Video Games

GamerGate: How Consumers Are Influencing the Culture Battle

Video games have become America's favorite hobby. A culture clash over identity was probably inevitable.

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It's totally for comfort and flexibility.
Blizzard

There has been more text written about the controversy known as "GamerGate" than lines of dialogue in the newly released fantasy role-playing game Dragon Age: Inquisition.  In fact, whether GamerGate is actually a controversy and not just certain people acting out and harassing others through social media is itself a focus of controversy. Just trying to explain what GamerGate is about is a source of controversy that inspired an amusing Clickhole parody of an explainer. The Wikipedia page for GamerGate is longer than the Wikipedia page for the Watergate scandal.

It's probably impossible to say what GamerGate is actually "about"; instead we must simply describe the various parties involved and their various grievances. GamerGate allegedly began when the ex-boyfriend of a small independent game developer exposed issues with their relationship online and mentioned her relationship with a writer at prominent game site Kotaku. Though the writer did not review her game, Depression Quest—an interactive story about living with depression—this relationship somehow triggered an opening of some festering wounds within the video game industry: one, the often cozy relationship between the game industry and the game press and how this might taint press coverage; and two, girls and women embracing video games as a form of entertainment—and some of them demanding more progressive representations of their gender and better treatment as professionals in the industry.

It may seem strange to non-gamers that this could launch a culture war. It even seems strange to many gamers, partly because these are known issues going back years. And while GamerGate is producing a lot of heat, it's hard to determine whether it's actually an issue beyond people having the fight, Internet echo chambers being what they are (my 18-year-old nephew, a fairly heavy gamer, hadn't heard of GamerGate at all and rolled his eyes at the whole thing when it was explained). If anything, the sticking power of GamerGate for the past few months is a testament to video games becoming a dominant part of American culture. The establishment of video games as a prime contributor to popular culture and an entertainment juggernaut inspired Reason's June issue. It actually makes sense that the video game industry would become the battleground for a new generation of culture wars brewing among millennials.

The positions of the people actually participating in GamerGate fights are pretty entrenched, and focused on snatching and publicizing anything that will make the other side look bad. Criticisms are treated as threats. There have been actual threats, but no sign anybody intends to carry them through. Cathy Young wrote extensively about the behavior of both camps, and I have no intention of wading into it further.

What should the rest of us take away? It would be easy to dismiss GamerGate as a tempest in a teapot, and ultimately we just might. But it is worthwhile to explore the kind of behaviors that have made GamerGate what it is for insight as to how these conflicts will play out in other matters where millennial views are taking front and center.

Millenials and Consumer-Focused Activism

Though GamerGate involves a lot of debate over the content of video games, nothing in this conflict appears to be a call for government intervention. This is not like previous cultural battles over video games, with Congressional panels and threats of censorship or regulation. This is not an example of a "game panic," though it has caused a brief revival of generalizations being tossed around about "gamers" exhibiting aggressive behavior. (The studies don't really support this generalization, as Reason's Ron Bailey recently explored here.) This is an improvement over previous video game culture conflicts.

A different way of looking at the GamerGate conflict is to consider millennials as comfortable consumers with a media savvy unmatched by baby boomers and even many Gen-Xers (though to be clear, there are some Gen-Xers as participants in GamerGate). This is a culture war where both sides want particular things from video games and video game journalism and criticism. It's a culture battle about the amount of influence people have over particular consumer goods that are important to them (or at least for those who haven't joined in as part of ongoing fighting over feminism).

Remember that reputation millennials have for being "entitled"? Even millennials agree! And while people tend to associate entitlement with a negative mentality—with people wanting or taking something that they don't deserve or haven't earned—let's look at it from the angle of consumers. GamerGate revolves around various parties attempting and lobbying for games and game journalism that cater specifically to them. The friction seems to revolve around a belief that all sides can't get what they want, or that the other side shouldn't get what it wants. Do feminist gamers really want more games with better representation of women or do they want validation by destroying or eliminating the games that don't provide what they want? Do GamerGate supporters really want better ethics in game journalism or do they want their opinions about the content of video games and the state of the industry validated by reviewers and writers?

But these are all completely false choices that highlight the low stakes of this fight and thus explains why GamerGate is perhaps not being treated seriously by people without direct interest. There's no reason why the incredibly vast and growing library of video games cannot contain both Depression Quest and the deliberately absurdly sexist Duke Nukem Forever.

Visualize a Cornucopia Stuffed with XBoxes

If feminists want more games that appeal to them as an audience, they can have those things, as long as there is an audience to pay for it. But if they're trying to shut out representations in video games that offend them, they are likely to be as successful here as certain feminists have been fighting against porn. Anti-porn feminists have completely failed in that battle. As with video games, there's more porn out there than ever, and if anything it's more vivid. But there's also a growing discussion of the idea of feminist porn. Rather than trying to eliminate a consumer good they don't like—an utterly impossible task—some are trying to create a market of their own.

Because video games are a consumer good that rakes in billions of dollars in annual revenue, any argument that a game company should refuse to cater to a large demographic is doomed to fail. A recent game convention hosted by top company Blizzard Entertainment (makers of World of Warcraft) served as a good example of how this battle will actually play out once you get away from people insulting each other on social media and message boards. At the opening of their annual Blizzcon, a multi-day event showing off the company's latest games, CEO Michael Morhaime criticized any gamers involved with online harassment. Though he didn't reference the GamerGate controversy by name, the timing mattered. He was clearly speaking about the threats and harassment surrounding the whole gamers vs. feminists fight.

Then, at that same convention, Blizzard also announced a new game called Overwatch. One of the main characters in the team shooter game is named Widowmaker. She's a well-endowed assassin in a revealing, cleavage-emphasizing catsuit with a sexy French accent (and, of course, heels). Is this a problem? Only if you accept the false consumer choice that the entire industry can appeal to either the id of a male gamer audience or the progressive demands of feminists, but somehow not both.

What drives the game industry is what drives every other industry: success. If games that appeal to feminists can also be successful, they will be made. Game companies can give all the lip service in the world to feminist concerns, but they've got bills and employees to pay. As games that show strong portrayals of women are more successful (and we're seeing more of it, particularly in script-heavy role-playing games) it will reinforce to game developers that there are more options than sex objects or damsels in distress.

Actually, It's About Consumers in Games Journalism

As for the credibility of the gaming press and game reviewers, writers need to keep in mind that what they produce is also a consumer product. This doesn't necessarily mean the critic or writer should just pander to whatever the audience asks for. Rather, it means that a critic doesn't have any sort of claim to an audience or readers. It seems short-sighted for elements within the gaming press to respond to criticism by essentially attacking their audiences; traditional print media journalists have a reputation for insulting their own customers, too, and look at how things are going for them.

There was a brief run of "gamers are dead" stories within the gaming press that took an important idea—that video games are now such a broad hobby so as to encompass a plethora of demographics for developers to consider—and turned it into a cudgel to use against a particular gaming demographic that challenged their behavior. Rather than embracing the cornucopian possibilities that this huge industry provides to manufacture entertainment options to everybody, these stories appeared to buy into the false choice that games should abandon one set of customers for another. The short-sightedness of the argument prompted David Auerbach over at Slate to point out the lack of evidence that the hard-core gamer demographic is actually dead and that the gaming press was shooting itself in the foot with its reporting.

Because if the gaming press were right, who would be reading their content? Do they think modest or casual gamers are reading their game culture think-pieces? Do they also think that a person who goes to the movies once or twice a year is a regular reader of, say, Film Threat?

As it is, game criticism via media gatekeepers is itself becoming less and less of a consumer need, given the embrace of the online streaming, allowing potential game buyers to actually watch games in action before buying, rather than having to consider reviews. And so game journalism has taken on a more academic form of game analysis and criticism, and that's fine, but that doesn't make it actual academic criticism immune to the free market. They are still producing a consumer good, subject to acceptance or rejection by the public.

Ultimately, GamerGate is partly about how the now-adult millennial audience embraces its consumer power. The entitlement mentality is not entirely bad, because it will push for increased diversity in consumer choices. We actually have seen a noticeable improvement in how women are represented in many video games. But a culture war that posits that a consumer product as vast as the video game industry must actually reject appeals to a particular demographic is doomed to descend into petty public squabbles over which demographic to cater to. Choosing between demographics doesn't lead to growth in the industry, and therefore that effort will not be successful in the long run.

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133 responses to “GamerGate: How Consumers Are Influencing the Culture Battle

  1. Faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaags!

    /Cartman

  2. Oh shit.

    HERE WE GO!!!

    1. No… there we went.

  3. Your nephew is “a fairly heavy gamer?”

    No Fat-Shaming, Shackford!

    1. We don’t use the term “fat”. That’s on the banned words list now.

      Try “proportionally privileged”.

  4. OT: One of my favorite YouTubers is a Canadian. Up until a few days ago, I had never taken a look at Tumblr, but then I decided to take a look at his page. What do I find there? Him reblogging a bunch of posts about American politics and economics. Now, I have nothing against people from foreign countries talking about US policy, but these posts were some of the most idiotic left-wing talking points I had ever seen.

    1. How narcissistic do you have to be to post stuff about another country’s government when you clearly don’t have an understanding of the issues?

      Case in point: one of the posts had a picture of the Federal Reserve, with the caption “in capitalist America, bank robs you”. Funny, since the Fed is a government entity, not a byproduct of the free market.

      1. Not to mention that Canada’s banking system is basically a better run oligarchy.

      2. You know what’s funny? That you don’t even know that the Federal Reserve isn’t in any way a government entity.

        It’s a private corporation with other (foreign) private banks as shareholders and it *is* literally robbing you as it creates the dollars that the US government then has to loan against interest before they can be used in the ‘free’ market.

        Let that sink in, because that means the US government will always be in debt since they will have to loan more dollars from the Fed to pay back the interest on the previous loans from the Fed.

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/w…..erve/10489

        I picked a Canadian site, isn’t that even more funny? Also I am Dutch.

        Have a chart from an US source as well: http://www.save-a-patriot.org/…..hofed.html

        Bank of England! Isn’t that funny? 😉 And you Americans thought you fought a war to get independence.

        Luckily you have an understanding of the issues, like most Americans. All the way to the poorhouse.

        1. http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Globalresearch.ca

          Oops

          Since you are the Fed expert, how did it start?

          1. RationalWiki is not rational.

            1. True, but it’s more rational than globalresearh.

        2. Dude, I’m a second-generation immigrant. The whole “I’m-foreign-you-stupid-Americans” thing has been exhausted.

    2. Which youtuber? Also, if you think Canadians on the internet spew idiotic left-wing talking points, try living here.

      1. An anime reviewer. I’m not much of an anime person; my interest in the genre is limited to individual artistry, since I’m more of a bookworm/cinephile. But there are some gems here and there.

        Speaking of gems:
        -A meme blasting Scott Walker for not raising taxes on the rich to build better schools
        -A meme saying that we should take apart the economy in order to fix it, since it’s a human and not a natural construct
        -A meme telling Ted Cruz to set himself on fire for being anti-net-neutrality (Had that been directed against a liberal feminist, it would have been denounced as a death threat.)
        -A meme calling GOP Senators who voted against NSA reform “traitors” (because the Dems and the Big O have been so anti-NSA these past few years, right?)

        1. Just the typical garbage you usually hear from liberal Britons, who think that the Republicans are the big baddies and that the Democrats are the purveyors of justice.

          Heck, he thinks that calling attention to Hillary Clinton’s status as a grandmother is sexist. (Given the number of families that the Clintons and Obamas of the world have destroyed, I could not care less.)

          1. Canadians tend to be profoundly stupid when it comes to American politics, but Canadian politics are not much better. I’m no fan of Harper (he’s even pulling IRS-style witchhunts), but apparently we live in a ‘soft dictatorship’ because…he exercises powers that are in our constitution. But Trudeau declaring martial law over an foreign elite being kidnapped is an important national moment, not tyrannical at all.

            1. At least the US isn’t a part of the Commonwealth of Nations.

            2. Here’s another one: referring to pro-life politicians who oppose school lunches as hypocrites.

              Yeah, because we all know that school lunches are so healthy and so nutritious, right? Listen, I’m all for school lunches at the state level, but it’s not Congress’ job to manage education, let alone manage the education system’s lunch program.

              1. Isn’t that always the big comeback to pro life people?

                “You care about them until they are born, and then they are on their own”

                1. It’s a ridiculous comeback. As if opposing life before birth and supporting it afterward is somehow less hypocritical.

                  Of course, when they do that, I bop them over the head with my consistent life ethicist card. That usually shuts them up.

                  So, do you also oppose war? Yep.
                  How about the death penalty? Yep.
                  How about gun control? No.
                  Ha! I tripped you up, stupid. We all know that the government never kills people with guns.

    3. Northernlion is Canadian.

      He talks a shit load about pretty much everything in his lets play videos. So far I have not been able to gleen his politics at all.

      1. I like watching Cryaotic’s Let’s Plays. He plays the horror games I’d love but am too much of a wuss to play.

        1. I can’t even watch other people play those games. Their own terror actually amplifies my terror. Plus not being in control of the game makes it worse.

          1. I can understand that. I almost had to turn the Silent Hill 7 trailer/game-short off in the middle.

            But that series has always been so effective with its horror.

            1. I think it’s hilarious that it’s bloody Hideo Kojima working on PT and the new Silent Hill…the guy who gave us THE BOX is apparently effective at horror.

        2. The stupid stuff he did in his Walking Dead play made me unsub.

      2. I wasn’t referring to him, although I guess you weren’t replying to me either. Heh.

        1. I wasn’t referring to him

          yeah I know. I was just commenting on the broad subject of the politics of Canadian youtubers.

  5. Though the writer did not review her game, Depression Quest

    Nathon Grayson did write positive coverage of the game and the developer.

    1. *Narrows eyes; writes “Corning” on notepad*

  6. “Gamers are dead. Gamers remain dead. And we have killed them. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was greatest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”

    1. Play “Nietzsche Theft Auto” to find out!

      1. Tagline: Do you have the Will to Power?

      2. That would be fitting, since if you play a video game long enough, it starts recurring, into eternity.

      3. : A Game for Free Spirits.

  7. There seems to be a lot 4X fans here.

    Anyone play Endless Legend? Is it any good?

    1. I actually live-streamed Endless Legend on Twitch for a while.

      It’s a really interesting game with some innovations for the genre, but also some challenges (lack of information about systems being a biggie). I wish they’d put out a demo, but it’s certainly worth playing.

      1. Did you record the stream and post it up somewhere so I can watch it?

        1. http://www.twitch.tv/larcent/profile

          Look in my highlights section. Buried down there is a video I put together as a tutorial. It was made during the early access testing so some things have changed. But the major components of gameplay are still the same.

      2. Anyone play Not Alpha Centauri (Civilization Beyond Earth) yet? I’ve heard that it’s just repainted Civ 5 with a non-linear tech tree.

        1. Pretty much. It actually also feels simplified, but I may just be reacting to the much smaller number of civilizations available. I also understand the AI is really not aggressive enough for hard-core players.

          1. I was hoping for a reboot of Alpha Centauri, or at least a decent terraforming system similar to that game. Also, no Nwabudike Morgan civ makes me sad.

            1. Greatest game in any universe.

            2. I would wait a year or two then take a look at it again. New Civ games always seem like a downgrade because they lack all the addons expansions and user interface fixes the older games have. Civ 5 sucked compared to Civ 4 when it was first released.

    2. Weird request: I like 4X gameplay, but dislike the fact the games always end with one faction completely eliminating all of the others. I’d like a similar game but with the possibility of a “steady state” end game where there is several equally powerful factions and the play focuses more on trade, diplomatic maneuvering, political intrigue, etc.

      Any suggestions?

      1. Technically, the more recent iterations of Civilization can be played this way (still a single winner, but it can be a victory through diplomacy or culture, rather than eliminating everyone else). But you might want to look at the Paradox “Clausewitz Engine” games – Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, etc. They’re not strictly-speaking 4X (the world is already explored & inhabited), but they are high-level grand strategy games with pretty robust diplomacy & intrigue systems.

    3. Gorgeous game, steep learning curve because it plays quite a bit differently from Civ or other 4X games. I thought since I owned Endless Space I would have a better grasp on this one, but apparently not.

  8. Feminism is dead . Journalism is dead .

  9. Millenials and Consumer-Focused Activism

    This is definitely one of the key issues surrounding this little event. When Anita Sarkeesian was supposedly recieving death threats over twitter, was her first instinct to call the police? No, it was to beg for funds for her next project.

    This isn’t really a social crusade so much as it is a means for feminists to beg for money using collective guilt as a motivator, decrying the use of damsels in distress in video games while expecting men to white-knight them out of a misplaced sense of chivalry.

    1. *Narrows eyes. Writes “Red Rocks Rockin” on notepad*

    2. The fact that she shakes her money maker endears me to her…or more specifically makes me less repulsed by her. A girl has got to work.

      Anita really is a side show of gamergate. She is not a journalist and not a game developer and though the game press does give her shit loads of coverage, colludes to block different voices on the subjects she discusses from their web sites, shames those who disagree with her as misogynists, and censors and shadow bans people from forums, those sins are on the game journalists not her.

    3. In fairness, I don’t care so much that Sarkeesian is a charlatan who’s managed to gull idiots to give her money for sophomoric, mendacious, and pseudo-academic “critique” of games. The existence of intellectual snake-oil salesmen is a comparative non-issue.

      What enrages me, though, is the way the trade press is carrying water for her, at the expense of actual consumers, because her bullshit flatters the ideologies of the glib, talentless hipster shitstains currently representing themselves as “journalists.” Twenty years ago this pack of worthless assholes couldn’t get to their keyboards fast enough to condemn the likes of Jack Thompson, but give him tits and get him talking about sexism rather than violence and they’re suddenly ready to consign gamers to the Outer Darkness.

      Fuck them all.

      1. Twenty years ago this pack of worthless assholes couldn’t get to their keyboards fast enough to condemn the likes of Jack Thompson, but give him tits and get him talking about sexism rather than violence and they’re suddenly ready to consign gamers to the Outer Darkness.

        You should note that Kotaku was brand new during the fall of Jack Thompson in 2006-2007 and Polygon did not even exist. The pack that existed back then is a different pack of “game journalists” that exists now.

        1. Fair point, but even PC Gamer has joined the pile-on.

        2. The thing you have to realize about game journalists is that they come from a generation of kids who went and got journalism degrees expecting to be writing for the New York Times Book Review beccause they are so awesome.

          Then they graduated and discovered that the print media was a dying industry and they best job they could get was covering video games at Paragon.

          The ones who were actually interested in video games probably just learned to code and started making games. The ones who COVER games are third rate journos whose campus experience was doing textual analysis on animated GIFs and participating in for-credit protest rallies.

          1. Yeah I think Polygon and Kotaku in particular are guilty of hiring social media fanatics with journalism degrees rather then hiring gamers who can write.

          2. Emblematic of this generation of game journos: Ben Kuchera, who was inexplicably plucked from his Peter Principle ceiling in retail to write for Ars Technica, then for Penny Arcade, and is now an editor at Vox-owned Polygon.

            This despite having no evident ability to write, or even hold a coherent thought in the dark, empty recesses of his skull.

            1. THANK YOU!!! Friggen eh, reading articles on that site you feel like you are in an alternate dimension.

    4. was her first instinct to call the police?

      That woman really sounds like another Meg Lanker-Simmons to me.

      -jcr

    5. Meanwhile, actual feminists aren’t really doing anything about onerous child-safety regulations that effectively force gainfully employed women to quit their jobs so they can stand next to bus stops and supervize 10 year olds in public parks.

  10. This post isn’t bad but it misses the important point, which is the behaviour of feminist ‘gamers’ who writer and lie. They are evil and harmful.

    1. *Narrows eyes. Writes “Cytoxic” on notepad*

    2. Speaking of narcissistic Canadians who make comments about American politics on the internet!!!

      1. Where were you and what would we do without your stupid insipid commentary?

  11. Incidentally, Reason’s obsession with millennials isn’t creepy in any way, shape or form.

    1. This is why there are no libertarian millennial gamer women.

      1. Yes, there are. And they are #NotYourShield

        1. You might be new to reason comment section.

          A long time running joke here is to lament the persevered lack of women libertarians.

          Libertarians have been called white cis males before it was cool.

          I am fully aware of #notyoursheild as well as the long history of libertarian women.

          1. persevered = perceived

          2. I’ve lurked for years, but reasonable and Chrome + zenmate don’t often let me post. I was making a #notveryfunny.

  12. When you’re talking about gamers making rape and death threats, it’s omportant to remember that “I’m going to rip your arm off and fuck you in the ass with it” is the online gamer equivalent of “hello” in in-game chat.

    1. It’s also important to remember that some of the SJW’s reporting rape and death threats are proven serial liars who’ll characterize “go fuck yourself” as a rape threat and “go die in a fire” as a death threat.

      1. They’ll also fake death and rape threats, just like feminists who want attention.

        At this point I don’t believe ANY of the death/rape threats that ‘gaters are accused of issuing actually originated from them.

    2. So they ripped off their social conventions from Warty?

  13. Do GamerGate supporters really want better ethics in game journalism or do they want their opinions about the content of video games and the state of the industry validated by reviewers and writers?

    The only reason to read a game review is to see if you would like it and should buy it. The entire point of reading it is to have my point of view validated. There would be no point in reading reviews written by people who didn’t share my tastes. So the gamers have every right to expect that Scott. Writers get paid to provide a service not because they are cool.

    1. But … they don’t know who you are or what your tastes are. How could they validate your point of view?

      1. They don’t. They just guess and then adjust depending on readership. That is the business of publishing fuguring out the tastes of your readers.

        1. What I can glean from this is large portion of these writer despise their core audience. It one thing not to share your audience’s POV, it is another to insult it.

        2. Chicken / Egg

    2. Writers get paid to provide a service not because they are cool.

      This. You got a bunch of game magazines hiring a bunch of journalism grads to write game reviews and, drawing on their indoctrination in the swamp of liberal academia, they decided that game reviewing should be about doing social criticism. It’s really all a bunch of pretentious bullshit.
      There are people who really, really want video games to be “art” so they can critique them as if they were critiquing film. But very few video games apparoach anything like art, and if they did, it’s a totally different medium than film.
      There are so many really great games that don’t even tell a story. There are sandbox games where you just build stuff. Game reviewers should be thinking about that and not whether the (superfluous) storyline in someone’s FPS game is sexist or racist.

  14. Ultimately, GamerGate is partly about how the now-adult millennial audience embraces its consumer power.

    I thought GamerGate was about everything but letting consumers buy what they want, as the SJW hordes tried to conquer another cultural battlefield and were delivered a bit of a setback.

    The entitlement mentality is not entirely bad, because it will push for increased diversity in consumer choices.

    And here the incoherent confusion between consumers who want to just buy what they want, and the SJW types who don’t want people to do that at all, is laid bare. You don’t need an entitlement mentality to push for increased consumer choices (that consumers want, anyway). Consumers self-generate their own desires, which in turn create a supply to meet their demand.

    An entitlement mentality is either irrelevant to, or hostile to, consumers getting what they want.

    1. An entitlement mentality is either irrelevant to, or hostile to, consumers getting what they want.

      EXACTLY.

      The people who are exhibiting the entitlement mentality are not the gamers, but the SJWs who want to badger and shame them into changing their preferences to what SJWs think they should be.

      On top of “game journalists” being dishonest shills.

      1. I hate a great deal of gamer “culture” (if you can call it that), but honestly, I get gamers when it comes to GamerGate. They just want to play their video games without being annoyed with politics. And yet, the SJW’s come knocking, insisting that video games be Politically Correct in the same way that a gamer’s mother might insist that they go play outside. I get it.

        FYI, one can be an opponent of both feminists and MRA’s and still arrive at this conclusion.

    2. I thought GamerGate was about everything but letting consumers buy what they want, as the SJW hordes tried to conquer another cultural battlefield and were delivered a bit of a setback.

      they weren’t delivered a setback. They sent zombie suicide squads at the gaming community and when their bodies were vaporized, a small bit of their blood and entrails infected the culture. I’m not even sure if it can be contained at this point. In my opinion, the only thing left to watch is how fast it spreads, not IF it spreads.

  15. There have been actual threats,

    Such as? Seriously, what has been said that any sane person would consider a threat?

    1. IF there were real threats, show me the police report. Otherwise, she is lying.

      1. How long before one of them *finds* a noose?

      2. Sarkeesian did in fact receive threats on Twitter.

        Interestingly, while she was busy milking her victimhood for notoriety and dollars, GamerGate supporters tracked her harasser down via IP logging and assorted sleuthing. Turned out the asshole was a Brazilian journalist unaffiliated with GamerGate, who just wanted to make a name for himself.

        GamerGaters repeatedly tried to pass this information to Sarkeesian. She completely blew them off.

        1. And the “massacre” threat from Utah University that supposedly was why she canceled (she really canceled because she didn’t get her way of banning open carry at the event) was deemed by both police and campus authorities as “not credible.”

          Meaning, she tried to slam “toxic masculinity” and it blew up in her face, but that didn’t stop the MSM from standing by her obvious ruse.

    2. There were murder and rape threats thrown around at women on twitter.

      Though thus far they appear to all be fake. ie the persons making the threats had no intent of carry through on them.

      One threat, the one saying he was going to shoot up a college in Utah during a speech by Anita, is suspected of being a Brazilian game journalist. So not only did he have no intent of carrying through with his threat and geographically incapable of it but was not even part of gamergate.

  16. I’ve gotten that vibe a lot from entertainment writers outside of video game reviewing, too. Film critics and reviews of anime (as I’ve written above) are kind of the same. They try to inject politics into things which aren’t significant all the time, and it’s all the more annoying when their followers agree with them. I’m a movie buff, but I’ve largely stopped paying attention to film criticism since Ebert died. Sure, I hated most of the guy’s politics, but he came across as an actual person. Not only that, but most film critics these days divide their time between spewing out leftist talking points and churning out the most impersonal reviews possible.

    1. “Do we need more female comic-book movie directors?”

      Stuff like that. Honestly, I don’t care. The world doesn’t need more Dunhams, but if there are filmmakers out there who aren’t pretentious and who know how to make quality movies, then sure. Gender should be a moot point.

      1. I think women creators of genera movies are under counted.

        Twilight, Harry potter, and The Hunger games were all written by women.

        Did they direct? nope. But their work did bring in huge audiences and they did get huge pay checks for that work.

        1. You could also include Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl and other post-Feminist works. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but think it did really well even with Affleck.

          /SJW-types took over books first, which is why that title was such a shock to me. Not that it was a success, but that it was published by a major house and given a great marketing budget.

    2. You should check out these guys:

      http://redlettermedia.com/half-in-the-bag/

      They’re funny, knowledgeable, and I’ve never seen even a hint of politics in anything they’ve done. They’re also filmmakers themselves.

      1. I’ve seen some of their reviews. the one of ‘Boyhood’ was great.

      2. They’re also behind the Mr. Plinkett reviews, which get linked here every now and then.

      3. Yeah, they’re funny guys. Not professional, but funny.

  17. Anyone who has played “Depression Quest” and given it a good review is a fucking moron.

    That is all.

    1. I wrote a text-based CYA when I was 8-years-old. I coded it in BASIC. It included dice rolls and pictures of dragons (GR, not HGR, which was too complicated for me then). My mom gave it great reviews.

      I do not think this makes me a video game developer.

      1. The sad thing is that the old text based games were a lot better than “Depression Quest”. MUDS were better than “Depression Quest”.

        1. I learned so much from Leisure Suit Larry.

  18. Do we need more female ________ [insert anything where you can suggest the existing proportion of male/female representation is *wrong* and still be taken seriously…although you never actually articulate why there’s necessarily supposed to be 50/50 representation in *that* versus any other area of life, or why equal representation is in any way in the interests of the *consumers*… who are BY NO MEANS 50/50 male/female in their relative consumption – and OH SHIT, now we found Another Problem There!?]

    FTFY

    I mean, does anyone ever say, “Do we need more Female sanitation workers?” “Do we need more Females in slaughterhouses?” “Do we need more Female underwater welders?”

    and if they did, wouldn’t you just look at them like they were a total fucking idiot?

    1. Exactly, and furthermore these women never demand equality in all things, just the parts they like. The thousands of mooks we shoot down in games? No problem that those remain men, these women aren’t demanding equality, they are demanding even more special standards. In games countless men are mowed down, and yet to them, every woman that is harmed is a tragedy. They already have a special standard for their own gender, they just want it to go further.
      Sarkeesians own game has a “princess saving herself” killing men.
      And what a laughable game it is.
      Anita Sarkeesian’s Game Idea: Good or Bad?
      Asalieri2
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRYv73OeoGI
      Other games like “remember me” even if they have female protagonists still resort to the same old male mook slaughter that is the norm, because the truth is, as much as these feminists want to portray gamers and men as “misogynists”, men generally don’t feel ok gunning down women, which is rather inconvenient for their case. Society deems men as the expendable class, its just how it is, and the fact that these feminist types are willfully blind to this says a lot about the level of their thought.

      1. And its not just that they have no concern about female sanitation workers.
        Its the fact that they don’t understand or don’t want to understand that equal numbers of X isn’t a moral good. This is a past time, not people spending time curing cancer. If few women choose to watch golf or play certain video games, it hurts no one.

        Anyways redpillgamereviews just shows how dishonest these people are
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lzGQZBNd3Y

  19. Also Moot is a fucking faggot. SJW’s are a bunch of faggots too. I hope they all die of fucking cancer.

    That is all.

    1. I heard GG actually wrecked 4chan. Not that it was worth visiting, but it was an internet fixture. And now it’s ruined.

  20. In case anyone was curious, here’s a link to the archived version of the “not a review” of “powerful Twine darling” Depression Quest that Nathan Grayson did in exchange for sex:

    http://web.archive.org/web/201…..ore-games/

    Totally not an endorsement.

    1. And, to put this in perspective, “Depression Quest” is such a pathetic effort that it can’t even be called a “game”.

      1. Its actually so pathetic one can’t even call her a developer. It was made using an open source tool named twine, which has the selling point that its so easy to use that not a single line of code has to be written. Basically it can be used as an enhanced word processor to write choose your own adventure fiction.

  21. The real point of Gamergate is that feminists want to neuter video games like they’ve neutered other male orientated hobbies. Only this time, they got some mild pushback, but even on many gaming sites, you cannot express an opinion that feminism is bad, you will get banned at places like NeoGaf.

    The truth is, there are video games that are aimed at women – casual games. But it’s not about making games for women – there are women doing that, it’s about attacking games men like.

  22. It even seems strange to many gamers, partly because these are known issues going back years.

    Games have been one of the most socially liberal forums and art forms in recent years. Of course, like any art form, everybody can find something to be offended by. BFD.

    People like Sarkeesian are neither gamers nor techies; they are SJWs fabricating issues.

    These are not “known issues”, they are bullshit issues, created by people with a political and social agenda, people who hate technology and who hate techies.

  23. Christians just might suck at media probably.

  24. Jr High writ large.

  25. my friend’s mother makes $64 /hr on the internet . She has been out of work for ten months but last month her income was $18244 just working on the internet for a few hours. go to website….

    ?????? http://www.payinsider.com

  26. Here are a couple of problems you have with this article, Scott.
    Firstly, Gamergate (GG) as being entitled Millenials. OK. So most of the 15000-20000 are Millenials? Says You?
    I am not. But then neither am I the neckbeard in mom’s basement, nor the conservative, nor the American and nor mysogynist. It is dishonest and bad form to try to make sweeping categorisations of GG, isn’t it? I mean we know why you do it. Define us outside of GG and we are able to be analysed/judged/condemned
    Repeating the claim nor does proving your age by telling us your sibling’s son is 18 (to show that you are NOT an age peer) does not make this true (My own son is about to turn 18).
    Secondly, We are not trying to keep women out of gaming/gaming development. They want games that have different representation or social issues injected into the game? They can do this now.

    They have an idea. They make the game and shoulder the cost and the take the risk in marketing and launching it and their game’s worth will be determined at the cash register.

    I think that we know that the progressively endorsed games like DQ, all awards/commendations aside, will fail commercially. It is NOT viable for these types of games. Not with the current gaming industry meritocracy and with the gamers assigning value at the till.

    BUT if “gamers are dead” and “progressives” are calling for a “transformation of the industry” that then there is no doubt there is something more going on than just making the games they want

  27. And that’s the thing, for all these people talk of diversity, looking at their publications we’ve noticed just how much they lack actual diversity. The hypocrisy is palpable. These are publications which have spent their time bashing other industries over diversity, whether gaming or tech, but their own? Its one kind of white or jewish person, liberal white hipster, maybe a few white jewish women here or there, but the owners and most of the top positions in games and tech media are really held by white men. This by itself isn’t a problem, but combined with self righteous hypocrisy, it just really is galling to watch.

    #GamerGate News Rant with Socks: Idiots want the US Government to police social media.
    NEET LIFE
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zsmy-wjvwQ
    http://blogjob.com/oneangrygam…..ke-online-

    harassment-to-senate/

    Listen and Believe – Gaming’s Culture War
    Sargon of Akkad
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m59S9WHjE-0

    There is so much more, kotakuinaction, and many of sargon of akkads videos, and plenty more. This is difficulty in following the story is the result of 3 months of journalistic failure….

    1. Comment is slightly out of order because of char limit.
      Better than most writeups, but it still misses the point.
      Gamers have been fighting against people who are against everything reason.com stands for.

      Basic progressive principles like freedom of speech, caring about things like critical thought or integrity in thought, argument or journalism, these are all things these sjw types will throw out the door because “misogyny” is that evil. They believe the ends always justifies their means even thought their ends are just superficial rationalizations for their own motivations. So basically these people are against all cherished principles of reason. Its why they have resorted to deliberate dishonesty on this issue from day one. They resort to the constant victim narrative and crying “misogyny” because they don’t have an argument otherwise. These are people who have been silencing people on twitter for daring to disagree, filing false accusations, mass flagging and using feminist group infiltration into twitters moderation departments to enact ideological ban, silencing ideological opponents. People like mykerumedia have asked twitter for the “offending tweets” which have resulted in their bans, and twitter is unable to respond.

      1. This is far more than an issue of consumer culture or activism, or simply a thing about “journalistic ethics”. This is a culmination of a corruption of principles on the left by sjw types who are the new authoritarian left. They care nothing about freedom, they believe their cause is worth any cost at all.
        And just to show how arbitrary and nonsensical their concerns are. They constantly cry misogyny and harassment, but its notable how selective it is. Anita gets “harassed” and its hysteria and headlines. Suey Park got “harassed” and made the very same claim of being so “harassed” by colbert fans she had to flee her home. But since Colbert was one of the lefts own, they actually did their job, held suey parks feet to the fire and gave her threats the actual consideration which they deserved, which wasn’t much at all. So she faded away. So really all this is a creation of the media, it is by their choice that these women cause this much trouble.
        And we’ve watched for almost 3 months now the reveal of just how malicious or lazy the regular press is. The games/tech media was able to collude through their secret and now revealed mailing list to create a hate mongering narrative which in turn corrupted wikipedia, but then the regular press just continued to amplify this echo chamber because apparently, the only “research” these people do is to read kotaku, polygon and arstechnica. Its just a joke.

        1. Just a rudimentary search could have led to some information which would cause at the very least some cognitive dissonance from the accepted narrative. Instead they put the blinders on and reported lies.

          Oliver Campbell stream #gamergate Threedog’s news radio
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8SG7QuxqD4
          Just watch that for example, a gay man, a transsexual, a woman and a black man are proponents of gamergate, strange band of “misogynists” huh?

          Girls of #Gamergate 5th hangout!
          Queeny
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOuObprVWok

          Or that, where even the porn actress on gamergates side is more articulate than all the of anti gamergate professional victims combined.

          1. These sjw’s are really anti free thought anti reason. They subscribe to a “blockbot” which under the guise of blocking and reporting harassers, actually blocks and attacks all their ideological opponents. Meaning these people deliberately create their own echo chamber for themselves and their followers, its a mindset which is so closed that it shows they have no concern for any truth.

  28. It’s amusing to read a libertarian saying that consumer preferences WILL be represented in the market. Amusing because a significant percentage (10%? 20?) of Americans are big L and small L libertarians, but we’ve got 0% Libertarian senators, reps, or govs. How is that possible? If 10-15% of the market wants a libertarian senator, why aren’t 10-15% of senators Libertarian? Are you telling me no ambitious politician wants to serve this rowdy market of 33 million (or whatever # you prefer) libertarian Americans?

  29. As Ron Paul Republicans know all too well, there are gatekeepers in American politics. The game is rigged in favor of 2 major parties. Gatekeeping also explains how the “mainstream media” remained left of the audience for 50+ years. Why was there no Fox News from 1965-1985? Was there no audience for it during those years?
    Book publishing is another obvious example. There are tons and TONS of fringe writers out there on kindle churning out fiction celebrating every possible political outlook. But we don’t know their names. Major publisher gatekeepers fight hard to exclude certain perspectives, and even when a politically incorrect story gets grass roots support, you can bet it will be “sanitized” before re-release and again before the movie shoots. Someone mentioned Gone Girl as an antifeminist example. Really? I haven’t read it. Who is the smartest, most powerful, most dangerous, & most effective character in that book? Does it undercut the “girrrls are strong” claptrap?

  30. No matter what SJWs do, underground indie games will express politically incorrect ideas about gender & violence. The SJWs are just trying to shame industry gatekeepers & limit media praise, investment, and big marketing budgets to games w/ the feminazi seal of approval. If SJWs succeed, the best game designers and artists will all dance to their music because these folks want to get paid and be stars, not labor in obscurity.

  31. the often cozy relationship between the game industry politicians and the game political press and how this might taint press coverage

    The question is: how many will make this obvious connection and realize that whatever the subject, press coverage is all pretty much just propoganda.

  32. I actually played Depression Quest before this whole GG thing exploded. I also have clinical depression. It’s a simple text-based game, but it deeply resonated with me. It seems simple and reductive that the main draw is crossing out the options to carry on a normal, productive life when it came to making choices in the game, but that’s actually what living with this is like.

    I read Reason because I expect to find some actual discussion around here but the scope of opinions here seems really limited, so I’ll offer some dissent. Polygon and Kotaku offer a kind of coverage I like (no one else offers deep dives into actual game production like they do, or opens the floor to developers who are basically replaceable slave labor to publishers). The way they handle coverage is openly available via their respective codes of ethics, which may seem trite, but they listen to feedback, and have continued to iterate on maximizing transparency.

    Suprisingly these particular publications have been held under the this “ethics” microscope but no one talks about the blatant in-bed reviews from the giants like IGN, GameInformer, and GameSpot. If you disagree with editorial points of view, or the overly generalized “SJW” voices…that’s not corruption, it’s just, like, your opinion, man. And theirs, respectively.

    1. Certain publications have gotten more scrutiny than others because they were at or near the ground zero of GamerGate, and made matters worse for themselves by trying to insult gamers instead of addressing their concerns and allowing discussion.

      If you want to complain about “in-bed reviews from the giants like IGN, GameInformer, and GameSpot”, then you’ll have to list them. I know about GameSpot firing Gerstmann over a bad review from an advertiser, but that was well-covered and talked about and happened in 2007.

      And talking about Kotaku and ethics is a joke. There’s no doubt Grayson was very friendly with Quinn before he wrote his article on Kotaku giving her favorable coverage, but still to this day Totilo has not found fault. He also did the bare minimum when it came to the blatant conflict of interests regarding Patricia Hernandez and the reviews she wrote for her housemates/lovers.

  33. Detractors of #GamerGate tactics (some of them at least): silence opponents if possible, shame them otherwise, and scare neutral parties by claiming anyone who even considers any arguments from GamerGaters are supporting misogyny, harassment, murder, rape, etc.

    These Machiavellian tactics coupled with a sectarian ideology of radical feminism which either implicitly or explicitly calls for the ethnic cleansing of white heterosexual males for the sin of… original sin (ignoring historical nuances) makes these Social Justice Warriors not just annoying, but inherently dangerous.

    Ironically, the whole reason this all blew out of proportion was exactly these tactics coupled with the victim complex of those SJWs being criticized which caused a nuclear Streisand effect which is easily exploited by trolls on either side.

    Consequently, #GamerGate will not die down before the actual issue of collusion and cronyism in Gamin Journalism is properly addressed, as well as the injection of political correctness from toxic radfem ideologies which in their shallow analyses of games being misogynist and furthermore causing misogyny, are comparable if not equivalent to Jack Thompson’s flawed view of video games perpetuating violence in real life.?

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