Gamer Gate is the kind of thing I would usually talk about, but frankly I find the whole thing bizarre in that it’s taken on this kind of life where some people are so sure that it’s all about integrity in game journalism. At the same time there is an overwhelmingly vocal portion of the supporters of the movement that are very, very sexist and misogynistic.
The movement is basically the equivalent of a group of people on a rooftop masturbating so that the sound carries through megaphones down to a crowd of horrified onlookers. Meanwhile a second, possibly larger, group who is self-blindfolded tries to convince the crowd that they’re not masturbating and that’s the important thing all while ignoring the fact someone is beating off and that the beating off is exactly what triggered everyone looking to see who was doing all the beating off in the first place.
As someone who was raised on video games and came up in the late 1980s I feel like I have a need to comment, if not an obligation. Video games have changed tremendously in my life time and they have gone from indiscernible groupings of pixels that vaguely represent the idea of something to near-life-like representations of characters we love and care about that have personality, complex backstories and histories to rival that of other fictional characters and even some real ones.
Do I think gaming is important? Well, yeah it’s as important as any of the other things that people do for pleasure. It’s a different form of entertainment, one that you experience in a way that you don’t get through reading or television and movies.
But I think part of what’s causing gaming not to grow is stuff like what’s happening in this whole Gamer Gate scandal. I mean what’s really happening. We have a group of people being non-inclusive. They want women harassed for speaking up or having opinions, they want women threatened with rape and other horrible stuff and then they turn around and wonder why their artistic medium isn’t taken seriously.
Really, I feel like the whole subject is tiring and the fact that it’s been given this much attention by the community says something really bad about gamers over all. Do you think journalistic integrity is that great anywhere? Especially when it comes to reviews. Read any number of reviews for an iPhone and compare them with Android phones with the exact same features. The connotation of the words changes and what’s a negative for one phone isn’t mentioned for the other. People who review technology like phones are often given free phones to try out before the public gets them. They can keep the phone. People were whining about the same thing in game journalism as if they want these people who barely make enough money to live already should go completely into debt by buying a shit ton of games just to tell a horde of ungrateful assholes if they’re good or not. Movie reviewers also get free tickets or screener copies of movies.
My point is that the things that the game community are so upset about are normal. People are upset that reviewers are getting to know developers. Of course they are. They got into this business because they love games and some of these people they get to meet are their heroes. You don’t think that these people are going to date each other or that they’re going to be friends or hang out? Do you think that no one who covers real news has ever made friends with a politician that they had to cover (because you would be wrong. Jon Stewart was friends with Anthony Weiner and covered what happened with his political career like he would have anyone else. Connections don’t make people suddenly lose integrity in all cases).
This is why I find it so hard to side with either side of the Gamer Gate cause spectrum, at best it’s people who are upset about something that is happening across the board with media and at worse it’s people upset that women dare to speak. One of those things I feel like would be better served if people focused their attention on the problem with media at large and the other I feel like is a fundamental problem with the culture of the average gamer and gaming at large.
This video pretty much sums up my entire thought process on this thing. This comment from the video comment section is a favorite of mine:
“The comment section today seems pretty anti-feminist in defense of GamerGate. That this video is somehow feminist because he’d like women not to be harassed? And yet people claim GamerGate isn’t anti-feminist, even though the video is being described as feminist as something bad. that says a lot.”—Mia Mulder (Not related to Fox Mulder)
One more thing: stop using the term social justice warriors like it’s some kind of awful racial slur. I don’t get when it became bad to stand up for gays, women, and other races. But hint, it’s not.