Zen Of Design

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

How GamerGate’s Right Wing Nutjob Heroes Are Betraying a Hidden Ideological Purge

#GamerGate diehards insist that the current discussion has nothing at all to do with politics and that they are, in fact, trying to keep politics and ideology out of gaming.  Which is stupid – Bioshock, the Sims, Call of Duty and Civilization are all games that have a lot of message and ideology – but yeah, you could ignore all that and stick to that broken point of view.  And a lot of #gamergate fanatics have – in a display of hypocrisy which has now become everyday in this hashtag, #GamerGate has anointed as their champions two right-wing nutjobs desperate to insert their own ideology into the discussion in an apparent successful attempt to be instant patron saints of the Movement.  Hilariously, both have admitted to not really playing any games, something that was considered high treason when it was inferred to be true about Anita, despite the fact that her stuff appears to be mostly very well researched and, uh, for the most part, to have problems but contain some pretty good points. Apparently this isn’t a problem if you’re willing to just take #GamerGate’s side although kudos to whoever suggested that Hatoful Boyfriend should be Milo’s first game).

Meet Milo, a writer for Breitbart, who is one of the rare people in the history of all humankind who I hated immediately instinctively and then disliked and had less respect for even more the more I researched him. He is an associate editor in a web magazine that even the conservative blogosphere considers to be a pimple on the ass of conservative thought.  Seriously, most of what the site is like what would happened if you combined the National Enquirer, a yapping Chihuahua, and your drunken racist uncle at Thanksgiving wearing a tinfoil hat.  Here they are talking about Birthism while vehemently denying that they do so, for example.  Here they are giving credence to Benghazi, a ‘scandal’ that even the House GOP is now admitting is bullshit.  Here they are losing their shit because of stock legal language at the bottom of a photo op.  And normally, their coverage of pop culture is wrapped up in bashing violence and defending Christianity from the evils of Hollywood. Yes, a site that specialized in ‘woe is me, why is there not enough clean, wholesome, Christian entertainment’ has suddenly decided to defend the tits and violence bonanza that is gaming.

As for Milo, this crusader against ideology started this whole thing off with an article titled, “Lying, Greedy, Promiscuous Feminist Crusaders are Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart.” Apparently, his editor had a rare crisis of conscience, which must be like discovering your first orgasm if you work for Breitbart, because it was actually shortened to be less offensive to what you see (you can see the original name in the hyperlink). He followed this up with the hysterically all-capitalized “AN OPEN LETTER TO THE VIDEO GAMING COMMUNITY FROM A SELF-CONFESSED RIGHT-WING BASTARD” – because hey, you know, he’s not about ideology at all.  This crusader for diversity calls transgenderism a disease. This defender of equality thinks that men are just BETTER at technology than women, because fuck you that’s why. All of this is because the so-called #GamerGate scandal was JUST NOT OBVIOUSLY HYPOCRITICAL ENOUGH yet.

As you can tell, Milo brings a veneer of maturity and respect to the sobering #gamergate core issues of journalistic integrity and respect towards women.  As a side note, his private twitter handle is @caligula, because of course it is.

The other pundit is Christina Hoff Sommers, a writer for the American Enterprise Institute, a site that consistently favors right wing solutions to problems.  It’s currently got the Koch Brothers and Newt Gingrich in it, and likes to promote causes like austerity, dissing the minimum wage, and declaring that Obamacare will be a disaster.  Which is to say, the AEI makes a living about being very, very right-wing.  Needless to say, I also think they are very, very wrong on these topics, but that’s beside the point – they are DECIDEDLY ideological.  Somehow suggesting that that organization is going to make some sort of statement that opposes ideology in a medium in anything is seriously smoking something, and not being polite enough to share with the rest of the group.

Christina, for her part, has made a career about depicting men in society as being an oppressed victim class, a load of garbage that apparently sounds less stupid when its spouted by a woman instead of a Men’s Rights Activist.  She’s Fox’s go-to guest when they need someone to say that fear of rape on college campuses is NO BIG DEAL (reality check: while sexual assault has dropped mightily in the last 20 years, the US still leads much of the civilized world).  Here she is complaining about the feminist conspiracy of making kids play freeze tag instead of normal tag.  Here she is complaining that boys are forced to read works of literature instead of Tom Clancy and comic books in English Literature classes.  Here’s her saying that a lot of feminists are ugly women who preach feminism to get back at men and beautiful women, along with a lot of other egregiously bad data.  You get the idea.

So what cunning observations have these two paragons of thought brought to the debate?  They do not disappoint with their uniquely self-promoting brand of stupidity.

Sommers throws out some stats and figures, and then somehow leaps to the assertion that Games aren’t Sexist, it’s just that women don’t like games.  This is roughly akin to saying that the KKK isn’t racist, it’s just black people don’t want to join, or the Nazis weren’t anti-semetic, it’s just the Jews weren’t jiggy with the way they did things.  Which is to say, it’s a nonsense logical leap, entirely circular in nature, and one that would get you a big red ‘F’ if you handed in a paper with this argument in your Intro to Logic or Philosophy class.  Which makes the fact that Sommers bio describes her as a former philosophy teacher even more hilarious.  Who knows, maybe she didn’t leave that profession by choice. There’s a lot more horrible logic in here, but I’ll just let you watch this lovingly crafted video rather than rebut it point by point. Short form: this is a very non-serious answer from an ideologue hoping simply to advance her own profile amidst the chaos of #gamergate. (EDIT: link about this paragraph with more analysis, discussion of my choice of phraseology is here. No, I didn’t call gamers Nazis)

As for Milo, his crack investigative reporting has uncovered the fact that Journalists sometimes are on mailing lists, and sometimes discuss issues in a non-public setting.  As someone in my friendslist pointed out, If you’re surprised that professional mailing lists exist, then you either aren’t good at your job, or nobody likes you. As Kyle Orland explains on Ars Technica, these lists can and do frequently help journalists maintain connections, find sources, discuss ethics, and a host of other topics.  I believe him because these things are true for devs as well.  But more so for journalists who cannot get stories without talking to people, and that includes other journalists.

I suppose its possible that Milo might surprise me by digging up actual proof of a scandal here – I can tell you that few developers would be surprised at revelations of actual shenanigans by and around the press.  But one would expect Milo to actually put his best foot forward, and instead he sprawls spectacularly on his face.  Take yesterday’s dump: his proof of widespread collusion resulting in journalists engaging in ‘damaging groupthink’ is a bunch of journalists in strong disagreement as to whether or not to send a harassed girl a comforting note.  Even the guy who suggested the idea admitted it might be problematic.  Several people said they liked it, until a couple people pointed out there was an ethical problem with it.  Presumably, then the idea died.

Crack detective work there, Milo.

This is EXACTLY the sort of thing that a private, industry-only mailing list or discussion group is good for, and in this case, resulted in the right move happening.  Milo would know this if he knew anything about the games industry.  Or the tech industry.  Or, you know, journalism.

Incidentally, it’s not really collusion if a professional organization just DOES something.  I’m a member of the International Game Developer’s Association (IGDA) as well as BioWare.  The IGDA has many individuals in many, MANY companies.  If the IGDA were to debate in email with its members whether or not it should, for example, send Milo’s mother a nice bouquet of flowers to comfort her on the money she flushed down the toilet on her kid’s wasted journalism degree, that’s not BioWare, Blizzard, EA and Valve making a statement, it’s the IGDA making a statement.

Getting journalists on the same ideological page is nothing new either – the GOP famously sends their daily talking points to Rush Limbaugh and all his ilk, for example,and all Fox hosts get a memo discussing not just what to say but also how to say it.  Perhaps someday Milo will get off of the video game beat and actually get to see one of these fact sheets, but if this is the quality of his reporting, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

His day one dump was marginally more interesting, because that’s where we saw a whole bunch of journalism professionals pointing out that the Zoe Quinn situation was a shitty breakup between private individuals that had no merits as a legitimate news story, and that as shitty as games journalism is, credible games sites should hold themselves up to a higher standard than TMZ or, say, Breitbart.  Given that all attempts to establish wrongdoing by Zoe Quinn or Nate has proven to be baseless or unprovable, it suggests the journalists were more than correct to remember the lessons they were taught in their Journalism 101 classes.  It’s not a conspiracy when 10 people look at the sky, and decide that it’s blue.

Also, just as a side note, #GamerGate spends a LOT of time trying to stress that this IS NOT ABOUT ZOE QUINN. BECAUSE SHE’S NOT REALLY A WORTHY STORY. And so, Milo’s great examples of collusion – are all about Zoe Quinn. Way to feed the narrative that the stated motives of #GamerGate are completely at odds with the ravenous tabloidesque tendencies of the internet mob.

What #Gamergate claims they favor is a more diverse and more inclusive games industry, where more voices can be heard.  The way that its actually been reflected is as an ideological purge.  Look at the list of approved websites, blessed by the #gamergate powers that be.  There are PLENTY of websites that appear to meet ideological muster, that being one that happily slutshames a developer in fear of losing their audience.  The idea that, somehow, Polygon and Kotaku control the whole message of the games industry is a joke. No, only a small subset of the games media is actually under attack right now, and that’s the part that is too principled to put a developer’s sex life on the front page..  It just so HAPPENS that these sites also tends\ to be the sites most interested in talking about social issues, behind-the-scenes developer issues, and giving coverage to indie games instead of Gears of God of Destiny Soul Caliber War XBII. What’s approved are media that focus on shoving the publisher’s canned talking points about the game so far up your ass you can’t walk straight.  That’s not a minority view, it’s 90% of games journalism.  And most of it is closer to being bought and paid advertisement than anything resembling ‘journalism’.

I do not favor any movement that tries to silence a valid voice in the art and business of making video games, and you shouldn’t either. ESPECIALLY, if it’s aimed at targeting a particular point of view.

Look, I’m not going to defend everything that game journalists do. Of particular note, I remember fondly when Kotaku actually did games stuff rather than fill half their website with weird Japanese shit. And there are some very, very sketchy practices in the games industry between press and developers.

Big league games like Destiny and GTAV cost more than 9 figures, and a third of that at LEAST is usually earmarked to marketing. Is anyone following that money? Some years ago, a Gamespot journalist was fired right after giving a bad review to a AAA game. Games from big studios seem to rarely get reviews below 70%, but indie devs who can’t afford to advertise routinely do. Some companies have been caught giving payola to Youtube streamers (). Companies routinely fly press around the country and wine and dine the journalists that will review them. Here’s a story about a company who hired a reviewer to do a mock review, solely so he couldn’t legally write the bad review they thought he’d give them.

But we’re now entering our second month of this, and we’re still not talking about any of these things.  Instead, despite the fact that everyone on #GamerGate that it’s REALLY NOT ABOUT WHATSHERNAME, we are, thanks to Milo and his ideologically skewed muckraking, once again talking about Zoe Quinn. And we’re describing as a grand conspiracy a handful of like-minded guys disagreeing with each other on a platform more archaic than an Facebook discussion group. Gaming may deserve better than its journalism. But it sure as hell deserves better than its supposed cure.

Note: I use a whitelist policy on comments: your first comment must be approved by me and then, in general, you can post freely. Note, I will use the banhammer if you get out of hand later. I am fairly liberal with what I allow, but I still insist debate remain civil, and I am unapologetic for that. If you want to see my standards, see what goes on in other threads.


  1. This fruit might be hanging too low, to be honest.

    Video games deserve better people, period. The body of useful information and coverage of what matters is so scattershot and insubstantial that information vacuums crop up all the time. And, as a consequence of unedited social media, which some people who might otherwise consider themselves informed and level-headed, 140-character blasts are treated as better than or even more insightful than well-crafted articles that take longer to produce and longer to read.

    But that’s where we’re at right now. The arguments are about INTEGRITY and appearance of collusion and impropriety, rather than the quality of reporting, and the opportunity to push an agenda that claims to be unified but is no more organized and potent than all the sites on the boycott list that keeps going around.

    And in the middle of all this, jokers like these two pop out of nowhere, like anyone cared what they had to say about games before the fact.

    This isn’t how journalism is supposed to work. This is what journalism is supposed to counteract. Regular people, left to their own devices, without a good editor in charge, do stupid shit with mass media in the name of self-determination.

    But these are the times we live in now.

    • The very sad part for me is I’m Starting to push away from the left and feminists side.

      DOJ definition of rape requires penetration of the victim so it is impossible for a women to rape a man, yet I’ve Know that is not impossible.

      I guess I tolerate them because it helps me.

      48% of sexual abusers are women at age 18.
      Prevalence Rates of Male and Female Sexual Violence Perpetrators in a National Sample of Adolescents

      • Damion Schubert

        September 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm

        I would like to know where you get your data. When I did a google search, the first entry I got said that 1 in 7 boys are sexually molested – according to the DOJ. I’m on a plane about to check off but will link later if challenged.

        Also, when the armed forces had their sexual assault crisis last year, it was the feminists who helped point out that a huge number of raped service members are male, and that they are even more stigmatized than the women.

      • Damion was very nice in replying to this seriously, but, uh, what does rape statistics have to do with the post to which you were replying?

        • Damion Schubert

          September 25, 2014 at 4:22 pm

          There’s a new ugly MRA strain going through some #gamergate commentary that’s trying to start the narrative that female rape victims and male rape victims are equal in number, and female rape victim counts are overstated anyway, as a way to discredit feminists.

          Christina Sommers is one of the main cheerleaders of this line of thinking.

          • Actually, if you look at the 2010 CDC study on sexual violence, the 12 month statistics show that approximately the same number of women were raped as men were forced to penetrate (which should count as rape, but for reasons unbeknownst to me, it doesn’t). I would link to the study, but I’m on my phone and laaaaaaaazyyyyyyy.

  2. The only person still talking about her is you. Funny how that works.

    So glad I’ve never spent a nickel on a Bioshock game and never will. Art in the service of ideology is propoganda.

    • Damion Schubert

      September 21, 2014 at 8:01 am

      Except the part where that’s ALL milo’s released emails so far are about. Well done.

      Also, art doesn’t have to be in the SERVICE of ideology, but it can certainly reflect it and comment on it all the time and still be good. All three Nolan Batman films, for example, had commentary on issues like terrorism, privacy and foreign extradition, and sometimes took stances I’d disagree with. I still think they’re great flicks.

    • Can I just say that I’m surprised Damion didn’t break down into tears when you insisted you’d never bought one of his amazing Bioshock games.

      • Damion Schubert

        September 25, 2014 at 4:24 pm

        Yeah, reselling my copy of Bioshock 2 would have maybe gotten me 20 bucks!

        (I do wish I managed to work on those games, they were amazing).

  3. Milo is another exploitative pretender just like Anita. He is the right wing side of your filthy ideological coin.

  4. And haven’t you seen the batman movies? Gamers were bullied into a corner and threatened with death so they become desperate and turned to someone they didn’t quite understand.

    Too bad there doesn’t seem to be any actual “game journalists” that don’t hate their target audience, so they latched on to a right winger. Somehow that its the fault of gamers and not the “media” that constantly denigrates them and calls them neckbeards and wishes them dead and declares they are doormats to be walked on in the name of social progress.

    • Damion Schubert

      September 23, 2014 at 6:44 am

      So here’s the thing (and I don’t know how to express this cohesively so here goes): The idea that the press decided to all get together and alienate their core audience for no reason at all just in time for the Christmas season is so ludicrous as to defy all accurate logic, and yet I continue to see people cite it as ‘clearly this is what happened’.

      This is what happened:
      * Asshole ex-boyfriend posts revenge porn against polarizing exgirlfriend.
      * A week later, Smedley’s plane gets a bomb threat.
      * Right after that, Anita Sarkeesian releases her new video and instantly is harassed to the FBI.
      * A whole bunch of trolls pile on, targeting primarily Anita and Zoe, but scaring the shit out of all the journalists and developers.
      * A whole bunch of journalists look at this and say, ‘this shit is fucking terrible, we should say something’. So they post variations of ‘there are some gamers who are truly shitheads. Stop it.’.
      * Somewhere around here, reddit makes the disastrous call to kill a GG thread with 25K posts in it.
      * The trolls turn to the assembled crowd and say ‘SEE?!? THEY CALLED YOU SHITHEADS!”
      * Then things went to crazytown and have been there ever since.

      Now you can argue that journalists should be able to communicate better so that they don’t accidentally hit ‘good gamers’ in the crossfire. I agree! But I’ll also point out that there is a WHOLE LOT of willful manipulation of plain fact flying around, as asshole trolls try to keep the fires burning because they like to watch the world burn.

      But if you go back and read the articles in question, they were all pretty clearly written in direct response to what were clearly, utterly vile acts on the part of a small number of utter fuckheads.

      • Quick breakdown, because you’re glancing over some very important details.

        “* Asshole ex-boyfriend posts revenge porn against polarizing exgirlfriend.”

        A gross oversimplification. Yes, ZQ’s sexual exploits were involved in that post. More importantly, the connection to several individuals in games media (Nathan Grayson and her own BOSS, Joshua Boggs). The fact that she cheated on her ex and is an emotional abuser is besides the point. The important part is, she did it for personal gain in the industry. That right there is what maters.

        “* A week later, Smedley’s plane gets a bomb threat.”


        This was confirmed multiple times to be done by LizardSquad, and is not related to GamerGate at all. Just what are you trying to pull, here?

        “* Right after that, Anita Sarkeesian releases her new video and instantly is harassed to the FBI.”

        Yeah, no. Not “instantly”. And the timing of release of that video (MONTHS early) was very suspicious given what was going on at the time.

        “* A whole bunch of trolls pile on, targeting primarily Anita and Zoe, but scaring the shit out of all the journalists and developers.”

        This is some serious confirmation bias. Some idiots were certainly making things all about AS and ZQ, but that isn’t what the issue was really about. The problem is that you and some other, more mainstream ant-GG sources tend to ONLY focus on ZQ, detracting from the real issues at hand.

        “* A whole bunch of journalists look at this and say, ‘this shit is fucking terrible, we should say something’. So they post variations of ‘there are some gamers who are truly shitheads. Stop it.’.”

        Except that isn’t what was done. What really happened was 14 articles posted in the span of less than 30 hours, all saying that gamers — not some, ALL — are white, hetero misogynist trash. They didn’t make the distinction of “some”, they painted all gamers with a broad brush and now they’re paying for it.

        And if you really think that ORGANIZING such a thing on something like the GameJournoPro list isn’t a massive overstepping of professionalism, then I guess you belong on the list.

        “* Somewhere around here, reddit makes the disastrous call to kill a GG thread with 25K posts in it.
        * The trolls turn to the assembled crowd and say ‘SEE?!? THEY CALLED YOU SHITHEADS!””

        Funny how whenever someone doesn’t agree with your skewed viewpoint, you refer to them as a “troll”.

        What about the fact that a moderator of /r/gaming was speaking directly with ZQ right after that video exposing not only HER, but various journalists in the industry, went up? Or how that mod was bragging “ain’t moderation grand?” on twitter after the mass-deletion? You’re distracting and derailing from facts that we know to be true.

        “But if you go back and read the articles in question, they were all pretty clearly written in direct response to what were clearly, utterly vile acts on the part of a small number of utter fuckheads.”

        I don’t even think you read more than ONE of those 14 articles. Again, they did NOT make the distinction by calling out a “small subset” of assholes. They painted EVERY gamer with their brush.

        • “They didn’t make the distinction of “some”, they painted all gamers with a broad brush and now they’re paying for it.”

          See, I have read all of those articles that I could find, and they didn’t do that. Maybe I missed one — the last one I read claiming “Gamer is dead” talked about how the trouble was the general societal stereotype of what a “gamer” is, and how it’s negative, and that we should find another word to use because people who play games AREN’T people like the stereotype…

          Which is kind of the opposite of what you’re talking about, I think. So I assume I found different articles from you.

          I’ve also found a number of places where people have said things like “Rabid dogs are a problem” and people have responded saying “Hey! Not all dogs are rabid, you jerk!” — because the initial statement was talking about a specific subset within dogs, rather than claiming all dogs were that subset. (So, “Misogynistic gamers are a problem” expands to “Misogynists within the gamer community are a problem.” rather than “All gamers are misogynists, and thus a problem.”)

          Tl;dr: “Citation Needed”.

          • https://archive.today/l1kTW

            “Game culture’ as we know it is kind of embarrassing — it’s not even culture. It’s buying things, spackling over memes and in-jokes repeatedly, and it’s getting mad on the internet.

            It’s young men queuing with plush mushroom hats and backpacks and jutting promo poster rolls…They don’t know how to dress or behave.”

            tl;dr you need to actually address Cria instead of pretending one of his points wasn’t “as bad” as he implies and trying to derail (hopefully what I quoted is “bad” enough for you)

          • Not really; I’ve been a Gamer for as much of my life as I can remember, and what Leigh says there is both pretty accurate AND pretty tame. I mean, we as gamers have, as a group, had to be told that showering is necessary before attending social gatherings — because we didn’t. And have you watched Revenge of the Nerds, or Family Matters?

            And, of course, “Game Culture” is not all gamers. It doesn’t have to be ANY gamers — “Game Culture” is the stereotypical expression of what a “Gamer” is, and it’s mostly used by Marketing (who, by and large, DO hate and look down on their gaming audience, IMHO). So it sounds like she’s talking about the death of “The Gamer” as a targeted marketing block and I am 100% FOR THAT, since “Game Culture” does not represent me, or any other gamers I personally know. Bring on its death.

            And, finally, her article was written in response to what I consider the criminal, immoral, and unethical actions of people waving the #GamerGate flag — I assume that the other articles about the ‘death of Gamers’ were written in response to each other or the same triggers. So if GamerGate is in response to people getting mad that GamerGate was abusing their friends, we have a continuity issue worthy of a Stephen Moffat plot. (NOTE TO STEPHEN MOFFAT: I CAN TURN THIS INTO AN EPISODE FOR YOU. CALL ME.)

            I didn’t write the initial post, so I have no particular desire to rebut it or rebut its rebuttal. But if you really want to know my opinions on things I have opinions on:

            There has been nothing documented that ZQ “got” for sexual favours. No one she slept with covered her work afterwards (or before, really). I don’t think it’s had more than a handful of reviews. I’ve played ZQ’s DQ, and while it was an interesting reflection on depression, it was also definitely an art game. Short, interesting, but I’m never going to fire it up to relax from a long day — but it’s an art game, and there aren’t many art games, so it got Art Game press. (By and large, my experience is that journalists like art games because they can hold them up to the non-game-playing luddites and say “See! Games have artistic merit!” And then they play deathmatches for seven hours.) Personally, I’d rather play Assassin’s Creed: Mordor — sorry, I mean Shadow of Mordor.

            The journalism list, from everything I’ve read, was pretty reasonable. Occasionally someone suggested doing something that might have overstepped boundaries, and the others pointed that out and then they didn’t. That … sounds like it’s doing exactly what it should? So well done, it. So no, I see nothing wrong with various journalists talking together about something before reporting on it — I’ll admit that I haven’t read the whole backlog of it, though. There may be a smoking gnu there I missed. As stated above, though, I don’t think it caused any collusion; it may have triggered people or informed them, but that’s no worse than “being on press release lists”.

            Personally, I’d rather ban the press release lists — but right now, game companies are the only ones FUNDING game journalism.

            At any rate, if I were to point a finger at people who hate gamers, I’d be pointing it at the EA Marketing Department. Not Leigh who, from other things I’ve read of hers, IS as much a gamer as anyone else. (Her defense of Bayonetta’s art style was particularly nice, although I can’t seem to find it anymore…).

            So yeah — I think #GamerGate is a massive overreaction to a snarky overreaction to horrible actions taken as part of an overreaction to an overreaction to a bad breakup. There have probably been some more layers of overreactions since then, on both sides, and I honestly don’t care anymore. Shadow of Mordor comes out, what, Tuesday? I’ve got better things to do.

          • “No one she slept with covered her work afterwards (or before, really).”


            Uh, she and one of the people she slept with were partly responsible for the cancellation of a reality TV show about a gamejam (she blogged she was worried that she’d be sued over it). Another of the people she slept with wrote an article that paints her role in the matter in a positive light. But that’s totally fine because he told his boss they didn’t start a romantic relationship until after he wrote the article. That would be some time in April, but the article was published on the 31st of march, and she blogged that she went back to his apartment the night of walking off the gamejam set, so you can totally trust the description of what went on that is laid out in the article.

          • There are people with bad hygiene at concerts, no one seems to paint music culture with that brush.

            And you go on to cite stereotypes from Family Matters? Are you joking?

            And let’s not forget the blog post that kicked it all off (Dan Golding’s)

            “what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity.”

            How is that anything but painting gamers as misogynists?

          • And also, “This is hard for people who’ve drank the kool aid about how their identity depends on the aging cultural signposts of a rapidly-evolving, increasingly broad and complex medium. It’s hard for them to hear they don’t own anything, anymore, that they aren’t the world’s most special-est consumer demographic, that they have to share. ”

            Which I guess is trying to say that the people who are upset just like CoD and can’t handle “new” games like Depression Quest?

            No one had a problem with Papers Please. Or minecraft. Or Telltale. To peg us as uncultured swine is the entire point of this article.

          • And re: your sum up of #gamergate at the end.

            Nathan Grayson not dating Zoe until April (article was March 30) means nothing. They clearly knew each other before that. Basic ethics would recuse you from writing on this.

            Not to mention you skimmed over Patricia Hernandez pushing her room mate’s game.

            And the whole TFYC debacle. (Zoe slandering/ddos’ing the shit out of them until gamers rescue them by fundraising $70k)

            re: the mailing list, we had evidence of people being pressured to censor the discussion. Fortunately Greg Tito had the sense to proclaim that you could delete offensive posts without banning discussion.

            This is also while we have mods gloating with Zoe, sharing a laugh over censorship. “Ain’t moderation grand?”

            And the whole while, the world is telling us “it’s just games losers, what ‘journalism’ lol.” Well, I guess that’s right: WHAT journalism.

        • “I don’t even think you read more than ONE of those 14 articles. Again, they did NOT make the distinction by calling out a “small subset” of assholes. They painted EVERY gamer with their brush.”

          Let’s assume they did.
          Why the overreaction?

          I’ve been playing videogames for 10-30 hours a week for like…. 15-20 years now?
          And not once did I feel targetted or personnaly attacked by those articles.

          Why is the outrage targetted at those articles, and not toward the important issues, that some gamers can sometimes behave like assholes.

          And you say about Zoe:
          ” The important part is, she did it for personal gain in the industry. That right there is what maters.”

          Again. This in NOT what matters. It does NOT matter at all. It’s the total definition of a non-event. What matters is the amount of shit and harassment and shaming she got.

          • It wasn’t just the content of the articles (though every line basically painted us as morons that can’t appreciate anything besides CoD). It was the fact they were all released on August 28th. It basically colored every article that came after it, and it was presumed to be coordination/corruption.

            And why do you keep trying to derail discussion of corruption in journalism with harassment accusations? Why are they mutually exclusive?


            Guess feminism has to wait until they sort out all the harassment they cause.

          • septus, more than 3/4 of that article is a shedload of social media links, prefaced with the question, “do you really think we’re the misogynists here?”

            Yes. I think people are being misogynists. I think there is harassment going on, and trying to point fingers will not resolve the issue. That is meta-meta-meta relevant.

            As I’ve said elsewhere, harassment is relevant, and can be shown to be happening. Corruption in journalism can be accused, and is in great quantity, but quite a lot of it does not pass the sniff test.

            Most writers on a deadline will take about the same amount of time to get an article written. That a whole lot of articles came out at the same time chastising “gamers” for being stereotypically shit in the wake of what came out that week, does not surprise me.

            But what might surprise you, stuck in the middle of Leigh Alexander’s article about gamers, is a link to a year-old article by one of the Gamasutra editors, making mostly the same arguments Leigh made, in a different context, but concluding that “gamer” is a regressive term that ought to be retired.


            Did you know about that one?
            Would you have reacted the same way if you’d read it at that time?
            Would you expect other game site writers who wrote about games to have read the article and filed the points away mentally?

            (The answer you should give to the last question is “yes.”)

        • man who is this septus guy

          “There are people with bad hygiene at concerts, no one seems to paint music culture with that brush.”

          “Uh, she and one of the people she slept with were partly responsible for the cancellation of a reality TV show about a gamejam (she blogged she was worried that she’d be sued over it).”

          ““what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity.”

          How is that anything but painting gamers as misogynists?”

          “And the whole TFYC debacle. (Zoe slandering/ddos’ing the shit out of them until gamers rescue them by fundraising $70k)”

          goodness gracious.

          • You might think it’s okay to insult people’s clothing, or how they stand in line “with no idea why they’re there,” or how they have no culture and can’t appreciate innovative games (Papers Please, Brothers, Journey, Kentucky Route Zero, etc, must not count).

            Most people don’t. They also don’t appreciate racist, sexist tweets from some one whose camp calls US misogynists.

      • My god, what a repulsive misrepresentation. You should be ashamed to have written such. Here’s a breakdown of what you’re either misinformed on, or deliberately lying about.

        * Asshole ex-boyfriend posts revenge porn against polarizing exgirlfriend.
        No. Just no. The “asshole” ex posted 50 pages of censored chat logs wherein he details a relationship with a woman who cheated on him (at least 5 times), gaslit him (repeatedly blamed him for things going wrong out of his control), emotionally abused him (forced him to break contact with an ill friend because they were a woman he was spending “too much time with”, lied about sexual escapades then said he didn’t need protection exposing him to potential stds, repeatedly put guilt and blame on him for her own actions) and had sex which was, by her own admission, with misinformed consent – something which had it happened in the UK would be admissible in court following the prescedent of a case where a man was charged with sexual assault by his wife after she found out he’d cheated, breaking her conditions for consent. This is not some petty revenge, the post was so extremely detailed and so deliberately evidenced without ANY mention of the intimate conversation that the poster has managed to stay unbanned even on SRS – a sub reddit known for heavy banning if they even suspect misdeeds.

        This is not some guy trying to insult an ex. This was a guy making a long and painful to read cry for help. Your attitude towards such, regardless of how you feel about the way he did it, is utterly appalling. I don’t know which is worse – your comment on him here or femfreqs twitter accusing him of being abusive first as otherwise ZQ would “obviously” not have been abusive back. The actual porn “leak” is publicly posted nude shots authorised by ZQ to be on display on a public website. They were, to my knowledge, posted on 4chan about two weeks after the guys post, so completely unlinked to him at all. He’s just a g who got fucked up in a relationship, no more, no less. Don’t make him out to be some cruel person when he went out of his way to not be.

        * A week later, Smedley’s plane gets a bomb threat.
        From script kiddies active well before any of this, also completely unrelated to any of this. So? It was a shit thing with no relevance.

        * Right after that, Anita Sarkeesian releases her new video and instantly is harassed to the FBI.
        I assume you mean she reported it, but regardless, this has happened on both sides. There have been people, now including youtubers, with their full address and identity posted online, as well as things like syringes being sent to the very man you depose in this post. In terms of severity, it has been par for the course insanity which both sides have experienced in droves by sociopaths using the controversy to justify abhorrency. It’s bad, but only as bad as the return.

        * A whole bunch of trolls pile on, targeting primarily Anita and Zoe, but scaring the shit out of all the journalists and developers.
        Not even close to the truth. almost every single post from when the whole mess started was people against the movement saying stuff like this. Of the things posted even on 4chan, they unilaterally said to not even mention the two names you’re claiming were primary targets, as nobody cared about them in relation to the movement. As also stated prior, the trolls who jumped on then targeted both sides to stir drama. This is just not a truthful statement in any capacity.

        * A whole bunch of journalists look at this and say, ‘this shit is fucking terrible, we should say something’. So they post variations of ‘there are some gamers who are truly shitheads. Stop it.’.
        A whole bunch of journalists did post that, but without the support of some colleagues (as evidenced by the leaks of the private group) and done in a colluded manner to attempt to shut down the movement (which is also verifiable going through the leaks, esp. comments made by editor of polygon). They didn’t restrict to some either, they just unilaterally said gamers were shitheads. The claims that it was only “some gamers” came only after heavy criticism, mass outrage and people like Boogie2988 calling out the ridiculous shotgun spread accusation. Again, I don’t see why you’re trying to lie about this – that’s very public knowledge. What was said by the journalists was just a stupid move, regardless of how you feel about the content, and was so bad it’s still poignant now.

        * Somewhere around here, reddit makes the disastrous call to kill a GG thread with 25K posts in it.
        After being directly contacted by ZQ and SS media to do exactly that. The claims of further corruption were almost all pursued due to this contact between the moderation of the subreddits involved and the people in the media. Certainly disastrous, but only due to the clear issue it revealed.

        * The trolls turn to the assembled crowd and say ‘SEE?!? THEY CALLED YOU SHITHEADS!”
        That was what the reddit thread was about in the first place. That’s some grade A lying about what happened right there. The thread was even made as a response to the articles. Why even lie here either? You know this isn’t true, you must if you’ve followed it at all.

        * Then things went to crazytown and have been there ever since.
        Most certainly true. Crazier since people like you try to control and alter the narrative. You know, if you told me 3 years ago that I would be sat here right now telling someone that they’re wrong for helping abet manipulation of the gaming media, having to defend someone who came out of a highly toxic and abuaive relationship, or he’ll, even that I would have to tell others that my hobby doesn’t make me any kind of bigot, I would have laughed them out of the room.

        It’s very odd having to say these things after being literally beaten into hospital for defending my sisters right to marry her girlfriend, after having thrown people out a bar for insulting my friends’ races and having been told by people against gg that, as I’m a man, my rape was either fabricated for attention or deserved because women are raped more often. Very, very odd indeed. You have no right to talk about any kind of information manipulation after this horrific set of hurtful, deliberately misinformed lies.

        • Jim, do you really believe people hate you and want you to die?

          They don’t. At best, they don’t care.

          If people say, “gamers are misogynists,” you should not be reacting as strongly as you do. Even if it’s not true.

  5. None of this would even be an issue if so-called “games journalists” didn’t have such contempt for the “stunted anti-social virgin basement dwelling neckbeard rapist racist” readers. You know? The people who pay their bills.

    The best thing that can come out of GamerGate is a massive boycott of video games this holiday season. Money talks and I know I won’t be spending any money on games in Q4 and hope others do the same. Rot on the vine for all I care.

    • who are you

    • Ironic, then, that the only one who’s actually called gamers “stunted anti-social virgin basement dwelling neckbeard rapists” is not a “games journalist”, but the very same Breitbart writer that the GamerGaters have flocked to.

      • That’s it. That’s it exactly. Literally 0 people have said “all gamers are racist / sexist / rapists.” Literally 0 people are saying “games are turning people into racists/sexists/rapists.”

        It is willful misunderstanding of what is actually being said.

        • Actually your side literally has people saying that games make people violent and sexist.

          Look up Anita’s boyfriend, Jonathan McIntosh, on the subject. And then of course all the gerbils following Suey Park et al.

  6. I’ve been trying to evaluate the size of gamergate movement. It’s quite hard.

    My first estimate was that about 400-500 people were frequently tweeting about it, and seemed involved in the movement.

    Then, I was suprised seeing the Sommers’ video had gathered 25,000 likes, 335k views (1000 unlike). That’s a LOT of likes. But of course, some of them could just be regular Factual Feminist watchers that always like her vids and are not involved in gamergate. Also it’s a number easily tricked upward.


    Let’s say… that this number is legit. Let’s EVEN SAY that (if we apply the like/unlike ratio on the total view) that we have 320k viewers that agree with her. Let’s say that ALL OF THOSE are supporting gamergate (preposterous I know*)

    So to what number do we compare this possible “horde” of gamergater?

    Here they say that there are 1.2 billion people playing videogames

    Probably not what most gamergaters would consider “hardcore gamers”.

    So, how many “hardcore gamers” out there? (for whatever it means…)

    Well, GTAV sold 30 million units. CoD Modern Warfare? 10 millions. Wow has many millions subscribers.

    Can we safely say that this points at a number of “hardcore gamer” in the numers of tens of millions? Let’s pick 10,000,000 hardcore gamers (preposterous I know. It’s more likely MUCH MORE than that)

    So. Using those highly-skewed-in-their-favor-numbers: (320,000 gamergaters vs 10,000,000 hardcore gamers)**

    -that gives us… in the best of scenario (for them)….

    —–3.2% of hardcore gamers are supporters gamergate.

    Why this analysis?

    Well, because for one part, they HATE when all gamers are painted the same by some press. Of course they do, and they are right to hate that.

    What I hate, is when they call their movement as representing the gamers. It does’nt. Gamergaters are a tiny, tiny fraction of gamers. And their calls for boycott are laughable

    *The other most popular gamergate videos have less than 100k views.

    ** let’s use another (probably closer to reality) estimate, for fun’s sake. 100,000 gamergaters, vs the known 1.2 billion gamers: 0.0083%. Lol.

    • One could make that assessment, as one could make the assessment that metacritics as site is not offering informations because only a tiny fraction of self-selected individuals is rating games there.

      So while i totally agree that your assessment tells us that these users could be the fringe, i’m not swayed by your argument.

      • I didn’t want to sway you Sir
        Just to remind that gamergaters should stop saying they speak in the gamer’s name. They don’t

        They only speak in theirs

      • Damion Schubert

        September 21, 2014 at 10:50 pm

        Yes and no. In theory each reviewer is representing his audience. You expect mainstream reviews from ign, offbeat reviews from kotaku, progressive reviews from polygon. In theory, people gravitate to the magazine that best mirrors their tastes.

        • Which is a fair point and completly true.

          I meant the user scores though and if gamergate and metacritics is usable as an idicator for the general public which really comes down to ones believe in them being representitive enough or that the self-selection leads to a skewed sample.
          And at least in their dissatisfaction with gaming journalism i think they are quite representive, i don’t think though that they’re representive on the reasons they give why people are dissatisfied with said journalism.
          E.g. i’d also sooner talk about why metacritics ratings seemingly differ by 20 points (if you mutliple the user scores by 10).

          • Damion Schubert

            September 22, 2014 at 6:21 pm

            Well, there are many things that skew the math. First off, game reviewers tend to use more of the 10 point scale. A whole bunch of users tend to be almost binary. As in “10 – this game gave me orgasms!” or “1- The Sims 4 doesn’t have swimming pools, therefore it’s worth than cancer!” This isn’t uncommon in user reviews on the net about things that people have a lot of passion about, and games definitely qualify.

            The second is that these sites have vaguely equal ratings in the formula (I believe, other than some quirks like Eurogamer, but that’s a different point), but have wildly disparate audience sizes. Polygon is a tiny site with a tiny audience compared to IGN, but both give equal weight.

            Incidentally, one of the things that I’ve been given thought to lately is the fact that streamers are becoming an increasingly important part of the review universe, due to how the format both shows off games in action so well as well as inspires trust due to the personal nature of the format with the reviewer. But these reviews are not in Metacritic at all. I’ve been wondering if there’s a business opportunity there.

          • Ah sure there is always some bias. I’m not quite sure though if it’s end of scale or middle of scale bias or even something strange like going for 3 and / 8s. The questions about size of sites and their weighting is especially hard, when it comes to sites not only limited to gaming. E.g. i’m sure TheEscapist has got followers who solely visit the site for something different then their informations on games.

            There surely is some space to gain something financially.
            I guess though a problem with youtubers/streamers would be that their added value coming from more informations, is even harder to summarize in a simple number, then magazine ratings. Besides the point of what should be the hurdle a streamer/youtuber has to take to get validated – subscribers? number of videos? I guess subscribers might be the best, even though i think there are a lot more, well let’s call it ‘interested’, voices out there then someone like PewdiePie.
            One of the problems for such videos i see so, is that one needs to find someone they trust, which is the typical problem of the internet becoming to big for people to filter through without any aid, and our current aids not being up to this challenge.

    • Damion Schubert

      September 21, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      I think your fallacy is that, on most of the web, many people are passive observers. In this environment, where people on both sides have experienced real life harassment, a lot are probably hiding their opinions, especially women. How big this group of non-speakers is, and where their sympathies lie, is probably too squirrelly to guess based on data you and I have available to us right now.

    • One thing to note is that Kotaku looks like it’s getting the same kind of TGS web traffic as it did last year.

      Ashcraft’s piece, “The Man Who Saved Final Fantasy XV,” got 10,500 views in a single hour. On a Sunday. At night.

      So if the Gamergate people are really as numerous as they claim, they’re doing an awful job of boycotting their Public Enemy No. 1 web site.

      I predict that at the end of this, no one will lose their jobs, no one will really lose readers, and maybe, maybe, a few more people will think less of Kuchera. That’s it. Game over.

      • I’m also very proud of the AAA industry for not “giving in” and trying to lick this minority’s boots (excuses, aknowledgement that “there is a problem”, etc.)

        AAA industry and devs are either trying to confront gamergate, or ignoring it. Good idea.

        Thanks again Damion.

        • Damion Schubert

          September 22, 2014 at 5:56 pm

          I would not interpret my opinions for the opinions of my employers, the AAA game industry as a whole, or other developers. It turns out that we’re all remarkably diverse, and also that your average game design meeting involves people loudly telling each other that they’re wrong for a couple of hours before lunch.

          Then we all disagree on where to go for lunch, and call each other fucking idiots for those opinions.

      • Damion Schubert

        September 23, 2014 at 6:49 am

        I think its really hard to measure the impact directly, or measure direct causes or effects to anything. As an example, just as you’d expect Kotaku to be hurt by GG, Gamasutra is a site I would expect to be unscathed, as it has always been a site by and for game devs, who (a) are a lot more specialized a field and tend to focus a lot less on reviewing the hot new boob physics in games (it’s a dev-oriented magazine focusing more on the art of making games) (b) tend to be at least somewhat more sympathetic to developers and you’d expect to be sympathetic to Zoe Quinn and (c) has a ton of ‘best practice’ type content for game devs you literally cannot find anywhere else.

        But no, Gamasutra’s rating has fallen down a well, while Kotaku is fine. Why? I suspect it’s just based on content quality, and that at your core you’re right and the various sites will post good content and most people will forget this happened. But I really don’t think there’s a good way to measure right now.

        I do wonder how many gamer hours that normally would have been playing Destiny were instead spent arguing about GG.

    • If you apply that logic to other videos on both sides of the argument you will discover that the GamerGate side is a lot larger than the anti-GG side. Of course you picked one video and compared it to the gaming population of the entire globe. Great job there. There are GamerGate videos with no coverage on any sites that have more views than Anita’s have after being covered by every website she has even a remote connection to.

      I hope your argument comforts you, because it’s not fact, it’s shitty math.

      • I would appreciate if you showed them to me

        The most views on a gamergate video I have seen on YouTube, besides Miss Sommers’ one, was about 100,000

        • Hoff Sommers has now ~400k views.
          Just saying.

          • Damion Schubert

            September 23, 2014 at 5:39 pm

            Anita’s first video has 2M views. The one she released at the start of this has 700k views.

            I don’t think the GG side is bigger right now – they’re probably closer to equal in size. It certainly is louder though. A lot of this is because a lot of more timid feminist voices are shutting up in hopes this will blow over.

          • I know, take a look a few posts further down, i actually pointed out that Anitas first video hat 2 million views.
            I just wanted to point out that hist 100k was at this moment quite a bit off.

        • Internet Aristocrat’s first video on the topic is over 900,000 views

      • and once again. I do not make the point that every gamer who is not a gamergater is an antigamergater

        You have a few vocal gamergaters, and even less vocal anti-gamergaters.

        Then you have the vast, vast VAST majority of gamers who don’t give a dump about it.

        Gamergaters say they speak in their name: they don’t. They speak in theirs only.

        • Damion Schubert

          September 23, 2014 at 6:50 am

          Don’t forget, there are a lot of people who would be sympathetic to one side or the other side, if that side didn’t have aspects of them that weren’t fucking ridiculous.

      • And that’s the problem with Anita’s video: everyones criticizing them. Very few actually WATCHED them.

        • I wouldn’t call over two million viewers for her first video few, as it’s most likely more than any Kotaku article had – at least if i’m reading it right that their most read article in 2011 had around 1.1 million views.

  7. It’s amusing seeing how you claim we would have a open discussion about the state of gaming journalism without this whole mess. I’ve looked through your whole blog and found exactly zilch about how gaming journalism was deeply problematic – i found small side blows, but that’s it (given though, i skipped mostly through your posts).
    So what shall people take away from your proclaimed inability to discuss something, you and other people in the industry seemingly never really wanted to discuss before?

    There are a lot of clues pointing in the direction that a lot of people, who like you claim they would like to talk about the real problems, don’t actually think there’s the need to speak about anything.

    Other than that you should go ahead and read up on the association fallacy.

    • That’s great that you’re amused. Damion might do some comedy, later.

      Wanting to have a discussion is different than wanting to sustain a discussion and the discussion leading to a constructive conclusion. There is a gap, but it’s not getting closed by #gamergate. It’s getting wider.

      To put it another way, do you believe that anyone making games is more likely to want to talk about how games get made, who they’re being made and who should play them, in the wake of this past month’s shitstorm? Has there been more calm and reasoned debate, or has it mostly been chaos and noise and DDOS and doxing?

      If you want to talk about something, start a blog and gain your own readership. That remains an option to anyone who genuinely cares.

      • Nah he’s already doing some fine comedy with linking the reboutal video. Great opening but flatly falling on it’s butt after a short time, but still nicely done and humorous enough.

        A gap exists between to points, it can be closed by those points moving towards each other, or only one doing so while the other standing still. Saddly though journalists started by willfully moving in an opposite direction…
        Instead of trying to give a discussion a plattform and moderate said discussion they thought it would be better telling people to fuck off.
        And just to repeat my question. What shall i take away from Damion and a lot of other people not starting a discussion themselves, when they thought said discussion was so important? That they’d want to discuss things but not take flack for bringing a such a topic up? That people actually were to comfortable with the situation?

        You wrote:
        “To put it another way, do you believe that anyone making games is more likely to want to talk about how games get made, who they’re being made and who should play them, in the wake of this past month’s shitstorm? Has there been more calm and reasoned debate, or has it mostly been chaos and noise and DDOS and doxing?”

        I don’t get why you again think you should bring up a discussion about diversity, here, when i completly focussed on the aspect of journalism. I mean if i was a right-wing nutjob, i’d completly saw myself confirmed in that you always need to muddy discussion because that’s the way you deflect.

        Yes i think after this whole mess we’ll have more meaningful debates, in the same way the french revolution reignited the idea of a real democracy. And i think we already see how people who didn’t want to speak up before are slowly pointing out their own problems with the subject.

        You wrote:
        “If you want to talk about something, start a blog and gain your own readership. That remains an option to anyone who genuinely cares.”

        Public discussion doesn’t function in that everyone tries to open up his own site. Public discussion works by people gathering on a hub and engaging in discussions. That’s how it worked in anicent greece, that’s how it works today.
        But sure as soon as a hub owner closes his hub for open speech or what they want to discuss, people will move on and find a new hub.
        And it’s important to note that people who come to a certain hub to discuss with the owner of certain hub, lent more validity to the oppionion of the hub owner and the hub itself. And not because they’re noble or anything, but by pure egoistical reasons.

        • “Public discussion doesn’t function in that everyone tries to open up his own site. Public discussion works by people gathering on a hub and engaging in discussions. That’s how it worked in anicent greece, that’s how it works today.”

          You just compared Internet forums with ancient Greece. We have a difference in opinion about how important comment threads are.

          • Damion Schubert

            October 1, 2014 at 6:04 am

            The difference between greece, and the internet is that you could always walk over and punch someone in the mouth if they are too much of an asshole in person.

    • Damion Schubert

      September 23, 2014 at 6:54 am

      I point clues towards the end of this very article, actually, second to last paragraph. Sorry, though, I’m not in a good position to take the charge on this, for many reasons. Would I love it if some pressure was put on these things to go away? Absolutely.

  8. Kotaku and Polygon are done. There are just so many people angry at them this point, I don’t see anyway they could ever bounce back in the eyes of gamers.

    • For each person angry at them, there could be a few person discovering their site.
      I don’t like Kotaku
      But this GG made me go on Polygon much more regularly, and with great pleasure, than before.
      We’ll see.

  9. What kind of moron would embed an autoplay video with sound way down in the page?

  10. Your article was an interesting read, an I can see your perspective. Now allow me to shed light on another:

    “Left Vs Right
    Gamergate has gone political, or, at least that’s where people seem to want to take it now. One of the latest attacks on the hashtag is to appeal to people’s tribalism, to make it into a left/right, liberal/conservative conflict. This isn’t helped by the fact that the media response to Gamergate from left/liberal media has been wildly inaccurate and (ironically) hateful and that the only honest reporting and commentary has come from, ostensibly right wing pundits, commentators and actors.

    Unfortunately, this narrative and this re-frame of the argument is just another deflection, albeit one that plays well to existing prejudices and fractures in western political debate. It also plays well into, and reinforces previous attempts to make Gamergate about misogyny, sexism, racism, the supposed toxicity of gamer culture (actually troll culture, and I thought ‘gamer’ wasn’t an identity now anyway?)

    The truth, however, is that this is absolutely not about left Vs right, but about authoritarian versus libertarian (please note the small ‘l’).

    I, for example, am very, very much on the extreme left and an extreme liberal. An anarcho-socialist if you will. You can get a better idea of a political position (though it’s still imperfect) using the questionnaire and charts at politicalcompass.org

    Here’s mine, left of Hugo Chavez and south of Gandhi.


    False Dilemma
    Framing the argument in a left/right way is an attempt to create a false dilemma, that is, ‘You’re with us or you’re against us’. If you’re for Gamergate, do you realise you’re on the same side as Adam Baldwin and Milo Yiannopoulos who [insert said/did ghastly thing or political viewpoint here]?

    This, of course, is a logical fallacy. If Stalin told you that a) grass was a rich burgundy colour and that b) 2+2=4, he’d still be right on the maths problem despite being wrong on the grass issue and despite being a genocidal despot. Agreeing with Stalin on the mathematics issue has nothing whatsoever to do with his enthusiasm for gulags and doesn’t imply that you agree with his policy of support for Lysenkoism.

    Nonetheless, it’s sufficient for people to use as a smear and to try to undermine the gratitude many gamers feel towards people who have taken them seriously and addressed their issues honestly. Fortunately, this too doesn’t appear to be working.

    The division here is not, really, left versus right (collectivism versus individualism) but rather authoritarianism versus (small ‘l’) libertarianism.

    On the one hand the liberal point of view would (should) be summed up, amusingly enough, in part of the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

    That is, maximum liberty for the greatest number of people and that so long as nobody is hurt by it, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else.

    On the other hand the authoritarian point of view could be, admittedly uncharitably, summed up as ‘I know what’s best for you and for everyone else and I’m going to make sure that happens’.

    Of course it’s more nuanced than that and there’s plenty of room for in depth debate and discussion about what constitutes harm and where the balance lies between collective security and freedom and individual security and freedom, but those are questions that can – mostly – be answered by hard facts. Contextually, however, we’re talking about a medium (interactive video), one that can be avoided using off buttons, purchasing decisions, broad, voluntary rating systems and so forth.

    There is little discernible harm that video games can, or could, cause and they are entirely avoidable for those who do not like certain elements, tropes, representations and so forth. While many attempts have been made over the years by people with various gripes over various forms of media to associate them with antisocial behaviour, crime and ‘immorality’, none have actually been able to show any real link between consumption of fictive, recreational media and these social ills.

    At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I’ll reiterate some of those instances with which I am historically or personally familiar.

    Fredric Wertham and The Seduction of the Innocent (Comics).
    PMRC hearing (Music).
    Backmasking/Heavy Metal & Suicide (Music).
    The Satanic Panic (Heavy Metal, Tabletop RPGs).
    ‘Murder Simulators’ (Video games).

    More recently sex workers and porn workers have been smeared with associations to trafficking and child porn by those engaged in moral panic over pornography and prostitution. Again, no link has been found but moral panics have their own power and legislation such as the UK’s ‘extreme porn ban’ and on-by-default internet filtering have come about as a result.

    Wertham’s actions and the moral panic he fed upon brought about the Comics Code which ‘sanitised’ comics and killed diversity in them. The PMRC fell short of many of its desired goals, but did put ‘explicit lyrics’ on many albums, which instantly – of course – made them more desirable. Heavy Metal won its days in court, thanks to Judas Priest. Tabletop gamers formed the (now defunct) CARPGA to battle the smears against them, but Pat Pulling (Bothered About Dungeons and Dragons) had many police on her side and RPG playing was used to profile suspects in some cases.

    The most interesting case, to my mind, is Jack Thompson. Thompson hitched his wagon to, and became the face of, the moral panic about violence in computer games (though this had existed going way back, even to the computer game version of Death Race 2000).

    Thompson and the claims about violence in video games having a real world effect were, rightly, laughed out of gaming circles including by the games media, production studios and the players themselves.

    Despite the claims of the likes of Anita Sarkeesian being extremely similar, the response from media, academia and some players has been different. It’s useful to ask why that is, without immediately assuming it must be that because, this time, these arguments must have merit.

    Cultural Marxism & False Consciousness
    Some people in the debate over Gamergate like to toss around the words ‘Cultural Marxism’ at the anti-gamergate crowd and so I think it’s useful to educate people on what this term actually means and to also explain the concept of ‘False Consciousness’.

    Cultural Marxism is the idea that, along with economic forms of oppression, there are cultural forms of oppression that intersect to preserve hierarchies and the status quo. Examples might include the traditional family, particular gender roles, racial stereotyping, national character and other forms of cultural identity.

    Intersectionality ideas in modern ‘social justice’ movements are probably the modern incarnation of Cultural Marxism though conservatives do seem to like to throw the term around with incautious abandon, simply because it contains the magic word ‘Marx’, and is therefore able to panic people.

    False Consciousness is another Marxist term used to describe how people can be mislead, lied to, manipulated and controlled into acting against their own interests. An example of a False Consciousness might be the belief in ‘The American Dream’, that is that one can ‘make it’ out of pluck, skill and sheer determination in American society, an idea that is largely statistically disproven in the current socioeconomic state of America, but which does keep the populace relatively pliant. Hope is powerful stuff, as is religion, for keeping people from getting fractious.

    You’ll most likely come across False Consciousness these days in reference to feminism, through ‘internalised misogyny’, the idea that any women who disagrees with the current crop of third wave feminists is brainwashed.

    Is there mileage in either of these ideas? Certainly there is. It’s hard to argue, however, that living in a pluralistic society as we are fortunate enough to do in the west, that people aren’t aware of alternatives and haven’t been exposed to them. It becomes very hard to argue that people aren’t operating of their own volition and making decisions – that some happen to think are bad – in good faith and with their own minds.

    The attempts to manipulate the gaming media that have emerged of late, along with the DiGRA files, do reveal an agenda – and a secretive one – to manipulate and control the public message, to stifle debate and opposing points of view. This is diametrically opposite to the idea of Cultural Marxism, which would be to dismantle these authoritarian, singular, controlling stereotypes, and is an attempt to create a false consciousness, not to eliminate one.

    Well Meaning Disasters
    If there’s one thing I want people to take away from this essay on the politics of the situation, it is that people on both sides mean well. The ‘Social Justice Warrior’ side sees inequalities and problems in society and wants to address them. For reasons known only to themselves they have chosen to attack artistic expression – the output of society – rather than the actual causes of inequality and problems. Still, they think that by changing cultural cues and gatekeeping messages, they can influence society for the better.

    Gamergate supporters, and those opposing ‘Social Justice Warriors’ more broadly are genuinely concerned with free expression, open and honest reporting, corruption in games media and all the other issues that have come up.

    I have taken Gamergate’s side because it is the one that allows for the greatest plurality and diversity in art, and because it is the one that minimises authority. Also because I know my history, hinted at above, and I know how this kind of thing tends to go.

    History is littered with well-meaning busybodies, interfering with the activities and entertainments of others because of their moralistic concerns.

    Since we’re referring to Marx a lot, let us continue to use Marxist terms. What we have here is a petite-bourgeoisie, a social class of would-be middle/upper class with pretensions to their influence and impact on the world.

    Netizens have, very much, become a petite-bourgeouisie class. Bloggers, writers, independent game developers, social commentators, SEO agents etc are their own commodities, branding themselves, selling themselves through patreon, crowdfunding etc yet not really owning their own means of production. I am as guilty of this as anyone, a necessary compromise of my own morality as a semi-freelance writer. In a modern context this is the new army of the self-employed or partially self-employed. Your etsy and ebayers as much as anything else.

    Having garnered a little bit of power and influence, do the petite-bourgeoisie use to help others and break down systems of control and obstacles, or do they set up systems of control of their own? Our petite-bourgeoisie, despite having been the victims of roadblocks and difficulties in the past, now seek to set up their own gatekeeping and barriers in judgement on others, just as they were judged.

    It’s breathtaking moral hypocrisy.

    The well-meaning and interfering petite-bourgeoisie, puffed up on their own sense of entitlement and worth has done this many times before in the past as well. A sniff of legitimacy seems to turn some people into tyrants.

    An excellent case-in-point would be the temperance movement. An interfering body of, largely, morally motivated and middle class people concerned by and interfering in a dangerous (or ‘dangerous’) pastime associated with the lower classes. Doing it for ‘their own good’.

    Another would be the decline of Blaxsploitation cinema. At the time a large part of the cinematic audience was young, poor, urban, black and male. Films were made to cater to that audience and were wildly popular, often subverting the hierarchy of society at the time and creating popular people’s heroes. Yet this too was seen as dangerous, perpetuating insulting stereotypes and setting back the cause of equality – despite its riotous success with its target audience. Again, the interference largely came from those outside its cultural context, interfering for other people’s good.

    An overly concerned, moralistic, would-be-respectable group has been responsible for some real cultural disasters and, in the case of temperance, one of the bloodiest gangland periods in American history.

    No coincidence, then, that a genuinely populist art-form, with an audience primarily male and working class, should terrify the same moralising, respectable, petite bourgeoisie that it always has. The main critics of games, and the main body of ‘social justice warrior’ culture as a whole seems to be made up of white, middle class, products of academia. Particularly rather insular, echo-chamber topics such as gender or media studies, where the respect for genuine academic process and the usefulness of evidence seems to be low. Crippling white guilt, for things that distant ancestors did, seems to be a driving force behind this kind of self-loathing as it gets expressed externally and projected onto others, and it seems to excuse the ‘ends justifying the means’, whether it’s circumventing peer review, colluding to control a media message in gaming or hypocritically smearing and hurling abuse.

    Culture War
    If there is a genuine culture war going on, of which games are simply one battleground, it is one of postmodernism versus rationalism, of subjectivity versus objectivity. Postmodernists, who seem to be dominant in media positions, seem to believe objective understanding is not only impossible, but shouldn’t even be attempted to be striven towards. With regard to Gamergate we saw this most egregiously in prideful boasts that no attempts were being made to even try to be objective.

    As an atheist I’ve seen this in the backlash against New Atheism from non-skeptical divisions like the ironically named ‘Skepchick’. As a tabletop gamer I’ve seen this atmosphere poison games discussion there. As a writer of erotica I’ve seen it happen there, with companies and payment services being scared away from supporting ‘adult material’. Overall it seems to be a very broad cultural conflict in which – currently – feelings are being put well ahead of facts.

    Games are a funny thing in that they contain both technical and artistic content. One can objectively talk about many features of a game, while other elements – such as style, story etc – are necessarily matters of taste. Objectivity with regard to those elements is difficult, but not impossible (if the review on these sections is balanced). What appears to be being objected to is not so much subjective matters of taste but gatekeeping based on a) whether a particular company or individual has created an ethical issue with the reviewer and b) political grandstanding in a game review.

    People want to know if a game is fun, value for money, if the graphics are good, if the sound is good, whether it has replay value. They don’t really give much of a damn whether it conforms to 16th Century ideas about the Divine Right of Kings and nor do they give much of a damn whether it is suitably PC or conforms to third wave feminism.

    There’s a time and a place for that, and it’s called editorials.

    Part of the problem here is that game sites have explicit (and seemingly identical) political slants, yet do not seem to advertise or be known for that slant. When it comes to television news we know what we’re getting from Fox or MSNBC – a biased, tribalistic viewpoint. As a consumer we can choose to get a one-sided view or we can try and find a more balanced and objective view from another source or from multiple sources.

    With games sites we don’t have that kind of up-front knowledge of what we’re in for and while, personally, I loathe the editorialising of ‘The News’ to the point where we now have ‘A News’, such might be useful on games sites so that we know what we are getting.

    Gamergate is not a left/right conflict and those claiming to be on the left, while fighting gamergate – a genuinely grassroots, consumer rebellion – are not members of any left I recognise, given the left that I know is broadly anti-authoritarian and pro-egalitarian and given that these people want to set up a gatekeeping, moral ‘elite’ to politically vet material – to turn their petite-bourgeoisie into a nomenklatura (bureaucratic elite). That’s one side of the problem, the other side is the much larger corruption around the large companies, their schmoozing of reviewers and the bribery and threats involved against sites that don’t conform.

    With these issues in mind, I propose the following.

    Review sites should be more explicit and open about their agendas, if they insist on having them.
    Political and social judgement should be limited to editorials, or at the very least boxed-out addenda to reviews.
    Gamergate should shift its focus, slowly, to the AAA corruption. That fight should – hopefully – unite media and gamers together in a drive for reviews that are honest.
    We need to investigate solutions that will pay games journalists and sites sufficiently that they are less vulnerable to and have less need of corruption.
    A Patreon model that actually untethers from the individual relationship, a voluntary ‘microsubscription’ might be one option.”

    The full article can be read here. http://athefist.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/alright-gamergate-lets-do-politics/

    I do believe its the most level headed piece I’ve read so far.

    • You’re good.

    • It’s so good to finally see someone else disspell this oversimplified, left-right, US centric narrative. I have been doing so for the last few weeks. It’s actually a little uncanny to see someone else describe the issue as “authoritarian vs. libertarian” , those were pretty much the exact same words (I used the word “liberal” myself, because I mostly argued that there is a shism on the US left which explains why many who support GG are left of center “liberal” while the detractors fall more into the camp of Identity & moral activism).
      Btw, Felloney this was one of the best summations of GamerGate sentiments I have seen so far.

    • “On the one hand the liberal point of view would (should) be summed up, amusingly enough, in part of the Wiccan Rede: “An it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

      That is, maximum liberty for the greatest number of people and that so long as nobody is hurt by it, it shouldn’t matter to anyone else.

      On the other hand the authoritarian point of view could be, admittedly uncharitably, summed up as ‘I know what’s best for you and for everyone else and I’m going to make sure that happens’.”

      I can agree with those definitions, however I suspect that if we were to categorize the statements: “You must stop posting SJW stuff! You must provide journalism that I approve of!” and “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these games, but we need to be aware of how the overuse of these tropes can be harmful” we’ll somehow come to opposite answers.

      • “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying these games, but we need to be aware of how the overuse of these tropes can be harmful”

        I do wish people would stop saying that.

        Anita Sarkeesian says things like these tropes “profoundly impacts how real life women are perceived and treated” and “help to normalize extremely toxic, patronizing and paternalistic attitudes about women.”

        There’s no “nothing wrong with enjoying these games” possible if your view is that it has “profound impact” on how women are treated…

        • Damion Schubert

          October 1, 2014 at 6:02 am

          There is literally no doubt that media has cultural effects. The entire advertising industry is in fact based on this. There have been numerous studies that show, for example, that girls are more likely to pursue jobs in science and tech if they see women in science and tech on TV. There have been numerous studies that show that bigoted behavior on TV reinforces existing bigoted behavior (but doesn’t create much new behavior). These studies EXIST.

          And you know what: Christina Sommers knows that too. When she says that feminists create a culture of fear where they are scared of being raped when they shouldn’t be, she is saying that women hear so much about the risk that they start to believe it. It is the same thing as constantly seeing women represented as helpless, as sex objects, or as prizes to be won.

  11. I understand the shadiness of Milo, and disagree with many of the problematic things he said (like suggesting someone that she had a job only because of tits), but no one else has heard what many gamers want. Yeah many of the claims of the G-gate are exaggerated, conspiratorial, and not correctly formulated, but behind that is a strong sentiment that gaming press takes pleasure in bashing and stereotyping the gamer community. Milo is no angel but he at least have tried to hear them.

    Regarding Christina she at least back their videos with peer-reviewed studies. Attacking her political leaning is sort of ad-hominem, IMHO. By the way she is more Libertarian than Conservative.

    Also, maybe many gamers reject the far left view of gaming? People from Critical Theory bashing repeatedly them and their hobbies? Maybe thats why they feel more comfortable with far-right proponents? Who said that far left proponents have to dominate the discourse on gaming journalism?

    • “Yeah many of the claims of the G-gate are exaggerated, conspiratorial, and not correctly formulated, but behind that is a strong sentiment that gaming press takes pleasure in bashing and stereotyping the gamer community.”

      Define “the gamer community” in positive terms. Give examples.

      I don’t want to bash gamers for being gamers. I don’t think anyone does. But there’s something really wrong when so many people seem to have only one label to define themselves. It’s more or less what Jeff Gerstmann said at PAX right after this whole thing with Anita and Zoe kicked off.

      If everyone had more than one way to define themselves individually, and didn’t hold so strongly to the notion that they are part of some big nebula of kinship and movement uber alles, I think there would be a lot less sound and fury about things that pretty much everyone has and has had problems with for years.

      The quality of games journalism, the lack of consumer confidence and literacy, the shakiness of the market, the difficulty of finding and maintaining a relationship with would-be customers, and bringing a finished product to them in a way that doesn’t upset the whole enterprise, in order to keep everything moving onward and upward.

      Pointing out someone’s stated political leaning when it defines so much of their body of work is stating the obvious. It’s more relevant to discuss exactly what she said in the video, which was mostly questions stated without answers, and what answers were given were not “peer reviewed,” they were aphoristic at best.

      Like in your last paragraph. Why are you asking questions like that? State what you think is true. Why bring up Critical Theory at all?

      • The very fact that a multitude of people are offended across a wide variety of strata should be indicative that quite a lot of people do self-identify as gamers and don’t particularly care to be narratively broad brushed by a few hundred game journalists at best.

        Gaming as the new media has always suffered a degree of stigmatization as the new kid on the block from other quarters. But it’s one thing for that message to come from other media (they have a clear agenda), it’s another when it’s coming from the very people who are supposedly represent the user base.

        • Which is why I asked the question, “Define “the gamer community” in positive terms. Give examples.” But no one’s taken me up on that.

          I think Extra Life is a good example. eSports is sometimes a good example. I think Child’s Play is a good charity. I think everyone who ever went to a convention such as PAX and sought others out of respect and a shared love of playing games, deserves to feel good about themselves. And I think everyone who plays games competitively ought to sign the Gamers Against Bigotry pledge at gamersagainstbigotry.org, for the sake of keeping the trash talk from crossing a line.

          Those are things that make it good to be a gamer. Divisiveness and harassment in the name of preserving status, are not good and ought to improve, but they won’t unless individuals set good examples for each other.

          #gamergate is not a good example.

        • “a few hundred game journalists?” As if they were the only ones against gamergate. No dude, there’s plenty of us normal gamers who are disgusted with gamergaters behaviors and want nothing to do with them.

      • I feel this argument to be somewhat disingenuous and another display that gamers as an audience are still not being taken seriously while being a 100 billion $ industry.

        Try to make the argument that the gamers care too much about their negative portrayal by the media that is supposed to represent them and replace the word “Gamers” with “Patriots fans” or “NY Yankees” or hell any supporter of a large soccer club and apply the negative terms used by the media for gamers to this groups. How would you think they would react if they read Patriots fans are misogynstic, antisocial manchildren and don’t have to be the Patriot’s audience? Would you question the fans why they identify with the club so much and would you allege (falsely) it’s a problem that this is their only identifier?
        I am not offended. As someone with a background in economics I am just amazed at the hubris and incompetence that led to the games media sowing its contempt for its audience.

        • “Would you question the fans why they identify with the club so much and would you allege (falsely) it’s a problem that this is their only identifier?”

          Yes. People that only define themselves by one inarguable descriptor are a problem for me to think about and deal with.

          As per your example, though, “gamers” are a far broader brush than a fan of a particular sports club. Maybe you could say there’s a parallel between gamers and “football fans,” but in terms of how the latter group would react if anyone referred to them as beer-guzzling, gut-having, homoerotic meatheads?

          If you told one to their face, they might laugh. Or they might throw a punch.

          If they read it on the Internet, they’d shrug and go back to being fans.

          I don’t see how calling for boycotts on media outlets who called out “Gamers” for perceived slights against two women, or who declare that harassment is bad, benefits anyone.

          I don’t see how a hue and cry that doesn’t lead to the creation of, say, a new media outlet entirely full of well-curated, well-edited reporting and commentary, will result in any meaningful change.

          If there isn’t any meaningful change in store, it just sounds like, “they said mean things about my only self-applied label, and now I’m mad.”

          Damion wrote an article about “reclaiming” the term “gamer”. I don’t think I agree with him that the word is worth reclaiming. But that’s me. Maybe you should react to that article. It’s not very old.

          • If they read it on the Internet, they’d shrug and go back to being fans.

            And if 75% of the major TV sports shows all ended their Sunday wrap-up with a segment decrying them as that? how do you think that would go down? Because that’s the equivalent media in that case.

  12. All this seems relatively minor compared to what feminists do, though. Isn’t all of feminism injecting their ideology in all aspects of society? Why should people who promote equalism be allowed to pass without critique?

    The reaction to it is natural (and fairly mild in Western countries), you cannot equate the original fault of feminists with the people trying to correct it. Whether or not 4chan is hateful, or mean, or whatever hurts their feelings, it’s just not that important. The anti-feminists are still right. Men and women aren’t equal, feminism is an unreasonable fear of men, and its adherents suffer from unchecked entitlement, as demonstrated by their complaining over very trivial things.

    • “Isn’t all of feminism injecting their ideology in all aspects of society?”


    • Damion Schubert

      September 21, 2014 at 10:43 pm

      Let me ask you this: if feminism is such a bugaboo destroying all games thanks to a complicit SJW press, how does GTAV get a 97% on Metacritic.

      Feminists are a voice, but a minor one compared to more hardcore customers.

  13. Your entire attack on gamergate is essentially one giant Genetic Fallacy and straw man.

    Anita was blasted for not being a gamer because SHE LIED ABOUT BEING ONE.She specifically and deliberately lied about her history and involvement with gaming in order to fabricate false credentials.

    If you can’t understand why that’s a problem, or why her repeated theft and plagiarism is a problem, or why her flat out lying about what games contain is a problem, then you are yourself part OF “The Problem” that gamergate is currently fighting.

    You call yourself a feminist and yet you stand beside racist transphobic bigots who have stooped to the level of threatening people’s families and even getting a black developer fired from his job through harassment.

    You want to know what #gamergate is REALLY about? Start at the beginning with the the feminists over at TFYC, who have given an extensive interview about the harassment, doxxing, and threats they’ve dealt with: http://apgnation.com/archives/2014/09/09/6977/truth-gaming-interview-fine-young-capitalists

    The gaming media, instead of reporting on any of this honestly, chose to close ranks and spin a false narrative that hordes of white male virgin “misogynerds” from 4chan were running a hate campaign against women filled with sockpuppets.

    The truth is we have passport photos and even live video proving this isn’t the “white male misogynerd” harassment campaign, 4chan sockpuppet prank, right wing cultural purge, or any other tinfoil hat conspiracy you’ve been told it was: https://i.imgur.com/cNkeRde.jpeg, tweets https://i.imgur.com/BgY7IyD.png https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYqBdCmDR0M

    Similarly we have found hard evidence of a great deal of corruption from conflicts of interest, journalists being paid by the PR agents of people they were writing about, and even potential criminal racketeering involving the IGF.

    Moreover the claim that gamergate is the side harassing people is not only wrong but virtually completely backwards. Women and minorities in gamergave have been called “house ni**ers” and targeted for harassment and abuse, even doxxing and threats, for speaking out against SJWs who use them as a shield.

    In fact Zoe Quinn has herself retweeted offers to pay people Nintendo demo codes if they’ll post false-flag racism and threats to her under the #gamergate tag: http://i.imgur.com/uN5dkYH.jpg

    As well as having personally participated in the doxxing and threatening of even children with violence: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BxItIhIIQAABIu7.png

    Let alone developers: http://33.media.tumblr.com/f45ec5af72b60bda7c696817ca14ddbf/tumblr_nbjxzdpHI91tkhroeo1_1280.jpg

    Or anyone else that dares disagree with them, here’s just a HANDFUL of the vicious abuse thrown at anyone supporting #gamergate:
    Terrorists (http://gamesnosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/devin.jpg)
    Pathetic (http://gamesnosh.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/freelance-dev.jpg)
    Racist (http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/image/96832821253)
    Nerds (http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/image/96824882816)
    Parasites (http://i.imgur.com/YYx4VM3.png)
    Worthless (http://38.media.tumblr.com/3f7e5d258c3590d92e21a91c941cfc48/tumblr_nbel0pMV3y1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Deserving death (http://31.media.tumblr.com/05ce05fa39964870e51b029b76eb4453/tumblr_nbdot0XTYQ1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Confederates, Neo-NAZIs (https://twitter.com/devincf/status/509120907000823808)
    Misogynists (http://33.media.tumblr.com/33f424d2dca74196a76641c295295c24/tumblr_nbgypnmym01tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Drug users (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BwYnLcPCcAExa7T.png:large)
    Dweebs (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bwjyo6TIgAM-3xN.jpg:large)
    NAZIs (http://gamergateharrassment.tumblr.com/image/96981951159)
    Subhuman (http://i.gyazo.com/af9f579b915579b16382885ee071a8a6.png)
    Sociopaths (http://31.media.tumblr.com/6b838763c2a04c7356eb12aac086d2d4/tumblr_nbdfr6ZW3f1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Scum (http://i.imgur.com/rLT5hMG.png)
    Morons (http://33.media.tumblr.com/839ef95775ce258ea9b69e3092b74c13/tumblr_nbaq6t5l8a1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Fat (http://38.media.tumblr.com/c006886fc38d780246bb0541e2158026/tumblr_nbaprdoOzq1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Nonexistent (http://38.media.tumblr.com/4f6b44d2d02dcf5637449c43f59081f0/tumblr_nbaraiM5CK1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Hateful (http://38.media.tumblr.com/04d047edde4912a0ae1d08d5d34eb073/tumblr_nbavqcjInC1tkhroeo1_1280.jpg)
    Autistic (http://38.media.tumblr.com/070bec77b1eb20d7127eeb53e24cd739/tumblr_nb9o4uaZLh1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Deserving violence (http://media.tumblr.com/5fcf2906cbd6a4f0a2d0d118938a6647/tumblr_inline_nb9hwmg56l1t04v2j.png)
    Bullies (http://i0.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/newsfeed/000/821/909/564.png)
    Racial slurs (https://forum.encyclopediadramatica.es/attachments/1409516437457-png.47336/)
    Enablers of child pornography/Pedophiles: (http://38.media.tumblr.com/60d8774d77925c6c2b33da61a320fcc9/tumblr_nbgx6jSebG1tkhroeo2_1280.png)
    Peddlers of child porn: (http://i.imgur.com/KJiOEB4.jpg)
    Threatened with violence (https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BwYqklLIQAAJRrt.jpg:large)
    Shit (http://t.co/ts4PPb3tl3)
    Manbabies (http://31.media.tumblr.com/7300d99c72d76c2a2b3b90d4c3f9d222/tumblr_nb4nduL6ik1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    Terrible people (http://38.media.tumblr.com/6f9fb624582e4d5a09ceb2174da96c18/tumblr_nb4rxxXlrK1tkhroeo1_1280.png)
    And Trash: http://i.imgur.com/E4kRwKN.png

    There is absolutely a cultural purge at work here, but it’s your side that’s doing the purge.

    • Way to copy-pasta. You should totally get a blog.

      Yes, people on Twitter get insulted. Neither “side” is innocent. Anita Sarkeesian plays games, but not very much. How much she plays should never have been an issue.

      You don’t have to like Anita. You don’t have to like what she represents, or what she says.

      She didn’t deserve what she got, which was harassment and bullying.

      If you don’t like Anita, fine. Talk about what she says and why you don’t like what she says. Talk about who she is and what she represents. That’s what Damion did in the earlier post about her videos.

      But two women, one who was a firebrand and one with an angry ex-boyfriend, were at the start of what doc after doc claim was the start of a movement, where website headlines started saying untoward things about people who play video games.

      I’m genuinely sorry if you took offense to any of those screengrabs. But I don’t think you mean to suggest that #gamergate is about hurt feelings, first and foremost. Because if that’s what you want to talk about, there’s only so far it can go.

  14. I love how on that list of “approved” website is Return of Kings, which is an extreme MRA site. Yeah, not about women in games…

  15. Oy… I don’ know who this Nero is, but reading about your complaints about him I can’tr help but facepalm when I hear what reality denying postmondernist gripe about. Lets check some of the issues you have with Nero:

    1. Transgenderism is a disease. We are created to reproduce, if a person believes that they are a gender that they clearly aren’t then they are denying their biology. I.E it is a sickness of the mind. Perhaps they have some screwed up genes too. But hey, don’t let science and facts get in the way of your beliefs.

    2. Men are better at technology than women. While it is true that there are women that are good at technology, the female brain simply isn’t created the way that a man’s brain is. So yes, biologically speaking; men are more technical.

    And then Christina:

    1. Freeze tag is a problem. kids aren’t allowed to have fun anymore. Anything and everything masculine is being demonized.

    2. Men are oppressed, at least so more than women. The feminist agenda however and how we view women in society makes it easy to ignore the plights of men.


    reading on your rant continues; you make snide remarks about ideology infecting the Gamergate movement… making me wonder if you would have even written this article if the two people supporting the movement had been leftist. Apparently in your mind, the ideological stance of these two supporters disqualify them from getting involved?
    Really? So if a Buddhist got involved then clearly it would be because he was a Buddhist and not because he agreed with the gamer community?

    • “We are created to reproduce…. don’t let science and facts get in the way of your beliefs”

      Hahahahaha that’s funny. By funny I mean hypocritical.

      There is an implicit bad ad-hoc hypothesis buried in the first clause, can you find it? Here’s a hint: birds have wings, so clearly they were created to fly. Oops, ostriches and penguins.

      I suggest you look more into studies of reproduction in social species vs. individualistic species, as well as the biology of sexual differentiation and the phenomenon of individuals intersexed at birth, as well as studies showing the existence of homosexual behavior in all known sexually polymorphic species.

      “Men are better at technology than women”

      Citation needed. Note the neither “because more men are in it currently” nor “because more men are leaders in the industry” present sufficient evidence.

      To the best of my knowledge, any study proclaiming a genetic gender-based variation in spatial or emotional abilities has been debunked. The closest we can get is “testosterone causes muscular growth” and “the presence of a Y chromosome correlates with higher testosterone production” whereas “estrogen causes growth in the mammary glands” and “testosterone suppresses estrogen production.” These physical differences have exactly zero to do with capability in a field dominated by mental activity taking place while sat at a desk.

      Training is much more highly correlated to ability than accident of birth. Societal pressure affects the level of training each gender receives, and the perception of which kind of training is appropriate for each gender to seek.

      Even the relative age effect has more to do with the positive feedback loop in physical training than it has to do with the actual month of birth.

      “Freeze tag is a problem. kids aren’t allowed to have fun anymore.”

      As a child, I played a lot of different variations of tag. In the simplest form of tag, when you are tagged you become ‘it’. Freeze tag presents a wider variety of game mechanics and I personally found it to be more fun than simple tag because there is more strategy involved than “run away” or “choose target” and “run toward”. Blob tag, where all the kids end up holding hands, is even more fun — it’s tag plus crack the whip.

      Getting tagged ‘out’ is no fun for anyone. In a game where getting tagged sends you out of the game, the kids who now can’t play are going to feel shitty, get bored, and find something else to do — probably something that neither of us would like them to do. Even in dodgeball, you get to come back out of the box when someone makes a catch.

      “everything masculine is being demonized”

      I don’t know how masculinity or femininity has anything to do with any discussion of tag and its rules variations.

      The important question when considering the rules for kids’ games — or any game — is “do these rules make a fun game?” The goals are to give kids exercise, to burn their extra energy into muscle growth, and to keep them occupied. Promoting team work is an extra bonus Have you ever tried to keep 30+ kids occupied at the same time?

      Is the concern that some teacher put the name “circle of friends” on the rule “two people are required to unfreeze a frozen player”? I guarantee that the rule was implemented for game balance, and not to advance some feminist agenda.

      Are you trying to assert that hunting is masculine and healing is feminine? *Cough*lions*cough*doctors*cough*.

      Do you think teamwork is somehow not masculine?

      “Men are oppressed”

      Yes, we are to some extent.

      “…at least so more than women.”

      Maybe in different ways, more hidden and subtle ways, but in my experience very clearly neither quantitatively nor qualitatively ‘more’. Quite the opposite when you consider oppression as a factor or result of power wielded by one actor over another. I think of freedom of choice in action as the object of oppression. Some might think of freedom of choice in identity expression as the object of oppression. When you say oppression, do you really mean repression or suppression?

      “easy to ignore the plights of men.”

      This is true. But feminism is not the source of this problem. It is easy to ignore the plights of men because we are taught not to admit our plights or ask for help with them. Societal pressure leads us to conceal emotion and to conflate vulnerability with weakness. Men are oppressed by being taught to repress ourselves. Women are oppressed more directly from external sources.

  16. “Apparently in your mind, the ideological stance of these two supporters disqualify them from getting involved?”

    It’s possible to be a leftist ideologue, but the secondary issue is that they’re being ideologues, i.e., they’re making the argument for the sake of promoting themselves above all. The first issue is that the arguments aren’t made well. The proper approach is to first address the arguments themselves, which is what Damion ended up doing later, in the above post.

    If you wonder why a blogger would choose to write about something he cares about as opposed to something he doesn’t, then you should get a blog.

  17. Thanks for linking to the Auto-tune Rebuttal, pure genius 🙂

    I’m all for free speech, at least it lets me know who I need to put on my ignore list 😉

    It’s good to listen to opposing views every now and again, and challenge your own viewpoint, if for no other reason than to reconfirm your original opinion.

  18. Well written an well done. If you want to see how much of a hypocrite is search for Breitbart and Groundswell and bask in how Milo’s own site colluded with the right for stories and more.

  19. I’m an actual right-wing nutjob, and I hate ideological purges. I have no problem with social criticism, analysis, or shoving your politics into video games, in principle. I just wish it was more balanced. Why doesn’t Anita Sarkeesian sit down with her critics, and facilitate a round-table discussion? That would be acting like a leader, instead of a divider. This goes for all the social critics in our circle of the internet. They have powerful voices, and that can be used for good, but unfortunately they are currently perceived as bullies.

  20. >Christina, for her part, has made a career about depicting men in society as being an oppressed victim class

    Where does she say that? Its really funny how people like you or Michael Kimmel sum up people whos views are contrary to you as almost a beneath the need for a serious analysis.

    The way you spot a ideologue, left or right is that they portray the other side as being ridiculous. (strawmen)

    I would hope people see through this but from what I see online it seems this hope is misplaced.

    >She’s Fox’s go-to guest when they need someone to say that fear of rape on college campuses is NO BIG DEAL

    Yeah that’s how she said it too: “NO BIG DEAL”. Exactly.

    >(reality check: while sexual assault has dropped mightily in the last 20 years, the US still leads much of the civilized world).

    Linking to Wikipedia as your source? Really? How many of your fellow feminist ideologues monitor those and other Wikipedia pages 24/7 to make sure it doesn’t stray from your viewpoint?

    Why don’t you try linking to actual sources if you’re confident the truth is on your side? Of course so many thinktanks and institutions that churn out the data are contaminated by ideologues these days but I think even that is a step up from Wikipedia.

    >Sommers throws out some stats and figures

    Yup. Throwing out some stats and figures. What’s the deal with that. As we all know the real way to have a argument is to be as sarcastic and snarky as possible right?

    >Short form: this is a very non-serious answer from an ideologue

    As opposed to yourself, who seems like a very open-minded individual willing to consider arguments that are contrary to your own.

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