Heartbeat was an RPG Maker game that I got a while back that I was hoping to get around to checking out one of these days. But then a whole bunch of stuff happened last week. It was discovered that the creator’s girlfriend was saying transphobic stuff and some digging unveiled that the creator herself is also a transphobe, with allegations of a secret channel on Heartbeat’s official discord server where she and others made jokes about trans people on the server.
It’s easy to say, “ah, but Hatsune Miku made Heartbeat,” in response to this and try to enjoy the game guilt free. However, it’s not the same with Minecraft. Notch is a huge piece of shit, but Microsoft owns Minecraft now and he doesn’t make money from it, so people can buy that guilt free. I mean, I’d prefer it if people credited other people that worked on the game over Hatsune Miku, but whatever.
Any money that goes toward Heartbeat will end up going to its transphobic creator. You can’t say “Hatsune Miku made Heartbeat” because profits don’t go to Hatsune Miku, she’s not real. Just talking about the game in a positive way – even if you misattribute its creator – will give the game a platform where people will go, “oh, maybe I should get this.”
“But wait,” you may say. “Why not just separate art from the artist?” I’m not going to dispute whether or not Hearbeat‘s a good game or not. The thing is, I don’t care if it is because it’s not the only good game out there.
I’ve always had a problem with “separate art from the artist” because it acts as if there aren’t a lot of other pieces of art to consume. Why enjoy something made by a scumbag when you could enjoy one of many things made by a creator that isn’t? Sure, it’s good, but there’s other good things made by people that are actually good. I’ve seen some people say, “just pirate the game if the creator is bad,” but also, consider this: financially support games made by good people, instead.
As somebody that has a large backlog of games to play, I don’t particularly care about separating Heartbeat from its creator. If anything, I can happily cross this game off my list and move on with my life. Instead, I’m going to play something that isn’t made by an asshole.
My money is already regrettably gone because I bought Heartbeat months ago and Valve refuses to give me a refund, but I hope that you fellas out there give money to a game more deserving. Like hell, support some games made by trans women in opposition to Heartbeat. Check out Heather Flowers’ EXTREME MEATPUNKS FOREVER, that’s good as hell.