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There has been a lot of talk recently as AbleGamers, a charity which has been working for a decade to help the disabled be included in the amazing world of gaming, recently refused to accept donations from a charity porn stream,  as they felt they were misguided  on the intentions of the event. TechRaptor spoke to both Mercedes Carrera, a GamerGate supporter and porn star involved with the event as well as founder of AbleGamers Mark Bartlett to help clear the situation up.

On the original intentions of the event Mercedes stated:

“I was nominally involved in the planning/emailing but working closely with the organizers of the event so their emails speak for me too. It was not intended to be a “GamerGate” official fundraiser, although I am a supporter of GamerGate so it’s expected that many GamerGate supporters would watch.

Apparently there was a Reddit thread in which the comment was made that “Gamergate is weaponizing porn”. I believe it has since been deleted.  I had originally wanted to select AbleGamers because I wanted to donate to a gaming related charity (since the organizers are gamers and so will be the audience, most likely), as well as how there are more than a few people that I have come to know who are disabled and gamers. It seemed relevant and also I liked the idea of giving to a charity for a cause people don’t often hear about.”

In the above mentioned Reddit post on GamerGate themed subreddit Kotaku in Action, some users, unrelated to Mercedes or the stream, began openly supporting the charity event encouraging other supporters to do the same and made jokes about weaponising porn as a means of boosting the consumer revolt, as those who oppose the movement often claim that GamerGate weaponises things such as women and charities.

AbleGamers have stated that they are 100% neutral on this topic, and did not refuse donations due to GamerGate’s involvement but because they felt the organisers “had not been forthcoming with the details of the event”. AbleGamers had this to say on how they became aware of the “weaponizing porn” Reddit post.

“We were made aware of the GG issue after someone sent us a Reddit that we posted a screenie in the statement. We are not sure what went on from the time we were asked and when we found the post. But after we read the post we did not feel we were being told the whole story.

I asked them whether, if the event was divorced from GamerGate if they would be willing to reconsider accepting donations:

“When the project was pitched to us, we had no issues with it. We have no issues with Mercedes, and we have had other porn personalities support us in the past. I am not sure I can answer your question because I have spent the day reading comments from people calling us everything from “retarded” to “AbleGamers is Human pieces of garbage”. You can understand why I personally want nothing to do with anyone right now. If we had been given time to answer the email and it was not leaked to reddit we may have been able to come to something that works for everyone, but we will never know.

I am sorry this is a non answer answer, but today has been just a lot of stress for a volunteer position and labor of love”

Mercedes expressed her disappointment but not her surprise at the outcome of the correspondence. She apologised for potentially misleading he charity and hoped that she would be able to support them in the future:

“I don’t monitor reddit or other online boards I had no way to know how well enmeshed the two had become in people’s minds. I am 100% responsible for the lack of communication and transparency, and could/should have written emails to the charity myself rather than having the coordinators be responsible for all communications. As a result miscommunication occurred and AbleGamers felt they had been misled, which was never my intention. It was an omission which, as I stated, was a mistake on my part. It never occurred to me that GamerGate would be more controversial than pornography.

An email was sent from our coordinator explaining this (perhaps not in the same detail- I should probably send them this verbatim) but I believe at this point it seems the damage is done and we are sourcing other charities for this particular event. However, I am always open to support them and their cause if they would want to have me involved at a later date.”

Finally I asked Mark to clear up the situation surrounding the unavailability of the AbleGamer’s website following the announcement that they would no longer be involved in the event:

“We were on the phone with our host when the site went down. In the heat of the outage our host told us that it looked like a DDOS. We were on the phone, chat with our team, and being destroyed on twitter… lots going on. They blocked one IP from hitting the site, that got the server to respond. After the main flow issue was solved, the site came up with a blank, we discovered that PHP did not reboot right, and was taking so much memory that the server had locked the threat… We rebooted again and made some changes to the memory allocation for PHP and the site came back up.

Were we DDOS’ed? At the time our host thought we were and people were asking for what what going on given we posted our statement 3 mins prior and so we passed the information about what our host told us on twitter.  And no, we did not take the site down. NONE of us get paid, frankly I wanted to spend my sunday doing other things….”

TechRaptor would like to thank Mercedes and Mark for talking to us, and would encourage those who wish to support the AbleGamers charity as individuals can do so through this link.

Update: I changed the title to better reflect my intent. The charity porn stream is sill happening. The charity is so far undecided.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • logan_mac

    Thanks for caring more about your reputation than actual disabled people AbleGamers!

  • Even with their explanations, I can’t take them to be sincere in their objective as a charity due to how they handled this. I’m sure there will be more open-minded charities who can take our money anyway.

  • NoName

    Now now, at least they’re not pointing fingers at anyone regard the issue with their website.

  • dsadsada

    “It never occurred to me that GamerGate would be more controversial than pornography.”

    The world we live in.

  • Toxic Croc

    What’s more hilarious is that GamerGate (what is it at in supporters, 30k at least?) is getting blamed for actions committed by 10 IPs.
    For the actions of each 1 person, 3000 are blamed. SJW, not even once.

  • Condorito Jones

    Charities are not interested in their end goal anymore as much as they are in their reputation. If I ran a charity to cure Cancer or some other horrible disease I would take money from any human monster and saint alike because my goal is to cure the disease.

  • bougabouga

    I have to agree with this, even after their explanations, the fact remains that they just said ‘NO’ to people who wish to help disabled gamers.

    I can’t help to feel that this is organisation is more political rather then one who wishes to help people.

  • Cy

    I didn’t follow any of this while it was going on but I’m just gonna take everybody involved at their word unless they make contradictory statement in the future. I know GG always gets unfairly blamed for everything, but it seems like honest miscommunication and things being taken out of context/misrepresented. I’m very leery of attacking charities without good reason, and I see no good reason to attack AbleGamers or try to spin them as secretly hating GG.

  • Zebes

    Whoever told AbleGamers it was a sneaky weaponization or whatever that nonsense is did a real harm to something that would have been good for all involved.

  • Doc Hammer

    Dude, that’s not what happened at all. It was not a reputation thing. It was clearly a communication breakdown. It was seriously unfortunate that the AbleGamers representative did not understand our dumb “weaponize ____” meme, but it rubbed him the wrong way all the same. In addition to a lot of ableist insults getting tossed around (probably not a good idea to call this particular charity retarded, for fucks sake) and the initial omission of potential gamergate involvement made them feel understandably uneasy about the whole thing, so it went tits up. They’ll still take our donations as well; they just don’t want to do this specific event, which is sad.

    But the egg is on our face here, not theirs. Unlike our opponents who point fingers constantly, we need to own this and fry that egg into a delicious humility breakfast. Be adults about it. You are Gamergate, I expect better of you all.

  • Doc Hammer

    I can almost guarantee you it was just someone jokingly saying “weaponize porn” like we say “weaponize ____” about anything we accomplish. It’s our in-joke based on the constant ridiculous accusations that we’re doing everything good out of spite. There’s a bitter irony to it backfiring like this.

  • Michael

    They still link to the quote on their site without clarifying the sarcastic meaning of it. At this point it is difficult to believe that they act in good faith.

  • Cap’n Catpants

    Probably because the people looking for scapegoats to push their agenda don’t want to target something (like porn) that they personally use or care about.

  • Zebes

    From seeing the comments, I agree that they appear to be jokes about Gamergate getting accused of weaponizing whatever good thing they’re doing.

    The person who told AbleGamers about this did a harmful thing. To believe it was legitimate organization of politicized charity because of a one-line reddit comment is either dishonest or delusional.

    They then cost a charity donations due to not only killing the drive but also the negative backlash. They did the charity harm itself this way. If anyone should be under heat, it should be the person that pointed AbleGamers to a silly conspiracy theory.

  • Alex

    What bothers me is that their technical problem was blamed on GG as a DDoS attack…
    As for ”their refusal”… to be honest they should have picked a charity that ignores ”internet drama” and is focused on their cause(as in real problems).

  • Braxus_Ravenguard

    If a DDOS occurred, we know it’s not coming from our side.

  • dodoking

    we apparently dodged a bullet, tuns out they were not that good of a charity and there is a better one chosen

  • Erik Wedin

    I would accept this response if this was the first time I heard about a charity refusing to accept donations based on political stance. Only it isnt. In fact I was recently approached on city street by a charity asking for donations and I ended up i a long discussion over them making a point out of refusing to be supported by certain parts of the political. Simply put a lot of “good causes” are now clearly depending on SJW support and because of this cant accept money from sources the SJW: dont like.

    Also SJW:s are the ONLY ones who do this. People who are politically incorrect do not refuse to donate money just cause SJW:s also donated money. However SJW:s constantly threaten to withold support unless whatever good cause that wants money refuse to accept money from their political opposition. Fine I say, if a charity is willing to refuse money because worrying SJW:s will get mad then clearly they care more about their reputation than the people the charity is supposed to help.

    And that is a problem!

  • Nick

    I don’t understand the concept of ‘weaponizing’ porn or giving to charities.

  • ArsenicSundae

    I can’t muster much sympathy for this guy. His decisions are politically motivated and it comes down to he won’t accept our money because he doesn’t like what we believe in. He even said that they’d accepted money from porn stars before, but not this time. Clearly, it’s Mercedes’ involvement with GamerGate is what he’s really protesting.

    Some say that we should go ahead and donate anonymously and just not mention Gamergate at all. Fuck that. I believe in what Gamergate stands for and if someone refuses my donation based on that, then that’s an indictment against me personally. There are so many worthy causes in the world and only so much money to go around. My money will still go somewhere that it will be put to good use for those who really need it. Mark Bartlett has only ensured that it won’t be AbleGamers administering to it. Nor will it ever.

    Well, at least he’s now a darling of the social justice crusaders. With such a long track record of giving to charity, I’m sure they’ll match whatever amount Gamergate would have raised (*snicker*) — if they can stop monetarily jerking off into one another’s Patreons long enough, that is.

  • ArsenicSundae

    It’s a bit of propagandizing the SJWs came up with to taint anything that GamerGate does. For instance, to malign our intentions and attempt to make us look bad when we engage in fundraising activities, they claim we are weaponizing charity and our intentions by donating are to further the sexism in gaming and hatred of women.

    For us now, it’s a joke. We make light of the fact SJWs claim everything we do is weaponizing something in some fashion, so we’ll do it first to mock the absurdity of the situation.

  • Bearpants112

    Weaponizing reason and facts.

  • BigJL5288

    From what I have seen hypocricy isn’t a concept the most vocal are aware of

  • It cuts both ways. If there were a communication issue it takes all of 5 minutes to send an email seeking clarity. But that doesn’t matter because they already made clear in a previous statement they were “Social Justice” orientated, putting them at odds with their perceptions of events. Even so, 5 minutes would probably have prevented this blowing up as it has.

  • It’s more likely the server tripped due to the sudden increase in (legitimate) traffic – not everything is a DDoS (php messing up was likely related to that as well – sudden increase in memory use to serve php content).

  • luxia

    heres one of those “social justice” fucks now. If you bothered reading the article (what a concept), the stream was NEVER intended to be gamergate related. It was likely to be backed by a lot of gamergate people considering Mercedes being for gamergate. But all it took was one out of context joke about “weaponizing porn” (which is something ANTIS made up to try to demonize us more) to pull the plug without any other word? This isnt middle school anymore. Theyre adults, they can use theyre words to find out what is going on, but they didnt

  • Sorry did you mean to write “No charity needed”?.

    The people involved were actively seeking to DONATE to the charity specifically FOR “social justice”, i.e. donating to a charity they felt was maligned and under-represented. That pretty much defines ‘social justice’ and how everyone else see’s it.

    EDIT to add: being a fly on the wall at their next Board of Directors meeting would be interesting… “you did what?!”

  • ArsenicSundae

    And who are these people? And what’s this in reference to? “ACTIVELY PROTECTING THEM FROM HARRASSMENT” sounds like it refers to GGs anti-harassment squad. You know, the folks who found discovered and disclosed the identity of the south american journalist who had been sending your queen and savior, Princess Anita, nasty messages.

    An SJW troll has no moral ground to point fingers at anyone on the grounds of behavior. Only your crew of biological retreads has the audacity to openly call for the wholesale deaths of your ideological opponents while still having the gall to act like the moral authority. You people are the lowest form of human refuse society can produce. A cancer set on devouring all the joy, sophistication and enlightenment that society can produce. True merchants of misery.

    We can only stare in awe at the complex web of delusions and deceits you need to weave to protect your conscious mind from the depravity of your hateful, bitter, destructive nature.

  • luxia

    fo real. they find the control scheme for jumping in COD “problematic”

  • dsadsada

    Even Hell’s Angels support charities if I recall. And they’re known to occasionally engage in much worse than internet harassment last I checked.

  • They’ve gone into full damage control and as GG doesn’t have an official spokesperson, the press is pretty much writing what they want without confirmation “from the other side” – http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/charity-that-refused-gamergate-associated-donation-receives-death-threats-suffers-ddos-attack/0142636. These “death threats” are getting tiresome though it has to be said.

    Also still think their supposed DDoS was down to the heavy site traffic rather than an actual attack (a single IP doesn’t prove anything – could have been a university – and is more than likely their hosts way of negating accountability for downtime).

  • :s take note, other sites still say Able Gamers got DDOS’d and imply GG is involved. I saw someone share this post on polygon or destructoid and it was dismissed because they don’t think the site is reputable wat.

  • Able Gamers was one of the charities involved in our first ever Hump the Bundle parody sale – Undie Bundle #1! We raised several thousand dollars for them through sales of porn videos. They are most certainly a sex-positive and porn friendly charity – something I wish there were more of. It was NOT easy to find charities to accept money from our site!