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Liana KI’m joined here today with Liana K, journalist for Metaleater, to discuss how she feels the gaming community is becoming exclusionary towards women. Full Disclosure: Liana had a lot to say and so this interview is edited down with Liana’s permission.

Could you clarify your background and position in the whole #GamerGate debate?

I saw the “gamers are dead” articles on August 28th and started looking into the backlash. I published my first GamerGate article for Metaleater.com on September 12th.  It was fairly well received.  At around this time, that I found out that a piece I’d pitched to Polygon was going to be published on September 18th.  This was obviously exciting, because Polygon is the biggest website I’ve ever been published on. On September 17th, the GameJournoPros story broke.  My excitement turned to dread.  I knew I was screwed.  I didn’t sleep much that night.  I can’t say what ensued is the worst online bullying I’ve ever experienced, but it was certainly the most people ever thoroughly hating me at a single point in time.

Things snowballed for various reasons, I gave certain people too much benefit of the doubt and it bit me.  If you’d asked me if GamerGate was full of misogynist haters at that point, I would have said yes.  But some folks offered me support through twitter.  Some were even brave enough to publicly defend me and got accused of actually being me on anon boards, which is hilarious and tragic at the same time.

That was the beginning of me realizing that GamerGate is far more complicated than the mainstream gives it credit for. I feel my role is to observe and document the ongoing consumer revolt and to speak against false rumors. I’m extremely concerned by the blanket accusations of misogyny, because the facts don’t support that, and by the bashing of autistic people participating in GamerGate.  That crossed a big line for me.  I think there are better ways to bring about better games journalism, but I’m sympathetic to GamerGate’s desire to be heard as consumers and not be bullied.

You sent out several tweets recently about feeling pushed out of the gaming community by those who have declared Anita Sarkeesian gaming’s “Prom Queen”. What made you feel this way?

There are so few big league female voices talking about games right now, so it’s telling who ends up getting mainstream attention.  While I disagree with Leigh Alexander on a lot, I respect that she engages with criticisms because I know that takes guts. Anita on the other hand, Anita has never had to really address her critics because there’s a human shield around her willing to fight for her.  Ironically, she’s become gaming’s biggest damsel in distress, and it’s taken her all the way to the Colbert Report as some sort of authority on video games.  But an authority actually has to have a body of work that holds up to scrutiny. Anita makes pretty glaring oversights that weaken a thinking person’s ability to take her seriously.

She’s won a popularity contest involving Hollywood stars, tons of game devs aanita sarkeesian 330x330 - How is Gaming Excluding Women? - An Interview with Liana Knd even moot from 4chan.  That’s where my “prom queen” analogy came from. Too many gamers now distrust female professionals because of the belief that we get special privileges.  Whether that’s right or wrong, it’s a reality.  Even if you disagree with everything Anita says; if you’re a feminist, you’re distrusted.

Non-gamers who watch Feminist Frequency videos — and there’s plenty that do because it’s feminism — think gaming is this horrible cesspool of sexism.  The Tropes vs Women videos have poisoned the whole well, leaving a very narrow social group for feminists who are also hardcore gamers.

The whole thing with Anita’s most vocal defenders resembles a form of bullying called “relational aggression” which uses relationship to damage or manipulate others, causing harm through social exclusion.  In essence, it’s “If you don’t do what I say, you can’t play with us.”

So Anita’s videos have effectively left me without a natural peer group.  They’ve isolated me.  There is no longer any group that trusts a feminist hardcore gamer unless you worship St. Anita.  The cult of personality around one woman is depriving me of a community where I feel accepted. Anita is not ruining video games or taking any artistic product away.  Yes, she has legitimately taken a lot of unfair crap.  But there are real, practical things we need to address to make the playing field more welcoming to women in games.  Simple, structural things.  And we can’t have these discussions because the headlines are constantly screaming about Anita’s latest wave of scandal.

I completely understand how you feel, as a feminist and a gamer, I’ve been called all names under the sun. I’m misguided, a useful idiot, a gender traitor and so on, because I don’t agree with some of the theories flying around out there. Anita et al claim they want the gaming community to be more inclusive, but women like us now feel excluded. What do you think could be better done to achieve this inclusivity?

I think there needs to be a greater separation between things that are better and things that are just different.  The thing about GamerGate is that it happened in response to a specific series of events.  So it’s going to attract a very eclectic group of people.

The problem with being “othered” is that people are very quick to expect similarities that don’t exist.  So “women in gaming” are expected to have a lot more in common than we do. The name calling is a separate issue.  To me it’s people who really don’t understand what’s going on misapplying tropes to sound smart.

When I say I’m a feminist, I get people focusing on and attacking that, from both sides. Can you name specific ways in which you feel you have been excluded from the community, since the whole GamerGate scandal began?

kim swiftWe’re taking abuse from both sides because of the culture war that’s erupted.  It’s silly, because gaming is built on strong female characters and female developers, but the myths about the industry have overpowered the truths.

Because GamerGaters felt rejected by the left, they became vulnerable to persuasion by certain opportunists with misogynist or anti-feminist tendencies.  There aren’t many of them, but they caused problems.  It wasn’t that they made people in GamerGate hate women.  They caused GamerGate to distrust the women who crossed them, one by one.  People are starting to realize what happened, but not the whole of it.

And don’t get me started on the anti-GamerGate side.  Their heads are filled with their own myths, and many of them are condescending and cold as anything to those who don’t swallow their narrative of across-the-board misogyny.  These are people I used to think were my friends, or at the very least, colleagues that respected me.  But when someone won’t listen when I tell them my truths, that’s not respect.

And then I’ve just seen deplorable behavior by so-called professionals.  I no longer trust subjecting myself to their scrutiny to get published.  People say GamerGate is ruining the reputation of the video game community, but I can’t help but feel that it’s just exposing the rot that’s formed since money entered the equation.

I feel bullied by people now more than ever. If I don’t agree with someone, then suddenly I’m biased, blinded, misguided, attention-seeking etc. I feel that many people in the debate won’t take notice of a woman’s opinion because it doesn’t fall in either of these two neat boxes. Do you think this happens on both sides?

I think there are bad people on both sides, yes, which is why it’s been so hard to get productive dialogue going.  I’ve found some people to be exceptionally blind to their own behavior.   People will claim they support women,  for instance, then say nice things about a guy they agree is misogynist.  They don’t realize that things like that show that being popular means more to them than their ethics.

As for your “attention-seeking” comment,  that’s been a nasty bit of subtle sexism in this whole thing.  There are a lot of male attention seekers using GamerGate to build their profiles, but I don’t see them getting called out on that as much. “attention whore” is something more often directed at women.  Men do get accused of it, but they have to do so much more to get labelled.brianna wu headshot

The “blinded” thing is just condescending as anything. All these things are wrong no matter who says it to whom, and it’s telling that so many people think that women who choose to support GamerGate are somehow incompetent. That’s almost more insulting than being called evil.

I’ve been really disappointed by the fact that so many people in this thing see themselves as intelligent and caring but have failed at basic listening.  We all screw up and that’s why forgiveness is so important, but past mistakes are being used as a wedge between people instead of as a source of empathy. I’d expected there to be more understanding than I’ve seen. People seem terrified of admitting they’re wrong and apologizing.  People are being far too intensely critical of others while being blind to their own faults. We live in a very partisan age, and it’s having a negative effect on the growth of this industry.  People have to come first.

My attitude is that no matter what anyone else does, I’m responsible for my own behavior.  I own that. I’m not going to make excuses for myself because other people acted badly.  I work very hard not to stoop to the low level of others. That’s never gotten me very far professionally, but it helps me live with myself. There are few things more off-putting than a guilty conscience.


Georgina Young

Contributor

British girl, currently in Japan. Surviving on a diet of retro games. Worshiping the god that is the Sega Megadrive. I like Nintendo.



  • David Gray

    I still Like Liana (despite disagreements with her) and I’m a vehement antifeminist.
    It isn’t some right wing nut jobs OR #gamergate that made me antifeminist. (I’m a socialist, and most of gamergate is firmly left leaning)
    It was feminism.
    The same feminism that has caused this fiasco.
    Just because SOME feminists are nice and cool and not misandric and REALLY do believe in equality does not redeem the ideology.
    You can see for yourselves that the majority will believe in a lie, push an agenda of hate and are perfectly fine attacking women for a difference of opinion.
    The hypocrisy and dishonest of mainstream, widely accepted and genuinely powerful feminism is what caused me to turn against it.

    That suggestion is just as bad as the condescending stuff Liana has to put up with.

    The mistrust of women, especially feminists, is the fault of the actions of SOME women, and especially of feminism as a whole.
    It isn’t fair, obviously, but it isn’t sexism. It’s self preservation.
    It’s sad, but it has been that was for a LONG time and gamergate has nothing to do with it.
    Men have to change their behaviour when women are around. We have to walk on eggshells or we may find ourselves accused of misogyny or harassment.
    Women (especially feminists) don’t see their power in this, or the effort it takes, or the fun it destroys. Safe spaces seem to only focus on what women *think* they want. Not on actual safety, or a concern for men.
    The sad thing is, many women would enjoy seeing and participating in the raw, unsanitised deal. They just have to build trust before that happens.
    IMO that is sad for everyone.

  • AlessandroTheCynical

    “She’s won a popularity contest involving Hollywood stars, tons of game devs and even moot from 4chan. That’s where my “prom queen” analogy came from. Too many gamers now distrust female professionals because of the belief that we get special privileges”

    Saddly i find myself agreeing with Liana on this, before this whole debacle with AS that has been all the rage for 2 years straight i would have never thought negatively of any women that became a public figure in gaming culture, now i have this nagging thought in the back of my mind that wonders if she got there on her own merits since i’ve witness this invasion of SWJ parasites who do not believe in meritocracy at all.

    I sincerely believe that gamers as a whole do not have a problem with either women in gaming or good female protagonists in games, it’s never been that way and honestly it also pisses me off that the SWJ parasites want to somehow adjudicate themselves the fact that now more women play videogames which is bullshit since that’s due to a natural progression of the medium rather than any maddling this filthy whiney squeakers could have done.

  • Jake Martinez

    Pretty good interview Georgie, also Liana – I caught you on Pakman today and I think both that appearance and this article stand up.

    Liana – I think you’re bang on about the distrust thing. I’m a bit older, also I have to admit, quite Left politically, so for me the biggest revelation about GamerGate has been likely similar to yours – being outside of your peer group and understanding the brutality of identity politics and how quite frankly, adhering to an ideology doesn’t make you either correct, or a particularly righteous person.

    So, while I don’t distrust women (sorry, my wife is a lovely lady <3) I do now have quite a bit of distrust for Feminism, or to be more accurate, I'm not quite so blind to as to uncritically accept all of the propositions of intersectional feminism without looking at the charter, to sort of speak.

    After years of considering myself a feminist (after all, why wouldn't I be for equality?) and trying to be sensitive to cultural pressures and the such, I find myself confront with the fact that now that I have had the opportunity to take a good long look at how a particular brand of feminism is impacting my life and the lives of those around me, that it's not entirely good! The things that seem to bother me the most is that I hate the divisiveness that seems to be built into the critique, even the framing of debate seems geared to set people against each other unless they buy into orthodoxy, and I particularly find it pernicious not just to men, but especially TO WOMEN who dare to risk a minor disagreement and be branded forever as heretics.

    Anyway, I wanted to say that I respect how challenging it must be for yourself (and for Georgie too!) to be in the public eye during such a huge controversy and I respect your opinion as being well thought out and informed. I just hope that more people will listen to you and your reasoning.

  • Dehydration

    I’m seeing Liana as one of the most reasonable people in GG right now after this and the Based Pakman Show.

  • Dogbot3000

    I don’t agree with everything that you say Liana, but that’s okay. GamerGate was started as a revolt against those who can’t tolerate disagreeing opinions. And honestly I respect you for what you have to say, as well as for the fact that you don’t let what has happened to you define you, regardless of how bad it was. I feel I speak for all of GamerGate when I say that your work to help our cause is greatly appreciated. Not all of us will agree with everything you say, and that’s okay. We’re not supposed to. And I personally want to thank you for disagreeing with some of us while still seeing the situation rationally.

  • FirstLine

    There is no culture war. There is no such thing. GamerGate is about internet clowns like anita who love to get attention/stir the pot and gaming “journalists” who spit on their customers to get money. It’s that simple.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    chu chu all aboard the Attention Express! For the record all of our Male attention seekers get the same treatment. But i won’t make it personal, i’ll stick to the facts.

    http://gamergate.community/showthread.php?tid=623 – Why Liana feels “bullied” and gets pushback from some.

    On the language policing – it’s similarly resisted because of how it leads to a society where emotions are more important than logic or truth. Feelings are just there to make you aware ‘something’ is up – they are like a baby crying in the night and u have to figure out why. – Fun Fact – ur 2nd and even 3rd guess may be wrong.

    feel free to read and retweet the tweet below – we have a male attention seeker who is busy causing issues for us, just as Liana k did – and he’s getting his due feedback for his behavior, just as Liana has. Apologizes go a long way – we have yet to hear one.
    https://twitter.com/CriticalKelly/status/530373799632326656

    If you want to claim to be a feminism, maybe try unmarrying your ideology from marxist doctrine and think about Equal Opportunity for all More.

  • Pablo Hernández

    Anita found a goldmine in gaming and she’s “dug in like an Alabama tick”

    How can you blame her when you get more than 150thousand USdollars just for bitching about some games?

    150 fucking thousand dollars, that’s more that what I’ll earn in my whole fucking life

  • under_score

    I don’t think people distrust women in gaming. From what I’ve seen, most of this “gamers are misogynists” narrative has been pushed by men as much or more than women. Gaming culture, whether regarding players, developers, or press, is a meritocracy. Back when I was raiding regularly, no one cared about the gender of our tank, we cared about aggro being maintained. I really cannot fathom giving a single fuck about the gender of a developer, I only care if the game is good. And who writes about this stuff will never matter as much as what they write. Keep up the good articles, and we’ll keeping reading them.

  • Cole Pram

    *hugz* for Liana.

    I’m sorry you were treated so badly by so many 🙁

    I’m still your, metaphorical, friend and hope things get better for everyone from here on out.

  • Ørjan Kristoffersen

    A lot of good points are raised here:

    I cannot speak for anyone elses experience, and I’m sure there are female gamers who have bad stories to tell. However, having been involved in various gaming communities, both online and offline, for 3/4 of my life, there have always been women present in them, and they have always been a valued and accepted minority (again, in my experience), so I find the implication that the entirety of gaming culture is somehow exclusionary and/or misognynistic to be fallacious at best.

    When it comes to anti-feminist sentiment, I find it understandable, although it is also kind of a shame. Feminism, ironically, has much of the same problem that the GamerGate movement has, in that the radical minority tends to get all the media attention, and it’s a lot easier to say “I oppose feminism” than saying “I oppose this specific brand of radical, post-modern feminism”, especially over twitter. And with the presence of this extreme ideology within the feminist movement, I find the conflation of anti-feminist and anti-woman sentiment to be disingenuous.

  • Zzzzzzzz

    I like Liana K a lot, but I disagree with her on this particular point:

    “Because GamerGaters felt rejected by the left, they became vulnerable to persuasion by certain opportunists with misogynist or anti-feminist tendencies. There aren’t many of them, but they caused problems.”

    I think this is an unresearched comment.

    I haven’t seen a single prominent gamergate supporter that would not qualify at the very least as an egalitarian / equality feminist.

    That includes the ones who identify as “antifeminists”. There is practically no such thing as “Anti Equality Feminism”.

    The term Antifeminism was invented by PostModernism Gender Sex Negative Feminists to label the people who offered critique on their ideology.

    Most of the people doing that are people who are irked by authoritarian group think, meaning people who are usually great critical thinkers and rationals, with a hint of cynicism on humanity. As such, they adopted the label “Antifeminim” as a badge of honor to spite the same people they critique.

    In my opinion, it was a tactical mistake, but they never saw GamerGate coming with an actual possibility of winning any ground.

    I just want to make it clear for context to anyone who feels like distancing themselves from GamerGate due to presence of “Antifeminism”.

    We can’t “make the difference between the good and the bad and focus on 3rd wave radical feminism”, because we’re technically already doing that. No one is hunting equality feminists or actually lobbying to remove the idea of women being equals under the law.

    The phrasing and idioms used to discuss those issues however are indeed more difficult to sell to the public.

    TL;DR

    The term antifeminist is, in the vast, vast majority of cases, used to describe a steep distaste in postmodernism sex negative gender feminism, not necessarily for the ideas and concepts it proposes (though many consider them completely absurd especially in STEM academia), but for the way they enforce them, as the Morality Police or Green Tea Party.

    Their collusion, bullying and shaming tactics in the name of progressive values is slowly being exposed, and is a direct cause to what allowed the gaming press to become so ingrained in ideology, if only for fear of retaliation.

  • Robert Bradley Stewart

    This is a good read. You guys should do a video follow up so that people can “see” how exclusionary they have been to you.

    Also LK I know you probably wont read this. But I think your an awesome feminist and a badass gamer as well! It should be you that gets to talk about these things not her.

  • [Insert clever name]

    “Because GamerGaters felt rejected by the left, they became vulnerable to
    persuasion by certain opportunists with misogynist or anti-feminist
    tendencies. There aren’t many of them, but they caused problems. It
    wasn’t that they made people in GamerGate hate women. They caused
    GamerGate to distrust the women who crossed them, one by one. People
    are starting to realize what happened, but not the whole of it.”

    This is a little too general. Ignoring the politics(American politics mean nothing to me).

    I don’t think anyone was really vulnerable to persuasion, Its just that there are people like that everywhere and they usually like being loud.

    On distrust. I agree that there is a distrust of feminists, but that is mainly because radfems have tarnished the term for everyone. More importantly, I think a lot of GGers just have a general distrust of everyone because we have been burnt by the people that were meant to protect us.(Eh, that’s a little too over dramatic but gets the point across.)

    I myself(and most GGers I’ve seen online) identify more as egalitarians or “equality feminists”. But like I said you will find people with the misogynistic tendencies everywhere because they exist in life, there isn’t any real way to avoid them.

  • Zebes

    Someone, somewhere, said that GG is awakening young men to the internal debate within feminism. Though I am not sure it’s just young men, but rather young people who have taken in politics and feminism at an arms length distance before this thing blew up.

    This wasn’t my first experience with this particular sect within feminism though. I first experienced it in college at a rather liberal college. It troubled me at the time, and I wrote the college about it on my exit essay. It revolved around a sex awareness meeting that was mandatory for students.

    Basically, the thing that bothered me was how the speaker leading it felt she was free to speak for the male experience and to speak for males at large, and then proceeded to give a presentation that would lead one to believe every man is a predator.

    At one point, she even stopped to say “I’m not saying that all men are rapists, but according to this chart, men are the ones who commit sexual assault.” It had this weird feeling of a racist friend revealing, “I’m not saying all black people are criminals, but all the criminals you see on TV are black, you know what I’m saying?”

    This was followed by reading a letter she found sympathetic of a man denouncing his sex for their brutal behavior and wishing he wasn’t a man due to the shame. She presented this as a touching letter. For a man, it felt like either be a brutal male or be ashamed of your sex. There was no space for where I felt a lot of the young men and women in attendance were, sexually and emotionally naive semi-adults.

    I’m sharing this experience because I felt the experience was so absurd it wouldn’t catch fire, but apparently I was wrong. I am also sharing the experience because I believe it is an issue within the GamerGate debate that goes beyond ethics. It’s hard to escape that this particular sect of feminism seeing the broader daylight in recent news isn’t drawing outside political interest.

    Though I see how a political clique forming around a political sect creates an ethics problem for the indie dev/indie press relationship. The cronyism that people take issue with between indie devs and the press is something that I feel both the press in question and the indie dev scene has quietly accepted as a necessity. There is a view based upon a moral of indie dev goodness, where that indie devs are allowed this cronyism because of the nature of their work. Each indie dev is their own hype artist. They don’t often have a PR firm attached to do the work for them. This closeness isn’t unique to indie games, as it’s not uncommon for local and indie music scenes to have this relationship as well. I think the major difference is that indie games can be big money in a way a local music scene is not.

    And if a clique forms up that has a self-righteous attitude about what should be said or done, then it begins to exclude indie devs not interested in being a part of that clique. It’s very High School-ish. On some level, it may be offering social acceptance and a higher social class recognition in exchange for adapting your politics to fit the group. I believe Liana briefly mentioned this on the Pakman interview, but I’m not sure if this is exactly what she meant or not.

    Anyways, I yammered on, but I don’t think you’re alone in having as much interest in the culture and political war as the ethics issues.

  • Zebes

    I’d like to add that people shouldn’t take this political sect as a reason to be against feminism. They should see the other faces of feminism speaking up and realize that something like feminism is not a singular, dogmatic ideology, and come to appreciate the more egalitarian sides of feminism.

  • Meittimies

    Politics aren’t as tied to Gamergate as most american people in this seems to think (sorry Liana). Foreigners like me obviously don’t care about the american politics spectrum, and I dont really care about Social Justice or infighting of the US Left because it is so vastly different from the Left of my country.

    For most of us it was those 10 articles which made us side with pro-GG months ago. Everything else is essentially “side-order”. Since the consumer riot is inclusive, we tolerate everyone who is not outright trying to co-opt us or screw with our goals. That leads to a lot of different people marching under the same banner, and that in turn inevitably leads to some inner turmoil outside the topic of GG during the hours when theres no bigger events happening. We’re essentially the same people who were bickering and arguing with each other about some much more minor issues, before these gaming news sites decided to attack all of us at once (which proved out to be the biggest mistake they’ve done for years). In RPG-terms, its like if orcs and elves would form an alliance with each other against a common foe. Infighting is bound to happen in some scale, but that wont invalidate or destroy this movement in the slightest. When this is over, we all retire back to the fandoms and forums we frequent, and orcs and elves will happily hate each other again when the safety of the realm is secure.

    If Liana wants to see proof that we do not discriminate “attention whores” by their gender, only yesterday KingofPol was caught out lying to all of us, fabricating leaks for whatever reason (fame, most likely). We condemned him as much as we did Liana during September when the infighting between the “e-celebs” started. It is not very wise to lie to a consumer group that was angry about lying in the first place. I’m very glad to see Liana owned up to those mistakes. The last stream you had with one of the pro-GG and interview with David Pakman were some genuinely good stuff. Its fine if you disagree with us on something. GG approves anyone who still allows the possibility for that discussion and is a firm defender of freedom of speech. Greg Tito of Escapist doesnt like us either, but all of GG respects the guy regardless, because he thinks we should have the right to talk about issues in gaming journalism.

  • Ncrdrg

    Definitely not alone. Started with ethics for me, definitely encompasses a culture clash now as well. But the key to solve both remains ethics IMHO.

  • Brad Sherard

    “relational aggression”

    I am so sick of all these made up terms. Academia just loves to find concepts and to avoid them by applying adjectives that contradict the whole meaning of the word. It is an attempt to hijack objective ideas.

    “Social justice”
    “my truth”
    “white logic”
    “relational aggression”

    These all take an objective definition, precise in its meaning, and apply properties that deny that definition. Justice is universal, appending arbitrary qualities to it is antithetical to its entire meaning. Truth is universal, not arbitrarily changing between individuals. Same with logic. And relational aggression, described above as voluntary choice to not associate with someone, is the polar opposite of aggression, but by magically appending ‘relational’ somehow peacefully choosing not to be around someone becomes ‘aggression’.

    This destruction of objective concrete terms, conflating them with the denial of their meaning must stop. The sooner we all start calling people on their word salad bullshit the sooner we can get back to not using words to hide the truth, but to explicate it.

  • wcg

    Is feminism at a point where it has to ask, “what happens when achieve (near) equality?” Personally, I think the radicalization is partly because we are near this point. What are the big hurdles to gender equality now? As these hurdles are removed, people are looking for the extremes. We are at the point where if you say “gender equality” or “human equality” in place of feminism it’s an instantly hostile situation. Not realizing this is a problem *is* the problem.

  • wcg

    Quote “Ironically, she’s become gaming’s biggest damsel in distress, and it’s taken her all the way to the Colbert Report as some sort of authority on video games. But an authority actually has to have a body of work that holds up to scrutiny. ” – this is really the issue I have with Anita Sarkeesian and thanks for saying this.

  • Thomas Fährmann

    Would it make sense if I say i´m an atheist, a little bit buddhist influenced and absolutely idiology free gamer ? …
    I dont think these terms like “feminist, conservative, muslim or radical socialist” associations with the label gamer helps anyone. This is the real poison in gaming. That people can now come into gaming like “neo-nazi” “salafist” or “feminist” gamer etc.
    Gaming is a non political hobby. Games are not political by default. Have you ever seen some athlete who says i´m a neo-marxist 400m runner ? NO, because it´s bullshit! Sorry but that is the truth.
    The big sport events would be dead immidiately if the Teams could not separate their political associations from the sport. Anyone remember the tragedy with the kidnapped and murdered israelis back then ?… that didnt happen because of the sport!
    I dont like this attitude in gaming at all with no exceptions. The fight for woman rights is not a gaming culture topic and will never belongs to gaming.
    Get rid of these labels and welcome to the wonderfull world of gaming. Free from idiologys and political influences otherwise see you in north korea or dont wonder when people will never get over their differences because someone just cant stop to force his/her oppinions onto others that are not gaming relevant. This can only lead to flame wars and worse because politics and idiologys are meant to cause trouble. The last century is full of wars of idiologys and yet some dont understand how dangerous it is.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    Considering anything achievable has already been done at what point does feminism actually become a group about equality? At no point has feminism been interested in correcting in areas where women disproportionately benefit. It has, from its inception, been about privileging cis (white middle and upper class) women above everyone else.

    There’s only so long people can ignore the fact that feminists have manipulated statistics for decades, manufactures propaganda from whole cloth and is inherently misandric.

  • Thomas Fährmann

    true. I´m german and i dont care just a little bit about american woman issues. And i think that japanese gamers dont care about german male issues and so on. Its all just some egocentric view of the world. There is no center of the planet earth except it´s core… and that thing is not made by humans.

  • Kiltmanenator

    An interview by one of my favorite people *about* one o my favorite people? Helllllll yeah!

    I hope you two ladies talk again 🙂

  • Zakemaster

    Great interview. It brings up a point that some guys like me might not think about. Personally, I’ve done my share of GamerGate supporting, and am firmly on the side of the issues that the movement is trying to champion, but the hatred flying from both sides of this fight is exhausting and childish. There are so many better ways to foster change than screams or death threats, and insulting others for believing differently than you belies the lack of maturity necessary to see others complexly. If we could all just sit down and talk about this rationally, this wouldn’t be a problem. It’s just a shame that I know it isn’t going to happen. Both sides have those who benefit from the chaos and hatred, and that really sucks. Especially because that’s a problem I don’t see a solution for.

  • Even though the interview raises some good points, I feel like a lot of it is leaning too much on feminist ideology discussion. No one cares about the nuances and the internal politics of feminism, or politicking in general. This is about GOD DAMN VIDEO GAMES.

    The whole consumer revolt blew up from the simmering anger from people who saw their hobby becoming a vehicle for the push of political agendas. Feminism in games has become an issue from the moment Anita started this movement a few years back and it’s gained unwarranted traction in gaming circles by people who care more about politics than video games. It’s the same thing we’ve been fighting for years, only now the politicians are “within” the medium.

    And the point where it’s said “Anita is not ruining video games or taking any artistic product away.” is false. I remember an instance where an indie dev who apologized to Anita about a damsel in his game, went back to change it, she praised him and he framed her tweet. Or how about the cult she’s bred where there’s fear among devs to speak their mind about the matter? Or how the same cult pushes for forced gender representation in games, instead of allowing devs free reign of what they want to make? Or even how they push for gender representation in the workplace, actual skill be damned.

    No one had any problems with women in the industry for decades now. Roberta Williams, Jane Jensen, Anne Westfall. They were the true influential women in this industry and they had everyone’s respect. But I bet many don’t even know who they are, since all mainstream videogames media outlets only care about god damn politics, instead of presenting actual role models for women in gaming industry. You can very much thank Anita, her cult and the mindset they’ve bred for the shit and suspicion ANY woman in the industry will face in the future. The bullcrap we’ve been tolerating for so long from these so called “women experts” is gonna take a long time to wash off.

  • David Gray

    Seeing ANY condemnation of this from feminists is pretty bloody new.
    Last year you could not get a feminist to seriously commit to “killallmen is bad” with most defending it as satire, protest or “fringe” and “harmful to feminism” (rather than offensive in general)

    Most feminists doing so have been SO widely ostracised that they dropped the tag. Hell, even saying the WORD misandry can get you labeled an MRA (ie: the devil)

    I’ll have to see a GREAT deal more than some handwringing and apologetics before I drop my firm antifeminist stance.

    Atm, most of the “not all feminists are like that” is empty rhetoric followed by returning to the same old bullshit.
    “patriarchy” “rape culture” “objectification” (even sex positives repeat that shit) “wage gap” (which DOES have things to discuss, but not in terms of sexism: more in terms of the value of work and many female dominated jobs being underpaid imo)
    Emma Watson starts by acknowledging how feminism is widely perceived…. immediately announces “heforshe” because men joining the conversation on gender issues HAVE TO focus on women’s issues.
    Equality = everyone help women and only women, apparently.

    I know most feminists have good intentions, but good intentions are not enough. They should not be enough.

  • GeorgieBoy

    Don’t forget about what recently came out with the Ralph Retort. Someone who was not part of GamerGate says Liana is a bully. Liana responds with screaming that this person is stalking her and lying, and then goes on to write long sordid posts about how awful this person is.

    Sounds exactly like bullying and attention seeking to me too.

  • GeorgieBoy

    She wouldn’t be treated so badly if she didn’t treat others that exact same way.

  • GeorgieBoy

    “Their collusion, bullying and shaming tactics in the name of progressive
    values is slowly being exposed, and is a direct cause to what allowed
    the gaming press to become so ingrained in ideology, if only for fear of
    retaliation.”

    Sounds exactly like how I’ve seen Liana operate. If you disagree strongly enough against her, she will label you a bully that is harassing her.

  • GeorgieBoy

    Very little has happened to Liana. She is a professional victim who cries wolf to get attention. We should not be giving her the amount of attention or interviews she has gotten so far.

  • Garrett Olsen

    I’d like to take a moment to address one specific portion of your comment with which I took issue, namely – “radical minority,” with regards to feminism. Not to say that these types don’t represent a minority of women within feminism, but their toxic ideology has been shielded from criticism by virtue of being under the feminist banner. Not only this, but because of the toxic post-modern feminism, women within this assumed minority are allowed to wield power disproportionate to their standing, in multiple facets of life.

    Feminism has become a sacred cow, and our culture has become so sensitive to anything that can be construed as negative, that one can’t point out, say, that the metaphorical cow defecates, and issues have started to arise from the denial of fecal buildup.

    Okay, okay, I’ll drop the poop metaphor.

    Regardless, there has been a lot of blindness, willful or otherwise, to the real problems caused by those wielding the banner of feminism (whether to selfishly shield themselves from criticism or devoting themselves honestly to the cause).

    People have been unwittingly rallying behind all-but-proven crooks such as Anita Sarkeesian because of the narrative that feminism has assisted in constructing that women are perpetual victims of men. Problems that disproportionately affect men are ignored in the media, and attempts to address them are blocked by radicals (and these events are, again, ignored).

    The whole thing is a mess of ingrained bias which ironically ties back into the claimed “sexist” preconceptions of humanity that women are weak and need defending, and that men are strong and need to toughen up, and it has been thoroughly abused in favor of radical feminists.

    Guess where I’m going with this is there needs to be an attempts (preferably spearheaded by moderate feminists) to disavow these radicals and readjust the public narrative. Like, a SERIOUS media campaign to address this. It’s the only way to re-establish trust with the populace alienated from mainstream feminism because of it’s highly toxic and nigh-invulnerable (socially) elements.

  • GeorgieBoy

    I had to start a new account to comment on here because I don’t want Liana and her minions to dogpile on to me like the last person that spoke out against her.

    Liana is an attention-seeker to the extreme. The reason she’s upset about Anita is because Anita has been getting far more press and attention than she has, period. She’s jealous and petty.

    I read the Ralph pieces about Liana. http://theralphretort.com/liana-k-husband-accused-psychological-abuse

    I read Liana’s long-ass Tumblr replies. http://redlianak.tumblr.com/

    I’ve read the follow-up posts of the woman Liana is accusing of stalking her. http://thizshizisbananas.tumblr.com/

    I do not trust Liana to speak for me, now or ever. I do not trust Liana period. She cannot even get her facts straight when it comes to this situation, and she’s been on both sides of the fence in GamerGate.

    Liana is a bully and a flake – she will side with whomever is giving her the most attention at the time, and has gone out of her way to harass others on Twitter before over Gamergate.

    Bad choice of interviewee, Georgina.

  • GeorgieBoy

    This destruction of objective concrete terms, conflating them with the
    denial of their meaning must stop. The sooner we all start calling
    people on their word salad bullshit the sooner we can get back to not
    using words to hide the truth, but to explicate it.

    This, exactly this. People will use a lot of words to hide the fact that there is very little truth or good will behind them.

  • Cole Pram

    It’s really hard not to treat others meanly when you’re being treated that way all the time. I try my best to away be nice or not say anything. I lost my temper tonight for the first time in years whan my older sister pointed out a GG supporter was “harassing” PixieJenni on twitter and used that to make a jab at me for all GG supporters being harassers.

    1) She ignores the fact Jenni is a troll and a horrible person.

    2) I’ve showed her the horrible things I’ve had said to me.

    3) I’ve shown her the pages and pages of twitter reports I have for reporting ppl

    But she still thinks GG is a harassment campaign and told me I’d stand up for Jenni if I was a good person. And I told her to fuck off, I made my older sister cry. It sounds stupid, but it hurt me more than anything anyone’s said to me.

    TL; DL – Being mean only makes people sad and angry. Nothing gets better. Sometimes a kind word and making someone feel better is all it takes.

  • Ørjan Kristoffersen

    Yes, those are some very excellent points.

    I do think that the large majority of feminists are good people, who want to do good things, but my issue, and why I refuse to call myself a feminist:

    While the silent majority are good people, the ones at the top (at least today, and in my personal experience) mostly belong to the radical subset.

    A lot of the most popular/vocal feminist writers are of this subset, like for example Jessica Valenti and most of the Jezebel staff. And, like you say feminism as a word has become an almost sacred word today, and any attempt to criticize it is largely met with allegations of misogyny.

    As you say, what’s needed is for more of the silent majority to step up and denounce the radicals (like for example CH Sommers does), as those of us on the outside are usually not allowed to.

    If the majority of Feminist writing we saw came from people like the ladies in this article, I would venture a guess that real “Anti-Feminist” sentiment would be largely non-existant.

    (Also, if any of the Techraptor staff are following this, I hope you take a look at what is happening in you comment section, and realize what a gem you found when you hired Georgina onto the site.)

  • Jake Martinez

    One of the biggest complaints I have as a Liberal is the disproportionate amount of time and energy put into caring about things rich white hipster women care about (pop culture!) and how little is put into things that have immediate benefit to everyone.

    For instance – where is the campaign to get minority single mothers out of poverty? This is a worthy goal – it increases the quality of life of the woman and of her children, in fact her children are less likely to become criminals, more likely to graduate school and get good jobs. Helping this woman has a net benefit for all of society.

    So my point is – there is certainly a lot of work left for feminism to do. The question is: Why the hell does it appear that they aren’t doing it?

  • GeorgieBoy

    Maybe, but I just finished reading three hours worth of crap where Liana does her absolute best to ruin the reputation of a woman who came forward about domestic violence.

    That’s why I feel she can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

  • Zebes

    I don’t see how “not all feminists are like that” is empty rhetoric when feminism has a history of different sects, movements and waves. It’s been an evolving, changing and dispersed thing.

    The rhetoric is that there is one singular face of feminism and that face is this particular sect of third wave feminism.

  • David Gray

    It’s empty when they IMMEDIATELY repeat the thing they are not like.

    I’ve had several arguments with #gamergate over it (don’t worry, I’m amicable, and I always make sure they know it ^^)

    The defense of “toxic masculinity” annoys me to this day after AS’ tweets.
    Being told how I’m effected by “toxic masculinity” because my bros might make fun of my drinks choice is not amusing. It’s just more feminist women telling men what it is like to be men.

    The defense of Digra, when MANY of them are OPENLY antagonistic to gamergate and internally discuss ways to dismiss us to students and label us as (paraphrasing) angry misogynerds.

    Liana herself asserting that tech and the gaming industry REALLY are sexist (proof, who needs proof :P) instead of describing the more complex situation that actually exists.

    I could go on?
    Again, I’m not saying they’re bad people, I’m saying that a LOT of the time “good” feminists will repeat the same rhetorical, ideologically driven half truths and outright lies that the “bad” feminists say, usually right after declaring themselves good.

    I’ll refer again to Emma Watson (who I think is likely a delightful person) acknowledging the PR problem of feminism (but ignoring the reality of misandry, imo) discussing how men also have problems (but limiting them to things convenient for feminist ideology :P) and then IMMEDIATELY going to how men need to help women with HeforShe.
    See, NAFALT……….. but do that all feminists have said to do since the word was first used.

    It gets VERY frustrating when you hear it all the time, right before being insulted, mocked and dismissed. So when some feminists are patting themselves on the back for being awesome, when my experience tells me they got some work to do before they can celebrate, I’ma speak up.

  • Thomas Fährmann

    I dont care about Lianas words because she is a nobody to me in gaming. A prominent clan player, mod creator or fulltime Wow addict means a thousand times more then all these toys here in gaming. They talk about their personal oppinions and have nothing to show us that is relevant credibility. They won no competition, dont have every game on their HD etc. Empty talk means shit like in every other sport or hobby too. Someone who know how to roll dice doesnt mean he knows anything about d&d or midgard…
    And honestly i would talk all these Lianas into oblivion when it starts to get technical or realy gaming related but people care about E-fame!

  • How is Gaming Excluding Women? – Its not, no one prohibits you to play games or make games or talk about games. If you get attacked because of it its because some people are butthurt assholes who can’t stand anyone and yes I will admit that there is a small number of those who genuinely hate women. There are also those who simply troll because its their way of entertainment.I said this before on one of the previous GG articles and I will say it again, some people seem to think that everything they say is fact and can’t take any criticism or won’t accept someone elses POV so they make a tantrum on social networks.

    As much as some people would make you believe otherwise sexism, racism, etc. IS a real problem but here is the thing, its not just gaming communities problem its humanity’s problem and it can’t be solved on the internet alone without genuine real world discussion. Internet is not just US and west. The whole world is on there with hundreds of different cultures, religions, nationalities, etc. and it all clashes into one giant clusterfuck because of lack of understanding and stereotypes perpetrated by mainstream media and some deranged bigoted individuals for their own reasons.

    Whenever these SJW’s and pseudo-feminist say we want inclusivity and diversity they actually mean we want things to be our way and we’re gonna censor and destroy everyone who disagrees. They don’t want equality nor fairness they want absolute control, money and preferential treatment so they try to stir up trouble wherever they can.

    The truth is games have never been more diverse and inclusive than today and its gonna be more in the future but it takes time. You can’t force change you can only encourage it. Its even come to the point where there is an ongoing argument for a while now what is and isn’t a video game, what is art, etc. and its a good thing.

    I think a lot of issues exist because of sheer ignorance and misinformation. The greatest problem internet has is sheer volume of (mis)information and people neither have time nor capability to process all of it to find the truth and certain individuals and organizations have learned how to exploit that for their own reasons and agendas.

    The reason feminism has such infamous reputation among male gamers (and males in general) is because of these loudmouthed pseudo-feminists who wear “kill all men” bracelets, drink “male tears” and say things like “all males are rapist so lets cut their balls of and make necklaces out of them mwuhahaha”. So naturally whenever a woman comes in and says hi I’m a feminist they go apeshit and run for their swords and guns (read keyboards) do to lack of contact with real feminists who are far and few in between.

    Personally I think GG should expand to encompass all of the games industry and not just ethics in journalism cause there is a lot of other crap that is wrong with it like pre-order bonuses, season passes, day one dlc’s, gamedev bonuses tied to metacritic scores, shitty ports and so many more.

  • wcg

    “…it’s gained unwarranted traction in gaming circles by people who care more about politics than video games.” – I think it’s more about web traffic and clicks than politics. The various op-eds get good traffic, so they keep doing them. I wish I could find the quote but one of the editors at these shill sites said “you are not our customers, you are just clicks to us.” They don’t care if they piss you off, you clicked on their post. Left a scathing comment? Even better, you are engaging on their terms. Up until sponsors started to react, GamerGate was good business for gaming websites.

  • Oh, no doubt. But when I see those sites still defending these ideologies, when they have lost so much and stand to lose even more, I believe it goes beyond mere clickbait.

    If it was just about the clicks to them, they would have all changed their tune, regardless of their personal opinions on the matter, like all related websites with even a little business sense have already done.

  • Guest

    I notice that your account only posts about Liana Kerzner on The Ralph Retort article and here, interestingly enough only to agree with Emily Schooley. This seems a bit fishy to me – you’re the only person in that conversation that claims to have read both sides and to believe Emily. I am inclined to believe that you are instead a sockpuppet account.

  • karmashock

    The value of feminism at this point is questionable. It just gives fuel to political movements that thrive on social divisions and political activism.

    Rather then feminism, why not simply call yourself an egalitarian? Or if you don’t like that term for some reason, pick another that basically means the same thing. Equality for all.

    Anyone without a vagina or that doesn’t ascribe to every new requirement in feminism’s growing list of required beliefs… feels “othered.” The people that call themselves such also tend to be hostile to pretty much anyone that doesn’t fall into lockstep with them.

    To borrow their own terminology, this is toxic femininity. These are toxic people. Forget the politics, they’re manipulative, hostile, deceitful, and generally cause problems where ever they go to no common benefit.

    It is regrettable that your identification with feminism has gotten caught up with a toxic hate movement. You’re not the one to have that happen to you. The biggest mistake you can make is not acknowledging what happened and relabeling yourself something else. If you don’t, at best they’ll claim you support them when you’re not paying attention. And at worst, you’ll become associated with their bad behavior. It isn’t about what is fair… it is what will happen. Please do not think I am responsible for that reality. I am just giving you the news here. The sun will rise in the east and set in the west… and these things will happen.

    On the issue of journalism, the major failure of the gaming press was to not police their own. You had a small group of journalists that attacked their readers and most of the gaming press said nothing. That is why we were mad at all of you. Because we were violated and you watched.

    *tips hat and leaves*

  • Kelly Maxwell

    sounds like hearsay to me. i’ll stick to the facts.

  • Kelly Maxwell

    liana k’s detractors don’t merely “disagree” with her – her reputation was earned via a glaring lack of honesty, rabid self-interest & her acceptance of an unscrutinized & dogmatic critique of gaming content. It’s everything we are fighting against. If you are new and haven’t seen her exploits, scroll on down, you’ll get an idea.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    Feminism doesn’t care about poor people. It doesn’t care about bettering society, or humanity. It only cares about “academic feminism” and ensuring more men are kicked out of college or go to prison. It is inherently anti-poor, anti-labor, and anti-male.