GamerGate started almost two years ago, and has mostly left the public consciousness. Still, many people don’t understand what it is all about.
GamerGate can be summarized as a push for ethical journalism (particularly in the gaming press) and a fight against far-left social justice warriors (SJWs). Despite the seemingly separate nature of those two issues, ethical violations occured in part because of the intrusion of the SJW ideology into the gaming press. They need to signal their virtue in order to be a part of the social justice clique.
How GamerGate Started
GamerGate wasn’t known as GamerGate until Adam Baldwin created the hashtag on August 27, 2014. Baldwin linked to videos describing relationship drama between game developer Zoe Quinn (real name: Chelsea Van Valkenburg) and her ex-boyfriend Eron Gjoni. Gjoni uploaded the infamous “Zoe Post” on August 16, 2014. He described her abusive behavior and her affairs with five other men. Some found an opportunity to mock her, utilizing the “Five Guys Burgers and Fries” punchline. Others noticed that the three named men were figures in the gaming industry.
Nathan Grayson is a journalist (for lack of a better term) at Kotaku. He gave positive coverage to Quinn without disclosing their friendship or that they were a couple.
Robin Arnott is a game developer, and he was a festival organizer for Indiecade 2013. During this festival, Quinn’s Depression Quest was featured as a “Night Game.” He also looks like he shoved his head into a cotton candy machine.
Joshua Boggs is a game developer that employed Quinn. Yup, Quinn fucked her boss. He also happened to be married, but that’s not entirely relevant to the matter at hand. What matters is her willingness to fuck her way to the top.
Collusion and Censorship of GamerGate Discussion
Prominent YouTube gaming critic TotalBiscuit (TB) wrote a piece on TwitLonger after the initial shitstorm. In it, he lambasted the false DMCA takedown of a MundaneMatt video about Zoe Quinn. The takedown was attributed to her. Someone shared the TB post on /r/gaming, and moderators deleted over 20,000 comments. One of the moderators of /r/gaming contacted Quinn around this time.
August 28, 2014 is jokingly known as “The Day the Gamers Died.” Leigh Alexander led the charge with her article calling for the death of the gamer identity. She called gamers “wailing hyper-consumers” and “obtuse shit-slingers.” Almost a dozen other articles pushing the “harassment of women” narrative went live on the same day.
Gamers have an amazing eye for details, and the collusion was too obvious for them to miss. It was eventually revealed that gaming journalists coordinated through a group known as GameJournoPros. Kyle Orland of Ars Technica created the group to discuss issues (and control narratives), much like its inspiration: Ezra Klein’s JournoList. One member, William Usher, noticed this, and decided to expose it. Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart helped bring it further into the public consciousness.
Significance of GamerGate
GamerGate was acknowledged as the most important battle in the new culture wars, and as the only reason people are finally standing up to SJWs. GamerGate became the boogeyman for the far left, from Twitter SJWs all the way up to the mainstream liberal media. GamerGate discussion hubs (e.g. KotakuInAction) grew to encompass other topics: Sad/Rabid Puppies (SFF writing, Hugo awards), college campus lunacy, Silicon Valley, and the artistic freedom of comic book writers and artists.
For the first time, many realized how biased the media really is. Unfortunately, they learned by being on the receiving end of the dishonest media’s ire. Despite some accusations of GamerGate being a right-wing hate group, most of the members are actually considered left-wing libertarians. It seems your political leanings don’t really matter, once you are seen as attacking an “oppressed class.”
Selected Successes of GamerGate
Because of GamerGate, the FTC expedited the process of updating their disclosure rules. This affected sites like Kotaku, which posted undisclosed affiliate links in posts such as holiday shopping guides.
Because of GamerGate, the record was set straight on Brad Wardell’s harassment case.
Because of GamerGate, Denis Dyack could speak openly against yellow journalism that hurt his career.
If someone else asks you about GamerGate, you can share this article with them, and you can also ask them a simple question.
“Which Scenario Sounds More Plausible to You?”
Option A: GamerGate is a backlash against dishonest journalism, far-left identity politics, and journalists and developers shitting on their audience.
Option B: GamerGate is a right-wing, reactionary, MRA, [insert numerous other boogeymen] campaign, in which the only purpose is to drive women out of gaming and technology forever.
Only a halfwit will pick Option B.
There is so much that can be said about GamerGate, but my intent is to familiarize you with central ideas and events. If you have any questions to ask, or insights to add, please leave a comment.
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