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Mind of Micah C: #GamerGate

Micah Curtis / February 13, 2015 at 12:00 PM / Archive

Updated Editor’s Note 11/7/2017 – In an effort to further commit to our editorial vision of quality content about nothing but games or the industry, we are leaving this note here to let you know that this article does not meet the standards of that vision as it exists today. This article may be poorly written, or it may be well-written but with charged political content, which we have stepped away from. It’s not the ideas we have a problem with, as we do not discourage any viewpoint, we are just moving away from this sort of content. This article no longer represents TechRaptor’s editorial vision today and into the future. You can read more about why we are doing this here.

 

It’s been a pretty wild ride these past six months or so. It seems that not a day goes by where #GamerGate isn’t the talk of the internet. They’re the new big group, right alongside Anonymous, to become a major force on the world wide web. As someone who was once part of the movement, I’ve taken time to put myself back on the fence as I rejoined the world of video game journalism. I’ve spoken about ethics in game journalism, but for me it’s nothing really that special. I was talking about them as far back as 2010. It is part of who I am. For the few people who know of my reputation, my adherence to and writing on ethics are just part of my modus operandi. What of #GamerGate though? What has it become? What have I found as I have observed it from the fence, alongside fellow neutrals? Watch and see.


Micah Curtis

Micah is a man returning to the fold of video game journalism after a bit of time away. He's a conservative with a passion for business, and a love for the art of video games. Micah has been gaming since the NES, and knows a bit more about art than he probably should........



  • Alex

    I agree with your thoughts on #gamergate, it’s always been a chaotic ”thing” and everyday it’s getting baited in more drama mumbo jumbo nonsense.
    Anyway, take care dude! 😀

  • Kitten Mother

    This is difficult to talk about because I do see what’s going on, but I also see people pulling away from those places you mentioned in favor of doing things on streams and on their own without pulling attention to it other than a “this is who to email today” post someone, usually on Twitter. In some ways, we know exactly what our strengths are and attack at those angles without mentioning them to keep from drama, because that’s best we can do. Some do emails, others do OPMandatoryFun gaming nights, livestream chats ( GNR is doing some changing now that it’s more difficult to get people on the panel each weekend, life gets us all eventually. I’ve talked with Oliver some and watched what’s going on with him. We may be shifting focus onto ‘why’ we fight to keep fires burning instead of talking about what’s currently going on because what’s going on ‘is’ drama. ), and so on.

    There was always the people that were into GG just to argue and some of them are secluding themselves within those drama tents and those core members there for what we’re actually there for are focusing in the background and keeping each other going.

    There are times GG ‘has’ been all nuts and then quiet, and this doesn’t feel that much different than other times so far. We all need to relax, take care of our lives, and get back into it once again. This is taking a lot more than most expected, I think. We’re trying to keep from complete burnout while also making sure most aren’t putting themselves out enough to have all their personal information public. It’s a gear shift and will probably get more smaller yet more precise as time goes on.

    As Oliver has once said, we’re becoming the Gaming Journalism Watchdogs. A group of people that will be calling these things out for however long that is needed. Whenever it comes up. I think he’s right and I too am switching gears for the long haul.

    This becomes more personal to me as time goes on. I’m the oldest of five sisters and I know that if there’s something I want in this world, it’s for them to know they have these safe spaces they can enjoy without being told they will never fit because this group says so and all big names file behind them like mindless sheep just to keep them down.

    I continue to fight for myself and for them and for my friends and family that have had gaming in common with me and helped me through dark times by showing me even more games that could help me.

    I have nephews and nieces now and more on the way, I fight for them as well.

    Micah, take care on your hiatus and don’t let life keep you down. I look forward to seeing you around again.

  • DynastyStar

    I somewhat agree, I’m tired of seeing people post a link to a screenshot of a tweet of things like Anita Sarkeesian thinks of the SVU episode, for example. Those kinds of posts make me cringe and makes it harder and harder to visit KiA.

  • Some Guy

    Don’t you think you are injecting yourself a little too much in this? You are back on the fence? In politics we call that flip flopping. I saw one of your posts on KiA that basically says you believe that this whole conversation should be “left to the professionals”, and that everyone else is “circle jerking”.

    Are you not getting enough praise or something? Are you mad because you were not anointed a gate keeper, a protector and purveyor of gamer opinion? Anyways, good luck in the future.

  • Perry Ruhland

    You know, I got to disagree with you here Micah. While I am tired of E-Drama, there still is parts of GamerGate that fight for gaming ethics. I do agree you don’t necessarily need the hashtag, but it certainly helps band like-minded folks together.

  • Viredae

    You know what’s kinda funny? It always felt to me that there were always more people complaining about there being drama then people actually getting involved in said drama, and that’s not really an easy task since there’s been plenty of drama in GG.

    Maybe the best way to avoid drama is simply not to pay attention to it, not even complain about it, because when you do complain about drama all you do is give it more attention, so that people who want the drama become aware of it and end up looking for it when they didn’t even know it existed.

  • Exgamergater

    I was a nothing in GamerGate and I left for similar reasons as Internet Aristocrat did and I agree with Micah as well. GamerGate doesn’t represent me anymore just as Occupy Wall Street stopped representing me after the initial success.

    GamerGate has become what Occupy became, a bunch of dirty stinky people sitting on their asses with absolutely no power or influence.

  • SevTheBear

    As much as I don’t want to amid this. A % of GG focus to much on twitter crap from jerks, trolls and nutballs instead of the Devs, publishers, journalist and the media that keeps trying to destroy and insulting the gaming culture. Anita is in the mix and that is not something that’s gonna change. She will keep making BS claims and will try to make things worse until the day she dies or people stops listening to her.

    GG was a good start to show the gaming industry that there is problems and a lot of people in it that needs a lesson in ethics. We are seeing sites like Techraptor, Gamenosh, Nichegamer and at some point BasedGamer (and many more) taking a stand and that’s a good thing. If I have to say something about the future of gaming, I still see a long fight ahead of us. But if we really care about gaming at all… we will stay on for the ride.

  • PossiblyCthulhu

    One interesting thing to note is that whilst Gamergate is somewhat focusing on drama, I think it’s also established itself as a counter-culture to that being pushed by many journalists and their ilk and often simply just points and laughs, and whilst some might think that it’s going off on a tangent, it’s the fact it has established itself as a watchman of some sorts, informal that it is, and it sure as hell doesn’t let certain actors get away with their bs like they did 12 months ago.

    The other major important thing to note is that sites which are very against GG are now lumping anyone who disagrees or raises concerns or even questions the direction or angle of a piece, as a ‘gamergater’ (a mere amorphous term that really means nothing except a pejorative) and many of these people were never in GG and some even see it with an amount of disdain – when sites like Eurogamer (this ones a doozy – not an archive link – http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2015-02-12-law-and-order-airs-episode-dedicated-to-harassment-of-women-in-gaming the comments are all over the place shouting derision in all directions) do this, to neutral on the fence or because these people aren’t extreme ideological nutjobs, it pushes them to see what GG has been saying for 6 months.

    One last point, is that whilst a number of neutral, moderate voices may have gone quiet, and not used the hashtag – they’re still there, seeing what’s going on, and I guarantee the large majority of them will not have changed their individual position with regards to the Gamers are Dead articles, etc…… one you’ve had your eyes opened to these shenanigans there’s no way you’ll plug yourself back into that Matrix.

  • Pablo Hernández

    Yesterday some column to talk about Brianna Wu’s game, today some gamergate bashing

    Fuck you techraptor, I don’t trust you anymore

  • Pablo Hernández

    Non sense, occupy was a political movement, gamergate was NEVER a movement, just a hashtag because people were mad at game journalism.
    Again and again I see this comparison by detractors.
    Anyway in the end we made game journalist lose credibility and thousands of dollars, that’s a great victory for us, so I don’t care what you say cause you’re obviously shilling

  • Alex

    I must agree with Pablo on this one…
    To be fair to me it was never about ”ethics” and I don’t think it was to many, it was about gamers versus arrogant media…
    Gaming media attacked gamers and gamers attacked them where they knew it would hurt…

  • Year Zero

    I agree with you about the e-celeb melodrama. That does needlessly drain a lot of time & energy . As does all the pointless …. flinging with AGGro’s on Twitter. As for GG “cannibalising itself” & being a “toothless Pit bull”, I just don’t see it.

  • Tanis

    Personally I’ve become more of a “neutral” party over time just as Micah has. Both sides have made their positions explicitly clear and there isn’t going to be movement either way; unethical media is going to do what they want and people against it are not going to read them.

    Really it’s just going to be a long-game situation where gamers have to stick to their guns and read the good sites while ignoring the bad; besides disseminating the message and uncovering bad conduct when it happens there isn’t a whole lot for GG to do anymore.

  • Tanis

    The topic of patents came up in our staff chat because I was talking about how the dialogue works in Rev60, a game I am reviewing shortly. That’s how the article came about and it really wasn’t about Wu; it was about a serious issue that has an effect on the entire industry. Know why there are no mini-games on loading screens? Because Namco patented that and they have actually enforced it.

    Also, there’s no bashing going on here. I feel similarly to Micah in being kind of over it all (not to mention TR employees are supposed to keep professional distance.) GG has established itself as a group of gamers who refuse to be part of unethical journalism’s narrative and will stop supporting it. Those journalists have already said their bit; they are not going to change and everyone can suck it.

    It’s cool to continue to boycott unethical media and use places like kia to disseminate info on shitty conduct, but is there any real reason for it to continue on as a “movement?” Is there any real reason that more neutral folks (TB, Micah, etc) absolutely have to identify with this? No, there really isn’t now.

  • Erthwjim

    True, but using Wu’s game was kind of click-bait for those people that are still interested in gamergate. They could have used one of the other games they mentioned in the article as a part of the title but they used Wu.

  • Erthwjim

    Yeah the E-celeb drama does need to stop, but the e-celebs on the aggro side keep throwing themselves in the mix and people aren’t very good at ignoring that. I don’t know what to really compare it to except that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and those aggro e-celebs are the squeakiest. People can only ignore such a thing for so long.

  • Erthwjim

    Well personally I think the media attacking their audience/customers is an ethical issue, so even if it’s not the type of ethics that involve collusion or payola, it’s still an ethical issue.

  • Erthwjim

    Maybe it’s how I came across it then. I subscribe to your RSS feed via feedly and it appeared as the screencap below when I first saw it. The picture makes me think the article is centered around Wu since it’s Revolution 60, and until I read the article I thought perhaps she wanted to somehow use patents to limit people’s creativity.

    But onto the article itself, after the first paragraph about Apple and Samsung you jump right into Wu in the second paragraph. Now I’m not a writer, but personally I think if you didn’t want the article to appear to be about Wu, in addition to using a different main picture at the top, it could have also been worded a little differently . Something along the lines of (very rough draft) “While playing Revolution 60 I noticed that the dialogue wheel seemed somewhat similar to Mass Effect. In researching this further we discovered that not only might Brianna Wu be violating a patent that EA had filed, but so might companies such as Square Enix and others.” And then go a little more into the details about patents and EAs specific patent. Obviously this is just my personal opinion but I feel that because the other possible patent breakers (or whatever they might be called) weren’t mentioned till almost the end of the article, the focus was more about the game mentioned in the beginning of the article (Revolution 60). Anyway feel free to take this with a grain of salt.

  • ArsCortica

    I strongly second this. For every bit of drama in GG, I see four people decrying said drama and creating even more drama in the process. Which leds to the very same people and additional others to whine about the drama. Oh boy.

    There are some things in the #GG hashtag I personally don’t like. Does that mean I have to write several paragraphs about how bad these things are when I, in the same span of time, could write several emails to advertisers? Or do some digging and verification about new or old conflicts of interest?

    Yes, e-celeb drama is tempting. What people here seem to forget however is that it is equally tempting to take a perceived position of moral superiority and simply say “Hurr both sides are stupid, only I am clever, durr”.

    And finally, (I apologize in advance if this sounds overly hostile), if you want to turn your back on GG (which is your good right, don’t get me wrong): Why does everyone feel the need to make a two-thousand word essay about why they have left a consumer revolt they no longer wish to associate with? There are problems, yes, but do people seriously expect a long twitter rant or a concern-troll-tier blog post will change any of those? They don’t. All they do is demotivate those people that actually do the digging, and -oh the surprise- leave GG with those who were only interested in e-celeb drama in the first place.

  • As diffused as GG is, I think that a watch dog is necessary to keep people in check. The root of the problem is the absurd gender politics which has now muddied the industry. Every single claim put forth by gender ideologues reeks of ignorance.

    As a long time developer of simulation trainers in the industrial, medical and military domains, I take a very strong position against gender ideology in tech.

    (For anyone interested, some thoughts: http://goo.gl/vgLGiw or https://medium.com/@noncontroversy/sex-matters-in-video-games-38d984e52db1 )

  • Erthwjim

    Well thank you for listening to my explanation. I appreciate your site and don’t plan on leaving it anytime soon and listening to the perspectives of your readers is one of the reasons I enjoy coming back here so often.

  • Cupcake Octopus

    This is about you projecting onto GG, GG ALWAYS had drama about Zoe/Anita/Wu. ALWAYS. You act like it changed, it really hasn’t. GG is just a network of information. And it’s always been far from fucking perfect. But there are many good finds and good investigations done, you are just fucking over those people. You are just like IA, KoP, … call out e-celeb BS, but don’t get so fucking but hurt. It shows just how immature you are being.

  • Hello /gamergate/, I’m an e-celeb quitting Gamergate.

    Instead of leaving it quietly and respecting the people that are continuing to
    participate in this consumer revolt, allow me to throw you all under the
    bus at the same time feeling self-righteous to do so.

    Now I’m going to type a wall of text saying things about how the well was
    poisoned, that /gamergate/ is distracted just because you people aren’t
    doing the things exactly the way I want you to do, why aren’t you doing
    things this way? Don’t you realize just because I did a thing 5 months
    ago it automatically means that you owe me a lot and you should always
    listen to me?

    Also, you don’t need to use a hashtag, I’ve been fighting for ethics in games journalism since 2774 BC without using #gamergate but interestingly I didn’t achieve anything noticeable so far. You guys make me so jelly but my ego is too gigantic to make me
    admit to that.

    Goodbye,
    signed every e-celeb that spilled their spaghetti

    Go Fuck Yourself Micah, you fucking attention whore.

  • >Micah Curtis
    >E-Celeb

    Yeah, no. Never been an e-celeb. I’m a journalist. And I haven’t been part of GamerGate since I joined Techraptor. Sorry.

  • I’d actually like to direct you to the other article I wrote that was released this past friday called The Devil of Agenda.

    http://techraptor.net/content/devil-agenda

    As a journalist, I can’t be part of Gamergate and keep my credibility. I just can’t. I have to stay out of it and just work for my audience.

  • Zanard Bell

    Believe it or not, I do agree with what you’ve said, Micah. Some parts of the GamerGate movement had been enamored with whatever little thing this person had said. I’ve never gotten to that, and I’m still even baffled how Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian inserted themselves in this discussion about ethics in games journalism in the first place.

    Now, I’m somewhat confused as to where this is leading us. I’m hearing GamerGate combating Common Core, Bilderburgs, SJWs etc. Frankly, it is too tiring, and quite funny actually, considering these things that they are now discussing are what the radio personalities from the right (Rush, Beck, Hannity) have been yammering about for the good part of the decade, and now the ‘leftist’ GamerGate movement decided that ‘holy shit, I discovered this thing totally by myself and fuck you we’re not a far-right movement’. I should ask them “WERE YOU SUCKING JON STEWART’S DICK WHEN THIS WAS HAPPENING?”, but I’d rather not.

    I am purely here for the games journalism part, and considering PC Gamer updated their policy and at least are on track with their fairly unbiased reporting, I could leave this all behind, no regrets. (Also, I discovered TechRaptor and NicheGamer) The only thing I’m scared about is that people like Jennifer Dawe and the Creative Destructions team being boycotted because of their beliefs, and that’s why I continue to stand guard.

    I am sorry if you feel slighted by this in any way, Micah. I just hope you have fun with your hiatus and I’ll see you on April. Will be a solid TechRaptor reader from now on. Thanks.