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What Is #GamerGate?

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Technology' started by ZenMusic, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. ZenMusic

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    This hashtag seems to be going around a lot, and there's a load of controversy going around (I.E the words "social justice warrior" and "anti-feminist/misogynist" being thrown around) Does anyone know what's going on?
     
  2. gazwkd

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    [YOUTUBE]9L_Wmeg7OTU[/YOUTUBE]
     
  3. Basic

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  4. Q-Tip

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    Let me sum it up... Mass stupidity from both sides.
     
  5. Tim

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    Yea... but one side crossed the line when they posted public info of Felicia Day on the internet when she simply explained why she was being quiet in regards to "GamerGate."
     
  6. MintberryCrunch

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    "Men and women don't understand each other."

    Nothing new.
     
  7. Psijic

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    ^there are, in fact, women and men on both 'sides'
    What I find disturbing about gamergate is how these 'sides' are not complete opposites, instead each stand for very different ideas. I can only assume this is because of how the movement started as a whole.
     
  8. Kizz

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    Here is my view on it, as an active member of the game dev (aspiring) community myself.

    At first, it was about the journalistic integrity of one columnist, having relations with a game developer. Even though it turned out that he didn't review her games, there was some outrage towards games journalism.

    Then, feeling the pressure, the journalist revealed the manipulative nature of the game developer. While that was terrible, it was a private matter, and is more about abuse in relationships than the gaming community. However, gamers then turned on her, with a barrage of personal attacks and threats.

    Another female game community member spoke in support of the first, and recieved similar backlash. At which point, the conversation on journalistic integrity swerved to the old Xbox-style swear/threaten-feats, spiralling out of control.


    Gamer gate could have been an excellent chance to get a discussion on journalistic integrity out there. Instead, it was warped by a minority of gamers into highlighting the troubling reality of sexual discrimination and abuse within the games community.

    Since then, journalists have been attacking the games community over this minority. Even game-oriented journalism is following suit.


    But, that's just my personal take from it. I might be slightly wrong here and there.
    For the record, I am currently against the current form Gamergate has taken. But I, like most others, were in full support at the start. Wished it wasn't hijacked by the worst part of our community,
     
    #8 Kizz, Oct 31, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  9. Pret Allez

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    I think that seanr provided an excellent exposition on it, and I am indebted to him. I only have a little bit to add.

    What I want to add on it is my opinion as a gamer, a feminist, a queer person marginalized in the gaming community, and a software developer (although I am a security researcher, not a game programmer.)

    GamerGate is a movement against conflicts of interest in gaming journalism that aims to recenter fiduciary and social interests of developers, publishing houses, and journalists so that games and game studios are objectively reviewed.

    That is absolutely what it is. And feminists are not against this. Many feminists are also gamers, and we hope only for solid games and game journalism.

    What is also a reality, as both gamers and feminists know, is that there is harassment in gaming communities online, and there is harassment of and discrimination against women in game development. Furthermore, this is not an isolated problem.

    What has unfortunately happened though, is that now that some feminists have attacked gamers unfairly, and some gamers have attacked queer and women gamers and game developers unfairly, with the result that there is now no possibility of having a reasoned conversation about ending sexism in any information technology sector.

    I am extremely frustrated about this, because feminists have been trying to raise concerns about employment discrimination and venture capital denial in information technology long before GamerGate even started. And now, we're not able to have that discussion.

    As much as I love gaming, having been a gamer for over 20 years, there are women computer programmers doing things other than game dev who are getting treated like absolute shit, and they leave the industry as a result, with incalculable cost to our society in terms of lost productivity.

    These are our freaking engineers, for crying out loud.
     
    #9 Pret Allez, Oct 31, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2014
  10. ZenMusic

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    Someone on EventStatus was saying there is racism involved, I haven't seen anything about homophobia yet.
     
  11. Q-Tip

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    Okay a legit post. From what I understand, some chick made a game called the depression game or something along those lines. Now this game, is really really bad. She got a lot of negative feedback and of course she tried to say some stuff like "no shut up its art" I THINK! (there is so much to this its hard to keep straight) But kotaku a place apparently she was affiliated with before was like "THIS IS AMAZING!" so people was like wat? Then things got out of hand when apparently she might have sleep with people at the company to make her game get a good score. So people went "CORRUPTION THE GAME INDUSTRY?! MOTHER OF GOD! BECAUSE THAT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE!" Then people started attacking her then the so called "Feminists" or SWJs started attacking a shit ton of gamers and people in the community about this.

    Its a god damn mess with a shit ton of hate going around. I'm going to qoute something Joss Whedon said "Many good people think #GamerGate is about journalism & artistic freedom. That's like working at #KlanDayKare. The name means hate, guys." https://twitter.com/josswhedon/status/524015074932174849
    Like I said lots of hate from everyone involved.

    Heres someone smart explaining this... #GamerGate: Here's why everybody in the video game world is fighting - Vox
     
  12. gazwkd

    gazwkd Guest

    Interesting thing:

    Guys attack gamergate and its allies = nothing much happens

    Women attack gamergate and its allies = all hell breaks loose, threats fly at them, death threats, rape threats, mass shooting threats....
     
  13. Spartan 117

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    I was under the impression that it began when a bitter ex-boyfriend of a female developer implied she was having a relationship with a gaming journalist. According to places like Kotaku- the journalist wasn't actually covering her game in any way, but a storm of corruption allegations and death threats followed.

    Needless to say, it sounds stupid.
     
  14. Kizz

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    As per my post above, she was cheating, and he released the chat logs. There is a good two part series, analysing all logs provided here. The second part, no doubt, is in the "related videos" section

    While rape and death threats are not the reaction to have here, you should not fall into Zoe's "I'm totally innocent" act she's been pulling with the game community, and the mainstream media. She most certainly did cheat on the journalist, and he was vilified due to Zoe's obvious psychological manipulation of the conversation.

    Naturally, she couldn't control the rape/death threats, but that was as she was seen as breaking journalistic integrity, not so much as she was a cheat and manipulator (Though that played into it). In the sexist minority of gamers, she was the poster child of what was wrong with girls in games.

    Still, this particular affair is but a side show that, for all intents, should have been kept personal, and has no reason to be involved with Gamergate. That also being said, if a guy cheated on me like that, I'd certainly publish these logs. Put a highlight on their emotionally abusive nature, not for the journalistic integrity topic.

    Zoe Quinn and the reporter actually did not interact with each other on a professional level since starting the relationship, so the whole integrity issue was moot. But naturally, no-one read the fine print of this whole fiasco.
    The issue became an ethics in journalism issue anyway.

    After much blame shifting, this has become the issue you see today. The entire conversation, blame shifting and doublespeak has made this the equivalent of launching a bomb into America from Europe. All of a sudden, the airspace of the gaming community was clouded in threats, rhetoric, flames and outrage, the likes of which would make a republican in the Middle East blush.

    To start from the beginning, just after the conversation was leaked, and the topic was journalistic integrity, here is what happened.

    Many people got pissed over a much more mellow issue of professional practice, of which there wasn't any, as the journalist had no professional interactions. Non-the-less, the figureheads of YouTube and gaming ethics, the most prominent being TotalBiscuit and Jim Sterling, supported the review of journalistic integrity.

    However, in comes the sexist minority of gamers, who threaten rape and death to Zoe. Following all the threats, Zoe retaliated to gamers, and her rallying of friends against an unacceptable response to a private matter, garnered more support from women in the industry, angering the small sector of sexist gamers with comments like "gamers are dead", and blaming the broad gaming community for sexism, which swayed this journalistic integrity question, into one of sexism in games as well. More women were attacked and harassed online. One even had a bomb threat, at a school she was to talk at over women in the games industry. A literal bomb, this time. Here's where the well was, basically, poisoned. Journalistic integrity was hijacked to sexism in games, ironically, by sexist gamers.

    This narrative was turned onto gamers as an overall community, accusing them all of sexism. Naturally, only a minority were at fault of these threats and comments, so that broad narrative inflamed much more of the community that were not being sexist in any way.

    Then, in comes the e-news gaming sites, again siting it as a sexism issue, attacking the entirity of the very audience they serve. This is natural, as the only other option is to have this be a journalistic ethics issue, which most of these sites do not want at all, especially considering how cosy game reviewers and AAA game creators have become.

    Meanwhile, various big actors are now in a precarious spot. They previously supported Gamergate for its discussion on journalistic integrity, but now, the focus has shifted to sexism. There are two issues at play, one is the "fault" of Zoe and this reporter, and the other is the fault of the minority sexist gaming community. Either way you choose to fall from the fence, you incite more anger, even though both sides have valid points. But there are only two sides to this, which is for and against. Any middle grounding would be rocky at best, with the chance of burning everyone. You'd have to be a master of words to get the balance and tone right, if you were to choose this path.

    So here we are. An issue where both sides are right and wrong, where the middleground is more toxic than either side, where youtubers are stuck, but have to lean against sexism as sexist gamers are far too vocal, where journalists are attacking their audience, as their audience attack right back, with feminist activists denouncing gamers, causing sexist gamers to lash out even harder, as well as normal gamers to retaliate against this broad rhetoric, all the while slowly rousing mainstream coverage, which will reignite the old "games are bad for kids" chants, which will probably turn full circle onto journalists and youtubers.

    Needless to say, this has set back the gaming community several, several years, maybe even a decade, in having an open discussion on either journalist or sexism issues. The earth on this issue is now completely salted. Nothing good can come of Gamergate at this point. To appease Gamergate itself right now, would be like making Hitler shake hands with Churchill. Except here, both sides have valid and invalid points. There is no evil party, just evil factions of both sides.

    It will take many, many years for this rift in the community to heal. All because of one emotionally manipulative game figurehead angering a rightly-angered boyfriend, who made this private matter public, which attracted the sexist minority, which swayed the issue etc.
    Basically, the biggest domino effect the gaming industry has seen.
     
    #14 Kizz, Nov 1, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
  15. asdfghjk

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    literally the stupidest thing ive yet to witness this lifetime


    and i have watched post-"the learning channel" tlc network programs
     
  16. MintberryCrunch

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    /thread

    :grin:
     
  17. 101DeadRoses

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    Basically, they're a group of childish, sexist, unbelievably stupid men who hate gays and women with more than their anuses, nipples and clitorises covered. Douchebags.
     
  18. gazwkd

    gazwkd Guest

    Yeah sorry but no, he may or may not have been rightly angered - after all you do not know the full story behind the original relationship or what was going on.

    However he was totally and utterly in the wrong for making personal details public.

    Emotionally manipulative, you know that just brings you across as someone who has an issue with Zoe personally if not women in general.


    I would class myself as a gamer but I'm certainly not upset with gamers getting called out for their bad attitudes - it's something all to prevalent in the culture as this whole situation proves.

    Gamergate was founded in hate and at its base level no matter how its allies protest is still about hate.
     
    #18 gazwkd, Nov 2, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2014
  19. Kizz

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    I see your points, and I can agree that I used to think that way. But, I learned much when digging deeper, so I'll put forward my takes on these specific issues more thoroughly.

    It is wrong, yes. However, I would be lying if I'd say I'd not have done the same. However, the whole deal was meant to be private. This I can agree on. In an ideal world, people wouldn't release texts and the like from their ex partners. That, however, is not our world.

    The relationship, from the texts, show Zoe as an emotional manipulator. It is not my opinion of her, as I've never met the girl, or even know her games. However, after seeing the texts, I am certain that Zoe is emotionally manipulative. The camera never lies, and texts, mostly, don't either. It'd take a lot of effort from the ex's to falsify the texts, and why would he? They'd have next to no impact, and would damage himself professionally. He'd be facing potential disciplinary from his job, and the like. Due to this, I have no doubt, the texts are real. You can find them in the link from my previous post/s.

    The next issue, is what is Gamergate, and who it's targeting. At first, it was 100% about journalistic ethics. There can be no question there. That was the absolute first line of narrative, before people got a hold of this.

    Generally, the sexist minority only shows itself after a female gamer rises in fame, which Zoe did purely from the issue with the journalist. She was not a famous game developer, so reason stands that she was targetted only after another issue reared it's head, that was bigger than the small exposure of one indie dev's personal life. It makes no sense that the sexism issue came before journalistic ethics were raised. Zoe is, quite frankly, not famous enough for that to have happened.

    I am all for having a discussion on sexism in the game community. I think it is a terrible problem that the community is facing. However, that was not what we got. We got blanket terms, which vilified the entire gaming community, and the online media focusing on that shift too, because the alternative is discussing their own ethical codes. These sites have been in AAA gaming beds for some time. The result of the other discussion would affect them hugely. Unless they wanted to the their own noose, they could either ignore it, or tackle it from a sexist viewpoint.

    To put it into perspective, it's like someone saw the Westboro Baptist Church protesting a funeral, and then claimed all Christians were disrespectful homophobic nutjobs because of that experience. It simply isn't true, and those Christians would fight back against that idea, no?
    That is the situation with gamers here. That's why they fought back against this unfair portrayal.


    Gamergate was founded on the hateful release of some texts, which is true. But the base message of Gamergate was not hateful. It prompted a non-hateful narrative of journalistic ethics, as the game developer was sexually intimate with a journalist.

    That said, that part of the narrative is no longer is the case. It was hijacked by the sexist minority of the gaming community, discrediting the entire fiasco. Gamergate is now completely untouchable by any parts of the gaming community. Go with Zoe, and you accept their blanket description of gamers. Go with gamers, and you risk being accused of being sexist. While going with gamers is now completely nonsensical, to go with Zoe is very damaging to the community image. It's a lose-lose situation.

    As a hopeful dev, I've been following the entire fiasco closely, and from all the evidence, sources and summaries, this is the closest match I can find to Gamergate. This is taking analysis of the texts, discussions from totalbiscuit and other famous gaming personalities, as well was watching the overall trends and news pan out.

    I want a discussion on sexism in games. I want a discussion on journalistic ethics. But it's my opinion, that this cannot happen right now. The well has been poisoned on both of these subjects. It will take a long time until we can tackle this again. And that is the worst part of this tale., because these are both topics that need tackling.


    Sorry for the long posts, by the way. I've been tracking this issue meticulously, and the entire situation is so complex and interwoven from start to finish, it becomes difficult to cut down these large walls of text. If we had a spoiler function, or some way to collapse posts, can someone direct me to it? That way, I can try to keep the page from growing to a novel-sized mess.