‘Gamer Girl’ Video Game Receives Backlash for Being ‘Tone Deaf’

Gamer Girl

YouTube A screenshot from the "Gamer Girl" trailer.

After a trailer for the video game Gamer Girl was released on July 16, the game was met with an immense amount of backlash. Gamer Girl is a full-motion video game (FMV) created by Wales Interactive that has the gamer playing the role of a chat stream moderator working for the streamer “Abicake99.”

The gamer performs roles including managing the comment section of Abicake99’s stream, banning bad-faith viewers from the stream and increasing the number of Abicake99’s subscribers. Abicake99 is played by Alexandra Burton. Gamer Girl is scheduled to release in September 2020 for PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

When the trailer was released, many viewers quickly took issue with the game, saying that it perpetuates what female streamers have to deal with every day, specifically sexual harassment. The Gamer Girl trailer can be watched below:

Gamer Girl – Official Teaser Trailer (2020)Gamer Girl is a chilling FMV thriller game set in the world of online streaming. Adopt the role of moderator for up and coming streamer ‘Abicake99’, who’s back online after the mysterious disappearance of her friend Becky. Featuring multi-branched narrative and real-time chat simulation, your role as moderator is to control the stream, level up…2020-07-16T14:25:59Z

‘Every Girl Streamer’s Worst Nightmare’ & Other Tweets Were Shared After the ‘Gamer Girl’ Trailer Was Revealed

Gamer Girl started trending on social media after the trailer was released. Video game streamer Djarii tweeted: “‘the threat she faces by an anonymous predator who hides in her chat.’ Yes, so basically every girl streamers worst nightmare given life in the form of a video game.”

In response to Djarii’s tweet, another streamer, Dexbonus, tweeted: “Oh my god I was saying I wanted to play it after watching the trailer when I woke up because I thought it was like she’s solving a mystery while streaming and having her mod help?? Obviously missed the actual point of the game and now I’d really rather not.” 

A user, PrezThompkins, tweeted: “Not retweeting that #gamergirl trailer. It’s tone deaf as hell, and looks to be building a fantasy around a very real and very present problem.”

A Twitter user who goes by camila tweeted: “if u defend gamer girl u are probably not a [woman] who experiences unwarranted sexual and non sexual harrasment. this game isn’t ‘bringing awareness’ it’s a gross cash grab.”

Another Twitter user, myladysprout, tweeted: “This game had to have been made by a team of men. Stop trying to live out your twisted fantasies in a video game. These things aren’t fun and games. These things happen to women and it is a legitimate fear. They are making a mockery of women’s fears by making it into a video game.”

Another user, whatmelodywrote, tweeted: “If you support the Gamer Girl game, you are turning a blind eye to actual female streamers experiencing actual harassment from actual people. THIS IS NOT A GAME, THESE ARE OUR LIVES AND REAL EXPERIENCES.”

‘Gamer Girl’ Developer Wales Interactive Defended the Game, Says It Was Created to Show the Impact Users’ Comments Have on Wellbeing of Streamers

After the controversy surrounding Gamer Girl came rolling in, game developer Wales Interactive posted a statement on Twitter. Wales Interactive defended its game, citing that Gamer Girl is about raising awareness for how toxic of an environment the online community can be. The statement reads:

Gamer Girl is about the impact user comments and actions have on a streamer’s mental health and wellbeing. The reason why FMV Future created the game was to raise the issue of the toxic environment which can often appear online behind the anonymity of a username. Without giving away too much, Gamer Girl is an empowering story of a female streamer who, with the help of her moderator friend, battles the trolls and — overcomes— the toxic characters in her stream. Gamer Girl was co-written by Alexandra Burton, the lead actress who improvised the entire script. The research into the streaming content of Gamer Girl took 4 years and the dev team at FMV Future interviewed dozens of female streamers most of whom have experienced abuse of various kinds online — some have even shared their experiences during interviews within the game. Players start the game as one of Abi’s friends whom she trusts, and it is their job to make the channel a success but also to guide the stream to keep Abi in a positive frame of mind. Online abuse is real and is still happening every day — Gamer Girl seeks to raise awareness of this issue.

READ NEXT: ‘Crazy Cat Lady’: Krystal Scott Charged in Connection to Online Animal Abuse: Feds