Let’s Talk About That Law & Order: SVU Gamergate Episode
We previously reported that Law & Order: SVU would be taking on Gamergate in one of their many ripped-from-the-headlines episodes. Well, that episode aired this week, and it was….well, it happened.
We figured that SVU‘s take on all of this would be ridiculous, but I for one was not prepared to the levels of “?!?!” I felt every time they turned to Ice-T to define Internet acronyms. And, sigh, that was the least of it.
Here’s a supercut of Gamergate moments from the episode, if you haven’t seen it or just want to relive it for some reason:
I’m not even gonna get into every little (and big) thing about this that is silly and/or awful (that “level up” line, oh god). Drew McWeeny had this to say about this episode:
Unfortunately, I think that “Intimidation Game,” this week’s episode, missed the mark in some pretty significant ways, and it managed to be insulting to pretty much everyone involved with these issues, starting from a fundamentally wrong-headed place. […]
This is what the mainstream takes away from all of this. And here’s where I feel like the episode goes really wrong and then becomes actively inflammatory. It’s one thing to take on the conscious, although anonymous, behaviors of the Gamergate movement. It’s another thing entirely to then make the jump to gamers running around with real guns killing people because they can’t tell what’s real and what isn’t. This is the same spurious connection that people have tried to push onto videogames for years, and what gamers need to realize is that it doesn’t matter if the connection is real or if it isn’t. Once the mainstream media makes that connection, it becomes very, very difficult to shake. And when you’re using threatening language and rape threats and calling in the bomb squad, you’re creating an irresistible and morally inarguable target. You make it easy for people who want to ban certain kinds of games to connect dots that shouldn’t be connected. You have become the worst case scenario, and so that’s all people will see now. And don’t tell me “But I’m not one of those gamers.” Try telling that to those three Muslims who died in Chapel Hill this week. I’m sure they weren’t “those” kinds of Muslims, but once rage has picked a target, rational thought frequently goes out the window.
You can read the rest of his take at Hitfix.
Erik Kain also unpacks a lot about the episode over at Forbes:
There’s little that can be said about last night’s episode of Law & Order: SVU with a straight face.
“Intimidation Game” is quite possibly the worst hour of cop drama I’ve ever watched. I’d say “worst hour of television ever” but that’s too bold a claim.
As far as TV about video games go, however, this takes the cake. I’ve never felt so insulted after watching TV before, and not just me: the show manages to insult everybody, from the gamers it takes on to the police to women in video games and, perhaps worst of all, victims of actual sexual assault.
And for the record, here’s what Anita Sarkeesian thought of the episode:
Predictably this week’s Law & Order SVU was sickening. They trivialized and exploited real life abuse of women in gaming for entertainment.
— Feminist Frequency (@femfreq) February 12, 2015
So what did you think of the episode? There has to be some way to sensitively and accurately portray the issues and events around Gamergate, right? Bueller? Some way? Some way way way less ludicrous than all of this?
(Photo by: Myles Aronowitz/NBC)