This is a new game studio, Raccoon Logic, co-founded by Alex Hutchinson, ex creative director at Ubisoft for Far Cry 4 and Assassin’s Creed III. You don’t need to look too closely to see that the group is made up entirely of men, or as Kotaku describes them in its article yesterday, ‘veteran white dudes’. This picture alone has caused a furor in social media, with Hutchinson immediately being labelled as a misogynist, a term with very powerful connotations and a view openly supported by Kotaku, a publication well known for its crusades for social justice warriors. One should choose one’s words with care nowadays, especially since misogynists kill, as happened last week in Plymouth, UK, where six people were shot dead by a known woman-hater.
Misogyny: a hatred of women
Looking For Controversy Intentionally
There is in fact one female employee at Raccoon Logic, namely Noemie L’Ecuyer as a producer, but I’m simply using this video games studio as an example of a current-day culture which I can only describe as similar to walking over eggshells, or razor blades, depending on your point of view. The recent news coming from Ubisoft, Blizzard Entertainment, and Riot Games concerning sexual harassment of women by men cannot be taken lightly. Conversely, the current climate has now developed into a one size fits all situation where an entrepreneur who once worked for a company that is now embroiled in sexual harassment cases has to defend his position pre-emptively lest he gets tarred with the same brush. This is exactly what has happened to Hutchinson in the article by Kotaku when he was asked if he had witnessed anything untoward (during his time at Ubisoft) and, rather patronisingly, whether he had learned anything from it. Quite rightly he answered the question with an ever so subtle message signalling that he wasn’t going to be held answerable to a so-called journalist who was simply looking for something non-existent.
“There’s nothing specific on my side,” he said. “And as someone who wasn’t involved, luckily, in any of the nasty stuff there so it doesn’t feel useful to have my opinion on it.”
In all the woke noise surrounding a new game studio launch, what seems to have been lost is the admirable spirit of opportunism in starting a new venture, instead being hijacked by a poisonous culture intent on dictating its own set of rules on everyone else. In most developed countries, including Canada where Raccoon is based, there exist laws against gender discrimination, but I’m not aware of any laws that specify quotas on how many male/female/non-binary/LGBTQ+ (or any other gender labels I haven’t heard of) a company should employ. But is it naïve of me to suggest that most companies hire employees on merit and experience?
The Gaming Industry Is Predominantly Male, Apparently
Perhaps it’s in our DNA, but men and boys have long been attracted to both gaming and the making of those games. It’s an indisputable fact, just as bullying of girls in gaming, mainly online, is also indisputable and it’s only in recent years that this kind of anti-social behaviour is being tackled, albeit half-heartedly. On the other hand…
I work for a large and very well known game studio, and we recently put out a job description for a new position with my department.
There were no female applicants…
That quote is from a Eurogamer article which states that 70% of the people who work in the UK game industry are men, which is a statistic I wouldn’t argue with, albeit with the article having been based on a report issued in October 2019. Of course, there are arguments that women are put off from applying for jobs in certain industries because of the perceived macho atmosphere that may or may not exist, which could explain the figures I just quoted. But this opinion piece isn’t about statistics, but about diversity and inclusion for their own sakes.
It’s impossible to deny that the workplace has historically been a place of discrimination in all its forms, but should Anycompany Inc in Anytown USA, or some other places around the world be dictated to by journalists and the woke community at large? Is it right that a company should be singled out for not having its ‘fair’ quota of women, lesbians, transsexuals, BIPOC, and non-binaries as employees and then being labelled misogynist? If you read the above Kotaku article I linked to and scroll down to the keyboard warriors (comments) section you’ll spot a few choice descriptions of one of the co-founders of Raccoon Logic, one of which reads:
Hutchinson has always been, and will always be, an ass**le.
So there you have it, all summed up in one tidy little word. But then Steve Jobs was also an ass**le employer, but he is now held up as some kind of deity, prophet, and visionary.