Whenever I go through the linkspam, there’s often a news item that becomes a linkswarm of sorts. This time it’s the game (note: violent imagery at link, although hardly extraordinary by game standards) Hey Baby by LadyKillas.
Here’s some perspectives on the game, which has a woman protagonist able to shoot men after verbal harassment. Many players read it as more of a teaching tool or conversation starter about harassment than an entertaining game:
- Leigh Alexander, You Look Nice, Miss:
My favorite catcall in the ‘Hey Baby Game’? “Smile for me, baby.” It fills me with rage that a stranger on the street feels at liberty to demand that I smile. I smile when I feel like it, and I sure as shit don’t want to do it for you, buddy… So someone’s made a game that’s an outlet for that rage, that wants us to discuss that rage.
- Jessica Wakeman, â€œHey Babyâ€: Women Kill Men Who Sexually Harass Them In New Video Game:
Is the idea of women shooting at sexual harassers in real life disturbing? Sure… But â€œHey Babyâ€ the game is peanuts compared to the violent, misogynistic video games that people have been playing for decades, so Iâ€™m more upset about that than this.
- Kieron Gillen, The Proposition: So, Hey Baby Thenâ€¦:
Okay: the game isnâ€™t about mowing down men. Itâ€™s about male privilege and what male privilege feels like.
- Seth Schiesl, A Woman With the Firepower to Silence Those Street Wolves:
Yet over several hours my initial alienation and annoyance gave way to a swelling appreciation of Hey Baby, not as a game but as a provocative, important work of interactive art as social commentary… The men cannot ever actually hurt you, but no matter what you do, they keep on coming, forever. The game never ends.
- Sarah, Hey Baby Hey Baby Hey:
… what Schiesel said resonated: would a non-interactive medium have been able to translate to men as viscerally what itâ€™s like to feel unsafe in the streets at all times?
I have to confess, my reaction has more than a dash of “but won’t this just alienate men?”, but I’m examining that reaction with my “feminism isn’t a PR-friendly outreach movement to men” cap on as well. What do you think? (No denying or diminishing other people’s experiences of harassment please.)