PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

At Around Two Months In (part 2)

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.

You can email your responses to pixiegamergate@gmail.com

1. At around two months in, why are you still a part of #GamerGate?

@tehcrazgaming:  “Without adding in dramatic flare, this is only two months into something called #GamerGate. I have had to defend my love for games for years and I feel that #GamerGate has taken on another chapter in that. At the beginning, I was only tangentally interested in what was to become #GamerGate. The connections seen between Zoe and Nathan, to me, seemed thin (but enough to be addressed) and that it felt like tinfoil hat theories. Though once people started digging and connections were found from Patrica Hernandez and Anna Anthropy (I apologize if I botched the spelling) that had a very clear conflict of interest, the lack of disclosure upset me and being talked down to for being upset about it made me start using my voice to call for ethics reform.

So now, two months in, I have just had my stance on the lack of ethical integrity reaffirmed when John Funk, former editor for The Escapist and current Asset Manager for Polygon, said in an AMA when asked about Patricia Hernandez’s conflict of interest said:

Question Do you find situations like Patricia Hernandez living with someone while writing about them problematic?

Answer: Potentially. This is coming closer to the gray line than anything like “X knows Y” or “X backs Y on Patreon” largely because if they live together, X is dependent on Y doing well financially for things like, yknow, paying rent.

That said, I don’t think it’s necessarily automatically 100% bad, either. If it’s a potentially interesting game they’re making that’s worth covering on its own, having a person close to the source for interviews, perspective, etc can be valuable. (And if the game is free-to-play and there’s no financial stake in it, then the earlier concern is certainly lessened). But if the game is being sold, the only part at which I’d balk would be having Patricia review it, because that then ties a direct financial stake into it.

But I’ve never worked at Kotaku so I can’t say what goes on in their newsroom. I have worked under Brian Crecente, and he runs a very tight ship – nothing but respect for him – but I’m not sure if Patricia came on to Kotaku after he left or what.

(http://www.reddit.com/r/GamerGhazi/comments/2itl5s/im_a_former_games_journalist_the_escapist_polygon/cl5na4b Link to the specific comment, third question)

This greatly upset me and pretty much made me double down on my stance. #GamerGate was told they are only a hate movement, a terrorist movement, and that the lack of ethics was only a front and had no validity. Then John Funk confirms that there is a problem. And I would like to say, I don’t think John is knowingly brushing ethics aside when he says this. I think that he knows/ believes things are above board with interactions and, because he knows/believes, that these incidents are not unethical. But the statement that he doesn’t think it is a problem. Everyone brings up the SPJ’s code for a reason. The first line under acting independently is:

“Avoid conflicts of interest, real or perceived. Disclose unavoidable conflicts.”


It shows that there is a disconnect and given how we have been addressed to some legitimate critisim, that there are some journalists and organizations that don’t care.

That is the primary reason I am still with #GamerGate but not the only reason. One major thing I have noticed is that, in combination with the #NotYourShield movement, the assumption that people who use the #GamerGate tag are straight white males until proven otherwise. Even this late, today Tom Mendelson of The Independent called @PlatinumParagon a ‘totally legitimate and actual human female’ (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B0GQZLUCQAE_AO5.jpg:large)
and, after referring to her as a misogynist and her asking him to prove that she is one, his response is “find a mirror I guess.” (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B0GKSMXCMAEBS8V.jpg:large)
#Gamergate has been labeled as a hate movement since it’s inception and has been utterly slammed by media over and over on this while having a blind eye turned to it and that is, in no way at all, fair. Note, I am not absolving any horrible things that has been said or done by anyone in #GamerGate. This is saying that this sort of sexism and harassment isn’t locked to #GamerGate and no one has given it proper attention.


2. What do you specifically want to see happen before it comes to an end?

@tehcrazgaming: “I have always believed that each ‘side,’ and I know you have issues with using that term, is operating on two points that do not intersect in opposition while yelling at eachother over which one is more important and blaming and dehumanizing the opposition. I want to see the latter stop. It is easy to forget that we are dealing with human beings behind the 140 characters of text on twitter. I would like for acknowledgement of the horrible things that have been done against the members of #GamerGate, such as Boogie, Erik Foreman, @QueenyMartha, and various others that have been receiving death threats and harassment as well.

As far as journalism goes, I would like reviews to answer one specific question. “Is this game fun?” Using Polygon’s review for Tropico 5, the writer praised the gameplay systems, the feeling of power it gave, the visuals of a tropical location, and slammed the game for not being funny and that “Tropico 5 constantly reminded me of all the blood staining my hands.”
The writer even praised the game’s multiplayer, something that most city building simulation games do not even attempt to have. But then, the score? A 6.5. After praising every baseline system within the game, the game gets a slightly above average score. To me, it reads that he hated the humor, the fact that you get to act like a dictator and be as corrupt as you wanted, and slashed the score for it. While the counter argument is ‘It is just a number” holds valid, it shows that there is a lack showing an objective representation of the product based on the core elements of the game. The 6.5 rating would would have been fine if the article didn’t praise so much of the gameplay mechanics. Other outlets spoke to the game being more of the previous four games with not much innovation. That surely justifies a 6.5 rating more than “This game played great but I hate what power it gave me.”

I also want journalists to stop speaking down to their audience like they are idiots. I have seen journalists regularly insult their audience for challenging them on why violence against a woman character is any different than killing 50 male characters prior. These are adult topics and, spoiler alert, not everyone asking them is looking to try and hardline a stance.

And as a final point, to rear back some of the op-ed material and tone for an actual op-ed. The Bayonetta 2 review from Polygon had a tone of someone who loathed the game for it’s depiction of the main character. It truly read like someone who was statically listing off the systems, post art critique, without giving any sense to if the damn game was fun. One third of the review was talking about how the game was a gross pandering of sexual imagery. The first third.

There is room for critiques and concerns, but a review for a game should atleast highlight if the game is fun. I am not saying to hide these thoughts, but positioning of the segment and the amount of time spent is a big deal. An Op-ed/podcast is more fitting to deal with those issues in detail.”


3. What do you consider its achievements thus far?

@tehcrazgaming: “I feel that the achievements thus far are more subtle in nature than the overt ones. Of course we have websites such as The Escapist revisiting and changing their ethics statements and Kotaku and Polygon clarifying their ethics statements. As a note, no matter how you feel about Kotaku and Polygon, they did atleast address issues regarding things as Pateron and I still believe Polygon’s policy to have a distinct potential for a conflict of interest regarding Pateron. #Gamergate and 4chan, despite it now having moved to 8chan, also raised money for The Fine Young Capitalists and created a rather neutral character in Vivian James that, I feel represents a huge demographic of gamers in that Vivian just want to play games.

While those are great achievements, I feel that the subtle ones are far more meaningful. Through this entire bedlam, those in support of #GamerGate were able to combat this mindset that only straight white gamers are the ones who enjoy the current state of games. They also banded together and showed great support for other gaming publications that are small or in their infancy, such as NicheGamer, Revue Labs, TechRaptor, and GoodGamers.us.

I also think that it has exposed everyone to something important: No matter what your stance is on anything, shitty people exist in the world. People from all walks who are pro-#GamerGate or anti-#GamerGate have shown they can be cruel individuals who are more than fine with treating people like scum. And some of them feel they are justified in doing so. Prior to the University scare, the vitriol was starting to lull and more moderates were starting to converse, beginning to see that this polarization of the issue was a bit excessive. But now, it seems that people are doubling down, but for a moment I saw a glimmer of people beginning to talk and beginning to acknowledge the oppositions points at some level. But then the threat happened, #GamerGate was blamed and everything regressed a good week or so to extremely polarized stances.”

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At Around Two Months In (part 1)

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.

You can email your responses to pixiegamergate@gmail.com

1. At around two months in, why are you still a part of #GamerGate?

Anon1: “Changes so far have been superficial and the major problems have not been addressed.”


Anon2: “Because I believe most of the harassment comes from a third party to both sides that no one can do a goddamn thing about. I’ve been called names since the beginning of time.
80s – satan worshipper
90s – nerd/geek
00s – violent criminal
10s – misogynist
Same ballte, new coat of paint. I’ve honestly ran out of fucks to give. I don’t think that anyone want women out of games, that’s stupid. (here is my rant against gamers hating women)  I think more can be done to attract women to the game industry though, but all these fucking articles going ham on gamers painting them as women hating as a whole is just scaring potentials away, leaving the low hanging fruit, when there could be so much better. I work in a place where we have many women on our IT, nobody bats an eye. I’ve played games with girls, including MMOs, where many of the females in my raids where some of the most concentrated and best. I know of many strong female characters and leads since I’ve been playing games for the last 17 years or so. Sorry that got a bit ranty. I think most of these articles and Jonathan McIntosh’s project is pure bullshit from experience. I want to make games, and I don’t want the merit of my games to be based of of the people I know or am chummy with.”


Anon3: “I originally joined #GamerGate due to the articles attacking gamers posted in early August. I mean, in what field can you brazzenly put down your readership and still have a job? It would be like TV Guide saying “TV/Movie Watchers are hateful sexist pigs” because of movies like Lethal Weapon, The Hangover, etc. Shortly after I started becoming vocal about it on Twitter, my wife joined in the fray, being a semi-avid gamer herself. Still at it now, despite it all because I feel those that are culpable have not been held accountable and punished as such. Also, until there are safegaurds in place to prevent the attacks, and further corruption that has been shown, I feel that #GamerGate should continue. It’s really a shame, as bad as it is for me to admit, Kotaku was one of my favorite sites to go to, but I feel since they personally attacked myself and my wife (not directly personal, but nonetheless I took it as such) without apology or reaction, then I must do what I can as a consumer to make them hear me.”


Anon4: “Gamers NEED Publishers/Developers (to make games)
P/D NEED Gamers (to buy the games)
Neither Need ‘Games Journalists’
‘Games Journalists’ NEED Gamers and P/D

The games industry is the relationship between the Publishers and the Consumer (Gamers). Games Journalists are a essentially a parasite on the industry. Gamers will never be over. Games Journalists are over. The arrogance of Games Journalists is astounding. As Consumers we all talk about and critic games. All views are valid and wildly different. That’s good. No-one likes to be told what to think and what to do but that’s what these Games Journalists are doing, en masse, in unison.”


Anon5: “I’m still at #GamerGate because there are nonstop baseless accusations made. Yes, I understand that GG does have problems, but no GG didn’t threaten Anita or Brianna Wu. Those accounts that did that had nothing to do with GG, also GG were the ones to report them on Twitter and to the FBI. With this blatant false accusations and misinfo going around I can’t see this ending anytime soon. Until GG is stop being made a boogeyman to blame all harassment and threats on, this won’t end.”


Anon6: “Because I feel we haven’t achieved our goals, if anything the situation has gotten worse. This idea that we’re trying to push women out of the games industry is offensive and upsetting. We’re fighting to end the misrepresentation of gamers and gaming, the people that were controlling the narrative and allowing femfreq to drive their agenda via our news media are still doing the same thing they were doing two months ago. Only now they’re claiming that we’re a hate group which is attacking women. “


Anon7: “Ever since I started using the hashtag seeing nothing but one -sided articles against gamer gate made me realize that journalism as a whole is corrupted and it need some improving I want to try to make that improvement at least when it come to gaming journalism and maybe others will follow suit.”


Anon8: “While I’m all for progressive ideologies and I consider myself an egalitarian, forcing change where said change is slowly becoming the norm is kind of sickening when I see the kind of people who actually want change say the same things as “kill all gamers” and the like. It’s just tiring after awhile. And while everyone preaches they want an open narrative I have yet to see any legitimate response to Gamergate that actually addresses it’s core concerns, most preach the same “it’s all misogyny” thing that really rubs me the wrong way, regardless of how it “started” in the first place. Summary: I haven’t seen the right response/s to it yet, not on an acceptable level, but its slowly getting there, and I will stick with it until there is.”


2. What do you specifically want to see happen before it comes to an end?

Anon1: “I’d like to see all press have equal access to content for reviews. I’d like to see the game advertising that still does exist on game sites be removed, changed to something that won’t create possible CoI. I’d like to see everyone truly open their minds to different opinions on matters. Some journalists could stand to learn a sense of perspective – it’s ok to criticize parts of games as being possibly taken as sexist, but be open to discussion and even possibly being proven wrong. Also, if a broader picture needs to be painted of poor games design, I think it’s counterproductive to try to do it piecemeal through individual reviews. Instead, address issues with broader articles exploring multiple examples to make a more concrete case. Just as an example, Kotaku’s comment policy is that your comments need to be approved. IMO, this does not work. People need to be treated innocent until proven guilty and not the other way around.”


Anon2: “Honestly it’s simple. Some of the more extremists, I feel should be judged on how they have acted this whole time. If you have a public platform, you have more responsibility to be held accountable to what you say, especially when your audience has concerns. The only other thing I want to see is indie game festivals and journalists to be transparent about people they donate to, support and have current or budding personal relationships with. Once we have come to a standard and agreement I think it’s the duty of both parties to press  the larger developers to build transparency for us consumers as well. There are problems inside and out, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.”


Anon3: “I’d say three things to clarify what I said above:
1) Ethics Policy adopted.
2) Ethics Policy enforced.
3) A public apology from all sites and journalists involved in the article postings mentioned above.”


Anon4: ““If all a woman talks about is feminism, she’s no feminist, she’s a narcissist”. I want people to drop this it’s anti-feminist rubbish. People largely disagree with what is said by a person, not who they are. It don’t matter if you’re male or female, black or white, old or young. If people think you talk shit, they are gonna call you a dickhead (In 140 characters or less).”


Anon5: “Specifically me? Ben Kuchera getting fired. Forget everything else, I’d drop and renounce everything if that guy got barred from the industry. Have you seen all the leaked GameJournoPros emails? They guy bullies anyone with a dissenting opinion and when people call him out he goes bananas.”


Anon6: “I would like to see retractions from a lot of websites or at least a change in tone. I would also like the accusations of misogyny to be stopped as I feel they’re ridiculous. Gamers are some of the most progressive people I know.”


Anon7: “I want to at LEAST see the people who made that “gamers are dead” make a public apology as well as improve their code of ethics. Yes there are the socially inept people who plays video games, believe I’m one of them but that doesn’t mean I am sexist or hate women. The majority gamer community is a very diverse and inclusive including groups men, women, blacks, white, latin, asian, and homosexuals. People who range from very shy to very confident. Something that I would like to see, that is less likely to happen, is both sides come together and have a huge major debate for everyone to see and have too issues of gaming be in the forefront.”


Anon8: “I just want more transparency and more focus on actual video games in the industry, especially after Milo managed to uncover that Google group. It’s a disgusting abuse of the influence they have for their own personal beliefs, which while having said beliefs is fine, should at least be more separated from their work. There has been a severe lack of trust between them and a lot of consumers for awhile now really, this is most likely the result of it.”


3. What do you consider its achievements thus far?

Anon1: “The Escapist has a well detailed ethics policy – that’s good. People can talk at least a little more freely about sexism with less fear of being instantly labeled a misogynist. It’s also shown how varied gaming fans really are. Oddly enough, I think it’s kind of shown the world that videogames are grown up and it’s time to stop treating them as toys, but as their own legitimate media.”


Anon2: “There has been many outlets that have given a voice to the disgruntled mass following the gamergate scandal. It may not be everyone, but it’s a start, and we see more and more people asking about it every day, as well as others that say “well at first I thought this but when I looked closer then I saw what was really going on” I’ve been able to voice our dissent to publishers of sites that refuse to hear us and make a difference there as well. It’s something I hate to have to resort to, but if they won’t listen to our voices, then we will make then listen to our wallets. That’s all. I feel so much of this could have been avoided all together had they not stifiled the voices of so many, loet discussion go, and not gone with the whole “Gamer audience is dead’ approach.”


Anon3: “I have made such amazing friends during this movement. I have become more involved not only in this movement, but others as well..as this seems to have broken me out of my timid shell. Most recently I would say #GamerFruit was such a breath of fresh air, that it’s convinced me to buy and eat more healthily, if not from @diceeurope, then maybe from some other importer for the US. These are just personal examples, but I would say they represent the good of #GG on the whole.”


Anon4: “There are no achievements. Everyone is tired and emotional. Gamers just want to play. Publishers want their money. And I don’t know what Games Journalist want – Gamers in burlap sacks, mucking out the stables of their pink flying unicorns of social justice? The additional voices (@Glinner @Weedon @PennyRed and others), chipping in their two cents isn’t helping. It’s bringing it to a bigger audience with it more trolls and more vitriol, There’s a lot of opportunistic people hijacking this to boost their own profile. Also, when you have a lot ( I dunno what’s a lot 300k?) plus twitter subscribers are you really helping the women getting death threats by putting a spotlight on them or are you just trying to tell the world you’re a good guy/gal? As long as the media and Games Journalists push their narrative this will continue. The lack of fair representation and unbiased journalism is exactly what Gamergate is about NOW.”


Anon5: “Escapists ethics reform. Kotaku did a half assed ethics reform but it’s something. Polygon added a lot of disclosure to Patricia Hernandez’ articles because she didn’t disclose her relationship romantic and living situations with several developers she wrote on. Funded TFYC, whether you agree or not, raising that kind of money is not any easy feat. Donated 5k to a depression charity. Brought the GamesJournoPros list to light. Got Anthony Burch to admit that he got journalist friends to give the DLC for Borderlands 2 he wrote positive reviews. At the very least it got people to start talking about ethics in gaming journalism even if you wish that it would all go away.”


Anon6: “Sadly, not many. We have helped support a campaign for a female dev competition but nothing has really changed as far as misrepresentation and poor journalism. “


Anon7: “When it comes to positive achievements I will say getting the issue of corrupt journalism out a little as well as breaking the stereotype of CIS white misogynistic males being the only people who play games.”


Anon8: “Like I said previously, the Google group would be one. A very slow shift in a select few policies of gaming sites would be another. Actually getting very harsh and very negative responses, in its own way, is one as well just for the blatant proof it provides towards someones character, like the comparisons to ISIS and the other responses I said in the first point. I could list a few more but they would be in the same vein, and they’re out there. All one has to do is do their own research, which many don’t do sadly enough.”

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