Developer of Trigger Triggered By SJWs

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By Stephanie Smith – 13th April 2016
Developer of Trigger Triggered By SJWs

The developer of the game Trigger has made the irrational decision not to bring their game to Steam. In a recent blog post/ Kickstarter update, they pointed to the recent Baldur’s Gate controversy as the reason. Trigger is a visual novel about someone learning they have PTSD, it received over $4k for its development on Kickstarter. Why does Trigger not coming to Steam make me angry? It makes me angry because this developer has been scared away by a vicious lie by Beamdog. However, (and I mean in no way to defend Beamdog by saying this) it is apples and oranges, Trigger is nothing like Baldur’s Gate and therefore to think it would have anything to fear is silly.

Baldur’s Gate Siege of Dragonspear is a $20 expansion for the Baldur’s Gate. It’s meant to bridge the gap between the first a second game. It was a highly anticipated item in the series, but when it was delivered all was not well. The game was a glitchy mess, numerous reviews both positive and negative mentioning an unplayable multiplayer or a complete inability to start the game. On top of the bugs, there was another much more sinister problem. Beamdog hired a new writer, a self-proclaimed SJW who decided this game based in the middle ages was not modern enough ideas and was sexist. She decided to do a number of questionable things. 

  • Rewrite established characters to an SJW standard (including desexualizing Safan, which I’m taking as another example of feminism hating strong women).
  • Have a Goblin call you racist.
  • Include an obligatory “she’s a strong independent Womyn who doesn’t need a white man to save her” scene. It’s about as cringe-worthy as it sounds.
  • Bait Gamergate by having and established character (Minsc) take a jab at it.
  • Include a token Trans character who only gets a few lines of dialogue that amount to “my name is weird because I’m trans” which somehow wasn’t deemed offensive during screening.

Needless to say, Beamdog soon felt the heat and even though the vast majority of players spoke of game breaking bugs many also called them out on the strong SJW themes present, forced writing, and tokenism. Many of these fans were accused of being a part of Gamergate.

Trigger Baldur's Gate

The face of every fan who got called a Gamergater

Already you can see the huge difference between this and Trigger. Since Trigger is its own game, it is not leeching off or changing an established world. The fact that the BG DLC changes established characters and aims itself toward a demographic not targetted in the previous games is  obviously going to cause trouble. Also, the main issue here is the bugs, which has been obscured fairly well by Beamdogs reaction to criticism. Rather than fixing the bugs and improving the writing Beamdog instead decided to do something that is directly responsible for Trigger not coming to Steam. They decided to exploit their transgender character. Despite the fact that when ‘Transphobia‘ was chosen as Beamdog’s scapegoat for criticism there were only about 5 reviews directly referencing a trans character, it stuck. I’m assuming Trigger would never do something like this, it would be like Sunset saying it was unpopular because the main character was black. Certain media websites were happy to push the narrative and blame Schrödinger’s GamerGate for Beamdog’s problems. As media attention grew real transphobic people and trolls were encouraged to comment on the game. Beamdog had created a self-fulfilling prophecy at the price of its LGBT character. It was obvious to nearly everyone that Beamdog had absolutely no care for the LGBT community and that the whole thing had either been a publicity stunt or simply to earn some brownie points as diverse. We all know that Steam has an extensive library of LGBT groups and compared to the rest of the internet Steam is actually a very tolerable place to socialize.

Nobody has a problem with Baldur’s Gate having a trans character. The problem is when one of the character’s only lines is “Hi. I’m trans.”

— JonathanDanielBrown (@JonathanDBrown) April 6, 2016

While fanciful tales were spun about transphobic GamerGaters organising the negative reviews (with no evidence to support such a claim other than reputation) most sane people saw the real problem fairly quickly. Very few people had a problem with the existence of the Trans character, just as they hadn’t in Dark Souls or Catherine, the problem was how forced they were. When I read the dialogue for the character my first thought was that someone who greatly disliked LGBT people wrote it. The character is very open about their transition to the point of being flippant and highly disrespectful. The near mockery of the Trans character was not lost on the community, especially after the writer released a statement saying she didn’t care how forced the character was.

Trigger Baldur's Gate

Steam allowed some players to refund their game even after playing more than two hours due to the developers conduct.

Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, the message that has gone out to the world is ‘Baldur’s Gate got bad reviews because it has a trans character‘ and thus the professional offendees of social media have spread this message. It isn’t hard to see why Trigger might be uncomfortable releasing on Steam after the people there have been made out to be bigots. However, it is an unwise decision that will only hurt the sales of Trigger in the long run.  After reading the developers’ post, I have a slight suspicion that their actions have nothing to do with fear. It’s entirely possible that this is a poorly judged statement since the developer said they want “dramatic changes to the service (Steam)”. Steam already censors out bad words and lets the community rate reviews in a manner that any vitriolic or nonsense ones are pushed to the bottom, what more can they do?

Another thing that crosses my mind is that the developer might be lying. Not lying about Trigger not coming to Steam, but the reasons behind it. This crossed my mind when I look at the campaign page and looked at the rewards and saw the game was specified as DRM free. The developer said she would release on Itch.io and go through the Greenlight process, however, no Greenlight was on the page or on Steam. The game was released on Itch.io way back in December so there has been plenty of time to put it on the Greenlight, but they didn’t. You have to remember it isn’t free to put games on Steam, so it is entirely possible the developer just wanted not to spend the additional cash that she might not have made back on sales. Personally, I’d rather think that than think about the ripple effect of Beamdog’s actions. I just hope no other developers are discouraged by Beamdog’s serious misbehavior.

I imagine the comment section is going to be happy fun times so let’s get the ball rolling! Do you think the backlash against Beamdog’s Tokenism will lead to more fleshed out characters or a decline in diverse character’s? Can you remember another time where a minority character has been used as a scapegoat for negative reviews? Do you think others will follow in Trigger’s footsteps? Comment down below.

  • Patrick Toworfe

    Yeesh, yet another hilariously dumb ‘controversy’ about absolutely nothing. If that developer can’t take the heat, stay out of the damn kitchen. You’ll get no sympathy from me. I’m done giving any attention to gaming controversies or gender politics of any kind tbh.

    • I don’t blame you, I think I lost some braincells on Twitter. I ran into someone talking about it before I heard about the game and it was “kill all white people this” and “straight men that”. I was on a website called quartz and they had an article that was called something like “how men react to having to play as women” about Rust. It was the most twisted dishrag, I thought I’d fallen into Jezebel it was so bad. When you actually looked at the discussion no one was mad about being a woman, most were mad that they looked ridiculous since the characters were randomly generated.

      • Setsu Oh

        Jezebel huh…i didnt know the content of that website just its existence but im not surprised to hear this kind o talk about it: you gotta be an idiot or ignorant (the Bible) to call anything by that name (nastiest woman, nastiest death in the whole Bible^^)

        • To be honest the site fits the name. I remember them ‘criticising CH Sommers thesis about boys and girls playing differently, but they didn’t say anything as to why they thought she was wrong it was just some moral panic thing and it had some stupid title I forget but it was like ‘this is stupid: etc’ that really rubs me up the wrong way. Especially since that woman is a real feminist and just a rather cute old lady tbh

          • Setsu Oh

            i just watched a video on how wrong researchers were about the female arousal because they started from a comparison with men & now there is a focus on testosterone AND other drugs like dopamine for ‘that’ ^^ kind of pill.

            somehow im sure none of those loud-mouths would have piped a word about ‘how misguided’ separating fem mechanics from men’s is.and how ‘revolting’ it all is. im sure the promis of pleasure just a pill away would shut them all up in expectation. they are such selfish powermongers.

          • Oh yes the female viagra that result in a possibility of .5 of a sexual encounter a month as long as you don’t drink. A highly dangerous drug essentially pushed onto the market by idiot SJW to solve an inequality. An easier inequality to solve would be the sex toy ratio. Girls have way more toys and costumes than guys, just sayin. Ain’t nobody gotta get poisoned to make some new kinds of fleshlight

  • Mr0303

    This sounds like attention whoring to me. You can’t expect to not have negative reviews or even troll ones. Steam as a platform is not at fault. As this write-up suggests there are likely other reasons, but it looks like the developer is using the Beamdog controversy as free PR.

    • Probably. I kinda have my suspicions the developer of trigger is an SJW. I know it sounds weird but I was just looking at her profile picture and my tumblr senses started tingling. Also some of the other content on her site is politics heavy and some of the people who are into her work are #killallmen folk so she might be legit. Crazy. But legit crazy

      • Mr0303

        She’s most definitely a SJW.

      • Setsu Oh

        interesting.. i didnt care enough to go dig but that makes the whole thing sound like a ‘im a victim they are so horrible to me’ PR plan already.
        a game ON ptsd sounds very sjw too.
        a game WITH ptsd way less *glares at tombRaider15*.

    • Setsu Oh

      where do they plan to release it i wonder.
      tombraider15 got scared after the laughingly horrib rape scene of 13, and didnt use the PTSD I m sure they wanted to use(1rst teaser).

  • Could someone, please, explain to me what it is that is so bad about fighting for social justice? I can understand bashing the specific vision of social justice that those people (feminists) have who are behind that effort, but I don’t see why ANY attempt to fight for social justice should be bashed by using the phrase “social justice warrior,” or “SJW,” as an insult.

    • Setsu Oh

      like feminism, sjw has brought a very bad image to those words and they do not mean at all what they did before.

      power hungry peaces of sheet went and made those respectful fights the scum of the internet.

    • I don’t think anyone would have a problem with Social Justice if different people were behind it. Though, honestly it’s very first world problemish.

      It’s mainly the actions these people take. Social Justice Warrior itself is a rather pretentious term too in my opinion. People who really go out of their way to fight for Social Justice aren’t calling themselves warriors, they’re usually humanitarians if anything at all. Also, what has Social Justice been fighting for lately that is worth the agitation? A lot of the time their fights are a bed of false statistics like the 1/5 women getting raped. I’ve seen SJW say that 98% of rapists aren’t arrested which is such a dangerous lie because then women don’t go to the police with legit rape cases. It’s a very slippery slope and it’s just a place for radicals to gather.

    • Lance Combs

      Some people using actions like public shaming that have real consequences on the lives of other in order to push their personal outlook on others. People who see the world as so black and white that someone else that disagrees in the slightest deserves a twitter mob to harass their employer into firing them.

      In other words, what is so bad about fighting for social justice is that the concept is so amorphous, but so zealously followed, that we end up with legions of little tyrants trying to destroy the lives of everyone around them, because their interpretation of “justice” is the right one.

      It’s the modern version of the thirty years wars, with the sides and loyalties about as clearly defined as they are in A Game of Thrones, where everyone wants to give everyone else a red wedding.

  • Setsu Oh

    I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH A TRANS CHARACTER IN A GAME WHERE POLYMORPH MAGIC EXISTS.
    it is a disrespect of the surgeries and all the trauma and money problems it brings.

    • Hmm I hadn’t thought of that but it is also a point. If I remember correctly just over a year ago a transgender teen killed themselves when their parents wouldn’t let them start the process at a young enough age before the testosterone kicked in and made them too manly. Magicking it away does come with it’s own connotations, but personally forgive that if they’d done a good job with the character and not just further isolated the community.