His video “¿Que pasa con el feminismo en los videojuegos?” has turned this youtuber into a scandal stone. We speak with DayoScrip about gamers , polemics and witch hunts(presumed and reals).
It hurt to admit it, but the damn Gamergate has triumphed at least in one aspect: inoculate videogame conversatios with toxic arguments that apparently can not be escaped. Jose Altozano knows it well. With his video,“What's happening with feminism in videogames?” , published on 1st September, this youtuber known as DayoScript attracted insults of all kinds on both the streaming platform and social media. CANINO has spoken with him about the controversy in question, about how the gamer phenomenom has become an incubator of garish monster and about many other things.
Yago García (YG): The world of videogames has recently become a nest of homophobic and sexist's fachas (fascist), or has it always been like that?
DayoScript (DS): Hum... It's difficult because, as the English would say, there's a lot to unpack there. I would say that videogames, anime or comics are means that not only develop appreciations, but also a sense of community. You do not see anime, you are an otaku. You do not read comics, but you go to “your” comic shop where they know you, etc... Most people who enter these hobbies feel rejected in their youth, and that often leads to certain stereotypes: “Girls do not like me, I am a geek, and isolated”... The medium you appreciatee become your refuge, your stronghold. But suddenly there are people who say they have to change, they have to come up with new ideas, they talk about racism and LGBT issues... And the reaction is to say: “I was here before, and before this did not happen; or, if it happened, I did not realize.” Because political games have been around since the begining of the medium, like Missile Command. But people did not realize that. Also in the Spectrum years there were games that criticized Thatcherism or Reagan. But of course, you did not understand it because nobody was telling you
YG: And yet, the women or the LGBT people who play have always been there... How is it possible that nobody has noticed?
DS: There are always excuses to not see what you do not want to see: “I do not know any” “they don't dare to leave the closet”... And then there are many cases of people who are isolated: it has been the article “A girl enters a comic shop” of Paula A. who tells you about that, to isolate you because you feel that you do not belong to a space and that they will judge you there. So, since the medium is also appealing directly to people like you, a hetero male, you feel that it is 'your' medium, because most of its consumers, statistically, are like you. And when we want to create community, it is "we are all the same", and the exceptions that may be said: "you are welcome".
But, at the same time, the girl who is there playing with others is possible (only possible) that at some point was an accomplice. If there is someone LGBT who plays, too. "Accomplice" in the sense of staying on the sidelines or not wanting to talk about these issues: "It's not that it's political, it's that they're hooligans", "it's not that I'm sexist, it's that, as the protagonist's girlfriend, it's normal that you have to rescue her. " But now it is not just that people arrive saying: "I am gay", "I am a woman", and so on. But also say: "Hey, without realizing you've been cornering us." And people respond: "Why the hell do they have to talk right now?" Can not we relax and enjoy? "
YG: Which connects with a very valid controversy today: that about political correctness and the limits of freedom of expression.
DS: Yes, but that's something general. In general ... I'm repeating myself a lot, I have too many hoses, I'm sorry. He said that, in general, we are realizing how open the world is and how closed we were. Suddenly I realize that I know many LGBT people, that I am learning from the women I follow and who tell their stories and so on. Until recently, if I'm not wrong (and I was born in 1991, it's not like I've lived that long either), my impression is that you did not realize that it was all that and that it was important. You said: "Ok, it's gay, I leave you alone". But you did not realize that that would limit him, fuck him, change him.
But understanding all these things means understanding systemic problems, and people, in general, believe that each problem is individual. If you're gay and you get beat up, it's because you'd say something. Do they add a woman? People say: "Who happens to go down that street at three in the morning?" Now they begin to raise these voices and people wonder why they are feeling this displacement. That is not exactly a displacement either, but it feels that way because things have always been like that, in a way, and now there are groups that are going out to say that this is their space. Patton Oswalt sums it up nicely: "We used to have 99 percent of things before and now we only have 96 percent." And that feels like a great loss, even if you go where you go you'll see the same stereotypes: look at the movies, with Jason Statham or Dwayne Johnson, facing gigantic sharks or jumping through buildings, proving to be the summum of manhood .
Philomena Kunk, Charlie Brooker's collaborator, described it very well on a TV show: "No matter how much progress is made in women's representation, tickets will continue to bear the face of men." Maybe now there is a superhero like Ms. Marvel, a Muslim girl, or that Iron Man is a woman, but you have everything else. And even then that change feels like a loss. Many times I have seen this reaction raised as that white men cishetero we have to have a bad time, that we will despise and no longer as women and LGBT people. I adjudge everything to him not to know what is happening: it is not that the minorities go to our castle with pitchforks and torches, but that they are saying "Guys, we can live together". But it is understood as a "I have to be careful with everything I say".
YG: What could you tell us about the role of industry in this state of affairs? How much responsibility can we assign to the labels that continue to focus their products on a masculine, white and straight consumer?
DS: Let's see, the industry ... I believe that the industry is a very crucial part. Because, if there were these reactions but the industry would continue acting as if we were in 1995, little was going to be achieved. But the fact that the industry demonstrates that it listens, or that in the Comicsgate case there are great authors saying "Dudes, what the fuck are you doing?" And denouncing abuses ... The fact that these creators are working to mold their stories to these new sensibilities shows that This is a matter of two: on the one hand, it is important for us to understand that this is a progress forward and not a repression; on the other hand, content producers have to listen and say "let's change all together". That industry reacts makes people who do not want to account for these changes, even people who reject them, realize that changes will happen with or without them. It was seen, for example, with Battlefield V. That Electronic Arts went out to say: "There are women, and if you do not like it, fuck you" is very important, because it reflects the world in which we live.
YG: Personally, I was shocked by those lesbophobic reactions against the trailer of The Last of Us 2. How can a character like Ellie go from icon of the fandom to the black beast of a pack of energumenos?
DS: Look, I (who am straight) had forgotten that Ellie is a lesbian. And there were also people who justified their moment of intimacy in the DLC with excuses such as "it was a desperate situation", "they loved each other over their gender", and so on. But the trailer confirmed that it is. There is that policy that you can not escape: when Naughty Dog says that Ellie is a lesbian, explicitly lesbian. Now many people are understanding that many of these manifestations of, say, non-normativity are a political statement of all those positions that are advancing. And that's where we got to "Ellie was not a lesbian, they've turned her into a lesbian, they're doing politics, you fucking SJWs, they're going to finish with all of us."
YG: There is an argument in the reactionary sector that is very interesting: to associate a greater diversity to the proliferation of 'author' games. Some gamergaters really fear that they will force them to change their Call of Duty for Thomas Was Alone, Gone Home or, of course, Depression Quest.
DS: This is part of the 'treehouse'. If you understand the game as your refuge, as your toy, you enter this dichotomy in which you do not want to be touched (and therefore it is an art, because it has saved you, changed you and is your refuge and is your place) . But at the same time it is a place of escape, an environment in which you will not reflect but to have fun. So there you have two thoughts that collide, that do not marry, but you manage to get them married because, with saliva and with effort, everything enters.
But these games [of 'art and essay'] have always existed: in the Spectrum there was already the Deus Ex Machina, an experimental program that did not fit exactly into what we now understand as "videogame". Only now we are reaching these new genres and these new definitions with the indie game boom. Gone Home is a very visible game with LGBT themes, Depression Quest is notorious for other circumstances ... But it is unknown that this comes from the Myst, which comes from Dear Esther, then all these new games are associated with "propaganda". As they do not match the traditional definition of the gamer (and I say "gamer" specifically, to differentiate it from "videogame player") according to which a game has to be playability, fun and challenge, because people say: "This happens because SJWs have come here to destroy videogames! ", when in reality we are exploring new ways.
YG: Not too long ago, many comics authors who were attacked by Comicsgate (like Magdalene Visaggio, the screenwriter of Kim & Kim) explained in networks how reading and doing comics had helped them to move forward with their lives in a hostile society. Is not it paradoxical?
DS: But those authors are not silent on their opinion: the gamer girl does shut up. Were you aware of the Gamergate controversy? From the hashtag "#notyourshield"? It was a slogan that claimed to deny that the gamergaters were all heterosexual white men through testimonies such as "I am a woman and African-American and support Gamergate." But that African-American girl is silent on her opinion, and surely with the whole issue #BlackLivesMatter she will also be silent in her conversations. And if she is a transgender girl, she will not talk about her experiences or her transition. Then, you can focus on playing video games.
When they created Vivian James [the mascot of the alleged Gamergate movement; the image is an LGBT parody of the character], her line was: "Can we just play video games?". Because it was a girl who only aspired to play, not to talk about the feminine or feminist experience. A comfortable position that invites us to keep going without learning from our mistakes. If Visaggio only talked about how the comics had helped her, then we could all have taken our hands to the heart, sang a hymn and praised the beauty of reading comics. But since she's transgender, she says it out loud he talks about his experience from a political point of view or, the reaction is a visceral rejection.
YG: You have distinguished between "player" and "gamer" before. It seems that the "gamer" is a more or less novel and extremely toxic construction: young boy, of very conservative ideas, and willing to join any campaign of online harassment. How is that monster created?
DS: The gamer conservatism is very relative, because it is separated from the conservatism of their parents in their way of being open to technology. It is a conservatism more in the social, a position where each problem is individual and when they speak to you of feminism you say "Come now, if I have friends who are well!" If I had to put a date to the birth of the gamer I would put it (without have been there) in 1995, when Tom Kalinske is the CEO of Sega.
YG: When advertising campaigns become more aggressive than ever, right?
DS: Exactly. Because, after the game crisis of 1983, games had become a niche product and something that was used as the foundation of an identity. When this aggressive publicity arrives, it appeals to the consumer in the second person of the singular and where oppositions are posed as that of "Genesis does what Nintendon't", with those "console wars" where each hardware is like a tribe ... All this begins to release certain tensions that can be observed as something fun ("Hey, my color is now blue! I'm 'seguero'!") but at the same time they contain something bad.
Then, in that breeding ground of the 90 really begins to really form the 'house of the tree' and that gamer emerges shaped by those advertising messages so hostile that encourage to choose a side.
YG: Can you tell us about your collaborators in the video?
DS: Since I was going to make the video, I wanted to do it well, so I turned to several girls I know in the middle to help me focus on the subject. I understand that this is not my fight, since I am not a woman, but I want to do it well and not to boast of myself saying "Long live me and everything I know!", Treading on the experience that they have. I asked them what people they could talk to, and I ended up taking Rocío Tomé, Andrea Sacchi and [CANINO collaborator] Marta Trivi.
I do not know Andrea so much, they took me to her because I asked a journalist friend who preferred not to appear, but she passed me her contact. I know Marta more because of her work at Anait, where she is fired at negative comments despite the fact that her articles are formidable. Her texts support her and I love her attitude of "I have not played a lot of videogames, but we are going to discover this together". It seems to me a super-courageous attitude, of standing up and applauding, because people with that perspective are needed. Obviously, a critic must know what criticizes, but at the same time I do not like that need of the gamer (and, again, "the gamer", not the jugón) to show his card to carry playing from the Paleolithic and know them everybody. Kill Screen was one of my favorite media, and when they looked for collaborators they specified: "If the games are not your main hobby, better". And it showed, because there were many different sensitivities.
I met Rocío Tomé at this year's CometCon, where they had invited her and a friend to talk about femdevs. I liked her a lot and from there we have met a couple of times, and in one of them I asked her if she wanted to sign up to give another experience of a woman who plays.
YG: Regarding the elaboration of the video: would you say that doing it has changed your point of view or your ideas about a specific aspect?
DS: No, my ideas had changed before. Now I am trying to receive everything I can to learn about it. I always say it: I am a man and I do not know how all this is, I do not know the experience of being LGBT or being a woman or racialized person, so whenever I screw up my attitude is "sorry, please, explain what it just happened. " That's why I try to open up to everything I see now, because I do not want to be part of the problem. My mind had already changed a couple of years ago, luckily: I did not discover anything, but what I might have done was to define my method to express these things, to make everything palatable. If I have to do something, it is to talk about feminist issues with a public that does not understand it, or that is not so open to it.
YG: How did you take the reactions of the audience? Did you expect them?
DS: Yes. One of the reasons why I took so long to get the video was because I knew it was going to get involved. I had just done the analysis of Detroit: Become Human, where I spoke about racism and the alt-right, and got into the comments, with quite unpleasant responses that affected me. With this video I did not want to fall into the same mistakes, putting it in such a way that I did not get rid of those reactions (which always will be) but I would minimize the damage. That's why I was measuring a lot the language, the presentation ... But come on, I expected the reaction a lot. And that's why I did not want to approach the comments.
YG: Do you have the average age of your followers calculated?
DS: It's not that I have it calculated: I know it. YouTube offers analytics of all kinds about your audience. The profile of my type follower is a male aged 18 to 24 years, by 95 or 97 percent.
YG: Friends of CANINO who are professionally dedicated to the videogame press have told us that it frightens them how their younger readers are, not only the most aggressive and rude, but also the most racist, the most misogynist and the most homophobic. Does this have to do with the principle of the 'tree house' you said before?
DS: I can understand they're rude. What they are reactionaries, I would not know what to tell you. That depends a lot on the environment in which you are raised. What I would say to you, without being a psychologist, is that you reflect your world: if the world around you expresses itself in a certain way, and if that way is racist, misogynist, LGBTphobic and others, because you want to tune in with that and therefore express in a certain way. It's something that strikes me ... I do not expect that they will be born accepting everything, but I expected them to be more open to new ideas.
The fact that they are insults I can understand, because being young they do not understand the burden of their own words: they see it as a game. Or do not think that there may be a person on the other side of the screen, or think that this person is a robot who has to carry out a job and, as he has not done well, it is necessary to insult him.
YG: You finance yourself through Patreon. What is it like to have such a relationship with your audience, not only close and close because of YouTube's networks and comments, but also economic?
DS: I have raised it very rarely. My mentality for many things is that I have to behave like the Coyote of Looney Tunes: if I keep looking forward, I will not fall over the cliff, but when I look down everything will be over. In my first Patreon I promised a video a week, during a trip to the United Kingdom, and there were people who paid me $ 100 a month. There I could have two reactions: one, to think "there are people who pay me that pasta, what am I going to do?"; and another one that I have been trying to carry since: "They pay me to do a good job, so I have to give everything and all my videos have to be worth it". I have tried to mold the videos that I get for that, so that my patrons think they are investing their money well. Of course, that of feminism was expected to be seen by some and said "never again".
YG: Have you lost patrons in Patreon after releasing your video about feminism and games?
DS: Yes. But I prefer not to look him in the eye because then I will not know how to respond. I will start thinking that I have to make videos to gain patrons, or to scratch myself with how much money they give me. Obviously, I owe everything to him: if it were not for Patreon I would not know what to do with my life, I would be lost. But my way of working requires that I think about it as little as possible. My job is the channel, I owe it to him, so I make videos and I keep running. That is all.
YG: You have been very critical about the video game press ...
DS: In some ways, yes. I have made videos about the videogame press and there are still things I would like to see changed.
YG: Like what?
DS: For example, everything that has been analyzing and treating the medium. I feel that the industry has to show that there is a change: if there are so many people who are opening up to these new sensibilities, if games like Papers Please or Gone Home have their audience, you can not continue talking about the medium in terms of graphics, sound, duration ... You have to talk about the game in cultural terms, like the Battlefield Hardline analysis in ... was it Salon or The Verge? Argh, I do not remember ... An analysis that I saw that compared all this to the police brutality and wondered how EA can make a game that praises the police and in which the bad guys are shot in the middle of the street, if in the USA they abound the news that some policemen shot an African-American when he took out a pack of gum that he had in his pocket.
That is the journalism that I want. Not the "eight out of 10" because there are some "bugs", but one of "six out of 10 because it is very good and fun, but I do not like their songs". I did that with Watch Dogs 2: if you look at that game from a purely playful perspective, it's fun, it could be an eight out of 10, in the sense that, if you buy it and play it, you'll have a good time. In that sense, the Assasin's Creed works, the Call of Duty gets very good grades for that. If people want us to start changing, to put notes of four, two or six, you have to do that: "All very well, but this game is taking you from the end of the first Watch Dogs, where you are a watchman and you take the justice by your hand, to the extreme opposite of being a policeman. " The philosophy of Watch Dogs 2 scratched me a lot, and as I was dealing with the topic of social satire, the treatment of information, I was very angry. They were doing things wrong, but things that had nothing to do with issues of gameplay.
YG: These issues are raised with more force as technology allows a more visual narrative in games ...
DS: Video games depend almost entirely on technology. Can you imagine a Gone Home in the Zork era?
YG: Yes: in the form of text adventure, for example.
DS: Yes, but a text adventure is not the same. You could play Gone Home exactly the same way in writing, but not how it gives you the feeling of being at home, the change of tone that takes place when the lights are turned on ... those things need technology. So, the ease of creating videogames now allows even the smallest studios to create very ambitious things. The progress of this new type of experimental games is due to the change of sensibilities as well as to what now can be done: perhaps in the PlayStation era someone would like to make a Pyre, but since you were a 'minor' studio you would not have the way to do it or the way to distribute it. Now the Unreal Engine is free, you have GameMaker Studio, you have Steam ... you can do a lot more, you can go crazy.
YG: There is also the subject of political subjectivity. Your repairs to Watch Dogs 2 are understandable in a medium like Kill Screen or yourself, but to a critical alt-righter all that would seem the most ...
DS: I believe in subjective criticism ...
YG: Even though that subjectivity totally contradicts your opinions?
DS: There we enter into a thorny issue. For example, I can understand the vision of someone who is anarcho-capitalist. We can be friends, get along, whatever you want. But before a negationist uncle of the Holocaust, anti-vaccines or terraplanista, well I'm going to ignore him: we do not have to give those people a voice. To the terraplanistas, maybe yes: Mundo Desconocido is my favorite channel in the universe. But certain people do not have to give voice. This is being talked about now with the case of Steve Bannon and the New Yorker, or with Milo Yiannopoulos, for example. There are levels. There is a difference between being conservative and being part of the alt-right, and there are people whose ideas do not deserve to be heard because they lead to nothing, only to take steps back, to segregation and to invent conspiracies that only lead to discord. I support subjectivity one hundred percent. Blessed is subjectivity and that there are always subjective analyzes. But there are limits to everything.
YG: Besides being a videogame critic, you are a film and anime critic. Do not you find it curious that the narrative relationships between cinema and videogames are shrinking? Do you see it as positive, or negative?
DS: At the beginning I was very against the cinematics because I understood it as a break: stealing a language that does not belong to you and not exploring your own. But over time I've noticed that, sometimes, a kinematics comes in handy. In the background, all the arts learn from all the arts: in the cinema there is text (look at Wes Anderson, for example), there is music in the theater ... all the arts intersect. The relationship with the cinema is a tool: if you are going to make cinematics, that they are good and that they are appropriate. One game that helped me change my mind was The Last of Us, because it only takes away control when the characters start talking and need to express themselves outside your limits. But whenever something happens in which your decisions can make a difference, it will give you that control. The opposite is like when in the cinema one chooses to count instead of showing: to go against the laws of your own narrative. Even so, the cinematographic resources can be used for something, and we see that in how some games handle the idea of the plane-sequence
For example, in Shadow of the Colossus the camera function is very important, that is to take Wander and Aggro to the lower corner, letting the stage be the protagonist ... Everything is a tool, from the gameplay to the graphics. The important thing is to give good uses.
YG: And there we come to the book you've written about David Cage. What has your work to interest you to the point of dedicating an essay?
DS: Cage represents a lot of the video game world: he's a guy who wants to be recognized and do important things, but he does not know how to do it. For example, when this generation began, with the XBox One, you found games like inFamous: Second Son or Killzone that tried to play socio-political themes, but always took a step back. For me, the phrase that most represents this philosophy is when Nate Fox talked about being in the riots with his family, between police charges, and I was like "come, come, come ...". And the uncle goes and lets go: "Imagine what it would have been like if some of those people had superpowers." And there, then ... that's the videogames, summarized.
With David Cage the same thing happens: he wants to make 'important' games about the meaning of life, love and all that. And then it takes you out Beyond: Two souls. Then, he wants to talk to you about racism and takes out Detroit, which for me is an absolute stumble. Cage gives me the opportunity to talk about a new type of videogame: he does not want to experiment, but he does do things differently. From it we can talk about the mechanics as an expressive resource, the relationship between games and movies ... I could play all the clubs that allow me to present what the game is like now.
YG: You also prepare Protagonista, a comic with a drawing by Ulises Lafuente financed by crowdfunding. It is interesting, since you have commented that comics are not a great hobby for you.
DS: Let's see, I'm trying to read comics to get in there, but I do not read news from the sector or anything like that. I have a lot of gaps: for example, I have not read anything about European comics and, in terms of American comics, I have tremendous absences. But as a child I liked to draw, anime and so on. And I am also a person who detests working in a team with all his soul. So I had a story, I studied the means to do it and at the beginning it was going to be a novel, but in the end I decided that it had to be something visual, something more accessible: if it offered a novel, people could have backed off.
However, the comic is something that I absorb much more easily, it is more kinetic and I like the visual language. I could make a movie without working with all the people needed to make a movie. And I could not shoot a movie because I do not have the money to do it.
YG: Do you tell us the storyline of the comic?
DS: The protagonist is a kid who has had a perfectly normal life, anodyne, and now studies Audiovisuals at the University. He has two friends: Pedro, whom I created thinking about that friend who knows when to cut you off and tell you "stop being an imbecile", and María, who fits the model of unrequited Platonic love. Then David, that's the name of the protagonist, lives his life normally until the day after he turns 21 a creature called Kawaiichi appears, a kind of anime drawing that moves. From there, his life changes. The premise is an outrageous plagiarism of one of the works in which I am inspired, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. I already said it when presenting it in the video: I am very bad at improvising and I am going back on things that I have already said. But it is a comic with a very personal roll in which I have been influenced by Evangelion, a work in which Hideaki Anno vomited everything he felt. With all the humility of the world, with this comic I wanted to make my Evangelion.
YG: It is curious also the relationship of youtubers with the world of comics. For example, ElRubius and School of gamers.
DS: But it's that ElRubius is a creative person. He has studied 3D realization, has short films ... the urge to do something would surely have him inside. And if you miss the opportunity to do something that is your dream, how can you not accept it? I guess we ended up falling into the comic because it's not as expensive as a movie. It's like pixelated graphics: if you're going to make 3D graphics in a game, you'd better be fucking, including the movements, the textures and everything. But pixelated graphics make, for example, that Pokémon Crystal is much better than Pokemon XD. With the comics I suppose that happens: if ElRubius had wanted to make School of gamers in the form of a movie, it would have cost him infinitely more money, effort and everything else. It is the commitment to deliver something as similar as possible to your idea, but, in the end, you have what you have.