Disclaimer: I am offering, without commentary, the transcript of the Geordie Tait interview as a service to the Gamergate community and is not intended for commercial use. As it is rather long, I will be posting it in installments. I have faithfully transcribed the conversation to the best of my abilities and will attempt to complete the transcription so that the information is available in a timely manner. The opinions and statements made by individuals within reflect their own opinions and ideas and are not reflective of Cirsova or any other individuals. The transcription begins with Geordie Tait’s arrival on the stream and will end shortly after his departure. The full audio interview can be found here.
[break in transcript]
KOP: Alright, I am back. Sorry, I had to get a refill and use the restroom.
GT: Welcome back.
KOP: Just let everybody clear the air for a little bit. For everybody just joining in, we are talking with Geordie Tait, the writer. He is a freelance writer as of now, but he was a writer for StarCityGames. And stuff like that. We’re just discussing his messages, what he had to say and his stance in gamergate thus far. We have also Socks here, you guys know who she is, I do the daily news with her. Now Socks, go ahead and ask a few more questions. Geordie, if you have any questions you want to ask us in response to this, while she’s still here, you’re more than welcome to. I will say this, though, I will moderate what is being said, so if it gets too heated, I will interrupt. Is that okay?
GT: That’s fine with me.
KOP: Okay. Alright, so go ahead, Socks. I think she’s still away actually.
GT: Okay, well, um. I’m sure she’ll be back soon.
KOP: She’ll be back. If you have any questions for me, you’re more than welcome to.
GT: I just have general comment about the tenor of this interview. Um, we’re kind of hamstrung by the fact that we have really fundamental disagreements about…
GT: about certain things.
GT: Um, you know, I’m not going get… you have… I can tell that you are a skilled rhetor.
KOP: A what?
GT: Rhetor, as in rhetoric.
KOP: Oh, okay.
GT: Orator. Um. And you probably are great at steering people away from the things that they believe and toward what you believe, but I mean, even if I can’t articulate perfectly, even if I don’t have examples at hand, I have closely examined my convictions and the reasons for them, and I have made my decision.
KOP: Oh, that’s fine. I want you to understand, this is an interview, this isn’t an intervention. No one here… the difference is, you’re talking with, basically, the pro-gamergate side as a whole, and you coming in as anti-gamergate, and I’m feeling that I’m being very fair and understanding on your side, I’m asking the proper questions and we’re discussing it openly, but I want to show you, at least on this point, if I can interject, that gamergate… you may think that gamergate is evil or inherently evil and that the people need to be gassed or genocidally taken out instrumentally/indiscriminately(?). Here you are now, and we’re having a proper discussion, in my feel, on a platform so we can discuss this openly and we can get both sides of the story. Do you see the same thing with that, or is that different for you?
GT: I have no complaints with how the interview has gone thus far. I feel like I could have done a better job on some points, but overall I think it’s gone well.
KOP: Okay. As long as you feel that I’m being fair, that is all I had to say.
GT: I mean, you disagree with me on points, but you’re being fair.
KOP: Okay, fair enough, fair enough.
Socks: I’m back.
KOP: Okay, Socks is back here, guys. Now, Socks, I’m going to let you ask a few more questions and I’ll have you drop out so we can bring in Sargon. I will moderating this, so if any of you guys get too heated or stuff, I will interject…
KOP: to reestablish the point or on topic. Allright, so go ahead, and if you have any questions, Geordie, with her as she asks you things, after you answer questions, you’re more than welcome to ask. So, go ahead, Socks.
Socks: Alright. Um. I did want to bring this back for a moment to Anita Sarkeesian and Feminist Criticism in video games. I am a writer and a humorist. I believe that the representation of women in video games is terrible. I think we can both agree on that, yes?
Socks: Okay, my main criticism is that – well not my main criticism, I guess – but what I put forward to you is do you think that a good way of helping progress the portrayal of women in video games would be to hire actual writers who actually write a proper story? Because, I think a lot of us, I mean, I’ve said this before, and a lot of people in gamergate agree with me, that the representation of women is shit, out of the gate, I won’t deny it, and that a good way to go about solving it would be to hire better writers. Do you agree with that?
GT: I agree. Can I make a quick comment?
GT: Okay, uh, I have seen, I really think, when you give something really obvious to someone with the gamergate tag, like, you don’t think, you, what do you think of the, portrayal of women, I think they’re easily going to be able to say terrible. But I don’t think that any of them think that it’s that important to fix it. Fix that? And I don’t really think that… maybe the women feel that way, I don’t know. I just think that… and here’s another thing that’s related, I’ve been called a ‘white knight’ about a million times. ‘White knight’ is just a statement that ignorant people make. RE: feminism, like, it’s ridiculous.
KOP: What’s the point you’re trying to make?
GT: The point I’m trying to make is she just said that a lot of people in gamergate agree that the portrayal of women is bad, and it’s really been my experience that a lot of them don’t care, and, you know, don’t give a shit that the portrayal of women is bad and they were more the sort of people who would look at the response to that, you know, that Hitman Trailer with the nuns in it and they would say “Why were you complaining about that? That trailer was awesome. It’s just a bunch of complaining assholes white knighting, blah blah blah.”
KOP: Right, but…
GT: I think there’s tons of people like that in gamergate.
KOP: K, fair assessment. What if I told you it’s because people weren’t looking at it in a pseudopolitical or ideological way, they were looking at it as a form of entertainment and art?
GT: Uh. That’s what I mean when I say that they don’t think it’s important.
KOP: Well, it’s probably because its… and to most people, for most gamers, they would take video games, for them, as a form of art & entertainment, like if you went to go see a movie. It is art & entertainment. Or if you read a book, it is entertainment and art. Sometimes books can be intellectual properties, if they need to be, if you’re reading something like that, if that’s your taste, just as much as there can be (unintelligible) in games, documentaries, there have been historical games as well. It just depends on your taste. Once again, that’s art and entertainment and what you’re attracted to. I just want to say, it goes back to the same question I made before, which is what’s stopping, at least the anti-gamergate side, or let’s say as an example, Anita Sarkeesian, as you will, from making the game that portays women in the right aspect instead of critiquing the free market, if you will, that has been around since… a long time, now, I would say for the most part.
GT: Okay. I think the main problem with that is that it… I would like more people to be political thinkers, um, and not just, vanish into a wasteland of only caring about the artistic side. I think that too many people do that. I think it’s an excuse that they make. I think it’s the worst kind of, y’know, anti-intellectual garbage, just, to listen to someone say “That trailer is sexist” and then, y’know, look over at them and say “Can’t you just enjoy it? Fucking shut up”.
KOP: Okay, if I can interject. Then if that’s the case, then why not make games that are educational to the subject at hand? And not say that because, let’s say Bayonetta 2, “She’s so sexy, but she’s also a witch who can do magic who’s fighting figuratively fictitious ant-creatures and monsters that don’t exist in our world in a world that does not adhere to our world at all.” You get what I’m saying? That’s entertainment, but if you’re looking for what you’re talking about, Geordie, that’s still falls back to if that is what you want and you’re looking for, then why not make an educational game based off that so people understand it better?
GT: I’ll tell you why. Because educational games suck. You want an exciting action game like the best ones in our industry but you want it to contain, like, the correct message, and not just be vacant and stupid.
KOP: Fair enough.
Socks: That’s… that feeds back into hiring better writers and better staff.
Socks: Instead of treating the writing and the story aspect… The reason why – this is what a lot of people do not understand – the reason why video games and blockbuster films are so filled with tropes is because they do not spend a lot of money and a lot of time on the actual dialogue, the writing and the story. Now, that’s the problem. That’s the big pervasive problem. It’s a lot cheaper to just take one of the archetypal stories, fill it with tropes – and tropes are tropes for a reason – it’s because – and clichés are clichés for a reason – it’s because they’re instantly recognizable and relatable to Joe Shmoe, right?
Socks: That is exactly why you as writer should understand this. This is exactly why they’re there. You can make just, like, y’know, this wooden box hero and they can be instantly relatable to the viewer and engage them. And that’s what it’s for, right? Now…
GT: Can I make a quick comment? I’ll try to be really fast and you can go back to what you were saying.
Socks: Go ahead.
GT: Okay, so, I definitely agree with a lot of what you were saying. I think that, uh, it’s not a big problem – it’s not a problem to just hand everything to your artists and make, you know, your designers, and all of your programmers, if you are not, I don’t know, tackling subject matter that requires you to be politically aware, but if you have like a female main character anywhere or a female character anywhere, you’ve got to think about it in the same way that you would think about having an African American character. Or you know, someone of any ethnicity. You’ve gotta be sensitive to the current needs of that culture and write the character accordingly, and I think that they do that with minorities now. But they don’t, and never do it, with women now, and they just exploit them. Anyway, go ahead.
Socks: I also… that comment feeds me back to the other point where… I don’t know if you can tell, but I’m not American. I’m Australian.
Socks: Yeah. Uh, and I’ve been playing video games since I was, what, 4? I’m 29 now, so I’ve been playing video games for 25 years. Um, and I know a lot of people in other parts of the world… gaming is global, is what I’m trying to say. It is very popular in asia and Europe and a lot of the political –sociopolitical – issues you’re referring to are American-centric. And that kind of Americentric attitude and view –which I get, because you’re obviously America – that kind of irritates the international gaming community to the point where it’s not really relatable to us. Those struggles, those things are not relevant to our societies. Do you understand what I’m saying there? Criticism of Bayonetta 2 from western, uh, critics, I guess? Is a little unfair. It’s not made by Americans, it’s not made by white people, it was made by a bunch of Japanese women and men. It’s completely irrelevant to the American culture.
GT: No it’s not irrelevant, no it’s not, they’re selling it in America that has these concerns. If the Japanese…
Socks: Yeah, they’re marketing it…
GT: If the Japanese put someone in the game and, you know, his name was Darkie, you wouldn’t say ‘It’s irrelevant, don’t worry about it’, they’ve gotta worry about what is in their fucking game. And like, if they put an Australian person in the game who was fuckin the most stereotypical, y’know, “spoits, noice, roights,” Crocodile Dundee asshole you could think of…
Socks: But they do all the time…
GT: you’d probably be upset about that too. Well, they shouldn’t.
Socks: I know, this is stupid, I don’t care. I mean, that’s ridiculous, that’s a caricature and that’s no problem with me. I mean, but that’s just me personally, but… Anyway, I will drop out, unless you have any questions you want to ask me, that’s cool.
GT: Well, can I just say, I don’t think… I don’t have any problem with you not having a problem with a caricature of an Australian person because there’s not really historical, y’know, oppression that they’re likely to offend. But if the…
Socks: I’m not a white Australian either, so, I come from a mixed ethnic background. My country is very… Multicultural. I’m an ethnic minority here. I would be moderately offended at some other things, but…
Socks: …that’s different. Anyway, I will drop out.
KOP: Okay, Socks, I’ll talk to you later. Thanks for coming in.
Socks: Yep, thank you.
KOP: I’m going to grab Sargon here, and I guess we’ll continue on from there.
KOP: I think he stepped away to grab his tea.
GT: (laughs) Someone just posted crocodile Dundee.
KOP: Yeah, I just saw that. (laughs) If he will come back… I think he might have gone to grab his tea; he said his kettle was going off. He’s british by the way.
The transcript will resume when Sargon arrives on the stream. Today’s posts represent the first hour of the audio. I will try to get as much as I can of the second hour posted tomorrow.