PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

The Academic ‘Conspiracy’ (part 4)

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)?

Anon41: “Bar that it is dodgy, nothing really. Shouldn’t be part of gaming.”


Anon42: “Listen, I don’t care that these people know each other and that they are friends. I DO however take it seriously when there is big money and corruption involved. Rigging contest so that funded indies win is a big no-no. It’s one big ciclejerk, and everyone has got money involved in some way or another and that is just bad. What offends me is that they do is so out in the open, they didn’t even try to hide it. Anyone with an inch of internet know-how could find most of the info. And then to have the gall to be that arrogant, just makes my skin crawl to be honest.”


Anon43: “Trying to social engineer ideology into a subculture as outsiders with preixisting agendas is an inherently hostile notion. It smacks of arrogance, but its fundamentally anti-democratic, and disrespectful, based on the assumption that the culpability the ideologues in question view our community with is already established as valid. They are trying to covertly social engineer people, not have dialogue or be open to being changed in their thinking by the people they have targeted for “progress”. They just assume that they’re right, and we must be ignorant of their thinking not to agree. I studied critical thinking, queer studies, and feminism for over 20 year. I considered myself a feminist in that time. I find many, many flaws with the post0structuralist slant of current trends in activism, and I am not a supporter of critical theory.”


Anon44: “Disclaimer: I haven’t come around yet to read the whole “transcript”, so I’m not convinced that there really is a conspiracy.
It just sounds like 1984: “Let’s push our views (which have to be right) to the rest of the world”. I do have a degree in CS (Dipl.Ing., closer to a Ms.Sc. than a Ba.Sc.) and did some postgrad research/work, and I know this type of academic: I am right because I say so. Strangely those seem to crop up in “soft sciences” (literature, philosophy, etc) way more often than in nature sciences.”


Anon45: “By calling it a conspiracy you are showing your bias. Don’t bother FUCKING ASKING THE QUESTION THEN!”


@UnrealDonnie: “It’s a bit alarming, since academics publish reports that can be considered factual, and if there is bias there it undermines the truth. As an example, if academics do research into links between video games and violent tendencies, and they only look into people who already had violent tendencies to begin with, the report would reflect biased results that video games cause violence which would be peer reviewed by people who have the exact same agenda. Once it’s published, the media can use that to further their own agenda in pushing that gamers are violent because of those reports. That’s a dangerous concept, though I do question how valid the conspiracy is.”


Anon46: “I don’t know to much about this to be honest, but if some people tries to change the gaming industry to be some kind of tool to promote specific ideologies, then I would have a major problem with it. Propaganda is always dangerous.”


Anonymous Tom: “I am not informed enough on the topic to write an educated, thought-out opinion. I am not sure what you mean by this. I do not perceive any of the people involved in, against, or around Gamer Gate to be academics, if that is what it is referring to. The way I see it: the people who try to push their agendas through the mediums are pseudo-intellectuals, and people who are against them, such as myself, are not just consumers of an
entertainment product who want to enjoy their preferred medium without agenda-pushing. There is nothing of academic value here, though such a thing is possible, just not with the tone that’s present now.”


@Jwguy0: “Honestly? Not a whole lot, at the moment. I like to think I echo reasonable minds when I say that people gathering together to discuss their views among peers, and how to best approach their views and disseminate them, is really not all that shocking or bad, on its own. That’s pretty much every think-tank ever. I will say that if the claims of collusion come to light as true (as in, attempting to use multiple media sites to attack others and progress their ideology), then I’ll have a problem with it, but as it stands, I don’t think Sargon of Akkad really proved anything super-terrible was done, on that alone, and he definitely seems to have his own narrative that he is spinning. That said, finding out that Anita Sarkeesian had ties to this group and also was with Silverstring media, which has some ties to a number of the subject media groups is notable, and will be worth watching and looking for evidence about. For the record, I’ve only seen Sargon of Akkad’s take on this matter. His ideology might be a bit too hostile for me, but he did at least open up a line of thought to be conscious of, and while skeptical, I think observing the facts as they arrive is important, so we’ll see how that goes”


Anon47: “I confess that I’m not too terribly up to date with all of that, but I will say that anytime you see “cozy” relationships between people in the upper levels of the industry, and you see things like 10-15 articles going up proclaiming the same overall point at the same time (Gamers are dead), you raise your eyebrows at that.”


Anon48: “To quote Audre Lorde (because if TFYC are right, you will get a lot of Gamers quoting this) “The master’s tools will never be used to take down the master’s house.” Basically, you can’t get rid of nepotism by using nepotism! ”


Anon49: “I didn’t follow this DiGRA thing really, it seemed a small lead at best (and tinfoil-hat theory at the worst). It’s interesting however, that an organisation that takes games seriously enough to write academic manifestos regarding them, doesn’t seem to care to interject on game journalism ethics and censorship issues at all.”


Anon50: “The issue for me is not whether there being academics involved, it’s whether they have an agenda. To be openly honest, it’s not something I’ve looked into too much at this stage.”


@DocBray: “I laughed HARD at this one. My only view on the academic side of things is that peer review needs reform. What I saw written and talked about regarding this and #gamergate was a tad naive in my opinion.”


Anon51: “I was not aware of this until recently. I would prefer gamers and journalists to focus on ethics and what they want out of journalism. It bears some study though.”


Anon52: “Academics have no place in games, they can analyse all they want, but the gaming industry should be consumer driven and not by academics.”


Anon53: “I was surprised at the open discussion of avoiding peer review but the article you linked to showed that this is not uncommon. That lessened the conspiratorial air around feminism. I do, however, believe that any theory that is not peer reviewed has little to no weight. What it taught me is that I can no longer assume that I can trust academic theory.”


Anon54: “I can’t comment on this in to much detail, i have not read up on it, nor do i think it’s of importance right now.”


Anon55: “This is not news. Groups have been pushing for this and that in other media for ages. It’s foolish to think that gaming can be this fun and pure medium without any sort of agenda. It’s ok to fund your own games that push an agenda for sure, just like nobody thinks there’s anything extremely morally objectionable about left and right-wing nuts writing books that are 100% hit-pieces against Bush and Obama. It’s completely not ok to infiltrate studios and pressure them to make the kinds of games you want. This ties into my answers in the above e-mail [PixieJenni note: will try to remember to link later].”


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

Anon41: “Don’t know, not an academic.”


Anon42: “Exceptional. There is politics involved with the bigger sites too, trust me, I am not that disillusioned to think otherwise. But these people stood for independent gamers. They had no ties with any of it, and yet they decided to make their own bed that way, and now they have lay in it.”


Anon43: ” I think this discussion is typical of activists in progressive, left-leaning academic circles. I think the conflation of political activism with professional aspirations was self-serving, irresponsible, and frankly, underhanded. Again, they were deliberately trying to circumvent open, respectful dialogue, to shoe-horn in the acceptance of their views below-the-radar, and that is fundamentally hostile, no matter how they rationalize it to themselves/internally.”


Anon44: No answer given.


Anon45: No answer given.


@UnrealDonnie: “It could be standard in that most academic niches are fairly tight, but if there is this much bias going across media and academic lines then we have a major issue.”


Anon46: As above.


Anonymous Tom: As above.


@Jwguy0: “No. It may be exceptional if you consider the subject, and were to show me a census or statistic showing the amount of feminist academia round-table discussions being low or something, which is possible, but in terms of “similar people get together, talk about their similar ideas”? No. That’s normal. Hell, even #GamerGate is that, to some degree, although far less formal; The IRC logs that Quinn posted absolutely had some elements of that, but then, as amorphous as GamerGate is, that is probably a minority unto itself.”


Anon47: “I can’t comment in any meaningful or intelligent way on this subject. I’ll look into it however. Sorry for my lack of an answer.”


Anon48: “No. Neither, and I don’t really care. My parent’s bffs are mostly academicians, and most gamers aren’t idiots.”


Anon49: As above.


Anon50: “I think that academics often have industry links, and many academics come to academia from industry”


@DocBray: As above.


Anon51: “I’ve been out of the academic sector for some time, so I can’t say. It has some activist language, I tend to expect that, but I can’t speak on whether it’s standard or not.”


Anon52: “This push seems to be happening across multiple industries/communities, I doubt gaming is unique in this.”


Anon53: “I did think it was exceptional, but I don’t now.”


Anon54: “No idea, but did seem fairly specific. If gamergate is over i might take a better look at it.”


Anon55: “I have to admit I’m not as informed about it as I would like to be, but from what I can tell it only seems sinister because there are people who disagree with what the academics want to promote, not 100% what kind of methods they’re using.”


3. What concerns you most about potential academic links?

Anon41: “They take away from proper games coverage.”


Anon42: “Racketeering, corruption, misinformation singling certain people out and killing their careers. just look at the threats Leigh Alexander makes on a daily basis. But what these people forget is that it’s 2014, if you do not give the people what they want, they will make it themselves or find it elsewhere. By behaving this way they only commit career suicide by staying in this little “clique”.


Anon43: “I am far more concerned with the presumption that these academics have to treat their position as academics as equivalent to some kind of ecclesiastical authority, making unilateral decisions they think are for the good of all. This group in particular behaves in an insular way, and the people in the industry influenced by these ideas are not friendly to what they see as a flawed, ignorant, morally contemptible demographic. This sentiment is shockingly apparent in their barely contained contempt articulated through the gaming press. Its frankly disgusting from political, ethical, and academic perspectives, and shows a general recklessness and disregard in all areas. These people seem to only respect themselves and those that conform to their thinking.”


Anon44: “No concern with links to academia per se, only what I perceive as an “We the elite must change the world”.”


Anon45: “I have no problems with scientifically vetted links. I have a problem with SJW’s like Sarkeesean posing as an academic while giving no evidence for any of her bullshit claims or anything that has been peer reviewed.”


@UnrealDonnie: “Clouding the truth. I like to make it a point that all truth should be looked at from multiple angles in order to discard the subjectivity around it. While nothing will ever be 100% objective, there should be steps to clear everything up so that we are informed on what’s actually happening rather than what others want us to think it happening. I don’t want to be lied to by people I put trust into in terms of academia, because they are supposed to search for fact. Nothing less.”


Anon46: As above.


Anonymous Tom: As above.


@Jwguy0: “That it being true would mean that media was exploited and made to target subjects and persons, as well as ignore other subjects, in order to achieve an agenda. That would mean their ideology just became rather radical and harmful in that it weaponized media without compassion. No matter the cause, that is dangerous and terrible. As it was with the radicals of #GamerGate, we can only condemn it. That is true, no matter where it appears, or from what cause. If it is true, it just so happens it was about games and gamers, this time.”


Anon47: “Nothing, so long as it doesn’t impact the industry in any negative ways. People are free to do what they want to do and we as a community are free to push back if we don’t like the direction the industry goes.”


Anon48: “Nepotism at its finest stupidity”


Anon49: As above.


Anon50: “Well the current press being socially aware to a fault means that it’s ripe for certain groups, academia included, to continue to push for certain biases and opinions to be taken as facts.”


@DocBray: As above.


Anon51: “I would need to know more. It’s something that should be researched and looked into out of interest. “


Anon52: “As stated earlier, a hand full of academics have no right to influence a consumer driven market.”


Anon53: “As above.”


Anon54: “I lack information on the subject at hand to be able to answer that.”


Anon55: “Only the fact that every AAA developer might just try to chase the newly created videogame Oscars after award games became an art medium accepted by the mainstream instead of focusing on making fun games.”


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

Anon41: “Nope.”


Anon42: “Nope.”


Anon43: “You cannot presume to lecture others, when you are above reproach. The extreme to which those called “SJWs” act like they are beyond introspection and doubt, and presume entitlement over the subculture of others (since most, like Sarkeesian, are outsiders who think “gaming” is some subhuman passtime, and gamers are troglodytes) come across as pure speculators, trying to shape the environment to their tastes, rather than respect it for what it is. How can they claim to diagnose a thing they dont even accurately know the membership of — we are not all white, cis, male misogynists. What a complete fraud these people are.”


Anon44: “Unlimited tenure is plain wrong. While it enables critical work about those above one in the pecking order it enables all kind of bad behavior.”


Anon45: “You seem confused. Gamers don’t have problems with academics. Gamers have problems with SJW’s posing as academics and using people’s ignorance to further their agenda.”


@UnrealDonnie: No answer given.


Anon46: As above.


Anonymous Tom: As above.


@Jwguy0: No answer given.


Anon47: “Not particularly.”


Anon48: Answer moved to ‘bonus section’ for consistency.


Anon49: As above.


Anon50: “No.”


@DocBray: As above.


Anon51: “Not particularly”


Anon52: No answer given.


Anon53: “No.”


Anon54: “Not at the moment.”


Anon55: “Not really.”


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