Why Law & Order's Gamergate episode pissed me off so much
Last Saturday night I curled up on the couch with my husband and dog, ready to chip away at some of the DVR backlog that inevitably piles up when I’m away on business for a week. I picked Law & Order: SVU, the show that sits half in the “guilty pleasure” and “I still watch this out of some sort of weird ass loyalty” categories for me.
When I saw it was “Intimidation Game”, aka the infamous Gamergate episode, I turned to Mike and said “if we’re going to watch this, I’m going to need a drink.”
This blog isn’t going to be a rundown of everything stupid, inaccurate, or overblown in the episode. Yes, I cringed when Ice-T robotically started talking about Civilization V: Brave New World. Yes, I threw up my hands and exclaimed “how can you only livestream something in 18 countries?!” and snickered at the crazy bizarroland of a video game launch the show created in order to have a plausible reason for their main victim to get kidnapped. All of that was stupid. But if you have seen as much SVU as I have (or even a couple episodes, really, because this happens all the time) you’ll know that their formula requires an over-the-top situation, they don’t love in-depth research, and even if they did perfectly research their topics, they still need to make it palatable and understandable for their audience and their genre. It’s not perfect. At least in the case of this episode, they tried to use gamer lingo and Ice-T sometimes pulled off his translation efforts as he explained to his colleagues what everything meant (although I posit that FAL is not something anyone ever says, although I’m totally going to try and make it a thing. It means “failure at life” by the way. Seriously.)
There are two things I’m pissed off about.