Donald J. Trump won the election. Against all odds and expectations built up by the media, the reality TV host and construction mogul beat his rival, Hillary Clinton, who was poised to become the next president of the United States. Like everyone else, the gaming community is still reeling from the results.
Ahead of the results, game journalists in support of Clinton were more than happy to gloat about her win, which looked all but certain.
“Tonight we bathe in the tears of neckbeard virgins,” wrote game journalist Leigh Alexander, who hours later was expressing anger and upset at any “overpaid moron” who sent her a press release about video games coming out this week—as if the rest of us don’t have to work.
In the time since his win, some publications have even taken to blaming gamers. SF Weekly called the president elect “Gamergate come to life, an 8chan forum made flesh,” while French newspaper Le Monde equated the ethics-driven movement to the alt-right, based on shared elements like their dislike of social justice warriors and political correctness, crediting them for Trump’s popularity.
In the gaming community itself, many gamers, especially those on Twitch streams and YouTube, have embraced a “no politics” policy due to the divisive nature of the topic. But others are not so quiet.
One personality has come out swinging. John “TotalBiscuit” Bain, a prominent voice in the fight for consumer ethics denounced the candidate and those who voted for him in a series of posts.
“Today America gave into fear,” wrote Bain in one of the now deleted posts. “It gave in to the darkest parts of its national character. When confronted with adversity it finally broke, unable to stand up for its core values as it once did. It gave into cowardice and allowed itself to be conned by a disgusting example of a human being. America proved that it’s ok being lied to as long as they’re the right kind of lies.”
“I’d like to tell you that it’s going to be ok,” said the YouTube commentator. “I’d like to tell you that we’ll get through this and come together, begin to heal the wounds opened in the last few months. If I did though, I’d be a liar. I don’t believe that, not for a second. The wounds opened in the fabric of this country may never fully heal. If we don’t bleed to death from them they will leave giant, ugly scars that will endure for the rest of its days.”
That said, it is unrealistic to expect everyone to hold hands and sing kumbaya under the new president. Regardless of what Trump does, some of his policies will inevitably prove divisive.
Not every gamer can agree on politics—but at the very least, we should be able to find common ground when it comes to a shared love of video games. There is at least some agency in that.