Just when you thought it was safe enough to venture out into the world and cast an eye across the 2016-scarred landscape of our pale blue dot, word has hit home that apparently there's a reality TV series on the works which wants to pit internet trolls against their greatest enemy: women, and proponents of other catalysts of white-male-rage.
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The series, aptly named Beyond The Keyboard, is searching for "Fake Gamer Girl TROLLS" who are basically "sick of fake gamer girls and 'boobie streamers' racking up HUGE followings on Twitch and YouTube while real gamer channels go unfollowed." "Racking up HUGE", that's the only thing that made me giggle about this.
These Are The Trolls You're Looking For
In the listing found over on Craigslist, Beyond The Keyboard's production team—the same people that brought us Catfish: The TV Show—outlined the lengthy criteria of the exact troll they are searching for in order for them to "confront the phony gamer...face-to-face and show them what geek culture is really about". Which sounds fucking horrendous.
Here are the eye-opening yet unsurprising topics:
Feminism, Gaming, Vegans, Conspiracy Theories, Rival Sports Teams, Syrian Refugees, Immigration, Black Lives Matter, LGBT/Trans issues, etc
I'm torn by the idea of this program, only slightly though. I do want to see the faces of these people that are so vexed with the progress of giving a voice to marginalized communities within video game culture, and other forms of entertainment.
But at the same time I'm disgusted that society has arrived at a point where a show will seek to elicit battle between trolls and their polar opposites in order to get bums on seats. This to me feels like the most baseless attempt at gladiatorial bullshit in an age where we really should know better.
Whether it's gyms trying to corral people into their pits of beaded testosterone, chocolate bars, cars or friggin' beer, sex is an intrinsic component in trying to get people paid, engaged and/or getting us to buy something we don't need. Nearly all of us partake in the physical act of swapping bodily fluids with someone else, or if we don't we sure as hell partake in it in other ways. We, all of us, engage with sexual activity in some fashion.
So if a woman who is considered "classically attractive" decides she wants to get half naked and play video games online in order to garner cash and clicks, don't you think that says something about this patriarchal society we've been forced into rather than about said woman who is just trying to pay her bills or, God forbid, simply enjoys being naked?
If you don't want to watch a semi-nude woman play games...watch something else! Attention spans are waning, if your channel isn't getting the clicks you believe it deserves that just means your need to generate better, more original content. Don't blame it on breasts.
Games don't only exist as a source of masculine entertainment, despite how the industry was advertized back in the day. Nearly 52% of gamers are women, and still they have to suffer the ignominy of having to prove themselves to guys in order to enter this higher echelon of geekdom.
And now this show is seeking to put faces to the rage. In a perfect world this could be a great way of clearing the air on important topics, but it won't. Will it?
What do you think? Does this sound like a good idea for a show?