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I have been watching the entire GamerGate conflict mostly from the sidelines for the past month or so. It has been a distressing and interesting conflict to watch. While my personal take on it is that for the most part, GamerGate should continue endlessly, I also believe there is inherent value in seeking a mutually beneficial resolution. I think that the ‘large’ games media sites need to undergo a cleansing and review. I also believe that their staff need to re-evaluate the messages that they seek to put out. Below, I intend to outline what can be done, in my opinion, to get the most value out of a peaceful (but not painful) resolution.

I think that, firstly, a number of prominent people in the games media need to either willingly step down, or be removed from their positions. This includes people like Leigh Alexander of Gamasutra, for her racist, toxic attitude to gamers and other human beings in general. Ben Kuchera, of Polygon, for abusing his position in games media in attempts to bully others into taking a certain position, should also step down or be removed. Kyle Orland, of Ars Technica, should also step down. He was involved in the JournoList scandal and admitted that GamesJournoPros was modeled after that.

Kyle Orland's response to Gamergate exposure

Kyle Orland’s response to Gamergate exposure

Those three people have betrayed public trust in such a way that they can no longer be trusted to have the best interests in our hobby in mind. This is unfortunate that anyone would have to lose their jobs over this. However, when trust is breached in such a way, there is no other alternative route to take. Additionally, people like Anita Sarkeesian who want to push politics into how games are made, need to be shut out of the process on a permanent basis. Games media needs to take the same stance with Anita Sarkeesian as it did with Jack Thompson. On the other side, GamerGate for its part should form into a tangible organization to become a sort of watch dog. In this sense, it would become an ombudsman over games media. It would be meant to become an organization that is targeted at keeping the industry honest. This would apply to the media, the publishers and developers regarding their products. It would also serve as a way for more people to get into games media through new outlets.

Lastly, let’s get back to talking about and playing video games. This is our collective hobby, and GamerGate has been tiring for everyone involved.


Keith Elwood

I have been a gamer ever since I can remember, starting with the Sega Genesis and original Nintendo consoles. I graduated to frogger on an ancient IBM home PC, and then onto Sim City 2000. In 2004, I got into shooters and MMOs. I haven't looked back since. Professionally, I am certified in private security. In my spare time, I dabble in information analysis and study geopolitics. I sometimes write at my own blog at keithelwood.com.



  • I don’t think we should ever bring GG to a resolution. I think many of the things that you bring up in the article can come to fruition through GG. As long as we keep our heads up, continue to speak up and continue to take a stance we can force the industry to realign itself.

    It essentially took being backed into a corner to finally get gamers to stand up and start shouting and now that we have we have all of the momentum on our side. As long as we don’t let ourselves get complacent again, which is what allowed the industry to become what it is in the first place, we can effect the change that we want.

    Speak up, stay loud, demand more. If you suspect someone of not providing full disclosure call them on it. If you suspect someone of having a conflict of interest call them on it. This shouldn’t be an unusual thing for us to do and it is never out of line to ask someone to recuse themselves of potential wrongdoing. All journalists should be providing this information up front without even having to be asked, much less providing any and all necessary information once questioned about it.

  • wcg

    I’m not sure even the bad media outlets want GamerGate to go away. The Verge is now using the topic as clickbait:

    https://archive.today/enRUh “Intel Buckles to Anti-Feminisht Campaign….”
    https://archive.today/RSww0 “What’s Happening in GamerGate”

  • Dogs and Whistles

    Great piece! I would add that these websites also need to adopt stricter ethics guidelines regarding personal and professional relationships: clear, concise guidelines that draw strict boundaries between the acquaintances and contacts required to cover the industry and personal relationships which give rise to impropriety. This should explicitly include financial ties such as Patreon or Kickstarter support, which should either be outright prohibited or severely scrutinized.

    I would also advise against GamerGate becoming an organization unto itself. Its legacy can be the increased awareness of consumers and serve as a reminder thay vigilance is required to protect the integrity of the industry. If it becomes an entity unto itself rather than a simple banner to rally behind, it is open to the same corrupting influences thay caused this problem in the first place.

  • Problem Raptor

    I don’t want to see them just slink off into the shadows. I want an apology. From all of them, Faraci too, for that ISIS crap. I don’t even care if they mean it, since I’m damn sure they wouldn’t. Just for the pleasure of seeing them public acknowledge culpability and knowing that that would absolutely kill them to have to do that. Similar to what Thunderf00t did with VenomFangX. After that? See ya, don’t darken our hobby again.

  • Johnathon Tieman

    While I understand the idea behind creating an organization to watch journalists, the old question remains, “Who watches the watchers?” Any organization runs the risk of being co-opted and rendered ineffective. What we need is what #gamergate is doing – a group of private citizens that came together to go, “WTF?” If #gamergate needs to become organized to do anything, it is simply to educate people, especially the younger generations, that ultimately freedom comes with the responsibility to question everything from anyone who has or attempts to assert power over others, and push back against those that want to take that freedom, even (and especially) when they claim it is for the “greater good”.

  • Dehydration

    Agree with everything but shutting Anita out completely. I disagree completely with pretty much all of her videos but I think she still has the right to voice her opinion.

    The problem is her handling of everything else. She and her supporters silence dissent by painting the opposition with the misogynist brush. She turns off comments. She takes the worst of the worst (in fact, some of the tweets that are so bad they don’t even seem real anymore) and uses it to fashion herself as a victim of misogyny in games. Having an opinion and voicing it is fine – free speech, after all. The problem is not having enough skin to defend that argument and refusing to even acknowledge different points of view. I hate to use ‘can’t handle the heat’ but it sums up what her problem really is.

    And while I defend her right to speak, I object against presenting poorly-researched material and presenting it as fact. I read an essay called The Postulated Author recently and she fits into it perfectly – she looks for her idea of misogyny in games and then constructs an argument based on that rather than look into games and then find misogyny. She projects an opinion she’s already formed rather than look for proper evidence of it in games. Also no stats or sources on games’ effects on ‘misogyny’.

    Also a gorillion dollars for a green screen and games off the bargain bin.

  • The Wind Rises

    I agree with everything but Anita. We can’t shut somebody out for being authoritarian. However, we can be critical of her views and expect her to defend her claims. When she came out saying men got some sort of perverse boner from killing women and desecrating their bodies in Hitman, that was a direct mischaracterization of male sexuality and should be rightfully called out. She has the right to be a critic, and we have a right to critique her criticisms and make them entirely irrelevant.

  • The Wind Rises

    They do want it to go away, it’s the staunch ideologues that have no vested interest in their individual publications that want it to burn. They don’t care if they burn down their publication if it means they’ll be noticed by a more powerful and relevant organization.

  • SaintOblivious

    I agree with you; but she’s had plenty of time to do what you suggest and has failed to do so. At what point do you draw the line and say that she has not answered her detractors? Instead she has used this event to gain more exposure and used it as another shield to avoid answering these criticisms. It has come to point where we are better off without her grandstanding; perhaps with her gone, someone else could step forward, learn from her mistakes and actually start a critique based on the fact that games all too often fall back on these tropes that have existed throughout literature.

  • SaintOblivious

    Isn’t the author saying that gaming media shouldn’t be giving AS any more coverage. If they did this, then she wouldn’t be silenced. She would have plenty of places to still communicate her point of view. The question is has she done enough to warrant her exposure through the gaming media? If she’s failed to provide well researched evidence then it should not be considered valid enough for the games media to be commenting/reporting on it.

  • Well said Dehydration. We can’t very well decry our voices being stifled for so long and turn around and do the same to others. I agree with Keith as well. We should defend anyone’s right to express their opinion, but when they express simple opinion as a matter of fact and do everything they can to silence any contradictory information or opinion then they need to be taken to task.

    It’s amazing how many self fulfilling prophecies exist on the anti-GG side but then again people like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton have made extremely lucrative careers out of finding racism wherever they look so I suppose it comes as no surprise.

  • Tarious

    or you know people can focus on bigger things like Women in the middle east getting beaten, jailed, and raped for not wearing certain clothes instead of making videos of first world problems.

  • SaintOblivious

    Fair enough. I can get on-board with that.

  • Dehydration

    It’s not what I got off it, since I remember journos like The Dorito Pope defending games from Jack Thompson. However I might be mistaken and if that’s what the article meant, then I agree. No point in shining a spotlight to debunked claims.

  • Ryan Lawson

    Linking directly to the clickbait? Come on now.
    https://archive.today/enRUh
    https://archive.today/RSww0
    “…Gamergate is really, really confusing. It’s meant a lot of things over the past three (seriously! three!) months that it’s been around for.”
    Mid-August to…Octob…three what?

  • HisShadowX

    I am not a big fan when it comes to regulation but when it gets to the point where an entire industry has gone from willing breaking the law to engaging in behavior that hurts all consumers I believe the only solution is regulation. Fact is #payola is alive and well in this industry.

    That is where I feel we need the regulation. As for the gaming news cabal I feel like this if we the people choose to support them and advertisers choose to support them than those actions will have these same consequences. For over a decade now the gaming news industry has took part in #payola. Anywhere else in this country in any other industry you’d have the feds on you instantly.

    Same with DRM that can break your machine. They can get away with it in the gaming industry but god forbid you put crippling DRM in a Janet Jackson CD and affect the average joe and then comes the fines and congressional meetings.

    As gamers we are not represented. If anything the ESA protects publishers as consumers the ECA is nothing but an organization that takes money from industry insiders. Hobbies can be regulated just look at Football, baseball or even basketball.

  • Jess

    Couldn’t have said it better myself. Those who have abused their positions and continue to do so in very public view are richly deserving of any condemnation they receive from the gaming community. I don’t know why they’re so astonished to learn the we don’t enjoy being incorrectly labelled as misogynists and comparable to terrorist organisations. If I owned a Peugeot dealership and said everybody who buys a Peugeot is an ugly twat who hates Germans because they don’t endorse Audis or Volkswagens, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Peugeot sales took a nosedive and the consumer base suddenly wants to let everybody know to never endorse or buy a Peugeot.

    Sadly more prominent outlets keep incorrectly insisting to people new to the conflict that our issue with Anita is that she’s female in order to continue swaying public opinion against us. When you say “Additionally, people like Anita Sarkeesian who want to push politics into how games are made, need to be shut out of the process on a
    permanent basis.” I totally agree and view it in a similar light to separation of church and state. I don’t want to live in a world where incorrectly screaming misogyny is free license to stifle something you dislike.

    There are a few reasons I dislike Anita:
    1. See above paragraph
    2. She openly admits she “doesn’t play games” but she still manages to be chock full of ill-informed opinions about them (Zelda=Sheik, Sheik is not a helpless little flower and neither is Peach in Super Princess Peach. Even if they were, it still doesn’t detract from the fact that Damsels in Distress actually exist)
    3. She thinks being offended is an entitlement to encroach on game developers creative freedom
    4. We do not live in an ideal world, stop trying to force games to reflect a reality where we do (i.e. I don’t peddle drugs and shoot people IRL, but that doesn’t stop me playing and enjoying GTA. Should we start burning copies of To Kill a Mockingbird because it’s racist? Of course fucking not).
    5. Radfems don’t seem to know what they want but still make big demands where games are concerned [Is slut shaming wrong or should Bayonetta put more clothes on?] despite being unintersted in games and just wanting to spoil them for the rest of us who enjoy them.
    6. “Listen and Believe” only appears to apply to women who agree with her.
    7. The literal definition of misogyny is an extreme distrust or hatred towards women. I’m not sure how appreciating the female form with characters like Ivy and Quiet equates to “hatred”. Also Quiet was tortured in a similar fashion to Snake and Raiden was put in an even more compromising position in Sons of Liberty.

    I could go on, but I think I’ve already proven my beef with Anita is nothing to do with her being female. The sooner games media stops shrieking about misogyny, the sooner we can all start discussing the issue at hand.

  • Luka

    short answer “No” longer answer “Yes, the fire rises” 🙂 and then we dance.

  • ~starts slow clap~

  • Pablo Hernández

    I agree with you, right now the only reason people from such varied backgrounds can rally together under gamergate is the fact that we love games hard, and that keeps us together. If it goes beyond that things are bound to be distorted

  • Pablo Hernández

    The perfect outcome in my opinion would be that all major “gaming” sites shut down permanently for their repeated crimes against gaming culture.

  • wcg

    My bad. I’ve changed to your links.