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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.