PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

The Academic ‘Conspiracy’ (part 2)

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. What are your problems with the supposed academic conspiracy (the whole DiGRA thing)?

Anon13: “All conspiracy theories could have been avoided with more honest journalism. I think it looks like it could be something but this is only a symptom that is the problem in journalism.”


Anon14: No answer given.


Anon15: “I haven’t fully read up on what DiGRA was about. But as I understand it they were trying to push 3rd wave feminism into the indie games community since the barriers to get a foot in was lower than other forms of media. I really don’t understand why they would do that.”


Anon16: “I think, given the limited exposure I’ve had to this, that there may be legitimate concerns, but that it also smacks of paranoia. I was raised by a paranoid schizophrenic mother and brother, both of whom were deep into Coast to Coast and conspiracy theory in general. The President wasn’t elected, he was chosen by a tribunal that meets in Geneva every 4 years, and the votes are rigged. The JFK assassination was a world-scale conspiracy leading back to the leaders of the Illuminati. Flouride in the water is a plot by the Freemasons to sterilize the poor and reduce their intelligence, to turn them into work animals. I’ve worked very hard in my life to not see conspiracy in things where there may not be, and this is one of those times.”


Anon17: “If they want to make games that suit their perspective better I’m perfectly fine. Diversity is a great thing. But crusading against the products that doesn’t try to please you specifically is counter productive and petty-minded in my opinion. ”


Anon18: “Specifically nothing at this minute. I’m awaiting further information and would rather focus on stuff that we have a harder basis for so far.”


@WolfSaviorZX: “I think more than anything just seems like they want to infiltrate the game journalism industry to push an agenda. When I hear things like “How do we exploit the system” it kinda makes me angry since I’ve been fighting people with agendas trying to exploit the system for a long time.”


Anon19: “I think it’s the same problem as before: transparency. Part of the problem was that the people in question called GamerGaters “conspiracy theorists” whilst admitting to be working for the benefit of each other. As long as you openly admit all your affiliates, and (if having a group statement at all somewhere on the internet towards a group agenda) have it easily found, not something you proudly admit on the agenda page itself whilst simultaneously having your professional profile cover many accolades but conveniently omitting that.”


Anon20: “That’s a big mess. I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that people get together and try to sway markets and ideas. That’s kind of what marketing is all about. I’m pretty center left so I’m not terribly moved by cries about cultural marxism or whatever. Right leaning groups have tried to do the same thing in different areas. At the end, it just seems douchey but I don’t have enough evidence to really make an informed opinion beyond that. ”


Anon21: “Basically that they appear to be behind all the articles against gamers – they seem to be trying to change the game community by labeling us as sexist, racist, etc., and I don’t think that’s the right way to go about it. I wouldn’t go so far as, say, 4chan’s /pol/ board with their conspiracy theories, but I do realize this is just one of many pies they have their fingers in, and that gamers are right to feel a little threatened by them.”


Anon22: “Well, for one, that if it’s true, they’re the reason people are saying that games make people sexist. Which is about just as true as saying that games is making people violent. Also, that it’s kind of silly to try to change games. If they want games to cater to a different demographic, then just make new games! Don’t do crazy thinks like this! If I actually believe it is true? Ehh, let’s just say I think that if it is true, I will just laugh at how ridiculous that is. How something like that, can actually be so fully orchestrated, because honestly, it seems so far fetched. So, needless to say, I haven’t really looked into this much.”


Anon23: “Mostly the manipulation and backdoor nature of it all. For how bright those participating in the dialogue were, I would hope that they would instead focus on the real world issues that are causing their perceptions of the gaming medium. Instead of trying to pull strings and push their agendas into the journalism websites , why aren’t they focusing on bringing more women into the industry? They were already heavily involved in the academic world and stated that they weren’t comfortable moving into the industry, needed assistance, guidance, mentorship etc. So why didn’t they just stay in academia and do what they could to promote and draw women into those disciplines core to game development? It would take more time, but the overall effect would be huge on the gaming industry! All in all, it’s another example of how there needs to be full disclosure and open communication.”


Anon24: “This is one of my biggest beefs. These people are thinly veiled hate mongers and unabashed killjoys. I want to be far far away from their toxic ideology when I get home from work, put the kid to bed and turn on my xBox. They really remind me of the PMRC, or the Moral Majority.”


Anon25: “Under the assumption that their influence does in fact play a role in the current situation, I believe their philosophy is counterproductive and threatens economic stability of different sectors of the video game industry. Rejecting peer review of all kinds ensures stagnation and lack of adaptability to a rapidly evolving modern society. I hold the personal belief that the best wisdom can sometimes be found in the words of those who directly oppose you. Peers, friends, and associates will rarely seek to upset you by way of contradiction. They serve to reinforce your beliefs while failing to address vulnerabilities out of fear of damaging a relationship. Encouraging constructive criticism is a mutually beneficial exchange of information, and one that I believe should be more welcomed in academia. If DiGRA truly does seek social equality, then it would be in their best interests to avoid alienating those who would be willing to join them in the cause.”


2. Do you think that this discussion was exceptional in terms of academic niches, or fairly standard?

Anon13: “Which discussion? The discussion about DiGRA or the discussion wanting to be held by DiGRA? Both are highly dependent upon intention, and motivation in my opinion.”


Anon14: No answer given.


Anon15: “I have no idea. It was a long time since I was involved in any academia, and it was computer science, things like this never happen.”


Anon16: No answer given.


Anon17: “I am not versed on the trends of academia in USA. I live inthe EU. I assume it is not rare.”


Anon18: “I couldn’t say, though some of the wording seems a bit obfuscating without a real point for it.”


@WolfSaviorZX: “I don’t know, I treat academics the same as religion and any other organization. I don’t think “This is Education” defends a school from criticism. I don’t think simply going/being apart of academics means you are superior to someone who isn’t. Granted I’ve been to college and all that I just think a lot of people have a chip on their shoulder”


Anon19: ” I think academic niche are normal. But they usual say that they represent each other or their combined company. The reason why it’s a conspiracy, is that it’s not a far stretch to people’s imagination that you can conveniently present a unified front for damage control to a company’s business without suspicion, whilst not mentioning your colleges past “friends” when you actually have companies together.”


Anon20: “I’m a college graduate and would say that it was sneaky and underhanded in terms of how I read it. The idea of avoiding peer review goes against everything I believe in when it comes to academics. ”


Anon21: “I feel it was exceptional only in terms of the unique position video games has in academia, as a medium of entertainment and communication that has lasted only a fraction of the time that film, let alone the written word, has. As far as I’m aware, this sort of thing has been going on for a few years now in other places – particularly, the sci-fi/fantasy fandom, the comic book fandom, and atheism.”


Anon22: “As I stated above, I have not looked into this much, so I can’t really answer your question.”


Anon23: “In certain aspects, yes. But I imagine that most circles will of course set goals, objectives, and how best to achieve them, that only makes sense for just about any organisation. At the same time, I also imagine that it’s either how to cooperate with other circles or strictly within their own structure; not co-opting another with intention of altering the message and intention.”


Anon24: “Unfortunately, I think it’s probably pretty standard. I can tell you that a lot of regular folks are getting damned tired of it. They are driving moderate liberals into the arms of the right.”


Anon25: “I believe it’s fairly standard. Like-minded individuals typically congregate behind a common idea and shut down any who threaten to challenge it.”


3. What concerns you most about potential academic links?

Anon13: “Faulty Academia in any and all situations lead to polarizing views.”


Anon14: No answer given.


Anon15: “Don’t they have better things to do?”


Anon16:  ” What concerns me most about the potential academic links, honestly, is the idea that the point of games journalism seems to have become to push an agenda in some places, rather than that being an effect connected to the games themselves. While unlikely, the fact that it seems plausible is enough to make me uncomfortable, and again push for oversight and disclosure.”


Anon17: “Developers being pressured to please an ideological lobby. People should feel fine working on what they want to work. If the resulting product is bad consumers will let them know. Again, we can think for ourselves”


Anon18: “If more information comes forward, what would worry me is the level of links between what seems like such a small group of people.”


@WolfSaviorZX: “The same concerns I have with a potential government or religious link. I fear some want a “Culture War” but doesn’t seem the problem with having a culture that would use entertainment as a means to push it wouldn’t come back and bite us all back.”


Anon19: “Well, if I’m not mistaken, the one we’re talking about basically called peer review stupid, and said that they should work together to force change. A bit benign if you consider there being a real problem with your peers, but a big problem if you don’t happen to be correct.”


Anon20: “Just what I said above. I’m all for good, peer reviewed studies and debate. I don’t like the idea of people trying to slip things under the radar. Seems against what is best about education. ”


Anon21: “They are trying to control the narrative, to shut down all criticism, but with the legitimizing effect of simply being academics. They are attempting to speak from a position of authority about a community which they are not part of, by means of the journalists with which they have been colluding.”


Anon22: ” It’s not so much the links that would concern me -if this was true- it would be more the fact that such a small amount of people, can just take whatever culture they want and decide to cause so much problems there. And why?”


Anon23: “Please forgive the momentary dramatization: The sheer hubris of people willing do this kind of thing. They are going out of their way, into an environment that they aren’t familiar with, because they feel that the message being sent by the gaming media isn’t one that falls within what they perceive to be beneficial to their agenda. So now they are going over there in an attempt to change it and make it fit with how they think it should be done. I know, I’ve mentioned free speech more than a few times, and yes, they are completely entitled to their opinions. I personally find it reprehensible however to misrepresent oneself and alter the framework of someone else’s platform for free speech in the guise of social reform. Is reform needed? A thousand times yes! But it needs to be through opening channels of communication and addressing it publicly within the community as well as addressing the societal issues outside the gaming community, not by making deals and shaking hands behind closed doors. This only hurts their cause, and not to mention I feel that the entire endeavor is misdirected. It’s aiming at the media in an effort to change the gaming community: the gaming community as a whole is not the problem itself, it’s a symptom of a much more complicated social landscape. Also, lumping together the entire gaming community and stereotyping it as being disgusting as the trolls they decry, is incredibly harmful to any kind of progress that people from all walks of life seek. *phew* Ok, I won’t do that again. And apologies, I more or less lumped your questions 3 and 4 together.”


Anon24: “The fact that they are intimately tied to the corruption, and the people that are covering it up. In fact it’s obvious that these people have a huge megaphone and are able to control the narrative in the mainstream media. Not only that, but they appear to have undue influence on moderation of supposedly free speech zones on the internet like Reddit and 4chan.”


Anon25: “If an academic philosophy monopolizes the field, it will naturally treat all that go against it as foreign aggressors. The implications that academia has manipulated aspects of the gaming industry to fall in line with the idea of “diversity” ironically contradicts the intention. Those that don’t promote the belief are shunned while those that do are regarded as progressive. Actual “diversity” would be to allow everyone to participate, including those that challenge the idea.”


4. Anything else you would like to add on this?

Anon13: “I am not entirely convinced DiGRA is necessarily a conspiracy based off what I have seen of it so far. The larger goal is and will continue to be more objective views of both sides of a story, and a higher quality of ethics.”


 Anon14: “If there is merit to the claims then it is concerning.”


Anon15: “As I said, I don’t understand completely what DiGRA was about. But what I read felt very odd.”


Anon16: “My eyes glaze over when people start talking about SJW-agenda conventions, where people are trained to convince the world that men are bad. Given the general tone of gaming sites over the last couple of years? I can honestly see where the belief comes from, as there has been a fairly consistent tone of “men = bad” for several years now, where women are portrayed as victims of an evil male-dominated system (another fairly thin conspiracy theory to me), and told to check their privilege. There’s been a tone of debasement for some time, so there’s a lot of resentment built up that seems to feed into the distrust a bit. “


Anon17: No answer given.


Anon18: “Not particularly, just that this is basically self-inflicted. The silence, censorship as well as the full dismissal of issues caused people to go looking for reasons why. One of the reasons was determined to be this; time will tell if it has any truth to it.”


@WolfSaviorZX: “Any conspiracy sounds fun and that’s why people grab on to it. I don’t think some random conversation within a feminist group is proof of a conspiracy just makes people’s blood boil the same way it would seem like if a government or church was talking about it (should make a point that I’ve seen many church organizations talk about using entertainment to push their gospel).”


Anon19: ” Probably nothing. I don’t particularly care about this as part of the conversation. Most of my motivation doesn’t rely on this, but poor professionalism.”


Anon20: “Just that I hope we don’t start demonizing higher learning. It’s a system that could definitely use some reform, and I think this is an example of academics acting more like a political think tank than proponents of open debate, which is how the best ideas are formed.”


Anon21: “However, I feel this issue is also separate from #GamerGate in that they are simply another factor in the corruption and agenda-pushing within game journalism. It should be pursued from a perspective outside #GamerGate.”


Anon22: “It would absolutely blow my mind if this was true. I wouldn’t even have words for it. I know all these links are there, but It just seems a little crazy that a bunch of feminists would want to go that far. (but at the same time it’s kind of weird, how all these things connect)”


Anon23: No answer given.


Anon24: “Why no reporting on Vivian James? Why no reporting on The Fine Young Capitalists story? Why no investigation into alleged death threats? Who made them and what legal action is being taken? You know, REPORTING.”


Anon25: “I wish to relay a simple message to those in academia: never lose sight of what you’re fighting for and always ask yourselves whether the ends justify the means in the eyes of those that are in between you and the opposition. There is such a place known as the “middle-ground” and dichotomizing every conflict only serves to create more enemies and perpetuate a cycle of revenge.”


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