Zen Of Design

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

This Week in the Perpetual Outrage Machine

Quick thought of the day: if you’re complaining about how feminists are destroying your games, and the best you can give me as proof is Kali losing a little underboob in Smite, I gotta tell you, THEY’RE not the ones playing the victim card.

Other quick hits

 Addendum: Our community has spoken. And we feel we can be honest: We do NOT support #GamerGate. And we denounce their activities.

From the beginning it was a concatenation of ironies. They declaimed unethical games journalism with the aid of an unethical journalist; they claimed women and minorities were #notyourshield while using them as a shield against criticism of GamerGate; they excoriated “blacklists” while creating aggressively enforced boycott lists of websites and authors who disagreed with them; they averred their movement had nothing to do with Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn even as they remained unable to stop talking about them; they promoted a vague notion of “inclusion” while expending great energy claiming that there was nothing wrong whatsoever with gamer culture’s treatment of women.

But the greatest irony of all is that from the beginning, GamerGate took as its enemy the “social justice warrior”—an archetype based on a toxic tendency in leftist activism—and then employed all of their tactics in service to their supposedly noble and just aims.


  1. Cool, Dack found James “Rape is a great narrative tool” Desborough.

    • Cool, a snarky comment from someone with nothing to add to the conversation who doesn’t read books and doesn’t seem to know that rape is a central plot point in many great works of fiction.

  2. What did you think of Erik Kain’s GG capitulation today? He basically slams the reactionary Verge piece, but ignores they were already a target for 8chan’s “Operation VoX Populi” and claims GG isn’t a hate campaign. Verge reacted wrong, sure, but it’s not surprising they reacted. Seems dishonest to omit that detail.

    Meanwhile GGers targeted women, ethnic and sexual minorities and transgender people, there was a huge wave of transphobia from them Monday and Milo Yiannopoulosis is an unrepentant transphobe himself.

    Try as they might, so long as people genuinely concerned about journalistic ethics continue to affiliate with GG, they will be associated with everything done in its name.

    • As long as people genuinely concerned with women’s rights continue to affiliate with Feminism they will be associated with Andrea Dworkin and thus dismissed.

      The fact is any large movement is going to have undesirables. If that means throwing the good out with the bad that’s your choice. GG has done a better job of self-policing, at least recently, than the people opposed to them have done.

      When GaymerX got bullied away from a thoughtful stance most GGers responded with something along the lines of “too bad you got the flack you did, you are a good organization though.” When a guy was caught lying about attacks from anti-GGers GGers pointed it out rather than burying it.

      “We won’t negotiate as long as there are extremists” is a time-honored approach from hawks who hate negotiation – it gives the extremists all the power. Not to get too political, but it’s similar to “we won’t negotiate for piece until you stop firing rockets at us.” All it takes is one guy with a rocket to derail the peace process – which is very much be design.

      There are plenty of noxious feminists, noxious liberals, noxious vegans, noxious . Condemn and then ignore those people. Do you also reject the existence of gravity because Newton was a prick?

      No movement or organization on earth is going to pass a no bad apples purity test.

      • Feminism is a movement with legitimacy, and history.

        Gamergate is not.

      • Ok
        There are what… 3-5-10 thousand gamergaters?
        You are a defined group
        Some are more or less active, sone are heroes, some spend their days tweeting, some are remote associates

        But still, YOU are the ones defining the movement. Every time someone uses the hashtag to makes a shitty move, it makes you look bad. Hence, you point them out. You spend 70% of your energy telling your troops to stay polite, not to engage, not to talk about Anita or Zoe etc

        And you are attacking…. Well: SJW, journalists, feminists, gamers that don’t want to be associated with gg, devs, VERGE, the NYT, nVidia because they wont remove their adds…. So many people!!

        My point is that, “anti-ggters” is not a “group” per se. We dont get defined the same way you do. We don’t identify ourselves as “part of something” We are more or less… Can I say… The rest of the world? Ok that’s a bit much. Let’s say least all the people in the world who give a fuck about GG and is not part of it. That’s a lot of people. From people just reading a NYT article to people like me posting here… The “antigg” crowd is, and I know this is hard for you to accept, just about EVERYONE. No, it’s not only SJW. This is another category that YOU defined. So no surprise no one (almost) wants to be tagged as one

        You defined gamergate, it’s aims. You are the group. It’s opposition is vast, varied, huge.
        So no. Sorry. I don’t feel the need to point out and excuse myself everytime someone in the world makes a shitty move against ggaters or everytime a hardcore feminist tweets #deathtoallmen. Not because I agree. But because they do not represent me , nor the opposition to GG, nor anyone but themselves.

        Because “we” are not a group nor a community
        We don’t need #notyourshield posing as minorities. We don’t need flags nor heroes nor hash tags.

        I don’t identify with hardcore stupid feminist or trolls comparing GG to ISIS. Why should I? If we start denouncing every troll on the planet that is saying bad things to gaters, we’ll spend our lifes denouncing humanity and #gamergate will become a huge clusterfuck of finger pointing.

        So lay to rest this overblown argument that “the other side does not denounce their bad part like we do”. There are reasons. And no, the reason is not that we agree with them or support their actions

      • Damion Schubert

        October 10, 2014 at 6:23 am

        Feminism is a richly textured movement. It’s got some extremists. It’s got a whole lot of moderates. It’s got some bad ideas. It’s got a whole lot of good ideas. And I’ve gotten into plenty of fights with feminists in the past. But a lot of that is because it is structured enough to be able to build an etymology inside of it, so you can actually talk about the different strains of Feminism, and have a debate on, for example, whether Christina Sommers is a feminist at all.

        GamerGate has nowhere near that structure or that sort of self-examination. In fact, if GamerGate people dare examine each other, they can get ripped to shreds. It’s an aimless mob that is remarkably lacking in self-reflection.

        Whether you agree with Feminists or not, comparing it in any way to the roving mob that is the Gamergate movement is duplicitous.

        As for ‘we don’t negotiate with extremists’, it’s more of ‘we don’t negotiate with people who won’t negotiate’. When I made a call for an organization that might actually provide Gamergate with enough structure that it could be taken seriously, I was shillbombed. And the by and large gist both here, on twitter and on Reddit is that there will be nothing approaching dialogue. So no. I see no reason to negotiate. In 6 months, gamergate will be a distant memory, like donglegate and clambake was before it.

        • Feminism also has a history of a hundred+ years in the US. You should read some early feminist work – it’s all over the place. But my point isn’t really to suggest that feminism and GG are somehow equivalent, it’s to point out that every movement has extreme elements. That’s the nature of movements. Using that to dismiss a movement as a whole is always an available choice.

          As far as lack of self-reflection – you’re a person who praised himself for being logical and thoughtful while pimping a blog post that was little more than a series of personal attacks. As is often the case you’re projecting your own flaws onto others.

          “When I made a call for an organization that might actually provide Gamergate with enough structure that it could be taken seriously..”

          Examined rationally it made very little sense, would be very difficult to organize, and had terrible optics. Outsiders suggesting to others how best to be taken seriously just never works. Try the “I’m actively fighting against your group but here’s a plan you should adopt to be taken seriously…” with ANY group and see how it goes. You will be rejected out of hand.

          You’re an MMO guy, do you really have such little understanding of human behavior?

          You poisoned the well then asked people to drink from it.

        • When feminists want to pretend their movement is broad, they say that all of us who believe in equal rights and opportunities for men and women are feminists.

          When you actually speak, however, they enforce their ideological purity and tell you that you are not a feminist when you disagree with them.

          There really should be no debate over whether Christina Hoff Sommers is a feminist.

          Anyone that demands that gamergaters police themselves should allow that a feminist can police the rhetoric of other feminists.

          If policing the rhetoric of other gamergaters doesn’t make you an anti-gamergater, then policing the rhetoric of other feminists shouldn’t make you an anti-feminist.

          • That’s a legitimate point, and brushes aside the decades of authorship that have shaped what feminism is over generations of thought. Which makes it less than legitimate.

            There is no argument about Sommers. She is not a feminist. She is an opportunist.

          • CHS calls herself a feminist and believes that women are equal to men and should be treated equally.

            She’s a feminist by any definition feminists use in public.

          • Sommers is a feminist like S. E. Cupp is an atheist.


  3. Techraptor is being DDos again right now becuase they wrote positive GG articles and Cathy Young is getting death threats over her real clear politics article

    but I guess that doesn’t fit into the perpetual outrage machine

    • 1). Please demonstrate that the site is being DDOS’d for its statements as opposed to by high traffic before you begin making such claims.

      2). Has anyone ever said death threats were ok? To anyone? From any direction? Let me say now, in case this is unclear: Threatening people with death or rape over their opinions is not ok. Ever. Period. End of discussion.

      3). Reading Young’s post (keeping in mind Point #2) I take serious issue with her reflection of events for the following reasons:

      A). She’s linking MLP fandom and blog posts about the shipping of homoerotic characters in fanfiction as proof that SJWs are influencing game design as though Zoe Quinn was a radical lesbian feminist who had just been appointed Game Development Queen of the Universe, or as though any so-called SJW actually occupied such a role. Period.

      B). She never directly addresses the fact that the accusations that kicked off the GG shitstorm as they relate to Zoe Quinn were, in fact, lies.

      She begins by referring to the first Tumblr post as “accusing her [Quinn] of infidelities and deceptions, with screenshots of their online chats as corroboration.”

      It takes her 968 words to get around to acknowledging that “The ethics issue is not that Quinn supposedly slept her way to good reviews (she did not)”

      That’s what you call “Burying the lede.” She’s implicitly validated the initial Tumblr post by basing a thousand words of her article to describing everything that came after, and then, after delving into all the possible reasons why the Internet might hate ZQ, says “Oh, but it’s not about her anyway.”

      If it’s not about her, you don’t spent a thousand words discussing it.

      Articles like that presuppose a leftist domination of politics and culture that does not, generally speaking exist — and again, it raises the ethics consideration as they directly relate to games and journalism as a sideshow point. It’s a classic hatchet job disguised in paper-thin objectivity.

      Death or rape threats against either the author or the avowed GG supporters mentioned in the story? Still not ok.

      • You are doing the thing zealots do where the standard of evidence is incredibly high for people you disagree with and incredibly low for people you agree with.

        A DDOS against someone one your team? Take that at face value. Against someone on the enemy team? You’re skeptical!

        Has anyone said that death threats are ok? Yes. The antiGG side turns a blind eye towards death threats coming from them, which is tacit endorsement. This is the logic of antiGG after all – if you stay silent you are endorsing. Neutrality is assent. Etc. AntiGG people do a terrible job of calling out harassment from their side. I am doing what is known as “applying consistent logic” – a foreign concept to zealots.

        Instead of just condemning death threats in your post you immediately launch into victim blaming – well hey her piece was pretty bad! You spent more time taking issue with her piece than with the death threats, even though the substance of her post is totally irrelevant and the person you are responding to didn’t talk about the substance at all, just the threats.

        The substance of her piece doesn’t matter! No matter how bad it may be that doesn’t somehow mitigate the threats.

        “I’m against rape but here are 3 paragraphs about how the victim was wearing a short skirt. Totally against rape though!”

        Is it really that hard to just say that death threats are wrong, period, without then launching into a thinly veiled justification for them?

        • Death threats and silencing by misuse of technology are wrong.

          Saying you take “serious issue” with the way someone wrote an article in light of threats does not excuse the threats or necessarily imply the author is to blame.

        • “A DDOS against someone one your team? Take that at face value. Against someone on the enemy team? You’re skeptical!”

          If I’m skeptical, it’s because hammering a website with traffic will produce precisely the same effect as a DDoS unless the site has taken steps to specifically prevent this. There’s a reason the slashdot effect has its own Wikipedia entry.


          Simultaneous and rapid-fire pickup by multiple social media sites will DDoS a site *without* need for an actual DDoS attack.

          Again and for the third time — death and rape threats against people for opinions are not ok, whether they are pro-or-anti-GG. That’s my stated opinion regardless of what any piece says, which is why I stated it FIRST.

          My critique of her writing is a critique of her writing. Her writing does not justify the use of threats or intimidation against her, because threats and intimidation have no place in this or any conversation.

        • “Has anyone said that death threats are ok? Yes. The antiGG side turns a blind eye towards death threats coming from them, which is tacit endorsement.”

          Death threats are wrong, no matter the circumstances. I condemn them, and everyone who utters them.

          There. That’s a clear statement from “my side”. Because “my side” is ME. “Anti-GG”, as you call it, is – unlike GamerGate – not a unified, collective movement. It’s simply people who don’t like GG, for whatever reason.
          When someone from outside of GG makes a death threat against supporters of the tag, then that’s terrible – but it in no way reflects on anyone else outside GG, because “outside GG” is LITERALLY 99.99(…)% of humanity.

          • Note that gamergate is not a unified movement either. The difference is that gamergaters have chosen a label for themselves whereas you and I have not.

    • Damion Schubert

      October 10, 2014 at 6:29 am

      I’m dearly sorry that I am not psychic, and therefore happened to miss one or two stories while attempting to finish my normal workload.

      I’m deeply sorry that a website got DDOSed. They can join me in the club of people who got DDOSed for having an opinion over video games. It’s no fun. I was going to say that they probably didn’t have to deal with incompetent IT the way that I did (I’m a one-man operation, so my IT is my provider), but then again, my guy sure got me up a lot faster than theirs. However, this is wrong, and should be condemned.

      If Cathy Young is getting death threats, that’s wrong. However, I have no evidence that that is happening from here, so I don’t know how I was supposed to psychically know that. If I had seen her article before I posted, I would have put it up, and described it as generally weak and offering not much new to the conversation.

      • okay dude, it’s just convenient that every fucking time a GG supporter is doxxed, attacked, or receives death threats, somehow it falls thru the cracks.

        And it not just you. Not one website, VG or tech or culture related has written about the shit we have gotten. Everyone is just missing it, apparently.

        • Like the title from the article says, most sites are trying to ignore GG entirely.

          If you’re acting out of conviction, you ought to consider not associating with Gamergate, and just say what you feel on your own, on your own blog.

  4. I love the fact that you’ve refused to attend GaymerX in the past because being supportive of the gay community isn’t something you feel is important, but now that it’s highly politicized over a frankly idiotic issue you’re pledging your support.


    I suggest you don’t go to GaymerX if you the reason you’re going is not to support gay people but to support your moronic Twitter feuds. You seem to have completely missed the point as to what GaymerX is about.

    • Damion has never “refused” to go to GaymerX. He said he will try to go to the next one. He doesn’t live near to where it happens, though.

      • That doesn’t change the fact that he is pledging to attend now only because GaymerX took his side in his infantile Twitter war. Apparently that is the tipping point.

        Support for gay people? Not compelling enough.

        Support in an idiotic Twitter war? Now that’s a reason to support GaymerX!

        • Your tiff would have merit if GaymerX was the only way in existence to acknowledge and support gay people who play games, or that the “infantile Twitter war” was in fact inconsequential. If either were true, would you be trying to stir the shit about this unimportant thing, on his own blog?

          Ever hear of a tipping point?

          • So the tipping point here is not support for gay people but support for anti-GG statements?

            Ever hear of extremely misplaced priorities?

          • The tipping point *might* be the general support for a convention that was inconvenient to attend, but a principled stance and acknowledgement of screwing up an initial public expression might mean Damion attends it soon.

            Or it might not. I’m sure he can clarify his own position.

            Please state your beefs more concisely. I don’t know what your problem is.

    • Gaymer X is about creating a safe space for LGBTQ people in the video game community; and fostering an atmosphere of and affecting a change towards diversity in the industry.

      i.e., goals that gators usually belittle, ridicule and utterly shit on; as their reactions to “hugboxes”, trigger warnings and the #INeedDiverseGames tag clearly show. That is, unless it allows them to score some cheap political points, of course.

      • You can’t claim to be for diversity when you are simultaneously advocating for an ideological purge.

        GaymerX did not endorse GG, it merely pointed out that not every GGer is a horrible person and that some GaymerX volunteers support GG. That is support of diversity – ideological diversity.

        Then a bunch of people attacked them, some even suggesting that those volunteers be let go. Let me repeat that: they argued that people who put in time to help GaymerX, without compensation assumedly because they support the GaymerX mission, should be let go in the name of diversity.

        And no, this is not an example of “tolerate my intolerance.” If people are volunteering for GaymerX I think it’s safe to say that they are tolerant of gay people.

        If GaymerX wants to let go of anti-gay volunteers that makes perfect sense, though I doubt there are many anti-gay GX volunteers. But claiming that any volunteer who is a GGer is necessarily anti-gay is extremely tortured logic.

        I have a gay friend who recently got engaged and I’m a member of the Human Rights Campaign. I’m also sympathetic to GG. (Though I wouldn’t call myself a GGer – I dislike organized groups as they invariably lead to groupthink and failure to call out problem elements) There’s no contradiction there.

        What next? No Republicans or Libertarians should be allowed to volunteer for GaymerX in the name of diversity?

        • Republicanism and Libertarianism are quite a bit more storied ideologically than Gamergate will ever hope to be.

          Is “diversity” necessarily the reason to dismiss people who would associate willingly with a mob of Twitter shit talkers? Because that’s absolutely what Gamergate is. Your description is pretty accurate. There are individuals who are well meaning, but there is a shit ton of trolling and crazy.

          Such as the trolling and crazy that targeted GaymerCon as a target because it was full of SJW’s. Maybe not everyone who claimed to support GG was going to do that. But that’s the consequence of being a leaderless mob.

          And I didn’t actually read where GaymerX said unequivocally that they would not accept GG volunteers. Link, please?

          • Why would I provide a link supporting something I never said? This is what I said:

            “Then a bunch of people attacked them, some even suggesting that those volunteers be let go.”

            You should try reading posts before replying to them. Is that asking too much?

            I think I’m done talking to you. You harass people online while claiming to be against harassment, you patrol these comment threads like a guard dog making sure you get the last word in on every conversation and you can’t even be bothered to read posts.

            You can’t seem to stand discussions that you can’t dominate through volume. These comment threads are like 50% everyone else combined and 50% you.

          • Oh, so your problem wasn’t even with GaymerX DOING anything, it was with those other people SAYING they should do something they haven’t decided to do? And you’re questioning whether Damion should approve of their response to what could have been a big shitstorm, not because of a policy they didn’t actually change?

            k bye.

          • I don’t have a problem with GaymerX, I have a problem with people who attacked GaymerX.

            Again, try reading posts before responding to them.

            What’s the point of posting in the comments over and over again if you can’t be bothered to read the posts you’re responding to?

            My posts aren’t elaborate riddles. I very clearly stated that those comments were coming from people attacking GX, not GX itself.

            If you can’t read and understand straightforward English that’s on you.

          • GaymerX fucked up by acknowledging Gamergate as anything legitimate. Then they corrected themselves.

            GaymerX is to be credited for trying to sound inclusive and open to individuals, and I believe it will continue to do so.

            Well-meaning, open-minded individuals who question how games journalism works can do so without identifying as “pro-GG”. That is an advisable position.

            And you’re welcome to quit talking to me because I think you’re boring.

    • Damion Schubert

      October 10, 2014 at 6:32 am

      GaymerX happens during a time of year when there are several conferences and events to choose from, and which have to be juggled with, you know, actually getting work done. I’ve been meaning to go to GaymerX for a couple of years now, but various life constraints have forced me to make other choices (and in the first year, I think I couldn’t go to any at all due to SWTOR crunch).

      But yes, organizers who are proud of their beliefs in inclusion make me inclined to give them my support.

  5. The saddest thing – as long as this has been going on GamerGate has been failing to uncover any kind of real corruption of ethics’ breach in gaming. This paid branding thing could have been the first time that GamerGate turned around and started adressing some real issues.

    Well yesterday Erik Kain very gave a very clear sing on what they should be focusing on. He wrote an article practically with the hashtag metadata plus an call to action in the title of an article. The result:

    topsy.com/analytics?q1=%23gamergate mordor&q2=%23gamergate verge&via=Topsy

    topsy.com/analytics?q1=%23gamergate mordor&q2=%23gamergate verge&via=Topsy

    GamerGate is way more focused on a negative article dismissing GG than on a real problems affecting the industry.

    • Yup, it’s sad.

      And today the revealed a new tactic, a program that spams tweets from users that signed up, which the only thing it did was get #gamergate flagged in twitters system causing it to be removed from trending.

      • Damion Schubert

        October 10, 2014 at 6:34 am

        I noted that in my article above. I genuinely don’t know if it was trending beforehand (I didn’t see it myself). Most trending things tend to be NEW hashtags, and gamergate is a month old. Maybe if it went up by an order of magnitude, but I bet that the gamergate hashtag will never see that sidebar again for the general public unless Zoe and Anita go on a bank robbery spree.

  6. Damion,
    I been thinking about this for some time. It seems that mainstream publications have for the most part stopped looking at what GamerGate has to say altogether, for whatever reasons. An real problem that gets berried because of these is the harassment and abuse people from GamerGate has been receiving.

    I don’t believe that anybody is turning a blind eye I just think that non GamerGate people are truly ignorant of the aggression directed toward the movement itself. I think there should be an initiative to spread more awareness on the issue maybe even getting a mention in the gaming press.

    A lot of GamerGaters have been doing a poor job of presenting themselves in the public and if somebody does not speak for them, the non GG crowd might not come to realize that there has been harassment going both ways.

    • Anyone with useful things to say about the way things are in the industry, publications and beyond should just say it themselves, on their own merit. And not use Gamergate.

      Gamergate is only useful as a way to brand an attention-getting mob without leadership or a mechanism to filter anything. It is not a movement, it is merely the pretense of it.

      The existence of Gamergate should not be the reason for, or detriment against, game makers and publishers to improve relations with their customers. That said:

      1. Many people are crazy and loud and inarticulate.
      2. Many people in that group play games.
      3. Many people who play games do so in part to justify being crazy and/or loud and/or inarticulate, and/or disrespectful to fellow human beings.

      The struggle will continue.

    • I don’t think you understand what has happened here. Virtually every journalism site and journalist that attempted to discuss the topics raised by GG were blasted and accused of collusion, fraud, bias, and profound bad faith. In virtually every case, regardless of the tone or tactics of the authors, anything but blatant one-sided endorsement of the GG position (often with a focus and endorsement of the same misogony) was turned into evidence of conspiracy against pro-GG people.

      Once it became clear that the loudest and most forceful GG supporters weren’t looking for anything like constructive discussion, yes, the press began to disengage. Many of the people still claiming “You haven’t answered our concerns!” have refused to acknowledge that yes, those discussions, articles, and debates *did* occur (or at least, attempted to).

      Let’s say you and I are having a discussion. You ask me a question. I answer it. You scream “YOU’RE A LIAR!” in my face at top volume. Then you ask another question. When I answer it, you scream “YOU’RE STILL LYING!” again.

      Eventually, I’m going to stop answering your questions. It’s not because they’re valid — it’s because I have better things to do with my life and professional career than be screamed at by someone who isn’t stopping to listen to what I have to say.

      • Oh Joel, I perfectly understand all of this. I’ve been following the debate for more than a month. I completely agree with you and I understand why it is happening.

        But the point I am trying to get across there are actually people getting hurt having phone calls to their house their job etc. And I don’t think that the anti GamerGate people really condone and encourage that kind of behavior. But because of the reason you said nobody is even aware of that. I think we should reach to the victims of harassment including those from GamerGate. Don’t forget that they are human being also. They all deserve sympathy and recognition for what they are going through. Nobody deserves to be harassed, no matter what they have done. And most of them aren’t bad people.

        • People don’t call out bad behavior on their side because it hurts their narrative.

          The narrative here is that GG people are awful, they attack women, they send death threats, they abuse people.

          Acknowledging that people opposed to them also are sometimes awful, attack women, send death threats, etc, weakens that narrative tremendously.

          This is the problem with groups of zealots. If you ever call out people on your side you look weak, so better to not do it.

          That’s why someone like Rami can get retweeted saying “I oppose threats” without anyone pointing out that he has a history of threatening people. That’s an inconvenient truth.

          When people are emotionally invested in fighting the good fight things like truth and consistent standards go out the window. Someone on your side threatens someone? Either ignore it or make a million excuses to rationalize it away.

          “And I don’t think that the anti GamerGate people really condone and encourage that kind of behavior.”

          Their logic is that silence is assent, so by that logic they do.

          It’s very easy to say you are against harassment, against doxxing, against abuse, etc, then only condemn it when the “bad guys” do it. That’s just point scoring, not morality.

          Actual morality is being against those things across the board and condemning them across the board, which is something very few people do.

          • People aren’t perfect. Some of us take responsibility for what we say, though.

          • By “some of us” you mean “not me” right?

            On these very forums someone said they were harassed and got threats and you laughed it off as them being a sock-puppet. (Even though they clearly were not)

            Is that what you consider “taking responsibility”?

          • Do you think it matters if anyone thinks you’re a sock puppet?

            Do you actually want anyone to take what you say seriously?

            I get that you’re generally dissatisfied with something, but your passive-aggressive nitpickery is boring and impotent. I wish you’d just state your points clearly, but I can’t make you.

          • My point is that you claim to be against harassment, but when someone said that they were being harassed and threatened you mocked and dismissed them while rationalizing the threats.

            Is that point clear enough for you?

            And I was not the one being called a sock puppet. Again, read and think about posts before you respond to them.

          • Damion Schubert

            October 10, 2014 at 6:44 am

            People, in general, do not believe that their friends – i.e. their side – would do shitty things. But everyone on both sides knows that they have friends who are victims of assholery. It creates a sense of disproportion.

    • Damion Schubert

      October 10, 2014 at 6:41 am

      I’m seeing the opposite – ALL coverage from gamergate right now is coming from the ‘mainstream’ media: Cracked and Verge on the left, TechRaptor and Breitbart on the right. Now go and search for a gamergate article on Polygon. You may have to go back a ways.

      The games media is ignoring the story, because their numbers are not actually taking a hit (except for Gamasutra, which is an odd duck). Which means that the ‘real’ media is picking it up. Which is tricky, because it is a very complicated and ornate thing and incredibly difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t been paying any sort of close attention, especially if they aren’t gamers.

      The hostility towards the movement is entirely born from it’s anti-SJW/Anti-feminist policies, and its history of harassment. The former are absolutely dogma for many in the movement, and it’s something I oppose ferociously (I am not particularly feminist, but I do not believe in censoring the free press if they want to have those views). The latter is… well, whether you believe harassment is going on from the Gamergaters at this time (and yes, it is – ask Liana for a recent example), what people KNOW is where gamergate came from. And GG came from Burgers and Fries, and from Anita going into hiding due to rape threats.

      The only way I can think of for gamergate to escape the stigma is to accept organization and/or leadership who will repudiate at least the harassment – and ENFORCE IT VISIBLY. If they want to really get the big publishers to the table, they need to repudiate the anti-SJW/anti-feminist stuff as well. It’s actually what I was hoping to do with GAMR – provide just enough leadership and/or organization so that GG can focus on the good parts of their mission (corruption) and weed out the assholes who want to drag the movement in an utterly futile and self-destructive direction.

  7. I have read all your #gg content. It provided me an ability to look at things from the perspective of an industry leader. Your blog posts were well thought out and provided solid counter-points to common #gg goals. It helped me empathize where I otherwise could not.

    Recently, it seems you are just being overly sarcastic and antagonistic. Given your past writing…what is even the purpose of this recent post? There seems to be less and less reasons to read this blog as someone who supports #gg. It’s like you aren’t even trying anymore.

    • If you support GG, you should question your own reasons for doing so, and seek out challenges openly and honestly.

    • Damion Schubert

      October 10, 2014 at 6:43 am

      Heh, actually my friends tell me I’ve gotten a lot wussier lately. =) Go read my Call of Duty review from last year and you’ll discover I’m being a LOT more diplomatic than normal.

      Am I fraying at the edges in all this? Yes. Gamergate is burning out a lot of people with frustration, anger and despair. As well as the constant need to check my passwords, bank accounts, etc because I am actually daring to have a voice.

  8. I have to be honest, I thought the Thunderclap thing was pretty funny. Mainly because I was waiting for someone in GamerGate to realise how pointless it was – one guy almost got there about five minutes before it happened but no one else mentioned it.

    I mean, all it did was tweet one thing to all the followers of everyone who signed up (and the number was inflated by the fact it just counted the reach of each account, and didn’t take into account that a lot of pro-GG people are following the same people, namely each other). But everyone in GamerGate has been tweeting ABOUT nothing but GamerGate for nearly two months – so all of their followers would be well aware of it and said persons stance on it. So it was effectively just one more tweet from a pro-GG person to their followers, who would already know they were pro-GG.

    Thunderclap would be no doubt great for starting a new campaign (though twitter seems to be wise to it) but kind of pointless for a campaign that has been going on for so long anyway. I felt kind of bad when I saw the creator tweet, just beforehand, that people shouldn’t swamp “all the new people that would want to know about GG and have a lot of questions” not realising that these people were probably either sick of hearing about GG already or already part of it.

    I also really liked the Jon Stone article and, from someone outside of GG, thought he made a lot of valid points. It was interesting to me that so few GG people tried to denounce it, as it was such a strong piece, and those that did just fell into the same routine of petty insults rather than genuine rebuttals.

    A troubling aspect for me is just how many writers are willing to write clear bait pieces just to get hits or publicity – without really considering their actions or impact. You mention The Verge piece, which is a perfect example as it literally repeated what the notorious articles from August said and added nothing new.

    Obvious other examples are pro-GG people like Milo who only every seems to show one side (and spins it as negatively as possible) in his tweets and articles. Judging by his past work he will ditch gamergate like the plague when it starts to dwindle and doesn’t seem to overly care about helping to end the debate – rather just keeps lobbing just enough ammo to keep it fuelled.

    Same goes for one of the writers you mentioned, Oliver Campbell. He seems to have only been in the industry for a couple of years (back in 2009-10) yet claims to be a voice of authority about current journalism. What I take away from his work is the fact he has a chip on his shoulder over not getting more work – but the freelance and games writing market is notoriously tough to get into. I mean how many paid games writers are there worldwide? A few thousand, if that. How many articles do editors get pitched on a daily basis? Probably hundreds. So for anyone to make it is incredibly tough. I obviously can’t say that his bad experiences didn’t happen but when he is gloating about getting thousands of hits on his pro-GG pieces then I have to question his motives.

    Full disclosure. I do some ad-hoc freelance work for some smaller sites, I’ve been to big events for the last seven years and met writers from all over the global, different ethnicities, different genders, and they have all been universally lovely and welcoming – even when they obviously had no idea who I was. So for me, I can only say good things about writers being willing to listen to people and engage them.

    I mean I could mention a bunch of other sites, writers and youtubers who seem to have taken a pro-GG stance purely as an end to a means. It also doesn’t really surprise me that the only pro-GG devs have been ones that feel they have been slighted by certain sites in the past (or who were mentioned by FenFreq) or ones that have yet to make a game or have any significant exposure.

    Obviously some of that is a generalisation, as I’ve no doubt there are pro-GG writers and devs who believe in what GG claims to stand for. But I’ve seen enough to make me question the motives or more than a few of them, and it’s probably why this sorry saga has dragged on so long with no real results.

    • Yeah, no doubt there are people “taking sides” merely for publicity. It’s really hard to judge conviction on the Internet when so many are hiding behind personae. But at the same time, if we don’t consider what’s being said on its own merits, we might miss some real insight.

    • “I also really liked the Jon Stone article and, from someone outside of GG, thought he made a lot of valid points. It was interesting to me that so few GG people tried to denounce it, as it was such a strong piece…”

      It was a long piece, not a strong one. It’s hard to refute something of that length and for the most part it just repeated tired arguments so there wasn’t much point in refutation. Every day someone writes a new piece that is just a restatement of old pieces and a bunch of true believers says “wow, great piece!” At some point you just have to ignore that for the noise it is.

      The only piece I’ve read recently that I would honest say is good in that it brings up novel points instead of endlessly rehashing is the one on FirstPerson by the Twitter person known as QuinnaeMoon (I think that’s her name on Twitter)

      “I mean I could mention a bunch of other sites, writers and youtubers who seem to have taken a pro-GG stance purely as an end to a means.”

      You have no way of knowing this, you merely believe it because it fits your desired narrative. Someone could easily say the same about people taking the anti-GG side.

      I can think of a number of devs who recently began playing up “social justice” on Twitter, blogs and guest editorials because they were looking for exposure.

      The fact is whichever side you take up some group of people is going to pat you one the back and celebrate you, even if you have nothing worth saying.

      We’ve trained developers to push themselves over their games and this is an easy way of doing that. So much of advice these days is centered around creating a faux-interesting “personal narrative.”

  9. There is one anti-gg narrative I’m deeply skeptical of: the idea that this is some sort of reaction against all the women playing casual games. I haven’t seen any GG voices complaining about casual games. When GG is looking for “corruption”, their magnifying glasses tend to look at feminists, indies, academics and critics. I haven’t noticed them complaining about motion controls, app store cloning, Zynga or King. Their beef seems to be with people who take games, in their view, too seriously–people who talk about games in ways that gaters don’t approve of, looking for art or social meaning. But casual gamers don’t talk about games (except when they’re filling our Facebook with noise) and more importantly they never say anything about non-casual games.

    So my impression is that GG is neutral towards casuals. I could even imagine GG becoming pro-casual, if some critic they’ve decided they don’t like says the wrong thing about casual games.

    • I am unfamiliar with this narrative.

      • Well here’s an example from the Dan Golding “End of Gamers” post

        And lest you think that I’m exaggerating about the irrelevance of the traditionally male dominated gamer identity, recent news confirms this, with adult women outnumbering teenage boys in game-playing demographics in the USA. Similar numbers also often come out of Australian surveys. The predictable ‘what kind of games do they really play, though—are they really gamers?’ response says all you need to know about this ongoing demographic shift. This insinuated criteria for ‘real’ videogames is wholly contingent on identity (i.e. a real gamer shouldn’t play Candy Crush, for instance).

        On the evidence of the last few weeks, what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity.

        • To understand a comment like that (and here Damion knows far more than I do) I think you have to look at this from the perspective of the publisher / developer.

          What do you do when you derive an increasing amount of revenue from gamers who aren’t straight white men between the ages of 18-32? Whether that means PoCs, WoCs, middle-aged white women, or just *older* white guys, it means you may shift your strategies to appeal more to broader demographics.

          Look at the rise of the PG-13 movie. Originally created as a way to bridge a gap between PG and R, it’s become the most profitable segment precisely because it allows Hollywood to appeal to large segments of the population. It’s also gotten edgier — there are movies that are PG-13 today that would’ve gotten R ratings when the PG-13 rating was itself introduced.

          But this doesn’t mean people stopped making R-rated movies and applied to GG-style identity concerns, nobody is going to stop making games that appeal primarily to the male 18-32 segment. It just means that in many contexts we’re going to see games take a more inclusive outlook — and that can be done in ways that don’t sabotage or damage the core product.

          • I should be clear, I’m anti-gg, I just don’t see any evidence that gg resents casual gamers, specifically. _Depression Quest_ is not a casual game. There may be plenty of GGs threatened by women in gaming, but I don’t get the sense that they consider the millions playing _Candy Crush_ any sort of threat.

  10. I have a theory that one’s opinion on GG depends on when you become involved — if you joined with the “Gamers are Over” articles, then you’re often pro-GG; if you joined before that, when GG assaulted ZQ and Anita, then you’re anti-GG.

    • Let me make it simpler

      If you though the “Gamers are over” articles were horrible, terrible, because of their description of harrassment toward Anita and Zoe, because of the terrible weeks of harassment preceeding them, you are not GG

      If you though the “Gamers are over” articles were horrible because the generalizations they made of gamer were a greater crime than the harassment they were trying to fight, or because you personnaly felt attacked by them, then you are pro GG.

      • And what if you thought the Gamasutra articles were poorly written and you sometimes agree and sometimes disagree with Anita Sarkeesian, but have noticed that the discussions of ethics in journalism often fly into absurd accusations of collusion? Meanwhile you’ve got a loud group of people who self-identify as pro-GG and are violently misogynistic?

        Because that’s sort of where I am, personally. I don’t find disagreement problematic — just the turned-up-to-11 accusations of bad faith, fraud, collusion, “teh liberalz want to destroy everything” etc. I agree that journalists need to have high ethical standards. I agree that Leigh Alexander’s article was inflammatory and deliberately intended to ignite discussion. But I don’t agree with death threats or rape threats (against anyone, on either side) and I really don’t agree with a lot of the rhetoric that’s been flung.

      • I see another difference.
        One site was a pile of unorganized non-professionals who felt pissed off. The other site was a pile of oganized professionals who felt pissed off.

        And in my opinion one site is supposed to know how to handle media. Is supposed to work problems out and know how to handle such stories.
        But that site imho didn’t do that. On nearly every occasion, were they would have been able to take a de-escalating step, they choose the escalating one.
        But then again, that might just be my biased view as someone who thinks Leigh Alexander narrative is at least as shitty as the narritve of the two videos who seemingly really got it going.

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