pixietalksgamergate

PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

GamerGate + You (part 7)

on September 19, 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?

CurrencyChampion: “I’ve seen a lot of garbage politics articles come out of notable gaming publications. I’ve seen gaming sites and magazines bend over backwards for big-league publishers, when they should be serving as consumer advocates instead. I’ve seen huge ad displays next to articles decrying anyone who’d oppose the items in said displays. And I’m tired of it.”

 

Anon51: “I’ve been sick of the pressing handing inflated praise to hyped industry titles for years. People have complained about this a long time, and it last exploded with “GerstmannGate”, when Jeff Gerstmann was fired from Gamespot.com after giving a bad review of Kane & Lynch, at a time when the site was plastered with ads for the same game. Many gamers were bemused as to why the press had recently been awarding rave reviews, hype and critical acclaim to indie titles with really no gameplay at all. Gone Home being a notable example. When Depression Quest – what essentially amounts to some text with a midi playing behind it, received coverage on Kotaku, and then got greenlit on Steam (something many more competent games have failed to do) eyebrows were raised and questions were asked as to how and why this could happen. The revelations that followed weeks later involving personal, financial, and even sexual ties between the press and the people whose products they were covering served as final confirmation of long-held suspicion, provided motivation to many to begin actually researching these connections, and led to more connections being discovered in the process. GamerGate has been boiling for years, if not a decade or more. I am sick and tired of the gaming press. I’m also sick of the increasing trend of some sites publishing clickbait – articles designed to bring in page views simply by angering the readers, either by insulting them or by being outright absurd.”

 

Anon52: “Technically was involved before this tag even started, I saw Eron’s blog, while I was bothered by the involvement of press. I was initially more bothered about the fact a woman had emotionally abused someone, and was being actively shielded with deletion of the topic everywhere all of a sudden. I was kind of curious about that, it seemed such an extreme response to suppress the discussion. You hardly ever see 4chan mods get concerned enough about a subject to try and delete all mention of it. The last I recall of that happening was with Ponies, and that was mostly because MLP threads basically took over all the 4chan boards for a time. But this one subject for a day or two was on total lock down, talk about it and you were banned in places like Reddit, NeoGaf ect. These are places that days later had 0 problem talking about the iCloud leaks featuring nudes. So I ended up on /v/ seeing what was going on – and people were finding that other staff on Kotaku had conflicting relationships, stumbled on the patreons, wizardchan, TFYC. I was watching /v/ and twitter when Adam Baldwin stumbled upon the topic and basically created the hashtag on the spot, it’s hilarious because /v/ was actually squabbling over what the tag should be at the time – and Mr Baldwin just strolls right in there with #gamergate, after that /v/ just went “well we have a tag, might as well use it!” It’s a little unfortunate because yes, the vagueness of the tag is awkward, but then I think gamergate is a slightly more complex than “games journalism ethics” so to speak.”

 

Anon53: “Because I believe strongly that I should be able to enjoy gaming just as much as anyone else.”

 

Anon54: “I was sick of clickbait articles and being told how horrible of a person I was because someone else who plays videogames decided to do something nasty. I found the lines being drawn suspicious in some cases and damning in others, and wanted to see sites change for the better. I got involved because I was linked to the TFYC indiegogo and it seemed like a neat cause (and I really want to play Afterlife Empire!) and it developed from there after the hacking.”

 

Anon55: “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to jump the bandwagon, because that is indeed part of the reason. It’s a very easy way to enter a discussion that I am interested in and willing to participate. However the biggest reason for getting involved is purely of how upset I am of the whole situation and how unfair it is to innocent people. Hardly anyone is better off because of this whole situation, not the reviewers, not the game developers, not the gamers and I could name a few more. A lot of people can’t trust the other group or are just plain upset. It’s quite a big deal and it has to be addressed, but no one is really stepping up the plate yet. That’s why I need to contribute to the issue and have our voice heard, so people will start acting upon it. Making people realize that there is a problem is the first step of solving the problem.”

 

@NorthernDragon: “I personally got involved in #GamerGate due to frustration over the fact that gaming journalism has done a terrible job of covering both sides of pretty much any issue gamers face, specifically how it relates to social justice issues. The conversation is decidedly one-sided and unfair, it paints gamers and many game developers as being regressive, exclusionary people guilty of, or complicit in supporting, such atrocities as sexism, misogyny, and racism just by playing games. I saw developers insulted and attacked for their games (Dragon’s Crown), I saw a huge problem being made over the name of a trophy (God of War Ascension had a trophy named Bros before Hos that was wildly taken out of context until the developer capitulated and changed the name), I saw a company being attacked for not being able to include gay marriage in a game due to various technical reasons that were ignored by those enraged by the exclusion (Tomodatchi Life by Nintendo) and so many other examples of fabricated outrage perpetuated by the gaming media over what could be considered non-issues depending on one’s definition of what a game is and should contain. Many of us already had suspicions that the gaming media was all about collusion and corruption for different reasons (the scoring system being the main one) so the initial catalyst of the movement merely added to problems I already had.”

 

Anon56: “There’s a big thread about it on one of the forums I frequent. I make comments on it from time to time. The major goal (and mine, too) is to expose corruption, and hopefully root it out. The negative things associated with gamergate are unrelated to this. Or not, in that they’re a big part of the incumbent game media/PR firm movement to discredit gamergate. It’s disturbingly similar to how a lot of the media discredited Occupy Wall Street, by focusing on a few embarrassing individuals who in no way represented the movement as a whole. A lot of this would have blown over if there wasn’t such a coverup. Both because of the Streisand Effect, and because the coverup itself reinforces the fact that the gaming media is not at all neutral in this.”

 

Anon57: “Largely because of the ever expanding number of comments on the Escapist GamerGate thread (seriously, I couldn’t resist; it had reached about 10,000 at the time). The day I popped my head in the thread happened to be the day that all the “Gamers are Dead” stories popped up…. and the rest will be history.”

 

Anon58: “The Above Mention* of Greg Tito not investigating the Wizardchan incident.”
*”If Greg Tito is to be believed about the (Name: REDACTED) And the Wizard Chan incident, then he didn’t do ANY follow up or research on the event when (Name: REDACTED) told him her side of the story. Now, I don’t believe in victim blaming, but investigating the story is not victim blaming, it’s investigative Journalism, a NECESSITY when it comes to actually being a journalist. Cite your sources, double check on them and make sure they’re viable and true, and make sure they’re trust worthy. “

 

Anon59: “At first I felt a bit uncomfortable about the use of Robin William’s death as a marketing scheme. The ridiculous conspiracy (sorry, I can’t think in english of a word that means the same but isn’t as loaded) to kill “gamers identity” is what caused me to get into this “couch activism” that gets me to write to you. I understand corruption existing and I would definitely be tempted by it if I were in this publications spots, but them being so straight forward about their disregards for consumer based practices did me in. Companies who want to sell their products to a target demographic I belong at are spending their money on people who insult me instead of on pleasing me. Feel free to check recent tweets from NeoGAF’s owner to see what I mean. [PixieJenni note: this was sent on 12 September]

 

Anon60: “I first really noticed it a couple of days before Adam Baldwin got involved and it really blossomed into a full-fledged movement. I ignored it at the time since I figured it was one of those things that would quickly get swept under the rug, and I had already lost hope in games journalism. Then I noticed the #DescribeAGamerIn4Words hashtag and decided it had gotten personal. I don’t like labeling myself but I recognize that, since I play video games, I do meet the requirements for most peoples’ idea of a “gamer”, so no matter what people will view me as one, and if people outside of the video game culture caught wind of this hashtag I would be branded a “pissbaby manchild toilet person” for life. Seeing just how low the journalists would stoop to insult the people who are their primary audience ignited my desire for change.”

 

Anon61: “I was actually there from the start, mostly got involved because I’d always known how ridiculous things were in the video game industry and it was great to see people caring about it for once. There is no real “goal” of GamerGate, it’s people upset over corruption and complacency in the industry. You’ll never be fully rid of those things. We have no official leaders or meeting grounds. That said I think if you want to see GamerGate people satisfied we’d certainly love to see more professional games journalists who take their job seriously and do their research. We’d also love it if those same journalists who rely on us for money would stop insisting we are “dead” or all “CIS white male neckbeards” because we disagree with their politics. Admittedly the last one is more relevant to me as a bisexual MtF and the #NotYourShield crowd. Some people got carried away I think with making jokes about the original Five Guys scandal but don’t take that the wrong way, those people deserved to be mocked I just think they hurt the movement. It’s great to have people like Adam Baldwin and Kincannon on board since they’re power players but I disagree with some of their politics. Baldwin on Israel, Kincannon on Mike Brown. However since this is about video games, I’m willing to accept them if they keep things about video games. On the whole I’m satisfied with GamerGate.”

 

Anon62: “I have stopped reading a number of websites specifically because I felt their standards had dramatically lowered below what I should reasonably expect as a consumer. While I am okay with the idea of a “tabloid” style sector of journalism existing, it has become increasingly hard to find sites that haven’t descended into sensationalist writing styles (some willing to misreport news, or put out an article only a sentence in length, before “updating” when the proper information is released). I have repeatedly felt that the response from some journalists when the games industry was challenged was overly defensive, willing to openly attack their readers in defense of industry associates. At times there does not seem to be a divide between actual PR companies, and those that claim to be journalists. I believe many journalists actively and wrongly believe that they are part of the “games industry” in terms of actual production of videogames (effectively alongside the character artists, or programmers), rather than part of closely associated second industry that watches it. The #GamerGate event is just the latest occurrence of this sort of thing (e.g. Mass Effect 3, DmC, “Entitlement”).”

 

Anon63: “Finding out about Zoe Quinn trying to shut down The Fine Young Capitalist’s and how no one was willing to write about them on many video game news sites because of the friendships found between so many of the writers on their sites and Zoe Quinn. ”

 

Anon64: “I read all of the information from several sides of the issue, and from all sources and decided I was definitely on the side of gamers against corrupt journalists. Then Adam Baldwin coined #Gamergate and we began to use that to identify our cause. Before that, the incident was known as the “Quinnspiracy”, but Gamergate fits much better as it really, honestly is not about her sex life, her person, or anything about her or any other individual man or woman besides their actions and how they pertain to ethical standards in video game journalism. I finally made myself a Twitter after seeing many people online called “fat white virgin dudes” or the like and that leading to #notyourshield. I joined Twitter to add my voice to the many already involved in #notyourshield, as I find it wholly despicable not only to scapegoat white people, virgins, fat people, nerds and people who still live with their parents, but also because I felt personally insulted that it was taken for granted I would be anti-Gamergate because I am not those things, and because I felt like my minority status was being used to deflect against legitimate criticism of valid points. This was further compounded when myself and many other #NYS posters were dismissed as sock-puppets and had to go so far as to pose with timestamps to prove we were non-white/non-male and still enjoyed video games and disliked corruption. Even then, many of us were told we had found random pictures of black people to pose with or it was internalised misogyny/racism. It verges on a Prince Philip-esque level of ignorant prejudice. Vice even went so far as to say 4chan “weaponised minorities”! As if “minority” and “4chan” are somehow mutually exclusive! Why can’t I be both, and how dare Vice assume that I am naive enough or do not have agency enough to decide for myself what I believe and how to act. For that statement among others, I have completely stopped reading Vice.”

 


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

Currency Champion: “It’s a diffuse movement, so I can’t say with any certainty what that might be. But at this point, my guess would be trying to bring gaming journalists to task for low standards, poor to absent integrity, hostility to the consumer base, and (badly, IMO) shoehorning identity politics into places it doesn’t belong.”

 

Anon51: “To get the press to serve consumers rather than serve developers and themselves, and for developers to take note of who actually buys the games they make.”

 

Anon52: “The main goal is Games Journalism Ethics (and has been from the moment we got organised enough to get the hashtag going), though I think this extends to the industry in general. Many Journalists have shown the need for this discussion is sorely needed. From the “Gamers are Dead” editorials, to the childish playground taunts on twitter, and dismissing genuine critique without really taking any of it into account. I don’t think the entire industry is bad, but I do think Polygon, Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun have some major issues they need to sort out. But their staff seem to have some major attitude problems, and their Editors in Chief are too concerned about their “friends” to fire the problem people. There is also a genuine issue that it seems developers are being blacklisted for speaking up for “#gamergate”, and possibly indies are finding getting coverage from these major sites is impossible thanks to the focus on a certain indie clique.”

 

Anon53: “Transparency. Exposing corruption. Promoting good websites and devs.”

 

Anon54: “I think there are two major goals; get website to change their policies to support more objective reporting, and to fight back against the idea that all gamers are awful bigoted neckbeards.”

 

 Anon55: “To make people realize that there are corruption going on under their noses. To make sure that the corrupted parties won’t be tolerated anymore. To make sure that innocent people (gamers) aren’t being discriminated anymore. To make sure this problem won’t happen again in the future. To ensure fairness between the developers.”

 

@NorthernDragon: “The major goal of #GamerGate is to improve gaming journalism. To bring it to a point where it stops demonizing developers for their creative choices, stops insulting gamers, stops discussing only one side of any issue, stops being a clique based environment where who you know is most important, and becomes an arena of informative news that people can trust is written as objectively as possible free of worrying if an opinion was bought and paid for, or was written to help out a friend but not disclosed, or is laced with political agendas. At least that’s what I think it’s about personally.”

 

Anon56: As above.

 

Anon57: “To excise the three Cs:
-Cronyism
-Clickbait
-Corruption”

 

Anon58: “To actually give gaming Journalist some sort of ethical guideline. Something they most desperately need right now. “

 

Anon59: “To make the “gaming industry” realize you don’t get to fuck up with your customers just because they aren’t in front of you.”

 

Anon60: “#GamerGate is, ironically, too diverse to get a single idea of its goal. I’d say the biggest goal is exactly what we’ve said from the start: Promoting transparency and stopping corruption in the games journalism industry. However, it’s also important to break the grip that Social Justice Warriors and radical feminists like Anita Sarkeesian have on the industry. You’ve seen how they operate; they lash out viciously and mercilessly at anyone they see as a threat, even people who they claim to represent, then hide behind “misogyny” whenever anyone criticizes them for doing so. This kind of behavior is toxic in any community.”

 

Anon61: As above.

 

Anon62: “I believe that at its heart #GamerGate is an expression of the dissatisfaction with the games journalism. Many hold the idea that journalists are supposed to be on the side of the consumer, rather than that of the industry. At worst this is their attempt to express dissatisfaction with the apparent closeness that impairs integrity and transparency. At best, they hope to push the games journalism industry to match the standards practised by other journalists in terms of separation from their subjects, and penalties for abusing that trust.”

 

Anon63: “Getting a bit of transparency with video game news sites so they don’t have people essentially promoting their friends in their writing while not mentioning they’re friends. ”

 

Anon64: “An end to journalistic corruption. More accurately, a change in journalistic standards and ethics, and hopefully and apology or two for the behaviour we have seen exhibited by supposed professionals in their publications and on their independent blogs and Twitter. A removal of agendas from publications, or more accurately proper labelling of opinion pieces and the removal of heavy subjectivity from reviews and interviews. Anyone who claims this is not the case should look at the Escapist. As a gaming journalism site, they addressed the points we had, reached out to us, listened, and reacted. They apologised for running an article accusing Wizardchan of harassing Zoe Quinn and issued a whole new set of ethical guidelines designed to increase transparency and avoid conflicts of interest. As a result, they were thanked by Gamergaters and “white-listed” as a site to no longer boycott. We don’t want to get people fired or to harm people, we just want more sites to follow the Escapist’s example.”

 


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

Currency Champion: “So far as I can call that the unified goal, I agree with it. I just want games to be fun and interesting again.”

 

Anon51: “I’d like to see the whole ‘Gamers are misogynistic white dudes and so is anyone who disagrees with them’ rhetoric dropped, because it’s blatantly false. The ‘weaponized minority’ comments about minority gamers truly underscore the total disconnect from reality that many of those spouting this rhetoric must have. It’s also sadly hilarious given that they’re the same people who have used minorities as shields and armor for the last 9 years or of online ‘SJW’ discourse.”

 

Anon52: “The idea that one woman or one group speaks for what my tastes in video games should be, or can dictate what a minority in general should think is something that does not sit well with me. Though this kind of goes beyond video games…but still relevant. I think most people agree with that, why is a woman – who has never played games till someone gave her 150K to do a critique on the medium, the de-facto go to person for women gamers feelings about the medium, when did we elect her our representative? I admit, maybe us ladies need to step up and talk about our feelings on gaming (or create games we want). I don’t have a problem with a critical study, I *do* have a problem when people take that single study as gospel instead of asking more women if they feel this way too. It bothers me that a lot of white men (and a seemingly select group of women outside those who just fly-by into the tag with abuse) suddenly are armchair experts on sexism and misogyny and who actually is perpetuating it, and had no problem accusing their ENTIRE audience of it.

I am offended that they thought till that point only white cis males supposedly mattered
I am offended that they turned gamer into a slur overnight without even stopping to consider that people who are not white cis males might also associate with the term
I am offended that when I complained about this, I was treated like some poor little sheep who associates with wolves.

I’m a lucky gal in that I’ve not often run into people judging me by my gender. gamers were the first to accept me as a little dyspraxic girl (with a slightly obsessive love for sonic the hedgehog) – gamers and nerds in general are people I’m quite happy to be around, and rarely had problems with! I’ve never been so offended as when Matt Lees & John Walker decided I was a mislead little darling, who clearly needs to be saved from my own thoughts. I’m as much an individual as anyone else. I accept other people have varied feelings on the content of games, and I’m not saying misogyny or racism are not problems in need of addressing in general. But I don’t want my games censored just because someone has a chip on their shoulder that they must impose on the world for some reason. Gore and horror terrifies me, and I don’t know how people enjoy that stuff, but I’m not about to go telling people that anyone who enjoys that stuff is a sick and twisted individual that actually wants to kill people. Much in the same way I laughed off Jack Thompson insisting that video games encourage violence. In that vein, why should I believe games encourage sexism? I agree we can do with better women characters, but this is like pretending that male characters are apparently the best written characters ever or something – video games have narrative/portrayal issues that absolutely should be critiqued, and they are not limited to just women.”

 

Anon53: “I think all of those are intrinsically linked and cannot be separated.”

 

Anon54: “As a side goal, I support artistic freedom in game creation and want to stop people from bullying devs into making games a certain way because they are found offensive.”

 

Anon55: “These mirror my own goals, yes.”

 

@NorthernDragon: “More or less it is my main goal. Though my own opinions are that game developers should be free to make the games they want, no matter how they want to make them, and that they shouldn’t be made to feel terrible for a design choice because a gaming journalist who follows a particular ideology is offended because of that ideology. My personal goal is to see ideologies removed from objective reviews and moved to being strictly opinion based statements if they absolute are necessary pieces of information to convey. Games should be about entertainment, not about dissecting them to link them to real world social issues.”

 

Anon56: As above.

 

Anon57: “There are many problems within the industry that need to be dealt with, but I don’t believe that using GamerGate to discuss them would be appropriate or honorable.”

 

Anon58: “Personally that’s my only goal, Journalist can and DO need to do better. Start Digging start investigating issues of corruption for both Indie and Big companies, corruption is neither big or small, and digging and reporting it without a lean or bias just makes you a better reporter in the end of.”

 

Anon59: “I wouldn’t mind to get a into the general public the idea of how strong can consumers be when associated. ”

 

Anon60: “Yes. I’ll be honest, I didn’t really care all that much about what went on inside the games media because I gave up listening to them ages ago, but I’ve come to realize that just leaving them to their own devices is a bad idea. They need to be shown that if they refuse to behave like professionals then people won’t take them seriously, which is harder than it sounds because they only listen to people who agree with them.”

 

Anon61: As above.

 

 Anon62: “I believe that games journalism should attempt some reform, and it should be using the thrust of #GamerGate as an opportunity to get industry-wide agreement. If it does not it may very easily find itself dropping further from relevance, with the rise of youtube and streamers given the consumer a much more immediate look at products, and younger sites that do adopt some standards being able to rapidly steal readers away. I also believe that a certain amount of commercialisation has co-opted what “gaming” means, in so far that anyone who has touched any form of game may claim it as their own. This can easily dilute discussion to the point when anyone really dedicated to the medium is pushed aside in favour of the lowest common denominator. People are allowed to be satisfied by different game types, there does not need to be a universal rule apply to every product.”

 

Anon63: “It is my main goal, but I would also like to see more counterpoints to popular topics with these writers come up. Like it doesn’t make much sense that they won’t write about subjects they don’t agree with, which is something real journalists would do. Such as sport’s writers being willing to comment on when their hometown’s team will probably lose, or when a politician they like screws up, I think when someone is possibly corrupt it would be appropriate for a news organization of any variety (including vidya games) would write on it. A side effect of having the biases addressed, I would hope, would be to have people addressing ostracization of any people that they deem to not share the right politics with. It is a problem as noted by various people in the indie gaming scene that their careers are promoted if they promote the ‘right’ politics, and damaged if they don’t. I feel like someone’s work should come first and their politics second. Not writing about someone because you personally dislike them just seems unprofessional. It’d be like not wanting to talk about the movie Birth of a Nation (an outrageously racist movie), even though it was an incredible milestone in cinema.
http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-the-birth-of-a-nation-1915

 

Anon64: “Those are my main goals. Personally, I would also like to see less importance placed on things like race and gender as identity in these publications. I do not like being referred to as a “Person of Colour”, because I am simply, in my view, a person; a person whose actions and opinions should matter far more than his race, gender or nationality. I see the highlighting of these things to indicate a person’s views or assumed views to be the antithesis of what Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights movements of the 50s and 60s stood for. I wish to be judged for who I am, not what I am, and to that end I do not care if I play as a big, white man or an Asian female or a chubby, black man. I think most gamers feel the same way. This doesn’t mean I don’t want more representative characters in games, just that it is linked too readily in the gaming press to more important issues like sexism and racism, and I don’t think it really has anything to do with that at all. Gaming is and has always been a very inclusive hobby (aside from teenagers screaming insults online, and the hardcore competitive side). I have bonded with people from all walks of life and from all over the world through gaming, and I feel that a lot of the time, certain gaming sites are wilfully divisive in order to garner more clicks (“Straight White Male is Life’s Easy Mode” being the most egregious example of controversial, divisive click-bait I can remember reading).”

 


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?

Currency Champion: “No movement is pure. In the digital age, it’s easy for either side to set up sockpuppet accounts and go fishing for trouble. I’ll stand and say that #GamerGate came from a place of wanting honest cooperation and care when it comes to video games, and that I don’t think the bad apples we’ve seen are worth throwing out the whole barrel.”

 

Anon51: “Get a large enough group of angry people and you are bound to find unethical, hateful people among them, no matter what they believe. They are s seperate problem, even if tangentally linked to GamerGate. Strangely, when the anti-gamergate (and largely radical feminist – more radical than The Fine Young Capitalists, it seems) side does the same thing, nobody among them seems to bat an eye. Zoe Quinn posted the personal information of two wikipedia editors on to twitter [PixieJenni note: she retweeted someone else who had done the initial posting before later deleting the tweet]outing one of them as a Brony. The other turned out to be minor. I did not see a single feminist call her out on this. Similarly, I have not seen anyone call out the people decrying #notyourshield posters as ‘fake’ called out either, despite growing heap of them forced to prove themselves female, or prove themselves non-white, or from a 2nd world country. The people claiming moral superiority have not demonstrated a drop of it, all while demanding evidence and concession from the #GamerGate ‘subhumans’ (yes, I saw that term and others like it more than once).”

 

Anon52: “All the major events pointed to like Zoe’s harassment and Anita’s death threats are somewhat fishy in that they shouted it from the rooftops to begin with (and not helped that Zoe has actually cried wolf before) – the people involved in those and the polytron hack ect were not part of the tag to begin with. The only reason it reflected on us is because press have published very one sided stories, which people took as fact (because they trust the media and expect them to report the whole story, funny that) and then came to attack people in the tag because of those stories.

If anything all that did was make people in the tag more concerned about their language and making sure others were keeping their cool. I guess at least something good came of it, even if we were fighting off constant lies and accusations for the first week (and even now). About the worst thing that people found was the IRC stuff, and even in the actual logs. The worst offender in the IRC was RougeStar – who was banned from the IRC once they realized he’d made them look bad (in spite of them all telling him off for being keen to suggest hacking/revenge ect). But a few people in an IRC do not make up much of the cause. There are many people who likely don’t even go to /v/ or #burgersandfries – nor will they once this is over. I think if anything it helped us clean up our act and get bit by bit more organised and defined as a movement.”

 

Anon53: “The negativity mostly comes down to harassment which horribly detracts from our cause. I do what I can to prevent it, reminding others to be respectful at all times, but I’m not a policeman. I can only do so much.”

 

Anon54: “They are entirely separate. Most of the awful things that have happened, to my knowledge, did not occur with the tag attached, but simply were targeted at people the movement opposes. In addition, the people in the movement have largely decried and attempted to prevent harassment on either side.”

 

Anon55: “It’s to be expected. It’s the internet, there are bound to be a few oddballs within a group like this. A few people does something bad (such as DDoSing and harassment) and the opposite party will use those examples to brand the GamerGate group. It’s sad that this happens, but I don’t think these select few belongs to the GamerGate. The vast majority of people in the GamerGate does not approve such behavior and does not want to be associated with those kinds of people.”

 

@NorthernDragon: “Every movement has negative things happen within it. These things are either caused by people trying to disrupt and discredit the movement, or people that are far too overzealous and haven’t considered that their actions can damage the overall message. I believe that the actions of a minority should never detract from the agreed upon message of the majority and thus negativity is separate so long as the majority sticks to the main goals and message they want to get across. We’re all human, we all overreact and every movement we make always has its heated, ugly moments.”

 

Anon56: As above.

 

Anon57: “Obviously, the harassment conducted by both sides is deplorable. However, I believe that we’re too loud to be ignored based on the actions of a dishonorable few.”

 

Anon58: “Every movement has their…Negative pundits. Peace Civil Rights Protesters had the rather radical and knowingly Black Panther Party for example. Feminist have…well…I think you’ve seen the amount of so called feminist that talk down their own gender for not exactly believing in what they do. The point of a movement is to judge it’s main goal, Many people might have many ways of expressing it, they ARE People after all, but get down to their points connect them all up and see what’s common between the two. Eventually you’ll see the truth from there.”

 

Anon59: “Disgusted. And a bit sad about how easy it is to spread disinformation. They just fuel the fire. Do you think 4chan can be shamed into submission?”

 

 Anon60: “The harassment and death threats come from a tiny minority, and the rest of the movement condemns them almost as soon as they pop up. People need to understand that any group of people this large is bound to host a few assholes, and there’s no way to police who speaks for the movement and who doesn’t. The most anyone can do about them is tell them to stop and pray they listen, which they won’t because they feed off of attention. If anything though, they strengthen the movement, since every time the SJW side starts raging about harassment from us ten more instances of it pop up coming from them. For some reason they think it’s okay to threaten someone if it’s them doing it.”

 

Anon61: As above.

 

Anon62: “I think use of the hashtag for abusive actions has damaged its message. There have been numerous instances where simple cherry-picking has been used to portray the whole movement in a negative light. Most people on the fringes will have only seen one side (via a daisy-chain of word of mouth and retweets). Many people who are targetted for abuse will be unlikely to consider the point of view of their abuser’s supposed compatriots. However, I believe any hashtag is open to this form of misuse. Hashtags meant to support people have been co-opted to attack those same people (including some instances during the events around #GamerGate). The #GameEthics hashtag spawned to escape the perceived negative aspects of #GamerGate, but simply became an insular echo-chamber to well known, older “corruptions”. If #GameEthics had gained popularity I imagine the same “problems” would have simply transitioned to it. The end result was a few days of confusion over which hashtag to use, without really addressing anything.”

 

Anon63: “I think a lot of people feel antagonized when harassment is only addressed as seeming real when it comes about to one side, and that what harassment has occurred shouldn’t really reflect on the greater majority. I mean really the main running TFYC gets a death threat, along with plenty of notable figures attached to the pro-GamerGate side, but yet those end up seeming ridiculous to the anti-GamerGate folks for whatever reason. I don’t think those people getting harassed takes away from the anti-GamerGate side, just as I don’t think harassment of people against GamerGate would take away from the pro-GamerGate side.”

 

Anon64: “I think the exact same negative things have been used for a few years now to silence any opposing opinion in the gaming world. I do not agree with Anita Sarkeesian’s videos, and I do not know of many who do. To gamers, they are ill-informed, unscientific and exploitative. Of everyone I know who is into gaming, I cannot name more than one handful who agree in any way with the points she has to make. However, of all these people I do not know a single one who would abuse, harass or threaten her. Yet when the gaming media mentions Sarkeesian, the abuse she has received is all that gets mentioned. Rational critiques are labelled misogynistic or sexist and she is treated as a hero. I deplore the disgraceful behaviours of those who have harassed or threatened Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Phil Fish, Ben Kuchera and even Devin Faraci (and you saw how a great many Gamergaters stood up for the targets of Devin Faraci’s ridicule and scorn. Most of us despise picking on the vulnerable in any way). Not only does it harm the cause we are fighting for, but it is also just a horrible thing to do. That said, every prominent figure online receives hateful and vile messages. It is an abhorrent truth, but it is the truth. I believe a lot of the negative things said about the tag are highlighted to smear it because we are rocking the games media boat, so to speak. I have seen equal harassment, bigotry and vitriol targeted against Gamergate as I have seen come from it, if not more; as every indiscretion is used against us, Gamergate has been actively policed by its own members, and any identifiable harasser has been reprimanded and ostracised, and it has been made clear that they do not represent us. However, 4chan is anonymous and has literally no entry barrier; this infamous IRC room is completely public, and Twitter accounts can be made by anyone with internet access and a temporary mail account. There is no way of knowing how many of these hateful comments in the IRC and on 4chan are by genuine Gamergaters and how many are from trolls and anti-Gamergaters trying to smear us. It’s become known that people from the Something Awful forum FYAD have been posting on the 4chan Gamergate discussions in order to make us look bad. On the other side, I would say there are also a fair few fake Twitter accounts made to parody the “SJW” stereotype that have brought disrepute to the other side, too. I’d say overall, of the wholly verifiable Twitter accounts and clearly genuine posters on 4chan, on both sides most people are very reasonable. The most unreasonable and reactionary people I have seen so far are the journalists like Leigh Alexander and Devin Faraci, and sites like Polygon and Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but as they have the most followers and write the stories, I think they believe they can act however they like. This is one of the core complaints of Gamergate.”

 


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

Currency Champion: “My fear with #GamerGate has been that it’s getting a touch too close to conservative interests and commentators. It’s a natural immune response, as gaming journalism has been a left-minded field, but I don’t think going the other way down the road will help here; I am center-left, myself.”

 

Anon51: “None, but we may have differing idea on what GamerGate seems to be addressing. I’ll just say that I’m married, my wife agrees with me, and I’m not a misogynist.”

 

Anon52: “I think my only concern is people being switched off social justice entirely. But then we’ve got people like CHSommers and MissAngerist within our ranks, and people genuinely respect them. Social justice in of itself is a noble enough cause, it’s when people get militant or hyperaggressive that it becomes a problem, which I think is the real concern. People are not anti-progression, but I almost wouldn’t blame them for feeling that way after weeks of “SJW’s” being pretty anti-social justice themselves at times. ”

 

Anon53: “Hm, this is kind of tough. The backlash of extremist-type feminism is too harsh. I do think that men and women should be represented more equally, but I’m of the belief that should happen naturally with more women being involved with the industry.”

 

Anon54: “Some people seem to have an over-focus on certain individuals rather than looking for overall policy change. I would be fine if everyone got off scott-free for past transgressions as long as steps are taken to prevent it in the future.”

 

Anon55: “No.”

 

@NorthernDragon: “No. I’m proud of everything #GamerGate is addressing. Most specifically the countering of the idea that it’s nothing but a misogynist hate movement by using the sister tag of #notyourshield which is full of people of colour, women, and members of the LGBTQ community showing solidarity with the #GamerGate movement.”

 

Anon56: As above.

 

Anon57: No answer.

 

Anon58: “Any conspiracy without concrete proof. We only make ourselves look foolish otherwise. However, if you have the proof and the smoking gun, Let the truth roam free.”

 

Anon59: “Not one thing.”

 

Anon60: “Not really. There’s still a lot of people going after Zoe (and Zoe isn’t helping) when we should be focusing on more important issues, but aside from that I can’t think of anything.”

 

Anon61: As above.

 

Anon62: “I believe some of the “goals” are somewhat unrealistic, and are unfair to demand (effectively asking entire websites to disband).”

 

Anon63: “People associating with #GamerGate seem interested in seeing obvious biases being taken seriously as problems. There’s such a large amount of connections between the writers and indie gaming scene that it’s gotten a bit absurd.”

 

Anon64: “I don’t want to get into the whole Silverstring/Diagra/DARPA connection. That’s way over my head, and regardless of the veracity of the evidence or how strong the links seem to be, I don’t want to go there. I’d rather focus on what we can see clearly in front of us and the very reasonable goal of journalistic integrity and ethics. I know a lot of us feel the same way.”

 


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

Currency Champion: “It’s covered a lot of the bases I’m interested in, but God and country willing, I’d love to see it take a shot at the too-comfy AAA gaming scene. I want to see something shake the “big bad executives” up a little bit.”

 

Anon51: “Big publishers are getting off easy in comparison to the indie devs, but that’s largely due to the initial window into the unethical connections being in the indie community.”

 

Anon52: “I’ld love to have a discussion about emotional abuse, and why everyone is ignoring that a certain person was accused of sexual abuse and not being taken to task. But I also understand that it’s sadly almost an untouchable issue. But it’s sad…an abuse victim could see this and refuse to speak out about being hurt. Why would they bother if people are just going to assume the other person is untouchable because of their position and gender? It doesn’t seem right that just because the abused was a guy, who spoke out because of this persons position in the industry – that we treat them with scorn and anger.”

 

Anon53: “I can’t think of anything at the moment.”

 

Anon54: “While I have other issues with the video game industry, I do not think they are GamerGate related.”

 

Anon55: “No.”

 

@NorthernDragon: “No. Not really. Detractors of the movement tend to introduce topics that #GamerGate ends up going on to change into a positive. For example, the movement was never about misogyny or sexism, but anti-GamerGate individuals trying to label it as such spawned #notyourshield, further unifying gamers everywhere. The core message was always the same. End corruption, nepotism, and collusion in gaming journalism.”

 

Anon56: As above.

 

Anon57: No answer.

 

Anon58: “Not really, personally everyone already talks about how crap AAA is in and out of Gamergate, I think I’d be beating a dead horse otherwise.”

 

Anon59: “Nothing relevant.”

 

Anon60: “I really want to take Devin Faraci down a peg but, like Zoe, he feeds off of attention. Responding to his asinine tweets is exactly what he wants.”

 

Anon61: As above.

 

Anon62: “I think #GamerGate is discussing numerous things, though a lot is going unheard. However, the nature of the debate would probably be fairly confusing if all things were weighed equally.”

 

Anon63: “I feel everyone is talking about everything so not really.”

 

Anon64: “I think that there is a fear that even Gamergaters are afraid to address, and it is the fear that games are being meddled with by people who do not have the game’s best interests at heart. The recent furore over there being no female PC in the upcoming Assassin’s Creed game is one example of this, others include the hatred directed at XSEED for its translation that included the word “trap” to describe a very convincing transvestite or transgender person (despite the word being the completely correct word to use in translating from Japanese to English), and the anger directed at Divinity: Original Sin for having a woman in “boob-plate” armour on the cover of the game. While these are all perfectly worthy discussions that could be had, the manner in which the issues have been dealt with is frightening. Assassin’s Creed games have been very representative, with Haitian, Middle-Eastern and even Native American PCs, including female PCs, so the level of criticism they received for their artistic choice is odd. XSEED received threats of suicide that caused some staff to suffer enough stress to take time away from the company, and Divinity: Original Sin was forced by death threats to change the cover to have less revealing armour on the female. The problem here isn’t that people are taking issue with these things, but the manner in which they are doing so. Trying to force the game designers’ artistic vision down a certain path that sits better with yourself is not okay with me, and harassing them until they give in or give up isn’t right. This could be something that a fairer, less biased gaming media could deal with, so it is in a way linked to Gamergate. I understand however that if you chase two rabbits, you catch neither, so I can see why it’s not being addressed by Gamergate. Protecting the vision of the developers is a discussion for another day.”

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