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What's fueling GamerGate?

An attempt to acknowledge legitimate (but largely unspoken) grievances that have kept gamers supporting the cause

About six years ago, I sounded a lot like a GamerGate supporter. I was hosting a podcast for GameSpot, and expressing my reservations about the incredible success of the Wii. Nintendo's new console was still facing supply shortages well over a year after launch, and motion controls were suddenly ever-present. Publishers who lamented the rising costs of AAA were making fewer bets on traditional console games but tripping over themselves to churn out casual-minded cash-ins.

As someone who still plays mobile games lamenting the lack of a d-pad and actual buttons, I couldn't help but be frustrated by the situation. Happy as I was to see the world at large develop an appreciation for games as a medium, I was concerned that this appreciation was coming at the expense of the sort of games I played and loved my whole life. I worried that publishers would look at the opportunity cost of making the games I wanted to play and say it was more effective to chase the hot new trend instead.

"GamerGate is not about ethics in game journalism so much as it is about losing control of our hobby."

It wouldn't have been the first time my preferred style of game was tossed aside by the industry. I loved arcades, the dimly lit, dimly social water cooler for gamers to gather around when I was young. I loved offline games, because online multiplayer modes always seemed to be a losing battle to prevent people from exercising the worst aspects of their humanity. I loved the Dreamcast for its incredible assortment of fighting games, 2D shoot-'em-ups, weird Japanese games I would import but never fully understand (Roommania #203, I'm looking your way), and weird Japanese games Sega would import in its desperate death throes as a hardware manufacturer (Seaman, Typing of the Dead). But over time, I watched all of those things disappear or become unrecognizable.

As GamerGate has unfolded in recent months, I've tried to empathize with the movement's supporters, at least the ones who have distanced themselves from the shameful harassment campaigns conducted in its name. What I keep coming back to in this exercise is that feeling I had six years ago, or when the arcade I used to manage closed, or even when the Dreamcast failed to find an audience, the helpless feeling of realizing my hobby was changing, and I had no say in which direction. I suspect the sentiments ultimately fueling GamerGate supporters are the same ones that were behind my podcast fretting. It's not about ethics in game journalism so much as it is about losing control of our hobby (of which game journalism is merely one aspect).

There is only so much control to be had in gaming, split between customers, developers, publishers, retailers, and the press. Every time one group increases its control of the business, it comes at the expense of another. For gamers who grew up in generations past and who liked things the way they were, most of the changes of late have come at their expense. Digital-rights management has taken away their ownership of the games. Always-online schemes and games-as-a-service have taken away their permanence. Downloadable content and microtransactions have allowed publishers to take what was previously a very simple value proposition--X amount of money in exchange for one (1) complete game--and obfuscate it as a way to get more money out of players.

"There is only so much control to be had in gaming, split between customers, developers, publishers, retailers, and the press. Every time one group increases its control of the business, it comes at the expense of another."

To be fair, customers have been given more control in some respects. There's a greater diversity of offerings on the market for gamers to choose from than ever before. Free-to-play models let them try games out before spending money on them in a more direct way than demos and rentals ever could, and social media has given them direct lines of communication to creators that they never had before. However, these advances may have limited appeal to gamers who liked the old system just as it was. That added diversity largely consists of games aimed at different audiences. With free-to-play, the massive player bases required to make the model work have negated the import of any individual player, lessening the effect of individual feedback (and that direct link to developers). Analytics have further eroded the value of that feedback, as companies don't need to care about what gamers say they want if ignoring that produces demonstrably better revenues.

Gamers are by no means the only group losing out as the balance of power shifts. Retailers are scrambling to find new roles in the industry ecosystem as digital distribution takes off, and the press is increasingly being cut out of the loop as publishers use their own sites and social media to speak directly to consumers. But even though it's the retailers and the press losing leverage in those instances, some ill effects still trickle down to gamers. Retailers push for preorders with exclusive digital freebies, denying gamers the option of getting a "complete" experience at launch by splitting up sometimes desirable bonuses between competing chains. And without a powerful independent press, gamers are subjected to more marketing hype and uncritical coverage instead of thoughtful criticism and substantial reporting.

So why is this "uprising" happening now when these trends have been going on for years? I would say in large part it's actually just a continuation and amplification of what we've seen before, when SimCity launched as an unplayable mess, or when the Xbox One was unveiled with an online requirement, even for offline play. The difference is that SimCity (and Diablo III, and other such launch debacles) are limited in scope. Servers get fixed, or players stop trying to log on. Either way, it's over and done with in a matter of weeks. And in the case of the Xbox One, Microsoft simply saw the outpouring of anger and caved. Selling a console with required daily online check-ins is not dogma to Microsoft, so there was little incentive to dig in.

"As the industry changes, many of those changes are at best messing with a status quo you quite liked, and at worst working directly against your interests."

That's a very different case from what we've seen with GamerGate. From the beginning, there have been very visible actions of misogyny and harassment perpetrated under the GamerGate banner. For some journalists (a profession that attracts people willing to speak truth to power) and developers of indie games (people who have eschewed the comforts of mainstream development to make the games they want to make with the messages they want to convey), there was all the reason in the world to stand up and fight against that misogyny and harassment, no matter the sacrifice involved. So for months now, we've seen gamers with years of frustration to vent pitted against communities of people who are fighting back as a matter of principle. It's not that we hate gamers. It's that we hate the awful things being done in our hobby's name, and many of us will fight those things, even in the face of great personal cost.

I'm writing this in the hopes that articulating the legitimate grievances fueling much of the rage behind GamerGate may convince supporters that those of us in the press and the development community are not the enemy. We understand (at least some of us do) that as the industry changes, many of those changes are at best messing with a status quo you quite liked, and at worst working directly against your interests.

That said, right now you are working against history. The gaming industry has changed, and it's never going back to the way it was, much as we might cherish certain aspects of the way things used to be. Save your energy for fights with concrete goals and worthwhile causes that haven't been co-opted by vile miscreants, and you will find all the support you need within our ranks.

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Latest comments (37)

Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
Good opinion piece. Nice to have a little balance to the whole debate which is very skewed towards "If you agree with any points that GamersGate brings up then you are sexist, misogynist, [insert whatever 'ist you like] etc etc", without having any middle ground or common sense being applied.

Sure, there are a number of idiots that are using this as an excuse to rain down whatever hate they can against anyone they can, but I still maintain that these are a minority themselves. Most of us game developers/gamers are level headed, inclusive people who just want to make/play games because we love doing it.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 15th October 2014 4:10pm

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John Pickford Owner, Zee 34 years ago
Well put Darren.
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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 4 years ago
I don't take issue with the idea that some of GG's supporters have some valid concerns, but the violent explosions of misogyny and organized threats of violence have destroyed any hope that the GG movement ever had of creating meaningful change or positive dialog.

Despite the existence of aforementioned moderates / legitimate-issue people, GG has proven completely unable to control its own lunatic fringe. Any discussion of these topics almost invariably veers into accusations of collusion and conspiracy theory, debates over the actions or threats made against certain individuals, or insane accusations that radical feminism has somehow hijacked gaming.

I'm not saying everyone who identifies as pro-GG thinks that way, but the loudest and most vocal voices certainly seem to -- and between the blatantly false rumors and the allegations of fraud it's hard to tease out what's legitimate about most of the rest.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Joel Hruska on 15th October 2014 6:48pm

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Show all comments (37)
Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus4 years ago
These legitimate complaints have existed for years. I love that everyone's finally getting on the bus.

But they need to separate from the GamerGate/NotYourShield nonsense. They're tainted. If someone tells me "I have concerns about a lot of things wrong with not just games journalism, but 'enthusiast' journalism as a whole", I can talk to that person for hours. The moment they mention GamerGate - which was born as a reaction to someone reacting to the rampant abuse three women took for having opinions that pissed off a certain type of gamer - I shut down. The conversation's over then.
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Jesse Miller Staff Writer, PixlBit4 years ago
The biggest problem with GG is the lack of focus. It's true that there are folks that support the movement that have legitimate concerns with the industry/hobby. Not all GGers are misogynists, sexists, racists, or raving psychos. But, when a movement lacks focus or even a central goal, the loudest members control the "voice" of the movement, and that "voice" right now is saying "feminists are evil, and anyone who disagrees with me is going to be silenced." If there was any good and progressiveness within the GG movement it has since been poisoned by that overall "voice".

Sorry, that's how it is. GG is broken and cannot be fixed. It will continue to represent oppression, anger, and violence until it dies or fades into obscurity.
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Sergio Rosa "Somewhat-Creative Director", Domaginarium4 years ago
I have to say I haven't followed the whole GamerGate thing, but what little I have perceived looks more about a group interested in keeping their "hardcore gamer identity" than gaming journalism, just because I've seen even more violent reactions and threats to women and what certain groups consider "real gaming."

My perception is not complete, but it's an outsider perception based on the information that comes to me, because I have not deliberately followed the whole issue. So those "oh, my gaemz!!!" groups should at least think what external groups (non familiar with the entire issue) may think about what's happening and the image they get from the whole gaming thing.
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
There is a positive thread to all that is going on.

You only have to look at other industries and the sexism that still exists today within those industries which is brushed under the rug for years (BBC presenter sexual assaults for example). At least we in the games industry are trying to talk this through (no matter how successful the discussion may end up) and come up with solutions in which everyone wins.

I am proud to be in the games industry with all the extremely intelligent tolerant people that actually care about their environment and want to make it a better place. I am sure together we can find a nice middle ground where everyone can flourish and be whoever or whatever they want without fearing for their lives.

Just need to weed out the assholes.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 15th October 2014 4:58pm

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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 4 years ago
Darren,

If you listen to much of the GG rhetoric, Anita Sarkeesian is a radical feminist despite the fact that her critique of gaming is drawn from the very *center* of mainstream feminism. Yet to a certain stripe of person, this is an ultra-radical interpretation that seeks to destroy what's good about gaming and replace it with political correctness.

You say " At least we in the games industry are trying to talk this through (no matter how successful the discussion may end up) and come up with solutions in which everyone wins."

But no. Many of the voices in GG are explicitly *not* trying to reach that goal. The people most interested in having these kinds of conversations were around before GG and they'll be around after. They're a net positive. But they're not the ones jumping on the GG bandwagon, for the most part.

If you look at the various forums or subreddits where much of the self-identified GG movement hangs out, they're far more concerned with whether female developers are reporting "real" death threats than in exploring questions of how to adequately represent more groups while still telling compelling and interesting stories. I don't think enough of GG is interested in having the kinds of conversations you describe to accurately use that term to refer to the group.

Just my .02, of course. I agree that gaming and game development can benefit from the kinds of conversations you want to have -- but only if all sides engage.
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
@Joel

I try to avoid the more fringe elements of the discussions because the noise to signal ratio is far to high, so yes I don't have a full picture of what is going on. But from the articles/discussions I have read I can see there are many comments that are trying to talk this through civilly, it is just unfortunate that the more controversial viewpoints tend to be the loudest voices.

I would argue that the people who have balanced views and happen to be gamers are scared to post comments in threads like this in fear of being labelled as something they are not. You can't just paint a whole group with the loudest elements brush as it usually does not represent reality.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 15th October 2014 5:32pm

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Rich Lloyd Senior Product Manager, Microsoft4 years ago
It's an interesting opinion piece but it doesn't address the real origins of GamerGate.

Yes, some of the more legitimate grievances have been around for years. GamerGate latched on to these as an attempt to legitimise themselves.

This whole thing kicked off with the victimisation and criminal harrassment of certain women in the industry. Grievances described in this piece have nothing to do with that, and it is still continuing today.

If this is really about gamer grievances then that should be handled separately, and the bozos making death threats or using social media to threaten rape and ruining people's lives need to be publically condemned and taken through the courts.

GamerGate is vile, evil, and is trying to hide behind more legitimate complaints. Urgh.
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Caleb Hale Journalist 4 years ago
Whatever point GamerGate was originally trying to make, it's now lost under a tainted name, rotting in the infinite cacophony called Twitter. This is what lazy, hashtag activism gets you - your banner co-opted by a variety of malcontents, who somehow believe they can move mountains with a few quips. Everyone should know a lost cause when they see one.
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William Usher Assistant Editor, Cinema Blend4 years ago
It's easy to misrepresent GamerGate because of the corrupt media spin on the situation.

I suggest, Rich, you Google up GameJournoPros.

Enlightenment is the pathway to truth.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
It's easy to misrepresent GamerGate because of the corrupt media spin on the situation.
What happens when you drive all the "corrupt media" out? Will you ever trust journalists again? What happens when your new "totally objective and honest" journalists come under pressure from PR, and some of them turn out to be corrupt? Will you continue trusting them? Or will this whole paranoia and suspicion start again?

Meanwhile, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, The New York Times and The Washington Post have all written pieces on the negative aspects of gg. This isn't your "corrupt media" - these are actual journalistic institutions, with all the standards and ethics you apparently want. What does that tell you?

(interesting point about the NYTimes, btw - their piece was tweeted three times, once by the Bits department, once by their Arts department, and once by the NYTimes publication as a whole.)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 15th October 2014 9:13pm

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Tanya Rei Myoko Programmer 4 years ago
What's fueling GamerGate?
1) attacks from the media
2) hypocrisy of the media refusing to cover things the other side has done while condemning gamergate for the same things
http://apgnation.com/archives/2014/09/09/6977/truth-gaming-interview-fine-young-capitalists

Id bet Gamergate would be a lot less angry if they were treated fairly
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Great article! I think the real thing they should be ranting about should be "problems in the journalism, the games industry, and the games themselves" not the problems of the private life of the journalist, people involved in the game industry and the developers.

And a lot of true in what Joel says, early this morning I tweeted the article about GG that this site released, and in about 15 minutes I recieved a reply with a link to screenshots of tweets that were trying to "reveal" that the threats were in fact fake.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jonathan on 16th October 2014 7:09am

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Chris Payne Managing Director & Founder, Quantum Soup Studios4 years ago
Id bet Gamergate would be a lot less angry if they were treated fairly
GG supporters have chosen to align themselves with a group of misogynistic haters. They may have *thought* it was a legitimate movement to begin with, but by now it's PRETTY BLOODY OBVIOUS what their primary motivation is. So it's a bit rich to whinge "why is our hate group always getting negative press?"

Honest GG supporters - ditch the hashtag. This is not the way to get heard.
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Rich Lloyd Senior Product Manager, Microsoft4 years ago
The first Google hit for GameJournoPros is this; http://www.gamepolitics.com/2014/10/15/editorial-truth-about-gamergate-and-gamejournpros#.VD-6FdTF9nE

"Anyone that has been paying attention to #GamerGate for the last month or so has to admit that it started out as an attack on Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn, after her boyfriend released a disgusting, rambling screed about her sex life online. This manifesto of an attack shared personal Facebook conversations between Quinn and ex-boyfriend Eron Gjoni, and made dramatic claims about her sex life. I was extremely uncomfortable reading that public meltdown at the time and I was very disinterested in it (because I am not a gossip columnist) save the one accusation about a Kotaku journalist having a relationship with Quinn and that relationship possibly having an undue influence on a review of Quinn's game, Depression Quest."

As I said, it all started out as a vile attack and they then latched onto other more plausible issues.

Looks like I'm not the one that needs to seek enlightenment, especially as I've been following this from day one.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rich Lloyd on 16th October 2014 1:32pm

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Patrick Heyer Story Contributor 4 years ago
I've read a lot about GamerGate being tainted because of its loudest voices (which, judging by the kind of tweets primarily quoted in the publications that actually "dare" to write about it, are of the harassing, abusive, misogynist type). but I dislike this kind of argument. Feminism is not tainted because some people confuse feminism with men-hating ideologies (and it happens over and over again).

If GamerGate is to be considered tainted, it's because the initial sentiment that led to its inception was already tainted - its focus on the private matters of Zoe Quinn and her ex-BF. One could argue that these details had no place in the public (my own personal position), yet I've also heard the argument being made that the jarring difference between her private behavior and her outspoken opinions on social justice issues could warrant the discussion.

Alas I haven't seen anything resembling a "discussion". and it would've been awesome if it would've been just "criticizing an individual that happens to be a woman" but that wasn't true as well - she was singled out _because_ she was an outspoken woman. I really hate that it went down that way, but from weeks of reading all kinds of pieces on this (trying to break free of the echo chamber) that's the conclusion that I came to.

What worried (and still worries me) in equal amounts is the editorial-based backlash against the "movement" and the harassment and abuse supporters (as mislead or ill-informed as they might(!) be) had to experience at the hands of the "anti-gamergate" crowd. When it comes to the "bad apples", both camps have no reason to feel morally superior (just read up on the "describe a gamer in four words" hashtag). Just because the media outlets most invested in the topic seem to be actively mum about that "counter"-abuse doesn't mean it's not there (and it should be reported on and denounced in equal measures). That's highly selective reporting and unfortunately it gives further fuel to those who felt that these editors were following an agenda to begin with.

Maybe in a few weeks time we can all take a step back and acknowledge that some outlets push an agenda in their editorials (which is absolutely in their rights to do so), but that this doesn't mean there's a secret cabal of social justice supporters or feminists trying to destroy "dudebro"-games. People can (and do) become preachy and aggressive (especially when they feel attacked by the "enemy") but to move forward we should opt-out of the self-fueling circle of hate and talking over each other instead of with another.
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Tanya Rei Myoko Programmer 4 years ago
@Chris I'm a girl and I haven't faced any mysogyny as a GGer. I've only faced the game sites insulting me over and over, and wondering why we are angry at them

You've been lied to by the exact people we are asking for journalistic integrity from.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
You've been lied to by the exact people we are asking for journalistic integrity from.
Genuine questions:

What would you say if you caught your fellow gg'ers lying to you? What would you say if a self-styled "leader" of the movement made questionable remarks about someone having a SuicideGirls account? What would you say if the truth was routinely covered-up by the gg'ers?

I do hope you're expecting the same level of integrity from both sides.

Edit: Also, perhaps you can answer my questions a few posts above? I don't think William has seen them.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 18th October 2014 11:51am

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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 4 years ago
@WilliamUsher,

Ah yes, GameJournoPros. The daring and dastardly accusation that professional game journalists actually communicate with one another.

I don't work in game journalism, though I know some of the people who do -- I'm in IT, and while I've done some game reviews from time to time, I'm not really a game "reviewer." But believe me when I say that journalists who work in the same field communicate with one another. It's inevitable. You see each other at the same events, you cover the same companies, and you *read* each others' coverage.

So you become polite acquaintances. Frenemies. Once in a while, you actually *do* become friends, but you're still friends writing for two outlets in competition with one another.

The one thing you don't / can't do is tell anyone else how to write their coverage. Having a conversation about an announcement is one thing. Telling someone else what their opinion ought to be is another. The idea that Ben Kuchera or any other personality had the authority to impose or create collusion is ridiculous.

EDIT to add -- some of this stems from a basic misunderstanding of what collusion is.

If AMD cuts GPU prices and then NV cuts GPU prices to match it, that's not collusion.
If ten journalists decide to cover a hot topic, that's not collusion.
If one journalist sends an email blast to ten other journalists about something really important going on, and those journalists decide to cover it, *that* is not collusion. If they talk about their various viewpoints amongst themselves, that is *still* not collusion.

Conversations on mailing lists that are no secret to anyone working in the industry are not collusion. They are not ipso facto evidence of nefarious intent. And they certainly not represent an intent to defraud or deceive anyone.

Professionals in a given field *talk* to one another. And in the 21st century, some of that conversation happens on mailing lists.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Joel Hruska on 17th October 2014 5:01pm

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 4 years ago
@ John
There's a difference between a terrorist killing a civilian and the state killing a civilian. The journalists are held to a higher standard and rightly so.
Except, I would argue, where there is the possibility of disinformation and slander. This is some interesting reading, in that respect: https://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal/liability/defamation

Though, ignoring that, it does nothing for a cause when the very people fronting it are hypocrites, and their followers are used (willingly or unwillingly).

All that said, I ask all those questions because I wonder whether there's any thought being given to them. Considering the lack of response... *shrug*
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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 4 years ago
@Morville,

I don't think those questions have answers. So far, the only argument I've seen for bad ethics in journalism that doesn't immediately fall apart under its own bad logic and/or misogyny is "Multiple sites published articles about harassment / gamer identity on the same day, some of them with similar opinions, therefore collusion."

This isn't true -- but it's at least more factually accurate than "Kotaku journalist gives great review to game of chick he's banging" which manages to be wrong both regarding the review (nonexistent) and the relationship between the two parties (nonexistent at the time the single story was published)."

The irony is that GGers often stumble right past the genuine ethical concerns in journalism while on their way to slurp at the trough of conspiracy theory. Payola for YouTube videos. Coercive coverage terms. The rise of paid/sponsored content. These, and a number of others, are the real ethical concerns in journalism -- not whether radical lesbian feminists have secretly taken over game development and coverage.
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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 3 years ago
"However and maybe I'm wrong but I just don't see GG as one movement with one agenda but rather a general symptom that journalists are out of touch."

Given the dominant voices of GG, I really have to question that idea. The purpose of a campaign in which someone is perceived as out of touch is to demonstrate what they are missing. If the past seven weeks were meant to demonstrate what journalists, game developers, and gamers are out of touch with, then all I can say is, thank God.

Thank God that developers and industry analysts are out of touch with virulent hatred, misogyny, unethical behavior, death threats, rape threats, wild accusations, insane conspiracy theories, and outright lies regarding the specific actions of particular people, the timelines when actions occurred, and the nature of events.

The fact that a handful of people who self-identify as GGers are not accurately described by the above adjectives does not change the standing of the overall *movement.* And as far as the communications with journalists are concerned, it's ranged from "Let's destroy the careers of those we disagree with," to "Let's pretend that journalism is actually run by Nazi Fembots from Dr. Evil's underground lair."
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Who are the dominant members? What are their names and what have they done and how many people are listening to them and what evidence do you have of this.
Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero on Twitter) seems to be leading the charge, though GG'ers are quick to deny there's any specific leader. Check out his Twitter feed, or just Google his name and the gg hashtag. It makes for "interesting" reading.
Many hundred thousands have expressed support for GG. What pulpit do these "voices" have to control and direct the message of this amount of people.
There can be no dialogue with a leaderless organization that both condemns and condones this behavior, depending on who's using the hashtag.
From the excellent Polygon piece here: http://www.polygon.com/2014/10/17/6996601/on-gamergate-a-letter-from-the-editor

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 18th October 2014 11:44am

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
True story:

I retweeted Polygon's piece (the one I link to above) to a GG'er who followed me on Twitter. Very friendly, like - specifically said I wasn't forcing my opinion on him. He refused to read it, called Polygon a "corrupt hovel", called me "anti-GG", and unfollowed me on Twitter.

How can you reason with that mindset? How can you "appear to listen", when members of the movement are so... Childish? I mean, the Polygon piece actually deals with ethics.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 18th October 2014 10:27pm

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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 3 years ago
"Why did the industry and the games media fight for games like GTA and Mortal Kombat to be protected under freedom of speech just to 10 years later throw a whole new type of games under the bus "

Where did this happen?

Show me the games being flung under a bus for impact on society? Show me journalists advocating that games they find problematic should be banned, or destroyed, or repressed. Because that's what censorship actually *is.*

Censorship is not a journalist or private citizen saying: "I have a problem with this, and therefore I say, in my capacity as a reviewer, that people should not buy it." Censorship is saying: "I have a problem with this, and therefore this product, this game, should not be *available to anyone.*

I have yet to see anyone take that stance in journalism or see it from Sarkeesian / ZQ. Do you have evidence to the contrary?
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Tanya Rei Myoko Programmer 3 years ago
@morville
Yes I want equal treatment and the media isn't giving it. They won't report on the harassment and death threats the antigamergate side has done, even Zoe herself is responsible for.
http://apgnation.com/archives/2014/09/09/6977/truth-gaming-interview-fine-young-capitalists
And I've realty with polygon firsthand. Back when Anita posted her videos originally I voiced a polite disagreement and they deleted my posts. They are one of the big sites we're calling for better ethics, you really think wed accept their data on it? We know they're corrupt or at least too heavily biased

@joel hruska
But they got together and agreed to only cover one side of the story and deliberately lie about it
A lie of commission is still a lie

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Tanya Rei Myoko on 19th October 2014 5:52am

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
@ Techni

TFYC have admitted that Zoe didn't dox them:

https://storify.com/TheQuinnspiracy/tfyc-truth-finally-comes-out
Back when Anita posted her videos originally I voiced a polite disagreement and they deleted my posts.
Do you (I mean generally speaking here, not you specifically) have the right to comment? http://www.theguardian.com/uk doesn't allow comment on some of their stories, and reserves the right to delete. Again, that's an actual journalistic institution - better fact-checking than the BBC in a lot of cases.
They are one of the big sites we're calling for better ethics, you really think wed accept their data on it? We know they're corrupt or at least too heavily biased
2 issues here.

One, there's a massive difference between bias, and corruption. Pleased don't conflate the two.

Secondly, the Polygon piece refers to the Society of Professional Journalists ("Improving and protecting journalism since 1909"), website here: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp . At the very worst, read that. Please.

Edit:

@ John
There will be some you simply won't be able to please but please the moderates
I'm certain there are moderates in the movement. Yes. But I have yet to actually see/talk-to any.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 19th October 2014 9:31am

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Hahah... Yeah, I know. A slight exaggeration on my part, I apologise. :)

To be honest, I would go one step further and say a moderate is someone who actually fact-checks what is being said by GG. But *shrugs* it's maybe slightly pedantic. :D
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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 3 years ago
" The fact they list games as misogynistic and misogyny is something to be done away with then ultimately they're calling for those games not to be made. "

No, it doesn't. And if you look at the critiques that have come from Sarkeesian or publications like Polygon, nowhere do they state "These games should not exist."

Critical challenge and critique is not an endorsement of censorship or a claim that products should not be enjoyed. As an example: If you watch early Disney or Warner Bros cartoons, they are often filled with examples of racial stereotypes. In a few cases, the studios themselves no longer distribute the cartoons. Other cartoons, which are still sold, still contain problematic depictions of race.

What mainstream criticism of these topics advocates is not that the cartoons should be *banned*, but that they should be watched with an understanding of the culture that produced them and an awareness of the stereotypes they contain. Gaming is no different. An awareness of the fact that female depictions in gaming are sometimes problematic or the fact that the breasts of female characters in Soul Calibur have gone from "Large" to "Jaw-droppingly gigantic" in several cases does not preclude the enjoyment of any title or the merits of a fighting game.

The problem I have with your argument, at a fundamental level, is that there's zero evidence that any kind of "censorship" or meaningful discrimination against developers who build these products. GTA V? Selling like hotcakes. The Polygon review of Bayonetta? Probably helps *drive* some sales to the platform precisely from people who like the idea of a hypersexual bad-ass spellcaster as a hero.

There is a profound different between saying "Let's talk about the ways that tropes and stereotypes impact cultural depictions of a gender or minority," and saying: "These products should not exist." I don't play the Grand Theft Auto games, for personal reasons -- but I have never argued that because they contain elements I dislike, no one else should be allowed to play or create them.
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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 3 years ago
@John,

I don't know who Shezhaan is. Google doesn't offer any insight (no pertinent results when searching for Shezhaan, and nothing when searching for "Shezhaan gamergate" or "Shezhaan feminism."

Can you offer a link?
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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 3 years ago
@John,

Thanks for the clarification.

I'm not going to deny that there are people who self-identify as feminists who would attempt to censor in the sort of ways that Shezhaan talks about. The logical flaw in his statement is when he attempts to argue that these critiques are such a part of feminism that there are no "real" feminists who can avoid them.

That's analogous to arguing that all Christians are racist and homophobic, or that all atheists hate religion and religious people, or that all conservatives want to destroy the civil rights of minorities. In each case, there are members of those groups that embody those statements -- and there are plenty of others who don't.

Now, the logical criticism at this point would be: "Ahah! There are plenty of people involved with Gamergate who aren't utterly misogynistic, threatening, and hateful towards women! People who want to debate the Real Issues." And that's true! But it doesn't make the two positions equivalent.

If it is fundamentally unfair to saddle any single person with the baggage of a broad ideological movement, then the only fair thing to do is to judge them based on their own statements and views. Sarkeesian's critiques, whether you agree with them or not, do not call for censorship or the banning of games. Neither did Zoe Quinn. But much of the GG response to these individuals and other self-described feminists in gaming has been to declare that these are radical far-left feminists out to destroy gaming with the aid of a secret journalism cabal. In reality, actual radical feminists wouldn't consider ZQ or AS feminists at all.

The hatred and vitriol that's poured out of GG, and the conspiracy theories that accompanied it, were so out of proportion to any offense offered that the only way for people to attempt to equalize the playing field is through an intellectually dishonest argument that pretends Anita Sarkeesian is actually Andrea Dworkin 2.0 (while typically attributing to Dworkin things that one of her fictional characters said in a novel).

There are always going to be people who are concerned about the depiction of women in the media, just as there are Christian groups who are concerned about the depiction of sex, drugs, and violence. The market has adapted by offering those groups content that suits their particular needs and desires. I see no reason to expect major publishers to back off the controversy that makes titles sell well in the name of political correctness, and the major feminist voices that have informed this debate have not called for it.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
A link (sorry), but well-worth reading. Debunks the whole "GG is about ethics". Written by a Boston Globe journalist.

http://np.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/2h36ue/another_poorlyresearched_hitpiece_from_the_boston/cldrqeu
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Make sure people are aware that that person (if they exist at all) does NOT represent you, your views, or the point of all this.
That's a very telling aside.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 3 years ago
Oh, yeah, no doubt the moderates in the camp do do that. :) But I find the "If they exist at all" speaks more to the answerer's viewpoint and bias (yes! :p ), than anything else. It seems a weird thing to say, unless you have a subconscious suspicion that the "horrible pro-gg" people are just made-up by anti-gg'ers. *frown*
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Joel Hruska Analyst/Journalist 3 years ago
I have seen little from pro-GG supporters that actually speaks to genuine problems in ethics or gaming (admittedly, I do not view the inclusion of feminism or feminist viewpoints as problematic, which I acknowledge is an intrinsic difference between myself and some like John). That said, I would welcome debate on the ethical issues that are broadly going undiscussed, as well as the rise of more moderate voices and the exclusion of the violently misogynistic.

I have no patience for death or rape threats. Not from either camp, not from either side, not for any reason. It's not excusable when "my side" does it. It's not excusable at all.

If people want to talk about the blurred line between editorial and advertising content, the rise of payola on YouTube, or similar issues of note -- or just discuss how gaming should or shouldn't approach topics like inclusiveness of viewpoint -- that's always a fair ball provided that it stays a conversation as opposed to a garbage dump.
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