For the Uninitiated: GamerGate (According to Wikipedia)

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.

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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.

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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“.

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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

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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…

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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…

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3 Comments

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  1. NOTE: The world of video games at the time of #GamerGate starting was worth $80 billion a year – more than Hollywood. In case anyone was thinking “who cares”. That was two years ago. It’s probably a lot more now.

    A gigantic amount of shit was flung at gamers to hide the discoveries of corruption and cronyism in the indie games world and the press that covers it.

    I was involved in #GamerGate from almost the beginning. I saw first hand how professional victims profited from it and the media eagerly jumped on it with no research or scepticism. In most cases, a few minutes of research or some basic questions would have blown out of the water the ridiculous claims being made about #GamerGate.

    But they didn’t. It’s more sensational and easier to run with a women-in-peril story.

    As it went on it uncovered more on more corruption, collusion and sleaze. More and more information came out and as it expanded it dragged out the secret mailing lists where journalists were coordinating their attacks on gamers (if you hear the phrase “gamers are dead” – this is what they are referring to). Academics in worthless subjects cooked up ‘studies’ (that even a school kid could demolish as unscientific agenda research) and fed them to a games press… who then printed them as SCIENCE… and then inserted them in Wikipedia using outlets such as Polygon and Gawker as reliable sources. It went on and on.

    When people talk about the alt-right and other such buzzwords, they like to t throw in #GamerGate. The two aren’t directly related – but GamerGate was a lesson for a lot of people in how bad the media is today and how far the corruption of academia has gone.

    GamerGate is worthy of a proper reexamination as the first time a group really stood up to social justice and feminist bullies and won. Whether they will admit it or not, your average person owes gamers a thank you.

    • Thanks Flange, appreciate your contribution and would be interested to know if U think this a fair reflection of the basic truth of the matter: https://eyeisbloke.com/2016/09/05/for-the-uninitiated-gamergate-not-according-to-wikipedia/

      • It’s not a bad summary (minor correction: you use #iamnotyourshield in your write up. It was #notyourshield).

        #GamerGate was a flashpoint. The situation in games journalism had been getting bad for a few years. The scandal around Quinn and sex for favours was really only the last snowflake that started an avalanche. Gamers were already sick of the social justice takeover of gaming publications, poor reviews handed out to games with themes SJWs didn’t like, censorship and then finally gushing over utter crap (you really should look into Depression Quest and Twine to see how trivial and worthless the ‘game’ is). NOTE: corruption in AAA (big game titles e.g. Call of Duty) is massive.. but AAA publishers aren’t stupid and blatant. Indie games, their press and the awards around them ARE stupid and blatant.

        I’m glad you included the GamerGate in 60 seconds video. That’s always been one of my favourites.

        Quinn’s claim to be the focus of #GamerGate is rubbish. The journalists were the real target. No-one in #Gamergate gave a toss about her. It was the journalists we were after. They used her as a shield to sell a misogyny line to the rest of the press. She used the coverage to become a professional victim. She claimed to ‘on the run in Europe’… and then someone found tweets from a month or two before stating she was going on holiday to Europe etc etc. Sarkessian had nothing to do with GamerGate… she just saw a chance to grab some victim bux. As did Brianna Wu. It was a huge coordinated smear job AIMED AT THEIR OWN CUSTOMERS (I never get over how stupid that is) by a bunch of people who knew they desperately had to deflect attention from their antics.

        Anyway… yes. It’s a reasonably good summary.

        Thanks.

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