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?
Anon76: “I am not on twitter, but I browse and comment on the various websites. I comment because I think there is something wrong with the big websites (why give high scores on games which are viewed as bad?). I comment because I think games “journalists” are not real journalist. I see copy/pasted articles, no mention of sources, no investigations. I see reviews/articles of “journalists” about person they support, without metioning this. I see “journalists” attacking their readers, pushing agendas. IMHO that is not journalism.”
Anon77: “Because I’m not dead, plainly put. That’s just a sad thing to pump a bunch of sensationalist articles with. And I don’t even live in America, see how far that shit flies when it hits the fan(s)?”
Anon78: “I am not directly involved, I am usually asking people questions and giving people asking for sources links to where to get them. ”
@bkiffter: “The “Gamers are dead”, “worse than ISIS”, “manbaby”, “white cisscum misogynists” etc pp debacle. For me that reeked like coordinated bullying, just like right wing nut jobs often try to push “All Muslims are terrorists” or “All PoC are criminals”.”
Anon79: “Because I saw a number of #AntiGamers calling Gamers Autists, Retards and other things. Having Autism myself and having two kids with Autism this was a good way to get me to pick a side – don’t you think?”
@UnrealDonnie: “I started getting involved after the large number of articles slandering gamers. While I understand they were referring to specific types of people, using the term gamer to blanket them is offensive to the very nature of gaming subculture, which is highly inclusive and diverse (and many people identify with). On top of that, several people claim that identifying as a gamer is sad and pathetic, which was kind of the last straw, as I’ve been a gamer my entire life because of a connection to a greater community. Seeing those people slander my identity by categorizing my friends and me as a heterosexual cis white guys and those very people being allowed to push that concept to mainstream media sources just drives me crazy, and I felt I had to do something.”
Anon80: “When the gaming press answered with a attack on the gaming community and the “gamer” identity I got involved. I was surprised almost shocked by how the media covered #GamerGate and realised that this was not about bringing forward facts or getting to the bottom of the story, it was about winning the “war on gamers” by all means possible. It is surreal and frightening how people, on both sides really, pick out the conspiracy theories that fits with their opinions and goes with it no matter what. ”
@Jwguy0: “Originally, I didn’t have anything to do with GamerGate, and I didn’t know much about it, outside of occasionally reading about the Quinn incident via Know-Your-Meme while perusing the galleries for Five Nights at Freddy’s (That gallery is strangely awesome because of the dissonance between common depictions of the characters from that of the game, and the presence of an unfounded narrative that seems to appear in every image, despite their being no such relevance in the game). I saw some things about it on Kotaku, and in some other places, and saw some replies there, too, where gamers replied to the effect of “We’re not dead” just the same in the ‘Talk among yourselves’ section (Can only post there if you’re followed by Kotaku Staff). The most influential reason for why I joined up and started supporting GamerGate was when I saw a 10-year-old boy get doxxed because he disagreed with others regarding the purpose of a comedian in relation to potentially offensive material; [PixieJenni note: this is from the #yesallwomen hashtag but allegedly those behind it are also anti-GG] And no-one said anything except #GamerGate. Then I found out about how The Fine Young Capitalists’ were doxxed, their campaign sabotaged, and how every media site was turning them down for press, despite the nobility of their goal. Then I saw Kotaku decry the doxxing against Sarkeesian and Quinn, while altogether ignoring everything that had been done to these other people. I saw one side painting the other, who were almost entirely without representation and were also under attack, and that convinced me that they needed support.”
Anon81: “I feel like there is a decided lack of investigative journalism in video games today. The “scandal” element for me is secondary, in that I feel it is just an example of the lack of real journalism in the industry today. It took Milo, what, an hour to make a few phone calls and research the issues? Our bigger game sites have teams of “reporters”, and they couldn’t do this cursory bit of investigation? That is abject failure in my opinion, considering this has to do with a couple of known figures in the industry. And more to the point, if these “journalists” couldn’t be bother to do the research and fact checking on this issue, why should I trust them to do so on other issues? We need better journalists, we need better reporting and more passionate people in this field. That’s why I’m involved.”
Anon82: “I became involved with #GamerGate in response to the abuse enabling I saw within the social justice gaming industry. [PixieJenni note: This answer is cut short and I’m talking in more depth with anon82 in private to post more things later]
Anon83: “Thursday night the 28th, I was linked an article about “the evil 4chan” funding Vivian James for The Fine Young Capitalists. This made me laugh a lot, and instantly say, “Well isn’t that great? They’re funding a charity to get more women in games production! And what’s more, they didn’t just make the stupid claim that the reason women aren’t in gamedev is because of harassment from fans! They went to find out exactly why 48% of gamers are women but only 2% of gamedevs are woman! HOW AWESOME!” So instantly that story was fishy to me. I wanted to get more on the facts! Why does “4Chan” (or at least their /v/ folder) hate Zoe Quinn? Zoe Quinn is awesome. Why would they raise $32,000 in a charity to get more women game devs out of spite? That’s crazy.
This was a rabbit hole, far deeper than I could have ever been prepared for.
When I started off, I was wholly on the side of ZQ & AS. I researched all over the web! And every single article talking about it was very one-sided. It claimed over and over, that men just hate ZQ & AS for being women in games. WOW HORRIBLE! I WAS READY TO SHOW THOSE FUCKERS! I tried to research more, I started asking more questions, and I was told about the censorship, and how they had to use Encyclopedia Dramatica. “Well that’s ridiculous,” I thought, why would anyone censor truth or opinions unless it was something really bad? I found out more. I asked even MORE questions.
When I heard ZQ “tanked the charity,” I thought it had to be for a good reason. I thought, surely someone as great as ZQ would have a good reason. When people spoke up questions the harassment she received, I thought “Wow that’s crazy, of COURSE she’s been harassed just for being a woman game dev. Mean boys just don’t understand that this isn’t their domain. I mean I’ve been a gamer MY WHOLE LIFE. They need to get with the picture.”
When people questioned Anita Sarkeesian’s harassment, I said RIGHT OUT “I don’t think anyone TRULY doubts that she’s been harassed!” But the sheer one-sided lack of investigation and censorship into the matter made me suspicious. I looked more. http://www.plurk.com/p/kcgqec — I chronicled my adventures when I started getting up to my neck in this stuff. I followed the Rabbit Hole. “What does Adam Baldwin have against Zoe Quinn?” I laughed. Someone told me it was probably just because Joss Whedon tweeted support of Anita Sarkeesian and anything Joss does, Baldwin goes opposite of. I watched the videos. I went to the hashtag.
I was ready to fight.
I was gonna kick those gamer boys’ and misogynists butts. I switched my icon from justice to real life to provoke a fight.
I read it. I tentatively poked a few. I start crying. I started shaking.
I was wrong.
I started having this: http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s644c0 reaction. I was scared. I realized how wrong I was. The disillusionment I held for Zoe Quinn fell. It it hit me hard. I went from hero-worshipping her, ready to fight, ready to defend her with my last breath, to realizing how stupid I’d been. My whole world view flipped inside out. Everyone welcomed me. I tried to provoke more fights. I’m a gamer. What about girls? Isn’t it surprising that I’ve been here all along? Nope. I cried more. It was like High school… in a good way.
In High school my Dad had CFIDS, and I started just getting the edge symptoms with migraines and fatigue and muscle pain, and eventually it got to the point that I couldn’t go to school. But through it all, all my best friends were gamers, all of them played video games with me, and when I got sicker, they still kept in touch with me through video games. The story that gamers were harassing women because they didn’t want them in gaming?
I went on to chronicle more links and information about it all. I didn’t tell anyone why I’d come into the tag at first, other than that I’d come to see it for myself. Then that Friday a ton of articles were released calling #GamerGate and anyone stupid enough to call themselves a “gamer” a misogynist. I got mad. I’d been there the whole time. How didn’t they see me? They never even came to LOOK! I’d come in to defend women and ZQ & AS, it wasn’t about harassing them! It was about wanting better gaming reviews, and no reviews from people with close personal ties to the subject unless it was disclosed! AND GUESS WHAT, pretty much ALL OF THE ARTICLES had ties! My head spun. The next few weeks got insane. Since then I’ve come out openly SJW. I said how my intentions had been to fight with boys bashing ZQ & AS…. and we all laughed about it, because even back then, and EVEN NOW, I couldn’t find them. I had an SJW friend drop me. I realized they weren’t much of a friend. I’ve been told more than once I had to choose sides, and I rejected it every time. The only people who tell me I have to pick a side, are wrong. It’s not gamers vs. SJWs, it should be Gamers AND SJWs. I’m still SJW. I’m still a gamer. I wrote my own emotional piece on my (yes) tumblr. I roped in some friends, though most are just following it from afar because none of them have the same emotional attachment to gaming that I do.
I’ve had women game developers come forward, and tell me secrets, to tell me the truth. I was surprised. I thought no one could say these things without believing it. When they suggested coming up with a “new word” for “us SJW gamers” I was very scared, and very mad. And my warning bells went off. I am a gamer, and a few harassers can’t change that. “Gamer” isn’t gendered. It’s not pink for girls, and blue for boys, it’s for everyone. And word changes are a tactic used by cults, something my parents warned me. I talked to others, and people all said they hated to admit it, but it reminded them of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. I’ve stayed wary. I asked a female Indie GameDev if they really think we “hardcore gamers” are the way they described us: white cis het males of that “MRA demographic.” I thought maybe, they were just so used to hearing that that was who gamers should be that they mistook us for that. She told me no. They don’t believe the stuff they’re saying, they never did. It’s fashion to them. Saying the right things, the right phrases, the right timing, dressing the “right way,” like certain “cool kids” did in High School. I’m still furious about that. That they tried to manipulate my morals, my conscience, for what? To create a rift? For money?
I’m not going back.”
@Tuckerism: “I transitioned into the #GamerGate tag due to the discussion out of the ZQ scandal. I watched the “wet blanket” that was thrown over ANY discussion about ZQ. Let me make this clear– I do not care what she did. I am not aware of any hard evidence that her behavior led to anything positive for her or her games (I’m sure there are plenty of people who feel strongly that there were intangible benefits). But I have never seen the level of suppression of information / discussion that I saw when it came to ZQ– I still don’t understand why it was handled that way. My reaction was confusion; so I’ve been quietly investigating / observing for the past two / three weeks. Trying to figure out “What in the world is going on here?!”
That silent investigation took me right into the #GamerGate hashtag. I’ve never used Twitter really, so for the most part I remained quiet. A couple of days later, I linked individuals an article that I really liked that explained the origins of the hashtag to people that were asking questions. The next day, I started discussing with people and trying to help find kernels of truth in all of the madness. The next day, I saw your post about asking to hear more from participants in #GamerGate. So here we are. :)”
Anon84: “I was at browsing Reddit at home and saw a topic about Depression Quest, a game that I had played a few weeks earlier and even gave it a positive review on Steam. So I went to check the comment sections and saw a truckload of comments deleted and I posted “What is going on, guys?” and boom, shadowbanned. Two days later I gave a spin on 4chan (I do that every now and again) and saw that thread about GamerGate with this message “Don’t know what it is? See these videos” on the OP and I thought, okay, if things got so bad 4chan, a website that coined the “if you don’t know what it is, lurk moar” rule, is spoon-feeding people then it must be urgent. And here I am now.”
2. What do you think the major goal of #GamerGate is?
Anon76: “More honest gaming websites/journalism.”
Anon77: “It’s a chaotic movement. The absolute goal seems a bit out of sight, I would agree. Gamers on one hand want to “oust corruption”, which might be a commendable cause, but is rather vague. On the other hand prove the gamer identity is not and never will be dead, just because a bunch of journalists scream “you’re all dead to us”. And wanting attention from “real” journalists on this issue. And there are many people that want less of the general toxicity in gaming, and if possible internet in general.”
Anon78: “I think gamergate does not have a common goal, every individual has their own goals, but what unites them is that they are dissatisfied with the coverage games journalism is giving”
@bkiffter: “Getting the gamers again to the same level to the “press” and the devs, so they no longer feel the urge to give us sermons from a high horse. Seeing each other again eye to eye.”
Anon79: ” Remove corruption & unethical behaviors from Gaming Journalism.”
@UnrealDonnie: “I think it all boils down to two things: 1. trying to make sure that the press is transparent and fair and 2. that the relationship between many sites and the community is repaired, because there is a ridiculous amount of disconnect between those groups.”
Anon80: “Journalism ethics is the main problem area #GamerGate tries to highlight. Improved ethical guidelines in the gaming press is really all we can hope for. In addition to this I think #GamerGate represents a lack of trust to the gaming press.”
@Jwguy0: “I think the major goal of GamerGate is the reform of gaming journalism; That is, of course, a potentially untrue statement simply because the movement is rather nebulous, and everyone has different ideas. Some members did come from 4chan, while others, like myself, just came in because we thought it was the right thing to do. Some have political motives and some just want to play games without feeling like the media is out to get them. In the case of #NotYourShield, women, minorities and people of other orientations feel as though they’re being used in order to justify the crusade against gamers, #GamerGate, et al. By reform of Gaming Journalism, I mean clearing the line between Op-Ed and Review, gaining full disclosure and ending the corporate practice of rewarding sensationalist articles that encourage hit-pieces and articles that harm the industry or developers. “
Anon81: “To improve the medium as a whole. I’d like to think that’s why we’re all involved.”
Anon82: “I think #GamerGate began in response to years of surmounting anger at gaming journalism. This anger came from a variety of places – anger at clickbait journalism, noted issues with nepotism throughout the gaming industry, developers and journalists protecting outed abusers, radio silence on serious issues with low journalistic standards, hypocrisy and gatekeeping from social justice industry workers, an enormous trend for capitalist apologism among industry workers, conservative response to leftism in gaming – but the “magic” of GG is that these various groups can come together under one banner. The major goal, I believe, is to change the foundation of the gaming industry – from journalism, to developer philosophy. For me, this also means ending in-game harassment and creating good faith & mature dialogues in video gaming.”
Anon83: “Better reviewing standards, freeing the Indie developers from bullies like Leigh Alexander, so that the Indie games can make whatever they want, and to take down the patriarchal system currently in place in the game journalism, and ALL VIDEO GAMING INDUSTRY! No seriously. I go big. And I want to see it bring standards across the board.”
@Tuckerism: “The thing I’ve seen most repeatedly has to be the increased ethical / disclosure standards, such as the ones recently updated by The Escapist. Beyond that, I think everyone has slightly different goals on a huge scale– from a simple apology to the complete failure of certain gaming news sites.”
Anon84: “In order to understand GamerGate’s goals you need to understand what it is. It’s not a cultural movement, it’s not hardcore gamers whining about their hobby changing, it’s not about that girl who slept around and who is now more famous than Jesus. GamerGate is a consumer revolt. It shouldn’t be called GamerGate, but Adam Baldwin coined the hashtag and people adopted it. It should be called KotakuGate or something like that.
Anyway. The whole story started with a bunch of people who wanted journalists to look into the accusation that a developer had slept with a Kotaku writer for good press, and people got really, really mad with the answer they received when they started to complain.
Any sane news outlet worth its salt would have issued a statement about their ethical standards as quickly as possible. A simple “We hold our quality, transparency and consumer satisfaction above anything else, and although this freelancer journalist had disclosed his relationship on a timely manner and did not breach any rules form our code of conduct, we have decided to no longer request his services, to ensure our customers we are listening to their feedback” or something like that. There, done deal, they addressed the issue without throwing anybody under the bus. Minimal damage, they lose very little money this way. This is how corporations handle any sort of delicate situation that could cause public embarrassment. I work for one of the biggest in the world, so I know what I’m talking about.
Instead, users received messages from staff (not the institution, the staff) dismissing the questions about it, and eventually comment sections were closed and users were being banned for talking about the issue. Look, the whole thing didn’t got the size it is because people ran with this Five Guys story to 4chan and went crazy with it. People exhausted their communication channels with the news media. That’s how it got to twitter, it was the one place you could go directly to the guys running the show. People from online communities who didn’t conform to the “official” narrative were banned. That’s the equivalent of incarceration or execution on real life, it’s not something you should do because you started to ask questions. Online communities like Reddit are now under scrutiny, and, as expected, people found dirt on the website. Reddit is currently in a police state, you just can’t see the cops – people are getting shadowbanned due to the content of their personal messages.
So at one point enough people with this more inquisitive nature got together on a place where they could speak without being censored, and got to the conclusion that the gaming press was completely broken. Reviewers that don’t really know what they are talking about, op eds that have nothing to do with video games, blatant agenda pushing due to staff’s personal views and ideologies, staff completely out of touch with their own public, the list goes very long, but it can all be summarized with this: It is riddled with incompetence.
Pay close attention to how quickly the game journalism community dismissed “the internet”, how people like Leigh Alexander act like they hate their public, how everybody who wants to talk video games go to NeoGaf or Reddit or 4chan yet game journalists and other personalities are all on Twitter talking to each other. They isolated themselves from their public, it’s showing, and it’s biting them in the arse so hard most will never recover.
So yeah, major goal, GamerGate wants journalists to take the stick out of their proverbials and stop acting like they know what they are doing and listen, or they are all going out of business. And so far there’s no reason to believe they are not all going out of business.
As a secondary goal, many people want to make it clear that they will not support political pressure on video games. This is where the bickering with the Social Justice Warriors came from and this is why so many left-marxist movements are involved on one side, and why right-wingers are on the other. Right wingers believe people shouldn’t meddle on others affairs, left-wingers want equality for everybody. They are natural enemies and they support whoever is against people the other is supporting.
Devs like Daniel Vavra stepped up in public and said that there is a climate of fear that restricts game development choices because nobody wants to be labeled as misogynistic or bigot to the press. On 4chan, several anons who identifies themselves as game developers (some with proof, some without) showed up to thanks Gaters for their work, because they had to make development decisions with this Political Correctness gun behind their heads, and GamerGate is also trying to remove that. Cthulhu knows, there’s already enough problems with the video game industry as it is, especially so on the executive side.”
3. Is this your main goal, or do you have something else you’d like to see addressed too?
Anon76: “Main goal.”
Anon77: No answer given.
Anon78: “I do this because I think that the video game industry needs a separate journalistic branch (who mainly look at the financial aspects and interpret it if needed (why is company x hiring new people, does this mean a new expansion?) and a branch dedicated to reviews analysis and all sorts of critics. So far journalists seem to have occupied both, which leads to this relationship between creators and coverage that created the distrust we are within.”
@bkiffter: “Personally I’d like to also see a real apology from all those outlets that joined in on “Gamers are evil”. Special emphasis on real, not a backhanded “We still think you suck” like the one from RPS (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/09/08/videogames-are-for-everybody/).”
Anon79: “No. That goal will eventually uncover the collusion with the SJW crowd that feels they need to infiltrate and control games – thereby removing any validity of the art or expression of gaming.”
@UnrealDonnie: “I would say yes, that’s my primary goal. I’d like the games press to recognize that there are ethical lines for reporting on subjects because it can damage their trustworthiness to the community, AND that the press recognizes that gamers themselves are not defined by the loud and abusive minority, but by the beautiful and inclusive majority.”
Anon80: “I would like to see the gaming press handle criticism of the gaming medium in a better way For example the video series by Anita Sarkeesian could have opened up some interesting discussions and journalism, but we have seen nothing except on smaller blogs and on youtube. That makes me believe that the gaming press are not able to take up topics like social justice in a constructive way, and it would be better to not cover issues like this at all.”
@Jwguy0: “I also think there is another goal that aims to pursue corruption in the gaming industry in general; Such interests and efforts led into the discovery and thereafter pursuit of the collusion incident with Phil Fish and members of Indiecade and IGF. This had ties to Gaming Journalism, as well. A number of members actively support TFYC in their IndieGoGo campaign to support Women in Gaming, and may well be interested in finding support for similarly shunned developers or groups.”
Anon81: “Can’t have a bigger goal then positive change as a whole. Not that I can think of anyway. It would be nice to not have creators harassed by certain figures in the industry for putting controversial elements into their games, that would be nice.”
Anon82: “I want the industry across the board to take abuse seriously. I don’t think abuse is being taken seriously enough. [PixieJenni note: Again, cut, discussing with anon82 to talk in more depth elsewhere]
Anon83: “Yes. (Both). Other goals include seeing more sexy female characters in video games NOT LESS, more VARIETY in video games, and more creative freedom! That way a game is only limited by how much enjoyment it brings people and nothing else!”
@Tuckerism: “No, I don’t think I’m on the same page as others. This is going to sound silly, but I really just want to see an improved attitude from journalists, social media admins, and prominent people in the game industry. I’ve seen an outrageous number of petty, childish, and ridiculous comments from people who should know better. If these people want me to agree with them or support their business, they are doing a piss poor job of it. I understand that this has been going on for weeks. I understand that there are assholes and trolls hounding people. I understand that it wears you down. However, you are the one with the microphone; you are the one with an audience; you are the one with influence. In my opinion, you have a greater responsibility to be the bigger person when someone flings crap in your direction. Yes, that’s incredibly unfair; but you are NOT in the same position as that anonymous twitter or forum user. That’s part of being a public figure with influence– you’re going to have to hold your tongue against people who are being complete tools. Please realize that if someone is being an asshole or a troll, you’re not going to change their mind– all you are doing is poisoning your personal “brand” to people like me. And that is what I think has been lost more than anything– I see prominent people more interested in getting a snarky comment or blowing some anonymous user out than being a person that I would be proud to support. I would be absolutely fucking ashamed to support many of these people with my money or my clicks. “Which brings me to my summarized answer to this question– my main goal is to identify the individuals that I do want to support (and conversely, those that I don’t), and then spread that knowledge to my friends, families, and others within my circle of influence. In other words, I’m grading people’s attitudes. Tons of people are failing miserably.
Anon84: “The problem with the general rubbish that the game press finds itself now days is easy to fix. You just need to replace certain key personal with smarter people. This should be a corporate decision and it happens all the time on the corporative world. The only reason it haven’t happened yet is because whoever starts firing people basically will admit guilt, but there’s no way certain editors and writers will remain at their jobs by the end of the year. Passion is useful but it’s no substitute for competence. I can’t do much about the agenda pushing thing from external sources, but if you enforce objectiveness on reviews and create quality standards and restrictions for op-eds, the amount of political pandering will diminish drastically, as executives get their news from these websites, not through online communities. I’m not saying there should be no political discussion on video game websites, but it should never be on the first plane, and it should never be one sided like it is right now. Newspapers have weekly columns created specifically to cater to different ideologies while remaining neutral, it’s not something hard to do.
Criticism to Anita Sarkeesian’s show, for an instance, can close the doors of all media outlets right now with people screaming Bigotry and Misogyny without even bothering to listen to what you have to say. The youtuber HipHopGamer offered great, polite and valid criticism to her show, in such way that to me it is more relevant to video games than the original content he was reviewing (seriously, look it up, it’s VERY good, it’s a shame it came from a youtuber with such a small following), yet nobody outside game forums are talking about it. It’s like she’s above scrutiny.”
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?
Anon76: “You mean the personal attacks, hacking, etc? I hate it when those happens, but there will always be idiots/trolls. Report violence/hacks to the police and move on. Ignore trolls.”
Anon77: “It shows what a sad state society is when everyone thinks they’re not dealing with people when they sit behind a screen. It seems some people are rather disconnected with their fellow human beings.”
Anon78: “No, if I every time human commited a crime I would attribute that crime to me somehow, i would live a sad life. I could say the same about my ethnicity, my political beliefs, my hobbies or my color of hair.”
@bkiffter: “Badly. But I have yet to come up with an effective way to handle these things and those doing them. They tarnish the whole movement”
Anon79: “Its separate. Not every #AntiGamer called me an Autist because they can’t bring themselves to say Retard – so why condemn a whole group of people for one thing?”
@UnrealDonnie: “That’s a hot topic, primarily with the Jenn, Mattie, and Phil situations, but it’s not something that stems from the tag. It’s something that stems from the attitudes that the people affected had towards the movement, causing the radicals to go nuts and starting mining away at those people. If we moved to a different tag, those issues would follow it, it’s just impossible to shed because of the very nature of the internet. For those unfortunate situations to take away from the idea, however, I really don’t think so. While the comparison is a bit far reaching, the American Revolution had its fair share of radicals, as did the Civil Rights movement, and any other movement in history. You can’t say the Civil Rights movement had its message diminished because of the Black Panthers, because ultimately the movement was about positive change, and that message came through. Like I said, far-reaching comparison (because a national revolution and equal rights movement are far more important than a gaming journalism issue) but the very basic idea is the same.”
Anon80: “It is very frustrating when #GamerGate gets blamed for harassment and get insulted because of misinformation. Problems like misogyny and harassment will never be solved if people that should have been allies in the fight against this gets blamed for it. I think #GamerGate is like a shotgun of opinions that will miss its target with a lot of them but still hits the target with a few. All those misses will still be used against #GamerGate to not take the hits seriously. I would say the harassment that has been going on is a different parallel reaction that definitely is a major problem for #GamerGate and those who are targeted. People are afraid to say their opinion and #GamerGate has been branded as a pure evil. The trolls are the only winners here.”
@Jwguy0: “I condemn them, expressly. I would like to believe they are separate, just as I’d like to separate the opposition from their own bad eggs. I do strongly feel that we’ve been trying all the same to collect and stop these incidents, as well as to draw back the building tension, such as with cases like the following: [PixieJenni note: linked was a case of pro-GG people telling another pro-GG to not be as angry/insulting]. That said, I do recognize the argument, even if I don’t like it, that we cannot be fully separated from those whom we fail to stop. I do, however, hold the opposition accountable, in the same right. All we can do is condemn it; the types of harmful behavior that have been committed under the banner is not righteous, in the least. We are trying, at least, and while I am willing to see the statistical possibility, it is hard to see the opposition trying to do the same.”
Anon81: “In a large movement, you can’t control everyone’s behavior. You can call it out and ask people not to do something, and you can disassociate yourself from that behavior, but you can’t control them either. It’s unfortunate, but not usual in terms of large movements either.”
Anon82: “They take away from the tag in certain ways. The issue with sexual harassment needs to be taken seriously, and we need to hold the gaming community to high standards with regards to interacting with others and marginalized identities. However, GG is an absolutely enormous movement now. I don’t think bad apples in the IRC are representative of GG’s contemporary base.”
Anon83: “I think they’re a pain in the butt! The fact that they keep trying to divide us between left and right wing, or boy vs. girl, or even SJW vs. gamer?! THAT MAKES ME MAD! But it makes us stronger too! We’ve survived a lot of things, they can’t stop us that easily! Oh wait you mean the harassment of people? Yeah, I think that’s 1) thanks to articles LYING about us, and 2) Because that’s what trolls do. They’re obnoxious. It’s like motorcycle clubs. 99% follow the law. 1% don’t. Hardocre gamers and those in #GamerGate? 99.99% don’t harass. 0.01% do. Why should ALL gamers take a back rap for 0.01%? That’s insane. 1% of America is in prison, does that mean we’re all criminals?
“Call out harassers,” yes, thank you, I am. While you’re at it, why don’t you tell me to brush my teeth, Mom?”
@Tuckerism: “I’ve said this many times to people via the hashtag, and I’ll say it here. Twitter is a horrible place for this kind of discussion. To take it further, the Internet is a horrible place for this kind of discussion. There is absolutely nothing stopping me from sending you this e-mail and then turning around, creating a new account, harassing developers, journalists, or individuals on #GamerGate. We’re playing a game of soccer where anyone can run onto the field and change their jerseys anytime. It horrendous that people are being harassed. But that is a problem with the anonymous nature of the internet, not #GamerGate. It’s the internet’s greatest strength and it’s biggest weakness. If there was an honest, known, agreed upon way to deal with anonymous internet harassment / trolls and then a majority of individuals on #GamerGate refused to do it, then you have a right to condemn the users of the hashtag. One thing I’d also like to mention is that we should be very careful of our definition of harassment. Getting pinged by a bunch of people because you tweeted a vague, snarky comment about the users of #GamerGate is not harassment. Getting death threats, phone hang-ups, and doxxing is harassment. Please give the term the respect it deserves before it’s slung around.”
Anon84: “It just shows how out of touch with reality game journalists are. It’s beyond me how so many people who make a living off the internet don’t understand how it works.
Give it a look: You have one group of people who are as polite as they can be, who engage in constructive conversation and try to explain their point of view, and another who is bashing people as much as they can. To take the second group seriously and not attribute this as an attempt to troll is to not understand how the internet works.
As for the harassment… Like I said, the Internet works on different rules. Remember how a few years ago people used to say Youtube Comments Is Where Words Go To Die. And now it’s a much better place since your comments are all tied to your Google+. People are way more polite when they are using their own identity.
On the counter point, when you’re dealing with a public that has been known for doing very nasty things to the opposition (how many people from GamerGate got doxed on the past month and how many people from the opposite side were hacked? Aside from Zoe Quinn’s dox, nobody. SJWs are much worse than 4chan nowadays. Much, much worst.), you need to protect your identity from mean spirited people. And when all the involved are driven from their communities and go to 4chan, you can’t really expect people to disengage the Anon mode once they go to twitter. They have very little incentive to be polite to the people who have censored them, who have attempted an atrociously badly staged attempt to kill their identity. I hardly believe people like Kuchera and Leigh Alexander would have behaved the way they did in face of a mob wanting answers. Faraci’s different story, people dismiss him because he runs a small website but he’s much smarter than most people realise.
You might notice I used the word mob. It’s because it’s what it is. This is not like the Occupy Wall Street movement. These are not people shouting “Stop being mean”, these are the people who have power and weapons, and given time they will get what they want regardless of what people think. Never mess with the people who pay your bills. I don’t know if Kotaku and Polygon and RPS and Gamasutra think they are the government, but they’re going to realize very soon not only they don’t have the monopoly of violence but that they can’t fight back at all. The faster these institutions fix their stuff the better it is for then. The question here is why they aren’t doing something that is on their best interest. So, my point is that if this people knew who they were handling, nobody would be in this position. There’s always going to be a lot of people going crazy on the internet. It’s not a gamer issue, it’s an internet issue.
When you’re Anonymous, you have no identity. People throw around words like fag and cunt and whatnot because they mean nothing to anybody there. You’re anonymous, you have no face. When somebody gets pissed you used a “trigger”word, you’ve been baited and you will be trolled by as many people as possible. That’s how the community shapes its users into understanding how anonymity works. It’s not just that nobody knows who you are, but that there is no identity whatsoever, and there should be no identity whatsoever or the whole purpose of anonymity disappears. Reddit, on the other hand, allows you to use a handle (different from Facebook, who will ban you if you’re using a fake profile) but you have a username, a post history. You create a continuity, a narrative, and a reputation for yourself, not so unlike real life. Twitter, not unlike Facebook, it’s a place where everybody uses their own identity, at least if you’re some sort of celeb. Words have different weights over there, because it’s a personal place. Trying to spin this into a “gamers are horrible human beings” story probably destroyed the last chance these people had at saving their jobs. This got squat to do with gamers, but everything to do with online communities – the ones that game journalists never go to.”
5. Are there any things #GamerGate seems to be addressing that you disagree with?
Anon77: See answer 2.
Anon78: “gamergate seems to jump to conclusions easily, which is understandable due to the fact that is the result of dissatisfaction and that twitter has a 140 char limit, which is why I dont really use twitter. also there is obviously no clear line to this “movement” there is no organisation to speak of so it’s hard to tell what gamergate does or wants. Some people attributed child pornography to it, although I have seen no relation to it other than the fact that Anita S. was the target and some of the users of that hashtag dislike her for either what she is covering or how she is covering it. ”
@bkiffter: “Yes. In my opinion #GamerGate got a huge influx of right wingers and MRA types owning to a) the signal boosting by Adam Baldwin (while I like him as an Actor I’m against the majority of his political views) and b) the fact that this kerfuffle only gets positive press by conservative media (luckily not yet by FOX “news”). While I’m all for investigations of allegations (ZQ charity, AS police reports) these things turn into a witch hunt (someone even offered “1000$ to charity for your police report”. Obama’s birth certificate part 2…). And while I’m not sure they are born from misogyny (they went after Phil Fish, IGF and thisotherindiethingIforgotthename with the same vigor after all) these prejudgements are just wrong. They show the same flaws they don’t want in game journalism.”
@UnrealDonnie: “I think the idea of a grand conspiracy is a bit far-fetched, primarily because I believe the issue stems from an industry mindset rather than specific collusion. While certain areas are definitely connected, to say that they’re trying to go all New World Order on the gaming world is a little…illogical.”
Anon80: “I’m not a fan of the use of “SJW” and other insults. I understand what is meant by it but I don’t think labeling people like this is helpful at all. I do not agree with the trivialization of the threats some anti GamersGate people have received.”
@Jwguy0: “Hm. I wonder. Sometimes I do consider that some of our allies might have dubious intentions, as some of the more notable ones come from political backgrounds and movements that simply coincide with our own. An example being some of the extremely right-wing journalists that have come to defend us, but then, at the moment, they’ve not said anything, and I stress, ‘to my knowledge‘, that I would disagree with as part of #GamerGate, though I am sure we have differences, elsewhere.”
Anon81: “I’d say less focus at this point on Anita and Zoe. It’s been addressed, lies have been outed, and what’s done is done. Let’s move on to bigger, more productive topics.”
Anon82: “People need to stand down on attacking Anita Sarkeesian. Her work is beneficial to the gaming community. What is NOT beneficial is when pro-Anita journalists and developers talk down to gamers and refuse to meet them at the table to discuss her views. But Anita is, in and of herself, a valuable asset to the gaming community.”
Anon83: “Eh. I still think policing “our own” is borderline impossible because they’re not really our own, but whatever, I’ll keep at it.”
@Tuckerism: “I see some people being incredibly aggressive with people that disagree with #GamerGate. But on the other hand, I’ve never seen so many messages asking people to respect those with different ideas and not to harass people if they don’t agree. I think the hashtag is honestly policing itself quite well– it’s the stuff that’s going on outside of the tag that I’m unsure about.”
Anon84: “I’m still not sure if trying to find a way to get back at Zoe Quinn for her false flag on a certain website I will not mention (due to their user base’s desire to remain forgotten and unmentioned) is something that GamerGate should be addressing. But many people have a beef with her, and she kept doing things to provoke Gaters, too. This is not much of a GamerGate thing as much as it’s something that 4chan usually does on its own. She’s lucky it’s contained to GamerGate threads (who are mostly people interested solely on games). If it had bled to other boards like /b/, she wouldn’t be trying to provoke people anymore. There’s a reason 4chan has a bad reputation.
Getting involved in charities and all this other stuff was a good thing to do as a human being but it has nothing to do with video games and it’s not something that GamerGate should be aiming to do. GG’s problems are not things that will go away if you throw money at it. I would much rather have that money used to fund an institution that audits game journalism websites or something like that. Putting that hashtag on trending topics was good to raise awareness but it has proven to have accomplished nothing besides annoying almost everyone involved on the industry. People shouldn’t be wasting their time on Twitter unless they want to contact someone very specifically.”
6. Are there any things #GamerGate is ignoring that you want it to talk about?
Anon77: See answer 2.
Anon78: “Because of how the movement is only a few individuals were willing to take responsibility for their mistakes, for example the false accusations, I know that shortfatotaku apologized to the devs of crypt of the necrodancer because he (or cameralady) jumped to conclusions. I have seen pictures of that whole burgersandfries thing spread with two deconfirmed names and faces still on it.”
@bkiffter: “While there are things I think that should change (general (as in not reduced to women) tropes, cash milking (e.g. on disc DLC), gamer as beta tester, disappearance of demos) those points have IMHO no place in #GamerGate.”
@UnrealDonnie: “AAA companies. For the most part, the movement has been concerned with Indie games companies and media outlets, but the AAA companies are even worse with their attempts at buying reviews that we need to put the pressure on them as well. While I think eventually #GamerGate will address this, it’s very slow to build because of the strong focus on the current issues.”
Anon80: “YouTubers and streamers taking money for covering games”
@Jwguy0: “I wish we could be more loving, overall. It is hard. Even I felt outraged when I first came to the movement, and framed more of my tweets and posts in the idea that what ‘they’ were doing was unacceptable. ‘They’ were attacking us, participating in the same acts that they were simultaneously decrying. That wasn’t untrue. But lately, I’ve been calmer about the whole thing, particularly after I realized my stake, and what I imagine is a whole lot of others’ stake, in the whole thing: I just want a better world, in and outside of my games. I don’t want to be told because of my race or because of my hobbies that I’m a terrible person. I don’t want women or minorities to feel oppressed in games. I don’t think what the current Gaming Journalism outlets are doing can properly bridge that gap because they are only polarizing us further by silencing, and then demonizing the dissent. They have developers out there who are fearing for their careers, and feel like they are being pressured into being silent or toeing a line because if they don’t, they’ll lose their one chance to make the games they love. I wish the individuals in #GamerGate were just as loving, all the time. I know why they get upset, and I sympathize, and I try to talk with them and guide them back to the good, righteous path of standing for what they believe in, but being kind and respectful while doing so. I feel like they’re right to be angry, but that’s not what we need, right now.”
Anon81: “Nothing I haven’t already talked about in early questions. We’re doing a fantastic job as a whole, let’s just keep it up.”
Anon82: “#GamerGate needs to take harassment and abuse seriously. Across the board. That means calling out abusers in the gaming community, industry, and journalism networks on all sides.”
Anon83: “None come to mind? But I’m pretty outspoken so there’s that.”
@Tuckerism: “I don’t think so. There’s pretty much always someone who’s championing a cause, whether it’s media blacklists, cataloging harassment, calling advertisers, etc.”
Anon84: “The list of things I want to fix on Gamedom is almost as long as the list of things I want to fix on any other –dom. As for GamerGate, I wish it could stay on just one topic instead of spreading itself too thin.”