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A writer and editor turned game developer who has previously worked for websites such as Destructoid and the Escapist, TechRaptor was lucky enough to talk to Allistair Pinsof  for a series of interviews about the current state of the gaming media.  In the final part of this series Allistair talks about the events leading up to him being fired from Destructoid and his thoughts on GamerGate. You can read the rest of our interview here and here.

Disclaimer: Allistair’s interview had been re-arranged into sections, with Allistair’s permission, to make for more manageable reading.  No edits have been made to the interview save for spelling and grammar.

All views are the interviewee’s own and not necessarily shared by TechRaptor.

TR: What is your general opinion of GamerGate and the actions it’s taken?

When even I am considered part of GamerGate by some — despite not joining it, frequently talking against it, and barely interacting with its more moderate voices — how can I decide who is GamerGate? How can I have an opinion on its actions when these actions are often attributed to other parties and its own achievements are debated from within and outside its main hubs?

My general view is this. People don’t like being labeled under a group. People also don’t like being silenced. People don’t like being bullied. Every time a celebrity, journalist, or social critic says a stranger they don’t know is a misogynist, terrorist, or bigot, it will only make people who associate with this group angrier.

GamerGate lacks values, standards, and direction — thus I never joined — but it is not a hate group. A hate group is a group that discriminates against another group; women, according to the media, in this instance. Yet, I’ve seen more outspoken women in the GamerGate tag than woman speaking against it. Yet, I haven’t seen general misogyny or attacks against women from it, outside chan shitposts (designed to garner negative attention from critics monitoring) that few members of the group realize exist, not to mention promote.

Misogyny and hate exists in GamerGate but by that standard, the internet is a hate group. What popular news site, forum, online game, or chat room have you been in where there isn’t a noticeable air of misogyny and shit-talking? This doesn’t make these attitudes and actions okay, but to present the game community as being disproportionately misogynist in comparison to other online communities is dishonest and manipulative.

The biggest crime the media committed against the public and industry in regards to GamerGate is conflating internet trolling, sexism, female representation in games, female representation in industry, ethics, and online abuse into one issue. While progress was made on each of these subjects in recent years, they are now all combined into one toxic ball that no one can clearly address in any positive or progressive way. GamerGate has become an empty hurrah word. “I STAND AGAINST GAMERGATE!” What does that mean? Well, it means whatever your allies and opponents want it to mean, because it no longer means anything in and of itself. Issues are no longer discussed, people are just beating the drum in a pointless online war. People who want to stay on the sidelines and say “Well, that’s messed up” somehow get dragged into, or at least that’s how it happened to me.

There are women in GG that want their voices heard but they are silenced due to this smear tactic of conflating feminism and censorship debate with abuse. I can imagine, done intentionally or not, that media justifies this as necessary to slaying the beast and ending abuse campaigns against Anita, Quinn and Wu. The ramifications though will set the industry back in ways people don’t realize. You have celebrities RT’ing that women in games aren’t allowed creative roles. You have national newspapers saying that women — not three specific women for various specific reasons — are hated and abused by gamers. These statements are not true and presenting these statements, free of factual reporting and sourcing all parties, to the non-gaming public will damage funding, creative control, and community interaction in years to come.

As someone who wants everyone in games to be judged individually and have full creative control, without fear of sensationalist dogpiling or peer pressure, this has been a distressing time. I feel for the women under attack and those silenced, whether by online mob abuse or media’s intellectual bullying. What side the victim or abuser falls under has no bearing on the situation. It was disgusting to see individuals in media and development block and criticize me when I voiced me being upset over GamerGate members (including female, LGBQT, and minorities) being threatened, abused, and silenced. These people who turn their back on their fellow enthusiasts because peer pressure and media framing are no allies of mine or the brave, creative individuals who will rebuild this industry in years to come, with or without the mainstream media.

TR: For those who are unaware, you lost your job at Destructoid following you outing a developer’s IndieGoGo campaign as fraudulent on Twitter and unfortunately outing her as a trans woman in the process. If you could go back, how would you handle the situation differently? Do you still feel it was your duty as a journalist to make people aware of her misdirection?

The decision to out her was one of the hardest decisions I made in my life, and having to reflect on my mistake and be honest with myself and others about it was a process that changed me.

It’s the worst feeling to know who you are, who you identify with and have them refuse to know you and think of you as an enemy. A lot of this was due to how my employer manipulated the story and certain trolls lied about me, once I deleted my tweets, to make the situation even worse.

Allistair Pinsof

Let me start by sharing the original tweets. I’m ashamed of them but I’d rather people see my mistakes and ugliness than buy into someone else’s far more sinister story about me. Or for people who compare me to that Grantland writer who outed someone for a story — that was never what this situation was like at all. There was no story; only compassion to help the developer and later compassion to help charity staff in harm’s way due to the situation.

Coming out like that on Twitter was awful of me, especially saying the surgery she wanted was “non-vital”, lecturing others on suicide, mis-gendering, and suggesting she threatened me.

That last point is especially important for me to address. I took time off the internet to find some peace again  after I was fired. When I came back, I saw the developer making angry posts about me — We ceased to be friends even though we left on good terms — due to her seeing I said she threatened me. This was bad wording on my part. She never threatened me with harm or self-harm, she only said in passing she’d commit suicide if people knew her identity.

Sadly, this is what happened. 4chan, Reddit, TheIndieStone forums and NeoGaf found the truth about her and some of the bigots of these boards harassed her. In combination with her fundraiser being shut down, she decided to stream her suicide on Twitch and YouTube. This resulted in people sending death threats to the staff of these sites and IndieGoGo, allegedly.

I say allegedly because this is how all this started. My employer told me this was going on in a hysterical email that made me hysterical, guilted me for covering up for her (I was on a mission for her to come out on her own terms on a LGBQT-friendly site), and pressured me to come out with the truth to our readers. I should have ignored but I was in an emotionally vulnerable state and lacked good conscious. I thought I was preventing the possible harm of the staff of Twitch, YouTube, and IndieGoGo. I should have had stronger character, waited to verify the significance of the threats, and if necessary acted in a way that least harmed her in the process.

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My employer knew how dangerous it’d be if the truth got out so he told me to be silent during damage control, threatened me after I was fired, and then told other journalists to silence me so the truth didn’t get out. By that time, all sorts of rumors about me and wrongful accounts of the situation were spread on everything from LGBQT tumblrs to neo-nazi forums.

It was like if a mom slipped and dropped her baby on the ground and all these people come up like “Oh man! You’re a babykiller too? Sweet! Want to write for our babykiller blog?” And you’re just like, what the fuck — this is awful I didn’t want any of this, and all those people you actually care for and made a career and life caring for are hurt and hate you now. You’re just left by yourself and with some hateful bigots.

I’ve tried to correct people who think I’m a bigot, tried reconnecting with the developer through apologies (and a misguided attempt to rally GG to donate to her Patreon along with me), and tried to be supportive of other LGBQT gamers. But, it’s too late. The narrative has been set. I still get death threats, people block me without knowing who I really am or what’s my actual story, and I just have to live with it. I doubt people have forgiveness for SWAT teams that shoot an unarmed citizen when a troll SWATs someone saying there’s a hostage situation. The officer made the shot. No context outside that matters. There is no undoing the harm. They just have to live with that. I can’t imagine how hard that’d be, as I can’t expect people who don’t know my real story to understand how hard this has been for me. And, let me acknowledge that I know this has been even harder for the developer who continues to receive harassment.

[Ed Note: Allistair wanted me to mention that at the time of his tweets, he was still unsure if the developer was raising money for a sexual reassignment surgery or if these were lies to get away after being caught due to sources at the school knowing her by a different name and her social media accounts being created only weeks before]

TR: Do you have anything to say to members of GamerGate who supported you during and since this incident?

Outing someone in a way that puts their personal safety and privacy on the line is never okay. I wish certain GG members would realize approaching the developer is mean, fruitless, and paints the entire group under the hateful, transphobic umbrella the media claims. So, please leave her alone and don’t use any bullshit about a scam to justify attacking her. If GG is really about ethics, they should ask why my employer pushed me toward outing a trans woman via lies and manipulation and colluded with industry via a private email list to silence the truth from reaching the public — certainly, if the games media is really LGBQT-friendly they wouldn’t have covered up the truth of an outlet’s transphobic actions. If you look at the history of my actions previous to that event and those of my employer, who has a history for this sort of thing (transphobia, silencing and manipulating staff) the story should become clearer. Kuchera was a close ally of Destructoid’s EiC and owner so I knew how screwed I was with them controlling the narrative through the whole GameJourno Pros thing and silencing the true story. I had allies who knew the real situation but they knew their careers would be on the line if they spoke out and GJP weren’t happy with it. I’m not mad at them for remaining silent. They have their families and careers.

My values aren’t so complicated. I believe in treating people how you like to be treated. And, I believe in looking at people as individuals and not applying unwanted labels to them. I feel bad when I see someone who I believe to be good at heart but is denied these things. This is why I originally wanted to work with her to find a legal way for her to fund her surgery and it’s why I’m upset over so much of the hate I see out there in the gaming community; and, yes, perhaps I’m responsible for some of it due to my previous fuck-up.

UPDATE: This paragraph was missed from the original. Allistair went on to remark

We need to remember we aren’t so different from each other and when the labels are stripped away, we share the same ideals and goals toward equality and honesty in the community. There are LGBQT individuals on both sides of recent controversy that have been targeted and hurt a lot. I hope anyone reading this takes the time to check on their friends and make sure they are doing okay. I know these issues surrounding games are really important to us but nothing should be more important than the health of each other and our friends.

TechRaptor would like to thank Allistair for talking to us. You can find what else Allistair had to say about GamerGate, industry relationships and what happened at Destructoid in the rest of our series You can find him on Twitter.

Has Allistair’s interview enlightened you? What are your thoughts?


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.



  • m0r1arty

    Foist!

  • I just want to say thanks to Allistair. I know he’s had a rough time as a result of this, and I’m glad that the #GamerGate whatever-this-is has been able to give him an outlet to speak on a great many things he was around to witness firsthand. I also hope that this had the opportunity to give him some form of catharsis, because God knows he deserved some.

    Take good notes, videogame journalists: this is the sort of transparency we need on the subject. Journalists do not need to be afraid to speak up like this, nor should they be. Your job should be to report, not be a mouthpiece. If someone fires you for reporting something in truth, no matter how inconvenient it may be, then they’re doing something wrong in terms of what a press outlet is supposed to do with its very existence.

    I can only hope we see more of this in the coming weeks. Great job, Georgina.

  • Greg Nieto

    Hmm. I kind of agree with the idea of dissociating concepts from the tag. The presumed toxicity makes proceeding on any other front harder. I know people are worried about dividing the group, but we all care about the individual bits and pieces that we care about, and the email campaigns haven’t worked lately.

    Maybe the disparate claims of social issues (or, IMO, lack thereof) in gaming, journalistic corruption, and harassment need to be dissociated in order for progress to be made.

  • yves

    If a joke hashtag like #Pizzagate could get smeared by anti-gamergate,dropping the tag would do little to change hardcore Ghazi’s mind.Moderates on the other hand when they investigate see right through the nonsense .

  • Greg Nieto

    Not saying to drop the tag for information-sharing between us, but when discussing the individual issues, the tag may be counterproductive.

  • Dulius

    If you’ve seen Ghazi’s response to PizzaGate, this is impossible, they’ll just pull the same Genetic Fallacy crap they’ve done before

  • yves

    Merely existing is counterproductive for some people in the “conversation”.We are blocked by people on twitter by many people we have never even spoken to

  • Kamelguru

    Finally a piece regarding GamerGate that DOESN’T remind me more of wartime propaganda than it does of journalism.

  • I screencapped a small sampling of the Gaf/Reddit comments that drove the dev to suicide to back my statement above. Some of these come from threads that predate my tweets by a month. Not saying this excuses my actions in anyway, just proving what caused the suicide and that these places are hypocritical for calling Gamergate a transphobic hate mob: http://t.co/tROk7cq9BL

  • Doc Hammer

    I think I speak for many of us when I say thank you Alistair for speaking and thank you Georgina for asking the questions. I also want to say in regards to your final question and response: when Alistair’s situation was first being discussed on 4chan long, long at ago, we were discussing why the editor put pressure on him and seemingly turned on him. This has always been a central question in our discussions of questionable ethical behavior in games journalism. Why did that happen? Where was the editor taking responsibility? Why not support the writer? Questions like that cropping up all over the place set the early tone for GamerGate.

    We care about the industry. Alistair cares about the industry far more than he cares about his own image. Georgie and TechRaptor care about the industry. Let’s no longer let what other people insist we are dissuade us; we know damn well who we are and what we want.

  • Doc Hammer

    Dulius is right. Our opponents already committed the genetic fallacy by indicting GamerGate for purported crimes of #TheQuinnspiracy. The way forward is not retreating to another name that they will simply slander.

  • Jake Martinez

    The events around, and particularly the aftermath of Allistair’s “social justice call out” are pretty intriguing to me.

    I’m no fan of “call out culture” because it’s obviously a form of toxic emotional abuse (and in many cases, like Allistair’s threatens an individuals economic security) but even more striking to me is how people subjected to these events exhibit many of the same traits and behaviors of survivors of physical or sexual abuse.

    People who have been the subject of “call outs” will not often speak about what happened to them in the aftermath. They just hope that by keeping their head down that the witnesses and aggressors will move on to someone else. The entire event is usually incredibly painful and emotional and stressful but if they dare to say anything it’s likely to just trigger another round of abuse and initiate further “call outs” against them by the angry Social Justice mob in a cycle of never ending bullying where the so called “oppressed” are actually the “oppressors”.

    Frankly, it’s the most reprehensible form of bullying practiced by what I can only refer to as “Internet Feminists” and “Social Justice Bullies”. People who feel generally weak and disempowered in normal society simply get behind the keyboard and decide to turn into the worse caricatures of the people they believe are oppressing them. The reasons behind this are the same reasons why every lonely and lost person decides to reach to anger – because it’s an empowering emotion that fills people with strength instead of making them face their vulnerability. It’s wrong and I believe that most of them know it’s wrong, but they are conveniently able to balm their conscious by pretending that their bullying is in service to the oppressed.

    Or as a rather infamous d-list internet celebrity said not too long ago, “There are no bad tactics, just bad targets.”

    A statement, which is both ludicrous in substance as well as vile in intent.

    Anyway, when I look at these statements and others made by Allistair, I can’t help but applaud his compassion and attempts at reconciliation, but on some level I think they are misguided. I don’t believe that many of the individuals that he would absolve deserve anything but condemnation for their actions. This is not to excuse what he believes were his own faults, but to say that because he may have made some mistakes justifies such irresponsible rage on behalf of other people is quite frankly the kind of wrong headed logic I would expect to come out of the mouth of an abuse survivor.

    I don’t recommend that people generally be combative, but allowing bullies to claim moral authority for bullying is wrong. People who participate in this “call out” culture are the worst kind of harassers because they feel entirely justified indulging in their own human failings and weaknesses. Point it out to them.

  • André Murgo

    More like dropping a tag, dividing its subjects could prove to be useful.

  • Dulius

    A big thank you to both TechRaptor and Allistar Pinsof. You’ve given us a lot to think about (positive, negative and where to attack next.) Hopefully more devs and other industry members will speak out now, and good luck in the future

  • JC Ashcott

    Actually, the email campaigns worked, and further email will have a diminishing effect.

    The result of the various emailing have cost various writers their jobs due to reduced revenue (thus the various downsizing we see right now). This is directly tied to quarterly performance (I don’t know about every rag, but at least it’s true in a similar but different field I’m more familiar with).

    In short, the damage the journos did to their own trade as a result of their provocations and dishonesty has been done. We are approaching the rebuild phase in term of media (things on the AAA dev side is status quo while I’ve no information at all about the indie scene). So for all the writers looking for a job right now, they can thank leigh and her megaphone army for wrecking the source of revenue.

    As for progress, the best progress is actually awareness at this rate. The people supporting certain values will support the changes even if they don’t support us directly.

  • André Murgo

    Attack is a strong word.

    “and what to address next” would sufice 🙂

  • Johnathon Tieman

    I sort of agree, sort of disagree. I think the tag needs to act as an independent watch-dog group. Once specific issues are identified (unethical games journalism), a separate group willing to work on just that one issue could be formalized and spun off (the harassment patrol did just this). While I think that group by and large should *not* use the tag, I think it should be open and up-front that they will address any instance identified regardless of who does, including GamerGate. In turn, GamerGate should immediately begin watching that new group for the problems that led to this road.

  • Ncrdrg

    Reminds me of this great article: http://adland.tv/adnews/gamergate-moral-panic-resembles-90s-which-directly-affects-womens-career-choices/1629488701

    The moral panic created by GamerGate’s critics is setting this industry back. And the saddest part is that they’re scaring women away from the field. Too political, too dangerous, don’t wanna get harassed, I’ll pick a safer job like nursing. They’re contributing to gender roles without having the intelligence to even see the damage they’re doing. Oh, yes, they felt so proud when they broke into mainstream media.

    But now that it’s revived the ‘violence in games is a problem’ (especially against women) bullshit, we’re going through Jack Thompson 2.0.

    Also, to this day, still not seeing the issue with outing Segal as a trans as it was intrinsically linked to the scam she was pulling. If she didn’t want this to happen, she shouldn’t have committed that crime in the first place. Though to hear you say you weren’t sure it was due to a reassignment surgery at the time is a bit troubling. Either way, you made a judgment call in a very tough situation, based on information that turned out to be false, given to you by your own colleagues. It’s hard to fault you on this.

  • JackDandy

    Thanks again for the interview, Alistair. and TechRaptor.

    If Alistair sees this, I would like to know something:
    You said coming out about the IndieGoGo thing was a mistake.
    But, when you’re saying it was a mistake, are you referring to the entire thing, or just the “non-vital surgery” thing?

    I saw that thing myself as it was unfolding, and thought it wasn’t really “outing” her or whatever. Not gonna act like a saint or anything of the sort; the way that jerk Samantha Allen talked to you was disgusting. I’m glad she left the gaming scene.

    But, I digress. If you were in that point in time again, what would you do? Would you still warn people, and just leave all the other details about Segal out?
    Letting people know that their money is going to waste is the number one priority, imo.

  • Thanks for this, Allistair. Thanks for representing ethical standards. I know you’ve made mistakes, and I know you’ve done your part in trying to mitigate their effects.

  • Cap’n Catpants

    > What popular news site, forum, online game, or chat room have you been
    in where there isn’t a noticeable air of misogyny and shit-talking?

    I basically pointed this out to Game Informer, and they didn’t care. Also, I don’t think it’s fair to mention only misogyny. There is always plenty of misandry as well. In other words, people just hate on each other for stupid reasons. Gender has little relevance.

    > Coming out like that on Twitter was awful of me, especially saying the surgery she wanted was “non-vital”, lecturing others on suicide, mis-gendering, and suggesting she threatened me.

    I don’t see anything wrong with your tweets. It’s completely true that the true surgery was non-vital compared to the false one they claimed to need. You were under a lot of stress/pressure, yet went out of your way to reveal fraud AND help someone. It’s a very common mistake to word things badly, especially on a site like Twitter.

    > GamerGate has become an empty hurrah word.

    I think that depends on your sources and where you discuss Gamergate. Its general purpose is pretty clear at Kotaku in Action. I’d imagine that trying to follow Gamergate on Twitter, or listening to the antis throwing false accusations around must be a terrible mess. That’s probably why you feel it’s become an empty hurrah word.

    > You have celebrities RT’ing that women in games aren’t allowed creative roles. You have national newspapers saying that women — not three specific women for various specific reasons — are hated and abused by gamers.

    And ironically, none of those people know anything about the game industry. They should not be preaching or reporting on topics they know nothing about.

    >As someone who wants everyone in games to be judged individually and have full creative control, without fear of sensationalist dogpiling or peer pressure, this has been a distressing time.

    ^ This. I know several people who have lost their motivation to make games because of how corrupt and disgusting the game industry is. I’m not too pleased about it myself. And the people perpetrating this toxicity are the same ones claiming to support devs. The IGDA, for example. They don’t support devs, they support their friends and screw everyone else.

    > My employer… pressured me to come out with the truth to our readers
    > My employer knew how dangerous it’d be if the truth got out so he told me to be silent during damage control, threatened me after I was fired, and then told other journalists to silence me so the truth didn’t get out.

    Maybe I’m not reading this correctly because I’m tired, but these sentences seem to contradict each other. Not that I’m doubting you, I’m assuming you got the order wrong somehow.

    > And you’re just like, what the fuck — this is awful I didn’t want any of this, and all those people you actually care for and made a career and life caring for are hurt and hate you now. You’re just left by yourself and with some hateful bigots.

    This literally sounds like my entire life. Not downplaying your suffering – I’m just sad that the world is such a shitty place.

    > Outing someone in a way that puts their personal safety and privacy on the line is never okay. I wish certain GG members would realize approaching the developer is mean, fruitless, and paints the entire group under the hateful, transphobic umbrella the media claims. So, please leave her alone and don’t use any bullshit about a scam to justify attacking her.

    Yes, but I haven’t seen Gamergate doing any of these things. They mostly try to avoid referring to those women, and even have aliases for vaguely referring to them. But then, I don’t bother with the mess that is Twitter or places like 4chan.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    I have a follow-up question for you, if you’d be willing to answer. My impression is neither you nor the journal you worked for had any serious formal journalism training (but I could be wrong, which would make the question irrelevant). Do you think that perhaps a lack of that training to deal with what became a serious issue far beyond simple game coverage on both your part and the journal you worked for at the time contributed to what actually went down?

    I ask because I wonder how situations like this are handled at more mainstream publications. I still don’t really fully understand what happened, but it seems like there was a real case of fraud occurring (regardless of any of the other details), which in some way needed to be exposed. The potentially fragile state of the individual certainly matters, so perhaps the real issue is the order in which it was exposed rather than the fact that it was exposed (this is where I am confused about what the controversy is). Hence my question…

    Regardless, I think you interview was quite enlightening. Thank you for taking the time to discuss your view of things. I think the answer to the first question on this article is the best description of GamerGate I have read by anyone.

  • Ncrdrg

    I use the tag sparingly myself. I don’t use it when I criticize McIntosh or Anita for example. Only when the topic of ethics, journalism and the likes come up or to share interesting articles.

    I have enough followers on twitter to not need to use the hashtag to receive the slightest bit of attention. That being said, the negative association would follow us anywhere. GG was born from Quinnspiracy, since it was becoming way more than just a Quinn scandal. Even if a new hashtag is created, it’ll get reamed like no other.

    Great example for this is #gamergateneutral. Got slammed as recruitment tools by both anti-gamergate and gamergate. #pizzagate is another example. Plus trolls would follow us anyway so it’s kind of pointless. I get what you’re saying as it being very negatively viewed by the media but as an information relay network, it’s quite effective.

  • Cap’n Catpants

    I don’t know much a bout how Twitter works, but how about using tags like #gamergate_topic? For example: #gamergate_pinsofinterview or #gamergate_ethics or #gamergate_igdacorruption?

    Just a suggestion. Feel free to disregard if it’s not applicable.

  • AlexiusY

    Thank you, Alistair – the voice of reason will prevail!

  • Capt_Hat

    I understand your concerns, but I must disagree w/ you. We have made significant progress through the #GamerGate and continue to do so despite all the toxic claims associated w/ it by the media.

    What’s truly counterproductive is taking a community that anyone can come to present an issue for others to see and making needlessly buried in sub-# that address individual issues.

  • d0x360

    As terrible as it is to out someone…I think he did the right thing. Lying about the use of that fund raising is the same as stealing. The person was stealing from gamers who believed in them enough to give then money for the promise of a game. That trust was taken and abused and a journalist for a gaming site has the responsibility to expose fraud like that

    Now its possible it could have been exposed without giving specific reasons but eventually it would have come out and possibly been worse. She (at the time) would have likely lied to cover it up for a while then been exposed and then there would be zero support. At least this way people stood behind this person and helped them through a situation that is unimaginably difficult.

  • Ørjan Kristoffersen

    Big thanks to Alistair for doing this. It takes a lot of guts to go through with something like this after all that both sides of this debate has put you through, lot’s of respect for that.

    Lots of important topics have been raised in this interview (series?), I frankly just wish we could actually debate them. I’ve been a supporter of #GamerGate since the beginning, and let me tell you, I also wish it would’ve died off by now. While most here will know that #GamerGate is not a hate group, the constant conflict does get tiresome, and we’re getting less and less done since it’s been more and more mired in tribalistic warfare.

    However, I (and I think many others) feel like we’ve come too far to give up now. I do believe that the GG controversy has sent stones rolling that will keep rolling long after the conflict dies down, but I also see the risk of everything going right back to the way it was, only with most outlets writing self-congratulatory fluff-pieces.

    Only thing here that I find disagreeable is the statement that basically the entire internet has an “air of misogyny”. All too often lately, it seems to me that people conflate misogyny with misanthropy. (see examples such as GTAV). I would argue that there is often a misanthropic air on the internet, mostly because the method of communications makes things such as empathy both unneccesary and difficult. Everyone gets attacked online, and I don’t agree that is a general misogynist leaning in it.

  • I’d agree. There’s a certain amount of hostility and invulnerability to it (in equal measure) that you need in order to truly begin to understand the internet and all of its cultures.

  • Winston_from_the_Ministry

    The psychology remains the same as it’s always been, it’s the technology that is changing the way we form groups and compete with other groups.

  • Niwjere

    Pinsof, you claim GamerGate lacks values, standards, and direction. This is untrue. They simply are not openly defined or expressed by some leader or council. Instead, the values of the group are determined directly by the group. It’s called “grassroots” for a reason.

    Movements should be judged based on their ideals. The people in those movements should be judged based on how well they adhere to those ideals. GamerGate will always stand for two things: professional ethics and equality of opportunity (against cronyism and the modern, twisted and abused concept of “social justice”, both of which are antithetical to actual equality based on merit). You’d know that if you’d taken the time to read the GamerGate wiki, or the KiA sidebar, or any number of image macros that have existed for months. Hell, even the original GamerGate Thunderclap said as much. I find it hard to believe you’ve somehow missed that. Values, standards, and direction do not require declaration by elected officials. They can spring up organically, and for us they already have.

    On another topic…

    You feel guilt for your “awful” behavior. Personally I don’t see your problem. You called out a non-vital surgery as what it was — non-vital. Cosmetic. Non-life-saving. That’s what it was. Calling it out as a scam was also the right thing to do, assuming that was actually the case. And “misgendering”? Are you kidding me? If I, with my male body, proclaim that I wish to be treated as female and referred to as such, the world should rightfully laugh in my face and point out the obvious fact that I am physically male.

    Gender pronouns (linguistics nerd here) are based wholly and entirely on physical appearance, because the rest of the world neither knows nor cares what’s in your head or in your DNA (and nobody can tell me they’ve never seen a person that they couldn’t immediately assign “he” or “she” to — it’s practically instinctual to try). If someone switches from a male body to a female body, the pronoun change is justified because outward appearance has changed, but even though there’s some scientific backing to the idea of a male brain in a female body and vice versa, the world (as I’ve just stated) operates on what it can see. Nobody should be offended by that. You don’t get to arbitrarily declare your own gender because of how you “feel” about it. It’s absurd. Feel guilty if you wish, but nothing you did (aside from the premature outing itself) was actually wrong in any sense of the word.

  • KLLRFRST

    I agree. “Calling out” (also knowing as “dragging that bitch” on Tumblr) is one of the most toxic things to come from the SJW culture. It’s witch hunts under the guise of social justice. It’s passed off as “educating” people on their mistakes, but it ends up becoming an excuse to dogpile on someone for the most insignificant slights in order to earn Tumblr brownie points. Even Wil Wheaton, one of the higer-ups in the SJW hierarchy, got eviscerated on Tumblr by another SJW simply for making a harmless joke about Spirit Animals. The worst part is the hypocrisy behind it all – like how a lot of Tumblrinas will rally around Azailea Banks slamming Iggy Azalea for being a “mayo cracker ass bitch”, yet blindly ignore Banks’ use of the word “faggot” as a slur, or the anti-semetic and anti-trans remarks she has made. If Tumblr got nuked off the internet tomorrow, I wouldn’t shed a tear.

  • Niwjere

    Take care not to engage in guilt by association. Just as 8chan isn’t GamerGate, Tumblr isn’t SJWs — although it’s pretty much unarguable that GamerGate is in the vast, vast minority on 8chan, whereas Tumblr is practically owned by the social justice whiners.

  • KLLRFRST

    The only time I saw the aforementioned developer (who will I will not name out of respect for her privacy, and so I’m not accused of “trying to send GamerGate after her”) any where near GamerGate was a few months ago. She was sending out Tweets obviously meant to get GG’s attention, such as “Hey #GamerGate! I’m totally against you!”. The only reactions she got amounted to “OK”, “whatever”, “That’s nice”, etc. Then she proceeded to have a meltdown for the next two hours, which GGers responded by trying to reason with her, dissuade her from suicide, and even send her the web address and phone numbers of suicide hotlines. The only things that the Anti GGers did was retweet the developer’s tweets and accuse GamerGate of “harassing” her and “pushing her to suicide”.

  • No way to say this without sounding arrogant but: As far as I’m aware, I was the only person on staff with a journalism degree, ethics training and background at professional papers (student run but overlooked by former key staff of Boston Globe, Dallas Observer and others).

    When I had reason to believe I reported on a scam, I took it seriously and tried to be as transparent as I could. This is why I filled main staff on every single detail and email that occurred. No one cared. Even worse, when I announced I’m looking into allegations of the charity being fake on Twitter my boss told me to take it down.

    I think this all happened between a mix of me being in a bad emotional state (too attached to the story/individual) and other staff having no ethics (joking about situation, dismissing suicide attempts, discouraging transparency) or being silent. When I told the story to Joystiq and some other sites, they said that would never have went down like that there and maybe not.

    This is why I initially wanted to talk to other outlets and tell them my side of the story, so they can learn from it. It’s important to have good communication with staff, not ignore ethical conflicts, and definitely never ever produce lies as facts that could tamper an investigation (as Carter did). Destructoid had a lot of good qualities but no one there really had any idea about how to handle ethical conflicts. For instance, one of the last big conversations I took part in before being fired was the owner telling reviewers they should ask PR for promotional codes when asking for review code so we can use them for members. I was floored by the stupidity of this but kept quiet for a couple days, thinking surely someone above me would speak up and state how this is an obvious ethical conflict (asking for favor while reviewing). No one did, so eventually I did a long rant. Boss just made a concise, “Oh yeah, well, I was going to do this through a third party.” I hope they did. There were good people there but a general lack of perspective when it came to these things. People wanted to be rock stars like Max Scoville and Jim Sterling rather than journalists.

  • Jake Martinez

    Tumbr is basically the home of pornography. Sometimes it’s actual pornography with naked fiddly bits everywhere. The rest of the time it’s “outrage pornography” – the type of theatre of the absurd that these kids like to indulge in.

  • Leandro Benitez

    Allistair did nothing wrong with those tweets, people who threaten to commit suicide should be left to do with their lives as they please, espessially if they are making such threats to avoid their own dirty laundry from being exposed,

    As for exposing him as a trap, nothing wrong there either, trangenderism is a mental disorder, and encouraging metally ill people, by adressing them as the gender they want to be as opposed to the gender they actually are, is the worst thng that can be done.

  • watwut

    I would say, Allistair deserves a lot of respect. I would not want to be in his situation and had to make those calls.

    It is good interview. Sometimes we forget that decisions are made in messy difficult to read emotional situations. It is much easier to judge decisions afterwards then to make them at time.

  • Bearpants112

    Yep. Changing or dropping the tag does nothing because the aGGros will just say we dropped it to “hide our harassing past”

    They’re never going to let advocates of reform move away from their smears. It’s a waste of time and only validates them to try.

  • watwut

    I read the theory that the most aggressive social justice warriors are not weak and disempowered, but instead privileged who have no stakes in conflict, but do it to raise social standing in their own social group. The theory was based on some data, through not exactly a research.

    (Theory is here http://fredrikdeboer.com/2015/01/30/dont-be-an-accelerant/ )

  • SirBittle

    I hope this interview helps spread the word, and encourages others with stories to come forward to places like TechRaptor or elsewhere. Spread the word!

    Once again, thanks for Pinsof and Young, both.

  • David

    I still don’t understand why outing a trans person who is scamming people for money for surgery is wrong. Being trans shouldn’t absolve you of criticism or being treated like anyone else. If your scam has to do with you being trans and wanting gender reassignment surgery then I think it’s ok to report it.

    Also, I disagree with you about this whole label thing. Just because GG is about ethics doesn’t mean everyone has to be perfect and PC all the time. I see this time and time again. People take tweets from GGers that don’t have the hashtag in them and then say GG isn’t about ethics or they find a GGer criticizing someone and sarcastically say “Goobergate’s about ethics though right.” It’s a fallacy.

    People can focus on different people and issues and you can’t expect a movement going on for 6 months about ethics to be about ethics 24/7 or at least expect the individuals involved to be completely focused on it. There are going to be disagreements, debates, criticisms on other issues or stories not related to GG.

    Same with judging GG by a few bad people. You could go to prison and find criminals that are liberals, conservatives, feminists or apart of any group, but you wouldn’t use those bad apples to judge the entire group. That’s insane. The few bad ones in GG are likely trolls as well. There has just been so much effort and energy put into stopping people from tweeting about GG and making GG look bad.

  • Rosalina

    I find this entire situation, disturbing.

  • Arbitrary

    You got it all completely right.

  • Arbitrary

    Fantastically well said.

  • NorBdelta

    When I first started my involvement in GamerGate I knew about the corruption, but it has gotten to the point of it seems to be basically everywhere. Almost like an unsaid practise to be corrupt akin some third world country where it is the norm.

    Where does this rabbit hole end?

  • Niwjere

    To be fair, Tumblr was originally intended to be an art sharing service. It’s understandable that it fell right into the same trap deviantART did.

  • Niwjere

    Classing it as a mental disorder is premature. The science isn’t finished. The data isn’t all in yet. Personally I’m pretty sure that’s how it’ll get classed, as the whole idea is based on the brain basically being “cooked” in the wrong hormones during development (a female with a testosterone-soaked brain or a male with an estrogen-soaked brain could, in theory, “feel” that they should be a gender they are physically not), but hey — I’m neither a biologist nor a psychologist. And if it does get classed as a mental disorder, what would the treatment then be? I doubt it’d be much different than the reassignments we’re already seeing. Can’t make the brain match the body, but you can modify the body to at least somewhat match the brain.

    Let’s avoid the labels until science figures it out properly.

  • Michieie

    Great interview man, though I’m less apologetic than you and, no matter how much you think you need SRS it is not a life-or-death thing. If she wanted to get that surgery funded saying she needed SRS would’ve been enough; tumblr pays SRSs things all time time.

  • realgamer07

    I live in a third world country, and you’re right is really akin to the corruption here.

  • GEhotpants101 .

    Well, that was illuminating, refreshing, and horrible to be taken back on this collusion journey again all in one.
    Thank you George, Alistair. This was important to get out.

  • Niwjere

    Already doing that. Case in point: uproar over BroTeamPill DMCA’ing Angry Joe. BroTeamPill is decidedly pro-GG. No one is exempt from professional ethics.

  • Kamille

    I don’t completely trust what Allistair is saying in this interview but some truth must be behind it to make so many people uncomfortable enough to start a new smear campaign.

  • “Pinsof, you claim GamerGate lacks values, standards, and direction.
    This is untrue. They simply are not openly defined or expressed by some
    leader or council. Instead, the values of the group are determined
    directly by the group. It’s called “grassroots” for a reason.”

    I agree completely! The fact GamerGate is not a hierarchical organisation with a manifesto does not mean it is incoherent, it must means you need to pay attention and actually see what the grass roots really look like. If ever there was an ’emergent movement’, GamerGate is it. GamerGate is about corruption and collusion and the shameless people who enable it, everything else is just noise.

  • Marie Teach

    Geez the Games media runs like the bloody mafia with GameJournoPros and Kuchera at the head (I suspect)

  • Zanard Bell

    What happened, realgamer07? I, too, live in a third world country, and I bel

  • sickbroski

    I’ll never get over the fact that people treat Gamer-gate as a movement because of various manipulative groups with several agendas using it as a stupid hashtag of all things, but I’m so happy you got your story out there finally.

  • realgamer07

    what?? is there a part of the comment missing??

  • sickbroski

    Ugliness shows itself in many ways, and I think 2014 was probably a new low in how technology can be used to dehumanize any target for any reason whatsoever.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    Partially, but not fully. We need a sort of “critic critic” that monitors other journals and writers. It can formalize the definition of an “objective review” and “objective reporting” and rate the journals based on those definitions.

    Slightly off-topic, but this sort of things has been cropping up for many industries in the last several years. Ratings and reviews for restaurants, local service business like home repair, car dealerships, even doctors and lawyers. The one I’ve yet to see is one for news media. We need that, not just in the games industry (although that would make a good place to start), but covering all news media.

  • sickbroski

    I don’t think there is a problem with the gaming industry having a lot of personality-driven content, but obviously these characters shouldn’t be the ones trying to tackle real-life issues, and they should certainly not be in charge. I always thought you ended up in a pretty shady lot at Dtoid, but I guess I just didn’t know a lot about the other outlets, or the Sect Francisco effect.

  • Zanard Bell

    Yes, at least earlier. (I think it was at “you’re right is re”)

    Damn, I thought you were doing an abduction meme chain. 🙁

  • Guest

    hahahahahahahahaha, so in what third world country you live mate??

  • realgamer07

    your comment too is missing something I think, it stops at (live in a third world country and I bel) there

  • Mark Andrew Edwards

    Boy, lot of use of the word ‘Bigot’ in this segment.

    So, I didn’t follow this story, didn’t really consider it part of GG. My bad, maybe. So was there a scam? Was someone lying about a project to fund a sex change operation? And did that person kill themself? I’m just not clear from this interview what actually happened.

  • Zanard Bell

    The Philippines.

  • ghostlife

    Misogyny is the most overused and misused word of 2014

  • utera

    Yea the prejudice seems to go one way, a few examples and the entire group is smeared and dismissed. Its applied entirely selectively which undermines any claim of these people to being neutral or objective. Its no different than dismissing all black people because a few are criminal, yet not applying this standard to whites.
    These people’s judgement is entirely illegitimate, and its sad to see people on the left fall so easily into a prejudiced mentality.

  • utera

    Unfortunately ever since tumblr started hiding porn from the tag and search results, the site has been left to the tumblrinas.:(
    As for the bullying, it seems to be an example of the spread of female clique style bullying behavior stretched into adulthood via the internet. While male bullying, aka direct trolling has been the center of attention for so long, the female counterpart of trying to socially undermine and isolate people really has flown under the radar.

  • Kitsunetsuki

    I can’t help but notice that this “safe place” that progressives have built for themselves, is infinitely more drama/hate filled than anything I have ever had to live through as a ignorant hick living in social backwater.

    It’s like they got lost on the way to “Utopia” and wound up in “Junior High Forever”.

  • utera

    The special lowering of standards for women and other protected groups like trans is rather disturbing in all this. Its behind everything. Some how he has to apologize for her dishonesty? This is the problem of the left fetishizing groups as special people for the purpose of raising their own status as the hyper aware.
    So on the left many treat women and lgbt minorities as extra human, but in a patronizing way. The special concern comes from a removal of agency. Women and trans are reduced to the status of children, to be protected because they are weak, unable to defend or think or fight for themselves. The underlying unspoken premise behind their concern is always one where they actually regard these people as lessers to be defended, lessers to exclude from accountability, and so really, these people are the most sexist and transphobic people of all.

  • Mark Andrew Edwards

    Much appreciated, thanks.

  • Leonardo Cornejo Bernal

    This remeinded me of why I suppor GamerGate. I was a neutral. But I was against the views of people like Anita Sarkeesian. I thought they exaggerated, were missinformed, and were too extremist. I consider free speech as something very important. I hold the firm belief that a video game does not influence the way a person behaves. And I think no game should be censored.

    The cronyinsm and personal attacks from the anti GamerGAte side led me to support GamerGate. I believe most of the GamerGate supporters stand for journalist integrity and against censorship.

  • utera

    The funny thing about this moral panic is that it betrays societies actual bias, which is a massive over protective attitude towards women, often to their own detriment as your article points out.
    Women in the past had less rights than men, but like children, they also had extra protections to go along with it. The problem is as women were granted rights, this benevolent sexism was never really addressed and done away with. Its why this hysteria is so easily sustained. Its what people like Sarkeesian have relied on to shield them from criticism and scrutiny all the while they claim that society is grossly sexist against women when they are demonstrating the that its only sexist towards them in a benevolent way which they are shamelessly exploiting. The societal bias to over protectiveness towards women is so strong that Sarkeesian has been able to run the same routine for over 2 years now without anyone in the mainstream media daring to call her on it. Its actual sexism on a grand scale that people aren’t acknowledging, if these women were men, they would have all been laughed out the door or dismissed long ago.
    And Segal just benefits from the same bias towards women even as a trans woman. All she does is cast herself as the aggrieved and all objectivity goes out the window.

  • Erthwjim

    This was bad wording on my part. She never threatened me with harm or self-harm, she only said in passing she’d commit suicide if people knew her identity.

    That’s called emotional blackmail, everyone should actually learn more about it, I think it happens quite often in this world we live in. I personally believe emotional blackmail is a kind of threat.

  • Guest

    I don’t think Pinsof did anything wrong.

    From what I understand the IndieGogo was started and he was contacted with writing about it with the goal presented to him to push the story that it was about a “life-threatening surgery”, he later found out that this is not true and it was a for a sex change surgery and people were being defrauded/he was lied to. This was the specific point that was lied about, how is this not part of the story? Why does this person deserve extra protection from everyone else trying to defraud people in this way?

    Also said developer has “threatened suicide” and linked to Patreon about 3 times since GG started, so forgive me if I don’t have much compassion and think this is mostly bullshit drama and a cry for attention and money than anything serious.

  • dsadsada

    The first part is absolutely right but the second part is debatable. True, we can only tell a stranger’s gender based on what we see so we can’t be faulted for calling a person a man if they identify as a woman. But if we know that the person identifies themselves as the other, I believe it best to respect that. The person in this case was also taking active steps to change her body’s gender to what she felt was correct. Certainly not in an agreeable manner of course but I have to respect a person for taking action instead of blaming the rest of the world for whatever reason. (edit: Well, except for the threatening suicide part and not trying to trust people to accept her for what she is.)

    I won’t pretend to know the emotional strain it may cause to have a body you don’t agree with but I do also feel that it was a cosmetic surgery. And based on what I’ve read, Pinsof clearly did nothing wrong by wanting to reveal the truth, the only truth that should matter being that a person was being fraudulent. Moreso since his actions clearly weren’t done on impulse.

  • Shucky Ducky

    Truth is many of these people are just acting out for attention or to manipulate. Devi was quite literally posting pictures of herself giving the middle finger to Gamergate and other stuff, no one responded, but I’ve just seen these people try to instigate because they need an outgroup which they can exorcise their demons upon. One recent one was Aisha Grauso, some random who went into the GG hashtag to troll for a reaction, posted a shaming message asking how would GG people feel if their mothers knew what they were posting about women. So GG people responded to the tweet in a civil way, which isn’t exactly what she wanted, so when a GG’er turned it back on her, she claimed insensitivity because she recently lost her mother, thus GG are now bad people and she was now being attacked. It went on like that until she blocked everyone. Looking at her twitter is just a wall of “i’m so depressed” tweets, and she was bragging about how fast she was getting at blocking people. So basically this person was working out their issues by attacking people they thought would be a socially acceptable target, to the point where she bragged about it.

    https://twitter.com/AlishaGrauso/status/560278639141335042
    https://twitter.com/TurkeySpoony/status/560336811495419904

  • Javier Vega

    I encounter her on Twitter you might of been right about her.After reading some of the tweets conversation with a Youtuber known as undertakerfreak1127. I was upset she used her suicide attempt to get attention she wanted us feel sorry for her.Fact is Mr.Pinsof a lot of us learn she would resort suicide to extort money from people for sympathy .I don’t want to harass her, I just want her get help, and stop using us as a scapegoat its just going to cause more problems.

  • dsadsada

    Corruption is like the national past time for authority figures here, isn’t it?

  • Guest
  • NorBdelta

    I was born and raised in Zimbabwe, now in the UK working but I often forget how corruption is expected in Zimbabwe, a way of life if you will. And now I see it in the games media, what a turn of events from Zimbabwe to gaming media, who would have thought it so.

  • Erthwjim

    Let’s put it this way, would it have been problematic if someone wanted plastic surgery, a boob job, penis enlargement, etc and instead was saying they needed life saving surgery? Or perhaps something not so superficial, if an overweight person wanted stomach staples or liposuction and had indicated the money was being used for something else? Many people feel the need for surgeries such as these because they are dissatisfied with their current bodies. A flat chested women feels depressed so she gets a boob job because it makes her feel better. A morbidly obese person gets their stomach stapled because not only will it lead to better health but it can also lead to an increase in self esteem. Should these types of people be outed for misleading someone on indiegogo or kickstarter? Getting the surgery very well could save or change their lives, so they’re not really lying, they’re just stretching the truth. As a friend I might not out them but as a journalist or writer, if I knew about this, I think it would be my job to out them, and I think you did the right thing. Sure there may be some issues with how you did it, but in the end, I believe people had a right to know what they were really backing. Those that are misleading are no better than someone telling gullible people that their grandma is sick and dying and needs money to be helped but then ends up spending the money on a vacation. Playing on people’s guilt, that’s wrong, and that’s emotional blackmail.

    FYI: This isn’t a direct reply to the post I was replying to, more of a tangent to the article in general.

  • Guest

    “But if we know that the person identifies themselves as the other, I believe it best to respect that.”

    There is a clear biological component to this though and it’s more a question of courtesy and indulgence. Even if you call someone by what they identify as, you have to realize that there are simply realities that this will not change (like the ability to bear children or certain bodily functions).

    The question is, how far are you willing indulge someone?: http://www.reddit.com/r/TumblrInAction/wiki/dictionary

    There are people on Tumblr that identify as animals “wolfkin”, machines or plants “plantkin” or even as celestial bodies, calling themselves “therians” believing they can transform into animals or otherkin thinking themselves to be vampires or literary characters. There’s also the ones that believe there are other consciousness/headmates living in their mind “multiple systems” or believe that they are “transethnic” or “questioning their ethnicity” e.g. they are white as bread but think of themselves as black or asian and making up “genders” and “pronouns” is like some sort of game:

    http://i.imgur.com/k34Ohhu.png

    Surely you realize that you can’t indulge these fantasies to the n-th degree and at some point have to consider the biological realities of someone being born as a human male or female and not indulge in them telling you that they are actually a demigender dragon with Bruce Willis living in their head? Or what if someone feels their hands or legs are foreign objects not part of themselves and they don’t feel “comfortable” living with them, do you indulge that wish or do you call a psychiatrist?

  • dsadsada

    Of course I realize that. I even got into an argument with somebody who was apparently a trans before when I was defending somebody else’s not-really-that-hateful comment about transgendered women still being men.

    I just think that there is a line where you can respect how other people want to view themselves. Transgendered people fall within that line, mostly because of the studies regarding the whole male brain in female body and vice versa thing that Niwjere says. It makes sense to me as well since the human body, while still being developed in the womb, typically doesn’t know which gender it will become yet until after a certain point which if I recall is why men have useless nipples or why hermaphrodites are even possible.

    Otherkin and such…those don’t make sense to me but as long as they’re not hurting anyone or taking offense to the slightest thing then I would rather just ignore them. People who are uncomfortable with their limbs like you say though pose a danger to themselves and need some kind of help.

    But we are on a large tangent here with regards to the article so it’s best if we drop it.

  • Circlesea7

    the idea behind what was wrong about it is that when reporting on a story, a journalist has a responsibility to minimize harm. In this case, Pinsof’s EiC allegedly pushed him to go public with information that did not prioritize that particular ethical value.

    not sayin’ what my thoughts are on what he should have done. just answering that first question.

  • Zanard Bell

    Yup. Corruption and authoritarianism. Nothing irks me more than a bad guy pretending to be a good guy.

  • David

    I can understand minimizing harm. But I still don’t think you should be able to threaten suicide or that you’ll hurt others if journalists report on you. I’m familiar with this person’s twitter. They threaten suicide all the time. At a certain point, you can’t take it seriously when someone constantly cries wolf.

    I just think people have a right to know when they are being scammed or lied to. A journalist can’t just say this person is scamming you but I can’t tell you why. It would sound like a rumor or hearsay. You have to have evidence and the motive otherwise you can’t report it. This person would have gotten away with scamming people because you couldn’t report their reason for scamming.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    In part because feminists have been telling us cis women are morally superior in every way for at least 50 years.

  • Fatherless

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    And their solution is to double down on their safeyness.

  • Fatherless

    Its starting to sound how “terrorism” did in 2006-7.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    “I screencapped a small sampling of the Gaf/Reddit comments that drove the dev to suicide to back my statement above. Some of these come from threads that predate my tweets by a month.”

    Either way it is irrelevant, the statistical likelihood of a trans person committing suicide is extremely high (even with completed reconstruction surgery) – So I doubt these comments, or your tweets were really a factor to begin with. Personally I think it stems from a hormonal imbalance that is caused by a Brain wired for one gender, and a reproductive system wired for another.

  • Niwjere

    You are either a woman or a man, physically speaking. There is no fluidity with genetics. You are either XX or XY. Until such time as one’s outward appearance is altered to fool other people into defaulting to “she” instead of “he” (and yes, that’s exactly what it is — a cosmetic change to one’s body that does not accurately reflect the actual underlying genes, which is not wrong, merely deliberately deceptive to the eyes), others will assume that a male body is in fact male, and reasonably so.

    Furthermore, intent to act does not equate to action itself. Planning to undergo sexual reassignment does not instantly validate one’s claim to womanhood any more than planning to scale Mount Everest allows one to tell others they have already done it. A man wishing to alter his outward appearance will not become a woman until such time as the surgeon has finished with him. He is welcome to feel feminine all he likes, but no one else is obligated to put up with a man claiming to be a woman, just as no one is obligated to put up with a man claiming to be Batman. Both claims are equally ridiculous, equally fictitious, and equally worthy of immediate dismissal.

    Personal identity is not the sole property of, nor at the sole discretion of, the individual. There are physical inevitabilities in play. Identifying as a magical superbeing immune to the law of gravity does not suddenly grant the power of flight, and identifying as a woman does not alter the code of life that defines the person as male. Just as children generally learn, fantasies are fine in the company of those who are understanding thereof, but society at large is not required to indulge them.

    Lest it not be clear due to my rather blunt manner of speaking: I am not saying that transgender individuals are wrong for wanting what they want. I am saying that claiming to be something you are obviously, outwardly, visibly, physically not is absurd in nearly all social settings, because the world doesn’t operate on feelings — and expecting it to do so, because one’s feelings will be hurt if it doesn’t, is quite possibly the most entitled thing one can do.

  • Jake Martinez

    Anyone who’s raised daughters can tell you that they can be just as, if not more vicious than the boys. My wife was bullied herself in school, and the stories she tells me makes my head spin. The worst I ever had to deal with was a fist fight every now and then. I feel lucky.

  • Guest

    This is games “journalism”, pretty different from the games industry

  • Ajt

    Exactly, you were not the one “outing” the trans person. She was the one that did it herself when it became an element of her fraud. You danced a fine line in journalistic ethics where you had a story in which the subject was both committing a crime and scaming your readership, but was a legitimate threat to themself or others. I suspect you got some extremely bad and unprofessional advise in dealing with it from your editors. You are not responsible for others bad actions, nor does your revealing those bad actions to the victims of them make you responsible for the outcome. Mr. Pinsoff your noble intentions have you brainwashed to the point of enabling con men. Treat people honestly. Treat people fairly. But hold them accountable for their own actions. What Chloe was doing was not seeking life saving surgery. It was Federal Wire Fraud committed against a well meaning and kind population under disturbingly false pretenses. The sex or the gender of the fraudster does not shield them from this. Nor does their personal despair at being found out.

  • Circlesea7

    hey. im with ya there. just answering ur specific question there.
    I personally find it as abusive and manipulative to another person as when ZQ did it to Eron.

  • Cari

    There are cases where people are born with extra chromosomes:
    http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/disorders/chromosomal/klinefelter/

  • Cari

    Thanks Alistair, Georgina and Tech Raptor for these articles. They have been illuminating.

    As an aside, I’m really looking forward to a time when people start using “sexism” instead of “misogyny”. The latter has been watered down so much it’s pretty much useless…

  • Gamble

    It’s a shame, she sounds like more of a network of complexes and pathological behaviours than a person. Wonder what kind of horror can damage a person so badly?

  • Thanatos

    The real farce here is that the only one responsible for any of this was Sagal. Not Destructoid, not Twitch, not Youtube, not Twitter, not Neogaf, not IndieGogo.

    (S)he CHOSE to not only attempt suicide but stream their suicide, in an attempt to punish the world for their own inadequacies. Their OWN actions led to this.

    Sagal is a CRIMINAL who committed a CRIME. You lose your right to personal privacy of your sexual identity when you use it to commit a crime and it’s relevant to your offenses. It’s like arguing that if someone is charged with rape that the crime they’re charged with shouldn’t be announced and be hidden because people might think less of them for it.

    That’s not how it works in the real world. If anything the thing Alistair should have done differently was to contact the police first.

  • Thanatos

    Like 25 years ago when I was a kid one time with my parents we were entering a restauarant and my dad opened the door for my mom and said “Ladies first.” I asked “Why?”

    Both of them just kind of blankly stared at me. They didn’t even know themselves.

  • Thanatos

    Of course it’s a threat. The threat is “Do what I say or I’ll do something that’ll make you look bad.”

    And look! That’s exactly what happened.

  • Thanatos

    I went into programming hoping to make games. Then I got to college and found out the truth of how bad things were. Now I’m happily making more money for fewer hours at a far less stressful position at one of the major search engine companies.

  • DukeMagus

    You might want to put a small note somewhere in the article to say that such dev DID NOT ACTUALLY COMMITTED SUICIDE

  • Niwjere

    “Because people with an XXY chromosome arrangement have a Y chromosome, they are considered genetic males. Most XXY individuals develop as males, often not knowing they have an extra chromosome.”

    While you’re technically accurate (genetics does do some weird things occasionally), this data has virtually no impact on what I said, as the article openly admits that this has practically zero effect on actual physical gender in the vast majority of cases, and in the cases where some gender oddities do occur, medical treatment already exists (hormone therapy). Also, it’s addressed strictly in terms of a male/female binary system. XXY individuals are not a third gender. They are males with an extra X chromosome.

    Still, good job with the sleuthing. Point taken. Thoroughness is always welcome, and I learned something new today.