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Sunday, January 11, 2015 

An unpublished miniseries based on Final Fantasy, by Kurt Busiek and Del Barras

A few months ago, I noted how absurd it would be if Busiek were hired to write comics based on video games with prominent female stars, namely Final Fantasy, and still speak against the GamerGate campaign if he goes by Anita Sarkeesian's oblivious view that acts as though women have only been cast in modes of distressed damsels who need to be saved by the male heroes (and 5 years ago, she admitted she hadn't been a video gamer before). Imagine my surprise when I discovered that, over 2 decades ago, Busiek had been hired to write an adaptation for one of the early entries, with Barras as artist.

I'm not sure how many significant lady cast members the Final Fantasy franchise had at the time, but there were at least a few: an archer named Maria, Refia, the daughter of a blacksmith, Rosa Farrell, a mage and archer, and a princess named Lenna Charlotte Tycoon. And, after finding this news, that only makes it all the more puzzling why Busiek would oppose GamerGate, if he really believes what Sarkeesian said and goes by her vision. After this discovery, I can't buy the idea he's unaware there have been video game heroines out there contradicting Sarkeesian's complaints perfectly.

Since we're on the subject, there's an odd fact in this whole Gamergate affair the press may not have reported on involving a onetime movement that may surprise leftists like Busiek if they hadn't known it:
Wikileaks’s Julian Assange found common cause with the movement, tweeting his support on a number of occasions and replying to questions about GamerGate on reddit. The Occupy movement, seeing GamerGate as an anti-establishment initiative, also gave public support. Hollywood actor Adam Baldwin, who had coined the name GamerGate in the first place, continues to tweet his support, as does feminist scholar Christina Hoff Sommers, porn star Mercedes Carrera and a variety of writers and minor celebrities.
Good heavens, who knew? Thinking about it further, it does figure that a bunch of ultra-leftists like them and Asssange might support such a campaign (which cost the Gawker network a million bucks in revenue), because while there are rational people who play video games, it's still managed to be something of a ghettoized culture, appealing to isolationists and geeks, maybe far more so than comics, and the Occupy attendants sure looked the part. I wouldn't be surprised if you could find some of them toying away with Playstations back at home, if they have some (and let's not forget Frank Miller's note about the iPhones). In fact, if any harrassment took place, suppose some OWS members were among the trollers? With their attitude, it's probable.

It could explain why a lot of the comics writers who initially voiced their disdain for Gamergate quietly dropped the issue soon after, even if the presence of OWS leftovers in its midst did stun them, and even some left-wing sources admitted the Gamergate campaign does have a very diverse line of supporters in all shapes and sizes (far more so than OWS), despite the attempt by most mainstream press sites to say otherwise. Obviously, for some leftists, the notion their fellow liberals could support such a campaign is too mind-boggling to deal with, while for others, it must be regrettable. But there you have it, something appealing to a geek culture that doesn't crave sophisticated scriptwriting turned out to be something they cared for, at least on the surface.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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