GamerGate Interviews
"Roo" GamerGate Interview

The Escapist Staff | 10 Oct 2014 16:30
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Roo is a developer from Pizza Games. Follow him on twitter @roo_core. We interviewed Roo over email.

We have heard that game developers who are coming out in favor of #GamerGate or are perceived as against "SJWs" are being blacklisted, harassed, and/or stonewalled by game journalists. Have you encountered this, or do you know anyone who has?

While I don't know of any indie devs who have explicitly confirmed being blacklisted - though I don't know how they'd know if they were -- I see a lot of people worried about it lately. Paul Hubans is one of them (see: Ex1, Ex2). TechRaptor, of course, was (allegedly) taken offline.

The Fine Young Capitalists recall being manipulated by various outlets repeatedly:
(Truth Gaming Interview Fine Young Capitalists).

The resounding battlecry of, "If you support GamerGate, then you [are a misogynist/are trying to prevent women from working in tech]" is robotic and scary; there is apparently no allowance of thoughtful dissent, of explanation.

Which journalists or websites are doing this?

I don't know which individual journalists are guilty of this, I just recall seeing many major websites' writers implicating themselves through their own tweets that "effectively all of them" is the impression that's formed in my mind. Obviously in actuality it's not all game journalists, but I'm having a really hard time at this point thinking of a safe place.

Here's Chris Grant's blocklist for GamerGate, admittedly not compiled or used only by him.

What do you expect the consequences of this to be?

If the Fine Young Capitalists, MundaneMatt, InternetAristocrat, Adam Baldwin, Tim Schafer, Phil Fish, Chris Grant, Anthony Burch are any indication...
-"Doxxing"
-Threats
-Accusations of misogyny (again, and again, and again)
-Harassment
And professionally,
-Ignoring or sabotaging your endeavors within games
-Journalistic hit pieces about you and your organization

Can you name any studios that you could say have developers which are pro-gamer/GamerGate?

Daniel Vávra keeps popping up. Brad Wardell. I repeatedly see people on /v/ expressing the same thing I am: that we're afraid of what happens if we take any side other than blind and total acceptance of anti-GamerGate sentiments.

Why are these developers in favor of GamerGate?

Imaginably because they believe that GamerGate represents an objection to nepotism, suppression, collusion, sociopolitical impositions, and clickbait in the video game industry.

What would they say to someone who says that being in favor of GamerGate means being against having more women and minority representation in gaming?

That that is an apocryphal, convenient piece of demagoguery an appeal to emotion used to divert from everything listed above. It's the perennial excuse that's used to make GamerGate look like the villain.

The resounding battlecry of, "If you support GamerGate, then you [are a misogynist/are trying to prevent women from working in tech]" is robotic and scary; there is apparently no allowance of thoughtful dissent, of explanation. The message is clear: "You are either against GamerGate or you're against us." The examples broadcasted by anti-GamerGate figures -- ones of harassment, death threats, overt trolling -- are always the most extreme, endorsed by and representative of nobody. That's simple to understand, but people believe only what they want to believe, evidently.

One developer explained dev support for GamerGate by saying "devs don't appreciate being called misogynists by association". Any comment?

I don't think anybody appreciates being called anything by association, but it's a special slap in the face for groups like The Fine Young Capitalists who not only claimed to be in support of women in games, but were actually an organization formed explicitly to further the cause. And for everybody else, there are lots of people out there who really enjoy a woman's vision, who enjoy playing games with girls, who want games to exist which appeal to their sisters, mothers, wives, and friends, and who actively work - hard -- toward making that a reality, and who are then painted with a wide, careless swath of accusation as "misogynists" by utterly lazy critics and journalists-by-association who take no responsibility for their words.

It's a special slap in the face for groups like The Fine Young Capitalists who not only claimed to be in support of women in games, but were actually an organization formed explicitly to further the cause.

Are there particular articles, journalists, or sites that are considered particularly egregious by developers?

Everybody hates Kotaku, but developers probably hate Gamasutra now too.

I have been told "the distrust of the press by developers has been building up for years now." Do you agree?

I have no feeling on that.

What are the primary concerns that developers have, vis a vis the game press?

Supposedly those of relationships with gatekeepers, including coverage (or denial) of their projects...and now, I guess, of being slandered or overlooked in favor of the writer's friends' projects (or pressure), or simply clickbait appeal.

Are developers changing their interactions with the game press as a result of growing distrust?

I'm sure that any developer who understands how to market a game without the help of the game press would absolutely be glad to bypass the press completely.

What could the press do to restore developers' confidence that they will treat them fairly?

Tough one. History suggests the era of clickbait would end with the subscription model. But in an age when people expect this stuff to be free, that seems unlikely to happen.

Is the corruption among the game press primarily perceived as mercenary (pay to get a good review) or primarily ideological (toe the party line to get a good review) or something else?

The answer until a few weeks ago would have probably been, "We fear that it's mercenary, but we hope that it's not." Now, we fear that it's mercenary and we know that it's ideological.

Few writers are so self-sabotaging as to admit to having strings available for pulling. When a developer like Anthony Burch makes no attempt to hide his position and is visibly hostile to any social media user who condemns him for admitting to favoritism, all our fears feel confirmed.

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