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We are the dead.

You know the powder keg event that touched off GamerGate.  Multiple attack articles written on August 28th and 29th with the goal of declaring gamers dead.  No judge; no jury; just executioners.  The articles had other aims as well: redefine gamer to mean everyone, redefine game to mean every piece of software ever written; decry the role of an informed consumer in an open market place; impose equality of outcomes associated with inclusion on gaming at all levels; and last but not least, that the defining acts of what would become GamerGate are harassment and threats of violence.

It’s a fabrication, of course, all of it.  The beginning of a carefully constructed narrative designed to undermine the will of the consumer and the creative process.  Part of the narrative comes direct from an elitist academic think tank.  The rest is a tool to deflect all criticism that might be brought to bear against the narrative.

Surely there’s more to the start of GamerGate than just 12 attack op-eds?  That would be right—though none of those articles were marked as op-eds.  So let’s start at the beginning, August 16, 2014, with a blog post about a girl.  In an unfathomable act of charity, I’m going to skip over the gory details of who knows who, and when they knew each other, how it affected invites to IndieCade 2013, whether or not the Pepsi Game Jam was tanked on purpose, who reported on the tanking of Pepsi Game Jam, the ultimately false accusation of harassment by Wizardchan, or that, combined, a total of zero critical words were written by the game press about any of these incidents.

I’m going to start with another event that had a total of zero words written about it by the game press.  A developer made a false Digital Millennium Copyright Act claim against a Youtube content creator.  Without even naming names, a fake DMCA claim against content creators is a matter of public interest.  Because every DMCA claim, justified or not, counts as a strike in a “3 Strikes, You’re Out Forever” paradigm, every DMCA claim against a content creator is potentially fatal to them.  Knowing that, a false DMCA claim against anyone is deplorable—an act of supreme cowardice that should be universally condemned by the gaming press when it occurs.  The question at that point must become why the games media would completely ignore a matter of public interest like this?

Polygon editor Chris Grant would have you believe that zero words were written about any of the above events under the, heavily paraphrased, “Do no harm” clause of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics.  I suppose “Do no harm” would be justification for no one in games media to write a single word about a person who lied to Youtube to get a video taken down.  Strange that this sentiment didn’t exist when the same cast of characters tried to destroy Max Temkin: Kotaku, The Daily Beast, Gawker, Jezebel, and The Mary Sue all ran articles about the Cards Against Humanity creator being accused of committing a rape while he was in college.  The sentiment didn’t exist when the same cast of characters tried to destroy Brad Wardell.

The only person with the courage to speak out was TotalBiscuit.  He did so on TwitLonger.  The TwitLonger post was linked from Reddit’s /r/gaming board, and the thread quickly bloomed to 25000 comments.  If you go to look at that thread today, you’ll find a ghost town.  Thousands of replies to the thread just disappeared.  The question is why?  Could it be that Reddit moderators were censoring threads at someone’s behest?  Reddit censorship would be irrelevant if all the big gaming news sites were allowing discussion on the topic, except the only place that was allowing discussion was The Escapist.

It didn’t stop Ben Kuchera from vehemently badgering (less has been called harassing) Greg Tito into censoring all discussion about this topic.  Here are the quotes:

BK: This is the question: People are using your platform to harass a developer.  Are you comfortable with that? [Author’s note: The assertion that the thread on The Escapist is harassment is itself a fabrication.]

GT: If there is harassment, I would shut it down immediately. And we’ve banned/warned on posts in those threads that are even close to that line.

I’m talking about the discussion. If I followed your logic, we should also shut down Twitter and the rest of the internet for being a platform for discussion. Which given recent events looks like a very attractive option.

BK: Someone signed up for an Escapist account just to post that thread, and try to spread alleged details of someone’s sexual past in order to shame them. I’m not sure what your definition of harassment is, but that fits mine.

GT: Many people create forum identities to post one thread. That’s not the definition of harassment by any means.

There’s also many people in both the threads who are working to educate the OP and others about these things. That’s a dialogue. That’s how change happens, I think. Or I hope, at least.

But thanks for the input, Ben. It is very much appreciated and has given me even more to think about.

BK: Ask yourself this:

1) Does that thread serve your community?

2) Is it making anyone’s life better?

3) Is it actively hurting someone?

4) Is that what I want the Escapist to be?

The answers, are no, no, yes, and I hope not. If using the forums to post hearsay to harass and abuse people isn’t against your current TOS, change your TOS. Don’t sit by and let your community be used to making gaming worse because of a technicality.

BK: I mean, if nothing else now we KNOW the post contains demonstrably untrue things about real people. Serious allegations. Is THAT enough to get you to consider taking it down? What does it take before the Escapist says “Maybe we shouldn’t be giving this a home.”

Happily, Greg Tito had the courage to stand up to Ben Kuchera’s bullying.  Vastly more interesting is that Ben Kuchera was, and still is, a financial supporter of the developer who made the false DMCA claim in the first place.  Further, it turns out the GroupThink conduit GameJournoPros email list doesn’t hold Youtube content creators in high regard.  It would appear the GroupThink collective buries matters of public interest due to financial commitments and personal biases against individuals and groups of people.  Clearly, it is harassment laid at the feet of anonymous message boards, and not corruption in games journalism that started GamerGate.

MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and many other mainstream media outlets continue to be negligent in pushing their one-sided narrative.  There are 15k+ voices in /r/KotakuinAction alone. Did any of the mainstream outlets bother to hear any of their stories? Or did the convenience of a narrative that fits the collective press’s world view blind them to an inclusive group of gamers who, when told they were misogynists, sexists, homophobes, transphobes, racists, terrorists, and that they all needed to be killed, stood up with one voice and shouted, “NO!”?

There’s been talk recently of opening dialogue.  There is value to be had in dialogue, but only if the adults in the room to the bulk of the talking.  If the infants like Arthur Chu, Leigh Alexander, Ben Kuchera, Kyle Orland, and the like are allowed to mind vomit all over the discussion, then there can never be dialogue.  If the main stream media as well as the corrupt gaming media refuse to hear the voices of GamerGate and tell the stories of GamerGate: how GamerGate hunted down a Brazilian click-baiting journalist that was threatening Anita Sarkeesian; how GamerGate members in 8-chan prevented doxx from staying on the front page of a board for hours by collectively shit posting the doxx off the front page until a mod woke and deleted the doxx; how GamerGate members mass report any Twitter account sending threating tweets to anyone, regardless of their stance on GamerGate; how GamerGate members raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity over 2 months; how notyourshield is real people with real voices and real concerns about gaming journalism; or how the mass censorship of discussion of specific topics, and the 2 Minutes Hate on August 28th, caused GamerGate in the first place, then there can never be dialogue.  For as long as every doxxing or harassing tweet or forum post of a GamerGate opposing or neutral party is laid at the feet of  GamerGate, there can never be dialogue.

The metaphorical ball is in the court of the people who seek to usurp the creative process of developers and our will as consumers, so I’m not hopeful.  That said, perhaps the hits Gawker has taken in recent days will induce cooler, and truthful, heads to prevail.

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.

  • Hitler Did Nothing Wrong

    Top level journalism once again Techies. Shills have been shit talking about you guys all over the place, but we all know the truth.
    #GamerGate #GasKikes #RaceWarNow

  • verytirednerd

    You’re doing their jobs better than they are Techraptor, always remember that.

  • David Gray

    Can only hope main stream journalists are able to feel shame when they realise they fucked up seriously.
    Apologies and balanced reporting are only the beginning of a dialogue. If they cant take that first step… (what hope have we on more serious issues)

  • hurin

    I only became aware of GG a month ago. But since I always experienced gamers as open minded and tolerant people as opposed to the misogynist basement dwellers who’s only purpose in life is to harass, rape and play sexist video games. I immediately knew the official (party) line put out by the media was BS.
    Sure there are gamers who are bad people, just as there are bad people in every other group, and especially among journalists.

  • Funny thing is, this isn’t about games journalism anymore.

    It’s about journalism. Period. It went beyond gaming journalism when actual news websites started reporting about it, when actual news websites started misrepresenting the issue.

  • Jonathan Roberts

    As long as we keep seeing informative truthful articles like this and as long as we all keep talking, they cant keep us quiet, they cant shut us down and their own lies will be their undoing. “Gamers dont die, they respawn!”

  • DoombotBL

    I hope more people realize how great TechRaptr has been, they deserve the traffic.

  • David

    Nice article. The censorship and attacks from journalists and some indie developers is what started GamerGate. Not the Quinn and Grayson story. That would have eventually died out on it’s own. But with the censorship and attacks people thought they were hiding something and started investigating and found other stories and information out. By the time Totillo came out and said the relationship took place a few days after the article written, it was too late. People were pissed and talking about other incidents of unethical behavior. This was well before the hashtag was created and the 10 articles were written in a day. That’s when it really took off though.

    By the way, what happened with Tech Raptor at the beginning of this story? I remember you guys tweeted that your host took down your website due to an article you wrote about this subject at the beginning. I know you were back up a day or two later but not what actually happened. I also think I remember Reddit suspended your subreddit due to the article as well. Is this all true? Did you have to find a new host? Isn’t it illegal to block a website that writes news because of an article they wrote?

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    The mainstream news media is a bullshit and garbage pro-Jesuit theocracy/pro-bank/pro-government creation.

    Glad to see TechRaptor publishing high quality articles. 🙂

  • Amen to that. I have added sidebar links to this site.

    And remember: support TechRaptor by turning OFF your adblock for this site! I also refuse to visit the sites of people who have shown they are pro-corruption. Why give them the clicks?

  • hurin

    I whitelisted the site, and clicked a few adds. But so far none of them are selling anything I want.

  • hurin

    I have to disagree. They are not mainstream. I don’t think anyone goes to college to write about Mario. Journalist who write about games are the bottom of the barrel, they are the people who couldn’t become real journalists.

  • Slartibartfast

    As an indie game developer, I built an RPG/VN inspired by gamergate. For those who are interested, I posted a demo on reddit to KiA (I’m LavitzIsDead)

  • amanas rake

    Great article

  • Fenrir007

    Are you working with Solaire or is it a diff. one?

  • Saturnrules

    I now officially have TechRaptor in my rotation without Adblock. Keep up the good work guys!

  • MundaneMatt

    Good stuff here!

  • DoctorSyntax

    The SWJs can’t (or aren’t willing to) see that the issue of unethical journalism is multifaceted. They’re allowing their reviews and what they publish to be ideologically driven by people like Sarkeesian, Wu, et al. Much of it is because they personally agree with these ideologues. Their vision is clouded. Many have personal relationships with these radicals and it’s corrupting their craft. They are being unethical by not following a journalistic code of conduct. In that sense, they’re not really journalists. Problem is, they have huge media power in an incredibly lucrative and influential industry. In that sense, they need to be journalists rather than glorified bloggers when reporting gaming news (which is not the same as editorializing in reviews).

    When the radical feminists cry about the disagreements rational people have with their hysteria (blaming men for literally every awful thing in the world), they label it hateful and misogynist. Even when the disagreements come from women! Radical feminists are trying to ruin gaming by controlling the narrative, and what’s acceptable. Who has the platform to set the narrative? In large part, it’s the gaming review sites. That requires responsibility. This impacts devs if they think radical feminists have the power to shit on their creations through games media using threats and coercion.

    These are gaming sites, not radical feminist sites, yet they give all deference to the radical feminists and shame gamers as a whole. That’s wrong. We need more sites like TechRaptor and to move away from the sites that won’t adhere to a code of journalistic ethics.

  • FollowTheCaptain

    Yes, more, more. The issue is not the crime, it’s the concerted coverup to the crime.

  • DoxBait

    You’re the future of journalism, techraptor. Gamers are dead? I think not. Mainstream media is dead. It may take some time, but more and more are going to wake up and realize these “journalists” are should be seen as glorified bloggers. Journalism means investigation, it means interacting the the communities you’re reporting on and striving to represent every voice.

  • And that’s the beautiful irony of it all.

    When you’re 100 feet away from a beehive, and some idiot breaks it open with a baseball bat, you don’t run into the cloud of 20,000+ disgruntled bees and start swatting at them, otherwise they’ll swarm you and start stinging you to hell and back. You keep a safe distance between you and the dumbass.

  • Ørjan Kristoffersen

    That last paragraph, shots fucking fired!

    Good read, it’s heartening to see someone actually point out the things that we *know* have been happening, instead of trying to ignore and obscure these things in the name of faux “neutrality”.

  • Slartibartfast

    What’s solaire?

  • ThePete

    They dragged the name of gaming through the dirt just to avoid the conversation. #Neverforget.

  • realgamer07

    clap, clap, clap, beautiful just beautiful Todd

  • Miguel Leiva-Gomez

    Just one phrase could have stopped all of this: “Sorry, we’ll never do it again.” Was it so difficult?

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    lol, the bottom of the barrel

  • Ryan Juel

    Who cares? The clicks still generate some revenue.

  • Brad Sherard

    Two thoughts:

    1. one can identify a liar by applying their own ‘concerns’ consistently to their own actions. For example, when SJW’s on MSNBC, or the gaming sites speak of inclusivity, you don’t even need to point out that a) games are a fairly free market for anyone to join in consumption/creation, b) nearly half the consumers are female, and c) over 2% of the industry devs are transgender, over 10X that of the total population. While true, and sufficient to expose their lie, none of that is necessary.

    All you need to point out is that they are not being inclusive with their media blackout of dissenting narrative. No statistics needed, just good old fashioned test for hypocrisy which they have in spades.

    2. I’ve made the case before that I think the narrative will be lost; that the mainstream as well as the people in the know will get tricked into discussing the definition of gamergate, and how misogynistic gamers are. The liars in the media know how to spin; it is their job after all. They know the best way to deal with the scandal is to not address it and to instead character attack the people exposing them. This is propaganda 101. Just look at the twitter comments. Count how many are about corrupt journalism and ideological propaganda vs how GG is or isn’t misogynistic and such. They’ve successfully changed the story being told.

    The interesting thing is those people they are attacking are their consumers. It is a dangerous game they are playing(its why they are trying to divide us into groups so as to try winning over gamers who are not ‘pro-GG misogynistic white cis male scum’). My solution is this:

    a) Do as the media does. Don’t be defensive. Stay on the attack by only addressing the issue of corrupt journalism and if you must speak out about the mischaracterization of GG supporters, don’t deny that they are bad; show how they are good.

    b) Don’t focus on convincing the trolls and the prejudicial SJWs, nor the media that supports/incorporates them. THEY ARE NOT YOUR AUDIENCE. Focus on the consumers. They are the people we need to reach. Emailing advertisers is fine, but in the end, we need to get people to not buy games that have succumbed to the indoctrination of feminist ideologues. If we cannot get people to care that Anita Sarkeesian has been enlisted by EA as a consultant for Mirrors Edge 2, then absolutely nothing else we do will matter. If you yourself buy that game after all this, you have opposed your own effort.

  • dodoking

    was it techraptor whose journos have day jobs

  • Invin

    Until Gamergate, I felt like I was the only one sick to death of how biased and politics driven games journalism was. I thought I was going crazy, because it bothered me so much but no one I talked to seemed to notice or care about it. I’m so happy to have found Techraptor and other gamers who remember when games media was there to serve the consumer, not tell them what to think, what they should want, or insult them and force politics down their throat. Even after all the horrible stuff that’s gone on, things are already better because we have small sites like Techraptor replacing the ivory towers of games journalism that were abusing their audience, and with Gamergate I don’t feel totally alone on the issue anymore.

  • Fenrir007

    A guy

  • cookipuss

    Techraptor I turned off my adblock plus for you.

  • One of the best pieces I’ve read on GG, this is the One Direction I want to see (gaming) Journalism going.