Friday, 5 September 2014

Gamergate

Hello, Dreamers.

I'm sorry, there's not going to be any recommendations this week.

Considering I write about games in roughly half of these entries, am a programmer/developer (though I've yet to release anything), and am indirectly involved, not to say anything would feel to me like saying that all of that's going on is ok.

Better people than me have already spoken about this, and people several orders of magnitude better than me have gotten the brunt of the attacks led under the GamerGate flag. I can only speak my mind.

So... here are my two cents.




From what I know, this all started because the creator of renowned game Depression Quest's ex-partner decided to write a long post about how said creator (Zoe Quinn) is a horrible person, cheated on him and in general you should never associate with her.

It was also implied that her infidelities with game journalists and developers were what gave Depression Quest such a high rating (Never mind that it makes depression easy to understand for us that have never been on such a deep end of depression, or the fact that it IS A GOOD NARRATION); which in turn led to many a gamer claiming that game journalism was full of people speaking well of their friends, full of corruption, nepotism and many other words that i had never heard out of my high school essays.

The second fuse in this bomb was Anita Sarkeesian's latest video in her Tropes vs Women series. The internet was already a kicked nest of hornets because of the whole Zoe Quinn blog post, and when already polarizing figure Anita Sarkeesian posted her video showcasing how many AAA games tend to dehumanize their female NPCs, her already inflamed detractors proceeded to hurl even more vitriol at her, to the point that a stalker who apparently knew her address threatened to kill and rape her and her family. (I know that this last bit has been examined to death, and I can hear the cries of "FAKE" a mile away, I'll get to it in a moment)

This has led to the hashtag #Gamergate.

Apparently, it's about "Journalistic integrity, transparency and equality".

Apparently.

The problem with this is that the only people who I've seen have gotten attacked have been women. Be them devs or journalists, it's been an attack, reminiscent of the whole "fake gamer/geek girl who only does it for our attention" sludge that is so prevalent in this subsection of our culture.

I know that not all who are backing GamerGate are spewing hate, and some are honestly just in this for transparency and better journalism. The problem is that, as Alex Goldman so beautifully put it, "If you see yourself as a bloc of people who call themselves "gamers," to outsiders you are only as good as your worst representatives, and the past month have shown those representatives to be racist, homophobic, misogynist, and threatening. " [source]

Now, I'll start my own opinion, after hopefully capturing the whole disgusting picture for all of you who are just joining us.

A) Private matters should stay private
  • Let me share a personal story with you. I used to be friends with these two people whom I'll name A and B. I had a major crush on A, and B knew. When A got a partner, I talked about it with B, and they agreed that A would be better off with me. I saved that conversation with B (WHICH WAS MEANT TO BE PRIVATE, KEEP THIS IN MIND, THIS IS IMPORTANT), and in my jealousy and anger, sent it to A. This led to me losing two friends because I shared something I Was Not Supposed To Share. Despite time passing and me being in talking terms with both A and B after thorough apologies, I still think that is one of my lowest points, and can't forgive myself for breaking someone's trust.
  • So, what's there to take from this? PRIVATE MATTERS SHOULD STAY PRIVATE. What you do with your sexuality, your partners, and your life is your own business, and unless they are actually affecting a large group of people, you should not share the private affairs of SOMEONE ELSE. It's been said that Zoe Quinn's lovers led to Depression Quest getting higher scores and good reviews. These claims have been proven FALSE yet people still use those as a rallying cry against her. Anything else she might (or might not) do is her own business, so leave well enough alone.
B) Attack the message, not the messenger
  • This has been a HUGE thing since the very beginning of Anita Sarkeesian's crusade. People insist on saying that she is not a gamer, that she hates games, that she scammed people out of their money... the list goes on. If she slaughters babies and then bathes in their blood (which I doubt, she seems like a very level-headed and reasonable person), that's a personal flaw. The point of Tropes vs Women is to point out MANY problematic things in games and gaming culture, which should be addressed. Instead, people insist on attacking her.
  • It almost seems like they are avoiding the message. HMMMMMM.
C) Why

All of this is doing nothing but hurting everyone in the industry and related to it.

I have nothing more to say, but to wish those that are under attack and/or scrutiny to stay strong, and that they should know that for every voice full of vitriol, there are some of us that support them.

I'm sorry for all that have decided to leave this scene, but I cannot say I blame them. Amongst them, I'm sorry that all of this has driven Jenn Frank to quit.

I can only hope that we can learn to be better people.

I have nothing else to add.

I hope that we can learn to live and let live.

I'll try and write another entry during the weekend.

Keep on dreaming, don't let things like these stop you from fighting for what you want.

May your weekend be infinitely better than all that's been going on lately.

-enistoja





BONUS HATE ROUND:

 Now, about the whole "THAT THREAT IS FAKE" bit against Sarkeesian.

1) Considering how much hatred she already gets, faking something would NOT help her cause at all.
2) "Perfect capitalization and punctuation". Because it is IMPOSSIBLE for someone who is making threats to have good grammar. There is no such thing as cold rage. </sarcasm>
3) "She got the screenshot X seconds after the last tweet". She has stated several times that she takes screenshots of some of the hate she gets, and has posted it before on twitter. Maybe she saw the first one on her mobile twitter/browser, and then proceeded to use her pc one to screenshot, explaining why she wasn't logged in, and why there is nothing on her twitter search bar, only to find that the person had made some more claims, after which she took the screenshot and then went to take appropriate measures.
[I just accessed my own twitter from a logged-off internet explorer and GUESS WHAT: THE SEARCH BAR IS EMPTY. Even after looking for myself and then going to my account THE SEARCH BAR IS STILL EMPTY. WOW IT'S LIKE TWITTER WORKS THAT WAY]


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