#WeAreGamers

#GamerGate.

I’m a straight, white, cisgendered man which means I can pretty much say whatever the fuck I like about these people and still fly under their radar because their farcical “movement” is solely dedicated to the mass intimidation and harassment of women and professional journalists. #GamerGate’s arguments have an antagonistic relationship with logic, morality, reality, and basic common sense. They allege, that a vast conspiracy of feminists and “SJWs” (Social Justice Warriors, which, as a tip, if you are calling your archenemies “Justice Warriors” you just might be part of the Legion of Doom) control the games industry, control games journalism, and are using their nefarious vaginae to manipulate millions of people into unwittingly destroying the art form they love most.

That is what #GamerGate actually thinks. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.

#GamerGate is not an activist movement. It is not about journalistic integrity, it does not have the best interests of the games industry or indeed any industry at heart. It is a hate group, a lynch mob. This is not difficult stuff.

To call the position lunacy, is to put it mildly, but it isn’t insane as much as it is diversion. The movement’s concerns have nothing to do with the quality of video games, or the content of them. The true goals are simple: Silence Women. Deny them their rights. Drive them from their homes, threaten them with rape, violence, murder. Actively conspire to drive women with opposing viewpoints to suicide, and at the end of the day, when confronted with evidence of your actions, scream “False Flag!” shroud yourself in noble intention and ignore criticism because fuck those people, they’re not us. They’re “Others”. They’re Feminists, they’re SJWs. To call it troubling is insufficient.

Where did this begin? How did it get so far? Why are we still talking about it? Well, as many of you will know, it all started when a man named Eron Gjoni posted a massive amount of highly personal and private information in what might be the single most massive breach of trust by any jilted ex I have ever seen on the internet. His novella-length tirade, which I will not under any circumstances link, is filled with screenshots of private conversations, along with his own editorializing. Whether his claims regarding his relationship with Zoe Quinn are true or not is entirely irrelevant. There is no justification for his actions in publicizing intensely private details out of pure malice.
Anyone who’s spent five minutes on 4chan knows what posting this screed there will result in. Instant lynch mob. Gjoni maintains he only posted this information because he wants people to “know the truth” about who Zoe Quinn is. Which is, of course, utter bullshit. He was, transparently, seeking revenge. Now, I don’t doubt that the man feels some degree of remorse now that he can behold the full form and horror of the monster that he unleashed on the world, but it is his monster. A monster adopted by those consumed by their own insecurity, self-hatred, and misogyny to rally around.

Hatred of feminists and those percieved as “SJWs” is sadly nothing new to the video game industry. It is an industry notable for its many and frequent fuckups on just about everything to do with gender politics, sexuality, and the general existence of women. That so many women have remained in spite of these unforced errors on behalf of developers, publishers, journalists, and consumers is testament not to how much they seek to destroy video games as #GamerGate would have you believe, but rather proof of their deep and abiding love for video games. That this is not more obvious is a sad reflection on ourselves as a culture.

Today, The Escapist ran an article  purporting to share the opinions of “Game Developers” regarding #GamerGate. The developers they dug up to comment, all male, were, oddly enough, not exactly what you or I might think of when we hear the term. Namely, they were prominent, hardline #GamerGaters. The article was originally run with the headline “Game Developers on #GamerGate”. When this was publicly contrasted with the title of the preceeding article, “Female Game Developers Share Their Views on #GamerGate” by Alex Lifschitz  it was eventually changed to the slightly more representative “What Male Game Developers Think About #GamerGate. Another telling comparison? The first article, found here, is credited to the byline “Anonymous Female Game Developers) while the later article is attributed to “The Escapist Staff”. This simple shift indicates a publication’s support for one viewpoint over the other, as do their unchanged original URLs. The earlier article, from the Anonymous Female Game Developers has a simple URL reflecting its content. The article that ran today, however, has a URL that reads “Game Developer #GamerGate Interviews Shed Light on Women in Games.”

It is clear that this article has not only been revised after publication following the deserved outcry but was potentially revised prior to initial publication, suggesting an earlier, even more biased and incendiary version. As it stands, the article is little more than an open platform for #GamerGate supporters to spew their toxins and false premise with a veneer of editorial legitimacy. Want to see what #GamerGate is really about? Go to the mentions feed of pretty much any woman working anywhere near the games industry. Here, I’ll even help you out.

That’s today. That’s just a few hours ago. Brianna Wu, of Giant Spacekat and Isometric Podcast, a person entirely uninvolved in the events surrounding The Escapist article, was doxxed and threatened in extremely specific terms.

“I’ve got a K-Bar and I’m coming to your house so I can shove it up your ugly feminist cunt”

“Your mutilated corpse will be on the front page of Jezebel tomorrow and there isn’t jack shit you can do about it”

This is #GamerGate. We as modern human beings, men and women of conscience, cannot afford to stand by and hope it goes away anymore. As Zoe Quinn herself has put it, “There is no ‘both sides’ here. People against GG’s actions are not organized, or campaigning, or using a hashtag. There’s a mob, and their targets.”

I think it is time to change that. Yes, it is depressing, it is saddening, it is maddening. We are rightfully ashamed of #GamerGaters and afraid of what they are capable of. We have seen their organization convince the world’s largest manufacturer of microprocessors to pull advertisments from Gamasutra. We have seen them drive Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian from their homes. We have seen them threaten the lives of pretty much every woman who works in the industry and doesn’t keep that fact as secret and safe as the fucking One Ring. Perhaps the best essayist to ever work in games writing, Jenn Frank, was convinced to abandon the industry altogether. Simply put, they are not going away and they are getting what they want. And their charade of standing for honesty and integrity and a great many other noble-sounding things has earned them enough support for sites as formerly-prestigious as The Escapist to pretend as if there is actually a debate going on here.

We are gamers. Our silence must not continue. #WeAreGamers. Pass it on.

Additional Information:
Timeline of today’s lunacy as regards The Escapist.

Thanks to commenter Avalon for providing the link to The Verge’s story on Intel caving to #GamerGate’s pressure.