Lord Help Me, I’m Weighing in on #Gamergate

Well hello there first time visitor that wandered over because I dared reference a controversial hashtag! Welcome to my little corner of the internet. Please, stay a while. Peruse my archives. Get informed. Check out LabRat’s and Popehat’s posts on the subject. Or, you know, skip straight to the comment section and tell me how I’m wrong, dox me (heh*) since I’m a girl and a gamer with an opinion, or write me off as a “Social Justice Warrior**”. It’s really up to you.

Seriously, why is this still a thing? Yes, there is a real and needed conversation that needs to happen about ethics in game journalism. Hell, all journalism. Hanging this around a non-controversy about a positive review that never happened of a boring game that no one wants to play because the developer’s jilted ex wrote a screed about said game developer whoring herself out for a review that never happened is not exactly the place to start. While some well-meaning people are trying to have a rational conversation, this particular hashtag has brought out a subset of bonafide misogynists the likes of which have been quite rightly run out of the rest of polite society.

Don’t like Anita Sarkeesian? Great, me neither. I think the vast majority of what comes out of her pie hole is whiny tripe, and most of the time she should be laughed off the stage. Which would be the rational response. Threatening her? Publishing her home address? Yeah, not cool. Seriously, we’re dealing with the kind of people that think a reasonable response to a woman complaining about sexism in gaming is to design a video game where the player gets to punch a woman in the face. Classy. You know what would have been a completely reasonable response to her asking for money to make feminist videos? Not give her any money. I sure as heck didn’t. Other people did. That’s how the free market works. No one is forcing you to support her.

Observant readers will have caught that I only said most of what comes out of her pie hole is whiny tripe. That’s because some of what she says is true. There is sexism in the gaming industry. But honestly, we’ve come a long way since Atari had a game about raping Native American women and Nintendo created a strong female character only to have her flaunt her pixelated body around in a bikini as a reward for finishing the game.

Also, Gamergate itself has shown the world that women are unjustly targeted, bullied, and harassed in gaming. Fine, so I’ll agree that Anita Sarkeesian intentionally stirs up the masses with her diatribes. And yes, I believe she has fabricated some of the threats she claims. But Felicia Day? She wrote one post (which has apparently been taken down) lamenting the ugliness surrounding the Gamergate controversy and was doxxed herself.

You know what, I like some of the tropes in gaming. I like the idea of teaching our sons that if they learn of a damsel in distress that they should battle demons to save her. I also want to show our daughters that there is no shame in being rescued. At the same time, I want our daughters to know that they are allowed to kick some bad guy(or girl) ass and save themselves too. Also, I like strong women portrayed as sexy. I don’t want to feel like I have to make a choice between being strong and capable or sexy and feminine.

Gaming is not being invaded by women. We’ve been here all along. Must I show you my Atari 2600? How about my Magic deck? Oh right, just tits. The perpetually offended social justice warriors will continue to be perpetually offended. It’s what they do. What aren’t going to be able to do is drive young white men out of gaming. Game developers will continue to make games that sell, and young white men are a good chunk of the market share. For everything wrong that Anita Sarkeesian says, she’s right that women are a good chunk as well, and we’d like to be marketed to. Really, people are mad that there are women saying, “Hey! I have money here that I’d like to throw at you if you’d just not kick so much sand in my face.”

Is it really too much to ask for women to be treated like people? Why that such an offensive to request to a subset of the gaming community is beyond my comprehension. What’s even more baffling is seeing otherwise mature, rational people defending the behavior of that subset. Or at the very least, affiliating themselves with them.

I point out: even 4chan has banned gamergate discussions. Why? Because those threads have extensive doxxing and coordinated harassment planning in them. Which is one of those few things 4chan doesn’t permit. When fucking 4chan has disavowed you because of your shitty tactics, it’s time to re-evaluate your life choices and choice of allies in particular. –LabRat

It’s time to disavow gamergate. Give the hashtag over to the trolls and let it collapse in on itself. If we need to talk about the issues it has brought to light, fine. But really, I just want to go shoot zombies in the face.

*I’m not skeered of you.

**Does that come with armor and a big sword? Bet it shows lots of skin. Chainmaille bikinis are so 1998.

7 thoughts on “Lord Help Me, I’m Weighing in on #Gamergate”

  1. This is, IMHO, another case of internet sniping. People hiding behind their computers because they know they will never actually have to FACE the people they are slamming… I’m betting if somebody had the time and made the effort to publish who these people really are, it would stop in about a day… 🙂 If I have something to say to someone, I prefer to do it face to face (of course I’m an old fart and believe in taking responsibility for my actions)… 😀

  2. As a gamer and witness to the firestorm that was Elevatorgate (way overblown, but Dawkins can be a real dick).

    What we have here is more of what I call the butt-kickin principle. That is the probability of someone saying something rude/threatening/outrageously inappropriate is inversely proportionate to the probability that they will take a butt-kickin in real life. (Especially when we are talking about someone who can shoot a 50 cal rifle in a PVC Catsuit with more than reasonable accuracy.)

    It is one of the positives of the AD&D and Might and Magic series of games. It had options for all character types and sexes. I think that some other games could reasonably benefit by including female characters in combat monster roles. (Soviet Night Witches….. just sayin.)

    Doxxing is just a way to threaten others. If it ever happened to them, you’d see a sea change of attitude from them. (Because now they can be got at.)

    John Madden did it with the telestrator once during MNF where he diagramed how to get to a ref’s house after a particularly bad call.

  3. The ironic things is left activists overplayed their hand, pissed everyone off and now are reaping the whirlwind by being on the receiving end of tactics they pioneered. Ken White noticed this – he’s a very good at noticing.

    He failed to mention though the shitstorm arose also or perhaps because reddit and 4chan heavily censored stuff in the beginning.

    It’s impossible to dispute *some* people stick their noses into other people’s business with some regularity. DongleGate, ElevatorGate, ousting Brendan Eich, etfc. They seem to be the latter-day equivalent of temperance movement – holier-than-thou busybodies.

    Also, Gamergate itself has shown the world that women are unjustly targeted, bullied, and harassed in gaming.

    Everyone is ‘unjustly targeted, bullied or harrassed’ online.

    Men just don’t make that big of a deal of it.
    Especially singled out are people like say the CoD dev who does game balancing. Xbox Live head of security was not only doxxed, threatened, someone even got the SWAT team to pay him a visit.
    An opinionnated right-winger like say, Mike Z. Williamson gets plenty of death-threats and nasty comments, however he doesn’t think they’re credible. All bluster, no bite.

  4. Nice to see a bit of background on what gamer gate was about. I kept seeing stuff about what a scandal it was, but not what it was about.

    The idea that reviews are “adjusted” based on monetary gain isn’t new. Motortrend does it with cars (a story broken about 20 years ago by Autoweek), the Motortrend Car of the Year award is purchased (there have been news stories about how they advertise buying it at auto trade shows where the public isn’t invited). EGM (the now defunct Electronic Gaming Monthly) clearly did it. Proof of that was given when they gave the Sega Genesis 32x review of Doom a high rating, but the Atari Jaguar version of it a low rating. The Jag version could do full screen (the 32X had to put a border around the screen to shrink the window size in order to get reasonable frame rates), 30 FPS, millions of colors (32X couldn’t do millions of colors), and even do so on a high resolution computer monitor. Even a casual glance at the two side by side clearly revealed that the Jag version was much better than the 32X version (and if I recall, both versions were “reviewed” in the same issue). But, Atari games seldom advertised in EGM, Sega would have dozens of pages each issue. For insulting my intelligence in that way, I cancelled my EGM subscription. Then, a few years later, Next made the claim that the best game of all time was one for a Nintendo game console that hadn’t been released yet, and it had been shown that the “demos” they’d been showing everyone, which was supposedly of their new console, were actually running on a $250,000 Silicon Graphics workstation. I then cancelled my Next subscription.

    Want to know if you’ll like a game? Rent it and find out for yourself. Just because a game gets good reviews doesn’t mean you’ll like it, and vice versa.

  5. I just wanted to say, I’m not even involved in GamerGate, and even I know that it has everything to do with ethics in game journalism and nothing to do with Anita Sarkeesian.

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