Extra Lives author Tom Bissell apologized to fans and critics earlier today in an open letter on Kotaku for a controversial remark in his review of Skyrim for culture blog Grantland. Bissell was called out by female fans for making an implicitly sexist statement in the opening of his review:
"If you have no idea what the Elder Scrolls franchise is, you are probably either (a) an adult woman, or (b) the sort of person who once beat up the sort of person who likes the Elder Scrolls franchise, so herewith a quick primer: Bethesda Game Studios made it; its genre is the genre that has elves; and its subgenre is the open-world RPG."
As you might imagine, many readers took the statement to say; "Skyrim is a game for boys, not girls."
In his apology, Bissell accepted the blame from his critics, citing an error in personal judgement. He notes that is not the first time he's run into problems with subtly sexist language before. He also clarified that the statement's misogynistic implications were unintentional and expressed his apologies. Bissell said:
"I know what's in my heart, both as a man and as a human being and as a gamer, and I know there's no conscious sexism there at all—conscious being the operative word. I'm a writer: it's my duty to listen to and either heed the call of or sternly defy my subconscious. In this case, as in the escort/model joke in Extra Lives, I heeded a subconscious part of my mind I should have quite frankly defied."
After all that, does Bissell's apology seem genuine to you? Do you think the comment was actually sexist, or simply an overreaction by zealous readers? Let us know what you think in the comments.