In the past months, a surge of lies and scandal have taken over the online video game world. This event is known as “GamerGate”. GamerGate can effectively be summed up as a gigantic breach of reporting ethics, a smear campaign against gamers, and a stain on the gaming community. Strong words, right? Well, I use them for a reason.
This is… Im lost for words
I… Isis is better then Gamergate now? They murder people and theyre still better then gamergate? WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK! LEARN SOME GODDAMN ETHICS YOU PIECES OF SHIT!
Ok, got that out of my system
Could we signal boost this? This is just… appalling.
I don’t want to continue making Tumblr posts about GamerGate. However, I’m still seeing my posts spread around, and occasionally seeing people (very strongly!) disagreeing with them, so I want to make sure something is clear:
If you disagree with my stance on GamerGate or Zoe Quinn, you can talk to me about it.
I have gone to great lengths to explain why I chose my position. I have tried to consistently maintain a distinction between evidence that is hearsay and evidence that has reasonable proof. I am not committed to my position on this, and if you disagree then you are free to discuss it with me; my email and other contact information is on my sidebar. I want to believe whatever is right, and if you think I am wrong then I will hear you out.
My only request is a basic logical one: if you are going to disagree with me, please disagree with my premises rather than my conclusions. Dispute the evidence my beliefs are coming from.
Overall, I’ve had very few people take issue with my position. The ones who have, though, attack my conclusion directly. They say that they met Zoe Quinn at a gaming event, and that she was really nice. Or that someone who posted on 4chan advocated harassing her, and that’s bad. Please understand that these type of arguments, while interesting facts, do nothing for me.
Being kind to fans at a gaming event does not make it okay to slander a competitor. Similarly, being harassed on the internet does not justify publicly shaming someone who comes forward about sexual harassment.
The topics are unrelated. I mean, sure, we can have those discussions! We can talk about how important it is to be kind to your fans, and use Zoe Quinn as a positive example. Or, we can talk about the harassment women receive in gaming communities, and as an example compare the statements people made about Zoe to the ones made about Phil Fish. But both of these things are unrelated to the problems I have with Zoe Quinn, or the reasons I personally stand up for GamerGate. You might as well be saying “slander is okay for her because she has excellent taste in hair dye”.
Please understand, I want to stand up for what is right. Part of that is that I can’t let myself be swayed by emotional appeals like “she’s a really nice person” or threats like “you will never make it in the gaming industry with opinions like these”. Those are manipulative tactics very commonly used to hide wrongdoing or abuse. Yet, it is all I am being presented with.
Which is why I am asking: if I am wrong, please let me know. Email me or something, and refute the premises from which I draw my conclusions. Show me that there is actually nothing to be upset about, or that the actions I am speaking out against were justified all along. If your position is correct - if it is grounded in reality - then you will be able to show this.
And don’t just say to yourself “I’m sure someone else will refute that stuff” because I assure you, nobody else is doing it. If you have something that could sway my opinion, show me, because I haven’t found it myself and no one is helping. I have gotten exactly one email directly disagreeing with my stance, and they just called my opinions “stupid” and never responded to my request to elaborate. At least GamerGate is trying to sway people.
People - or even industries - are not concretely “good” or “bad”. Good people do bad things, bad people do good things, and any attempt to paint someone’s actions as solely good or bad just leads weird places and makes you hate kittens.
It’s important that we don’t let wrongdoing be concealed by someone’s good actions - and, likewise, important we don’t let someone’s good parts be forgotten in light of their wrongdoings. When discussing things, we need to be careful that we are discussing the action itself and not letting the discussion shift to something tangentially related. It might turn out that someone did something unthinkably evil - while also doing something admirably good. This is a normal occurrence, and anyone who tries to suggest otherwise is probably deceiving you.
I guess the most bitter wound is the general failure of #notyourshield. I thought that whole movement was incredible, and SJW-dom has needed a dose of it for years.. But god, what did it come to? I mean, fuckhead SJWs literally forcing people to show photos of themselves to prove they’re not cis/white/male is one thing, but a total lack of press or mainstream acknowledgment, even by the media entities who are neutral, pro-GG or willing to reconcile, is a tragedy. really underscores the whole issue in a painfully ironic, but totally expected way.
We haven’t given up yet. The movement is still going strong, and there have been some beautiful stories in the tag on tumblr, and I genuinely think we’ve changed some hearts and minds with it.
With a little luck, this will have inspired enough confidence in those that joined NotYourShield that they’ll be defending themselves that way more often.
One more thing I want to mention, as long as I’m talking about GamerGate.
The biggest weapon dissenters against gamergate have is that people on the gamergate side of things seem to be harassing game devs, journalists, and women pretty badly.
Now, considering that many of these people share the typical social justice and feminist ideology that’s become so popular in games media, lately, they jump to a strange conclusion: These people who are saying and doing terrible things are doing it because of GamerGate, so therefore they represent their side.
In a strange reversal of a very common argument, the people who like the cry that “not all feminists are like that” or that someone is not a “real feminist” when their behavior becomes too extreme or disagreeable, are assuming that the actions of a small group of people represent the larger movement.
However, GamerGate is not a political ideology. It is a movement to expose and remove corrupt practices from the gaming community and a push to bring journalistic integrity to games media. Furthermore, the prominent stance is that Zoe Quinn and her minions should be ignored. Anyone who suggests harassing or bullying or attacking someone in any way is immediately shouted down.
In a way, it’s a perfect example of what Feminists SHOULD do to the rotten apples amongst their ranks. GamerGate supporters aren’t saying “those people don’t represent us” or “not all gamers are like that”. They are telling those people to shut the fuck up and knock it off because their actions are distracting people from the larger goal.
Another aspect of this that caught my attention was a repeat of something that happened a few months ago.
The #endfathersday hashtag that started trending with some pretty heinous messages was started by 4chan as a joke, but picked up, with all sincerity by some psychotic assholes who hated men and were proud to announce it and spread that message with such fervor that it became a top trending hashtag.
The hysteria died down quickly and many people quickly shut up about it when 4chan’s involvement was discovered. Interestingly, the mere mention that 4chan was somehow involved absolves people of the tens of thousands of tweets they made in support of misandry and just generally spreading hate.
It started as a joke, but people took it seriously and ran with it… But 4chan’s involvement meant that everyone could just pretend that 4chan miraculously made thousands of accounts and faked all those tweets, instead of actually acknowledging that people were actually supporting something made up as a mockery of how toxic and hateful internet activism actually is.
Which brings me to #notyourshield, which started as a sincere rebuttal to the cries of misogyny and dudebroism. The dissenters of GamerGate tried to spread the misinformation that it was just a few white cishet virgins bullying women because they were misogynists… So people said, “fuck you” and showed that there were men and women of all colors and walks of life supporting GamerGate.
And what happens? “Oh! 4chan started #notyourshield!” and that’s apparently all it takes.. Like that somehow discredits the thousands of people who showed their faces in defiance of this corruption and abuse of authority by these gaming websites.
How do these people even function day to day with such intense cognitive dissonance? The doublethink and the backpedaling and the excuses are baffling. They don’t even have a leg to stand on, and yet they still pretend like gamers are the problem. They continue to spin the story any way they can, because facing reality at this point would be admitting utter defeat.
Honestly, this whole thing may be the greatest thing to happen in recent internet memory.
Topsy is a social media analytical company, using it’s service you can filter hashtags and twitter trends.
The interesting thing is that you can also filter said trends by multiple words in a tweet, so in this case I’ll use some slurs in regards to #GamerGate
The term ‘#GamerGate whore’ also yielded 57 results. Those are the tweets that use the GamerGate hashtag and contain those words. Now, how about Quinn and Anita sarkeesian?
Lot more hits on those, though even if you assume the absolute worst and that everyone mentioning Zoe Quinn’s name in the #GamerGate tag is harassing and being a dirtbag, that accounts for less than 2% of all the posts in the entire tag. For Anita, it’s less than 1%. For Jenn frank it was about 0.02%.
The above are tweets that use the GamerGate hashtag as well as sends a notification to both Anita’s and Zoe’s feeds. These would likely be included within the prior statistics but here they are anyway.
Now those are some interesting trends.
At the end of the day these things
Do happen, but they are not the majority, not by far, and they’re condemned.
Anonymous said: Tbh it doesn't help your cause much when you tout Adam Baldwin as the person who started #gamergate. He is ultra-conservative, pro war, and once compared gay marriage to incest. I also question the validity of the claim that a POC started the #notyourshield tag because certain groups are known for setting up fake accounts of minorities.
1) so what about Adam Baldwin?
- Here’s the thing a lot of people don’t seem to understand (or much care) Gaming isn’t about your politics. When you’re playing Sid Meier’s Civilization, no one cares if you prefer France or Germany, or Rome, or Spain, they just care that you enjoy it.
When you play League of Legends, “everyone hates a feeder” but if you give your best, they’ll give you theirs.
When you play Pokemon, people just want to see what your favorites are and how well you trained them, and how well you fight with them as a team.
No one asks if you’re a Green party, or a libertarian, or a Tea Party, or Rainbow Coalition, or if you’re ACTUALLY IN INDIA where those political lines don’t exist.
Erik Kain told those of us who lean hard left like me to be careful of right-wingers who claim to be our allies because they have their own agendas too. This is very wise, and very true. I haven’t forgotten.
In soccer, internationally, there is the same sense of community. No one cares [automatically anyway] about the money, your age, gender, you name it. Just come play.
That’s the point of games. That’s the point of the Olympics originally.
Adam Baldwin is an actor. I’m not heroworshipping him, because I don’t give a fuck. I’m not going to alienate him over politics either, because that’s not what video games is about.
Video games is about inclusion. Left-wing, right-wing, PC Gamer, Handhelds, Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sega, whatever. It still comes down to playing. Games are more fun with friends. Period.
2. Ninouh is a minority voice who has had his voice CONSTANTLY overwritten by the very people claiming to speak for him. You do not have the right to take away his identity and try to make it fake just because you don’t like it.
You do not have the right to take away J.J. Miller’s identity (Polar Roller on Twitter!), another minority voice WHO IS A GAME DEVELOPER HIMSELF, who was getting extremely fed up with people harassing him and calling him things he is not.
I had 2 women this morning force me to switch back to my real life icon just because if I have an anime one, they don’t think I can be a woman, and still part of #Gamergate. Because Gamers are so misogynist, you see? And in taking part I must be “siding with our oppressors.”
This makes me shake. With fear, with hurt, with bitter bitter anger.
When I was younger, I stopped wearing my tribal feathers because I didn’t like being bullied over it and it just seemed easier. I kept my hair cut short, and never spoke of my spirituality or spirit guide. I didn’t bring it up, and I wouldn’t talk about it if asked. It took me a long time to get over that. My Grandfather told me about his grandmother who separated from the tribe rather than assimilate while separate. She decided if some traditions were going to die, then she’d rather do it as part of society than on a reservation. Sometimes I wish I’d been braver. That I’d done what I wanted and to hell with anyone else.
Video games were the one thing I wasn’t ever bullied about. Even in middle school when I started getting braver and having more friends, I found myself able to stand strong because of video games. Because when I said I liked something, I could find others who liked it too. Civilization 2? Check. Heroes of Might & Magic 2? Check.
In high school when my Dad had CFIDS and I started getting it myself, video games were the closest thing I shared to all my friends. It was barely at the dawn of the internet so any amount of gaming online seemed like magic. A real fairy tale. And having been an army brat, and moved a lot as a kid, I loved it. It didn’t matter if my friends were on the other side of the country, we were still connected.
In a very real way, video games are MORE a part of my culture than my actual heritage. My native name is Silverwolf. Silver like ice on snow on a lake on a cold wintry day, or the sliver of a moon, the dew at twilight, or the color of my mother’s hair. But even though I grew up on how to track wild animals, and identify calls and footprints, and live in the forest, and my Mom was a park ranger, and I wanted to be a storyteller of the tribe; in charge of keeping all the mythology and passing it on, in spite of ALL OF THAT:
Both my parents are gamers. I was only a baby and my Dad had me in his lap with his computer. I learned to READ from that computer, and I wrote my first game when I was five.
Video games and indeed; GAMERS have always been there for me. Just as I know when I need it most, so will a wolf.
I would rather have someone slap me in the face to my face than deny me of my voice and my identity. My identity, WHO I AM, is the one thing NO ONE can rob me of! Not my health, not the bullies, not anyone, at anytime!
I don’t think you understand how extraordinarily hurtful it is to hear people try to erase you.
This last week, we’ve had a lot of it. I want to believe they meant well. That they were misguided like me, when I was like MissAngerist and believed ZQ was a flawless perfect person. No one is. Certainly not me.
So I want you to pause and think hard. The worst thing you can do is try to rob someone of their own voice, their own thoughts, their own words, their own opinion.
It’s never a good idea to demonize anyone. Everyone has a potential for hate, or love. For good, or for bad. My wolf has been trying to remind me of that. It’s not easy.
It’s easy to want to protect someone, and when I first went into the twitter tag, I expected lots of “gatekeeping boys” who would be dissing women, talking about Grand Theft Auto & Call of Duty, and longing for the good old days when girls weren’t in games.
I started crying.
I was a fool.
Every single one of them welcomed me like I’d just come home after a very long trip. We laughed about our favorite games, we talked about all those ancient computer games and the early state of 80s computers and DOS, and where we wanted reviewing to go from there.
In #notyourshield, I didn’t cry. I was amazed. I’d always suspected there had to be a lot more women like me, but I’d never once seen it. We’d never met to ally ourselves before.
And the first few times I was called a man, a traitor, a House “N—-er,” or told I must be a sock puppet, I didn’t care. Because I knew the truth, that they couldn’t take my identity away from me so I gave a real picture in my Ace hat. And I high-fived the other women who recognized it.
But I still don’t think you understand how much it starts to hurt after awhile. So I want you to watch these two videos anon, and see if you get it yet. At first it’s funny. Because it’s stupid. How could anyone think that? Does someone have to be a white cis het male to be “evil?” or just to simply disagree? Does being a woman mean anything on my morality? No, just my experience. And if it comes to being bullied, gamers have always been bullied, so that certainly doesn’t disprove it. Moreover, bullying bullies isn’t okay either.
But after awhile it hurts. It hurts a lot, because you start to wonder what the fuck is wrong with you. It starts to feel like the exact same bullying that took place when you were a kid who was the freak with feathers in her hair, and switched to being called a “tomboy” rather than deal with the hatred of another form. It starts to feel like you can literally do or say nothing right. It starts to feel exactly like the same racism you faced before, only even more insane and inverted because it’s like someone is trying to steal your soul and history, and you have no idea how much that hurts.
Please anon. It’s reasonable when you have proof to say “this person is lying.” But do not ever try to take away their identity. It’s one of the most hurtful things you can do. It isn’t just saying that their history, their life experience, THEIR IDENTITY, THEIR VOICE, THEIR THOUGHTS, THEIR OPINIONS, don’t matter, but it co-opts them. It steals them to use them to say “even if you have that identity, you don’t deserve it, so I will take it from you.”
Don’t do it.
Not ever. Not even once.
Everyone on #notyourshield has been awesome. We come from different backgrounds, different countries, different walks, different games. We share only two things. 1) a love of videogames, and the desire for better journalistic standards. 2) a bewildered frustration at being denied the right to speak for ourselves. For a long time there has been a stereotype of the “hardcore gamer” as being that white cis het male who “lives in his mother’s basement.”
The truth was, all of us were always there.
And the worst part is? We were always invisible.
Sometimes even to ourselves.
This week we found each other. And you can’t take that from us. Because the truth is, gamers have always been diverse. Only nobody knew it. Not even ourselves.
Now we do. We aren’t going back. And you can join us, but I don’t understand why you’d ever try to hurt us as deeply as to deny us the right to speak. Because that’s what it’s like. When Leigh Alexander and other people write articles saying we were never real, or when people come in after reading Kotaku articles challenging our very identities, the literal makeup of who we are, and we keep proving it as if it matters, but even then, it doesn’t?
I’ve wondered a lot this week why the articles called us mistaken things. Is it their fear of become obsolete? Is it because we finally made it clear we were through? Do they really believe their meltdowns?
Most of them ARE white, cis, het, males… and none of us cares. It’s a peculiar juxtaposition. I talked to bullied game devs about it. One said she thinks it’s just that they were like the kids who blended in as preppies in high school and so they think the solution is to parrot the right words and phrases, and it’s just that SJW-speak is “in.” That really made me mad as you can see in my own past posts, because my morality is not a tool for anyone.
And still I wonder.
Even though Nihou and Polar Roller are as real as I am, and VERY exasperated about this, they have proven their identities repeatedly, and their own friends and coworkers both encouraged them to speak up about it, would it matter if I had made the hashtag instead? Or if a white cis het guy had? Isn’t the message the same? That we don’t like being overwritten and ignored, and dismissed? That we don’t like being called misogynist, and we don’t like that they would abuse their own public and lie and manipulate people like that rather than talk to us like adults?
This week a LOT of my Gamer friends on Gamergate have come to see SJW movement as “rabid insane attack dog in the form of rich white fangirl who hero-worships…. someone, and is accompanied by a dozen white knights.” I keep saying, “No, we aren’t all that way. See? I’m here, I’m listening, not harassing or denying anyone’s identity.” But it’s not enough.
Is this what led the game journalists to thinking we were all the wide brush they painted us as? Harassers and misogynists and psychos? Because that’s the only “gamers” they talk to? Why DON’T they come talk to us then? Especially why not NotYourShield… we are the minorities and women and yet…
The ones who did come talk to me didn’t want to hear what I thought or had to say. In all my life, I have been comfortable around fully grown men, professors, and scholars, and colleagues, and my father’s or grandparents’ friends. This week, was the first time I really felt like I’d been kicked hard by the weight of misogyny against me. I’ve never felt so belittled, so talked down to, so MUCH like the patriarchy was claiming to “look out for me” while crushing me under a boot heel.
And if you knew the rest of my posts, you’d know this comes from someone who has always refused dresses, makeup, or pretty much “gendered things.” I didn’t even play softball, I wanted to play baseball with the boys that firmly I insisted.
Say what you want about me, but don’t rob me of my right to voice and opinion. Just because it doesn’t agree with yours doesn’t mean I’m fake. Just because we don’t fit the convenient narrative doesn’t mean we’re fake! WE WERE ALWAYS HERE AND NEVER SEEN! If you really wish to help minorities have a voice? Give it to them. Don’t take it away. Given them a mic, a platform, anything. But don’t you dare deny that they can be an individual. That is something none of us would do to you.