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For over a month there has been an online collective push back against what many members of the gaming community see as an increasingly incestuous and generally insulting journalism industry. I believe that it is fine to be enthusiastic about an issue and I consider it quite productive to seek a better alternative to an existing paradigm that clearly is not functioning as intended. However I take issue with the idea being put forward that GamerGate is a debate that falls squarely into political partisanship.

There have been purposely provocative articles online for years and most mainstream websites such as BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post take full advantage of this. There is a litany of tactics for writers to abuse in order to drive website traffic. However having an author spice up a title or a website publishing the occasional opinion editorial does not immediately indicate abuse. Anyone that has taken a sophomore level college class in either journalism or law knows that objectivity is a goal, a recognized standard by the profession and academia. The greater question in utilizing tactics for a profit is not about the idea that “The Left”, as many have referred to, hates capitalism but rather how far one can go before they violate professional ethical standards. Moreover if someone wants to call himself or herself a “liberal” but is perfectly content with the use of censorship to avoid any possibility of actual discussion with another person that is fine by me. It should be obvious however that that person, as socially liberal as they may claim to be, is not a civil libertarian.

The debacle of GamerGate has slowly built an irreparable chip on my shoulder in regards to particular conservative commentators taking potshots at “The Left” while members of the mainstream gaming journalists do everything in their power to excuse the gross censorship of an actual issue as being “progressive”. Censorship is not a tool of “The Left”, it is a coward’s last attempt to live within an echo chamber. In my experience people do not like being told that their opinion or belief system is wrong. I highly doubt the person reading this article enjoys being factually incorrect and believe me when I say that I can become incredibly self-conscious when proven to be mistaken. We all want to be right in our beliefs. That does not mean every person is petty and tries everything in their power to avoid admitting when they are wrong but no one makes an assertion expecting it to fly right back into their face. I seriously doubt that the person reading this does not already know that most people do not possess any public relations training whatsoever. The average person is far more likely to stumble in their argument before actually “winning” the discussion.

To avoid any miscommunication I am squarely on the side of GamerGate. I have been since the beginning but I also have my share of issues with the way things are progressing. I am a gamer in the sense that I have spent thousands of hours playing video games in the past and unless something drastic occurs I will continue to add to that accumulated amount of time. Unlike some members of the GamerGate movement I am very much on the social and economic left side of the political spectrum. I want a more egalitarian society, a single tier of justice and the current climate of economic idiocy to be curbed but this is not a conservative versus liberal issue. The question can be leveled at me as to why I care about this matter. As a lefty-lib idealist why should I care about a bunch of articles by online feminists? After all these people associate themselves with “equality” so where is the issue?

GamerGate Hitchens

There is a difference between being a partisan leftist, which I do not pretend to be anything otherwise, and being within an echo chamber is where reality starts to blur, facts cease to exist. The so-called journalists that work for the assorted bad actors in this unfolding scandal, for lack of a better way to phrase it, have gone so far off the fucking rails that they no longer know which direction to go. The cost of hyperbole and nonsense narratives is knowing when one has simply gone too far. The gaming press jumped that shark weeks ago when they published ten or so hack articles on the same subject and thought no one would notice. Berating the gaming community as being full to the brim with bigots that are actively conspiring to undermine actual progressive policy is lunacy. Every editor at every single one of these hacky, click bait websites should have “gamers are not a monolith” tattooed onto their foreheads so that they remember now and forever that we are the consumer.

There are plenty of supporters of GamerGate that have very little argumentative eloquence and if taken on by someone with decent training in public relations I doubt the gamer would leave the conversation as the decisive victor. However I am putting the cart before the horse so to say as this discussion is not happening. Censorship is not a genuine means of addressing criticism. An individual does not win an argument simply by denying the opposition the right to speak. It seems as though every person that spends an inordinate amount of time on the internet has a pocket glossary of fallacies handy but for the sake of keeping this opinion in perspective I will skip the exposition of discussing logic. The key concept that I believe needs to be addressed is the idea of identity versus that of holding a principled position. The problem in utilizing censorship as a tactic against an opposing opinion is that it is the hallmark of an authoritarian personality clinging to an intellectually bankrupt belief system. Before anyone reading this pats themselves on the back I should include that spewing venom, while a tad more genuine in my view, is still a stupid way to debate an issue.

If I were limited to a single point of criticism to push against the general argument of online feminism it would be the basic idea of efficacy. To put it plainly: what do you hope to accomplish from this? For every article “analyzing” the industry as perpetuating sexist behavior or endorsing bigoted positions in some capacity what are your goals in essence? I could be the bastard skeptic that I am and demand actual proof. That backwards, old-timey quantitative, demonstrable evidence as to your assertions of perpetuating bigotry but I will limit this to the intention of the author. What do you hope to accomplish from these articles labeling gamers as every form of bigot and decrying that the community is a monolith of hate? What can be gained from an outsider’s perspective on video games when the author does not intend to play particular titles other than to utilize them in reinforcing an already held position? I resent the damage done by pseudo-activism. Authoring what amounts to a rambling blog post about how you feel, that day, regarding the video game community is not political participation. Informing gamers as to how bad they should feel for what you assume they believe, making grandiose allegations regarding what you believe goes on in the minds of developers is not activism.

Let us pretend for a moment that one of these fools actually had definitive proof that Ken Levine, the creator of BioShock, was a full-blown chauvinist. Proving that one developer, even if they operate in the most critical role, of one company is a sexist it is not sufficient evidence to argue that the game they helped create is also sexist in any capacity. This also does not prove that players of that particular game are chauvinist in any way. One can read Ayn Rand’s material and not agree with her political beliefs even though her writing if rife with objectivist arguments. When online feminists make the argument that media influences the viewer in such a large way it undermines the intellectual capacity and individual agency of that person. Every person is their own autonomous being with their own beliefs. While it is almost guaranteed that not all of what they hold as convictions is going to be factual, when one starts assuming things about them based on nothing other than the specific type of media that they consume it undermines that person’s autonomy. If a person told you that all that they consume is rightwing media it may be safe to assume that they are also very conservative but it still pays to ask that person about their political leanings rather than write them off as mindless.

GamerGate Lenin

I believe one of the real issues here is that one side of the argument has not taken the time to check their beliefs prior to applying an already held worldview to something as abstract as media. I find it odd that authors can act as if it were common knowledge that video games reinforce sexism in young men but at the same time scoff at the idea that older Americans believed that Elvis’ hip gyrations impacted sexuality on a societal level. A common thread that can be found in the defense of this untenable assertion is that video games are somehow different from other forms of media. I am told that in some way playing a game has far more impact on the mind than reading a philosophy book, listening to punk rock or watching a televised political speech. In the end this assertion lacks facts and relies on the same conventional wisdom that eventually resulted in the infamous anti-video game attorney Jack Thompson being disbarred. When one of these individuals argues about sexism in gaming they do not take the time to discriminate, or specify as to which genre or particular title they are referring to. They treat video games and the gaming community as a monolith. Not to mention they lack actual evidence to support the idea that video games create sexist players or that consumers are necessarily sexist already.

I want to address the online feminists on their goals. Nothing in the world irritates me more than apathy. As a political junkie I believe that I have some level of understanding when it comes to the idea of how little can come from raw emotion. I truly sympathize with those that strive for an ideal world but wishful thinking is not enough. There are countless organizations seeking volunteers and plenty of populist leaning politicians of differing ideological alignments needing interns so excuses can only cover a limited amount of someone’s apathy. Societal change only occurs when someone with genuine political power starts making waves. I will be very clear on this subject in that an opinion is not sufficient for genuine change. Nothing less than action is required for the contemporary paradigm to shift. If you wish to drape labels over your shoulders and make yourself out to be something that you are clearly not it always comes at a price. Members that consider themselves loyal to the establishment will target activists that work towards a new paradigm, but the commentators, the apathetic, will rightly be referred to as pretenders. Either way the action you take will result in feedback but it is up to the author as to whether they want to be an activist or just another person with an opinion.

If there has been any miscommunication in this post I preemptively apologize as I am a novice writer but please try to sympathize with the idea that I am advocating political activism for those you that deeply care about women’s issues. Political power results in paradigmatic movement, not online angst. For those in opposition to the GamerGate movement that is not interested in the political scene I would suggest video game development. The video game industry is a multibillion-dollar market containing youthful demographics with mostly disposable income. I suggest that if demand exists for your ideas a wise decision would to capitalize on the opportunity by creating your own content. If large publishers notice a trend in the market one can expect them to react to it.


Thomas Nelson

Born in Niagara Falls, the northeast edge of the rust belt, amateur author and audiophile Thomas Nelson has exhausted almost two decades as an elitist PC gamer. His interests include history, ideology, philosophy, politics and spending an obscene amount of time staring at a computer screen. He has a degree in broadcasting and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree at Buffalo State University in political science. Thomas is currently writing for TechRaptor, a video game and tech publication.



  • No Excuses VTW

    If I had to characterise #GamerGate with a single pivotal ideological clash (which is fundamentally reckless and inaccurate, but hey, this is just for the sake of argument) I would not pick left/right. Most of the data collated by #GamerGate suggests that the *vast* majority supporters are solidly in the libertarian-left quadrant anyway, despite the allegations that it is a conservative movement.

    Instead, I would characterise it as a clash between postmodernist thought and rationalist thought. I consider it this way because the anti-#GamerGate arguments seem to largely be based on the idea that you can establish truth by perception and assertion (e.g. gamers are misogynists because they believe so, and arguments to the contrary are irrelevant because the “truth” that they are misogynists is already asserted), whereas #GamerGate prefers to establish truth by evidence-based epistemology (e.g. gamers are not misogynists because there is a lack of ethnographic data suggesting that gamer misogyny is elevated in a statistically significant way).

    Overly broad-brush and general, but it is a visceral feeling I have.

  • SirBittle

    A really thought-provoking and well-written article – a good read, by all means.

    I’ve never been a fan of the seemingly false “Left/Right” dichotomy. People’s views are meant to be more of a “grey area”. There are plenty of things I believe that are “conservative” by certain definitions, while other things are distinctly “liberal”.

    I’d also love to have real conversations go on between GG and anti-GG. However, whenever I try to do so myself I usually get shot down, mocked, and/or laughed at. I had one individual respond to me intelligently on Twitter (a horrible place for conversation, admittedly) but I had a hard time following through when he repeatedly contradicted himself.

    This is just one person, a few small examples, so I don’t want to color anti-GG folks as all being this way. However, there seems to be a definite wall in between the two sides right now and I’d like to see that broken down a bit.

  • Doc Hammer

    This has long felt like empiricists versus emotivists to me. As a scientist and armchair ethicist (Doc isn’t just a message board handle), I have trouble relating to the “appeal to emotion” that always comes with this debate. Don’t think I don’t try, but my epistemology requires we provide observable proof before we can agree that a proposition is true. The debate comes apart because the two views are strictly incompatible.

    This is also why our ethics discussion doesn’t seem to be working. When we supporters of GamerGate, typically but not strictly empiricist, ask for ethics from our opponents, we’re asking for rationally derived ethical standards. However, we derive our ethics a different way than our opponents do. Simply put, assuming they are classical emotivists or something derived from that school of thought, they believe morals stand apart from that which is empirically provable, instead rooted in emotional assertions. They don’t discuss whether action A is wrong; they express disapproval of a certain type and then codify actions as belonging or not belonging to that type. The disagreement then turns out to be a dispute as to whether or not certain actions fall into their categories of moral disapproval. Hence, why “misogyny” seems to be a blanket accusation against what they find to be distasteful; they are first asserting the premise “I feel misogyny is morally reprehensible” then they decide whether or not other moral actions can be described as misogyny.

    Note that this is not a criticism of emotivist ethics, although I personally reject that position, it is merely a brief description so those reading this might better understand the methodology of those they are arguing against.

  • Dannox

    A preference toward rational versus emotional thought is one of the main biological differences observed between the sexes. It would make sense that this would come to a head over an issue such as this.

  • Psyramics

    Maybe if the divide between pro and anti GG had some correlation with gender, which it does not appear to have if #NotYourShield is any indication.

  • The reason that the anti-GG side has been equated with the political left is that the game journalists mostly lean to the political left and they have been using tactics that they learned to be effective specifically from the political left.

    During the original Obama administration these people saw how effective at silencing argument cries of racism were. The creater of GameJournoPros outright admitted that the creation of GJP was directly inspired by corrupt mainstream journalists who used these tactics during the Obama run. They learned that if you make an indefensible accusation you can bully people into silence.

    The biggest mistake that the games “journalists” made was assuming that their projections of who gamers are were accurate. They had been telling themselves and each other for so long that gamers were all misogynist, white, male and too stupid to not be manipulated that they truly believed that anyone who didn’t fall into these categories would fall in line with them and pat them on the back.

    I agree that we need to avoid politicizing #GamerGate to either the left or the right. That would effectively remove all of the momentum that we have gathered so far. This isn’t about political leanings, this is about us demanding better from people who are placed in positions of trust in the gaming industry that we love.

  • Doc Hammer

    You are definitely correct, however, the argumentation style of the decidedly male journalists we’ve been butting heads with seems to me to be informed by feminist ethics and a modern form of emotivism. This is not the same as classical emotivism, but they are functionally similar. I freely admit I am no scholar of feminist ethics (which would shame the feminist that taught my meta-ethics class, apologies Dr. Frei), but I have some experience debating them in an academic setting. To appeal to their epistemology slightly, it FEELS the same.

  • Osirious

    “I highly doubt the person reading this article enjoys being factually incorrect and believe me when I say that I can become incredibly self-conscious when proven to be mistaken.”

    “The gaming press jumped that shark weeks ago when they published ten or so hack articles on the same subject and thought no one would notice.”

    Let’s put that to the test. Can you source the ten “hack articles” you reference in your article?

  • aprogressivist

    I consider myself a gamer. It is of course very incorrect to talk of gamers as a monoculture — indeed even every game itself tends to have different groupings and cliques that form their own culture.

    I find myself sympathising with the anti-GG views because, for much of my career as a gamer, it has sometimes been difficult to find or create a gaming space where women and LGBT people felt entirely comfortable. I have even sometimes been in charge, or part of the admin team, of such gaming spaces — online forums, chats, servers, etc. — and my observation is that even when admin teams were actively engaged in curbing discriminatory behaviour, it was still the “minorities” that disproportionately suffered insults, harassment, stalking and therefore made them feel unsafe. And what do most people do in an environment they feel is unsafe? They simply leave, often resulting in a feedback cycle where discriminatory behaviour became more tolerated and accepted.

    I don’t have hard evidence to back this up except for my experiences and the experiences of friends. The point is, when someone says to me, “Gaming culture is misogynistic”, that resonates. When people like Anita Sarkeesian or Zoe Quinn are elevated — ironically, by GamerGate! — into icons, the way that they are treated is often exemplary of this background misogyny that I suspect exists in gaming culture. And before people point out that what Anita and Zoe have said and done has been engaged with rationally and fairly by some commentators — sure. But the main visceral reaction they received was not so benign.

    I remember trying to watch Sarkesian’s videos once — getting bored, and switching to something else. I don’t necessarily agree with what she has to say, but the way she was attacked _is what forced me to notice her_. Had she been ignored, we probably wouldn’t be talking about her anymore.

    Some people try to claim that Zoe and Anita have received so much attention because they hold provocative views, not because they are women. Or that they are inviting the trolling as clickbait. Those are interesting claims, and hard to put to the test. Again, there being little hard evidence on this[1], so what am I supposed to base my opinion on? Let me tell you this much: I don’t know a single female gamer in my circle of friends who is comfortable with GamerGate or openly supports it.

    Yes, that’s my subjective opinion, prone to selection bias. At the very least it it underlines the difficulties that GamerGate is having in rebranding itself as an anti-corruption movement when it was built from a swamp of anti-Zoe/Anita hatred. At worst, it illustrates that some people are simply never going to trust the GG tag, seeing it as a Trojan Horse for some extremely unpleasant people and views..

    [1] Aside: there was a twitter metric doing the rounds the other day that claimed to show, on Twitter, that male celebrities received far more abuse than female celebrities did. When I pointed out that the same metric showed that female journalists get three times more abuse than male journalists, _I_ was accused of cherrypicking… some of the level of debate in this whole debacle is truly worthy of an Inigo Montoya motivational poster.

  • Thanks for your comments.

    How do you feel the corruption in gaming journalism should be handled?

    Have you watched Anita’s video in which she plays Hitman and she projects feelings of sexual arousal on all male gamers at the thought of brutalizing women in the game and falsely states that the game encourages this behavior?

    It’s not hard to validate the “interesting claims”, you simply need to hear what she herself says to find the proof.

    While threats and attacks are out of line there are plenty of valid reasons to question and discount Anita’s statements. While there are people who are using the #GamerGate tag to make personal attacks on individuals there are plenty of us who are working towards using the momentum that we’ve gained to make positive changes in the industry.

  • Doc Hammer

    Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over.
    Exclusive – Leigh Alexander, Gamasutra (Aug 28, 10:00am)
    https://archive.today/l1kTW

    We Might Be Witnessing The ‘Death of An Identity’
    – Luke Plunkett, Kotaku (Aug 28, 8:00pm)
    https://archive.today/YlBhH

    A Guide to Ending “Gamers”
    – Devin Wilson, Gamasutra (Aug 28, 7:57 pm)
    https://archive.today/2t93l

    The death of the “gamers” and the women who “killed” them
    – Casey Johnson, arstechnica (Aug 28, 5:00pm)
    https://archive.today/i928J

    It’s Dangerous to Go Alone: Why Are Gamers So Angry?
    – Arthur Chu, The Daily Beast (Aug 28)
    https://archive.today/9NxHy

    – Joseph Bernstein, Buzzfeed (Aug 28, 8:29 pm)
    https://archive.today/jVqJ8

    An awful week to care about video games
    – Chris Plante, Polygon (Aug 28, 1:21pm)
    https://archive.today/rkvO8

    Sexism, Misogyny, and online attacks: It’s a horrible time to consider yourself a gamer
    – Patrick O’Rourke, Financial Post (Aug 28, 9:33pm)
    https://archive.today/HkPHc

    Misogynistic trolls drive feminist video game critic from her home
    – Callie Beusman, Jezebel (Aug 28, 4:05pm)
    https://archive.today/kXX7y

    A disheartening account of the harassment going on in gaming right now (and how Adam Baldwin is involved)
    – Victoria McNally, The Mary Sue (Aug 28, 1:30pm)
    https://archive.today/11OEl

    This guy’s embarassing relationship drama is killing the ‘gamer’ identity
    – Mike Pearl, Vice (Aug 29)
    https://archive.today/qnM0i

    Edited for clarity, thanks to anonymous.

  • Javaed

    I would say that the particular group of journalists that GamerGate supporters are rallying against are aligned with the far political left, based simply on the ideology they’re attempting to push. I don’t think this is a political fight though, it’s a fight about ethical and professional standards.

    I’ve been chatting with GamerGate supporters over the past few weeks and though my methodology is far from scientific, I’ve found that those I’ve interacted with come from pretty much all political ideologies. I’ve seen both calm and heated discussions over the controversy, but what I find most interesting is that isn’t at all unusual for the people involved to state their political leanings openly and then push those leanings aside as they aren’t relevant to the discussions at hand.

  • aprogressivist

    I’m going to force myself to watch her video on the subject now… hold on.

  • aprogressivist

    I’m halfway into her Women as Background Decoration: Part 1 video and I am deeply bored.

    Her tone is academic and bland. Her approach is a scatter gun, painting a broad brush strokes, barely dealing with any particular instance of a game more than a few minutes. It’s inevitable that she’s going to get some of her calls right and some wrong. But even if she were 100% wrong, I don’t really consider what she has to say remarkable or controversial.

    Actually watching her videos has done nothing to diminish my belief that the “controversy” manufactured around this says less about her and her opinions than it does about the culture on which she is commenting. If you’d like to link me to segments of her videos you think are particularly controversial or offensive as a counter-point, I’d be grateful; I don’t really wish to review all those videos in my free time.

    On the subject of tackling gaming journalism corruption: boycotts are the best way to go about it and I firmly support anyone’s right to boycott. Personally, I’ve effectively been boycotting the gaming journalism industry for years, because I rarely pay attention to what they think about games before buying one. It’s so obvious that the major games producers are in hoc with the industry that it discredits the whole model from top down. (I’ll use Metacritic, but that’s about it, and even then I tend to prefer user opinions to reviewer opinions.)

    But the whole tenor of GamerGate is not anti-corruption as much as it is anti-SJW. It’s easy to go after the small fish, I’ll believe GamerGate is genuinely anti-corruption when they try to expose the shennigans that EA or Blizzard are up to.

  • The segment that I am referring to begins at the 22 minute mark of the video that you gave up on and runs for about 50 seconds.

    Is there something inherently wrong with being anti-SJW?

    I am adamantly anti-SJW but I am pro-equality. I believe that people should be judged solely based on their actions.

    My problem with SJWs is that the vast majority seem to believe that in order to achieve their ends they have to take from others and silence any opinions that don’t fit within their narrative. They actively seek to marginalize one group, most often straight, white males, on the grounds that this will somehow allow another to move themselves out of a margin.

    I’m happy to hear your message but not at the cost of losing my own voice.

  • Thomas Nelson

    Thanks for making my life a little easier, Doc. Articles are not hard to find but I appreciate the effort.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    Regardless of whether left-right is the best characterization of the argument, the opponents of GG hail almost exclusively from the extreme left – Most people that support GG are more likely to be centrists with a slight leftward bent as far as morality goes.

    There are multiple ways of looking at the situation (left vs. right, rational vs. irrational, etc), but the TL:DR version is that anti-gamergate people (the SJW crowd) are trying to push their own moral values on others, and ironically those values are a puritanism-esque version of leftist thought that is just as bad or worse than the puritanism that comes from the ‘right’. (Sometimes I think this is on purpose, to get support from the puritans on the other end of the spectrum: The extreme positions espoused by the SJWs about “sexualized” video game characters resonates with the average church-going conservative quite well)

  • Trevor Trust

    This is an issue I’m having as well. I’ve tried engaging with anti-GG, but it is largely fruitless and frustratingly hostile. This divide between emotivist and objectivist argumentation is nearly unbridgeable. What kind of compromise can be reached here? The objectivist is motivated to find objective truth and derive meaning from it, while the emotivist is purely interested in affirming their own rigid bias through assertions and fallacies. The objectivist cannot possibly come over to their side since we find their truth lacking, while the bias of the emotivist cannot be pierced with reason.

    Can anyone think of any progress that can be made here?

    You’re right about this divide not being a left/right dichotomy. It is a authoritarian/libertarian divide. We all saw the survey of the political spectrum of GG supporters (I don’t have the chart handy) but its general spread is in the liberal/libertarian quadrant and into the conservative/libertarian end, centered upon a point well within liberal/libertarian and zero respondents landing in Liberal/Authoritarian. No such survey was done of Anti-GG folks, but I think we can all agree that the vast majority of them would be far into the liberal/authoritarian quandrant which is the domain of Radical Feminists and Social Justice folks.

    Compromise and dialogue between Liberal/Conservative has been done and is usually relatively straight-forward, but how do we break down the divide between stubborn Authoritarian/Libertarian camps?

  • Why should they bother compromising and discussing when they’ve always effectively been able to silence us in the past?

    We need to force them to take us seriously. We start by standing our ground and letting our voices be heard. We’ve allowed ourselves to be bullied into silence for a long time. We must persist. The only way to truly open a dialog is to show them that they can’t shame, censor and bully us any longer.

  • Trevor Trust

    I agree completely. I’ve been telling GG people on twitter to not bother trying to convince Anti-GG. It’s pointless. We cannot reason them out of their ideology since it is an ideology that stands opposed to reason in favor of rigid bias and, indeed, poisons the well with kafkatrapping by declaring all opposing arguments as inherently part of the “problem” they are trying to correct.

    The true target of GG should always be the general public and the as-of-yet uninterested gamer. Getting our voices heard in all sides of MSM to let them know we are standing up to people that THEY should also be standing up to if they wish to retain their individualism and agency without being unjustly cast into rigid stereotypes dictated by a hateful, spiteful few.

    My previous post was not to suggest that compromise was possible or desirable, but to point out that it is futile. They must be brought down, not negotiated with.

  • Pablo Hernández

    One of the reasons I support #GamerGate is I want developers to have artistic freedom and I feel with these sjw lunatics (who claim to be the voice of the people) in charge of the big gaming sites, this notion is at risk.

    I was enraged when articles about Dragon’s Crown George Kamitani came out. The thought of some idiot “journalist” insulting a well established artist and director because he was offended by the exaggerated art pissed me off badly.
    Same goes when Shimbori said western publishers wanted to have DoA 5 “toned down on the sexuality”. DoA fans don’t want sexuality toned down so then who’s idea was this?
    Bravely default having some costumes altered in the US release because apparently chibi bikinis are too lewd.
    That one korean mmorpg where one of the races was censored because it was too sexy etc. etc.

    These idiot clickwhore journalists who HATE GAMES are pushing their twisted agenda and publishers are picking it up like the clueless idiots they are, we must let them know we’ve had enough.

    My point here is that censoring art or speech is not progressive and it’s not leftist, most high profile anti gamergate people and the clickwhore sites that support them are just money hungry capitalists starving for some cash. All this under the guise of social justice and ultimately through idiot publishers this affects the final product we consume.

  • wcg

    “The extreme positions espoused by the SJWs about “sexualized” video game characters resonates with the average church-going conservative quite well)” – this is why I’d prefer to keep the two sides out of the political spectrum. As a leftist and a GamerGate supporter, I dislike the connotation that GamerGate is some kind of right wing anti-feminist movement. If you look at the media outlets, this is how they want to portray it. I support GamerGate because it’s asking the tough questions to a media that has disenfranchised its readers. New blood is needed with an objective outlook.

  • cypher20

    I find your second paragraph very on point. As a church-going conservative, I honestly can resonate with some of the feminist/SJW complaints. Women are highly sexualized in many games and I doubt this has zero impact on people. Basically, I am amenable to the notion that sexualized games could lead to, if not outright misogyny, then at least misconceptions about women (and men too, but largely women). Look at the prevalence of porn in our culture, you can’t tell me that isn’t influenced by sexualized depictions of women in media (games, tv shows, magazines, etc).

    However, I cannot agree with how the SJW crowd goes about their business. For one, as other commenters have pointed out, there is a distinct lack of evidence to their arguments. They have preconceived notions and they simply apply those willy-nilly then ignore everything that doesn’t fit their preconceived notions. It’s the old “when all you’ve got is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” schtick.

    They are definitely all emotion based, which is fine, we’re all different, but it leads to outright bias. It also leads to them being very pro-censorship and shutting down people they don’t agree with. After all, since they know the truth, why listen to the heretics? Overall, while proclaiming “tolerance” all over the place, they tend to be some of the most intolerant people out there.

    Finally, they have no consistent standards. The Hitman Absolution trailer, featuring violence against scantily clad women, was terrible. Mortal Kombat X, featuring violence against scantily clad women, doesn’t elicit a single peep. Oversized cartoon boobs a la Dragon’s Crown = horrible. Actual real pornography = empowering (according to many, not all feminists). The double standard is ridiculous.

    Frankly, I’d love to see less sexualization of women in video games (and all other forms of media) but I don’t think the SJW crowd are the ones to lead us there. One reason being, like the author of this piece says, that they really just seem to enjoy complaining for the sake of it and to make themselves feel good. They don’t seem to have any actual steps forward to help improve things. Even then, the only tools in their toolbox seem to be censorship and intolerance.

  • wcg

    I’d like to consider myself a feminist supporter (I suppose men can’t say they are feminists.) However, I don’t see GamerGate as a fight against feminism or feminist agenda per se. I do see it at pushing particular feminists’ agendas who the gaming media have clung to who are particularly misinformed and just plain poor sources. It’s the fact that not a single big gaming media outlet has challenged any of Anita Sarkeesian’s claims, for example, that is the root of the issue.

  • DeathBattleFan123

    From the perspective of a #GamerGate supporter:

    In any argument, debate, or conflict, it’s impossible to make any progress if you don’t understand your opposition. It’s very easy to just think your opponent is crazy, or bigoted, or uninformed, or delusional, or immoral, or etc etc etc… but at the end of the day, you’re actually weakening your own argument in the eyes of outside observers by starting with the assumption that the other guy is obviously wrong. We need to make sure to avoid that kind of intellectual dishonesty and fanaticism.

    So let’s stop and analyze our opposition for a moment. To start with, I’m going to make the following assumptions about the anti-gamergate crowd:

    1) They are more or less equally as moral/immoral as us.

    2) They are more or less equally as intelligent/dumb as us.

    3) They truly believe what they are saying.

    4) They love games.

    I know, for many of us, these assumptions are hard to swallow, especially with lots of the things that have come to light over the last few weeks… but in the interest of intellectual honesty, one must argue against the opposition’s stance, NOT against the opposition itself. With that out of the way, let’s move on to the argument itself. I’ll do my best to fairly represent their stances:

    1) The game industry is misogynistic and non-inclusive.

    2) The subculture known as “Gamers” is also misogynistic and non-inclusive.

    3) Criticism of non-privileged persons in the game industry is unfairly and disproportionately driven by misogyny and bigotry.

    4) The system is stacked agaist any sort of change from the status quo.

    I’m not going to sit here and write a thesis trying to disprove these points. That’s not the reason I’m writing this. I want you to read those four points and put yourself in a mindset for a moment where you agree with them. IF you love games, and you’re not a bad person, and you’re not dishonest, and you truly believe that misogyny and bigotry are thoroughly ingrained in gaming industry and culture… what do you do about it? It’s not enough for you to simply state your opinions and walk away. That won’t change anything — people who don’t care will just ignore you, and that’s most of them. Are you going to vote with your wallet and boycott CoD? Yeah, right, while you’re at it, go piss in the ocean and try to measure the resultant change in sea level. You can’t just make your own games the way you think they should be made, either… remember, in your mind, the industry and its primary market ITSELF actively disagrees with the things you believe, so your game and its ideas will fall on deaf ears, if it ever even gets popularly published at all.

    …so what do you do, then? Well, you have to change the hearts and minds of the general public to accept your views as the truth. Once that happens, the change you want will happen naturally — games will become more inclusive, and women and minorities in the industry will receive less harassment. But how do you accomplish that? Well, you need to have a voice. A credible voice. An informed voice. A followed voice. Equally as importantly, you need to find others with a similar message and actively support them. If you want to accomplish your goal, you’ve all got to be in it together. In order to build and strengthen the validity of your movement and your community, you need a public venue to popluarize and champion your products and viewpoints.

    All of a sudden, when you think of things that way, it doesn’t seem immoral or sketchy to have a small group of well-connected, like-minded people all pushing the same political agenda… it seems necessary. It also seems completely reasonable that they’d support each other heavily in the indie community, an arena where their voices hold the most sway. They cannot change the industry at large, and they cannot change the market, so the only other choice is to change the culture.

    To everybody unfamiliar with what a CULTURE WAR is, please take a second and look it up.

    Make no mistake, this is a culture war. In this case, though, it’s not divided between conservatives and liberals, or between Christians and non-Christians, or any of the classic divisions… it’s between EXTREMISTS and MODERATES. The proof of this is in the pudding. Us GamerGate folks all come from a diverse sociopolitical background, with people of all races, genders, sexual orientations, and political identities all supporting the cause of journalistic integrity and industry transparency. So why would our opposition be against THAT? Honestly, it’s not because they’re worried about losing their jobs, or because they’re evil mustache-twirling villains — it’s because a moderate viewpoint that games (and gamers) are mostly open and accepting directly damages and contradicts their movement. So why don’t they take it as evidence that perhaps their viewpoint is wrong? Well, because remember: IF gamers are actually misogynists and bigots, then they must be lying about their motivations. That’s why they don’t even bother addressing the issues of journalistic integrity and transparency… not because they don’t feel they have a defense for it (indeed, they believe they’re innocent), but because in their minds, it’s all a smoke screen set up by bigots to stifle political progress. In the end, their logic is circular, so all their logic and reasoning is hopelessly poisoned by their initial assumption. THAT is the definition of an extremist, and that is what we are truly fighting against.

    Sorry to rant, but I hope this helps make sense of this whole issue.

  • wcg

    I consider myself pro-social justice. Maybe it’s just me but the Social Just Warrior tag is for someone who is jumping on a cause with little or no actual commitment with an element of the “Internet White Knight”, defending a maiden’s honour against the ugly hordes.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    “I find your second paragraph very on point. As a church-going conservative, I honestly can resonate with some of the feminist/SJW complaints. Women are highly sexualized in many games and I doubt this has zero impact on people. ”

    See, the problem I have with this reasoning is that human beings already have sexual desires. Technically when a couple has sex, they are “sexualizing” each other, and I doubt this has any negative effect. Essentially, I think it is more likely the other way around: Sexualized media is a reflection of humanity, which is made up of sexual beings.

    “Look at the prevalence of porn in our culture, you can’t tell me that isn’t influenced by sexualized depictions of women in media (games, tv shows, magazines, etc).”

    Ironically, in the past, instead of being separated from other media, ‘porn’ was just called ‘art.’ I will also add, that depictions of sexual acts, nude individuals, etc., etc. etc.have been around since the renaissance period, and before. Further, since the renaissance time period, most nations have made prostitution of any kind illegal, while in previous eras it was more prevalent. This alone could explain why there are more sexual forms of literature available today.

    “However, I cannot agree with how the SJW crowd goes about their business…”

    I agree with your statements on the SJW crowd, and I hope that you, (as I do) apply them equally to the conservative/religious end of the political spectrum as well, because personally I don’t believe there is any moral justification that one can make to enforce a specific set of values (beyond prohibition of murder, rape, and theft) upon others.

    “Actual real pornography = empowering (according to many, not all feminists). ”

    This is actually becoming less and less true. Most of the modern ‘3rd wave’ movement isn’t in support of porn. (At least not the ones you see anywhere in the media, or at any feminist events, etc)

    “Frankly, I’d love to see less sexualization of women in video games (and all other forms of media) but I don’t think the SJW crowd are the ones to lead us there. One reason being, like the author of this piece says, that they really just seem to enjoy complaining for the sake of it and to make themselves feel good. They don’t seem to have any actual steps forward to help improve things. Even then, the only tools in their toolbox seem to be censorship and intolerance.”

    I couldn’t agree more. Don’t like the current video games? Then make ones you do like, and sell them to those who like similar things – the technical barriers for entry into game development with professional tools (much like the rest of programming) are dropping lower each day due to improved tools, and improved pricing for small developers.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    ” As a leftist and a GamerGate supporter, I dislike the connotation that GamerGate is some kind of right wing anti-feminist movement. If you look at the media outlets, this is how they want to portray it. ”

    To be fair – I am ‘anti-feminist’ according to SJWs who want me to accept their views on what is “objectified” or “sexualized” (or even the view that objectification and sexualization are forms of oppression), however I find myself to be very much a centrist in my views.

    The only reason I disagree with ‘feminism’ is because the majority of modern adherents cling to viewpoints and ideological talking points that have either become irrelevant, or were blatant misrepresentations of reality to begin with.

    Equality under the law? I agree, let’s do it. Treating everyone exactly the same, and NEVER offending anyone? Impossible ideological nonsense.

  • wcg

    One point: I see the word misogyny thrown around by both sides. Personally, I’m avoiding the term because in itself it is an extreme position. One may have *sexist* views but hardly actively hate women and wish them harm. From my point of view, I don’t deny sexist content in games but are these games hateful to women? Is there purpose to encourage violence and hatred towards women?

  • Your comment helps illustrate a point. People shouldn’t be willing to invalidate a person’s views because they share similarities with others.

    Aprogressivist was saying that they were finding themselves more in the anti-GG camp because of the existence of people using #GamerGate to harass Anita and Zoey even though that isn’t what most pro-GG people are trying to accomplish.

    I fully support you being pro-social justice and as long as you don’t behave like a SJW I will be willing to hear what you have to say. I won’t attempt to invalidate your stance just because your views are shared by SJWs.

  • Pablo Hernández

    Another option for people who think there’s a problem with sexualized female characters is not buying the games that feature those characters and buying games they find acceptable instead.

  • You can’t discount it though because it is being used and there is a very good reason that it is being used. These extreme terms are used specifically to stifle argument.

    The people trying to push their agenda use these extreme terms because you cannot ever paint any form of misogyny, racism, sexism, bigotry etc. in a positive light. Thus they are able to spin any dissenting opinion as inherently worthless.

  • DeathBattleFan123

    I personally would never use the phrase “misogyny” in regards to gamers or the game industry because I don’t think it applies.

    Anti-GamerGate folks, however, *absolutely DO* think that we are misogynists. They’ve said it repeatedly in those exact words. They really, *really* hate us. “Defeating” us would make the world better in their eyes, so it doesn’t matter what they have to do or say to make that happen — the ends justify the means. They’ll call us misogynists, terrorists, racists, even nazis, so long as they feel it can hurt us.

    They’re trying to “win”, so morality and intellectual honesty is barely an afterthought, if at all.

  • Brad Sherard

    The left doesn’t hate capitalism exactly. That is just the name they’ve given to their petulant indignation. What they really despise is what they perceive that capitalism represents and acknowledges: the unyielding dominance of the objective laws of reality.

    I see this in all stripes of the root ideology(which I can’t even find a name for). The socialists, hippies, marxists, all these and more have that single core belief in common. They hate that nature demands a price to exist. I see this in debates with communists, the magical thinking of the venus project folks, and many undergrads getting a degree in sociology with a minor in womens studies. They all insist on a reality where when one has something and another does not, it is because that person took it. Creation is ignored from their examination. This is where the marxist will champion the labor theory of value and deny all the investment and infrastructure and savings of the factory owner as necessary elements of production. This is where terms like ‘wage slavery’ come from; when someone projects the necessity of action to survive onto business owners as a form of violence, as if those greedy capitalists are keeping innocent workers from the infinite abundance of nature that takes no effort to acquire. These people aren’t stupid enough to call nature itself a slavemaster, because that would make their denial of reality too obviously. Instead, they portray employers as the gatekeepers of all of natures wealth, hoarded unfairly.

    Ultimately, this reflects the mentality of a child who has not yet learned where parents get things. When a sibling is given something, they identify that as a zero sum game where they are denied that thing. There is no creation in this perception of reality. Only distribution. What one brother has, they do not have.

    So when they get older, they wrap this arrested low level mental state in academic language. They make it sound official and formal but its all the damage sustained from parental neglect. It has nothing to do with capitalism really. Its all just a modern day reflection of the story of king Cnut, demanding the tides obey him.

  • Trevor Trust

    It also really doesn’t help that they have effectively redefined words to their own advantage within their echo chamber.

    Misogyny is the hatred, dislike, contempt, or bias towards ALL women, because they are women. It is not misogyny when hatred is directed at any particular woman, or a subset of women, due to your reaction to their behavior. It simply isn’t. However, Antis consistently abuse the word to mean opposition or criticism of any kind toward any woman.

    Harassment is the act of harassing, or disturbing, pestering, repeatedly. The repeatedly part is important, but it is also necessarily important that it be directed AT a person. For too long, the Social Justice and Feminist crowd has abused this term to mean “discussing hate of, disagreement with, contempt for, etc. someone ANYWHERE in a public forum, regardless of whether it is directed AT the target or not. How many forums have been censored for discussion of the actors at play here on the basis of this discussion being “harassment”. This is merely a rhetorical shield to prevent any challenge to their own positions.

    I’m really tired of it, and I think most GGers are too. It’s dishonest, disingenuous, and outright hostile to freedom of expression and the free exchange of opinions and ideas.

    That’s what’s truly “problematic and pernicious”.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    Agreed – and prior to all this nonsense, that is exactly how it was done. It was only unsuccessful because those that have problems with ‘sexualized’ characters also think video games just rot your brain in general, so they didn’t buy many games.

    Its the same old “games are bad for you” rhetoric re-packaged for a different group of zealots, and still lacking any real studies or evidence to back up the assertions made.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    Also, while I disagree in my other comment with a couple of statements you make, I absolutely agree that censorship and intolerance are not the way to fix things in society.

    Further, I admire your honesty about the resonance of certain aspects of the SJW arguments and your conservative views.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    “The left doesn’t hate capitalism exactly. That is just the name they’ve given to their petulant indignation. What they really despise is what they perceive that capitalism represents and acknowledges: the unyielding dominance of the objective laws of reality.”

    This was as far as I’ve read (yet, I will read the whole thing) but I am already giving this an upvote, lol.

    Addendum:
    “Ultimately, this reflects the mentality of a child who has not yet learned where parents get things. When a sibling is given something, they identify that as a zero sum game where they are denied that thing. There is no creation in this perception of reality. Only distribution. What one brother has, they do not have.”

    YES THANK YOU! This kind of attitude also runs over into segments of both the left and the right expecting the government to play ‘parent’ and affirm their more controversial moral values as the default.

  • Elilla Shadowheart

    Ah that’s alright friend. I’m female(and a canuck), been told I have “internalized muhsoggyknees” and all the rest. I opposed this crap when I was in university over 14 years ago, I oppose it now for the same reason.

    There are “better battles to fight than the perceived injustices” that the current crop of feminists believe should be fought. I don’t see the current crop of feminists rallying to women or womens issues in the middle east, I don’t see them rallying to help women fight against rape gangs in africa. No, I see them whining and crying over “white males and perceived hardships” here in the west. To be blunt it disgusts me. I’d have more respect for these so-called feminists were willing to bring women from these areas train them in self defense and fire arms, and let them go back home.

    The problem with these feminists is that while they’re screaming “equality under the law” what they really want is “special treatment under the law.” And in many cases they’ve gotten just that when you look at what goes on in family law. It gets worse in the workplace, when I was working in the gaming industry(AAA studio, and programmer to boot), I’d been working for 6mo and the flappy heads in management wanted to promote me over men who’d been there several years…because I was female. Meritocracy is the only way for things to work imo in situations like that.

  • DeathBattleFan123

    As a conservative with lots of liberal friends, I’d like to point out that “the Left” covers a very wide swath of political views. The more centrist people on the left like capitalism and recognize its success — their argument isn’t for its elimination, but for its protection from corporate monopolies via regulation. Whether I agree with their stance or not, I think it’s unfair to lump them in the same category as socialists and Marxists.

  • Jay

    A word to the wise… The Political Compass test has some glaring flaws to make everyone look as if they were left libertarian. I’m well aware that I’m a Socialist with Marxist leanings while the whole “Left libertarian” analysis would make me a Market Socialist or Anarchist.

    Don’t forget that because of our voting system (First Past the Post) it gives a lot of power to liberal and conservative votes while being entirely undemocratic.

    There are other ways to describe this but for convenience, I’d probably suggest using the neoclassical left (liberal) and neoclassical right (conservative). This helps avoid this confusion of where these “SJW” people stand as someone who supports capitalism for themselves but aren’t really out to overthrow it entirely.

  • Javaed

    Agreed. I don’t particularly support modern day feminists in the US as I’m not convinced there’s a large enough problem for such a seemingly large group to rally around. The kind of misogyny we saw in the 50’s is long dead, and if anything I see quite a bit of misandry creeping into modern society.

    My point is that GamerGame isn’t a fight against all journalists, or a bunch of people railing against “that left-wing media”. GamerGate exploded because a particular set of journalists have failed to live up to the standards that are required of anybody who wants that title. This group happens to have a disproportionate amount of influence in a particular field of journalism, and the public as a whole is rather unhappy with their actions.

  • Doc Hammer

    See, that’s the exact issue I’m having too. What I would call argumentum ad passiones, a logical fallacy, in the emotivist framework its actually a legitimate way of establishing a premise. This is not incorrect in and of itself, but its important to understand we’re looking at the issue through two very different lenses from the start. I don’t have a good way to respond to this, I’m afraid, but I do have a suggestion: above all things, definitely listen to their position and understand it as thoroughly and completely as you can, well enough to defend it yourself if you had to. Even if they don’t return this same respect to your position, it is universally understood as a sign that you’re willing to play ball in philosophical debate. Other people looking on will take notice. Further, there is no better strategy than making your own ironclad argument from your opponents position (the exact opposite of a strawman) and then dismantling it yourself.

  • Topgeartony

    Censorship is never good. No matter what. A piece of media will never hurt anyone. Censoring it however will hurt and annoy the creators. If it was my choice, no game, movie, book or anything that comes under “entertainment” would be censored.

  • Retrograde

    Hope you don’t mind a mild tangent, but I think you hit the nail on the head with that one. I think it’s very fair to say that given many of the people we’re speaking of would gasp at the very notion of gender differences actually existing, that way of argument has spread far.

    It’s at this point that I can’t help but think of all the boys raised in a heavily feminised education system, a lack of male role models and fathers, and how female-centric(and feminist) higher education is becoming…

  • For someone talking about facts you sure are biased and emotional. Are you sure you didn’t get the sides mixed up?

    Why are you leaving out the fact Zoe that never actually got
    favorable coverage for anything (he reported on the existence of a title Zoe Quinn worked on months after their relationship ended. Quinn was one of three people who worked on it, the game only has a 78 on Metacritic, it’s a free game, but somehow this still proves Quinn has a stranglehold on the games industry using her magic vagina), and that she was harassed to the point of needing protective custody? Why are you leaving out the fact that they then moved on to also harass Anita enough to get her to leave her house (who, in the words of GamerGate denizens, “deserves to die and get raped by tree branches”) but of course she also had nothing to do with gaming journalism. Ah, this was never about journalism at all was it?

    How about the fact that #notyourshield was thought up in an GamerGate IRC channel, and mostly consists of GamerGates shilling with sock puppets?

    How about the fact that two months before this Nero actually declared that he hated gamers, and yet right now you’re all following his political blitzkrieg agenda like sheep?

    How about the fact that /pol/, the ones currently running GamerGate on 8chan, is responsible for starting the donations to TFYC in order to “claim moral high ground”, “troll that whore cunt Zoe”, “cause a schism”, “cause butthurt”, and “teach those fucking SJWs a lesson” in the so many words of /pol/ in the archive?

    How about the fact that Eurogamer and RPS may have published things they disagreed with, but no evidence of corruption exists.

    The facts say plenty about this. This is ideological punishment. This is why the public thinks of you as terrorists.

    Of course this all leaving out the very fact that none of the GamerGate demographic (this is a /pol/ operation) actually gives a fuck about “ethics” or “journalistic integrity” (based on their actions) or whatever
    the cover word for the operation is, and that this is actually a
    witch-hunt and aggressive movement under the guise of “ethics”. An aggressive movement designed to target anything even remotely related to feminism or diversity and force it out, basically.

  • This is an awfully incomplete article. Lets go over some facts.

    Why are you leaving out the fact Zoe that never actually got
    favorable coverage for anything (he reported on the existence of a title Zoe Quinn worked on months after their relationship ended. Quinn was one of three people who worked on it, the game only has a 78 on Metacritic, it’s a free game, but somehow this still proves Quinn has a stranglehold on the games industry using her magic vagina), and that she was harassed to the point of needing protective custody? Why are you leaving out the fact that they then moved on to also harass Anita enough to get her to leave her house (who, in the words of GamerGate denizens, “deserves to die and get raped by tree branches”) but of course she also had nothing to do with gaming journalism. Ah, this was never about journalism at all was it?

    How about the fact that #notyourshield was thought up in an GamerGate IRC channel, and mostly consists of GamerGates shilling with sock puppets?

    How about the fact that two months before this Nero actually declared that he hated gamers, and yet right now you’re all following his political blitzkrieg agenda like sheep?

    How about the fact that /pol/, the ones currently running GamerGate on 8chan, is responsible for starting the donations to TFYC in order to “claim moral high ground”, “troll that whore cunt Zoe”, “cause a schism”, “cause butthurt”, and “teach those fucking SJWs a lesson” in the so many words of /pol/ in the archive?

    How about the fact that Eurogamer and RPS may have published things they disagreed with, but no evidence of corruption exists.

    The facts say plenty about this. This is ideological punishment. This is why the public thinks of you as terrorists.

    Of course this all leaving out the very fact that none of the GamerGate demographic (this is a /pol/ operation) actually gives a fuck about “ethics” or “journalistic integrity” (based on their actions) or whatever
    the cover word for the operation is, and that this is actually a
    witch-hunt and aggressive movement under the guise of “ethics”. An aggressive movement designed to target anything even remotely related to feminism or diversity and force it out, basically.

  • No Excuses VTW

    Ah, there are a lot of amusing “facts” asserted here too. Such a pity they also rigorously conform to indulging in emotively-based smear tactics. I’m not sure why I should give a toss about anything Ms. Quinn produces, her products don’t interest me, and nor do salacious details of her lifestyle. Likewise, I care little for Ms. Sarkeesian’s ideological rabble-rousing; it’s just a side-show of complaints predicated on non-existent academia. If they were harassed by anonymous talking heads on the internet, that’s rather unpleasant and should be deservedly condemned and handed over to law enforcement to handle. If that’s been done, I fail to see what you expect me to do about some circumstance on the other side of the world that isn’t even tangentially connected to me.

    What is your source for this “fact” that #notyourshield is a sockpuppet movement? Or did you decide on your own that all of those many many people posting there were sockpuppets, and your epistemology doesn’t require you demonstrate their insincerity before making that accusation?

    What is your source for this “fact” that #GamerGate follows Yiannopoulos like sheep? Any group has people that tend to get suckered into cults of personality, but my anecdotal experience is that most of #GamerGate is collectively just waiting to drop him like a hot rock the moment he no longer serves our purposes. For now, he’s a useful broadcast tool. Furthermore, the whole point of this discussion is navigating #GamerGate away from political clashes. Clearly you didn’t read it.

    I’ve never been to /pol/ (hell, I’ve never been to 4chan period). I don’t know anyone who has. I don’t care what agendas they have. TFYC got a project funded and now some fortunate woman will by their grace get to try their hand at game development. I have no idea how factual your “facts” are, because you failed to cite any sources. Even if they are unalloyed truth, I’m not sure how it matters what anonymous imageboard trolls say. I’m not sure why I should care. There are mean people on the internet. If the (allegedly) mean people create opportunities for enterprising developers, I don’t see the problem. And even if they’re devils, they’re still doing more to help get women into game development than blackballing TFYC would, with nothing material to gain personally.

    Rock, Paper, Shotgun contributed to a campaign of press coverage which many people view as libellous. I don’t need to have special evidence of corruption to make a consumer’s choice to not give my patronage to a site that I feel misrepresents me and doesn’t have my best interests at heart. I have the right to choose what sites to visit. Eurogamer staff participated in the GamesJournoPros group and their ethics are therefore worth critical inspection. Furthermore, they have happily misrepresented #GamerGate as a hate movement, which I and many others disagree with.

    The idea that #GamerGate is a /pol/ operation amuses me. From what I’ve been told, /pol/ has the attention span of a gnat in a windstorm for anything that doesn’t involve using the ”n-word” in every second sentence. I couldn’t possibly care less about /pol/’s opinion on, well, anything. But then, these are things you decided were true, without obtaining, providing or citing any proof. And as we have been discussing in this particular comment thread, this is a common affliction of the anti-#GamerGate crowd, the belief that criticism of one’s worldview doesn’t matter because your perception is more important. It is folly for me to even engage you, because you decided before you even came to this thread what your viewpoint was, and aren’t willing to entertain that maybe #GamerGate aren’t dyed-in-the-wool misogynists.

    Gamers don’t need to force diversity out of anywhere, we endorse it wholeheartedly and manifestly embody it. Much of games journalism has of late taken to broadcasting their utter denial of this simple fact, which was abundantly demonstrated by #notyourshield, using evidence-free allegations like yours. The fact that we’ve embodied diversity in our culture so thoroughly for so long is the reason we balked at the allegations against us to begin with. It is sad that so many are unwilling to recognise this fact, simply because it contradicts their vision of a shame- and guilt-based move toward diversity, where we used our common love of gaming in its stead. The painting of gamers as bigots and misogynists is simply a product of people who are unwilling to move with the times and accept that our policy of bonding over our love of games succeeded before their approach of bonding over self-imposed guilt over “privilege” even managed to get its hooks in.

  • Doc Hammer

    I’m sorry you feel that way, but a lot of the claims you’re making are demonstrably false. I’ll try to address them point by point if possible. Brace yourself for a much
    longer response than you ever wanted. Also, its in poor taste to upvote your own post.

    1) This is a rant that presumes that the extremist outliers of a group speak for the entire group. It would be the same as claiming all Muslims are violent, or all feminists hate men. This fallacy is called poisoning the well, a form of ad hominem that attempts to avoid dealing with the actual argument by making agreeing with the arguer seem unsavory.

    It is however a point of fact that Ms. Quinn’s game did receive coverage from individuals who would have been better to recuse themselves, which is the only claim #Gamergate ever made. Coverage in the indie game scene is lifeblood for a game and that’s why there was any suspicion of collusion in the first place. Anyone who believes it was for “good reviews” was misinformed and likewise, anyone who dismisses this because there was no “review” is missing the issue at hand. In moments, I will explain how this is related to TFYC and why they were supported.

    2) What is your evidence that #notyourshield is not legitimate? That hashtag was started by minority posters on 4chan’s /v/ because they were tired of being accused of being white males and having their opinions discarded because of it. Most prominent supporters of #notyourshield are black males, Asian gamers of
    both genders, and white females. Please take note that the majority of those
    opposing #notyourshield and indeed, the majority of those anti-GamerGate, are
    upper class white males.

    3) Milo Yiannopolous addressed what he wrote about gamers before and
    acknowledged that he was wrong. Believing that someone cannot change their
    position, like disregarding the arguments put forth by #GamerGate because of
    its dubious origins, is committing the genetic fallacy. You cannot make a
    judgment about a current issue from previous context; this totally fails to
    assess any claim being made in the present. I personally don’t care what views
    Milo held or holds; in this instance, he is acting in support of our pursuit of
    better journalistic ethics and that is satisfactory for me. Again, you are
    committing ad hominem if you say he is wrong here because of an unrelated thing
    he said or did in the past.

    4) /pol/ is not running GamerGate. /gg/ is not running GamerGate. No one is running GamerGate. Many different groups are participating in GamerGate. It is an organic consumer revolt against an industry that seeks to demonize its primary consumer.

    I have been around this since its inception and I’ll tell you the exact reason
    we supported TFYC. A miscommunication resulted in Ms. Quinn tanking their
    project once. I won’t even blame this on her, I’ll blame it on twitter and the
    reactionary internet. Regardless, TFYC, a group seeking to encourage more women to become game creators, was blacklisted from the gaming press because of her actions. We did not act out of spite, but out of compassion. Our outrage
    centered on seeing certain individuals hypocritically marketing themselves as
    feminists and bilking the sympathetic masses, while a charity that would genuinely support women and make a game was being cast aside for upsetting the in-crowd. We supported their project and had a lot of creative fun designing logos and characters as our reward tier got higher and higher. If you like platformers, someone on 4chan was working on a tongue-in-cheek Vivian James Metroidvania that was a lot of fun last time I played around with the demo.

    Later, it was called into question whether or not Ms. Quinn was truthful about the Depression Quest donations actually going toward a suicide prevention charity. Now, it’s true that she did not go through the right channels and that’s what made everything look sketchy. It was later determined through independent investigation that the donations she claimed were legitimate, and good on her for that. Depression, especially in light of the Wizardchan raids, was an issue we were
    taking incredibly seriously. As a result of that, twitter user and all around good person Lo Ping had quickly organized a charity drive to actually give those charities some money, because at the time we perceived that they had been used for publicity. When it was determined that this was not the case, we donated the $5,000 we raised anyway. Even when it’s proven that we were wrong, we follow through and own our mistakes. Believe me, we have been set back many times by misinformation but that never changed our purpose, which was and continues to be about ethics no matter what you may claim.

    5) This may be your only legitimate point, but I’ll address it anyway out of good faith. It isn’t about ideology. We’re being mischaracterized by our opponents and as a result, other news outlets that are unrelated, are having their stories colored by that perception. When we object, we are censored and our posts are deleted. It all goes back to that poisoning the well that I mentioned; no one cares to actually read what we’ve said, they are just defaulting to the label that we’ve been given. You probably haven’t read this far, but if you did, I want to express to you my genuine gratitude. You’ve given me due respect and it means more than you realize. Even if you disagree with me, even if you’re angry right now, you read this and that’s more than most people were willing to do.

    I want to conclude by saying that our only crime was to object. We objected when they claimed we were entitled; consumers are entitled, it is part of being a consumer. It’s crazy to claim that a consumer should not voice a negative opinion about a product they paid for and are unsatisfied with. We objected when they claimed that games cause sexism; it was proven that they don’t cause violence, so all we asked for was evidence that the claims were true. Big claims require big evidence. In my mind, I was back in 2001 arguing with Jack Thompson again, but this time even disagreeing was met with hostility and censorship. And now, we object to you, who would claim we hate women when at least half of us are women. All we want and all we ever wanted was to be treated with respect by the industry we patronize. Somewhere along the way that got lost and the industry decided that we depended on it rather than the other way around. The result was an industry rife with nepotism, industry journals that think they’re better than the industry they report on, and so much punishment of the consumer that I’m surprised anyone even bothers with this anymore. Gamergate started at least in 2007 when Jeff Gerstmann was fired; just because it was named a few weeks ago doesn’t mean that this resentment between gamers and games journalism hasn’t been mounting for years. I doubt it will ever end if people continue to dodge the issue.

  • Doc Hammer

    Its no trouble Tom. I had the list handy at the time.

  • wcg

    I should probably clarify. My idea of social justice are things like universal healthcare, removing poverty and income equality. I think there are big fish to fry.

  • No Excuses VTW

    Doc’s a total bro. Scientists represent. Working on my PhD in microbiology at the moment.

  • cypher20

    Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not against sex in general and as human beings we are sexual creatures. As a Christian I think God made us that way. I just think there are appropriate ways to express that sexuality (namely marriage) and inappropriate ones.

    You are right that porn and sexualized media come about from our human nature. The question is, is our human nature good? Personally, I take the Lord of the Flies approach there. I think our nature bends towards evil without some kind of authority guiding it. As such, the fact that porn and sexualized media (sex sells) spring from our nature doesn’t do a whole lot for me.

    This is, of course, a problem with the SJW crowd in that they just seem to ignore those parts of our nature. They also tend to treat men and women as identical, which we aren’t. Especially when it comes to sexuality.

    Glad to hear more feminists are taking the entirely reasonable position that porn is not empowering. It really shouldn’t take an overpriced 4 year Womyn’s Studies degree to tell you that. 🙂

  • Gregg Braddoch

    “Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not against sex in general and as human beings we are sexual creatures. ”

    And this is where you differ from the SJW crowd – pretty much any sex that is wanted by a man (so all sex) is wrong because it is “objectifying” women. The people making these critiques of games and gamers cite research from Andrea Dworkin (despite their claims to be different from her) who pretty much said all sex is rape. (With the exception of lesbian sex)

    “You are right that porn and sexualized media come about from our human nature. The question is, is our human nature good? Personally, I take the Lord of the Flies approach there. I think our nature bends towards evil without some kind of authority guiding it. ”

    I avoid characterizing things in absolutes, so “sex sells” is ok so long as one cannot prove widespread problems from said things, and nobody has been able to show it to cause problems. (Yes, there have been correlations, but these can be explained by other factors).

    “This is, of course, a problem with the SJW crowd in that they just seem to ignore those parts of our nature. They also tend to treat men and women as identical, which we aren’t. Especially when it comes to sexuality.”

    But didn’t you know? As long as we follow their moral values, we can become perfect human beings and live in utopia?

    “Glad to hear more feminists are taking the entirely reasonable position that porn is not empowering. It really shouldn’t take an overpriced 4 year Womyn’s Studies degree to tell you that.”

    Agreed, but for a different reason: The idea that certain activities are “empowering” and some are not by default is absurd, and suffers from a major case of the hasty generalization fallacy. Some actions may make certain people feel empowered, but it does not follow that they will make ALL people who do them feel empowered.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    Doc, I tried reading Wikipedia’s article on non-cognitivism and emotivism, but I lack the necessary background to understand what is being described. I’m curious, do emotivists then outright reject things like logic and context? Is there a good introduction that you’d recommend to someone to at least try to understand the yard stick they are measuring the world through?

    While I think you’ve got the best understanding of what is happening here, even understanding the other side’s position isn’t going to help. For one, I don’t think either side of #Gamergate understands that the fight might be underlined by philosophical differences. At this point, one side is so entrenched in the misogyny issue and the other the journalistic ethics issue that any attempt to point out the philosophical problems is probably going to be labelled as deflection by a good number of people on both sides. (I’d love to be proven wrong on that though.)

    Would clarify something you said? You talk about being able to make the argument perfectly from your opponent’s side and then dismantling it. Are you talking about dismantling it from your opponent’s philosophical viewpoint, or from your own? Again, I’m rather a novice when it comes to philosophy, but it seems to me that the argument is perfectly valid according to the opponent’s viewpoint, so you can’t dismantle it from their viewpoint, and if you dismantle it according to your own, you would just be “preaching to the choir” and not actually accomplishing anything. Is there a third option, some sort of “meta-viewpoint” to evaluate the position outside of both philosophical views?

  • Thomas Fährmann

    That Zoe Quinn is a proxy only to get attention about the SJWs so called social justice issues into gaming and syncronous antia farts out more of the same juice is not an accident imo. I´m sure that was planed from the beginning and we KNOW that she is connected to all these hipsters being rich and white but pretending to be for the cause of the good. It´s so ridiculous to even question that they are just clowns with an oppinion going with the flow called “gender feminism”. Its just a modern day trend for younger people and it´s a very dangerous agenda in political power groups. We could change the name of zoe quinn to bugdy bumbam and still we would now have this damn conversation about social issues in the games industry. They are all just proxys making money and thats why they are in it!

  • Thomas Fährmann

    and the problem was and still is the arrangements of so called gaming journalists, their biased social commentarys about content and “corruption” in general. But they try to shift focus on unrelated stuff like sexism. Which is nonsense… sexims yeah. Leigh alexandra is the only real racist and sexist the whole time and no developer had the balls to question her hatemongering! Why is that ?

    Except for a very few people in the industry who feel related to the gamers…

  • youareivan

    what a terrific editorial. thank you mr. nelson and techraptor for offering a thoughtful view on #gamergate and providing concerned individuals with a place to discuss it.

  • Trevor Trust

    A good starting point for understanding the historical emotivist position and motivations would be: “Anti-intellectualism in American Life” by Richard Hofstadter

  • Pablo Hernández

    “4) They love games”

    No, I don’t think so.

  • Gregg Braddoch

    lol, Feminists and Religious Puritans can never agree on where the lines are.