Hi everyone. If you are reading this, you are probably a fellow gamer who is fully aware of the events surrounding the online movement currently referred to as #GamerGate. For those of you who do not know, this is basically an all-out war between gamers and game journalists that has been going for almost a month. To put this into perspective, the internet and gamers on the internet tend to have an exceptionally short attention span for current events. It is exceptionally rare for anything in the gaming sphere to be big news even so much as the next day so for this to be going strong this long is rather unheard of.
And going strong it is, even if one side (the journalists) are desperate to say it is not. There is no other explanation for the attempt to completely silence the story, outright abuse of gamers who have taken notice and offense to this (the gamers in this fight) and even the hashtag #GameOverGate as an attempt to claim victory and go home. In case you have yet to figure it out, personally side with the gamers of this debate, and having explained my position a few times now on a couple of sites, and even to a blogger who I once looked up to, but has since fallen heavily, I would like to put it down here once and for all so that I need not repeat myself again. Please note what follows is based heavily on my reply to this blogger.
I fully support the movement called #GamerGate to "end corruption" on the grounds of making the "journalists" either do one of two things: Be transparent about your connections to the people you are writing about or admit you are not Journalists... just bloggers like the rest of us who bother to write.
I don't think that's much to ask... I really don't. I mean, hell. I also write a blog where I review games and/or talk about stories I find interesting or important for the hobby. I’m a blogger who focuses on the gaming scene. I do this as a hobby, and even I will be up front about my previous position when I start reviewing, usually as part of my introduction to the game.... AND I AM NOT A FUCKING PROFESSIONAL. How can I be happy with a "professional" who can't even meet me at that level? And then rather then listen when people get pissed because we saw that reality, we get a combined PR effort to basically slander the name of "gamers" in total?
The truth of the matter is this would have all gone away in a few days tops had things gone differently. Yes, Zoe would have been the butt of jokes for a day or two, and yes trolls in their juvenile humor would have humiliated her in user reviews and the like for that yuk during that time... but that would have been it had "game journalism/community sites" (and yes, they now need quotations... a sad ramification of the past few weeks) done the right thing and talked about the guy currently at Kotaku for possible misbehavior at his professional career. It might have lasted a week had they kept silent and let the communities chat among their own (and ok, moderate some for the more explosive personalities in the chat since the internet and anonymity and human nature)... but that isn't what happened.
What happened was across the web, most gaming sites were going full-time in deleting all threads about it and banning their audience for speaking about it in. In essence the communities were silencing the topic. And again, if this was one or two, it would have turned into attacking them for being the assholes and then faded away because "not everyone is like that" but it was just about all the big sites. Seriously, the only ones I saw letting the threads stay were Gametrailers and Escapist. And this INCLUDES sites like Reddit and 4chan. Think about that... even 4Chan was fucking censoring this shit. Though in fact, I would bet this image was the rally cry that REALLY got the "end corruption" idea rolling:
And by the way, I’m also hearing a lot of these sites and the threads about them were excluded from Wayback Machine (http://archive.org/web/). If this is proven true, it shows all the more someone would rather shut up the audience then take their complaint in to think about, which really would have been all it would have taken to diffuse this whole clusterfuck.
And then when this only made gamers pissed at being silenced, the answer was to try to make gamers into monsters rather then realize "oh shit, we just PISSED OFF OUR MAIN AUDIENCE"?
This is what the Gamersgate tag is about. It's not about "abuse women in gaming." If it was, I would be standing against it right there with the journalists.
It's not about "GAMES ARE CHANGING! WAH!" If it was, again, I would be calling it stupid and not bothered myself with the story. Understand this right now... I’m BORED with the AAA scene. I’m bored with basically the same franchises and little new in the every-increasing sequels and I’m sick of their sales/PR bullshit, be it everything from Ubisoft throwing tantrums about PC piracy even while they do everything in their power to discourage actual purchases to EA trying to make every game they SELL into micro-transaction-hell for the suckers who buy their shit. But I see a LOT to love in the indie scene and if you bother to look at what I play and review, you will see I actually spend a lot of time there. If #GamerGate was about preventing games from growing and expanding and giving us actually new experiences, I would not be on it's side.
But these are not the things this is about. It's about is how journalists have behaved and wanting that to change. Had they listened to their audience instead of try to silence (and when that failed, shame and abuse) them into submission, this would NOT be a thing now, and I would not be a supporter of #GamerGate.