Thoughts Of A Feminist Gamer on #GamerGate

I am a feminist. I believe that sexism still exists in the modern world. I believe that women should have the choice of what they do with their own bodies. I am sex positive. I believe that everybody has the right to fair and equal treatment regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation.

I am a gamer. I owned a Commodore 64 and then a SNES as a child. I now game on console and PC. I also play tabletop role play games. I talk about gaming and chat with other gamers on Twitter EVERY DAY.

I’m not going to recap what has been happening in the sphere of gaming in the past few weeks. You know already or you wouldn’t be here. A war has been taking place, a war of online words. Battle lines have been drawn, positions fortified and every day new ammunition manufactured, condensed to 140 characters or less, and deployed. On one side we have the Gaming Media, mainly composed of journalists and a legion of feminists and supporters collectively labelled Social Justice Warriors. Gaming Media and it’s SJW supporters feel that women in gaming face a wall of misogyny and harassment perpetrated by those no better than entitled whiny children not wanting to let the girlies into their club. On the other side we have the Gamers. Gamers feel that the actions of gaming journalists have eroded the credibility of gaming media and that journalists should be more open about conflicts of interest, such as financial support of or a prior relationship with a game developer. Gamers believe that their cherished hobby has been attacked by the very media that is supposed to represent it and hijacked by feminazis and white knights wanting to push their own agendas. Gaming Media and SJWs see this as a smokescreen to abuse women involved in gaming and keep gaming professions male dominated. Gamers feel they’re being marginalised as various journalists and youtubers weigh in and toss labels at them like ‘neck bearded man-child’. Gamers have been labelled dangerous and compared with terrorists. Gamers have been dismissed by it’s own media as a bunch of white, bearded virgin men that dwell in their parent’s basements. Even the very name ‘Gamer’ has been declared over/dead. Individuals on both sides have been harassed, received threats and have even had personal details stolen and posted online.

So where does that leave someone with a foot in each camp? Somewhat uneasy

Here’s the thing, I do believe there are problems with sexism in gaming. I would like to see better representation and a wider variety of stories that include women in video games. I support women that want to forge a career in gaming professions. However, I don’t believe that is what #GamerGate is about. I believe that it is about the lack of even basic journalistic ethics present in gaming media and the blatant contempt it has displayed for it’s audience. When gaming professions become an arena which only those who ‘know the right people’ can enter? That is unethical. When journalists are writing articles about games they have financially supported or that are made by friends of theirs? That is unethical. when developers and others involved in gaming feel they cannot speak about this without their careers being damaged or destroyed? THAT IS UNETHICAL. Any journalism outfit, no matter the subject, has a responsibility to behave with integrity and hold it’s credibility in the highest regard. It is not entitled behaviour to expect to be able to trust those that report on gaming news. Whether they like it or not they have an influence on buying behaviour and with that influence comes the expectation that they be as objective as they possibly can.

These last weeks I have seen men that I know have the utmost respect for women being unfairly maligned and labelled as misogynists and dangerous terrorists for daring to question the ethical behaviour of gaming media. I have seen massive generalised statements about feminism being “stupid” and “a joke”. I have talked games on Twitter for years now and 95% of the interactions I’ve had with other Gamers have been very positive. But in the last few weeks the levels of toxicity on Twitter have been almost tangible. Yet all this does is alienate allies within both camps. There are feminists and SJWs, such as myself, that agree Gaming Media should behave with integrity. Likewise there are Gamers that are upset about some of the behaviour directed towards women that work in gaming.

But today something new appeared. People from all walks of life, of all genders, races and sexual orientations, myself among them, took to Twitter and openly declared themselves to be proud members of the Gamer community. The #NotYourShield tag is a stark message to the Gaming Media, that they can no longer use those among oppressed minorities as a shield against legitimate criticism. Truly it is a beautiful thing, the voices of a community that, despite what the media would have us believe, is rich with diversity. The stereotype of gaming as a white neck bearded male dominated hobby has been obliterated.

Yet there remains much to be done. The Gaming Media still has yet to fully address the legitimate criticisms of Gamers. Here are some things we all can do to maximise our chances of being heard.

1. Call out and denounce anybody you see engaging in harassment or abusive behaviour. These people hand ammunition to those that would see us silenced and are held up as representations of the community as a whole. It is not enough to say “But that is not me!” We must make it clear that harassment behaviour will not be tolerated and declare as loudly as we can “NOT IN MY NAME!”

2. Express your opinions with dignity and respect. Anger and bitterness is not the way, only calm and reason will win the day (hey that rhymes) Even if you have anger and vitriol directed at you, respond with succinctness and clarity (or kittens) Do not resort to personal insults, hyperbole or ad hominem. As soon as you do, you lose.

3. If someone doesn’t want to talk to you, respect that and walk away. There are those that are unable to talk about this because they will lose their jobs and don’t deserve to. There are times when you’ve been talking about this all day and are tired when someone messages you and expects a response. Then they get angry when you don’t respond. The thing is, time is a precious thing, something you never get back. You are not entitled to anybody else’s time any more than they are entitled to yours.

4. Understand that everyone involved in this, no matter where they stand, has a perspective. We all hold our own perspective to be valuable, we all just want to be heard. When we make huge overgeneralised statement or slap labels on people we dehumanise them and devalue their perspective. This makes people less inclined to want to understand our perspective. Don’t let your mind become stone, keep your ideas fluid. That way you can easily incorporate new perspectives as you find them. When someone you don’t agree with makes a valid point, recognise it. Let’s make it a discussion, rather than a war.

This is my personal message to the mainstream Gaming Media. We are Gamers, a community large and inclusive of anyone and everyone that loves video games (provided they’re not harassing anyone)  I am a feminist AND I am a gamer, it is possible to be both. Do not hide behind me and those like me. You are accountable in this and we are #NotYourShield. I will continue to champion equality AND the need for ethics in journalism. What I am not, however, is a journalist or writer so if you feel the need to disagree with me on anything I have written above, please do so with respect. Just don’t be surprised if you occasionally get a picture of a kitten in response :o)

Thank you for reading and with much love

Angela

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69 thoughts on “Thoughts Of A Feminist Gamer on #GamerGate

  1. If I may be a shill for a moment, The Fine Young Capitalists, one of many organizations caught in the crossfire of the past couple of weeks, has rebooted with an IndieGoGo campaign. They have five games for people to vote on, all made by female game developers. The funds raised will be used to ensure the winner gets their game made, with the rest going to charities of the backer’s choice.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-fine-young-capitalists–2

    Go check out their IndieGoGo campaign for a moment. The games they’ve posted are outright brilliant. There’s one game in there (Afterlife Empire) in a genre I don’t play because it’s not my thing. But the concept presented is so solid, I voted for it and will be backing it as soon as I have the funds to do so. At the time of writing, they’ve raised $48,000 of the $60,000 they aim to raise, with 23 days remaining.

    Also, to the author:

    I can only hope to find more people like you. You are awesome, and don’t you dare stop being awesome. Speak your mind, and keep true to your feelings.

  2. I just wanted to write you a quick thank you for your very concise and heartfelt article. it was a pleasure to read and I agree with everything you said: I have played video games for over 25 years and I look foward to more and better represantations of women in games and gaming. greetings from Germany.

  3. Nice article and sensible which is refreshing. The only thing I disagree with is when you say the press and sjw think that its just a smokescreen to abuse women.

    They know full well there is no intention to abuse, disrespect, ignore or objectify them. They are just using that as an excuse to ignore what the real issue is. They have been banning gamers from sites for making comments as asinine as agreeing that there might be an issue with the press. No vulgarity, no threats just a simple honest question. Banned.

    On twitter no matter what subject you bring up they immediately accuse you of supporting rape or abuse of women. Its absurd.

    It doesn’t matter what angle we try to broach the subject with it immediately gets pushed into abuse.

    The SJW keep saying they want this to be resolved and to leave Zoey Quinn and Anna alone but every time they start falling out of the conversation they plant comments in some site and try to stir the pot again or the post pictures to twitter insulting gamers for both reason.

    We don’t want to talk about either of this women. They were a catalyst to an important subject but they keep on poking a hornets nest of immature children who have access to the internet knowing full well these kids vitriol will quickly drown out any intelligent conversation from the rest of us.

    Very unfortunate indeed.

    1. “They know full well there is no intention to abuse, disrespect, ignore or objectify them. They are just using that as an excuse to ignore what the real issue is.”

      How can you be sure of that? How do you know what all journalists and feminists are thinking?

      “The SJW keep saying they want this to be resolved and to leave Zoey Quinn and Anna alone but every time they start falling out of the conversation they plant comments in some site and try to stir the pot again or the post pictures to twitter insulting gamers for both reason.”

      How do you know that they are planting comments?

      Why are you assuming the worst of feminists? How is that any different from what SJWs accuse gamers of?

      1. How do I know? Concentrated coordinated attacks by the media. Censoring of users asking questions or commenting on the issue even when said questions or comments are well said without hate or vulgarity.

        There is evidence of them planting comments multiple times. Watch the videos done by internet aristocrat, mundane Matt and thunderf00t on YouTube. They have everything laid out and well researched.

        Everything they present as evidence can be verified by YOU doing a little research after watching the videos. Its much worse then biased reviews or articles. That’s the problem.

        I didn’t make up my own mind until a few days ago. I watched their videos, I looked into the info presented, I went to every site, i saw the articles, I searched twitter, I asked questions.

        Hell whenever I asked a question of a “sjw” all I got was attacked and insulted. Attacked and insulted for asking genuine questions. No hate involved. So I’m bigot, homophone, rape supporter, and I hate woman for asking legitimate questions?

        That was what i for for trying to investigate myself. From the gamergate side I got evidence and logic. from the sjw side I got some of the nastiest hate I’ve ever seen and it was 100% unprovoked

      2. He never mentioned feminists, he’s talking about social justice warriors. Not all feminists are SJWs, it’s just that most SJWs claim to be feminists.

  4. Thank you for this.

    I am a believer that the greatest divide in the world today lies between those who seek otherness with openness, acceptance, and a lack of pre-judgement and between those who declare their tribal allegiances and exclude all who don’t belong to the correct tribe.

    It doesn’t matter whether the tribe self-selected, genetic, cultural, or any other sort. It is the limitation and the exclusion that wounds me in my soul whenever I see it.

    And it saddens me to find myself so deeply and fundamentally alienated from a tribe whose goals I cherish, but whose orthodoxy and rigidity mean that I could never be viewed as anything other than an enemy.

  5. I LOUDLY AND RUDELY DISAGREE WITH YOU AND MAKE BLATANT PERSONAL ATTACKS. I ALSO QUESTION YOUR BODY ODOR (can I get that kitten picture now? :P)

    But seriously though, 10 out of fucking 10 post, would read again. I just wish everyone involved could be as reasonable as you.

  6. It’s so rare to find someone who advocates balance lately. I’m glad you made your voice heard.

    I just wish more people would pause and think about what they say, and wonder how they’d react if it was pointed at them.

  7. This was simply the most beautiful thing I have read all day. I am truly happy to have found a rational calm, and reasonable mind in this mess. To be honest when I discovered #notyourshield today I was absolutely elated to finally see so many unite and stand together.

  8. I’m glad to see people who care about these things making an effort to separate themselves from the trolls.

    So, just thinking out loud here – maybe someone could write on this topic (I hope they do because I want to understand!)

    What I’m still not “getting” is the journalistic ethics argument. I mean I understand and expect journalistic ethics. However, I’ve yet to see something credible that fully illustrates extraordinary unethical behavior in gaming media.

    I’m not at all saying it doesn’t exist. I have absolutely no idea if it does or not. I only know no one seems to be publishing anything credible documenting it.

    Now we have the new “discussion” aimed at pointing out the journalists use of the word “gamer” to represent all of “us” as an attempt to cover up their own lack of integrity?

    Honestly, it’s semantics. I never felt they were lumping me into that demo. My first game was Leisure Suit Larry in the mid 80s (google if unfamiliar). I liked it. I’m also a female.

    To say those who wrote a few flaming articles directed at misogynistic morons were targeting all people who play games, is well, a bit silly imo. Clearly they were referring to the trolls. Should they have used another word? Obviously.

    “Gamer” to me, has long implied the caricature of a unemployable, anti-social, angry early 20something living in his mother’s basement who finds pleasure in trolling, and telling me what they are doing with their free hand while playing WoW. (yes, that happened to me!) I don’t know why I have this connotation (prolly ptsd from WoW) but I do. I’ve spent over a year of REAL time in EQ and I still don’t consider myself a “gamer”.

    Could it be that these journalists are old like me, and this is just how our generation uses the world? I don’t know.

    People are mad about a generalization. OK, I get that.

    And, people believe unethical behavior exists (afaik) on the sole basis of debunked “proof” published by a vengeful boyfriend????

    A caused born of semantics and a jilted lover’s lie is not enough for me to pay this issue any mind. It also leaves me feeling like it’s just more smokescreen…but yet, obviously it’s not…..so I suspect people will end up hash tagging at the choir so to speak.

    You said,

    “When gaming professions become an arena which only those who ‘know the right people’ can enter?”

    This is why we have things like LinkedIn and people who make a living “connecting” others. It’s not what you know is who you know has been boiled into my brain since I was a kid. And I’m old, this is nothing new. As unfair as it is, yes, it’s a fact of life. How else would you explain GWB Jr? 😉

    It’s hard to find work period. Like sexism, it’s a societal issue. And, as we know, sexism is more prominent in gaming so its double hard for women to get in. Blaming gaming media for “its not what you know, it’s who you know” is not fair. It’s like blaming games/gamers for sexism.

    Are they supposed to write articles about how gaming is such an insider biz? Who’d read it? They write for game players, not devs – don’t they?

    Are they supposed to write more about new obscure indie games? Who’d read it? How many indie games are there? I suspect a crap ton – most not very good.

    Advertising rules media a.k.a. journalism, hell, the world. Or at least the US. Online and offline. To hold gaming journalists to a higher standard than the rest of the media – while I agree all media should behave ethically, again, it’s the way of the world/industry.

    Honestly I think whats really being (unknowingly) hashtagged is actually something I’ve been bitching about for quite some time. It has more to do with how SEO, Google, and online metrics, etc work and the negative trickle down effect to the individual. But that’s a(nother) book I have to someday write! 😉 If you haven’t check out the idea of “The Filter Bubble” by Eli Praiser over on Ted.

    Hmmm…and now that I think about it….the Filter Bubble could be the reason why I have no idea what you people are talking about! 😉

    Please, my apologies for rambling!

    1. Here’s the thing. Journalists in other forms of media are expected to
      maintain a certain distance from those they cover. They don’t cover
      friends or family or things they have a financial stake in.
      Those are the very basics of journalistic ethics. As a journalist you don’t cover anything that represents a conflict of interest.
      This doesn’t happen in gaming media. Journalists write articles about games made by their friends, journalists support developers through Patreon and then write about their games. The gaming media is not honest about this, they don’t feel they need to disclose conflicts of interest. It’s not about asking the gaming media to be better, it’s about asking them to at least be equal to other kinds of journalism.

  9. Really great article, I agree so much with every point.

    My biggest worry with the whole #GamerGate thing is that I (and many other gamers) would love more diversity in their games. I don’t think anyone can disagree that the default “white male young protagonist” is a thing, and it’s too bad because games are a great source of creativity. So yes to more diversity!

    But this is not what this is about, and I fear that the misuse of “misogyny” by the gaming press to hide behind could really hurt the real issues and throw the baby out with the bath water, because 140 characters isn’t a lot of space for nuance.

  10. Great article. It both let’s you know both sides are not perfect, but does get to main concern of gamers. The topic of journalistic integrity. It is still brushed off by journalists and never spoken of. Even more infuriating is that since the start of all this was a woman, journalists use that as a misogynyst red herring. The blackout of the topic is just as suspicious. Why were they happy to publicize the false rape charges and Jack Thompson death threats but not Zoe Quinn discussion. So many moments of double standards.

  11. This article is a breeze of sanity in the midst of a hurricane of insanity. I like your balanced approach, I dig that you declare that you’re a feminist, I love that you take a stand against harassment (not in a “I wouldn’t do *that*” kind of way, but in an honest, powerful, “that is not who we are and we won’t put up with it” kind of way).

    I can’t get behind #gamergate, even a little bit.

    I’ve been a video game player since I was six. I’ve loved programming games (or, at least trying to) since I was eight. I’m not a fan of first person shooters or sports games. I thought Fez was a piece of art that people will still be playing and commenting on in twenty years; by comparison, no one will even remember what version of Call of Duty came out this year. I still kinda have Metroid dreams.

    I’m also a feminist.

    Have you read Leigh Alexander’s post on Gamasutra, “‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over.”? http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/224400/Gamers_dont_have_to_be_your_audience_Gamers_are_over.php

    She doesn’t say she hates gamers. She doesn’t characterize gamers as “neck-bearded man-children”. She does say that we’re responsible for this culture that we’ve generated. It’s hard to hear on Twitter that game journos hate gamers when what I’ve read is frustrated entreaties to just be better people, be less corporate, be more open to cooler, interesting gaming ideas.

    When you say that #gamergate is really about journalistic ethics and rooting out corruption, I don’t buy it. It seems like the people posting to that tag are more excited to see women journalists of incredible skill quitting the industry over the levels of harassment they’ve received.

    There’s Jenn Frank who, when accused of massive conflicts of interest in her last piece for the Guardian posted this: http://infinitelives.net/2014/09/01/regarding-the-conflict-of-interest-in-my-latest-piece/ Her editor at the Guardian and their legal team saw no conflict of interest. But she was driven out and harassed anyway.

    There’s Mattie Brice, a woman of color, who’s seeking to elevate games and play to heights that we currently only dream about. Now, she too is moving on: http://www.mattiebrice.com/moving-on/

    Here’s the response: https://twitter.com/subtleblend/status/507394928260173824 (screenshotted here just in case: https://twitter.com/stillgray/status/507395774976507904)

    I’m excited that marginalized people are banding together to take back this culture from all of that. I’d love to be a part of it.

    Except I’m not sure where the corruption in gaming media is?

    I haven’t heard about any of these gatekeepers of gaming in the press. The games I’ve been playing lately have all been word of mouth titles I’ve picked up from forums online. It’s kind of hard to “end the career” of someone doing this part-time for less than minimum wage as a side job out of passion. Who has this happened to? Who is it that feels that they can’t release their game on the web without talking to a journalist?

    I also don’t understand how a journalist paying to support a game dev that they then cover is unethical or corruption. Corruption flows the other way: game devs paying journalists to cover their games, such as large studios buying advertising on websites who then review their products.

    No one had a problem with this, how the larger gaming media worked, until Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend posted that she slept with a journalist. Now it’s about ethics and corruption?

    I don’t know where I’m going with this, ultimately. It makes me so angry that there’s this never-ending flow of misogynistic bullshit flowing online staining one of the great loves of my life. And it’s very frustrating that among the people I hoped would fight against it are the people focusing on what I see as the wrong thing.

    1. Sorry but no. People cared but thought the issue was much smaller. The zoey Quinn incident unveiled tons of connections that are disturbing. Its also disturbing how Anita sarkeesian presents her argument. She also purposefully provokes childish people either right before or right after her videos come out in order to drive up hits.

      She loves this attention. Its making her a ton of money and she’s an absolute genius for it but she’s making her money by making others look absolutely horrible.

      There is plenty of evidence of what’s going on. Its not simple review scores or good articles. Its much deeper than that.

      If you haven’t you should watch the 3 videos by internet aristocrat and mundane Matt on YouTube and also for some other logic and commentary that points out MASSIVE hypocritical thinking in the media check out thunderf00ts YouTube channel.

      1. “She also purposefully provokes childish people either right before or right after her videos come out in order to drive up hits.”

        …she points out sexist trends in games and shows examples. If that’s what you consider provoking people, then I’d say you’re trying to stifle discussion by saying that doing feminist critiques with anything but the softest kid gloves is asking for trouble.

        Anita Sarkeesian isn’t the problem. The problem is how the “childish people” have already decided that she’s enemy #1 and spin all sorts of stories to paint her as the bad guy. She asks for donations? Scammer, because real internet critics never ask their fans for financial support to keep their series’ going. She talks about harassment? Professional victim, she’s probably making it all up. She provides proof that she’s not making it up? Still a professional victim, and it’s her own fault she’s harassed.

        I’m not going to trust Thunderf00t’s analysis because he’s guilty of the same fallacies he accuses her of, particularly “one minor error/misrepresentation invalidates the entire message”. Call it holding him to his own standards.

      2. “She asks for donations? Scammer, because real internet critics never ask their fans for financial support to keep their series’ going.”

        You are oversimplifying the points made against her.
        The fact that she asked for 6000$ for buying games, playing them, getting the tools and software needed to capture and edit the video, and then proceeded to use gameplay directly stolen from “let’s play” videos (not crediting it) while cherrypicking examples to fit her narrative displaying complete ignorance (or plain dishonesty) about the games she was talking about should raise some flags.
        And that after asking for 6000$ received more than 150000$ but she keeps asking for more donations doesn’t help to make her look less of a money-hungry liar.

    2. You accept as a premise that misogyny is rampant in gaming culture, especially indie gaming culture (which is where the battlefield rages). By accepting this premise as wholly true, you seem to imply that #gamergate is led by misogynists with misogynist end goals in mind. This is precisely why gamers have thrown up their hands in frustration: the press have spent the past few years building up a hysteria of sexism and misogyny in the industry. And everyone buys it. Yes, sexism exists and should be combated; but it does not exist on the scale and pervasiveness alleged.

      This, in itself, is irresponsible conspiratorial thinking on the part of the indie games press.

      Their belief in this conspiracy of a rampantly misogynist industry is what fueled the press to start politically taking sides, all against an imaginary enemy they projected onto their demographic. None of this was even about corruption until that bizarre campaign by multiple leading game websites, in which articles claiming the same statement were released all on August 28th. It was clear at this point that these sites operated in some form of collusion to be in such sync with a uniform agenda, one that required their readership to accept as a premise that their culture was rooted in misogyny and intolerance; not a minority of them, but some tangible majority that made up the culture. This is an outrageous and serious accusation.

      The indie games press used their influence over the public to push a narrative that fit their ideology. Developers and journalists who sided with this narrative became part of what amounted to a high school clique. “Corruption” is too loaded and inflammatory. It’s about a culture within the indie games press that cherry picks who and what they choose to tell, forming a narrative to better serve their agenda. Their agenda began as admirable (equality, diversity, clear-eyed feminism), until things became an echo chamber of biases in the name of “social justice.” This did a disservice to the public by rejecting objective reporting in the pursuit of vindicating personal beliefs. You know what Fox News is? Imagine the liberal version of that (and I say this as a liberal).

      Sometimes this revealed provable violations of ethics, like with Patricia Hernandez’s articles on Kotaku. Kotaku, Polygon, and recently The Escapist have since issued public messages updating their policies to be more transparent with readers. This is a very positive change for everyone. It is, at least, the one genuinely good thing to come out of this fiasco.
      _____

      If you’re interested in getting a bigger picture of the culture that led up to #gamergate, I recommend you check out these links, especially the first one (it’s long but ridiculously detailed).

      http://nastythingssaidabout.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/the-terrible-misogyny-in-the-games-industry/

      http://j-k-degoya.tumblr.com/post/96600027121/musings-on-notyourshield-a-last-word-on-zoe-why

      A sample of the kind of allegations the first link was referring to, the editor of Kotaku publicly accusing a developer of being a misogynist: https://soundcloud.com/ben-kuchera/jaffe-confrontation

      1. Misogyny is rampant, yes. But, no, I never said it made up all of the #gamergate and #notyourshield movements. But I think it *does* exist on the scale that journalists have reported. Just trying to thread my reply through yours. ( =

        By August 28th there were already multiple people harassing Quinn and Sarkeesian online self-identifying as “gamers”. They were responding to that. I read this analogy somewhere: if there’s poop on the sidewalk and multiple people say, “Hey, look at this poop on the sidewalk,” it’s not a poop conspiracy – there’s actually poop on the sidewalk.

        Ever played a FPS online with random strangers online and *not* been called a pussy or a fag? Ever played a game with an anonymous stranger who said you’ve been raped? Have you read a lot of stuff about “fake gamer girls”? Read accounts of women cosplayers getting groped?

        This stuff is real. It’s not all gamers, but if you as a gamer see this happen in front of you and say nothing then, yes, you’re complicit.

        Have you seen Quinn’s storify about #gamergate’s roots in 4chan? https://storify.com/strictmachine/gameovergate

        That first link is dead, unfortunately.

        That second link is great! I totally buy the “misogyny as smoke-screen” stuff. If we’re not comfortable talking about our own biases, bigotry, assumptions, etc…. if being called a racist or a sexist is THE WORST THING when, really, the worst thing is not examining this stuff and talking about it and leaving it undiagnosed… yeah, I dig it.

        But I do have a ton of disagreements with the author, too. I honestly don’t see the “Anita as profit-monger” that other people see… but maybe I’m just missing something. I just don’t buy the “she harassed herself” narrative.

        And also, this? “So they summoned up Anita after ten days or so.” C’mon. Sarkeesian isn’t some anti-Batman who swoops in from the left to silence all criticism in times of “SJW” need. That’s just ridiculous.

        Thanks for that link, though. I’m compiling a big list of #gamergate resources to try and string all this stuff together and this one is great. I really like feminist criticisms of feminism – it’s how we get better.

      2. First off 4chan is the known gutter of the internet. Nothing they say can be taken seriously because they are the worst of the worst and they live to insult people.

        Second zoey Quinn most certainly harasses herself and also purposefully angers people to harass her. The conversation had moved away from zoey Quinn so she started poking the hornets nest. She went to 4chan and made posts, she went on Twitter and started insulting gamers. Why would she do that? The attention had moved away from her.

        Anita on the other hand is a scam artist. She’s one of those internet marketing people who will do and say anything to make money. She’s one of those people who starts scam sites that help you make money online quickly and easily. It just so happens she found an easier way.

        Anytime she needs some money she releases a video and starts in attacking male gamers then her friends in the press come to the rescue, turn her into an victim and people race to donate money to her.

        There is sexism everywhere but gaming…gaming is inclusive and there is less sexism in gaming than the media wants you to think. Men treat female gamers like their best friends. Make a female character in an mmo and people will just give you things and flock to you. Play a game online with a female and everyone will want to talk to her.

        Yes there are some jerks but the vast VAST majority of gamers have zero issues with females gaming and actually welcome them with open arms.

        Pretending there is a scourge of mysoginy plays right into the SJW hands. They want that to be the belief because they use it to make money through their projects and the media uses it to drive up ad revenue with clickbait articles.

        Gamers love gaming. We don’t care who’s gaming. Children insult others… The majority of gamers aren’t children.

    3. “No one had a problem with this, how the larger gaming media worked, until Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend posted that she slept with a journalist. Now it’s about ethics and corruption?”

      I think the ethics and corruption stuff has been simmering for a while, but that the catalyst was the Zoe Quinn stuff has soured that side of the GamerGate debate for me. The initial reaction was misogynistic slut-shaming of Quinn, plain and simple, and the “it’s about her buying reviews with sex!” felt like a poor, after-the-fact justification, especially once research revealed that she hadn’t actually gotten reviews or special journalistic coverage from the guys she slept with.

    4. “She also purposefully provokes childish people either right before or right after her videos come out in order to drive up hits.”

      …she points out sexist trends in games and shows examples. If that’s what you consider provoking people, then I’d say you’re trying to stifle discussion by saying that doing feminist critiques with anything but the softest kid gloves is asking for trouble.

      Anita Sarkeesian isn’t the problem. The problem is how the “childish people” have already decided that she’s enemy #1 and spin all sorts of stories to paint her as the bad guy. She asks for donations? Scammer, because real internet critics never ask their fans for financial support to keep their series’ going. She talks about harassment? Professional victim, she’s probably making it all up. She provides proof that she’s not making it up? Still a professional victim, and it’s her own fault she’s harassed.

  12. This is excellent! Very calmly and rationally articulated, i would like to see anyone who would try and hide behind the “you are a bigot” shield attempt to deflect this well reasoned piece.

    It’s also nice to have a voice of women in gaming that is speaking out against ingrained agendas. It shouldn’t be the case but as a man i feel many disregard my opinion as uninformed when i try and speak out about this issue.

    Kittens all round!

  13. Thank you. I’ve been mostly on the dev side of things, and seeing that the gamers I want to make games for, the ones that motivate me to continue working, are out there and making themselves heard, is very encouraging. It’s extremely demotivating to look at the Twitter feed for the past weeks and being too intimidated to speak my mind.

    I think there’s a need to openly discuss the issues in the gaming community.

    It is very exhausting to see game devs I look up to and others I consider my peers being told to kill themselves or being hacked (then left to wonder if it was real or not) for being outraged at Quinn and Sarkeesian’s treatment. I can also tell you that many women also quietly step down from making games out of fear and discouragement as well, and while I can’t condone Quinn’s actions (I just can’t) I still don’t believe anyone deserved to be publicly crucified like she was. Because I saw the amount of threats and vitriol and I can very safely say that no, this is not ONLY the nepotism in game media, and it’s not ONLY misogyny, and we’re not only throwing the word as a smoke screen. I’ve seen enough rape and death threats to say that gender DOES play a role, even as just a catalyst, and I’ve seen enough to know that the game media NEEDS to be more accessible, neutral and transparent.

    This is a layered, complex problem where a vocal and vitriolic fraction of the gamer subculture has been so loud that it can be easy to forget that not everyone is like that.

    It is easy to lump all gamers as the stereotypical bigoted and awkward basement-dweller from 4chan (and what doesn’t help is that a lot of the earlier catalysts were in the form of raids from /v/ a few weeks back), and I’m looking into the favoritism, nepotism and even the alleged corruption I keep hearing about, especially if it’s an issue that has been going on for more than just since we started to actually talk about it. I want to get to know more about how this entire situation feels to the average gamer, if the games media have felt opaque in a while and if so for how long.

    And most importantly, I want to make games that everyone can enjoy.

  14. Well written blog post. Both subjects that has been up for debate during #GamerGate are valid concerns. I believe that looking at one doesn’t exclude the other. And both sexism in gaming and ethics in gaming journalism are issues that needs to be addressed.

    Its just shame that this comes with so much toxicity towards each side.

  15. You can’t even imagine how relieved I feel now that I know that there are still true feminists on the internet. Thank you ❤

    The statements about feminism being a joke are the result of the very vocal, very toxic feminists with their black or white point of view where if you don't agree with them you are against them and you are a misogynist. And in a similar way, trolls and the fact that 4chan had a big role on the start of the controversy is what makes people discredit the movement as a harassement campaing against women in the industry, when it never was about it (4chan hates video game journalism since forever, you can search about /v/ the musical on youtube and have some laughs, I specially recommend "Tough to be the press" lol)

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    1. No not really. I have been attacked on Twitter by some radical feminists, other feminists have contacted me to say they agree completely with what I’ve said. I always think it’s important to remember that one of the key aspects of feminism is about offering choice. I as a feminist want women to have the choice about what they do with their bodies, that doesn’t mean I get to make the choice for them in what to do with their minds. Some women believe that they don’t need feminism, that’s absolutely their right and their choice and I will not condemn them for that or try to intimate that they don’t understand. I’m not here to tell anyone what to think, I just wanted to put down what I think in order to encourage rational discussion. Thanks for your question :o)

      1. You sound a lot like my mother. She was from the Second Wave bordering on Third Wave around the 70’s. She was all about choice and self-determination.

        Hell, my grandmother became the Vice President of an entire local bank without any connections to feminism. I guess strong women runs in my family. :V Good luck to you, and I hope that this doesn’t unduly and unfairly affect your personal life and relationships.

      2. It shouldn’t effect them. People should be able to have opinions and views that differ from others without those people ostracizing them and if a group that is supposed go stand for equal rights, listening to views etc can’t do that themselves then there is something wrong.

        Strong women don’t have to be feminists either. My grandmother was the strongest woman I’ve ever known. Lived in London during ww2. Her entire family was killed by the German bombings and instead of hiding from the world she became a hero. She was a volunteer fire fighter and would drag people from bombings and save people’s lives during bombings. She also never had an outwardly bad day or attitude. She ways had a friendly smile, was always willing to help others and was never in a bad mood. She was a true strong woman and took no **** from anybody. She was not a feminist. Her and her husband are truly my heroes. He fought in ww2 for British and also lost all of his family except a sister in the bombings. You really couldn’t ask for better role models.

  17. Feels like we’ve been tip-toeing around this issue for a long long time.
    The doors of this hypocrisy has been blown open and now we can debate without hopefully being labeled sexist all the damn time.
    We want an inclusive environment and if i disagree with you, it’s because I think you’re wrong, not because you’re female/Asian/black/LGBT.

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