Note: Before you you read this you should be aware that I am a GamerGate supporter.
It’s been well over a year since GamerGate started. What started as a reaction to relationships between journalists and a certain game developer, has since been on the forefront of uncovering numerous ethical breaches within the gaming industry. This had been going on for a long time, but the difference this time, aside from the Gerstmann-gate scandal from 2007, is that people had finally had enough with the corruption and unethical practices in the industry. That the gaming media chose to lash out against its readership, instead of admitting wrongdoing and implementing immediate change, was telling.
For me, personally, it all started before it was even called GamerGate, back when Jeff Gerstmann got fired from Gamespot in 2007. Since then i’ve been on the lookout for unethical behaviours in the industry. It is unacceptable for journalists and outlets to act corrupt and unethical, the journalists that should have represented us and be a watch dog for the consumer by asking the right questions simply have not been there.
This unacceptable situation continued after the Gamespot incident. We had Robert Florence exposing corruption, but was forced to leave Eurogamer after mere threats of lawsuits. We had the episode with Geoff Keighley, also known as DoritoGate, where he heavily advertised various merchandise in an interview. Alistair Pinsof getting fired is yet another fine example of this wretched atmosphere. We’ve had massive conflicts of interests in the industry, involving gaming journalists and industry elites, that claim to love the art form and yet continue to push their interests and friends over the gaming public. What’s amazing is that unethical practices are still being uncovered, with The new site Deepfreeze.com showing all the corruption and unethical behaviour that has been exposed so far.
From the incident that lead up to Gamergate, which was the infamous Zoepost incident, the movement has been painted as terroristic and misogynist. The same media that is being accused of being corrupt and unethical declared war on its critics. That is very convenient. When this was pointed out, the concerns of gamers and mere critics were roundly ignored by the gaming media in general and they used their contacts in mainstream media to outright slander the gaming community.
It’s not only become a battle against journalism or the puritanical/radical left, It’s helped spark some interesting communities. Like for example all the Gamergate meetups that have been arranged during the last year, with the first meetup being met with a bomb threat (only to be conveniently ignored by the same gaming press that screamed bloody murder over a single anonymous threat to Anita Sarkeesian).Gamergate has also been known to have a salty sense of humour, with endless memes and mockery being used to mock journalists and people who support the type of nepotism mixed with narcissism that infects the gaming press.
There wasn’t just one bomb threat. At an SPJ (Society Of Professional Journalists) conference discussing Gamergate and its ethical concerns, several credible threats were called in, ending the event. Opponents of Gamergate have long said that it was a hate group, that the ethics concerns were always meant to hide the hate towards females that like games. Even though #NotYourShield exists, where minorities and females spoke for themselves, they insist that it is against diversity in games. The events at SPJ Airplay disproved the whole narrative that people in Gamergate are worse than ISIS and want to drive women out of gaming. The deafening silence surrounding the threats by the gaming media have undone their holier than thou narrative.
If you want to get a summary of what has been said about Gamergate by the gaming media just watch the SVU episode called “Intimidation Game”. Everything you want to know that has been said to paint gamergate in a negative light is in that episode. All of the absurd exaggerations and cringe-worthy conspiracy theorizations in that episode only served to make a mockery of Anti-Gamergate’s narrative. So far, in a year of Gamergate as far it is known; nobody has been arrested, nobody has been physically hurt, nor has anyone been killed because they were against Gamergate.
The tag seems to have calmed somewhat, because of the lack of so called “happenings” within the tag. In recent news however, the two people most responsible for the narrative that members of Gamergate are harassers and toxic, Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn, recently went to the UN to complain about online criticism and “harassment” they claim is coming from Gamergate. It turned out that the UN and Zoe Quinn backtracked after finding out that the report was incredibly badly sourced. The GamerGate consumer revolt still exists,for how long is uncertain. What we do know is that the battle will continue as long as self-righteousness and corruption still exist in the gaming press. For those ends, perseverance will determine the winner.