[name removed by request]
I wanna preface this by saying I find the gamergate vs. anti-gamergate thing to be inherently counterproductive. Groupthink poisons pretty much all meaningful discussion to be had online. If you ally yourself with a large group of people, especially with a reputation like SJW and GamerGate, you give people the ability to have ideas about what you think before you’ve even said it, which fuels all the terrible ad hominem and attacks on credibility which is something no discussion benefits from.
I’ll admit, I started out ready and willing to support GamerGate. I’ve thought for a long LONG time that game “journalism” is absolute abysmal. I was a bit dubious that it was apparently THIS one “scandal” that got people up in arms about it, but I was glad that game journalism was finally having a calculated movement to criticize and attempt to improve it. Even when it was starting I could see plenty of plain out misogyny in the Zoe-hate, but I was willing to do the greater movement the favor of believing them when they said it was about ethics. I can SEE where they’re coming from when they say that “it isn’t about zoe”. Yes, it CONCERNS her, but she was just a big cog in a bigger journalistic machine. I WANTED to support GamerGate. I really did. Then I realized it was all bullshit.
My problem with game journalism isn’t the nepotism. Nepotism is just a shitty fact of life. It exists in pretty much every entertainment related career, and it is never going to go away. My problem also wasn’t the editorials in support of social justice and the negative reviews that had their basis in social issues with the games, such as representation and sexualization of female characters. I may not AGREE with some of those articles, especially the reviews. But that’s what they think, that’s what matters to them, and they have a space to speak their mind. My problem with game journalism is the complete and utter lack of ACTUAL journalism. I can’t remember the last time I read an interview with a developer or publisher rep that wasn’t just a glorified PR piece. Never ONCE have I seen a really tough Q&A. These sites tend to not list multiple sources, hell, they tend to not source AT ALL. Little more than basic comments from PR sources and the occasional routine google search seem to constitute the research. The very basics of journalism are ignored. I don’t expect a full on Hunter S. Thompson in all of these sites, but come on.
So you can see why I might be initially attracted to the movement. It took about 2 days to see where their true intentions were. All the cries for ethics were just masking their hatred for the “SJWs”. They didn’t want a healthy journalistic landscape, they wanted one that catered to them and them only. They didn’t want objectivity, they wanted subjectivity in THEIR favor. For all their talk of social censorship and silencing false claims of being triggered, they’ve basically done the same things with different terms and under a different banner. Instead of being “triggered” they’re being “censored”. Like someone telling them they shouldn’t be assholes is equivalent to being ARRESTED for being an asshole which would be an ACTUAL first amendment violation. Never mind that right to free speech doesn’t even apply to your voice on someone ELSE’S website such as comment sections and even tweets, but that’s a different kettle of fish. I don’t think there’s a single thing GamerGate has accused feminism of that people within GamerGate haven’t done themselves, INCLUDING the disowning of people doing those shitty things as not being part of the group.
So you might think I’m staunchly on the other side then. I’m not! While GamerGate may be hypocritical and doing the same things they accuse anti-GG of doing, anti-GG has most definitely done a LOT of those things, which isn’t okay. The examples include the bullying of wizardchan, liberal use of virgin/fat/neckbeard/mom’s basement as insults, the deleting of threads and comments and numerous shadowbans on reddit for talking about gamergate without breaking the rules, digging up irrelevant dirt from year old posts and tweets (something gamergate does as well btw forgot to mention), all around shitty journalism as I have mentioned before. The purveying attitude I get form a lot of game journalists right now is one of smug condescension. That their opinions are better than the average consumer, that THEY are better. That insulting their audience is A-OK and they deserve no repercussion for it. The broad strokes in which they paint “nerds” and “gamers” due this movement is pretty awful. This all boils back down to the whole groupthink problem I laid out before, I think. We all have the ability to assume things about people before they’ve been able to say anything.
All in all, if I HAD to be forced into one of the two extremes, I’m 100 percent SJW. I think quite a lot of them a bit too berserk but at least they go berserk about what is ultimately a good idea, as opposed to the group of people who tend to just be assholes (There’s groupthink at work again! Isn’t it grand?). I hate game journalism, but I can’t in my right mind support a group that is absolutely built upon a foundation of hate of misogyny, no matter what ideals they claim to fight for. At the same time though, the other side has done bad things I’m not okay with either, even if it’s not as bad.
Fuck it. I have agreed with the points of a few GG and anti-GG people. I shouldn’t be forced to pick a side, so I won’t. I’m staunchly “me” on this issue. I side with myself.