PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

GamerGate + You (part 1)

on September 12, 2014

No answers have been changed/merged for this one.

Some answers may not be included if they misunderstood the question – they may instead have moved to ‘bonus’ as a section. Will highlight if that is the case.

People are anon if they didn’t explictly say “call me x”. Email me again if you want to change that 🙂 Anon referencing consistent within this topic, but not with others.


1. Why did you personally get involved with the #GamerGate tag?

Anon1: “I was involved beforehand, due to the strange response to everything(The media blackout from all major gaming sites, reddit, and even 4chan.) Censorship is what officially began it.”


Anon2: “I love video games and free speech/artistic freedom. No one should be shouted down for having an opinion or criticism or for wanting to create one style of art. My take on the whole gaming journalism thing is that there is some evidence of “conspiracy” and lack of basic integrity. Furthermore, I am against the fact that certain groups are trying to push their agenda into the whole industry which kills artistic freedom. I am fine with people wanting to get more women into the industry. I am fine with people making new forms of games. Those are cool things. What is not fine is that some people are forcing the entire industry to change. “


Anon3: “I saw an Infographic on the connection between Silverstring Media and the IGF. I don’t like that sort of deception.”


Anon4: “A day or two after gamegate was conceived following the Quinnspiracy tag, I began to notice many articles talking about gamers being dead on their respective websites. I saw a post about this while browsing /v/, and looked into it. I read about how concerns over a greased-palm deal had gotten censored, and how media outlets were being passive aggressive towards gamers. It offended me.”


@SHREKFLEX: “I originally stood as a neutral party disgusted by the apparent harassment of people on both sides of the issue. I have a distaste not just for the gaming scene’s cronyism, but also for shithead misogynist gamers. As the anger against the establishment formed into #gamergate, however, it became apparent that the amount of harassment and abuse on both sides was incredibly lopsided. For every abuser aligning themselves with #gamergate, there are perhaps 15 to 20 people harassing #gamergate supporters. #gamergate has made it incredibly clear that its philosophy harbors no support for harassment and abuse of anybody, period. When #notyourshield was sparked in response to the strawman arguments hurled at #gamergate, my suspicions about the makeup of the movement were more than confirmed. I was expecting a few dozen marginalized groups to speak up. What I got was a mountain. Here was Anonymous removing their mask; the statement of incredible diversity among the ranks of pissed-off consumers. I knew instantly that these people believed in their cause, that they will no longer tolerate the abuse thrown at them for years by the establishment, and that they had the strength and tenacity to carry their will out.”


Anon5: “Because although I’ve never really embraced the term ‘gamer’ as my own, many people do. So for these websites to push away gamers and people like me because of their own bias and corruption is simply disgusting.”


Anon6: “heard about it, i care about games, so i joined, then all the “gamer is dead” things came out and i really started caring. this isn’t new to me, i’m a DMC fan and i like ME, so i was feeling like the gaming media was incredibly unfair for years, not i guess i saw a way to vent it.”


Anon7: “Because I´m tired of seeing some of my personal favourite games being blocked for an opinion piece. XSeed, a company that dedicates itself to bring Japanese titles to America is having a hard time thanks to sites like Kotaku, Polygon and Gamasutra. I don´t care if these games do not fit their “moral criteria”, they are for me, the target audience, not for the lgbtq+/minorities+/Socual Justice+ Clique… As “The Expendables” is not for “The Romantic Comedy” audience. But their scores HURT sales.”


Anon8: “First day of Eron post, I read it without knowing who he was or who ZQ was, didn’t care much. But as the days go by, the constant censorship and unwillingness from the media start to concern me, until david faracy drop the bomb, gamers are worst than terrorists. This guy was the reason I joined gamergate, the fact that assholes like that can go talk against gamers like that an other sites just reinforce his positions with “gamers are dead” just killed me. And now he jokes about suicidal groups, fuck that guy. And you know what is worst? is that journalists have power, they can appeal to those people, they can tell to their followes to behave, but no, they don’t do it. At the end the PR done by journalists has just made thing worst.”


Anon9: “Because I saw media practices that infuriated me, both as a journalist and a gamer.”


@Oboromusha: “Because I am a gamer since I was 10 years old. I grew up ostracized at school for liking games. Then I found out more people liked them and it made me less isolated. Then I came to realize there was a group of snobbish elitsts trying to ostracize me yet again. Only this time, these people have their hands on the gaming industry. If we don’t stand up, they will suck all the fun and diversity out of this medium. I believe that gaming is not politics, nor is it social class, sex, or ethnicity. People who confuse these matters are not in possesion of enough faculties to present a reasonable argument with a positive outlook on this thing we all love so much. We need positive forces everywhere. this included.”


Anon10: “Gaming has been my safe place to not be an outcast for most of my life.  I’ve always been sort of an outcast in the real world but in games it never mattered and I could find friends and socialize as well as have fun.  I don’t doubt for a second that I would have turned to alcohol, drugs, or suicide if I wasn’t a gamer.  I also happen to be a white male so when the initial smearing of the gamer identity happened it was a double whammy.  I’ve long felt unfairly demonized for my gender and skin color and to have that follow me into my safe place was the last straw.”


Anon11: “Strictly speaking I’m not but I have been lurking the threads. Figured I could at least get a bit of discourse to someone that might be fairly open to comments.”


Anon12: “Because of the sensorhip that was happening in the major gaming related websites and forums, stopping any discussion from hapenning, even if no names were cited or there were no harassment of any kind to anyone. And I saw the same person that was complaining about harassment, insulting, trying to doxx, and actualy being worse than those he was talking about, a total neutral famous person only for bringing the issue up. (I was actualy at Phill Fish’s side until he and Zoe Quinn started to badmouth Jon ‘Totalbiscuit’ Bain only for commenting on an possible DMCA takedown made by ZQ, wich he said there was no proof of).”


2. What do you think the major goal of #GamerGate is?

Anon1: “To resolve the issues dug up during said media blackout(In this case, the rampant CoIs in the industry, potential racketeering of Indiecade, and so on). Also, to finally steer things towards actual journalism rather than clickbait articles.”


Anon2: “1. Free speech in regards to the gaming medium i.e. people should be allowed to criticize or voice an opinion without being shouted down
2. A better video game journalism industry i.e. one with integrity etc. etc.
3. Artistic freedom”


Anon3: “Attempting to combat that kind of backdoor dealing, but the larger part is pushing for more transparency in gaming media and press.”


Anon4: “It started out just looking for apologies, reform, and likely the firing of certain individuals from their respective media companies/sites. But now I think it’s evolved beyond that to bring gamers into a common cause against people who began to use gradeschool insults at us that we otherwise thought were also the same “geeks”, “nerds”, etc. Quite frankly though, I consider the Escapist our major victory, and possibly the only one we may have.”


@SHREKFLEX: “#gamergate is about something far more than a dozen hit piece articles declaring the death of a label people identified with. It’s about more than bad journalism. It’s about more than anybody involved in the incestuous indie gaming scene. It’s about a deep-seating, long-festering resentment between the gaming establishment (that is, the producers of video games and those who report on them) and its consumer base. Jeff Gerstmann getting fired for writing a non-favorable review is part of it. The infamously awful Mass Effect 3 ending, the crowd reaction, and the counter-reaction calling critics “entitled gamers” is part of it. Journalist Geoff Keighley being forced into selling Doritos and Mountain Dew is part of it. EA winning Worst Company In America twice in a row in an annual poll by consumer watchdog group Consumerist, and the gaming press counter-reaction calling gamers entitled yet again is a part of it. This is an issue that has been building and building and building for years and years, and the social media firestorm is a result of all of this.

To that end, #gamergate’s main goal is the removal of cronyism and corruption in the gaming establishment, in the professional game dev sphere, the indie game dev sphere, and the gaming journalism sphere. #gamergate is shining a light on the worst parts of the industry and its press that have long been ignored under the guise of video games not being a serious enough topic to discuss in this manner.”


Anon5: “To uncover and criticize the numerous uses of personal relationships and bias in order to further ones own ambitions.”


Anon6: “reforming game journalism, if people know each other they have to write about it, or preferably let someone that isn’t friends with the dev write the review, less click bait, less cronyism, let indie devs that aren’t friends with journalists have some time in the press as well. above all remind them we are their audience, not the publishers, not the developers, we are the people generating income for their sites, if they stop representing us, we’ll leave. many already have.”


Anon7: “Ending these biased opinions. You are hurting the industry at the end of the day because less and less people are trusting reviewers. If anything I prefer nintendo´s approach because with their Directs and Digital distribution they killed the bad reviews and let consumers decide for themselves. Now I want Microsoft and Sony to do something similar because I´m honestly tired of this situation.”


Anon8: “End the unethical behavior in journalism, and make an end to the agenda driven articles. I honestly never felt like a minority, I never felt like a lesser being, but when journalists start to push this pro-minority agendas I started to feel offended, which made it even worst when they said everyone on gamergate were white basement teenagers. Basically they killed who I am. [PixieJenni note: this is in reference to not being any of those things, I assume from context given earlier in responses]


Anon9: “For every gaming news site to do what The Escapist did. http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/12223-The-Escapist-Publisher-Issues-Public-Statement-on-Gamergate.4


@Oboromusha: “The end of corruption and influence trafficking in the gaming industry. This breeds unaccountable elites, undemocractic culture and endlessly multiplying repression of free-speech and artisitical expression on every corner of the world. We will boycott gaming/tech journalism that subscribes to these one-sided views until it hurts their paychecks. They are free to quit this folly at any time and we will welcome them. As we do any other person.”


Anon10: “I think its twofold. The first is to deal with the corruption in the media. We want fair and unbiased as possible reviews and news without all the clickbait. We want to be informed about our hobby not whatever controversial thing the editors decided would bring in the most ad revenue. The second goal is to slay that persistent myth that gamers are inclusive white neckbeards that don’t want minorities/women in gaming. 48% of gamers are women, we have a huge tag showing this myth is false, and yet it still persists and is used against everyone that identifies as a gamer.”


Anon11: “Journalistic integrity. It is really tiresome to read things about “hey, there are no women in this game and that’s terrible”. That’s not a reason to think a game is terrible and to boycott it or something, sorry. Bad DRM, malware, shady devs that took the money and ran? Yeah, all those things, but not any of this inclusion bullshit. Not when that’s fully up to the designers of the game and shouldn’t count as a review.”


Anon12: “It started as being only about a possible conflict of interest with a certain writer of a big games website and someone whom he wrote about. But the mass sensorship about the topic, and the fierce attempts to make those trying to talk about it look like they were only interested in one’s person sexual life, when it clearly wasn’t about that, draw attention to the current state of gaming journalism, making people wonder why they were trying to defend this one person so much (especialy when they had no trouble making headlines about Max Temkin, based on a anonymous tumblr post). Then it got worse when these websites tried to fight back, calling these people names like ‘nerds’, ‘misogynists’ and ‘neckbeards’, focusing on the few bad apples and ignoring completely the issue, trying to refocus it. Then this war between gaming media and the readers started, with people digging up more shit by the day and wanting something to be done about how they were, and are being, wronged by the big media.”


3. Is this your main goal, or do you have something else you’d like to see addressed too?

Anon1: “I would also like to address the double standards in reporting that is shaping the audience. (For example, the sexual harassment claims of Brad Wardell vs their treatment of Zoe Quinn. Ideally, neither would’ve been reported on at all. Alas…)”


Anon2: No answer given.


Anon3: “I’d consider myself a bystander in all of this; I retweet interesting infographics and things that mesh with my opinion, but I’m not the one sending emails or stirring “trouble.” I’m just staunchly opposed to the nepotism that appears to be behind the scenes.”


Anon4: “If you’ve seen me around twitter you’d have likely noticed I mostly spent my time policing and giving polite advice. I only want to bring people closer and eradicate as much bullying as I can. It’s personal.”


@SHREKFLEX: “Personally I believe #gamergate should not have an endgame, if only because the issues are too great to be solved by a single protest, or even a series of protests. #gamergate’s endgame must become the transformation into a consumer watchdog group, keeping the industry and its press in check.”


Anon5: “I also believe that people’s personal agendas are coming into game development too much as well. I believe it was a Bioware writer who said he would include a gay in all of his games, even if it went completely against the lore. Which is ridiculous and offensive to LGBTQ people everywhere, that they can just be shoehorned into any media so the makers can seem ‘progressive’.”


Anon6: “that’s it. while i personally don’t like the SJW trend in gaming journalism, my opinion doesn’t matter. gamer gate is so large and diverse if we put politics in it we’ll fragment like crazy. we start talking about gender politics everyone will start fragmenting into smaller groups, when it comes to journalistic ethics despite how varied we all are, we speak with one voice.”


Anon7: “Pretty much this. As for the whole controversy, I have better to do than keep an eye of who sleeps with who. It does bother me that they are part of the media though, that is blatantly wrong.”


Anon8: “Yes, its my main goal. I’m tired of being used as a shield, I’m tired of people saying “next link should be a girl”, like if that would solve every problem on the world. Or making click baits like “are video games art?”.”


Anon9: “I’d like people to stop blaming the entire alphabet because A was an asshole to B.”


@Oboromusha: “I’d like to see people getting along again, to enforce the idea that bullies and thugs are not welcome anywhere until they apologise and reform. I’d like gamers to be seen as people. And as people, in all our diversity, we represent the market. We want that to be clear for developers and game publishers. We want creative freedom unstifled and unbound by biased gaming journalism.”


Anon10: “Those are indeed my primary goals. I’d also like to see more focus on things like TFYC and their efforts to get more women into game development. Despite a difference in some aspects from their views and my own I really respect how they’ve respected gamers and everything they’ve done despite being attacked at every turn by certain groups.”


Anon11: “Frankly, the whole bribery and lack of declarations of personal relations was a bigger thing than I thought it was. There are standards of journalism, and that should apply whatever the topic.”


Anon12: “The disrespect and lack of research from the gaming journalists part is very troubling, but I believe the biggest issue is the sensorship. If there was a place for people to talk about the possible conflict of interest in the first place, it would have died in a few days and it would never have come to this shitstorm of misunderstandings.”


4. How do you feel about the negative things that have happened attached to this tag? Do you think they take away from it, or that they’re separate?

Anon1: “It takes away because it gets taken out of context and paints everyone under the same brush. Seen it happening on both sides. One other bit: Trying to use salted IRC logs to prove a point demonstrates that their argument is weak.”


Anon2: “I think it’s fucken bullshit.”


Anon3: “It’s impossible to tell how serious any of the “trolls” are. Could be sockpuppets out to make the tag look bad. Could be legitimate people being hideous individuals. Could be people just stirring trouble. I’m opposed to abuse and doxxing, I’m opposed to harassment when it’s uncalled for. My personal mantra has always been “hate, but hate accurately.” I’m not against calling someone on their bullshit, frankly, but it’s important to not lose sight of what you’re rallying against. When it becomes about the person and not the deed, the message is lost and you’re no better than the bullies you’re combating.”


Anon4: “Many negative things have happened because of this movement. Zoe was never meant to be a target, only the men. But she got targetted anyway by slut shamers and people who misunderstood the issue. This led to our own wizardchan getting attacked, as well as individuals who merely support gamergate. Silverstring media left the Escapist, which I consider negative as it was financial backing for them. This happened after they made their reforms.”


@SHREKFLEX: “Of course they take away from it. #gamergate’s biggest issue is a bad image attributed to the PR spin that we’re associated with the harassment of several people. Addressing this issue is incredibly difficult for #gamergate because, as an Anonymous-like movement, #gamergate has no leaders. Anybody who paid attention to Project Chanology has an idea of how #gamergate behaves. There are certainly people with louder voices and greater reach than others within the movement, but they hold only marginally more sway over other people in the movement. There is nobody to hold accountable for the harassment of those people, and despite #gamergate’s constant, unanimous message of “we condemn and constantly fight against harassment in all forms” we struggle to convince people that we wish the harassed people no harm, though we still want to seem them brought to justice.”


Anon5: “I do not deny that horrible things have been said to both Zoe and Anita and probably numerous other people like them. But this is a very small minority. Just like it’s a very small minority of people opposing #GamerGate that use violent and offensive words against us. But AT LEAST 99% of people using this tag KNOW and CONDEMN the threats that have been made on both sides of the debate.”


Anon6: “trolls exist everywhere, we got a lot of “SJW” trolls and actual gaming journalists insult us. does that mean they’re all bad? off course not it’s a tiny minority in their camp that makes a lot of noise. there is nothing wrong with the tag, a bunch of trolls have nothing to do with the main group behind this. trying to say otherwise is silly.”


Anon7: “I have been really close to #Gamergate since the very beginning. These “DOXX” attacks and “Threats” have either been discouraged or reported. I don´t think the people at #Gamergate did them. If anything, there is some evidence that the people involved in the attacks may have fabricated them themselves, and that only adds fuel to the fire.”


Anon8: “There are going to be bad apples in every group. But when you have 4chan saying people to behave, you know for sure that bad apples are very few.”


Anon9: “It’s terrible and inevitable. The idea that everybody should stop using GamerGate because of the trolls associated with it is flawed thinking. As though trolls won’t follow to GamerEthics or GamerWhatever. Likewise, just because somebody is an asshole to somebody else on the Internet, doesn’t mean the person receiving abuse gets to be free from criticism.”


@Oboromusha: “They are thinning out. People are starting to understand that this is a movement of love, understanding and peace. The implications of this unity are way beyond gaming now. We are talking, we are making friends and learning eachother’s points of view. It’s like the late 60’s and 70’s love movement without the drugs and orgies. it is becoming deeply philosphical at its core, which is never a bad thing. We don’t support dogma or division.”


Anon10: “Honestly I don’t think that the things attributed to GamerGate have much to do with it at all. The threats against against Anita have no basis to blame gamers on. The “harassment” of Zoe is highly suspect in my mind due to the focus long since moving past her as the catalyst for the discussion leading to GG. The only thing really related to GG in anyway I can think of is Jenn Frank quitting. However that was NOT a case of harassment as stated. She was being paid by the subject of her article via Patreon, supporting the subject of her article via Patreon, and therefor was called out on it rightly. That’s a blatant example of conflict of interest. The rest of the little things it’s important to keep in mind that trolls can and do exist and will use this as an opportunity to troll horrific things on occasion. The anti-gamergate side has them as well and honestly they’ve done far worse things to women then the few “pro-gamergate” trolls I’ve seen. We’ve been vigorously dealing with trolls masquerading as our side.”


Anon 11: “Every group has bad apples. False flagging, trolling, outright hostility. Passion does a lot of good and a lot of bad, but it’s stupid to ignore the whole group for the sake of a few. That goes both ways – frankly I never was down with most of the feminist stuff just because it never really bothered me but there are people doing good and people doing bad for both women’s and men’s rights.”


Anon12: “They do not take away because the people involved in #gamergate know what it’s about and know that the bad stuff is only a very few minority trying to stir things up or just using the situation to ‘troll’. Unfortunately, they are all the media focuses on, making it seem more spread than it is.”


5. Are there any things #GamerGate seems to be addressing that you disagree with?

Anon1: “They need to take a less shotgun approach, but it’s difficult prevent this as the crowds get bigger.”


Anon2: No answer given.


Anon3: “Not specifically.”


Anon4: “There were when people went after Zoe on a regular basis. But now that we’ve been attempting to police it, this has reduced, I hope. Otherwise, I think I just disagree with the general paranoia on my side. It’s easy to make conspiracies out of something as simple as hedge funds.”




Anon5: “Not that I know of.”


Anon6: “not that i’m aware of.”


Anon7: “Yeah, harassment. Not only to the Zoe/Anita Duo, but also what happened to Tim Schaefer, who IMO only voiced his thoughts on the subject. Devin Faracci can eat a bag of dicks though.”


Anon8: “Not really, only people who harrass others. I agree with gamergate in what it stand for, the behavior of some members can be discussed.”


Anon9: “Just ran down a bunch of tweets on the hashtag and couldn’t find anything.”


@Oboromusha: “Some people still think feminists are the problem. I’m no feminist, because I really don’t believe in social collectivism, we are all individuals. The real problem is nepotism. it is arrogance, bullying and an almost Orwellian sense of dissidence, that these people foster against anyone else outside their group. Which I think is kind of silly. That’s why I think they can change and lighten up.”


Anon10: “Not really.  I think the issues being largely addressed are the correct ones.”


Anon11: “Not especially. Not that the majority doesn’t already condemn either as trolls or false-flagging.”


Anon12: “It has become so big that people are using the hashtag to complain about anything they want. But the focus will always be disclosure, respect and factual journalism from the press.”



6. Are there any things #GamerGate is ignoring that you want it to talk about?

Anon1: “I wish that they could let Zoe and Anita fade into irrelevance, but it doesn’t help that they’re stoking the fires themselves. I know one thing, I will never forgive Anita for sharing CP. That is not only unacceptable, but illegal. Sorry for the rant.”


Anon2: No answer given.


Anon3: “Not specifically.”


Anon4: “If anything our efforts are too scattered now that there’s no clear target. There’s too much interest in everything. If we could focus on Kotaku and the IGF suspicions, that would help. (Note I said suspicions. I don’t deal in absolutes when there’s a chance I may be wrong).”




Anon5: “I think there is an increasingly important issue of Net neutrality at stake, but one thing at a time.”


Anon6: “not particularly, like i said incredibly diverse group of people, we need to keep this on stuff we can all agree on, like journalistic ethics and stooping harassment, if we tackle complex political stuff our group will disintegrate, gotta keep it clean and simple. end journalistic corruption.”


Anon7: “Yes, many. But they would instigate the flames of misogyny debate, although it´s just mere fact checking (Did Anita really get death threats? Did she call the police? Can we see the report? Things like that…)”


Anon8: “Not much. To be honest my only concern is how indie devs and journalists are going to survive after this terrible PR. In the future if someone make an article about an indie game, how many people are going to trust it? how many people are going to trust the journalists? how many people are going to trust the next kickstarter? But this can’t be addressed by consumers, this is something for the industry to address.”


Anon9: “At this point, I’m not sure there’s anything on Earth being ignored by GamerGate. It’s everywhere.”


@Oboromusha: “Gamergate is not ignoring anything at this point. Our eyes are surely wide open. Especially because everyone contributes with something new about every so hour. It’s hard to keep track. We are also thinking about net neutrality. Standing against corruption in media will amount for nothing if we let legislators extinguish the free internet.”


Anon10: “Nope we’re covering everything that needs to be covered in relation to the issues of Gamergate.”


Anon11: “Not really, but the mass-shadowbanning for Reddit is pretty skeevy, among other things.”


Anon12: “I feel not enough people are giving attention to the sensorship issue. And those that do, aren’t focusing on it enough.”



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