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Ian Miles Cheong
Ian Miles Cheong
Ian Miles Cheong is a political and cultural commentator. His work has been featured on The Rebel, Penthouse, Human Events, and The Post Millennial.

The video game network scolding its viewers for sexism after years of being sexist itself

G4TV was a thing in the 2000s. Its viewers have grown up, and it should have grown up with them.

The woke left has made it their mission to take over pop culture and no more is this evident than with video games, where once-venerated institutions such as G4TV have succumbed to the woke virus.

Well, G4TV was never venerated to begin with – it was always trashy, and maybe that’s why people liked it. But the gaming network, which recently relaunched after seven years of hiatus, has seen fit to attack its own audience. It’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off for them.

Indiana Black, better known as esports caster Froskurinn, took to the airwaves to belittle and scold the network’s viewers over their sexist attitudes on the network’s ‘Xplay’ broadcast. Whether she came up with the rant on her own or whether she was put up to it by the show’s producers remains unclear.

Froskurinn’s diatribe, which was part of the network’s first live-streamed episode of ‘Xplay’, slammed the gaming community for the sexism faced by women in the video game industry.

“It has somehow been expected that you can talk about how much you jerked off to women as a compliment,” Froskurinn said. “It’s not a compliment! It’s dehumanizing.”

“Women do not exist to be nice on the eyes for you. That’s just obvious sexism. You don’t need to explicitly objectify women or declare that you hate women to be sexist,” she said in the extensive, almost four-minute-long rant.

“You’re letting your unconscious biases ruin my day and you’re gatekeeping the gaming space. So maybe for 2022, we’ll be a bit nicer, a bit more self-reflective, and we enjoy the fact that people are working hard to make free content for you. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. Peace,” she concluded to applause from her co-hosts.

Her remarks were shared on Twitter, where they quickly went viral – and garnered a massive backlash.

Froskurinn, like everyone else on the show, is a glorified podcaster, not a moral authority – and it’s not their place to speak down to an audience of their own generation. G4TV’s viewers aren’t kids. As Froskurinn herself notes, she grew up watching the channel in the 2000s just like everyone who presumably tuned in.

It goes without saying that moral grandstanding is overdone, tiresome, and irritating – and worse still, it shouldn’t be coming from G4TV, which eagerly used its former female host Olivia Munn for her sex appeal.

Before she went on to star in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ and other dismal, big-budget movies, Munn was gobbling down hotdogs on a string on G4TV’s ‘Attack of the Show’. In another broadcast, Munn had her breasts fondled by her cohost Kevin Pereira. It was nothing the viewers asked for, and it had nothing to do with video games – it was simply a cheap way to market the network.

Where was the outrage then?

While the gaming industry slowly shifted away from the sexist attitudes of the ‘90s, G4TV continued to capitalize on sexuality – a detail omitted by the network today in its instruction to Froskurinn.

Crucially, G4TV and its supporters (who are numerous, especially in the gaming press) are whitewashing the company’s history of using sex as a marketing gimmick, and gaslighting viewers into thinking they were the problem all along.

G4TV is innocent! They were totally just catering to their audience of sexist, basement-dwelling troglodytes. Right?

Wrong. The network cultivated an audience with its past antics, and the staff – particularly Adam Sessler – are now acting surprised by the vitriolic response from the community they once fostered.

Whether she was put up to the rant by the producers is anyone’s guess, but Froskurinn is well within her rights to express upset at the culture surrounding G4TV. She’s also within her rights, as a gamer with a platform, to express her discontent with the industry as a whole. But who does it serve? It might feel good for a social justice activist to lash out at the unwoke, but it’s not good business – and it’s certainly bad business for a network that refuses to admit responsibility for fostering the culture it now vehemently opposes.

While it’s true no one would be talking about G4TV if not for the controversy, it doesn’t bode well for the network in the long run if this is the kind of content they intend to create. Being hostile to your audience only goes so far before it becomes the only thing people tune in for. It doesn’t create new fans, and it alienates old viewers.

G4TV is old, and it carries a legacy for viewers who were just boys when it launched in the 2000s. The audience, like the hosts, are much older now. And most of them are men. In the past, the sexist objectification of women repelled women from tuning in, and the network is now doing itself a disservice by alienating the men who grew up watching the channel.

For most gamers who participate in the culture and consume media surrounding video games, they’ll simply be headed back to the YouTube channels and Twitch streams they watch and ignore G4TV’s existence entirely – at least until another blow-up occurs.

No one likes being scolded. After all, we’re not children anymore. We’re adults now – and the network should’ve grown up along with us.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Daily Telegraph New Zealand.


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