PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

The Academic ‘Conspiracy’ (part 3)

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)?

Anon26: “I’ll address this one in one big go, since my knowledge on the alleged DiGRA matter comes from one image I saw and glanced over once. I’m not entirely sold on the idea of a grandiose leftist conspiracy funded by DARPA to subvert video games for some nefarious purpose. It wouldn’t surprise me, as I’ve seen the excesses and idiocy my government is capable of, but I highly doubt there’s a significant level of penetration here.”


Anon27: “Short version: It’s creepy as hell.
Long Version: That Silverstring media, with its intimate ties to the IGF, is also involved with a Cultural-Marxist political think-tank comes as no surprise to me. (Nor does their love of narratology, with its origins among 1910’s-1930’s Soviet academics) I think it’s sad that these people are trying to use games and gaming media to push their agenda, and I have largely the same opinion of them as I do of christians who try to make games and media about the bible. It’s political, its creepy, it reeks of thirst for power. I would not willingly let either of these opposed, but oh-so-alike (see horseshoe theory) groups into my media or government. If you want to go full tinfoil hat, then they are the descendents of the the Frankfurt School http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankfurt_School, and the KGB’s “Active Measures” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Active_measures to insert Soviet-favoring political views into western minds. Whatever the reality, at the end of the day, if you focus journalists on the actual gameplay, I don’t care, because these creeps won’t get a look-in.”


Anon28: “My opinion is that academia has no business trying to direct the course of the gaming industry. It’s an attempt at promoting a specific agenda and is thus taking away the very foundation of what gaming is supposed to be. Artistically driven, electronic entertainment.”


Anon29: “I’m concerned that outside forces are attempting to politicize gaming for their own means (again, I’d be equally miffed if conservatives were attempting this strategy).”


Anon30: “None. It can and should be very easily ignored. ”


Anon31: “I haven’t been keeping up as much with this as with other aspects of #GamerGate, but it does confirm that a lot of these people know each other personally and share a common ideology. It’s not that big a stretch to say they’re colluding in pushing some sort of agenda.”


Anon32: “I find it frankly offensive that people would actively try and damage a medium in order to push their own sense of what is desirable. There is plenty of space for co-existence in the same way hollywood blockbusters, indie, and arthouse films exist. Some may not be as popular, but not everyone has to be in order to survive.”


Anon33: “I feel like I’ll just address this in one section. It seems as though these ‘academics’ are generally against the idea of using evidence to prove their points. I think it’s damaging when you have people with such connections essentially controlling what sort of opinions are written about, since it has in essence meant that a particular variety of politics and world views has become necessary to support in order for you game to get attention. I think many of the people involved behave in a somewhat deranged manner by not wanting to argue over facts and evidence, and instead thinking that because they think their theory is correct that doubting it is being misogynistic. They seem to have affected the popular discourse on video game news sites for a while and it all just seems so insane that I can’t quite wrap my mind around why they’d carry on like they do. But getting to actual effects of them when it comes to GamerGate, I think it’s largely irrelevant. I think it’s more damning when you have a bunch of people always getting together for retreats and showing that there are these biases that would be affecting people.”


Anon34: “Firstly the idea of a group conspiring to corrupt peer review and drown out critics of their group is disgusting to me and against everything open Academia should stand for. Academia should be to benefit the populous not control it and force it’s direction. to inform and protect it. This is not Aldous Huxely’s a Brave new world where the smarter ruling over classes control the lower population. The most worrying is the implication of meddling in the consumer practices and uptake of a certain products by applying various negative stimuli and connotations to those buying the items. To me it reeks of an ethic less Psychology experiment by a rogue academic to see it’s it’s possible to control the populous. I mean if true think of how corrupt marketing could become more so than the present psychological tricks used in marketing. The idea of trying to gain legitimacy without journals is a dangerous precedent as was shown by the essential suggestion of a “buddy buddy peer review system” such systems are common before approaching a Journal but are normally not the means of gaining legitimacy but testing the waters normally.”


Anon35: ” If real the evidence is pretty damning. A cabal of evil women literally plotting to ruin games? It seems a little far fetched to me. i did find it funny that they said the best way to convince people to join the would be to make good products and be polite, when you could subjectively argue that their supporters on twitter have no idea how to do either.”


Anon36: “This is a pretty new topic to me, but from what I’ve seen, it seems like they’re going about this in a very underhanded way. Give me studies and facts that show your side of things and give me the respect of being able to make my own decisions on the subject.”


Anon37: “All I will say about this is that it feels very “crackpot” for lack of a better word. A bit too far on the tinfoil hat side of things to be seriously focused on. Perhaps once things have progressed further, the academic criticisms will come to better light, but for now I believe GamerGate needs to focus itself elsewhere. “


Anon38: “This is the one part of the discussion I’d rather bow out on, as it smells too much of /pol/ and trying to link everything to DARPA and the government and things like that. ”


Anon39: “Pretty disgusting. Actually makes me uneasy about going for a doctorate and professorship.”


Anon40: “If I’ve understood the assertions made with that properly then this would be my response: If academics are trying to manipulate their way into gaming and change it to something that’s more educational and artsy, they’ll fail miserably. Providing alternatives to the current market is fine but thinking that the majority of people who play games want to play games that are educational and art, well, that’s a tad asinine. People are more interested in playing games like Call of Duty, Madden, WOW, Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Farmville, etc, etc.”


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

Anon26: As above.


Anon27: “I’d imagine it’s quite standard amongst feminist scholars behind closed doors.”


Anon28: “I have no idea. I was always of the opinion that academia frown upon video games. Growing up as a gamer I had heard from academia that games stunt educational progress so I would have thought that any academic organization not involved with teaching individuals how to make games would stay far away from gaming as much as possible.”


Anon29: ” I honestly have no idea. I don’t frequent academic discussions- but I hope that this is fairly rare.”


Anon30: “No comment.”


Anon31: “I don’t know. I assume most academic niches work this way, but the key difference is that most of them don’t conspire to force an agenda like this.”


Anon32: “My field of study has always been a more technical space, so my experience of academia has been more about searching for solutions to practical problems. I am unaware of how things generally function in the humanities, though I am aware that political ideology can interfere with even the most basic choices irrelevant of the field.”


Anon33: As above.


Anon34: “The discussion is at least how blatant it appears and the scale which it’s suggested being done to. However Niches and groups sticking together is unfortunately still in academia and is the bane of academia due to how it can slow progress. For example the development of cyclic polymer compounds has been slowed by nearly 2 years due to such groups refusing to individually examine data presented and test conclusions. It’s not standard but it’s more common than it should be.”


Anon35: “If true it shows that academics are not satisfied with equal opportunity they want equal representation. Everyone should have the same shot for a job, you shouldn’t be denied a job because of sex or race, but you shouldn’t be guaranteed one either. Positions should go to the best applicant. not the winner of the oppression Olympics.”


Anon36: “I’d never even considered that there might be things like this going on in the periphery of any medium until now.”


Anon37: As above.


Anon38: No answer given.


Anon29: “Not exactly exceptional, but definitely unethical.”


Anon40: As above.


3. What concerns you most about potential academic links?

Anon26: As above.


 Anon27: “Marxism and totalitarian ideology. …Getting a bit beyond the scope of games here, but I’m glad you seem to understand that there also bigger things at play than mere games.”


Anon28: ” What concerns me is the potential for legitimacy to be attached to an ideology that has no business in gaming review, or gaming development. That that legitimacy will change the direction of gaming to an area that is of no benefit to it.”


Anon29: “Again, politicization of gaming for another’s gain. I don’t want to tell someone “I’m a gamer!” and have them say “Oh, then you’re a Republican/Democrat/Green/Libertarian?”.”


Anon30: “No comment.”


Anon31: No answer given.


Anon32: “That a small group of people can effectively co-opt what is an enjoyable environment and damage its progression towards a mature medium along side film, music, and literature… either by forcing censorship on things that they disagree with, or by pushing it outside it’s natural development curve (stunting the exploration of some ideas). If a single group is in control of the “opinion”, and they can convince enough people to tow their line, they can effectively abuse well-meaning individuals to perpetuate a “group-think” culture as an aggressive invasion on what people value actually hold as valuable in the medium.”


Anon33: As above.


Anon34: “The scope and scale it’s managed to get and the fact some academics thought it was a good idea in the first place. ”


Anon35: “The thing that concerns me personally most of this alleged conspiracy is that Americas Children are paying ever increasing amounts of money to learn how to become professional whiners that do nothing but tear down things others built without being able to build anything of value themselves. It seems that even when people genuinely try to help them understand that nothing can be perfect but you can try to make the next one better they refuse, saying its not my job to try or one can criticize without being obligated to help improve things.
I hope this satisfies your curiosity, and I hope you found my tone calm and polite. Once again I can’t speak for everyone. these are my personal responses to your questions.”


Anon36: “A) They aren’t respecting the audience enough to be straightforward with their ideas and B) It creates tension that doesn’t need to be when people who do agree with them don’t have proper tools (facts) to back up their claims and get ‘called out’ on their ideas.”


Anon37: As above.


Anon38: “Whether the links which internet users have dug are true or not have yet to be seen, but to confirm them would add, perhaps, a new depth to #GamerGate that we have not seen, and one that stretches deep into academic Marxism, or whatever jargon they might call it. And that’s actually pretty scary, to imagine the rabbit hole goes that deep.”


Anon39: “It is very obviously an agenda seeking to limit an artistic medium in order to push a rather extreme agenda.”


Anon40: As above.


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

Anon26: As above.


Anon27: “The DiGRA stuff is merely a symptom of a larger problem in academia that has allowed ‘progress’ to become synonymous with ‘left-wing’. I’m a left-wing socialist who believes in taxation of the rich and cradle-to-grave social safety nets, but you will never get me to support the cultural ideology of failed communist dictatorships.”


Anon28: “No.”


Anon29: “Seriously, I can’t stress how bad politicization would be. Gaming is the only way I can speak to conservatives (outside of my family) in a neutral environment- and if I’ve learned anything from the Tea Party, its that removing contact from the other side leads to extremism and generalized badness.”


Anon30: “They can do whatever they want to do as long as they don’t try to sell it to me later and call it a game review.”


Anon31: No answer given.


Anon32: “Not really.”


Anon33: As above.


Anon34: “For the sake of clarity and transparency I should say my name is on the aurthors list of a paper that was published in a journal before”


Anon35: No answer given.


Anon36: “No.”


Anon37: As above.


Anon38: No answer given.


Anon39: “It is very obvious at this point due to #notyourshield that most people strongly disagree with these academics.”


Anon40: As above.


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