Okay so I wasn’t going to do a GamerGate post. I started off intending to, but after assembling a bunch of reference material I got worn out by the sheer vicious stupidity of the movement, and then I read Belghast’s post on being fatigued and forlorn by the issue. I realised that he was right, it was not only unhelpful to fan the flames, to give undue attention to this abomination that is GG, but it would also harm my mental health if I remained involved in keeping up with the situation. Not because I fear for myself or anyone I know, but because just being immersed in the hate and ignorance and stupidity is enough to drain you of hope for humanity.
But then J3w3l wrote this post, and the thing that jumped out at me was this:
But then I realised that making my opinion known is important as well as it adds to the large collection of people out there doing the same and strengthens the resolve of those around who are yet to feel comfortable.
Which she then reinforced in her comments:
I think just making it known makes people more confident and just a quick statement seems to be enough for that too. Solidarity you know…
I also feel it makes those attacks, if they were to happen here a little less severe. If their is one or two key spokespeople it’s easy for people to direct their anger. A whole community of blogs and it gets spread out and deflected far easier.
I also couldn’t just sit by while some bloggers I know had been receiving such things. Had to give my support, and in a way thanks that they stood up and were heard.
So here I am, adding my voice in support of those who have been harmed by this insanity that is GG. For those of you not really aware of what GG is all about, Deadspin provides a great outline of the movement here.
The Sooner It Ends, The Better
Make no mistake, GamerGate is, always was, and always will be a hate movement. Jennifer Allaway discusses how and why here.
As far as I am concerned, there are two types of people who are a part of GG. The first is the truly despicable group, the “true believers”. They range across the spectrum, from the extremes of death and rape threats, to the comparatively tame defenders, who honestly think that women like Brianna Wu, Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian are “professional victims”, that they deserve the hellish treatment they continue to receive, and that there is a feminist conspiracy that needs to be resisted. I believe that this type makes up, if not a majority, then a much larger minority than is widely assumed. The second type is that of the ignorant, the critically inept, and the morally suspect. They hang around the fringes, were drawn in by the PR of the “it’s about ethics in games media” bullshit, and genuinely want to have that conversation. But they show their utter lack of judgement, their dearth of critical thinking skills, by willingly associating themselves with this movement. And the longer they do so, they become more and more morally bankrupt, because any decent person would, upon discovering that GG is about hate, run for the hills. I mean come on, when your movement has actual neonazis flocking to it, how can that not raise a giant fucking red flag? When the mascot for your movement – designed by the lovely people of 4chan, of course! – is a thinly veiled rape joke, and you continue to support it, there is something wrong with you!
Rant mode is warming up, so I’ll finish here before shit gets real. There are many intelligent, well-documented posts and articles out there that deconstruct this abomination. The two I linked above are good examples, as is this video looking at GG’s base assumptions. But one post really captures the scorn, the anger, and the horror that I feel towards each and every person who, through their participation in and support of GG, have been and continue to be responsible for the vile treatment of so many people. They are not only giving the rest of us gamers a bad name, they are doing it by hurting people, mostly women. I leave you with a quote from Chris Kluwe:
Every time I see one of you slackjawed pickletits link me something like “I’m a moderate #Gamergate’r,” or “#Gamergate in sixty seconds YOUTUBE CLIP,” or “Here’s an anecdotal story from this one woman we found that completely negates an entire history of misogyny and abuse of women, not just in videogaming but in the entirety of human existence so support the REAL GAMERS,” it pisses me the fuck off because you are ruining something I enjoy. When people — everyday people who watch the coverage on CNN of Anita Sarkeesian having to cancel a speaking engagement due to death threats — think of “gamers,” they are going to think of you, and that irritates me. It enrages me. I want to punch down a wall, and I like my walls. They’re nicely painted.