Like the title says. Wanton hatred pisses me off, and I’m gonna write about it.
If you’re reading this, you already know what Gamergate is. If you don’t, or don’t care, you have no reason to read this.
Video gamers, generally speaking, are a bunch of spoiled brats. Yeah, I said it. They are also, generally speaking, not that bright. I’ve spent enough time in electronics retail and enough of my life following the video game industry to know this. Gamers are by and large a collection of consumers who willingly let themselves be fed whatever drivel the industry shovels into their waiting mouths. The average gamer, which is, let’s face it, a youngish white male, is not only slavishly devoted to an industry that takes advantage of them in a manner akin to prison rape, but is also lashed to the slave stick of gaming journalism. Gaming journalism, that, broadly, is used to the video game world being a “boys only” club. Make that a “white boys only” club.
I’m making lots of generalizations, aren’t I? Not every video gamer is white, male, spoiled, dumb, or blind to his or her hobby’s shortcomings. And not every white male video gamer falls into the generalizations that I just painted. But you can’t look at the world of video games, and tell me to my face that it isn’t incredibly geared toward men, especially white men. Things may be better than they used to be, but video games are still massively degrading to women whilst being beholden to men, and especially in the United States, they are still staggeringly discriminating against non-caucasian ethnicities.
So now… the world has changed a lot in the last few decades. Social media now exists. Inclusion in the industry is easier than ever, with the advent of powerful new tools for indie game developers. Games have evolved, and are no longer so easily defined as we gamers were once used to. It’s not just a boy’s club anymore, but leave it to a handful of elitist snobs to fight tooth-and-nail to try and “keep the girls out.” I’m talking about gamergate.
There are individuals involved with gamergate who are not bad people. There are people who consider themselves “on gamergate’s side” who may have legitimate qualms with video gaming journalism and video gaming ethics. But any legitimacy that may otherwise exist within the movement is marred by unadulterated, misogynistic hate. The internet may be a wonderful tool for many things, but its veil of anonymity allows a handful of self-righteous, elitist hatemongers to bully and intimidate women. That is unacceptable.
I consider online bullying to be as legitimate as bullying in the real world. Like the tactics of terrorists, extortionists, and other bottom of the barrel scrapers, bullies thrive on intimidation and the power that their threats, hollow or not, create. They are cowards. Any person who threatens another with death, rape, who sabotages their lives and their careers, is a reprehensible creature who I consider an enemy.
If there is one message I want to share with fellow gamers, is that you do not stand with gamergate. If you have issues with video game journalism, with corruption, bias, and agendas in the industry, then by all means air your grievances. But do not stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of cowards who don’t have the sacks to do more than make threats from behind a screen, and to launch digital attacks against fellow human beings.
Think of it this way: even if you were politically right-wing, and actually agreed with certain aspects of fascism, you still couldn’t use that to justify the existence and actions of the Nazi party. I’m not calling gamergaters Nazis. What we’re talking about is not on the same level. But at this point it is rather naive and ignorant to stand with the gamergate movement, and just ignore its indelible connection to sexism. Misogyny and gamergate are now synonymous with each other, just as racism and hatred are now synonymous with Naziism.
This gamer stands against gamergate. Any gamer who threatens, harasses, or abuses women, or anyone else, might as well be doing the same thing to me. I am ashamed of my fellow gamers who are involved with it or who turn a blind eye to it.
This white male gamer is an enemy of gamergate. End. Of. Line!
Good points, but I have to disagree with the idea that the shitty people have “poisoned the well” of GamerGate. To accept this would be to accept that a sufficiently vocal/active group of arseholes can delegitimize an entire movement: I can think of a fair few really excellent causes that have been marred by some members’ shittiness, and yet continue to be considered proactive groups.
Hateful people will always attach themselves to legitimate groups to grant their hatred a veneer of legitimacy. Just because somebody does something in the name of a particular group or movement doesn’t mean that group or movement supports it, or is represented by it.
I’ll point you towards Erik Kain, who discusses identity politics and similar themes in gaming culture, and does a far better job than me of articulating my thoughts: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/09/01/the-gamer-is-dead-long-live-the-gamer/
To properly respond to you, I must ask: where does the onus fall? On the one who calls the well poisoned, or the one(s) who poisoned it in the first place?
What further leads me to cast my lot against gamergate, is that, in all honesty, can you really call it a legitimate group or movement, as you refer to it? Who leads it? What does it stand for across the board? Can its members agree on what they are trying to accomplish? Do “gamergaters” even know how they started or why they support what they do? Do they even understand why the backlash against their “movement” is so intense?
Just say the phrase “gamergate” to any gamer or geek you run across. If more often than not the term immediately conjures discussion and thoughts on sexism, that’s not a good sign. That’s why I went as far as to make a Nazi analogy. The swastika existed long before the time of Adolph Hitler, but what does the average person think when they see it? War. Hatred. Racism.
My stance against gamergate is not in the name of fighting some kind of war, however. I have more important things to do in life than get involved in the quagmire that is video game journalism and of politics surrounding it. What I do think is worth my time to stand up against is hatred… bullying… there are female friends I know who are afraid to even use the term gamergate online for fear of death and rape threats. That is unacceptable and I will speak out against it.