From the outset, I am against “GamerGate”. This does not mean that I am against corruption, it does not mean that I do not recognise the diversity of modern gamers, it does not mean I support “doxxing”, nor does it mean I am against video games. I am against GamerGate. Some people using the tag may be genuinely concerned with gaming culture but it has done more damage than any good. The only actual good that has been achieved is a large sum being donated to charities. However, I see that as the act of a few people using the tag and not the accomplishment and GG as a whole.
It’s been claimed that GamerGate has “nothing to do with abuse”. Frankly, from what I’ve seen, I would say that’s contrary to a lot of GG activity – I’ve seen misogyny, transmisogyny and ableism spring forth. Some gaters will say something along the lines of “GamerGate doesn’t abuse anyone”. Abuse is morally bad (Captain obvious, I know. This is just to make the analogy clearer), some may think that not abusing someone is morally good, I personally see not abusing someone as morally neutral i.e.; You don’t deserve praise for not abusing someone. I see fighting abuse as the morally good thing; addressing the abuser, supporting the abused, these actions are not taken by GG. Abuse has been a part of GamerGate and taking action against abuse has not been.
Now, gaters will claim that their “movement” CAN’T be abusive because of people under the tag “Not Your Shield” – Where gamers under varied identities come forward to support GG. But there are two major problems with NYS, being;
Speaking of diversity in gaming, I believe this is what “Gamers are dead” referred to. It is a statement that has people up in arms, it seems to have hit the soft spot of a lot of people. If it were expanded, the sentence would read something like “The stereotypical gamer is gone. Not only has the audience become diverse but gaming and gamers ha become a much more acceptable thing.”. I like how diverse gaming has become, I couldn’t stand stereotypical gamers. I couldn’t stand being told that the games I liked “weren’t real games”, that my poor performance on particular games meant I was told that I couldn’t play anymore, that someone on the other end of a headset would scream abuse (it never got to me but it got very annoying). We’ve all been there. As gamers, we’ve all had to face this weird elitism in games. These people were ruining gaming culture and, up until a point, held back gaming’s diversity. Gaming opened up, gaming was fun, gaming was something that anyone could enjoy, the elitists couldn’t hold this back any longer. (these) Gamers WERE dead, in the best possible way. Sadly, GamerGate has not only misunderstood “Gamers are dead” but it has managed to brought these people back to life. The words “Gamer Gate” were a magic spell to turn these gamers into zombies, to rise from the dead and to be given a soapbox to stand on. These zombies only care about your identity when they can hide behind it. They don’t care that someone of the same identity wants better representation, when someone suggests more characters with these identities. In fact, they lose it. As far as I’m concerned; “Not Your Shield” and “Gamers are dead” are the same thing, a celebration of how open gaming had become.
I don’t see any clear goals from GamerGate. I’m told it stands against corruption but all I’ve been shown are conspiracies, suspicions, rumours spread like wild fire and GamerGate was holding the match. The loudest (loudest, not smartest) voices of GamerGate do not fight abuse (yet use it when it’s against gamergate – which is debatable). They do not want to celebrate identities in gaming, they want to use those identities as a shield. GamerGate ITSELF is a shield, abusers lurk under the tag and will defend their undignified anger with “Not your shield”, “It happens on both sides”, “(disagreeing with me, ignoring me is) Censorship!”.
Simply put, GamerGate isn’t really anything worthwhile. It is a cover. I’d probably give it a second thought had it achieved (or tried to achieve) more good. Why should I take this seriously when its claims are based on rumours? Why should I take this seriously when it can’t be bothered to stop abuse? Why should I take this seriously if it only uses abuse to its own advantage? Why should I take this seriously when journalists can’t do a thing to ruin my gaming experiences? Why should I take this seriously when the only people that ever tried to ruin my fun were the dead gamers?
I shouldn’t. I don’t.