You know, it’s hard to believe that a movement is not about misogyny and hatred and pushing females out of the industry when all you get to hear out of the media that has been implicated in the GamerGate saga is the cherry picked stories that they use to vilify an entire group.
How many times have we had Brianna Wu, or Zoe Quinn, or Anita Sarkeesian, their issues they’ve had with trolls and the like, shoved in our faces time after time? How many mainstream media outlets have they been on, or have been invited to? Okay, maybe not Zoe Quinn because they aren’t that desperate. But look how MSNBC, Bloomberg, Rolling Stone, Colbert, CNN, CBC, Game Informer, and a bucket load of others trampled over each other to get the interview of the year from them. How many people, like myself and Boogie2988, have been permabanned from NeoGAF, without shame from them (and they have twisted the reason for them banning Boogie to “he sounded suicidal”) for just trying to be neutral? All without ever answering (as if they are being asked this to begin with) how it can make sense for a movement comprised of conservatives, liberals, straight, gay, white, black, trans, males, females, Hispanics, and disabled, all be somehow “driving women out of the game industry?”
Now, keep that in mind while I list the following:
- A prominent female GamerGate supporter, Liz F, got a tweet from a person that included a hard copy print out of a Tweet that might’ve been fake (no one knows for sure), that asked the person to “do something good to the face”, with a large picture of her Twitter avatar (which is her real life photo). His answer: defile the photo with his semen, then send the photo of the deed to her asking if she likes his “herbs and spices”. The “anti-gamers”, as they are now called, after Liz repeatedly acknowledged that the original supposed poster of the Tweet that the other guy, a possible GNAA member, degraded never intended for such a thing to transpire. Yet, when Liz used it as an example to show that both sides receive the same vitriol from this situation, they tried to make it as her blaming the very person she acknowledged had denounced the acts.
- TotalBiscuit recently tried to raise awareness of a charity stream for AbleGamers, a charity he sponsors. The person who Tweeted didn't like the retweet, believing that it would attract the crowd he wasn't attempting to attract (AbleGamers recently refused the help of porn star Mercedes when she tried to raise money for them on the basis of them "not being told she was pro-GamerGate"). This followed by several people tweeting him wishing for his death from the prostate cancer he is currently getting treatment for. He is currently in the process of setting up his own stream to support AbleGamers. The original Tweeter has his account on "friends-only" now.
- A recent death of a transgender girl, which is completely unrelated to anything connected to GamerGate, is now being used by Brianna Wu (who has become a sort of culture warrior in the anti-gamer side, as she’s campaigned to have, for instance, Patreon to remove support for funding people like the Sarkeesian Effect producers and MundaneMatt) in order to slam GamerGate.
- Milo Yinnapolus, someone that I disagree with on a number of topics but still respect his dedication to this issue, has had a syringe, with liquid inside, sent to his house after he got doxed. KingofPol, who I don’t think has done GamerGate any favors but still needs to be mentioned, and Christina H. Sommers, have all been doxed, and have been sent different things accordingly.
- David Pakman has recently been flooded with Tweets by Antis demanding that he either apologize for being neutral, or be associated with a hate movement. Chris Kluwe, a former Minnesota Vikings punter, seems to side with their narrative.
- Jennie Bharaj, who has been trying to get up to 50,000 dollars to get a new, community driven review aggregation website BasedGamer.com off the ground, was immediately railed, as people from NeoGAF thought it was a complete scam (as in, they thought SHE was scamming people).
- A web comic designer who made pro-GamerGate strips, was doxed by Antis, that led to a campaign by them to get her fired. She was later reinstated, but forgive me as I don’t know more than that about this one (or who her name was).
- An Anti-GamerGate supporter made a block list of 10,000 people who were deemed the “worst harassers on Twitter” that IGDA for a few days supported, and people like Raspberry Pi used. Those on the list: KFC, David Pakman, and the head of IGDA Puerto Rico, Robert Rosario. The reason you could’ve been on this list? You followed two or more of the following people on Twitter: @Nero, @PlayDangerously, @RogueStarGamez, @TheRalphRetort, @_icze4r, @RealVivianJames, or @CHOBITCOIN . One of those, Icze4r, headed an anti-harassment patrol within GamerGate that did the major work on incriminating a stalker of Sarkessian’s, much to Sarkessian’s chagrin. The person responsible for the block list has yet to realize, and/or care, how destructive her attitude or her blocklist actually is, as it’s destroyed countless relationships because of the “guilty by association” method (people that follow those that only SHE deems to be harassers, as if she should, or is, the sole judge on that sort of verdict).
- A Twitter user demanded that people not support female game developer and GamerGate supporter Jennifer D’aww, the designer behind Steam Greenlit game Seedscape, set to come out very soon on Steam. She was blocked on Twitter by the very person who claims to push for female equality in the game industry, Anita Sarkeesian. And note that I said “Steam Green-LIT”. The game passed the test of Steam thanks to those that knew better.
I could go on here, but you get the point. There are countless others you can see on the Kotaku Inaction subreddit, but I’m not going to go through all of them because there are way too many to list. Not saying that anyone has been perfect here (there’s a situation between someone from GG that’s going in way too hard on Angry Joe: though ItalyGG has every right to ask what the deal is with some of the deleting of posts that mods of Joe’s boards have done about this topic, and his negligence to calm down his “Angry Joe Show Army”, the manner in which ItalyGG is going about it, and the incendiary language he uses, is not making a friend out of him in the slightest, and other GamerGate supporters have called ItalyGG out on that).
Now, if it wasn’t for me, or smaller sites like OneAngryGamer or GamesNosh, or the Kotaku Inaction subreddit, would you have ever heard about these stories? I’m going to guess no!
How long should you hold your breath until they actually do that job? I’m going to say, don’t die thinking it’s going to happen anytime soon.
And we’re not going to get into how people like Ben Kuchera have acted about these things (who has become the biggest…ugh, I wish I could say what I think of him without worrying of this getting approved), or about Sam Biddle’s bullying comment, or Zoe Quinn having a gag order placed on Eron Gjoni. Or Geordie Tait’s meltdown about wanting to throw GamerGate supporters into gas chambers.
Or that this whole thing started because of something that happened in March called the Polaris Game Jam. Had nothing to do with what was originally thought (that Quinn exchanged sexual favors for positive coverage of a game), even though the Anti-GG members seem willing to drag us back into her bedroom as if we were somehow always there. Not to mention that they misrepresent where the tag was born from (#TheQuinnspieracy happened from the Quinn scandal; #GamerGate happened because of Leigh Alexander and the avalanche of Gamers are Dead articles that lead to Milo uncovering the GameJournoPros list).
Again, it’s very easy to get the wrong narrative when the media doesn’t even allow anyone even remotely neutral, much less pro, to get any word in edgewise, or to allow a conversation to begin. People have been so closed minded, for whatever reason, to any other side before they even get any facts on the issues.
I’ve been in the trenches with a few of these people, and let me tell you, I feel most of the time that I’m not scared about disagreeing with someone on something from within GamerGate, because they’ve been nice to me. I had made a Twitlonger post critical of something Ralph said about Angry Joe (wasn’t THAT critical; I was just saying to not alienate e-celebs because they can have a huge platform of fans that WILL trust their words they you might want to have on your side). He could’ve had every motive to block me, unfollow me, or whatever. But…he favorited the Tweet. I was surprised about that.
Liz is not only very attractive (I have no shame admitting that: she’s a VERY stunning lady), but she’s also very smart, and not someone you want to screw with. She knows how to defend herself verbally, and she strong willed and not easily offended (she’s even said she wasn’t offended at the Tweet about the defacing).
You should all know about my thoughts on TotalBiscuit (one GG supporter that most in the media tend to ignore, too…I wonder why). If you don’t know who he is, then I suggest coming out from the rock you live under more often. His millions of subscribers and what he has done to change the very foundation of what a video game review SHOULD be is well known. He got the “Trending Gamer” award from the Video Game Awards, even though he wasn’t expecting to win. He’s fought through colon cancer, and is getting through it with strength I only wish I had myself.
Jennie is a very kind and nice person. Even though Based Gamer is something she might’ve thought TOO big on (she seems to be like me; if you’re going to do something, don’t do anything small), it’s something that was made in very good faith, and from talking to her on Twitter, she has every intentions of making something worthwhile that would be THE answer to what’s going on in game journalism right now. She showed concern for me after I mentioned that I was down (was something about a post I made that got dogpiled on by those that didn’t understand what I was trying to say, and I overreacted too soon about it). Honestly, if I had enough money to give to her to get that project (a huge undertaking not like a simple Wordpress blog: the reason it needed that much), I would do so, no questions asked.
The matter is that, if the media spent more time actually TALKING, and listening, to these people, they would see the same things I see: genuine kindness, sternness when necessary, and genuine concern for issues about what affects their hobby.
But they don’t. And I know for certain why: they know they can’t win in a fair debate about their failure to install genuine transparency and ethics into their code when it comes to reviews and objective reporting about games. So they commit to these low blows, play on the sympathies of the public, and try to say that it’s not just a coincidence that these latest cases that were focused on involved females. They claim misogyny and harassment if anyone dares even question their ethics. If it was fair, they would be very much destroyed beyond belief. They do know they have the “power” of the “SJWs” (who are connected with former GJP member Leigh…now you see why Anita Sarkeesian was never even questioned about the context of the examples she chose for her videos), and they have not shown the slightest hesitation to use that power. But with great power comes great responsibility.
Some outlets have started to come around. Al Jazerra seemed willing to let GamerGate supporters get their side heard after they were called out about the possible hit piece on it they ran. The Escapist did a quick 180 after they saw that censoring GamerGate discussion wasn’t the right way (much to Jim Sterling’s chagrin).
There needs to be less of the hysteria and the finger pointing, and more of actual discussion. Ask if people are anti-harassment or anti-ethics if they say that they are anti-GamerGate, and if they do believe in ethics and transparency, then ask why they aren’t trying to bring up that narrative themselves.
There also needs to be a realization: that when we talk about females in the game industry, it doesn’t just mean the three that the media has seemed to have approved to be the only ones allowed to talk about this topic. There are several other females in the game industry, and have picked gaming as a hobby, or even a career, and those ones know a hell of a lot more about it than those three, combined, can ever tell you. I know they don’t want to be treated as fragile, easily offended individuals that don’t get context that shapes content in games. They understand that art can imitate life, and that many females see things like dressing sexy or being sexy as a form of liberation from oppression because they are told time and time again that they are not allowed to be, or should be scared to be.
If they were to ever talk to other females in the game industry, and recognized that GamerGate hates the vitriolic trolls just as much as they do, then they would get a much different narrative, and a fairer debate.
And we can finally put people like Ben Kuchera in their places.
Yes, I might be thinking way too big, as always. So sue me!
NOTE: You can view more about some of the things that the "anti-Gamer" crowd has said about GamerGate and those in it in the video below (made before the recent TB and Liz issues described above). Warning that it contains strong language.