pixietalksgamergate

PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides'

Autism is #NotYourShield

Recently, Liana K wrote an article on GamerGate which you can find here. It includes a section on autism, and since its publication there’s been an uptick in people saying that critics of GamerGate are ableist, or bullying people with autism. This argument is false and, if anything, it’s the original article that mischaracterises people with autism! I spoke to a range of people – from those on the spectrum to those who work with children on the spectrum, and here’s the response.

The original quote:

“If the anti-GamerGate side thinks itself superior, it should act it. GamerGate members have confirmed to me that there are quite a few participants with autism spectrum disorders. I’m not saying that everyone involved with GamerGate has autism. What I’m saying is that it’s a major factor in how many Gaters express themselves. If they want to engage in ritualistic behaviours to calm themselves down, including posting on 8chan, let them. I don’t care, as long as they’re not planning to raid me again. When an opportunist riles them up, things get bad, but that’s not their fault.

So if we’re supposed to be these fantastic, sensitive people, we have to adjust our thinking now that we know that autism is a factor in this debate. Autistic people are often socially awkward and can seem rude. They can have very strong reactions to triggers. They don’t always understand why another person is hurt.

We need to stop complaining that “gamers are dead” was a metaphor that wasn’t grasped. Autistic people tend to take things literally.”

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“You wouldn’t call all Muslims terrorists, would you?”

“You wouldn’t call all Muslims terrorists, would you?”

There’s been a piece of rhetoric that is being passed around circles of #GamerGate when faced with questions about the people in the movement responsible for harassment and attacks. The gist of it is a common idea, the one that the actions of those people don’t represent the whole. Then come the analogies “you wouldn’t call every Muslim a terrorist, right?” This upsets me. In fact, it infuriates me. But I wasn’t exactly sure why, so I decided that I’d take a step back and figure it all out.

First of all, let me give you some background. I am a child of mixed race, part Egyptian and part Filipino. My father is a Muslim and my mother Christian, and under Muslim tradition my brothers and I were raised Muslim. This didn’t prevent us from attending church in addition to mosques, but it did define a lot of our upbringing. Today I identify as an atheist, though I still believe that Islam was integral both to my cultural identity and played a part in developing my values. It may take me a few tries to recall it, but I can recite Al-Fatiha from memory. I’m happy to greet people’s “assalamualaikum”s with “wa ‘alaykum al-salaam“. I believe that it is your responsibility to help others, and hold that find that a lot of the principles behind Zakat still hold true for me. I consider myself in ways a cultural Muslim, though not a religious one, similar to those who relate culturally to their Jewish heritage . I realize that this is a very specific, and limited perspective and I want to be clear that I in no way represent the Muslim voice on this matter. This is merely my personal view as someone who has been a part of that community and seen how it’s been portrayed. If there are Muslims who have corrections to offer, or further insight, I very much welcome them.

The problem I have with the argument, which boils down to basically “#NotAllMuslims, right?” (don’t check that hashtag if you don’t want to see some gods awful hatred by the way), is that aside from it being a serious false equivalence, it also trivializes the experiences of Muslims in the world, and the deep roots of Islamophobic hatred that hasn’t let up since its spike post 9/11. It draws false parallels to the plight of Muslims with the perceived attacks on #GamerGate. At a shallow glance, it almost seems plausible. The narrative of a group of people whose image has been defined by the most extreme elements of it. A group that doesn’t hold the values of those extremists, but is nonetheless demonized as a result of them. A group whose values are said to contribute to an atmosphere that encourages violent crusades against those who oppose them. At this point you might say, “Well, that sounds *exactly* like what the media has been saying about #GamerGate!”. Except that it ignores the issues of scale, and the cultural context that this conversation is occurring in.

Islam is the second largest religion in the world, after Christianity (which is also split into many more denominations than Islam). Many also believe that there is evidence that it is also the fastest growing religion in the world. Additionally, Islam is generally split into two major denominations, but because it is practiced all around the world, the values and practices vary drastically from community to community. By comparison #GamerGate is estimated (by some very imperfect data) to have around or less than 4000 active members, a far cry from the billions that are part of Islam. I’m providing this data not because I believe it is somehow representative, but to give a general sense of scale for the comparison.

When members of #GamerGate make the comparison between the way the public treats #GamerGate and the way it treats Muslims it is setting up an analogy between how the public treats these groups. While members will acknowledge it is hyperbolic, they also believe that it is illustrative of the point as well. The problem is that this is beyond insensitive to the everyday struggles of Muslims, trivializes the systemic marginalization of a that group, and turns it into a bullet point to deflect critique.

The comparison relates strongly to the idea that the everyday “gamer” or “geek” is being bullied and slandered by the public. On some level, I get that. I was the geeky kid with the glasses that everybody assumed knew the answers (okay, so they weren’t exactly wrong about that one). I was a gangly, shy, socially awkward kid, the crybaby who’d get made fun of well into the late high school years. It would be years after that I’d develop any sense of social skills. In that time I connected to basically anyone who mattered to me through videogames, comics, and manga. I was bullied, I got my share of hate, got volleyballs thrown in my face etc. But the idea of the geek and gamer as a marginalized group is rapidly dying off. More people than ever are playing videogames, they’ve become a multi-billion dollar industry. Obscure geek artifacts like Guardians of the Galaxy have become some of the most anticipated movies of the summer, with big name actors attached to them (look, I’m the guy who read through several volumes of Marvel’s “Essential” comic compilations and encyclopedias, and I had no idea who the GotG were until recently).The top television shows involve zombies, dragons, and superheroes. Geek and game culture aren’t dying, it’s spreading into the pop conscious. It’s becoming everyday. The idea of the stereotypical “gamer” still survives, but it’s fading as the medium slowly becomes a cultural touchstone in the way that cinema and TV have.

To say the struggle of the “gamer” is comparable to the everyday struggles of Muslims is disingenuous. It’s at best ignorant, and at worst mean spirited and manipulative. While I don’t believe ignorance is some sort of sin (especially if you make efforts to correct it), it can be seriously harmful, even if not acted on with malicious intent. Nobody is going to throw you in front of a moving train for being a gamer. People don’t throw acid bombs or open fire on groups of geeks. While opportunistic politicians are happy to attack videogames, they don’t openly claim that “gamers” are infiltrating our communities and are to blame for all of our social ills, often to a roar of applause. People don’t spend millions of dollars advertising against nerds. All of this does hold true for Muslims. The FBI performs intrusive surveillance on Muslims, attempting to turn them against each other. There’s even suggestions that they’ve had to perform a clean up within their departments after finding that many documents promoted inaccurate, and “distasteful” ideas about Muslims.

It’s been 13 years since 9/11, and hate crimes against Muslims are still high. One GGer I spoke to pointed out that it was a tough situation, especially now since of all the conflict in the Middle East, and that it would calm down after that blew over. Except that we’re still fighting a war on terror, it’s been over a decade, and the hate campaign shows no signs of slowing down. How much longer do Muslims need to wait to be accepted? At this point there’s a generation just born into this hatred. Will it end by the time they have children?

Another point worth mentioning is that gamer is an identity that is more or less self identifying. It’s not something that’s obvious at first glance, and you can stop identifying with it at any point without otherwise changing your lifestyle. In fact, I did exactly that a few years ago when I felt that the label had largely become associated with the image of a Mountain Dew drinking, Doritos eating, anti-social, juvenile raging demographic that marketing and pop culture loved to proliferate. I didn’t want to associate with that, and I worried that “gamer culture” was in danger of becoming a vitriolic culture of exclusion. Well, I’m definitely not happy with the way that played out. Regardless, I continued to play and discuss games in the same way, and didn’t bother to say anything about it unless someone specifically brought the subject up. In some ways my love of games was “invisible” the same way my queerness is. See what I mean? You most likely assumed that I was heterosexual up until that sentence.

Here’s the thing about being a Muslim, you can’t make it invisible in that same way. Actually, you can’t even choose if someone applies the label to you. Simply being brown, a minority with a beard, or wearing a turban makes you a target, or has people assume the label for you. Just look at the way Sikhs, an entirely separate religion to Islam, were targeted post 9/11. I have the fortune (and I realize how fucked up it is to say this is fortunate) of having my race be ambiguous because of my mixed heritage. Indians, Pakistanis, Arabs, and even Hispanics see enough of themselves in me to believe I am one of them on sight. Everyone else generally just sees me as “brown” or some kind of Indian until I specify otherwise. Even so, there’s generally an assumption of Muslim faith, generally marked by a sudden increase of the “terrorist” jokes that I’ve been dealing with for the last ten years. You know the kind, the ones where people yell “Allahu Akbar!” before mock blowing themselves up. I’m still waiting for those to be funny, and not just lazy and insensitive.

For those who want to point out that you can “stop being a Muslim any time as well”, let me point out that 1) as I just said, it doesn’t matter if you are Muslim or not since you are assumed to be one, and 2) yes, you can, in the same way that you can reevaluate the lifestyle and values that often make up a significant part of your person. At this point there are probably a few people going “That’s exactly why I won’t give up ‘gamer’, don’t you see!” In one sense, yes, I get that. Videogames have made up so much of my life experiences that it’s safe to say that they’ve largely defined me. However, to say that it defines you to a point where your values and life revolve around it, to equate it with the culturally defining worldviews of religion, that is in many ways a bit terrifying. It’s an idea that creates a kind of perceived ethnicity or minority, an idea of a culture that is mistrusted and misunderstood by the majority of people and as such needs vehement defending from outsiders. It’s the kind of mentality that leads to comments like this:

muslimpix

The idea of videogames being a “culture” that can appropriated speaks to the mindset that claims that there is an “other” that can misuse and misrepresent it. By such logic, someone who isn’t truly part of the culture, doesn’t understand it, or really stand by it, who plays it or wears its icons is “appropriating it”. In that way, someone who doesn’t identify as a “core gamer” wearing, say, a videogame T-shirt would be like someone wearing a shirt with the Islamic crescent. (Side note: an early version of Ocarina of Time used both of these (http://zelda.wikia.com/wiki/Fire_Temple_%28Ocarina_of_Time%29)). It’s a faulty comparison that ignores the magnitude of the injustices experienced by the people of those cultures while attempting to raise up the medium to level of grand cultural importance. While I do believe that the medium is a rapidly growing, powerful, and important part of our modern culture, it would arrogant to say that it has the influence or importance that religions and cultures that have been around for thousands of years do society-wide. (I will, however, say that I do believe it is possible for videogames to bring about the same sort of personal epiphany as faith does).

I’ll say it again: Gamers are not an oppressed minority whose culture is under attack. Pop culture IS geek culture at this point. More people are playing videogames than ever, and it’s losing the stigma of being a plaything for children and anti-social losers. If there’s a culture war, gamers are winning. That’s why when people react to someone saying #GamerGate is full of hateful, destructive people with “you wouldn’t call all Muslims terrorists” it rings so false. The very comparison conflates multiple cultures and labels that are not remotely equivalent, trivializing the dehumanization, struggle, and consequences of a Islamophobic mindset to provide a loaded emotional gut punch in an attempt to paint the opposition as moral deviants. It’s cheap, it’s insensitive, and I guarantee there are many Muslims out there who don’t appreciate their struggles being used as shields to deflect critique. No, you wouldn’t call all Muslims terrorists, because we respect them enough to not even make the comparison.

(P.S. to anyone who uses the similar “well not all Muslims are part of ISIS”, especially in response to having methods of the group being called “terrorism”, that reveals a negative Western attitude of thinking of terrorism as a uniquely Middle Eastern brand of violence, when it in fact comes in many forms proliferated around the world).

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Collected Storify Posts

A selection of non/anti-GG storify posts that have been suggested/submitted. Submit more to pixiegamergate@gmail.com


“There is no Virtue Without Terror”: On the Ethical Landscape of GamerGate

When the #GamerGate mob targeted Anil Dash for no reason

Not About Harassment?

#notyourshield: #gamergate’s Shield (How 4chan did and didn’t make #notyourshield, and how a bunch of SJWs showed that anti-#gamergaters can be the real racists too.)

#GamerGate’s Inconsistent Capitalist Apologia

Make no mistake: Gamergate condones harassment, of Zoe Quinn, and of others.

#StopGamerGate2014. It has always been a spin.

On digging DiGRA

#gamergate and Harassment

#gamergate and Guilt By Participation

Gamergate, Twitter & Thunderclap

Not a storify, but really good + similiar in form: Listening and Believing: What Vicious Harassment Really Looks Like + GamerGate: 6 Weeks Later

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On Witchhunts

An increasingly large number of women working in the same field I have for the past 15 years became the target of a witch hunt so vitriolic and unhinged several have been forced to flee their homes due to legitimate threats on their lives, prompted by nothing beyond writing editorials condemning the way these tactics have been consistently used against others over the past year. Particularly as there has been no end to such attacks, neither in terms of new targets being added to the list, nor the harassment of older targets showing any signs of stopping, even in cases where victims have vowed never to work again, or faced alarmingly close brushes with death.

The originators of the movement seem to have no goals beyond seeking revenge against Zoë Quinn for petty personal reasons. Literally the first time the tag #gamergate was used, it was promoting a conspiracy video implying that Zoë Quinn had slept with several individuals in exchange for positive reviews of a game none of those accused have ever reviewed, and for which she charges no money. It has been, from the very beginning, a campaign of pure, baseless, unreasoning hatred, duping new voices into supporting it with vague appeals to various more noble causes. The earliest adopters very clearly seek to see all women driven away from game development and coverage, with a possible secondary goal of ghettoizing independent game development. Later adopters seem to have a nebulous desire to “end corruption” and “fight for transparency” but don’t appear to have any specific concerns when pressed, or seek justice regarding scandals which can easily be proven to be complete fabrications on the part of the core of the movement.

I want reach a state where people aren’t waking up in a cold sweat every day, afraid to find dead animals on their doorsteps, photos of their homes with attached death threats in their inboxes, deranged stalkers on their lawns, and panicked phone calls from friends and relatives about intimidating phone calls they’ve received. I’d also appreciate it if I could in any way help bring about a cultural shift where such behavior is considered as inappropriate as it would be when leveled at members of any other profession, and to somehow reassure those responsible that whatever horrible actions they think they are appropriate to punish in this fashion are not actually taking place. I have seen a near total lack of accountability for any of the horrific actions or baseless accusations at the core of the movement, and proponents seem to be completely disinterested in taking major game publishers to task for routinely attempting to buy positive media coverage (quite literally in many cases), and to otherwise pressure and coerce the media into acting like an unofficial branch of their marketing departments. Supporters have driven multiple women from their homes with legitimate death threats, allegedly in support of seeking justice with regards to allegations that would be meaningless if true, and which can easily be proven as absolutely false. They have spread astounding amounts of such patently false information, along with private information, doing measurable harm to developers, journalists, and completely bystanders with similar names. Those supporters not directly involved in such activities have still contributed to the threat posed by distracting the press and authorities with false claims of how the “movement” began, and rendering it harder for victims to be taken seriously when attempting to report the very real crimes committed in the movement’s name.

People claiming to be against “corruption” with regards to this whole gamergate thing, in my personal experience, appear to define the concept solely based on whether a person appears to be supporting “SJW” causes. Accepting bribes in exchange for explicitly favorable coverage of a game does not seem to be classified as “corruption” for instance, but so much as mentioning, or paying for a copy of a game deemed to promote “the SJW agenda” is evidence of such. My personal stance is that accusations of corruption should be levied only at those who seek or agree to transactions in which one party performs a favor which is innately dishonest or in violation of some code of conduct they are bound to.

Given the reputation the tag and its supporters has at this point, I would prefer never to see any issue raised under its banner again. I would however like to see people with legitimate concerns over the state of the field to stand up against major publishers’ abuse of their leverage when dealing with the press, the working conditions many professional game developers are forced to deal with, and the amount of money and development time devoted purely to building up hype for games before their release.

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Criticisms of GamerGate’s Methods

It’s been a terrible couple months online. Everything from nude picture hacks and doxing to conspiracy theories and bomb threats. The internet is plainly a scary place right now. The sort of thing you’d expect from the start of a classic dystopian novel. The next stage is usually the breakdown of society, if the pattern holds true. But yeah, it’s just been shit. And GamerGate, whether they care to be associated with it or not, have coaxed these incidents. Over what? The idea (not the fact) that the whole gaming journalism industry is corrupt, that they don’t meet journalistic standards and only critique social injustices they see.

In terms of conspiracy madness, I’ve actually been in a similar situation to this, on a much smaller scale. I was a staff member on a gaming site during a time when the staff were in fear of being hacked. It had happened before, though this time it wasn’t clear if the threat was real or not, we couldn’t take the chance that sensitive information about ourselves or other members would be hacked and revealed on the site. Again, this wasn’t a new thing. For months we tried to work together without exposing anything, which meant delaying projects and events the site regularly held, co-ordinating off-site, not posting any sensitive discussion and changing passwords to be longer than 20-characters. During this, we were being told by some members of the community that we weren’t good at our jobs, much like what journos have been experiencing for years. We couldn’t tell them about what was going on in case we forced the hacker(s) to do something harmful. This was all irritating but we coped just by getting on with things. When we were given evidence of the hacker’s identity and others who were involved by an ex-staff member, we had to sit on it. We were waiting to change the site host, one with better security that would be above the hacker’s level. It came about and members were pissed. They liked the hackers even though they had broken the site’s rules, they were just pissed they were banned. We had an equivalent of GamerGate, with certain members they had their own name, catchphrase, banners and everything, very similar and very cultist. Many of them believed we were corrupt for our actions. They demanded the members be brought back. We wouldn’t, they’d broken the rules, severe rules at that. They claimed we were corrupt, we didn’t have the right evidence, it was all wrong, like GGaters have complained. Though we never received anywhere near the amount of harassment that Quinn or Sarkeesian did, we all felt fairly betrayed by our community from their comments. Other staff quit or didn’t return to the site from the constant feeling of being hated, much like I’ve seen a number have journalists have been doing. It was terrible.

So when I see this situation going on, it just brings it all back. I saw no reason for it then and especially not now, on this scale. Whether GamerGate has good intentions or not, the methods have been horrendous and poor. The sensationalised tabloid research, with any sort of connection being used to support their argument, defamation of character, propaganda avatars like Vivian James and Bane, it all reeks of unprofessional, uninformed and illogical conclusions, based on anger and fear and not reason. When the #gameethics emerged from journalists and developers wanting an untarnished and neutral ground to address the issues, it was initially received well, there were actual discussions from people all over the industry. But then it diminished because no one wanted to talk, to actually discuss the problems. GamerGate saw it as oppression when it was open discussion, and as a battle of hashtags, as a competition, as a game. They were congratulating themselves recently for reaching a million #GamerGate tweets. That was proof to me it’s nothing to do with ethics or journalism, because a million tweets and the results are more negative than positive. It’s as if the matter is somehow so casual, when in reality it’s caused so much sadness for no reason than the entitled feeling as if they weren’t getting what they deserved.

GamerGate won’t change everything, at least in the way they want, because it’s not grounded in credibility or consistency. It’s not about journalistic integrity it’s about winning some battle they’ve created. The good intentioned are drowned out by the harassers. This isn’t the right way.

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GamerGate as a Defence of ‘Internet Culture’

My main “beef” with #GamerGate (and the hashtags relating to it, such as #NotYourShield, etc.) isn’t just that it’s vitriolic from it’s very inception, but it’s also because of major thing most people are not taking into account here.  To me, the whole thing is not about persevering the “gamer” label, nor is it about the general “gamer” culture, or, indeed, about video games at all.  If anything, this is more about these people preserving the utterly shitty, vitriolic world of “Internet culture”.  An “Internet culture” of chastising other people as “faggots” and harassing them to no end; sown from both the “lawless” form of the Internet — which allowed horrible people to come in and say whatever they wanted — and (what I believe were) the seeds of early-2000s Something Awful, and fertilized by websites like 4chan (originating directly from SA), Encyclopedia Dramatica and many, many more.

Because if it wasn’t about that, then why else would a majority of #GG backers (and harassers of Zoe/Antia/etc.) originate from 4chan, or at the very least, subscribe to the mentality of 4channers (i.e. using Internet words like “lel”, using the “Le Happy Merchant” Jew stereotype picture as their avatars, etc.)?  Why else would the “unofficial” ringleader/main perpetrator of #GamerGate be none other than Jim “InternetAristocrat”?  Why else would the harassers of #GG using tactics (“doxxing”, etc.)that could only be described as “trolling [tactics]”?
 
You especially have to take into account Jim “InternetAristocrat”‘s (also known by the past aliases Jim81Jim and GamesGoodMeBad) history: This man was known for being a troll, first having started (what I believe was) his own forum entitled “Bullshit Forums”, maintaining a moderate but dedicated “fanbase” of rabid lunatics.  Some short time later, Bullshit Forums was essentially “liquidated” into another trolling site: METOKUR, run by Ezekiel/James Habermann (I should note that he is now a retired and reformed troll).
After METOKUR was shut down, Habermann decided to focus his attention on his own brand of Let’s Plays he was making (which at the time were being posted on SA,where he used to go on) under his LP “brand” called “The Dinner Dates”, which Jim and his own set of friends also “jumped boat to”.  That is, right up until their “termination” due to Jim & Co. essentially being “gross, unfunny asshole[s]” — direct quote from Habermann.  (Jim himself seems to maintain and hint that he was quietly kicked out and/or left on his own accord, but whatever.)
With Jim’s background, as well as his more “recent” antics (such as, prior to #GG, perpetrating the mainly-4chan rally against the Kickstarter project “Mighty No. 9″‘s“feminist” community manager, Dina Abou Karam), in mind, I think it should be clear to you why I’m more than a little “cautious” about the #GG and its participants (not to mention literally everyone who is a subscriber/follower of Jim, including but not limited to “MundaneMatt”, “thunderf00t” and major actor and apparent #GG-supporter Adam Baldwin).
But putting him and his history aside; I really tried to listen to both sides of this conflict — the so-called “SJWs” and “anti-SJWs” (which I should probably make clear aren’t really “MRAs” like some people are making them out to be, since this particular “side” has a tendency to make unfunny “fedora” jokes towards actual MRAs)  — but it’s very hard for me to do so when [the loudest/most vocal of the “anti-SJWs” are basically shouting “HAHAHAHAHA FUCK ALL OF YOU BUTTHURT TRIGGERED SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE FAGGOTS AND YOUR SHITTY POLITICAL CORRECTNESS; YOU SHOULD ALL KILL YOURSELVES” (paraphrasing/hyperbole, I know, but that really is the general consensus).
You also have to understand that these people truly believe in being “hardened by reality” (be that “reality” 4chan or what-have-you), and deliberately cutting themselves off from “worthless garbage like ’emotions’ and ‘feelings'”, willingly desensitizing themselves.  And from what I’ve gathered, this side also essentially wants an “anarchic world” where anyone’s free to say whatever [abrasive/vitriolic] crap they want about anything.  In fact, this “SJW war” was already in some semblance of effect way before #GG (such as, for instance, the 4chan Tumblr raid), but has since post-#GG been propelled to an insane 120% full capacity.
The main problem with the “anti-SJWs” problem is, even if certain/”all” “SJWs” truly were lying, hypocritical, scamming and/or overly abusive and abrasive “bad people” (nevermind them being “oversensitive”, which I kinda disagree on), they themselves do not find it just a little bit ironic that they’re doing the exact same things they’re accusing/criticizing the “SJWs” of.  And I’d fully expect them to respond to that point with something along the lines of: “No we don’t, because they fully deserved that shit to begin with.  ‘What comes around goes around’, fags.”
To which my response would be: “Then I don’t think you should really be doing this at all to begin with.”
Hell, I don’t even think that the more extreme of the “SJWs” are this fucking bad (feel free to prove me wrong, though!).
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On Why Someone Doesn’t Take GG Seriously

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.

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Racism and GamerGate

 

I’ve recieved a couple of comments regarding racism and GamerGate, so I’ll compile them here.

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A Response to the Academic Side of Things

Written by an anonymous respondent whose name I won’t be disclosing.

I’m surprised to see that people seem to think that academics aren’t naturally interested or have links to games. In terms of Game Studies, scholars have been around for about 30 years – it’s a well established discipline now. But we are all gamers or game enthusiasts of some description. Academics don’t spend thousands of hours working on something they don’t like – at doctoral level and above, scholars a choosing an area of speciality that they have a personal interest in. I’ve played since I was a child. There are WoW guilds of scholars, Steam groups, clans and single players and people who just like history games and rpg fanatics and people who love theorycraft and server owners and everything in between. We spend years working on each project – this isn’t a bunch of omnipotent snobs who just happened to look at games one day and think they might be interesting; we know games and count ourselves as players. Rather like all players, we are also varied politically, socially and culturally.

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A View From Someone Neither For Nor Against

I don’t actually fall into either of your categories. Rather than be part of an increasingly incendiary us and them conflict, I am neither for nor against GamerGate.

[PixieJenni note: put this in both the pro and anti sections so all ‘sides’ can see it, it was hard to pick a category!]

The problem for me is that GamerGate (which I am not taking as Baldwin’s coining of the phrase, I am taking as the culmination of a couple of years of building tensions) is an incredibly confused movement that faces a huge uphill battle to be treated legitimately. If we look at the positive side of GamerGate, there are two facets:

1) We want transparency in media

2) We are a diverse and inclusive population of people (where I am treating NotYourShield as part of this movement)

These messages are good.

Unfortunately, from the outside, there is almost a Sinn Fein / Hamas situation (or even Britiain First / UKIP). There is a political arm striving for recognition but it is underpinned by a vitriolic military/extreme streak. Where that reads similar to some statements from the journalistic side which were akin to “these guys are terrorists”, this is not the case. If you read any of this and come out with “we have been called terrorists” then you are wrong. Without question.

 

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