A Civil Discussion with Garwulf on Gamergate

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Gethsemani:

StatusNil:

Not exactly a valid comparison, unless you can point me to a very special time when practically all of the gaming media came together and issued a manifesto from their official platforms to the industry to the effect that "female persons who play games" should be deliberately and scornfully alienated for being "toxic" subhuman relics from an era that needs to be transcended on urgent moral grounds. If that happened, instead of some individuals of no particular social standing acting like jerks towards you on occasion, I must have missed it. Otherwise, the difference between these hardships is like that between the irregular occurrence of street crime, like pickpocketing in crowded areas and the occasional mugging, versus the call of a leading party for instituting a government policy of targeted dispossession and banishment of a part of the population because the street crime that does occur is collectively blamed on "their kind" via an application of "social justice".

So what do you qualify? The daily reminder that "Girls can't play games" that I heard from age 8 to age 15? The suggestions that a "pretty girl like me" should do other things than play games from age 15-24? The suggestions that those "other things" involved sex acts with the gamers that said it? The looks of confusion at the local miniature games club (and official GW store) when they realized I wasn't someone's girlfriend but was there to play? The ensuing ganging up on me as people realized that a single girl was in their club/store, some to flirt with me (because hey, it was not like I was there to play Warhammer or anything), some to lament how women totally didn't understand the hobby and how I was probably just there to date (never mind that I had both a Wood Elf and Witch Hunter army with me).

Then there was the extended period when everyone on the internet agreed that women didn't play games and if we did, it was so that we could score brownie points with gamers. That was when I stopped using a microphone in pub games, by the way, because I got tired of "make me a sandwich"-jokes, "Tits or GTFO" and "do you have a boyfriend" comments. The term Fake Gamer Girl was thrown around quite a lot by quite a lot of people and I was accused at least twice of being "too pretty to be a gamer" (whatever that means) and thus must be in it to get cred points with gamers.

Make no mistake, being a woman and a gamer is a constant reminder that you are always a woman first and foremost, unless you actively conceal that fact. Doesn't matter if you are a SC2 pro, the MVP in a CoD match or among the top 100 ranked Dawn of War players. You are always a woman first and maybe, if gamers are generous, a gamer too. I realize that it is a new situation for most of you, to be called out while engaging with your hobby, but its' what has happened to me for 2 decades at this point.

image

Could not have put it better myself. I've been playing games for over twenty years, don't insult me by pretending that it's just people "acting like jerks on occasion". This has been an attitude that the gaming community has yet to shake off the entire time I've been playing games. And apparently that wasn't a big deal but some articles mean suddenly we need to band together because we're under attack!

But hey, maybe me and all the other women who play games who have reported this behaviour are just banding together to tell one oddly specific lie just to victimise poor dude gamers even further. Who knows.

Gethsemani:
I realize that it is a new situation for most of you, to be called out while engaging with your hobby, but its' what has happened to me for 2 decades at this point.

If you mean my "gaming cred" being called into question, then no, it's actually not. It's been more of a constant for roughly the same time, even if my gender didn't usually come into it.

I still, however, fail to see how that equates to being "called out" on my moral fiber by supposed professionals with the full weight of institutions behind them, which is what I believe StatusNil was referring to.

So one of the *descriptive* elements of GG seems to be that they want/need people to insult and attack them. They spend a lot of time hunting for people who say things negative thing about them or simply say things they don't like. One one level I get it. I understand the weird and perverse thrill that you get when you find something you can hate, but at the same time aren't they sick of talking about that mass effect guy? I don't think they have a lot going on.

Ogoid:
I still, however, fail to see how that equates to being "called out" on my moral fiber by supposed professionals with the full weight of institutions behind them, which is what I believe StatusNil was referring to.

The whole Fake Gamer Girl thing was both an insult aimed directly at my gender and a questioning of my moral fiber and personal integrity, since the assumption was that I was not really interested in games and gaming, but just wanted to hook up with some gamer guys. Besides, it is not like StatusNil's scenario happened to GG either, or Gamers, unless one is very selective about where to look and is very bad at reading comprehension.

As I said, the whole being questioned and doubted is something that pretty much every dedicated female gamer knows a lot about. Probably a lot more than the average GGer, since we've never had an echo chamber to retreat into when we feel overwhelmed by the negativity thrown our way by our supposed peers.

Gethsemani:

So what do you qualify? The daily reminder that "Girls can't play games" that I heard from age 8 to age 15? The suggestions that a "pretty girl like me" should do other things than play games from age 15-24? The suggestions that those "other things" involved sex acts with the gamers that said it? The looks of confusion at the local miniature games club (and official GW store) when they realized I wasn't someone's girlfriend but was there to play? The ensuing ganging up on me as people realized that a single girl was in their club/store, some to flirt with me (because hey, it was not like I was there to play Warhammer or anything), some to lament how women totally didn't understand the hobby and how I was probably just there to date (never mind that I had both a Wood Elf and Witch Hunter army with me).

Then there was the extended period when everyone on the internet agreed that women didn't play games and if we did, it was so that we could score brownie points with gamers. That was when I stopped using a microphone in pub games, by the way, because I got tired of "make me a sandwich"-jokes, "Tits or GTFO" and "do you have a boyfriend" comments. The term Fake Gamer Girl was thrown around quite a lot by quite a lot of people and I was accused at least twice of being "too pretty to be a gamer" (whatever that means) and thus must be in it to get cred points with gamers.

Make no mistake, being a woman and a gamer is a constant reminder that you are always a woman first and foremost, unless you actively conceal that fact. Doesn't matter if you are a SC2 pro, the MVP in a CoD match or among the top 100 ranked Dawn of War players. You are always a woman first and maybe, if gamers are generous, a gamer too. I realize that it is a new situation for most of you, to be called out while engaging with your hobby, but its' what has happened to me for 2 decades at this point.

See, I don't even get what these "daily reminders" are. When I was between 8-15 (a little older than 8, actually, as I had no electronic gaming platform available to me until my parents finally got a Vic-20, being initially too cheap to buy a sweet C64 like they should have), I played games and enthused about them with friends who were also into them. I didn't submit the hobby to some tribunal for review of my qualifications. So I'm wondering who it was who was daily reminding you, friends, family members, some gaming club or what?

On the subject of female gamers, I recall being more sorry that I never knew any at all until I was in my 20s (when one practically dragged me back into gaming, which I had largely given up) than anything. All the girls seemed to find games "stupid" and "childish" compared to the leading female hobbies of experimenting with make-up techniques that would attract older dudes and rating the labels on each others' clothes. Maybe there were closeted gamers among them, but they sure fooled my game-dar if that was the case. As for being propositioned for my good looks, I imagine it could indeed get exasperating if frequent, especially coming from people I found unattractive. Alas, imagination is all I have to contribute in that regard. Bear in mind, though, that that's not some institutional feature of gaming that needs to be overturned by Official Bodies; there has never been a campaign of accredited pamphleteers rallying hobbyists with the poignant cry of "We Must Constantly Tell Female Gamers That They Are Too Hot To Game And Should Instead Have Sex With Us!". And surely the "solution" to the awkward and socially inappropriate ways some imperfectly socialized individuals have of expressing what is ultimately a perfectly natural interest in interpersonal sexuality is not to keep banishing them and the whole class of people "like them" in the abstraction of a demographic survey from the few things they find joy in, just so that the smooth and popular may never have to be reminded of their existence? The responsibility of socializing people does not lie with the entertainment industry, and the issue only arises as a supposedly general one because of the way technological advances (namely that Internet thing) and deliberate market-controlling strategies have contributed to the highly questionable but widely held opinion that to be a consumer of a cultural product, one needs to assimilate into a pseudo-community designated for the "fans" of it (an aggressively patronizing designation that many people are embracing in their seeming desperation for a sense of belonging, no matter how manufactured).

This leveraging of the tools of mass organization is enabling the sense of urgency exploited by the profiteers and influence-peddlers we know as "media progressives". The Internet is by its nature overwhelming, in that nobody can handle the encounters with sheer multitude that it makes possible to maintain with any regularity for the first time ever with equanimity, unless by a massive application of distancing irony in the manner of inveterate "shitposters". Yet we view it from our bubbles of intimacy, which we instinctively feel are our personal space, in which we are owed a high degree of inviolability. Aside from representing a classic contradiction of "the commons", this makes us feel we are due a measure of control over this new sphere, and thus susceptible to various Patent Remedies peddled by parties who have peculiar interests in control towards their own ends, who tempt us with promises to identify the culprits (a class of people, as befits "social justice") who are making our special bubbles so much less special than we so richly deserve and punish them by the cruel social violence of cutting them off from what has (to my regret at least) become a social lifeline. What you're going to accomplish with these "solutions" is only new embittered, disenfranchised underclasses of scapegoats.

The Internet is not just a great boon for efficiency and distribution networks, it's also a (maybe "the") central social problem of the era, with no simple solutions. It has caused us to see everything through the abstracting lens of aggregation, not least in the sense of collective "fandoms", in which people are just cogs expected to conform to standards set for the machinery of engineered consumption. In another thread, one person was wondering about how people talked about Star Wars in the 1970s. Well, the seventies are perhaps a little early in terms of my engagement with that particular entertainment franchise, but in the 1980s, we talked about it face to face with friends, instead of "the community". When I first discovered it through some comics (neither movie had been on TV, and we didn't even have a VCR at the time), I didn't even know that it was significantly popular. It was just something very cool that I immediately fell for, which didn't involve joining an organization of any kind.

In retrospect, it's sad to me that you can't really experience the positive shock of that kind of direct encounter with the Fictional Sublime, unmediated by organized Fan Brigades, anymore. Maybe the best we can do is having a number of different centers of engagement, instead of a monolithic Fan Culture with rules enforced by a circle of interconnected insiders. That's a major reason why I find the proposed and attempted all-encompassing "safe spacing" of "games culture" so abhorrently totalitarian. All the "Will somebody please think of teh women?! Oh, and the minorities too." is just using a traditional "damsel" trope (if you will) as window dressing for a bid for control of this vibrant sector of popular culture, and is not going to solve any of the underlying issues (sexual etiquette, juvenile acting out, the nature of the Internet). At all.

Reading many of the responses here backing GG, all I can say is that "professional victim" label that you guys have been throwing around at Anita et all in the GiD forum for years now is looking significantly more like an act of projection than anything.

Avnger:
Reading many of the responses here backing GG, all I can say is that "professional victim" label that you guys have been throwing around at Anita et all in the GiD forum for years now is looking significantly more like an act of projection than anything.

Not even. In theory, anita at least gets paid for what she deals with. GG dosen't make money. They just do it for 'fun'.

Gethsemani:

The whole Fake Gamer Girl thing was both an insult aimed directly at my gender and a questioning of my moral fiber and personal integrity, since the assumption was that I was not really interested in games and gaming, but just wanted to hook up with some gamer guys. Besides, it is not like StatusNil's scenario happened to GG either, or Gamers, unless one is very selective about where to look and is very bad at reading comprehension.

And it's always been regrettable jackassery perpetuated by jackasses; however, I would still posit that the moral indictment therein isn't quite on par with being called, say, "worse than ISIS" - particularly if the person doing said calling happened to be a professional media critic (who, as it turned out in a particularly satisfying morsel of irony, may in fact be an actual, honest-to god sex offender).

As I said, the whole being questioned and doubted is something that pretty much every dedicated female gamer knows a lot about. Probably a lot more than the average GGer, since we've never had an echo chamber to retreat into when we feel overwhelmed by the negativity thrown our way by our supposed peers.

Being questioned and doubted is something every gamer knows a lot about, regardless of the particular form that takes. And we GooberGators have for the last two years had the entire media, gaming and otherwise, making us into a boogeyman whose monstrosity only rivals its sheer strain on one's suspension of disbelief, simply because we dared to call their professional behavior and standards into question.

Trust me, we are also thoroughly familiar with negativity, echo chambers, and their effects.

StatusNil:

Phasmal:

This is the problem I have with the whole thing.
Get insulted for years for being a female person who plays games? Get over it! Not a big deal!
A journalist wrote that we're dead? WOW SUCH HURT WHY AREN'T YOU MARCHING WITH US? WE'RE NOW SUDDENLY IN THIS TOGETHER.

Not exactly a valid comparison, unless you can point me to a very special time when practically all of the gaming media came together and issued a manifesto from their official platforms to the industry to the effect that "female persons who play games" should be deliberately and scornfully alienated for being "toxic" subhuman relics from an era that needs to be transcended on urgent moral grounds. If that happened, instead of some individuals of no particular social standing acting like jerks towards you on occasion, I must have missed it. Otherwise, the difference between these hardships is like that between the irregular occurrence of street crime, like pickpocketing in crowded areas and the occasional mugging, versus the call of a leading party for instituting a government policy of targeted dispossession and banishment of a part of the population because the street crime that does occur is collectively blamed on "their kind" via an application of "social justice".

This was pretty common in 80's and 90's

Ogoid:

And it's always been regrettable jackassery perpetuated by jackasses; however, I would still posit that the moral indictment therein isn't quite on par with being called, say, "worse than ISIS" - particularly if the person doing said calling happened to be a professional media critic (who, as it turned out in a particularly satisfying morsel of irony, may in fact be an actual, honest-to god sex offender).

So, should I be using the "thicker skin" argument for the response to a hyperbolic statement, or commenting on the rumor mongering about someone you don't like?

Being questioned and doubted is something every gamer knows a lot about, regardless of the particular form that takes. And we GooberGators have for the last two years had the entire media, gaming and otherwise, making us into a boogeyman whose monstrosity only rivals its sheer strain on one's suspension of disbelief, simply because we dared to call their professional behavior and standards into question.

Ahh, yes, "they", the people making a coordinated attack on gamers to pursue their outsider agenda of SJW authoritarianism and thought control, were making gamers (the real ones anyway) into boogeymen, while all GG was doing was calling the professional behavior and standards of these cultural Marxist sex offenders who send themselves abuse into question.

StatusNil:
See, I don't even get what these "daily reminders" are. When I was between 8-15 (a little older than 8, actually, as I had no electronic gaming platform available to me until my parents finally got a Vic-20, being initially too cheap to buy a sweet C64 like they should have), I played games and enthused about them with friends who were also into them. I didn't submit the hobby to some tribunal for review of my qualifications. So I'm wondering who it was who was daily reminding you, friends, family members, some gaming club or what?

This is a prime example of what me and Phasmal are trying to tell you. Of course you don't understand, because you haven't been subjected to it.

These reminders came from friends, boys in the schoolyard, gaming magazines, store clerks in the PC stores, etc.. They ranged from outright bullying to jokes about girls to in-jokes meant for boys to strange looks, skeptical attitudes and outright being told that a girl should not be playing games (from well-meaning family members, among others).

StatusNil:
As for being propositioned for my good looks, I imagine it could indeed get exasperating if frequent, especially coming from people I found unattractive.

That's not even the problem. The problem is that I did not spend some odd hundred hours and hundreds of euros on painting plastic and metal miniatures so that guys would ogle my boobs and hit on me. I did it so I could play miniature games, only to find out that unless I did so with my friends, I would not be taken seriously as an actual wargamer. I was a teenage girl first and foremost and most guys had more interest in that than in enjoying our shared hobby with me.

StatusNil:
there has never been a campaign of accredited pamphleteers rallying hobbyists with the poignant cry of "We Must Constantly Tell Female Gamers That They Are Too Hot To Game And Should Instead Have Sex With Us!".

Nah, I just lived through two decades of advertising making it plainly clear that games was not for me. Of developers designing games that outright discouraged women from even trying (Heavy Metal F.A.K.K 2 anyone?) due to their sexualization and objectification of women. Of gaming magazines making crass sex jokes and using juvenile humor about women. Of gamers initial response to a woman's voice on VoIP being "do you have a boyfriend", "Women don't play games", Tits or GTFO" or "Go make me a sandwich". I know how it feels to be on the receiving end of a concerted effort to keep me away, albeit unintentionally, because that's the story of most girl that got into game in the 90's and 00's.

StatusNil:
And surely the "solution" to the awkward and socially inappropriate ways some imperfectly socialized individuals have of expressing what is ultimately a perfectly natural interest in interpersonal sexuality is not to keep banishing them and the whole class of people "like them" in the abstraction of a demographic survey from the few things they find joy in, just so that the smooth and popular may never have to be reminded of their existence?

You know, I think you make a point here. On the other hand, the fact that I was born with a vagina and developed breasts during puberty, instead of being born with a cock and growing a beard, should not be seen as an invite to instantly express sexual desire for me, just because we share a hobby. Especially not in a setting where the hobby is supposed to be the reason we are both there.

But then again, this is obvious hyperbole on your part, because no one is driving anyone from gaming (well, except asshats that keep driving women out of gaming, which is an incredibly common occurrence), least of all the traditional gamer core demographic, which is still immensely catered to.

StatusNil:
The Internet is not just a great boon for efficiency and distribution networks, it's also a (maybe "the") central social problem of the era, with no simple solutions. It has caused us to see everything through the abstracting lens of aggregation, not least in the sense of collective "fandoms", in which people are just cogs expected to conform to standards set for the machinery of engineered consumption. In another thread, one person was wondering about how people talked about Star Wars in the 1970s. Well, the seventies are perhaps a little early in terms of my engagement with that particular entertainment franchise, but in the 1980s, we talked about it face to face with friends, instead of "the community". When I first discovered it through some comics (neither movie had been on TV, and we didn't even have a VCR at the time), I didn't even know that it was significantly popular. It was just something very cool that I immediately fell for, which didn't involve joining an organization of any kind.[/Quote]

We could blame the internet for making people anonymous. But it fails to cut at the heart of my criticism of your argument, since I've experienced sexism in gaming to my face. This was in the early 00's, when most people only had a 56k modem and needed to occupy their landline to get on the internet, as well as pay outrageous fees per minute. So it was not the internet's fault. It was the fault of a culture that was, in essence, a boy's club and where most participants felt that it was natural that women shouldn't be a part of it. They just carried this with them when it came online.

[quote="StatusNil" post="663.945231.23856380"]All the "Will somebody please think of teh women?! Oh, and the minorities too." is just using a traditional "damsel" trope (if you will) as window dressing for a bid for control of this vibrant sector of popular culture, and is not going to solve any of the underlying issues (sexual etiquette, juvenile acting out, the nature of the Internet). At all.

Once again: Fuck this noise. This is not a damseling-situation. This is not some weird "appeal to social justice". This is women, like me, finally getting a voice in the gaming community. We can finally speak up about what we have experienced and endured to participate in a hobby we love. Thankfully, there's a growing number of men that listens to us (shout out to all of you who are in this thread, by the way) and want to help get the message out so that we can enjoy this hobby without having to endure the kind of shit Phasmal, me and many others have endured historically.

I get that this is a scary prospect for some of you. I get that it is not funny to hear that a community you always held in high esteem has some pretty dark sides that you haven't seen before. The natural reaction is of course to pass it off as unfounded, in this case by inventing the theory that the contemporary criticism of poor egality and representation in games and gaming is actually some nefarious outsider faction forcing itself unto gaming. But this is not it. This is the unrepresented people of the gaming hobby getting a voice.

StatusNil:
If that happened, instead of some individuals of no particular social standing acting like jerks towards you on occasion, I must have missed it.

Does Yahtzee count? He spent a paragraph complaining about "girl gamers" who dare to mention how they're girls in his Gamers are Dead article.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/columns/extra-punctuation/8031-Don-t-Use-the-Word-Gamer

CaitSeith:

This was pretty common in 80's and 90's

Well, that was a cringe-inducing specimen of gender rivalry marketing. A tradition that Ghostbusters 2016 is a proud heir to, but still a far cry from a solemn moral sentencing by a self-appointed Politburo Special Committee on Gaming Culture.

Abbot of Beregost:
As a gamer, I was being tarred with a broad brush. Beyond that, as a straight white male, I was the very incarnation of evil. That attribution is what drove me into the Gamergate camp, more than anything else.

Abbot, leaving aside most of your letter for now, a question for you: why do you care what critics were saying about "gamers"? If you didn't engage in any of the crap, then why did you feel like it relfected on you? How many times were you actually tarred for being a "gamer"? What I mean is, how many times were you criticized or accosted in everyday life (i.e., NOT in a forum or comments section)? It seems like you were internalizing a lot of criticism that was directed at the bad actors of GG, and I'm not sure why.

Abbot of Beregost:
Some of them call for a redefinition of gamer. This is something I'd like to see: like playing a game of shimmy once a week doesn't make you an athlete, playing a couple of hours of Madden a week does not a gamer make. Tarring a community of people who take gaming somewhat seriously with the actions of a few bros in a frathouse screaming racial slurs on Xbox Live no more makes them gamers than shrugging indifferently at Trump as a foreign national makes me a Trump supporter.

See, this I don't get. I'll never understand why people feel the need to define who is a "real gamer" and who isn't. What purpose does it serve? If spend the majority of your time playing sports games, you're not a gamer? Why? I don't get it. And I don't understand why GG supporters, who are so dead set against "identity politics," engage in the same thing they claim to abhor with this obsession over the "gamer" identity.

nomotog:

Avnger:
Reading many of the responses here backing GG, all I can say is that "professional victim" label that you guys have been throwing around at Anita et all in the GiD forum for years now is looking significantly more like an act of projection than anything.

Not even. In theory, anita at least gets paid for what she deals with. GG dosen't make money. They just do it for 'fun'.

I'd argue that people like Netscape and everyone else writing articles and running youtube channels dedicated to gg news ARE getting paid to some extent. If not in money then attention and limelight (but also money)

If gg was just an amorphous blob of faceless users complaining, every Netscape thread wouldn't include a quote from a "famous gamergate member".

Smithnikov:
*snip*

Then don't agree, you don't have to. I don't give a flying fuck if you do or don't.

Phasmal:
*snip*

If you're not a gamer first, then you're in the outside group. That's my opinion and the way I see it. Disagree all you want, but I don't care about the rest of the "issues". If you do, more power to you, just don't tell others to cater to you because of them, or at least don't expect a warm welcome.

altnameJag:
*snip*

Basically you're trying to turn this around on anyone calling themselves a gamergater, that they're being just as idealistic.

Sure, but I don't run to the knitting community and demand that wool caters to my sensibility. I'm sorry, do you like red wool? You can't use any, ever, because I'm colorblind. If you do, I'll hunt you down and get you fired from your job because you're an ableist bigot.

As for feminism having always been in gaming, that's extremely questionable as that particular brand and way of thinking is new. It's an ongoing fad that some capitalize on while creating mass hysteria.

Wrex Brogan:
*snip*

So basically I'm right, you're wrong? We don't agree, get over it.

Gethsemani:
*snip*

You fought for being taken seriously but you weren't a victim. Okay then.
I don't have to take you seriously and you don't have to take me seriously, that's the entire fucking point.

Smilomaniac:

Phasmal:
*snip*

If you're not a gamer first, then you're in the outside group. That's my opinion and the way I see it. Disagree all you want, but I don't care about the rest of the "issues". If you do, more power to you, just don't tell others to cater to you because of them, or at least don't expect a warm welcome.

I have literally no idea what you mean by "gamer first". I don't tend to categorise myself in that way. My interests do not conflict and nor do I need to put them in some kind of order. Also, you don't get to tell me that I'm in the "out" group, that was kinda my point.
As far as I can remember, I've never told anyone to cater to me. However, me and other women aren't gonna stop sharing our opinions because some people who consider themselves somehow the gatekeepers of gaming are terrified of change.

Gethsemani:

Once again: Fuck this noise. This is not a damseling-situation.

Considering that the crux of your argument is that you a woman who has had bad things happen to you and that needs to stop because woman. Yes it is a damseling-situation.
Honest question, if your chief complaint is that you are viewed as a woman first and a gamer second, why must you constantly interject that fact you are a woman? I do agree that people need to stop being so shitty as a general rule. But you lose me when you try and use your status as a woman as some sort of trump card.

This is not some weird "appeal to social justice". This is women, like me, finally getting a voice in the gaming community.-snip- This is the unrepresented people of the gaming hobby getting a voice.

What about the women who have had a positive experience? They tend to be told that their experiences mean nothing. Hell I remember reading about a female pro-gamer who did an interview which had all the positive experiences she said cut from the article. Can't for the life of me find the source, so take with grain of salt.

Phasmal:

Smilomaniac:

Phasmal:
*snip*

If you're not a gamer first, then you're in the outside group. That's my opinion and the way I see it. Disagree all you want, but I don't care about the rest of the "issues". If you do, more power to you, just don't tell others to cater to you because of them, or at least don't expect a warm welcome.

I have literally no idea what you mean by "gamer first". I don't tend to categorise myself in that way. My interests do not conflict and nor do I need to put them in some kind of order. Also, you don't get to tell me that I'm in the "out" group, that was kinda my point.
As far as I can remember, I've never told anyone to cater to me. However, me and other women aren't gonna stop sharing our opinions because some people who consider themselves somehow the gatekeepers of gaming are terrified of change.

And while we're at it, those of us who have suffered WORSE storms than this in the past (The Satanic Panic, The Mortal Kombat/Night Trap hearings, ect...) and who put a lot more on the line than just being called sexist shitlords aren't going to accept being called "outsiders" suddenly because we have the wrong politics.

We beat obscenely rich televangelists, soccer moms and the friggin US Congress just fine without some Alt Right, self appointed "Gatekeepers" acting as loyalty police within our ranks.

undeadsuitor:

nomotog:

Avnger:
Reading many of the responses here backing GG, all I can say is that "professional victim" label that you guys have been throwing around at Anita et all in the GiD forum for years now is looking significantly more like an act of projection than anything.

Not even. In theory, anita at least gets paid for what she deals with. GG dosen't make money. They just do it for 'fun'.

I'd argue that people like Netscape and everyone else writing articles and running youtube channels dedicated to gg news ARE getting paid to some extent. If not in money then attention and limelight (but also money)

If gg was just an amorphous blob of faceless users complaining, every Netscape thread wouldn't include a quote from a "famous gamergate member".

Oh.. I didn't think of that. That is kind a downer.

Smilomaniac:

Phasmal:

I have literally no idea what you mean by "gamer first". I don't tend to categorise myself in that way. My interests do not conflict and nor do I need to put them in some kind of order. Also, you don't get to tell me that I'm in the "out" group, that was kinda my point.
As far as I can remember, I've never told anyone to cater to me. However, me and other women aren't gonna stop sharing our opinions because some people who consider themselves somehow the gatekeepers of gaming are terrified of change.

By all means, share all your opinions, I'm just doing the same, because I am terrified at the changes that have happened and are happening. But who cares right? I'm apparently just an alt-right hypocrite.

Oh and yes, you are in the "out" group by my definition. You don't have to like or accept it at all, you just have to understand that your opinion isn't the only one that exists.
I don't have to respect you, nor do you have to respect me; Neither of us is entitled to anything.

Hang on, a second ago I wasn't in the out group if I was a "gamer first" but now apparently I am?
Did I fail some kind of Gamer First test?

And you're right, my opinion isn't the only one. And it's a sad thing that you're scared of the changes that are happening in gaming. But they're also not going to go backwards.

Smilomaniac:

I'm not alt right, I've voted for left parties all my life. Of course it's easier just to label my politics and pretend that's somehow relevant to games. I'm the one who generalizes everything, right?

Hypocrite.

Turn that iron back around, partner. You were the one who was gleefully standing by your own labelling of others as "outsiders" to gaming so flippantly. How we going to play this? We gonna broad stroke, or individualize? I ain't gonna settle for the rules changing from turn to turn.

nomotog:

undeadsuitor:

nomotog:
Not even. In theory, anita at least gets paid for what she deals with. GG dosen't make money. They just do it for 'fun'.

I'd argue that people like Netscape and everyone else writing articles and running youtube channels dedicated to gg news ARE getting paid to some extent. If not in money then attention and limelight (but also money)

If gg was just an amorphous blob of faceless users complaining, every Netscape thread wouldn't include a quote from a "famous gamergate member".

Oh.. I didn't think of that. That is kind a downer.

You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.

Exley97:

Abbot of Beregost:
As a gamer, I was being tarred with a broad brush. Beyond that, as a straight white male, I was the very incarnation of evil. That attribution is what drove me into the Gamergate camp, more than anything else.

Abbot, leaving aside most of your letter for now, a question for you: why do you care what critics were saying about "gamers"? If you didn't engage in any of the crap, then why did you feel like it relfected on you? How many times were you actually tarred for being a "gamer"? What I mean is, how many times were you criticized or accosted in everyday life (i.e., NOT in a forum or comments section)? It seems like you were internalizing a lot of criticism that was directed at the bad actors of GG, and I'm not sure why.

Part of the issue is that I've been a gamer for something like two decades. People around me know that. I state it openly. So, when GG hit the mainstream media, it was all about the bad actors. Saint Sarkeesian and her ilk could do no wrong, and as someone who had opinions that didn't fit with her, I did in fact receive criticism. It was particularly awkward coming from my smother.

Abbot of Beregost:
Some of them call for a redefinition of gamer. This is something I'd like to see: like playing a game of shimmy once a week doesn't make you an athlete, playing a couple of hours of Madden a week does not a gamer make. Tarring a community of people who take gaming somewhat seriously with the actions of a few bros in a frathouse screaming racial slurs on Xbox Live no more makes them gamers than shrugging indifferently at Trump as a foreign national makes me a Trump supporter.

See, this I don't get. I'll never understand why people feel the need to define who is a "real gamer" and who isn't. What purpose does it serve? If spend the majority of your time playing sports games, you're not a gamer? Why? I don't get it. And I don't understand why GG supporters, who are so dead set against "identity politics," engage in the same thing they claim to abhor with this obsession over the "gamer" identity.

I feel it is important to draw the distinction primarily due to the bad actors, and broad brush labels. Some dudebro howling racial slurs from his frathouse shouldn't reflect on you and me, correct? Likewise, I feel that not all feminists should be judged as scions of Sarkeesian simply by stating they are feminists. To me, the concept of identity politics has more to do with victimhood rather than self-identification, but you may be on to something. May I think on the matter some more?

Abbot

Phasmal:

And you're right, my opinion isn't the only one. And it's a sad thing that you're scared of the changes that are happening in gaming. But they're also not going to go backwards.

They've already gone backwards. Gaming has become more mainstream than ever and caters to shallow beliefs and rhetoric. Token characters are being dumped in, writing has gone to shit and indie gaming is now more about being academically artistict than actual gaming.

Smithnikov:

Turn that iron back around, partner. You were the one who was gleefully standing by your own labelling of others as "outsiders" to gaming so flippantly. How we going to play this? We gonna broad stroke, or individualize? I ain't gonna settle for the rules changing from turn to turn.

There are no rules, there are perspectives. Mine happens to be centered on games first, politics never. I use broad strokes because I expect people to be intelligent enough to differ between "literally everyone" and "in general". You don't have to take it as truth, because it's not an academic paper, it's a conversation.

Phasmal:

Smilomaniac:

Phasmal:

I have literally no idea what you mean by "gamer first". I don't tend to categorise myself in that way. My interests do not conflict and nor do I need to put them in some kind of order. Also, you don't get to tell me that I'm in the "out" group, that was kinda my point.
As far as I can remember, I've never told anyone to cater to me. However, me and other women aren't gonna stop sharing our opinions because some people who consider themselves somehow the gatekeepers of gaming are terrified of change.

By all means, share all your opinions, I'm just doing the same, because I am terrified at the changes that have happened and are happening. But who cares right? I'm apparently just an alt-right hypocrite.

Oh and yes, you are in the "out" group by my definition. You don't have to like or accept it at all, you just have to understand that your opinion isn't the only one that exists.
I don't have to respect you, nor do you have to respect me; Neither of us is entitled to anything.

Hang on, a second ago I wasn't in the out group if I was a "gamer first" but now apparently I am?
Did I fail some kind of Gamer First test?

And you're right, my opinion isn't the only one. And it's a sad thing that you're scared of the changes that are happening in gaming. But they're also not going to go backwards.

Considering the success of DOOM and the failures of games like, you know the one where you play the housekeeper during a revolution, I would say it is going backwards. Hell even the indie darling that is Undertale is just a meta tribute to the bit era of gaming, just with better writing and gimmicks. (Nothing wrong with gimmicks.)
So I would say the gaming is going backwards towards more gameplay focused games rather than "progressive" story driven ones.

As for the gaming "community", we are seeing a battle between those who believe in "identity politics" and those who do not.

proxyhostlawl:

As for the gaming "community", we are seeing a battle between those who believe in "identity politics" and those who do not.

More like one side decrying identity politics while engaging in their own. As demonstrated here with some of us being labelled "outsiders" pretty eagerly.

Exley97:

Abbot, leaving aside most of your letter for now, a question for you: why do you care what critics were saying about "gamers"? If you didn't engage in any of the crap, then why did you feel like it relfected on you? How many times were you actually tarred for being a "gamer"? What I mean is, how many times were you criticized or accosted in everyday life (i.e., NOT in a forum or comments section)? It seems like you were internalizing a lot of criticism that was directed at the bad actors of GG, and I'm not sure why.

Just for the sake of precision, you might want to consider clarifying what you mean by "the bad actors of GG", considering that the "Gamers Are Dead" articles themselves were a major precipitating factor of any alleged "movement" so called, rather than a response to it, and because much of the alleged harassing behavior that took place subsequently seems to be attributed to (yes) third-party trolls rather than legitimate protesters ("many of them are users of the Something Awful website") [Pause for gasps of surprise] in the documents pertaining to the FBI investigation recently released in response to a FOIA request. No doubt as a journalist who takes an interest in the case, you are already familiar with the material.

Gethsemani:
[Long Post]

I actually wrote a long response to you, but then I accidentally erased it when I tried to copy/paste it. The lesson I suppose is never to mix keyboards. But now I no longer have neither the time nor the inspired spirit for a rewrite, so I'm just going to go with the minimal encapsulation of: "Outsiders" because their concern with games is as a means to deliver what they feel are positive parapolitical values, not as a worthy end in themselves And is that "a voice" for the allegedly "unrepresented", or "The Voice"? This "One Community" approach is an invitation to dominance. I prefer a broad ecosystem with an abundance of niches myself.

Smilomaniac:

Phasmal:

And you're right, my opinion isn't the only one. And it's a sad thing that you're scared of the changes that are happening in gaming. But they're also not going to go backwards.

They've already gone backwards. Gaming has become more mainstream than ever and caters to shallow beliefs and rhetoric. Token characters are being dumped in, writing has gone to shit and indie gaming is now more about being academically artistict than actual gaming.
.

Games were becoming shallow shit written pieces of crap long before politics got involved. If anything, indie games have staved off the inevitable ET-crash by giving customers a larger variety of games to buy than simply the fps clones the industry wants to make.

And what is a token character?

Smithnikov:

proxyhostlawl:

As for the gaming "community", we are seeing a battle between those who believe in "identity politics" and those who do not.

More like one side decrying identity politics while engaging in their own. As demonstrated here with some of us being labelled "outsiders" pretty eagerly.

Gatekeeper is a favorite label of your right up there with conservative and alt-right. Do you really have room to complain when one of your chief go to is the liken people to nazis?

proxyhostlawl:

Considering the success of DOOM and the failures of games like, you know the one where you play the housekeeper during a revolution, I would say it is going backwards. Hell even the indie darling that is Undertale is just a meta tribute to the bit era of gaming, just with better writing and gimmicks. (Nothing wrong with gimmicks.)
So I would say the gaming is going backwards towards more gameplay focused games rather than "progressive" story driven ones.

As for the gaming "community", we are seeing a battle between those who believe in "identity politics" and those who do not.

image

DOOM and Undertale can both be good at the same time. I'll just have to agree to disagree that things are getting worse. They're not the same, but that doesn't mean they're worse.
Of course, your opinion may be different.

(Also spare me the "identity politics" thing. I've yet to see that used in an actually constructive way, it usually just means "don't talk about being a minority group").

Well, I think it's pretty negative to just pine away for the "good old days" of gaming (that really weren't that good for everybody).

Smilomaniac:

Phasmal:

And you're right, my opinion isn't the only one. And it's a sad thing that you're scared of the changes that are happening in gaming. But they're also not going to go backwards.

They've already gone backwards. Gaming has become more mainstream than ever and caters to shallow beliefs and rhetoric. Token characters are being dumped in, writing has gone to shit and indie gaming is now more about being academically artistict than actual gaming.

You didn't answer my question, why am I an outsider?
Also re: going backwards, see above.

proxyhostlawl:

Smithnikov:

proxyhostlawl:

As for the gaming "community", we are seeing a battle between those who believe in "identity politics" and those who do not.

More like one side decrying identity politics while engaging in their own. As demonstrated here with some of us being labelled "outsiders" pretty eagerly.

Gatekeeper is a favorite label of your right up there with conservative and alt-right. Do you really have room to complain when one of your chief go to is the liken people to nazis?

Yes I do

Who have I likened to Nazis, again?

Authoritarians, definitely, but I reserve Nazis for more specific folks.

Smithnikov:

proxyhostlawl:

Smithnikov:

More like one side decrying identity politics while engaging in their own. As demonstrated here with some of us being labelled "outsiders" pretty eagerly.

Gatekeeper is a favorite label of your right up there with conservative and alt-right. Do you really have room to complain when one of your chief go to is the liken people to nazis?

Yes I do

Who have I likened to Nazis, again?

Authoritarians, definitely, but I reserve Nazis for more specific folks.

I mean, it's not like femnazi isn't a popular phrase against feminists. Why should we have all the fun?

undeadsuitor:

Games were becoming shallow shit written pieces of crap long before politics got involved. If anything, indie games have staved off the inevitable ET-crash by giving customers a larger variety of games to buy than simply the fps clones the industry wants to make.

And what is a token character?

Take Fallout 4 as an example, it has no depth, extremely poor writing and is politically correct in deeming drugs as either recreational (hippie vendor in diamond city) or just "bad" (cait). No prostitutes to find whatsoever, despite them being an obvious necessary evil in any post-apoc world where you can practically live off of your body.
This is one of the most shallow games I've ever played and I haven't seen a single review point it out; Just a load of praise everywhere. That's where we're headed - This will be the norm.

A token character is one that's added in based on some physical trait whether it makes sense or not, with no other reason than that. It's quota filling and while it's not the end of all games, it's a symptom of the kind of mindless pandering devs/writers will do to shut up the idiot crowd that demands these things. That's all there is to it.

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