The “Gamer Girl” FMV Game Trailer Didn’t Feel Empowering to Anyone

Gamer Girl Tweet
Wales Interactive talking about ‘Gamer Girl’ via @WalesInter

If you’re someone who likes to keep an eye on the gaming world, you likely have already stumbled upon Gamer Girl. Of course, the announcement trailer wasn’t well-received by many. Let’s see what happens when (and if) the FMV (full-motion video) game is released.

The trailer for Gamer Girl was announced on July 17, 2020, by publisher Wales Interactive. Apparently, the upcoming game will allow you to play as the moderator for a streamer named Abicake99. Your job will be to moderate the comments during her streaming sessions, banning trolls, trying to figure out ways to increase her subscriber count, and such. Basically, you will be in charge of helping her grow and become more successful.

While a game where you’re a moderator and a friend of a young streamer does (kind of) sound okay, there’s another aspect that made many people go “Why?” online. Turns out, Abicake99’s life is in danger. There’s an anonymous predator out there.

Going over the general reception, a majority of gamers, understandably, aren’t happy with how the trailer portrayed what to expect from Gamer Girl. Online harassment and threats involving sexual assault and murder are sent to women streamers in real life. For many, the current game seems to be exploiting such an unfortunate reality instead of helping to make the gaming community safer.

According to Wales Interactive, Gamer Girl is supposed to help “raise the issue of the toxic environment which can often appear online behind the anonymity of a username.” Apparantly, the narrative is supposed to be an “empowering story”. 

Gamer Girl Wales Interactive
Wales Interactive talking about ‘Gamer Girl’ via @WalesInter

I’m like, an “empowering story” for whomst? In my opinion, the trailer looked like promotional material for a poorly written Black Mirror episode.

Wales Interactive also shared that Gamer Girl has been co-written by Alexandra Burton. She, as the lead actress, improvised the entire script. Apparantly, four years of research is backing this game.

While that’s good (I guess), some people have brought up the fact that allowing Burton to improvise a script and conducting interviews doesn’t take away from the harm Gamer Girl might do. It could possibly, taking into account certain opinions, desensitize the general audience when it comes to how serious of an issue online harassment can be (especially for women).

Even after the company’s statements, people weren’t having it. According to PC Gamer, the trailer has been taken down from YouTube, the press kit has been deleted, and the game’s announcement post on the Wales Interactive blog is gone as well.

Now, of course, there are some people who said they are looking forward to playing Gamer Girl and how certain gamers are being too sensitive about the trailer. While I get this particular criticism, in my opinion, if a game is supposed to be “empowering” to a portion of the gaming community, shouldn’t that empowerment be showcased better in the promotional material instead of said material making people think the upcoming game is exploitative?

That’s why I’m a bit iffy when it comes to what Wales Interactive shared. If the game you’re publishing is about empowerment, why wasn’t that better portrayed in the promotional material? Or is Wales Interactive aware that Gamer Girl (from FMV Future) is indeed exploitative content under the guise of empowerment and that’s why everything concerning the game has been pulled down from the web (for now)?

Gamer Girl plot
Tweet via @djarii

According to PC Gamer, Gamer Girl was supposed to come out in September of this year. With how the current situation has progressed, let’s see if it meets the original release date.

Feel free to share your thoughts with us.

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.

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