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Another day, another load of BS shoveled onto the pile of metaphysical manure that is the intellectually dishonest and cognitively dissonant narrative of anti-GamerGate.

At least the enthusiast hating, angular momentum doctoring hate speech factories had the good sense to space out the false narratives and factual inaccuracies over the course of several days instead of doing it all at once, like on August 28th and 29th.

As early as October 1st running all the way through October 9th, an army amassed to inform the unsuspecting public that misogynist hate campaign GamerGate had “pressured” Intel into pulling their advertising from Gamasutra.  Let’s filter through the untruth:

Untruth #1: Leigh Alexander is/was the focus.

It wasn’t one article that started GamerGate, but 14 “independent” pieces of un-marked attack op-eds pointed at gamers that started #GamerGate.  Leigh Alexander just happened to post the most vitriolic of the bunch, and then chose not to have the presence of mind to lie low until the heat died down, preferring to maintain her status as a hate speech mind vomiting fire hose.

Untruth #2: LW and LW2:

Two people who had been irrelevant to GamerGate for 5 weeks at the time most of these articles came out suddenly were the targets of GamerGate again.  That horse has been killed, resurrected, beaten to death, zombified, and had its head removed from its torso, but it bears repeating again: if anyone cares to give enough of a damn to actually look at the data, if every tweet their personal accounts received was negative and from GamerGate, they would, combined, make up roughly 10% of total GamerGate tweets.  In fact, the media sensitivity over those two is so high GamerGate has dehumanized them utterly, referring to them LW and LW2.

Untruth #3: GamerGate isn’t popular or is losing steam:

Pretty easy to debunk this one, so I won’t waste a lot of time or words.  Thunderclap.  Scoreboard.  That is all.

Untruth #4: GamerGate is a right-wing movement

Untruth #5: The goal of GamerGate is to keep women out of gaming:

These bleed together with some of the other propaganda posted this week.  Starting with The Verge on October 2, suddenly #GamerGate is a right-wing movement.  This sentiment was restated in another Verge attack piece by T.C. Sottek on October 8, along with ties to that dirty consumerism word, an attempt to tie GamerGate supporters to people who support Voter ID Laws, and a scolding for GamerGate accepting the help of Based Mom and Milo Yiannopoulos.

My response to that is GamerGate was and is willing to accept the help of anyone in media that is willing to write even a balanced GamerGate article, since no one in major tech media and most mainstream media has the courage or work ethic to do it. Milo, Based Mom, The Ralph Retort, and others are welcome regardless of their political leanings, and if the gaming outlets that are owned by the SocJus Patreon Clique had allowed earnest discussion on forums and in comments in August and September, publicly denounced false DMCA claims in August, reported on harassment experienced by developers, commentators, and news outlets throughout September and early October regardless of views toward GamerGate, and rewritten their ethics policy the same way The Escapist did, we would be on the road to defusing this mess.

Next up on the hit parade is a wandering missive from Katherine Cross on October 9.  It tells the same false narrative of right-wing politics citing the same people, and a few books.  It claims the same falsehood that #notyourshield was made up, in spite of three minutes of video evidence that it is anything but made up.  The missive dedicates an entire section to decrying the role of the consumer in gaming, while crapping on one of the alternative sites that has sprung up in the wake of GamerGate.  The last straw, to me, was the arrogant presumption of dictating moral and amoral to readers; therefore, I choose to dictate back to the author.

Moral: Allow the will of the consumer to be the primary driver of an open market.

Amoral: Conscript a willing set of “cultural critics” to publish 14 attack op-eds on the same day, which have the same ideological basis originating from an elitist think tank’s fishbowl discussion where it was overtly stated that a goal was to usurp both the creative process and the will of the consumer to inject feminist ideology in all aspects to videogames.

Gender and games has always been an issue

Why do we see such tension between academics and game designers?  Less of an issue with indies, but there are always some people in industry that have similar questions until industrial logic takes over later and how can we better intervene in industrial logics to disturb that process.  How can academics bridge the gap to the industry audience to help them do different work?  How can we disrupt the capitalist norms that facilitate this?

Feels quite viscerally injured when someone like Samantha Allen is lost to the industry because the reaction to her by some gamers was so violent that it didn’t make sense to stay. Academia needs to push for more radical positions within the industry to help make things better.

Moral: When the public makes it clear that a topic is matter of public interest, report on it, even if you own a piece of the subject.

Amoral: Stay silent when the subject you own a piece of commits a heinous act that’s a matter of public interest. (To say nothing of using personal relationships with moderators to censor discussion)

Moral: Condemn acts of hacking, doxxing, or harassment regardless to who they happen to.

Amoral: Exclusively report uncorroborated, twitter accounts of hacking, doxxing, or harassment against those ideologically aligned with your Editor in Chief, or who your Editor in Chief owns a part of.

And, of course, what list of recent false narrative nonsense would be complete without the Jay Hathaway’s GamerGate Explainer for Non-Geeks, published October 10 that’s a combination of every attack article written since August 28th put together in one easily digestible piece of propaganda.

For six weeks, this has been the consistent, unending, unchanging narrative.  The Escapist took the time to interview female and male game developers about GamerGate; otherwise, GamerGate has been left to fend for itself, save a very few outlets.  What GamerGate has done over those six weeks, to paraphrase the best mic performer in professional wrestling in the best promo of 2014, can best be described as “basic GamerGateonomics”: Eat. Sleep. Op-ed. Repeat. News post. Repeat. Live Stream. Repeat. Youtube. Repeat. Op-ed. Repeat. Op-ed. Repeat. Op-ed. Repeat. Op-ed. Repeat. Op-ed. Repeat. Youtube. Repeat. News Post. Repeat. News Post. Repeat. Live Stream. Repeat. Op-ed. Repeat. Live Stream. Repeat. Op-ed. Repeat.

When Erik Kain comes out and says GamerGate is not a hate movement, it’s time to circle the metaphysical wagons.  So, while Friday night’s events were deplorable, they weren’t all that unexpected in hindsight.  I hate that GamerGate and my investigations into its details have made me so cynical and bitter toward reports and coverage of doxxings and harassment that my default stance is skepticism.  That said, here are the events leading up to and including Friday night as I understand them.

Brianna Wu apparently “reused” (Reuse is tech industry speak for steal) an image from an autism Powerpoint template to use for some snarky and bitter shit posting at memegenerator.net.  8-chan caught wind of this and epically dunked on her, to the tune of 60 pages of replies.  At this point, the victim card was played, declaring a “twitter break” for safety.  Later on Friday, Brianna’s personal information was posted in an 8-chan thread mocking her game; the twitter break for safety ended almost immediately, as Brianna tweeted out that 8-chan and GamerGate had doxxed her.  There’s not a shred of evidence to support the assertion, other than the information showed up in the /gg/ board.  When the information did show up, users immediately reported the post and denounced the poster; similarly, when #GamerGate Twitter supporters were made aware of the threatening tweets minutes later, they mass reported the offending account to get it suspended.  Again, there’s not one iota of evidence to suggest 8-chan or Gamergate is involved in any way.  That didn’t stop Brianna, or her supporters, for coming out in droves to condemn GamerGate as a hate group, using Friday night’s events as “proof” without evidence.

It also didn’t stop the usual suspects from yellow journalism.  Re/code, Kotaku, and Gamasutra all ran virtually identical narratives, laying the blame for the attack directly at the feet of GamerGate and “GamerGate chat logs” which allegedly “have shown clear ties to organized harassment campaigns rooted in misogyny and sexism against women.”

I guess when you’re getting your ass handed to you in the baseball field of ideas, the best tactic is to traffic in human misery and manufacture a couple of runs for your side.  Bullying GaymerX in to denouncing GamerGate, calling Based Mom scum after the passing of her husband, and filing false plagiarism claims against a #GamerGate supporter pale in comparison to the beginning of the weekend, but all these events reek of desperation.

I feel dirty writing 1700 words about this; not because I have second thoughts about why I chose to support GamerGate or why I believe GamerGate is absolutely necessary—the Re/code, Kotaku, and Gamasutra articles I linked should make that abundantly clear.  I feel dirty about writing 1700 words on this topic because we, pro-GamerGate and anti-GamerGate alike, never should have made it to this point. Dialogue should have happened long before now. Boogie tried to initiate it, and was crapped on by both sides for making the effort.  Erik Kain suggested it less than a week ago, only to have the T.C. Sottek hatchet piece hit.  To his credit, Mr. Sottek did hit up the burgersandfries IRC channel to chat with folks in there, but most of that conversation was people talking past each other, with Sottek trying to convince people to go after AAA, and the IRC folks trying to explain why an Editor in Chief owning a piece of an indie developer is an obvious conflict of interest.

The silver lining, if there is one, is that law enforcement is involved.  There are two possible outcomes: vindication for GamerGate, or the end of GamerGate.  Everyone will report on the latter; the question I have is who will report on the former?


Todd Wohling

A long time ago on an Intellivision far, far away my gaming journey started with Lock n' Chase, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons The Cloudy Mountain, and Night Stalker. I earned both a BS-Physics and a BS-Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Today I spend most of my time on PC. I left a career of 14 years in aerospace in Colorado, so I could immigrate to Norway.



  • Excellent article! One point, however: I think you may have meant to use “metaphorical” rather than “metaphysical”.

  • Todd Wohling

    Archon,
    Metaphorical works, but at the time I wrote it, I meant metaphyiscal as an indictment of the way the hardcore anti’s “think”, given how the games media and MSM (sans HuffPostLive) are covering GG. Possibly hyperbolic, but I do that. 🙂
    TW

  • Jiří Dvořák

    Great article! Thx!

  • Great article. I can understand feeling aggravated about questioning harassment or doxxing, but I think that feeling that doubt moves people to critically assess a situation, despite what’s involved.

  • Chad ✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ

    Don’t fear a friendship with the right. They (we) are not the devils the MSM and anti-GG types claim us to be. Most of us are conservative in thought and opinion, believe strongly in equal opportunity for all (but not forced equal outcome or special privilege (AKA SJW)), becoming very libertarian in the sense of small government and live and let live. Not that our politicians necessarily represent all that, but I think the left and right can agree that we don’t have a great field of politicians to choose from. Too many uninformed voters overwhelmed in a sea of propaganda and corruption.

    Not here to troll or try and convert. Just to say that I think we have a lot of common ground and shouldn’t be ashamed of each other. From what I hear, most reasonable people on the left and the right don’t want other people defining them, telling them how to live, and most of us (left and right) have good intentions and want a better world. There are certainly extremists on both sides that maybe share some of our (left and right) beliefs but also want to force it on everyone else. I think there is a opportunity to come together under the mutual respect and understanding of freedom and liberty carried forth by decentralization and libertarianism. To take back our country and rid ourselves of those that wish to define a model society that is forced upon all.

    Peace

  • Pablo Hernández

    I’m leftist and I support GG.

    btw in my country the left sees obama as a warmonger imperialist fascist, just so you know where I’m standing.

    I fully support right wing people joining the GG campaign because in this front we are not fighting for politics, we are fighting for GAMES.

    When you think about who controls gaming media you quickly realize we actually are the little people who had to resort to a hashtag because we were being silenced everywhere else. Isn’t that fucking hilarious?
    In the end diversity rainbow club are just a bunch of upper middle class white american hipsters filling their pockets with clickbait journalism, sj “activism” and collective guilt.

  • Ryan Juel

    If I may point out a silver lining, I had a very, very civil discussion with a guy on twitter yesterday. Real awesome chap, and even though we disagreed on our stances regarding GamerGate, we both agreed that the conversation we had was very productive and a step in the right direction. I can only hope I can have more conversations like it.

  • Ryan Juel

    Yeah, that’s basically it. Political leanings don’t matter when everyone loves games.

  • Thomas Fährmann

    I´m so tired of the lies. So soooooo sick of these people. I cant tell you how much I despise them. All of them. Throw them onto an isolated island and let them rot in their own negativity they love so much. Man i cant stand it anymore. The more you read or hear about these miserable people talking about made up nonsense the more i lose the faith in reason or any other essence we humans share here in gaming. The only purpose these people have is negativity. They have no place in gaming! They are in the wrong field confused about anything that is reality and it´s downright disgusting. I was never so disgusted by people as in these days of gaming. And i will never forget or forgive them!
    I´m not even angry anymore just exhausted by all these lies. It realy affects me physically already!
    Pro gamergate forever!

  • Consider my ad-block permanently disabled for this site. Happy to support the good guys

  • Reptile

    I’m curious that how is now, almost 2 months after that attacks on august, those website visits count. I myself doesn’t access them anymore.

  • Jonathan Roberts

    I feel it’s at the point now where neither side will accept anything but the absoloute surrender of the opposition, which is never going to happen. Those on the anti-gamergate side have flung so much dirt our way they would be the laughing stock of the internet if they were forced to admit the truth about their actions and apologise. Really all i ever hoped from this was some level of humility, an admittance of wrong doing and above all else an apology. An apology for lumping us all together with a minority of very loud vocal anonymous assholes. For attacking their own audience and being downright racist and sexist in attacking us. Just because im white straight and love video games doesnt make me anything but! it doesnt mean i hate anyone or attempt to exclude anyone and im sick to high heaven with these self proclaimed professionals telling me how i think!

  • Guest

    Oh butts I forgot to do that, thanks for the reminder!

  • hots

    Every part of every industry has people whose only purpose in life is to misinform others. It’s so totally beyond me why anyone would WANT to impede human progress, but we’ll have to put up with it for the rest of our lives.
    An example is someone like Totalbiscuit; he supports gamergate and all that, but he makes the most lazy reviews I have ever witnessed. Whether he’s a journalist or not, he chooses to put no effort into his industry-affecting videos.

  • Todd Wohling

    Jonathan,
    I’m right there with you. Sometimes I feel defiant, like if MSM and games media bullied everyone else on the planet into not identiying as a gamer I still would. I’ve never needed anyone’s approval to call myself gamer, and I don’t need it going forward. Other times, I feel worn out by this fight. I still have my Intellivision, PS2, and XBox 360, so I can show my kids a time when games didn’t suck. Maybe it doesn’t matter; when the PC police institute thought crime, I’m in jail the next day anyway. 😀
    TW

  • All this has made me realize some ugly truths of the world. I honestly just find it crazy, it’s the only sane reaction. All GamerGate is and has been about is ending the incestuous relationship between gaming media and the game industry. No more reporters writing positive, but undisclosed, articles about their partners/friends games, no more bribing reviewers, no more giving awards to only friends, no more corruption, no more thrashing your demographic. That’s all there is. Yet this whole “GamerGate is sexist and misogynist”-narrative is -still- going on. On DN, one of the the largest and most reliable online news websites in Sweden, they had two articles about sexism in the gaming industry, mentioning Gamergate without explaining what it’s about, what it stands for. Why is everyone so afraid of actually having a discussion about this? The Escapist had enough integrity to publicly apologize and change their ethics policy. Why are they the only ones? Why is it okay to be angry with corruption in politics, in journalism, in other businesses, but a complete international taboo when it comes to gaming?

    Also, why are the leading voices of those opposed to GG trying to claim that there can’t be a discussion about ethics in gaming journalism because of all the hatred, sexism and misogyny? It’s not as if one of the subject cancels out the other, it’s not like you can’t have the cake and eat it. They are separate issues. It’s not one cake, it’s a fucking sandwich and a powerbar. If nothing changes, if the journalists still refuse to initiate a discussion, Gamergate will -without a doubt- continue going strong until Christmas, and who the hell knows what will happen with the holiday sales.

    Also, good article. Well-written, raised good points.

  • Brad Sherard

    It is frustrating being so dismissive of potentially tragic abuse being heaped upon people. However, we aren’t to blame for our dismissiveness. When a boy cries wolf falsely, when he later gets eaten by a wolf and no one notices, that was his fault for being a known liar.

    This is no different for the SJW/feminist crowd. When we have videos debunking ‘research’ on female victimization in gaming by these feminists, when we have video evidence of these ‘researchers’ outright lying about themselves, when they write vile and abusive things directly, when they call rebuttal of their flawed arguments ‘attacks’, when they take abuse from anonymous sources and use it to accuse others of being abusive, when they are exposed and admit to fraud and corruption, when they claim to be in danger then immediately indicate where they are, when they claim to be in danger and then immediately use it to talk about how they need more money, when they do all these things and more, how on earth are we supposed to come rushing to their defense when every single thing they’ve done prior was to cry wolf?

    I’d be the first to condemn some troll making death threats and exposing people’s private information. However, there is no reason to presume that is what is happening. Every precedent they’ve set identifies them as professional victims and peddlers of victimhood who will use lies to manipulate our sense of guilt, entitlement, victimization, and fear in order to get what they want. They have cried wolf too often.

  • Tanis

    Their numbers have jumped because of curious people outside of this. They see inflammatory stuff on MSNBC and then have to go onto Kotaku et al. just to see what this is all about.

  • ZeroPhoenix44

    The Escapist was a light in a dim world. The fact the other sites that have been spewing the same “Gamers are misogynist” rhetoric haven’t learned is actually quite sad. They really don’t realize that in the end they stand to lose all credibility in the industry the longer this goes on. The best thing for these sites to do would be to actually spark a serious discussion about these issues.

  • LickTheEnvelope

    The point of #GamerGate is we don’t care about politics, feminism, etc. We care about how good the games are. If you’re a reviewer and want to write an ideological hit piece that’s fine… make it an opinion piece or go write something like the Christian Center Reviewers who have a MORAL rating as well as a GAME rating.

  • LickTheEnvelope

    I agree. It’s very frustrating for non-gamers to go on these bizarre tirades against gamers as hating women. Utterly devoid of merit.

  • Pablo Hernández

    you should mail that news site and tell them those articles are biased, they probably won’t change it but at least they’ll know their readers are not idiots.

  • AnarKreig

    Dragon Commander is a great example of a game that has an engaging political system but doesn’t force a narrative onto the player. People should learn from that game.

  • bazzar

    I’m hearing that even people on the left in the US think this is bullshit (the media bullshit) and are getting very disillusioned with the far left media. The US should get ready for Nixon 2.0.

  • bazzar

    yet somehow TB alone is still better than everyone included in metacritic anyway.

  • Miguel Leiva-Gomez

    This. This a million times. As a right-winger, I’ve seen some of the garbage that a small amount of right-wingers spew and am just as critical of it (if not more) as the left wing is. The vast majority just want to be left alone and place an emphasis on personal responsibility. We don’t necessarily want the end of welfare, but we want to establish a framework by which people on welfare aren’t enslaved by it to the point of never finding the proper incentive to become productive. We know it’s not their fault. If any of us were in the same situation, we’d probably respond similarly. It’s the political system that’s completely tanked.

  • xyzdude0

    Its funny because before the End Gamers articles I cared little about all this. It was an issue with sites and people that I didn’t care about. But once they decided to start a war, I was dragged into it

  • Pablo Hernández

    Ask yourself what is journalism without trust. They may be getting some traffic like Cidsa says but that’s just circumstantial, in they end they’ll learn the hard way that gamers were their audience.

  • Valchrist

    Too.

  • Nettacki

    On one hand, I agree that GG coverage by the media, for the most part, has been rather one-sided and biased.

    On the other hand, just because they did that doesn’t absolve people like Milo, “Based Mom” (who I assume to be Factual Feminist), and others who have rather spotty histories of their own that GG should be just as suspicious to, if not moreso, than the anti-GGers. And yet here you are, accepting their support simply because they’re “on your side.” Even Eron Gjoni would agree with me on this. Just read his Tumblr.

    I say this as a neutral-to-pro-ish GGer with a progressive viewpoint.

  • Ryan Juel

    Nah, they’ll ridicule you and threaten to press charges if you ever access their site again. True story.

  • Brit Bong

    Fully left.
    Have never voted for conservatives in my life and I’ve yet to see one make a policy that would convince me to change that trend.
    What I am is anti authoritarian.

    I’m sick of people isolated in their bubble of privilege, devs and journos cozy together, pointing at all the evil gamers who are making gaming such a horrible place and then telling us how to be a better, “superior” (moviebobs word) audience.

    I’m not going to carry the shame they’re heaping on us for the actions of anonymous trolls and hate filled harassers who are assholes first and gamers second.
    Even if they are gamers, given some evidence exists to indicate third part trolls engaging in all of this for the lulz.

    There is collusion evidenced in the GJP emails.
    Just look up the Pinsof firing from destructoid and the subsequent blacklisting of him in the games media circles.
    It’s over on “one angry gamer”

  • Invin

    Thank you for having the guts to tell the truth. I found your site through the GamerGate community and have disabled my adblock to provide support. The level of censorship, blacklisting, and bullying in the gaming world (and in general) is absolutely out of hand and I’m sick of it.

  • BlackBetty1970

    Go back and take a look at your kids. Do you want them to live in a place where these people do get to institute thought crime? Now does it matter?

    This was never really about sex or gaming. It was about corruption and free speech. And those always matter. Keep your heads up guys. You’re winning.

  • Pablo Hernández

    Sweden is getting scary

  • Ryan Juel