Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

Gamergate’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

Some of you guys have been bugging me for an update on Gamergate.  This is kind of depressing – none of y’all actually want to jump in the muck, but you’d love to know how it looks down here.  I see how it is.  I remember once upon a time, this blog was about game design issues.  Now, it peels away my soul one layer at a time.  The things I do for you people.

Still, I picked a great week to leave my job, because this is the week that GamerGate was the Night of Long Knives writ large.  If you believe that life is a spectator sport, then this week was a NASCAR race, complete with spectacular car crashes throwing wreckage that decapitated random fans in the stands.  If you don’t believe me, ask Milo, #Gamergate’s most notable and respected journalist.

Yes, this is the week that #GamerGate was too crazy for Breitbart.com.  there were scandals a-plenty in the Land of Ethical Journalism and they were, as you might imagine, all extremely ethical.  This time, though, the bad ethics were coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE!  Let’s just take a quick jaunt through the characters with starring roles this week.

Slade Villena (a.k.a. RogueStar Games) is one of the more colorful members of Gamergate.  RogueStar is one of the ‘leaders’ of a leaderless cause, stepping into the leadership vacuum and managing Gamergate operations with pseudo-militaristic precision and lingo. Well, last weekend, he decided to start passing around previously leaked financials from Polytron and the IGF.  KiA defended the leak by pointing out that the resources were the result of a hack in September, and therefore must now be considered public information. Note: I am not a lawyer, but if this were true, western civilization would collapse, and I’d advise against experimenting in this regard.  Anyway, it’s clearly the act of a harassing asshole, and the people who actually believe there’s something to be good to be found in GamerGate basically harassed and harangued him out of the hashtag  –for a few days.  He’s back because GG can forgive little things like flirting so hard with legal boundaries you get to third base.

Oliver Campbell is someone I’ve mentioned previously as one of the more rational, good guys of Gamergate (even if he is prone to bouts of pure silliness).  This week, he claimed to have federal contacts who confirmed a whole lot of awful shit by the anti-GG camp, and implied that prominent anti-gamergaters were victimizing themselves just to make poor gamergate look bad.  He stresses he’s seen his source’s federal credentials, but hasn’t met him in person.  And he’s started walking back his initial enthusiasm. No further story has happened beyond the initial tweets.  But hey, the important thing is that these unproven allegations are floating out there! Because ethics!  Anyway, this has resulted in GG organizing an email FOIA campaign to find out details — for what would be open investigations, if they exist, so this is going to go nowhere.

MacKenzie Kelly was an Republican running for City Council in my home city of Austin in District 6.  She ran on a pro-gamergate platform.  She advertised this on her website with an article that directly plagiarized Clickhole’s gamergate coverage.  In case you don’t know, Clickhole is run by the same people who run the Onion.  Fear not, though – the Republican wave was not enough to carry the first Gamergater to office, though we will always have this utterly disturbing campaign video. Still, along the way, she decided to point out that they don’t realize they have a PR problem.  Gamergate was not kind in response -and by that I mean WOW. As near as I can tell, they have thrown her under the harassment bus for the crime of possibly being a SomethingAwful spy. She remains angry, exposed, defiant – and yet full of smiles!

Eron Gjoni went on a drunken bender last night.  Eron is, as you recall, the guy who started GamerGate by airing all of his failed relationship’s dirty laundry and then attempting to sic 4chan and Reddit on her. Two weeks ago, he quit his job because he was burnt out from dealing with Gamergate fulltime, and I quote, “Internet warfare takes a surprising amount of dedication“.  He is largely unrepentant for the shit-storm he caused, even as he himself describes journalistic ethics as a ‘pressure release valve to direct discussions to journalism if shit went south” in his revenge harassment crusade against his former lover.  Well, last night he just got drunk and decided to let the world know that OTHER people being harassed wasn’t hurting anyone, but HIM being harassed was costing the world his brilliant medical research.  And yes, the hidden implication is that Zoe Quinn is now, technically, killing people because… um… because he can’t escape the tar pit that he created?  What?

Randi Harper, noted awesome person, wrote a script to automatically block on Twitter anyone who was part of GamerGate, as defined by following two (corrected from ‘one’) of 9 key people.  For those wondering, the end result is that #gamergate-the-twitter-hashtag is about 7600 people, and that undoubtedly includes some anti-gamergate people who follows the tag (if you request removal, and don’t obviously suck, she will add you to the whitelist).  Anyway, #GamerGate (you know, the guys whose blood boils at the idea of blacklisting people for their beliefs on #gamergate, despite the fact that they blacklist opposition all day long) promptly tried to get her fired from her job at Kix*Eye, amongst other awful harassment.  (She wasn’t)

The GamerGate Harassment Patrol has been debating changing their name.  This group of volunteers previously would mobilize the troops to report or decry doxing or death threats.  They found that their name was a problem when people kept coming to them to help deal with what normal human beings considered harassment. Meanwhile, their Reddit wing is already looking at how to defeat Twitter’s attempts to  curb actual harassment.

KotakuInAction, Reddit’s primary GamerGate board, underwent an enormous amount of mod drama – particularly mods on KiA who also modded really skeevy second reddits like /r/Breakfeminazis, your number one porn site for fantasizing about dominating defeated SJWs.  It turns out, some people had concerns that this looked bad.  Outgoing mod Discord_Dancing did an AMA where he confirmed, no, actually KiA is all about the SJWs.

TotalBiscuit is the purported moderate, reasonable GamerGate Youtube personality.  He also likes to waffle as to whether or not he’s a journalist, because if he’s not one, well, he doesn’t have to meet the ethics demands he places in front of other journalists.  Well, he wrote a lengthy whitewashing of the history of GamerGate, which was challenged at length by Earnest Petties.  His response to that response contained more backpedalling than an NFL secondary facing an army of Jerry Rice clones.  Along the way, he set the new standard for what a viable death threat is.  So, SO moderate and reasonable!

I already did give her the benefit of the doubt. I already stated I have no doubt they exist. What I’m not going to do is attribute them to a group without proof. I’m also not going to claim they were credible because well, Anita is still breathing.

Brock Wilbur is just some random guy.  Only he’s being doxed and harassed by Gamergate for no reason at all, as near as he can tell.  But don’t worry,Gamergate doesn’t harass people, says GamerGate.

King of Pol is a noted Youtube personality who has long been a voice of the GamerGate movement.  Well, this week, he decided to dabble in a little drunken Holocaust Denial among friends because, well, why the hell wouldn’t you?  His defenders tried to blow off the charges by claiming that he was just challenging the number of Jews killed (which is, um, the definition of Holocaust Denial).  Anyway, the outcry from the #gamergaters led to a huge debate about ‘tone policing’ (otherwise known as the worst of them going ‘awww, do we REALLY have to be decent human beings?’)  Because Gamergate has no sort of organization or leadership, they dealt with this by harassing him out of the cause.  This is in his words (emphasis mine)

I have recieved a HUGE AMOUNT of harassment from both sides but the most harassment I have recieved comes from #GamerGate itself, not really anti-GG surprisingly.Emails, Image board threads, Reddit Threads, afew tweets here and there, DMs, even sometimes my Chat on Hitbox, though that is rare. The majority of these have come from regular #GamerGate followers and I have ignored it thus far as GG os more important then anyone of us at this time, but at the cost of my health as well.


Emails from GamerGate side and acouple anti GG as well about how I need to kill myself so other streamers or whoever can have my viewers or how I need to stop talking anymore and how much of shit I am to be here, The best email I got was from someone who has around 10k follpwers on twitter who many of you know as a big #GamerGateperson. They sent me death threats to phone calls, tried to trick me to drive to them for a “chat” even went so far as to claim I was a rapist and child molestor. Tgese thing happened mainly from #GamerGate but sadly, I said “Nah, fuck it Itll stop my actions will justicty my means always!”.

So yeah, that’s what harassment looks like to someone that many #GamerGaters LIKE (or at least to).  Now imagine what it looks like to their enemies. Simply put, Anita and Zoe are not making this shit up.  Even worse, this Storify talks about how the business of mobilizing a hate mob is, in fact, a reasonably profitable way to earn a buck.

Anyway, on the way out the door with both middle fingers raised defiantly, King of Pol revealed the hidden secret council of GamerGate (fast forward to 15:00, 28:00 is good too), and implicated some of the biggest names in the movement.  If you hear talk of hidden Skype Cabals, this is what they’re talking about.

But don’t worry.  RooshV, the creator of Return of Kings, one of the largest sites of misogynistic claptrap on the Internet has declared that “Gamergate, believe it or not, is winning.”  I don’t believe it sir, largely because only sites like yours is willing to even give it the time of day at this point.

I saved the best for last.

At the beginning of the week, screenshots were being circulated that purported to show a conspiracy of remarkable breath – if true.  They purported to be Nick Denton, the owner of Gawker, giving his secret facebook group a big ‘thank you’ for stirring up shit to make #GamerGate’s life miserable.  Later, another screenshot came op of a secret facebook followup, where Denton claimed to be very cross with whoever leaked the first.  Seriously, read these and, while you do, keep in mind that people fell for this.

#GamerGate has a huge problem with third-party trolls – people who aren’t really affiliated with GamerGate, but who harass or dox anyone involved in the debate indiscriminately.  Everyone knows that it’s been their biggest problem, but they need some sort of smoking gun.  Perhaps, this was it?  Dare they hope?

I know if *I* was a super villain, a public Facebook group is how *I’d* disseminate knowledge about secret plans that definitely are of questionable legality.

I’ll be honest, I wish that the rumors had turned out to be true, because Anita, Zoe, and Brianna suing Gawker out of existence would have been the twist ending to GamerGate that no one expected.  However, this turned out not to be the case – but the truth is even more hilarious.  Hot Wheels (the founder of 8chan) wrote this spectacular expose.  Seriously, read this.

Short form:  Our old friend King of Pol went to Hot Wheels saying he had this hot evidence.  Hot Wheels backed him blindly, then they passed the information to Milo, who immediately laughed it off as an obvious fraud.  Hot Wheels then realized Milo was right, and confronted King of Pol, who told him that his secret source passing him the screenshots was Stephen Totilo, the editor of chief of Kotaku.  Which leads to two equally hilarious possibilities:

  1. KingOfPol really thought that the Editor-in-Chief of Kotaku was helping him as a secret Deep Throat against Gawker
  2. Instead, KingOfPol really thought Hot Wheels was that dumb.

Hot Wheels has my mad respect for his integrity in coming clean with this bizarre tale of his initial bad judgment.  Seriously.  Mad props.  At least one gamergate e-celeb came out of all of this week looking not too terribly.


GamerGate is listless in Twitter now, evasive, aimless and paranoid.  This week has been marked with an utter disdain for ‘e-celebs’ — the big names whose attention used to drive them.  All of the drama this week has been exhausting for all of them, and so many of these dramas remain unresolved.  Replacing this is a desolate search for meaning. And that meaning is email.

“Keep on emailing,” they’ll tell each other in fevered tweets.  “Email is all that matters”. They’re looking for that next victory, that next successful boycott, one that can grant them that ephemeral high they experienced with Intel. They almost had a victory with getting Scrivener to back out of advertising with Gawker – Scrivener hastily offered a public statement of apology stressing they are not aligned with #GamerGate.  Outside of the boycott efforts, they almost had a favorable writeup by Mozilla, but those guys started backing away from their accidental mess as well.  Still, Gamergate kept their eyes on bigger fish.  Getting a game developer to sign up would be big news.  Their email boycott target for Thursday was to convince Blizzard to abandon Polygon.  Would Gaming’s Goliath listen?

Apparently, Blizzard listened and didn’t like what they heard.  Mike Morhaime’s opening speech at BlizzCon contained this veiled reference to #gamergate in his opening remarks (and yes,  a reporter appears to have clarified he meant Gamergate with a nod — and the Lead Quest Designer retweeted this tweet confirming Gamergate was what was on their minds —  as if there was some other rampaging hatefest dominating gaming over the last 2 months).

Over the past couple of months, there’s been a small group of people who have been doing really awful things. They have been making some people’s lives miserable, and they are tarnishing our reputation as gamers. It’s not right.  Let’s carry the good vibes from this weekend out into the world all year round. There is another person on the other end of the chatscreen. They’re our friends, our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters. Let’s take a stand to reject hate and harassment. And let’s redouble our efforts to be kind and respectful to one another. And let’s remind the world what the gaming community is really all about.””Let’s take a stand to reject hate & harassment and let’s redouble our efforts to be kind & respectful to one another. Let’s remind the world what our game community is REALLY all about.”
Soon, Mike, Soon. First, that ouroboros needs to finish its meal.


  1. So many ethics. So much journalism.

    • ^such much naive

    • The funny thing is that I’ve never heard any gators complaining about how big name triple-A games invariably get good reviews or how doritos and mountain dew have stopped even trying to hide the fact that they’re playing into a common stereotype of gamers.

      • The Leader of GamerGate

        November 10, 2014 at 8:07 am

        These things have been complained about for years but these carpetbaggers don’t know anything about that. It’s because they’re not interested in gaming, they’re interested in gender politicking.

        Also, congrats on being the upteenth site to declae GamerGate dead! Afger all, if you say it enough, it might come true!

        Or not. Scrivener and Dyson pulled their ads from Gawker this week, denouncing the “news” site’s support of harassment and bullying.
        Mattie Brice drops her IGF judging position after being called out for making several misandrist statements on Twitter in IGF’s name.

        I think the consumer revolt against corrupt journalism is going just fine.

        • Let’s just correct the history revisionism here real quick:

          Mattie made a provoking joke on Twitter. It was clearly a sarcastic remark, playing on the horrid things GG assumes she actually believes. People with no sense of irony or knowledge of IGF judging process took it seriously and it renewed the hate mob’s interest in IGF. She was unhappy with the way she was treated by the trolls and those claiming she was feeding the trolls at a bad time, so she resigned as judge.

          Imagine if TotalBiscuit was in a whimsical mood and posted “My next video will be about how much I like killing women in videogames” (for anyone skimming, I just made this quote up, it is not a real quote). Now imagine if people got their panties in a tizzy over that and a shitstorm ensued. Over something clearly not meant seriously, obvious to anyone who know of him even slightly. Similar idea.

          BTW, Intel is advertising again on Gamasutra, so there’s that.

      • There’s actually some possible reasons for this that don’t necessarily make them look too bad:

        Social media makes it easy to find out about devs being friends/roommates/lovers with journalists. A crowd of mostly out of the industry people is going to rely on whistle blowers to get info on actual paid reviews or other back-room dealings. I suppose it is fair to argue that they have no exactly created a good environment for people to come out with info like that but the ‘with us or against us’ rhetoric by many Gamergate opponents against more neutral or ambivalent feeling folks does not exactly help either.

        Games media also just has a lot more power when it comes to indie games. AAA have lots and lots of money in marketing, I as a consumer am going to notice most big games through other channels such as word of mouth and read up on them/watch game play vids regardless. With the flood of indie games in recent years there’s going to be a lot of good games flying under my radar and those I do see usually got the initial spotlight through some kind of media outlet, popular youtuber or games awards.

        If you want some indication that at least folks on /v/ are not exactly happy about the perceived relationship between journalists/reviewers and AAA studios have a link to a year old parody musical: http://vthemusical.bandcamp.com/track/shill-like-me

        There has been discontent for a long time but it only culminated in a ‘movement’ to change things when the perfect shitstorm of personal drama, ‘SJW’ involvement, hurt pride and perceived censorship that were the Quinnspiracy+’Gamers are dead’ occurred. Now that GG is a thing you do have things like the Shadow of Mordor incident being brought up and discussed, though not as passionately / zealously simply because big studios did their best to not get involved with any of the listed things that did lead to the current, very much uncivil discussion. I won’t blame anyone for *not* going frothing at the mouth or starting idiotic consumer boycotts.

        Gamergate lacks access to information
        Journos are gatekeepers for indie games, not AAA
        discontent is there but not with the same level of paranoia-fueled zeal

      • There have been several complaints raised about AAA related corruption within GG. There was the thing where a journalist apparently declined to cover an EA hacking scandal, and concerns raised over the editor of a publication that gave Sim City a positive review being married to a publicist from EA. A Tweet from a journalist saying that an PR company working for Activision tried to bribe him with a prostitute also got passed around a lot, as did a story about a gaming journalist selling gifts that publishers had sent him on Ebay. Also, despite what people have been saying, the Shadows of Mordor thing did get a reasonable amount of attention on KotakuInAction, the Escapist thread, and so on, even leaving aside that GG supporter TotalBiscuit was the one who originally blew the whistle on that.

  2. For the GG harassment patrol, you should include the infighting between the leader and another GG user. Apparently the GG harassment patrol is a front for actually harassing people and they communicate with each other over Skype? I’ll have to look for the thread discussing it.

    • Yeah, I remember that. One dude, who happens to be a white supremacist and whatnot (as is often the case in GG), tried to take over the harassment patrol to use as his own army or something along those lines.

      Also, multiple big name GGers have decided to stop supporting the harassment patrol and called for it to be disbanded. Their reasons were solely because it wasn’t helping GGs public image enough – they care so little about actually helping the harassed or doing good or anything.

      • So what have you done to help the harassed? Because it seems like as the plebs we all are, all we can do is report them to Twitter. If people’s lives are being threatened the police need to get involved I would say. But no one’s been arrested…

      • That information is incorrect.
        We are still reporting harrassment, just on a minimal level. We are also focusing on the idiots of our movement. Well, I am at least. I refuse to let anyone get hurt because of my opinions any longer. But in the mean time, please post somethings that are correct.

        • If you guys are so concerned about harassment, why didn’t a single GG person sign the Twitter harassment petition on Change.org?

          • If you’re against harassment, why aren’t you joining the Anti-Harassment Patrol?
            If you’re against bad videogame journalism, why aren’t you joining gamergate?

            Or to put it a bit differently, just because you’ve got something against a certain behaviour or anything, doesn’t mean you’ve to join every or even any group denouncing said behaviour.

      • Yep that never happened.

        What happened was King of Pol got his hands on a Skype log from some ‘secret’ gg skype group. In the log where some ideas how to target RogueStar as some people don’t agree with his methods. Pol didn’t like that one bit and went after Mundane Matt, one of the persons who was in that skype group on his stream.

        Mundane Matt and RogueStar had beef about this very same issue in the past but it got squashed by Sargon. So later after Pol’s stream, now in Sargon’s stream (See Sargon as the farakhan of gg squashing beef left and right) We have Mundane Matt and RogueStar saying everything is good, no hard feelings, etc.

        While this is in process Pol jumps in the stream starting spilling spaghetti and regurgitating. People in the stream told Pol to drop it which he kinda did. That’s about it really. Lot’s of unnecessary drama but no hostile takeovers.

        Pol takes a backseat, no longer using the gg tag. Even tho he fucked up the harassment against him is uncalled for. (Just to make it clear again, all harassment is uncalled for. We’re anti-corruption, anti-harassment) Pol has done a good job getting different forces together at the start of this. We should remember that.

        As for the harassment patrol. It’s still here. Some people have been vocal against it from day one, it’s not their call. The only people who can call it quits are the people doing the patrolling.

        Also don’t go around and call people white supremacist if you’re not sure.

        • “Also don’t go around and call people white supremacist if you’re not sure.”
          Oh, we’re sure. He’s talked on the topic many, many times.

        • “ideas on how to target Rogue Star” Target him with what exactly? Flowers? Cookies and candy? Or could it be… HARASSMENT?!

        • You guys sound like middle-school girls. “And then Lacey said, and then Britney said, and THEN Jenn got all up in their faces, and said ….”

          All about cliques and huffing off all angry and starting whisper campaigns.
          Now if you actually are 14, I understand.

      • That’s expected of a faceless ideology, there are multiple ideals and goals started by different people. I don’t judge it by it’s lowest common denominator and failures.

    • I cringe (for them) whenever I hear that phrase “harassment patrol.”

      I have to think someone was playing them in suggesting that name. it’s just…seriously, how did they call it that?

    • Free Vivian James

      November 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm

      “Apparently the GG harassment patrol is a front for actually harassing people and they communicate with each other over Skype?”

      Considering GamerGate was founded on doxxing and harassing people, the idea that one should tell anyone from Gamergate that they’re being harassed is such a Bad Idea I have trouble even putting it into words.

      It should seem obvious that all telling the GG Harassment Patrol that you’re being harassed does is let them know they’ve hit their target and opens the door for them to do more of the same.

      The appropriate response to ANYTHING associated with Gamergate is to run away screaming. These people are toxic and dangerous.

  3. You misunderstood Blizzard! They actually came out in SUPPORT of Gamergate! Or at least some people are deep enough in the echo chamber to believe that…

    • Oh my god. Some. People.
      Nodgate is a real thing for them now I guess.

    • Damion Schubert

      November 9, 2014 at 5:27 am

      Anybody who believes that is seriously deluding themselves.

      • The fact is that Mike M didn’t say anything about GamerGate. He didn’t say he was opposed to it, he didn’t say he supported it.

        What he said was essentially “stop being dicks” and pro and anti-GG people are so caught up with being validated by a big name that they immediately turned it into a political football, started arguing about the secret meaning behind his words, and used them as an excuse to be dicks some more.

        The people who are saying “see, Mike M is on our side!” are the people who most needed to hear his message and didn’t. In one ear and out the other.

        • You’re amazing.

          • Believe it or not facts do matter.

            I know for a GG or anti-GG zealot this is hard to believe but reality is sort of important.

            Mike M didn’t say anything about GG, for or against. This is a simple statement of fact that no non-zealot could take issue with – it is well documented with audio and video.

            The moon is also a thing that exists and people did in fact land on it, in case you’re also confused about that.

          • You’re also amazing 🙂

        • “Mike M didn’t say anything about GG, for or against. This is a simple statement of fact that no non-zealot could take issue with – it is well documented with audio and video.”

          He said “Over the past couple of months, there’s been a small group of people who have been doing really awful things. They have been making some people’s lives miserable, and they are tarnishing our reputation as gamers.”

          Your audio and video cannot prove that “a small group of people” and “they” does not refer to GG or anti-GG. (You certainly can’t prove that they refer to both sides, as that doesn’t make sense at all, He said a small group, not two groups. And anti-GG isn’t even a group.)

          Determining who “a small group of people” and “they” refers to is a matter of interpretation. I think it’s a very obvious interpretation, but some amazing people may feel otherwise.

  4. Only comment I have is regarding the first paragraph.. where you’re acting like you’re so put-upon to go look at this stuff and how its ‘peeling away your soul’. Cut the bullshit man.. you have a gleeful tone all through this article that makes it pretty obvious you enjoy wallowing in the muck with these people just as much as they do. You may be on the other side from them, but you act like the same type of person.

    So you had your little muck wallowing and rubbed it all over your tummy like a little piggy. Now can we get some actual design articles like we used to? 4 out of 5 of the last 5 articles have been about “gamergate”. Who gives a shit? Get it together man. This is crap, tabloid-level content you’ve been putting out. You’re supposed to be the lighthouse, not the sea of garbage, remember?

    • But, damn, he’s so good at it! A better summary than I see in the tech & news blogs. Don’t stop, at least not on crazy weeks like this one has been.

      • Damion Schubert

        November 9, 2014 at 5:29 am

        To be honest, I’m trying to dial it back and discuss it less. I want to spend some of my time while I’m unemployed rescuing some of my old writing… I actually have two articles half-done that I’ve abandoned because I didn’t want to stir the pot while things were winding down.

        But this week was just SO FUCKING WEIRD that it demanded some sort of archival history for posterity.

        • I agree with Rocie. Tt’s the best coverage I’ve ever read. Gets right to the public ridiculous details, with links to dive into the insanity and bring much of the alarming darkness to the light of day.

    • “Now, it peels away my soul one layer at a time.”

      If that didn’t tip you off that the first paragraph is tongue-in-cheek…

    • I’d also add that, for those of us actually IN the industry where people are being hate-mobbed on a regular basis, Gamergate — and Damion’s focus on it — has been pretty goddamn relevant.

    • As the person who coined that phrase:

      I wholeheartedly support Damion’s posts, the light, joking nature of his commentary, and his willingness to round up the news at the behest, apparently, of more than just a person or two.

      I also advise you to see a doctor. The light pole up your arse is big enough to need its own zip code.

    • Really? Have you looked at what is happening? If you want gaming as a thing to exist in the future, pay attention. Or leave. Both works. But don’t whine at him because he’s putting facts out there.

      • Yes, because gaming will cease to exist because of unchecked GG.

        You sound as ridiculous as any GGer.

        This is middle-school level drama, nothing more. There’s no danger to games. Zero.

    • Nonsense. His blog, he gets to write about whatever strikes his fancy.

      All his posts are well-written and interesting.

    • Damion’s coverage has been insightful and amusing for a lot of us. I’m thankful for what he is doing

      I’m really sorry he now has feels “obliged” to do pieces because if popular demand.

      The topic IS important and very relevant. Two industries are under fire and the future of all women in gaming is uncertain. So there is good reason for the prevalence of those posts.

      • Damion Schubert

        November 9, 2014 at 5:33 am

        The thing I don’t like about the topic is the high stakes for screwing up. It used to be easy to make jokes, to be a little snide, and to go high on the hyperbole. I’ve had to dial all of that back, because people tend to take what I say literally whenever it suits them.

        The topic of harassment of women, and the topic of freedom of speech for dissonant voices, is hugely important to me. The topic of journalistic press ethics really isn’t – it’s just not a pressing concern. That’s not to say I don’t mind others chasing it. But if GamerGate cleaned up their act so that it actually was about that, I’d probably blissfully get bored, wander off, and let Gawker fight their own battles.

        • “pressing concern”

          What you did there. I see it.

          Fortunately it’s not really a major concern for GG either 98% of the time, so no harm, no foul.

        • With Donglegate in mind I can safely say that people looking to get offended and outraged is nothing new. It seems to me that only the group of people that go looking for that buzz ‘righteousmess’ has grown larger.
          It’s like Gamergate reached some critical mass where now there are so many people involved that you have this vicious circle of out-of-context (or just stupid) quotes being mined for indignation to keep this going for a long long time.

    • Here’s the thing: when the lighthouse stands by the sea of garbage? It’s shining its light on a lot of trash.

      Seriously though, I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be humorous. Lighten up. ;p

    • Is there any chance that William isn’t just a gator who wants Danion to shut up and stop hurting his feelings?

  5. -Half of this blog is on e-celeb drama that was caused by KingofPol. His recent actions have been questionable as you have gathered.

    -Mackenzie Kelly, I followed her briefly, found out she was using that clickhole article and unfollowed her and moved on. I still don’t know who she is lol.

    -As for Eron, he wasn’t talking about being harassed is costing his job, He was saying don’t try to get him fired because his work is dedicated to saving lives. He was talking about how no one has been harmed from doxxing and that’s he’s been doxxed and doesnt give a shit b/c public figures have been doxxed and harassed before and it’s actually strange that it is big news. He knows why it’s big news but he can’t tell us why because of the gag order.

    -As for KiA and the Twitter harassment thing, think about it. If Anti-GG has a blocklist for people who just follow others, imagine what they would do if they had banning power on Twitter. Connect the dots dude lol. You can report people on Twitter for disagreeing with your opinion. Btw your list for the blocklist, it just shows a bunch of numbers and no Twitter handles.

    -And Boycotting is not Blacklisting btw. Boycotting is ok to do as consumers. It’s your money. Blacklisting is what happened to Alistair Pinsof, former writer at Destructoid, with the GameJournoPros list, which isn’t okay.

    -On TotalBiscuit, from the quote you used, he’s right. Anita did receive those threatening words (the school shooting) and no one is denying that. But the USU police found the threat not credible: http://www.usu.edu/ust/index.cfm?article=54180. Isn’t harassment and death threats illegal? Why hasn’t anyone been arrested? That’s why people are just saying these are trolls. Nothing is being done to stop it.

    This leads into my last point, the Blizzard post. “Let’s take a stand to reject hate and harassment.” People see this as them referring to GamerGate. Ok, I can agree. A lot of people who are in GamerGate also are against hate and harassment. But if you want people to say GamerGate is about hate and harassment specifically, what does that do? So if we all take this stand against this stuff, what happens? Do the trolls just magically disappear? Even Anita’s proposals for Cyber Civil Rights already seem to be in place with existing laws http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sgff3v

    At least GamerGate has their own patrol, and have gotten a few sites to allow discussion and not censor, and got sites to reform or publish their ethics policies. And have encouraged acts of disclosure. People against GamerGate have done nothing but say it’s harassment and catapulted these trolls into getting the media attention they have wet dreams about. You have full freedom to block people who are bothering you, if they are actually threatening your life get the police involved for fucks sake. No arrests have been made this GG = Harassment claim is flimsy as fuck.

    • On TotalBiscuit, from the quote you used, he’s right. Anita did receive those threatening words (the school shooting) and no one is denying that. But the USU police found the threat not credible

      TB has been a bit obtuse lately, but surely he hasn’t quite fallen down to USU level yet, has he?

    • This wasn’t the first pile that Pinsof has stepped in, for the sake of trying to dig dirt for Destructoid. http://www.destructoid.com/darksiders-devs-speak-out-on-not-being-credited-update–233138.phtml

      GamerGate has no patrol, because it has no membership and no leadership. If people are doing good things, it’s on their own dime. GamerGate has been far more used for its original intention: chaos and noise.

      You’re right, no arrests have been made yet.

    • I thought it was funny, Damion! Your tone was just right. And good luck on the writing.

  6. Can we start talking and stop yelling that they are wrong? Both sides have some valid concerns. Please join the conversation at https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/111466136143816921699 and start talking. Stop spewing profanities. Stop spewing hate. Stop the arguing. Start the talking. We have to move past GG and get to a healthy place in the gaming community. We cannot divorce and never see these people again. We have to have counselling for both sides.

    • Damion Schubert

      November 9, 2014 at 7:18 am

      I will bookmark this and engage if conversations pick up and are constructive.

    • Both sides have some valid concerns, you say? Would you care to list some from Gamergate, then? Because I certainly haven’t heard any.

      “Ethics in gaming journalism” is utterly laughable – “gaming journalism” has a very limited audience, effectively none of which expects it to have ethics, because it certainly hasn’t, historically (Remember Driv3r, a decade ago?) – and none of the accusations that started the movement turned out to be any more than attempts to harass Zoe Quinn without factual basis.

      At this point it seems that anyone claiming that “It’s about ethics in gaming journalism, and we have never harassed anyone, and look, we donated to charity!” can safely be filed in the “Useful Idiot” propaganda box and ignored.

      • And here we have the impasse, because the same sentiment flows back in your direction. Unwilling to even give the other side a shred of credence? Fine, then don’t participate in the discussion, because you’re certainly not helping.

    • The “bothsiding” approach has been tried, and tried, and tried over and over and over again.
      As someone said: “me agreeing with you would just make the both of us wrong!”
      Yes. YES. Some minor, valid, and also somewhat irrelevant points have been made. THEY HAVE BEEN MADE. It’s over. Nothing positive can come out of it at this point (and we’ve been at “this point” for many weeks now).

    • Hi Deborah, GamerGate desperately wants a neutral debate about this. The problem is, anti-GG went all in on the us-against-them, “you’re with us or you’re with the terrorists” stance and now they can’t afford to climb down from this entrenched position. Climbing down and having a neutral debate is an embarrassing admission that they were initially “wrong”.

      Concrete example: look up how David Pakman, a respected CNN journalist, who was treated with contempt for approaching GG neutrality. Anti-GG has, predictably, accused him of siding with the “terrorists” for merely wishing to discuss both sides.

      In fact, I can see from other replies here that you’re already being approached with the same tarred brush for suggesting both sides have valid concerns. Lordy.

  7. The Denton thing was particularly hilarious, because the fake page seemed to have been written by Snidely Whiplash. I read it and immediately asked myself, “Are these gamergate guys really that gullible?” The answer was, clearly, yes.

    • Damion Schubert

      November 9, 2014 at 5:40 am

      There was huge debate — HUGE debate — about the validity of it, so don’t think that everyone took it hook, line and sinker. But the ones who thought it were practically were running victory laps, as more rational heads tried to at least get them to calm down until they got someone like Nero to publicize it.

      Even after it was agreed to be fake, that word really didn’t spread to the masses for a couple of days. They seemed so certain, and so happy, that their Endboss was in sight. And to be honest, I can’t blame them.

      It’s difficult to put into words what sort of an echo chamber twitter is if you follow too many people down the rabbit hole. The difference between crazy tinfoil land and relative sanity is about 10 key twitter follows. Before GamerGate, I could not understand how Mitt Romney thought he was going to be reelected despite all available evidence in 2012. Now that I’ve been in GG’s echo chamber for a month, I *totally* get it, and it’s terrifying. The very nature of social media just warps your worldview that you’re staggered that people disagree — even if your circle is actually relatively small.

      • I had a weird to-and-fro with the Denton thing. Like, on one hand it was literally written by a cartoon villain. On the other hand, Denton is literally a cartoon villain. But the two parts of it that had me clearly dismissing it on content were the phrases “monetary compensation” and “tone policing.” My thought was basically “If it is real, it was written by someone else, provided to Denton to post, then knowingly leaked to screw with GG.” Which, again, wouldn’t be the weirdest thing Denton has done, and as the last few days have shown, it would have been a pretty effective strategy.

        But really, the only reason I ever even gave it the time of day was because Hotwheels “confirmed” it. I am more disappointed in him than I am KoP, because I knew KoP was a crazy conspiracy theorist already. From what I can tell Hotwheels based his verification entirely on KoP’s word, when the whole reason people seek independent verification is that we didn’t trust the first guy on his word in the first place. But at least he owned up to that several times over.

        • There was also the fact that Denton apparently deleted his private facebook page in response to the “leak.” While I’m sure that in reality, that was because he was afraid someone might try to hack it to “verify the leak,” that did lead to several formerly skeptical people saying things like “huh, maybe this is real after all.”

        • You believed it because you’ve been told over and over that Nick Denton is a cartoon villain — and no surprise, as THAT whole meme has been swirling around GG for months picking up trash like a Katamari ball. Outside of GG, many find him distasteful, or tactless, or ruthlessly dedicated to traffic, but precious few see him as the incarnation of Satan that presides over the SJWs.

          Sorry bud, you guys done fooled yourselves.

  8. You also forgot the manic 10 minutes midweek when Twitter suspended the accounts of a number of GamerGaters. They had to click a link and then were immediately reinstated. But a dozen or so cases had them insisting there was some sort of anti-GG plant at Twitter or some celeb who had so much pull, they could, at will, suspend users accounts.

    Needless to say, if you looked through the larger world of Twitter, you’d see that there were a group of atheists who thought outspoken atheists were being targeted and a group of Tea Partiers who thought they had been marked for ill treatment because of their political views and support for free speech.

    Eventually, the saner GG minds discovered that a number of anti-GGers had also received these brief timeouts and that there was no vast conspiracy focused on silencing Gamer Gaters.

    • Damion Schubert

      November 9, 2014 at 5:44 am

      There were several little incidents that I didn’t follow or talk about due to time and ability to track the threads. Some sort of minor dramas swirled around Internet_Aristocrat, Jayd3Fox and MundaneMatt as well. LianaK and the Ralph Report went at it in something that was somehow related – utterly bizarrely – to the Canadian Sex Scandal. Arthur Chu spent all of monday being harassed because he once chose to respect a rape victim and not report her crime (which was her wish) – all to fluster him for the David Pakman show (an effort that worked, btw). Simply put, this week was so nuts that the article could have been twice as long.

      • Milo also went on a tear at Ian Miles Cheong with a string of Mock The Nazi-style tweets on Friday (Nov 7) seemingly out of nowhere. I’m still unclear on what prompted that or…really anything about it.

        I know the source material for where the whole “Ian is a Nazi” thing comes from and I know he’s been called that off and on throughout, but I have to think there’s some specific reason for Milo of all people to suddenly spend a couple of hours doing nothing but tweeting Nazi basement-dweller jokes at Ian’s expense.

        Unsurprisingly, there was no backlash from GG about his display of professionalism.

      • I was amused at the GG brigade that couldn’t tell the difference between Chu and some neo Nazi guy.

        • Damion Schubert

          November 9, 2014 at 8:13 am

          I’m pretty sure they were just doing that to fuck with Chu.

          Not positive.

          But pretty sure.

          Chu has the unfortunate trait of getting wound up easily over shit like that.

          • Pretty sure it started as a joke, but then some newer people got legitimately confused later on. Probably because of the prevalence of said joke. Alas, how life imitates art.

            Regarding the whole thing with Chu re: the accusations of rape apologism, I was pretty disgusted by the whole thing. I will note that Chu’s claim of “protecting the wishes of the rape victim” was wholly different from his explanation (years back) that kicked the whole thing off. But it’s the “years back” part that makes the whole thing irrelevant to me. Especially when he’s said more than enough horrible shit in the past three months if people wanted something to focus on.

      • “Arthur Chu spent all of monday being harassed because he once chose to respect a rape victim and not report her crime (which was her wish) – all to fluster him for the David Pakman show (an effort that worked, btw)”

        This is a hilarious spin.

        Arthur Chu embarrassed himself on the Pakman show because he is a constant embarrassment. He wasn’t thrown off his game, he has no game to begin with.

        He’s good at Jeopardy. That’s it.

        He’s a ridiculous person who can only argue in front of a very friendly audience. When he meets even the slightest bit of resistance he implodes.

        The Pakman show proved that the worst enemy of anti-GG folks isn’t GG, it’s themselves. They got tossed a bunch of softballs, self-destructed on air, then afterwards whined about “hit pieces” because the host politely asked them predictable and obvious questions instead of just letting them freeform ramble for 30 minutes.

        Arthur Chu is not the hero anyone needs. He’s a guy who became minorly famous because of a game show and is trying to extend his 15 minutes. The people hooking their wagon to him are just as ridiculous as those hooking their wagons to Breitbart.

  9. FreeBSDGirl’s script blocks anyone who follows any two people from the blacklist, not any one, minor pissant problem, but, hey just thought I’d chime in for no real reason.

  10. Ah.
    Let’s not forget how all of this nonsense led to “Say something nice about someone in #GamerGate’ and the cancellation of Dyson’s advertisement campaign on Gawker.
    And everyone decided to quickly claim victory in Blizzard’s OBVIOUSLY neutral stance in this issue. They never said they support it, or were against it. GamerGate supports and stands by Blizzard for it’s stance on harassment, because it’s an issue that needs to be solved. Honestly. If we could just collaborate between the sides in stamping out harassers and bad people, and actually LISTEN to eachother, we’d have been finished with this nonsense. but one side chooses to stick their fingers in their ears and pull the classic “Lalalala, can’t hear you”

    But ‘GamerGate took a big hit this week, right?

    You publish your happy little blog posts, but it seems as if they’re grasping for toilet paper in a sea of crap. Not too sure if whatever you guys are up to is succeeding, but it sure as hell didn’t seem like it.

    • Damion Schubert

      November 9, 2014 at 5:48 am

      The ‘say something nice’ campaign was actually a nice change, and changing the culture of GamerGate is necessary, and should really contain more moments like that.

      The war on Gawker continues to be a war that’s not on Games Journalism, and picking on a tabloid for unethical journalism is kind of like picking on the Hulk for excessive steroid use. I wouldn’t lose any sleep if Gawker were to fall off a cliff, although Ironically Kotaku is actually probably their most ethical and important unit in the whole media empire (they’ve done several very good pro-consumer pieces).

      If you think Blizzard’s statement was ‘neutral’, you’re very wrong. I sincerely hope that Blizzard speaking up, even cautiously, encourages other developers to speak out against hate and harassment.

    • Free Vivian James

      November 9, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      It would be nice to talk to reasonable people in Gamergate.

      The only problem is reasonable people don’t join hate groups.

      Gamergate started as a hate and harassment campaign, and as a result it’s impossible to distinguish between the core group of hardcore trolls who are pushing the “journalism ethics” smokescreen, and the so-called “moderate” Gamergaters.

      There may very well be moderate Gamergaters that simply don’t realize they’re supporting a hate group. This is why it’s been suggested again and again to have a serious conversation under a new hashtag disassociated from Gamergate’s toxic foundation.

      Gamergate was founded on lies and false pretenses. Is it any surprise nobody in their right mind is listening to them?

      • If GamerGate is a hate group, I find the amount of unacknowledged racism and bigotry directed at #NotYourShield to absolutely mire the issue. The founder of #NotYourShield rants about it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKnL5UIIYZw

        As I’ve noted in another post, it’s easy to break into ideological camps and completely dismiss the other side. We degenerate into a playground fight yelling about who started it first, and the branch point of this justification allows obscuring all opposing viewpoints, as well as dehumanizing the other side.

        But if you’re going to be fair minded and assume the cited incidents of hate and bigotry directed at #NotYourShield are correct, and even surprisingly widespread, then it should be equally valid to open a conversation on their origins as well.

        • No, I’m sorry, try again. The notyourshield smokescreen has already been debunked several times. It was manufactured in 4chan, for these exact situations.

          “It’s notyourshield, it’s ours!”

        • NotYourShield has been pretty thoroughly debunked as a deliberate attempt to use sock puppetry. As with most things on Twitter, that doesn’t mean every PoC, female, or minority gamer who posts using the #NYS hashtag is a socket puppet.

  11. Evilwhitecispigworsethankkkandisis

    November 9, 2014 at 1:31 am

    We disagree, we argue but we’re still here. It must really grind your gears that you cannot defeat us while our victories mount up.

    Remember that. If Gamergate ends it will be on our terms and there is nothing you can do about it 🙂

    I thank Blizzard also for saying something it caused a massive thread on the wow forums where people arguing against Gamergate said sorry redacted their statements and ended up in the community forums. While other posters come onto our forums and asked what they could do to help and others blatantly called out Kotaku.

    The fact is when gamers, real gamers look into this stuff they join our ranks. You can’t fool the smart ones.

    • “Real gamers.”

      I’ve been gaming since Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar came out on double-sided floppy. Is that real enough? Can I join the “real gamer” club?

      Even if I thought Gamergate had stumbled on some real, actual, genuine *ethical* issue in journalism that needed reporting, your hashtag is poisonous and the perception of what it stands for actively terrifies and revolts people. It’s been used to harass, intimidate, and silence people. I acknowledge that some of that was undoubtedly due to the actions of third party trolls, but GG has chosen to remain an essentially leaderless organization — which means, in effect, condoning such behavior as acceptable collateral damage.

      I have beaten more games than I can count. I’ve played every genre, every type, from fighting games to turn-based hexagonal “classic” games like Panzer General. I consider the best games art and believe that games will one day be generally recognized as such.

      So I am not speaking lightly when I say I’d rather walk away from gaming for good, forever, than call myself a gamergater.

      • Ha, Ultima IV was for sissies. Try Exodus, now that’s a real game. (:D kidding!)

        Poisonous or radioactive I think is a correct assessment. However, I’d disagree with you that GamerGate is strictly framed that way solely by its own doing. I have become deeply suspicious of the dominance of one narrative over another, particularly with respect to the mainstream media. It may simply be an echo effect, or it may be a matter of a failure of mainstream journalists relying on a game’s press which has a vested interest in promoting a specific narrative.

        Alternately, GamerGate may richly deserve heaps of scorn because of its origins. I acknowledge there’s a point of view there, and although I don’t agree with it vis a vis GamerGate versus trolls, I’m open to listening.

        What I’m looking for is incontrovertible proof that GamerGate is harassing people, or that a member of GamerGate has been found to be harassing and the community hasn’t condemned them for that. Either will work.

        I’ve seen far too many collective guilt arguments. I’ve seen it declared that even if a member of GamerGate doesn’t harass, he or she benefits from it, and is therefore responsible. I’ve seen the dozens and dozens of declarations made by GamerGate against harassment utterly ignored.

        This point of view holds no water. If GamerGate is to be held responsible regardless of individual action, then anti-GamerGate is also to be held responsible, not just for leaking information, threatening jobs or getting people fired, but for swatting / false police reports that have put real people’s lives in danger. That is not insignificant.

        As to Art, it’s just my opinion but I used to believe as you do and now don’t. In all those arguments with Ebert I didn’t realize that games as Art would have to survive an ideological maw which appears to be steeped in a corrosive sociopolitical environment.

        I say this only because I promise you, the games we grew up with like Panzer General and Ultima appear to decidely not be welcome. That is one of the reasons I support GamerGate.

        • You raise some interesting points about narrative and who controls it. Let me say, first and foremost, that I have stayed away from the lunatic fringe on the anti-GG side and the frantic slapping of labels. Liking women with big boobs in video games doesn’t mean you systemically oppress all women. Similarly, death threats, rape threats, doxxing etc are wrong, period. It’s wrong for GG people to do it, it’s wrong for anti-GG people to do it, it’s wrong for third-party trolls to do it under the banner of either of the other two groups. I’m wholeheartedly against that kind of action and I’m against it from any direction.

          As near as I can tell, GG is made up of several interlocking prongs. In no particular order:

          1). The misogynistic / anti-ZQ, anti-AS prong: The actions of this group are utterly void of credibility. Not only do they blatantly misunderstand feminist thought, they mistake centrist (and ultimately rather mild) feminist critique from Sarkeesian as an excuse to go nuclear in utterly unacceptable ways. This prong often clings to factually untrue narratives about awards, reviews, timelines, etc.

          2). People who claim to be concerned about ethics in journalism but have no idea what ethics actually *are:* “Write reviews we agree with, or we’ll boycott you.” “Let’s target the advertisers of websites we disagree with to destroy them, so that only content we like gets published!”

          3). People genuinely concerned about ethics in journalism, but don’t understand where the ethical conflicts are: I’m breaking them out from Group #2. This is the group of people who thinks that journalists having conversations is collusion, but *don’t* understand that game companies paying video bloggers with early access in exchange for positive coverage is actually far, far more toxic.

          3). People concerned about journalism ethics who understand something about journalism ethics and who realize that journalists actually THINK about this topic: This seems to be the smallest group. It’s real. It exists. Damion has reached out to it on many occasions.

          4). People who were just generally disgruntled with Leah Alexander or the tone taken at places like Polygon, and lashed out about it, but don’t necessarily condone the excesses of the larger movement.

          — This group exists, too. Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to associate with GG anymore and not be covered in slime — the activities of trolls and third parties have effectively killed any chance of creating a positive association. But they’re out there.

          What I wish this group would realize is that, despite mild feminist critique, game developers and studios aren’t going to stop making games that appeal to the sex drives of young men because SEX SELLS. Cosmo, Vogue, Esquire, and fucking Seventeen are all built to sell hot-looking women to OTHER women.

          These magazines have survived decades of full-throated critique from the feminist community, from utter condemnation to downright *embrace.* Similarly, gaming is big enough to survive the critique of feminism.

          If you’re not gay, you probably don’t care that Bioware games now include male romance options for male PC characters. If you ARE gay, having those options is a huge deal. It doesn’t have to be a *threat* to anyone, and the likes of Sarkeesian and Quinn are not a threat to gaming.

          5). The trolls. People in it ‘for the lulz.’ People like the KiA mod who gave an AMA saying that everyone who joined did so because they like to stir the pot.

          I’m a journalist. I haven’t written anything about GG, because it’s not the kind of thing I cover. But that’s my take on the scenario. There are people ought there self-identifying as GG because they feel threatened by some things that aren’t *actually* threatening. There is no feminist conspiracy to take over gaming.

          But its the misogyny and the hatred that has dominated the news cycle because shocking news drives clicks and because much of what has come out of GG has been shocking. Doxxing Felicia Day within hours of her saying she felt threatened? Man, that was a bad, bad move.

          Felicia Day seems like one of the most genuine, decent people I’ve ever come across. I don’t know her personally. But by all accounts, she really *is* just a good person.

          Shit like that is what poisons GG. Nobody sane can get behind it, and sooner or later even the people who backed it initially are going to say: “Sorry, not this crazy.”

    • Wait. Real gamers. Real gamers are almost all dead(not in the white basement sexist stereotypical male way.) Gamers play games. Any game. There can be a sub categories of gamers as well. But a real gamer? A real gamer plays games to play games. They would play any game. They don’t care about graphics nor about how the gameplay is the same every year. A real gamer would not restrict themselves. Considering that gamers today restrict themselves all the time I think the term real gamers doesn’t apply to almost anyone. Heck I barely can call myself a true real gamer. Games like Daggerfall where the map is the size of Britain is way too big for me to handle. But games from the NES era and up I generally love.

      Real gamers are not gamergate. That is nowhere close to true. Real gamers would be spread out. Some like me would rather stay neutral. I find both sides idiotic. Gamergate has a LOT of irony in it and I find a lot of stupidity in them. They persuade people to join their cause by using the same methods that they are against. Fighting biased journalism by using biased journalism. Then we have anti who are being persuaded that being a part of the gamergate movement means you are sexist and they are being persuaded horribly. They also have some irony. Let’s fight harassment with harassment. Then there is the notyourshield movement as an excuse for gamergate. It’s a weak excuse. Saying “I am a black female and I support this movement” does not mean that the movement is not sexist or racist. If that were the case then the KKK and other racist groups are right as they both had supporters who were from the other race. Few but some. There are also females who want to lose their right to vote. Ironically they are using their rights to do that.

      There are smart ones in both groups. Some think their group has more reasonable people and has a couple of bad apples. Not even close. I mostly see bad apples. Only place I don’t see them is in very certain places. Big groups also tend to have lesser reasonable people. There is never a “more intelligent and supreme side where everyone is intelligent and supreme.” There is always a bunch of people who see and missread the intelligence and bend it. Gamergate is not ethics of journalism nor is it harassment. Same with anti. They are mixed groups of people who have their own ideas on what exactly the movement is. Some people actually did join gamergate thinking it is opposition against women.

      The amount of trolls on both sides are amazing. They don’t care. I think a movement against trolls should be added. But no. That would be stupid. And ‘harassment patrols’ are not going to fix it.

      Another thing I want to add. You are technically harassing. The real gamer thing kinda states that “if you don’t agree then you should get out of gaming” which reinforces the stereotype that gamergate has been trying to deny and reinforces that gamergate is a harassment group.

      Your comment is flawed. It represents what is wrong with gamergate. Such a bent movement.

    • Free Vivian James

      November 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      I’m a real gamer and Gamergate doesn’t speak for me.

      Gamergate doesn’t speak for most gamers, actually.

    • I decry the term ‘real gamer’. There’s no such thing as a real gamer; it’s just some True Scotsmanning. “If you were a REAL gamer, you’d agree with me.”

      I’ve been gaming since Jumpman. Asteroid. Spacewar. Rogue. Snipes. King’s Quest. Tradewars. I learned how to hack data files using DOS Debug on Ultima III. I played Gyromite with ROB. I played Duke Nukem and Wolfenstein when they only had two dimensions.

      And heck, I collected board games as a child, too, buying anything interesting from any garage sale I could. I own 300+ games on Steam.

      What else do I need? To have been bullied at school? Check. To have despaired of ever getting a date? Check. Able to recite a Monty Python sketch? Check. Glasses? Check. Took a sick day from work to play a new release? Double check. Spent more than $600 on a video card? Check.

      And I think Gamergate is either a hate group or the support system for one or more hate groups.

    • “We disagree, we argue but we’re still here. It must really grind your gears that you cannot defeat us while our victories mount up.”

      Thanks, Scientology. Don’t be out-ethics and get your TRs in.

  12. Enjoy reading your writing on all of this, if only as another touchstone for the perceptions around GamerGate. I think the issue can work its way under your skin because, to invoke a recent academic paper, the playful has become political (I would, however, replace *become* with *has been made into*). We are now not arguing over whether cool-downs are valid strategies, for instance, but whether or not your mores align with one narrative or another. Further, the issue is so polarized that the conversation has descended into ridicule and absolutism. You either support corruption, or even outright social engineering, or you support hatred, terror and bigotry. I’m guilty of some of this thinking, frankly.

    While GamerGate hardly arises to the level of real world political conflicts, I find it interesting how the narratives seem to be driven by similar dynamics, much like a small stream might mimic the behavior of a river. There is the “fog of war” obscuring fact. There are the official, or dominant, news-bearers, countered by subversive news-bearers. There is the notion of collective guilt and collective innocence. As you note with your “long knives” analogy, there is paranoia and infighting. And there is certainly the notion of the moral high ground, which both sides claim.

    It’s not a healthy environment for dialogue, to be sure.

    I should note that I became aware of GamerGate through Leigh Alexander’s articles and the bizarrely simultaneous echoing of her sentiments across publications. Their polemical nature pushed me to research, and whatever it started as I found it to be something with credible complaints. It may well mutate into something else, at which point I’ll again have to reassess my position, as everyone rightly should.

    For the sake of completeness:

    * Yiannopoulos and Villena don’t appear to have rejected GamerGate
    * The knives were followed by a Twitter hugfest meant to unify
    * There was a reassertion of leaderlessness widely echoed in the wake the the KoP drama
    * Observations of Gjoni’s poor character should probably be taken with as much salt as observations of Quinn’s character (for instance, a blog account of one of Gjoni’s friends, if true, raises issues of disturbing behavior on the part of Quinn)
    * Did Morhaime specify those supporting GamerGate, or was it a general refutation of harassment? I think there was someone else in Blizzard that specifically mentioned GG, but I don’t think it was Morhaime
    * If GamerGate is a supposed consumer revolt, why would writing emails be aimless?
    * I’m not on Harper’s list, so she’s at least off by one (corrected shortly?)

    I’d disagree with other points (like TotalBiscuit) but they’re more a matter of opinion. I think your characterization of the paranoia that’s culminated in the Denton hoax and questioning Kelly is spot on, and GamerGate is highly vulnerable to both fears of astroturfing along with actual astroturfing (which MIGHT be credible if GG’s threat has any economic impact). Whether it will self cannibalize due to this remains to be seen, however, but that along with lack of measurable progress is a real risk.

    • Damion Schubert

      November 9, 2014 at 7:52 am

      I won’t hit on all of your points (been talking all day). That being said:

      The fundamental disagreement between -legitimate, intelligent- people on both sides of the debate really comes down to whether or not you think the harassment issue is most important, or whether or not you think the corruption/ethics issue is most important. Me, and most people like me, see the harassment of women and devs in the games industry as an incredibly pressing, top 10 issue. Ethics isn’t UNIMPORTANT, but its certainly not impacting the industry much (aside from the anger over GG). As such, we’re not interested in talking about ethics while harassment is still ‘in play’, particularly for devs and women.

      That being said, I think both sides misunderstand what #Gamergate is really passionate about. They are really angrier about what they perceive as the ‘slander’ than the ‘ethics’. The Gamers Are Over articles bug most of the rank and file of Gamergate way more than anything that Nathan Grayson ever did, because they perceive it as a personal insult. The Antis don’t see it as important – because it is not, actually, ethics, they see it as a diversion, rather than the central pillar complaint. So people keep talking around it.

      Milo has said he’s taking a break. Villena announced one day that he was going to form a splinter group, then changed his mind. He’s… mercurial, to say the least.

      Leaderlessness is bad, because without leaders, any idiot with charisma can step into the void and people will follow blindly. This is, incidentally, exactly what screwed you last week.

      It’s clear I need to better understand Harper’s algorithm, and I’ll be sure to correct this article once I do. I’ve seen some corresponding numbers that validate that 90% of #gamergate tagged messages come from an astonishingly small number of people. I’m looking to see if I can get those numbers verified and/or published.

      I absolutely think that Morhaime was trying to refute Gamergate without naming it. IGN pulled the same trick. I think most developers and publishers want to address it (specifically to decry the worst harassment associated with gamergate-the-event), but keep in mind that even beyond the concerns of alienating a market, people who do speak up tend to get doxed and harassed themselves.

      • Also, if your concern was about ethics in gaming? You would be focusing on the publishers of the actual games (You know, the people who make access contingent on positive copy), the major mags/e-mags, and you would have existed more than 5 years ago (Because I could tell, quite easily, before legally becoming an adult that the gaming press was thoroughly corrupt. As a teenager, this was cause for Great Concern, let me tell you). Finally, gaming journalism’s corruption is bloody unimportant in toto (compared to say, the corruption of the political media). I’d like for it to be cleaned up, but compare/contrast the aftereffects, seriously.

        That’s how you know ‘ethics in journalism’ isn’t really the primary concern here.

        • That conclusion doesn’t follow.

          It’s not really valid to say that people’s concerns are invalid because there are greater issues. Political media corruption could be said to be irrelevant in the face of people dying in foreign lands from war and disease. These, in turn, could be said to be trivial in the face of the 6th largest extinction in the Earth’s history, etc. One is not required to save the world (although, yes, it’d be nice) in order to care about something.

          As to focusing on publishers, I think that can come, but it doesn’t invalidate addressing corruption among the press. Right now the press may be the softer target, and once there’s reform there it may either take care of reform on the publisher side or there may likely be room to address that front next.

          • But it is a valid argument to say that someone’s arguments aren’t about ethics when you show that the primary concerns are either trivial, or aren’t ethical in nature.

            The big ethical concerns that keep showing up is the triggering sex for reviews thing which didn’t happen (and focused on the dev, not the journalist) and the e-mail group, which from everything I’ve read seems to have been a force for increased ethics in journalism.

            The other main concerns seem to be more cultural than anything else.

            The gamers are dead articles?
            Basically a salvo from people who dislike the old identity as the primary one attached to the medium, and a backlash by people who self-identify with it.

            The opposition for Sarkeesian?
            It also feels a lot like people who really like the status quo in mainstream games design and not wanting it to change reacting strongly to an outspoken advocate for change. Heck, seeing this as primarily a cultural as opposed to ethical concern, and all of a sudden the focus on Sarkeesian makes a lot more sense as there’s never been any serious ethical accusation leveled at her.

            Heck, even look at some of the pro-GG comments in this thread. With some people claiming that certain classic games simply could not be made in today’s political and cultural atmosphere. (On that note, while I disagree with the examples, I’m willing to cede the point. It’s definitely true for movies and tv, so why wouldn’t it be the same for games?)

            It would also explain why the movement isn’t focused on trying to form an ethical media outlet so much as on trying to control the media outlets that already exist. If it was only about ethics, then providing an ethical news source, and showing what integrity looks like should be enough to bring people around. But if it’s cultural, then the battle isn’t so much about showing the light as it is about controlling how news and opinions are filtered through the gaming sphere.

          • @Tylor
            Aren’t you ignoring the majority of people who argue against Sarkeesian? That group, which most likely isn’t at all about the status quo, but is not agreeing on Sarkeesians assertion as what in or why games need to change.
            It’s much to easy to call everyone opposing her a conservative fan of the status quo, when in reality people might simply disagree about how to become a better society.
            This black and white thinking has really become annoying: “So you’re against Anita, that means you must hate teh womenz and equality?!!”… Yeah, just no.

          • @Demon Investor: the point is that the conversation with & about Anita Sarkeesian is cultural, not ethical. Whether you frame the debate as status quo vs. change or change A vs. change B, there are no ethical concerns to be found, only battles for memetic supremacy.

          • In general I think it’s fair to say that the problem with the Tropes vs Women stuff are mostly not ethical in nature.

            That said there certainly are ethical issues with them:

            1. Taking the content of other video producers without permission

            2. Purposely misrepresenting the content of games

            3. Misrepresenting the content of games perhaps not on purpose but because the video authors didn’t bother to even play the games in question

            These aren’t problems with journalistic ethics since this work is not journalism but there definitely are ethical problems with the work.

            If you watch her Bayonetta video it’s pretty clear that she either didn’t play the game or went in with an assumed conclusion and paid zero attention to the content of the game. Her analysis of the game is rooted in fiction, with the most basic facts about the game completely botched.

            That’s certainly not an ethical way to perform criticism.

          • @Tim
            There are more than one subject in the overall discussion. One subject is Sarkeesian and her body of work another subject is how gaming journalism should look like and what overall journalism ethics are telling us about the subject of bein impartial. And we even could have more subjects, for example how to deal with harrasment in online media, while taking into account that we’re speaking abouter international communications and therefore transnational laws.

            So for me you’re simply mixing up topics, like a lot of people saddly do. Which overall isn’t helping anyone.

      • Damion,

        Here’s the thing. I completely understand why Leah Alexander’s story could piss people off. It contained some fairly inflammatory language, and while careful reading shed light on exactly which groups she was trying to impugn, the group of people she was purposefully taking shots at is the group that got enraged (largely justifying, IMO, her characterization of it) — but that’s beside the point.

        I have no problem with someone who is angry about Alexander’s article, or something Polygon or Kotaku post. I have a problem with the idea that being angry gave GGers the self-perceived license to threaten, intimidate, and attack.

        I don’t see a way to separate the harassment from the actions that caused it. Sane, non-mysoginistic people would’ve written letters to the editor as opposed to launching a campaign of intimidation, silencing, and blatantly unethical behavior.

        Being upset with Leah Alexander isn’t the problem. How they reacted to it, is.

      • “Me, and most people like me, see the harassment of women and devs in the games industry as an incredibly pressing, top 10 issue.”

        I believe you have to be some kind of a high functioning psychopath to fail to see the issue of online safety as the real problem here. When people are being driven out of their homes and women are silenced by fear, whenever somebody says “yes harassment is a problem but…” I don’t think there is a need to listen to them.

        If your biggest issue is with some game journalists writing a few blurbs to promote the obscure game of their friend you have huge problem with empathy. Never mind the fact that most of GG’s findings were unfounded or stemmed from misunderstanding of how an industry works.

        Anyway we heard GamerGate. We listened to their claims and found most of them to go nowhere. We listened to their demands and found them to be unreasonable. We tried talking to them. You tried, Raph Koster tried, Jesse Singal tried. All of you got what GamerGate wanted a long time ago, even better than they do.

        The thing is that you just can’t reason with someone like them. With their rehearsed answers and blame shifting and apologism. There is no dialogue to be had there. I don’t care about GamerGate’s demands that they have the right to be heard.

        The matter is that everybody should have the right to not have to put up with GG’s abusiveness and lack of reason.

        What we should be focusing now is making sure that we can build a safe spaces for people and especially women online. That should be our only focus. Ultimately this would mean that GamerGate and other online abusers should have be made to feel isolated and unwelcome when they overstep their boundaries.

        The other thing to do is make sure that companies are safe from the type of email spam-scam that GameraGate engages in.

        The only way this could go on is by GamerGate slowly realizing that they are not going to get what they want and coming to turns with that. Because even if they don’t everybody is going to slowly start building safety measures to protect themselves from them and then ignoring them. This is the sad truth.

        GamerGate is now like a little child that desperately, wants to have chocolate and is kicking and screaming about it. But they wont have it, causer the problem is now, that they have diabetis.

        • I could turn this around and use exactly the same condescension that appears to power your sentiment, noting something about “ethics-less identity-politics ideologues are perfectly content to depersonalize one group while putting another on a pedestal.”

          Incendiary rhetoric and rabid disregard work both ways. You assert the claim of GamerGate’s involvement in harassment, so the burden of proof– not by fiat or “everybody knows” bullying– is on you.

          Or we could try to have a more civil conversation, for instance about the ease of trolling and harassment, the wide availability of personal information, what measures people can pursue to keep themselves safe from doxxing and swatting, how cybercrime divisions should be responding, etc. etc.

          An insistence on deifying innocents, an absolutist assertion of mental defect unless the other party agrees, choosing to depersonalize the other and trash bin their concerns will only get us to where we are now. Do you want to be a part of that?

        • ‘I believe you have to be some kind of a high functioning psychopath to fail to see the issue of online safety as the real problem here’

          I think the real problem is that there are certain places on the internet (eg. some of the chans) where vile sexism, racism etc. is treated as ‘just a joke’ and where people routinely insult each other as harshly as they can and make all kinds of over-blown threats quite casually, and obviously without any intent to follow through.
          This is all viewed as perfectly normal and just ‘a joke’ or just ‘the way things are online’. People who have come to view that kind of discourse as normal then see other online threats as equally without substance. They don’t realise how much more specific, thought-out or credible other threats can be, or how they are often tied up with harrassment or obvious stalking which makes them more sinister.

          • Urhg, just realised that I echoed the phrase ‘real problem’. I’m not trying to imply that harrassment is not a ‘real problem’ – only trying to say that it’s no so simple as ‘they’re all psychopaths’.

      • Thank you for the considered reply. It’s great to talk through this in a civil fashion.

        I think you nailed the core locus of the priorities for both sides, although I’d add that as a GamerGate supporter I believe harassment to also be a top issue, as it’s clearly happening on both sides. People are afraid to speak out, there are women who are receiving an avalanche of vitriol, it’s been implied by some (in media in fact) that devs and aspiring devs better be on the right side of history at risk to their future careers or even current job prospects, and we have false police reports, swatting and people having to evacuate their homes.

        This has to stop. But the question becomes in how to address it, and as long as we fight about collective guilt and who should bear what responsibility and which group of innocents is more deserving of our shield we will go NOWHERE.

        I don’t agree leaderless is inherently bad, but you are very right in that it is susceptible to cults of personality. There’s also an “any port in a storm” mentality that may excuse behavior when you feel that you’re the underdog.

        I’ve been turning over your suggestions from previous posts for days now. Some may work, but right now I think there’s a media blackout on GamerGate and real underlying cultural issues that stand in the way. I’m not sure how to get past them.

        At the risk of going off into the weeds, let me elaborate a bit: I’ll speak strictly for myself in noting that I can’t separate the underlying sociopolitical context from the journalistic ethics issue. I’ve seen it argued that game journalists should not be held to the same standards as the mainstream media (in terms of disclosure, gifts, relations) because gaming is small and doesn’t matter.

        But there are those in academia and activism who would strongly beg to differ. Games, they would argue, may be a coming cultural force equal to or greater than films and tv, maybe even supplanting them much as they in turn supplanted radio.

        I strongly suspect this is a core driver of the conflict. What you might dust off as insult others may well see as one culture supplanting/colonizing another, and people tend to react strongly to that (cf the rise of rock & roll, or gay marriage).

        If the academics and activists are right, then wouldn’t impartiality be even more important?

        I haven’t yet seen this evenly addressed. If Leigh Alexander’s sentiment of gamers being “not a culture” or “obtuse shit slingers” is in any way representative, then I think I can understand why. With US politics being so polarized, I can also understand a reluctance to criticize a media that you perceive to be favorable to your ideology, especially if you feel you’re trying to change the culture for the greater good and the existing culture stands in the way. “Any port in a storm” works both ways.

      • As time goes on, I’ve become increasingly convinced that the real reason that #GG refuses to organize or pick a leader is because they know that there would be no way to get everyone to agree on who should be the leader, or how it should be organized. The infighting of the last week proves that.

        And this isn’t even the first time KOP and his “followers” have gotten into fights with other parts of #GG. 2 weeks ago, he made a joke about autism on his stream, and a bunch of the more “moderate” GGers (most notably @liz_f) got offended by this, saying things like “I’m writing to advertisers to complain about Sam Biddle making jokes about autism, and I don’t see why I should give KOP a pass on this,” which was met by responses of “aren’t we’re fighting against political correctness here?” This went on for about an hour, with several people threatening to quit, until KOP made a sort-of apology and donated to an autism charity. That smoothed things over until KOP had his next big faux pas.

        I think that what we refer to as the #GamerGate movement is a coalition of people with diverse and sometimes contradictory interests that are only united by anger at the “status quo” and a siege mentality. They stick together because they have a common enemy and, at least in theory, nobody’s specific whims are elevated over those of anyone else. If everyone in #GG had to sit down and elect leaders or even write up a single political platform, they would quickly be torn apart by infighting that would make the last week look like a civil discussion.

        Similar examples abound throughout history. For instance, after the Egyptian revolution, the various mostly young and liberal-leaning protestors who had banded together to drive out Mubarak couldn’t agree on a single political platform, so they ended up splitting into literally hundreds of different political parties. This resulted in the election pitting the Muslim Brotherhood against the remnants of the old regime since they were the only remaining organized political groups of any appreciable size. And the rest is history.

  13. I thought AGGros’ response to the KoP thing was pretty telling. They have been hounding GG to reject him for months, and when it finally does those exact same people use it to paint GG as mean harassers.

    Also, I am not on that blocklist. She had an earlier version of it that had 15k+ people. I wasn’t on that one either. Her choice of follow archetypes is interesting if one wanted to avoid the “worst” elements of GG (for example, for a blocklist), but probably doesn’t present a very robust view of what GG is.

    Damion: I’m assuming you can remove the disclosure at the bottom.

    • Damion Schubert

      November 9, 2014 at 5:53 am

      Oh, I think it is clearly a good thing that King of Pol is either out or minimized. His cavalier attitude during the Denton episode in particular was very, very damaging to the GamerGate cause, and to civilized discourse altogether. GG just is not going to get the audiences it needs with the people it needs to progress real change if they are percieved to be run by the sort of people who debate the Holocaust.

      That being said, the fact that he was drummed out by harassment tactics is very telling. Basically, what it highlights is that the nature of the movement has no other real way to deal with problem children, due to the nature of its leaderless, organizationless movement.

      • I don’t know if you followed KoP and Sargons closely, but people seemingly were taking shots at KoP and some of his stuff before. As some people also ridiculed Sargons view on Diagra.

        As i said before they seem to be starving for some sort of leaders and are saddly often choosen very … well unadjusted leaders.

        Though i still see you defending Chu, who’s seemingly written so much crap on Twitter that i can only wonder about your stance… but well.

    • Damion Schubert

      November 9, 2014 at 5:54 am

      Also, I’ll edit the disclaimer, but since people may not realize I’ve left yet, I still want to be sure that distance is obvious.

  14. Eron mentioned that he has done volunteer work and he has been laid off because someone doxxed and contacted his HR department recently.

    He cited the ironic notion of “helpful” people barring him from doing helpful work.

  15. Don’t let TotalBiscuit fool you. He’s been on the harasser’s side many times before and I can direct you to one instance where I personally told him how cheap ass it was.

    Contact me if you want the details.

    The guy might have a smooth voice, but that’s all he’s got.

  16. While the blog is mostly a relevant and somewhat rational view on the things that happend recently (something that is in itself very rare these days) in regards to gamergate there is a few things i dont agree on and one thing that makes me pretty mad.

    Your ‘quote’ of TotalBiscuit is shortend and taken out of context. You put the original source so everyone who really cares could check it out for themselfs but this is exactly the kind of stuff we dont need at all. There is enough terrible things being done and said all the time, do you really need to take quotes out of context and shorten them just so they seem more ‘radical’?

    Beside that most of your opinions on the matter are very relatable. Here in Germany we wittnessed the rise of a new political party recently, ‘The Pirates’ die Piraten, inspired by a swedish party going by the same name. They were called ‘The Internet Party’ because most of their topics were very related to the internet.

    They were mostly young, the people who put their time and effort into it were mostly young tech-savvy men (trying not to play the nerd card here) that mostly communicated online. Everything was very transparent and everyone could participate, even the internal debates were open to the public and accessable over the internet. It was also important to the movement to not appear like the old partys were influential leaders were organizing and steering the party. There were leaders, but they werent the face of the party and ment to help organize the party on the inside, not represent it on the outside.

    Other issues like radicals that werent represented in other partys trying to hijack this new party for their goals, for example former members of the Nationalist Party Germany (with a lot of connections to the german Neonazi Movement).

    You probably see where im trying to go with this.


    The party failed all its political goals, lost all its momentum and trust and also a lot of members and voters.

    • Thanks for that link. These types of parallels (like Occupy Wall Street) are very useful because they highlight the moving parts of a social force driving movements.

      I’d be curious to know if Germany’s mainstream press was favorable or accurately covered the issues of this new party.

      • Damion Schubert

        November 9, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        I’m sure I’m not alone among the readers of my blog when I say that the mainstream press coverage has been typically very accurate and fair.

        The part that GamerGate doesn’t actually like is that the press focuses on the worst aspects of GamerGate. But that’s a function of how the press is forced to cover an issue without leaders or organization. Jesse Singal’s article about this is actually essential to understanding how the movement looks to an outsider who is told to go read KiA and 8chan to understand GamerGate.

        Yes, the assholes aren’t representative of all gamergaters. However, they are the nails that stick up the highest, and paint a fast and vivid portrait of the movement.

  17. I was only aware of some of this going on…certainly an eventful week on Twitter. I imagine there are grad students working on conference papers on #Gamergate as we speak.

    • I’m interested to see more of this, particularly because I think the subtext of what’s in play really could benefit from scholarly analysis. I’ve been reading academic assessments of GamerGate from a leftist/feminist perspective (which are, not surprisingly, not at all favorable and even downright contemptuous) but I have yet to encounter a more neutral perspective. If the debate continues to be framed in terms of hate and reactionary politics, I don’t imagine it will be academically safe to plump the depths, and any insight will be relegated to conservative websites.

  18. Mike Morhaime could have easily been talking about the misandrist social Marxist feminists attacking male gamers, accusing them of being sexist misogynists who think women are like Princess Peach in Super Mario Bros and that they love killing strippers and dragging around their bodies in Hitman. When he says the word “hate” I think of those videos, when he says “harassers” I think of the bad press on GamerGate. The gamers did not start this; the professional victims did, and it’s come from a years-long attack on males that have turned game posters Puritan (see the Divinity: Origins poster controversy where the easily-offended politically-correct feminists thought any skin showing on an armored woman below the neck was considered sexist) and fantasy paintings of girls with big boobs sexist. It’s an assault on art, creativity, and choice, and these feminists can’t force the market to buy what they want. If they end up dictating what goes into games, the market simply will not do as well. I mean, this is only the #1 source of entertainment in the world, and nobody is killing people because of games, so how are games making them sexist?

    • *ROFL*

      Why does everyone drag Marxism into things?

      PS. You appear to have misunderstood the way that the marketplace of ideas works. Since you’re bringing up Marx, that seems timely.

      The idea of a marketplace of ideas is that you bring your idea to market. If people buy your idea, you make money. If everyone in the market thinks your idea is STUPID and criticizes it, you don’t make any money. You also go broke.

      The fundamental idea of a marketplace for thoughts, or art, or critique is that nobody has the god-given right to a good review. That means feminists are free to criticize. You are free to criticize the feminists. The Christians are free to protest about a game with demonic imagery, the pagans are free to buy copies of a game that treats Paganism accurately, the atheists are free to avoid games that presuppose the existence of gods.

      And THAT means that if a company chooses to listen to a criticism and modify its product in a way that it believes will help it sell more copies? That’s a fair ball. It’s not “Marxism.”

      Under Marxism-Leninism, the State informs you what kind of game you are making, who it will star, what the main events will be, what values the quests will uphold, what the art will look like, where copies will be sold, and what you will do to market the product. It then distributes the game itself.

      You cannot divorce the actions of the STATE from this and say “Well, it’s cultural Marxism.” In Marxism-Leninism, the State *is* the actor, and the actions of outside groups are inconsequential.

      TLDR version: When the Obama Administration starts telling BioWare or Blizzard how to draw their artwork, you’ve got an argument. Until then, pick up a few books on political science and political theory, and learn the meanings of the terms you fling about.

      • “Why does everyone drag Marxism into things?”

        Marxism has been a staple of literature analysis and gender studies stuff in the US since at least the 90s.

        You can’t blame people for dragging Marxism into places where Marxism has in fact existed for 25+ years.

        Calling someone a Marxist isn’t even really an insult – for a time it was very popular to consider oneself a Marxist, to perform “Marxist interpretations” of literature, to read things through a “Marxist lens”, etc. When I was in college the Marxist / post-colonialist / feminist reading was the dominant way to interpret literature. (I have no idea if this is still the case, I don’t follow too closely and it’s all very silly)

        That cat jumped out of the bag a long time ago. If you have a problem with people bringing up Marxism wrt feminism you need to build a time machine, travel back to 1990 or earlier, and tell feminist scholars at the time to stop blabbing endlessly about Marxism.

        • The fact that Marxist analysis was a popular method of analyzing certain systems in Western culture doesn’t mean you can simply slap “Marxism” in front of a word and make it a valid criticism.

          For example — “Marxist feminism” is a branch of feminism that considers and critiques how systems of capitalist ownership and the free market actually work to oppress women and limit freedom. The first person to related Marx to the impact it had on feminism was Engels, who wrote in 1884.

          The idea that this became popular in the 1990s is simply absurd. Marxist critique of the impact of capitalism on various economic arrangements is more than a century old.

          Furthermore, Marxist feminism is often opposed to the goals of traditional feminism, seeing them as ultimately furthering the class conflict that still divides individuals. Marxist feminism is something distinct and separate from traditional feminism.

          You cannot simply slap words together like “misandrist social Marxist feminists” and come up with an insult without making yourself look like an idiot to people who understand topics better than you do.

        • The fact that Marxist analysis was a popular method of analyzing certain systems in Western culture doesn’t mean you can simply slap “Marxism” in front of a word and make it a valid criticism.

          For example — “Marxist feminism” is a branch of feminism that considers and critiques how systems of capitalist ownership and the free market actually work to oppress women and limit freedom. The first person to related Marx to the impact it had on feminism was Engels, who wrote in 1884.

          The idea that this became popular in the 1990s is simply absurd. Marxist critique of the impact of capitalism on various economic arrangements is more than a century old.

          Furthermore, Marxist feminism is often opposed to the goals of traditional feminism, seeing them as ultimately furthering the class conflict that still divides individuals. Marxist feminism is something distinct and separate from traditional feminism.

          You cannot simply slap words together like “misandrist social Marxist feminists” and come up with an insult without making yourself look like an idiot to people who understand topics better than you do.

          • You asked why people drag Marxism into things. I gave you a perfectly reasonable answer – Marxism is not being “dragged” anywhere, it was already there.

            “How dare you accuse Marxists of being Marxists!” Come again?

            The guy who produces and co-writes the Tropes videos engages in Marxist criticism. It’s not an accusation that comes out of nowhere, nor is it really an accusation – that’s just what he does. Marxist interpretation is his schtick. Do you dispute that? It seems plainly obvious.

            “The idea that this became popular in the 1990s is simply absurd. Marxist critique of the impact of capitalism on various economic arrangements is more than a century old.”

            Do you not understand the difference between when something began and when it became faddish in the US among the gender and literature studies crowd?

            Marxist literary criticism (where “literature” includes movies, games, etc) is not exactly the same thing as broader Marxism.

            A “Marxist lens” being applied to literature by gender studies people is a specific phenomenon that rose to prominence in a specific time period – yes Karl Marx wrote before that, obviously.

            But the 1990s is when English departments and gender studies departments largely merged in US academic institutions, and when Marxist/feminist readings of lit shot up in popularity.

          • @person
            Well you need to understand that it’s a true scotsman problem with maxists. If you bring up the soviet union to marxists or communists they’ll explain to you how this haven’t been the real deal.
            So it’s honestly better sticking to less disputed labels.

        • Dropping back up here to respond to you.

          I’m responding to “Mike Morhaime could have easily been talking about the misandrist social Marxist feminists attacking male gamers…[inarticulate flailing snipped]”

          Sarkeesian does not critique from a Marxist feminist perspective, so he’s obviously not talking about her. Where is this video critique? Does this person have a significant number of followers or a real platform?

          I’m genuinely curious.

          The Marxist critique of feminism tends to criticize the liberal tendency to confuse equality with men with equal access to intrinsically evil systems of oppression. It also charges (with some degree of accuracy, in my opinion) that Western feminism is mostly concerned with the problems of white, middle-class women. Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, for example, is the kind of work that Marxist Feminism would criticize.

          *Marxist* feminism is largely concerned with economic and class struggle, just as Marxism itself takes that view.

          Simply being concerned with the idea of equal pay for women doesn’t qualify you as a Marxist feminist. In fact, a Western liberal feminist concerned with equal pay for women, is, to a Marxist feminist, part of the *problem.*

          After a little Googling, I have yet to find anyone using the phrase “Marxist feminism” in anything like proper usage as it relates specifically to Gamergate, nor any sign that there’s actually a Marxist feminist sparking wide debate.

          My point, A Person, is that a lot of people hurling insults are just mindlessly throwing nasty phrases with no actual contemplation of what they mean or even what they mean to say. The critiques of Gamergate that I have seen aren’t flowing from a Marxist perspective.

          But if you have evidence to the contrary, I’m curious to see it.

    • Euuuuu I’m going to go all out and say this guy is actually trying to be sarcastic, and is actually a “SJW” trying to make fun of the failed logic of GG.

  19. This entire post and all comments subsequent can be summed up with this one particular image:


  20. Your friendly Game Developer

    November 10, 2014 at 2:02 am

    So, just a friendly reminder that every game developer I have known has gotten more harassment from ANTI-GG folks than anti-corruption folks. Certain individuals are lying about this thanks to their attachment to one of the individuals questioned.

    • Industry employee here (inb4 “omg lies” and “where’s ur proof”). Yep, anti-GG have been looking like fools much more than GG have been for a long while now.

      Of course, both sides have radical imbalanced twits, but anti-GG is the side that has looked much more obsessively imbalanced.

  21. What baffles me is how anyone claiming “ethics” could claim to treat the situation equally. Regardless of gender, if a journalist barters sex for reviews, it’s the journalist’s breach of neutrality and ethics more than the developer’s. A developer doesn’t have to be neutral, a journalist does. Those who blamed a woman for a morally questionable sex act (which probably didn’t even happen) would have defaulted to the woman no matter what. If the journalist was a woman, they’d think it was her fault. If it were two men, there probably wouldn’t be a Gamergate.

    • If a developer of any gender deliberately has sex with a journalist under the conditions of getting a favorable coverage, then both the journalist and the developer are guilty of corruption.

      If someone takes an illegal bribe, both the person who was bribed, and the person who bribed them are guilty.

      It’s funny when anti-GG people spout nonsense like this.

      • In 14 years of journalism I have never met anyone willing to trade sex with me for positive coverage. This may or may not say something about me, personally. 😉

        In all seriousness, I’m sure it’s happened — but I doubt it’s happened very often. I would characterize both the actions of the journalist and the developer as… well, not very ethical. But it’s the journalist who is more guilty of a direct ethical violation.

        Our hypothetical developer might be desperate. They might be at the absolute end of their resources. People have done far worse things than traded sex for favors or consideration when driven to it out of desperation.

        The journalist, however, is the person who has agreed to sell their coverage in exchange for nookie. The developer may have an explanation for their actions, if not a particularly flattering one. The journalist doesn’t.

        • I would think that a more likely concern is not bartering coverage for sex, but a journalist being subject to bias because of a romantic relationship with one of their sources.

          But in that case, the ethical asymmetry is even more stark–the source may not have intended to sway coverage at all.

      • “If a developer of any gender deliberately has sex with a journalist under the conditions of getting a favorable coverage, then both the journalist and the developer are guilty of corruption.”

        If if if if if. If the sun was purple, that would be weird. If cats were dogs, what would happen???

  22. I love how you characterize disagreement as automatically negative:

    “Gamergate is just a bunch of women-haters and that is all they care about”

    Disagreements happen over the validity of information, demonstrating that there are different motivations between gamergaters.

    “Gamergate had a bad week – see – they disagree on something”

    Ignoring entirely how the misogyny claims of most gamergate opponents are rendered null and void if there is evidence of caring about something other than “woman-hating”.

    But yes, by all means, tell me how disagreements over whether data is legitimate or not is bad for gamergate.

  23. Developer harassment has been a big issue at Blizzard. I was in support for Wow 1.0 and 2.0 and seeing the building (the old one, not the new campus) go from standard office, to fortified front gate was a bit jarring. The tales I heard about disgruntled players/parents of disgruntled players was astounding. I think one thing GG has done as a side effect has been the exposition of harassment from a hard core contingent in gaming. Hopefully the more people speak out about it, the more it’ll reduce harassment.

    I’m also looking forward to more game design posts. While GG has been interesting, I care more about Games than a “consumer revolt”.

  24. Hi! First of all I loved reading your design articles, and now I love reading these articles. You’re a bastion of exposure and you are great. I get to follow all the foolishness of Gamergate that I rarely get to see because of (sadly) necessary blockbots.

    Keep it up!

    A high up friend.

  25. Well I don’t really care how GG does, I’m sure like all these ‘internet outrage’ moments, they’ll get over it soon enough. What I do care about is the absolute garbage that makes up half or more of game journalism. Everything from the constant click bait that seems only concerned with preying on the ‘console wars’ headlines like ‘BF4 900p on Xbox and 1080p on PS4’. To the agenda driven places like polygon. I mean they put out a statement declaring themselves progressive liberals.

    I mean I’m sorry if they wanted to be political op-ed writers but ended up having to write about games, but hey most of us don’t get our dream job. Then that same site in the same declaration says ‘hey you want another political view represented then start your own site’.

    I’m sorry, but that is childish and that argument goes both ways. They gave Bayonetta 2 a lower score based on their politics….. well if ya don’t like that kind of game then go make your own.

    I mean what they do is essentially like telling a bunch of 17 year old boys ‘Stop listening to that rap and rock music, you should listen to jazz and classical music’.

    In the mean time I’m left wondering ‘for those of us who like games, where is are AudioFile?’ *Great magazine if your into that stuff*.

    GameInformer I consider one of the better publications is still mostly just previews, which lets be honest, are basically advertisements. They interviewed Anita Sarkeesian this last issue…. well it was warranted. She has certainly been a news worthy person in gaming as of late. Though outside of controversy I can’t exactly say what she has done that is worth talking about.

    The interview basically boils down to her saying what games she approves of and what games she doesn’t. Then going on to say how the industry needs to change as a whole so that it will be less offensive.

    Well excuse me, but there are lots of people offended by lots of things and they are told to deal with it. Christians are offended my documentaries like ‘Religulous’, many people are offended by pornography, or rap music or rock music or movies with graphic violence ect ect.

    It is amazingly self centered to expect people to give up their taste in entertainment because you personally don’t like it.

    All that being said, of course I don’t condone the harassment that I’m sure she has received. My argument goes both ways, just because some like myself don’t like what she says, doesn’t give us the right to try and shut her up.

    On the issue of harassment in gaming culture I personally think this swatting thing is what has really gotten out of hand. Law enforcement needs to start finding these people.

    Anyways, to summarize, the whole gamergate thing seems to be mostly lead by internet losers. The type that have more of an online life than an offline one. But its continued existence to me suggest that there was some building resentment towards the various things I already talked about.

    On another note, I’m glad I found this blog. I see you got game design stuff here. I’ll make a point to check that out. I’m currently 2 years into a BA in compsci and am interested in game related stuff, among other things in that field. Keep meaning to go to the game design club they have on campus…… just…. so… lazy 🙂

    • This whole “We want to take things away from everyone” has been ridiculously overblown.

      Everything else, from paintings to literature to film — is critiqued. It’s criticized. I read a great story earlier this year pointing out that while Princess Leia is established as a fairly strong character, she’s virtually the ONLY female in the entire series save for brief cameos by slaves, Luke’s aunt and Mon Mothma herself (whose role was mostly expanded upon in the EU). There are some females playing aliens and a couple of brief shots of female X-Wing and Y-Wing pilots. But that’s it.

      I love Star Wars, but that’s a perfectly valid criticism of the first trilogy. Writing about how that’s problematic doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of the series. It doesn’t mean the author is arguing that Star Wars “shouldn’t be made” anymore.

      No, I can’t account for what some morons on Twitter might have said, but the serious published commentary in websites amounts to “Here’s what I find problematic.” And “Here’s what I found problematic” is a fundamentally different statement from “Here’s why this game should not exist.”

      • Well I never mentioned any specific twitter comments.

        But I did talk about those ‘serious published commentary’s’.

        Polygon I give some credit to for admitting there left bias. Wish others would. Why? I think it matters. If a game is getting down graded to a subjective political opinion well… I should know, because I may not share that political bent.

        As for the whole game is ‘art’ thing. Yeah but as we like movies, music and literature you have different demographics. Something that is clearly targeted to a teen audience should not be judged to what a 35 year old might want. Hence why I think people complaining about Justin beiber or Twilight books are silly.

        Some games are simply meant to appeal to the teen male. That does not mean there are not other choices. Maybe that is the issue with all those Aug 28 articles. They presented a very binary choice in them. The old types of games have to go for the new market, essentially. Turns out the ‘old’ market was a bit more important than they anticipated.

        • I mean, I could care less about the August 28th articles. Nothing Leah or anyone else wrote justified the outpouring of misogyny and scorn. In fact, the very narrow strata of people Leah was criticizing utterly justified her criticism with their response to her remarks.

          The bottom line is that the sexual and sexualized nature of gaming is going nowhere. It sells. It sells games to women, it sells games to men. It’s the people who treat this as an absurd situation where “SJWs” have supposedly taken care over gaming that are blowing it out of all proportion.

          I mean really, what have we seen in actual shipping CONTENT? A few posters changed to show marginally less skin? A bit LESS of female characters with DDDD breasts (opting instead for the infinitely more modest DDD?) Some romance options for people who aren’t straight?

          The gaming industry, as a whole, is paying *slightly* more attention to the desires of women and the GLBTQ community. That’s it. And yet this has been treated as proof of a veritable apocalypse, as though Bioware had declared the next game would be Ass Effect, and you’d play as a male shepherd in a locked-in romance with Garrus.

          • However you interpreted the various articles does not matter. The titles lead with the subject matter being ‘gamers’. It frankly was stupid of them. Could you imagine Sports illustrated leading with ‘Sports fans are dead’??

            As for outpourings of whatever behavior well….. welcome to the internet. Overreaction is the norm. I’m not excusing it, I’m just saying that you should not act like this is a gaming issue.

            I don’t really agree with your ‘bottom line’ point. You say the games are selling well that promote misogyny. Ehhhhhhhhh I’m not so sure.

            Is FiFA or Madden misogynist? No they are just popular sports. Don’t like the fact that those sport are male dominated then address those leagues, not games based on them.

            MMOs…………. yeah lot men apparently want to be women in those games because of potential gains/grafts.

            Fighting games……… don’t see it. Sure some women are ridiculously clothed but some men are ridiculously muscled.

            Many games have nothing to do with gender. Tetris anyone?

            What we are really talking about is story driven games. And well some folks not liking the story.

            On that I would give Anita and her ilk support except that I don’t see the stories as being sexist so much as I see them being immature. Much like I see the summer box buster movies as having immature plots. And well they are going for as big of an audience as possible *RIP R rated blockbusters* 🙁

            You know what though, I’m glad to see those from time to time but I really pay attention to things like GoT.

            Same with games, I seek out the games that fit my interest and lord knows there are plenty of them.

            What this really boils down to for me is: Someone saw a game they didn’t like and complained that they didn’t like it. To them I say ‘get over it’.

  26. O yeah just want to give an example of a publication I really liked. ‘Next-Generation’. Though I think they have been out of publication for a long time. Might just be nostalgia talking.

  27. If they thought they could get Randi Harper fired from Kixeye for what she did, they don’t know Kixeye very well! Kixeye prides themselves on being rebels and upstarts that challenge the conventional order and piss people off. If Will, Dave and Paul heard people were complaining about her blocker script, they probably congratulated her on it!

Comments are closed.

© 2018 Zen Of Design

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑