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?
Anon65: “I was browsing The Escapist (escapistmagazine.com) and read a “news” post by curation site Critical Distance. This post, was a collection of links to several articles, all taking the same view, with no comments on the view of gamers as a group (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/137184-Anita-Sarkeesian-and-Gamers-Against-Games). This, along with the comments on that piece, led me to investigate GamerGate myself. I had previously avoided viewing or commenting in the Escapist Zoe Quinn megathread, so I hadn’t realized how large the issue was.”
Anon66: “Initially I saw an indie developer doing rather stupid stuff and as I’ve seen this happen on a far smaller scale without the whole sex scandal before (lesser known Male developer) I hoped for a quicker resolution this time. Then when it turned out the DMCA claim was real or at least all information points to it (please see attached PNG file that I actually made) I was stunned and hoped it would end here. It however didn’t and instead of apologies and “I’ll do better” we had “Youtubers are parasites anyway” and other indie developers coming out to attack youtubers claiming they’d file false DMCAs to waste peoples time. I know a youtuber, I used to be a regular on TGWTG in the forums at least and know people from there who are youtubers. I myself am a youtuber and was one who was offered youtube partnership before monetised videos were a public thing (I’ve done little with it though). It was really disheartening to see indie developers act this way.
However it got worse and the article hit pieces were released with such co-ordination in such a time frame it was pretty shocking, the idea of someone attempting to force connertations onto associated with a loosely defined group worse was the implications. Because of the implications of gaming being a white cis male domain I feared it would push people away from gaming by putting across that public perception. With the unexplained connections most of the hit piece writers share something seemed very wrong. This lead into the corruption scandal when it was found many writers were being funded or funding certain people and this led to the discovery of a PR agent making certain items for sale nearly a week before the scandal happened. The items themselves being along the lines of “women Killing games hurray” and “Cuties killing games for good”.
Plenty of hit pieces followed too. Mainly blaming the whole community with the acts of a few idiots. I’m seeing many on the side which claims to want progress shutting down discussion with a “It’s my way or the high way” approach. I’ve seen people try to shut down discussion because it makes them uneasy in their own views and the same people resort to abuse directed at me and claiming I’m sending abuse to them to try and get me to respond in kind. With the allegations against parts of the indie scene and knowing indie developers from having reviewed their work I wanted to see this sorted out for their sake. Then with the allegations of heavy handed pressure and threats to silence indie developers I knew this had to keep going to a conclusion.”
Anon67: ” I wasn’t really interested at first it was a fun soap opera but as things came out it became more and more clear that things were to bad to just sit back and laugh about any more. The thing that really got to me was after the charity indiegogo for cancer and getting girls into gaming by the fine young capitalists was hacked, game developers were out on twitter using #stillhere, a hash tag for providing hope to those with cancer. It seemed like they were gloating and that was the straw that broke my back on the subject.”
Anon68: “I’ve always known game journalism has a structure based around biases. Magazines (or now websites) primarily advertise the games they’re expected to review plus, in the fight to win views, have to secure review copies from publishers lest they publish their review too late to receive any or many views.”
Anon69: “Once the sites began posting the “Gamers are dead” articles, that’s when I began to truly take notice of all that was happening with the tag. I had a bit of fun following it before that and enjoyed being amused by both sides. Once those articles were posted, however, I felt rather insulted. Full disclosure, I am a white, straight, cis male, and indeed, I am a virgin. I love playing video games of all kinds, and I’ve bought dozens of games over the years. Yet, somehow, by no fault of my own, I was suddenly labeled a misogynist. It simply felt wrong. I don’t hate women, or gays, or transgenders. If I do project anger or hatred onto someone in the context of a game, odds are that the person I’m angry at had just gotten through handing me my ass on a platter, and I’m pissed off because I wasn’t good enough to beat them, no matter color their skin color is or what type of bits they have between their legs. Back on point, seeing those articles made me wonder if the people that I trusted to bring me news of my favorite upcoming games really had my best interests at heart. We’re three weeks into this thing, and the lack of any apologies on their part has all but proved it to me.
I am against harassment in all its forms, and yet here I stand harassed by those who claim the same.”
Anon70: “I saw all of the pictures and articles about how there was all of this stuff going on behind our backs in journalism, and I saw the harassment that some of the supporters were getting, as well as how the gamer identity as a whole was getting called things such as “worse than ISIS”, Nazis, rapists, misogynists, white male scum, etc. I got very angry, and decided to voice my opinion about what was going on. How dare they call us such nasty things, and how dare they do these things behind our backs and act like it didn’t even happen or that we were making it up.”
Anon71: “I was pulled over from the /tg/ (traditional games. Think boardgames and D&D) section of 4chan by a friend who surfs /v/ regularly. I have been around for a while.”
Anon72: “A. I identify as a gamer
I play less and less, but games even now is one of the escapes of my daily grind. So when I heard that I am suppose to be dead, I took a closer look at the subject.
Then Anita cherry picked her way through games, turning it into a narrative that fit her Agenda. She did absolutely [no?] research, she isn’t really even interested in gaming, she used art and footage from other people, and any form of critique was labled as harassment making open discussion impossible. Not to mention that she only explains why games are for and by the patriarchy, she never ever gives examples of games which DO show strong women, beause that would discredit her argument. Why the hell was she even making those videos? That is when I saw her kickstarter…and oooh boy, my jaw dropped. She took 160.000 dollars from people to make video’s that I could make with with 1/50th of that budget. At that point I already knew to just ignore her video’s and let it go. She was a scammer that had scammed thousands out of money but she didn’t take mine. That is when I stopped going to Kotaku, giantbomb, escapist and a few other sites. Then Zoe Quinn happened and all the information that leaked. I think for me that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The lies, the bigotry, the misinformation, the blatant racism and arrogance at work appalled me and many others into supporting #GamerGate.”
2. What do you think the major goal of #GamerGate is?
Anon65: “Transparency, honesty and accountability from games journalists. Reporting conflicts of interest, recusing oneself when required, researching before writing. And the removal of any corruption that may exist.”
Anon66: “A. Find out what the hell is going on in journalism and the major parts of the indie scene
B. Sort out actual ethics policies which make sense for sites (many are presently doing this now anyway)
C. retraction Articles and apologies for articles and abuse over twitter from some journalists
D. And actual apology from Zoe for the DMCA to the person in question and for her to condemn things such as the doxxing of The Fine young Capitalists campaign and a 16 year old transgender teenager more recently, done by Zoe’s own supports believing the actions to be right.
E. A realisation that the greater good is not something that should be fought for at any cost”
Anon67: “Transparency and to prove that #notallgamers are ciswhitemales we are tired of being spoken for. If something offends us we will speak out on with our own voices because we are #notyoursheild. Feel free to point out, to criticize, but do not think you speak for all of us.”
Anon68: “To clean up games journalism. Help them get ethically on track.”
Anon69: “The main goals of GamerGate, to me, are to usher in transparency in games journalism, and to put an end to the “clickbait” articles posted on sites like Kotaku and RPS. To create an environment where developers and journalists alike aren’t afraid to speak out against those who would demand that they change their artistic vision so that those people don’t have to be offended. To create a climate where those who are offended are encouraged to make their games that cater to them, instead of trying to change what already exists. Those are the things that I hope GamerGate will achieve in the long run. ”
Anon70: “I believe the major goal of #GamerGate is to end the corruption in journalism once and for all. We want the reviews to be ethical and from the passion of the journalists, not to shove some agenda down our throats or putting in politics where politics aren’t even important. We want to actually know how a game is compared to other games, not just based on the journalist’s opinions or because the journalist was bribed or given special treatment. We want to know what relationship the journalist has to the game and/or game dev if there are any, and we want to know why the journalist reviewed the piece of media. We just want transparency and truly ethical journalism.”
Anon71: “#gamergate is kind of messy in that regard. It has definite agendas and goals: Reduce censorship, clean up the industry, but they are unfocused. It resembles more a reformist movement that seeks to create a wide array of long term change than a reaction towards any one issue. The main agenda it seems to be pushing for is stricter personal ethics among industry personalities, especially journalists. The main method we endorse is mainly “weaponized positivity.” If you are legitimately being a decent person people can’t blatantly attack your platform without appearing like a monster.”
Anon72: “I see this questions quite often from the other side, as My rambling regarding my motivation for joining #GG shows, there are many reasons one might get involved, to try to boil it down to one or two easily accomplished would be impossible. I do agree that not everyone’s goal is good and noble, some people just like to watch stuff burn, but many like me have personal, and idealistic reason for joining, and hoping to accomplish different things. The only thing I can speak of is to speak for my own personal goal.”
Anon73: “I currently think GamerGate has three main goals to cover: ethics in journalism, censorship, and a biased coverage (in suppression of negative coverage about the journalists themselves, and in pushing an extreme Social Justice Warrior agenda.) The main focus is to bring a higher ethical standard to gaming journalist websites (which has been achieved to some degree on Kotaku and Escapist), to allow for more articles critical of the industry and those in it to exist, and to lessen the influence of prominent social justice warrior Op-Ed pieces which often feel more like attacks on segments of gamers and less like an investigatory piece.”
@EHaakonson: “There are a lot of diverse voices in #GamerGate, and I think the one thing all viewpoints represented therein would agree on is that disclosure of financial relationships is a requirement for ethical journalism. Additionally, it’s pretty unanimous that people committing crimes need to face justice, whether it’s fraud, racketeering, embezzlement, or harassment.”
Anon74: “Disclosure, transparency, and seeing that writers who’ve behaved unprofessionally apologize for their actions and/or are reprimanded for their actions or fired. That last bit is likely to come across as a bit harsh however these writers are a representation of these websites and companies that employ them. If any person who is employed at any other establishment came on twitter and behaved this way and treated people who’re either potential consumers or in this case readers the way the gaming press has they would’ve been reprimanded and fired. It says something when your local burger joint has a better social media policy than Kotoku who’s owned Gawker Media.”
Cacophanus: “A more accountable, less cliquey and capable gaming press. Detached from publishers.”
Anon75: “We want there to be a clear ethical guideline for journalist/reviewers to abide by (See http://www.escapistmagazine.com). We want them to stop allowing the people reviewing games to give monetary support to game developers or review a game while he/she’s in a romantic relationship with the developer of said game. We want websites to start doing some actual research and leg work when writing their articles. We no longer want them to force their own political/SJ agenda down our throat. They want to report about female representation in games? Fine, that is ok, but report from both sides (journalistic integrity). Yes there are heavily sexualized characters (Both male and female), but on the other side of that spectrum major strides have been made to change that. Gaming is growing up, some people would like to say. We want them to acknowledge that gaming has nothing to do with gender or race. We are all gamers, we may fight about which game platform we support, or what type of games we like, but when someone tries to really drive a wedge between the community, we will always stand together. As shown by the #notyourshield hashtag, We do not hate women (Misogyny) or other minorities (Racism).
We no longer wish to be treated like fools. When #GamerGate hit, the media flooded with articles declaring us all dead or comparing us to terrorist. How did they think this would end? The pure arrogance of it all shocked most of us. That is when they drew first blood, and when this became an ugly situation. We started contacting sponsors and advertisers to let them know that they treat us like trash they can just throw away, This is not in the best interest of these sponsors/advertisers because we are their target demographic most of the time as well.”
3. Is this your main goal, or do you have something else you’d like to see addressed too?
Anon65: “My goals mostly align with GamerGates goals, the only other things I hope to see would be the removal of “clickbait” articles, and down the road, the restoration of trust between community and journalists. Hopefully, as sites are held to more stringent standards, this will happen.”
Anon66: “Those are the main goals as things like showing gaming can be inclusive are being met pretty well at present.”
Anon67: “As an individual these are my main goals for #gamergate. I cannot speak for everyone who has worked so hard on this. But i feel that it is also the general consensus among us. ”
Anon68: “I wouldn’t mind if the hash tag were kept around as a means of communicating things in the future if the kind of censorship seen at the start were to occur.”
Anon69: “Unlike most, I’ve really hopped onto GamerGate without a personal agenda of my own. If I had to state any goals I hold for it, I would have to say that I simply want to see change that favors art, political correctness. ”
Anon70: “I also want to see to it that the indie scene is purged of the corruption that lurks in it as well. It can’t even be considered indie anymore with all of the things going on in there. Indie devs, game devs, and future game devs should not be scared to voice their opinions about something just because they’re afraid to be blacklisted and won’t be able to be successful. If the Indie Cade, IGF, and any other indie supporting company has to go in order to rid of the atmosphere of fear within the indie scene, so be it. It’s because of this fear that some good games have just been out of reach of the spotlight, and some bad games have been covered by it. Friendships and relationships should not affect the success of a game; only whether the game is good or bad. Just because a game dev doesn’t have the right connections shouldn’t mean that the game is destined to fail; it should be whether or not the audience likes the game, or the audience doesn’t like the game.”
Anon71: “I think that people define #gamergate in a limited manner. Reminding people that individuals are not the target is smart and good, but many people take that to mean we shouldn’t criticize individuals who chose to be part of the problem. Ultimately #gamergate sprung up in response to a PR war declared against gamers and part of its agenda should be to use the weapons of public relations to defend the hobby and force it to stay clean. Some of us are pushing for that by encouraging people to do stuff like attack funding and to keep the academic version of memes alive.”
Anon72: “for the journalist that is suppose to inform us, educate us, and speak for us to be objective, to be open to debate, and to hold truth to be the ultimate goal rather than a particular ideal. “
Anon73: “I feel these three major points cover most, if not all of my concerns on GamerGate.”
@EHaakonson: “Personally, I would like to see a greater focus on academic, in-depth analysis of games as an artistic medium in games journalism. It’s not that these people’s viewpoints aren’t welcome, it’s that cronyism, fraud, and insults aren’t welcome.”
Anon74: “I’m sure there’s other issues worth addressing however at this point in time I’m unable to come up with them. Yes for me I’d come away satisfied with #GamerGate if whats mentioned above were addressed.”
Cacophanus: “Not really, just this.”
Anon75: “This is all in accordance with my own goals, yes. If I had to have anything I would add to it I think I would like to see Silverstring, IGF and Indiecade investigated. And I’d want people to stop taking Leigh Alexander seriously. She is the same as Zoe. She’s a sensationalist, craves attention, is arrogant beyond belief, is cruel to others and deserver no further attention. But this is all outside the main #GamerGate issue.”
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?
Anon65: “Harassment, threats and insults are always bad. And it is sad, but such things are practically inevitable in a large scale, almost month long event like this, where a great deal of it has been, for want of a better word, “fought” on twitter and anonymously. There will always be those who will take the opportunity to troll “for a cause”. I believe that many have no interest in GamerGate itself, and do not consider them part of the movement. However, I also cannot ignore these things, when they are happening under our banner. They are not part of us, but they are our responsibility. I can only denounce their actions, and take comfort in the sight of my peers shouting them down.”
Anon66: “Every group and organisation has it’s problems it can’t be helped and shouldn’t reflect the whole. I’ve received abuse , been called an asshole, been told to leave gaming due to this. I understand there are some in the opposition even now that are willing to talk. Many on the opposition (visible in even the early pages of the Escapist thread) actually left the opposition early on to be neutral or for gamergate.”
Anon67: “Personally I haven’t seen anyone act that way. I won’t deny the possibility though. Everyone is concerned that negative publicity would torpedo the movement. Like I said every one involved is working very hard to see this through.”
Anon68: “I think both, I suppose. They definitely take away, but at the same time they aren’t condoned by the majority or enacted by the people who honestly care.”
Anon69: “Without examples to go on, all I can say is what I’ve been hearing, and what my own conclusions have led me to believe. That is, that negative press can only sway so many. GamerGate itself has already managed to convince a large number of people to take a stand against yellow journalism, and until things change, I can honestly say that I do not believe that those people will ever stop talking about it. ”
Anon70: “Honestly, it irks me that people are so quick to sully the name of a good movement like this. The small minority of douchebags goes everywhere, and they just bring trouble with them wherever they go. If people were to actually take the time to ignore the small minority and took a look at the majority, I honestly believe things could be a lot more civil than they are. The things that have happened should be kept separate from the movement, especially since most of the people that did them didn’t even show that they supported #GamerGate.”
Anon71: “I have seen very little of the actual negativity on the tag. Some harassment, but the internet is going to internet. Outright mysogony stuff I have not seen at all and people tend to go dead silent when asked for concrete examples that are not denounced.”
Anon72: “Just like I would ask the journalists to be always question, objective…. I tried to do the same. I and many other’s have decried the abuses in our own community. but doing the right thing is not like arithmetic, its not 2 good thing – 1 one wrong thing = I am still ahead!!! Its am I personally trying to effect a positive change, is the movement itself still more about positive ideals or negative ones. One must answer one’s own conscience on that. “
Anon73: “Any harassment or threats involved in the GamerGate tag are absolutely wrong and should be eradicated. This is a discussion that should be treated seriously and with respect from both sides. However, both sides have at times elected to highlight the worst that the opposing side has to offer, instead of actually debating the issue with an open mind. This includes terms such as “mysoginerd” and “social justice warrior” itself, as while social equality is something we should all strive for, the methods in which an SJW attempts to achieve them are reprehensible. As equally reprehensible, often times, as the opposing side. This is not often addressed, as coverage heavily skews to what one side says about the other.”
@EHaakonson: “People have been harassed, people have been threatened, and that’s awful. It’s also the internet. I’m not saying it’s acceptable, but I see death/rape threats and racial slurs everywhere I go on the internet, and not just male-dominated or “gamer” spaces, either. There’s a subset of internet users, not all male, not all white, not all straight, not all gamers, that are just unabashedly vitriolic. Some people just suck. Before the Financial Crisis in 2008, I worked middle-management at a health insurance company, and I received death threats multiple times a week, and once even a fake bomb mailed to my office. Does that reflect poorly on the insured?”
Anon74: “I think that with any cause there’s going to be people who will latch on just to be terrible people or to spread hate. It shouldn’t diminish the valid points being made within #GamerGate. If anything is to come from all of this then the negativity and issues coming from both “sides” will need to be addressed.”
Cacophanus: “They make it hard to discuss with some colleagues, as all they see are the toxic elements.”
Anon75: “They definitely take away from it. Especially when dealing with people like Zoe, Leigh and the likes. They will use that, pull it out of context and use it against us. And at the time of this writing they still have the support of the mainstream media because journalist seem to just love to take their word for it instead of doing some actual journalism. That is why we try to police ourselves as best we can. But anyone who tries, can find something to use against us, because most of our discussions happen on open forums, and unrelated chatrooms, anyone can make an account and discredit #GamerGate. So our biggest weapon, anonymity, becomes our biggest weakness at the same time. That is why people react so strongly to “shills” on 4 chan. They are serious about their reasons to make gaming media better, but there are always a few bad apples trying to ruin it for their own enjoyment.”
5. Are there any things #GamerGate seems to be addressing that you disagree with?
Anon65: “That is a somewhat complicated question. The core focus of GamerGate, the drive to removal of corruption and drive for better journalism, I have no problems with. However, some who operate under the GamerGate banner have their own goals, and with the anonymous nature of the group, telling their numbers is difficult. I actively oppose harassers and their ilk. They are easy to recognize. Some have taken a more personal angle against the perceived threat from the SJW’s. I believe people like that are like the harassers in my fourth answer. Not really with us, but they are our problem. Thankfully for every poster for harassment, there are two telling him to shut up and leave.”
Anon66: “I do think it’s pushing a little far to call for firings when a retraction article is far more damning really “
Anon67: “Also as an individual who can’t speak for all, I’d say no everyone has mostly stayed on topic.”
Anon69: “Not particularly”
Anon70: “Honestly, if anything, it’s the Zoe and Anita incidents. Those should be kept separate from the movement. They have nothing to do with journalistic integrity, but the Zoe incident does deal with corruption in the indie scene. What Zoe did was a crime, so maybe that can be included. But what Anita did(or rather, DIDN’T do) should honestly be kept separate from the movement and left to the journalists and non-journalists investigating it.”
Anon71: “Most people in #gamergate are pretty awesome but some people seem to be talking about “token characters” and “quotas” on minorities and I think that is both disruptive to the greater message and missing the point on representation.”
Anon72: “I feel that we should care less about the consequences of specific person involved. We should not care if any phil fish goes to jail, or Kotaku editor gets fired, but instead focus on changes within the industry and organisation. Thats not to say I cannot point out lies and misdoing of specific individuals to bolster my case, but the goal should not to be hurt those individuals, but to inform the public. “
Anon73: “I only disagree with rushes to judgement. True journalism is about uncovering facts and the truth, and sometimes that means asking uncomfortable questions and being persistent until you receive the answers. This again applies to both sides.”
@EHaakonson: “There’s a subset of the movement that seems interested in getting politics out of video games all together, “just shut up and play”-type stuff that treats this new artistic medium like they’re just toys. I think that’s phenomenally short-sighted and self-defeating. Similarly, I hate talk of “not a game” when dealing with stuff like Gone Home. The problem with Gone Home wasn’t that it “wasn’t a game” – it was that it was poorly written and its sole appeal came from addressing LGBT issues.”
Anon74: “I don’t believe that involving Anita Sarkeesian in this for whatever reason is necessary. Continuing to involve Zoe Quinn in this is also counterproductive. However, It’s highly likely based on what I’ve observed and discussed that the ones doing so aren’t interested in what most people within #GamerGate are interested in. Many including myself have told the individuals who are doing this to stop involving either of these two people in #GamerGate.”
Cacophanus: “Not really.”
Anon75: “No. (shortest answer in this document!)”
6. Are there any things #GamerGate is ignoring that you want it to talk about?
Anon65: “Having spent time in the threads on /v/, I think it’s safe to say that nothing is being ignored. I’m astounded by the drive that has seen the movement last this past month.”
Anon66: “I do think it’s mostly moved on from Zoe and understand their are bigger fish to deal with but considering the Zoe evidence is worryingly solid I did think this needs to be remembered, not dealt with now but later when people are prone to knee jerk reactions. This is considering I called out a far less well known indie developer for far less before than DMCA abuse http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/TheKodu/pitchforditous-spreads-to-indie-developer-247798.phtml “
Anon67: “Not at all. You got to win the race you’re in before you can worry about the next one.”
Anon69: “None that I can think of off the top of my head. As I said, I haven’t brought a lot of personal baggage on board with me. ”
Anon70: “Not really. Everything has been approached in some way, shape, or form, and has been discussed as well.”
Anon71: “This is a PR war! Almost certainly started by a PR company! We have endured and deflected label attacks that would make George H.W. Bush blush and think you are out of line! Making someone’s misbehavior stick to their online persona is not in any way harassment. Its SOP for pretty much anyone in the public eye with an agenda to push and being organized about it doesn’t make you a monster. I also think this would be a good time to get people to understand 4chan as what it is: An environment of hyper-inclusion and acceptance.”
Anon72: “any further issues….. Nothing at the top of mind. “
Anon73: “GamerGate so far addresses concerns I have had for years.”
@EHaakonson: “Other than for a general call for all involved – gamers, developers, journalists – to treat games seriously as an artform and demand more from their narratives, not really.”
Anon74: No answer given.
Cacophanus: “Gamers should realise a lot of this is to do with PR and publishers. Plus the role of ex-EDGE magazine writers controlling the current discourse.”
Anon75: “No (Damnit I contradict myself the very next question…)”