Just some shitty nerds in an IRC channel.
September 6, 2014 6:56 AM   Subscribe

Last night, Zoe Quinn posted a large amount of chat log screenshots (and video) from several weeks spent in IRC channels coordinating and reporting on, among other things, use of the #gamergate and #notyourshield Twitter tags and ongoing harassment campaigns.
posted by griphus (855 comments total) 95 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is a little inside baseball. Context?
posted by leotrotsky at 7:03 AM on September 6, 2014 [26 favorites]


Good. Finally maybe people will stop believing that is about ethics and not straight up misogyny (cause really, why aren't you ruining the lives of those dudes you think she banged?).

I'm seriously cheering my lungs out over here.
posted by Blisterlips at 7:05 AM on September 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


The harassment campaigns against Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian were discussed in this recent thread.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:07 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


For context there's this MeFi post (ctrl+F for "Quinn"). It's a bit hard to find coverage of it that isn't seriously slanted.
posted by griphus at 7:08 AM on September 6, 2014


This is a little inside baseball. Context?

The Sexist Crusade to Destroy Game Developer Zoe Quinn
On Saturday, gamer and coder Eron Gjoni, who dated Quinn during the time she created Depression Quest, detailed his alleged history as Quinn's then-boyfriend in an extensive blog post.

Despite its length, Gjoni’s post amounts to little more than the kind of nasty, post-breakup gripes spurned partners lament about with close friends. But thanks to a number of key factors, his allegations have turned into a hot-button issue for a certain sector of the gaming community, which has twisted Gjoni’s dirty laundry into a narrative of industry corruption—a tale that is not based on provable fact.

While Gjoni does not directly accuse Quinn of using sex to advance her career, he implies that her relationships with the man for whom she later worked and a gaming journalist may have been ethically murky.

posted by Fizz at 7:09 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, there we go. I'll ask the mods to throw that link into the FPP.
posted by griphus at 7:10 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Basically, several feminist voices in the world of gaming have been receiving extreme harassment, to the point of doxing, death threats, releasing nude photos, etc. Some of the attackers of these individuals and their supporters are justifying their actions by claiming that they are prime examples of ethical lapses between video game creators and critics, including personal relationships, financial support, etc. While video game makers and reviewers have often been (figuratively) in bed with each other through advertising deals, free demo copies, and the like, suddenly everyone decides it's time to do something about it because Zoe Quinn might have had a sexual relationship with a reviewer (who IIRC didn't even review her game), and now it's turned into a big misogynistic, slut-shaming mess.
posted by JauntyFedora at 7:16 AM on September 6, 2014 [53 favorites]


I'm a bit stunned that this kind of bullshit can be organized. It is one thing for there to be assholes it is another thing entirely for there to be coordinated and organized assholes. Frightening. Even worse that they can do this largely in the open and with seeming impunity.
posted by srboisvert at 7:18 AM on September 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


Expect continued "both sides" nonsense.
posted by Artw at 7:18 AM on September 6, 2014 [28 favorites]


It's amazing how many people on twitter are still impotently shrieking about how all the screencaps are fake. They are... not taking this revelation gracefully.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:18 AM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


Oh hell yes. Good job collecting info and sitting on it instead of immediately going "ah-ha" and posting. Yes, please, more rope.

Definitely more of a social justice rogue than a social justice warrior.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:23 AM on September 6, 2014 [12 favorites]


Further context: /pol/, an extremely right-wing subforum of 4chan, does this kind of thing a lot. They make Twitter accounts purporting to be run by politicized women, people of color, trans people, etc., make up fake social-justice hashtags, and in general try to give intersectional leftists a bad name by saying the most extreme stuff possible. #notyourshield fits perfectly into this tradition of fakery.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:29 AM on September 6, 2014 [42 favorites]


I'm a fan of games and gaming. I am not a fan of the gaming community. In almost all aspects of gameplay (unless I know someone in real life), I turn off all comments/commentary/discussion.

Turn off the bullshit.
posted by Fizz at 7:30 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


The gaming community has always included a cesspool of shitheads that periodically surfaces, and most frequent gamers have found their ways to avoid them. But it's hard to do if you're a developer.

The problem in the community is the same as the problem with Twitter; the networks that enable this kind of harassment need to stand up and make it clear that it's not ok. These people are cowards, but right now they have nothing to fear. Some companies are better about this than others.

Twitter in particular... I'm starting to think a replacement for Twitter may be needed in the long term.
posted by selfnoise at 7:36 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, /pol/ is literally Stormfront without Stormfront's desire to be seen as legitimate and reasonable.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:37 AM on September 6, 2014 [13 favorites]


I realize that turning off the spam/commentary/hate is not ideal. That it does not correct the underlying issue but sometimes its just not worth all the effort. You're fighting upstream in a river of shit. It is tiresome and not pleasant. Better to just get out.
posted by Fizz at 7:41 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


As damning as all the information is, I find this is the most telling bit in the whole steaming pile.

The only lesson learned by these intellectual fireballs is better security for next time. Bloody idiots.
posted by Mooski at 7:42 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


As damning as all the information is, I find this is the most telling bit in the whole steaming pile.

Next year in Jerusalem NOT IN SOME FUCKING CHATROOM
posted by griphus at 7:43 AM on September 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


Twitter is about to make itself into less-good Facebook and may become less relevant to the discussion as a result. If they weren't about to fling themselves into oblivion then yes, they really need to do something about the rando problem.

Checking out the various how-tos for harassment posted on Reddit and 4chan might actually be a good place to begin, there's some patterns of activity there that are distinct and should be used as red flags.
posted by Artw at 7:46 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


The only lesson learned by these intellectual fireballs is better security for next time. Bloody idiots.

They will always fuck it up by posting in public somewhere. Too much ego and belief in their own cleverness and invulnerability not to.
posted by Artw at 7:49 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I feel so fucking bad for her and all the other people who were targeted in this. Twitter really needs to revamp that harassment policy already.

And, yeah, this whole thing pretty much killed any latent desire to ever work anywhere near the gaming industry. What a cesspool.
posted by sonmi at 7:50 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


I'm a bit stunned that this kind of bullshit can be organized. It is one thing for there to be assholes it is another thing entirely for there to be coordinated and organized assholes. Frightening. Even worse that they can do this largely in the open and with seeming impunity.

These are the tools that Anonymous created. Flash groups organizing on 4chan and irc, using doxxing and social media. It's no wonder that there use spread to groups that might have darker motives. If you could call a loosely affiliated bunch of people on IRC a group.

The only lesson learned by these intellectual fireballs is better security for next time. Bloody idiots.

That's the worst part. Much more careful people have been caught, all though they were after bigger fish. And yes, the first rule of a conspiracy is shut the hell up.
posted by zabuni at 7:50 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Fuck those sexist tools.

I would like to support Quinn and Sarkeesian; moral support definitely, but financially if possible. Anyone have any suggestions on how I can do that?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:50 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


To support Anita Sarkeesian you can donate to Feminist Frequency. Zoe Quinn has a Patreon.
posted by griphus at 7:54 AM on September 6, 2014 [17 favorites]


That Daily Dot post is one of the best attempts I've seen to summarise things from a somewhat fair perspective. Though it could do with more emphasis on the steps that sort of "fanned the flames" of this turning it into such a story. (The reddit "censorship" drama in particular totally turned this into a scriptkiddy wet dream)

Ok so here is my attempt to bury the "both sides" thing which I have been thinking about a bit recently.

The thing that is infuriating about the "both sides" meme is how distorted it is. Anyone who says anything perceived to be a feminist or a "supporter" of Zoe is instantly a representative of that side - while anything horrid or vicious or "against Zoe" is just a lone internet person with an opinion who does not "represent" anyone (certainly not gaming or reddit/4chan culture).

So it presents everything in a distorted way that it totally toxic and puts pressure off the real villains Zoe's new posts are hardly likely to calm things down, she could use a PR advisor at this point, (Step 1. Get Phil Fish to stop talking). but it does at least bust this myth a bit

All that said (and it is important to say it first). I do thinkI understand why people who don't follow the story or come at it tangentially could get the "both sides" thing wrong. The prime example is probably the abuse Boogie2988 took for that video - where he didn't event talk about the situation very directly but says he got abuse in roughly equal amounts from each "side". Totalbiscuit, another prominent youtuber made a tweet where he just said that if the initial allegations were true in the way that they were reported (they were not) Kotaku had behaved badly - and also said he got abuse from both "sides" in somewhat equal amounts.

But Boogie 2988 & TB are fairly disinterested moderates who came at the issue tangentially. The reason that these people apparently got abuse from both "sides" is because they were:
1.white men trying (if not necessarily succeeding) to talk about the situation from the perspective of video games fans not feminism.
2. They only really addressed the possibility of "corruption" within video games journalism side in detail - in part because the extent of the harassment and threats to Zoe probably had not become clear and in part.

This means that for a huge amount of the fighters,the really vile people, they were not the enemy and were ignored or just trolled a bit - they only really got attacked by the idiots, trolls and those who were just trying to watch the world burn. ( it is certainly true that "both sides" have idiots - see exhibit 1: Phil Fish - but that is as far as the thing goes)

The abuse they faced, while vile was pretty obviously not even in the same solar-system as the systematic campaign of harassment and vilification that Zoe and Anita , others (particularly women) who are perceived of as the "enemies" by the 4chan/reddit subset face.

So for those influential, thoughtful, initially uninvolved moderates, they get tangentially involved, get a load of abuse and decide it is not worth their time to continue to get a comparatively lower but still unacceptable level of harassment - they don't see the level of abuse someone like Zoe faces, and come to the reasonable but wrong conclusion that both sides are as bad as each other.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 7:56 AM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's disturbing that these gamers have descended into a psychology in which what they're doing is just a game to be won by any means necessary. As Quinn makes clear in her leaks, it's certainly not based on any actual principles.
posted by president of the solipsist society at 7:57 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


I cannot express in words the sheer mad giggling glee that this series of tweets set off in me. These instigators are an embarrassment to my gender, my sex, my interests, my culture, and my species. May they be shunned by friend and foe alike.
posted by ChrisR at 7:59 AM on September 6, 2014 [18 favorites]


The gaming community has always included a cesspool of shitheads that periodically surfaces.

Based on my experience owning a residential property with a septic tank, if the cesspool overflows, contaminates the entire yard, submerges the house and its residents in a tidal wave of sewage, poisons the groundwater, and pours out onto the streets of the surrounding neighborhood, it's time for the non-shit-and-disease-enjoying residents to demolish the property and build a better designed property/community elsewhere because just cleaning out the cesspool isn't really going to resolve the issues at this point.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:03 AM on September 6, 2014 [35 favorites]


TB is absolutely not a "disinterested moderate," in that he at the very least supported JonTron who unapologetically distributed those pornographic cartoons of Zoe Quinn. He picked a side.
posted by griphus at 8:03 AM on September 6, 2014 [35 favorites]


i love that their downfall in this is underestimating the technical prowess of a nerdy indie video game designer just because she's a woman.
posted by nadawi at 8:03 AM on September 6, 2014 [31 favorites]


(TB's essay was discussed in the previous thread. He's no victim.)
posted by griphus at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


griphus,

Thanks for posting those donation links. I usually just turn off the garbage commentary but it doesn't help the problem underneath.

Supporting people who are actively fighting against this garbage makes me feel better. Like I'm part of the solution and not just ignoring the problem.

Cheers.
posted by Fizz at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


i don't have much sympathy for tb or boogie298 since the thing they both failed at was doing some research to find the truth before spouting off.
posted by nadawi at 8:04 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Can people please not use two-letter acronyms for participating parties? Those of us from outside the tight gamer social circle probably have no idea who "TB" is. In gaming, too, there's at least one notable personality that shares those initials.
posted by ChrisR at 8:06 AM on September 6, 2014 [13 favorites]


TB is totalbiscuit referenced to in Nonsense Factory's comment.
posted by griphus at 8:06 AM on September 6, 2014


Thanks, griphus; that was less for me and more for random wanderers-by.

continues giggling with schadenfreude
posted by ChrisR at 8:11 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Um, why should it matter if what they were saying was: "true" or not or who they supported (I don't follow TB's twitter that closely, but it would not at all surprise me if he supported JonTron who is clearly his friend - even if JonTron did not deserve support). I said they were "trying" to be moderate and thoughtful not implying that they succeeded.

My point was that they received some, but less abuse. They had people fat-shaming them, sending them death threats and insulting them. That is unacceptable to do to anyone regardless of the situation - but because of their privileged position they miss they worst of it, they don't see the reality of what Quinn faced - which is why they form the false position that "both sides" are as bad as each other.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 8:12 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I doubt anything will come of reporting it to the FBI, but I'm glad to see the logs exposed. Cockroaches think being under a rock will protect them, but not so much.
posted by immlass at 8:13 AM on September 6, 2014


if you're looking to throw out some support, might i also suggest mattie brice and jenn frank. you can get their backstory in the mary sue's article Female Game Journalists Quit Over Harassment, #GamerGate Harms Women.
posted by nadawi at 8:17 AM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


Seriously, I'm a pacifist, but after this summer, I'd stand up and cheer if someone burned down the whole Internet* and the police and the patriarchy and every fucking creep in the world with a gun, a shitty exclusionary club, and/or a jug of hateful Kool-Aid.

*Except for dogs in spider outfits.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:17 AM on September 6, 2014 [21 favorites]


The harassment of Quinn was already well underway when TotalBiscuit wrote his essay (in which he gave support to one of her harassers) and internet troglodytes have harassed Sarkeesian ever since she proposed her feminist critiques of video games. The evidence of a massive wave of spittle-flecked harassment was there for anyone who wanted to see it. There is no need to Gotta Hear Both Sides this convo.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:19 AM on September 6, 2014 [66 favorites]


Step 1. Get Phil Fish to stop talking

What?

Phil Fish stopped tweeting a year or two ago after getting sick of getting harassed constantly for being outspoken. He came out of the woodwork because of the things happening in Ferguson, MO. and spent the better part of two or three weeks yelling a lot about that[1]. Towards the tail end of Ferguson being a nightmare, his friend Zoe got doxxed.

This of course also enraged him. He said repeatedly that he'd quit games because of this shit and doing this to anyone was completely beyond the pale. Because the people doing the harassment are shitheads and already hate him, they proceeded to dox him too. Polytron's twitter and some other things were hacked.

He posted a bunch after that about (paraphrasing) "this is what you get when you get into the games industry. Don't bother. Go find something else to do." Then said he would listen to any reasonable offer for both Polytron and the Fez IP. He then deleted his twitter.

Phil Fish quit talking weeks ago, silenced by the same bullshit that's been done to Zoe.

[1] - FWIW, he had pretty reasonable opinions about that, imo, and his outrage over it was justified.
posted by sparkletone at 8:20 AM on September 6, 2014 [29 favorites]


Depressingly, when Ars Technica ran an article about this issue, the comments section quickly turned into a prime illustration of the problem within the gaming world. Suddenly, it was a pile-on of sexism and seething hate.

Normally, even when discussion is heated, the Ars members tend toward at least some semblance of order and intelligence. The bile expressed in this case was pretty horrific and really disappointing.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:20 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Zoe's new posts are hardly likely to calm things down, she could use a PR advisor at this point, (Step 1. Get Phil Fish to stop talking).

I feel like any PR-based strategy is much more likely to find success among folks who are normal humans with a normal human's relationship to art, but that's not really who the anti-Quinn crowd is; they're insane weird cowards who are so threatened by the idea of women as subjects that they're willing to create chatrooms devoted to coming up with strategies to silence any woman they perceive as a threat to their insular world of male gaming.

Normal people -- the kind that PR advisors attempt to sway -- do not flip out and call together a secret society to bring down Laura Mulvey because she wrote feminist film criticism. They don't post personal documents, addresses, and porn cartoons about woman directors because they're angry that said hypothetical woman director cheated on her ex. This is a group of mentally unwell obsessives who are reinforced in their ideas of normalcy by their insularity.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:21 AM on September 6, 2014 [70 favorites]


Um, why should it matter if what they were saying was: "true" or not

i think it matters a great deal if what boogie and tb were saying was true if what they were trying for was a moderate position. surely facts are important when attempting to do that. if they didn't want to dig in to find the facts then they could have not spoken on it at all. i don't support any harassment - it seems legitimate to question if that harassment was mostly coming from one side but made to look like it was coming from both sides (as shit like #notyourshield shows).

and, as you say - the degrees of harassment were far different. compare boogie's harassment to a smidgen of zoe's.
posted by nadawi at 8:25 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Frog Fractions 2 is really crazy on the meta.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 8:26 AM on September 6, 2014 [21 favorites]


I think TotalBiscuit and Boogie2988 did attempt to dig in and find the facts, they just failed because they are people who didn't have much involvement with the issue, and commented, if not before the harassment, then certainly in the middle before the smoke cleared and what exactly was going on was clear to them. I think / hope if they did look back on it now or in a few weeks they would want to change that, but I suspect they will not go back to it because of the reasons i already indicated.

Heck, some people have said Phil Fish made hardly any comments for ages and was quiet before things happened too. So my thing saying he should be quiet was totally misplaced. And to be fair I only spoke about what I had seen of his comments and the reaction when he made them and then generalised without checking since I stopped following this drama a few days ago. So in that respect I am just like that - reacting to the stuff I see about it and thinking that was indicative of the full picture (but not up to date or fully informed)

But still, I only brought them up not to defend them but to suggest why a meme which i agree is dangerously wrong still exists!
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 8:51 AM on September 6, 2014


Further context: /pol/, an extremely right-wing subforum of 4chan, does this kind of thing a lot. They make Twitter accounts purporting to be run by politicized women, people of color, trans people, etc., make up fake social-justice hashtags, and in general try to give intersectional leftists a bad name by saying the most extreme stuff possible. #notyourshield fits perfectly into this tradition of fakery.

It's like an entire generation of James O'Keefes. *shudder*
posted by fleetmouse at 8:54 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


remember when that guy raised a bunch of money to film himself crossing the US/Mexican border, with the approval of the border guard, dressed as Osama Bin Laden, to prove ... something

lol
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:00 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


These are the tools that Anonymous created. Flash groups organizing on 4chan and irc, using doxxing and social media. It's no wonder that there use spread to groups that might have darker motives.

That's a little revisionist. Shtstains like this are Anonymous, just as much as the people who did realtively good things like Project Chanology. Parmy Olsen's We Are Anonymous connected the dots pretty clearly.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:05 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Normal people -- the kind that PR advisors attempt to sway -- do not flip out and call together a secret society to bring down Laura Mulvey because she wrote feminist film criticism. They don't post personal documents, addresses, and porn cartoons about woman directors because they're angry that said hypothetical woman director cheated on her ex. This is a group of mentally unwell obsessives who are reinforced in their ideas of normalcy by their insularity.

It's definitely hitting the level of mass delusion or or folie à god-knows-how-many at this point, and that's pretty unsettling. What does it take to tip something like this over into considerably more dangerous territory?
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:06 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's (sadly) completely unsurprising to me that this was a planned campaign and not "just" random-trolls-ignore-them.
posted by rtha at 9:08 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I am trying to imagine how Zoe must have felt listening in on that awfulness for weeks. Just reading about it turns my stomach.
posted by trunk muffins at 9:12 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


the summaries of Gamergate etc. that I've tried to read on critical game blogs before have been overlong, byzantinely insidery, and confusing (and I used to work in the academic side of the games industry... ) so I found this Vox summary handy.
posted by Bwithh at 9:13 AM on September 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


The "funniest" part is that all along the primary known instigators of this bullshit have been people like Adam Baldwin and a fucking Breitbart columnist. Like... if you think that's the right side of history. Oof.

And then there's the nebulous "goals" of the movement. Something about "journalistic integrity", but oh we're just going to target indie journalists (most of them women). And that's somehow linked to "we want non-political game reviews". Like... I guess all game reviews should be "I pressed button A and action X happened. 10/10."

Gamers got so fucking mad when Ebert said games couldn't be art, and now they're mad that some people actually treat it as if it could be art.
posted by kmz at 9:15 AM on September 6, 2014 [40 favorites]


>also said he got abuse from both "sides" in somewhat equal amounts.

Honestly I have to think that most of the abuse was actually from the same "side", given their long history of shitposting and harassing as the other "side" to give them a bad name.
posted by anti social order at 9:17 AM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Games journalism has been a shitheap of quid-pro-quo and favoritism forever, something that the GamerGate folk seem to have had no previous problem with whatsoever. In fact it's voices that fall out of that lockstep that they want to silence.
posted by Artw at 9:19 AM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


Surely you're not besmirching the strong, fearless, independent voice of Nintendo Power
posted by Greg Nog at 9:23 AM on September 6, 2014 [23 favorites]


Nintendo "Truth to" Power
posted by echocollate at 9:25 AM on September 6, 2014 [32 favorites]


kmz: " Like... I guess all game reviews should be "I pressed button A and action X happened. 10/10.""

You mean they should be objective?
posted by RobotHero at 9:27 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


I was making little victory-fist-punching-air movements this morning when I started to read about this! After a long couple weeks of terrible shit, it's a welcome tiny relief to see Quinn both still fighting the good fight and managing to land some amazing shots. I have no idea how she or anyone else suffering under these attacks has the fortitude and hope to keep going, but I'm so thankful they do.

I don't know how large a victory this is but, based on the mailing lists and fora I visit... seeing the cockroaches flee from the sunlight there makes me feel it's not insubstantial.

Those of you out there fighting the attackers, abusers, and a**holes: thank you.
posted by introp at 9:28 AM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Something about "journalistic integrity", but oh we're just going to target indie journalists (most of them women).

There's nothing more loaded with honor and integrity than "I'm going to destroy your life because you said my favorite band sandbox toy sucks."
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:28 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


> That's a little revisionist. Shtstains like this are Anonymous, just as much as the people who did realtively good things like Project Chanology. Parmy Olsen's We Are Anonymous connected the dots pretty clearly.

Still, this has to be the biggest and most shameful waste of organizing talent and ability that 4chan has publicly displayed in a very long time. That's the downside of everyone retreating to or hiding behind the same identity of "Anonymous," I guess. Most people don't know what the fuck Anonymous is, so this is only going to make people even more dismissive of the next voice-modulated Youtube video threat or asshole in a Guy Fawkes mask who shows up to a protest. Maybe with good reason.

But I think Anonymous does serve as a partial reflection of contemporary society. That they have gone off the deep (right) end and now devote valuable time and effort to hacking Zoe Quinn rather than the comedy goldmine that is Sarah Palin, for instance. And that they are so careless and childish reflects more on exploiting the freedom of the Internet rather than protecting the freedom of the Internet.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 9:33 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Greg Nog: "Surely you're not besmirching the strong, fearless, independent voice of Nintendo Power"

Thankfully, Nintendo has listened to our demands for journalistic integrity, and shut down their propaganda print shop.
posted by pwnguin at 9:34 AM on September 6, 2014


Reading those logs I have a hard time grokking what's required to feel so passionately about something that you're willing to behave like such an amoral piece of shit for it.
posted by echocollate at 9:34 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Nintendo "Truth to" Power

With Nintendo Power comes Nintendo Responsibility
posted by RogerB at 9:35 AM on September 6, 2014 [52 favorites]


So I've been pretty gleeful about this all morning. My partner is all less amused because he's wondering who doesn't already know folks on 4chan, etc. organize harassment campaigns. What does this change? But then I explain that, no, not everyone realizes that harassment is sometimes organized and that lots of people still believe it's only a couple teenagers in basements. A large release like this is candy for media to actually talk about this in a way that might actually get around.
posted by R343L at 9:36 AM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


This makes me feel old and smugly superior. That's probably not the best thing.
posted by tommasz at 9:39 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


>Still, this has to be the biggest and most shameful waste of organizing talent and ability that 4chan has publicly displayed in a very long time.

I dunno, they raised hundred of thousands of dollars to spew racist shit and support Mike Brown's killer on GoFundMe. That was like 2 weeks ago. But it's the worst they've done since that, sure.
posted by DGStieber at 9:44 AM on September 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


The stuff that demonstrates Zoe was actively being hacked is good (although the idea that she had doxxed herself to get sympathy was always extremely far-fetched) and it's nice to see these jerks admitting that the charge she had hacked the FYC group of female game devs (the one they refer to as their PR smokescreen to defuse charges of misogyny) was false - they say the supposed DDOS was an accident.

But to me, the most damning thing here is the admission that the whole #gamergate thing was just "a few days of 4-5 of us doing it, but it's taking off ."
posted by straight at 9:47 AM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


If you're looking for a great group of gamers check out Mefightclub. I have zero time anymore but they're an excellent bunch.
posted by odinsdream at 9:52 AM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


ABORT THE RAID IRCs

ZOE IS IN THEM


[pauses to enjoy some comic relief amid the horribleness] Every single variation of this is gonna look schadenfreudelicious in Impact.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:59 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


^THE SOCIAL JUSTICE IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE CHAT!

> I dunno, they raised hundred of thousands of dollars to spew racist shit and support Mike Brown's killer on GoFundMe. That was like 2 weeks ago. But it's the worst they've done since that, sure.

I guess I meant in the more technical, hacktivist sense, but just imagine I let out an indignant and disappointed sigh for the length it takes to read this comment.
posted by Johann Georg Faust at 10:01 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


>Reading those logs I have a hard time grokking what's required to feel so passionately about something that you're willing to behave like such an amoral piece of shit for it.

They're not really doing this out of any particular conviction. They're in it for the lulz.
posted by LogicalDash at 10:02 AM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


I am trying to imagine how Zoe must have felt listening in on that awfulness for weeks.

Spending days attending meetings that no one else is paying attention to and carefully recording and documenting what goes on, it's almost like...what was that thing a bunch of people were upset about the integrity of? Journalism?

No, I'm sorry. Journalism is a blog post that says, "Ubisoft e-mailed me a link to their newest AssCreed trailer. Here it is."
posted by straight at 10:03 AM on September 6, 2014 [28 favorites]


#notallgamers
posted by wuwei at 10:09 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Journalism has been a shitheap of quid-pro-quo and favoritism forever,

That's trade journalism for you.
posted by Mezentian at 10:19 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


you don't get to act all surprised when sex-shaming misogynist assholes are the face of your movement.

And they are. I won't choose self-identified "gamers" for my teams at work anymore. They turn out to be gross people with disproportionate frequency.

Go ahead and use that as evidence that you're being unfairly persecuted.
posted by ctmf at 10:20 AM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


It's like an entire generation of James O'Keefes.

This really is a useful way of recasting it. A lot of what's happening here is not really specific to gamer culture, but rather continuous with a general set of right-wing culture war tactics and ideologies. I linked Peter Frase's "Gamer's Revanche" essay in the last thread, but it's probably worth a relink here, too, on the subject.
posted by RogerB at 10:21 AM on September 6, 2014 [20 favorites]


you don't get to act all surprised when sex-shaming misogynist assholes are the face of your movement.

And to make an even stronger statement: the organizers were surely expecting that there would a sizable group of gamers ready and willing to signal-boost #gamergate and #notourshield. Without a foundation of misogyny, racism, and entitlement among many gamers, those hashtags would not have exploded.

Hopefully any supporters of #gamergate who are now feeling fooled and betrayed will take a moment to think a bit, and may even learn some empathy.
posted by metaquarry at 10:24 AM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Since you're the last one out, don't forget to shut off the lights.
posted by trunk muffins at 10:32 AM on September 6, 2014


The thing is, even for the "innocent" that didn't know what they were getting into, just what the hell did they think they could accomplish? These people think they know more about journalism than the Guardian and hounded one the best games writers we have out of the business. I actually looked at the Objective Reviews site a few days ago but got bummed out because the latest reviewer profile there is for another writer that's had enough. One of their latest campaigns is to write to game companies... Guess what, those are the people who actually have the money to buy influence and who've actually been caught doing it in the past. But no, the problem is women writers earning pocket change on Patreon.
posted by kmz at 10:33 AM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


You fags kept yelling "FALSE FLAG" and sewing an atmosphere of conspiracism

I initially imagined this as something out of a Monty Python sketch, where they are all dressed up as the Pepperpots at a quilting bee, and they start screaming at each other about the flag they are sewing ("that's not a flag, THAT'S A FALSE FLAG!") and then Michael Palin starts hitting Terry Jones over the head with a purse. Then I started hearing it my head in the voice of Steve Coogan as Michael Caine ("when it gets loudly, IT GETS VERY LOUD INDEED"), and now I can't stop laughing.

What I am saying is that you should try imagining all of these chat logs as being read in the voices of various British comedians doing random impersonations.

posted by scody at 10:42 AM on September 6, 2014 [24 favorites]


What were the names of the guys who fired Jeff Gertsman because he wouldn't give Kayne and Lynch 2 a good review? I mean, if we care so much about the integrity of video game "journalism" we must remember the men who were involved in one of the biggest scandals of all time.

Oh wait.

I said men, didn't I?

My bad.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 10:44 AM on September 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


Can't vouch for this, nor did I read much of it, but purported full IRC log of #burgersandfries from August 18 to today.
posted by Nelson at 10:49 AM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


On the meme side of things, 4chan’s /v/ forum is also butthurt about Zoe Quinn so they are donating to a group that Quinn has criticized for exploiting women game designers for free work through a contest. As a result of their donations, /v/ gets to design a video game character for inclusion in the game that ultimately wins the contest.

Thus, Vivian James was born as the daughter of 4chan’s video games board. She is an anime embodiment of video games (video games/Vivian James). Not unlike OS-tan but /v/ is patting themselves on the back by waiting a hot minute before sexualizing this one Rule 34-style. She dresses plainly.

Her personality is that she has a low affect, hates hypocrisy and is a hardcore gamer. That is to say, she’s the cartoon mouthpiece of 4chan’s gamer community and the only hypocrisy that she’s likely to ever speak out against is “Social Justice Warrior” hypocrisy.

Vivian James has a four leaf clover in her hair to symbolize 4chan. Her nicknames are Level (for /v/) and Clover. Her token colors, purple and green, are a troll to remind the viewer of the Piccolo Dick/Daily Dose meme. Piccolo Dick is a meme GIF of Piccolo from Dragonball Z raping Vegeta. Daily Dose refers to a troll experiment to get people to associate the colors purple and green with the original GIF.

I guess Vivian James is supposed to be an icon for women’s rights because her look is only making light of male cartoon on male cartoon rape.

This article is pretty good on the subject: http://kittenofdiscord.blogspot.com/2014/09/vivian-james-and-4chan.html
posted by Skwirl at 10:50 AM on September 6, 2014 [19 favorites]


I don't want to diminish what Quinn did because it is glorious. However, I will say that for people who are supposedly all l33t hax0rz, their twitter campaign was phenomenally inept. So many egg avatars with single-digit followers and double-digit post counts who suddenly are VARY CONSERNED with games journalism and assure you they are transgender Uzbekistani polygamists or some shit, all following the exact same script. If you pushed back even a little they called you a troll and dismissed you. I've seen corporate Twitter accounts trying to get people excited about lawncare products that had more basic Twitter savvy. It showed how people who do nothing all day except hang out on 4chan and play videogames don't really know how to do anything EXCEPT hang out on 4chan and play videogames. Out of their element, they had no idea how to deal with other people. They weren't even that much fun to screw around with.
posted by Legomancer at 10:55 AM on September 6, 2014 [14 favorites]


Gamers got so fucking mad when Ebert said games couldn't be art, and now they're mad that some people actually treat it as if it could be art.

I think it's more that a certain very vocal faction of gamers get enraged when anyone levels any sort of criticism toward their beloved world.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:56 AM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


The Gerstman saga is exactly what I was thinking of with big companies buying influence. Tangentially, I really wish Giant Bomb were calling out this bullshit more publicly. They've spoken out against it at panels and on Twitter, but a big headline on the site is what's needed.
posted by kmz at 10:58 AM on September 6, 2014


OK, this ARG for Watch Dogs has gotten way out of hand.


I mean, half this stuff wasn't even in the game.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:08 AM on September 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


This is a fascinating and scary little revelation. What seemed to be a grass-roots explosion of abuse and concern trolling turned out to be a conspiracy of abuse and concern trolling.

I think the tactics on display -- mobs of social media sockpuppets to stir up memes, harass opponents, concern-troll, discredit via false flag, etc -- are sort of the next generation of PR. We know the Department of Defense has at least dipped its toe into this stuff, and I suspect much more. Other national governments, multinationals, major police departments, and groups connected to major political parties are probably doing it too. More and more groups will, as off-the-shelf tools become cheaper and better.

What distinguishes Anonymous, and splinter or copy-cat efforts like this one, is that they're able to use these tactics as a lever. They'd have almost no influence without them; with them, they can set agendas.

But, because they're run by Internet randos instead of contractors in a Virginia office park, they have to make compromises on operational security. They meet in chat rooms or on the public web -- passwords are no help if you don't know who you're talking to in the first place, so they don't use them. It's security through obscurity, based on the premise that decent people will be too grossed out to monitor 4chan.

The point I'm getting around to, is that when you learn about a conspiracy through an extraordinary leak like this, you have to adjust your estimate of the base rate of conspiracies. If these chat logs hadn't come out, we could have gone on thinking we were looking at a kind of movement -- a spontaneous eruption of public opinion.

How often do we see something blow up like this on social media, hard to predict in advance but with wide consequences and the power to control the conversation? It seems to happen a lot, now. Some of these are just natural contagions, but some of them -- it is now clear -- are orchestrated. How many? Which ones? By whom? Cui bono?

How much is our political life now shaped by this kind of event? Rest assured that our rulers, and would-be rulers, have taken note.
posted by grobstein at 11:12 AM on September 6, 2014 [17 favorites]


The bizspeak for this seems to be "persona management." Publicly available docs show that the US military has put millions of dollars into it. (Who knows what publicly unavailable docs would show, duh.)
posted by grobstein at 11:18 AM on September 6, 2014




Previously.
posted by grobstein at 11:24 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


See also this July document release by Glenn Greenwald of a 2012-and-earlier list of software tools available to Britain's GHCQ intelligence service for similar endeavours.
posted by XMLicious at 11:27 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


What happens when you have poor operation security combined with poor understanding of legal matters and computer forensics?

via
Lizard Squad, meanwhile, seemed to revel in the real-world chaos it had caused, retweeting messages from some of the 179 disrupted passengers and even an apparent picture of the plane's luggage search. The group also seemed to mock the idea that the FBI would be able to apprehend them. "How do you succesfully [sic] prosecute someone with 0 physical evidence?" one tweet asked. "You can't arrest me im [sic] god," reads another tweet.
Jailtime.
posted by el io at 11:34 AM on September 6, 2014


kmz: "I actually looked at the Objective Reviews site a few days ago but got bummed out because the latest reviewer profile there is for another writer that's had enough."

Not sure if you realize that the Objective Game Reviews site is a satire run by people from the Idle Thumbs forums.
posted by straight at 11:38 AM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have not followed this at all, but OMG this guy's breakup blog is UNREAL.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:40 AM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


We probably shouldn't have sent a generation of young men into elaborate virtual worlds where cooperative violence was rewarded and women were mostly hypersexualized eye candy that fulfill male player fantasies.
posted by humanfont at 11:42 AM on September 6, 2014 [34 favorites]


I can heartily recommend a breakup journal. Sometimes its important when you are going through emotional crisis to write stuff out. It helps clear the mind, get things off your chest, get a greater understanding of where you are and how you got there.

For the love of everything sane, do not share such a journal with anyone, in particular do not share it with everyone. Hell, you probably won't be able to stomach reading it yourself, after a few months time.
posted by el io at 11:54 AM on September 6, 2014 [15 favorites]


We probably shouldn't have sent a generation of young men into elaborate virtual worlds where cooperative violence was rewarded and women were mostly hypersexualized eye candy that fulfill male player fantasies.

There's a reason they hate Anita Sarkeesian.
posted by Artw at 12:05 PM on September 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


For the love of everything sane, do not share such a journal with anyone, in particular do not share it with everyone.

Yeah, but in this case this Eron douche appears to be actually participating and assisting the campaign of harrassment. This wasn't an ill-advised or inadvertent exposure, this is just straight up disgusting smearing of a former lover. This guy is a piece of shit.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:11 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Sorry, but Anita Sarkeesian's Videos are a big Ripp-Off. I have been reviewing Games since 1989 professionally and also wrote several Hint Books and as well as Books about Design.

Each one of her +$25.000 Videos (that's the Money from her Kickstarter Campaign divided by the Number of Videos she has produced) just REPEATS what she already said BEFORE she started her "Study".

A Study is supposed to look at the available Data and analyse - in this Case Imagery and Social Behaviour - and then report back.

But what she said before she started the Game is exactly the same AFTER the finished the "Study".

Many "Observations" are simply biased, she presents no Data or Lists for Comparisons.


For Example: In a Game that is about being a paid Contract Killer she only focuses on Women being killed in the Game. She describes it all as typical Misogyny, but there is NO Mentioning of all the (innocent) Men killed in the Game either. Most "Victims" in this Game are Male, not Women. They are equally objectified. The Murderer has NO sexual Interaction with any of his Victims.


And the most important Aspects her Work is NOT PEER REVIEWED as you would expect from some serious SCIENTIFIC PAPER.

The few other "Studies" she quotes are also none, but Articles and Essays by other Feminists that have also never been scientifically been Peer Reviewed.

That some Gamers or better say Boys overreact is nothing new, because they are young Dorks.

BUT any serious Criticism is also screamed down by Feminists and their Supporters are being Sexist. So we have reached in Cultural Critique that exact same feminist Stalinism Camille Paglia has warned about for Decades.


Let me also state something about Anita Sarkeesian's Behaviour when she was threatened.

Any Policemen and Psychologist will tell you that when you receive a Threat you DON'T GO PUBLIC with it for your own Safety and to help the Investigation.

Why did she do this? It is utterly the wring Thing to do.


Overall I see a lot of "wrong Conduct" on all Sides, but I am especially disappointed that the Media and many Supporters are showing the same Feminist Gag Reflex to any serious Criticism to the so called "Studies".
posted by homodigitalis at 12:12 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


That is frighteningly accurate.
posted by Artw at 12:14 PM on September 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


And the most important Aspects her Work is NOT PEER REVIEWED as you would expect from some serious SCIENTIFIC PAPER.

Is this a parody? I'm asking earnestly.
posted by dialetheia at 12:15 PM on September 6, 2014 [72 favorites]


I'm hoping so, now I have doubts.
posted by Artw at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


Sorry, but Anita Sarkeesian's Videos are a big Ripp-Off. I have been reviewing Games since 1989 professionally and also wrote several Hint Books and as well as Books about Design.

Source your quotes.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:16 PM on September 6, 2014 [17 favorites]


In the related thread I posted Liz R's article which is pretty thoughtful. One aspect of which is she does empathize with being attached to "gamer" as an identity. These guys don't represent "gamers" as a whole, but they do show the origins of this movement that purported to be about ethics and transparency was not terribly ethical and was not transparent.


straight: "kmz: "I actually looked at the Objective Reviews site a few days ago but got bummed out because the latest reviewer profile there is for another writer that's had enough."

Not sure if you realize that the Objective Game Reviews site is a satire run by people from the Idle Thumbs forums.
"

Yes, but the Subjective Reviewers of the Month are real people who do genuine game reviews.
posted by RobotHero at 12:17 PM on September 6, 2014


Either spot-on tone parody or near-future deletion.
posted by Existential Dread at 12:17 PM on September 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


Is this a parody? I'm asking earnestly.

Nah, I think that Guy is for real. I remember he said some other dumb Thing about Feminism a While back and People thought it was a Parody because he wouldn't stop reflexively capitalizing his Nouns.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:19 PM on September 6, 2014 [36 favorites]


[Evidence suggests that the poster above is sincere. Please try not to let one comment completely warp the conversation. Thanks. ]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:21 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


People thought it was a Parody because he wouldn't stop reflexively capitalizing his Nouns.

I suspect that's more a side effect of him being German (nouns get capitalized), but yeah, he definitely seems very for real.

As a supporter of Sarkeesian's work, so far I have yet to feel ripped off. I have also not yet found anyone that did actually back the work with real money say they felt ripped off either, just very concerned dudes.
posted by ndfine at 12:24 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Guys, stop giving him grief. You all know that the truth in a comment is proportional to the number of random capitals contained within.
posted by Justinian at 12:26 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ah. German. Fair enough.
posted by Artw at 12:26 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Oh, he is German? Oops. Sorry.

In any case I think that if you've fallen back to a position of "THE PEOPLE SENDING RAPE AND DEATH THREATS ARE A FALSE FLAG OPERATION" you should probably rethink your life.
posted by Justinian at 12:27 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


People thought it was a Parody because he wouldn't stop reflexively capitalizing his Nouns.

Sometimes you do get the creeping suspicion that the German language was created for a millennium-long slow-burn joke.
posted by RogerB at 12:27 PM on September 6, 2014 [12 favorites]


If video game reviewing doesn't work out, he can always have a fine career as an 18th-century novelist.
posted by FelliniBlank at 12:27 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Not sure if you realize that the Objective Game Reviews site is a satire run by people from the Idle Thumbs forums."

Yes I do?

Yes, but the Subjective Reviewers of the Month are real people who do genuine game reviews.

Indeed, and Lana Polansky is one of the people these shitlords have driven off.
posted by kmz at 12:29 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


This enormous text file which may crash or massively lag your browser is claimed to be a complete log of #burgersandfries, the IRC channel in question, from August 18 up through when it was abandoned.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:34 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm actually quite satisfied with the results of my unfashionably old-school approach to the affair: Ignoring who's a misogynist and who's a bad girlfriend, and just asking what she's being accused of and what proof is being offered. And when you get to the answer that there's no proof of anything except that some ex-boyfriend believes there's no low to which she will not sink, that's pretty much all you need to know to know that she's been wronged.
posted by tyllwin at 12:44 PM on September 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


There's a reason they hate Anita Sarkeesian.

I'm wondering if the real problem here is dudes seeing a woman talking about video games who comes across as authoritative rather than as a sex object and their instinctive reaction is, "OH NO MOM IS GONNA TAKE AWAY MY VIDEO GAMES AGAIN."
posted by straight at 12:46 PM on September 6, 2014 [23 favorites]


Ars Technica is somewhat bifurcated these days. The front page alternates between being quite useful and being clickbait-y. Front page comments are usually not very good and are full of knee-jerks.

The Ars forum is very different and is a little like Metafilter: almost unchanged in appearance and posting style since the early 2000s, and still full of decent quality posts. Few of the front pagers show up. Here's their discussion of what's going on. Much more nuanced.
posted by honestcoyote at 12:47 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


For whatever reason, I've known a lot of native German speakers in my life, and I don't remember any of them having particular trouble with the idea that in German, you capitalize nouns, and in English, you capitalize only proper nouns. It's not like it's one of those things you only learn in advanced study of the language. Much of what's being capitalized there are nouns, but not entirely. If it's not a parody, it's at the very least just poor writing.

I wish I could say any of this really surprised me, but it really doesn't. In particular, I wish people would stop using "Anonymous" like it's the name of an organization. It's not. It is, indeed, much like one of those random capitalizations. The people are anonymous. There has been anonymous heroism and anonymous dickery for basically all of human history, but there is not actually some organization under which all of those anonymous heroes and dicks are included. Especially for stuff like this, they seem to want to think of themselves as some kind of army, but they apparently haven't gotten a very accurate picture from said video games about how armies actually work. They want to be fighting for something.

I guess what I'm saying is that what we've ended up is an internet straight out of The Gate to Women's Country. We have this group of men, mostly young, who see themselves as Fighting The Good Fight against all comers, and they're dwindling in numbers, but the more they dwindle, the more dangerous they get. They still see themselves as representing the majority, against all available evidence--they find some way of dismissing every man who's gone over to what they see as "the other side". They want to be heroic, they want a fight, but there's nothing to die for, here, and I honestly think they would be happier if there was. In the absence of that, they keep trying to create their own wars, despite the complete lack of anything actually worth going to war over.
posted by Sequence at 12:48 PM on September 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


Never attribute to Germany what can be easily explained by whining sad-sackery
posted by Greg Nog at 12:55 PM on September 6, 2014 [53 favorites]


Each one of her +$25.000 Videos

Shit, youtube must be responsible for piracy of these videos, because I never paid for them.

Oh, wait, huh... They were meant to be publicly distributed for free? How do they cost 25$? Oh, people were supporting her so she could make the videos... Um, okay, so then they don't cost 25$. But what your saying is that the people that funded the videos are now really pissed because they weren't part of an academic study?

Oh, no, the people that paid for the video are not upset, because they were never given any expectations of a formal academic study?

But the important thing, as you pointed out, is that we are now getting to a point of feminist Stalinism? The impressive thing about this of course is that the millions of bodies are so well hidden and no families have reported missing relatives. Oh, wait, by Stalinist, you mean someone is doing some writing that is critiquing something and you disagree with it?

If yours is the most serious critique there is of her work, then her work must be pretty rock solid.

Well done invoking Stalinism instead of the Holocaust, as a Holocaust comparison would be immediately deleted (well, more likely so). Also, I had to go into your posting history to ensure that you weren't trying to make the point that her attackers sounded unhinged; but it looks like your attack is 'sincere'.

If anyone has any pointers to actual serious criticism of Anita's work, please post them, I'd be most interested.
posted by el io at 12:58 PM on September 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


A Study is supposed to look at the available Data and analyse - in this Case Imagery and Social Behaviour - and then report back.

Homodigitalis, you appear to be very confused about the purpose and intent of Anita Sarkeesian's videos. They are for educational purposes, applying fairly standard sociological analysis to computer games. No scientific papers or studies required.
posted by pharm at 1:00 PM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


LogicalDash: They're not really doing this out of any particular conviction. They're in it for the lulz.

Sorry, but no, this is letting them off too easy.

I'm a former hate spewing, photobucket hacking, piece of shit internet troll. I was a hunk of crap in my early teens. I was around on 4chan being a piece of shit when it was only six months old or so, right after it got posted about on SA.

This is not the same as those lulz quests. This is like opsteubenville or something where they think they're actually Fighting The Good Fight and revealing a great injustice in the world. They, from what i've seen, really think this woman somehow unfairly extracted attention from and advanced herself in society by using sex or whatever, and deserves to be punished to the maximum amount they can dish out.

Similarly, they think Sarkeesian is basically a nazi propagandist out to besmirch their good names.

This isn't about pissing people off and laughing at their flailing overreactions like classic lulz was, this isn't raiding some furry or otherkin messageboard/community, this is actively trying to destroy someone.

Which isn't virgin territory for anonymous, or 4chan, or raid IRC channels. They've done it to "camwhores" in the past and other women who just pissed them off.

This type of nerd has a deep seated hatred for women. I could wax poetic with my thoughts about why that is, and what that is, etc... but the point is there is nothing lulzy about this. It's pure, breaking your little brothers nintendo because he beat you kind of childish baby rage.

Take from that what you will, but it's the fucking truth. And associating it with "lulz" at all is on the same road as the "both sides" crap. These guys are pretty much cartoon villains that are purely evil in this situation, and they are 100% completely serious. They're like the pig dude from captain planet that just two dimensionally wants to pollute the world and kill everyone and has no character depth. It's like, cyclopic single minded rage, ok?
posted by emptythought at 1:00 PM on September 6, 2014 [73 favorites]


The gaming community has always included a cesspool of shitheads that periodically surfaces, and most frequent gamers have found their ways to avoid them.But it's hard to do if you're a developer.

Been at it since 1998, and I disagree.

You have to keep a professional distance with your work, you are not the game you're working on, the game you're working on is not you.
posted by coust at 1:01 PM on September 6, 2014


I would submit that it's a much harder thing to keep distance from if you're a female developer, rather than a male game developer.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:05 PM on September 6, 2014 [26 favorites]


The idea that #gamergate is about corruption in the game media scene is laughable. If the supporters actually cared about the corruption, they would go after the biggest targets, like the Youtube stars (like Total Biscuit) who make advertising videos for specific video games in a blatant conflict of interest.

Also, even when the gamersgate people were alleging that Zoe Quinn was somehow attacking the Fine Young Capitalists, they had nothing for proof.
posted by clockworkjoe at 1:13 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


... ah the good old Tactic of Diminishing an Argument by making the Person behind it a Joke.

Isn't that what is happening between Gamers and Feminists right now?

But oh no the political Correctness Police on MeFi does a similar Thing to a Guy who has "funny" Spelling (because he comes from different Culture).


Easy Target - well done!


I welcome anyone who looks at what I am saying, not how I spell my Arguments.

So if any of you can reply to me in German on the same Level you are welcome.
posted by homodigitalis at 1:13 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I welcome anyone who looks at what I am saying, not how I spell my Arguments.

how you spell your arguments is more interesting than what you're saying
posted by pyramid termite at 1:15 PM on September 6, 2014 [70 favorites]


... ah the good old Tactic of Diminishing an Argument by making the Person behind it a Joke.

...so you're saying that you're secretly on our side?
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:16 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Well, assuming you're on the level and ignoring *how* you say it, everything you say is stupid. Stupid to the point where everyone thought you were a parody account.

Sorry about that.
posted by Artw at 1:19 PM on September 6, 2014 [34 favorites]


homodigitalis, perhaps you could engage with the arguments of those people who have made substantive criticisms of what you've written? Your current alternative isn't doing you any favours I can assure you.
posted by pharm at 1:21 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


like the Youtube stars (like Total Biscuit) who make advertising videos for specific video games in a blatant conflict of interest.

Did you read the article you linked to? 'Cause it sure doesn't seem like it. It seems like you just decided you didn't like TotalBiscuit and so obviously this must say he did something bad.
posted by Justinian at 1:21 PM on September 6, 2014


Well sure. Let's look at what you are saying.

Any Policemen and Psychologist will tell you that when you receive a Threat you DON'T GO PUBLIC with it for your own Safety and to help the Investigation.

Why did she do this? It is utterly the wring Thing to do.


I fail to see what relevance this has to her game criticism. Also, let us know what you do when you are put in the same situation, doxxed and threatened with rape or death. I'm sure it will be The Right Thing So No One Will Judge Your Actions Negatively In Any Way.
posted by Existential Dread at 1:24 PM on September 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


I welcome anyone who looks at what I am saying, not how I spell my Arguments.

Ok, I did, and I also even mentioned that you're likely a native German speaker and that it is understandable that you would capitalize nouns. Your response is very much the wrong way to have anyone take you seriously.

I would like to know why you (and anyone else) that did not actually give money to Anita Sarkeesian's kickstarter are so concerned with the videos being such a "rip off"? You made the argument, I read it, and I'm engaging in good faith.
posted by ndfine at 1:26 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I welcome anyone who looks at what I am saying, not how I spell my Arguments.

Anyone who looks at what you're saying can see pretty clearly that it's made up of regurgitated misogynist brigade talking points. That doesn't leave an awful lot else to react to.

Also, as a point of information, I backed her KS campaign, and I'm fucking thrilled with the work she has done. It is above and beyond anything I could have hoped for, and my experience has been that this is true of nearly everyone who backed her.
posted by tocts at 1:27 PM on September 6, 2014 [20 favorites]


Being given more than you ask for on Kickstarter is tantamount to fraud if you're Anita Sarkeesian, but not if you're the game developers I like! Woo, stretch goals! Except if you're Anita etc etc etc
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:27 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


To be fair, I'd be annoyed too if I posted in Spanish and people spent much of the time making fun of my Spanish spelling.

I mean, he's wrong, but this musta been annoying for him. It is unfortunate that German Capitalization and Internet Crank Capitalization look similar.
posted by Justinian at 1:28 PM on September 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


I welcome anyone who looks at what I am saying, not how I spell my Arguments.

What you're saying is equal parts "boys will be boys," "feminazis are the enemy, gamers are the victims," "one tiny part of her argument is bad and therefore it is now invalid," and "she's no SCIENTIST, let's ignore her." None of that is anything new on this topic, it's nothing new for this discussion, and exactly the kind of dismissive BS of violent rhetoric and action that justifies her and others speaking out more and more often.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:29 PM on September 6, 2014 [28 favorites]


I agree this has nothing to do with "lulz". Maybe raiding Second Life was about the lulz. Hell, even Chanology's catalyst was the CoS issuing takedown notices all over YouTube when people were spreading that surreal Tom Cruise interview. 4chan has, for a very long time now, been a reposit for reactionary sleaze, whether about gender, race, politics or whatever the hell else. Young white suburban boys who make your alcoholic granduncle and his Lion Club pals look downright progressive. Fortunately, they're also self-important enough to believe in their own invincibility, with predictable and hilarious results.

Also, let's please not make this thread a one-man panel discussion with someone who flounced in here with a flottila of strawmen.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 1:32 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


I mean, he's wrong, but this musta been annoying for him. It is unfortunate that German Capitalization and Internet Crank Capitalization look similar.

Yeah, and to be completely honest, I'm avoiding the majority of his obviously wrong crank talking points (political correctness police! feminist Stalinism!) based completely on trying to give a non-native English speaker a little benefit of the doubt.
posted by ndfine at 1:33 PM on September 6, 2014


I might've just lost all form of respect for anything positive that has ever come out of 4chan.

this is just wrong. on so many levels.

her personal life is hers, and the ex should've kept the cranky ex stuff to his friends or a trained professional.

this is just.. depressive and wrong.
posted by xcasex at 1:38 PM on September 6, 2014


I might've just lost all form of respect for anything positive that has ever come out of 4chan.

Let's face it, that's always been surrounded by a gigantic amount of self-mythologizing.
posted by Artw at 1:41 PM on September 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


her personal life is hers, and the ex should've kept the cranky ex stuff to his friends or a trained professional.

Yea, I mean that was my primary point in the original thread. If you had some sort of magic machine that removed misogyny from the reaction, everyone would have just pointed and laughed at the guy for posting all this personal shit and a flaccid attempted takedown for everyone to see.

But you add women to gaming, and we get this.

Anonymous should be harassing that guy, for trying to shit on a game developer who dumped him and being a "friendzoned" loser whose basically mad he doesn't get to have sex with her. But the incel armada is strong and angry, I guess.
posted by emptythought at 1:53 PM on September 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


Gaming really is descending into morass of entitled dudebro man-children.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 1:55 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


well, they press a button and get the thing they want - over and over and over

and then in real life, they can't figure out why it doesn't work
posted by pyramid termite at 1:59 PM on September 6, 2014 [6 favorites]


RogerB, your link to Frase's article reminds me of this pretty-decent article in Jacobin, Death to the Gamer.

I had some issues with the article, but on talking about this with a close friend who works in the video game industry it's really about how an identity based on consumption is not suitable for organizing a struggle to go beyond our current social-economic arrangements.


An identity based on consumption merely strengthens the existing system, which encourages us to view ourselves as consumers, versus as citizens or democratic participants in something other than market relationships.

That's the argument that says that people who identify as "gamers" on reddit or other social media can't organize effectively to change the system when their very identity is bound to it. I don't think the article makes that clear enough; it assumes the reader shares this belief implicitly.

Nonetheless, the argument stands that "gamer" as an identity is pretty lame:
When your identity has been manufactured by corporations urging you to consume certain things in prescribed ways, then any change, no matter how small, is an existential threat. When women challenge decades of almost exclusively male fantasies of sex and power, this alters the content the gamer consumes. And when that content is altered, gamer identity itself under threat. The vitriol isn’t contrived or artificially manufactured. It has a source.

Which brings me to the second problem. There are cries from some quarters that this is not representative of gamer culture, that the word “gamer” should be reclaimed as something good. But it was never good. It was never worth saving.

Gamer identity is tainted, root and branch, by its embrace of consumption as a way of life. If gamers suddenly became completely inclusive, if all of the threats and stamping of feet went away and the doors were flung open, conspicuous consumption would still be the essential core of their identity. The mythical gamer who does not exist to consume is not a gamer. A raisin is not a grape, and no amount of rehydration will turn it into one.
posted by wuwei at 2:03 PM on September 6, 2014 [13 favorites]


Meanwhile the latest estimates have women at 48% of all gamers.

So these shits can do what they will- there's no path to victory for them, but by god they're going to torch some oil wells along the way.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:03 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Games are an utterly mainstream activity for normal people now. Fuck "gamers" and their terrible internet troll-holes.
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Greg, I have to disagree a bit.

The key to distance is you promote your game, not you. Put as much distance between your identity and the game you're making. I see a lot of indie devs failing at doing this.

For devs working in studios it's easier (especially a big one) since they'll have people handling PR, and the studio/company will become the target instead of the developers.

There needs to be a buffer between you and the game, so that when idiots want to criticize your work, they'll go after the game not after you. This also means that maybe you interact with respectful people, but you always ignore the others.

But I'll totally give you this, chances are some idiots won't get it and attack you, and I don't know if the probability is higher if you're a woman but the attacks sure are harsher right now.

But this discussion is kind of spin-off, I see the #gamergate situation as something unrelated to "distance" since it is a viscous public attack on a person that has sparked from private matter. As for the attacks on Anita she's not a developer so I don't really think distance applies here.

And just to close, it's really important to separate "people who play game" with self identified hardcore gamers on the internet, there's a few orders of magnitude less of the later than the former but they are much more vocal.
posted by coust at 2:08 PM on September 6, 2014


homodigitalis: Each one of her +$25.000 Videos (that's the Money from her Kickstarter Campaign divided by the Number of Videos she has produced) just REPEATS what she already said BEFORE she started her "Study". A Study is supposed to look at the available Data and analyse - in this Case Imagery and Social Behaviour - and then report back.

If you look at the Kickstarter page for the Tropes vs Women in Video Games project, not once did Anita use the word "study" to describe the project she wanted to put together. In American Standard English (in general) using the noun "study" for a project does indicate some kind of science-based intentionality -- but again, she never used the word. Please correct me if I'm wrong and she does actually refer somewhere to her work on this project as a "study".

I think there are a vocal number of people here and elsewhere on the internets who are trying to say that there is value in Anita's videos even just existing, because there's value in the consideration of the roles women play in video games, even simply as an exercise in discovery of the topic. And whether you think she does a good job of that discovery process, of laying out the who/what/where/when/why, is something that's more of a valid debate in that context.

A qualitative exploration of the state of women in video games is valuable to some people as a means of opening the door to discussion among the general population of how women are represented in games and why. So, for those people who value these viewpoints and opinions for the sake of them being talked about by a larger audience who are less informed/aware, Anita's videos (or Zoe Quinn's work, to stay on topic) are intrinsically valuable for simply existing, and their being unscientific is essentially a non-issue.

Whether you believe Anita's videos are valid scientific work is irrelevant to the discussion, and your fixation on that sub-topic only serves to detract from the main point of the message: these phenomena are real, they are happening, and they are worth discussing.
posted by Snacks at 2:23 PM on September 6, 2014 [22 favorites]


I only identify as a gamer in that I play games, so I should probably emphasize player, more than gamer. Play is the thing.

I respected Zoe Quinn and appreciated Depression Quest, but found it shallow both thematically in the subject of depression and as a narrative twine-game. Everything I've experienced of her as a person kills the vast majority of my desire to ever play something she creates ever again.

I respect and appreciate Anita Sarkeesian, but the series has begun to show cracks and they are rather glaring. I think there is a problem of earlier claims of expertise in the subject matter being later admitted to a more glancing familiarity. That said, I want to see more of what she creates.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 2:28 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I don't know if the probability is higher if you're a woman

It's not that the probability is higher, it's that it's absolutely guaranteed. If you are a woman who makes a thing or speaks publicly about a thing that is targeted towards a male audience, you will be attacked by a large portion of that male audience, simply for daring to exist.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:32 PM on September 6, 2014 [14 favorites]


I spend some time on Imgur, which I use to mainline pablum and .gifs and cute animal photos and stupid puns. The site is pretty okay, but thanks to its affiliation with Reddit, it's not rare for Imgur to host a front page post that calls out ZOMG FEMINAZI SJW HYPOCRACY.

It's tiresome on a regular day, but when the Zoe Quinn thing first broke, an Imgur post actually caused me to stand up, close my laptop, and walk away.

Seeing the post, and the reaction to it, felt like running into that underground river of hate slime from Ghostbusters 2. It served as a daunting reminder that there are [hundreds? thousands? hundreds of thousands?] of people out there who hate me and people like me just because we were born with different genes. They hate me even though they haven't met me. They hate me because I exist.

I'm a casual gamer at best, but everything about GamerGate has made me want to crawl into a hole and disappear.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 2:32 PM on September 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


A Study is supposed to look at the available Data and analyse - in this Case Imagery and Social Behaviour - and then report back.

Is this disingenuous, or are you really completely unfamiliar with the meaning of the word "study" outside of the hard sciences?
posted by speicus at 2:42 PM on September 6, 2014


Reading those logs I have a hard time grokking what's required to feel so passionately about something that you're willing to behave like such an amoral piece of shit for it.

They were amoral shit first. All they needed was a convenient excuse, some anonymity, and a gang of like-minded cowards to back them up. No different than a small-town hick lynch mob.
posted by klanawa at 2:44 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


I think that's right. They don't actually care about what they're using to attack they simply like to attack.
posted by Justinian at 2:48 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's not that the probability is higher, it's that it's absolutely guaranteed. If you are a woman who makes a thing or speaks publicly about a thing that is targeted towards a male audience, you will be attacked by a large portion of that male audience, simply for daring to exist.

No it's not guaranteed. I work with women who are speaking publicly about what we do (games), and they're not instantly attacked by a large portion of our audience.
posted by coust at 2:49 PM on September 6, 2014


Gamer's Revanche, which RogerB posted above, is fantastic and super important, not just for this struggle but for understanding a lot of bullshit that's been flying around in recent year:
It’s important to call these people what they are: not just anti-social jerks and not only misogynists, but as Liz Ryerson says, overall the right wing of people involved in games. No surprise, then, that they resemble conservatives who resentfully bemoan the liberal bias of Hollywood or the condescension of elite college professors. This isn’t a problem with gamer culture. It’s a problem with our entire culture, and specifically with the attitudes and behavior of a rightist, predominantly white and male section of that culture.

Right wing gamers project an overweening sense of superiority and entitlement, while at the same time constructing an identity based on marginality and victimization. In this, though, they aren’t really that different from many revanchist movements in capitalist societies. They’re much like the Tea Party right, which laments the disappearance of the America it recognizes—that is, the America where straight white men are systematically advantaged. This is a basic element of the reactionary mind: a fundamental opposition to equality as such. So it is with gamers for whom, as Tim Colwill puts it, “the worst possible thing that can happen here is equality.” This group of angry gamers no longer “recognizes their country,” as it were, what with all these women and queers and leftists running around.
posted by wemayfreeze at 3:00 PM on September 6, 2014 [19 favorites]


Even the Most Legitimate criticisms of Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian are working at a level that you NEVER see toward male game creators and gaming writers. If you extended the same kind of scrutiny toward the XY side, you'd see shit that would totally eclipse their failings among a high percentage of them.

I work with women who are speaking publicly about what we do (games), and they're not instantly attacked by a large portion of our audience.
Please name two (since they're already public). I'd be intrigued to see who's "doing it right".
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:04 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


To amend: they were amoral *misogynist* and usually *racist* shit first. Not just amoral.
posted by klanawa at 3:09 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Okay, homodigitalis, I'll play along. You seem to be earnest in your opinion, but your arguments indicate that you have an ulterior motive.
Sorry, but Anita Sarkeesian's Videos are a big Ripp-Off. I have been reviewing Games since 1989 professionally and also wrote several Hint Books and as well as Books about Design.
Each one of her +$25.000 Videos (that's the Money from her Kickstarter Campaign divided by the Number of Videos she has produced) just REPEATS what she already said BEFORE she started her "Study".
As a matter of fact, her project as far as I can see was intended to give a more thoroughly detailed report of the issues she was seeing in games. I've seen more than one of them and while it is clear that they tread the path as promised, there is far more detail in the videos than her earlier criticism had. This argument is invalid for one simple reason: She PROMISED to repeat her information, and delve into further detail. Whether you agree with her opinions is not relevant: She delivered.
A Study is supposed to look at the available Data and analyse - in this Case Imagery and Social Behaviour - and then report back. But what she said before she started the Game is exactly the same AFTER the finished the "Study".
This project was never advertised in any way by her as a rigorous academic study. It is a survey highlighting observed issues and tropes. She has done precisely that on her videos. Your argument is moot, as you are positing a promise that was never made.
Many "Observations" are simply biased, she presents no Data or Lists for Comparisons.
As a matter of fact, she goes into considerable detail in her observations. Whether you consider her opinions biased or not is neither here nor there. Her stated mission was to examine misogynistic tropes in video games, and she has presented examples that she feels fits that definition. You are more than free to disagree that her presented content is valid or not, but that has no bearing on the fact that she has, in considerable depth, provided examples of her reasoning. Your point is irrelevant.
For Example: In a Game that is about being a paid Contract Killer she only focuses on Women being killed in the Game. She describes it all as typical Misogyny, but there is NO Mentioning of all the (innocent) Men killed in the Game either. Most "Victims" in this Game are Male, not Women. They are equally objectified. The Murderer has NO sexual Interaction with any of his Victims.
I did not see her critique of Contract Killer, so I cannot comment on whether your argument here is valid or not.
And the most important Aspects her Work is NOT PEER REVIEWED as you would expect from some serious SCIENTIFIC PAPER.

The few other "Studies" she quotes are also none, but Articles and Essays by other Feminists that have also never been scientifically been Peer Reviewed.
That is an expectation that YOU have placed on Sarkeesian. This was not presented to be intended as a set of peer-reviewed studies. If you consider any criticism to invalid without peer review, precisely which of your claimed design books have undergone a peer review process? Design writing is crtiicism about game design. Peer review is outside the bounds of the purpose of these critiques, therefore your argument is irrelevant.
That some Gamers or better say Boys overreact is nothing new, because they are young Dorks. BUT any serious Criticism is also screamed down by Feminists and their Supporters are being Sexist. So we have reached in Cultural Critique that exact same feminist Stalinism Camille Paglia has warned about for Decades.
Firstly, I'm going to want a cite on this. If Sarkeesian has supporters that are rude or make irrelevant comments about those who disagree with her, you should cheerfully disregard them. If Sarkeesian has said anything along these lines herself, I would be very keen to see your support of this, as that clearly would damage her credibility on the subject. Pending citation on your part: Your argument is irrelevant. Technically it is a straw man argument.
Let me also state something about Anita Sarkeesian's Behaviour when she was threatened. Any Policemen and Psychologist will tell you that when you receive a Threat you DON'T GO PUBLIC with it for your own Safety and to help the Investigation.

Why did she do this? It is utterly the wring Thing to do.
Presuming that it was an utterly wrong thing to do (which I personally disagree with, but for the purposes of argument I will allow): it is irrelevant to her criticism. Wrong-headed reaction to personal threats and harassment has no bearing on the videos themselves, unless you wish this to be a general indictment of her character, in which case you are making an Ad Hominem argument, and that is invalid.
Overall I see a lot of "wrong Conduct" on all Sides, but I am especially disappointed that the Media and many Supporters are showing the same Feminist Gag Reflex to any serious Criticism to the so called "Studies".
You are making a false equivalency argument between those who are conducting harassment of the level of threats of violence, rape, and murder with those who you claim are saying (without citation) that those who disagree with Sarkeesian are somehow inferior. I do not accept that equivalency. A "Gag Reflex" to any criticism of Sarkeesian pales in comparison to the harassment and treatment that she has been the recipient of. Your false equivalency is void.

Anything else, homodigitalis?
posted by chimaera at 3:11 PM on September 6, 2014 [31 favorites]


So her ex has posted this wiping his hands of the whole ordeal and blaming literally everyone else.
posted by PenDevil at 3:12 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


So her ex has posted this wiping his hands of the whole ordeal and blaming literally everyone else.

Christ, what an (unsurprising) asshole.
posted by ndfine at 3:17 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Wow that latest post by her ex was not a good idea. His friends need to stage an intervention.
posted by humanfont at 3:23 PM on September 6, 2014


(homodigitalis) For Example: In a Game that is about being a paid Contract Killer she only focuses on Women being killed in the Game. She describes it all as typical Misogyny, but there is NO Mentioning of all the (innocent) Men killed in the Game either. Most "Victims" in this Game are Male, not Women. They are equally objectified. The Murderer has NO sexual Interaction with any of his Victims.

chimaera: I did not see her critique of Contract Killer, so I cannot comment on whether your argument here is valid or not.

Apart from that I can't identify the game from a description that goes "you're a contract killer and you kill everyone" either because generic plot is generic, I bet what Sarkeesian did was to showcase how women were used as titillating corpses (via sexy clothes, making female NPCs sex workers who will do the protagonist for free because he's such a stud, or posing them like sexy corpses) while men's deaths aren't sexualized via sexy moans, men aren't killed while being alluringly half-naked, or aren't mostly male sex workers either.
posted by sukeban at 3:24 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


So her ex has posted this wiping his hands of the whole ordeal and blaming literally everyone else.

This is sort of the modern outlook in a nutshell, isn't it? Everyone's a miserable shithead except for me, and I'm willing to go on about it for 5000 words.
posted by selfnoise at 3:31 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Wow that latest post by her ex was not a good idea. His friends need to stage an intervention.

How did you even finish reading it?
posted by empath at 3:43 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Excellent comment chimaera. Reminded me of an article on New Statesman, Tropes vs Anita Sarkeesian: on passing off anti-feminist nonsense as critique. Which does address the Hitman critique, best summed up with:

Anita Sarkeesian only presents sections of games as sexist because she's only talking about the sexist bits of games, and how, of the tropes developers choose to put in their games when designing for female characters, they frequently fall back on sexist ones.
posted by papercrane at 3:48 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


The key to distance is you promote your game, not you. Put as much distance between your identity and the game you're making. I see a lot of indie devs failing at doing this.

This is bullshit. Every other artistic endeavor has space for creators to sell their biography as part of their artistic expression. Doesn't matter if you're an actor, or in a rock band or a painter.
posted by empath at 3:48 PM on September 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


homodigitalis: Did you fund Sarkeesian's kickstarter? If not, the video is free for you. I did fund it (back before it got fully funded, even), and I think I'm getting my money's worth.
posted by rmd1023 at 3:50 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


SID MEIER'S video game titles agree with empath.
posted by Justinian at 3:50 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


How did you even finish reading it?

I read it for the lulz.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:51 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


To expand, while is should be challenging to identify which of the Great White Bros is the worst human in this scenario, her ex is clearly working hardest to earn that title.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:53 PM on September 6, 2014


> "I bet what Sarkeesian did was to showcase how women were used as titillating corpses ..."

In fact, while I am likewise not sure what specific game was being referred to, Sarkeesian has frequently gone into extensive detail on the differences in presentation between male and female victims in numerous games. For example, she has had extensive discussion of how, for many game NPCs:

- Female corpses and victims are frequently eroticized (including via revealing clothing, sexually suggestive dialogue or positioning, or employment as a stripper, prostitute, or other sex worker), while male corpses and victims almost never are,
- Women being attacked in games are often portrayed as helpless and/or unable to fight back, whereas men being attacked generally fight back against their attackers,
- Women are frequently subjected to rape threats while being attacked, men hardly ever are,
- Women frequently offer to reward a rescuer with sex (or in some cases, offer sex to their attacker), while men almost never do,
... and so on.

Saying that Sarkeesian simply has "NO Mentioning of all the (innocent) Men killed" and that victims are "equally objectified" is so much the exact opposite of what she has done and the reality of the games she examines that it is bafflingly nonsensical. Even if by cherry picking you could find one game she discusses where she makes no mention of male victims -- something which I frankly doubt you could find, since she generally does, including the very rare cases where male victims are sexually objectified -- it would be in the middle of a list of dozens and dozens of games where she is making PRECISELY the comparison it is being claimed she is ignoring.
posted by kyrademon at 4:00 PM on September 6, 2014 [14 favorites]


Yes, I am responsible for thezoepost — yes, I knew there was a chance 4Chan might end up being the only avenue of discussion. And I set time aside in advance to deal with that fallout, because I expected there was a chance that might happen.
Well that's one hell of an admission.
posted by griphus at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


"Yes I threw that beehive at my ex-girlfriend but I knew they might sting her so I was ready for that to happen. To her."
posted by griphus at 4:08 PM on September 6, 2014 [37 favorites]


At jscalzi's reading here in San Francisco and he's talking about this right now. Kinda awesome.
posted by rtha at 4:14 PM on September 6, 2014 [20 favorites]


Homodigitalis has been on mefi since 2004. The capitalization thing didn't start happeneng until the last few years. This isn't a different cultural backround misunderstanding. I don't know what it is.
posted by futz at 4:30 PM on September 6, 2014 [19 favorites]


Scalzi is good people.

When I found out about the chat logs this morning I literally punched the air. I've been following this saga on and off since the beginning, and it has been mildly heartening (amid the sea of despair) to see how many indie devs and reporters have (finally) stood up to say "enough is enough", I really really needed this win.

I haven't played Depression Quest yet, but everything I hear and read about Zoe Quinn just makes her seem even more badass in my eyes. You fucking go, Glen Coco.
posted by Phire at 4:30 PM on September 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


From the other thread: Schmamergate and using irrelevancy as a weapon
posted by homunculus at 4:34 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


At jscalzi's reading here in San Francisco and he's talking about this right now. Kinda awesome.

Has anyone made the t-shirt available?
posted by homunculus at 4:37 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I started reading her ex's posts with an open mind, and as I went on (and on, cause Jeebus they take forever) I thought more and more that this dude could benefit from a bit of therapy. By the end I thought her lucky not to have gotten a stalker out of this whole thing(although you can make the argument easily that what she's gotten is also pretty damn awful). What a tool. And to those that support him, I know they can't see the misogyny, but can they at least detect the small loosening of a few dozen screws in this guy's mind?
posted by triage_lazarus at 4:44 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought her lucky not to have gotten a stalker out of this whole thing

I'm not sure that's how I would characterize the current situation.
posted by Artw at 4:48 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure that's how I would characterize the current situation.

Yeah, dumb comment on my behalf. With the vitriol coming at her I can't imagine what she's had to go through. Fuck. Why can't people just play nice?
posted by triage_lazarus at 4:56 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]




Homodigitalis has been on mefi since 2004. The capitalization thing didn't start happeneng until the last few years. This isn't a different cultural backround misunderstanding. I don't know what it is.

Yeah could we stop with all the vaguely insulting "oh it must be because he's German" crap? It's both risible and parochial.

posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:00 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


He disabled his account anyway so it no longer matters.
posted by Justinian at 5:01 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


From the other thread: Schmamergate and using irrelevancy as a weapon

By MeFi's own mightygodking!
posted by Phire at 5:03 PM on September 6, 2014


Apart from that I can't identify the game from a description that goes "you're a contract killer and you kill everyone" either because generic plot is generic, I bet what Sarkeesian did was to showcase how women were used as titillating corpses (via sexy clothes, making female NPCs sex workers who will do the protagonist for free because he's such a stud, or posing them like sexy corpses) while men's deaths aren't sexualized via sexy moans, men aren't killed while being alluringly half-naked, or aren't mostly male sex workers either.

Relatedly, Ana Mardoll (who's also been a target of harassment) said some interesting things on Twitter about the game LA Noire. Storify here.
posted by Lexica at 5:10 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's amazing how these guys have learned absolutely nothing from the experience of being outed either. Just swung by /v/ to see what was going on. Mostly it's just "no your game is shit", which is par for the course on /v/, but a few of them had already started a new thread on this "raid", redolent with greentext and capslock, yelling at each other to maintain the pretense of this being about journalistic ethics. 100 fedora'd MRAs all linking hands could not encircle the cognitive dissonance.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:15 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Zoe's dump was the best thing I've read in weeks.

To a certain extent, those chat logs with the silly play-tactical and militaristic jargon and energy and excitement and casual viciousness are very familiar. I've rarely been involved in it, but I've seen it over and over and it seems like it gotten worse in the last few years as off and online merge. I'm really glad Zoe was able to find and log everything in this case.

The MRA/angry gamer/general asshole continent on various fora and subcultures leaps right to the feminist conspiracy and false flag angle at any feather-touch of criticism because that's where they operate. The 'accusing ones opponent of ones own crimes' thing.
posted by postcommunism at 5:16 PM on September 6, 2014 [13 favorites]


How did you even finish reading it?

I translated it into German.
posted by humanfont at 5:16 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


Heh.
posted by homunculus at 5:16 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


This sums up a lot: my biggest problem with anita, is that if i used her logic i could see sexism everywhere

Ah, well I am squarely on Anita's side too! Awesome videos!
posted by triage_lazarus at 5:21 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


Apparently the trolls have a list of demands now. Basically they are that reviews should follow a precise format dictated by them, anything they might squawk about should be in bold so they can quickly get down to complaining about it, and that there should always be a comments section (for trolling purposes).
posted by Artw at 5:32 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


The official response should be a loop of wet_fart_noise.mp3
posted by poffin boffin at 5:39 PM on September 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


The thing that jumped out at me immediately was how none of these demands are things that apply to the developers, they're all talking about the writers. Even they can't come up with something, when pressed, that sounds vaguely plausible that would have explained making Zoe Quinn a target.
posted by Sequence at 5:44 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


She has Y chromosome deficiency syndrome.
posted by Justinian at 5:55 PM on September 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


You forgot that their harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn is Not About Zoe Quinn.
posted by Artw at 5:56 PM on September 6, 2014


FWIW, I'm pretty sure the "Contract Killer" game mentioned as an objection to FemFreq upthread is Hitman: Absolution, specifically as it's discussed in Women as Background Decoration: Part 1. Relevant part is here (although it comes up elsewhere, iirc -- I know there's a reappearance in pt. 2).

TBF, that vid was the first time with FemFreq I found myself thinking "well, but...", primarily because of this; that is, moments or imagery ingame which arise naturally from of the intersection of various mechanics rather than from a deliberate choice by the devs to permit that specific event. (In the case of the linked video, it's Fallout NV, Dishonored and DX:HR as examples of being able to heft around attractive corpses or bloodily demise sexualized NPCs.) I think it's fair to point out that this is not a prime factor in the game or even an option that had to be built out specifically to enable the player in New Vegas to toss around ragdoll corpses in skimpy clothing; you can do that to all corpses in the game. Similarly, the only time Adam Jenson can't kill someone with his blady-things is when a) he doesn't have them yet or b) the devs have specifically excluded said person from being so killed (the boss fights).

Pointing that out, however, should not elide the fact that in Dishonored (for example) one of the most entertaining levels in an otherwise polished-but-just-kinda-okay game is a multilevel brothel, and that the women with which that brothel is stocked can easily end up at an intersection of sexy and terrified/dead which is never, ever a possibility for any men in the game. Similarly, it's not exactly a 50/50 gender ratio of sex workers on the street in DX:HR; even if the player never enacts the scene shown in the FemFreq clip, the conditions are still present which make it possible and slant it towards one gender as victim.

And really, so it goes for even the most valid rebuttals people make towards FemFreq. Sarkeesian's criticism is so 101 that there's not much to strike up a vigorous opposition against. It's the most calm, gentle set of observations that ever caused a consumer subculture to flip its collective shit.
posted by postcommunism at 6:02 PM on September 6, 2014 [15 favorites]


he at the very least supported JonTron who unapologetically distributed those pornographic cartoons of Zoe Quinn

Well, fuck. I'd only recently started watching a few JonTron videos without really knowing much more than "he used to be on Game Grumps", and I enjoyed the ones I saw, but knowing this, whelp... guess I'm not going to be watching them any more. I mean I knew that a lot of those "the show was better when Jon was on it" Game Grumps fans get super goddamn misogynist towards Suzy, but I didn't know Jon himself was an asshole.

The Grumps themselves have this weird mix of making really shitty offensive jokes and then a minute later saying some fairly progressive things, like they almost get it. But there's always that one video out of ten where I get disappointed and stop watching for a bit. They have gotten better over time, but there's a ways to go.

All I want is some humorous vidya game let's plays and reviews clear of punching-down idiocy and outright misogyny, but it's so pervasive, I haven't found anything yet.
posted by jason_steakums at 6:02 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Artw: "Apparently the trolls have a list of demands now."

I don't even understand C, where if I were to recuse myself I must publicly state why. What, is someone going to decide my reasons aren't good enough?
posted by RobotHero at 6:41 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


All I want is some humorous vidya game let's plays and reviews clear of punching-down idiocy and outright misogyny, but it's so pervasive, I haven't found anything yet.

Well, if you like shmups, there's a ton of LPs about Touhou Project (which, I might add, features a cast of hundreds of non-sexualized female characters, and the game creator himself has implored fans not to sexualize them in fan art).

But LPs of shmups are pretty much a blend of:

a) "Diediediediediediediedie!"
b) "Hey I think I'm gonna capture this spellcard!"
c) "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IhateyouIhateyouIhateyou!"

so adjust your speaker volume accordingly.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 6:41 PM on September 6, 2014


@Justinian sorry I was rushed when I wrote that comment - I got Total Biscuit and Yogscast confused. They're doing the 'pay us for covering your game' aspect. Plus, who knows how many other payola-type arrangements are out there? If 4chan actually gave a shit about corruption, they would be focused on discovering who is getting paid off.
posted by clockworkjoe at 6:57 PM on September 6, 2014


I believe what they say is that "this", whatever "this" is, is the straw that broke the camels back and so they are focusing on it.

"This" appears to be an opportunity to be proxy stalker for a shitbag loser.

Focus on the real issues!
posted by Artw at 7:09 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


apparently the Ex who didn't have anything to do with 4chan, turns out he's been trying to run the harassments as a strategist...

and him not being on their irc? weeelll...
posted by xcasex at 7:16 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


The cognitive dissonance necessary to respond to "some things in games are misogynist" with "I AM NOT MISOGYNIST YOU F****** C*** I KILL YOU" is pretty remarkable. It is as if with their every reaction they are reinforcing just how important it is to call out misogyny in the gaming world as frequently as possible.

I got into it with a friend of a friend the other day because he believes AS is only talking about the harassment she's receiving because she wants the publicity. I got him to agree that she shouldn't be harassed at any rate, but he still insists that she (and, In fact, all) people who get harassed should just shut up about it because you shouldn't attempt to profit off of being harassed.

The brain does a remarkable job of holding on to delusions.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:20 PM on September 6, 2014 [16 favorites]


I have been so bummed about all this that I decided to try to lose myself in a game in order to remind myself why I love them so much. I chose the walking dead, one that I've been meaning to get to for some time now. Wow I love it and ended up playing all last night and all friggin day, literally. I haven't done the 12 hour game play thing for a very long time. It made me very happy.

I finally dragged myself away and checked meta filter. I read this and am all........... Wha? Seriously? She did this!

This is the best damn day of gaming I've had in years. I can't stop grinning and giggling.
posted by Jalliah at 7:22 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I chose the walking dead, one that I've been meaning to get to for some time now.

Did you get through Season 2? Not to ruin what sounds like a great day if you hadn't, but there's definitely been some problematic stuff raised there, partially relevant to what happened in the original post. (One part "Problematic-ish thing in-game" and two parts "Developers revealing shitty attitudes in-interview about looking forward to killing off prominent female characters and listening to fans talking about how much they wanted to kill her off") ((There's potentially an FPP there, but I have no idea how to put it together well))
posted by CrystalDave at 7:31 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wha? Seriously? She did this!

Who did The Walking Dead? I seem to have lost the thread here.
posted by Justinian at 7:34 PM on September 6, 2014


Justinian: “I seem to have lost the thread here.”

"She did this!" = "Zoe released these chat logs!" I'm guessing.

from Eron's latest post: “Yes, I am responsible for thezoepost — yes, I knew there was a chance 4Chan might end up being the only avenue of discussion. And I set time aside in advance to deal with that fallout, because I expected there was a chance that might happen.”

griphus: “Well that's one hell of an admission.”

I hesitate to involve myself in this whole nonsense, but – sigh.

Notice how even in this "admission" he's deflecting responsibility in a way that has become characteristic over the past few days. "I knew there a chance that 4chan might end up being the only avenue of discussion." See that? According to Eron, the problem is not that people on the internet did shitty things, that people on the internet – all over the internet – harassed and hounded all kinds of people. The problem is that THE ALL-POWERFUL SJW CABAL quashed all discussion of this story on all available outlets and in all available forums, so of course people went to talk about it on 4chan. As though 4chan doesn't do whatever the fuck it wants anyway regardless; as though the shit that happened was caused by all of gaming's unmitigated rage being funneled through 4chan, whereas if it'd been funneled somewhere else the worst that would have happened is somebody might have gotten sent some pictures of cute kittens. And as though the same raids and shitty attacks weren't planned by Redditors and by people from all over Twitter and elsewhere acting on their own and in groups. Most of all, Eron seems quick to say "oh, 4chan was the only avenue of discussion" (it plainly wasn't! - this is obvious bullshit) because he wants to rationalize the fact that he has been all over 4chan since the beginning, commenting there, offering several AMAs, etc. – and because he doesn't want people to get the "wrong idea," since it's clear that the worst attacks on Zoe et al came from 4chan. 'Oh, but I had to talk to 4chan, because that was the only avenue of discussion! All the SJWs shut down the entire internet except 4chan for days! It was my only choice!' Whatever, dude.

Sigh.
posted by koeselitz at 7:36 PM on September 6, 2014 [21 favorites]


Well, that was thorough. Good on Quinn.

I just said today that I hoped someone did a Mefi post on gamergate, 'cause I still wasn't clear on what it was. Thanks, griphus; thanks, Fizz, for the backstory.
posted by Zed at 7:39 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah sorry if I wasn't clear I was talking about reading about what Zoe did.

Crystal Dave, no I haven't got through season 2. Just started the second episode. I'll have to look that up. Sounds really disappointing. Bummer
Thanks for mentioning it. I prefer going in prepared for something then to be caught off guard
posted by Jalliah at 7:45 PM on September 6, 2014


Oh, the second paragraph of that 'admission' is SO RAGE INDUCING.

Is he *honestly* comparing his relationship to ACTUAL CASES OF (reported) SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
posted by hanov3r at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2014


Is he *honestly* comparing his relationship to ACTUAL CASES OF (reported) SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
yeah he is.

this is too cover-my-butt on his part, makes me wonder what's going untold about his actions pre-zoepost.
posted by xcasex at 7:57 PM on September 6, 2014


when 4chan is the only place on the internet that will listen to my problem, i think i need to reconsider if i need to talk about it on the internet at all (and perhaps consider that my position is very very wrong).
posted by el io at 8:32 PM on September 6, 2014 [16 favorites]


Easy Target - well done!

thank's
posted by Greg Nog at 8:41 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


Operatiom: Shillgate
posted by Artw at 9:18 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


That image link is to a picture hosted on 4chan, it's going to be deleted in a few hours.
posted by Small Dollar at 9:20 PM on September 6, 2014


From the image link: "The people you're fighting against want to remove you from society, don't let them""

Wait, that's an option?
posted by el io at 9:23 PM on September 6, 2014 [3 favorites]


it's going to be deleted in a few hours.
Shillgate, on imgur
posted by Greg Nog at 9:31 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Operation: Shillgate

"OK here's the secret plan guys, don't let our targets know!"

Was 4chan ever good at any of these "operations"? Any of them not blow up in their faces or peter out with a whimper?
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:39 PM on September 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Operatiom: Shillgate

Two things:
  1. Lee Atwater, your legacy lives on.
  2. "Remember, to not fight against this wave of anger and hate is to give up your hobby" - so, uh. They can't be talking about gaming, because seriously, does anyone thing gaming just goes away if people are successful at making it a little less shitty? By hobby they must mean the other thing, the misogyny and bullying.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:41 PM on September 6, 2014 [10 favorites]


And by that I don't count Habbo Hotel raids.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:42 PM on September 6, 2014


i know this is kind of deep in the thread, but i'd like to say explicitly that reviews of consumer products aren't journalism in any meaningful sense
posted by p3on at 9:43 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


They really, seriously believe that. As soon as the focus is no longer exclusively on them Call of Duty will stop being made and they'll be forced to play Sanrio games.
posted by Artw at 9:47 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


See, I don't buy that many of them really believe it. It seems like gaming is just the common ground and excuse they all use to be hateful dickheads, which is their true passion. Like, Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn could stop talking about games tomorrow and focus on pointing out misogyny in books or movies or whatever, or even stop talking about misogyny completely, and these assholes would continue to hound them.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:58 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Do tea partiers really believe all the shit they spout? I mean, maybe on some levels no if you dig deep down, but for all practical purposes yes.
posted by Artw at 10:00 PM on September 6, 2014


Indeed at some point pretending to be a dick is functionally indistinguishable from actually being a dick.

"You are what you pretend to be, so be careful what you pretend to be.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:03 PM on September 6, 2014 [4 favorites]


Women Aren't the Only Non-Men Ruining Video Games

Did you know that dogs have unfettered access to game developers and the corrupt elitists who have the audacity to call themselves " " "games journalists" " "? There is no accountability, no regard for the ethical implications.

This collusion directly results in video games shoving unfairly positive portrayals of dogs down our throats. It also leads to cool parts of games getting cut to make room for preachy cutscenes where protagonists tell dogs that they are good.

And that's just on the development side.

posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:13 PM on September 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


i know this is kind of deep in the thread, but i'd like to say explicitly that reviews of consumer products aren't journalism in any meaningful sense

True, but people do all sorts of writing about video games, much of it not "reviews," and some of it journalism.
posted by straight at 10:23 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


As gross as they are, the chat logs and even the articles really fail to capture just how horrifying it was watching this all go down real-time. They were doxing her financials, family contacts, "surveillance photos" of where her father worked, posting nudes (presumably from Eron) and graphic photoshops in hundreds of places simultaneously: steam, reddit, twitter, 4chan, every possible games site. And gaining huge traction from it. Anyone who was associated with her was put on a hacking target list on /v/ (myself included) and anyone defending her on twitter was mobbed by unrelenting anime avatar sockpuppets for days. It was one of the most hateful things I've ever seen on the internet, and that is seriously saying something. Massive, cruel hysteria.

And it was working too. People who didn't know any better were being drawn in by the "ethics" bullshittery (as well as the "do anything 4chan does" bullshittery). Even mods of fairly neutral sites were keeping this information up, basically using "well we dont really know" or "teach the controversy" as an excuse. Being videogames sites, they just werent equipped with the knowledge to understand what they were seeing or perhaps even aware that they were facilitating harassment.

Every site that DID take posts down was immediately flooded with howling anger because it was easy for the GamerGate lynch mob to spin that as "conspiracy" and that "the mods are silencing The Truth. And it worked. Over and over, for days it worked. Gaming journalism was literally frozen in fear (perhaps for themselves or perhaps for losing "revenue from a key demographic"), as everyone who spoke out publicly was hacked, doxed and bullied into some for of submission or another. Phil, Anita, Leigh, Jess, the list goes on.

And for other, less gaming-focused sites (this one included), it was considered "just more bad things happening on the internet." That made us in the industry trying to speak out about this shit feel pretty profoundly alone. For a time we saw this insanity happening and society seemed to just sort of shrug its shoulders and be complicit with it. Thank fuck the tides have changed.

People may snark at Zoe's triumphant tone now, as she gains some degree of control of the situation, but you seriously don't know anything about the deep oily hell she has been wading through these past few weeks. The fact that she has weathered this and pulled the tricks that she has is almost William Gibson protagonist level cyber badassery. I just hope that some day shes on a hammock on some island after the inevitable book/movie deal and this is all just memories of "crazy times on the internet".
posted by young_son at 10:43 PM on September 6, 2014 [90 favorites]


They can't be talking about gaming, because seriously, does anyone thing gaming just goes away if people are successful at making it a little less shitty?

They actually do. Here's one example. Someone over at /r/pcmasterrace compiled this gallery of images which he posted as: "Have you heard about how social justice activists/warriors are planning to kill gaming? Well, it turns out that's wrong. They're not planning. They've already been working at it for years."

Unfortunately, the mods of that subreddit deleted the thread or I'd link it here. The stuff, which is supposedly evidence for this grand conspiracy, is mostly people making a request to a game's studio and asking for things like making characters' clothing less overtly sexual, making breast sizes a little closer to reality, not naming an in-game trophy as "bros before hos", etc.
posted by honestcoyote at 10:45 PM on September 6, 2014 [5 favorites]


I just think gaming is a paper-thin excuse to be dicks for the sake of being dicks - and, well, "dicks" is actually too light of a word, they're abusive. I don't buy the gaming excuse for one second, I think it's the story they tell themselves to justify abuse, and to distract others from their abusiveness. Abusers try to hide it, try to keep up appearances in public, and use whatever excuse they can latch on to to justify it to themselves and to attempt to justify it to others when they're caught. I think that's all the gaming excuse is, and that their real drive is enjoying their attempt to gain power and control over these people through abusive means pretty much risk-free and with a crowd of abusive cohorts cheering them on. And I'm sure that every time they're treated like a legitimate "side" in some kind of debate, that's just icing on the cake.
posted by jason_steakums at 10:56 PM on September 6, 2014


That gallery of images that honestcoyote linked to was pretty awesome.

It was intended to be consumed by people who apparently think 'gaming will die' (or whatever the fuck they are actually afraid of), but when I consumed those images I was pretty happy.

It's gaming developers listening to the feedback of their customers, acknowledging that some of the imagery they have is problematic, and then promising to address the issue (and doing so). In one case it was a developer describing how while you could have a variety of genders and tones of skin he wanted the default one to be someone who didn't look like him (a woman of color).

After reading this thread which is full of descriptions of hate-filled harassing assholes, it's really wonderful and uplifting to get the impression the gaming developers (or at least a subset of them) are responsive to critiques and want to pro-actively make games that speak to people other than white men.

Thanks for the link!
posted by el io at 11:03 PM on September 6, 2014 [12 favorites]


Artw: "Operatiom: Shillgate"

I love that they identify mild-mannered middle-of-the-road /r/girlgamers as an SJW hub. Girls are talking to each other! SJW!! *hugs Vivian James erotic plushie*
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:07 PM on September 6, 2014 [11 favorites]


el io: "It was intended to be consumed by people who apparently think 'gaming will die' (or whatever the fuck they are actually afraid of), but when I consumed those images I was pretty happy."

I don't even know what these idiots are worried about; when developers remove sexist or racist content from their games--or somehow neglect to insert in it the first place--the modding community has sexist, racist gamers covered.

I've been playing Skyrim lately and while I seem mostly to have turned it into Advanced Dressing-Up Simulator I've encountered more vehemently disgusting sexism in a random cross-section of ten mods than in a year's worth of published games.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:21 PM on September 6, 2014 [7 favorites]


Gaming really is descending into morass of entitled dudebro man-children.

I like to think that it's climbing out of that hole, slowly, slowly. The difficulty level is high, though, because the walls are literally caked with shit.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:22 PM on September 6, 2014 [8 favorites]


Really glad that the bowels of 4chan are seeing the light of day -- an internet colonoscopy, if you will. The process of this high asssholey needs to be seen and known, the meanness that drives it revealed. It's maybe the only way to root it out.
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:36 PM on September 6, 2014 [2 favorites]


I was making little victory-fist-punching-air movements this morning when I started to read about this! After a long couple weeks of terrible shit, it's a welcome tiny relief to see Quinn both still fighting the good fight and managing to land some amazing shots. I have no idea how she or anyone else suffering under these attacks has the fortitude and hope to keep going, but I'm so thankful they do.

I understand the idea here, and the very strong emotional story inherit in a David and Goliath story like she is stuck in.

But in the end, this situation is just building a culture of division and fighting. It's perpetuating the problem. We're turning journalists with passion for art into something else. And this cycle keeps repeating.
posted by formless at 11:47 PM on September 6, 2014


True, but people do all sorts of writing about video games, much of it not "reviews," and some of it journalism.

If it's not been said before: it's pretty certain that the closer it is to actual journalism the more they'll have a problem with it. They actually WANT press releases with scores out of 10 (no lower than 7) attached.
posted by Artw at 12:06 AM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's okay: 10/10 IGN!
posted by Justinian at 12:27 AM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


They actually WANT press releases with scores out of 10 (no lower than 7) attached.

My favorite bit was where Carolyn Petit gave GTA5 a 9/10 review, but mentioned that she disliked the treatment of women in it. Massively positive review, some unhappiness about one aspect. Gamers tried to get her fired for it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:54 AM on September 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Pope Guilty, for a second I thought that gamers were upset that the treatment of women only put the game down a single star, and tried to fire her for that. Which I would find unreasonable.

Then I followed your link, and realized that I was living in a fantasy alternate reality for a moment there. No, the gamers were upset that she dare bring up the treatment of women, and how dare she not give the game 10/10.

sigh.
posted by el io at 2:47 AM on September 7, 2014


But in the end, this situation is just building a culture of division and fighting. It's perpetuating the problem. We're turning journalists with passion for art into something else. And this cycle keeps repeating.

I'm not sure what you're on about here, especially since there weren't really any journalists involved in the Quinn fiasco at all, just a shitload of trolls and Quinn herself, and she's a developer. As far as perpetuating the problem, what do you mean? That reporting criminal conspiracies to the authorities is somehow bad?
posted by NoraReed at 3:09 AM on September 7, 2014 [13 favorites]


This thread has kind of shown me just how much crap has been explicitly organised, and just how much misinformation is being fed around.

Why would anyone tell lies on the internet?
posted by Braeburn at 3:31 AM on September 7, 2014


As soon as the focus is no longer exclusively on them Call of Duty will stop being made and they'll be forced to play Sanrio games.


I'm envisioning a new ring of Hell: "Oh, you're a gamer, eh? Enjoy your Nintendogs, shitpants!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:02 AM on September 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


TheWhiteSkull: "Enjoy your Nintendogs, shitpants!"

Honestly this is a cut above Nintendo Europe's advertising lately.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:05 AM on September 7, 2014 [12 favorites]


Remember that when these types of gamers demand that videogames be treated as art, they are not talking about art the same way that people who do things other than play videogames talk about it. For the rest of the world, an art form is one that can be discussed, analyzed, critiqued, and questioned. That's what makes it art, that it has layers of meaning that can be explored.

For these folks, "art" means the opposite. They think of art the way a child does, as something that is beautiful and revered simply for existing. Videogames as art for them means not criticizing or analyzing them, but instead framing them and hanging them up and adoring them.

Go back to your grade school days when you were told that a particular story or poem or painting was art. When you refused the teacher's questions about what the red wheelbarrow means because the author probably just saw a red wheelbarrow and put it in there and it doesn't mean anything. Or when you got mad because your flat, on-the-surface description of something didn't get a good grade and you were being "graded on your opinion". That's the same refusal to engage with anything, believing that things are what they are ("jeez, it's just a video game! get a grip!") and that some of these things are for some reason called "art" and are highly regarded, usually just because they're old.

Demanding that videogames be called art doesn't mean they want them treated as art, it means they want them called art. It doesn't even mean they think they're works of art the way you think of a work of art. It's more of an attitude that "if that dumb movie or painting or play can be called art then by god videogames should be art too because I like them." For them, the bestowing of "art" status on games doesn't invite criticism and analysis, it is explicitly to stop such things, as "art" is sacred and honored and doesn't have to do anything to earn that.

The cognitive dissonance between demanding games be regarded as art and getting upset about any criticism of them is only there if you don't understand this usage of the term.
posted by Legomancer at 5:07 AM on September 7, 2014 [118 favorites]


That is remarkably well put, Legomancer.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:52 AM on September 7, 2014


Huh. Oddly Gamergate free Sunday Papers on RPS today. I guess they had their big blowout last week, but still...
posted by Artw at 6:28 AM on September 7, 2014



Zoe Quinn:

I'm not going anywhere or shutting up or vanishing. I'm a terribly inconvenient woman, I know.

Just wanted to link what I consider an awesome quote. The whole twitter convo is there. Looks like she has support from her family, who has also been dragged into this. Good on all of them.
posted by Jalliah at 7:16 AM on September 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


Heh. Looks like there's also some helpful 4chan drone wandering into the conversation to tell them that gamergate is about corruption.
posted by Artw at 7:44 AM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]




Nice of them to provide clarification. lol

From what I can tell from following through some tweet convos and reading some postings the defense against all of Zoe's screen caps is, "Well these are just cherry picked and IRC has nothing to hide, so they even released all of the conversations to the FBI, so yeah obviously if they did that it isn't like Zoe is saying it is, nyah nyah, nyah..."

I dunno gamebros, from some of what I've taken the time to read and from excerpts that others have been pulling out some of the screen caps seem pretty mild. I really wouldn't be all nyah, nyah and proud about it.
posted by Jalliah at 7:52 AM on September 7, 2014


Gandhi said it: "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." It's this hot and fierce right now because things are truly changing in the industry, even though it looks and sounds like it's worse than ever.

Another badass Zoe Quinn quote: "If video games have taught me anything, it's that if you encounter enemies then you're going the right way."

I've been talking about and paying serious attention to sexism in video games and the dev industry since the mid-2000s, and in those days, there simply wasn't any traction in the wider industry. Those were the days of "women don't play games, not our market," etc., whose ghosts are still with us, if factually incorrect.

But if you look at the actual games being made and the things developers are saying these days, you can see that we've come a long way. That Imgur gallery, my god! That would have been unthinkable fifteen years ago!

I think the turning point was Dickwolves, actually -- that's when it went from "lolfeminists" to "shit you guys, I think this is serious." I really think it's going to be OK. It's ugly for now, but it's not because things are getting worse.
posted by Andrhia at 7:55 AM on September 7, 2014 [20 favorites]


Should the FBI actually put any weight on any of these jokers they'll immediately start blubbing and rat out all the rest. Happens every time.

So that's a fun thing to think about.
posted by Artw at 8:03 AM on September 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


I saw ZQ's Patreon linked upthread, but if you want to do a one-time donation, her game Depression Quest is pay-what-you-want.

I think most media sees 4chan as some mystical place buried beneath layers and layers of have-to-know-somebodies and password protection and private chatrooms. The knowledge that anyone can pop into their IRC and see this shit go down in realtime is really valuable. If they go further underground, they limit the amount of people they can draft in these shitty campaigns. If they stay in their IRC channels, they can assume they're being watched.

I know I linked it in the other thread, but this is my favorite thing ever:
Twitter's blowin up and I have a hunk to smooch and a cigar to light off smouldering nerd corpses so if you wanna get in touch, email me~
— Zoë ʻTom-Kunʼ Quinn (@TheQuinnspiracy) September 6, 2014
posted by almostmanda at 8:13 AM on September 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


Pope Guilty: that article also showed an interesting tie-in with modern conservative discourse. The first comment was some guy loudly explaining how this was no big deal and the developers should make the game they feel like and let the market sort it out, as if reviews weren't one of the key ways that happens! I'd be surprised if the poster didn't watch a lot of Fox – that pattern of trying to use “market” as a trump card with no further explanation expected is sadly familiar.
posted by adamsc at 8:19 AM on September 7, 2014


Yeah, it's funny how many people will talk grandiosely about the market as though it's some force of nature and then get really upset about market actors doing things they don't like.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:34 AM on September 7, 2014 [11 favorites]


It's only doing that because of The Conspiracy!
posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


then get really upset about market actors doing things they don't like

That's because *they're* rational actors but these other people doing things they don't like are clearly irrational and trying to INFLUENCE THE MARKET and CORRUPT THE NATURAL MARKET-NESS MAGIC. Who will think of the poor defenseless market?
posted by rmd1023 at 9:11 AM on September 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


BTW, do we have an actual example of an actual game being promoted via "corruption"? That's seeming strangely lacking from all the flowcharts so far.
posted by Artw at 9:21 AM on September 7, 2014


It's only doing that because of The Conspiracy


I've been doing a bit of surfing in order to try to get some idea about what 'The Conspiracy' is supposed to be about (beyond the misogynist crap), particularly the whole Paetron thing kerfluffle. I hadn't heard of Paetron before this started.

From some threads I've been reading on Reddit it's like this whole group of people are discovering that "OMG people in the same industry KNOW EACH OTHER, and like OMG they NETWORK! and holy crap they like do things like SUPPORT EACH OTHER', or know what people they know are doing and do things like write about it. " It's like a bunch of kids discovering the real world or something. It would be hilarious if was supporting such horrible crap against people.

That's not to say that there aren't and that I haven't had issues with certain parts of games journalism but these types of connections that some people are calling an organized conspiracy against 'something' are not anything more then how any industry/area works socially.
posted by Jalliah at 9:28 AM on September 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


BTW, do we have an actual example of an actual game being promoted via "corruption"? That's seeming strangely lacking from all the flowcharts so far.

/v/ would have us believe that Depression Quest qualifies, and would also have us not investigate that claim.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:32 AM on September 7, 2014


From some threads I've been reading on Reddit it's like this whole group of people are discovering that "OMG people in the same industry KNOW EACH OTHER, and like OMG they NETWORK! and holy crap they like do things like SUPPORT EACH OTHER', or know what people they know are doing and do things like write about it. " It's like a bunch of kids discovering the real world or something.

Somebody tell them that their parents fuck and watch their heads explode.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:33 AM on September 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


BTW, do we have an actual example of an actual game being promoted via "corruption"? That's seeming strangely lacking from all the flowcharts so far

Well from some places that I've been reading there is no need to name one because the conspiracy is so large and encompassing that it wouldn't be a surprise that the majority 'eleventy!' are tainted. Someone involved is connected to someone else and OMG if you just dig you'll see for yourself that the tentacles are everywhere.
posted by Jalliah at 9:33 AM on September 7, 2014


Also if someone gave a positive review to a game I didn't like, then obviously they had an ulterior motive.
posted by RobotHero at 9:36 AM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Metacritic shows only one review of Depression Quest, which is not shining.

Lots of negative user rankings, mind.
posted by Artw at 9:52 AM on September 7, 2014


i just don't see this as being about game reviews - i see it as about vicious and unhinged people going off on personal vendettas towards those they dislike, mostly because they dared be women trying to infiltrate the boys' club

a few of the more extreme people need to be arrested - maybe then people will start behaving themselves better
posted by pyramid termite at 10:01 AM on September 7, 2014


Metacritic shows only one review of Depression Quest, which is not shining.

Lots of negative user rankings, mind.


The Steam reviews for Depression Quest are hilariously transparent. They're basically "I assure you that my feeling about Zoe Quinn have not tainted my review of this "game" but it is the worst game I have ever played and she fucked five guys also feminists are terrible." Most have .1 hrs played.

I think it's amusing that they're pretending to root out "corruption" in games journalism while bombing Zoe's game with mutually upvoted slanderous reviews of a game they haven't played. It's pretty rich to release a set of accountability demands for game reviews that "journalists" must follow, but that you, personally, are not expected to abide by because reasons.
posted by almostmanda at 10:07 AM on September 7, 2014 [24 favorites]


Someone suggested (and I'm strongly considering) launching a compilation album project called "SOCIAL JUSTICE JAMS: Where my Ladies At" with remixes of music from games with awesome female leads, and with contributions from the many amazing female composers in the industry. Then maybe a "Volume 2: Rainbow Road," and "Volume 3: People of 256 Colors (240 onscreen)"

Fife and drums corps, SJW army, reporting in. If Captain EO taught me anything, it was that you can defeat your enemies by making them dance. Gonna try, at least.
posted by jake at 10:14 AM on September 7, 2014 [11 favorites]




It looks like people have been going back and commenting on articles about Depression Quest from back in 2013. The one linked is pretty good and the author even disclosed his connections.
You can see comments starting a couple of weeks ago and they pretty much lay out what's really behind this whole supposed conspiracy and 'It's a bout journalistics ethics!' thing.
The first comment is pretty vile but it seems to sum up a lot of the thinking behind it.

My summary,

'Depression quest, zoe and people like her are making games and doing things in order to make game world toxic with their feminism. I don't really care about feminism except that now they're taking over game media who is kowtowing to them and the 'average' gamer is being cut out. I'm an 'average' gamer and this makes me mad. It makes me mad because THIS IS NOT A GAME and what they're doing has nothing to do with what games are.

It's trash tainted by the wimmins and wimmin's thinking and even though I know you are all going to say I'm bad and misoginist I'm not really it's just that all of this wimmin stuff and game media that is being PC and talking about wimmin stuff (and oh yeah they have a master plan that they're following you know) is bad because it's ruining games for me the 'average' gamer because this wimmin's stuff blows big chunks.
posted by Jalliah at 10:26 AM on September 7, 2014


I kept being reminded of Objective Reviews, but somehow I didn't realize how much it's not a coincidence.

The Carolyn Petit incident. That Lana Polansky was targeted. Section G on the list of demands, that reviews must be kept separate from analyses and opinion pieces.


I disagree with you about the sexism in this game, therefore it's subjective, therefore it does not belong in a review, therefore shut up.
posted by RobotHero at 10:43 AM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I enjoy games and read about games a lot and never saw any of this stuff until I got here. Mostly because I unsubscribed from the 'gaming' subreddit, and 90% of the default subreddits and only read eurogamer and rock paper shotgun for games news. Those guys don't represent the average gamer. The average 'gamer' won't even tell you they're a 'gamer', because gaming for them is a small part of a well balanced life.
posted by empath at 11:19 AM on September 7, 2014


lol
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:25 AM on September 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


lol


"Uh...hey, does anybody want to talk about periods or something?"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:35 AM on September 7, 2014


greg nog: Shillgate, on imgur

This has to be a joke. SRSgaming has what like, 30-40 active posters at most? it's seriously a tiny community. These people are also blatantly redditors because they seem to buy into the mythos that SRS is way bigger than it is, and that it actually does anything but point and laugh at them.

jason_steakums: See, I don't buy that many of them really believe it.

I agree with this, but i think it's a bit more complex than you're saying. They don't just like being angry dickheads, they like putting women in their place who get "uppity" and dare to question them in any way.

The deepest pilings driven in to the ground to support the building of their existence, and general ethos are based in some really bizarre misogynist shit. It's one of those things that's actually hard to grasp the breadth of if you didn't grow up spending an unhealthy amount of time on the internet as a millennial, deeply involved in shitty gaming communities and 4chan and stuff. The venn diagram between the guys doing this, and the guys involved in "thefappening" would be almost a perfect circle. Ditto with all the foreveralones/militant incels/etc.

The people doing this aren't just gamer nerds, they're friendzone truthers. This isn't about gaming at all. This is an excuse to take out all their frustration about not getting the sex they feel like they're entitled to in some several acres and a mule kind of way.

They basically want their "i didn't get laid" reparations, and they're so angry about it that it turned them into anti-women fascists. They're like, gonad-tional socialists at this point.

I think you'd have an almost impossible time picking a random supporter of this, interviewing them, and not getting more than 30 seconds in without easily prodding some seriously hateful shit out of them. That repasted comment from above is on point, as far as what they really believe even if it seems sarcastic.

If you'd spent a lot of time reading longboat reddit and 4chan threads that drift into serious hatred of women, you'd realize how deep these attitudes run and how much those spaces help to normalize this level of hatred and that level of hate speech. They've basically tared the scale of hatred so that no one involved in this thinks they're being as hateful as they really are, while simultaneously allowing mass actions like this to take place with the participants thinking it's completely justified because they're myopically incapable of seeing the hate angle, while simultaneously driven by their own frustration and a sense of camaraderie and justice.


I have no idea how to eradicate this scourge of the internet, but i genuinely think that reddit and 4chan are some of the greatest and foremost modern hate group organizing spaces, and methods.
posted by emptythought at 11:45 AM on September 7, 2014 [41 favorites]


So yea, jason_steakums, i don't think any of them really believe it much. I also think that part of the reason you're right there is how little anyone seems to care about a concrete list of reasons or narrative of why they started this.

i guess it's mostly /v/ and such involved here, but what happened to "we are not your personal army"? Because they seem to be following the same trajectory as google did with "don't be evil" here, where it went through "evil is hard to define" and "we make military robots".

This guy basically mobilized 4chan and reddit to get revenge on his ex. At least when i was a piece of shit internet troll, that kind of thing was explicitly not the kind of stuff that would get done. To the point that if people tried to do that, and had obviously revealed information about themselves, they would get harassed/doxed/etc.* I saw it happen when people were like "Hey 4chan/anonymous, i h8 this person and they did this and that can we harass them" because they'd pretty much get "wow you're a huge f****t" with probably some hilarious wordfilters.

I'm not saying i've never seen anon raid something where the reasons didn't quite add up and kept changing, but it's so transparent here that they don't even care anymore and this is just about a woman talking at all in a way they don't like, with after the fact "justification".

It truly shows what kind of person has come to dominate those websites, and that general "anonymous" community. I'm sure there's still some of the chaotic neutral and for the lulz people in there, but it's presenting a completely different face from the furry forum raiders of the mid 2000s.

* i would personally turn a blind eye to a campaign like this which harassed that guy until he was forced to move, questioned by his employer, and generally driven to tears and his wits end. I realize that isn't "justice", but if they're going to drive Sarkeesian out of her house, i would smile an evil smirk if it happened to him.
posted by emptythought at 11:54 AM on September 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Glad to see more people around here realizing that TB isn't a disinterested victim in all of this. (thank you, griphus, for saying it before I could pull out my axe to grind). I worked with the man for several years, and his involvement in this has just been disgustingly typical for him. I'm kind of hoping some of his past comes to bite him in the ass because of all of this, but I'm not going to get involved beyond saying that.

I was a gaming podcaster for 5 years, roughly, and I've seen first hand what it is like to be a woman in that industry, and in games journalism, and it makes me very disgusted. I hope Quinn's documentation pulls a lot of very ugly, dirty laundry into the light, and I'm very much hoping this will be the start of some well needed change in these industries.
posted by strixus at 11:58 AM on September 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


i genuinely think that reddit and 4chan are some of the greatest and foremost modern hate group organizing spaces, and methods.

this is so true. reddit has turned into MRA stormfront so quickly its terrifying. 4chan at least is known for being a cess-pit so people contextualize it as such, but reddit still maintains some sort of shiny corporate cover of cleanliness and legitimacy, making it hugely dangerous. a disturbingly large number of people get their news exclusively through reddit.
posted by young_son at 12:26 PM on September 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


shiny corporate cover of cleanliness and legitimacy

Oh, it sees itself as much more than a corporation. From Reddit's CEO: Every Man Is Responsible For His Own Soul
[...] we consider ourselves not just a company running a website where one can post links and discuss them, but the government of a new type of community. The role and responsibility of a government differs from that of a private corporation, in that it exercises restraint in the usage of its powers.

[...] we care that you make your choices between right and wrong. Virtuous behavior is only virtuous if it is not arrived at by compulsion. This is a central idea of the community we are trying to create.
(tags include "government 2.0")

(the post is a bit confusing since they did what he said they wouldn't do moments after he posted that, but scroll down to "Last weekend" for the original post.)
posted by effbot at 12:38 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


A shitty, shitty government from a country where upshots are law.
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


jesus christ
posted by young_son at 12:40 PM on September 7, 2014


Rustic Etruscan: "lol"

That one's so transparently fake that it's the first time I would believe it's a double-reverse fake. Especially with the tweet that forgot to even pretend it's about ethics.
posted by RobotHero at 12:42 PM on September 7, 2014


kmz: "Gamers got so fucking mad when Ebert said games couldn't be art, and now they're mad that some people actually treat it as if it could be art."

Yeah, absolutely. Obviously the worst aspects of this whole thing are the harassment, death threats, &c., but this really does bug me.

I think video games are art, a few of them are good art, and it's only a matter of time before this baby medium matures a little bit and everyone will be on the same page. Just like with film, once upon a time.

But a big part of that maturation is the building up of an ecosystem -- if that's the word for it -- of people who are critically engaged with the medium. Even if you disagree with the positions of people like Sarkeesian (or anyone), throwing a tantrum does nothing but hobble games.

At any rate, as I said on Twitter: Zoe Quinn is a fucking boss.
posted by brundlefly at 12:52 PM on September 7, 2014


I like how this rebuttal of claims about the IRC logs mostly just makes them look worse. It's amazing that they are able to fool anybody at any time.
posted by Artw at 12:53 PM on September 7, 2014


Rustic Etruscan: "lol"

That makes my head hurt. What is it trying to accomplish? I'm so confused.
posted by brundlefly at 12:54 PM on September 7, 2014


"The IRC logs are cherrypicked" provides a counterpoint. It's not a good counterpoint, but it "advances" the "debate".
posted by chrchr at 12:57 PM on September 7, 2014


Artw: Upshots are law, and 'doxxing' is considered a major felony unless it's a woman, particularly a cute or outspoken one.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:04 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


That makes my head hurt. What is it trying to accomplish? I'm so confused.

The idea is that some right-wing white kid has made a fake feminist account in an attempt to make it look like the men harassing women have support from feminist people of color.

That one's so transparently fake that it's the first time I would believe it's a double-reverse fake. Especially with the tweet that forgot to even pretend it's about ethics.

I think if these 4chan types understood their opponents well enough to imitate them convincingly, they would take their opponents' side.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:09 PM on September 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


SRSgaming has what like, 30-40 active posters at most? it's seriously a tiny community.

SRSGaming is a lovely place to post about games on Reddit, and if you spend time on Reddit and want to talk about vidya games you should poke a head in.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:13 PM on September 7, 2014


"The IRC logs are cherrypicked" provides a counterpoint. It's not a good counterpoint, but it "advances" the "debate".

One of the rebuttals is that Zoe Quinn is only mentioned so much because they're piping her twitter feed to their chat. So they're not obsessed, oh no.
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on September 7, 2014


If Captain EO taught me anything, it was that you can defeat your enemies by making them dance.

You might enjoy checking out Quing's Quest VII:The Death of Video Games, a FABULOUS twine game about the death of Video Games1. There is dancing.

(Brought to you by Ruin Jam 2014 "I’m ruining video games! Join me! I’m going to be doing everything in my power to destroy them completely. Walking simulators about feelings and emotions as far as the eye can see! Guns that shoot kisses! Lady characters that aren’t designed to cater to the whims of straight men! I’m hiding loving queer couples in every treasure chest instead of new armor.")

1not Jake Rodkin
posted by straight at 1:50 PM on September 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


"The IRC logs are cherrypicked" provides a counterpoint. It's not a good counterpoint, but it "advances" the "debate".

The thing is, it also shows how inept they are at this and how shaky and shitty their justification and side of this is.

It's sort of like that old chestnut of "the lawyer with the strongest case argues the facts, the lawyer with a weaker case argues the law, the lawyer with the weakest case appeals to feelings" sort of thing.

The best possible response to carry along with "you're taking me out of context" is "this is the context, see how completely different that is and how much spin you were laying on?" with or without the part after the comma even.

Whereas, a weak-ass argument is "you're taking me out of context!" and just letting that hang there. It works on morons, assholes, and people who already agree with you... but it's not actually an argument. It's like the wheels and frame of a car without the body, engine, or any other of the important bits.

An accusation needs proof, and that's a pretty damn big accusation imo. If you're going to accuse someone of cherry picking like that, roll up with some proof and land a solid blow. It's a powerful hit, if it's true. Especially if what they did grossly misrepresented you. But just pointing and going "MOOOM" like this aint shit.
posted by emptythought at 2:30 PM on September 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Argumentum ad MOOOMium.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:35 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


From Reddit's CEO: Every Man Is Responsible For His Own Soul

Wait, Andrew Ryan is CEO of Reddit?
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:50 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wait, the CEO of reddit has a soul?
posted by emptythought at 2:51 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Not for the first time I'm thinking of Peter Watts characters.
posted by Artw at 2:54 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Wait, Andrew Ryan is CEO of Reddit?

There are some similarities between Reddit and Rapture. The inhabitants, for one.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:04 PM on September 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


BTW, do we have an actual example of an actual game being promoted via "corruption"? That's seeming strangely lacking from all the flowcharts so far.

Well, there was the thing about Jeff Gerstmann getting fired from GameSpot for giving a low review of a game, but there weren't any women involved so it doesn't really count as corruption. Not like all those game reviewers who got corrupted by Zoe Quinn's female influence.
posted by NMcCoy at 3:36 PM on September 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


And Alex Navarro, who walked out of GameSpot after Jeff Gerstmann was fired - that is, who actively and visibly took a career-endangering stand on an actual ethics issue - is now on the boycott list of Social Justice Warrior journalists.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:52 PM on September 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Meanwhile, in Salem, Mass...
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:55 PM on September 7, 2014


I was thinking about this... and apparently "Social Justice Warrior" is a slur.

So these guys really desperately need better propaganda techniques (not really, their crappy propaganda is hilarious)...

Think of racial slurs - any of them.... Their hateful, ugly, horrid things... But you don't need 20 years or 50 years to 'reclaim' Social Justice Warrior - it already sounds awesome and something to be proud of.

Hell, it's elevating the stance of folks that think maybe the world shouldn't be so awful... Seriously, think about it - you can make some mild comment on some message board somewhere lamenting how games shouldn't be so awfully sexist, and suddenly your a goddamned WARRIOR! Badass! How can I join this club? Oh, just be speaking out against sexism now and again?

Sign me up for that!
posted by el io at 4:04 PM on September 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


So I have zero interest in playing Depression Quest [1] but I went over to Steam after finishing this thread up to this point anyway, and then I was disappointed that I couldn't pay money for it; it's free. I guess I will have to check Quinn's Patreon instead.

Some other comments:

1. This is a fantastic thread, MetaFilter, and you should feel good.
2. I'm especially wowed by the analysis about the dissonance, in the dudebro contingent about what it really means that "video games are art," playing a role (though I strongly think it plays not even second violin, but maybe viola, to the main melody of outright misogyny and immature manchildishness.)
3. I am a cis woman. I'm in my thirties. I am in a "professional" field. And I do not want to give up the name "gamer." It's mine. I've cried for [spoiler] and gaped during that whole rescuing-[spoiler] scene of [spoiler] and fell down from the couch laughing at that one bottle-shooting contest, you know the one. I used to sing with them; now I sing with them; I am a gamer and the name is mine and I do not want to give it up.

So I have to be looking at it squarely from the point of view of those in this thread that say "it's so heated and loud right now because the conversation is happening and we're climbing out of the pit even though the walls are coated with shit." Yes. This. I am not going to climb out of the pit and throw the name back in there. The ones who want to keep it a shithole already have names that the rest of us use. "Misogynist Hateful Troll" and "Unnecessary Waste of Signal Electrons and Game Code" come to mind. "Gamer" is my name, I play games and I've already done my bit, over and over, in the other ongoing battles of "No it's not for kids only" and "Yes it is an art form, not only in its subcomponents of visual design and music and script, but as a whole as a medium."

(Those are external battles; this present fight presently focused on Sarkeesian and Quinn is internal and is far more important.)

There are valid criticisms of the identity of gamer; there's the point made abovethread about how it is inherently unhealthy because it's an identity based on consuming---but I'd much rather approach it and consider why there's no "reader" culture such named about books, or "viewer" culture such named about TV shows... wait, there are too, only those are called "fandom." And they don't only consume, but discuss and create derivative work. As do, um, gamers.

It's important for me to explicitly state that I am not saying "not all gamers." That is tacit support of the happy shithole dwellers for all the reasons discussed here and elsewhere. What I want to say is that "gamer" is my name, and right now the identity is on fire and in flux and its problems are being discussed out in the open just as the deeply-seated, culturally entrenched problems of many other fandom-oriented activities have been and still are being discussed and fought over. And I am female, non-WASP, and in my choices of developers to support and games to play I do put my money (and time) where my mouth is.

What I am saying is that as things change and we climb towards sunlight, I would happily call those who want to cling to the bottom "dudebros" but gamer is mine.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] because mumble a leeeetle too close mumble at the moment mumble life mumble
posted by seyirci at 4:17 PM on September 7, 2014 [20 favorites]


And Alex Navarro, who walked out of GameSpot after Jeff Gerstmann

Actually, I think it's not just Gerstmann and Navaro, but all the original Giant Bomb guys, Ryan Davis (RIP), Brad, Vinny. Patrick and the more recent hires were later, but it says a lot that all four of those other guys were willing to take the stand they did.
posted by sparkletone at 4:28 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]




But you guys, it was really Something Awful that did all this! They invaded 4chan! They are leftist trolls just pretending to be anti-SJW for the lulz!

This is the new narrative. My channer son just emailed me to ask about the FYAD forum on SA. (He knows I hang out at SA).

My head is spinning trying to figure out who was responsible for what.
posted by Biblio at 5:28 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


You're absolutely right, sparkletone - but I think Alex Navarro is the only one on an SJW boycott list. Although there are a few of them pinging around, and it's possible the rest of Giant Bomb were added after PAX...

So I have zero interest in playing Depression Quest but I went over to Steam after finishing this thread up to this point anyway, and then I was disappointed that I couldn't pay money for it; it's free. I guess I will have to check Quinn's Patreon instead.

You can pay for the game at itch.io, if you want to make a one-off payment rather than Patreonize.

The Steam pricing is actually quite an interesting thing in itself; Depression Quest launched a couple of days after Robin Williams' death, and Quinn posted about her uncertainty about whether it would be better to launch or not launch, given the circumstances, and decided to launch with no way to pay for the game on Steam. She was struggling to work out a way to monetize on Steam in any case: she wanted the complete game to be free always, so was wondering about e.g DLC packs with no content, or in-game payment options, but decided against.

Of course, this read to the protoform Gamergaters as trying to cash in on Williams' death by sticking...to....the....launch....schedule...of...a...free...game. The way those guys respond to Quinn is literally inexplicable. Like, you couldn't explain it to a regular person outside games culture. And it's weird that it feels like a pretty regular occurrence within games culture.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:37 PM on September 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


It was us!
posted by Artw at 5:38 PM on September 7, 2014


Can anyone summarize the fuss about the "leaked Polygon block list" that all the shitheels seem to be crowing about on Twitter now? Haven't seen a source on it yet that wasn't one of those "Stormfront but for games" sites.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:41 PM on September 7, 2014


The way those guys respond to Quinn is literally inexplicable.
On the contrary -- it's pretty easy to explain. They're misogynistic trolls who only tolerate women who applaud and excuse their shittiness. Anyone who doesn't is labeled as evil, and -- like Scientology's Suppressive Persons -- can rightly and righteously be targeted for destruction at any time without further justification.
posted by verb at 5:45 PM on September 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


But you guys, it was really Something Awful that did all this! They invaded 4chan! They are leftist trolls just pretending to be anti-SJW for the lulz!

This is the new narrative. My channer son just emailed me to ask about the FYAD forum on SA. (He knows I hang out at SA).


ahahaha what a bunch of goons
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:54 PM on September 7, 2014


But you guys, it was really Something Awful that did all this! They invaded 4chan! They are leftist trolls just pretending to be anti-SJW for the lulz!

That's nothing too new, they've been saying the same crap about SRS on reddit since the get-go: that they're a Something Awful front, that they do tons of false-flag posting (as if you have to fake people being assholes on reddit), etc etc. It's all so incredibly stupid and tiresome.
posted by dialetheia at 6:01 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Can anyone summarize the fuss about the "leaked Polygon block list" that all the shitheels seem to be crowing about on Twitter now? Haven't seen a source on it yet that wasn't one of those "Stormfront but for games" sites.

From what I can gather some main guy at Polygon, "Chris Grant' tweeted about finding some sort of twitter blocking thing and put over 1500 twitter peeps on his block list and can be merged with other peoples lists.

People are claiming that he's shutting down diversity because of some of the people on the list who they say are marginalized people and indy people. No idea how true this claim is.
posted by Jalliah at 6:01 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]



Oh wait. I just some some more tweet and I think I have it figured.

The Polygon guy did tweet about the block list thing and merging with other peoples block lists. It looks like he's blocking people on twitter who are supporting gamergate, ergo 'since #gamergate and #notyourshield supporters aren't all just white dudes he's setting up a blacklist and trying to take it industry wide (with the list merge thing) that is blocking diversity. '

So what appears to be happening is people, including some women and minorities are latching onto the supposed issues represented by the two tags because they don't know, understand or just don't care where the tags originated from. (which is damn sad in my opinion) Supporters of the two tags, including the non white dude supporters are being twitter blocked by major games media so OMG it's a scandal because who will think of the diversity?

Yep it's easy to keep track of.......yeesh
posted by Jalliah at 6:14 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Thanks, that's more than I was able to piece together.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:15 PM on September 7, 2014


'since #gamergate and #notyourshield supporters aren't all just white dudes he's setting up a blacklist and trying to take it industry wide (with the list merge thing) that is blocking diversity. '

Ugh, it rustles my jimmies so much when these guys appropriate the terminology of social justice to portray themselves as victims. Jimmies: rustled.
posted by dialetheia at 6:18 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


From a cursory scan I saw a few names I've recognise from Gamergate activism, and one I'd recognise as definitely on the social justice end of games dev. It seems perfectly credible that it's just the progressive blocking of people involved in angry conversations...

(I was like SHOTS FIRED when I saw a John Siracusa, but this appears not to be Ars Technica's John Siracusa, who is @siracusa. I sort of hope that this other guy was blocked for constantly tweeting wildly misleading advice about Apple OS updates.)

This is a big deal for the Gamergate guys because one thing that they are kind of big on is having their voices heard. If you look at the list of demands, (f) demands equal rights for the audience to have their voice heard - which if you think about for a moment seems to bespeak a fundamental misunderstanding of what an audience is, but never mind.

Essentially, this seems to mean obligatory comments (or maybe a blogging platform run by the pub?) and no moderation. Anything short of a credible death threat or something else that justified calling the police basically would have to be allowed - i.e. you would have to call the police before deleting a comment, I guess - and it looks like (although the wording is ambiguous) writers might be compelled in some way to engage.

When Cara Ellison's last S.EXE column was published in Rock Paper Shotgun with comments turned off (during the waxing of Gamergate), a lot of angry dudes hassled her on Twitter about how she was censoring/silencing them, even though they were able and encouraged to post to the forums. To be fair, they are right that it's easier to ignore forum posts than comments, but.

This is sort of weird, given the libertarian leanings of Baldwin & co, but I think what constitutes private property is sometimes confusing; I saw a guy apparently sincerely tweeting a link to Article 19 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights to argue against comment moderation, so...
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:53 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


A site turning comments off... It's totally like book burning.
posted by el io at 7:03 PM on September 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


the list of demands, (f) demands equal rights for the audience to have their voice heard

WTF? Get your own blog, you troglodyte fuckknuckles. No one is obligated to publish your poorly spelled sexist diatribes for you.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:31 PM on September 7, 2014 [18 favorites]


People are claiming that he's shutting down diversity because of some of the people on the list who they say are marginalized people and indy people. No idea how true this claim is.

Does it matter? Chris Grant is entitled read or not read whatever he wants, as is literally everyone is the world. This is an asinine complaint.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:33 PM on September 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Trolls want comment sections. Without comment sections, they have no ground on which to build their temples of rage.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:18 PM on September 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


If anybody really and truly wants to know what the #GamerGate people are all about, there's one of them arguing with me on Facebook, and she keeps pointing to ShortFatOtaku's Youtube videos, which are apparently supposed to be the vaunted EXPOSES!!! that all this was supposed to bring us. The latest is here. Its general message is that Phil Fish is now hideously corrupt too, along with an ever-widening net. Also interesting is the fact that they have the gall to call on people not to harass others - and, somewhat surprisingly, say explicitly that Anita Sarkeesian had almost nothing to do with this. They also have to spend the first chunk of the video apologizing to people they lobbed accusations at in the last round.
posted by koeselitz at 10:10 PM on September 7, 2014


koeselitz: "They also have to spend the first chunk of the video apologizing to people they lobbed accusations at in the last round."

"Our methodology may have been flawed those last eight rounds of accusations, but this time..."
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 10:26 PM on September 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


So I've been talking with some of my high school friends on facebook, several of whom are stereotypically gamers (among many other things). They insist that this is an issue about video game journalism and how corrupt it is. I am most likely known as the SJW of the group and saw this coming, but when I said that there was a larger issue of misogyny at play here they objected.

One friend was particularly concerned with an incestuous game blog cliche currently on on a power trip. He cited multiple legitimate wrongs that this group (which includes Zoe Quinn) and that other groups had committed. When I brought up the concentrated blast of vitriol directed towards Quinn and others, he said that it all came from the internet's harassment problem. "I'm sure there are incidents of misogyny related to games. I've never doubted that. I just think there is a lot of different stuff going on in the current conversation."

I firmly believe that there's a larger issue at play here, which has simultaneously highlighted, given a face to, and been blown out of proportion by the sheer amount of harassment and misogyny that females in the games industry face. I don't think this excuses any of the misdeeds which Zoe Quinn has done, for example the doxxing of FYC. But I don't think this response is seen in other industries... (though there's a lot of hate in music as well)

I can't shake the thought that I'm trying to improve gamer culture while they're trying to improve game journalism :-\
posted by Strass at 10:52 PM on September 7, 2014


I just people were this passionate about instances of misogyny...
posted by Strass at 11:07 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't shake the thought that I'm trying to improve gamer culture while they're trying to improve game journalism :-\

One first has to prove that there is a problem in games journalism, which they have not done. Where is the corruption? Who has benefited from this alleged corruption?

And if they can't do that, then what they are doing is merely piling on in a harassment campaign, no matter what they claim their justification is.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:08 PM on September 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


He cited multiple legitimate wrongs that this group (which includes Zoe Quinn) and that other groups had committed.

What are these wrongs? Serious question.

And generally, what do your friends cite as examples of legitimate problems in game journalism/reviews?
posted by wemayfreeze at 11:11 PM on September 7, 2014


The idea that anything the indies are doing is corrupting games journalism when the big companies give them tons of free stuff and fly them to dog and pony shows and shit is just fucking nuts, though. There are huge problems with games journalism, and if folks wanted to fight corruption there they'd be critiquing JOURNALISTS, not harassing a developer. Or, even better, they'd be looking into the big game journalism companies.
posted by NoraReed at 11:17 PM on September 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


wemayfreeze: “What are these wrongs? Serious question.”

Strass mentioned and linked to one in the next paragraph – Zoe supposedly "doxxed" the Fine Young Capitalists people. People seem to like to cite this as a "wrong" she did – I am not convinced, but I haven't looked into it much.

Mainly at this point my impression is that this dude in the video is insanely grating.
posted by koeselitz at 11:22 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


The stuff he mentioned that I looked into all checked out. I'm too zonked to find the links again, but I'll find some of the stuff he mentioned from the chat transcript.

David Jaffe on misogyny/harassment
in david jaffe's words
you can trace anything back to a specifcic psychosis
ie... they behave this way becase they have a hate or distrust of women
sure
but you can do that with anything
and when it is clearly occuring to men and women
i cannot see it as a misogony issue


I think that zoe quinn, and the incestuous clique of developers and bloggers surrounding her and people like her are on a power trip. check out the silverstring media astro turfing... just like people think that 4chan is "organized" and pulling the wool over everyone's eyes... well this is an organization that is ACTUALLY organized and doing just that... but on the other "side". worth looking into anyways

I'm not saying misogyny doesn't exist: it does. And it is a part of this free for all. But to frame the entire discussion in those terms is at least inaccurate and at worst detrimental in the very ways the sjws claim themselves to be against

Zoe vs. FYC (the video I posted above: Despite the annoying voice, if he's telling the truth then Zoe is in the wrong here)
Honestly I don't really care about zoe quinn.
The issue I find I identify with more is the incestuous clique and how power hungry they all seem to be
Because zoe is just one person
And it's fuck in everywhere
In an industry I'm interested in
I think that zoe taking down fyc is an a example of that power trip
And was actually an instance that hurt woman in games
Which is something I support
I think there should be more strong women in the games industry
If they want to be there


I hope I don't misrepresent him by posting some snippits of chat. His argument was cogent and valid, just a very different way of looking at the issue. He's a smart guy, though ideologically we're not always in agreement.
posted by Strass at 11:27 PM on September 7, 2014


Zoe supposedly "doxxed" the Fine Young Capitalists people.

That didn't actually happen. TFYC said as much.
posted by CrystalDave at 11:31 PM on September 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


I have only looked into it on a kind of cursory level, but it seems that the original accusation was doxxing on the part of one of Quinn's "associates", not her own action, which leads this down yet another rabbit hole of for some reason people wanting to place responsibility on her for things that everybody around her has allegedly done wrong, instead of calling those people out themselves.
posted by Sequence at 11:31 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


That was my impression too, koeselitz. I'm going to make a second attempt at listening to it - the first thirty seconds were excruciating.

ShortFatOtaku's video, after the first 7.24 of apologies, etc, didn't impress me as anything but inept conjecture - a lot of dots that don't connect into a clear picture.
posted by Pudhoho at 11:32 PM on September 7, 2014


The Block Bot that Chris Grant is using has nothing to do with #gamergate. It's a crowd-sourced block list that is used by a diverse group of people who aren't interested in MRA trolling taking up a ton of space in their Twitter feed. Personally, I use it and I'm not in any way connected with gaming. It was originally developed for the atheist community and grew to be useful beyond that. You can read more about it here.
posted by ohisee at 11:38 PM on September 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Strass: “Despite the annoying voice, if he's telling the truth then Zoe is in the wrong here”

Yeah, no, that isn't true, really. He says explicitly that she didn't "dox" him, that she asked who he was and he answered. If he's telling the truth, then Zoe is guilty at most of talking on Twitter about how she doesn't like the FYC model. That's not "taking down" FYC; by this guy's own accounting, a lot of people were just incredibly wary of FYC from the beginning, and he's just apparently chosen Zoe to represent them because it's easier to say 'this one person (almost) killed our project' instead of 'a whole bunch of people thought it sounded pretty skeezy from the beginning.'

Meanwhile, he actually argues in this video that a feminist group not taking money from 4chan is just like a game company refusing to hire women. It's like a stark caricature designed to demonstrate the intractability of capitalist feminism.

And we're supposed to believe that it's merely Zoe that caused a bunch of folks to look at this FYC thing with skepticism. Well... after listening to this guy talk for a while, I am extraordinarily skeptical that it has much to do with feminism at all, and skeptical that being involved with it as a developer would benefit anyone in any way. As a database programmer, I've had recruiters talk to me the way this guy is talking to me. Invariably they were recruiters who were looking to underpay me or even swindle me to better their own bottom line. The fact that this guy almost admits that when he says that his only aim is to be a "selfish feminist" doesn't exactly increase my faith in him.
posted by koeselitz at 11:42 PM on September 7, 2014 [12 favorites]


(That is not to say that the Fine Young Capitalists are certainly, or even possibly, running a scam. It's only to say that, if a bunch of people found them kind of shifty and untrustworthy from the start, I'm betting it was less Zoe and her secret cabal of journalists and writers and Twitter-buddies! and more just the boring, run-of-the-mill fact that, uh, the people running Fine Young Capitalists sound a little teensy bit shifty, and people in tech are sensitive to that.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:49 PM on September 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Also, now I have this in my head – so thanks, internet.)
posted by koeselitz at 11:51 PM on September 7, 2014


Zoe supposedly "doxxed" the Fine Young Capitalists people.

How do you "doxx" a company? Like, look at their management team page?
posted by effbot at 1:51 AM on September 8, 2014 [10 favorites]


I hadn't even heard of Blockbot before. A Twitter-approved third party blocklist? I could not install this fast enough.

So, uh, good job publicizing this tool, Gamergate weirdos.
posted by almostmanda at 2:13 AM on September 8, 2014


The most succinct description I've seen yet of this debacle:
What Is GamerGate?

It’s the Tea Party of video games. And Zoe Quinn is its Benghazi.
Maybe when Bungie officially releases Destiny tomorrow these cretins from gaming community can find a distraction from their imaginary grievances.
posted by Doktor Zed at 3:18 AM on September 8, 2014 [11 favorites]


I think one thing I would say about that is that it's not necessarily just the Tea Party of video games. Quite a few individuals and groups who would I think generally claim to be concerned with the big issues - A Voice for Men, Breitbart (although the London offshoot rather than the core editorial), Adam Baldwin - have pulled in people for whom this isn't really about video games at all: rather, it's simply another front in an ongoing culture war.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:46 AM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Block Bot that Chris Grant is using has nothing to do with #gamergate. It's a crowd-sourced block list that is used by a diverse group of people who aren't interested in MRA trolling taking up a ton of space in their Twitter feed. Personally, I use it and I'm not in any way connected with gaming. It was originally developed for the atheist community and grew to be useful beyond that. You can read more about it here.


Thanks for the info. I figured it was just something he was using to block gamergate twits and general spam. That it has nothing to do with gamergate is sad and hilarious in a black humor way.
posted by Jalliah at 5:50 AM on September 8, 2014



Good article from Rock Paper Shotgun (a major gaming site). It's long but worth the read as it covers what's been going on from their perspective.

Video Games are for Everybody

I found so much I wanted to quote in this I couldn't decide which part. I settled on the intro as it sets the whole thing up.

It’s time for us to talk about a difficult and complicated series of issues which have affected the gaming community in recent weeks. This is one of those times when we’ve had to take a deep breath and just wait. It’s hard to do that, sometimes. We do like to say our piece. But sometimes you have to wait, because it’s moving too fast and affects far too many people. So we’ve waited. We’ve written something down, and we’ve turned the comments off.

Let us explain why.

posted by Jalliah at 6:21 AM on September 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


So, I installed Block Bot. I chose level 2. To comply with Twitter's rules, it adds people to your block list in increments--maybe 25 at a time, every fifteen minutes? And using a different tool, Blockedby.me, you can see who it's blocking.

Block Bot is amazing. It's been four hours, and watching it update has been so satisfying. I'm blocking TERFs and obviously fake 4chan campaign accounts (#EndFathersDay! @BikiniBridge!). Blatant racists. Fake feminist accounts that misspell "feminist." MRAs. Actual Nazis.

It's like scrubbing a dirty bathroom floor clean. I can't believe anyone uses Twitter without this. I especially can't believe any woman uses Twitter in a professional capacity without this.

The irony of these guys trying to make a scandal out of it is just delicious. For every person outraged about being "silenced" (all their life), I bet five install this because they just now learned about it.
posted by almostmanda at 6:26 AM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


Social Justice Warriors? That was my favorite Superfriends spinoff as a kid! My favorite episode was when Russell Means and Apache Chief kicked ass against the Legion of Doom infiltrating the Bureau of Indian Affairs to turn Pine Ridge Reservation into a uranium mining operation. Sure, the hipsters these days are all about the campy, subtextual flirtation between Angela Davis and Black Falcon, but back in the day, that mainly just went over the kids' heads.
posted by jonp72 at 6:30 AM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Excellent RPS article. I had a feeling they hadn't said much for a bit for a reason.
posted by Artw at 7:02 AM on September 8, 2014


(Checking #gamergate they've both declared victory because RPS is "backing down" and their continued hate for RPS because it is "against them")
posted by Artw at 7:17 AM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]



Artw, I looked as well. The tweets are all over the place. People do seem really annoyed that gamergate is still being equated with anti-women.

Well duh people. You dug your hole with that one.

I also love how some people equate articles about sexism and games as 'click-bait'.


RPS made it pretty clear though. ' We're going to write those articles because we believe it and believe in them. It's our site and we'll put what we damn well please on it. Don't like it. Don't read it. ' They said it nicely though.
posted by Jalliah at 7:38 AM on September 8, 2014


Every AAAAARRRGGHGH THEY TURNED COMMENTS OFF I AM SILENCED! tweet brings a smile to my face though.
posted by Artw at 7:44 AM on September 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


That's nothing too new, they've been saying the same crap about SRS on reddit since the get-go: that they're a Something Awful front, that they do tons of false-flag posting (as if you have to fake people being assholes on reddit)

Yeah, the amazing thing is that every time I think I've seen the most over-the-top attempts at either fakery or irony, someone who genuinely believes really insane stuff can blow it right out of the water, like homodigitalis's comment above.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:52 AM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


It’s the Tea Party of video games. And Zoe Quinn is its Benghazi.

Its not even that "sane". More like Zoe is Obama's birth certificate.
posted by straight at 7:58 AM on September 8, 2014 [11 favorites]


SJWs also have the best uniforms- grey urban camo with black berets and sunglasses? So early-'90s.


Oh wait, that's the S1Ws.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:10 AM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]



I always try to see some positive in things. This whole event or issue or whatever you want to call it has introduced me to some pretty awesome people and I've discovered other pretty awesome women in the game industry that I didn't know about or pay much attention to before. I'm listening to some podcasts right now and my twitter following list (which I just started using very recently) has expanded with people I find interesting and funny.

I figure that following, listening to and reading people's (mostly women's) work is one way that I can show them support beyond just finding it interesting.
posted by Jalliah at 8:13 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Funny story: Over the weekend one of the stump speakers for the #notyourshield hashtag started pinging my two bosses and company twitter accounts, demanding that they answer for my racist actions.

I'd made the mistake of posting a screenshot of the 4chan raid thread in which they coordinated which types of minorities should post there ("your girlfriend must post herself, you can't quote her, AND NO AUTISTICS, classical minorities only"). This guy spent the next two hours insisting that I was racist because I was denying minorities their voices.

It was a rehearsed speech, one that didn't have any other conversation paths mapped out. But it was interesting to note how 4chan is consciously mirroring the language and form of progressive critique without engaging the ideas. In many progressive social media campaigns, there's an emphasis on making sure that minorities tell their own stories because they are the ones who own those stories -- that appropriating them rather than amplifying them is damaging in the long term. For a 4chan raid, minority voices are emphasized in order to deflect criticism, and less-sympathetic minorities are internally silenced to ensure a "presentable" front.
posted by verb at 8:35 AM on September 8, 2014 [14 favorites]


Isometric - a game theme podcast.


Brianna Wu, Maddy Myers, Georgia Dow and Steve Lubitz in discussion. These are all people in the industry and women who have been harassed over the past couple of weeks.

The first part is them joking around. They even say it's having dessert before getting into the serious stuff. If you like games it's funny and good way to get to know them.

At around 35 mins it gets serious as they discuss what's been going on. It's powerful as these women are in the thick of it. They talk about every women they know in the industry being scared to death.

I recommend listening to it from at least 35mins on. I'm still working my way through it.
posted by Jalliah at 8:44 AM on September 8, 2014 [11 favorites]



Oh hell.

I'm going to recommend this podcast again with a trigger warning because listening to them talk about what's been happening to them is upsetting. I'm getting quite emotional. It's worthwhile though.

I hope this discussion goes viral because it really gets to the heart of it and it's more then just about 'games'.

Unfreaking real.
posted by Jalliah at 9:00 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Postcommunism is right. It's to the point where #Gamergate accusations are just exactly the things they are doing.

They post a bunch of hateful slutshaming reviews on Steam and Metacritic? Stop bringing bias into reviews! Just talk about the games!
Manipulate minority voices to deflect criticism? Minorities are #NotYourShield, guys!
Create a bunch of fake-progressive Twitter personalities to get a hashtag trending and rope in people legit concerned about ethics in gaming? Zoe is staging harassment as a false flag!
Discuss strategic ways to turn a harassment campaign into a legit-sounding movement in a shady chatroom? Vast SJW conspiracy!

Are we sure it wasn't actually 4chan that dumped Eron Gjoni?
posted by almostmanda at 9:02 AM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's to the point where #Gamergate accusations are just exactly the things they are doing.

That's basically conservative argumentation in a nutshell. It's projection all the way down.
posted by empath at 9:19 AM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


It's to the point where #Gamergate accusations are just exactly the things they are doing.

c.f. Saul Alinsky's Rule #4 for Radicals: "Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules." The right-wing reactionaries on this particular front of the culture wars - the progeny of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove - are radicals themselves and have taken these maxims to heart*. They are fully aware, for instance, how easy it is to provoke infighting among their opponents on the left by scoring off social justice cred and politically correct shaming/finger-pointing.

As for Zoe Quinn, she was intended to be an object lesson for Rule #12: "Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it." Too bad for them that she also learned Rule #5 - "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon." - is true for woman, too.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:37 AM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


Kayin (maker of I Wanna Be The Guy) reveals the dark ritual for encountering a GamerGater.
posted by straight at 10:46 AM on September 8, 2014 [16 favorites]


So I've continued discussing this issue with my friends, and IDK, they just don't get what the fuss is about. (Some entries cleaned up a little for ease of reading)

I think gta v is fun to play, that's about where it starts and ends for me

I completely understand what you're saying and going for but I don't really think its the games job to do an analysis of these things. Its just poking fun. Its a videogame, its not supposed to be serious

I think you make excellent points from an analysis perspective but I personally approach games from a fun perspective. Otherwise I'd start worrying about classism in Catan and the horrors of War when I play risk. I mean if you'd rather get upset at games than have fun with them that's totally your call but I prefer to have fun

I also think its ridiculous to hold everything under a magnifying glass

I agree [that GTA would be just as fun if you could have a female PC who wasn't a caricature, or a black PC who wasn't ridiculous, etc.] but I also personally do not lose any enjoyment but having it present

I'm just indifferent
I think it would he great if games could be more inclusive
I don't think that's an attack or bad at all
But if it never happened fun games would still he made and I'd still play them


I want to touch on your thought that attempts to make games more inclusive are seen as an attack against the artform:
Its more because they are trying to change the current flow. Not because they are trying to open it up to more people. I'm not saying, I'm for or against, but there is a clear change happening, or attempting to happen, people are going to be upset about that, especially when you claim that all the people that are against the change are sexist or racist... Doesn't really help
Clearly there needs to be a middle ground


On the 9/10 review of GTA: I'm not sure I have a good response. From my perspective it looks like a simple difference of opinion about how a review should be conducted and like with recent events there are some who are using it as an excuse to exhibit their psychoses.
I think If you rate a got a game you rate it it as a graduate game
[N.B. he's typing on his phone at this point, clearly autocorrect messed something up here... I'm not sure what he means]
That doesn't mean a discussion of misogyny isn't appropriate. I think not all reviewers would agree that the review is the place for it and the points it sounds like the reviewer was making sound like they were probably legitimate ones. I think some people might see it as trying to push a political agenda where they're looking for a review that strives to approach an objective point of view
I could see that as being a potentially legitimate point of view as well.


I'm slowly working on a response to their comments (which I'll post here when it's done). I think it's tragic that they can admit there's an issue but since it doesn't affect them it doesn't really matter... As long as the games are fun for them, no changes need to be made but when other groups want games that appeal/cater to them, it's an egregious wrong to the game industry and a 'political agenda,' even though "GTA could be just as fun if..."
posted by Strass at 11:09 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Strass: "I think If you rate a got a game you rate it it as a graduate game [N.B. he's typing on his phone at this point, clearly autocorrect messed something up here... I'm not sure what he means]
"

I will guess two different ways to autocorrect GTA.


For the "political agendas must be left out of game reviews" I argue that for some players, this is very relevant to how much they will enjoy the game.

Some people don't care about whether a game has multiplayer, and if a reviewer gives a poor rating because there's no multiplayer, I think the onus is on the reader to decide whether the review reflects their own priorities.
posted by RobotHero at 11:32 AM on September 8, 2014


The really fun thing is that a year from now if you ask these dicks about it #Gamergate will be a massive false-flag hoax carried about by ShitRedditSays and Zoe Quinn in an effort to smear gaming and no gamers were ever involved in any of it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:34 AM on September 8, 2014 [8 favorites]




The really fun thing is that a year from now if you ask these dicks about it #Gamergate will be a massive false-flag hoax carried about by ShitRedditSays and Zoe Quinn in an effort to smear gaming and no gamers were ever involved in any of it.
I don't think that'll be the case. The bitter-enders, like birth certificate truthers, are still out there vigorously decrying the sexism and racism of people who oppose #gamergate (because, if #gamergate has women and blacks on its "side," ignoring #gamergate's demands is "silencing minorities).

It'll slump to a stop when they get bored, but the underlying claims -- about corruption, and a powerful conspiracy of 'SJWs' crowding out 'legitimate voices' in games journalism -- have already been absorbed into their shared reality. They've internalized the cover story.
posted by verb at 11:53 AM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


From brundlefly's link: Oh, there might be a few bad apples in the bunch, some were willing to concede, but they were in the minority.

I suppose it's pointless at this stage of things, but "just a few bad apples" is not a defense. It just means they concede the whole barrel is rotten. Dumbasses.
posted by rtha at 11:56 AM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Strass: I want to touch on your thought that attempts to make games more inclusive are seen as an attack against the artform:
Its more because they are trying to change the current flow. Not because they are trying to open it up to more people. I'm not saying, I'm for or against, but there is a clear change happening, or attempting to happen, people are going to be upset about that, especially when you claim that all the people that are against the change are sexist or racist... Doesn't really help
Clearly there needs to be a middle ground


I'm curious what your friend imagines a middle ground between "inclusive" and "exclusionary" might be?

In regards to his comment about "you claim all people that are against the change are sexist or racist," Jay Smooth addresses a good way of approaching this discussion. When you tell somebody they are sexist or racist, they stop listening. If you point out that something they said or did sounds sexist or racist, you can get the conversation going (though they'll often change "what you said sounded sexist" to "you said I was sexist" in their brains).

Anyhow, change is traumatic, even change for good. People don't like to have their cheese moved. Change is going to happen whether they want it to or not. For example, I want more games like Grim Fandango, but that ship has long sailed so I'll settle for games like Skyrim. There was a time when Custer's Revenge seemed like an acceptable idea for a game (and the people who objected to that game were accused of having no sense of humor). Guess what, we have significantly less 8 bit rape in our games then we did back then and games have gotten better, not worse.

Games are going to keep getting better (even when they become more inclusive) because the mechanics will keep getting better. Plus, when they're more inclusive, more people will buy them, which means more money to the companies that make games which, in theory, means more cash on hand to make the next generation of games even better.

There's really no downside to more inclusive games. The only gamers who'll even notice are the set of gamers who say "games are escapism" and actually mean "I want to escape from a world where there are women and people of color."
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:01 PM on September 8, 2014


I don't think that'll be the case. The bitter-enders, like birth certificate truthers, are still out there vigorously decrying the sexism and racism of people who oppose #gamergate (because, if #gamergate has women and blacks on its "side," ignoring #gamergate's demands is "silencing minorities).

As somebody who's been in this particular world for a good bit and been on the opposite side of these assholes, every shitty thing they do eventually becomes something we did and lied about to make them look bad.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:04 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


From the IRC logs that 4chan released to make themselves look better:
<Logan> Any chance we can get Zoe to commit suicide?
<> if we can get more daming evidence
<> I think the [doxxing info removed by DF] is a good shot.
<temet> like her fucking a train of lack dudes …
<PaperDinosaur> fuck off Logan
<temet> black
<Logan> Nah 21st century doing a train is so 90s. …
<PaperDinosaur> If she commits suicide we lose everything …
<PaperDinosaur> If you can’t see how driving Zoe to suicide would fuck this entire thing up then you’re a fucking idiot
<> Imagine the kotaku article …
<temet> PaperDinosaur is right
<temet> not the right PR play
posted by verb at 12:07 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


I haven't seen this posted yet, it's really cool: To fair-minded proponents of #GamerGate
posted by Strass at 12:17 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


Jalliah thanks so much for that link. it is indeed heartbreaking to listen. 59:10 in:
to see my male journalist colleagues laughing about this, and just jovially joking with one another about supposed corruption with one another, it's not funny to me because i know women who are quitting bc they are worried somebody will hunt them down and kill them or assault them. and they want to have families, they want to have lives, they're quitting bc of that.
...
i had someone spam my inbox repeatedly with degradation pornography of women in situations that felt like, that were very rape-like to shock me, to intimidate me. that was *voice breaks* it was a lot of that. i'm at PAX, i'm trying to have a good time! i've gotten stuff this week that has scared the frack out of me, to the point that i'm having conversations with my husband about what do we do if someone comes to our house, and i don't know a single woman in the industry who is not terrified right now of being the target of this stuff. and it is so serious and deeply unfair. and it's exhausting. why would you stay in an industry that tells you over and over and over again that you are not welcome here.
posted by twist my arm at 12:20 PM on September 8, 2014 [13 favorites]


Not that it matters because vanishingly few of these people actually care about it beyond plausible deniability, but I still can't even figure out what the hell an "objective" review would be, anyway. All I can think is that they're passionately demanding Forum 3000 Ayn Rand reviews*.

Can any of these people (the ones who think they're fighting some good fight and don't understand this is all a smokescreen for misogyny, anyway) point to a single objective review that has ever been written about anything, ever, in the history of time? Maybe I'm not grokking their (probably extremely stupid) framing, but aren't ALL reviews inherently subjective?

* which, to be honest, I would 100% support, alongside Forum 3000 Space Ghost/Zorak video game reviews, and no, this was definitely not an elaborate excuse to go read Forum 3000.
[ simulated persona = "Ayn Rand", node #117, max search depth 17%, neural variance 27.732 ]
"If you were hanging from a cliff by a rope made of dollar bills, and someone set the rope on fire, would it be better to try to quickly climb to the top (and fail), or remain stationary and try to invent a new form of steel or start a railroad in the few minutes remaining?"

posted by dialetheia at 12:48 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Censorship: When I put tape over your mouth.
Not Censorship: When I put earplugs in.
posted by el io at 1:11 PM on September 8, 2014 [12 favorites]



There's this site http://www.objectivegamereviews.com/

Basically you aren't supposed to say you like it and why. Just list what it has and hasn't. Like a list of ingredients. Pretty boring.

Gamergate seems to have added some more criteria that the writer should not have any contact whatsoever with the game creators and if so it needs to be disclosed in bold blinking letters or something.

I've come across many that don't understand it's a smokescreen or it appears that many ideas of what is 'objective' is really just talking about games in a specific way. No politics, no social criticism or pondering nothing but really superficial things. Nothing that would make one think to deep. And oh yeah keep anything that even hints at feminism out. That's social commentary, based on opinion and that's not objective.
posted by Jalliah at 1:19 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Crystal dave: Zoe supposedly "doxxed" the Fine Young Capitalists people.

That didn't actually happen. TFYC said as much.


So they've moved on to the next stage I predicted, which is directly from the right wing play book you saw in ferguson and elsewhere: Make shit up and say it over and over until the narrative has been polluted, and the seed of doubt has been planted in the public consciousness.

And it worked. One of my oldest internet friends writes for a major gaming site. He's a QPOC, and an intimidating person who doesn't take shit from anybody. He'd delete and/or block anyone who supported this sort of turd slinging on social media... But even his progressive-y Facebook friends keep responding to comment threads about this with "but didn't she do *insert some ridiculous made up thing*? I mean even if the harassment is wrong, she's done shitty things too!" type of concern trolling.

It's injected garbage deep into the conversation, to the point that no matter how far left you swim in the pool turds are still floating on the surface.

I was going to make fun of the twitter accounts right along with you guys, but now I realize two things. First, that you can't expect infantry to be super knowledgable operators. They do what they were trained to do as well as you trained them to do it, which in this case wasn't much and not all that well. Secondly, that there are some truly intelligent people involved in this who understand how to spin a conversation, and that the inept ground troops are almost there to conceal the sophistication of the operation.

So yea, I was about to crack wise about how 4chan used to be more sophisticated than this, and then I realized that they seem to be successful on a level they rarely were in the past, and are honestly operating on a level I'd associate with right wing hate groups and sophisticated turbo-racist rumor mill people like the "we have all these witnesses who have this other Darren Wilson story!" Types.

The narrative injection here is adept. I wouldn't be surprised if this op is being used to train government operatives, or is simply practice for them like popping clouds in men who stare at goats.

I'm completely serious.
posted by emptythought at 1:22 PM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


it appears that many ideas of what is 'objective' is really just talking about games in a specific way. No politics, no social criticism or pondering nothing but really superficial things. Nothing that would make one think to deep. And oh yeah keep anything that even hints at feminism out. That's social commentary, based on opinion and that's not objective.

Yeah, this is exactly what my friends seem to want...

This Counterstrike: GO 'review' is so unhelpful :-\
posted by Strass at 1:24 PM on September 8, 2014


I thought Objective Reviews was actually a parody site, anyway. Are they seriously pointing to it as what they want to see? I'm not much of a gamer so maybe some of this back-and-forth is old news...
posted by dialetheia at 1:25 PM on September 8, 2014


sorry, but your friends sound really really dumb. maybe you can leave their opinions out of the thread.
posted by nadawi at 1:29 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Heh. Kieron Gillen on New Games Journalism from 2004 - a lot of which came to pass, and a lot of which is what the "objectivity" crowd is rejecting.
posted by Artw at 1:33 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Maybe I'm not grokking their (probably extremely stupid) framing, but aren't ALL reviews inherently subjective?"

Reviews of video games have typically and traditionally game vital stats (levels, playthrough time, difficulty settings, minimum video card needed, etc.), an evaluation of the graphics/music/animation within the context of the extremely rapid expansion of technical capability in the industry, and gameplay. Widespread discussions about artistic merit and social context are fairly new, and I think a lot of gamers who read reviews to find out the gameplay mechanic, how it will work on their box, and whether the graphics are any good. When they read a review that talks a lot about the social context of the game and its artistic merit, that is not at all what they thought they were going to get in a "review."

So think back to the first time you read a harsh critique of a novel or a movie you really, really loved, probably in high school. And you were a relatively unsophisticated consumer of the medium at that time, and nuanced critiques were harder understand as nuanced, and you didn't have a lot of life experience in milieus outside your native one, or a broad grounding in literature/film/etc. just because you're only 16, you haven't had that much time. So when you read this critique, not only did you think "this reviewer is a vulgarian with zero taste in art who needs to be banished to the outer provinces," but the reviewer used words like "trivial" or "emotionally empty" or "artistically bankrupt" to talk about something that you loved and that you connected to on a really primal level and that really spoke to you. That is a horrible feeling, it feels like you're being rejected as a person.

So a lot of these people are really young, or a little older and very sheltered/narrow in their life experience, and a lot of them are young white men who haven't had their privilege questioned before, and they're going into game reviews expecting gameplay mechanics and graphics discussions, and instead hearing about how the reviewer finds it troubling that violence against women is being presented as entertainment -- and they hear that as "if you enjoy this game, you are a bad person and should feel bad" rather than "man some of these tropes really persist and probably the game developer could have made better choices." They want to read a car review that gives them the stats, discusses the car's handling, and then tells you whether it's fun to drive; instead, they're getting what they perceive as, "Let me tell you about the history of Volkswagen's origins during the Third Reich because you know who else liked Volkswagens? HITLER."

So I think a lot of it comes from the dual role of game reviews of having to deal with games both as technology (which can be quantified) and art (which cannot). I think a lot of these guys do understand games instinctively as art -- they connect to it emotionally -- but look at the number of smart, art-loving adults with whom you can't have a conversation about modern art because they immediately default to "PFFFT MY THREE YEAR OLD COULD HAVE PAINTED THAT." So they want this emotionally-moving experience that they love and connect to to be recognized as the art that it is, but they're not really emotionally prepared for the discussion of morality, social context, history, artistic merit, etc., that comes along with being serious art. And I think out of that muddled mess comes these objections about "inclusion" and "having their voices heard" and so forth, because they do feel their emotional experiences are being invalidated, but they're not quite sure how to put it into words or contextualize it, as they probably don't read a lot of art criticism or social criticism, and all these things are still called game reviews, so it's not blinking-lightbulb clear what's changed. (Note the particular emphasis on denoting reviews, commentary, criticism, etc., as if they're different and distinct things.)

Of course some of these people are terrible malicious trolls just out to burn the world and/or anything they dislike and none of the above applies.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:38 PM on September 8, 2014 [26 favorites]


I put a lot of thought into posting their views here. I know that this isn't what you mean by 'dumb,' but these aren't stupid people. Their views are some of the most cogent I've been able to find (that aren't from people more directly involved in #GamerGate/whatever). We're on day 3 of our dialog about this whole incident, and so far no one has hurt feelings or gotten upset, which is more than I'd get from exploring the view of opposing viewpoints via twitter or another medium. They've manged to change my mind on a few viewpoints, including why their anger at games journalists is justified. I can stop posting their thoughts though.
posted by Strass at 1:40 PM on September 8, 2014


i don't actually care about your friends and i wish you'd stop bringing them up. they aren't mefites, we can't respond to them, it's just adding unnecessary heat.
posted by nadawi at 1:42 PM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


You can be smart and really fucking dumb. These people work hard at it.
posted by Artw at 1:43 PM on September 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


You can be book smart but socially and culturally stupid as fuck. This type of nerd excels at it.

It's lots of hard, painful, introspective work to crawl out of that hole. A lot of nerds don't bother. I get why, but it's annoying as fuck.

I'd argue you don't have to work at being stupid the way they are though. You just need to sit on your hands and ignore real life.
posted by emptythought at 1:46 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


I thought Objective Reviews was actually a parody site, anyway. Are they seriously pointing to it as what they want to see? I'm not much of a gamer so maybe some of this back-and-forth is old news...

It is a parody but it's like a meta joke because the reviews are what an objective review would be like.


And what Eyebrows McGee said....
posted by Jalliah at 1:47 PM on September 8, 2014


To be fair to Strass, I requested upthread some details on what his friends were talking about. I don't think he's been unreasonable in how he's brought them and their opinions into this thread, especially given that he has copped to being swayed by some of them.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:48 PM on September 8, 2014


The Medium article Strass links to does a great job distinguishing why if someone is genuinely concerned about ethics in games journalism, GamerGate has been a really bad way to do it.

An excellent point it makes is that the reason GamerGate gets associated with the harassing misogynists rather than the "more reasonable" GamerGaters is that the former are the only ones achieving their goals.

Another good point is that someone criticizing a game from a feminist standpoint, even if you don't agree with that criticism has, in fact, shown they are willing to do something the developer of that game might rather they not. If you want games journalism that isn't biased from being overly chummy with the developers, in a sense this is what you should embrace.
posted by RobotHero at 1:49 PM on September 8, 2014


Strass, I think it's basically a situation where you're putting both yourself and the other folks in this thread in an impossible situation by pursuing the "here's what people I'm friends with who aren't here are saying" thing. You have context for and emotional attachment to them that no one here can share, so negative reactions from other mefites are likely to read very harsh to you; everyone else is having a conversation with each other that can't really include your friends except to the degree that you mediate it by proxy very slowly, which isn't good conversation at all and puts a lot on mefites to try and accommodate that one-sided part of the conversation.

So I get where you're coming from in wanting to provide that personal context for the conversations you're having elsewhere, but, yeah, I think basically letting it drop at this point is the best call all around.
posted by cortex at 1:50 PM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


why their anger at games journalists is justified.

Can you explain that in your own words, then, since they've apparently convinced you? That way we can try to change your mind too, which only seems fair.

Eyebrows, I appreciate your extremely thoughtful post. I still don't think what they want constitutes a review in any conceivable sense of the word, though. A movie review like what they want would say "This movie was 132 minutes long. There was a lot of blue in it. It was set in Cincinnatti." Nobody would properly categorize that as a review - it's just a list of facts. I see that this is where the cognitive dissonance is coming from though, thanks.
posted by dialetheia at 1:50 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Basically they want Objective Reviews with flames up the side and extra guitar noises. And more importantly for nothing that isn't that to exist.
posted by Artw at 1:54 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Nothing here has been harsh to me. My friends and I have had a very productive, civil discussion that's been ongoing for several days now. I don't care what anyone thinks about my friends. I do feel that they're a valuable source of rational, calm discussion from the 'other side,' and do a better job of explaining the view of the 'average gamer' (who is more concerned with corruption in games journalism than harassment and misogyny) than anonymized people from Reddit/Twitter/4Chan. Henceforth all opinions will be my own.

Edit: I will try to post my interpretation of their views later tonight
posted by Strass at 1:55 PM on September 8, 2014


No one can point a finger at anything in games journalism that they are angry about that actually fits the description of what they are angry about.
posted by Artw at 1:57 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


I will try to post my interpretation of their views later tonight

please don't. please just give us your views or buy them a damn account.
posted by nadawi at 1:57 PM on September 8, 2014 [12 favorites]


nadawi I think that's what Strass means. His own perspective, his own views (that originated in his discussions with them). It's a response to "Can you explain that in your own words, then, since they've apparently convinced you? That way we can try to change your mind too, which only seems fair."
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:58 PM on September 8, 2014


i hope that's what he means because that's not what he actually said.
posted by nadawi at 2:01 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


WHY WE’RE WINNING: SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS AND THE NEW CULTURE WAR

There’s a culture war happening right now. It’s happening in games, in film, in journalism, in television, in fiction, in fandom. It’s happening online, everywhere. And everywhere, sexists, recreational misogynists and bigots are losing.

They are losing, and they don’t know why.

posted by Jalliah at 2:06 PM on September 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


I was responding to dialetheia, so yeah, wemayfreeze understood what I was trying to say. I should have said "my own interpretation of their views" or maybe "how they've changed my mind."

And when I say "changed my mind," I mean the evidence they used to convince me that the original crux of the issue, corruption in gaming journalism, was legitimate.
posted by Strass at 2:09 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


In what way?
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on September 8, 2014



Gah...

Strauss, have you listened to the podcast I posted upthread. Please do.

Corruption in gaming IS NOT and WAS NOT the original crux of this issue. Not at all. The whole corruption thing came out of an organized astroturf to make all the misogany bullshit seem like it was about some real. I've read about some of this corruption. It's largely BS and created on purpose by people namely guys with a completely other agenda.

Gah, gah

*headdesk*
posted by Jalliah at 2:16 PM on September 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


I mean the evidence they used to convince me that the original crux of the issue, corruption in gaming journalism, was legitimate.

Corruption in gaming journalism is a huge problem, but it's largely mainstream reviewers going on paid-for junkets and accepting swag in return for positive reviews, and advertisers pressuring publishers about scores. I've yet to see any of these people say anything about that. They seem to be targeting indy bloggers that sleep with indy game developers, which, you know is not ideal, but it's not corruption on anything like the scale of what's been endemic to the industry for *decades* now.
posted by empath at 2:21 PM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Objective Book Review: 1984, Penguin Edition.

ISBN: 9780452262935.
Pages: 304.
Paper: Acid free.
Font: 14 point, quite readable.
Margins: Acceptable for most people - not enough to make significant notes in the margin.
Content: English language.
posted by el io at 2:27 PM on September 8, 2014 [4 favorites]


They've spun up vast stalky crazy-wall maps of allegeded interpersonal realtionshios and then completely failed to show anything untoward happening as a result of those relationships. They've made a big fuss about the purity of reviews and then objected to nothing that is an actual review. It's a big puff of nothing.
posted by Artw at 2:28 PM on September 8, 2014


Jalliah: "Strauss, have you listened to the podcast I posted upthread. Please do."

I was planning to listen after work today. I didn't have time while I was drinking my coffee this morning.
posted by Strass at 2:29 PM on September 8, 2014


As far as the "corruption" angle is concerned, I've done maybe a bit too much reading on the history of games journalism over the years. If you're actually interested in the subject, try to track down a copy of Confessions of the Game Doctor which is written by Bill Kunkel who along with a number of other people started what is now known as games journalism.

There was no point at which it wasn't "corrupt." It's as "corrupt" in the journalistic sense as any media coverage: the big companies pay lots of money and buy lots of adspace -- which in the mid-90s was literally indistinguishable from the actual magazine content unless you noted the hagiographic tone of the "review" -- to get slightly smaller companies to parrot out press releases. In between that are actual reviews, actual interviews, actual investigative journalism, whatever. That stuff is the icing on the cake. Always has been. "Objective" game journalism that isn't investigative isn't a thing.

The fact that it's coming out now is a, pardon the mixed metaphor, smokescreen cobbled together out of desperation when the misogyny of the attacks on Zoe Quinn was revealed, pure and simple. This is a problem as old as video games itself and pointing the finger at indie devs of all the possible targets is an act of uneducated idiocy and ignorance.
posted by griphus at 2:29 PM on September 8, 2014 [13 favorites]



It apparently was Adam Baldwin that coined the term Gamergate in the first place and it had to do with his gross views on the accusations about Zoe Quinn getting good reviews by sleeping with a journalist

Accusations that are not true and have proven to not be true but it doesn't matter.

The whole corruption angle came out of that damn post by Zoe's ex that accused her of what has turned out to be crap. That's what started this. Not some sort of rational discourse on game journalism that talks about issues like Empath brings up.

And if people listen to the podcast the type of corruption that is being rooted out is about things like females sex lives and who they fucked to get where they were (and they're harassesed like crazy) and a bunch of imo pretty sketchy links trying to show all sorts of financial and network connections. What's happened in the name of corruption is much more then just against Zoe or Anita. Funny how the main people getting outed for corruption right now are either female or guys who have dared stand up against what's happening to females in the industry.

I've watched those video to try to be fair. They're mostly just a bunch of super serious people who have already decided what the corruption is and then showing the evidence that matches with their theory.

It's sad so many people are being roped in by this BS.
posted by Jalliah at 2:31 PM on September 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


Honestly, the fact that these people have taken up the cause of Better Games Journalism is going to do some serious damage to people taking the concept seriously at all. This is what they have achieved.
posted by griphus at 2:31 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm actually now recalling the content of Game Informer back when I subscribed to it and what stands out most is their capsule reviews which were, generally, fair and well-written. Except you'd read a review of a game that is clearly garbage and the review would be in 10-point font and 7/10 in 20-point font.
posted by griphus at 2:37 PM on September 8, 2014


Baldwin's been oddly influential for somebody who hasn't been in anything good since Full Metal Jacket.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:44 PM on September 8, 2014


man why you got to pick a nerd fight like that, aren't we fighting enough, why you gotta rope in whedon
posted by cortex at 2:46 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


in our house game informer has been the butt of jokes about terrible, obviously paid for reviews and covers, game journalism for a very long time. even though gamestop kept basically giving it to us for free we asked them to stop quite some time ago.
posted by nadawi at 2:46 PM on September 8, 2014


man why you got to pick a nerd fight like that, aren't we fighting enough, why you gotta rope in whedon

I was just being silly.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:47 PM on September 8, 2014


The complaints about corruption in game reviews strike me as somewhat quaint, because now there's youtube, there's twitch, there's a cohort of 'let's play' superstars and a million imitators toiling in obscurity, and taken together, among them you can find video of somebody playing any game you could ever possibly care about. Some of these people are so desperate for viewers they will play games you tell them to play. So you can get an 'unbiased' view of any game you care to by just pulling up some videos. If anything is dying, it's traditional numerical reviews.
posted by Pyry at 2:48 PM on September 8, 2014


i maintain my enjoyment of firefly by just believing that adam baldwin is jayne cobb and of course jayne would be a total asshole on twitter with incredibly regressive ideas. when that doesn't work, i just believe he's playing the long game for his audition to be a baldwin brother.
posted by nadawi at 2:50 PM on September 8, 2014 [11 favorites]


i maintain my enjoyment of firefly by just believing that adam baldwin is jayne cobb and of course jayne would be a total asshole on twitter with incredibly regressive ideas.

I do that too! My sister and I came up with that same strategy when it became apparent what an ass he is. Funny.
posted by Jalliah at 2:55 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


Game Informer had a moment in the sun when most other video game magazines had gone out of business, and Gamestop was most likely where you bought your video games. They got lots of exclusives because the games journalism model hadn't yet gone totally digital. Now those "exclusives" don't mean jack shit because Kotaku et. al. get them a day later because it turns out "exclusive advertising" is a stupid model and blogs will repost anything even alluded to as a "leak" with Drudge sirens.
posted by griphus at 2:57 PM on September 8, 2014


I do that too! My sister and I came up with that same strategy when it became apparent what an ass he is. Funny.

I literally had this conversation with my wife last night. I think we're onto something here.
posted by verb at 3:00 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


4thing the Baldwin == Cobb thing.
posted by brundlefly at 3:03 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


You can in fact draw a direct line between the totslly ersatz edgy, subversive subtext of TOTALLY UNAUTHORIZED CHEAT CODES books and articles in the 90s and "check out this leaked gameplay footage" today in that nothing about these articles isn't literally a line item in a PR budget.
posted by griphus at 3:05 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


God damn it, guys: Adam Baldwin is not a Baldwin brother.

Carry on. I'm not surprised he's weighed in on this topic in the form of ignorant blovation, though.
posted by absalom at 3:05 PM on September 8, 2014


(yes, my point was that he's not a baldwin brother but is auditioning for the role)
posted by nadawi at 3:07 PM on September 8, 2014


I think GamerGate caught on as a hashtag because HelpMeStalkMyExGirlfriend was too long.
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:07 PM on September 8, 2014 [11 favorites]


nadawi: Slow on the uptake, sorry.

Also: I can't help but wonder what the online-storefront GamersGate things about the hashtag. (Owned by Paradox, makers of EUIV from this thread today.)
posted by absalom at 3:12 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


You can in fact draw a direct line between the totslly ersatz edgy, subversive subtext of TOTALLY UNAUTHORIZED CHEAT CODES books and articles in the 90s and "check out this leaked gameplay footage" today in that nothing about these articles isn't literally a line item in a PR budget.

or those gamer guide books in which the author would praise the game to the skies and make it oh, so interesting and gotta have and then you'd buy the damned game and find out it was a piece of ill-conceived, kluged trash

(master of orion 3, i'm looking at YOU)

i did a lot of lurking in the alt.games newsgroups in the late 90s and the amount of mistrust and cynicism of gamers towards mainstream and small developers was large and often justified, without any kind of misogyny motivating it - the real gamersgate kind of scandals happened a long time ago - half-finished games, using paying customers as beta testers until bugfix releases finally gave them a playable game, perpetual repackaging of add-ons and core games, crap manuals, etc etc, while some in the mainstream magazine press hyped up this crap with previews and inside guides and sometimes, wildly optimistic reviews

but now the REAL scandal hits - these idiot children at gamersgate aren't just an opportunistic rabble who are trying to silence certain women and their supporters, they're totally ignorant of the history of their own hobby - if they think their accusations are bad, they should have seen what was really going on 15 - 20 years ago

it's just a plain bullshit cover for people who are carrying out vicious vendettas online
posted by pyramid termite at 3:29 PM on September 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that when they say they want "objective game reviews" they want more of the crap I shat out in the mid 2000's about games I got sent for free so that I could get a media badge for E3 to go drink free alcohol at a game publisher party in an L.A. highrise. We all knew it was garbage, and some of us (like me) did it for fun, and some of us did it to scrape by, but most of the people I knew were not under the impression that we were doing anything important or high-minded with that stuff.

But on the side we were doing the New Games Journalism thing (mentioned above in the Gillen NGJ manifesto), like Tim Rogers and his output or the effort at The Gamer's Quarter (where you can read, if the servers are up, early articles from Anna Anthropy [previously] or see a comic version of pre-transition me with an unconvincing beard). It almost seems like one of the reasons the #gamergate people are pitching a fit is because - gasp - it's kind of almost sort-of finally possible to support yourself doing conscientious, nuanced work in the gaming community, and they see that as some kind of terrifying Rubicon being crossed.

sorry for the self-indulgent nostalgia
posted by Corinth at 3:39 PM on September 8, 2014 [13 favorites]


...they want more of the crap I shat out in the mid 2000's about games I got sent for free so that I could get a media badge for E3 to go drink free alcohol at a game publisher party in an L.A. highrise.

Oh my god you literally lived my idealized fantasy of adulthood from when I was 13.
posted by griphus at 3:55 PM on September 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Salon weighs in in a pretty good article that sheds light on this whole thing and even better gives a synopsis of what this is all about.

I'd recommend it to someone who has just stumbled upon this issue (1 article to read instead of 15).
posted by el io at 4:20 PM on September 8, 2014


griphus, right? I was 20 my first E3. I printed up my own business cards, and then realized at the show that they had a typo on them. One day I literally walked around in a Dreamcast t-shirt I made with Sharpies. The people from IGN and Gamespot were not much more impressive than me.


Harald74 posted this really good RPS piece about the situation as it relates to them in the other thread.

I'd like to highlight their example of calm, reasoned engagement. It's a case study in how much work, patience, and time it can require to do perfect one-on-one education. It's not surprising that the person who had the energy for that right now is a "hetero white male" (his words). I think that this interaction is good to keep in mind any time you (general you, me included) feel inclined to make a point about how a victim reacting to harassment should respond in terms of what would be best for the education of misled individuals and/or the overall "good" of a larger movement. Just look at the effort you'd be asking of someone undergoing constant violent threats and internet attacks from hundreds of people a day - it's not a reasonable expectation.
posted by Corinth at 4:26 PM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


Good grief, Corinth, just reading that was exhausting. I can't imagine having the stamina to continue trying to educate somebody who's so invested in their POV and is just parroting falsehoods ("she says she doesn't even play games" NO SHE FUCKING DOESN'T WORK ON YOUR COMPREHENSION BECAUSE YOU ARE FAILING).
posted by Lexica at 4:35 PM on September 8, 2014


[...] we consider ourselves not just a company running a website where one can post links and discuss them, but the government of a new type of community.

Reddit is a failed state: The "front page of the internet" is run by warlords
posted by homunculus at 4:44 PM on September 8, 2014 [16 favorites]


I'm still sorting out my introspection on this whole thing. Anyways, it's amazing how society is evolving. The world's becoming more hospitable, while also raising awareness, critical thinking, and empathy.
posted by halifix at 4:57 PM on September 8, 2014


Objective Reviews ... It is a parody but it's like a meta joke because the reviews are what an objective review would be like.

The joke is that they put a number on each "review" (which is actually a description of the the contents of the game without any evaluation of whether any of it is good or not, so there's no justification for the number whatsoever).
posted by straight at 5:16 PM on September 8, 2014




And, of course, even a list of facts isn't really "objective" in that the reviewer must decide which facts are relevant and which aren't (for instance, the Far Cry 2 review fails to describe the the way fire spreads, which was a fairly new game mechanic when the game was released and, for some people, a significant reason for enjoying the game).
posted by straight at 5:42 PM on September 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


about 6 months ago, i had been checking out reddit and had wondered if i should join it, but put it off because i didn't have time

what a cesspool that place is - no way can i be there
posted by pyramid termite at 6:30 PM on September 8, 2014


if someone brings up ZQ on twitter, we should start responding with "Who is Zoe Quinn?"

i had to just drop a coupla bucks to her this morning. you are still in the process of ruining her life and you want to pretend like you didn't, that you don't know her. all of this such wasted effort.
posted by twist my arm at 6:47 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I notice we're not getting much of the usual #notAllReddit cesspool-defending lately.
posted by ctmf at 7:01 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]



Some needed levity. #bettergameconspiracies is flying on twitter right now.
posted by Jalliah at 7:06 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, thank you Jalliah.

If Charmeleons really evolved from Charmanders then why are there still Charmanders? #BetterGameConspiracies
posted by straight at 7:16 PM on September 8, 2014 [8 favorites]


So many funny ones.

Dance Dance Revolution is communist propaganda inspired by the words of Emma Goldman. #BetterGameConspiracies

playable characters seethe with hatred for the people controlling them, but cannot express it


The princess wasn't actually in another castle, she was just trying to break it off #BetterGameConspiracies

Obama knew about Depression Quest over 18 hours before it was Greenlighted, yet sent no additional troops #BetterGameConspiracies
posted by Jalliah at 7:28 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


EA, Ubisoft, and a coalition of major studios paid ZQ and her ex to create a diversion among easily distracted gamers; a diversion which would effectively ensure gamers would never notice the way the AAAs buy reviews and fluff pieces. #BetterGameConspiracies
posted by honestcoyote at 8:34 PM on September 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


By @tsawac: Ada Lovelace made the first videogame, 'Diverting Frog Jollity'; 57 sleepless hours later, she deleted it in horror #BetterGameConspiracies
posted by metaquarry at 8:41 PM on September 8, 2014 [6 favorites]


Oh yeah, these are fun (first time I've been on twitter in regards to this thread)
The bullet could not have hit the target from that angle. There had to have been a Player 2. #BetterGameConspiracies
posted by el io at 9:29 PM on September 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


From the Verge's Reddit is a Failed State:
Reddit wants to be a techno-libertarian's wet dream, but in practice its a weak feudal system that's actually run by a small group of angry warlords who use "free speech" as a weapon.
Yeah, that kind of does sound like a techno-libertarian's wet dream, no contradiction there really.
posted by el io at 9:32 PM on September 8, 2014 [9 favorites]


I was so impressed with the bit in Bruce Sterling's Distraction where the FBI's automated profiler to detect potential 'violent lunatics' from their public net footprint got leaked. If someone had their hands on its results, they could put a massively distributed hit out on you.
Finding the crazies with net analysis, that's the easy part. Convincing them to take action, that part is a little harder. But if you've got ten or twelve thousand of them, you've got a lotta fish, and somebody's bound to bite. If you can somehow put it into their heads that some particular guy deserves to be attacked, that guy might very well come to harm.
Turns out that with the right target, you don't even need the profiler. The violent lunatics have self-selected into communities with chat rooms.
posted by Zed at 12:24 AM on September 9, 2014


The problem many people are having with the polygon block list is that it is a block list shared that first started with Ben Kuchera and many marginalized voices, from ELizabeth Sampat and Mattie Brice just to name a few. As I pointed out, using Ben Kuchera as the basis for your block list insn't the most solid of foundations to build upon.
posted by ShawnStruck at 12:33 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Someone suggested (and I'm strongly considering) launching a compilation album project called "SOCIAL JUSTICE JAMS: Where my Ladies At" with remixes of music from games with awesome female leads, and with contributions from the many amazing female composers in the industry. Then maybe a "Volume 2: Rainbow Road," and "Volume 3: People of 256 Colors (240 onscreen)"

Fife and drums corps, SJW army, reporting in. If Captain EO taught me anything, it was that you can defeat your enemies by making them dance. Gonna try, at least.
posted by jake at 10:14 AM on September 7 [8 favorites +] [!]


I've been trying to suggest to Humble Bundle that they make a special bundle of games made by women, with the proceeds going towards anti-VAW campaigns.
posted by divabat at 2:17 AM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


This whole things makes me really angry because the real tactic here is to make expression of feminist or dissent from the 4Chan line so expensive that only a dedicated minority will want to get embroiled.

I think a lot of people, myself included, have posted on right-wing hashtags only to get bombarded by a bunch of ditto heads. Basically, its the old tactic of he who shouts loudest wins the argument. Individually, the sockpuppets and copy-and-paste merchants don't really present a strong or silencing force.

But when you make one tweet and you get 4-5 of these guys tag teaming you with their right-wing talking points, it becomes harassment. It also becomes exhausting to deal with because for them its just politics, but for minorities and women the talking points are personally insulting.

Perhaps that's the greatest hypocrisy of all: 4Chan profess to be about free speech, but they clearly want to completely silence or force feminists to second guess themselves before they print anything.

Fortunately, it looks as though the tide has turned against them.
posted by axon at 3:11 AM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Call me crazy, but I think some of #notyourshield stuff is being posted by actual minority folk.
posted by 0 at 3:16 AM on September 9, 2014


Do you have concrete evidence or are you trying to make trouble?
posted by Pudhoho at 3:22 AM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Robothero: An excellent point it makes is that the reason GamerGate gets associated with the harassing misogynists rather than the "more reasonable" GamerGaters is that the former are the only ones achieving their goals.

Do you actually believe that the latter is anything but a retcon, to simply give them a fig leaf of legitimacy after the fact? Honestly i think a big part of the reason the "reasonable people" haven't accomplished anything is that the assholes got a several lap head start. I mean ignoring the fact that there isn't even a coherent message on that front.

There's essentially two operations going on here. The harassment, and the "actual goals". In my opinion, those goals exist only so that the people taking part in the harassment can pretend that only the goals people exist, and that you're simply besmirching their good name by saying anything but.

Jalliah: And if people listen to the podcast the type of corruption that is being rooted out is about things like females sex lives and who they fucked to get where they were (and they're harassesed like crazy) and a bunch of imo pretty sketchy links trying to show all sorts of financial and network connections.

You know, this isn't the first time i've heard this accusation or narrative. And i realized something vaguely funny, in the actually not funny way during a zen moment in the shower today.

Neckbeards won. They wanted people to treat video games like real art? Well it happened, if this is going on.

This is really really old hat for any sort of art or music scene. It's like a mad lib or choose your own adventure for being a misogynist asshole, in any sort of creative scene. "Oh, [woman] is only [gaining access to this attention/presenting her work at this venue] because she [allegedly fucked/performed some sexual act] with [male name]. She [didn't really create that content/has no talent/would never get that exposure] unless she did and you know it"

The thing is, there's only two jealous threads this can ride on. It's either "she has no talent and i'm better than her" or "She has no right to be there".

This shit is older than yoko ono. You could probably find some fuckers whining about this next to a cave, about the woman who invented a cooler stone axe.

It's total shit, but the fact that it's a Big Story for gaming means that gaming as an art form is essentially going through puberty, i guess.

And yea, it is sad that people are roped in. But people still get roped in to this stuff right now today in music and art scenes. I am in no way saying i think that makes it ok, just that there isn't anything unique about this instance of it other than the fact that her bitter shitty ex managed to make enough of the right noises to rope anonymous in, possibly helped by the fact that the gaming angle of it roped in a bunch of shitty nerds who already hate women for not fucking them the way they feel entitled to receive.
posted by emptythought at 3:46 AM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ray Rice us a false flag for femminist attacks on Madden 2014. #gamergateconspiracy
posted by humanfont at 4:31 AM on September 9, 2014


about 6 months ago, i had been checking out reddit and had wondered if i should join it, but put it off because i didn't have time

what a cesspool that place is - no way can i be there


On the one hand, there are subreddits that are diligently moderated and curated, others that deal with specific topics, and some that are both. On the other, this requires you to have an account, unsubscribe from almost every single default sub, avoid general interest subs entirely, and learn about the very few good places (I believe there have been some AskMes about it). But even then, at best you'll still get some leakage every once in a while and at worst the sub will get either brigaded regularly or taken over by trolls. I can easily see why it wouldn't be worth the time and/or effort for someone who fits Reddit's main demographic, let alone anyone who doesn't.

Yeah, that kind of does sound like a techno-libertarian's wet dream, no contradiction there really.

Seriously. I was kind of disappointed that there wasn't a "but I repeat myself" parenthetical there.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:39 AM on September 9, 2014


Do you have concrete evidence or are you trying to make trouble?

Mostly just the volume, I guess. I've been watching the hashtag and clicking through to occasional profiles and it's hard to believe they are all sock puppets. Have you been following the tag?

It doesn't seem that outlandish to me that all sorts of people call themselves gamers and are actually angry about having their identity debased. Well angry enough to post a tweet about it at least. Apparently them's fighting words?
posted by 0 at 5:17 AM on September 9, 2014


It doesn't seem that outlandish to me that all sorts of people call themselves gamers and are actually angry about having their identity debased. Well angry enough to post a tweet about it at least. Apparently them's fighting words?

No they're not fighting words. Others have already commented on, including me about people getting roped in who either don't know or for whatever their own reasons care where and from what this originated from. This does nothing to discount or make better what has happened.

Even the whole notion of 'identity being debased' is a crock and made up as part of the smokescreen. No one is attempting to debase minority gamers identity. People are being told that this is all about people being anti-gamer. It's not. It's anti-shithead, harassing, entitled, I own games, type of gamer who decided that it's a-ok to harasses and hound anyone (mostly female) that they don't like.

The whole #notyourshield thing was created by the 4chan organizers in order to convince minorities and feminists to get them on the side as a deflection. That this happened isn't a conspiracy. It's right there in the logs. The whole point has been to muddle the waters and get people saying things exactly like you just did. But..but...women and minorities....

The sad part is how much it's worked.
posted by Jalliah at 5:35 AM on September 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


"Don't use minorities as a bludgeon to win PR campaigns" would be a great discussion to have if it wasn't an astroturfed movement by white dudes at 4chan to use minorities as a bludgeon to win a PR campaign. You can dismiss the branding without completely dismissing the message, just like you can say No Child Left Behind is terrible without actually supporting "leaving children behind."
posted by almostmanda at 5:42 AM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


But..but...women and minorities....

I don't understand what is wrong with this 'but'. Or rather why it's OK to deny these women and minorities agency by saying they've just been "roped in" to some evil plan.
posted by 0 at 5:44 AM on September 9, 2014


Indeed. The people being sexually harassed and racially abused are the real racists and sexists here.

Obviously.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:48 AM on September 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


I'm fairly sure there is 1 real authentic non sockpuppet woman posting on that tag.

Of course, I know that because it was me, and I was doing it to make Marvel jokes.
posted by NoraReed at 5:53 AM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Pointing out the manipulative roots of this phony movement is not the same as denying the agency of women and minorities.

But you know that, of course.
posted by almostmanda at 5:53 AM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


no one is being denied agency. even if there are actual minority voices on the tag, it doesn't change the fact that the genesis of #notyourshield was 4chan and was done specifically to confuse the narrative. it's also not out of the realm of possibility that there are women and poc who are channers who don't mind being used in this way.
posted by nadawi at 5:57 AM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


I only subscribe to well-moderated subreddits so I've actually never seen anything on reddit related to this outbreak other than a couple of posts decrying the toxic culture. I'm still increasingly conflicted about having a Reddit account – even using the good parts is in some way supporting the current policies and Anil was right about this being the owners’ responsibility.
posted by adamsc at 6:03 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


After reading the "Reddit is a failed state: The "front page of the internet" is run by warlords" piece I'm seriously considering moving on from reddit.

but where will i get my mindless brain popcorn of silly pictures and news headlines?!? And what would I do with all those extra hours of free time every day???
posted by rebent at 6:27 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


0: There are indeed some women and people of color on #notyourshield. Some may genuinely believe #GamerGate shows real corruption, some may believe feminists are fighting it the wrong way, and some may even oppose the feminists outright. This doesn't change the facts that A) there are a lot of sockpuppets on there, because the sockpuppets started it, and B) the corruption unveiled by #GamerGate is pure horseshit, an excuse for misogyny that reeks from a mile off. The presence of real contributors to #notyourshield does not make the opposition to #GamerGate a fraud.

Trade journalism is dirty as hell, and games journalism is no exception. But #GamerGate is fundamentally not an outcry for more and better independent trade journalism.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:28 AM on September 9, 2014 [9 favorites]


it's also pretty funny/sad that #notyourshield was started specifically to use minority voices (real or fake) as a shield for the assholes of #gamersgate/4chan/reddit. It's like operation enduring freedom, doing the exact opposite of what is described...
posted by nadawi at 6:32 AM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


but where will i get my mindless brain popcorn of silly pictures and news headlines?!? And what would I do with all those extra hours of free time every day???

Sounds like you've got an AskMe question in the making!
posted by harriet vane at 6:47 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


If someone wants to uncover actual corruption, they should look into the allegation that Polygon got $750.000 from Microsoft to create their Press Reset video series.

Coincidentally, the generally panned Xbox One got a rating of 8/10 on Polygon, while the generally well received PS4 got 7.5/10.
posted by ymgve at 6:57 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Of course, I know that because it was me, and I was doing it to make Marvel jokes.

Siege Perilous? I would totally have gone for that.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:04 AM on September 9, 2014




Reddit is a failed state: The "front page of the internet" is run by warlords

I mean, when it comes down to it, nobody has really prosecuted "John" or thrown him off the Internet. Can we extend this ad infinitum?
Reddit is mostly a nice place filled with nice people who run nice little communities, but there's virtually nothing keeping them safe from bullies like "John," a 33-year-old man who brazenly dispersed stolen private photos and then cried foul when The Washington Post published information about him. Reddit's government is more interested in protecting John than the women he harassed.
The Internet is mostly a nice place filled with nice people who run nice little communities, but there's virtually nothing keeping them safe from bullies like "John," a 33-year-old man who brazenly dispersed stolen private photos and then cried foul when The Washington Post published information about him. The Internet's government is more interested in protecting John than the women he harassed.
The United States is mostly a nice place filled with nice people who run nice little communities, but there's virtually nothing keeping them safe from bullies like "John," a 33-year-old man who brazenly dispersed stolen private photos and then cried foul when The Washington Post published information about him. The United States' government is more interested in protecting John than the women he harassed.
The world is mostly a nice place filled with nice people who run nice little communities, but there's virtually nothing keeping them safe from bullies like "John," a 33-year-old man who brazenly dispersed stolen private photos and then cried foul when The Washington Post published information about him. The world's government is more interested in protecting John than the women he harassed.
I don't like things like TRP, MRA, and the multitude of other horrific and offensive subreddits out there but I don't sub to them much like I don't go out and add these same sites to my RSS reader or visit them in my web browser. I might as well throw the entire Internet out if I'm going to let those shithead flies ruin my ointment.

I mean, I get why people want to blame Reddit because it's really a gathering place for a lot of offensive shitstorms. But I think that's just because of the sheer size of the place. If Reddit were to be shut down tomorrow it would probably splinter but the overarching concept would still be in place and we'd still have the same problem tomorrow.
posted by Talez at 8:26 AM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


yeah. fuck. i saw Pope Guilty's link yesterday in quinn's feed and was bummed out and wasn't sure if linking to the cesspool was necessary in here. if you're curious... (all emphasis mine)

from the Mammoth article:
They also insist that they’re not motivated by misogyny, and that they are more concerned about the alleged ethical lapses of game journalists than they are with just who Zoe Quinn allegedly slept with.

When it comes to the 4channers in #burgersandfries, these claims are complete and utter bullshit. The name “Zoe” appears 4778 times in the document, more than once per page; by contrast, “Nathan” – the first name of the allegedly corrupt game journalist she allegedly slept with – appears only 108 times. The words “ethics” and “ethical” appear, collectively, only 146 times.

Zoe’s name is in the official thread topic; chatters include it in their jokey nicknames. She’s the topic everyone always comes back to. She’s the reason everyone is there.
from the logs:
Aug 21 17.49.48 <rd0951> ./v should be in charge of the gaming journalism aspect of it. /pol should be in charge of the feminism aspect, and /b should be in charge of harassing her into killing herself

...

Aug 25 07.18.59 <PaperDinosaur> If she commits suicide we lose everything …
Aug 25 07.20.34 <PaperDinosaur> If you can’t see how driving Zoe to suicide would fuck this entire thing up then you’re a fucking idiot
Aug 25 07.20.41 Imagine the kotaku article …
Aug 25 07.20.48 <temet> PaperDinosaur is right
Aug 25 07.20.51 <temet> not the right PR play
there's, you know, the usual what you would expect horrible sexual violence too but that last part struck the person who wrote the article and me as well.
posted by twist my arm at 8:30 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


The name “Zoe” appears 4778 times in the document, more than once per page
Note, too, that the explanation offered for that was even worse: they'd set up a bot to watch everything Quinn said publicly and repost a link to the channel for quick response.

So, you know. Most of the mentions were the bot, not the people.

That was actually their response.
posted by verb at 8:42 AM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


The whole #notyourshield thing was created by the 4chan organizers in order to convince minorities and feminists to get them on the side as a deflection.

It doesn't say #notashield, and the actual, original, explicitly intended meaning was #4chan'sshield
posted by straight at 8:44 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Reading the logs, it is amusing how annoyed they get with the Zoe retweet bot once she starts tweeting about being in their chatrooms. Several of them ask to turn it off or how to mute it.
posted by almostmanda at 8:47 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wow. I love (and the misogynist assholes must hate) how casually and simply this New Yorker article about the whole mess cuts through all the smoke and makes it seem pathetically obvious it's always only been about harassing women:

In Quinn’s case, the fact that she was the subject of the attacks rather than the friend who wrote about her game reveals the true nature of much of the criticism: a pretense to make further harassment of women in the industry permissible. (The debate dissipated after Quinn posted the chat logs of some 4chan users, revealing that the #gamergate hashtag had been coördinated with malicious intent).

With regard to Quinn's reputation, it's hard to imagine 4chan's strategy failing any worse than it has. I only wish the New Yorker could have said something about the collateral damage done to other women who were harassed into leaving off writing about games.
posted by straight at 9:00 AM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


0: “I don't understand what is wrong with this 'but'. Or rather why it's OK to deny these women and minorities agency by saying they've just been ‘roped in’ to some evil plan.”

The "but" is because it has nothing to do with the subject at hand. A woman or a minority somewhere thinks it's ridiculous that I oppose the harassment of Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian? Well, bloody good for her or him – that's fine, and I respect their opinion, but I disagree. And the fact that they don't agree with me isn't some daunting, horrifying prospect.

The problem with #NotYourShield isn't that it isn't woman or minority voices. The problem with #NotYourShield is that it is predicated on the notion that women and minorities are being used as a "shield." This is incorrect.

When Zoe Quinn said 'hey, I don't like being harassed, please stop with the sexist harassment,' and proceeded to talk about the way women are treated in gaming in order to point up the situation that led to her getting harassed, people complained that she's using other women as a "shield." But this is not a rational reading of the situation. First of all, Zoe Quinn shouldn't have to "shield" herself from harassment at all; there is no sense in which the attacks she received are legitimate, though #NotYourShield implies that they are. Second of all, when someone says 'women are not treated well in gaming,' they aren't using women as their "shield;" they're making a statement which could be either correct or incorrect. And in cases where the person saying that has actually been sexually harassed, in a striking and ongoing way, they have a certain space to talk about this issue.

In addition, while I don't doubt there are minority voices there, #NotYourShield is more than a little suspicious, given its source on 4chan; it's pretty clearly a ploy playing from the belief that the anti-harassment faction is filled with nervous white liberal men who will quaver and quake at the very thought of being disagreed with by women or minorities. But that is not the case. Disagreeing with minorities is not "denying them a voice;" it's giving them a voice, by respecting them as human beings enough to say "I think you are wrong."
posted by koeselitz at 9:05 AM on September 9, 2014 [18 favorites]


Great article by the New Yorker.

After a breakup, at the age of twenty-four, Quinn moved to Canada.

I didn't realize she had a Canadian connection. Is she still here? Online harassment has been a big issue in the news and I'm surprised this hasn't been picked up in more Canadian media.

The conclusion of the article makes me like her even more:

she said that she feels sympathy for her attackers. “They’re clearly hurting,” Quinn said. “People don’t viciously attack anyone without having some deep-seeded loathing in themselves.”

Also "coördinated" What's with the umlat?
posted by papercrane at 9:18 AM on September 9, 2014


Talez: “I mean, I get why people want to blame Reddit because it's really a gathering place for a lot of offensive shitstorms. But I think that's just because of the sheer size of the place. If Reddit were to be shut down tomorrow it would probably splinter but the overarching concept would still be in place and we'd still have the same problem tomorrow.”

This is like saying "Yeah, that convenience store is in a terrible part of town – it was gonna get robbed no matter what. No point in arresting the guy who did it. I'm sure another convenience store will just get robbed by somebody else tomorrow."
posted by koeselitz at 9:21 AM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


papercrane: “Also ‘coördinated’ What's with the umlat?”

That's actually not an umlaut – it's a diaeresis:
The diaeresis mark is sometimes used in English personal first and last names to indicate that two adjacent vowels should be pronounced separately, rather than as a diphthong. Examples include the given names Chloë and Zoë, which otherwise might be pronounced with a silent e. To discourage a similar mispronunciation, the mark is also used in the surname Brontë. It may be used optionally for words that do not have a morphological break at the diaeresis point, such as naïve, Boötes, and Noël. However, its use in words such as coöperate and reënter has been dropped or replaced by the use of a hyphen except in a very few publications—notably The New Yorker.
posted by koeselitz at 9:26 AM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


This is like saying "Yeah, that convenience store is in a terrible part of town – it was gonna get robbed no matter what. No point in arresting the guy who did it. I'm sure another convenience store will just get robbed by somebody else tomorrow."

That's a really obnoxiously false analogy.
posted by Talez at 9:28 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


yeah in order to make it a good analogy, that part of town would have to be owned by Conde-Nast and avoid prosecuting robberies because they actively profit from them
posted by NoraReed at 9:31 AM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


I don't understand what is wrong with this 'but'. Or rather why it's OK to deny these women and minorities agency by saying they've just been "roped in" to some evil plan.
This is a deep question, one that's outside the scope of #gamergate or any particular community. It's basically a question about the tension between uncomfortable truths, and a question about the relationship between intent and effect.

For quite some time, progressive movements have prioritized the stories and voices of minorities and the oppressed. They say this is to give those groups a voice and to raise awareness of perspectives that are often ignored. This framing is often effective in the general population -- sometimes because people want to hear other perspectives, other times because it's novel, other times because they harbor a bit of guilt about those people not having much representation, etc. Of course, there's pushback and anger as well, but this approach has historically been pretty effective.

Critics of progressive movements tend to insist that this approach isn't really about making minority voices heard -- rather, they claim that it's just a way of "playing the race/gender card" and shaming everyone into agreeing with you. Or, at the very least, a way of framing your ideological opponents as racists and bigots because your spokesperson is a minority.

As traditionally conservative groups have become more canny about this sort of thing, they've put more work into prioritizing minority voices in their own movements. Optimistically, this can be seen as progress. Pessimistically, it can be seen as groups playing diversity-judo to avoid claims of bigotry.

No matter what side of what discussion you find yourself on, it's always dangerous to insist that no one who understands "the other side" could be there in good faith. In many ways it's a defense mechanism, a way of avoiding the need to engage with the genuine beliefs and convictions of people who disagree. I grew up in the Church, where it was widely understood that "Atheists" believed deep down that God existed -- they were just angry and rebellious. It was also understood that anyone who left the church had never actually been a Christian to begin with.

The truth is, there are women in the MRA movement, and black Republicans, and anti-choice women, and anti-immigration Latinos, and so on. Their beliefs are genuinely held, as genuinely as those on the "other" side, and it is damaging to pretend that they are simply dupes.

However, documenting the deliberate process by which a group recruits and/or imitate minority voices to their issue with the explicit intent of framing their opponents as racists simply because they're disagreeing with the group's minority members is not the same as denying those minorities agency. In the case of 4chan, it's especially egregious because the history of this behavior is so blatant, enduring, and well-documented. The fact that they are adept at "No, YOU'RE the racist!" deflection doesn't change that fact.
posted by verb at 9:34 AM on September 9, 2014 [15 favorites]


Talez: “I mean, I get why people want to blame Reddit because it's really a gathering place for a lot of offensive shitstorms. But I think that's just because of the sheer size of the place. If Reddit were to be shut down tomorrow it would probably splinter but the overarching concept would still be in place and we'd still have the same problem tomorrow.”

In my experience, it is not simply the size of Reddit but the core principles of its founders and administrators. They've prioritized anonymity/pseudonymity, socialized the value of protecting the privacy of fellow ingroup members rather than human beings in general, made clear that what happens in any given sub isn't their concern as long as it doesn't explicitly affect other subs, and so on.

These things are not inherently good or bad -- they're like the rules of a MMORPG, and they exist without any real ethical context.

But like those MMORPG rules, they combine with the real world of player/user behavior to form a system. Specifically, a system with specific tilts and exploits and so on. Suggesting that getting rid of Reddit and replacing it with something else would produce the same results is like saying that Rogues are simply better, and will always win. The systemic problems we see in sites like Reddit and 4chan are not just the way things are, they are the predictable outcomes of the technical affordances and social tools that are provided. Owners, leaders, and administrators who are unwilling to change those rules and tools aren't simply powerless in the face of inevitable human meanness.
posted by verb at 9:47 AM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


I never said documenting the creation of #notyourshield is denying agency. What is denying agency is saying that the people who took up the tag and continue to use it are just puppets, rather than actual people expressing actual criticism of the gaming press.
posted by 0 at 9:48 AM on September 9, 2014


Who said that, 0?
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:52 AM on September 9, 2014


me: “This is like saying ‘Yeah, that convenience store is in a terrible part of town – it was gonna get robbed no matter what. No point in arresting the guy who did it. I'm sure another convenience store will just get robbed by somebody else tomorrow.’”

Talez: “That's a really obnoxiously false analogy.”

It's only obnoxious because you're reading into people's comments here an insult that isn't there.

When people say things like "Reddit is a failed state" or "Reddit is a cesspool" or "Reddit is highly problematic," they aren't saying "all Redditors are terrible people." There are a lot of nice Redditors. Heck, I'm a Redditor. So don't take that as an insult on all Redditors, or an insult on anyone who would associate themselves with that site. There are plenty of nice Redditors, and plenty of nice subreddits. Heck, it says that right in the quote you cited!

But – but – Reddit is being run terribly, by people who apparently have no moral compunction toward justice. It is being run for profit, and in order to maximize profit, its owners have declaimed any responsibility for content under the thin pretense of "freedom of speech." Yishan Wong himself, specifically, has said and done things here that are simply and flatly wrong. The idea that a web site can be a government is stunning and breathtaking it its hubris and arrogance, and is as false as the idea that the difference between governments and corporations is that governments are obliged to exercise restraint.

So when you say "this would happen on the internet anyway, whether Reddit existed or not" – well, that's fine – possibly you're correct – but that doesn't absolve Yishan Wong, and Reddit as a company and an organization by extension, of responsibility for whatever appears on Reddit's pages. This may happen elsewhere, too, but whenever racist, sexist, homophobic, or even illegal content appears on any site, it is the site's owners who are responsible, and they can't wash their hands of it by saying "we believe in free choice" or "it's gonna happen anyway, so why not on our site."
posted by koeselitz at 10:00 AM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


Look up the phrase "useful idiot" sometime.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:00 AM on September 9, 2014


But like those MMORPG rules, they combine with the real world of player/user behavior to form a system. Specifically, a system with specific tilts and exploits and so on. Suggesting that getting rid of Reddit and replacing it with something else would produce the same results is like saying that Rogues are simply better, and will always win. The systemic problems we see in sites like Reddit and 4chan are not just the way things are, they are the predictable outcomes of the technical affordances and social tools that are provided. Owners, leaders, and administrators who are unwilling to change those rules and tools aren't simply powerless in the face of inevitable human meanness.

I suppose my point is that anyone can trivially (compared to an MMO) make a reddit clone or an imageboard. You should ask the MPAA and RIAA how they're going wiping out piracy by stomping out every torrent site in existence.
posted by Talez at 10:00 AM on September 9, 2014


Who said that, 0?

"roped in" is the phrase that led to "deny agency"
posted by 0 at 10:01 AM on September 9, 2014


I would suggest that you misunderstand the term "roped in." I think plenty of people have been "roped in" by all manner of ridiculous ideas. It's their right to choose to do so if they wish. I'm not denying their agency if I say that they've been deceived.
posted by koeselitz at 10:04 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Reddit is predicated on awfulness always winning. Once you know that it's a little hard to stomach it.
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Talez: “I suppose my point is that anyone can trivially (compared to an MMO) make a reddit clone or an imageboard. You should ask the MPAA and RIAA how they're going wiping out piracy by stomping out every torrent site in existence.”

Did verb – or anyone else – say that Reddit should be "stomped out" legally? I don't think so. The point is that the owners of a web site – in this case Reddit, as a company and an organization – can be held ethically responsible for the content of their web site. Are you suggesting that isn't the case?
posted by koeselitz at 10:07 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


"roped in" is the phrase that led to "deny agency"

It's awfully curious the use of the passive voice is the only part of Jalliah's comment, or the greater discussion you started, that you're willing to engage with.
posted by almostmanda at 10:07 AM on September 9, 2014


Did verb – or anyone else – say that Reddit should be "stomped out" legally? I don't think so. The point is that the owners of a web site – in this case Reddit, as a company and an organization – can be held ethically responsible for the content of their web site. Are you suggesting that isn't the case?

Honestly, I've been around for a while so my attitude is that no website should be responsible for the content of the users. Mainly because it becomes a mess of where to draw lines, where liability exists, strict liability where someone may not have a chance to remove content. I should mention that these views were formed during the "copyright wars" of the 90s where every site was looking at getting sued for having anything to do with an MP3 whether they put it there or not.

I dunno. I'm white, male and aged 18-49 so everyone listens to my ideas no matter how dumb they are so I'm probably not the best person to comment on this either.
posted by Talez at 10:14 AM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't understand, almostmanda, regarding the "conversation I started". I was legitimately confused about whether the consensus was that all of #notyourshield was fake accounts, because people we talking like that was obvious fact. It seems to have been answered that no, there are some real people behind it. So, yeah, I've found out what I wanted to know, so I'll leave you be.
posted by 0 at 10:15 AM on September 9, 2014


Rock, Paper, Shotgun , The Escapist , and TB (video) have all released long statements about the current state of gaming and games journalism. The first two are written articles (YAY) while TB's is a video (BOO) but oh well.
posted by Justinian at 10:23 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Talez: “Honestly, I've been around for a while so my attitude is that no website should be responsible for the content of the users. Mainly because it becomes a mess of where to draw lines, where liability exists, strict liability where someone may not have a chance to remove content.”

Hm. Well – understand and keep in mind what this means: we're not talking about what happens when a random Redditor just happens to post some child porn or something, and Yishan and the rest find out about it and delete & permaban. We aren't saying they should be held responsible in that case.

We're saying – when r/CreepShots stayed up for months and months and months, and Yishan and the rest KNEW about it, and REFUSED to do anything about content on a web site they themselves are responsible for publishing, and responded over and over again by saying that they believe in freedom of speech, only removing r/CreepShots when it was clearly losing them advertisers and money – that is irresponsibility, reckless irresponsibilty, of the kind that makes the internet a terrible place.
posted by koeselitz at 10:26 AM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Reddit is bad but I think I hate Quora more. The sheer pretentiousness of it, given the low level of discussions. God, have I had enough of know it all tech nerds waxing philosophical....so much effort posting with such little actual content.
posted by wuwei at 10:35 AM on September 9, 2014


Am I the only one who can't stand 30 minute videos with 6 minutes of content in them?

Ok, I know I am not. But whyyyyyyyy. It's so much easier to read something. Stupid kids.
posted by Justinian at 10:41 AM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Oh hey I've been quoted out of context...


Yep I used roped in. Not sure what's agency denying about it. I could have used other ways to describe it, like 'joined in, brought in or whatever'. I did qualify with a further description, " who either don't know or for whatever their own reasons care where and from what this originated from." The qualification covers people who I feel like have been duped which is hardly denying agency. All people can be duped. I happen to be a woman and I know from experience that nothing inherent to my womanhood keeps me dupe free.

'Or for whatever their own reasons don't care...' pretty much covers those who know and either agree or are okay with where and who it came from. That's a choice. No agency denying there either.

Again as several have already posted, actual women and minorities posting along with the known and planned sockpuppet fun times does not somehow negate it's genesis.
posted by Jalliah at 10:47 AM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


This is Metafilter. When people use terms like cesspool, or discuss how a hashtag had a subversive purpose, we know that there are decent people who are caught up in the flow. It is extremely rare that people here display uncontrolled disgust and wish death upon a large group with predetermined membership or little barrier to entry. Stop treating this place like extremist talk radio, where people completely discredit the enemy without properly countering their arguments. This is exactly the same issue that happens on any popular FPP that discusses a prevalent problem amongst a large group... which is often about gender, and sometimes race.

I'm still too timid to try and present my constructed thoughts here, but seeing this argument is really, really annoying.

Also, even if there's people who mean no harm in a particular organization or communication channel, that does not mean that we can't critique the overall impact and compare it to others. And as koeselitz said, it's not about immediately blaming websites if bad content is uploaded, it's about not responding to it in a reasonable time period.
posted by halifix at 11:29 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I suppose my point is that anyone can trivially (compared to an MMO) make a reddit clone or an imageboard.

"Shitty people gonna be shitty, so I may as well faciliate it" isn't a great defense, in my book.
posted by ctmf at 11:32 AM on September 9, 2014 [6 favorites]


Again as several have already posted, actual women and minorities posting along with the known and planned sockpuppet fun times does not somehow negate it's genesis.
I look at it a bit like Scientology's varied and sundry projects like Narcanon, and their campaign to "shine light on abuses in the psychology field." It's fair to say that there are good, decent, well-meaning people who have supported or advocated for their campaigns because they want people to overcome drug addiction and don't want people in therapy to be abused or exploited. It's also fair to say that those well-meaning people are being used by Scientology, because despite the worthiness of the publicly stated goals, said campaigns were created with the explicit intent of shielding Scientology from criticism and recruiting more wallets members.

To say that those people are being used by Scientology doesn't deny them agency. To say that many of the people supporting those campaigns are shills, and that the objectivity of anyone participating in Scientology-driven campaigns should be suspect, is not denying the agency of the good people who support those campaigns.
posted by verb at 11:41 AM on September 9, 2014 [12 favorites]


Which, now that I think about it, is interesting. Since Scientology was one of 4chan/Anon's first really mainstream-visible targets for griefing. I wonder how much of the "let's support a womens' charity so they can't say we're against women while we try to destroy this woman" politicking was learned.

Staring into the abyss, etc etc.
posted by verb at 11:42 AM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Am I the only one who can't stand 30 minute videos with 6 minutes of content in them?

Ok, I know I am not. But whyyyyyyyy. It's so much easier to read something. Stupid kids.


Basically, because the people who are watching those hour-long Internet videos that say the same thing over and over again are playing Minecraft at the same time. It's designed for children who are not really focusing on it. Compare with videos like Jimquisition or Zero Punctuation, which are about 6 minutes long and generally have some attention paid to the visual spectacle.

I can probably save everyone half an hour, though. Let me guess. Heartfelt complaint about how mean people have been to him, JonTron and Boogie, dig at social justice warriors, false equivalency between a relentless campaign to ruin women's lives and careers and occasionally impolite pushing back against same, stern bit about how harassment is not cool whichever extreme does it, slightly triumphal comment about the power of gamers, identifying a couple of vulnerable women by name while complaining about the corruption of video games journalism and/or the rudeness of some people, closing statement that everyone should just play video games.

How did I do, anyone? Am I being unduly cynical? Or exactly cynical enough?
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:08 PM on September 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


RPS's piece was good, but I was already getting a gross vibe from The Escapist before they said this, referencing a 2013 article about harassment Zoe Quinn was (even then, apparently) suffering from a chan site:
Our editor-in-chief, Greg Tito, having reviewed the facts at hand, concluded we ourselves have been imperfect in maintaining journalistic standards. A particularly problematic article, the one which generated his review, was about the alleged harassment of an indie developer by a forum community which denied the allegations but was itself victimized as a result of them. The article failed to cite the harassment as alleged, failed to give the forum community an opportunity present its point of view, and did not verify the claims or secure other sources. Mr. Tito has personally updated the article and spoken to all our editors about the importance of adhering to standards that will prevent such bad incidents from happening again. We, as a team, apologize for this error, both to our readers and to the forum community that suffered as a result. I, personally, apologize for this error, as well.
It seems that they have taken the whole #gamergate thing at face value. I do not have the willpower to make myself watch a half-hour Total Biscuit video; did anyone else?
posted by Corinth at 12:16 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


A particularly problematic article, the one which generated his review, was about the alleged harassment of an indie developer by a forum community which denied the allegations but was itself victimized as a result of them.

I'd like to point out that per their own standards that should read:

A particularly problematic article, the one which generated his review, was about the alleged harassment of an indie developer by a forum community which denied the allegations but was itself allegedly victimized as a result of them.

Also, who at this point can say that Zoe Quinn has been allegedly harassed. It's pretty out there and in the open.
posted by papercrane at 12:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I dunno. I'm white, male and aged 18-49 so everyone listens to my ideas no matter how dumb they are so I'm probably not the best person to comment on this either.
Heh. I know that feeling.

My thoughts on this have changed considerably since my first decade or so of using the net. In particular, as I've gotten to know people outside of that demographic, I've seen more and more of how "common sense, hands-off" attitudes towards user-generated content actually result in an engine of sustained harassment towards women and minorities in the real world.

I've watched how simple tools that guys like me thought would solve that problem ("We'll add a 'report abuse' button that auto-blocks people!") actually made the problem worse, because we assumed that those peoples' experiences were like ours. Eventually I've come to the conclusion that building a large-scale distributed community that doesn't serve as an engine of evil is a challenging problem that requires deliberate consideration and ongoing correction. That's one of the reasons I keep coming back to the MMORPG analogy: good games continually tweak and rebalance.

I have very little respect for people who build systems based on a couple of core ideological principles, let the systems spiral off, and disclaim all responsibility for the outcome even as they continue to profit from them. I've killed potentially profitable projects specifically because I couldn't figure out how to solve those problems, and I've created others that (I felt) did a good job. It's hard work because solving problems is hard.
posted by verb at 12:26 PM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


Also, who at this point can say that Zoe Quinn has been allegedly harassed. It's pretty out there and in the open.

Well, he means the harassment by Wizardchan (alleged!) in 2013, not the recent harassment. But yeah, The Escapist really did pick a weird time to apologise for accepting documented claims of harassment by not just a woman, but Zoe Quinn, at the hands of a Chan.

The editor, Greg Tito's piece, here, is primarily just sort of odd, in the sense that it seems to be asking writers to engage in the comments, but not actually saying "and if that doesn't stop the harassment, we will mod, delete, block, ban", which would be useful. The by-now-familar equivalency is also present:
I do not support harassment by gamers or of gamers.
Which, yeah.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:27 PM on September 9, 2014


I think the "alleged" thing is simply an attempt to move to a more journalistic style. Newspapers usually call something "alleged" even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Like "Ray Rice's alleged abuse".
posted by Justinian at 12:31 PM on September 9, 2014


I'm really looking forward to all the reviews in this new style.

Allegedly this game has features.
posted by papercrane at 12:38 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


I do not support harassment by gamers or of gamers.
I read that as "I do not support rape and death threats against people, nor do I support people that criticize the people that issue rape and death threats against people."

Yuck.
posted by el io at 12:39 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Game reviews aren't actually journalism, they are reviews. The Escapist does both.
posted by Justinian at 12:41 PM on September 9, 2014


Game reviews are journalism. They aren't reporting.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:44 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yes, I was being facetious. It's a silly way of writing to avoid libel lawsuits. When I see wiggle words overused I assume the publication is too lazy or unwilling to do any fact checking.

"Well I could research this claim, or, I could save a couple hours of work and throw a qualifier in there to cover my ass."
posted by papercrane at 12:47 PM on September 9, 2014


Game reviews are journalism. They aren't reporting.

Sorry, yes.
posted by Justinian at 12:48 PM on September 9, 2014


Well, they aren't going to get sued so I guess they are afraid of shitty forum trolls.
posted by Artw at 1:00 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


As a by-product of all of this I've been thinking a lot about what I want out of video game media coverage. A short list of 'do not want' and 'do want'

Do Not Want
- Updates on incremental changes (there will, in fact, be TWELVE guns/spells/classes instead of 10!)
- Updates on sales figures
- Updates when trailers are released
- Speculation on games that the writer has never played
- Reviews that can't adequately explain in 1000 words or less whether or not a games was fun to the reviewer and why

Do Want
- News on a game after a demo has been played
- Interviews with game creators at all steps in the process
- Reviews that adequately explain in 1000 words or less whether or not a games was fun to the reviewer and why
- Thoughtful editorial features analyzing games in a meta sense (including calling out shitty attitudes toward women/minorites/etc in games, etc)

And that's about it off the top of my head. I'm sure there's more.
posted by Tevin at 1:09 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm pretty much in the same camp, Tevin, though I feel like there's some inherent tension between the final two options in the "Do Want" column. Like, it's worth pointing out that Duke Nukem Forever is soaked in so much misogyny and sexualization that many players will have trouble experiencing fun regardless of its mechanics and pacing and so on.

The deeper and more complex analysis definitely deserves its own place to shine, I think, and I understand the sentiment that a review is probably not the place for nuanced thematic critique. But if there's one thing the #gamergate stuff has demonstrated to me, it's that "Keep editorializing out of the reviews" can be hard to separate from "Don't talk to THEM, talk to ME!"
posted by verb at 1:14 PM on September 9, 2014


WaPo: Why Reddit Sucks: some scientific evidence.
This may help explain why so many of Reddit’s subreddits are dominated by bigots, misogynists and other people who appear to thrive on public abhorrence. It certainly indicates that Wong’s self-justifying rhetoric is nonsense. Nice words of encouragement for the “good” posters and tolerance for the bad ones isn’t going to produce self-regulating harmony. It’s going to produce the festering toxic mess that it has, in fact, produced.
posted by Corinth at 1:15 PM on September 9, 2014 [7 favorites]


Definitely, verb, and I think it requires a kind of mature editorial voice that is mostly (RPS doing a pretty good job though, in that regard).
posted by Tevin at 1:17 PM on September 9, 2014


This may help explain why so many of Reddit’s subreddits are dominated by bigots, misogynists and other people who appear to thrive on public abhorrence. It certainly indicates that Wong’s self-justifying rhetoric is nonsense. Nice words of encouragement for the “good” posters and tolerance for the bad ones isn’t going to produce self-regulating harmony. It’s going to produce the festering toxic mess that it has, in fact, produced.

The only subreddits that are worth a damn are either extremely heavily moderated or have a low user count.
posted by empath at 1:42 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


Tevin: Might be a good list for you, but different people want different things from reviews/journalism.

For example, I'm not really interested in interviews with game creators about all the steps in their process. I'm not interested in such things from movie makers or musicians either.

I the incremental changes are patches I may be interested (my gameplay is going to change? how?).

1000 words - well yeah, I want a definitive answer to 'is this a good game', but an in-depth review of a complex game can be a good thing.

I'm with you on the 'do not want' list though. I imagine that the market will sort that out though - those articles in the 'do not want' column can simply be left unread by folks like you and I. If there is demand (ie: pageviews that warrant the reviewers time) then that stuff I find boring will continue to be created.
posted by el io at 2:23 PM on September 9, 2014


Definitely, I don't mean to speak for everyone, I'm just saying me, personally, that's what I'm looking for. I say this because I dropped all the gaming sites I had followed from feedly and only follow a couple on twitter because I felt inundated with stuff that just wasn't important to me and stopped reading most reviews because they were just too damned long.

I think what I'm looking for is more about the actual games and writers experiences with them rather than lead-up, hype, and hand wringing around the games. Interviews interest me because interviews from actors and directors (when they're not on junket) help me understand the thing they're making and why it's important to them.

Maybe 1000 words is too few, but (it feels like) most reviews are pages and pages of minutiae and ... something ... just gets lost.

But that's totally just me, and I'm definitely not saying that's what everyone else does or should want.
posted by Tevin at 2:40 PM on September 9, 2014


I was already getting a gross vibe from The Escapist before they said this

I've been mostly boycotting The Escapist since they started hosting Jimquisition because of Sterling's mysogynistic shit like this and this and all this.
posted by straight at 3:31 PM on September 9, 2014


I've seen people around /r/SRSGaming saying that Jim Sterling has come around hard in the last couple of years on sex/gender issues, but I find his voice so annoying that I can't bring myself to investigate.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:34 PM on September 9, 2014


Wow. Thanks, Pope Guilty. It does look like Jim Sterling has made some really significant changes in his attitude about sexism and feminism, including owning up to the stuff I was complaining about above. I wish I'd known that before making the above comment.
posted by straight at 3:44 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


As atonement, let me quote from that interview with Jim Sterling, which is pretty great:

I wouldn’t call myself a feminist, nor would I call myself an ally. Not out of disdain or contempt for the terms — quite the opposite, in fact. It’s one of those things where I feel it’s not my place to apply such terms to myself. If what I’m talking about at the time aligns with a feminist view, then great! I wouldn’t just up and say, “Welp, I’m a feminist now, everybody pat me on the back.” Not earned that distinction.
posted by straight at 3:52 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Aw, it's like he's been reading Metafilter! We just had that exact discussion at the end of the crayz thread.
posted by dialetheia at 4:05 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


WaPo: Why Reddit Sucks: some scientific evidence.

I think my favorite thing to come out of this whole sad situation has been multiple articles talking about, and pulling back the curtain on how shitty reddit really is. Plenty of people browse the site without accounts and pretty much just click links and don't read the comments, and don't even understand what i'm saying when i say it's probably the biggest hive of scum and villainy on the internet. Now i have a lot more to point them to than just the creepshots stuff, which at this point can be dismissed as "a while ago".
posted by emptythought at 4:15 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Everything you need to know about Reddit can be summed up with:

1) Posting and downloading women's hacked nude pics: FREE SPEECH AND NECESSARY
2) Posting the name of the person who distributed or hacked those nude pics: INSTANT BAN
posted by Justinian at 4:17 PM on September 9, 2014 [27 favorites]


I wish I could favorite that comment about fifty billion times, Justinian.
posted by Tknophobia at 4:27 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Re: The Escapist

OK, fine- we can say that Gamer and The Gaming Community are separate things from just "people who play games."

I can accept that.

But you should at least acknowledge that some people in The Gaming Community have been responsible for some pretty horrible things lately, and should probably own up to the fact that there are things they need to work on.


Otherwise, #Gamergate just sounds like #NotAllGamers to a lot of people.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:03 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


The Paranoid Style of Gaming Misogyny

Bit of a read but I found some interesting points to ponder in this.

In 1964, Harper’s Magazine published “The Paranoid Style in American Politics”, an essay by the American historian Richard Hofstadter. At the time, America was wracked by a particularly intense period of cultural and political upheaval; the “Second Red Scare” post-WWII had finally run its course, only to be replaced by the rising tides of the civil rights movement, gay liberation, and feminism. Sweeping changes in closely contested areas of social structure could not help but summon a conservative backlash, and Hofstadter turned his eye to examining the particular characteristics of that counter-movement.
........................................
If you’ve read about, seen, or experienced for yourself the extent and viciousness of the seemingly unending attacks on Anita Sarkeesian (summary by Ian Steadman @ The New Statesman), Zoë Quinn (summary by Owen Grieve @ Midnight Resistance), and their friends, associates, and fellow travelers (summary by Carolyn Cox @ The Mary Sue), and wondered what could possibly motivate this level of continually hateful effort, I submit that their actions and tactics are perfectly calibrated and consistent (and perhaps horrifyingly inevitable) if you view the responsible parties as partisans of Hofstadter’s “paranoid style” of politics.

posted by Jalliah at 5:21 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


OK, fine- we can say that Gamer and The Gaming Community are separate things from just "people who play games."

I can accept that.


I actually thought that was one of the okay parts of their otherwise weirdly evasive and kinda pandering article. It's sort of what I was trying to say early in the thread. Not everyone who eats is a foodie and that's uncontroversial. Not everyone who changes their oil is a gearhead and that's uncontroversial. Not everyone who watches a movie is a cinephile and that's totally fine. And not everyone who plays a videogame is a capital-G Gamer and that really shouldn't be controversial either. That's why I still like the "hardcore gamer" terminology; because it doesn't lead to the confusion of "But why aren't I a gamer? I like to play games sometimes?". If you call it "hardcore gaming" you avoid that issue because there is a modifier on the word "gaming".
posted by Justinian at 5:34 PM on September 9, 2014


Also, Jeremy Clarkson is a racist fuck, and gearheads/petrolheads might want to at least address that.


It might help that he is a terrible driver, too.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:41 PM on September 9, 2014



er what?
posted by Jalliah at 5:43 PM on September 9, 2014


Corinth: "I do not have the willpower to make myself watch a half-hour Total Biscuit video; did anyone else?"

Hey there guys I'm TotalBiscuit and welcome to this video series on internet shitstorms. Now first up we're going to dig into the options and see what knobs our Social Justice masters have given us to twiddle.

Ah, yes, there's an option here to "Pretend ignorance of the massive harassment campaign targeted almost solely at women in the video game industry," and, well, obviously I'm going to toggle that on or when I actually get into commenting on this thing I'd look like an enormous tool...
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:45 PM on September 9, 2014 [5 favorites]



Oh hell. I must be more tired then I thought.

I started to read the last post and was all, "ArmyOfKittens is also TotalBiscuit?" o.O
posted by Jalliah at 5:48 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


The conspiracy deepens.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


The New Yorker article linked by straight is a worthwhile read. It sums up the situation pithily and addresses facts over noise.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:57 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm just not huge on the whole "hardcore gamer" thing because it often seems to come with an implication that there are "hardcore games", and playing them is how you become a "hardcore gamer". I'm also not huge on the word "hardcore" in general, because it's connotatively tied up in all this posturing masculine dick-measuring bullshit to me, though obviously YMMV based on your history with the term and the gaming community. I am personally a proponent of the "fan" vs. "member of fandom" distinction which Websnark discussed in ye olden days of 2004. (Note: You don't need to read that whole thing to get the definition I'm talking about, just the first few paragraphs. Hell, you can probably intuit it from just existing in the world as it is in the past decade (!) since it was written. But that's the article that stuck in my craw as the first place I heard the distinction made). Of course, there isn't a great way to do the terminology for that related to gaming/gamers, because "gamefan" is sort of ugly, but the fan vs. fandom thing might be useful, and it also makes it so that people who spend a lot of time playing and discussing, say, how to get super good at a game end up in a similar category to people who are into the aesthetics or the mods or the crossover fanfiction or whatever else.
posted by NoraReed at 6:02 PM on September 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


Isometric - a game theme podcast.

This is really worth listening. And now I'm even more pissed off at shitty little forum troll fuckers.
posted by Artw at 6:10 PM on September 9, 2014



Maybe I'll just invent a new word for myself. I'm now a Jaymer. Which is my short hand for

SJW Gamer or Justice Gamer all squished together into a word that's fun to say.


Yep I am tired.
posted by Jalliah at 6:15 PM on September 9, 2014



Or maybe a Warrior or Wizard Gamer which would be Wamer (Waymer)
posted by Jalliah at 6:16 PM on September 9, 2014



Heck I'll go all out, a Jaymer Waymer.
posted by Jalliah at 6:17 PM on September 9, 2014


OK, let me talk about Depression Quest for a moment.

I'm going to quote extensively from the New Yorker article:
Some of the hatred directed at Quinn has come from video-game enthusiasts who think that the darker themes are not suitable for video games, which they believe should be playful and primarily focussed on entertaining.

Others, especially those who have led the recent attacks, claim that the game has received an amount of coverage that is disproportionate to its quality. One criticism is that the game offers too simplistic a solution to depression—it leads the player to partly solve the issue through medication or therapy. But the game explicitly states that it is not trying to speak for all depression sufferers. “The topic is too big, there’s too many people who live with it, and too many moving pieces for anyone to do a definitive statement on what depression is like for everyone,” Quinn told me. “Depression Quest’s goal was to be a basic introduction to the concept and to get the conversation started.”

Still, some critics argue that the game tells too individual of a story, that its protagonist is over-privileged and, therefore, better equipped to deal with the illness than real-world sufferers. Quinn disagrees. “I deliberately created a protagonist who has a lot of support networks and resources that I don’t have,” she said. “We wanted to preëmpt the argument that someone is only depressed because they have a difficult life. Anyone can have depression. The illness doesn’t care how much you do or don’t have.”
What I find absolutely fascinating here is that at least some of the vitriol here is aimed at the fact that the game made some people think. They didn't want to think about depression at all, and the game made them think about depression. The game didn't reflect theirdepression, so they didn't like it. The game wasn't their idea of fun, and thus it shouldn't have been made.

Before the whole #gamergate harassment campaign launched in earnest (precipitated almost entirely by the disgruntled ex-boyfriend), the very existence of the game made a number of people uncomfortable. Perhaps some gamers were anxiously wondering "are all games going to be like this now? Are serious issues that make me uncomfortable and unhappy going to be the focus of games now? What if all I want to do is shoot stuff and blow things up?"

While Depression Quest is hardly the first game to explore darker themes, its become a high profile and controversial one. This is, in part, because its doing something different from what most games do.

Now, not everyone likes low budget, serious films. Indeed, there's a reason the shittiest Transformers movies makes more money than 12 Years A Slave. The latter is better reviewed and its not because critics don't like robots. Its because a certain kind of thought went into the latter that didn't go into the former.

Does the existence of 12 Years A Slave threaten the existence of the next Superman sequel. No, probably not. As long as Superman makes money, there will be another.

Similarly, the kind of games that are merely fun aren't in any way threatened by the existence of Depression Quest. The latter will attract a different, smaller audience and there will be a small sliver of overlapping fans in some Venn Diagram

I've said this before, but the idea that there might be different kinds of games - radically different kinds of games that attract radically different players than those that love Call of Duty - are good for the gaming industry. Maybe there will be game studios that develop around the idea of creating story-based, serious games for people who don't want to blow stuff up. As long as people want to buy games that blow stuff up, those games will keep getting made, too.

Greater variety is how an industry (or art form) grows and develops. Trying to shut down develops like Zoe Quinn who are trying to do something different is, in the long run, much deadlier to games as a whole than how games are reviewed.

To whit, this rampant, aggressive sexism is, in the long run, going to prevent games from developing. It insisting that developers keep pumping out the same old thing. Its entirely self-defeating.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:23 PM on September 9, 2014 [10 favorites]


Have there been any articles on what the female employees at Reddit think about all this? Do they feel like Reddit is selling them down the river? Don't they feel like it could be them next? That would be cool with them because freedom?

Ellen Pao has no opinion?
posted by ctmf at 6:23 PM on September 9, 2014


I've said this before, but the idea that there might be different kinds of games - radically different kinds of games that attract radically different players than those that love Call of Duty - are good for the gaming industry. Maybe there will be game studios that develop around the idea of creating story-based, serious games for people who don't want to blow stuff up.

I think it's selfishness and self-centeredness. Depression Quest doesn't speak to my desires. It's not aimed at me. What the fuck? I'm a young white dude. Games are supposed to be for me. Games are supposed to fulfill my emotional needs. Games are mine. How dare this game not be about me?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:28 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]



I've been on few other sites that have had 'vistors'. There are guys who really do seem to think that feminist and other SJW have an agenda to make all games 'not fun' and be like depression quest. They really do seem to believe that all of the feminism talks about games is going to make them all girly and full of feels.

On guy talked about it being a consequence of 'weaponized feminism' which is a term I've seen pop up in a few places. I noticed it because it's such a weird turn of phrase.


For whatever reasons Depression Quest took on a broader symbolism in this supposed war.

And yeah. It's referenced as a war a lot.
posted by Jalliah at 6:35 PM on September 9, 2014


it doesn't lead to the confusion of "But why aren't I a gamer? I like to play games sometimes?"

"You're not a real gamer" doesn't seem like a helpful thing to say. It's redolent of the "fake geek girl" meme, and it's often used to dismiss the opinions of people who prefer different genres or play styles. Not into competitive play? Not a real gamer. Prefer narrative-driven games? Not a real gamer. Why shouldn't self-identification be enough?
posted by Serf at 6:37 PM on September 9, 2014


People can say whatever they want and identify however they want. But would you take someone who said they were a foodie seriously if their favorite restaurants were Olive Garden and McDonalds? Or would you kinda roll your eyes?
posted by Justinian at 6:43 PM on September 9, 2014


Who cares?
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:48 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Have you noticed that none of these people are flipping their shit over Papers, Please? I WONDER WHY

actually I do not

it is because misogyny

posted by NoraReed at 6:49 PM on September 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


I dunno the realm has changed so much. I don't think it's really that easy to put games into categories that mean is you play A type = gamer or B type = something else. The name also has so much else wrapped in it. For a very long time I found calling myself a gamer was discounted because I'm female. It's only relatively recently that it's become mainstream for women to even call themselves gamers and it generally accepted.

My Mom plays video games more then I do right now. Granted they're Facebook and other social type games but she will play them for hours at a time. She's 'hardcore' when it comes to the sheer amount of time that plays on the computer. I bug her about it now because when I was a teen she'd bug me all the time about playing too much. Sweet revenge!
posted by Jalliah at 6:54 PM on September 9, 2014


"You're not a real gamer" doesn't seem like a helpful thing to say. It's redolent of the "fake geek girl" meme, and it's often used to dismiss the opinions of people who prefer different genres or play styles. Not into competitive play? Not a real gamer. Prefer narrative-driven games? Not a real gamer. Why shouldn't self-identification be enough?
I know Penny Arcade has a problematic history, but there are a couple of strips that I think really get at the heart of the aggrieved lifestyle gamer mindset.

Both of them deal with Halo, an immensely popular game franchise that helped cement the XBox's success and turned Bungie into a household name. Over its lifespan, it gained a reputation as a kind of "frathouse" shooter -- one that was popular even outside the circle of "gamers." In the two linked cartoons, the main characters reflect on the surreal experience of running into frat guys at a midnight Halo 2 launch party, and it's clear that they feel these jocks are invading their safe space. In the second cartoon, they warn fellow tabletop gamers about the impending release of a Halo-franchise tabletop game, one that will surely bring uncouth jocks to the yard, so to speak.

It's tongue in cheek, but in several blog posts around the same time they discussed the fact that gaming (circa 2004-2005 or so) was starting to feel strange. Where it had been a refuge for geeks and misfits and strange kids and a shelter from bullies and fears, it was turning into a world where the school bully might well just be in your next deathmatch. They talked about the (admittedly mild) sense of being invaded and no longer at home.

These jocks weren't real gamers, one might say. They didn't need games, they didn't love gaming, they just liked shooting aliens and teabagging each other in deathmatches. They didn't belong.

Which is interesting, because if you fast forward a decade, to the present, that jocky shooter-centric bro culture is what many people think is synonymous with gaming. I think you can see a lot of the same echoes of discomfort and suspicion in the way that more visible and outspoke women are being regarded, even if they aren't explicitly feminists or critics. The collective response is inexcusable, but I think it's interesting to see that the "our safe space is being invaded" dynamic is in no way new.
posted by verb at 6:54 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


But would you take someone who said they were a foodie seriously if their favorite restaurants were Olive Garden and McDonalds? Or would you kinda roll your eyes?

In Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald's. And I don't mean just like in no paper cup; I'm talking about a glass of beer. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
posted by XMLicious at 6:55 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


McMerde?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:56 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yes! Now doesn't that sound fancy? Wouldn't you order a McMerde with extra merde? And a beer?
posted by XMLicious at 6:58 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]



A beer sounds good right now.
posted by Jalliah at 6:59 PM on September 9, 2014


the more beer you have the better it is
posted by pyramid termite at 6:59 PM on September 9, 2014


Which is interesting, because if you fast forward a decade, to the present, that jocky shooter-centric bro culture is what many people think is synonymous with gaming.

Shit, maybe they're right. They failed to protect their games from the bros and now games is permanently infected with brodom! They must put up the barricades, for including the wimminz is a STEP TOO FAR
posted by NoraReed at 7:06 PM on September 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


Do frat bros hang out on 4chan and IRC?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:10 PM on September 9, 2014


beats me - but maybe it's inferior feeling people trying to overcompensate by acting like frat bros
posted by pyramid termite at 7:16 PM on September 9, 2014


I don't know, I stay on Tumblr because I feel way more comfortable around the fans who draw and/or write sexually explicit fanworks about Bioware games than the ones who play the ones where you can participate in "teabagging"

it is possible I have some ulterior motives in my attempts to get all forms of "caring too much about video games" to count equally toward cultural identity
posted by NoraReed at 7:18 PM on September 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


It's more bro-y than it was, yeah.

Like, there were regular threads in /b/ a few years ago from ASU kids bragging about how much they partied and how hot 'their girls' were.

Not that /r9k/ didn't mark the start of a sort of internet bro-y thing before that, although way way more in the "I hate women, help me get laid" PUA vein than frat-bro stuff, which remains the much common 4chan personality, far as I can tell.
posted by postcommunism at 7:20 PM on September 9, 2014


"Mark the start" may be overcrediting it. It became the first real destination board for that, maybe.
posted by postcommunism at 7:27 PM on September 9, 2014


at least some of the vitriol here is aimed at the fact that the game made some people think. They didn't want to think about depression at all, and the game made them think about depression.

REMEMBER, KIDS: Misogyny in gaming is just part of how games can be GRITTY REALISM THAT'S JUST LIFE, MAAAAN. But depression making things difficult is JUST TOTALLY WRONG AND NOT LIKE GAMES AT ALL.
posted by rmd1023 at 8:45 PM on September 9, 2014 [8 favorites]


The New Yorker has just caught up: Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest.
The attacks on Quinn escalated when an ex-boyfriend posted a tirade on a blog and exposed an alleged relationship that he claimed she had with a journalist who wrote about the game. The journalist in question pointed out that he had not reviewed the game and had merely reported its existence. Still, some justified their attacks on the “manipulative” Quinn in the name of ethics.

In the past few weeks, a debate about journalistic ethics in video-game coverage has spilled onto social media. Tens of thousands of tweets were written, most of them accompanied by the hashtag #gamergate. Many Twitter users involved in the discussion called for more clarity and disclosure by writers about the relationships they have with independent creators. They want critics to abide by John Updike’s sound rule to never “accept for review a book you are … committed by friendship to like.” In Quinn’s case, the fact that she was the subject of the attacks rather than the friend who wrote about her game reveals the true nature of much of the criticism: a pretense to make further harassment of women in the industry permissible. (The debate dissipated after Quinn posted the chat logs of some 4chan users, revealing that the #gamergate hashtag had been coördinated with malicious intent.)
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:53 PM on September 9, 2014


As an aside, Simon Parkin wrote an article last year for the New Statesman suggesting that the term "gamer" should be abandoned by people who wanted to see a more inclusive gaming.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:51 AM on September 10, 2014


I play a lot of games -- I have one open on my other screen right now -- but I haven't called myself a "gamer" for years. Transness and, to a lesser extent, gayness and disability, have meant that I've not been able to be myself in any gaming community.

And why would I want to be part of a community that doesn't want me?
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:59 AM on September 10, 2014 [6 favorites]



Simon Parkin, has been labeled as part of the conspiracy because he has been linked to Jenn Frank through Patreon. Therefore, the New Yorker article can be entirely discounted as part of the 'agenda'. (This is what twitter and a couple of infographics told me last night)

I happened to catch a couple of tweets by Jenn Frank that addressed this. Paraphrased: You want to know how I know Simon Parkin? When both my parents died and I collapsed from shock and grief he helped me. He gave the British version of emergen-c. Since then whenever I bump into him at some event he asks how I'm doing.

So yeah. You go #gamergate. Root out that evil corruption.
posted by Jalliah at 5:12 AM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]



I also learned that some people think that Leigh Alexander is the 'final boss'. Some of these other people are just 'sub-bosses'. (infograph pending). The head needs to be cut off. Once the final boss is taken out then the game will be won.

These people (guys) live in a whole other world.
posted by Jalliah at 5:16 AM on September 10, 2014



Hee. I just found this on Twitter. Looks like Leigh is taking it in stride.

posted by Jalliah at 5:20 AM on September 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


These people (guys) live in a whole other world.

If you've seen me in Scott Pilgrim threads, you'll be familiar with my position that Scott Pilgrim inhabits a video game-like world because his interpreting everything through the lens of video games is a metaphor for his childishness and immaturity. I guess I didn't really understand that there are people for whom this is their internal reality, rather than being a literary metaphor.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:09 AM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]



Femshep speaks out! aka Jennifer Hale

Overcast podcast. Around the 3:20 mark.


Femshep is the female version of Commander Shepherd from the Mass Effects games. She rocks. Jennifer Hale rocks.


Gives me goosebumps. It's like being on the Normandy crew listening to a pep talk.
posted by Jalliah at 7:09 AM on September 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


The idea that someone would fuck somebody to get a mention of their indie text adventure is utterly baffling to me. Why would you even think someone would do that?
posted by empath at 7:23 AM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


The idea that someone would travel back in time and fuck somebody to get a single pointless mention of their indie text adventure before future-someone ever has a relationship with future-somebody is utterly baffling to me. If you have that kind of time-travel technology, why not just corner the market on pogs?
posted by introp at 7:28 AM on September 10, 2014 [8 favorites]




Zoe supposedly "doxxed" the Fine Young Capitalists people.

That didn't actually happen. TFYC said as much.


Well, then they've changed their mind again, and is calling it doxxing by association.

(I'm still not sure what to think about TFYC. From one point it seems they have been unfairly attacked mostly over badly worded language, but on the other hand, there are things that makes it feel a bit off - like the fact that the main creator of the campaign wanted to stay anonymous and how they seem to use the Zoe controversy to boost their own coverage.)
posted by ymgve at 8:18 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well.

Whoever's running TFYC Twitter account has been comparing "prejudice against 4chan" to racial segregation in the 1950s. So...
posted by verb at 8:37 AM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


That's amazing and horrifying, verb.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:44 AM on September 10, 2014


On the Level Factor: 0
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM on September 10, 2014


One of the nits they picked with Sarkeesian's videos was that she leaves out the bad guys doing misogyny getting theirs in the end... because apparently the bad guys getting their comeuppance at the end totally justifies any amount of misogynistic violence perpetrated by them in a game. So... I guess they come from the Frank Miller school of feminism.
posted by kmz at 9:23 AM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Based on what I've been reading and what I saw in the logs, I think TFYC is an independent project, not some sort of troll front. The /v/ folks discovered it via Zoe Quinn's arguments with them, and supported it with the intent of "trolling" gaming feminists, not because they were inherently drawn to the idea of supporting women in gaming.

TFYC itself seems to be based in some problematic assumptions -- lack of diversity in the gaming industry is purely a matter of project exposure, for example. Quinn's original criticism of TFYC, as best as I can tell, was a combination of misunderstanding about trans-inclusive language in their admission requirements and objections to the actual structure of the award system. Would-be female game designers would pitch their ideas, the public would vote, and the designers would receive... 8% of the proceeds? Something like that.

Now that the anonymous organizers of TFYC have started chiming in with the "We aren't feminists, we're pro-equality" and "4chan members are like black people in the 1950s" it's hard not to think it was a somewhat lame group from the get-go.
posted by verb at 9:27 AM on September 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Reading between the lines of the interview it sounds like some kind of weird scammy vanity-press type afair and to be steered clear of. The people behind it trying to remain anonymous is just plain weird also.
posted by Artw at 9:33 AM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church infamy made quite a career of bringing civil rights lawsuits to challenge discrimination in Kansas. If I remember correctly, his son said he didn't care about civil rights but saw it as a way to get rich. TFYC seem to be closer to this model than actually being interested in promoting women developers.
posted by crashlanding at 9:42 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


The idea that someone would fuck somebody to get a mention of their indie text adventure is utterly baffling to me. Why would you even think someone would do that?
posted by empath


If one were an especially poorly socialized Internet troll, it's possible that intimate human relationships may be so puzzling that a quid pro quo explanation may seem as good as any, at least in 4chan discussions.

Also, non-eponysterical.

Scott Pilgrim inhabits a video game-like world because his interpreting everything through the lens of video games is a metaphor for his childishness and immaturity.

This is not a controversial position—and yet film critics didn't understand why a movie with such a message failed to be a breakout success among its target demographic.... The hypothetical gamer-jerks/kidults have been pandered to for so long with AAA video games presenting them with fourth-generation derivatives of the Hero's Journey, in which the player is always The Chosen One and the world is their prize, that a film suggesting otherwise would go over their heads. Similarly, a no-win text adventure forcing them to confront an uncomfortable yet mundane psychological subject might cause cognitive dissonance and extreme reaction formation. Puer aeternus wants movies and video games to rock his world, not his worldview.

Whoever's running TFYC Twitter account has been comparing "prejudice against 4chan" to racial segregation in the 1950s. So...

Was that a re-Tweet or a paraphrase? This silly tu quoque'ing strawman is on there right now: "'Prejudice is always wrong. Now stop saying everyone from 4chan isn't a misogynist!' - Twitter for the last hour". (Even if that's all they wrote, it's not surprising that they were caught wrongfooted when drawing up policies for their contest.) There is an inflammatory tweet saying These journos are supporting SEGREGATION and INEQUALITY! that was being circulated on the #gamergate hashtag a few days ago and that they may have re-Tweeted. Twitter, however, is deliberately ephemeral and chaotic. Confirming even basic information in it is like trying to filter out static in an echo chamber. No wonder it's the perfect platform for this donnybrook.
posted by Doktor Zed at 10:09 AM on September 10, 2014


TFYC itself seems to be based in some problematic assumptions -- lack of diversity in the gaming industry is purely a matter of project exposure, for example. Quinn's original criticism of TFYC, as best as I can tell, was a combination of misunderstanding about trans-inclusive language in their admission requirements and objections to the actual structure of the award system. Would-be female game designers would pitch their ideas, the public would vote, and the designers would receive... 8% of the proceeds? Something like that.

That's close to what I have been able to tease out. Pretty much Zoe's supposed 'attack' was her questioning what they were about and how they were doing things. Some bad things were said both in public and in private and yeah... I still haven't figured out where the supposed allegations of 'doxxing' come from as I've yet to see no concrete 'this is how she doxxed us'. Now it's changed to she retweeted someone else's 'dox.' I see this question as pretty typical inter industry conflict between people that have different ideas. From what I can tell about Zoe is that she's pretty outspoken which means....well that she's outspoken and has opinions on what other people in the industry are doing. Heck maybe she's even not that nice to everyone all the time. The horror.

So something conflict wise happened and was and is being pushed as an example of what an evil (insert various misogynist slurs), narcissitic and selfish woman blah blah who somehow (insert various red pen connections) connected to the evil corruption in the industry because she's such a power player and leader so get her! And here we are more then a month later and she and other's are STILL be harassed and threatened with rape and death.

It's also her fault apparently in the initial stages of this mess for fighting back against the crap she had spewed at her. There's a whole list of twitter stuff that shows her taunting her harassers...so ergo....I dunno. She didn't just shut up, admit every bad thing she has ever supposedly done and go away seems to be a thing that justifies it. I'm pretty sick of seeing, 'well of course harassing and threatening are wrong, but look she did A B C...' tweets.

It doesn't seem to be going away either. More mainstream places are writing articles now that are talking about the harassment and what's happened to other women and it's making #gamergate supporters mad that they aren't covering the 'real' story as well as providing them with more 'proof' of journalistic corruption.

Jennifer Hale speaking out apparently brought a new round of harassing crap and some more death threats as it made it's rounds. I expect Jennifer is getting them now too because she is a well respected voice actor, not only on the Mass Effect games and has a lot of geek gamer cred. That can't have made some happy that now she's been tainted as well.

I really want to stop paying attention to this. I feel like I just can't though. It's like the least I can do is pay attention to some of what's going on.
posted by Jalliah at 10:14 AM on September 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


I really want to stop paying attention to this. I feel like I just can't though. It's like the least I can do is pay attention to some of what's going on.

I hate how compelling this shit is.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:24 AM on September 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


Whoever's running TFYC Twitter account has been comparing "prejudice against 4chan" to racial segregation in the 1950s.

I saw that tweet and the convo. It's not exact but it's a good paraphrase.

I can't find the whole convo now but basically someone asked whether or why they didn't have a problem accepting the 20,000 dollars raised by 4chan considering the horrible stuff they've been implicated in. Were they really okay with saying they were funded by 4chan. That sounds bad.

The exact reply: As would " funded by People of Color" in the 50s. 4chan gave us money and we appreciate the effort.

So yeah they made the direct comparison between the two.
posted by Jalliah at 10:29 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I can't tell if that's just an inept instance of "hah, we will use their own rhetoric against them!" or if it's a sincere retort.
posted by postcommunism at 10:34 AM on September 10, 2014


TFYC

Replacing "cannibals" with "capitalists" here doesn't change the essential meaning of the name.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:41 AM on September 10, 2014


It's starting to make sense why TFYC and gamergaters make a good pair.

When gamergaters support TFYC they get to feel they support hypothetical female developers by offering exposure via popularity contest. While non-hypothetical female developers obviously didn't deserve the exposure they got. If you're applying a double-standard it's easier to imagine a hypothetical person will be pure and clean and pass your double-standard with flying colours, where all real people fail.

And if your beef is "SILENCED ALL MY LIFE" everyone gets a vote in the contest, right? A vote for your favourite contest entry is also a vote against all the other less deserving entries. If there are people out there talking about or buying what you think is an undeserving game, you are completely impotent to stop that. And games journalists? When they talk about something, lots of people listen, and nobody listens to you, that's completely unfair. If everybody gets one vote, that's fair.

And if you're TFYC and your deal is, "aspiring female game designers should enter our contest to get exposure," you might like that someone is trying to delegitimize other methods of getting exposure.
posted by RobotHero at 10:43 AM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


"I still haven't figured out where the supposed allegations of 'doxxing' come from as I've yet to see no concrete 'this is how she doxxed us'. Now it's changed to she retweeted someone else's 'dox.'"

The supposed dox, I believe, is because people wanted to know who was running the organization/crowdfunding campaign, and someone linked to the organizer's facebook profile. Any smart person would want the same information before giving money. It's basic fact-finding.

They also claimed for a while that Zoe DoS'd their site. All the happened is that enough people shared the link that the traffic was too much for the site. That's not a DoS attack. They've backpedaled on this one a little, in as much as they don't mention it.

I remember when TFYC first got any spotlight, largely from people on my twitter pointing out its problems back in May. They looked kind of shady and the language they used was rather patronizing, and I felt they were criticized maybe a bit much ('perfection is the enemy of good' comes to mind), but that was pretty much it. They've lost all credibility with the way they've used GamerGate and 4Chan for free publicity and to raise money, and how they've been constantly diving into others' conversations, talking about 'winning' against SJW, using language about racism as though they are equally victimized. I don't think they are a scam organization.

I'm equally skeptical of the many gaming websites that have also latched onto the bandwagon of denouncing "SJW" and promising "unbiased coverage" in exchange for free advertising from 4chan/gamergate folks. There's basically images floating around of white-listed sites where GamerGate people are asked to visit and turn off their adblock plugins.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 11:41 AM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


There's nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned boycott.
posted by 0 at 11:44 AM on September 10, 2014


I think people are reading too much into the TFYC thing. They had some quibbles, then got a massive surge of funding, as well as some popularity. Of course, this results in positive messages from 4chan, and negative messages, probably also partially from 4chan under fake accounts. If they're thrust into the conversation without actually doing their research (and not having the experience of being on the receiving end of massively unwarranted criticism/harassment) probably be like a bunch of gamers and listen to the message that's being shouted very, very loudly.

There's a large culture there of constantly insulting and trolling others without warrant. It's very easily subverted when people take things by word of mouth, instead of going to sources to see what people's stances actually are. I'm not sure how to fix this. I'd propose getting rid of privacy entirely, but that may be overly optimistic view on how people will react.
posted by halifix at 11:49 AM on September 10, 2014


"Doxxing" seems to have an extremely elastic meaning for the 4chan crowd.

Figuring out exactly who is running a competition = doxxing
Publishing peoples home address and details so they can be threatened and intimidated = whacky hijinks or something
posted by Artw at 11:50 AM on September 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Boycotts are totally fine. My beef is the unabashed opportunism of some of these sites, throwing fellow media sites and journalists under the bus in order to get free advertising.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 11:50 AM on September 10, 2014


whacky hijinks or something

The Internet Is Serious Business, so it's actually closer to something like "crowd-sourced ethics investigations and journalistic integrity assurance."
posted by zombieflanders at 11:53 AM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I hadn't heard of TFYC until all this blew up -- and only barely have a handle on what they are -- but the outright non-feminist-verging-on-anti-feminist weirdness and tonedeafness of their blog posts makes me think they might be people who kneejerk-assumed that Anita S was cynically making a get-some-of-that-feminist-$ cashgrab and they wanted in on that action themselves.
posted by nobody at 12:26 PM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Could you link to a site or two doing that? I generally try to stay in my feminist gaming community bubble but I guess I should be aware of what the big stupid places are saying. I checked IGN and, after recovering from being immediately whollopped with women and listicles, I couldn't even work out how to look for any kind of actual editorial content.

seriously this is way more polished cynical corporate pandering than I remember!
posted by Corinth at 12:28 PM on September 10, 2014


Here's one of the lists and an image list of media sites that are GamerGate approved. Doesn't mean all the sites are bad - some have pro-GamerGate articles, and some just totally ignored the whole thing. I saw a lot of kinda gross pandering on twitter from some of these but I did not write down which ones.
posted by subject_verb_remainder at 1:05 PM on September 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


I've learned from that list that they have started their own news site and it launches in 31 hours!
posted by Corinth at 1:10 PM on September 10, 2014


Huh, the guys in svr's image lists took off their fedoras for the photos. Good for them.
posted by Justinian at 1:12 PM on September 10, 2014


That Hale podcast bit is great. She didn't sound anything like Shepard/Bastila/Sheena Fujibayashi to me; her own voice, like her characters', seems to be totally, well, hers. Still super compelling though.

(dreamy sigh combined with the kind of expression small children get when they meet superheroes)
posted by NoraReed at 1:14 PM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Huh... I thought she sounded super Shepardy. Which just made it better, honestly.

(I really need to rename my SWTOR main toon... Only recently realized that calling her F'Shep means that I've internalized male!Shepard as somehow more standard/default.)
posted by kmz at 1:30 PM on September 10, 2014


Related list of sites/people/causes they are boycotting, taken from subject_verb_remainder's first link. Anyone on that list should probably consider it a badge of honour. Apparently they consider Child's Play a 'bad' charity now, which surprises me given PA's history.
posted by papercrane at 1:32 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]



My curiousity has been piqued. Something Awful.com is on the boycott list. Did they do something not so awful? Or is it because of some sort of net rivalry.

It also appears that even if I didn't know anything about this whole thing I would already fall firmly into the bad side. The only sites I really know about are on boycott list. And the sites and people I know from the bad list I avoid already because I either didn't like what I saw or they just didn't do things that interested me.
posted by Jalliah at 1:44 PM on September 10, 2014


some people may choose to say "femShep" but the proper terminology is to call her Shepard and the other one "manShep", "broShep" or, most properly, "wrongShep"
posted by NoraReed at 1:53 PM on September 10, 2014 [11 favorites]


I know a Something Awful article that I came across lately was this about the unchecked influence of dogs and buildings on games and games journalism. I'm not sure if there are other reasons to conclude they are corrupt.
posted by RobotHero at 2:00 PM on September 10, 2014



Sorry my computer wonked out there and somehow it pre-posted.

My eyes have been opened. You're correct I've been thinking about it wrong.

From now on it's Shepard and manShep.


I can't quite go with wrongShep because after playing through countless time with Shepard I did enjoy the playthrough I did with manShep.
posted by Jalliah at 2:01 PM on September 10, 2014


I know a Something Awful article that I came across lately was this about the unchecked influence of dogs and buildings on games and games journalism. I'm not sure if there are other reasons to conclude they are corrupt.

I think that article is enough to explain the boycot. lol
posted by Jalliah at 2:06 PM on September 10, 2014


I sometimes look for Mass Effect clips and get confused and upset when wrongShep talks or walks or does things or has shoulders or whatever, and I end up lost and confused, staring at the screen like a puppy stares at a couch it's toy is stuck under.

He does have a nice jacket, though, but you can mid that in for Shepard and I own it in real life so wevz
posted by NoraReed at 2:07 PM on September 10, 2014


Something Awful is probably on the list mostly because it was one of the places Zoe's ex initially posted his wall of text, where it was almost instantly deleted and the account banned since it was yet another personal drama post with no relevance to the subforum it got posted in.

Which is quite ironic, since the general attitude to GamerGate there is "everyone on all sides are idiots" with a heap of Zoe-bashing thrown in.
posted by ymgve at 2:11 PM on September 10, 2014



You have a RL Mass Effect jacket? o.O
posted by Jalliah at 2:12 PM on September 10, 2014


> Something Awful.com is on the boycott list. Did they do something not so awful?

/r/ShitRedditSays (SRS) is a sort of general boogeyman to that contingent, and SomethingAwful is often cited as the SRS spawn point.

There is a bit of an origin story there from what I understand (note the overlap in custom icons), but for the most part it seems like SA is cited as evidence that SRS are actually all trolls from SA who couldn't possibly believe that sexism and racism exist / are not hilarious things to upvote.

I'm a little surprised they would appear on a boycott list because I don't think of them as a big 'gamer' outlet, but if I had to guess it'd be the SRS connection. Someone else probably knows something more up-to-date.

EDIT: and I see that someone does.
posted by postcommunism at 2:14 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


one of my methods for dealing with anxiety (both from a disorder and from living in patriarchy) is to walk around pretending I am Commander Shepard; the jacket helps
posted by NoraReed at 2:14 PM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]



I want one too!
posted by Jalliah at 2:16 PM on September 10, 2014



And after googling for the jacket I want the Shepard armor as well....
posted by Jalliah at 2:18 PM on September 10, 2014


Links pls.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:40 PM on September 10, 2014


Also, I love that Gamasutra is on the boycott list. It's a friggin' industry mag, not a review site.

Sales reports and postmortems? Fetid corruption! Why, their front page right now has an article about a digging mechanic and a job posting at Telltale!

Who have you been sleeping with, Gamasutra?

(They're "boycotting" VICE, too. Someone must have ended up in the Don'ts.)
posted by postcommunism at 2:43 PM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I am late to the Mass Effect party. I'm still working on the first one. I'm definitely having lots of Mass Effect fic thoughts (basically the equivalent of the "Everyone is poly because Avengers" tag on AO3), and my Shepard already has a personality in my mind, based somewhat off of Black Widow.

The first planet, I was like SNIPE EVERYTHING. And then I got to the Citadel, and suddenly it's like if Oprah gave out pistolwhips instead of cars and things. (You get a pistolwhip, and YOU get a pistolwhip, and EVERYONE gets a pistolwhip!)

(PS - is the crew of the Normandy being awkward in elevators, like, a recurring thing?)
posted by Tknophobia at 2:44 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


postcommunism, Brandon Sheffield is a known feminist and unapologetically publishes the work of other known feminist Leigh Alexander. The site's inclusion is plainly warranted!
posted by Corinth at 2:50 PM on September 10, 2014



Postcommunism, Leigh Alexander writes for Vice magazine.


Running order squabble fest: Links to Mass Effect Gear? Is so here. If not. Here it is anyways. I'm engrossed in this one and now wanting to make my own armor like hers.

Big long discussion on the making of Shepard Armor

Jacket lots of links


Tknophobia: It's been a long time since I played the first one. I do believe the elevator thing is a thing.
posted by Jalliah at 2:53 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]



I never thought I would cosplay but that armor makes me want to cosplay really badly.
posted by Jalliah at 2:54 PM on September 10, 2014


They actually take out the elevators in later ones, for the most part, though if you take party members who were around in ME1 with you in places you went in that game, they might make some jokes about it on the stairs. But they aren't using them as loading screens anymore, so there's less elevator-related content.

I've actually been doodling around with a big Mass Effect/Avengers crossover called The Winter Shepard don't judge me
posted by NoraReed at 2:55 PM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


> Brandon Sheffield is a known feminist

how can brandon sheffield hate games when he doesn't even play them
posted by postcommunism at 2:58 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]



CATS!!! #gamergate
posted by Jalliah at 2:58 PM on September 10, 2014 [9 favorites]


That. Is. Awesome.

Also, the cat currently rubbing her face on my laptop objects to the plural. She controls everything all by herself, you see.
posted by metaquarry at 3:19 PM on September 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


My god, and here's Zoe Quinn with a cat !!

How deep does this rabbit hole go ??
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:34 PM on September 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


A comment on Pope Guilty's link: "Zoe Quinn seems totally fine, and people being mean to her is really bad, but I can also see how a certain kind of internet person who jump all over her based on that picture. The whole lip ring, colored hair, glasses, and a cat is just kinda cringey."

If by "cringey" you mean awesome, I totally agree!
posted by brundlefly at 3:54 PM on September 10, 2014


I've actually been doodling around with a big Mass Effect/Avengers crossover called The Winter Shepard don't judge me

On the contrary, I wish to subscribe to your newsletter and read said crossover, please and thank you.
posted by Tknophobia at 4:37 PM on September 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


We Hunted the Mammoth with more analysis and info from the logs, including info on doxxing and pretending to be POC and women in order to make themselves look less like the white dudes they are.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:30 PM on September 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Wow. The "How do I girl on the Internet?" discussion is pretty epic. I love how they speculate that if they create a fake Sailor Moon loving 13-year old, it'll only be a matter of time before a "SJW" hits on her and they can "bust" him.

Project much?
posted by verb at 7:34 PM on September 10, 2014 [10 favorites]


David Futrelle (WHtM) is doing a great job with the IRC log excavation.
posted by postcommunism at 7:50 PM on September 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I was extremely gratified to read about other people in this thread struggling with their compulsion to keep reading about this stuff even though it's a frustrating and useless time sink.

One frustrating development I've seen recently is people calling out #gamergate or #notyourshield people as sock puppets and having them respond with convincing pictures of themselves pretty effectively rebutting that. I get that 4chan is on record as creating sock puppets and thus it's reasonable to be skeptical, but incorrect callouts really aren't a good look for us. And of course the gamergaters all frothily retweet them and declare that their enemies are the real racists.
posted by valrus at 9:09 PM on September 10, 2014


One frustrating development I've seen recently is people calling out #gamergate or #notyourshield people as sock puppets and having them respond with convincing pictures of themselves pretty effectively rebutting that. I get that 4chan is on record as creating sock puppets and thus it's reasonable to be skeptical, but incorrect callouts really aren't a good look for us. And of course the gamergaters all frothily retweet them and declare that their enemies are the real racists.
I had a bit of a conversation with someone that went like that -- or at least, they really wanted it to, and I refused to call them a sock-puppet. The important thing to point out, IMO at least, is that they're throwing in their lot with a campaign organized and fueled by people who consider them tactical rhetoric utilities -- cultural meat shields in a war to destroy one woman's career.

That diminishes their credibility, and ensures people will doubt their sincerity. Not because anyone assumes "minorities can't think THAT!" but because the campaign's organizers have, are currently, and will continue to create false minority sockpuppets. Anyone who knows about 4chan's involvement would be justifiably skeptical.

And -- this is the kicker -- the fundamentally misogynistic framing, follow-through, and impact of the campaign is determined why what is being done, not the skin color or gender of those doing it. When Ann Coulter says that women are stupid and shouldn't have the right to vote, her gender doesn't make it not sexist. That's something that the "use social justice language against them!" griefers legitimately refuse to acknowledge.

They believe, judging from the contents of their logs and their actions on the hashtag, to believe that words spoken by a minority are unassailable in "politically correct society." So they attempt to defeat "political correctness" by recruiting or impersonating minorities to do their dirty work. They are frustrated and outraged and cry hypocrisy when this tactic isn't a trump card.

Sadly, the person I was talking to didn't really seem to be accustomed to that kind of discussion. They'd memorized a couple of pre-constructed arguments, and descended to tweeting, "Stop diverting stop diverting stop diverting" until I shrugged and went off to make a sandwich.

The sandwich was delicious.
posted by verb at 9:50 PM on September 10, 2014 [15 favorites]


Re: that boycott list, I can assure you that Comics Alliance would be incredibly pleased if these people never came to their site again. Senior editor Andrew Wheeler tweeted:
Some doods are mad at ComicsAlliance for "attacking" its core audience because they can't understand that they're not our core audience.
Which, yeah. These guys are so used being exclusively catered to, they'll go to a site that a) is about comics, not video games and b) is known for being left-leaning and progressive, particularly about social justice issues, and insist that OF COURSE they're the primary demographic. They're men, you see, and comics are a men's interest.
posted by almostmanda at 5:55 AM on September 11, 2014 [8 favorites]


Thanks, Jalilah! That was exactly what I was looking for links to. I have an N7 hoodie which I am sort of regretting not wearing to Nine Worlds, because someone else there was wearing one and we could have "Shepard"-ed each other.

Also, I love that Gamasutra is on the boycott list. It's a friggin' industry mag, not a review site.

Gamasutra is actually pretty much ground zero for the third wave of ladyanger (the first being directed primarily, although not exclusively, at Zoe Quinn, the second at Anita Sarkeesian). It published this piece by Leigh Alexander about the end of the gamer as the primary audience for video games.

This is one of the problems with Gamergate as a movement: they don't understand the difference between editorial and op-ed, or pretend not to, and also don't understand the difference between full-time staff, freelancers and "expert bloggers". So, Gamasutra was heavily criticised for a piece by "expert blogger" Greg Costikyan, which was probably published without editorial oversight and taken down for harsh (if not wholly unmerited) language once the complaints came in.

So, on a strategic level one problem the gaters have, or had, is that they started out making an impossible demand - that editors of publications never publish anything, by anyone, that might upset them - and also immediately deployed their biggest threat - boycotts and harassment.

Faced with that, no editor could acquiesce, and even attempts at productive engagement or compromise were shown to be dangerous - Stephen Totilo of Kotaku later expressed unhappiness that the decision to tweak their ethics policy to exclude writers covering people they support on Patreon (not in itself an unreasonable call to make) was then used to harass Jenn Frank into leaving games writing.

Basically, negotiation is impossible, because the Gaters have no meetable demands and nowhere to go, and trying to engage constructively is very possibly going to have spiralling consequences due to the volatility of the people involved.

So, as Gamergate implodes its threats are getting more outrageous and its conspiracy theories more audacious. People are now quite seriously talking about reporting DiGRA to RICO, because there isn't anywhere sensible to go. You either have to go "OK, this has gotten out of hand, but let's have a conversation about ethics without all this baggage at a later point" or just keep escalating...
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:05 AM on September 11, 2014 [13 favorites]


theToast, on point as ever.
posted by almostmanda at 8:24 AM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]



@ running order squabble fest

You're welcome.

That's some excellent insight on what's been going on and is similar to some of the discussion I perused last night. There was talk about realizing just how little many GG people seemed to understand how things actually worked so attempts to use reason to debate was really difficult because the background general knowledge people assumed was there wasn't.

And yes I've seen some pretty outrageous stuff that would be hilarious if it didn't have dark underbelly.
posted by Jalliah at 8:29 AM on September 11, 2014




For some much-needed comic relief in this thread, presenting a digression for our delectation and regalement: webcomic artist-writer Shaenon Garrity's...
'~,.,.,~'`'~,.,~'`'~,.,.,~'
Perils of the Lady Gamer

A Graphical Diversion
'~.~'`'~,.,~'`'~.~'
("What are you, some manner of suffragist?")
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:17 AM on September 11, 2014 [23 favorites]


theToast, on point as ever.

Heh -- this is a rare case of "you should read the comments."
There's a reason it's "patty cake, patty cake, baker's man" not "patty cake, patty cake, baker's person".

WAKE UP SHEEPLE. The feminists will capture you and make you their cake-slave!
posted by Zed at 9:43 AM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


"If Musical Chairs actually catered to women they’d hate it because they wouldn’t get to play the victim anymore."

My fav.
posted by Strass at 9:55 AM on September 11, 2014


It's kinda hilarious asking people why this was the straw that broke the camels back and watching them try to come up with something that isn't an ad hominem.
posted by Strass at 10:12 AM on September 11, 2014


running order squabble fest: "Stephen Totilo of Kotaku later expressed unhappiness that the decision to tweak their ethics policy to exclude writers covering people they support on Patreon (not in itself an unreasonable call to make)"

Even that much I'm skeptical. Isn't the "conflict of interest" backwards? And a lot of Patreon things are 5$ a month. If someone bought the last two Call of Duties, are they excluded from writing about the new one? On Zoe Quinn's Patreon, 10$ gets you access to the beta version of her games before they are released. If she gave early access to journalists for free, then you could spin that as the journalists accepting gifts.

And focusing on Patreon is going to hurt indies more than the bigger developers. It's not like EA is going to depend on Patreon to make ends meet.
posted by RobotHero at 11:11 AM on September 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


If she gave early access to journalists for free, then you could spin that as the journalists accepting gifts.

If Zoe did that it would be bribery, if EA did it then it's called 'a review copy.'
posted by papercrane at 11:22 AM on September 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


These comments really are wonderful:
HOW CAN U PLAY 'TELEPHONE' OBJECTIVELY WHEN U ASSOCIATE WITH THE OTHER PLAYERS AT RECESS
I can only imagine all the #gamergate people suddenly disgusted with their favorite lighthearted feminist blog, furiously editing their hosts files after learning today that The Toast is thoroughly infested with SJWs.
posted by Corinth at 11:44 AM on September 11, 2014 [7 favorites]


Femshep speaks out! aka Jennifer Hale

Overcast podcast. Around the 3:20 mark.



Dammit- I spend one day at an off-site workshop, and miss all the Mass Effect talk. Man, listening to Jennifer Hale lay down the law intimidates me, and I haven't even done anything.


fwiw, my favorite Shep armor is the super-tactical stuff with all the grenades and pouches. Mainly because she looks completely bad-ass in it while dusting Cerberus operatives. I should go...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:07 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


The link Corinth shared is another pithy little summary of the situation - a bunch of people not understanding what they're complaining about vanishing when they realize they didn't understand what they're complaining about. Presumably, their next reply to Tim Schafer will be something like "OH YEAH WELL FUCK YOU YOU FUCKING FUCK."
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:55 PM on September 11, 2014


The most incredible moment, in terms of comic timing, must have been the response to Elijah Wood praising Alexander's piece, when an aggrieved gater responded "Well, fuck you too, Frodo."

In terms of how you react to the growing realization that everyone you have ever admired thinks that you are doing terrible and unjustifiable things, it is classic.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:55 PM on September 11, 2014 [7 favorites]


I know you meant "gamer", not "gater", and almost definitely not "gator", but now I'm imagining a gamer dudebro alligator getting angry at Frodo and that's the real reason he's missing a finger so please don't fix it
posted by NoraReed at 6:00 PM on September 11, 2014


I've been following this whole story avidly this week, and I appreciate the links that have been shared here.

One thing that came out today is that the SFPD apparently have no record of Anita Sarkeesian filing a report of the threats against her last month. I really hope she has a good explanation. She doesn't need to be perfect, but she should tell the truth. The gamergate morons would go insane if it turned out she lied. I don't even want it think about it.
posted by Biblio at 6:19 PM on September 11, 2014


What's the source on that?
posted by Artw at 6:37 PM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


I know you meant "gamer", not "gater", and almost definitely not "gator", but now I'm imagining a gamer dudebro alligator getting angry at Frodo and that's the real reason he's missing a finger so please don't fix it

Ha! Actually, I did mean "gater" - i.e. a gamergater, since the gamergaters have been insisting that "gamer" means both the core gamer demographic and also everyone who plays games (as in "how can you say gamers are misogynist when 48% of gamers are women?"), which makes the term sort of definitionally broken.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:41 PM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Well, one of the things that's being claimed is that a public affairs officer from the SFPD responded to an email inquiry with a statement to the effect that the officer could find no record of the call. There's also a recording (scroll down) of what's supposed to be a follow-up phone conversation with that same officer.

However, we don't know what police agencies she would have contacted; it wouldn't surprise me if it were the FBI. A quick search I did turned up nothing where she said it was the SFPD in particular she called, nor I have seen any statements directly from the SFPD or any credible media outlet.

Considering all of the noise and misinformation that the GGers have spread, as far as I'm concerned, the burden of proof on this claim — including the implicit claim that the email and phone conversation actually involved that public affairs officer — is on them.
posted by metaquarry at 6:45 PM on September 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


Omg that's even better! I'm gonna start imagining all these jackasses as alligators now though

Alligators with anime girls for twitter icons
posted by NoraReed at 6:45 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is from some anti-Anita person who I know nothing about, but he actually has a recording of the police saying they have no record of the incident. Maybe it's faked. I hope so. (I swear I am not a concern troll!)
posted by Biblio at 6:47 PM on September 11, 2014


Level of confined nice in this information: low
posted by Artw at 6:49 PM on September 11, 2014


Confirmed nice.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:50 PM on September 11, 2014


One thing that came out today is that the SFPD apparently have no record of Anita Sarkeesian filing a report of the threats against her last month.

This is patent bullshit. The response from the SFPD public affairs officer says that they, personally, couldn't find the record, but that the enquirer should contact that section of the department that would have direct access to those records. That makes sense, because a public affairs officer likely has no business need to have direct access to 911 call records.

The enquirer conveniently made no attempt to contact the relevant records holder.
Q. 1. How did dispatch really answer Anita Sarkeesian’s call on the August. 26th of august (she alleged the call took place between 8pm an midnight)?

A. I have been unable to locate any record on the date or name with the information provided. You may ask our Department of Emergency Management who handles 911 calls. They are at 415-558-3295.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:51 PM on September 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


Autocorrect did pretty well on that one.
posted by Artw at 6:51 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


But hey, if Davis Aurini, one of the two people running a Patreon campaign for The Sarkeesian Effect, a documentary seeking $15,000 a month to blow the lid off the sinister SJW conspiracy led by Anita Sarkeesian, says so, I guess it must be true, right?
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:53 PM on September 11, 2014


It's difficult to understand why a police department would answer questions from randoms about someone else's 911 call in any case. What's up with that? Shouldn't that be confidential?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:54 PM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Another cute [1] aspect: the GG tweets that are all very concerned about the reputational damage the SFPD is suffering — the libel! the slander!

[1] "Cute" in the sense that any hamburger is cute, of course.
posted by metaquarry at 7:00 PM on September 11, 2014


Ever try to get a copy of your own complaint to the police after the fact? They can't find that either.
posted by ctmf at 7:01 PM on September 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


I love (by which I mean FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE) the way they interpret "SFPD say they don't have a record" as OMG SHE LIED LIKE THE LYING LIAR SHE IS and not as "oh look, the cops didn't adequately document this report of harassment and threats because they didn't know what to do with it and didn't even consider it worthy of attention."

Argh.
posted by Lexica at 7:03 PM on September 11, 2014 [9 favorites]


And what I mean by that is, they just don't want to share records. They will always say no the first time and hope you go away.
posted by ctmf at 7:04 PM on September 11, 2014


There's literally nothing you can tell from this other than that they've posted more words to the internet and remain obsessive and creepy.
posted by Artw at 7:36 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]



I've reached my limit.

I've been perusing the gamergate tags on and off to see what's going on. I can't do it any more right now. It's making me feel ill. I'll keep on with the people I'm following, like Zoe, Anita and Leigh Alexander but that's all I can handle. Most of the links I have posted here have come through them and others like them any ways.
posted by Jalliah at 8:24 PM on September 11, 2014 [3 favorites]


Jalliah, I'd say "let MeFi filter it for you", but I recognize that you're one of the people who's been doing the filtering. Thank you for that. Take care of yourself. (I'd suggest, take as much media/social media downtime as you need.)
posted by Lexica at 8:40 PM on September 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've reached my limit.

Today's ORLY development was the 4chan crowd announcing that they've raised $2000 for a suicide prevention charity and trumpeting that #gamergate has "raised money to help 2 more women get into game development."

They're really determined to spend their way to legitimacy at this point, which I suppose is the best of all possible ways if they have to choose.
posted by verb at 9:37 PM on September 11, 2014


KKK highway section.
posted by Artw at 9:40 PM on September 11, 2014 [6 favorites]


How much money is moot making off of 4chan? Is he not embarrassed enough to just switch the server off?
posted by PenDevil at 12:31 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


afaik it's often a struggle for moot to keep 4chan afloat. He got cash for canv.as or however you spell it but that didn't really take off.

Remember that he started 4chan when he was a 16 year old kid who wanted a place to talk about anime.
posted by postcommunism at 6:08 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


New Thread
posted by almostmanda at 7:16 AM on September 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


Lexica: I love (by which I mean FLAMES ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE) the way they interpret "SFPD say they don't have a record" as OMG SHE LIED LIKE THE LYING LIAR SHE IS and not as "oh look, the cops didn't adequately document this report of harassment and threats because they didn't know what to do with it and didn't even consider it worthy of attention."


One of the reasons I have such a hard time with these discussion is that I have to try to readjust my interpretation of the world so fundamentally to even comprehend the claims being made.

Like, as an adult in America in 2014 -- and especially in September of 2014 -- it's really hard for me to interpret 'they couldn't find the records' as 'the citizen is lying about having called the police.'

You have to have a special and vicious kind of paranoia for that to be your default interpretation, instead of something on the [police] malice <<>> incompetence continuum.
posted by lodurr at 10:58 AM on September 13, 2014


...just switch the server off?

'the server' is almost certainly a large farm of some kind at this point, and 'just switching it off' might well merit going into witness protection-grade hiding. If postcommunism's hunch is correct, he might well be in a continual, desperate and vain search for a buyer. that would certainly make a good story, but of course who really knows.
posted by lodurr at 11:01 AM on September 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm not so sure I would say that. You can read the man himself's thoughts on 10 years of 4chan at the site's news section.

And here's a 2012 post specifically about what it takes to keep the boards running and why moot does it.
posted by postcommunism at 2:08 PM on September 14, 2014


How much money is moot making off of 4chan? Is he not embarrassed enough to just switch the server off?

4chan, unlike reddit, has never made money. Or gotten VC funding or anything. It's still private held by the original creator(s) and they've had trouble, for understandable reasons, finding anyone besides like fleshlight companies who will advertise on their site. While at the same time having one of the highest traffic sites on the internet.

Not going "woe is them" or anything, but it's never been more than at most a break-even enterprise. The site almost blew up a while back because they could barely scrape together the cash for a new server. IIRC, they even got people to chip in money the same way we did here.

It's not a business by any means, and it's never made money. Last time i saw an interview or something it seemed like his attitude was pretty much "i keep it going because it's really popular and a lot of people like using it".

At least he didn't try any of the "we're a government, free speech!" stuff. And hell, last time i talked to the mods on irc a few years back they were pretty much like "yea, the sites a shithole, whatever" and didn't even try and justify it.

I have a certain vague respect for them not trying to justify what their community is, even though i'm completely disgusted by that community. There's a lot of ground between "yea, we're a hive of scum and villainy what of it?" and "principles! government! free speech!".

'the server' is almost certainly a large farm of some kind at this point

Nah, it's just a couple cheap dells they crowdfunded. Unless it's expanded a lot since then, which would surprise me. The platform the site runs is very very lightweight, especially compared to a lot of the "web2.0" crap out there... Even the older non-optimized unmodified versions that what they run is(or at least, was years ago) based on will serve to a surprising number of users on a TERRIBLE server with almost no ram smoothly.
posted by emptythought at 3:11 PM on September 14, 2014 [2 favorites]




Heh. I just went looking for the gamergate boycott list mentioned in this thread, thinking it would be a useful thing to copy and save as a guide to non-shitty sites and people to check out for games news and reviews, but figured I'd need to spend time linkifying it to make it convenient to actually use. But hey, no! In an effort to encourage outraged boycotting, gamergaters thoughtfully linked all the sites people should totally avoid clicking on. Thanks guys!
posted by taz at 2:27 AM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The useless sacks of crap haven't put us on that list. I'm almost insulted.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:29 AM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Neither MefightClub nor Gamefilter nor FullGlassEmptyClip are on the list. I am not sure whether it's proper to be insulted or relieved to have been overlooked by the baleful swinging searchlight glare of the shitweasel brigades.

Mostly the latter, I guess.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:44 AM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: overlooked by the baleful swinging searchlight glare of the shitweasel brigades.
posted by Doktor Zed at 4:46 AM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Ah, so THAT'S what's going on with the searchlights. I was wondering why I had to spend so much time in crates and why every time one hit me I have to kill a bunch of mooks.
posted by NoraReed at 5:03 AM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


So I was at XOXO over the weekend, and among the folks giving talks were Anita Sarkeesian and Leigh Alexander. They both talked about some of this stuff; Anita went through a twenty minute essay on some of the smear tactics and conspiracy theory stuff she's been having to wade through, Leigh talked about the arc of her career as a woman in games journalism and touched a bit on the #GamerGate stuff specifically. Good talks, conference was better for having them there.

What we also had was at least a couple of location-specific threats against Anita by people who knew she was speaking; more security around than they've needed previously; and at least one loony motherfucker accosting conference-goers from outside the con perimeter and distributing #GamerGate tracts.

There's now hundreds more smart creative people on the internet keenly aware, partly by direct example, of how totally fucked this ongoing insane tantrum of misogyny is, which is I guess the upside in all that creeping bullshit.

(At one point, to avoid the attention of security, our Jack Chick headed a couple blocks from the conference grounds to the nearby goat enclosure on an empty lot, and bothered people there. Because nothing establishes credibility for a cause like hassling out-of-towners looking at goats. There was also, presumably unrelated, some paying conference-goer dude who got ejected from the conf for repeatedly declaring himself The Town Rapist in serial rounds of Werewolf after having been rebuked and warned.)
posted by cortex at 7:38 AM on September 17, 2014 [19 favorites]


There was also, presumably unrelated, some paying conference-goer dude who got ejected from the conf for repeatedly declaring himself The Town Rapist in serial rounds of Werewolf after having been rebuked and warned.

Wow. Had he turned up really late for PAX?
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:24 AM on September 17, 2014


At one point, to avoid the attention of security, our Jack Chick headed a couple blocks from the conference grounds to the nearby goat enclosure on an empty lot, and bothered people there. Because nothing establishes credibility for a cause like hassling out-of-towners looking at goats

This is such a perfect encapsulation of the whole thing.
posted by Corinth at 11:07 AM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


You may mock, but wait until GamerGoat spins up.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:43 AM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


The real issue here is goat cheese journalism.
posted by Zed at 11:48 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


We won't rest until all reviews are printed on objectively sweet, delicious paper. Down with digital. #GamerGoat #YouGonnaEatThat
posted by griphus at 1:00 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


You may mock, but wait until GamerGoat spins up.

The goats are their own saga!
posted by curious nu at 1:30 PM on September 17, 2014


Goat Simulator is a VIDEOGAME that was released THIS VERY YEAR. Wake up, sheeple!
posted by Corinth at 1:35 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I had a really amusing conversation the other day about how there is no libertarian SimCity, and what a libertarian SimCity would consist of, and eventually we decided it would basically be Goat Simulator. (The fact that Goat Simulator is a fucking fantastic game is irrelevant the quality of libertarianism as a political philosophy; almost all games take place in worlds we would REALLY not want to live in.)

I feel like there is this spectrum of gaming where you can do whatever the fuck you want in a sort of sandbox world. Not all of these are sandbox games, exactly; many games, such as Katamari Damacy, have a sandbox mode where you can just mess around in the game world without any particular stress or goals. The other games on this spectrum, though, are mostly stuff like Saint's Row, the GTA series, and Bethesda products: games where you can run around and mess with stuff in the world and completely ignore the plot if you want to.

Goat Simulator is better at this thing all these games are trying to do than any of them are, because you literally are doing nothing else. You are running around wrecking shit and becoming Goat God and flying on jetpacks because why the fuck not. Yeah, sure, Saint's Row lets you become an old-school, laughable Batman villain, wrecking everything for the sake of it while dressing ridiculously and somehow maintaining a plotline. But they all fall down on one fundamental front, and that is that the unrealistically "evil for the sake of it" villains you can play in games like Saint's Row, the rugged morally grey jackass protags of GTA and even the many varied types of protagonists one can create and even roleplay in games like the Elder Scrolls titles are not ultimate agents of uncaring (but not evil) destruction.

One cannot be human, or even a humanoid fantasy creature, and truly embrace the path of Chaotic Neutral, because even if one chooses to ignore morality, one is still thinking about moral choices. This is one of the many ways that Druids can be played interestingly in Dungeons and Dragons: they must choose neutrality by balancing chaotic and lawful actions or good and evil ones. Even if one has not embraced amorality for those reasons, the calculations are still there: even people whose madness has rendered them amoral or given them a warped moral code by general standards still is thinking about the rightness and wrongness of those actions.

Some games have created characters, even protagonists, who are close to this Chaotic Neutrality by rendering them alien, but this is nearly always done in service to gameplay, especially in arcade-style games: one does not contemplate why Pac-Man is eating dots. The possible exception is the godlike King of All Cosmos and the rest of the cast of Katamari Damacy, but that is mostly in service of gameplay and is done largely to make the world that you're playing in, which is absurd (and rendered moreso to audiences unfamiliar with Japan, so you get the base-level absurdity present in the game compounded by a lack of clarity in translation and confusion about what many items present in the game actually are).

Goat Simulator does what all of these games try to do in creating a sandbox: it builds a bunch of neat stuff and then lets you knock it all over. Goat Simulator succeeds where even Saint's Row fails, because it has chosen a player character more ridiculous, more chaotic, more destructive and more hilarious than even the most well-crafted character with the best excuses in the world for their bizarrely amoral and destructive behavior, and that character is a goat. The simple goatness of Goat Simulator is enough to render it more hilarious than any of those games could hope to be, and without any of the cognitive dissonance associated with driving around on sidewalks and slaughtering civilians, even in a way that is cartoonishly violent.

The world of Goat Simulator is, of course, hilarious: you can run through the house in which the game is being developed and wreck it, you can become a goat god, you can interrupt a protest against penis-shaped food. But all of that is gravy, because in allowing us to spend time running around a destructible world as a goat, Goat Simulator manages to get us closer to the child in ourselves who wants to build up elaborate architectures in order to knock them down, the part of us who will shoot random objects in other games to see if they will break or fall down, the part of us who will build elaborate Sim lives and families and then burn it all down. Goat Simulator is not perfect, but it is closer to perfection than any other game ever made at doing one thing: channeling the parts of us as humans who create mad trickster gods, the aspects of our inner children that just want to destroy.

Goat Simulator is not just a game, it is a tribute to the soul-deep human drive toward destruction. It is what is left of destrudo* once aggression and hostility are removed.

*the destrudo concept is actually total bullshit

PS: this heifer international goat thing is hilarious

posted by NoraReed at 2:55 PM on September 17, 2014 [27 favorites]


I suddenly feel so much better about having bought Goat Simulator the moment I saw it on Steam the first day it was available because why would you not?
posted by winna at 10:37 AM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


So I was at XOXO over the weekend

So was 4chan owner moot, and apparently now 4chan is purging a bunch of their boards of gamergate/Quinnspiracy/etc threads. The various anti-"SJW" subreddits are losing their collective minds over this, which is hilarious to witness. Hyperbolic comparisons to ISIL and fundamentalist Islam, conspiracy theories about an attempted suicide of a relative of a Gawker Media exec, and so on. They seem to think we're on the cusp of the jack(spiked-heels)booted Kyriarchical New World Order now that there is literally no place for free speech.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:52 AM on September 19, 2014 [5 favorites]


The various anti-"SJW" subreddits are losing their collective minds over this, which is hilarious to witness.

Oh wow, hilarious is exactly the word. moot is friends with someone from Gawker! OH MY GOD! THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING! The top post on the (execrable) Kotaku in action subreddit is "A mystery solved: Moot's "close friend" works for Gawker Media." Dude, you know you've crossed into truther-territory when you're "connecting the dots" all the way back to moot of all people. Running 4chan with no holds barred on incredibly awful speech for practically a decade: meaningless. Being "close friends" with one person from gawker: UNFORGIVABLE.

My favorite thing about this whole insane controversy is watching sexist nerds lose their shit simply because people know or are friends with each other (or god forbid, sleeping together). It seems like these people are truly so isolated and ignorant that simply being friends with someone even tangentially related to your industry is de facto evidence of ETHICS VIOLATIONS!!111!! and COLLUSION!!!1!11one!!!! and a HUGE OVERARCHING CONSPIRACY AGAINST FRIENDLESS PEOPLE EVERYWHERE!!!!11!!!
posted by dialetheia at 2:23 PM on September 19, 2014 [6 favorites]


Speaking of hilarious, check out this incredibly stupid and convoluted graphic someone put together to try to "prove" that DARPA is now "involved" in gamergate (again, just because some people know each other or something? I can't even follow the premise. Graphic from /r/KotakuInAction, to give "credit" where "credit" is due). Some of these people actually think it's like a targeted COINTELPRO-style operation against sexist gamers, I guess.

We're through the looking glass here, people! THANKS OBAMA!
posted by dialetheia at 2:44 PM on September 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


zombieflanders: "Hyperbolic comparisons to ISIL and fundamentalist Islam..."

This is amusing in and of itself. Near the beginning of #GamerGate, Devin Faraci (who has somehow become a mini-boss in this whole thing, despite not being a game journalist) made a facetious, trolly tweet about how he respects ISIS more than anti-Quinn people. I had my own issues with the joke, but this was after he had been lambasted for days by these guys, so I can't judge too harshly.

Anyway, whenever he tweets anything about the issue there are half a dozen guys responding to him, calling him a monster for making that comparison. They've been spamming the Badass Digest tip form with demands for his firing. I can't tell whether they're being consciously "oblivious" or just plain don't understand humor. Both seem possible.
posted by brundlefly at 2:50 PM on September 19, 2014




Running 4chan with no holds barred on incredibly awful speech for practically a decade: meaningless.

I think these neckbeards don't realize how much stuff 4chan deletes in general, and has deleted over the years. It's sort of like a very similar thing they do where if they're around a bunch of people who they assume agree with them, they start acting like they defacto do and saying awful shit thinking they'll just nod along. It's endlessly entertaining to me how they seem to just do that in every situation. Assume everyone agrees with them until proven otherwise, because they obviously have the One True Opinion that should be the default because duh.

Their free speech rights have been curtailed on 4chan since at least the late 2000s.

A friend of mine got ahold of the AIM(which, lol, shows how long ago this was) of one of the mods and sent him a message going "hey, these people are posting naked pictures of me i don't want on there, can you guys delete them?" and they just went "sure" and did, every time they were posted... and banned a few people who just kept reposting them over and over.

Not that there hasn't been, and isn't still tons of eye-meltingly awful stuff on /pol/ and /b/, but the only place where they can freely spray poop out of a firehose seems to be reddit honestly.
posted by emptythought at 3:02 PM on September 19, 2014 [3 favorites]


Speaking of hilarious, check out this incredibly stupid and convoluted graphic someone put together to try to "prove" that DARPA is now "involved" in gamergate

But doesn't it just break your hear to see, down at the bottom, that poor Vivian James girl? She's so discouraged about how everything is so bias and corruption. Why do those mean ol' SJW's have to ruin everything for the common gamer girl who just wants to play some vidya?
posted by straight at 7:25 PM on September 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


Speaking of, here is an image of Vivian James leading weary, saddened gamergaters out of 4chan.
posted by Corinth at 8:12 PM on September 19, 2014 [8 favorites]


Ooh, and cortex, is this what XOXO was like?!
posted by Corinth at 8:14 PM on September 19, 2014 [7 favorites]


Ooh, and cortex, is this what XOXO was like?!

I don't know if that image is a masterpiece of naivete or a masterpiece of dishonesty, but either way it's amazing.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:47 PM on September 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Omg that's great. "People in CHAIRS with a SCREEN! FASCISM!!"
posted by NoraReed at 9:30 PM on September 19, 2014 [7 favorites]


"Hitler wore khakis."
posted by straight at 9:55 PM on September 19, 2014


It could only be improved if the shot on the left were mistakenly taken from that old Macintosh commercial instead of the John Hurt film.

But yes, mostly XOXO was basically a thing where during the day we listened to man-hating diatribes and then at night we did trust circles except nobody caught the men because they belong on the ground, etc.

Plus there were some cool game demos and I got to tell Bennett Foddy how much I love QWOP and play a bunch of Speed Chess with him.
posted by cortex at 9:59 PM on September 19, 2014 [14 favorites]


It could only be improved if the shot on the left were mistakenly taken from that old Macintosh commercial instead of the John Hurt film.

A fedora wearing freethinker will run past the SJW masses and throw a special torso edition of Dead Island: Riptide through the screen, breaking the trance and making them realize GamerGate is actually about fighting corruption.
posted by Artw at 11:49 PM on September 19, 2014 [10 favorites]


I've been cackling along with the 4Chan Bravery Exodus since I noticed it was happening. /r/BestOfOutrageCulture has some amazing quotes.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:00 AM on September 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


CNN has asked Scarlett, a female Starcraft 2 pro, to do an interview about esports. A TERF subreddit apparently just learned that she's trans and is trying to get Anita to denounce her. They seem to think that Anita is a TERF, which seems to be the opposite of reality (not unusual for them). These are the kinds of weird shit casseroles I come across trying to follow this nonsense.
posted by Corinth at 1:23 AM on September 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


by the way Scarlett is playing in a tournament this weekend!
posted by Corinth at 1:51 AM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Corinth: "They seem to think that Anita is a TERF"

They're probably in for a disappointment there, but she is kind of dodgy on sex workers: referring almost exclusively to "prostituted women" instead of "sex workers"; not raising the whorephobic aspect that many of the examples she points to are specifically dehumanised sex workers; and so on.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 5:32 AM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


by the way Scarlett is playing in a tournament this weekend!

Wow, she is the only foreigner in that field, which looks very strong. I don't follow SC2 anymore but it must be quite an accomplishment even to qualify for that event.
posted by grobstein at 8:04 AM on September 20, 2014


referring almost exclusively to "prostituted women" instead of "sex workers"; not raising the whorephobic aspect that many of the examples she points to are specifically dehumanised sex workers

That distinction makes sense when you're talking about real human women, but when you're talking about characters who have no agency, but are just objects created by men to fill this caricatured role they refer to as "prostitute," I'm not sure it makes sense to say those are "really" sex workers. Arguably, that's part of the problem with these games. They don't have sex worker characters, they just have "prostitute" objects.
posted by straight at 8:52 AM on September 20, 2014 [4 favorites]


trying to get Anita to denounce her

As if anything in any of Anita's videos could be described as "denouncing" someone.

("Anita said some games sanitize violence against women and make it comfortably consumable -- why is she denouncing male game developers and saying male gamers are bad people?")
posted by straight at 9:00 AM on September 20, 2014


There's a special way of watching things without watching things that these people employ - all thought and meaning is skipped in favor of ludicrous "evidence gathering".
posted by Artw at 9:03 AM on September 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, when I was small and loved those The Three Investigators books I didn't make the mistake of thinking they were how-to manuals.

Or Scooby Doo, for that matter.
posted by winna at 9:19 AM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]




> 4Chan Bravery Exodus

are they really leaving for 8chan.

didn't 4chan already die when everyone left for 7chan anyway.

(slurs on that link).
posted by postcommunism at 1:46 PM on September 20, 2014


They're probably in for a disappointment there, but she is kind of dodgy on sex workers: referring almost exclusively to "prostituted women" instead of "sex workers"; not raising the whorephobic aspect that many of the examples she points to are specifically dehumanised sex workers; and so on.

Ignoring what straight said above, I'm so tired of this circular firing squad stack ranking crap. "Oh, well she didn't do perfectly on this one thing and we should definitely keep in mind that she got a C- on that".

Even, as straight said above, considering she's talking about fictional characters created by men with horribly two dimensional writing and other problems... Even if that wasn't a mitigating circumstance, what's the point? She didn't say anything actually crappy, just something suboptimal. There's a line of people stretching far behind the horizon rabid to crap on her and tear her to shreds when she's ostensibly fighting the good fight, and taking an unimaginable amount of abuse for it.

Why crap on her at all when she's on our side, is i guess my point? I've just about had it to my limit with this "everyone on our team has to be perfect" rhetoric.*

*and I'm aware I made a recent comment to this effect, I horribly regret it at this point.
posted by emptythought at 3:43 PM on September 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


By the same token, being on "our team" doesn't mean someone gets a pass on everything and saying that someone is kind of dodgy is the exactly putting them in the center of the firing squad. There's no need to be pure as the driven snow, and also no need to act as though a small criticism is the same as being burned at the stake.
posted by rtha at 4:01 PM on September 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


and saying that someone is kind of dodgy is the exactly putting

There should be a "not" between "is" and "the" there.
posted by rtha at 5:22 PM on September 20, 2014


What rtha said. That comment didn't read to me as a blanket condemnation, and I doubt ArmyOfKittens meant it as such. You can criticize people who are on your side if they merit criticism. You can criticize anyone who merits criticism.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:16 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it's something I've observed while watching her videos, but I still a) watch her videos and b) am pretty bloody glad she's doing what she's doing.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:28 PM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


I guess what bugs me is that I see a lot more "small criticism" then I do support. It's like one side is a wall of fire and the other side isn't a wall of water or anything. It's just colder fire. Smoldering.

Every time there's a public voice for what's ostensibly "our team" I see this dynamic. The commentary is a mixture of completely negative stuff, and "eh it could be better". I rarely see comments to the effect of "this is great! My only issue is this part", it's always framed as more "well she messed up this aspect :/"

I feel like, when I see that, and as someone whose been on the receiving end of that dynamic especially... Why would anyone want to be that kind of public voice then, if even the people on "your side" aren't going to vocally support you, but only point out your mistakes?

I mean maybe it's confirmation bias or something, but I feel like I see a lot of minor quibbles and barely any "this is great!" sort of rhetoric. Not even as sort of an airbag/preroll for those minor quibbles.

I just know how disheartening it can be with that. Yea they're legitimate criticisms, but you can probably pick those out of anyone's writing or speech. It's like, a perfect is the enemy of the good thing. In addition to what I already said.

The circular firing squad isn't some absolute thing, and im aware no one was calling her a war criminal. It's just a death by a thousand cuts thing of minor quibbles. It ends up being like dealing with some dance instructor who only ever criticizes. Except your in 1000 classes at a time, and half of them are sociopaths while the other half are just mean.

I don't know, I hope that makes a bit more sense. I'm all sick and on that sizzurp.
posted by emptythought at 7:41 PM on September 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


The problem with "the perfect is the enemy of good" in feminism is that it's always the same groups being asked to take one for the team: disabled women, women of colour, trans women, immigrant women, sex workers. Calls for unity can and do quickly become "shut up."
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 8:19 PM on September 20, 2014 [13 favorites]


As far as I've seen, the reaction to Sarkeesian's series - to take an example at hand - among people inclined to support its argument, has been about as close to universal acclaim as you could possibly get. If a few substantive comments to the effect of "well, it could have been better in this way and that" are enough to cry circular firing squad, then only truly universal acclaim could suffice, and that universal acclaim would actually prevent certain problems from ever getting better.

On a more personal note, I hope you feel better soon, emptythought. Sickness is a bummer.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:40 PM on September 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


On a much more positive note, Anita Sarkeesian was a guest this week on the Idle Thumbs Podcast where she mostly just chatted with them about playing board games at XOXO. Turns out she sounds like someone who would be a lot of fun to hang out with and get your butt kicked by at board games.

It was a little bit sad that Antia felt the need to apologize in advance for what she assumed would happen to the Idle Thumbs forums following her guest appearance. But it was pretty great how confidently the hosts reassured her that it would be fine, rightly certain that any trolls showing up to whine about Anita would be eaten alive by the Idle Forums community before the mods even had a chance to ban them.

And then the podcast closed with this:

Idle Thumbs host Chris Remo: "Oh man, if anyone listening has any weird doubts about Anita's credentials as a gamer, please note that she described on this podcast a Pac Man game as 'visceral'. Case closed."

Idle Thumbs host Danielle Riendeau:
"Boom!"
posted by straight at 9:35 PM on September 20, 2014 [6 favorites]




Emma Watson Gives Speech On Feminism To UN, Gets Threatened By 4Chan Creeps

4chan is just the shitty forum troll branch of the tea party now, isn't it?
posted by Artw at 2:53 PM on September 22, 2014 [2 favorites]


Artw: "Geeks have become their own worst enemies"

Why the fuck do I keep reading non-MeFi comment threads on this stuff? Am I a glutton for punishment?
posted by brundlefly at 3:58 PM on September 22, 2014


I believe you *must* read them per item 16 of the current GamerGate demands list.
posted by Artw at 4:05 PM on September 22, 2014 [12 favorites]


If I don't read them it's censorship.
posted by brundlefly at 4:07 PM on September 22, 2014 [10 favorites]


The Emma Watson thing gets weirder.

My money is still on 4channers being behind it, TBH.
posted by Artw at 7:13 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hrrrm...

Well, I am sure someone feels themselves to be very clever.
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


A blatantly transparent (false-flag?) attempt by channers to discredit their opponents? I'm shocked that they would stoop this low. Totally surprised.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:51 AM on September 24, 2014


My money is still on 4channers being behind it, TBH.

Why?

It's not like 4chan has a monopoly on assholes online, and these guys seem to have been around doing "viral pranks" for over a year.
posted by ymgve at 9:39 AM on September 24, 2014


The channers and redditors have been talking about ways to make it look like anyone agreeing with AS/ZQ/etc, or not jumping on board with #gamergate, as actual fascists. This fits way too well with the image they've created in their heads to be mere coincidence.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:45 AM on September 24, 2014


But the guys behind this were also the guys who made the fake Family Guy "Message from Brian" site, a fake NASA reveal, a fake Facebook redesign and the fake rumor that GTA V for PC was cancelled. (This Daily Dot article extensively covers their previous activities) It seems like they live for spamming and getting web hits and the attention to 4chan only happens because 4chan has been in the news lately.

These guys are trolling all sides and getting tons of attention they crave in return.
posted by ymgve at 9:55 AM on September 24, 2014


Just posted this in the post about her talk, but it's appropriate here: The threats against Emma Watson weren't "just a hoax"
If it's true that the group is behind the Watson countdown site and that it was all about money, this is still an appalling attack, not "just a hoax." These people knew that Watson was vulnerable to sexual threats and violence because she is in the public eye, and they chose to exploit that vulnerability for their own ends. That would be an awful thing to do to any woman, but it was particularly insidious in this case, because whoever made the site was capitalizing on the existing misogynist backlash to Watson's speech.

Threats still cause fear, pain, and harm, even if they ultimately prove to be empty. That's not "just" anything — it's an attack, and it's still very, very wrong.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:12 AM on September 24, 2014 [3 favorites]


That doesn't exactly say "not 4chan".
posted by Artw at 10:12 AM on September 24, 2014


I mean, we'll probably never know, and probably shouldn't give a shit, but still.
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on September 24, 2014


Beyond the nude picture threats and the website, let's not forget that there was plenty of real misogynistic backlash to Watson's speech. I'm not saying anyone here has done that, but I wouldn't want the these trolls to overshadow anything.
posted by brundlefly at 10:51 AM on September 24, 2014


I wouldn't call the nude picture thing a hoax misogynistic backlash, TBH. More a misogynistic backlash that happens to come in the form of a hoax.
posted by Artw at 11:03 AM on September 24, 2014


Oh, and #comicsgate appears to be trying to be a real thing.
posted by Artw at 11:04 AM on September 24, 2014


True. I was approaching it from the perspective that it was purely a trolling attempt. But there has to be misogyny at play to think that was an okay way to troll.

And, yeah. The #ComicsGate thing is hilarious. Are they even pretending this is journalistic ethics or some such nonsense this time around? I can't see how they can shoehorn it in.
posted by brundlefly at 11:49 AM on September 24, 2014


Comicsgate is literally about butts.
posted by Artw at 12:06 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


Is it about the Spider Woman cover?
posted by homunculus at 12:35 PM on September 24, 2014


Here's a collection of opinions from seven women devs on (sorry) the Escapist. Some of them are a little too I can't believe some devs and journos jumped into the gutter to write angry editorials after being subjected to misogynist harassment, but some are good.
posted by Corinth at 12:37 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


homunculus: "Is it about the Spider Woman cover?"

My favourite is the 3D rendering of it.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:38 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yikes!
posted by homunculus at 12:39 PM on September 24, 2014


Is it about the Spider Woman cover?

Basically. There were reports that after the fuss about it future Milo Manara covers had been cancelled, hence outrage. Apparently that's not the case at all, he's just working on other stuff and will come back, but facts aren't really an issue for this kind of thing.

My favourite is the 3D rendering of it.

TBH that's a little unfair to Manara, who can actually draw. On the other hand, everything he draws is kind of porny, so probably a bad choice of artist for mainstream comics.
posted by Artw at 12:57 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Not necessarily #comicsgate, but Juliet Kahn wrote up a piece over at Comics Alliance about harassment in the comics industry and fandom that links it to the horror that is #gamergate. It's of a piece with the discussions about the various bugs under various rocks in the sci-fi and skeptics communities, too.

And, yes, the stupidity over Spider-Woman continues to plumb new depths. Still, the fact that they can't wrap their heads around "non-pornographic female character in a non-pornographic comic posed pornographically and drawn by an artist popular for pornographic comics" being awful is just one of their problems.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:58 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


On the other hand, everything he draws is kind of porny, so probably a bad choice of artist for mainstream comics.

Yeah, the problem isn't Manara or his art. It's that Manara was chosen by Marvel to draw this specific art for this specific character.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:00 PM on September 24, 2014 [2 favorites]


No, there are also problems with Manara and his art.
posted by Lexica at 1:16 PM on September 24, 2014


Lexica: "No, there are also problems with Manara and his art."
“Women’s bodies have taken this form over the millennia in order to avoid the extinction of the species, in fact,” he said.
I hope his hands were above the table when he said that.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:43 PM on September 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


Boy is he going to be surprised when we evolve into our final forms.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:45 PM on September 24, 2014 [10 favorites]


I am imagining that in Jodor-voice.
posted by Artw at 2:05 PM on September 24, 2014


TBH that's a little unfair to Manara, who can actually draw.

Not sure how that 3D rendering can possibly be unfair. No matter who drew the original, it's anatomically ridiculous. All the 3D render does is make that a little more obvious for people who for some reason can't see what's wrong with it.
posted by straight at 12:27 AM on September 25, 2014


When you're deciding where things need to be positioned in 3D space to match a 2D image, you have to make a lot of tiny decisions about that extra D. Some of the decisions they made are not the decisions I would have made, and I do not think are required by the original image. Primarily the decision to cram her head into her torso, but also the position of her right arm and right leg.

I admit that even with a more accommodating interpretation it will be an incredibly awkward pose that nobody would ever do when climbing over a wall with their spider powers, but it doesn't need to reach eldritch monster territory.

I would also be 100% behind making Manara write over and over on the chalkboard, "Spandex is not indistinguishable from body paint."
posted by RobotHero at 7:40 PM on September 25, 2014


i think the problem in these comics is often not just about the extra D but the extra and inexplicable DDDDD
posted by NoraReed at 7:57 PM on September 25, 2014 [1 favorite]


The 3d render is not unfair, it is just very poorly done. the positioning is not accurate when compared to the cover.

A better 3d approximation is here.
posted by misha at 7:58 PM on September 25, 2014


My main problem with the cover, personally, is that it is bad.
posted by bq at 8:30 PM on September 25, 2014


Of course someone has done another version, because internet, someone is wrong on it.

Yeah, it's still a very awkward position but no longer requires removing your neck entirely.



But on the comicsgate phenomenon, I note they seem to have latched onto the "they're going to take away our ___" aspect, I've heard nothing about comics reviews or journalism.
posted by RobotHero at 8:37 PM on September 25, 2014


I'd love to see that "better 3D approximation" from the other side.
posted by Andrhia at 8:52 PM on September 25, 2014


The other side is just covered in hair, legs and extra eyeballs. Had to put those spider parts somewhere.
posted by NoraReed at 12:15 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it's still a very awkward position but no longer requires removing your neck entirely.

It *does*. In the Manara cover, the hair goes straight through the space where the neck should be and there is a continuous curtain of hair under the head.

It is a bad cover in all aspects.
posted by sukeban at 8:47 AM on September 26, 2014


oh FFS, "comicsgate" is actually a thing?

I can't even muster the energy to mock. I'm too depressed.
posted by Zed at 3:43 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, not so much "is actually a thing" as "is a bunch of people trying very hard to make it a thing."
posted by rmd1023 at 4:03 PM on September 26, 2014


The hits keep coming from Cracked and gamergaters.
posted by Corinth at 4:28 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


All Things Considered did a good overview of the #GamersGate phenomenon. I've been trying to explain what's been going on to non-Internet / non-gamer people and it's been really hard, this is helpful.
posted by Nelson at 6:03 PM on September 26, 2014


Corinth: "gamergaters"

I had to look up FAFSA since I'm Canadian. They're student loans?

So this gater thinks the problem is that education is too affordable?
posted by RobotHero at 6:52 PM on September 26, 2014


They think that colleges and universities are progressive brainwashing institutions, so they see student loans as subsidizing "SJWs" or something. (It's actually not 100% clear to me that that image isn't a super double parody of the gamergate movement. I've kind of lost the trail at this point.)
posted by Corinth at 7:06 PM on September 26, 2014


I'm reasonably sure that poster is satirical of Gamergate - although, wonderfully, various gaters, including I think Adam Baldwin, retweeted it approvingly.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:20 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]




Gonna just start counting down until someone at Intel realizes what they did and has an "oh shit" moment.
posted by postcommunism at 5:46 PM on October 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


There have been some pretty amusing gater antics in the past few days, like an email exchange between a supremely calm Jimmy Wales and an increasingly sputteringly irrational dudebro. There was also someone making a faux-impassioned plea on a dev's personal Facebook page to take gaters seriously right before the chucklefuck launched into a huge wall of text starting off with "you stupid goddamned motherfucking bitch," aimed at Leigh Alexander.

I have to admit I'm sort of enjoying the Reddit meta-subs cataloging this crap.
posted by Corinth at 6:35 PM on October 1, 2014 [1 favorite]


email exchange between a supremely calm Jimmy Wales and an increasingly sputteringly irrational dudebro.

Thank you so much for alerting me to this, it's one of the stupidest and funniest things I've ever read. Here's his spluttering reddit post about it - he calls Jimmy Wales an "extreme SJW" and thinks The Social Justice Authorities are shutting down his twitter account. So of course he's "going public" and "leaking" Jimmy Wales' Awful Incriminating Social Justice Emails, as one does. Which emails, by the way, the spluttery author appears to have sent from a gmail account with the username GamerGateLeader; I can't decide if it would be worse if that's his actual email or if he edited his headers to make it look that way. On the bright side, Jimmy Wales' emails make him look fantastic - he was very thoughtful in his responses and communicated with this guy very artfully and fairly.

GamerGateLeader's screed also includes this gem: "At that point I was worried about getting syringes of mystery fluids in the mail and death threat phone calls. The people I was talking to are all 'respectable' industry types, but that respectability is in question right now, IMHO, so the fear is not irrational." God their baseless persecution complex knows no bounds. For reference, he's talking about getting into a big sweary flame war with his friend's employers and possibly putting his innocent friend's career and good name in jeopardy, which I guess happened a little while after the Jimmy Wales thing. Must be tough being the self-appointed Leader of GamerGate!

Anyway, I'm going to be laughing about this one all night, thanks!
posted by dialetheia at 7:30 PM on October 1, 2014 [6 favorites]


That Jimmy Wales thread, I can't breathe ZOMG. I guess the "Leader" was expecting some sort of open-arms Baldwin-style embrace and got mad when that didn't happen?
posted by Andrhia at 8:09 PM on October 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


Here's his spluttering reddit post about it

If you have the time for the massive wall of text, do look at the Facebook conversation he posted. Leigh Alexander posted one of the best takedowns of the gamergate nonsense that I've seen so far. And this bright young gamergate-rrrr responded with an amazingly vile rant which completely sealed his fate and the fate of his movement as far as any dialogue with the International Game Developers Association goes. I've never seen any movement as bad at PR as the GG folks but this goes way beyond that. At this point, they're making the Tea Party look sane and reasonable by comparison.

For those of us who have been playing games for a while, the best part of the Facebook conversation comes when Derek Smart shows up and is left speechless by the rant. If your rant leaves Derek Smart, of all people, speechless, then you've gotta know you've really crossed the line. I remember Smart showing up constantly to rant and insult people from the Usenet days, so this was probably the funniest part of the whole thing for me.

I'm hoping someone in Intel's PR or advertising group will run across this exchange and realize what a bad choice they've made and who they're now associating with.

If you're on Reddit and enjoy watching GG dive into complete incoherence, /r/GamerGhazi and /r/BestOfOutrageCulture are great fun.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:07 PM on October 1, 2014 [4 favorites]


Here's the correct link for the Facebook conversation.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:17 PM on October 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


That Facebook conversation is hilarious and reminds me of nothing so much as those screenshots of men on OKCupid who start out trying to seem nice and smooth and friendly and go full 100% psychotic the instant they don't get what they want.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:22 PM on October 1, 2014 [5 favorites]


Holy cow. That Facebook thread. Wow.
posted by brundlefly at 11:46 PM on October 1, 2014


Also the effort by shitty straight cis white misogynists to pretend to be the true defenders of trans and non-het people is hilarious and I sincerely hope it's deliberately malicious and cynical because nobody, nobody is buying it, kids, and it'd be a shame if they were.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:59 PM on October 1, 2014


Seriously, gaters, trans people are not your shield! (lol)

Fun: mocking sexist conspiratorial infographics. Not fun: learning about the Intel thing from a Facebook friend it directly impacts. What are you even supposed to do when giant corporate behemoths fall for this shit?
posted by Corinth at 12:29 AM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


The "I'm very reasonable... look how long it took you guys to make me to loose my temper" bit was a good one. Did the guy not notice that all the comments have timestamps?
posted by effbot at 12:37 AM on October 2, 2014


It's interesting to see Greg Costikyan and Raph Koster engaging in that Facebook discussion. They're both very old school, respected game designers. Among other things Costik wrote Paranoia, Raph was the lead designer on Ultima Online. I don't quite see why they feel the need to mediate and engage with a bunch of thoughtless threatening boys, but I am struck by their optimism in thinking it could be constructive.

I've never seen any movement as bad at PR as the GG folks

That just means the SJW psyops false flag campaign is succeeding. abort abort she's HERE.
posted by Nelson at 1:46 AM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm pleased to see Costikyan and Koster in the fray, especially since they seem to be pretty decent folks. This is something that needs more decent people involved.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:06 AM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Here's a long long Twitter thread in which ZQ complains about still getting crank calls a month later, and some rando calls her a liar. She then uploads a video of getting one, and he tells her she should post the phone number and then suggests she faked it.

It has been over a month now, almost two, and people are still calling ZQ and screaming "Five Guys!" at her. Unbelievable.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:58 AM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


"At that point I was worried about getting syringes of mystery fluids in the mail and death threat phone calls."

Sounds absurd at first, but that actually happened to one of the pro-GG folks.
posted by ymgve at 5:51 AM on October 2, 2014


Given that 'syringes through the mail' is a pretty unusual form of harassment, I'm kind of curious as to the level of evidence behind that claim. (Tell me people are telephoning and engaging in normal harassment, and I'll be prone to believe it, but the syringe thing seems unusual for any kind of angry internet people I'm familiar with.)
posted by rmd1023 at 6:04 AM on October 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm taking every accusation from these guys with a mountain-sized grain of salt, especially since every time something like this happens there's a flurry of "OMG ROCK-SOLID EVIDENCE INCOMING" activity resulting in big ol' nothingburgers. If even 10% of their accusations were true, the FBI, USPS, INTERPOL, and CEOs of Twitter and Facebook would be having joint press conferences informing us of this enormous crime wave. And since Yiannopoulos was anti-gamer before he was pro-gamergate and ironically has a number of lapses in journalistic ethics (apart from writing for Breitbart, I mean), I have absolutely no faith in his side of the story.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:37 AM on October 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


The GG crowd has been caught openly discussing false flag operations, ways to muddy the conversation, ways to falsify support via sockpuppets, etc, and they want me to believe that this blowhard received a sensational/weird threat that conveniently fits into their narrative about the validity of the two "sides"?

Yeah, sorry, not buying it.
posted by tocts at 6:41 AM on October 2, 2014 [9 favorites]


holy shit that was such a sad read

those jimbo letters... he really came off as incredibly level headed and clear minded

and that facebook post - WOW does not begin to describe it.
posted by rebent at 7:34 AM on October 2, 2014




Milo is a professional self promoter and right wing blowhard, nothing he says is to be trusted.

That Intel thing is fucking tragic, if true.
posted by Artw at 9:28 AM on October 2, 2014




Just a note, that's a super pro-GG site, as should become obvious later on in the article.
posted by kmz at 9:49 AM on October 2, 2014 [4 favorites]


Corporate responsibility contact form for Google - let them know what you think. Be polite.
posted by Artw at 10:14 AM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Just a note, that's a super pro-GG site, as should become obvious later on in the article.

True. I probably should have put a disclaimer on that one, though I wasn't aware that the whole site was pro-GG.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 AM on October 2, 2014


The "I'm very reasonable... look how long it took you guys to make me to loose my temper" bit was a good one.

Probably the most amazing part is how Mr. GamerGater pleads with his friend at the end. He has just totally disrespected his friend with a profane, abusive rant directed at his friend's colleagues and read by his friend's colleagues and employers. He knows he's screwed up because he deleted all his comments.

But he pleads: Please look at this screenshot I saved; it wasn't as bad as you think! You have to understand, I was trying to stay calm, but Leigh Alexander showed up, and I hate her SO MUCH. What could I do? "Leigh Alexander is like the antichrist to us." Yeah, I called her all those terrible names, but "Just let me email you the screen cap."
posted by straight at 10:51 AM on October 2, 2014 [5 favorites]


And Leigh Alexander's comments in that Facebook thread are pretty fantastic. The guy is so angry about her article and he clearly doesn't even understand what it says. Quoting Leigh Alexander:

"When I, or Anita, or anyone, simply wants to have a conversation about the content of the products being produced, here are people like you, calling us "SJWs" and trying to claim you own an entire medium."

"This is gamer culture: a misguided sense of persecution and ownership. That's the thing that is over. You don't own the games industry, and nobody is persecuting you by trying to do new things or have new conversations."
posted by straight at 10:59 AM on October 2, 2014 [12 favorites]


These guys should hook up with Neoreaction and take on the whole Cathedral.

I met a guy recently who was readily able to place things in the progressive internet news and get himself interviewed on TV.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 9:57 PM on October 2, 2014


Wait... the dude is trying to get Raph Koster to look at a screencap of that conversation because he thinks it will make him look more reasonable?

Woah.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:04 PM on October 2, 2014


Wait... the dude is trying to get Raph Koster to look at a screencap of that conversation because he thinks it will make him look more reasonable?

It's worse - he's supposedly "friends" with Raph Koster, evidently (I can't put enough disclaimers on all of this stuff). Yesterday when I first read the reddit post, our noble hero GamerGateLeader had included screencaps of his twitter conversations with Koster after the diaper baby tantrum where Koster was like "dude, WTF? you just blew up the whole thing! Not helping!" re: the reddit meet 'n' greet. Now that link seems to be gone - apologies if I'm just not reading closely enough, I could barely make it through a second skim without my eyes rolling back in my head.

I'm sure they weren't great friends or anything, but I was already side-eyeing Koster pretty hard just because the idea of a developer (or anyone, for that matter) going to fucking /r/KotakuInAction and posting a "tell me anything!" haterade free-for-all makes me want to puke. Koster's phrasing in his misogyny meet 'n' greet appeal in the OP of the facebook thread ("I believe the situation to be more complex than most know") didn't help much either but I freely admit I don't know anything at all about him.
posted by dialetheia at 11:02 PM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure if it helps or not for the exact bit you're referencing, but posts in the Best Of Outrage Culture meta-subreddit copy the whole text of their linked KiA posts.
posted by Corinth at 11:15 PM on October 2, 2014 [1 favorite]


Huh, I read through the mirror post and still couldn't find it. I'm sure I read it somewhere in one of his posts but I did go down a bit of a rabbit hole of terrible reading last night... ah, here it is! It's the second image in the album with that facebook screenshot.

ctrl-F in the KiA thread turned up a response from Koster and he comes off fairly well, fwiw - here's his comment so no one has to go to wade into that cesspool (I feel like I have to be even-handed here after suggesting he could be friends with that jerk, which on reread sounds like they were Second Life acquaintances at best):
  • The head of the IGDA simply said "this is why we don't engage." There is no "giving of orders."
  • I presume it is no surprise that there are people who are this pissed off at you and aren't ready to listen. The same is true on this side, there are people who are super angry. The leaked thread is from a space a lot like here, where people speak frankly and angrily. The whole point is to build bridges. They didn't troll you. You showed up in my house and starting arguing with my guest who was already mad at you. You hate it when ppl show up here and do that. Why are you surprised it happens in the opposite direction?
  • This is not "the SJWs." This is a frickin' broad swath of the industry. You can even see them debating amongst themselves in it (in fact, you're missing 2/3 of the thread, which happened after this guy was gone). Just as you say "you can't take GamerGate on the basis of one person," you have to intellectually honest enough about the fact that there are some people in the mix who hate you. It's reality, deal with it. You don't want lumped in a group, don't lump everyone in a group.
  • The event itself badly derailed the TMA idea, and this additional leak may kill it entirely. People were already concerned about harassment. Now this leak made every person in those images a potential target of trolls. (I hope we all know and realize that there are trolls out there taking advantage of every opportunity to keep the flames fanned high, yes?).
  • It validates every single one of their fears. Hopefully you can see from their discussions that everything I have been telling you about how upset and scared and worried they are is true, and why it is a huge barrier. Now I am in the position of having to notify each of these people that they may be targeted.
On a personal note, I feel exhausted & disappointed.
posted by dialetheia at 11:36 PM on October 2, 2014 [3 favorites]


ctrl-F in the KiA thread turned up a response from Koster

Oh my god, the victim-playing in that thread is absofuckinglutely incredible. Horrific and offensive in a way that I really didn't expect before I saw it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:29 AM on October 3, 2014 [4 favorites]


Hopping around in /r/SubredditDrama and /r/BestOfOutrageCulture led me to this:

Actions have consequences (or: why I'm not fixing Intel's bugs any more) from Matthew Garrett (Linux kernel dev)

Comment thread was actually kind of refreshing.
posted by postcommunism at 5:57 AM on October 3, 2014 [3 favorites]


zoe quinn took eron to court and got a restraining order that included a gag order. gamegaters are losing their collective shit.
posted by nadawi at 7:13 AM on October 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Comment thread was actually kind of refreshing.

About 80% of the comments have been removed, so...... probably not.

And, oh god, I accidentally went to Reddit earlier today. I feel like I need to go wash now. How the fuck did such a huge community go completely fucking off of the rails so quickly? The "gaming community" has never been particularly healthy, but this is just fucking insane. I literally do not have enough profanity to describe how fucked up this situation has become.
posted by schmod at 7:24 AM on October 3, 2014


I don't understand why that belongs in KotakuInAction since Gamergate isn't about Zoe! /hamburger
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:25 AM on October 3, 2014 [7 favorites]


Holy fuck. I sent a tweet to Intel to note my disapproval, and my inbox is now full of hate and abuse.

I barely have any followers, and can't even remember the last time somebody mentioned me in a Tweet. This is insane. Are people just searching for others tweeting at Intel, and screaming at them?
posted by schmod at 7:58 AM on October 3, 2014


Pretty much. They're searching for anything Gamergate related:
So I RTd a woman (with her permission) who talked about getting abuse while playing online games. Today I see she's had to lock her account— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) October 3, 2014

posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:00 AM on October 3, 2014


There's definitely searching going on, and also monitoring the feeds of women who have been arguing with them. I wrote an anti-GG blog post yesterday and dropped it in the hashtag, but GGers didn't much notice. But then it was RT-ed early this morning by someone who's been engaging more actively, and within minutes I had a flood of accounts trying to persuade me I'm a radfem engaging in hate speech and haven't done enough research. Very nearly identical talking points, and each @ roughly four minutes apart, starting from around 5:45am. If that's not one dude with a half-dozen sock puppets, I don't know what is!
posted by Andrhia at 8:13 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


And, oh god, I accidentally went to Reddit earlier today. I feel like I need to go wash now. How the fuck did such a huge community go completely fucking off of the rails so quickly?

This is a thing I struggle with. I only started using reddit this year, and I only use it for basically 3 subs related to board games and game design. Those three subs are generally quite good -- not, say, MeFi levels of conversation, but significantly better than most other places on the internet, and with a focus of discussion that fits my needs.

However, despite them generally being good, there are still occasional drop-ins by GG-type douchebags. They typically get downvoted pretty quickly, but not always. Every time it happens, it's a reminder that as much as they might seem OK, they're really only a quick skip and a jump away from the horrorshow that is reddit's not-so-hidden underbelly. There are times that I think the only reason they seem OK is, they're too low-traffic, and too low-stakes; that, if they ever became higher profile, they'd be just as bad as the parts of Reddit I avoid.

So, it's a struggle. For now, I keep using it, doing what I can to project reasoned, rational discussion, and respect for all people. But, for all I know, the only reason it's "working" is that hardly anyone is listening in to freak out at it.
posted by tocts at 8:26 AM on October 3, 2014


Actions have consequences (or: why I'm not fixing Intel's bugs any more) from Matthew Garrett (Linux kernel dev)

Comment thread was actually kind of refreshing.

About 80% of the comments have been removed, so...... probably not.


But "Fart fart fart" does capture the essence of GG arguments quite nicely.
posted by homunculus at 10:15 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


There's some extra Soecial victim playing and rolling around on the floor over at the GamerGate article talk page on Wikipedia right now. I think basically everywhere else has told them to fuck off so now they are flooding in there and getting shot down repeatedly.

The actual hashtag itself seems to have calmed down a lot - mostly just Proto-Tea Party types being led around by opportunist right wing blowhards.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on October 3, 2014




There's some extra Special victim playing and rolling around on the floor over at the GamerGate article talk page on Wikipedia right now.

It never stops being amazing to me how angry and upset these guys get just because someone told them they aren't always going to be the majority and don't get to have their way literally all the time in every single arena of life. All of a sudden they're being "othered" and "victimized" and "dehumanized," and instead of it being a teachable moment about how it must feel to *actually* be systematically discriminated against, it's just another card they can play. Of course the right wingers are courting these guys, it's a near-perfect fit. Movement conservative types are probably thrilled that they found a way to "reach the youth" and rope these little diaper babies into their perpetual culture war.

If these guys think there's a horrible organized conspiracy of SJW gaming people oppressing them, I can't even imagine how poorly they'd react to being a woman living under patriarchy, or a person of color in our racist society, or etc etc etc. Their heads would probably explode instantly.
posted by dialetheia at 11:23 AM on October 3, 2014 [5 favorites]


Leigh Alexander kicking ass and taking names.

There was good news on one of these today. She mentions that YouTubers have no requirement to mention that they're being paid to play games, and then talks about a similar problem with curation in the steam storefront.

Twitch and Steam have both updated their rules to require transparency. Doesn't seem like YouTube hasn't done so for their partner program or anything yet, but I hope they follow suit.
posted by sparkletone at 11:51 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed GamerGate: The Movie from Twitter user SteampunkKanye
posted by RogerB at 12:31 PM on October 3, 2014 [8 favorites]


The GG Github repository has been disabled. Well! It looks like maybe things are starting to wind down?
posted by Andrhia at 4:30 PM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]


Andrhia: But then it was RT-ed early this morning by someone who's been engaging more actively, and within minutes I had a flood of accounts trying to persuade me I'm a radfem engaging in hate speech and haven't done enough research. Very nearly identical talking points, and each @ roughly four minutes apart, starting from around 5:45am. If that's not one dude with a half-dozen sock puppets, I don't know what is!

Honestly i bet they're all coming out of some staging area. It might be one guy, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was some sort of old school /i/ board type shit where there's just a plethora of things for people to copy paste and then go spam. Maybe even some "every time you refresh the page you get a new with the words swapped around a bit" sort of system.

That would not be new territory for stupid 4chan/etc invasions/raids like this.
posted by emptythought at 4:39 PM on October 3, 2014


It's meatbots, as far as I can tell - a whole bunch of people running searches and other actions in a pattern like automatons.
posted by Artw at 4:49 PM on October 3, 2014


Anybody going to make a new thread? This one expires in a couple of days and I really enjoy it as a place to watch the new developments and chat with MeFites about it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:02 PM on October 3, 2014 [6 favorites]


Today's Intel statement could be the for that.
posted by Artw at 8:09 PM on October 3, 2014


Skeletal Justice Warriors
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:54 AM on October 4, 2014 [7 favorites]


Pope Guilty, that's funny but I'm going to need some context here.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:56 AM on October 4, 2014


Think Cloud to Butt, but SJW->skeletons.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:00 AM on October 4, 2014


Such is the state of the world that the sentence "Think Cloud to Butt, but SJW->skeletons." was very informative. Thanks!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:25 AM on October 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


Skeletal Justice Warriors

That is the most majestic thing I've ever seen.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:52 AM on October 4, 2014


Intel non-apology.
posted by Corinth at 10:26 AM on October 4, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, to be fair, it says "We apologize and we are deeply sorry if ..." so at least you can parse it as a bit stronger than a classic "We apologize if ..." non-apology apology.
posted by effbot at 10:35 AM on October 4, 2014


Except they've still cancelled the ad buys. So, in the deeds-not-words department, they're still making business decision that indicate they agree with (or want to acquiesce to) the howler monkeys.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:14 AM on October 4, 2014


That apology sucks. "Intel does not support any organization or movement that discriminates against women," except when it caves to unreasonable demands made by that "movement" and punishes a business partner for pushing back against their misogyny. I sent Intel another note saying this non-apology doesn't help at all and that these harassers are still rightly interpreting their actions as an act of support.
posted by dialetheia at 11:26 AM on October 4, 2014 [4 favorites]


When run through my corporate message decoder ring, the Intel response basically reads: "We are deeply sorry we ever got involved in this mess. We affirm our support to gender equality issues in the hopes one side will now leave us alone. We also will not renew our advertising in the hopes the other, more rabid, side will also leave us alone. In short, America is a land of contrasts." and then the statement is dropped to the ground as the PR person runs away in a blind panic.

Pretty disappointing but not the least bit surprising. It does give a little room for hope that they would renew advertising after just a bit more pressure, because the non-apology was a little stronger on the apology side than these things usually are.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:59 AM on October 4, 2014 [5 favorites]


So this has been making the rounds on my social media accounts. Not really sure what to make of it, but it's the experiences of a woman who worked with Zoe on a photo shoot. And some other bits, with a screenshot, about bizarre stories she apparently made up.


Aaaand of course the comments where i saw it get reposted turned into a lightsaber battle between the "see, she just makes this shit up!" empire and the "this harassment is still totally out of line" alliance, and the fact that this was all started by her ex seems to have just gotten lost to the wind...
posted by emptythought at 4:22 PM on October 4, 2014


Ugh, went to look at emptythought's Facebook link and saw one of my libertarian friends had already liked it.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 4:53 PM on October 4, 2014


Emptythought, I hope you realize that the SJW objections to the GamerGate harassment campaigns are entirely about our disgust at the behavior of the harassers and aren't dependent upon any claims about the virtue of the victims.

Even if everything Zoe had said in the last few months were a lie, the rape threat mob going after female journalists and game devs is still very real and is the actual problem deserving public scrutiny.
posted by straight at 5:04 PM on October 4, 2014 [3 favorites]


hey hey hey everyone, remember, GamerGate has NOTHING to do with Zoe Quinn, it's about corruption and ethi-- HEY SOMEONE POSTED SOME NEW DIRT ABOUT ZOE IT PROVES WE'RE RIGHT
posted by verb at 5:09 PM on October 4, 2014 [20 favorites]


I saw this "Goofus and Gallant" style cartoon featuring "Occulass and Vivian." I'm not clear if Occulus has been added to the list of subversive organizations or if it's meaningless.
posted by RobotHero at 1:49 PM on October 5, 2014 [2 favorites]






Did someone ask about Social Justice Rogues?

There was a great GirlGamer thread about that. I really liked FrankManic's idea: "I pull aggro for social justice"
posted by honestcoyote at 4:09 PM on October 5, 2014 [3 favorites]


The main thing that frustrates me about how "Social Justice Warrior" has been weaponised by GamerGate people is that there actually are big problems with SJW types that get lost amongst them.

I have been the target of toxicity and abuse from self-described SJW types mainly on Tumblr, though sometimes offline. I *used* to be part of that general clique, so it wasn't like I was completely innocent. I got into the crowd because I was feeling frustrated at being shut down by the local burlesque scene (my main source of SJ-ness) and felt that I found an avenue to really unpack the SJ angles behind burlesque and performative sexuality. And for a while that worked really great!

However, when I started questioning their didacticism (mostly in saying how certain SJW tenets were unrelatable to me due to their US-centrism, and for asking for compassion for people from ESL backgrounds who are not familiar with the lingo), the toxicity turned personal. *I* was a bad person because I had the wrong politics. "You sound like a White feminist" was lobbied against me as an insult. I was suddenly blamed for a friend's suicide and had my sexuality questioned. It was VICIOUS.

I had to take a year off from Tumblr, as well as over a year off some people I used to be friends with but whom we clashed because their lack of nuance got in the way of hearing what I have to say. A few have reconciled with me; some others I have still distanced myself from because they remind me too much of other abusers in my life.

Social justice still underpins a lot of what I do, but I want nothing to do with the SJW crowd, their myopia, their lack of willingness to question themselves, their toxicity. I've had to unlearn so much the hard way and even now I still stumble.

So when people started adopting the SJW mantle in defiance of GamerGate, I cringed. Mostly because I didn't feel comfortable dissenting to the term without being accused of being pro-GamerGate. My problems have nothing to do with GamerGate: more that now there isn't a space to talk about the ways that social justice and activist spaces CAN BE itself problematic because that space got taken over by another agenda.

Sigh.
posted by divabat at 5:50 PM on October 5, 2014 [7 favorites]


I've noticed some similar behaviour, divabat. My solution is just to read "SJW" the same way I read "feminist": some people who I really strongly disagree with and find incredibly toxic will use the label for themselves; some people with whom I have a lot of common ground will also use the label; and some people who are deeply unpleasant will apply it to anyone they disagree with or hate.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:01 PM on October 5, 2014 [14 favorites]


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