GamerGate: refers to the controversy around a harassment campaign orchestrated primarily through the use of the Twitter hashtag “#GamerGate”, concerning issues of sexism and progressivism in video game culture. Wikipedia, March 2016.
EYEis not a gamer and didn’t witness the GamerGate controversy play out in realtime but even so, it’s fair to say that the above description is more than a little (ahem) problematic.
As far as I can tell, it appears to have been a consumer led campaign against cronyism in games media and a direct reaction to an attack on the social identity of ‘gamers’ from the very industry that profits from their patronage.
At some point this appears to have been spun into a completely different debate about racism and misogyny in gaming (probably at least partly by the crones whose corruption was being challenged in the first place).
EYEmay have got the chicken before the egg slightly (so to speak) but whatever the truth about the harassment campaign that targeted female game developers like Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, it is clear that #GamerGate means different things to different people and lots of them feel very strongly about the subject.
The edit history of the #GamerGate page on wikipedia is testament to this, as is the fact that it has restricted edit status due to ‘persistent sock puppetry‘ and ‘edit warring between multiple editors‘.
GamerGate is not about bias and corruption in the media. The Media
The term ‘Gamergate’ was coined by actor Adam Baldwin who described the campaign as a backlash against political correctness and a discussion “about culture, about ethics, and about freedom“.
Beginning in August 2014, Gamergate targeted several women in the game industry, including game developers as well as feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian. Harassment campaigns were coordinated through these internet forums and included doxing rape, and death threats. Wikipedia
According to wikipedia, ‘most Gamergate supporters are anonymous, and statements claiming to represent Gamergate have been inconsistent and contradictory. As a result, Gamergate has been defined by the harassment its supporters have committed’ and concerns about collusion between the the press, feminists and social critics have been ‘dismissed as trivial or groundless conspiracy theories’.
So in other words you would be a misogoynyst and a conspiracy nut to think that there are two sides to the #GamerGate story.
Conspiracy: a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
A harassment campaign orchestrated by a group of anonymous people sounds pretty much like the dictionary definition of a conspiracy but then again the term ‘conspiracy theory’ often gets rolled out by people wanting to undermine alternative political perspectives whilst shoring up their own…
As confusing as “GamerGate” can be to get your head round if you haven’t followed it closely, Wikipedia’s current account feels more than a little one sided and so in my humble subjective opinion, #gamergate deserves a second look thru the looking glass…