So you’ve admitted that you are against GamerGate. You know what? That is fine. Every human should be free to have their stance in any issue. Which is why I wish to present my stance on your stance. And I do this as a human, capable of rational thought, capable of solving something without resorting to physical force or violence. Chances are, neither of you will ever read this bottle in the ocean. But hope alone compels me to throw it out anyway.
I ask that you reconsider your stance. Please.
To start with, your reasoning to stand against GamerGate… irks me, and undoubtedly, many many others. While I’m glad that you acknowledge the core of GamerGate, the desire for honesty and to purge the corruption that pervades gaming journalism, to allow it to be defined by the harassment is… severely disappointing.
For those who are already anti-GamerGate, this is exactly what they want you to think. That’s exactly what they have been doing this entire time. As much as it saddens me to say this, you fell for it. Hook, line, and sinker.
The reason why Anti-GamerGate has gone to general media is because they recognized that GamerGate poses a threat to them, not just to their opinions, but as a business. With the reek of censorship, nepotism, dishonesty, slander, and general corruption filling the noses of the very people they were catering to, the only way they could save themselves was to turn the general public against gamers. And they do so making a claim everyone would fall for: misogyny. In this evolving world, we can’t stand for misogyny. It’s outdated, unfair, impractical. And that’s exactly how people became convinced that gamers are ne’er-do-well, misogynistic, racist, homophobic bigots.
If the NotYourShield hashtag has given you any hints, then that is not the case. Hell, as an American-born Vietnamese advocate of solving problems without hostility, I guess even I’m proof. I couldn’t socialize to save my life, but even I can’t deny the passion the table next to me; consisting of Middle-East, Black, Asian, Male and Female.
And yet, to be accused of being a Nazi-sympathizer, and even worse, an ISIS terrorist? I guess there are things worse than being accused of being misogynist.
But nonetheless, it worked. No one would listen to anyone having any affiliation with gaming. For a while… we were scared… Gaming was more than just a refuge or a way to escape. It was a community of adults and kids of incredible intellect, depth, and passion. But those with power over the general public didn’t care about that. They wanted to take the medium from our hands, and for more than just simple time in the limelight. They wanted to hijack something and twist it to their own ends. History was ready to repeat itself.
Was. Why? Because back then, we didn’t have a voice. Because back then, we literally couldn’t do anything. Now, we do, more than ever before. While I shrugged off these insults because of the sheer pettiness of their nature, nothing has convinced me that siding with GamerGate was the right choice more than this. I’m a gamer. I will not be vilified.
When someone attempted to doxx Zoe Quinn, who practically sparked this series of events without a single regret, on the imageboard known as 8chan, what did we do? We blocked it out. With the moderators asleep, we literally spammed that shit until that was so buried, it would take an excavator to dig it out. How many people would have been okay with that? How many people would gladly let their enemy burn? I know too many. But none of us stood for it. We will not put our integrity on the line for petty payback.
You mentioned that we began an anti-bullying campaign. You are correct. But what you missed out on was why. When a (former) writer stated his intent to inflict injury upon any GamerGate supporter, when a Gawker employee dared to advocate bullying, with the support and praise of these “Gaming Journalists”, we responded, not with hate, not with spite, but with indomitable compassion.
Not only did we tell these people exactly what we think, but we showed their colors to the people who support them financially. BMW, Mercedes, Olympus, and now Nissan pulled their support from Gawker in light of this incorrigible behavior. Adobe pulled their logo from Gawker as well.
In the past week; Stephen Williams (aka boogie2988) was doxxed and his wife threatened; Ricky Camilleri was doxxed by someone certainly not GamerGate; Hitbox.tv was hacked during a pro-GamerGate discussion livestream, with 1364 users’ information leaked. But if you look at the twitter pages, you see empathy, understanding, and determination to find those responsible in the response from those who support GamerGate.
With this, no one could hide the elephant in the room: the hypocrisy of “Gaming Journalism”. Have you noticed something here? Anti-GamerGate has painted GamerGate as a movement based on harassment and bullying. And yet, Anti-GamerGate supporters have been doing exactly that. Censorship was only the beginning. Constant slander and accusations aimed at all gamers. Illegal collaboration in the firing of employees. The aforementioned blatant advocacy AND support of bullying from Gawker. Daring to accuse the anti-bullying charity as an attack against them (explained here). And none of this is even ad hominem; it is literally their argument.
Mike, you just veeeeery recently posted a video concerning the problem of logical fallacies. And, quite honestly, the large part of Anti-GamerGate practices these logical fallacies to horrifying effect. It was a mass ad hominem attack, straw man accusations, black & white insanity, abuse of “authority”, and rejection of even the slightest outliers, all at once.
Daniel (and the crew of Extra Credits), yours and James’ episode concerning Propaganda Games holds a special place in my mind. It’s the constant reminder to not shove my ideals down another’s throat, especially when they may be wrong. And arguably, if Anti-GamerGate wins, we will see a rise in such games (the design change of the female protag of Divinity: The Original Sin is actually a product of this).
I know it can be easy to write this off as bragging to encourage you to reconsider your stance. And, to be quite honest, yeah, it kinda is just bragging. Badly written. Tiredly written at the dead of night. But no matter what, it’s the voice within me that speaks out. Nothing has made me so proud, so faithful in our community as much as GamerGate.
But that was never where it began.
It began with you guys.
You made the gaming and the internet about more than just a time sinks or escapist activities. You made it more than about trends or agendas. You made it about wisdom, intellect, and honest fun. That, no matter who we are, it’s never wrong to get smarter everyday and have fun doing it. That, even in our own little hobbies, there’s so much more to it than just what’s on the surface.
And just like how there’s so much more to the internet and gaming than what we just see, there’s so much more to this movement than what the media paints us as. And I ask that you see that. It’s not going be clean, that’s for sure. I didn’t discover this without a bruise or stain to my mind. But in the end, to truly be better enlightened, even just a bit, makes it worth it.
If you refuse to change your stance, well… I’d be lying if I said I’d fully understand, or not be upset. But I won’t do anything to force any change, and I strongly discourage anyone from doing so as well. I will still remain subscribed, as no matter your stance, your information largely remains untainted (assuming there is any taint), and you still provide a much needed perspective to internet and gaming (and let’s be honest, what’s one lost subscriber?). And to be honest, and without any spite, GamerGate actually can do without your support, seeing as we have the support (and I guess semi-support) of a number of people from Christina Hoff Sommers, to Adam Baldwin, and so on. It certainly would mean that we won’t end it as soon as we would like to. I have faith in our cause.
But please. I implore you to reconsider.