I seriously have so many feelings about Zoe Quinn being an Actual Abuser and how hard Eron gets shit on hard by people who I respect that are SUPPOSED TO KNOW BETTER but they can’t or won’t go against anti-GG court of opinion. So Zoe gets off scot free and Eron loses his job and gets legally silenced and written off as some jilted asshole for having the audacity to call out an abuser. All while she’s been uncritically lauded by the aforementioned people who I respect for being a Good Feminist all while betraying Feminisms’ very mission. How is that fair? As someone who managed to get out of an emotionally abusive relationship, it deeply hurts to watch this unfold. And it makes me afraid.
Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn managed to make their way to the UN in an attempt to promote internet censorship behind the guise of bigger issues at hand.Women didn’t vote for these two to be representatives for women around the glob let alone to speak on their behalf, in something that affects billions of us worldwide. This needs to be shared. Worse yet the UN loves the idea as it provides them ammo to seize control over anything that is said and shared. If anything everyone should be aware of this issue at hand and share it around before shit gets out of control.
There’s been some current drama over a gag in the upcoming paper Mario game. Zoe Quinn and Twitter believes this is a pot shot during her gamer gate scandal. However the bottom two photos reveal it was a gag based on the watergate scandal based on the in game screen shots and Nintendo even sent a message themselves to clear up this misunderstanding.
In August an article came out about a game by indy dev Zoe Quinn, and the world continued on as it had before. That was until people found out that the writer of that article was Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend. That smacked too much of nepotism and a backlash began. It was after this that the gaming press released several articles stating that “Gamers are dead” which essentially attacked their own readership. Then the hashtag gamergate began.
This movement has been targeted in social media as a harassment campaign, but, if you look at what’s actually gone on you’ll see why it’s false.
Anita Sarkeesian was a name we’d heard before Gamergate. Unfortunately it was in relation to an unfortumate video of her saying that she “doesn’t like to play video games” because she doesn’t like to go about ripping heads off of people and stuff. Same Anita, that’s why I play puzzles and racer games and simulator games and singer games too. It made her look less than able to critique video games, then she got given money to make videos critiquing video games, something like 60 x the amount she asked for but don’t quote me, and as of June 2015 has failed to deliver the full amount of videos people gave her money to produce. In fact, she posted nothing for nearly 6 months then started a new series of videos. Understandably people were upset (this includes people that had, until that point, supported Sarkeesian) and asked her what she did with their money. It was a fair question since the quality of Sarkessian’s videos didn’t change and it emerged she had stolen some of her content. With around 60x the amount asked for you’d think there’d be some notable difference and that she’d have enough to buy the rights to use them, wouldn’t you? Well, apparently people pointing this out is harassment.
And they’re not the only ones that have pissed off Gamergate.
Brianna Wu. A young woman who again is an indy dev and may or may not be transgender. She was ultimately unknown in the gaming world except to a few. She certainly didn’t help when she came into gamergate with her massive plates of meat and stepped into a conversation where she was neither known or mentioned or even, dare I say it, wanted! Unlike Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu was not known to us, neither did we care! She was an indy dev who occasionally came out with a few specialist games that I’d never heard of let alone played. But, throw her hat into the gamergate row she did and it all went tits up from there.
At this point I feel I should point out that Brianna Wu has blocked me on twitter for asking if a sexist tweet she made re: her husband is acceptable if the genders are reversed. I also replied on a couple of other tweets before she blocked me. I didn’t know asking questions constituted harassment now.
Brianna Wu has been given a platform on various shows and was on the David Pakman show in which she insulted the host and the show and accused them of doing a hit piece. What had David Pakman done to warrant such abuse? He asked her questions. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this woman accused a guy ON AIR of doing a hit piece because of questions. Understandably people were upset about this and none more so than Arthur Cho (he’s an editor of some online game magazine, essentially he thinks he’s a big shot in the gaming world, I didn’t know him nor did I care before he did the Davis Pakman show) he was pissed off at David Pakman, and kept bringing Zoe Quinn into it despite him talking about Brianna Wu at the time. In short Arthur Chu is irrelevant and he derails almost every conversation he takes part in. I still don’t care who he is by the way.
And yet, when all this evidence is abounding that the figureheads (there are no leaders of either gamergate or anti-gamergate, both are movements and have no leaders!) of anti-gamergate are corrupt (and beside Anita with the whole kickstarter money thing and the media, for obvious reasons there is no one that is corrupt) the media’s focus is on Gamergate being a harassment campaign against all women in gaming. This is a false narrative and by the way there are more women devs and women gamers than you think, and minorities too. This is why the sub hashtag notyourshield began, but that’s for another day!
Nathan Grayson’s positive coverage of Chelsea Van Valkenburg (“Zoe Quinn”) spelled out. Prior close relationship not disclosed. 2 of 2 articles by Mr Grayson with a conflict of interest regarding Ms Van Valkenburg. Also includes a conflict of interest regarding Robin Arnott, another friend of Mr Grayson.
It’s the Tea Party of video games. And Zoe Quinn is its Benghazi.
Okay, But What Is GamerGate Really?
GamerGate has been disingenuously framed as a grassroots campaign of gamers “concerned with the quality and integrity of video game journalism.” The campaign is, in truth, an effort to fold in, rehabilitate, and retroactively justify a previous campaign of blatant gender-based harassment against a female videogame developer for the capital offenses of having (a) a vindictive ex-boyfriend and (b) friends within the industry.
GamerGate is a campaign run by people who don’t understand what a real conflict of interest actually is, and who would institute standards of disclosure and prohibition on reporting so restrictive as to essentially disqualify all actual journalists from the space. They sincerely believe that the mere act of patronizing a developer precludes one from objectively reporting on that developer - a standard more stringent than that found in political reporting, and for a field of journalism that is far less important.
Yet even if GamerGate’s proposals were reasonable (they’re not), it wouldn’t matter, because no matter how noble its purported aims, the campaign sprung up from one of the most noxious onslaughts of sexism to rock the gaming industry in years, and a not-insignificant number of its proponents continue to engage in that harassment to this day, tarnishing the rest by association. #NotAllGamers, you say? Tough. Welcome to the word of open-invite politics, where anyone who lays claim to a movement is technically part of that movement. See also: the Tea Party. You live and die by your worst members, and right now, your worst members are utterly and openly putrid.
Admittedly, the Tea Party has managed to do well for itself in certain parts of the United States, so why couldn’t GamerGate? The answer is simple: The stakes are too low to stomach the vitriol seeping out of the movement’s underbelly. The Tea Party, laughable as it may be to some, seeks to address real-world issues impacting the country at large, where lives, jobs, and communities are actually at stake. That people within the games industry sometimes hook up doesn’t quite rise to that level of seriousness.
GamerGate, at its core, is about a woman being denied sexual agency. Yes, there is high-minded rhetoric about a lack of integrity in journalism, but with a curious inability to point to any examples of inaccurate journalism that can be traced back to any sort of influence-peddling. It is impossible to see the tenuousness of these claims and the ferocity with which they are made as anything but overcompensation for what gamers have done to Zoe Quinn. And the refusal to admit this is only making it worse.
The Unflattering Genesis
For those unaware, GamerGate can be traced back to a single event: The Zoe Post.
In short, indie game developer Zoe Quinn was recently made the subject of a novella-sized blog entry by her scorned ex-boyfriend (“The Zoe Post”), who laid out a sordid and overwrought tale of interpersonal betrayal. His professed goal was to “warn the public” as to what kind of person Quinn supposedly is. The immediate reaction was predictable: burner Twitter accounts began to pillory Quinn with cruel invective, memefying her alleged infidelity and hounding her on every corner of the Internet.
Around this time, digital hazmat teams were deployed by many websites to stop their message boards from being used as coordination hubs for harassment campaigns against Quinn. The hue and cry of “censorship” reared its head, forming one of the core conspiracies of GamerGate: that the upper echelons of the gaming industry attempted to suppress any discussion of The Zoe Post to protect “one of its own.”
This is where accusations of corruption begin to fall apart. Zoe Quinn, while certainly a colorful personality in the gaming industry, is not by any means a power-player, and her peers are not beholden to her from any sort of financial or publicity standpoint. How easy would it have been for Kotaku et al. to run stories on The Zoe Post and rake in easy ad revenue thereby? They forfeited these opportunities, however, in the name of integrity and an attempt to elevate the collective image of the gaming industry – to show the world that we are not captive to sub-TMZ levels of malicious voyeurism.
Yet as the old adage goes, you can’t save someone from themselves. With members of the press refusing to validate The Zoe Post as an actual story, schoolyard cruelty turned to outright animosity. The details of this chapter are highly disputed, yet simultaneously unimportant – whether Quinn was “doxxed,” or doxxed herself for attention, there is no doubt that the campaign against her hit a fever pitch of venom and outright misogyny. One way or another, gamers were going to make Quinn into a headline.
And it worked.
The press finally took notice, but not for the reasons that GamerGate proponents wanted – they had unwittingly become Exhibit A for why the gaming industry was still widely considered a cesspool, unbefitting the respect accorded to traditional media. Quinn was a victim, and the gaming community her assailant. Well done, gamers!
The Incredulous Transformation Into GamerGate
To most outside observers, the discussion of Quinn was not only highly offensive, but downright embarrassing for the community at large. It was a tawdry affair with no real public interest component, one conducted with a high school-level of maturity, and the fact that so many gamers seized on it with such fervor only reinforced the “man-baby” image that our industry has been trying to shed for years. The refusal of the gaming press to validate it was, in fact, an attempt to save the community from itself. But the community made clear that it wanted nothing more than to set itself on fire.
At this point in time, it was safe to say that the campaign against Quinn had been a failure. If the intent was to ruin Quinn’s personal life, her detractors certainly came close – she and those around her endured weeks of harassment and personal threats, made even worse by the suggestion that they not “feed the trolls” by fighting back against the torrential abuse. Yet Quinn’s professional life had never been more secure. Her Twitter followers went up by 50%, Patreon funds flowed in, and the industry realized more than ever how much it needs people like Quinn – people capable of revealing just how much adolescent rage and misogyny still exists amongst rank-and-file gamers.
Quinn’s detractors quickly found themselves on the receiving end of some well-justified scorn for how they had collectively conducted themselves. They realized that, in order to gain any sort of foothold into legitimacy, they would have to shift focus away from “Zoe Quinn is an awful person” as their mantra, as too many of their members could not resist dragging Quinn’s irrelevant sexual exploits into the discussion. Instead, they attempted to seize on the one kernel of The Zoe Post that might conceivably serve as a springboard for objective critique: Zoe Quinn once dated a video game journalist.
Seriously. That’s all they had.
Gamers Put On Their Journalism Hats
The story goes that Quinn got into a relationship with a guy shortly after he wrote a piece on her involvement in a scrapped webseries. The guy then went on to write for Kotaku, where he never reported on Quinn again. Somehow, this non-story got spun into a whole web of accusations about bias and corruption in the media, failing to identify a single instance of alleged bias in the journalist’s writing. Even now, people still accuse Quinn of sleeping with journalists to generate good press and/or reviews for her games, yet have been unable to provide any examples of this actually occurring.
The hysteria of GamerGate has, amongst other things, reduced the concept of a “conflict of interest” to absurdity. Are gamers simply unaware of how industry - not just video gaming, but any industry - functions? Do they think restaurant critics are not friendly with chefs? Film critics with actors? Music critics with musicians? Without relationships, there can be no reputation-building, no insight, no nuance or holistic understanding of subject matter. To reduce every point of interest to a presumptive conflict, as GamerGate does, both fundamentally misunderstands and kneecaps journalism, and will inevitably result in journalists getting worse, not better.
The unfortunate thing is that there is certainly corruption and a lack of ethics in many pockets of the video game industry’s journalistic wing. Suspect sponsorships and payola have been standard for years; anyone remember when Jeff Gerstmann got fired from GameSpot way back in 2007 after writing a middling review of Kane and Lynch, advertisements of which were plastered all over the website? Where was GamerGate back then? Why did it take The Zoe Post, a story utterly bereft of actual corruption, to galvanize gamers into pushing back against these entrenched practices?
No matter how desperately GamerGate proponents try to sweep this detail under the rug, the fact is that they only got truly interested in this subject when there was a woman to sexually shame for it. And that’s more damning than anything in The Zoe Post.
The Oppressors As Victims
Right out of the gate, GamerGate has only managed to find traction as a data point in a wider discussion of sexism and persecution in the video game industry. It is a desperate attempt to put a constructive gloss on what started and continues to operate in the shadows as a vehicle for gendered abuse and scorn. And so the narrative has taken another turn, this time towards “gamers” as an oppressed minority, vilified simply for wanting a certain level of decorum in discussion of them and their activities.
I’ll let the irony sink in for a moment.
The big problem with that angle is that GamerGate proponents conflate the act of gaming with their self-ascribed identify as gamers. Gamer doesn’t simply mean “one who plays games” – rather, it describes those who build a lifestyle around games, who emotionally invest in gaming subculture, and who take an active interest in the internal politics of gaming. And many of those so-called “gamers” are, in fact, the ones who were first to seize on The Zoe Post in its nascent, most prurient stage. Before anyone was interested in “journalistic integrity,” it was gamers launching incendiary volleys of slut-shaming Quinn’s way, choking her Twitter feed with blatant harassment.
Gamers are not being vilified for the mere act of playing games. They’re being vilified for constructing and nurturing a subculture that readily allows fiascos like The Zoe Post to take hold. One simply doesn’t see this level of sustained, community-based harassment in other spheres of media; not even comic book nerds would have the gall to conduct themselves in this manner. To throw up one’s hands and whine “#NotAllGamers!” is to abdicate any responsibility for taking care of one’s own house - a house that desperately needs tending before termites destroy the whole foundation.
Video gaming has come a long way in the past decades, from being a niche nerd hobby to now constituting a multi-billion dollar global industry. Attempts to shed its reputation as the #1 hobby of stunted man-children, however, have been regularly stymied by the “core” fanbase of gamers who perceive any critique of their subculture as a personal affront, one requiring not merely a retort, but retaliation. It is this childish mindset that prohibits many gamers from perceiving what is and isn’t fair game in a discussion.
In case they need it spelled out, the number of people someone has slept with isn’t fair game. Nor are weak gestures at legitimate issues when they operate as Trojan horses for gendered animosity. And until a sufficient number of community members digest that lesson, the remainder must accept that they will be judged alongside their brethren.
Don’t like it? Tell your brethren to knock that shit off.
Why GamerGate Won’t Succeed
The preceding should make it abundantly clear that the ostensible overarching goals of GamerGate have been entirely subverted by the muck and mire it crawled out from. The prevailing headline is not about any journalistic crisis in video gaming, as the GamerGate community has failed to provide any journalistic product that demonstrates inaccuracy linked to bias. Instead, the headline is about how gamers attempted to destroy a woman’s entire life (additionally targeting anyone in the blast radius for the sin of proximity) largely based on alleged crimes of gender.
(Again, #NotAllGamers is irrelevant. They were gamers. They came from the gaming community. They did it in the name of gaming. And they get away with it because of the nature of the gaming community’s prevailing subculture, which many gamers continue to defend in substance, if not in form. The community is culpable for what it births, and that culpability grows every time its member try to sweep the abuse under the rug.)
Whether or not you agree with the preceding capsule summary is irrelevant – that’s the headline. It’s the one that’s been carried from The Guardian to Time Magazine, with only a handful of low-level webzines and YouTube channels buying the GamerGate version of events. And every subsequent attempt to change the narrative has only collectively dug the community in deeper as it runs from one corner of the Internet to the next, desperate to avoid a mea culpa - to find something, anything, to exonerate it, instead of lifting a finger to try and help the people hurt by its own members.
This is the conduct of children. This is the conduct of screaming toddlers unable and/or unwilling to admit the extent to which they transgressed, desperately deflecting to purported issues of substance in the hopes that enough flailing and kicking will make everyone forget what got them in trouble in the first place. This is why gamers are infantilized – because they so often act like infants. And GamerGate won’t change this perception, because it’s an extension of that infantile aversion to responsibility.
Let’s not mince words: GamerGate is stillborn. It will not be salvaged by a public relations cleanup. No number of cute mascots or appeals to broader principle like censorship or journalistic integrity will negate the damage its members have done to their own cause, simply because the cause is not one of sincere origin. It would be as if the Ku Klux Klan (or a group that includes members thereof) tried to convince the public that their real concern is high levels of inner city crime created by low-income residents – knowing where the Klan came from, why wouldn’t their superficially legitimate concerns immediately be seen as suspect?
(A note for the slow: No, this is not to compare all gamers or GamerGate proponents to Klansmen. It is to say that the foundational movement of GamerGate, borne of The Zoe Post, is a heinous one, and the linkage between the two still manifests to the detriment of every single constructive element of the campaign’s current form.)
If gamers really want to make a positive impact on the perception and function of their community, they will get their priorities straight. The first goal should be to make sure what happened to Zoe Quinn can never happen again – at the very least, not on the appalling scale that it did. After that, maybe we can start to talk about those ”standards of conduct” that were curiously absent from GamerGate’s entire first act.
Jontron states an opinion, and says a bad word and everyone gets angry at him
Zoe Quinn sleeps with men for publicity, cheats on her ex boyfriend with five different men, rapes her ex boyfriend, and uses slut shaming as a way for her play the victim. Social justice warriors protect her at all costs because she did nothing wrong
I’ve been with GamerGate since the start. It had been building up for years prior to the Zoe Post, Game’s sites and Publishers kept pushing what they could get away with and the Quinnspiracy was the final straw.
It wasn’t that Quinn had sex, it’s that she received positive press due to her private relationships and her piece of shit game actually got awards because of even more relationships she had. When people cried out, saying this wasn’t on, the in-group who are all buddies with each other just slandered the outcries rather than cleaning up their act.
Game Journo Pros, a secret emailing list, proves this collusion between game sites that are meant to operate separate from each other. Emails even flat out saying people who disagree with their ideology wont get coverage, which can make or break a game.
Quinn is not a victim, she actively attacked a program set up to help female indie devs (The fine young Capitalists), she was an abusive partner and by her definition (not one I agree with but one she promotes), raped her, now ex, boyfriend.
Just recently she went after another indie project that had plans to remove anonymity from harassment. Something you’d think Quinn would be in support of, after all her victim crying.
When the leader of this project, a woman, refused Quinn’s frankly insane attempts to get the project cancelled, she suddenly started received thousands of harassing messages, calls and the project crumbled as a result. Quinn, in emails with the project leader, said she new 4chan users, saying that they aren’t ‘all bad’ in her attempts to change the leaders mind on the project.
Quinn’s defense of anons, her wanting to shut down other female indie game project and a project set up to STOP harassment shines a very revealing light on her. Quinn absolutely caused the harassment against the project leader, she has those connections.
She makes literally thousands a month off patreon alone to do nothing, She spoke in front of the UN, virtually asking her criticism of her to be labeled hate speech and has also spoken to other political leaders within the US, wanting the internet further censored. Heck, there’s even talks about making a fucking MOVIE about her, where no doubt she will be portrayed (inaccurately) as a hero. She has done nothing but profit from all this supposed harassment that, day by day, is becoming more apparent she had majority sent to herself.
THAT is but a sliver of the whole picture that is 'GamerGate’, that’s not mention fucked up localization of games, Gawker, banning, censorship,the pollution of gaming public image by said journo sites ect. You could literally write a novel on it.
“Well, Anon, since you didn’t leave a return address where we could discuss this privately I did a Google search to try to find out what in the hell you’re talking about. This is what I found:
Lots and lots of websites like this. So many, as a matter of fact, that any news source documenting the real story would be buried under pages upon pages of search results (which is intentional, btw). I finally clicked on this one and found:
I also found that Anita isn’t the only game developer dealing with this kind of harassment:
So unless I see some accounting from a reputable news source I am calling bullshit on your pm. But then I should have known that from the start because people who wish to alert me to problems or have a genuine debate or discussion use their profiles to pm me so I can pm them back.
For those of you who do not know what this is all about, several months ago I made several postings about a situation called “gamergate”. I posted articles about prominent female game developers being harassed from the industry (having their home addresses published, having the police called on them, threats of rape, solicitations for rape, stalking…) What did these women do? Pointed out something we on Tumblr all know - women in video games are the sex-kitten eye candy, barely dressed, end-game rewards and sorely under-represented in gaming.
Shoutout to HALO developers for getting it right! Sadly, they are in the minority.
There is a profoundly vocal group within the gaming community that, for reasons of their own, are violently opposed to women in the industry. But rather than hang out a shingle saying “Private Club - No Girls Allowed” they engage in dangerous forms of harassment:
Threats of murder
Threats of rape
Solicitation of rape
Sending police raids to developer’s homes (SWATting)
Publishing developer’s personal information online (doxing)
Impersonating developers online
This behavior is illegal and it is inexcusable.
So, Anon,I can only draw the conclusion that you were actively searching for posts about Anita Sarkeesian on Tumblr and then contacting each poster on the dl to tell them how wrong they were. I will say you got me interested enoug to start posting about it again!