GamerGate Interviews
Kyle McConaughey GamerGate Interview

The Escapist Staff | 10 Oct 2014 16:30
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Kyle McConaughey is an indie game developer working on Project Assembly, A game inspired by retro classics like Zelda and Megaman, but in a very unique setting. Follow him on twitter @AssemblyProj3ct. Mr. McConaughey sent The Escapist an essay.

This whole mess started when media publications called all of us gamers misogynist nerds. We have been called terrorist worse than ISIS, and journalists like Leigh Alexander have been threatening to blacklist Independent developers that are speaking out.

I would like to start this off by saying sending harassment and threats to someone is never an OK thing to do - no matter what side of a debate they may be on. I think most of the people I have seen in the #GamerGate movement agree with that point. Sure, there are a few bad eggs, but unfortunately that's the nature of the internet.

On the other side of the debate though, this whole mess started when media publications called all of us gamers misogynist nerds. We have been called terrorist worse than ISIS, and journalists like Leigh Alexander have been threatening to blacklist Independent developers that are speaking out. As an independent developer myself, this is something I am definitely not OK with: You should not use your power to force your opinion on anyone. Things like these are real problems; we need journalists to treat developers equally and focus on how good the games they make are, not their stance on social issues.

Every accusation that they have thrown at us, we have provided cold hard proof that they are wrong. They started by telling us the gamer identity was dead, even though #GamerGate has been active for almost a month now. They told us we were all white males with no diversity in our movement; we were only speaking for one voice, and we proved how diverse the gamer community is with #notyourshield. They told us the real reason for our movement was to drive women out of the industry. We successfully raised $60,000 funding The Fine Young Capitalists--directly supporting women entering the industry, actually being developers, and making games.

The same journalists that are blacklisting developers are also attacking gamers.

I would define blacklisting as refusing to give coverage to a certain developer. This could be a problem for an independent developer that doesn't have a huge budget for marketing, so they need people to know about their game. The same journalists that are blacklisting developers are also attacking gamers - which if you are a developer trying to get coverage for your game, that's likely who you are trying to appeal to, and get the attention of in the first place. So at that point being blacklisted by them really isn't that big of a deal because they are no longer serving the purpose you needed them for. You don't want someone who openly attacks your target audience to represent you; that would do more harm than the blacklisting. If these journalists continue to behave in the manner that they are, they won't be relevant in this industry for much longer, so their threats of blacklisting don't hold much weight anymore.

I have been in contact with a few developers that have been afraid to speak out because of the threats of blacklisting.

Luckily, I personally have not been approached and blacklisted for speaking out about this issue. I have been in contact with a few developers that have been afraid to speak out because of the threats of blacklisting. I've also spoken to some who have outright said they didn't care, because this movement was more important.

It should definitely not be this way. It's not right that prominent journalists are outright attacking developers on Twitter. It's not right that they are unfollowing and ignoring developers because they don't share their opinion about #GamerGate. These people are professionals, and they should conduct themselves with some integrity.

I certainly hope gamers are not dead, because my career would be too.

Lastly, I would like to speak out more directly about the whole "gamers are dead" thing. The current project I'm working on is being developed for and released on the Steam platform. I am going to need support to push that game through the green-light process, and that support comes directly from gamers. Gamers are the ones who care enough about this industry to support up and coming developers. Gamers are the ones who will be the first to buy my game on release day. I know this because I have been a gamer for as long as I can remember. I certainly hope gamers are not dead, because my career would be too.

The #GamerGate community has shown me nothing but support for speaking out about these issues, and I would like to personally thank them for that.

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