The last two weeks have been a firestorm surrounding the Zoe Quinn video games journalism scandal. The rough details are that Quinn and a handful of her friends derailed a competing video game project by The Fine Young Capitalists.
Both projects by Quinn and TFYC were supposed to give women a positive representation in gaming. The sordid details of Quinn’s alleged sexual favors within the gaming community aside, there is another rising star: Vivian James.
When TFYC needed help financing their game production, they turned to crowdsourcing. Then the magic happened. In an unexpected turn of events, 4Chan’s video games internet forum came to the rescue. 4Chan’s /v/ channel became TFYC’s single largest sponsors, donating more than $5,000.
TFYC and /v/ have worked closely together to create something new, maybe I should say someone new, and also entirely unexpected. That someone is Vivian James.
Vivian James is a play on the phrase “video games,” and she is /v/’s concept of what a normal gamer girl would look like. Styling mid-back length red hair, a striped baggy hoodie, blue jeans and finished with 4Chan’s trademark four leaf clover atop a hair band, Vivian is supposed to be the “every girl” in ?gaming.
Here’s what’s not been said about Vivian James yet: she has a totally normal and non-sexualized body. She has a more or less normal and non-descript build. Her body is largely hidden under blue jeans and a baggy hoodie, and save for the long hair and feminine facial features nobody would know that Vivian James is supposed to be a woman.
This is a gaming character any woman could identify with.
This is the character the feminist community has been waiting for, and they should be happy, too. That is, unless they can’t stand the fact that it was a community historically comprised of men who gave this character life. Unless Zoe Quinn and her followers are too busy writing another journalistic hit job against TFYC they should consider helping other women in gaming instead of hurting them.
Communications and culture