So yesterday I baited some Gamer Gaters because I have a death wish, or was bored, or something, and two individuals responded… and I engaged them briefly, and they went away. Nothing particularly thrilling, or scary, or anything about this – but something interesting. Both the accounts were relatively new, around 500 tweets each compared to my 27,500+ tweets. It reminded me of this graph:
It also reminded me of the friend of mine who was targeted by them recently for daring to post an open letter to his students regarding Gamer Gate, for the suggestion that supporting women in gaming was a good thing, and that harassing women was creepy behaviour (detail here). And despite the Gater’s stated aim that they weren’t about having people fired, several of them still wrote to the principal of the school he works for.
Of course, they do all of this anonymously.
Posting to 8chan about Gamer Gate means you end up calling yourself, or being called, The Leader of GamerGate. No one posts under their name, no one is brave enough to actually own the shit they’re posting, they’re all happy to post it anonymously, hiding behind pseudonyms.
Those who are decried as “Social Justice Warriors” (SJWs) – though I’m actually a Social Justice Ranger who is going to take my next level in Cleric – generally post under their own names: John Scalzi, Brianna Wu, Chris Kluwe, Anita Sarkesian, Zoe Quinn, Wil Wheaton, Joss Whedon, Felicia Day, Leigh Alexander, Dan Golding, Brendan Keogh etc. There are plenty others who have posted blog posts, written news articles, and tweeted under long-held accounts if not their actual names.
The other thing that is currently annoying me about Gamer Gaters is their claim that they are against “corruption” in gaming journalism. Despite rarely being able to actually demonstrate any actual corruption, and most of them not being able to point to the specific instance of corruption that made them join this movement, they’re not starting their own corruption free journalism (whatever that would mean). Instead of creating the change they want, they’re tearing down the existing structures they’re pissy about. It would seem that most of them actually fail to understand what review journalism is, and instead want a return to the glorious day (if it ever actually existed) where game reviews were more about how realistic breast bounce physics are and how pretty are those guns, versus why are we spending so much time animating breasts and shooting people, surely there are more things to games than that.
If Gamer Gate went off and crowd funded their own games journalism site, and spent time deciding amongst themselves who were the most eloquent so they could write for the site, or whatever, then this whole thing would be over. Those who care about diversity in games could write about it where they can, and those who don’t would also have a site to go and write in.
But no, Gamer Gate has to tear down the existing infrastructure because it doesn’t meet their expectations, despite a whole lot of other people being REALLY FUCKING HAPPY WITH IT THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I have been playing games since at least 1985. I have seen the games, I have played the games. I have been a real gamer since before most Gaters were born – I remember passwords for games, Commodore 64 loading screens, playing in 4 colour CGA, copying floppies from friends so I could play the newest games, playing with and without joysticks and gamer pads (not the ones that are available today) and sitting around the computer with my sisters while we puzzled out what to do next in whatever game we were all playing. I am a grandmother of gamers. This movement by sad people who want a return to a simpler time, have never even lived in that simpler time. You can’t turn back time, you can’t return to the glory days, which weren’t that good, of the 80s when games were games, and women were sex objects. This is the world you inhabit, and you’d better start building something positive and worthwhile, or all you’ll do is look back and regret.