PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

GamerGate + You (part 4)

on September 13, 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?

Anon32: “I was discontent with games media coverage lately: a fraction of it intended to tell me how to think about games, how I was interacting with people in gaming  and I was evil and oppersive for it. The rest of them just copy-pasted press releases and wrote vapid fact lists as reviews. When I found out that they were hiding their dirty laundry with indie devs by straw-manning their entire audience or directly censoring us, I felt like I could not let this slide.”

Anon33: “I got personally involved in the GamerGate tag when I saw the gaming press react very poorly to the concerns of their readers, and publish a series of hit pieces against their audience. Almost no outlets gave voice to the concerns of the pro-gamergate “side”, while the other “side” was labelling gamers terrible words, words that do nothing to further a discussion and resolve a conflict but only serve to shut down discussion. Never have I seen press behave that way to their viewers, while claiming its the fault of the gaming community. That should never be acceptable to anyone, regardless of their position on an issue.”

Anon34: “I was involved from the start with the first Internet Aristocrat video. What interested me was the possible conflict of interest in those videos. It’s the sort of stuff me and my friend talk about. What really got me going was the slow shutdown on the issue, I found having to turn to places like ED, 4chan, twitter and youtube for the news was insulting. Especially after it became clear that very few, though increasing now thankfully, were willing to take us on the word of the majority that we wanted to discuss the issues that arose from it.”

@WolfSaviorZX: “So I was completely aware of the alleged sex scandal early on but really all I said was “well look a sex scandal, that adds to the problems in game journalism” than I quit caring because it didn’t really affect me. Afterward many people were trying to post comments about this and videos about it. Majority of those comments made about it on game journalist websites was being deleted that’s what brought attention to it for me. Also there was a video took down on it for DMCA (though that didn’t really bother me to change my opinion either way, that’s just the system of youtube). The final straw for me and made me start using the #GamerGate hashtag was when game journalist sites said “Gamers are dead” “Gamers are sexist”. This seemed like to me as a way to shelter the alleged scandal and scare off anyone for bringing it up. Also when the FBI/Police is involved in anything related to news it made me wondering what they was trying to hide and why they was so desperate to hide it.”

Anon35: ” I didn’t join GamerGate because of anything to do with Zoe Quinn. Or at least the focus on her. My opinion is if they had just reported on that news it would’ve been an “Oh my” moment, then we would all have moved on. And while I wasn’t motivated from purely the “Death of gamers” article, it was that mixed with the fact that I saw people being outraged, and professionals responding to it with nothing but insults, regardless of whether someone was being nice or not, JUST for disagreeing with their coverage.

I didn’t think I needed to see anything but how they acted, and to know I needed to find other sources just to know what the situation was without having to read a journalists heated insults as part of an article. There’s a problem when for a while the only article covering the situation that wasn’t full of insults, or just agreeing with the insults, was the page dedicated to the situation on KnowYourMeme.

The only article that I can now cite covering things fairly that comes from mainstream games journalism came from The Escapist, AFTER they had changed their ethics policy in response to the situation. And that’s what made them special. they took on customers worries, and did something. The reason this is big now is because of people refusal to talk or admit fault, and bury they faces in the sand. If someone had said sorry, or just changed their ethics policy and comply with it, or in even some cases just scold their employees or fire them, for badly representing them and putting a constant social media campaign on against dissent.

Literally if any of that had happened on a bigger scale no one would have given a shit. But instead we had journalist on a massive scale calling their customers, even on the lower end of the spectrum, losers, nerds, virgins, or even worthy of death. Which is actually an editor at IGN’s opinion of all GamerGaters, and claims to speak for the entire websites staff.”

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

Anon32: “#GamerGate is a backlash movement against bad practices in gaming press, It’s goal is to have an honest, transparent, informative coverage of games, gaming and gamers.”

Anon33: “I think the major goal of GamerGate is to get some ethical standards and journalistic criteria imposed on the gaming press. If you’d like an example of what to strive for, I can recommend the Reuters handbook.”

Anon34: “Giving back choice. I don’t hate a lot of the stuff that’s being going on in gaming press but I’d rather not indulge in it given a choice. I would quite like to have the choice to indulge in those issues back again. This is a further reason why #GamerGate interest has maintained for me, I’d like to see that choice back again.”

@WolfSaviorZX: “For me, it’s been to clear my name of “Sexism” and bring attention to possible corruption scandals being mopped under the rug.”

Anon35: “The major goal of GamerGate is to make journalists aware that there is a problem, and they can fix it. But if they don’t, they’ve lost us, and don’t even care. Many people have lost heroes to this. Journalists they looked up to who would now spit in their face for having an opinion. But the damage is already done. If GamerGate simply ends it means they’ve just lost all chance at an apology. They won’t have lost all viewership however, as many of their supporters laughing with them are people who respect them, and because of the one sided articles by people they respect, can’t see the problem, because who cares what a bunch of misogynists think?

Which is another thing. The Journalists at question relied on the idea that being against their idea of progress or disagreeing meant this, and that people who disagreed with them are just angry because they represent a dated stereotype.
That’s why #NotYourShield exists, and despite much evidence, even many journalists think any woman in it is a total lie, despite direct conversation. The reason why I bring this up is because it’s a subtle hint towards their problem. Most of them, never even in a professional capacity have acknowledge that hahstag exists as part of the movement. They skew the issue by not telling it all, and then get to say the facts to people who have no other point of view. That’s the problem. Irresponsible people control the press, and because their friends, get subtle opinions fed to eachother. And if they’re all friends, and they all have one opinion, and they have no reservation to acting out their opinion in outrage in the form of the only side a lot of people are getting to hear, then they control the press and people’s opinions. It’s understandable. They get all the extreme, the direct hate leveled at them. All normal criticism is just piss in the wind.

There’s a reason why many indie devs have taken the side of GamerGate. It’s because since they have nothing to lose that they haven’t been part of the situation. they haven’t been at stake, or had hate thrown at them just because of the nature of the situation. They went into the tag themselves and were able to separate any stupidity from people with legitimate concern, because to them, it doesn’t matter who said, just what was said, because they have no investment in showing the situation as one side or another.

And I wanted to take the side against the Journalists regardless, simply because, no matter what you believed before this, they are acting wrong. I wasn’t a fan of any of the whistle blowers. I’m not a fan of the people that made this popular. In fact I was very critical of the previous work by such people because while it had legitimate concern, it also had an obvious opinion behind it. People who used the words “white knight” a lot, and said Feminism like it was bad word. But I didn’t mind standing with these people, because they said nothing but right things in this situation. And that’s what made us such a strong community. We didn’t care about other opinions. I know you’ve heard, but we are seriously stupidly diverse, and have come together because we recognize that this issue has to barring on any kind of agenda we each may have. Because the problem is obvious.

The journalists control the news, and control public opinion. So if they ever abuse it, there’s a problem. And the very fact that they come out to defend each other is the telling sign. I don’t even care if people are friends or support each other financially. It’s a tightly knit community, it happens. The problem is if you pretend you’re another news source just covering the situation like all should and all you’ve done it agree with your friend, without disclosing that they’re you’re friend.

There’s a reason Anthony Burch outright revealed favoritism by his friends in review of his game. First, because he was so convinced of a mob of women haters bashing on person that he thought we wouldn’t care. And secondly, because people are so ingrained to this that they think this corruption of Journalism is normal and therefore not a problem.

We’ve let this slide, and we can’t anymore. People were tired of badly written news. Of sensationalism. Of click-bait. Of obviously paid off scores. This was a long time coming, and the final straw was using their position to monopolize their opinion, and demonize their customers as disposable dissent. Because as long as they could convince the people with no other sources that since every journalist agreed then they had to be right. This wasn’t about exposing a problem. This was plain talking down to people. And then claiming the moral high ground if someone at all had a problem with the delivery.

There’s a big problem when the opposition to the professionals who represent companies have to start a campaign of utter civility, moderating our own, just get a point across. And the Journalists get a free pass to pure slander without even their jobs at stake. Other media wouldn’t have stood for this. Greg Conaufhusrhsrfugwhathisname even made an article addressed to us with “STFU” in the title, that included spelling the movements name wrong, that included the phrase “What the fuck is wrong with you people” as an opening statement, that accused all booth babes of being bimbos, being against them meaning being against any sort of progress and that we all want to play CoD forever and support stagnant ideas, told us if we were smart we’d give our internal organs for a chance to fuck Zoe Quinn, and these people “might have trouble paying their bills” so stop scolding them, calls us bad examples of men, utterly and conveniently ignoring any other people involved, claiming to “defend the honor” of the women involved by fighting for them, which involved telling us he’d (probably quite smugly) be up to settling any matters at any time of our choosing in a duel by sword or pistol.

I don’t even needed to pretend that there’s problems with journalistic ethics here if THIS got passed. Which they obviously realized was bad all too late by taking the damn thing down. No apology though. Just remove evidence. It’s here by the way if you’re interested. https://archive.today/vT7vp” [PixieJenni note: this was a blog post, not a news post, for context]

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

Anon32: “It is my main goal.”

Anon33: “This is my main goal. Honesty and transparency are critical to a press that behaves in the interests of its audience.”

Anon34: “It’s my main goal as I feel it. The issues surrounding transparency, ethical conduct and ethical standards as well as a few others all focus on giving me back the choice to decide my level of interest in issues going on in gaming.”

@WolfSaviorZX: “Sure I have a lot of goals, many I’ve been pushing long before gamergate. Such as what I
consider “unfair” game reviews. And political opt-ed’s in game journalist sites rather than on political journalist sites. My main goal was to bring light to the fact their are scandals in game journalism and calling all gamers “Sexist” is just trying to distract people from that. Even if the majority of gamers were sexist (which would be nice to have a study done to prove it one way or another), I think we can agree not all gamers are sexist and using such a sweeping thing actually makes the word “Sexist” have less meaning because it’s used so casually.”

Anon35: “I’d like social justice issues to be covered, but without them being at the forefront, and without them being a condescending lecture. Hell, The Fine Young Capitalists has made more compelling video on female characters tropes recently, without any money for a campaign, and without attaching some idea of an all encompassing social problem, that it both neither your fault as a consumer or the creator, but you should still feel bad about it.

I don’t even want to bring up Anita, but the opposition to GamerGate keeps making it so much about women that we have to respond by going over our specific feelings towards them before we’re even allowed to talk. That’s why nobody wants to mention them, because they’re irrelevant to the cause. That’s why we call either Anita or Zoe “Literally Who” on the tag so that if they are searching for excuses to talk about harassment they get no satisfaction.

And part of the problem of portrayal of women is that the people who want change take to task a mindset of “Does this have the potential to be a sexism problem? If so, then it either is, or even of a concern that we should complain about it”, never mind that this causes a great censorship effort towards any sort of sexuality, and only forces women from one trope into another without free expression, whilst shaming those who either don’t care enough for the problem, or tried and failed to fix it.
You know what I heard from the women of GamerGate about all the characters these people worry about? They love them. Not just from loyalty to loving games, but they love playing attractive women, or women not afraid to flaunt their sexuality. It’s a part of female fantasy. The problem with it is its made mostly by men who may not be making it to appeal to that.
But there’s another angle. Many people are fine with something pandering to the audience. My personal solution to this problem and diversity in general, is not to police those that fail to live up to it, but maybe try to improve, or encourage those who have a strong idea of change to make the games they want to see. Creating diversity in games through diversity in people making them.

Another problem is the Journalists, in regards to this issue, want to pretend that Feminism is some simple idea. It isn’t. Almost everyone in it has an idea of the problem, but not the solution. And I’m tired of figureheading one woman as the voice for all Feminism in games, when many women either feel that sexism isn’t a problem, or feel that it should be fixed through positivity, or any other opinion.

And as said, too many people take for granted what a sexist portrayal means, that they seem to jump a step when deciding it, as if it should be obvious, and if you try to get them to make it more step by step i.e “what about sexualising a woman for a person’s fantasy is sexist”, they disregard your point and treat you as the problem for not obviously seeing the “sexism” going on here.”

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?

Anon32: “They are unffortunate happenings. Some people has used this hashtag as a excuse to jump on other people in games media and games development and they are detrimental to #GamerGate as a legitimate, well-intended movement. And more importantly, they can harm people. Harassement is not something that I like about this whole event but I am not going to act like if it was a separate thing to feel better about it. People not using #GamerGate properly are a part of it as well, sadly. Other circumstances like people losing jobs in the media or developers being blacklisted by colleges for siding along #GamerGate are terrible as well and were not intended. The second cases also shows (again) how inmature and overly protective the industry itself is. But that’s why we have to have this conversation. To grow. Kicking people out is not the solution.”

Anon33: “I think the negative things attached to this tag can take away from its message, but this is always the challenge with mass movements. There will always be people who seek to use and abuse good intentions for their own gain. I think GamerGate has for the most part done a good job of denouncing those who use the tag to harass. It will never be perfect, but we certainly will not stop trying to be as respectful as possible.”

Anon34: “I think it was inevitable. This is the internet, it doesn’t excuse it but it does explain it quite well. The internet is known for being a place where bile can be thrown about for very little reason at all. While I find that in some cases it does detract in the tag in part, I don’t believe you can make blanket statements regarding everyone who uses the tag. Something that has occurred all too commonly.”

@WolfSaviorZX:  “I wish those negative things weren’t attached to it and I do believe for many it’s used as an automatic Dismissal. A Game Dev from Microsoft called me a “Fossil” simply for using #GamerGate with the assumption I must be a sexist trying to keep women out of the game industry. That’s kind of hurtful but that’s also why I think there why I’ve been so vocal because I don’t think I’m a sexist and I want women in the game industry, it’s been something I’ve been passionate about for a long time. Obviously things in my personal life can sometimes get in the way of me pushing hard for this goal. But I’ve always kept in mind that it can only be a good thing to have a more diverse range of gamers and game devs.”

Anon35: “I feel that negative feelings can be deserved, but as before do not destroy it’s legitimacy. There was some attempt to make it entirely positive by migrating to a different tag, #GameEthics, which we were almost entirely against because we saw it as clearly a tactic to diffuse us, and put us in a playground that the journalists control. By pretending to appease us, they can control conversation, and most conversation there consisted of any perceived problem in games rather than the issue we were focused on; Journalistic ethics.

I know how much people can be assholes on it, but if we move, we destroy the movement. We divide it, we become something no longer worth noticing. They want to pretend we aren’t outraged so they can claim some victory, and end it on a note in their favor, with us as the problem.”

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

Anon32: “The extreme focus on the private life of certain developers by a fraction of the movement is something that I find irrelevant and I can not understad. I do understand the origin of the investigations that resulted on the descovery of alarming situations, but that is an irrelevant thing and private things are, well, private. Focus on the issues and the solutions, not the people.”

Anon33: “not particularly. There are some things that GamerGate has picked up on that I feel should be dealt with separately, particularly any allegations of corruption in the IGF or anything involving Silverstring Media. Those are matters for another time. Granted, it is difficult to extricate them from GamerGate as a whole considering the links to the central issue of the movement, but nonetheless I think the community has done a fairly good job at keeping those issues to the side of the main goal.”

Anon34: “Not particularly, I don’t have any right to shut them out any more than the reverse is true. While the level of agreement may vary, I generally find myself in agreement with a lot of the stuff being said. Most of my objections generally are related to how best to present ourselves than any political or ideological choice.”

@WolfSaviorZX: “I think people bringing up Zoe and Anita (which I’m guilty of as well) are missing the point. I don’t care that they create their content, I think they have a complete right to do so and I don’t see the value of bringing anything up about Zoe other than alleged scandal but it really could be about anyone. I think people would have been equally mad if any game dev and any game journalist was caught in such a situation (mind you I don’t think it would have blown up if the information about it wasn’t censored). Also it just kinda scares me that bringing up a sex scandal is sexist because wouldn’t most sex scandals involve both a man and a woman since on average most people are straight. I don’t think it would have changed the fact if it was 2 men or 2 women (but I think people would be more careful not turning it into something that could lead to something that could lead to anti-gay bigotry). ”

Anon35: “It seems much of the Journalist talk speaks of us against “art” even though most of us can say we’re just against bad art, and we’re not going to pretend that just because a work does something new that it can’t be shit.
Although I did worry about a dismissive sentiment that we just wanted fun, because I think that idea is a bit narrow. I’m all for trying new things, and making games more about an experience than a classical idea of “fun”. I was worried that when people brought Depression Quest up in passing, saying “that doesn’t sound fun”, “A game about depression, oh that’s gunna go well”, but when probed people seemed to settle on “Art shouldn’t be the main goal, and shouldn’t sacrifice entertainment. And being against something new ins’t for stagnation”, which I can heartily agree with. Also, worries of the dismissive tone of Depression Quest were gone once I saw a stream of it by a GamerGater. It seriously wasn’t fun, and also didn’t even deal with it’s subject matter well. It was mostly regarded by people I’d seen, and I agree, as a failed experiment.”

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

Anon32: “No, if anything some people overeach occasionally.”

Anon33: “none that I’ve seen. Given the size of the movement, there’s a lot of inner dialog. Most of us are quite reasonable.”

Anon34: “As I said previously, generally speaking most of #GamerGate knows about the other issues. The point is that until we fix this issue, we can’t tackle triple A corruption and all that it brings there. Especially when this issue comes from the Indie scene which was meant to counter the triple A corruption.”

@WolfSaviorZX: “Just the fact that the relationship between gamers and game journalists have been awful for a long time. This could also to apply to relationship between gamer and game dev. “

Anon35: “Nothing occurs. Some of us disagree about certain repercussions of the actions of professionals. While we agree that in any other field many of the people involved would’ve been fired, we’ve mostly adopted an opinion that it shouldn’t be about that, because that destroys the focus, and comes off as vindictive. So in playing towards trying to be as civil as possible, we have tried to discourage calling for that. But I wouldn’t mind it. I think some can apologize. Others simply went too far.”


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