made up of people from every walk of life — the success of a recent game is pretty much demolishing the narrative social justice adherents have been keeping up for years.
Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royal game that saw its popularity rise to millions of players overnight, and only continued to gain fans over the passing days. By the time the game was only a month old, 50 million players were logging into the game to play.
The game currently has only one map for players to battle in, and only sports eight characters to choose from. Regardless, fans can’t get enough of it.
However, the game does come with a socio-political nod in the form of two LGBT characters within the roster of eight.
One character called “Gibraltar” has been given a backstory that indicates that he’s gay, and described an incident where he and his “boyfriend” stole a motorcycle. Another character, known as “Bloodhound,” has been described by the creators as “non-binary.”
This has the social justice community thrilled, and certain LGBT websites are expressing their excitement over the fact that they’re being represented, and that the cast of characters is diverse in various ways.
Pink News released an article titled “Apex Legends has two amazing queer characters, and fans are losing it,” wherein they highlight a few quotes from people pleased about the character’s backstories:
Queer gamers have expressed their delight at the news that they can play with multiple LGBT+ characters in the first-person shooter.
One person tweeted: “Apex legends has: A gay polynesian man, and a bad ass enby hunter. Folx, it’s good.”
Another wrote: “Apex legends has a gay character, a non binary character, and the first unlocked characters doesn’t include a white dude. You gotta unlock him and he is literally toxic. Eat your heart out overwatch lmao.”
And a different gamer said: “it’s wild how 1/2 of apex legends’ current cast is comprised of two black women, a gay man, and an nb at launch. overwatch crawled so apex legends could run.”
The Escapist also released an article titled “Apex Legends’ LGBTQ Characters Are Important.” In it, the author begins by calling “diversity” Apex Legends’ greatest asset.
“While Respawn Entertainment’s battle royale has already earned a reputation as a great multiplayer experience, granting players the option to play characters of various races, sexes, and queer identities lets the game stand out amongst its peers,” wrote author Riley Constantine.
The article was taken down due to the author making nasty accusations against the game’s critics, along with an apology from the editor for releasing an article targeting YouTubers for expressing their thoughts about why having LGBT characters in the game should matter at all.
Other websites celebrate the success of the game as well as the fact that it contains LGBT characters, but despite its wild success, many in the social justice and gaming journalist community seem to have not noticed a very important point.
If gamers were as horrible as they say they are, then whey are so many in love with a game that features a wishlist of social justice approved characters? If gamers were so phobic and bigoted, then wouldn’t a game featuring a trans character, a homosexual man, or a strong black female soldier be shunned and rejected by the gaming community overall?
The only questions I’ve seen overall from the gaming community center around the fact that it feels like they’re inserting the characters for political points, but otherwise have little to complain about with the game. Their primary concern is that the game is fun.
I, like many gamers, don’t feel my choices affected by the race, sexuality, or gender of the character. In fact, I tend to find myself constantly switching between the trans character “Bloodhound,” and the medic character “Lifeline,” a young black woman with a Jamaican accent. During character selection screens, I consistently see “Bangalore” selected, and she’s a no-nonsense black soldier woman.
All three of these characters are highly popular, and the diverse gaming community — diverse in both body and ideology — is happily picking these characters without a fuss.
The gaming community is exhibiting what it’s been saying about itself for years now. We don’t care what groups, minorities, or sexualities characters in games belong to. So long as the game is good, that the characters are solid and make sense, and that we’re not having the political messaging forced down our throats, we’re going to enjoy it.
If anything, Apex Legends is proof that perhaps the problems social justice adherents and gaming journalists claim are plaguing the gaming community aren’t as prevalent as they believe.