PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

GamerGate + You (part 6)

on September 14, 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?

Anon42: “First, because I felt mainstream gaming websites were getting to homogeneous. Its the same statements made about the same games. From the same paid for AAA games reviews that say the same thing to try and build hype to the same social justice angle used to artistically critique games. There is also an issue with how the gaming press and the indie devs are interconnected. People can be friends within the industry, but when looking for critical analysis, its hard to trust a 5 star review on your friend’s game.”


Anon43: “The massive censorship on Reddit, followed by multiple gaming press outlets simultaneously decrying gamers as misogynistic cry-babies. Honestly, I was absolutely floored. First of all, I’d like to say that the tabloidism that occurred initially was rather disgusting, and I was disappointed that /r/gaming was engaging it. But it wouldn’t have blown up like it did if thousands of comments weren’t being deleted and the active censorship/stonewall from other gaming outlets, and that’s what really caught my eye. Roll that up with the outright attack on a culture that my wife and I have identified with for most of our lives (and continues to be our mutual love) and you have utter boiling rage. I fully support the Constitution of the U.S, and seeing outlets of free speech go against the traits they supposedly prize themselves on along with the attack on what I consider as part of my identity pushed me off the sidelines.”


Anon44: “I haven’t engaged personally in the hashtag, mostly because I wanted to take my time and see what are both sides presenting, with that said, I am (now) partial towards the pro- side, mostly because (and this is from what I’ve seen, I might be wrong) it’s the side most willing to discuss and (again, based on what I’ve seen) the less (although far from innocent) toxic side.”


Anon45: “I was appalled at how the gaming press seemed to launch a coordinated assault (something like 10 articles across multiple gaming news sites) on “gamers” without actually considering the full diversity of that group of people (including the complete dismissal of any female gamers) while, in the same breath, claiming to be FOR women. Worse, any discussion on the issue (on multiple sites, including 4chan!) was censored. Comments were deleted indiscriminately, en masse.”


Anon46: “I read about it on 4chan. Watched the videos by Mundane Matt and Internet Aristocrat. At that point I realized that yes, I am angry that I have to wade through a bunch of cis-shaming, male-shaming and white-shaming in games press. In fact this “SJW” agenda is getting really old, and I’m tired of being beaten over the head with it. But what really got me was the censorship; mods on 4chan deleting threads (!?!), censorship on Reddit, complete radio silence across the gaming press. The silence and censorship spoke volumes. EXTREMELY suspicious.”


Anon47: “I have yet to get personally involved, primarily out of fear. Not fear of the people involved in #GamerGate, but fear of the people on the other side of the fence. I’ve seen the way these so-called social justice proponents lash out at anyone who disagrees with them. You’ve mentioned how frightening some segments of the #GamerGate movement can be, but you’re conspicuously quiet on just how vicious the other side is. I’m a gay man living below the poverty line in a conservative area, a place where I could potentially be at-risk if I were outed, and on top of that I’m a bit of a nervous wreck. I desperately want to show my support for #GamerGate, but I also don’t want to risk being doxxed or harassed for doing so.”


Anon48: “I saw people being censored, bullied, and mocked simply for defending themselves/gamers, and I’ve never liked bullying. Especially when it’s people wanting change in something that I can agree with- being ethical. I know I’m not perfect, but there are instances (however few) of reviews being written by those close to (even in relationships with) developers, and I think that should be disclosed. The smear campaign against gamers only fuels my support for GamerGate, as I’ve been playing games for 24 years- since I was 3. ”


D.A: “Upon learning about the censorship across multiple sites, many of which have a reputation of allowing open discussion, I joined. I believe censorship of this kind is unwarranted and a violation of a person’s right of free speech. My stance is strengthened by the knowledge that video game developers are often targeted by gaming media for not advocating a particular ideology. I strongly believe in creative freedom and the free market. While social advocates may have the best interests of society in their heart, I don’t believe in the aggressive tactics being used, such as blacklisting and biased articles siding with/against individuals before due process.”


Anon49: “I got involved when Leigh Alexander’s article on Gamasutra crossed my path. I can’t remember where exactly I saw it, either a small forum I frequent (not reddit or 4chan, ive never been to either of those sites) or across my facebook feed. Most likely it was the facebook thing since they started “things you might find interesting” at me.”


Anon50: “I joined #GamerGate when I felt like there too many journalists giving a slanderous view on the state of gamers, then taking to social media and comments sections to silence and belittle even their most civil detractors. I felt that this was doing a disservice to a community that, while a bit antisocial, was filled with many welcoming people who were also mostly apolitical. I also wanted to try to be a reasonable voice in an otherwise fragmented movement.”


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

Anon42: “Transparency and fighting corruption in all forms.”


Anon43: “Full disclosure and open communication. An agenda should not affect a review in regards to the personal merits of a game. The author is fully entitled to their opinion, as is their right as an American citizen (well, as it applies) to speak freely. However, it should be labeled as such and kept separate from the review. Personally, I think there are quite a few issues within the community that need to be addressed. Journalists should write their opinion pieces, but it should be kept separate instead of letting it seep through their writing while they review a game.”


Anon44: “Not gonna lie, I’m not sure. They say it’s about ending corruption in gaming journalism, and a lot of it seems that way. I do think it’s interesting how this became a shift in the power balance, after the whole “gamers are dead” set of articles, how the power, formally exerted by the journalists, now passed to the pro- side (if you forgice my Foucaultian interpretation). In a way this makes me believe that, while their point of separating journalists and devs in the name of integrity is true, there seems to be a bit of a personal edge, as if the articles took a formerly in dissarray group (gamers) and gave it a common enemy (the journalists that attacked them and they companies they are associated with), so to speak.”


Anon45: “A much higher standard for gaming journalism.”


Anon46: “The goal is to get the agenda out of our medium. There are clear ties to academia and radfem think tanks, who have made it plain they want to infiltrate our media (mission accomplished on that score), our games, and the industry itself. We feel that this has come to resemble McCarthyism, where devs and citizens are afraid that they will be ideologically nickeled and dimed every step of the way unless they tow the “SJW” line. No good games (or art for that matter) can come out of a climate of fear and politically correct hegemony.” [PixieJenni note: more on agendas here.]


Anon47: No answer given.


Anon48: “As a whole? To stop any and all corruption that may exist in the gaming industry and change journalism for the better. For example, The Escapist coming out and saying that they were changing their policy on reviews (disclosing when an author has a relationship with a developer that they’re reporting on) was a very good thing for all of us. It’s not that hard to implement and is more ethical. And if the things about IGF are true with judges being those who helped fund games they judged, that needs to stop as well.”


D.A: “Balance and equality in video game journalism enforced under a strict ethical policy.”


Anon49: “Speaking Honestly? A shred of respect for the consumers that pay their bills. Included in that is an expression of exhaustion at being preached at, a desire for more disclosure at potential conflicts of interest when someone is talking about a game with a journalist hat on.”


Anon50: “From an overall perspective, their goal is to be treated seriously as both a readership and a consumer base, and to ensure that journalists and developers be a trusted voice to the base – “hardcores” as some people would say – instead of trying to curry favor with social activists and colleagues in more respectable fields.”


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

Anon42: “Its difficult to not talk about social justice in this, given how deeply it has wedged itself in the topic. However, it needs to be addressed on the level of a defense against critical response. Too often people are defending their arguments by labeling the other side sinful against social justice, and in doing so dismiss any critique of their work. Social commentary is fine. Using it as a shield against any repercussions is not.”


Anon43: No answer given.


Anon44: “I’d like to see how this side thinks the gender issues should be treated (both in-game and in the industry). The anti- side too. The former hasn’t said anything about it and the latter has only given critiques on the topic, without giving ideas on how to solve it. I am aware of TFYC and I like what they are doing, but it’s only one thing. Also, I’d like to see both sides thoughts on heternormativity in games.”


Anon45: “That’s the main goal and once there is such a standard, perhaps gaming journalism can serve as a medium to help us all engage in a real, serious discussion about the real gender issues in gaming and real solutions to diversity in the gaming industry.”


Anon46: “My personal stake in this is that I see the “SJW” agenda infecting the arts on all fronts. This gives a platform to hucksters and con artists to sow outrage and take donations, and creates a climate of fear and censorship across the creative fields.”


Anon47: No answer given.


Anon48: “Ehh, I want transparent, objective reporting, sure. And I want corruption to stop if it exists. But I personally want the attacks, condescending articles, one-sided articles, and half-truths to stop.  There have been many articles blasting gamers as a whole because there are a handful of shitty people who call themselves gamers as well. These articles don’t even mention that corruption has been uncovered in the Indie Game Industry which is something worth reporting on. And things like Anita Sarkeesian’s videos fall into this. She unfairly misrepresents games to tell a narrative that all gamers are against women (or developers are anyway). If someone disagrees with her, nobody will address their points and will instead just call them misogynist. Bloggers, writers, whatever have referred to gamers as terrorists as a way to try and ignore their (very real) concerns. I also don’t like the one-sided nature to a lot of the journalism. I’ll give an example: Max Temkin, creator of Cards Against Humanity, was accused of rape not too terribly long ago. Robert Florence of RPS wrote an article which all but claimed the accusations were true and went on to assert that more people should be talking about the incident. But then, Zoe Quinn ADMITTED to violating her ex’s consent, and John Walker tweeted to say that anyone who talks about it on RPS will be banned. It’s downright one-sided and hypocritical. Things like this need to stop. ”


D.A: “If the reported allegations of illegal activity are factual, I believe it should be handled exclusively by law enforcement.”


Anon49: “Realistically I’d like to see the people involved in the conflicts of interest, and the shitty broad attacks at their customer base lose their jobs. No other industry could have people working in that industry melt down at their customers the way they have, whatever the provocation. Whatever the changes that do or don’t occur, if that doesn’t happen there will always always always be a segment of their population that remembers that they didn’t care enough to fire the people who out of the blue chose to lump them in with the a-holes of the internet and attack.”


Anon50: “My goal is for people from all sectors of gaming development, media and marketing to treat their audience with respect without resorting to judgmental preconceptions and stereotypes. While I would love to see more professionalism from the vitriolic among them, I also wish the AAA sectors wouldn’t assume its audience is mostly white, male, and fixated on junk food.”


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?

Anon42: “#GamerGate does not condone harassment. People who act against this and engage with harassment should be treated as individuals. They will quickly find themselves without support from those they claim as allies.”


Anon43: “The hostility that has occurred in the use of this tag has been the main detraction from how it has been viewed. It has definitely affected the perception of what the tag is about, but this absolutely does not reflect the views of those pushing this tag out there with sincere hopes of change. For every attack and rude comment I’ve seen from those claiming to support #gamergate, I’ve seen more come in calling them out and reporting them for harassment”


Anon44: “I think it’s (at the very least) unfortunate the bad things that have happened. Some people losing their job (and I’ll be blunt here) was unavoidable, however, I think the ones that have (that I’ve seen) are paying for other people. On the subject of doxxing, I believe that this activity should be straight up punished by law, get investigations going, all that stuff, because you’re actively endagering people by doing so. Finally, and despite my distaste for this kind of activities, I don’t think this things take away from the movement (neither does it add, mind you), because the GG people are actively disencouraging and reporting (or claiming to) this sort of activity, instead of fomenting the harrasment, unlike what some people claim.”


Anon45: “I do think they take away from it a bit. For my own part, I’ve tried to call supports of #GamerGate out when they make hateful statements or statements that appear to be unreasonable or baseless. I don’t think we really want #GamerGate to be about which “side” is more “evil.” That’s not really the point. Besides, if it IS about which side is more evil, all the opposition has to do is say “well they have 4chan” and we lose in the court of public opinion because the general public doesn’t understand how 4chan works. I know you didn’t directly ask for this but I’m going to say it anyway because I feel strongly about it: I think that much of the negativity that has been attributed to the tag is actually wholly unrelated to the tag. Any claim that #GamerGate was started as or is a cover for some hate campaign against Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, etc. is baseless. But because we are “gamers” and the gaming press has lumped those misogynist trolls in with “gamers,” to the uninformed observer it looks like all of that hatred is attributable to the tag. It’s an incredibly weak argument and the gaming press will not even bother to examine the issues closely enough to understand what 4chan’s actual relationship to this movement is.”


Anon47: “I feel that the natural state of the internet (i.e. full of trolls) has been exploited by the mainstream media and certain publicity arms to discredit a legitimate outcry, and paint certain figures as saints while broad-brushing all critics as “misogynists”, or “neckbeards” or “cishet manbabys”, “virgins”, “white guys” and other insults. The allegations of abuse have been incredibly mis-reported, exaggerated, and one-sided. Not to mention that #notyourshield is going unreported and getting ignored. It really reminds me of what happened with OWS, which I supported (at first).”


Anon47: No answer given.


Anon48: “We can’t separate them completely. The negative things that I’ve read about are bad and counterproductive for the movement. I get it all the time with the Westboro Baptist Church lunatics smearing Christianity through the mud. That said, most of #GamerGate’s supporters try to call out harassment, insults, etc. when they see it. Problem is, with thousands of people involved, we can’t know what everyone is doing behind closed doors when sending private anonymous e-mails, so you can’t really discredit all of #GamerGate based on a few idiots. To me, it feels like Anti-GamerGate people try to play up the harassment because they KNOW that it’s an unsolvable problem and one thing they can use to try and stand on. In reality, it’s a genetic fallacy and nothing more. And there is always the possibility that there are false flags and crying wolf going on with those who claim to be harassed.  Plus, there is harassment, doxxing, etc. coming from all sides. It’s not exclusive to #GamerGate supporters. And I hate it there too. And to go back to my previous point, there are instances of Kotaku (I think it was Kotaku?) downplaying threats that some people got before. There was a statement posted with something along the lines of “These threats are obviously not real”. But then when they’re made against friends of Kotaku, suddenly they are a very serious thing. So there is another example of the one-sided reporting going on that I want to see stop. ”


D.A: “I believe targeted disagreements with certain individuals in the gaming industry have been unwarranted and should not be the focus. These past few weeks, groups have co-opted the tag to generate unrest by playing both sides under the guise of anonymity. Unfortunately, neither side will ever be able to separate the genuine statements from the artificial in this information conflict. When this reaches a conclusion, I’m afraid both sides will exit with more grievances than they had before, but at least they’ll have a better understanding of one another.”


Anon49: “I don’t think anything is seperate anymore. I think that to people predisposed to either laugh the concerns off, or currently in an internet slap fight with the tag they’re going to be a negative, to people inclined toward the idea they’ll be treated as seperate. The problem with the whole thing is that a lot of people seem to misunderstand the way large internet movements work. Logs from a completely open anyone can join IRC chat can’t really be viewed as support from anyone actually espousing the support. Things done with the #gamergate tag are problematic but people don’t seem to realize, literally anyone can just put #gamergate in a tag, say whatever the fuck they want and up it pops in searches for it. It’s how a lot of these conservative sites “got involved” despite seeming to know litle to nothing about gamers and gamer culture. They naturally drag a number of their followers along and suddenly you’ve got the extremist fringe of the internet associated with a movement. All I can really say is that I’ve also seen the lunatic fringe of feminism on the internet and cries to abandon that term because of those feminists doxxing, harassing, and otherwise giving the movement a bad name are similarly tossed aside.  ”


Anon50: “While i feel that #GamerGate has shown a ton of civility overall, the negative connotations of being associated with 4chan and misogynist attitudes means that it’s under a larger microscope than the other side, so I think every little misstep does detract from the overall cause. Because it’s such an ever-evolving movement, though, I think as it continues to grow, it does encourage a lot more self-policing.”


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

Anon42: No answer given.


Anon43: No answer given.


Anon44: No answer given.


Anon45: “I fear that #GamerGate has gotten mixed up with a separate issue, which is the influence (or lack thereof) of “social justice warriors” in the gaming press. Until gaming journalists are willing to actually hold themselves to a reasonable standard of doing research, verifying their sources, and so on, that discussion isn’t going to get anywhere and I don’t see it as productive to engage in a “witch hunt” for SJWs in gaming journalism right now. That said, if progressive gaming journalists will simply accept whatever is said by a person claiming to be a “feminist” in the gaming industry without critically examining those statements and will label any opposition to those ideas as “misogyny,” how can we have a productive discussion about gender in gaming? For that reason, I don’t think the issue is unrelated.”


Anon46: “The only voices I disagree with are trolls, who are trying to make us look bad.”


Anon47: No answer given.


Anon48: “Other than the alleged harassment of Zoe, Anita, and others (which many would argue is not a part of #GamerGate), not really. ”


D.A: “There may be ideas being pushed forth by fringe elements that I’m not aware of. As for the general consensus, I’m fully supportive of the main topics that need to be addressed.”


Anon49: “I really don’t give a damn about Anita Sarkeesian. I really wish people would just leave her alone and let her do whatever. I think that enough of what she says is a stretch that we are unlikely to see eye to eye. I’m more inclined to ask “Why does the industry keep making dirtbag protagonists” than “Why is this dirtbag protagonist so sexist?”


Anon50: “I don’t think it’s reasonable for #GamerGate to suggest that developers and journalists “just focus on the games.” This is virtually impossible now that video gaming is so intertwined with the society most of us live in. Suggesting that journalists remain 100% objective is an impossible task, whether in gaming, sports, politics, or any other sub-category. While I believe there needs to be more transparency and more professionalism on the sides of journalists and developers, I also don’t think they should be held to such ridiculously high standards for what is essentially a hobby for a majority of people. And suggesting that issues of social concern should never be addressed is ludicrous. Just because the accusations of misogyny and racism are overblown by some doesn’t mean it isn’t there and it isn’t affecting careers and lives.”


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

Anon42: No answer given.


Anon43: No answer given.


Anon44: No answer given.


Anon45: “Nothing that I can think of. Personally I think #GamerGate needs to stay focused on a few key issues and try not to solve everything at once. People are passionate and they are angry. That energy needs to be focused productively or nothing good will come of any of it.”


Anon46: “I can’t think of anything, except that a lot of gamers are parents (myself included) and we don’t want our kids growing up in this ideologically toxic climate.”


Anon47: No answer given.


Anon48: “Well, one of my biggest concerns with the gaming industry right now is DLC that is “day one” DLC or “disc-locked” DLC. While I have ethical concerns about them (as well as a distaste for DLC in general), they are not the focal point of #GamerGate. Maybe one day. ”


D.A: “No. I believe the goal of Gamer Gate as it stands right now is concise and adding additional elements will dilute the message.”


Anon49: “I’d really like to see them pushing this more: http://www.rogerebert.com/rogers-journal/rogers-little-rule-book. The man was the gold standard of media critique for years, and his rules for critics being adopted and enforced would go a long way toward healing the rift between gaming journalism and whatever portion of their readerbase #gamergate makes up.”


Anon50: “Given the frequent accusations of bigotry and misogyny, there isn’t much discussion about how the development and journalistic sectors themselves have identical issues of institutionalized racism, sexism, and especially classism. I spoke to one critic of #GamerGate who herself is a female developer (she is prominent, but I am withholding her name,) and at one point she mentioned how game journalists do have hiring practices that seem to indicate that it is as much the same type of white, middle-class boys club that #GamerGate and the overall gaming community is accused of being. With that in mind, this point isn’t touched on very much, yet would seem to indicate that much of the backlash against their audience is less about “corruption” and “conspiracy” and more about projection.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: