#Gamergate, as we know it now, is a hate group.
October 13, 2014 8:42 PM   Subscribe

I do not say this to make the people of #Gamergate seem any more important, or effective, or powerful, or to give any sort of new credence to their ideas. Rather, this is just a structural designation: as immediately dismissible as their tactics and stances might be (at least to anyone who has not become victim to them), I believe it's important to note that group was formed like a hate group and functions like a hate group in every way.
Social researcher Jennifer Allaway examines the ways in which #GamerGate functions as a hate group, using a 2004 study by Linda Woolf and Michale Hulsizer called Hate Groups for Dummies: How to Build a Successful Hate Group as her framework. In it, she identifies four essential elements to any hate group:

  • the leadership which originally inspired the movement,
  • the recruitment strategy it uses to appeal to insecure and impressionable gamers,
  • the social-psychological techniques by which it spreads its message and enflames its members' beliefs,
  • and, finally, the process by which it dehumanizes its victims, and turns them into targets whose attacking earns group praise.
    posted by rorgy (2166 comments total) 125 users marked this as a favorite
     
    Good.
    posted by boo_radley at 8:54 PM on October 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


    As I said in the other thread about it, it's basically a bunch of older men manipulating children into being their personal army.
    posted by empath at 8:57 PM on October 13, 2014 [20 favorites]


    I wish I was a little bit lamer
    I wish I was a gamer
    Wish I knew a girl on the net,
    I would shame her.
    posted by Jimbob at 8:58 PM on October 13, 2014 [204 favorites]


    Needs to be said.
    posted by mephron at 9:03 PM on October 13, 2014


    As soon as I saw this I was like "and now the great assault on Jezebel begins". Is anything like #jizzabullshit trending yet? Because it will be.

    It isn't even just a hate group, it's like an actual insurgent fighting force. I realized that when they got intel to back down.
    posted by emptythought at 9:04 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


    And everyone wants to ban football....
    posted by fshgrl at 9:05 PM on October 13, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Good for her.

    I've made games for near 20 years. I've been told I'm worse than Hitler, told I should be dragged into the street in a sack and kicked to death, told that I should've killed myself when Jeff Freeman, a close friend and co-worked did.

    I consciously do not do press or anything public anymore because, I don't want to deal with it.

    It's nothing compared to the shit that's going on nowadays.

    I still love making games. I'm thrilled it's ubiquitous and a significant cultural foundation.

    But goddammit, self described gamers can be fucking monsters.

    This bullshit should be treated the same as if you heard someone spouting it in public. No more coddling, no more wink-wink boys willbe boys he's got some valid points.

    Enough. Grow the fuck up, we would all like to get on with the business of making and playing video games you relentless, immature, racist, misogynistic fucks.
    posted by Lord_Pall at 9:05 PM on October 13, 2014 [188 favorites]


    I'm still not entirely sure of what the GG community is fighting for. Corruption in gaming journalism is always been a thing but didn't seem to matter as long as whatever AAA bro-gamer game got 9/10 scores consistently.

    But for the most part it just seems to be a fight to keep gaming BOYZONE only which is guess makes sense if you are a young boy that thinks you can get SJW cooties through a gaming console but I'm not sure why gaming being more inclusive to alternate gamers is somehow going to diminish the enjoyment of the latest FPS game?

    Is it just that everyone believes that gaming is a zero sum game? That resources going to casual gamers and female gamers would take away resources for bro-games? It seems like the ecosystem can grow to accomodate a plethora of game styles and just because there might be more non-sexist games doesn't mean that there won't be a market to exploit for traditional games.

    At this point it time it just doesn't seem like they are focused on anything achievable at all. Gaming journalism will continue to be mediocre, companies will chase the money if there is money in being more inclusive and the BOYZONE will continue to be eroded bit by bit. I understand that might be scary but thems the facts.
    posted by vuron at 9:07 PM on October 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Simple principle: Anybody who considers "Social Justice" to be a pejorative is a bigot and a hateful individual.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 9:09 PM on October 13, 2014 [128 favorites]


    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02224055

    I wonder if there are people who are just into weird ants trying to parse through this whole thing terribly confused.

    Correction: I am sorry there are people who are just into weird ants trying to parse through this whole thing horribly confused
    posted by passerby at 9:10 PM on October 13, 2014 [8 favorites]


    I'm taking a class right now on techniques and technologies of propaganda, and I keep waiting for Gamergate to be one of the things we discuss... I think there's a module coming up on "new media" propaganda so maybe that's where it'll show up, although one would think it would fit into the definition of an ideological campaign, which is what we're on this week (yay, a week of Rush Limbaugh and ISIS and Sandy Hook truthers, I'm so lucky).
    posted by palomar at 9:11 PM on October 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


    But goddammit, self described gamers can be fucking monsters.

    No shit. It was that way back when I was doing tech support for MMOs in the 90s and it's not that the culture has gotten worse - it's that it's remained steadfastly the same. What's changed is that so many other things have gotten better and awesome and this lamergate douchetards are still stuck in their 1995 usenet flamewar asshole behavior.

    I just don't understand.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:12 PM on October 13, 2014 [27 favorites]


    I've read that PDF and you could easily apply it to Metafilter or any other group of people with a perspective who fight about stuff on the Internet, really.
    posted by michaelh at 9:12 PM on October 13, 2014 [15 favorites]


    And how screwed up is it that I'm vaguely concerned about my obscure comment here getting picked up by the aforementioned crowd.

    Ick. Just ick.
    posted by Lord_Pall at 9:13 PM on October 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


    I'm still not entirely sure of what the GG community is fighting for. Corruption in gaming journalism is always been a thing but didn't seem to matter as long as whatever AAA bro-gamer game got 9/10 scores...

    I think the "no, it's about corruption in gaming journalism" was because they figured out it was bad to be honest about what they were really fighting for.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:14 PM on October 13, 2014 [21 favorites]


    I just can't believe it's all still going on, a month later. With the same amount of vitriol and intensity. It really feels like these are people with nothing else to be passionate about. Their main pursuit in life is Under Attack and they're still raging mad about it. When they're not actively being shitty and harrassing, I might almost feel bad for them. Maybe someone should do an "It Gets Better" series of videos for people coming to terms with new media criticism.
    posted by naju at 9:18 PM on October 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Someone should tweet about this post and use the hashtag. MetaFilter will make ten thousand dollars off all the gaters storming the thread to give "their side."
    posted by valrus at 9:20 PM on October 13, 2014 [21 favorites]


    EmpressCallipygos: I think the "no, it's about corruption in gaming journalism" was because they figured out it was bad to be honest about what they were really fighting for.

    It's that a lot of the "moderates" no longer openly buy the attention whore concept, even if they passively and subconsciously could still be sold it. They need to be slow walked into supporting it as part of a larger problem.

    I actually see it as progress that in 2014 you can't directly sell an attack on a woman, or women, to nerds unless you soft sell it. Except for the really disgusting bitter angry ones, who started all this in the first place

    I mean at this point I have to see something positive in this so my head doesn't explode.
    posted by emptythought at 9:24 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


    MetaFilter will make ten thousand dollars off all the gaters storming the thread to give "their side."

    And that ten thousand dollars should go directly to the mods who will have to handle all the flies and dung that fart out of their mouths all over the site.
    posted by Mizu at 9:25 PM on October 13, 2014 [33 favorites]


    I think this tactic is spreading around internet forums to topics completely unrelated to gender, gaming, gamergate, or anything like that. Recently I have been seeing irrational levels of hostility in response to completely innocent remarks. This isn't just the same old flaming. This is associating a person with some group identity that they hate. Now you're one of them and you're a target. I am sick of this crap.
    posted by charlie don't surf at 9:26 PM on October 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


    the leadership which originally inspired the movement,

    Had a "leader" now it's leaderless. Well, not actually someone who was pulling the strings, more just like an initial spark and a couple of IRC chats that aren't posted. No one mentions him as a leader anywhere apart from the video but hate groups can be leaderless!

    the recruitment strategy it uses to appeal to insecure and impressionable gamers

    You declared a grouping of insecure and impressionable members of society, 4chan/8chan members, as doing things insecure and impressionable people do? No shit!

    the social-psychological techniques by which it spreads its message and enflames its members' beliefs,

    Absolutely. The messages are so not clear coming out of the gamergate tag. It seems there are a good number concerned with the original journalistic integrity position. Maybe other members of the internet saw an opportunity to say whatever they wanted and hide under the websites all calling them "gamergaters" so they can't be so easily individualized. It's way more awesome to do it as a team then alone. Being alone on the internet is why people go to 4chan and 8 chan. To find belonging more easily than most other places on the web.

    and, finally, the process by which it dehumanizes

    This especially is true of people harassing women in the gaming industry, under the gamergate banner or not. They forget their actions have consequences on the other end. Or even they do know what happens and fuck it, that sounds like the kind of shit that makes the news or at least mentioned on twitter and a blog or two.

    An application of Occam's Razor if I can: Massive grouping of gamers clearly haters of women and anyone who supports them conspires against all women in the gaming industry who speak out against them. Evidenced by harassment on social media extending to possibly threats to their and others safety.
    OR
    4chan/8chan members see opportunity to apply their puritanical judgement on their gender opposite under the same controversy of a journalists ethics. Using similar tactics applied in the past when "raiding" or targetting people they go after the biggest female targets when the opportunity arises. For example, whenever a woman with a significant role in the gaming industry speaks out against it. When that occurs the gaming industry news covers those events bringing notoriety to the group.
    posted by FiveNines at 9:27 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


    And that ten thousand dollars should go directly to the mods who will have to handle all the flies and dung that fart out of their mouths all over the site.

    Do you really think these idiots are willing to spend $5 to try?

    If I'm wrong and they are, do you really think the mods have forgotten the ban hammer?

    And if the idiots are willing to spend another $5? Well, hey, maybe we've just funded the site.

    #GamerGate #DareYou #YouCantHandleTheTruth #PineapplePizzaGate
    posted by eriko at 9:30 PM on October 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Is Twitter where this all happens? Or where? Because I'm mostly hearing about GamerGate on Metafilter at this point. Maybe I just don't hang out where the cool kids are.
    posted by Justinian at 9:32 PM on October 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


    There was a Gamergate creep harassing women outside of the XOXO conference. He only tried to bother women (unsurprisingly) and tried to foist his gibberish handouts at them.

    The idiots trying to hijack the hashtag for the conference were so blatantly plants and stuck out like a sore thumb. It made me long for Vinge's True Names to be real, so they could have their internet licenses taken away forever, as they are why we cannot have nice things.
    posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 9:34 PM on October 13, 2014


    Twitter is certainly the place where a single use of the #GamerGate tag will instantly leave you swamped with anime-avatar-arseholes explaining to you the error of your ways and how it's all about ethics in journalism, or, if you're female, rape and death threats.
    posted by Jimbob at 9:36 PM on October 13, 2014 [26 favorites]


    It happens anywhere they can sneak onto the internet, really. It used to be they'd organize themselves on 4chan and reddit, but 4chan got sick of them so now they use "8chan" instead. Reddit, of course, never tells anyone to go away.
    posted by Artw at 9:36 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Twitter is certainly the place where a single use of the #GamerGate tag will instantly leave you swamped with arseholes explaining to you the error of your ways and how it's all about ethics in journalism, or, if you're female, rape and death threats.

    Yep. The last time I made the mistake of using that hashtag, a stranger immediately tweeted at me comparing the state of games journalism with Nazi Germany. These are charming people.
    posted by naju at 9:38 PM on October 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Is Twitter where this all happens? Or where? Because I'm mostly hearing about GamerGate on Metafilter at this point. Maybe I just don't hang out where the cool kids are.

    Yea, this is where I have to realize how out of touch I must be with my twitterless, non-following of the blogosphere existence. That said, I'm not trying to downplay the importance of anything here.

    It's terrible, but I can't help but think how much ignorant (and thus, obviously, unspoken) support there is for the ladies in these shitty and terrible-for-all-of-us-that-play-games situations due to the cluelessness of the more casual or older and, likely, more mature members of the population at large.

    Seriously, I just want my daughter to have an option to play [fun] games that feature or highlight female heroines or contain outfits that don't mandate bikini chainmail. We've got a few years, I'm not optimistic, nothing new there, but I'm glad these ladies are fighting the good fight to call bullshit where and when they see it.
    posted by RolandOfEld at 9:40 PM on October 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


    #gamergate is pretty bad but #notyourshield is FAR FAR worse.
    posted by Talez at 9:41 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


    You'll also find a lot of abuse in the comments section of just about any article on GamerGate. Of course, sometimes the offenders get banned and their comments removed, which leads to claims of censorship.

    Because not only should they have the right to threaten someone, but someone else should pay to host those threats....
    posted by Woodroar at 9:41 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Alex Lifschitz storify-ed the outcome of a 2-part Escapist "We Salute Your Noble Cause!" Magazine story interviewing game developers about this. It's pretty gross.
    posted by dumbland at 9:43 PM on October 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


    Someone pointed out that my circle on Twitter has been talking about Gamergate longer than it talked about Ferguson or the Santa Barbara killings, which bummed me the hell out. Everything that could possibly be said about these nasty little fools has been said, and they just. Keep. Going.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:45 PM on October 13, 2014 [14 favorites]


    The "ethics" they claim to be for make no sense, too. You make journalism more ethical and better by allowing a wide range of criticism.
    posted by NoraReed at 9:46 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


    It used to be they'd organize themselves on 4chan and reddit, but 4chan got sick of them so now they use "8chan" instead. Reddit, of course, never tells anyone to go away.

    "Worse than 4chan" is a new low for reddit.
    posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:47 PM on October 13, 2014 [31 favorites]


    If you really want an insight into the delusional fever pitch #GamerGate has reached, I recommend the Best of Outrage Culture subreddit; sort the posts by top-rated if you really want to get punch-drunk on gamers' delirium.

    You get statements like this, voiced with a seeming utter lack of irony:
    ISIS calls for death of the west. SJWs call for the death of half the population. ISIS is objectively less violent than internet feminists.
    Or this, uttered in the middle of a lengthy tirade:
    We see principles like freedom of speech as fundamental human liberties, they see them as weaknesses to be exploited to destroy us.
    What you need to remember is that we're in the middle of a new wave of popular feminism, one that's affecting many different corners of our culture simultaneously. What used to be a more unconscious misogyny is now under attack, and as the more reasonable people who're abandoning their former misconceptions withdraw their support for this kind of behavior, the voices that remain are going to increasingly be the extremist minority — and they're listening increasingly to each other, to the exclusion of everybody else.

    This is what happens when a culture-wide problem starts to be seriously addressed. This kind of virulent sexism is so widespread that the "extremist minority", in this case, still constitutes many thousands of people, perhaps more. We're at the point where the extremism is so heightened that this hate attack is capable of being sustained across weeks and weeks, targets and targets, yet the number of people propagating it are still frighteningly numerous.

    I want to think that these are the horrific symptoms of misogyny's finally being exposed to a coordinated attack that's doing it some major damage. The Internet has proven a fantastic resource for people to discuss feminist issues, and for former apathetics to get on board with learning to give a shit. It's not just feminism, either — I have been astonished, for instance, by how rapidly trans issues have become prominent among my assorted communities, and in only a handful of years — but sexism is one of the most pervasive issues our society faces, so the rise of feminism and the hate-group responses are among the most massive instances of this occurring. From what I've seen of today's youth culture, there are some extremely promising signs.

    In the meantime, this is a problem that is terrifying for the people who become its targets, and it's a problem that has no easy fix. If you can find it in yourself to laugh at people who say things like this with a straight face...
    We're the people who saw Pearl Harbor coming a mile away. We're going to be kooks until Pearl Harbor actually happens, which is on our enemy's time.

    We need patience more than we need anything else.
    ...then more power to you. I for one oscillate between finding these comments hilarious and being absolutely sickened by them. But I feel it can only do good to spread this notion that the people behind #GamerGate aren't just hate-filled, they're also delusional, and to the point where they've become outright caricatures of themselves. When you listen to this group talk, it becomes hard to take them even remotely seriously, other than as pieces of shit who have a certain amount of power to wield.
    posted by rorgy at 9:55 PM on October 13, 2014 [94 favorites]


    Maybe someone should do an "It Gets Better" series of videos for people coming to terms with new media criticism.

    Well, so far it's NOT getting better.
    posted by jenfullmoon at 9:56 PM on October 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


    I love that 4chan, home to the stormfront nazi creeps of /pol/ and whatever /b/ is these days, has made it clear that gamergate is not welcome there. Like how big of an asshole do you have to be for moot to give you the boot?
    posted by boubelium at 9:56 PM on October 13, 2014 [37 favorites]


    One thing that's good about all this is that the vast majority of people who come into contact with GamerGate nonsense seem to respond with "Eww, you're kidding, right?" People are, in general, not buying that it's anything but disgusting misogyny, and that's a good thing.

    Reddit, of course, never tells anyone to go away.

    Not true, but not false in the way we'd like it to be.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 9:57 PM on October 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


    Pretty cool that Allaway, a junior in sociology, got a grant to study this before she'd even earned her B.A. I like to see these opportunities opening up for smart young people.
    posted by misha at 9:59 PM on October 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Twitter is certainly the place where a single use of the #GamerGate tag will instantly leave you swamped with arseholes explaining to you the error of your ways and how it's all about ethics in journalism, or, if you're female, rape and death threats.

    Seconded, use the hashtag on twitter today and immediately had a bunch of ggers turned up on my feed to spout their hypocrisy. Did not engage, so fortunately have seen no further activity.
    posted by Neale at 10:01 PM on October 13, 2014


    We see principles like freedom of speech as fundamental human liberties, they see them as weaknesses to be exploited to destroy us them.

    FTFY to describe the #lamergaters to a T.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 10:01 PM on October 13, 2014


    Pope Guilty: Hooooooly fucking shit. I have to quote this from the admin's response to the /r/blackladies moderator who was asking them to do something about the racists attacking her subreddit:
    Sure, you're being targeted. You know why? Because you break site rules, and we target people who break site rules.
    That they said this to a banned user whose offense was asking for help against racist spammers is outrageous enough. That they said it in the context of several months of Reddit being used to distribute stolen nude images and organize a hate campaign is just... I literally can't even. That is remarkable. That's some fuckin' Dolores Umbridge shit right there.
    posted by rorgy at 10:03 PM on October 13, 2014 [79 favorites]


    Twitter is certainly the place where a single use of the #GamerGate tag will instantly leave you swamped with arseholes explaining to you the error of your ways and how it's all about ethics in journalism, or, if you're female, rape and death threats.

    Does twitter ban people for death threats and rape threats? If not, why not? If not, why are we (the people not making death and rape threats) not shaming twitter into banning people who make such threats?
    posted by el io at 10:06 PM on October 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Anyone with #GG reports from the Seattle GeekGirl Con this last weekend? I didn't see anything but awesomeness. I kinda zipped (well, limped, with one foot in a cast) into my session, did a quick tour of the merch area, and left. Normally I'd have made it a major social weekend, but I'm just too miserably immobilized right now.
    posted by Dreidl at 10:08 PM on October 13, 2014


    Justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow: "Worse than 4chan" is a new low for reddit.

    This is nothing new. That's been their tagline and selling point for a while now. 4chan banned people for posting child porn since the beginning. Reddit? It took a media campaign and tons of pressure until they finally went "ugh fiiiine" like a kid who's mom was telling them to throw the laundry in the dryer. And they didn't even ban anyone involved, just deleted the subreddit.

    And so, so many other things.
    posted by emptythought at 10:10 PM on October 13, 2014 [13 favorites]


    el io: Does twitter ban people for death threats and rape threats? If not, why not? If not, why are we (the people not making death and rape threats) not shaming twitter into banning people who make such threats?

    Twitter like, "doesn't moderate for content". I've covered this in other threads, but no social media platform wants to admit they can and that it isn't an insurmountable problem because then they'll get criticized for every single thing they don't deal with and sued for not preventing harassment and bla bla bla.

    And all those things SHOULD happen, but as long as they pretend they couldn't possible do it and they'd need a staff of millions and shit then they're at least for now, blame free.
    posted by emptythought at 10:13 PM on October 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


    dumbland: "Alex Lifschitz storify-ed the outcome of a 2-part Escapist "We Salute Your Noble Cause!" Magazine story interviewing game developers about this. It's pretty gross."

    Escapist editor interviews developer about gamersgate; simultaneously crowdfunds that dev's CHRONICLES OF GOR roleplaying game
    posted by boo_radley at 10:14 PM on October 13, 2014 [14 favorites]


    I was at GeekGirlCob this weekend. As far as I know there wasn't any GamerGate nonsense. There were awful people spamming threats and vileness against Anita Sarkeesian to anyone using the con hashtag (#ggc14) since Sarkeesian had the "gall" to talk at GGC.
    posted by R343L at 10:17 PM on October 13, 2014


    I love that 4chan, home to the stormfront nazi creeps of /pol/ and whatever /b/ is these days, has made it clear that gamergate is not welcome there.

    one of the most amazing threads I've ever followed was on 4chan a few years back. In amongst all the usual appalling stuff, a guy suddenly confessed he thought he was having a nervous breakdown ... and proceeded to describe a harrowing car accident he'd survived as a kid. Everybody else in the car, including his two best friends were killed. He was eleven at the time.

    Suddenly, the "worst community on the internet" rallied around this guy, offered support, asked him the right questions, walked him through it, made it clear to him that He Was Not Alone.

    so there's that.
    posted by philip-random at 10:20 PM on October 13, 2014 [11 favorites]


    emptythought: I consider myself a free speech maximalist (darned near a free speech absolutist), but death/rape threats are not protected speech - they are illegal speech.

    And I would imagine that death/rape threats violate terms of service. Twitter seems pretty comfortable invoking ToS violations when deleting these accounts for issuing threats on their service.

    Or perhaps death threats are only unacceptable if the people issuing them are brown.
    posted by el io at 10:24 PM on October 13, 2014 [6 favorites]


    So, I study video games, but not from a social critique approach like Anita, Ian Bogost, etc. I examine the role games can play in teaching and education. I even wrote a semi-popular book on this, and have some peer-reviewed papers examining gamification, speak at conferences, etc. So not only has GamerGate been upsetting as it effect friends and an industry I care about (though my little patch is mostly outside of what GG cares about), but it has, for the first time, made me embarrassed that I have anything to do with games. I have spent a long time defending the importance and legitimacy of games for teaching to skeptical academic and policy audiences, and encouraging inclusivity to make gaming better and more accepted, and then GamerGate both undermines this progress and makes me start to regret being associated with games, given that this is, apparently, what gamers do.

    The whole thing is depressing, but I have found some worthwhile commentary. Here is some of the best stuff I have read on GamerGate in the past couple days:

    Vox on how GamerGate is poison
    Response by Katherine Cross, transfeminist sociologist [her label], on why GamerGate doesn't get peer review, and
    Takedown of the Escapist (the most pro-GG of the various major publications) interviewing male developers.
    Analysis of how much mainstream gaming press is actually about gender (.41%)
    Zoe Quinn's AMA on Reddit

    On the plus side, I think today was a turning point - the main "journalist" supporting GamerGate dropped out (Breitbart writer), MSNBC covered Brianna Wu, and more people are actually speaking out.
    posted by blahblahblah at 10:24 PM on October 13, 2014 [42 favorites]


    Anyone with #GG reports from the Seattle GeekGirl Con this last weekend? I didn't see anything but awesomeness.

    Nothing that actually came to pass, but I believe there was a bomb threat called in against Anita Sarkeesian for the apparent crime of being a women speaking in public. (As has happened the last couple times she's spoken at an avent)

    In other words, this is completely horrific, and were the perpetrators actually carrying out their threat, they would've seen you and everyone else there (missed it, myself) as either a target or as collateral damage.
    posted by CrystalDave at 10:25 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


    the "worst community on the internet" rallied around this guy, offered support, asked him the right questions, walked him through it, made it clear to him that He Was Not Alone.

    Even the worst people on the internet/on earth will very frequently rally around one of their own going through bad stuff. Doesn't excuse anything. In fact, camaraderie can be a great mind control tool for them. (currently resisting urge to google examples of Nazis or ISIS doing the same)
    posted by oneswellfoop at 10:28 PM on October 13, 2014 [10 favorites]


    FiveNines: "It seems there are a good number concerned with the original journalistic integrity position."

    Citation needed that there was anything "original" about that position. Every history of GamerGate I have heard starts with anti-feminist harassment.
    posted by idiopath at 10:34 PM on October 13, 2014 [10 favorites]


    4chan has a rule (Global Rule 4) in effect on all boards prohibiting doxxing and raids, because it's been around long enough for it to have been a problem. It also has a rule against racism on most boards, but there isn't enough enforcement. All 4chan staff are volunteers AFAIK, not too many people want to clean up that cesspool for free, with nary a Hot Pocket in appreciation.
    posted by Small Dollar at 10:40 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The "journalistic integrity" thing is pure junk. If that was what they were bothered about, they'd be attacking the major gaming sites who get free booty constantly from the big gaming companies. Instead, they are attacking female and pro-feminist bloggers and indy devs, including complaining about them _paying for the games they review_. Yes. That's how ridiculous this is. The people that are getting free games and gear and trips from the gaming industry, those guys (and it's nearly all guys, of course) get a pass. The ones who pay for the games they review are getting viciously attacked.

    There is fucking nothing about this that is about "journalistic integrity", and anyone who says so is lying. It's about misogyny.
    posted by tavella at 10:40 PM on October 13, 2014 [38 favorites]


    Have the police been investigating these bomb and death threats?
    posted by b1tr0t at 10:42 PM on October 13, 2014


    Also, just coming in now, Huffington Post blind-invited Zoe Quinn to an interview, which turned out last-minute to be a 'fair and balanced' panel debate against the founder of 8chan (the site which #GG fled to after 4chan ejected them, and which continues to host stolen nudes and doxxing efforts).

    This really underscores what continued silence about this topic does. It allows journalists to imagine there's two sides and that it's safe to just stick people up like that on national television. I'm trying to imagine what an equivalent analogy would be. "Hey, parents of Mike Brown, here's an interview. Surprise! You're debating Darren Wilson!", maybe?

    And yes, the police and FBI have been involved, multiple times. (That was also a tactic, claiming that because they said anything about the threats, that they must be lying, and that because the police didn't immediately talk to anyone who asked about their involvement in investigating these threats, they must also be lying)
    posted by CrystalDave at 10:47 PM on October 13, 2014 [19 favorites]


    Could you give a link to that?
    posted by Small Dollar at 10:50 PM on October 13, 2014


    Escapist editor interviews developer about gamersgate; simultaneously crowdfunds that dev's CHRONICLES OF GOR roleplaying game

    Of course Desborough is pro #GG. Thanks for pointing this out for use the next time someone tells me how progressive the tabletop community is these days.

    Meanwhile, Business Insider has taken on GG: Video Gamers Are Having A Bizarre Debate Over Whether Sending Death Threats To Women Is A Serious Issue Or Not.
    posted by immlass at 10:50 PM on October 13, 2014 [19 favorites]


    Ugh to "both sides" bullshit.

    And no, GamerGate has never had anything to do with journalistic ethics.
    posted by Artw at 10:51 PM on October 13, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Games are a red herring. The game industry is pushing $100 billion! The AAA FPS is not going away. We also have other flavors of Internet misogyny from Pick Up to redpill to Men's Rights. We have not yet begun to seen the peak of this latest anti-feminist backlash, I'm afraid.

    Hate groups, cults and gangs all recruit from people who see themselves as disenfranchised and individually powerless. Folks with busy, fulfilling lives don't read the rant of a scorned ex and say, "gosh, he has some good ideas, I should follow him!"

    Thing is, we were all disenfranchised by the recession, by a do-nothing Congress and by a mainstream media environment where Fox News is literally the most trusted name in news according to popular polls.

    In 1999, Susan Faludi followed her book Backlash with Stiffed. This thesis has been around for a while: Men in our society are sold a narrative when they are boys that says that they will be leaders, individualist islands unto themselves, breadwinners. Our 1%er owned world then stamps down on that dream of being a self-made man and the discouraged man then lashes out to easy targets. It's easier to land punches down compared to punching up and any influence feels productive.

    Dostoyevsky once witnessed a government official beat a horse driver who was beneath the official in rank. In turn, the driver beat the horse. "Here every blow dealt the animal leaped out of the blow dealt at the man [...] My first personal insult, the horse, the courier."

    That's not to make excuses for misogyny hate groups. They are reprehensible and petty. They are also born out of the circumstances of right now and the most core causes of this resurgency of misogyny are not immediately clear.

    How do we continue to enfranchise traditionally harmed outgroups while also ensuring that boys do not grow into petty, harmful or left behind men?

    It's the 1990s Angry White Male problem all over again.
    posted by Skwirl at 10:54 PM on October 13, 2014 [30 favorites]


    MeFi self-link, but I think it's relevant ...

    How to talk to Terrorists
    posted by philip-random at 10:54 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Could you give a link to that?

    This will be decreasingly useful as time goes on, but: Scroll down.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:03 PM on October 13, 2014


    I wasn't around for Sarkeesian's talk but now that I think about it, con security and police presence seemed more intense than most Washington State Convention Center events I've attended in the last year. There was a lot of chatter about #GG; with my crowd, as another aspect of *lack* of social justice in tech.
    posted by Dreidl at 11:07 PM on October 13, 2014


    Could you give a link to that?
    This will be decreasingly useful as time goes on, but: Scroll down.


    Here's a Storify link I quickly put together for something more-persistent/easier to read (disclosure, I did make this myself, but the only thing I 'added' was the title): https://storify.com/cdaveross/huffington-post-invites-zoe-quinn-to-interview-tur
    posted by CrystalDave at 11:09 PM on October 13, 2014 [8 favorites]


    I hope she releases the name of the Huffington Post journalist who tried to arrange this debate.

    It's really useful for people that are going to engage with the media to be able to find out if they are reasonable journalists - she can help others avoid walking into traps by naming names. Not enough to name the HP - the journalist will undoubtably be working for someone else in the future.
    posted by el io at 11:16 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Oh for fucks sake. I'm so sick of GamerGate, be it as a topic of discussion, a hashtag, or whatever.

    It's literally become a case of "he said, she said" and has become such a deep pit of accusation and counter accusation that whatever intent it may or may not have had has become a distant, long forgotten story.

    Now it's just a buzzword for two sides of some of the internet's most vocal communities to hurl shit at each other until one is utterly discredited and/or destroyed. In the process, real gamers (as in, people who would rather be playing Destiny or Shadows of Mordor or Mario Kart 8 right now rather than sitting on Twitter obsessively attacking other users) are being dragged through the mud simply by association with a past time that is and should be enjoyable.

    I don't care which side or which sacred cow you hold dear in the GamerGate saga. Just stop talking about GamerGate and it will all go away.

    In short, stop tweeting and go kill some fucking Orcs you goddamn morons.
    posted by Effigy2000 at 11:17 PM on October 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


    I don't care which side or which sacred cow you hold dear in the GamerGate saga.

    Free tip: when one side is women working for greater representation in a space and the other is men using threats of violence to prevent that, those are not morally equal sides.

    Just stop talking about GamerGate and it will all go away.

    Is there anything that this is true of? All "just ignore it" has ever or will ever means is "Stop bothering me about it".
    posted by Pope Guilty at 11:21 PM on October 13, 2014 [184 favorites]


    Effigy: Yeah, I'm really uninterested in stories about sports - they are all over the friggin internet.

    My solution to that problem is to not click them.

    As far as 'two sides', yeah, there are two sides. So many people yelling and shouting bad things at those westboro baptist church people and those westboro people yelling and shouting bad things at other people - it's hard to distinguish them both, right? Oh, no, actually, even though both sides are pretty passionate about what they are yelling at, one side seems much much more awful than the other.

    Just stop reading about GG and it will go away. Why aren't you killing orcs right now, instead of reading this thread?
    posted by el io at 11:22 PM on October 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


    John Walker's excellent blogpost on the subject.
    posted by rifflesby at 11:22 PM on October 13, 2014 [6 favorites]


    I don't care which side or which sacred cow you hold dear in the GamerGate saga. Just stop talking about GamerGate and it will all go away.

    Tell you what (and I say this as someone currently playing the new Borderlands game, for whatever 'gamer cred' is required here), once the death threats (Warning, direct gendered threats of violence in-link) stop, people may be able to get to this being an ignorable state. Otherwise, saying "just stop talking about it" is granting cover to these same people.
    posted by CrystalDave at 11:22 PM on October 13, 2014 [40 favorites]


    If you stop talking about something, it is literally not a thing that is. It is a thing that was and it also means that it's gone.

    But fine, whatever. How about "stop using GamerGate as a hashtag" and call it something more appropriate. Because I, as a gamer, don't identify with anything in GamerGate and would prefer to spend my down time actually playing games.

    Which is what I'm off to do now. Folgum Guard Master is an Orc that needs killing and I think today's the day to do it.
    posted by Effigy2000 at 11:27 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I just grow wheat, here.
    posted by angerbot at 11:29 PM on October 13, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Yeah, both sides are equally bad! For every side hurling the most vile death threats and digging up personal information on people who dare to say something, there's the other side being driven into silence, withdrawing from public life, or being forced to leave their homes due to the threats on their person. Yep, completely equal on the merits!

    Pull the other one, it's got bells on.
    posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:30 PM on October 13, 2014 [57 favorites]


    If you stop talking about something, it is literally not a thing that is. It is a thing that was and it also means that it's gone.

    This is just plainly, demonstrably not true. I don't know where you're even getting an idea like this.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 11:31 PM on October 13, 2014 [69 favorites]


    If you stop talking about something, it is literally not a thing that is. It is a thing that was and it also means that it's gone.

    That's only true if every other person on the planet stops talking about it too, and also maybe stops making all those thousands of rape and death threats that make #GamerGate impossible for its numerous victims to ignore.

    Once you grow up past the age of two years old, putting your hands over your eyes ceases to make the rest of the world go away.
    posted by rorgy at 11:34 PM on October 13, 2014 [58 favorites]


    This is just plainly, demonstrably not true. I don't know where you're even getting an idea like this.

    Gamers are accustomed to things despawning if they ignore them.
    posted by Celsius1414 at 11:35 PM on October 13, 2014 [39 favorites]


    I sorta feel like ignoring harassments and threats to women is equivalent to saying I don't think it's a problem or I don't think it's important. It is a problem and it is important.
    posted by aubilenon at 11:35 PM on October 13, 2014 [63 favorites]


    If you stop talking about something, it is literally not a thing that is. It is a thing that was and it also means that it's gone.

    This is not even up to the standards of the halfbaked philosophical ideas of a 14 year old.
    posted by deadwax at 11:36 PM on October 13, 2014 [15 favorites]


    If you stop talking about something, it is literally not a thing that is. It is a thing that was and it also means that it's gone.

    I mean, if this were true, misogyny would have definitely been dead by the 1950's. And yet, alas, here we are.
    posted by jetlagaddict at 11:36 PM on October 13, 2014 [12 favorites]


    In other words: you shouldn't be telling us to stop talking about this. Go on Twitter and tell all of #GamerGate's advocates that they should stop caring about this. Go to /r/KotakuInAction, go to 8chan, and tell them to stop threatening women with rape and murder just because they happen to develop video games whilst being female.

    Ranting to us about all this is ranting to a community that sides with the victims of this bullshit. Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian aren't perpetrating #GamerGate. They're just bein' women. By telling them to stop caring about the people who are attacking them and threatening their safety, you are siding with their assaulters. It's as simple as that.
    posted by rorgy at 11:38 PM on October 13, 2014 [38 favorites]


    It's time for people who love playing video games to stand up against "gamers".

    Yes, the usual opponents of video games are pro-censorship killjoys but are you really going to tell me that that misogyny, racism, jingoism, and glorification of violence aren't problems in video games? Is it a mystery why people who make games that aren't total ultra violent pap are the targets of "gamer" wrath?
    posted by chaz at 11:41 PM on October 13, 2014 [2 favorites]


    If you stop talking about something, it is literally not a thing that is. It is a thing that was and it also means that it's gone.

    You're wrong. trust me.
    I tried this with the Stephen Harper govt.
    Five times.
    posted by philip-random at 11:44 PM on October 13, 2014 [42 favorites]


    Maybe someone should do an "It Gets Better" series of videos for people coming to terms with new media criticism.

    Well, so far it's NOT getting better.


    I initially assumed (incorrectly) that (s)he meant videos for the gamergate* proponents (many of whom i think are vicious in part because they feel under siege). I know I've had The Talk with a friend of a friend who felt that way and was falling under the influence of gamergate feelings, I don't know what effect I had, but my impression was that showing the bright world beyond the dark tunnel is another good tool in the toolbox for those not fully committed?

    *Heh, my phone tried to correct this to "gamer hate"
    posted by anonymisc at 11:46 PM on October 13, 2014


    [Hey, comment deleted -- maybe not so much with the "here's how I predict my comment will be received"? That's a kind of prophecy that tends to self-fulfill. Thanks.]
    posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 11:59 PM on October 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I don't like sports and I do my best to ignore them. I don't know player names, or pay attention to how any of the local teams are doing, and sports haven't gone away yet.

    In fact, I sometimes get stuck in awful traffic around the United Center and Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park on game day. It's like ignoring the problem made it affect me more.
    posted by elr at 12:07 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    'Both sides are doing it!' is one of the #gamergate talking points to excuse their doxing and death threats against women, and it's completely false.

    One side is full of hateful young men who see feminism as their enemy. That they might just lose their privileged position of being heavily catered to by every single mainstream studio and publisher, or their steady stream of games positioned to appeal to them, complete with male power fantasies and subservient female characters, who are either there to be slutty win conditions, or slutty background furniture (the usual dead hookers/strippers). They see that as under threat by women playing games, writing games, and writing about games. Men who have a problem with the state of gaming are pussy-whipped, 'social justice warriors' who deserve scorn and hatred. Every woman that dares speak up, write a game or even play games needs to be reminded of her place as only there as a c**t to be fucked by a man, and she should shut the fuck up or she'll be raped and murdered into submission. Any talk of journalism ethics is simply an excuse to make up bullshit about women using sex to get ahead, and attack any publication that says anything even slightly uncomplimentary with spurious crap.

    The other side would just like to write and play and talk about games that are about all sorts of things, see less sexism in mainstream games, and not have women be threatened with rape and death in very graphic terms by people posting their address for daring to have an opinion.

    Keeping quiet is siding with the way things are, and siding with those who encourage and support those who make speaking out about sexism in gaming a very scary experience. Women have literally fled their homes because they have had very specific death threats made by what would be called stalkers in other circumstances.
    posted by ArkhanJG at 12:09 AM on October 14, 2014 [49 favorites]


    Women have literally fled their homes because they have had very specific death threats made by what would be called stalkers in other circumstances.

    And the complete lack of legal repercussions for the individuals responsible is baffling and horrifying.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 12:12 AM on October 14, 2014 [15 favorites]


    michaelh: I've read that PDF and you could easily apply it to Metafilter or any other group of people with a perspective who fight about stuff on the Internet, really.

    How on earth do you come to that conclusion?

    I've said it to a few friends but it's like all those shitlords who screamed "suck my dick" at me in CS, then told me that "this is just how gaming is, they're just words, if you can't handle it GTFO of the kitchen bitch" are now screaming because those words are being used against them and they mean something afterall and what is accountability?

    I stopped gaming because I couldn't handle the heat, as it were. I can't just drop it though - between the nerd I married and the fact I still like the damn form and my BFF is a games journo - so I'm here on the sidelines, cheering the ones who stayed.

    And a part of myself wants to scream IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE HEAT GET OUTTA MY KITCHEN SON
    posted by geek anachronism at 12:12 AM on October 14, 2014 [21 favorites]


    @Effigy2000: good on you that you're in a position to pull an ostrich on this one. I gather you're not among the set of women dealing with rape and murder threats for doing their day jobs. You're also not among the set of men with enough empathy to imagine what it's like for a woman, even one who you love, to be stalked for having the temerity to have a professional opinion about how men treat women (in person and in virtual reputation) in the gaming industry.

    You can stop talking about anything you like at any time. That doesn't magically stop the threatened and actual violence which other men commit against women who are doing nothing other than calling a hate movement what it is. If you have to flounce because of that, then do what you need to do. But before you do, consider why some people around here need to talk about this whether it interests you or not.
    posted by SakuraK at 12:21 AM on October 14, 2014 [18 favorites]


    el io: I consider myself a free speech maximalist (darned near a free speech absolutist), but death/rape threats are not protected speech - they are illegal speech.

    And I would imagine that death/rape threats violate terms of service. Twitter seems pretty comfortable invoking ToS violations when deleting these accounts for issuing threats on their service.


    The lolle-reality of this is that EVERY site has this in their TOS, and these sites just massive selectively enforce it. It's a fig leaf, or boilerplate, or whatever in case they finally get sued like they should by someone whose been harassed so they can point to it and go "well they were breaking our TOS!" or... something.

    It seems to exist more so they have an excuse to point at when they silence someone they don't like. This happens on reddit very occasionally, and on twitter seemingly basically never. Twitter seems to never want to intervene, even when someones account is blatantly hacked and stolen.

    There's more to it than what you said about them having a double standard about the person harassing being brown. I really think it's more like what i said above where it's them not wanting to act like they can, or do intervene. It isn't just defense of the right to free speech*, it's this free for all people will self police concept of like, anything goes.

    Which is a really pollyannaish attitude, in the most charitable way i can possibly describe it, that needs to dieeeeeee.

    * and to be clear here, since we're not middle school kids restating the "you can't tell me what i can't say, free speech!" point, a private entity deleting things on a private service they run is NOT an infringement on our rights. If the government was intervening and demanding twitter posts be deleted, then we could maybe bring that up.
    posted by emptythought at 12:29 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    I was talking with a friend about this tonight--a guy, both of us people who always would have described ourselves as "gamers" to some degree even if the games we play aren't necessarily all first-person shooters. To people who've only peripherally heard about it, this is completely baffling. When the mainstream media's starting to cover it, they seem completely confused about how this is even a thing. It's not just the people who're issuing the threats. It's that, say, the Business Insider article--in the comments, you get people coming in trying to argue why the targets of all this harassment deserved it. Like there's some possible way to deserve death threats that doesn't involve actually literally being Hitler. They're playing by 4chan's set of rules--the ones where they "invaded" Tumblr awhile back because they thought the SJWs on Tumblr had invaded them first, when nobody outside of that community thinks of websites as a thing that can be invaded. They think of themselves as belonging to an army, they think of themselves as being at war, they're responding as though they're at war, the specifics of why they're at war are irrelevant because the important thing isn't being rhetorically right, it's winning.

    So, you have an army that thinks they're at war and really badly wants to win that war, but they don't have an opposing army, they have a civilian population who they think looks vaguely like the enemy but they're having a hard time distinguishing one from the other. And in the absence of a real conflict to fight, they're going after whoever feels vaguely threatening. Strangely enough, just like every other time this happens, it's going incredibly poorly.

    We really need to, as a society, come up with some better way of young men working out their aggressions than making them soldiers, cops, or "gamers".
    posted by Sequence at 12:32 AM on October 14, 2014 [26 favorites]


    How on earth do you come to that conclusion?

    Just curious if you read it. It's basically "how to start and market a community" with "for example, Stormfront" thrown in to make the steps sound hateful. Many of the cites are of general research about groups. It only wanders into specifics with the dehumanization section, but all the mechanisms are still standard, like how groups reinforce beliefs about outsiders to reduce cognitive dissonance - everybody does that, but the authors added something about causing harm to make it hateful.

    It would be more meaningful if, for example, a specific threshold of a certain type of brain activity was observed more often in members of hate groups, which was proven to be caused by a certain deliberate sequence of events, and that same brain activity was measured in people who are promoting the current news story. I realize the student wouldn't have been able to get access to data that good, but that doesn't make their project meaningful.
    posted by michaelh at 12:39 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Is there any group more prone to butthurt and entitled whining than gamers.
    posted by GallonOfAlan at 12:48 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Is there any group more prone to butthurt and entitled whining than gamers.

    Redditors?
    posted by Jimbob at 12:51 AM on October 14, 2014


    butthurt

    I believe the use of this expression has been deprecated in these parts.
    posted by Wolof at 12:54 AM on October 14, 2014 [44 favorites]


    emptythought: "and to be clear here, since we're not middle school kids restating the "you can't tell me what i can't say, free speech!" point, a private entity deleting things on a private service they run is NOT an infringement on our rights. If the government was intervening and demanding twitter posts be deleted, then we could maybe bring that up."

    That's true as far as it goes. However, a service with several hundred million users, used by a huge number of celebrities, journalists, politicians, and other public figures as one of their main channels to communicate with the public is not just any "private entity" running a "private service".

    Once corporations reach a certain size and market penetration, even near-monopolistic status, their actions can indeed amount to censorship in a sense approaching that of government censorship. It's pretty disingenuous to say that they can do what they want with no practical impact on free speech.

    (Not defending the gamergate assholes here, particularly, but I'm a bit tired of the "if it's not the government, it's can't be censorship" argument.)
    posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:57 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    As it happens, I am just now in a massively long Facebook debate with a close friend of mine, a super-intelligent and reasonable academically-minded fellow, who happens to be both a social conservative and a practicing Catholic, whose outlook on sexuality is shaped considerably by his faith. It's an enjoyable enough argumentation, but the more we talk about the nature of sex in society the more it becomes clear that there is a huuuuge array of expectations being placed by many people upon sex, having sex, moving beyond sex, and really anything involving physical intimacy of a more-than-cuddles variety.

    I'm not talking vague, nebulous superstitions; I'm talking codified views on what sex ought to be and on the morality of having sex that are extensive enough that even a smart person who is reasonably appalled by the most obvious manifestations of misogyny in our culture can wind up holding beliefs which are, on some level, entirely of a piece with some of the worst and scummiest anti-woman bullshit that you can find anywhere. There are certain ideas which, although they can be stated calmly and by people who otherwise have thought a great deal about these issues, pervert the concepts that they address enough that they open a window for all the assorted evils and hatreds that plague us today.

    Make no mistake: not only does #GamerGate center around a fierce hatred of women, it centers around a hatred of women that is primarily sexual in nature. Anita Sarkeesian received death threats simply for announcing that she wanted to make a series studying the sexual objectification of women in video games. Zoe Quinn was initially attacked, nominally, for not only cheating on her boyfriend but for doing so with five separate men. The number of men she allegedly slept with doesn't matter because it proves the extent of her infidelity; it matters because it proves that she's a promiscuous woman, and because sexual promiscuity is still sufficient reason to denigrate and victimize a woman, even as the sexists of our culture have learned (or been conditioned) to avoid saying as much explicitly.

    Women, flat-out, are treated as capital. Men are valued for their ability to attain women of particular value; this value, for women, is determined first and foremost by their sexual desirability, usually according to a measure of "sexual desirability" which is torturous or highly-problematic. Any other trait a woman possesses, anything along the lines of "what makes them a human being", is only of secondary importance. Anita Sarkeesian is fond of saying that patriarchy isn't men-versus-women, it's men-versus-men in a game that treats women as the ball; at the heart of this, I am pretty sure, is the "sexual conquest" that I've just outlined above.

    I believe, and I am sympathetic to, the idea that this game of conquest hurts men, not just women. It furthermore pressures men into accepting a series of misogynistic beliefs which they may not even be comfortable with. If a man is judged for his ability to sleep with women of a certain skewed "valuation", then the skewing of women's value also skews the particular traits which a man ought to have that make them desirable to women, and (OBVIOUSLY) the notion of evaluating men for their ability to pick up women is already skewed. There's a multidimensionality to the pressures which men face in a system like this that makes it very difficult to look at the entire process by which their perspectives are warped; it took me several (unpublished!) essays to even be able to articulate the basic summary I'm putting forth in this paragraph, and I'm still not satisfied to the depth with which I'm explaining this.*

    But the nature of this "women-are-the-ball" phenomenon is that every injury a man might suffer because of this system is magnified by several orders of magnitude when it inflicts itself upon women. Because the ways in which we value women are profoundly different from the ways in which we value men, and they are enforced both systemically, by the assertion of this setup wherein women are expected to exist for the sake of male desire, and individually, by every single man who buys into this system even a little and attempts to inflict their own attempts at self-worth upon the women in their wake. Even the men in this system who are theoretically self-actualized and capable of detaching themselves from this mode of thinking will wind up reinforcing this system of values, because unless they abstain from sex or desire altogether their (perfectly healthy, decently-expressed) needs will feed into the distorted way that things currently function.

    When women speak up about this, when women go about making video games of their own, when women talk about games that men have created which reinforce, in a multitude of ways, this perverted sexualization of an entire gender, the men who form hate groups like #GamerGate don't see it as a request from peers, or an enlightened argument about the ways that men treat women. They see it as a threat to their own valuation. They see it as an evil group of women refusing to play the game, refusing to be the ball, and in the process denying men a chance to use them as a proof of their own masculinity. The danger, to them, is existential in nature, because they have been taught to view "access to women" as the defining value of a man. When they are told that women are more than sexual objects, they interpret that as: Somebody is trying to take away my chance for worth.

    This is why it mattered to them, ostensibly, that Zoe Quinn cheated on her boyfriend and then lied to him about it. Infidelity, according to this mindset, is the worst thing that a woman can possibly do — it robs a man of his value while deluding him into thinking he is worth a damn. It also tinges the accusation that Quinn is proof of a "corrupt" gaming media; being paid to write a good review is one thing, but if sex is what makes you valuable, then it is the height of corruption to bribe a man with an offer that literally makes him more worthwhile of a person. (I often get the impression that, to a certain flavor of man, other markers of power such as money or fame or influence only matter for how much more desirable they make you to women; for many men, sex is the ultimate objective, rather than even one of a series of perverted desires.)

    This is why, when Anita Sarkeesian points out obviously foul examples of women being placed in video games for purposes of titillation or violent abuse, a certain kind of male gamer roars out in fury. The traditional arguments of "it's there for artistic expression" or "it's there to show how much a villain sucks" or "it's SATIRE, don't you get it??" only make sense when you understand the underlying assumption, which is that women do exist for male gratification. Sexualized women are a depiction of ideal womanhood! Those villains are evil because of what they do with their power over women! This is satirical because it's true, because women do put too much effort into being valuable for men, because women do take jobs as sex workers pleasing men for something as trivial as money, because women are only valued for things which I, as a man, think make them more desirable to me. It's all a commentary, don't you see?

    It's sick — literally sick. It's like a mental rot. It prevents men from seeing women accurately, warps their perceptions of anybody for whom there might be a sexual attraction, perverts the ways in which they treat women to an extent that runs deeper than I suspect most women, or men who were fortunate enough not to be ensnared by this system, understand. It is incredibly horrible and it is propagated in all sorts of ways within our culture and it has become, for many men, a belief so fundamental that they find it difficult even to doubt, on a level that I don't think many of them are fully aware of.

    It certainly colors my outlook in a number of ways that I'm not proud of, and that I almost certainly still don't recognize the full extent of. I'd like to think I was never wholly a piece of shit — certainly I never sunk as deep as anybody involved in #GamerGate is — but in retrospect I had a lot of problematic behaviors that lost me a variety of friendships with women, and which occasionally did them harm. So I empathize, and even sympathize, with the burdens that men legitimately face, and I do my best to understand them, and to understand my own, and to articulate them as best I can for the sake of the men and the women that I know alike.

    But I don't just do that for my sake, and I sure as shit don't do it just for the sake of these men. I try to make sense of this mindset because it's an insidious fucking virus, and it gives rise to men whose outlook on women is so horrendously twisted that to treat them like reasonable people who are able to respond to debate is, and I hate to say it, oftentimes a complete goddamn waste. Rather, the level you'd have to debate these people on to make any headway is such a profound and multifaceted one that it would cost you a whole lot of effort to even try, and the people you're trying to reach are likely too apathetic or too mistrusting to even give your arguments a chance in the first place.

    The more you understand how fucked-up the men who belong to this culture have become, the more it starts to seem like good faith is utterly wasted on them. It's far more important to show solidarity for their victims, to offer support to them, to offer your voice up not to strike a blow against the #GamerGate misogynists but to reassure everybody who's thinking reasonably here that they're not alone, that there are in fact multitudes of people who understand this to be a fucked-up battle against a fucked-up bunch of people. It's why I appreciate communities like Shit Reddit Says or GamerGhazi or Jezebel which don't bother taking their "opponents" in good faith; it's why Zoe Quinn seems to've made it a policy to mock and belittle the people who are threatening her, even as she takes all the threats against her life and well-being incredibly seriously. There is little conversation to be had with the people who believe this virulent misogyny most deeply; there is room, however, to talk with the people who are not as fiercely in favor of the causes which #GamerGate most stringently opposes, and repeating the fact that #GamerGate is delusional to the point of absurdity really matters, because there is literally no way to respect their arguments even a little without buying into their appalling worldview.

    Laughter, mockery, derision, and scorn are all valuable devices here. When you're dealing with a group that is incapable of seeing reason on their own, all you can do is make that fact explicit. Over time, it will convince some of them to doubt themselves and reexamine their beliefs — I know this because that happened to me — but in the meantime it will remind everybody else that this is not a serious movement. It is a joke. A big, horrifying, dangerous joke that still may not have reached its peak.

    There's no way to stop it from happening, best as I can see. All that's left is to offer comfort to those in need of comfort, and to try as best we can from letting the people behind this movement feel like they're having any effect on their culture whatsoever.

    _______

    * Factor in the need people have to socially perform views which they might not actually hold, or the way in which attempts to escape this mindset can:

    a) be thwarted by unrecognized baggage that a man can't put behind him, and
    b) ultimately reinforce their belief that the mindset is accurate after a) happens,

    and things get really goddamn tricky. Even as I'm saying this I feel the need to implore you that these ideas are still gestating for me as I write them down.

    posted by rorgy at 12:59 AM on October 14, 2014 [226 favorites]


    I believe, and I am sympathetic to, the idea that this game of conquest hurts men, not just women.

    Yep. Saw this the other day, it's great and I don't understand why so many men don't get it.
    posted by Jimbob at 1:10 AM on October 14, 2014 [52 favorites]


    An interesting curiosity: #GamerGate has been using a service called Thunderclap to mass-spam tweets that will keep #GG trending on Twitter. Assuming that at this point this is a pretty closely-knit group, their most recent Thunderclap would suggest that #GamerGate only has just over 3,700 supporters total. That's not a lot, as far as movements go (and this one seems like it will only dwindle over time).

    The Internet means that four thousand people who want to make a lot of noise at once will seem really damn overwhelming, but all the noise may just be a concentrated attempt at maintaining an illusion that large quantities of people even care. /r/KotakuInAction, one of the large #GG subreddits, only has 11,000 readers total, and I doubt all of those are active participants at that.
    posted by rorgy at 1:12 AM on October 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


    Does twitter ban people for death threats and rape threats?

    Yeah, if enough people report an account for making them.

    The thing is, the person can just come back and make another account and start over. And half the time it's gg folks doing the reporting, so I do not doubt that this is something set up behind the scenes where someone agrees to take the hit so everyone else can "report them" and then be all, "see, we don't condone that either" and meanwhile are high-giving the guy behind the scenes.

    --

    Rorgy - what you realize is eloquently put. However, it also strikes me that it is also exactly what feminists have been trying to tell everyone for fifty years. Still, I'm glad you but it so well.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:32 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    My first memory I have is at my grandparents diner, a little truck stop they owned back in the seventies, standing on a chair and playing the Elvis pinball game they had. As I stood there, failing so very badly to properly play pinball (since I was 4), the man on the TV made the announcement that Elvis had died earlier that morning. There I was, my mom trying not to cry as she bussed a table, grown men all around me breaking down and I realized something profound about the meaning of life; if I shook the table just a little bit to the left when I hit the ball I could nudge it closer to where I wanted it to be.

    That was the day I became a gamer.

    It wasn't the hours of Pong I played with the babysitter's daughter, the Christmas morning I awoke to find a Colecovision under the tree, the day I skipped school so I could secretly open the brightly wrapped box with my NES in it and play for an hour before my mom got home. It wasn't the three days I spent on the phone with Origin tech support trying to get my 486 SX 25 to run Ultima 7 or selling my comic collection to buy an SNES. It wasn't the N64 I bought that "fell off the the back of a truck" or that time a guy just up and gave me his Dreamcast because, as he put it, "shit's bullshit, man!".

    No, it was the day Elvis died and I learned to play pinball.

    Since then I've been a lifelong devotee. An advocate of the medium to all that cared to listen. The importance of gaming, the culture that sprang up around it, the fandom, the dingy arcades in the back of ill frequented bars and bowling alleys, everything. Then things changed.

    It was slowly at first, we barely noticed what was happening, we were so of the moment. First it was the LAN...

    DOOM. The first step to our downfall. Collective, competitive gaming. It wasn't bad those early days, but there was a noticeable shift. Before DOOM there was trash talking, but now it was, just a bit, harsher. More personal. Then Quake. Lag was the early bane, the thing that would set that one guy off. But we brushed it off, just letting off steam we said and moved on.

    By the time Counter Strike arrived we were used to it. Then things got SO much worse. The frat boys, the jocks, and the bullys had discovered gaming. Now it was all faggot this fuck you that, and I _________ your ___________ while _________ your _________ watches. A whole new level of hate. Halo and XBOX live ratcheted that hate up past 11. Anger, for no good goddamned reason became the norm. The slightest error led to a public shaming unlike anything seen in the west since the early days of the Red Scare.

    The culture of gaming became poisoned with the fruit of the "Alpha Males".

    Gaming, as so much of so-called nerd culture, has always been made of of, well, nerds like me. Then the bros came. They couldn't attack you anymore by how you looked but they could attack you for any other reason. Anyone who didn't act, speak, or play like them were a target. So we nerds shut up and let them play, hoping against hope, they would get bored and just go away.

    They did not.

    In fact, with this current generation of games, they grew. Both in population and power, they took our thing from us, tried to force everyone to conform to their ideas and language. Many did.

    I am a gamer. As much as I am a husband and a father, I am a gamer. And what I see in the community sickens me. From the toxicity of DOTAs to the acceptance of gamersgate as something about "ethics", we are quickly falling into a chasm it might be impossible to climb out of.

    Anyone who speaks out in the community gets dogpiled on. That's just the truth of the thing. And if you happen to be female (something games in general need) then here comes the rape train jackasses with their pitchforks and torches, out for blood.

    Normally I'm one of those guys, you know, the ones with big ideas that they have no hope of ever making reality. The dreamer who tells you not only how things could be but how those things CAN be... but not this time. I'm at a loss. How do we take back the culture from those who only hate? How do we change without losing our right to remain anonymous?

    I don't know. I hope someone does.
    posted by gideonswann at 1:34 AM on October 14, 2014 [39 favorites]


    Grow the fuck up, we would all like to get on with the business of making and playing video games

    Um, yeah?
    posted by spitbull at 1:50 AM on October 14, 2014


    Yeah, if enough people report an account for making them.

    I tried to report an account for making death/rape threats against someone a few months ago - and the process Twitter made me go through ended with the site telling me that because I, personally, wasn't the target of the threats, my report wouldn't be considered as such. I had to provide links, if I recall, to the tweets, showing evidence of the threats of that account against my account. But it wasn't me being threatened. Fucking hopeless.
    posted by Jimbob at 1:51 AM on October 14, 2014 [14 favorites]


    An account making threats against Brianna Wu was banned. A lot of the gamer gate tweets right before we're urging each other to report him.

    If Twitter is still such a stickler about that today, that makes it even kinda worse, because then the gamer gate guys can say "oh let's report him" knowing it won't matter.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:57 AM on October 14, 2014


    Taking a slightly closer look at KotakuInAction, the highest voted thread, 26 days ago, has 1362 karma, with 92% upvoted. The exact number of votes is unknown, thanks to Reddit's vote fudging algorithms, but it's probably close enough for our purposes. That particular thread was the exposure of the gaming journalists' mailing list, the sort of thing which would make almost every Gator feel like victory was at hand. The #2 thread was about Intel's capitulation to pressure and received 1274 karma, 94%, and, again, was the sort of story which would probably get a majority of active GG supporters to at least hit the up arrow.

    So I think those vote totals is a decent rough estimate of the active GG-favoring Redditors. Fits in nicely, in ballpark figures, with the Thunderclap numbers rorgy quoted above.

    And something encouraging is the drop off. The #3 thread, 7 days old, didn't crack 900.
    posted by honestcoyote at 1:58 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Jimbob is correct. Twitter does not accept complaints about harassment or threats unless the person doing the reporting is the harassee or their representative.

    Meanwhile, ello banned a GamerGater for hate speech and they all seemed to flip their shit, which was hilarious.
    posted by NoraReed at 2:08 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    I'm still not entirely sure of what the GG community is fighting for.

    They're fighting because Eron Gjoni, Zoe Quinn's ex boyfriend came to 4chan with a tale of woe and asked to let them and her fight. Several thousands of obnoxious, easily lead spoiled manchildren letting their id lose on the internet later and you got GamersGate.

    More structurally, GamersGate is a byproduct of the institutionalisation of Republican Culture Wars online which has taught a whole generation of dickheads that a) everything that doesn't adhere to a narrow ideological vision is suspect, b) everything is political and c) everything is justified in winning.

    These are the children of Breidbart.
    posted by MartinWisse at 2:09 AM on October 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


    It only wanders into specifics with the dehumanization section, but all the mechanisms are still standard, like how groups reinforce beliefs about outsiders to reduce cognitive dissonance - everybody does that, but the authors added something about causing harm to make it hateful.

    It would be more meaningful if, for example, a specific threshold of a certain type of brain activity was observed more often in members of hate groups, which was proven to be caused by a certain deliberate sequence of events, and that same brain activity was measured in people who are promoting the current news story. I realize the student wouldn't have been able to get access to data that good, but that doesn't make their project meaningful.


    So even though one of four elements is totally missing from Metafilter (and most internet arguments), it still applies? And the logical conclusion of hateful groups causing harm? This is pretty bad as far as 'it totally applies to everything' because so far you've taken out one of the main parts of the schematic AND gone down some random rabbithole of 'then they added something about harm' as if that weren't the whole damn point of hate groups. Those two things - dehumanisation and causing harm - are the main aspects of hate groups and why they're different to 'normal' groups. That's like saying 'lasagne is just spaghetti bolognese with long flat noodles and bechamel and baked in the oven'. Yes, those things are true, they're also self-evident and necessary to be identified as such.

    And only quantitative applies as evidence as well? Really? That's kind of classic goalpost shifting - there is evidence but since you can twist it to apply to anything and everything, you need cold hard numbers about brain activity? How the hell does that point out anything? There's a matrix of behaviour around hate groups (distinct from other community groups) and GG exhibits those behaviours (and are thus distinct from community groups).
    posted by geek anachronism at 2:23 AM on October 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


    I wish the "Leadership" section of the article was stronger. I don't have any evidence, but it feels to me like there's a small group of 10 people at the center of GamerGate keeping the fires burning. The messaging is too consistent to be a true leaderless / grassroots thing, particularly for messaging that's so incoherent and confusing. I'd be curious to know more about who they are.

    OTOH she's totally right in her analysis of Social-Psychological Techniques, the feeling of group membership. My reading is a lot of the GamerGate folks are boys who just like to be contrary, and now that Ayn Rand and Bitcoin are out of fashion that same type of person picks up on a woman-hating bandwagon. Like I said in the previous discussion, I'm really worried some unstable GG-follower is going to start taking the violent threat making seriously and act on it.

    Reddit can be terrible but it can also be good, depending on the subreddit. This Zoë Quinn AMA yesterday is quite personal and well moderated. Then again yesterday someone on the LoL reddit called me a "feminist", I think as a slur. Guess I started Doing it Right.

    The GG folks have called for a boycott of Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel, the hot new game being released today. Good luck with that.
    posted by Nelson at 2:51 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    EmpressCallipygos: I think the "no, it's about corruption in gaming journalism" was because they figured out it was bad to be honest about what they were really fighting for.
    Indeed. Not to mention that I can think of one gaming journalist who got out of the business last year after they received threats against their family because of a bad review. Savagery was a tactic used by many of these same Internet tough-guys long before any of them had heard of Depression Quest.

    Payola has been a problem in the gaming press for many years. I'd love for there to be a more robust journalistic ethics surrounding reviews especially but I'll be damned if I'll make common cause with a bunch of reactionary, false-chivalric, hat-wearing, red-pill assholes.
    posted by ob1quixote at 2:55 AM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Well put, rorgy. Well put.
    posted by flippant at 3:03 AM on October 14, 2014


    It wasn't the three days I spent on the phone with Origin tech support trying to get my 486 SX 25 to run Ultima 7

    Did you get it to work? Because if you didn't, you should do it right now.

    Always asking the important questions...
    posted by Pyrogenesis at 3:10 AM on October 14, 2014


    The GG folks have called for a boycott of Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel

    That's the first thing that's made me feel good about spending $60 for it. Still... why?
    posted by zompist at 3:16 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Apparently some Borderlands game maker said mean things about GamerGate so they are rising up in righteous anger. They're going to have a hard time with their loyalty tests, though, most of the mainstream gaming industry has made strong public statements against harassment and wanton misogyny.

    Also: a timely editorial from The Guardian. Gamergate's vicious right-wing swell means there can be no neutral stance.
    posted by Nelson at 3:19 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    I tried to report an account for making death/rape threats against someone a few months ago - and the process Twitter made me go through ended with the site telling me that because I, personally, wasn't the target of the threats, my report wouldn't be considered as such. I had to provide links, if I recall, to the tweets, showing evidence of the threats of that account against my account. But it wasn't me being threatened. Fucking hopeless.

    I went through something similar recently with Facebook. Facebook goes to extreme lengths to encourage you to respond to threats and harassment by simply blocking the offender (less work for Facebook!). If you actually want Facebook to take action against the aggressor account, you have to do all the documentation yourself, and absolutely no provision is made for third-parties. This means that the victimised account must not block the aggressor in order to be able to simply see the evidence that they need to collect. Which means that the victimised person has to tolerate hate speech (or worse - say nude photos) directed against them in a public space, and maybe personally wade through heaps of horrific possibly triggering shit. So of course the alternative is for the victim to play whack-a-mole with the block button as the harassers spin up new accounts, ignore the abuse (a blocked account can still post abusive content you just can't see it), and finally leave social media entirely. But, you know, less work for Facebook.

    When someone in Zuckerberg's family has to go through this, maybe we'll see some improvement...
    posted by tempythethird at 3:33 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    honestcoyote: Taking a slightly closer look at KotakuInAction, the highest voted thread, 26 days ago, has 1362 karma, with 92% upvoted. The exact number of votes is unknown, thanks to Reddit's vote fudging algorithms, but it's probably close enough for our purposes. That particular thread was the exposure of the gaming journalists' mailing list, the sort of thing which would make almost every Gator feel like victory was at hand. The #2 thread was about Intel's capitulation to pressure and received 1274 karma, 94%, and, again, was the sort of story which would probably get a majority of active GG supporters to at least hit the up arrow.

    So I think those vote totals is a decent rough estimate of the active GG-favoring Redditors. Fits in nicely, in ballpark figures, with the Thunderclap numbers rorgy quoted above.


    This... doesn't surprise me? even the huge 4chan invasions and harassment campaigns were never very big groups of people, maybe a few hundred. Often seemingly like, 50.

    One of the worst things about the internet is that a torch and pitchfork mob can do a horrendous amount of damage without being very big. A couple thousand people online, with some back channel organization(irc channels, google hangouts, etc), is basically an army. Especially when you consider the force multipliers of scripting and the various automation tools they seem to be using, even if those tools are at times just ctrl+c and ctrl+v(the templated tweets that say almost exactly the same thing but with phrases swapped really seem like they're generated by some script or skiddy tool though. anyone remember LOIC? skiddy tools would be nothing new for this sort of thing)

    Somehow i never really thought this was that big of a movement from the attack front, it just managed to grab a lot of attention online using stuff like thunderclap. There's a lot of people retweeting, tweeting, and talking about it elsewhere online that don't actually participate in harassing people or calling them out when they use the hashtag.

    I think the scariest detail about this, outside of the actual harassment of specific people, is that a professionally organized force of maybe several hundred people with lots of purpose built tools and automation could probably create a similar or larger ruckus. Anyone looking to run a political, marketing, or just general propaganda campaign is probably licking their fucking chops looking at this right now. It seems like all you really need is a bunch of public IPs and dummy email accounts to register a shitload of twitter accounts, config them with random photos from google images(or a huge folder on your server), and start farting out tweets and eventually coalescing in to something like this.

    The internet feels really big sometimes, but at moments like this it's like the goddamn early 2000s again. It only takes a shitty-phpbb-board-about-some-free-MMO's worth of people to create this much of a shitstorm. And it probably only took 5 or 10 people, or even less starting all this and knowing what to post where to rile it all up in the first place.

    It's sort of cyberpunk, but in the really shitty depressing way.
    posted by emptythought at 3:53 AM on October 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


    The internet feels really big sometimes, but at moments like this it's like the goddamn early 2000s again. It only takes a shitty-phpbb-board-about-some-free-MMO's worth of people to create this much of a shitstorm. And it probably only took 5 or 10 people, or even less starting all this and knowing what to post where to rile it all up in the first place.

    It strikes me that this fact is the answer to gideonswan's lament above, where he wonders how the regular gamers can take gaming back from these guys.

    Gideonswan - you want to know who can take gaming back? You can. Fight fire with fire and beat them at their own game.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The GG folks have called for a boycott of Borderlands: the Pre-Sequel

    Well, shit. I wasn't terribly interested in it before (despite enjoying Borderlands 2 quite a bit), but I guess I should go out and buy it now. Anything that gets the GamerGate crowd to have a collective tantrum can't be all bad.
    posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:40 AM on October 14, 2014


    Taking a slightly closer look at KotakuInAction, the highest voted thread, 26 days ago, has 1362 karma, with 92% upvoted. The exact number of votes is unknown, thanks to Reddit's vote fudging algorithms, but it's probably close enough for our purposes.

    I'm no Reddit expert, but in my scant experience with Reddit, user engagement (upvote / downvote) is roughly 1% of view count so this allows you to extrapolate total views from votes, with % up / down indicating general opinion. I sometimes post personal content (it's discouraged, you can get banned, but whatever) and this allows me to correlate user engagement in Reddit versus actual content views, so for example, a post with 60,000 click-throughs generates roughly 600 votes.

    I'm sure it varies by subreddit too so who knows. But at face value a 1,300 karma post would have a clickthrough rate of 130,000.
    posted by xdvesper at 4:41 AM on October 14, 2014


    "Gamers" has basically always been a label that could be so broad that it meant very little--when it was used in a marketing sense it was narrowed down to "consumers of a particularly lucrative subset of games who also happen to have an unusually high level of disposable income and free time", but that's never been an authentic picture of the whole of the industry. But as far as the viewpoints of the consumers themselves--there's always been a tendency for certain groups to see themselves as The Only Real Gamers, and it's never been true, but how do you convince them of that?

    It's not even just a nerd/bro thing. Back in the mid-1990s, I was insufficiently serious about it because I mostly played JRPGs--or was it just playing RPGs in general? Is it wimpy to play RPGs at all if everything isn't represented by different text characters? Is real time strategy the One True Gaming, or is it the first-person shooter? Okay, maybe too recent, go back to the 80s, are you playing King's Quest or Mario? Gauntlet or Below the Root? Zork or Mystery House? Certain sorts of people always wanted to be the most hardcore about it and make out about how much more challenging it was to be them. It's like having somebody march up to your house and announce that they own it and, indeed, your whole block, and then trying to convince them to give your house back.
    posted by Sequence at 5:09 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I think, if you want to talk about roots of this crap, it's actually even deeper than the current style of in/out politics; I think this both are the natural outgrowth of the consumer identity. Rather than building communities, the vast bulk of people now identify themselves as part of groups defined for them, because, after all, they are consumers, not citizens or members of society.

    This has dire implications when you have chosen as your group a meaningless and moderately vile label like "gamer" or "brony" or what have you. (Yes, I include all the trendy fandoms in this category.) The consumption of entertainment as identity politics means that you put too much of your self into something that cannot bear the weight; and when anything arises that threatens that, you feel more threatened than you would in a traditional community, because the connections between people are so tenuous that a slight redrawing of the lines might not enlarge the group but instead just move it a few inches in the wrong direction and leave you outside.

    If you combine this with the steady march of technology and a social malaise that leaves most of these men feeling useless, we've got a problem. There are, at least, thousands of men who end up feeling insecure and completely without self-worth, attaching themselves to labels that most people (who have achieved self-actualization in other ways) will find baffling or offensive. It's all a performance game to reinforce the applicability of their identity politics; #GamerGate is a blessing in disguise for them because it allows a more specific and issue-centric label to apply to a more strongly-defined identity marker than simply "gamer," which anyone who plays Clash of Clans can appropriate.

    Sarkeesian makes the point that the "patriarchy" is competition between males. Follow that to its conclusion. If one defining trait of a patriarchal society is competition between males, and we live in a patriarchal society, the majority of men must be in some degree "losers" in that competition. Historically, in a society with more strict gender roles, even these men would largely be able to form family units because there are roughly equal numbers of men and women. There were exceptions, but they were largely exceptional—the mentally ill, physically disabled, developmentally disabled, or indigent. However, once gender roles are loosened, it becomes easier for more successful men to "compete for" multiple women, both because they don't need to support them and the women feel less social pressure to be purely monogamous. By contrast, the unsuccessful male is likely to never have a meaningful, adult relationship.

    The solution to this is, unfortunately, not simple: it is to provide routes to genuine self-actualization for these men and boys. They need to have a way to feel connections to communities at large, with rich relationships that include young and old, men and women. How do you achieve that? Is it even possible?
    posted by sonic meat machine at 5:17 AM on October 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


    Twitter like, "doesn't moderate for content". I've covered this in other threads, but no social media platform wants to admit they can and that it isn't an insurmountable problem because then they'll get criticized for every single thing they don't deal with and sued for not preventing harassment and bla bla bla.

    And all those things SHOULD happen, but as long as they pretend they couldn't possible do it and they'd need a staff of millions and shit then they're at least for now, blame free.


    What you say is completely true, but it still makes no sense to me. If I go downtown and stand on a street corner, I can talk about whatever I want and literally have free speech. But if I call the local police and tell them that some dude is threatening to rape and kill me, I can expect that to be taken at least a bit seriously – that is criminal activity and deserves a clear police response. Twitter's continued refusal to treat rape and death threats with even the tiniest degree of importance would seem like something that should be opening the company to enormous liability, and is demonstrably harming the people being threatened.

    I don't play games myself, but I'd guess that most people I know play them at least casually. This awfulness is clearly not reflective of the majority of the people who enjoy games, but it is also connected somehow to the industry and way it has nurtured its core fanbase. There is something rotten inside the enterprise, and I hope that people find a way to remove the awfulness because games are clearly fun for most people and there's no reason to have this kind of open misogyny connected to it.
    posted by Dip Flash at 5:31 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Taking a slightly closer look at KotakuInAction, the highest voted thread, 26 days ago, has 1362 karma, with 92% upvoted. The exact number of votes is unknown, thanks to Reddit's vote fudging algorithms, but it's probably close enough for our purposes.

    1,300 displayed net upvotes is something like 1,900-2,600 actual net upvotes, supposedly. Same ballpark, though.
    posted by michaelh at 5:46 AM on October 14, 2014


    The latest tactics of #gamergate appear to be telling women they're abusing that they're reacting to said abuse incorrectly.
    posted by almostmanda at 5:46 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    There's two "sides" to the #GamerGate discussion in the same way as there are two "sides" in a debate between fixing the allowable feces level in drinking water at 1 pound per gallon and 0 pounds per gallon. A "neutral" or "even-handed" approach is nothing more than agreeing to a lifetime of drinking a shit slurry in the name of "fairness".

    The most positive thing you can say about a #GamerGate proponent is that it's possible that instead of being a horrible misogynist, they're just a complete idiot who has been fooled by unbelievably obvious tactics being coordinated by people who pretty much wear their misogyny on their sleeve. As I've said previously, that's some pretty faint praise.
    posted by tocts at 5:51 AM on October 14, 2014 [16 favorites]


    I'm no Reddit expert, but in my scant experience with Reddit, user engagement (upvote / downvote) is roughly 1% of view count so this allows you to extrapolate total views from votes, with % up / down indicating general opinion. I sometimes post personal content (it's discouraged, you can get banned, but whatever) and this allows me to correlate user engagement in Reddit versus actual content views, so for example, a post with 60,000 click-throughs generates roughly 600 votes.

    I'm sure it varies by subreddit too so who knows. But at face value a 1,300 karma post would have a clickthrough rate of 130,000.


    At /r/TheoryOfReddit, the consensus is that for the average subreddit, for every 100 people that view, 10 people vote and 1 person comments. I think it may be more skewed on mega-popular subreddits like /r/pics.
    posted by Jpfed at 6:04 AM on October 14, 2014


    Follow that to its conclusion.

    I'm not sure that's actually a conclusion that follows, though. The patriarchal competition between males isn't just for mates, and while there's plenty of ways that modern society is still patriarchal, we haven't regressed to the point that women don't get to choose their own partners. Behaving like a jerk towards women on the internet would seem to damage one's relationship chances much more than any change in gender roles. Lots of guys who aren't exactly going to be CEOs or sports stars or senators nevertheless have satisfying relationships just by being decent guys. Any guy who "never [has] a meaningful, adult relationship" outside of disability and the like either has unreasonable standards or a poor excuse for a personality. It's not a real risk.

    Not that we don't all need things that give us meaning aside from our relationships, but any idea that they're going to lash out because women aren't going to find male geeks attractive is just silly. Thinkgeek has a whole section for baby and kid stuff, now, and there are whole internet discussions about whether you should allow your children to watch Star Wars Episode 1 and what to do if said kid turns out to actually like JarJar. Feminism hasn't suddenly rendered relationships and families inaccessible to these guys. If they're inaccessible, it's because they're never actually interacting with real live women.
    posted by Sequence at 6:05 AM on October 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


    One thing that's good about all this is that the vast majority of people who come into contact with GamerGate nonsense seem to respond with "Eww, you're kidding, right?" People are, in general, not buying that it's anything but disgusting misogyny, and that's a good thing.

    Hey now, stalwarts of justice like Richard Dawkins, James Desborough, and Adam Baldwin are on the GG side, so they must be doing something right!
    posted by kmz at 6:35 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Twitter is certainly the place where a single use of the #GamerGate tag will instantly leave you swamped with anime-avatar-arseholes explaining to you the error of your ways and how it's all about ethics in journalism, or, if you're female, rape and death threats.

    I didn't even use the hashtag, but did fire off an angry tweet at Intel for their role in this debacle.

    I don't tweet often, and have very few followers, so I was surprised to see how many hate-tweets were sent my way after that. Like, holy shit, somebody was monitoring Twitter for all uses of "Intel," and indiscriminately shouting at anybody who mentioned it.
    posted by schmod at 6:36 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Years and years before GG, before 4chan or twitter even existed, I was a developer in an online MMO; I was in charge of the magic system.

    I had people telling me they wished I'd die of cancer or a bus accident or any number of unpleasant things because I dared to implement something for a class they didn't play instead of working on theirs, or because I had the gall to adjust game balance or fix a bug that they thought was in their favor, or because I (temporarily) banned someone for harassing other players.

    At the time, the market was smaller, the assholes less organized, and it was all easier to laugh off. But still, it didn't exactly make one feel good.

    I worked in the game industry for about 17 years. Sometimes I still miss it, but there are definitely things I don't miss. I have never had an engineer wish brain hemorrhages upon me because I worked on the wrong feature.
    posted by Foosnark at 6:39 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    [Derail about the Southern Poverty Law Center nixed, seems a little out of place here.]
    posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:49 AM on October 14, 2014


    Hey now, stalwarts of justice like Richard Dawkins, James Desborough, and Adam Baldwin are on the GG side, so they must be doing something right!

    Wait, Dawkins is pro-GG, seriously? How on earth did I miss that one?
    posted by Andrhia at 6:49 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The patriarchal competition between males isn't just for mates, and while there's plenty of ways that modern society is still patriarchal, we haven't regressed to the point that women don't get to choose their own partners.
    That's true. However, relationships are one of the most important (if not the most important) aspects of peoples' lives; changes in relationship dynamics have an outsize impact on feelings of belonging and well-being.
    Behaving like a jerk towards women on the internet would seem to damage one's relationship chances much more than any change in gender roles.
    Doubtful. Most of these people are remaining anonymous, unless their vitriol crosses into illegal activity: they can shed the identity and be a "normal" guy in situations that require it. That's part of what encourages this type of behavior.
    Lots of guys who aren't exactly going to be CEOs or sports stars or senators nevertheless have satisfying relationships just by being decent guys. Any guy who "never [has] a meaningful, adult relationship" outside of disability and the like either has unreasonable standards or a poor excuse for a personality. It's not a real risk.
    I disagree with this. I don't have data on it, but my experience says that there are a relatively large number of men (many of my friends) who are worthwhile people and who would be good partners in the long term who are not, in fact, competitive in a short-term sense. They are shy, or are less physically attractive, than is required to succeed in most modern social situations. In a bygone era they would've likely been set up with a similarly shy, "mousy" girl by their mother. Not ideal for either partner, but it meant that most people formed a family.
    Not that we don't all need things that give us meaning aside from our relationships, but any idea that they're going to lash out because women aren't going to find male geeks attractive is just silly.
    I don't have a response to this. I don't think it's silly. Relationships and mating are fundamental to our self-worth and are, in fact, at the root of many biological urges. I think it's a little weird to assume that sexual actualization is important (and difficult) for everyone who isn't a heterosexual cismale, but that unexamined issues in this area can't be a source for psychological problems in the cishet population as well.
    Thinkgeek has a whole section for baby and kid stuff, now...
    Sure, being a geek doesn't necessarily entail that you are a social isolate. Many people, even geeks, do find each other; my argument is not absolutist.
    If they're inaccessible, it's because they're never actually interacting with real live women.
    Yes, this is true. The question is: where would they? We age-segregate all of our education, so you're with the same pool of people for 13 years in public schools. College is a finite term, which many people can't afford or must spend working in order to support their education. Work, where people can have meaningful and long-term interactions, and thus get to know each other, is a brutal place to try to date (there are simply too many potential complications). Bars are a non-starter for a shy man. They simply don't work.

    I mean, I met my wife through okcupid; I was lucky. If not for that, I wouldn't have found her, and I'd likely still be in the demographic I am discussing here. There aren't a lot of good options.

    Also, I want to clarify: the gamergate stuff is pathological. It is a sign of mental illness. I am arguing that its genesis is in social isolation and a lack of meaningful relationships, not that it is a defensible or rational position.
    posted by sonic meat machine at 6:59 AM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    At /r/TheoryOfReddit, the consensus is that for the average subreddit, for every 100 people that view, 10 people vote and 1 person comments. I think it may be more skewed on mega-popular subreddits like /r/pics.

    I'd guess that for a subreddit built around activism the vote/view ratio is going to be even closer.
    posted by empath at 6:59 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Side note: "social justice warrior" does indeed seem to be making it into mainstream use in a non(?)-derogatory use, cf. the seventh paragraph in this article about Ferguson October. (Let's make a new thread to talk about Ferguson October rather than derail in here.)

    (Also note re: Southern Poverty Law Center being a derail. I didn't see the original comment so not trying to comment about it or the mod message, but SPLC is the main group in the US that monitors and, sort of semi-officially "certifies" whether or not groups are hate groups, so it could be relevant to bring them up in this thread, depending on how it was raised. They are generally concerned with officially organized groups, or else less organized groups like the Sovereign Citizens that have been going on for a longer duration than a couple months, however, and I can certainly think of SPLC-related comments that would be a derail here though, and as mentioned, did not see the comment, so not trying to take issue with any moderation decision.)

    posted by eviemath at 7:00 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Didn't read the thread yet, but some of #gamergate reminds me of The Third Wave
    The Third Wave was a social experiment to demonstrate that even democratic societies are not immune to the appeal of fascism. It was undertaken by history teacher Ron Jones with sophomore high school students attending his "Contemporary World" history class as part of a study of Nazi Germany.
    The appeal of being part of something larger, the structure, their marching orders... I've encountered a number of gaters that are obviously just kids who are desperately lonely, and have told me in no uncertain terms that #gamergate makes them feel welcome and listens to their problems when no one else would.

    The TV movie version that we watched way back in school: The Wave
    posted by Theta States at 7:01 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    I disagree with this. I don't have data on it, but my experience says that there are a relatively large number of men (many of my friends) who are worthwhile people and who would be good partners in the long term who are not, in fact, competitive in a short-term sense. 

    this describes many women too and yet they aren't ganging up and threatening to rape and kill men in droves.
    posted by nadawi at 7:14 AM on October 14, 2014 [56 favorites]


    ProTip: These techniques can be reverse-engineered and modified to create love groups rather than hate groups.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The true irony, though?
    Had #Gamergate participated in my survey honestly, as a researcher, I would gladly have taken their data. After all, I recognize that they play games, and to exclude their data purely on the grounds of our moral disagreement would be unethical. They would have added a layer of diverse opinions to the data set. I would have valued those opinions. The relationship to data, and ultimately my participants, for me, is sacred.
    Their hatred has literally blinded them to their group's purported cause, and they squandered the exact opportunity to have their opinions taken seriously.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 7:17 AM on October 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Also, I want to clarify: the gamergate stuff is pathological. It is a sign of mental illness. I am arguing that its genesis is in social isolation and a lack of meaningful relationships, not that it is a defensible or rational position.

    I think a lot of participants are also just very young and probably haven't really cemented as people yet. Anecdotally, it seems like many young men don't really develop empathy (both in general and for women) until some outside pressure triggers it. Their first serious relationship, or a job in customer service, or a friend with depression, or something. If you have a movement at least partially comprised of teenage boys, of course some of them are going to see this all as "feminists are jerks who want to take my toys away" rather than "women are fighting to do things I take for granted". They don't have the life experience to see things that way.

    And I'm not sure how to separate out the grown men who consciously hate women and are deliberate in their harassment from the young boys and grown men who lack empathy for women. I don't know if we should separate them out. They seem like two separate problems to tackle, but the effect on women is the same either way.
    posted by almostmanda at 7:24 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    It's time for people who love playing video games to stand up against "gamers"

    I have played video games since my first Intellivision back in 1980-whatever. Now I only really have time for maybe an hour or so of Minecraft with my 7 year-old son. I've been following this in horror basically since it first broke, but I'm not really sure what I can do -- I don't tweet, I've abandoned Facebook and my real-life friends are mostly self-selected to not be "gamers". What can I do to help?
    posted by Jugwine at 7:26 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    What you're doing right now. Expressing your disgust with the actions of the Gamergaters whenever they come up in conversation.

    Because you never know who else could be listening, and whether they have Twitter feeds of their own.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:30 AM on October 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


    find out if your town has hacker spaces for girls/women and donate to them. give to the patreon accounts of affected women. as he ages, teach your son to respect women and keep a look out for these types of men gaining influence in spaces he inhabits.
    posted by nadawi at 7:30 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    sonic meat machine, you seem to want some kind of welfare program that helps socially awkward males to get sex/relationships, the implication being that women/society need to get on this or else things like GamerGate will happen. The problem with that is that that job is not anyone else's; it's theirs. You went to OKCupid and met someone. You said you were "lucky" unlike your friends. On the contrary, I'd say you took initiative and took responsibility for your own mental and social health. Which is what your friends should also do.

    I would also posit that, it is not awkwardness holding a lot of these boys back but the exact unwitting feeling of entitlement you exhibit here. Life/society/womankind owes them sexual happiness. And they are angry that it has not happened! Why isn't Someone Doing Something about this?

    The problem is with that first assumption. Not just because it's unjust, deeply unjust, for any group of people to demand that the rest of society find them romantic partners so that they do not become violent, but because it would not work anyway. Figuring out who you are, how you relate to others, how to create your soul--this is not work anyone else can do for you. This is what it means to be a human being; to assume responsibility for your own happiness.

    (Also, what we know about people who commit acts of sexual violence is that it is about power, not lack of access to sex. Many rapists have been married or had girlfriends and were able to get sex. But what they wanted was power over women, and the ability to humiliate them. In other words, a man's tendency to use sexual harassment and rape threats cannot be cured by a willing woman giving that man sex).

    To assume that men, or a large group of men, are so fundamentally broken that they must be coddled and catered too sexually or they will become dangerous is to make a huge leap of logic that is not, so far as I know, backed up by any actual facts. If men are expected to treat women as human beings, raised to do so, I believe they are entirely capable of it. If a lot of men have not been raised this way and exhibit pathological behavior as a result, that is a matter for therapy and, when necessary, criminal charges. If only because we do not want this to keep happening.
    posted by emjaybee at 7:35 AM on October 14, 2014 [66 favorites]


    I don't have data on it, but my experience says that there are a relatively large number of men (many of my friends) who are worthwhile people and who would be good partners in the long term who are not, in fact, competitive in a short-term sense. They are shy, or are less physically attractive, than is required to succeed in most modern social situations. In a bygone era they would've likely been set up with a similarly shy, "mousy" girl by their mother.

    So why isn't there societal pressure for these shy, mousy guys to suck it up and go on OKCupid, the way that the shy mousy girls of today are told to do?

    I'm exactly the kind of person that would have to have had my mother set me up with someone in that "bygone era" you're talking about. I was similarly shy in my 20's. And you know what, I got myself over it, and so should these yutzes.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:39 AM on October 14, 2014 [28 favorites]


    I've been a gamer for two decades now. Here's what I don't understand. Even if you ignore all the misogyny and take the GG folks at face value... who actually cares about game journalism?! Since the beginning, the gaming media has been all about building hype and providing gaming-related entertainment outside of games. AND WE KNEW THIS! We used to spend hours reading stacks PC Gamers for fun, laughing at the dumb jokes, drooling over the screenshots, and at no point did any of us complain about "ethics" or "corruption". I mean, these guys weren't exactly producing hard-hitting journalism under enemy fire. Even if there is "corruption", the worst that's going to happen is that somebody's gonna spend $50 on a game that maybe isn't as good as they had hoped.

    I'm saying this not because I think GG as a whole is actually about ethics (clearly it's not), but because there are certainly people in the GG movement who believe this and stick with the movement for this reason. You're gonna throw your lot in with these unpleasant people because of gaming reviews? I really don't get it.
    posted by archagon at 7:42 AM on October 14, 2014 [18 favorites]


    I'm saying this not because I think GG as a whole is actually about ethics (clearly it's not), but because there are certainly people in the GG movement who believe this and stick with the movement for this reason. You're gonna throw your lot in with these unpleasant people because of gaming reviews?

    No, see, they say it's about gaming reviews the way that some people say that the Civil War was about "states' rights" or that the Tea Party is about "small government" - because they're unable to face their own prejudice and admit that they're actually fighting for the right to stay racist and sexist.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:54 AM on October 14, 2014 [22 favorites]


    emjaybee, you have deeply misunderstood my point. I am not arguing for any particular action (or even that the feeling of entitlement is justified or good). I am saying that there is a demographic of men who feel disenfranchised/socially isolated, and trying to think about the cause of that and its consequences.

    I'm beanplating, rather than proposing social programs for these yutzes.
    posted by sonic meat machine at 7:55 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    We used to spend hours reading stacks PC Gamers for fun, laughing at the dumb jokes, drooling over the screenshots, and at no point did any of us complain about "ethics" or "corruption".

    Complaining about the lack of good gaming journalism has been a thing for decades, but yeah, I don't know anyone who has half a brain that really expected that much anyway.

    Besides, if the complaint were really that Gaming Journalism is vapid and dumb, then why bag on Anita Sarkeesian ? You don't have to agree with all of her points (and I certainly don't) to see that she has taken game criticism to a whole nother level. Yet, she gets rape and death threats from people who insist that games and "gamers" should be taken more seriously.

    They're full of shit, is what I'm saying. They're just hateful morons.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:57 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    So why isn't there societal pressure for these shy, mousy guys to suck it up and go on OKCupid, the way that the shy mousy girls of today are told to do?

    Does it work for them in the same way?
    posted by sonic meat machine at 7:58 AM on October 14, 2014


    In a couple of years this clusterfuck will be a goldmine of opportunities to sabotage/destroy the careers of a lot of hateful men who deserve it. The cops aren't doing anything about these threatening morons now (because they're cops, duh), but sooooo many PR disasters are hiding out there on the horizon waiting to happen.

    ...so there's that, I guess?

    Seriously. Data-mine the hell out of these hastags, think about semantic analysis, and keep the results close to your vest for the right moment. Windows of opportunity are marching toward us in time.
    posted by aramaic at 7:58 AM on October 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


    Most of these people are remaining anonymous, unless their vitriol crosses into illegal activity: they can shed the identity and be a "normal" guy in situations that require it.

    In the not-yet-distant-enough past, I dated a guy who was active on 4chan. Believe me, they do not pass for normal very well. Not that he walked around with a giant label on, but the attitude doesn't magically melt away when they get off the computer. It really doesn't. If you don't respect women and POC online, you don't respect them in the real world, either. Oh, the memorable "I'm allowed to use antisemitic slurs because I think one of my grandparents was raised Jewish although I don't have any documentation of that and my living family is made up entirely of conservative Christians" conversation. Charmer. And even if he isn't alone forever.

    They are shy, or are less physically attractive, than is required to succeed in most modern social situations.

    And this is the fundamental missing part: There are roughly as many girls who are also shy and/or less physically attractive than is socially ideal as there are guys. These aren't guy-only things. Either half the population is just doomed to be alone forever, or we invent things like the internet and OKcupid and gaming meetups and whatever where the socially awkward can meet each other and make socially awkward babies. They really are doing that all the time already. "We met on the internet" is no longer this fringe thing.

    I can see how it might contribute if there were an actual shortage of female human beings in the younger age bracket, but I don't see how anybody can actually regard the world as presenting a serious risk of lifelong solitude unless someone else was feeding them that garbage, which is a very different thing from them springing naturally to that conclusion based on available evidence.
    posted by Sequence at 8:02 AM on October 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


    Also, Metafilter's own Jscalzi has trolled the morons with #PineapplePizzaGate, primarily in response to the response to this.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:04 AM on October 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


    in my experience as an anti social, not showering regularly, nerdy girl - the boys who complained about no girls wanting them and only wanting jerks rarely considered girls like me worthy of romantic attention, while simultaneously complaining that i could have any boy i wanted (demonstrably untrue) and going on and on about how unfair it was.
    posted by nadawi at 8:07 AM on October 14, 2014 [54 favorites]


    Because of the more recent critical eye turning towards gaming as legit artform and entertainment Gators are getting scared that companies will decide to not release Murder Simulator 2017 anymore.

    They're going apeshit about 'journalist ethics' because a bunch of indie leaning folks had some (what should have been private) drama and they think they can use that to drive all the journalists and commentators who might dare not give Gunz Online! 9/10 bacon stars out of the industry while they can.
    posted by PenDevil at 8:07 AM on October 14, 2014


    won't someone, anyone, please think of the shy men who are screwed by modern gender roles & sexual liberation who are totally 100% relevant to this thread and for whose existence I have lots of evidence, like a hunch
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:11 AM on October 14, 2014 [41 favorites]


    I've been a gamer for two decades now. Here's what I don't understand. Even if you ignore all the misogyny and take the GG folks at face value... who actually cares about game journalism?! Since the beginning, the gaming media has been all about building hype and providing gaming-related entertainment outside of games. AND WE KNEW THIS!

    I've been paying more attention to #gamergate than is probably healthy, so I'll try to explain it. The "corruption" they're worried about aren't the well-known ties between game publishers and press, that's the status quo they want to preserve (explicitly so: see their campaigns to pressure advertisers to stop advertising on sites they don't like). They're shouting about what they perceive as ideological corruption. #gamergate believes that games journalists are forgoing their "duty to inform the consumer" in order to push some kind of radical left-wing agenda.

    This is in response to an increase in the last few years of socially-conscious game criticism, of which Anita Sarkeesian is probably the most prominent example. It's also filtered through this paranoia of "they're coming for your games!" because the last time someone got attention criticizing the content in video games, it was Jack Thompson trying to ban Grand Theft Auto. (A Twitter search for "jack thompson #gamergate" is revealing.)
    posted by skymt at 8:14 AM on October 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Jenni Goodchild is beating her head against a wall trying to explain like basic logic 101 syllogism stuff to a bunch of GGers, and it is depressing as hell.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:15 AM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    You're right, Rustic Etruscan. There's no use in thinking about potential reasons this pathological, anti-female behavior has emerged in this subculture with which I am familiar. I will stop expressing my ideas about it in this discussion forum until sociologists have written doctoral dissertations on the subject.
    posted by sonic meat machine at 8:16 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Jenni Goodchild is beating her head against a wall trying to explain like basic logic 101 syllogism stuff to a bunch of GGers, and it is depressing as hell.

    I'm having horrible flashbacks to that logic class I took in undergrad that was half philosophy majors and half people who figured it would help them pass the bar. The latter group was... interesting.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 8:17 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    won't someone, anyone, please think of the shy men who are screwed by modern gender roles & sexual liberation who are totally 100% relevant to this thread and for whose existence I have lots of evidence, like a hunch

    They should just play World of Warcraft to find a wife like I did.
    posted by Talez at 8:20 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    I am saying that there is a demographic of men who feel disenfranchised/socially isolated, and trying to think about the cause of that and its consequences.

    I am a shy, mousy person who felt very disenfranchised and socially isolated in my teens and twenties. I'm also a woman. Instead of acting out by harassing women online and sending them rape threats, I self-injured and developed an eating disorder. My experience isn't unusual; it's so common that it's a cliché.

    There are scores of both men and women who feel terribly isolated and inadequate because they don't fit the social mold. It's not a problem disproportionately experienced by either gender. Yet men respond by blaming women and women respond by blaming themselves.
    posted by Metroid Baby at 8:20 AM on October 14, 2014 [78 favorites]


    You're right, Rustic Etruscan. There's no use in thinking about potential reasons this pathological, anti-female behavior has emerged in this subculture with which I am familiar. I will stop expressing my ideas about it in this discussion forum until sociologists have written doctoral dissertations on the subject.

    It's kind of not necessary to speculate why this pathological behavior has emerged in the subculture because there are plenty of other people in the subculture who've already pinpointed why, and there are plenty of people outside the subculture who've already pinpoitned why, and it's kind of also visible from space why.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:20 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    My understanding is that World of Warcraft's status as a game has been disavowed now. I think the only games are Call of Duty: Whatever and League of Legends.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:21 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    These children need to be spanked. Especially the grown ones.
    posted by echocollate at 8:22 AM on October 14, 2014


    We're all Social Justice Warriors here, echocollate, and are opposed to corporal punishment. Maybe we could make a sticker chart, where if they behave themselves on Twitter 20 times this week, they can go to Gamestop and pick out any game they want.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:23 AM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    It's kind of not necessary to speculate why this pathological behavior has emerged in the subculture because there are plenty of other people in the subculture who've already pinpointed why, and there are plenty of people outside the subculture who've already pinpoitned why, and it's kind of also visible from space why.

    What do I need to do in order to become someone with valid ideas?
    posted by sonic meat machine at 8:26 AM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    I agree that the Gamers are too organized and on message to not have a leadership; within minutes of any mainstream news article on #gamergate a flood of on-message posts will begin. I recall on, I think the NPR article, one of the Gamers actually screwed up and posted the same post twice from different accounts. So they have a reserve of posts that they probably stockpile during off times, which means they can flood any discussion with "on message"posts.

    Even with a leadership of a dozen or so, maybe 1000 activist True Believers, and 10,000 duped supporters, #gamergaters are an army that's highly effective. The current structure of the internet means they can act with impunity, and they have organization and numbers their opponents can't match. I doubt an individual Gster even has to spend much time or effort on support. They really are becoming a model other hate groups are undeniably studying.

    Long term, only a major shift in the way the internet is structured will end the threat. In the short term, I honestly don't know what to do to stop them other than publishing information out about them.
    posted by happyroach at 8:28 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    What do I need to do in order to become someone with valid ideas?

    Let's try a process of elimination. Passive-aggressive sarcasm didn't seem to work. So there's progress.
    posted by Talez at 8:29 AM on October 14, 2014 [15 favorites]


    It's kind of not necessary to speculate why this pathological behavior has emerged in the subculture because there are plenty of other people in the subculture who've already pinpointed why, and there are plenty of people outside the subculture who've already pinpoitned why, and it's kind of also visible from space why.

    It's necessary because we have no idea how to fix it. Clearly, something needs to change to keep this from being the new normal. Social networks have to change, or men have to change. It's worth investigating every angle of how to address it, because what we're doing now isn't working. I get that no one here feels pity for these vile young men, and of course the women being harassed are the real victims, but "how do we keep men from joining hate groups?" is pretty relevant to the topic at hand.
    posted by almostmanda at 8:32 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    I don't have data on it, but my experience says that there are a relatively large number of men (many of my friends) who are worthwhile people and who would be good partners in the long term who are not, in fact, competitive in a short-term sense. They are shy, or are less physically attractive, than is required to succeed in most modern social situations.

    I mean, I met my wife through okcupid; I was lucky. If not for that, I wouldn't have found her, and I'd likely still be in the demographic I am discussing here. There aren't a lot of good options.

    But the larger issue, that ties GamerGate in with our patriarchal society considered as a whole, is encapsulated in your use of the word "competitive."

    Because women are not a finite resource, like ammo or manna or hit points, and another male getting romantic with [Particular Woman] first doesn't mean they win and you lose, and you don't "level up" if you make a love connection with a "high value" woman.

    Or, at least, lots of us think relations between the genders shouldn't be viewed this way - but they are, which is a symptom of a patriarchal culture. Tons of men think about relationships this way, even if they're not gamers; maybe they'd be more familiar with sports or financial analogies, but they're still thinking of establishing a relationship with a woman in terms of "competing with other men."

    And so GamerGate (and the other backlashes against women or feminism that've popped up in the last few years in other "geek culture" contexts, like the Skepchick ElevatorGate incident, or some of the fights surrounding harassment at SF cons) are examples of how we still exist in a noticeably sexist society.

    The "good option" is to quit thinking of it as a competition.

    Which can be very very difficult, true, given the society we currently live in. But various people speaking out against GamerGate is one way to point out that thinking that men have to be "competitive" for the attention of women is bullshit.
    posted by soundguy99 at 8:35 AM on October 14, 2014 [15 favorites]


    What do I need to do in order to become someone with valid ideas?

    The reason you're getting such pushback is that you appear more concerned with the poor forever-alones than with the women getting death threats. Honestly, your comments have come off a bit like "well if some women would just fuck these guys, everything would be fine." I get that you're not trying to say that, but that's how I read your first few comments.

    Besides, if we're going to talk about the social forces that lead to hordes of angry, aimless young men, we should probably start with our shitty economy before we bemoan that these poor young men just can't seem to capture the attention of any of those mean women they are so entitled to.
    posted by dialetheia at 8:36 AM on October 14, 2014 [31 favorites]


    What do I need to do in order to become someone with valid ideas?

    Well, one, don't assume that these guys are only doing this because they can't get into, or won't try to get into, a mature, healthy, relationship, since that line assumes facts not in evidence: You can be in a relationship and still be a horrific misogynist. And if you're going to start on that line, use better reasoning tools than abstract, ahistorical notions of how new families formed at some unspecified time and place.

    On preview, dialetheia said it better.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 8:38 AM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    It's worth investigating every angle of how to address it, because what we're doing now isn't working. I get that no one here feels pity for these vile young men, and of course the women being harassed are the real victims, but "how do we keep men from joining hate groups?" is pretty relevant to the topic at hand.

    See, though, we already had this kind of conversation back when Elliot Rodger did his thing, and there were plenty of really awesome theories proposed then for this same problem so trying to re-analyze this is kind of retreading the same damn ground.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:39 AM on October 14, 2014


    That's interesting, because I felt like a lot of that Elliot Rodger thread was men distancing themselves from the obvious misogyny or denying the part it played. The "gamer" identity is a much more widely adopted identity than MRA or PUA, and the misogyny at play here is even more obvious. This seems like fertile ground for continued discussion, because more men will see themselves as involved.
    posted by almostmanda at 8:44 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    trying to explain like basic logic 101 syllogism stuff

    oh my GOD apparently like 2/3rds of the alumni of my logic 101 class are now gamergaters =(
    posted by ominous_paws at 8:53 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I felt like a lot of that Elliot Rodger thread was men distancing themselves from the obvious misogyny or denying the part it played. The "gamer" identity is a much more widely adopted identity than MRA or PUA, and the misogyny at play here is even more obvious.

    I'm sure you can appreciate, therefore, why so many of the women in the Elliot Rodger thread are frustrated that so many men tried to distance themselves from the misogyny at hand and are reluctant to re-tread the same ground all over again - because hell, it felt way obvious back then, and so many men still were resistant, so with something more obvious wouldn't they just resist and deny even harder and so who needs that?....
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:54 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    men feel entitled to women/sex/love and when they don't get it they can turn violent isn't a new groundbreaking idea. the only workable solution is to stop socializing boys to see women as lesser, as a reward, as a side kick. certain men and women will find themselves forever alone. why do the defenders of shy guys only seem to care about half of those people?
    posted by nadawi at 8:56 AM on October 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


    why do the defenders of shy guys only seem to care about half of those people?

    Who do you see defending them?
    posted by sonic meat machine at 8:59 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I followed the "Zoe Quinn Conspiracy" for the space of perhaps a day when the subject blew up on Reddit, aided by onerous (and arguably unnecessary) censorship of discussion by the moderators of many of the largest gaming subreddits, but jumped off as soon as it became clear the central charge of quid-pro-quo (which always strained credulity) was completely unsupported by the extant evidence, and the partisans' focus on Quinn, rather than any of the other alleged players in the so-called scandal, bespoke misogyny as their motivation rather than any true concern for the state of gaming and journalism.

    This, in my opinion, placed them within male society's vortex of misogynistic bullshit, a space also occupied by The Red Pill, Mens' Rights Activists, and Pick-Up Artists, so I got the fuck out long before it got rolled up into a ball with Anita Sarkeesian harassment and the backlash to burgeoning social consciousness in video games journalism under the GamerGate label.

    Sidebar: That the various manifestations of male misogyny often claim to be at odds with each other (with Men's Rights Activists, for example, claiming to hate the Red Pill mentality) does not diminish the misogyny that they have in common. In that respect, they are merely different faces of the same die.

    I may be an unfortunate person, all told; my interactions with other people on Metafilter have certainly been fraught at times, but I am not that unfortunate, and I am not that easily led.
    posted by The Confessor at 9:00 AM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    I agree that the Gamers are too organized and on message to not have a leadership; within minutes of any mainstream news article on #gamergate a flood of on-message posts will begin. I recall on, I think the NPR article, one of the Gamers actually screwed up and posted the same post twice from different accounts. So they have a reserve of posts that they probably stockpile during off times, which means they can flood any discussion with "on message"posts.
    This isn't new to GamerGate. #4thwavefeminism, #bikinibridge, and #endfathersday were all planned and organized ops with similar distributed structures. The only difference is that #gamergate has tapped into the gaming subculture's existing misognistic elements, while the others relied on pure antifeminism and racism.
    posted by verb at 9:04 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    When these angry young men are already wrapped up enough in their cozy cocoon of self- and outward facing hatred and fear, they won't be fixed by the magical touch of a woman. Believe me, I've tried!

    I've dated more than my share of those "nice" "shy" guys, aww poor socially awkward puppies, they just need someone to look past their tough guy armor of logic and no-feelings to see their mushy core and love happily ever after etc.! Not. If you're lucky, you end up being the living soundboard for their recriminations against everyone who isn't you... That's if you don't become the focus of their persecution complex.

    Pussy ain't magic, sorry. Nothing but a long hard look inward at how their own thoughts and behaviours are hurting them, coupled with a sincere desire to change, can get those guys to let go of the hate. Sadly, that's not as immediately rewarding as bullying, making funny meme pics and chasing upvotes.
    posted by Freyja at 9:05 AM on October 14, 2014 [45 favorites]


    I am so tempted to tweet the following:

    #gamergate if this is you, grow up, get a job, and move out of your mom's basement.


    Because from the limited amount of understanding I have of this, only little boys would pull this kind of nonsense. Grown up human beings treat each other with respect.
    posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:06 AM on October 14, 2014


    St. Alia of the Bunnies, respectfully: I strongly advise that you not do that.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:09 AM on October 14, 2014 [22 favorites]


    in my experience as an anti social, not showering regularly, nerdy girl - the boys who complained about no girls wanting them and only wanting jerks rarely considered girls like me worthy of romantic attention, while simultaneously complaining that i could have any boy i wanted (demonstrably untrue) and going on and on about how unfair it was.

    YES. Holy shit, I've had it up to here with the cries of "what about the [str]awkward men?!" because it's always accompanied by the assumption that a shy man's experiences with awkwardness and disenfranchisement are much more severe and thus in need of corrective action than the awkwardness and disenfranchisement regularly experienced by young women. I'm guessing that the assumption continues to be made half because these supposedly pitiably awkward men are the only ones issuing death threats and chasing people out of their homes and half because we as a society have been taught to dismiss and discount women's lived experiences no matter what, but that's all just to say: What about the awkward women?!

    Like, I'm a serious extrovert with a penchant for fancy bath products, but I'm also ugly, and to men like those under discussion, being ugly is one of the worst offenses a woman can commit -- second only perhaps to denying a man what he has ascertained to be a rightfully earned Sex TreatTM. Being ugly makes me significantly feel more awkward than I'd like to, and that's putting it mildly.

    Since a woman's value is derived mainly from her perceived attractiveness to men, when you're unattractive, you're not just nothing, not just unworthy of romantic attention, you're actually worse than nothing. Your whole self is viewed as an insult, beneath contempt. And oh, god, if you have a crush on a guy and you're not sure if he likes you back? If you feel so shy around him that you just want to crawl under a rock and hide? Tough shit, lady! Because as men will be very quick to tell you, over and over again, the fact that you are a woman is intended to override all of your actual experiences. Women, regardless of their inborn awkwardness or shyness or inability to socialize with ease, remain forever positioned as the arbiters of sex itself.

    Whenever an actual woman points out that socializing or dating does not come to her naturally or easily, men will come out of the woodwork to remind her that even if she's having trouble with it as an individual, dating/relating/life is inherently better and easier for women qua women. That's pretty much the definition of blissfully ignorant, greener grass on the other side-inspired magical thinking, but it has real world effects. And these are usually the same dudes who believe that being a man means being born entitled to attention and affection from women who are not ugly, anti-social, awkward, or seething with barely-concealed resentment -- more explicitly, it's embodied in the belief that he is entitled to a relationship with a woman who is nothing like him. (Cue montage of all the shlubby guys on sitcoms who just so happen to be dating supermodels.)

    Regardless, talking about dating as a "competition" where a woman's role is necessarily diminished to that of an object to be fought over and won by a "successful" man is both deeply gross and totally irrelevant when it comes to discussions about the proliferation of toxic misogyny online.
    posted by divined by radio at 9:10 AM on October 14, 2014 [85 favorites]


    Vague experiment.

    Tweeted that I was making my twitter client filter out #gamergate because I'm sick of hearing about shitbags attacking women 'for games'. Within seconds I had a couple of total strangers (yes, with anime avatars) reply to it. One with a link to a video on MSNBC I didn't bother watching, and one saying 'nice blog'.

    Both of 'em got blocked and reported for spam.

    So yeah, there really are people (or robots?) watching that tag and leaping on ANYONE. God. Who the hell has the time to do something that boring? It must be robots.

    And as I typed this another reply to it calling me a 'simpering twat' popped up. Wow. Another spam report. This is kinda fun! I kinda want to set up a little robot to automatically block and spam-report everyone who replies to that tweet now.
    posted by egypturnash at 9:17 AM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Who do you see defending them?

    defending, giving a pass too, trying to center the conversation on them, refusing to acknowledge that it's a people problem not a man problem, whatever you want to call it.
    posted by nadawi at 9:24 AM on October 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


    egypturnash: "So yeah, there really are people (or robots?) watching that tag"

    The way to test if they're bothering to read your tweets is post gamegate facts.
    posted by RobotHero at 9:27 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    I guess for me, sonic meat machine, the fundamental problem is that I don't see any evidence that these young men are actually incapable of finding love and/or sex. Trying to solve the problem of their permanent lack of love and/or sex seems entirely misplaced if we still haven't actually established that it exists. And if these particular guys are having a much harder time attracting the attention they want, and yet other geek guys who aren't any better looking or whatever aren't, then it is another huge leap of logic to say that they're bitter because they can't get any, not that they can't get any because they're bitter. "What if they're just lonely and disaffected" therefore becomes entirely speculative. What if they're just lonely? What if they just all have low blood sugar? What if they all had bad relationships with their mothers?

    There's no way to make sure that no young man ever has anything go wrong ever in order to prevent this sort of behavior, but the standard for establishing that this is something so wrong as to constitute a widespread social problem has really not been met. We don't have evidence of that; we do have evidence of the death threats against female game developers. So.
    posted by Sequence at 9:27 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    But I suppose obviously they have to decide if you're for or against GamerGate, to decide their reaction.
    posted by RobotHero at 9:28 AM on October 14, 2014


    or men have to change

    That's the one, right there. These men/boys who are acting this way have to change. We cannot do it for them. We cannot make up for whatever hurts they think are driving them, mostly because the rest of us have our own hurts. We cannot make them develop a sense of proportion about themselves, or understand that life is worth living and love and happiness are possible even without everyone kissing your ass and soothing your hurt feelings and squashing themselves down to make you feel bigger.

    They have to realize it. All the rest of us can do is point out the problem and help each other deal with the deluge of denial-via-rape-threats.

    One of the funny things about patriarchy is how we all assume the problems of men (especially white men) as problems we all need to solve right now.

    No. We don't. We can't, really, except for how we raise our own sons.

    I am not on this planet to fix gamergaters, or red-pill MRAs, or people who threaten other people's children with death and assault. Life is too short and I have shit to do. I am not their mommy. They are not my responsibility. The tools are available to fix themselves. They need to do it. Or they can stay in their little hate-hovel, alone, till they die. It is entirely up to them.
    posted by emjaybee at 9:29 AM on October 14, 2014 [40 favorites]


    Fair enough, Sequence. I just can't conceive of people with meaningful, rich relationships with women being a part of this group.

    I am bowing out of this thread. I think that there are interesting angles to be discussed, but perhaps I have approached it the wrong way. I don't think people have gotten what I was saying, originally, which is that the industry/commercialism is reinforcing this behavior.
    posted by sonic meat machine at 9:30 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I'll tell you what I AM DOING about #GG: supporting feminist (and female-as-self-described) geeks. I attended the con as I have the local and online events. I bought merch. I spread the word about the projects and games. I donate to projects like Feminist Frequency and We Hunted The Mammoth. I socialize with and date fellow geeks. I am trying to be a part of virtuous, rather than hateful, circles.
    And I do not give a FF about the menz.
    posted by Dreidl at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    I'm actually vaguely fascinated by the way GamerGate types leap on anyone mentioning them (or anything relating to them) on Twitter.

    It doesn't appear to be robots, but at the same time it doesn't appear to be fully human - it's appears to be an army of meatbots running scripted searches continually mad then firing off canned responses they've got from forums mixed with just enough as libbed material to appear like a real response.

    So it's sentient being co-opted into a mechanical process. Zombies, essentially.

    I wonder if anyone is fooled into thinking it's a grassroots movement? Because the reaction it seems to get from anyone I know encountering it is of distinct revolusion.
    posted by Artw at 9:33 AM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    I don't think people have gotten what I was saying, originally, which is that the industry/commercialism is reinforcing this behavior.

    Oh, we got that, we just didn't think that "get them girlfriends" is the way to combat that.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:34 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    I don't think people have gotten what I was saying, originally, which is that the industry/commercialism is reinforcing this behavior.

    I think people are telling you that you're thinking too small and brainstorming things that wouldn't even be bandaids on the problem. This is a societal problem, not an industry problem, and it affects everybody not just men.
    posted by zombieflanders at 9:36 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Also I think GamerGate highlights some practical steps Twitter could take to improve things all around.

    1) make accounts less disposable, possibly by locking some features away from egg accounts, allowing people to opt out of being contacted by eggs, exclude them from searches etc.

    2) pay attention to the "rando" pattern of behavior, where an account jumps into a conversation with two other accounts it has no connection with. In theory it could be legitimate but in practice it is a major red flag.
    posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    I just can't conceive of people with meaningful, rich relationships with women being a part of this group.

    adam baldwin is married with three children. richard dawkins has had 3 wives and a daughter. many redpill dudes talk about their daughters. many republican lawmakers who block access to women's health services and say things like "the body has a way of shutting those things down" are married with kids. the scenery is different, the view the same.
    posted by nadawi at 9:39 AM on October 14, 2014 [61 favorites]


    Artw, what you're describing isn't markedly different from how people raid in MMOs. Not really sure why anybody thinks it's fun, but evidently some people do.
    posted by Sequence at 9:41 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I do feel bad for the shy guys, though. They can't even go outside for a walk without some alpha-male plumber throwing vegetables at them.
    posted by Metroid Baby at 9:42 AM on October 14, 2014 [44 favorites]


    "Worse than 4chan" is a new low for reddit.

    New?

    come off a bit like "well if some women would just fuck these guys, everything would be fine."

    Thing is, this isn't entirely untrue. Where that falls down is these asshats thinking women just need to magically fuck them, when in reality, the asshats need to make themselves fuckable. The sad irony, of course, is that they refuse to understand that this repellent behaviour they're engaging in renders them even less fuckable.

    But these guys probably think those grapes were sour, too, so I don't think it's going to get through to them that they are shooting themselves in the foot. I mean, if you want to get fucked, someone has to want to fuck you... which is probably where the understanding falls down; they don't care if a woman wants it or not, they're owed it, by God, and it's only feminazinewfags who are preventing them from getting all the pussy they're supposed to be getting. It's the culture of entitlement, really, and getting them to understand they are not entitled to women will help.

    To say nothing of actual fulfilling interpersonal relationships. Everyone needs those, to a greater or lesser extent, but these guys view them as a matter of right as opposed to something you have to work for.

    It seems like an intractable problem, though. They surround themselves with these echo chambers, and their behaviour--because it pushes women away, because no woman should ever have to put up with misogynist bullshit--acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy of why all women are bad etc etc. So the behaviour gets reinforced, and at the sharp end of the wedge we get Elliot Rodger.

    Yes, shy/unattractive women have just as many problems with dating and romance and socialization, and yes we need to fix those, but I get the sense from women that maybe it's more important to focus on the death threats and misogyny coming from these men before it escalates even further into more widespread violence than our society already sees against women.

    Oh, we got that, we just didn't think that "get them girlfriends" is the way to combat that.

    I hope what I'm saying isn't coming across that way. I'm meaning, teach them to be respectful and decent human beings and how to deal with emotions appropriately, and several of the basic causes of this horrific bullshit will be uprooted. Teach them also that just because they may want something (a girlfriend, a job, sex, whatever), doesn't mean they deserve it no matter what.

    Regardless, talking about dating as a "competition" where a woman's role is necessarily diminished to that of an object to be fought over and won by a "successful" man is both deeply gross and totally irrelevant when it comes to discussions about the proliferation of toxic misogyny online.

    It's hardly irrelevant when that is exactly how these regressive idiots think. It's disgusting, yes! No woman should ever have to put up with it! And it is flat out 100% wrong. But this is how they think. It's hard to discuss how to get them to change their thinking without discussing what that thinking is and where it comes from. And it's this very thinking of life being a zero-sum competition for women, and 'failing' at the 'competition,' that leads to the toxic stew of hatred online.

    One thing that really bewilders me about this is how they so easily shrug off the question of whether they'd talk to their mother/sister/grandmother/etc like this. They simply cannot make the logical leap from that to "Well if you wouldn't talk about your own mother/sister/etc like this, every woman you're talking about is someone's _______, and all those guys you hang with? That's how they're talking about your ______."

    It just rolls off them somehow. They're impervious. I think it's reasonable to believe that some of the younger ones will see the light as they grow up and graduate highschool, but the rest? I fear. There's a pretty straight (ahem) line to draw through PUA->MRA->Red Pill->#GG, and every step along the way the misogyny gets more entrenched, more violent, and more self-sustaining.

    Following on from emmjaybee's comment: I want to be clear that I don't think women bear any responsibility at all for changing these men. Women (in concert with men or not, depending on your family configuration) only have a respnsibility w/r/t how they raise their children.

    Fixing this problem, making these men see why they need to change, is up to us men. Or perhaps to put it more finely, it is the responsibility of men, it is required of us to do something about this. It is not required that women take responsibility for the behaviour of men, but rather that women be listened to about how women should be treated. Ugh, I'm tangling myself in linguistic knots here; I hope what I mean is coming through. Women can help, but it's not your responsibility; men must help, because it is our responsibility. And I hope it's clear I don't mean that in some patriarchal way, protecting women or something.

    And, I hope also, none of anything I've said excuses death threats and harassment. Every single person who does that should be in jail, I DGAF about why they did it.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 9:45 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Sequence - sounds about right. It's treating a human interaction as something to grind in an MMO.
    posted by Artw at 9:49 AM on October 14, 2014


    Metroid Baby - this piece of shy guy fan art is one of my rotating backgrounds and every time it comes up i think, "i would play that!" but now you make me want a rune factory/sims style shy guy game - just bopping along, trying to get ingredients for a great stew, avoiding incoming "heroes" and so on.
    posted by nadawi at 9:52 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    One thing that's good about all this is that the vast majority of people who come into contact with GamerGate nonsense seem to respond with "Eww, you're kidding, right?" People are, in general, not buying that it's anything but disgusting misogyny, and that's a good thing.

    I wish I could say the same about Reason magazine.
    posted by divabat at 10:08 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    sonic meat machine: As a guy who has often gotten wounded over discussions like this where I felt like I was making a legitimate point, I want to say that I agree with a lot of what you're saying, and can very much relate to where you're coming from. That said, I think that in your attempts to opine on the forces which drive men to do these sorts of things, you're making a few statements which are giving men far too much of a benefit of the doubt, and which overlook the ways in which even men being hurt by this set-up simultaneously prove the ways in which men, ultimately, are given a privilege and a sense of gross entitlement that is itself the fundamental problem here.

    I was a very awkward young man — more than awkward, I had a deep belief that something about the way I functioned as a person was profoundly loathsome to others, man and woman alike. I was also convinced that I was ugly, and operated with the sort of lack of confidence that comes with assuming that there is something inherently unappealing to the process of looking at you. A big part of why I initially became invested in this subject is that I understand all-too-well how easy it is to have your sense of self-worth completely shattered by the ludicrous ways in which you're taught, as a man and even as a boy, to assess yourself.

    (I have since realized, as I wrote above, that my own esteem problems have been nothing compared to what's regularly inflicted upon women; nonetheless, I do have a concern for the men in this system that goes beyond my concern that some of these men'll inevitably wind up being Eliot Rodgers. Although that is definitely the scariest of all my concerns.)

    The problem that you see as being faced by men is really a problem that's being faced by our entire culture at once. What commenters are saying here in response to you is that, although there are certainly problems being faced by men today involving loneliness and alienation, those same problems affect women even more so. That's in addition to the problems women have that go far beyond just loneliness and alienation and wishing they could have boyfriends, by the way. But even if we focus on just this one thing, the problems that women face are, I'm convinced, a whole heck of a lot more amplified than the same problems for men.

    Women have to deal with, for example, the fact that men are taught to care first and foremost about their sexual "worth"; if a woman is unattractive, men tend to ignore them as people, rather than as just sexual candidates. If you are not an attractive woman, then for some subset of the population you do not exist. This doesn't hold true for unattractive men in nearly the same way; women are not taught to value a man's appearance above everything else about that man, and in fact are oftentimes disgusted when they find out that men have been primed to think of them that way. (For good reason, too!)

    If an unattractive woman does anything to stand out, furthermore — like, I don't know, say anything ever, or wind up in a photograph at any point in her life, or really just do something beyond "immediately cease to exist" — then her unattractiveness becomes, in the eyes of many men, an active offense. Men will go out of their way to explicitly attack ugly women, for no other reason than that they don't want those women around. We can go into the parts of this which are men trying to perform their non-attractedness for their peers, to show they don't "value" the wrong kinds of women, or we can talk about how men who perceive themselves as unattractive often assume that women feel the same way about them, which totally sucks... and you know what, I've totally been there for that last part, but how about we don't treat that like it's an equal offense? Because it's really not. The shit men will inflict upon women, even women who are attractive but not attractive enough (see: the stupid 10-point rating system), goes beyond reprehensible.

    I know women who've developed eating disorders, literally risked dying, because of things that men said to them for their being unattractive or overweight. Some of my friends are still struggling with those disorders, which are literally ruining their lives. I fear for their safety and well-being.

    And then we have to look at peer-induced pressure, which... well. The locker-room culture for boys is a unique kind of shitty, and there's definitely a tendency for less confident men to be picked on by men who've become more confident about their ability to get laid, or even just to talk to women. I've been there too. It completely sucks. But it is nothing compared to the pressures that women place on other women. I have only tangentially been a witness to some of this, but it has long been repeated that women learn to bully each other psychologically at a very young age, and I think that to the extent that this is true, it's true because of the grotesquely distorted ways in which women are taught, by every aspect of our culture, to think of themselves as people. On this last point I don't want to go into too much detail, because I really don't have firsthand experience when it comes to this, but nonetheless it's worth pointing out that women aren't free of this grotesque distortion even when men are not around — and I have been told by a number of women that the pressures they feel are amplified far more by certain women than they are by men.

    The ways in which men suffer for being men, in short, is nothing compared to the ways in which women suffer for being women — even if you limit your observations to the sorts of insecurities and lack of self-esteem that are the most common ailments of men within this system, ignoring how those damaged men then inflict themselves upon women in circumstances such as this. Even if you try to "level the playing field" in every way imaginable to privilege the feelings of men, there is no perspective I have been able to find in which men's concerns are not equalled or entirely exceeded by those of women.

    Again, I don't think that what you're saying is wrong, and I relate to a lot of the points that you've made here. But your focus on men, I think, is making you ignore the ways in which women suffer from those exact same points even more than the men you're talking about do. Without intending to, and I am totally on your side in thinking that you're acting only in the best of possible faiths, you are putting a spotlight on men that they don't deserve, in the contexts of this conversation, and that favors their relatively minor woes over the multitude of problems that women face. I say relatively minor because I don't think these woes are minor at all; I think they're very real and I think they contribute to a lot of hurt that I wish we could do away with. But they are still minor relative to the problems that women face, which are frankly so monstrous that I find it nearly inconceivable that they exist in the scale that they do. It's a travesty that they do. And every year for the last half-dozen years I've become aware that the problems in our society are even worse than I thought — not even the parts that seem to be getting worse, but all the subtle issues which women have dealt with for decades and which men are less commonly privy to.

    I still don't understand the extent of those pluriform issues, but I know enough to understand that the problem runs deeper than I'm aware of. So as even more explicit and looming dangers to women rise up, it's really important that the men who want to be allies here, yourself and I included, stay aware that for all that we've legitimately suffered for this cultural blight, and for all that the men who constitute women's greatest threats have suffered likewise, our own issues are likely suffered by women far worse before the more explicit dangers even arise. Even when we think we're being entirely sympathetic, we have to be wary of making the conversation too much about us and not enough about the people who this harms the most. (I'm worried that even this has been too focused on the trials and tribulations of men, and if so I apologize — past this point, I don't know if I have anything more to say as-is, so I'll just fall silent and let the discussion go on without me.)
    posted by rorgy at 10:11 AM on October 14, 2014 [34 favorites]


    I wish I could say the same about Reason magazine.

    reason magazine takes the misogynistic position? shocking.
    posted by nadawi at 10:15 AM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    come off a bit like "well if some women would just fuck these guys, everything would be fine."

    > Thing is, this isn't entirely untrue. Where that falls down is these asshats thinking women just need to magically fuck them, when in reality, the asshats need to make themselves fuckable.

    I think that's taking a particular mindset on its own terms. The problem is not that these guys need to get laid / find a mutually nourishing relationship. Even when the dude is in genuine, lonely distress over his unfuckbability/lovability, it's really easy for that to get expressed -- even without realizing it -- as "grar, need to enact masculinity." In which case, replying that they just need to get themselves laid or girlfriended gets heard as "yeah, you need to enact masculinity."

    Which I know is not your ultimate point here, but it stuck out because your solution:

    I'm meaning, teach them to be respectful and decent human beings and how to deal with emotions appropriately, and several of the basic causes of this horrific bullshit will be uprooted

    (which yeah I agree) is of course heard as "we're gonna demasculinize ya, other dudes will get your stuff," even if you can dangle sex and relationships and other good things at the end of that path.

    Which is to agree that sure lonely guys getting sex and love is a good thing, but that want is neither the cause of nor the solution to the problem.
    posted by postcommunism at 10:21 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    From a purely selfish standpoint, your true nerdy sweet quiet awkward fellow should HATE the gaters, because I'm going to end up giving that perfectly sweet guy a much more intense side-eye after all this than I would have before. "Wait, you're not one of THOSE gamers, are you?" I'm honestly pretty surprised by the way many gamers are allowing this small cadre of jerks to claim their entire subculture without much resistance at all.

    Yesterday I saw a guy wearing a trenchcoat and a fedora, and at first I smiled because I remember going to high school with a bunch of awkward nerdy anime dorks like that and I have fond memories of them. They were mostly very kind, sweet, earnest people. After a minute, though, I started thinking "wait, the fedora-wearers aren't necessarily sweet and clueless anymore, many of them are virulent misogynists! For all I know that guy is #notmyshield!" So in this sense, the gaters really are ruining it for all the sweet awkward nerds out there. And I'm saying that as somebody who dated from that pool occasionally back when I was dating.
    posted by dialetheia at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Also, did anyone post #GamerGate Bingo yet?
    posted by postcommunism at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Cathy Young, the author of the Reason piece, is a long-time anti-feminist/MRA supporter. Can't say that I'm surprised they gave her a chance to speak her mind, nor that they apparently didn't bother to do even a modicum of fact-checking.
    posted by zombieflanders at 10:24 AM on October 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


    I have been putting out daily messages about my annoyance at #gamergate, full tag. I get 5-10 new anons to block each day.
    For a while last week the fresh faces died off, but as of yesterday the new accounts have come out in full force again.
    posted by Theta States at 10:32 AM on October 14, 2014


    It doesn't appear to be robots, but at the same time it doesn't appear to be fully human - it's appears to be an army of meatbots running scripted searches continually mad then firing off canned responses they've got from forums mixed with just enough as libbed material to appear like a real response.

    well they ARE all being coached via a set of documents instructing them on what to say, that they had been storing on git hub, and are now somewhere else.
    posted by Theta States at 10:35 AM on October 14, 2014


    One of the curious / ugly things is the... gamishness of it: the conspiracy theories, the convoluted and tenuous rationales, the projection of women into boss-level enemies, the enactment of game-like behaviour in real life. (Anita Sarkeesian touched on this in her >XOXO talk, which takes the critical framework of Tropes vs Women and applies it to the hate campaign against her.)

    On reflection, that's not surprising: there's definitely a part of adolescence where one is susceptible to grand conspiratorial theories where everything can be connected in Massively Significant ways that are ultimately pivoted on subjective experience. That sensibility is often reflected back in certain kinds of fiction, including AAA plots. Mostly, it's just a phase that people grow out of, but in environments that reinforce and perpetuate that myth-making, it mutates into something rotten.

    Or as I said elsewhere, it's like a bad Umberto Eco knockoff: Fuckwits' Pendulum.
    posted by holgate at 10:42 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


           come off a bit like "well if some women would just fuck these guys, everything would be fine."

    Thing is, this isn't entirely untrue. Where that falls down is these asshats thinking women just need to magically fuck them, when in reality, the asshats need to make themselves fuckable. The sad irony, of course, is that they refuse to understand that this repellent behaviour they're engaging in renders them even less fuckable.


    IME, it is entirely untrue. You cannot fuck a dude like this out of a problem he and society have banded together to create and perpetuate. Believe me, I've tried!

    The biggest problem I have with the "hateful men need to alter their behavior at least in part so they will become more attractive to women" line of thinking is that teaching men how to, as you put it, "make themselves fuckable" seems to be inextricably linked to the notion that there is an actual agreed-upon point at which a man has rendered himself inherently or undeniably fuckable by at least one person. Except there isn't, because you still need to get another person to agree to go to bed with you, and there is no universal affect, behavior, or mode of appearance that will result in that happening 100% (or 10%, or 1%) of the time. It's not a woman thing, it's a person thing. And even for the nicest, foxiest people in the world, it still mostly comes down to luck.

    So whether or not anyone certifies anyone else as fuckable is, to me, well beside the point. I just made a comment to that end in a recent thread about sex work: Men like this don't need any more encouragement to continue viewing women as objects that can and will be acquired upon successful adoption of some previously unrevealed code of conduct. Rather than treating us like puzzle boxes with sex treats trapped inside, combination locks that they just need to fiddle with a little bit more before we open up and offer them that to which they are rightfully entitled, or sexy carrots dangled at the end of the 'fuckable' stick, what they need to treat us like is people.

    These guys don't need to make themselves fuckable, they need to be encouraged to see women as boring, staid, and wholly unremarkable -- not as ladies, not as delicate flowers, not as prospective sexual partners, but as people. We can't keep couching our arguments in terms of fuckability because the notion of fuckability never even comes onto the radar screen when you're dealing with men who devote so much of their time and energy to fighting the notion that women deserve to be treated like human beings... which is to say, of course, that we deserve to be treated like men.

    Hinging conversations on what a man needs to do to be less horrible to women in particular, as though we have specialized or specific needs for engagement, rather than hinging it on what a man needs to do to be decent and respectful toward all other human beings everywhere because that's what good people do -- that's still defining the conversation as Us vs. Them, Men vs. Women, and it makes me feel like we're still playing a game on their board, using only their pieces.
    posted by divined by radio at 10:44 AM on October 14, 2014 [53 favorites]


    GamerGate is basically a conjunction of misogybistic forum trolls, right wing opportunists and Mr. Logic types, so guessing which way Reason is going to jump isn't hard.

    Was quite suprised to see the Daily Mail slamming them to the extent it did.
    posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I love how Cathy Young's article is almost entirely about accusations against Zoe Quinn even though the first bullet point is that GG is not about Zoe. You can get bingo just reading that article.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 10:51 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Except there isn't, because you still need to get another person to agree to go to bed with you, and there is no universal affect, behavior, or mode of appearance that will result in that happening 100% (or 10%, or 1%) of the time.

    I meant it more as removing behaviours and attitudes that make one definitively unfuckable, but that's my fault for lack of clarity.

    And while I agree that these idiots need to learn how to be decent to all people, unfortunately leading them there is going to have to involve some kind of perceived benefit for them. "Women will actually want to speak to you" isn't, in what I am saying, an end goal. It's a means to an end. I mean, we can't get from misogynist death-threat-uttering troll to Sensitive New Age Guy in one step, I think; we're probably going to have to go through some intermediate steps to get there. It seems like maybe getting from "women owe me sex and dating" to "I need to make myself a better person so (hopefully) women want to give me sex and dating" is a more realistic step than immediately jumping to "I must respect other human beings as human beings and be decent to them," while fully understanding--and again, my fault for not being clear--that the latter is the end goal.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:52 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Was quite suprised to see the Daily Mail slamming them to the extent it did.

    I don't think I am. They've seen the Baddies sketch, and they know that whatever they might think of feminism or social justice, the point here is not to side with the people with skulls on their helmets.
    posted by Sequence at 11:02 AM on October 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


    Huh, I didn't know that about Cathy Young or Reason. There you go.
    posted by divabat at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2014


    IME, it is entirely untrue. You cannot fuck a dude like this out of a problem he and society have banded together to create and perpetuate.

    I shouldn't have to point this out, but the guy who started this was an ex-boyfriend if Zoey Quinn. Divined by Radio is right- it's not a matter of whether the guys are having sex or not, or whether they're superficially attractive enough to get a mate. It's all about their sense of entitlement, objectification of women, and general misogyny.

    Honestly, if you make them more concerned with becoming attractive to women? You're just going to end up with pick-up culture, of which many of these people are undoubtedly already members. No, what needs to be changed is fundamental attitudes about women.
    posted by happyroach at 11:09 AM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    For your horror/amusement (what is the correct word or portmanteau to express this?) I submit 4 conversations I added to storify.
    posted by Theta States at 11:10 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Honestly, if you make them more concerned with becoming attractive to women? You're just going to end up with pick-up culture

    No, that's making them manipulate women in cynical ways. Teaching them to actually be attractive human beings is a totally different thing.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:16 AM on October 14, 2014


    I think GG has some aspects of inner city gangs or fundamentalist terrorists - we can talk about how we pulled ourselves through the tough times without resorting to hurting people, so they should damn well get over themselves too, but the ugly thing is, they are pulling through - they're doing it by finding community and identity in a surrogate family, and regardless of whether that family is a gang or terror cell or GG, this sense of family and purpose can feel like a step up, like being a part of Something That Matters, like not being outcast.

    As with dealing with gangs etc, being Tough On Crime is part of how we respond (especially for the entrenched members who can nolonger be deterred) and helping people find more positive family to drain the numbers and reduce the influx and break the cycle is also part of it. It is unfair that outcasts hurting others get attention that outcasts hurting themselves don't, but paving the paths to better ways to live and be who you want to be, I would hope it helps both.

    Some of us are ideologically inclined to work as the ambulances at the bottom of the cliff, helping the victims who desperately need it. Some of us are ideologically inclined to work on building the fencetop cliff, helping only indirectly. Often we want help from the other camp with our task at hand, but both camps are part of the solution.
    posted by anonymisc at 11:21 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    No, that's making them manipulate women in cynical ways. Teaching them to actually be attractive human beings is a totally different thing.

    This strikes me as an objection to phrasing, not substance. It's possible that an overconcern with sexual attractiveness to women & sex generally could get in the way of the larger goal of fundamentally changing attitudes about women.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:23 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Smash the Playtriarchy!
    posted by Slackermagee at 11:25 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I already said:

    I'm meaning, teach them to be respectful and decent human beings and how to deal with emotions appropriately, and several of the basic causes of this horrific bullshit will be uprooted

    Dangle the carrot of "women will actually want to speak to you if you become a better person" because that is literally the only thing these men can possibly understand. I don't know how to make it any clearer that I am not talking about superficial PUA bullshit.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:26 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    > regardless of whether that family is a gang or terror cell or GG, this sense of family and purpose often feels like a step up, like being a part of something, like not being outcast.

    I agree, but in the case of #GG the "we are poor trodden outcasts" bit is a received story they are collectively telling themselves.
    posted by postcommunism at 11:28 AM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    > Dangle the carrot of "women will actually want to speak to you if you become a better person" because that is literally the only thing these men can possibly understand.

    No, because then you are submitting to those horrible women.
    posted by postcommunism at 11:30 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Dangle the carrot of "women will actually want to speak to you if you become a better person" because that is literally the only thing these men can possibly understand.

    I, for one, understand that this is what you meant by your statement. However, I, for one, think that a far more deeper-rooted solution would be to get them to come around to "you should want to be a better person for your own self-respect rather than just to get women to like you".

    I understand that this is the only justification that some may listen to, but I still bristle at the reduction of my entire gender to being perceived as a sweepstakes prize for being decent.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:31 AM on October 14, 2014 [24 favorites]


    Dangle the carrot of "women will actually want to speak to you if you become a better person" because that is literally the only thing these men can possibly understand.

    I know that's well meant, but I'm a person, not a carrot. My time and attention are mine to allot, and not to be promised as a social good to ex-assholes who've cleaned up their acts.
    posted by immlass at 11:31 AM on October 14, 2014 [28 favorites]


    I, for one, understand that this is what you meant by your statement. However, I, for one, think that a far more deeper-rooted solution would be to get them to come around to "you should want to be a better person for your own self-respect rather than just to get women to like you".

    Absolutely, which is why I said this particular way to approach the problem is an intermediate step.

    I know that's well meant, but I'm a person, not a carrot. My time and attention are mine to allot, and not to be promised as a social good to ex-assholes who've cleaned up their acts.

    Sigh. On balance, people would rather speak with a reformed asshole than a current asshole, yes? That is all I am saying. If you stop being a misogynist asshole, women are going to be much more likely to speak to you. Is that incorrect somehow?
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:36 AM on October 14, 2014


    Sigh. On balance, people would rather speak with a reformed asshole than a current asshole, yes? That is all I am saying. If you stop being a misogynist asshole, women are going to be much more likely to speak to you. Is that incorrect somehow?

    It's not incorrect, but if you are thinking about it with that goal in mind (the "carrot"), you will almost definitely not be successful.
    posted by stoneandstar at 11:38 AM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    maybe we can focus back on the women or the things happening to them and less on how to make all the men in the world less shitty. one way to teach men that they aren't at the center of the universe is to stop centering the attention on them.
    posted by nadawi at 11:39 AM on October 14, 2014 [33 favorites]


    Okay. Look.

    These men are misogynist assholes. They are, by and large, misogynist assholes because they believe that women owe them something, as opposed to having to treat women like actual people with agency.

    So. As an intermediate step towards actually acting like human beings, if these guys can learn "Women do not owe me anything, but if I am a decent person women are more likely to talk to me," we are a hell of a lot closer to them learning "I should be a decent person because being a decent person brings its own rewards."

    You cannot get from "women are playthings for my amusement" to "all people are deserving of dignity and respect" in one go, no matter how much I agree with you that this would be ideal.

    Using the motivations they already have to slowly change their thinking and opinions is the best way to change minds on a permanent basis. A lot of the time it may look an awful lot like pandering, but it works. So use their motivation towards gaining the interest of women to start on the self improvement path, then ta-dah, here's the new motivation for you now that you are already working on becoming a real human.

    maybe we can focus back on the women or the things happening to them and less on how to make all the men in the world less shitty

    Honest question, how do we stop these things from happening to women without making men less shitty?
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:45 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I think what you are saying is highly theoretical and you have not given a basis in evidence, anecdotal or otherwise. So it is a little insulting to be called a carrot on those grounds.
    posted by stoneandstar at 11:46 AM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Honest question, how do we stop these things from happening to women without making men less shitty?

    You're going for the carrot. Why not use the stick?

    Name and shame the people doing this. Pressure Twitter to get some more sane reporting-of-abuse standards. Do the same on Facebook. Raise our sons to not be shitty in the first place. Pass laws prohibiting this kind of behavior.

    These guys aren't just doing this because they're socially isolated fucknuggets. They're doing it because the rest of society is letting them get away with it aside from writing tut-tut articles. When society starts sending them the message that this shit will not fly, and starts backing it up with real consequences, this will not only send a message to the fucknuggets, but it will take the onus of reforming these men off of women.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:48 AM on October 14, 2014 [28 favorites]


    salishsea: I think what you are saying is a deliberate misinterpretation of what I have said, and you haven't given any evidence either so I fail to see your point.

    I want these guys to stop being assholes almost as much as you do. I am suggesting that they are assholes because they feel entitled to the affections of women, something that many other people in this thread have also said, and which nobody has challenged.

    but it will take the onus of reforming these men off of women.

    maybe you missed where I said the onus of reforming these men is ON MEN and categorically not on women
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:50 AM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Here, this is what I said:

    Fixing this problem, making these men see why they need to change, is up to us men. Or perhaps to put it more finely, it is the responsibility of men, it is required of us to do something about this. It is not required that women take responsibility for the behaviour of men, but rather that women be listened to about how women should be treated. Ugh, I'm tangling myself in linguistic knots here; I hope what I mean is coming through. Women can help, but it's not your responsibility; men must help, because it is our responsibility. And I hope it's clear I don't mean that in some patriarchal way, protecting women or something.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:51 AM on October 14, 2014


    I am suggesting that they are assholes because they feel entitled to the affections of women, something that many other people in this thread have also said, and which nobody has challenged.

    ....Except for nadawi and me just now, and that's just off the top of my head.

    maybe you missed where I said the onus of reforming these men is ON MEN and categorically not on women

    Okay, I'll redirect - punishing these men would put the onus of reform on the men themselves, and leave the women out of the question of their reform entirely. By telling the men "if you reform, girls will like you" still involves women, even on a theoretical basis, and we don't even want to be involved on a theoretical basis.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:54 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    we stop these things by not tolerating them and by giving systems of support to women. just because figuring out how to dismantle the patriarchy is a necessary step to rectifying the awful treatment women receive, it doesn't mean that every conversation about sexism has to focus on the angry men.

    i don't think you're saying anything wrong, except how you are getting defensive and feeling the need to fill up the room proving your point.
    posted by nadawi at 11:55 AM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    I want these guys to stop being assholes almost as much as you do. I am suggesting that they are assholes because they feel entitled to the affections of women, something that many other people in this thread have also said, and which nobody has challenged.

    But you're basically saying that we should wean men off entitlement by giving them a taste of what they feel entitled to. The idea that this will (1) work exactly as planned, and (2) not end up with horrific consequences at least some of the time is completely unfounded. Actually, I'd say that most if not all evidence points to exactly the opposite happening.

    maybe you missed where I said the onus of reforming these men is ON MEN and categorically not on women

    Then why insist that women need to offer themselves up as sacrificial lambs to give these men the attention they feel entitled to? Again, there's no evidence that this will work at all, and plenty to suggest that the chances of something bad happening are significantly above zero.
    posted by zombieflanders at 11:55 AM on October 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Then why insist that women need to offer themselves up as sacrificial lambs to give these men the attention they feel entitled to?

    I didn't do that?

    I said: "Be a decent person and women will want to talk to you." That is, on balance, true. I never, at any time, said that any woman had to do anything. But since we're now at the point where I get told I said things I didn't, I'm out.
    posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 11:58 AM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Then why insist that women need to offer themselves up as sacrificial lambs to give these men the attention they feel entitled to?

    To be fair, fffm didn't actually advocate that women line up to be these guys' pity dates. The idea of "reform so girls will like you" was only a theoretical promise.

    It's just a promise I see very, very prone to backfiring, and exacerbating the problem.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:59 AM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Some of these fuckers need to be weaned off of not being in jail is what needs to happen.
    posted by Artw at 11:59 AM on October 14, 2014 [37 favorites]


    This could be rephrased to "don't act like a ranting and angry idiot and then people will like you better." A lot of these angry boys are just simply very lonely, ignoring their lack of sexual contact for a moment.

    This way no woman is put up as a prize and the real issue is tackled. I've tried doing this in some small way on Reddit just by pointing out their advocacy of GG would be a lot more effective if they could calmly express themselves. Ended up in some conversations with some lonely guys who could pretty easily be pulled away from the hatred if they just had someone who would listen to them.
    posted by honestcoyote at 12:03 PM on October 14, 2014 [8 favorites]



    I feel like this is the 80th iteration that I've seen on metafilter of this dynamic, where somebody really wants to take a stand for the idea that the best way to deal with groups of virulently misogynist men is to figure out what we can do for them, or to help them. That's odd, because the normal response to people who make unprovoked threats of physical violence isn't to start racking one's brain for ways to accommodate their emotional needs. It's only in conversations where the threat of violence is directed at feminists, by men. Really strange. I wonder why that should be?

    Actually, I don't really wonder. I am, hoever, a little surprised that anybody who reads the site regularly doesn't recognize "what shall we do about the poor disenfranchised lonely nerds" for the horeshit derail that it is.
    posted by Ipsifendus at 12:06 PM on October 14, 2014 [64 favorites]


    The part about GG as a hate group that troubles me most is that it implies a certain longevity. I'm a woman in games. A feminist in games! I've made games explicitly about social justice issues! And I've been kind of holding my breath and hoping the Eye of Sauron doesn't fall upon me. ...And doing security audits. Yeah.

    So the idea that this hasn't blown over yet, that maybe it isn't going to just blow over... that maybe this is the new normal? And as a female game designer, I just have to hope I don't win the next lottery, or the one after that? I'm not sure bleak despair adequately covers it.
    posted by Andrhia at 12:06 PM on October 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


    I never, at any time, said that any woman had to do anything.

    Not in those exact words, no, but:

    "And while I agree that these idiots need to learn how to be decent to all people, unfortunately leading them there is going to have to involve some kind of perceived benefit for them."

    "Dangle the carrot of "women will actually want to speak to you if you become a better person" because that is literally the only thing these men can possibly understand. "

    "Using the motivations they already have to slowly change their thinking and opinions is the best way to change minds on a permanent basis. A lot of the time it may look an awful lot like pandering, but it works."

    are all variations on the same theme of giving them something they feel entitled to in the (vain IMO) hope that they'll respond to it by not feeling entitled to more of it.
    posted by zombieflanders at 12:07 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    i wish i had saved the conversation i stumbled upon where the #gg fools were SURE that zoe, anita, and everyone else on their spidering lists were actually engaging in cointelpro type tactics - that they weren't "friends" but "ops cleaning up a muffed operation." it's really staggering what some of them seem to really believe. i wonder how many of them are alex jones fans.
    posted by nadawi at 12:09 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    What do I need to do in order to become someone with valid ideas?

    Throw out this premise:

    I disagree with this. I don't have data on it, but my experience says that there are a relatively large number of men (many of my friends) who are worthwhile people and who would be good partners in the long term who are not, in fact, competitive in a short-term sense. They are shy, or are less physically attractive, than is required to succeed in most modern social situations. In a bygone era they would've likely been set up with a similarly shy, "mousy" girl by their mother. Not ideal for either partner, but it meant that most people formed a family.

    Most long-term relationships in the world are between people who are neither extraordinarily attractive nor extraordinarily "successful," as it ever was. We call them "ordinary people." I'm sure a lot of these gamers are lonely (though certainly not all misogynists are) but the idea that this is because they have been outcompeted by the "alphas" for the only women worth having is part of their own poisonous ideology and is doing *nobody* any favors.

    Honestly it seems to me the best thing would be to make sure "gamer" boys are vaccinated against such ideology and learn to socialize normally with women while they are young. And I think one thing that would help with that is for girls/women to become more visible participants within "gamer" hobbies. But the way things are going right now I can't imagine why they would want to.
    posted by atoxyl at 12:11 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    The anime avatar thing is one of the few (even remotely) amusing thing about #gamergate

    "WE ARE A SERIOUS MOVEMENT" *sword art online avatar*


    Also, from what I can tell, a lot of these guys seem to be really into futa. There's nothing wrong with that, but considering their general attitudes vis-a-vis masculinity, it does strike one as odd.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:13 PM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Also, from what I can tell, a lot of these guys seem to be really into futa. There's nothing wrong with that, but considering their general attitudes vis-a-vis masculinity, it does strike one as odd.

    4chan. nuff said.
    posted by Theta States at 12:16 PM on October 14, 2014


    ....If I were to Google "futa", would I be scared?

    And if I would, can someone tell me what it is so I don't have to?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:17 PM on October 14, 2014


    i swear, everything i like they pollute - games, my little pony, futa. if they come after owls or shitty reality tv i'm going to be without hobbies or collections.

    (re: anime avatar - the vivian james thing continues to depress me)
    posted by nadawi at 12:18 PM on October 14, 2014


    EmpressCallipygos - super pretty girlie-girl women with giant throbbing dicks.
    posted by nadawi at 12:19 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    So is this all just ~100-150 people cycling anime avatar sockpuppets, or is it an enormous movement? I'm with the people who think there's far less of these idiots than is being reported.
    posted by naju at 12:20 PM on October 14, 2014


    Not especially relevant, but this word replacement of "SJW" with "skeleton" makes certain MRA/GG reddit comments a whimsical delight.
    posted by figurant at 12:21 PM on October 14, 2014 [16 favorites]


    i think the core movement of death threat makers and vivian james creators and mocking up syringes to act like "both sides are getting harassed" is probably a pretty small group - less than a couple hundred. i think the people who think feminism/sjws/the man are ruining games and must be stopped is much, much larger. i'm pretty sure a friend's 15 year old little brother has been roped in to some of it. how many of those are actively participating in the continued harassment is hard to pin down.
    posted by nadawi at 12:23 PM on October 14, 2014


    So is this all just ~100-150 people cycling anime avatar sockpuppets, or is it an enormous movement? I'm with the people who think there's far less of these idiots than is being reported.

    Anita's claiming these are the same specific people that have been harassing her the whole time. I wouldn't be surprised.
    posted by almostmanda at 12:24 PM on October 14, 2014


    I really do think that twitter is now a poisoned space. There are no mods, and it can't get better without them. Twitter doesn't want mods, they want to be able to appeal to everyone. Any barrier, any suggestion that they're not welcome, would hurt those growth numbers.

    Anyways, this piece by ellaguro is a good description of what might be leading people to get all wrapped up in gamergate.

    TheWhiteSkull: this tweet might give some insight into that pattern.
    posted by smasuch at 12:24 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    super pretty girlie-girl women with giant throbbing dicks.

    And I am now very glad I did not attempt Googling.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:25 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Although this is now putting a couple of particular Oglaf strips in my head.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:26 PM on October 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


    Online misogyny group like this seem to be this free-floating cloud of hate and every once in a while they find a new thing to hate on and it explodes. And they have their old favorites (Anita Sarkeesian and Rebecca Watson, to name two), but they do live the shiny new.
    posted by rmd1023 at 12:28 PM on October 14, 2014


    It's especially interesting that this sh!tstorm has blown up in Gaming, of all cultural fields, when one of the biggest problems with "The Patriarchy" is the Gamification of Human Relationships. "The Dating Game". "Winning" and "Losing" a partner, "Trophy Wife". And let's face it, it's a stupid and destructive thing that is way too common among both men and women, objectifying both, but women more so, mostly because Competitiveness is considered a Positive Male Trait but a Negative Female Trait. And there's another poison circulating through the bloodstream of Gaming. It's something that Real Feminism needs to address a lot more, but I can't think of anything that would make more enemies among Semi-Feminists, Casual Feminists and Fake Feminists.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 12:32 PM on October 14, 2014


    What is the easiest way to harvest a local dataset of all tweets with #gamergate in them, including date posted, and user id?
    posted by Theta States at 12:34 PM on October 14, 2014


    putting a couple of particular Oglaf strips in my head
    The latest two-page tale from Oglaf involves a magic place where everyone, male and female, and everything, including trees and rocks, have Tits (their term). I LOLed.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 12:35 PM on October 14, 2014


    Wil Wheaton's admonition "Don't be a dick" doesn't proffer carrots or sticks; it's simply an imperative.
    posted by Gelatin at 12:35 PM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    > this tweet might give some insight into that pattern.

    there are some days I regret not having a twitter to follow people with
    posted by postcommunism at 12:36 PM on October 14, 2014


    GG is not a bunch of shy men; it's a right-wing conspiracy.

    It's been compared to Richard Hofstadter's classic essay "The Paranoid Style in American Politics”-- here's an essay applying Hofstadter to GG. If we're looking for causes, the one staring us in the face is right-wing politics, which provides the antifeminism, the paranoia, the sense of victimization, and the anything-is-permitted methodology.
    posted by zompist at 12:38 PM on October 14, 2014 [28 favorites]


    Hey, everybody in this thread, I am hoping for your help here, since we are talking about how gamergate has been a subject of interest for weeks now and what we can do about the misogyny we're seeing drive this thing.

    [I think we have pretty well established that gamer-gate was never really about journalistic integrity, but a focused attack on Zoe Quinn. It doesn't matter whether or not you like Zoe Quinn as a person, either--I'm a little uncomfortable at her being held up as an inspirational model, myself--these attacks on her and other women in games have become the default and that's really what gamer gate has been about from the beginning, discrediting women in gaming. Period.]

    So there is a young designer named Brianna Wu who has been receiving death threats on Twitter. Yes, in case anyone seriously wonders, the death threats against her and her family have been verified by the police department she reported them to.

    Okay. So, I was just trying to read about Brianna on Polygon, and the webpage--where, incidentally, there are ads running for that Borderlands prequel, the game that gg's hate now because of Brianna Wu--kept reloading. I would get a message that the webpage
    encountered an error and it was being reloaded. It would start loading for a second or two and then running into errors again, in this never ending loop, until I gave up.

    I have OSX 8.0.2 running on my iPad and it has been so glitchy lately I just figured it was me, but I am seriously wondering after reading this thread, and because of the content on that specific page, whether there isn't an active campaign going on, some kind of blocking or DOS or something, either orchestrated by or in support of the gg people (I haven't put the # before any of my references to them because I don't want to give them publicity and also, I gotta say, I may very well be paranoid at this point but it is creeping me out the way the hashtag is being targeted on Twitter).

    Does anyone here know how I would be able to figure out if this website is being targeted in some way? It could very well be just on my end, as I say, but the only times I have run into this error message have been on that page and, interestingly enough, with Zoe Quinn's Twitter feed yesterday.
    posted by misha at 12:39 PM on October 14, 2014


    Not especially relevant, but this word replacement of "SJW" with "skeleton" makes certain MRA/GG reddit comments a whimsical delight.


    That is simply wonderful.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:41 PM on October 14, 2014


    What is the easiest way to harvest a local dataset of all tweets with #gamergate in them, including date posted, and user id?

    I have a python script I could send you that would get you most of the way there, Theta States. You'd just need to get API credentials from Twitter (automated and pretty simple) and write a few lines to capture the stuff you want from the streaming tweets. I think it would only capture new tweets and only during the time you had it running, but it's one way to capture a lot of data from Twitter automatically.

    GG is not a bunch of shy men; it's a right-wing conspiracy.

    This is 100% on point and I wish I could favorite it ten thousand times.
    posted by dialetheia at 12:45 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    misha - this article? loading just fine for me. polygon does a lot of sparkle and jazz hands on their sites though, and it could just be that one of their scripts isn't working nicely with your ipad.
    posted by nadawi at 12:46 PM on October 14, 2014


    Thanks, nadawi! Must just be me, then.
    posted by misha at 12:49 PM on October 14, 2014


    I am unremittingly astonished at the fact that the fact that this is still a thing. Not that sexism surprises me, of course, but rather this kind of especially hateful, hyperfocused, loser-y, low-stakes sexism. I honestly have no idea what could compel me to go so HAM on somebody, whether or not it was for a stupid, offensive set of reasons. Even in a worst case scenario, how much of an effect would Zoe Quinn have on your life? Is she sneaking into your house and forcing you to play Depression Quest? No? Then who cares?

    Semi-related sidenote: I once went to /pol/, and because I'm an idiot, I thought it would be funny to stir the pot a bit. I cracked my knuckles and prepared to goad some white supremacists, like I did when I was, like, 15. To start, I jumped into a "Nazi uniforms are cool :DDDD" thread and immediately made a reference to Germany losing WWII. I was then flabbergasted at getting prematurely out-trolled (or out-idiot-ed). At least one person proudly chimed in to say that Germany did not lose WWII, but rather forced a stalemate. This is a...novel...perspective, and one which the late Mr. Hitler would have probably liked to hear - you know, before he committed suicide, and his country tendered an unconditional surrender after years of overwhelming defeat.

    Anyway, I dare say that disliking Nazis is actually relatively justifiable, but even then, I decided that there was no constructive conversation to be had, or even an opportunity for ill-mannered fun, so I turned my computer off and went outside.
    posted by Sticherbeast at 1:09 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    haven't finished the thread yet but:

    Keeping quiet is siding with the way things are

    shirt please!
    posted by ghostbikes at 1:18 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    I don't think the carrot approach works. It just created the "nice guys finish last" and friendzone complaints. There's also their culture about alpha males, beta males, and then grouping every woman together that is very pervasive. Not only is it incredibly biased, it shows in general discussion that people assume all arguments are simple, and if others argue they are just rationalizing. You can't convince people that are already fitting everything they hear to fit their worldview, but good on those that try out of goodwill. Perhaps they can find part of a toxic person's worldview that isn't cemented and use/argue that to crack the rest. I wish people were forced to take either debate, argument analysis, or psychology (as well as finance) in high school. I'm sort of amazed by some of the arguments I hear that reek of multiple logical fallacies.

    Oh, and I wonder if people that use bots/scripts to fight these... "wars" subconsciously assume that the other side is doing the same, and so underestimate how much disgust they are generating for their actions. Has there been a physical public meetup of GGers? I'm tempted to use the term Gagas, but I guess an artist has laid cultural claim to that.
    posted by halifix at 1:27 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    i've been loving the nickname gameghazi for them.
    posted by nadawi at 1:30 PM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Does anyone here know how I would be able to figure out if this website is being targeted in some way?

    It could just be Polygon is doing something in the background that makes iPads very unhappy. My tablet browser often crashes on their site.
    posted by honestcoyote at 1:30 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Has there been a physical public meetup of GGers?

    I'd make a PAX joke, but I think Penny Arcade went on the enemies list super early so kudos to them.
    posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Wow, how'd they do that? By mocking survivors of rape but not mocking them ENOUGH?
    posted by NoraReed at 1:36 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    My girlfriend and I were just playing the first couple hours of the new Borderlands, and there was one part (spoiler for a gag early in the game) that had us both turning to each other like, the gaters are going to lose it when they hear this. And what do you know, we quit to make dinner and there's a bouncing baby boycott. Because this is absolutely about journalistic ethics.
    posted by emmtee at 1:38 PM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Yeah... Polygon (along with most of the other Vox sites) tends to overdo it a bit on the HTML5 stuff.
    posted by kmz at 1:39 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    nadawi: i've been loving the nickname gameghazi for them.

    Another site I frequent has suggested #ggallin. It seems apt.
    posted by Woodroar at 1:42 PM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Wow, how'd they do that? By mocking survivors of rape but not mocking them ENOUGH?

    Gabe has been trying extremely hard to make amends and become a better person.
    posted by Talez at 1:43 PM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    it actually seems penny arcade generally, and gabe specifically, has done some real soul searching and changing after the last mea culpa. although, i think gameghazi's beef with them is related to "censoring" the zoe quinn stuff when it all blew up. i've also seen them mentioned alongside moot (of 4chan) as people who were once pure in ideals and have now been poisoned by those wicked terrible sjws.
    posted by nadawi at 1:44 PM on October 14, 2014


    Cracked called these people "Gaters" to distinguish them from gamers (as calling them gamers insulted the vast majority of people that play games).
    posted by el io at 1:45 PM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Wow, how'd they do that? By mocking survivors of rape but not mocking them ENOUGH?

    Eron apparently tried to post all of his Zoe dirt everywhere at the beginning of all this, and most forums deleted it as a bunch of private interpersonal drama, 4chan and reddit being the exceptions, so a lot of places got lambasted for "censorship", Penny Arcade included.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:45 PM on October 14, 2014


    moot (of 4chan) as people who were once pure in ideals and have now been poisoned by those wicked terrible sjws.

    I remember the furor erupting in real-time as 4chan started banning gg threads. That was one of the big influxes on to twitter with their anon spam accounts.
    IIRC, moot was having sex, and thus vulnerable to his SJW concubine's tentacles. Sounds pretty awesome, really.
    posted by Theta States at 1:50 PM on October 14, 2014


    I, for one, look forward to seeing Operation Krampus, fuelled by the discipline and self-sacrifice* GamerGaters are known for, have a pronounced and lasting effect on... something.

    *they're so disciplined it took them almost three days collectively to give up on operation "digging digra" because it required too much reading and it was hard
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:51 PM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    IIRC, moot was having sex, and thus vulnerable to his SJW concubine's tentacles. Sounds pretty awesome, really.

    David Cronemberg should make it into a movie. Wait.
    posted by sukeban at 1:53 PM on October 14, 2014


    Was quite suprised to see the Daily Mail slamming them to the extent it did.

    It was all worth it to see these dorks lambast the Daily fucking Mail as an SJW publication.

    the accompanying anti-semitism, although likewise ill-placed, was less funny
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:53 PM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    If these people wanted to target anti-gaming organizations/publications, this is where they should start.

    Btw, that operation krampus link above contained the following list of publications that should be targeted (mind you, not just targeting these publications, but everyone that advertises in them or sends them games).
    Kotaku; Polygon; Destructoid; Rock, Paper, Shotgun; The Escapist; Motherboard; IGN; GameSpot; Gamasutra; Gameranx; PCGamer.com; Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine; Total Xbox; Gameplanet; Gizmodo; TechCrunch; Ars Technica; VICE; The Daily Dot; Badass Digest; The Daily Beast; Raw Story; The Mary Sue; Salon; BuzzFeed; Uproxx; Paste Magazine; Wired; The New Yorker; Cracked; Mic; xoJane; The Verge; Gawker; Valleywag; Defamer; Lifehacker; Deadspin; Screamer; io9; Sploid; Jalopnik; Paging Dr. NerdLove; RationalWiki; TV Tropes.
    Good luck, guys.
    posted by el io at 1:55 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    The best part of moot deleting #gg threads was when the refugees would spill over into other boards. This never failed to prompt hearty, weary responses of "FUCK OFF".
    posted by Sticherbeast at 1:56 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I, for one, look forward to seeing Operation Krampus

    sigh.


    Well, at least it ain't "Operation Zwarte Piet".
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:57 PM on October 14, 2014


    Operation Krampus = "SJWs are making it so big-budget games won't be made any more and all that will be left are thoughtful little indie games about coping with loss! Let's fix that by attempting to deprive the makers of big-budget games of profits at a critical time of year, so they all fail and we'll be left with... nothing but thoughtful little indie games. Excellent. Spread the word."
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:59 PM on October 14, 2014 [21 favorites]


    yeah, the moot thing led to a hilarious "doxxing" of andy baio (waxy) where they drew the lines between kickstarter and xoxofest with their super secret methods of noticing his name and finding him on wikipedia.
    posted by nadawi at 1:59 PM on October 14, 2014


    It was all worth it to see these dorks lambast the Daily fucking Mail as an SJW publication.

    I can imagine the Daily Mail taking real umbrage at being accused of caring about social justice.
    posted by el io at 1:59 PM on October 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Army of Kittens: Little known fact, Depression Quest actually outsold the last Grand Theft Auto. EA has now shifted it's entire product line to various games exploring mental illnesses. This of course is because Zoe quietly bought EA with her billions of dollars of profits from DQ. This shit is real. *



    *this shit is not real
    posted by el io at 2:03 PM on October 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


    I really do think that twitter is now a poisoned space. There are no mods, and it can't get better without them. Twitter doesn't want mods, they want to be able to appeal to everyone.

    As I said a little while back , the @ makes tweets both public and personal. That's proving to be more curse than blessing.

    The "onboarding" experience at Twitter for new accounts is to suggest a lot of relatively famous people to follow; those people tend to have verified accounts and the additional features that come with the blue tick, such as selective notification. So there's a space for friend-chat, a filtered space for following celebrities, and that leaves a big middle where it's far too easy for random/sockpuppet accounts to systematically harass particular users who aren't #EngageWithBrands enough to have verified status or engage in scattergun responses via hashtag search.
    posted by holgate at 2:05 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    That's odd, because the normal response to people who make unprovoked threats of physical violence isn't to start racking one's brain for ways to accommodate their emotional needs. It's only in conversations where the threat of violence is directed at feminists, by men.

    YES. I really don't get this line of reasoning at all. There are millions of angry, lonely, miserable, isolated people out there on planet earth, and you know what most of them don't do? Threaten to rape and kill people. The problem with the GG dudes isn't that they're lonely and in need of deep psychoanalysis to figure out how we can band together and help them. The problem is that they're assholes. Everyone everywhere is dealing with their own shit. Assholes magnify their misery and turn it on other people. And that's their problem, not our problem to fix.

    The most extreme misogynists can't be reasoned with, they're not reasonable people. Let them stew in their own poison because they're doing to do that anyways. I think a better tactic is to try and make a society in which sexism is viewed as being so old-fashioned and off-putting that these people become the fringe rather than an extreme wing of some unfortunately mainstream misogyny.
    posted by supercrayon at 2:05 PM on October 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


    The best part of moot deleting #gg threads was when the refugees would spill over into other boards. This never failed to prompt hearty, weary responses of "FUCK OFF".

    I also liked it when they tried to make comicGate a thing and the entirety of comics told them to fuck off.
    posted by Artw at 2:09 PM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    David Futrelle: In a series of brilliant, furious Tweets, Zoe Quinn tears apart the myth that #GamerGate has “moved beyond” harassment of women
    Yesterday, fed up with the equivocating bullshit that’s constantly being said in the media and within gaming circles about #GamerGate, and pissed off at all those who think of themselves as good people but still refuse to see the hatred and misogyny and harassment and doxxing that has been central to GG since the start, Quinn posted a series of (justifiably) angry tweets calling out the cowards in the profession who know that what’s going on is deeply evil but won’t say anything, and documenting the unending harassment she and her boyfriend, and her family, and his family are still getting.

    Was that even a sentence? I don’t know. The point is she’s STILL getting harassed. She’s STILL getting “prank” calls. She’s STILL getting death threats. People are STILL digging around in her personal life and the personal life of everyone connected to her.

    And she’s not the only one. The newest target of #GamerGate wrath? Indie game developer Brianna Wu, who, as I noted in my last post, got death threats … for posting memes on Twitter.

    Meanwhile, two creepy obsessed assholes are still begging for money to make a documentary they hope will ruin Anita Sarkeesian.

    Oh, but #GamerGate is about ethics.
    posted by zombieflanders at 2:10 PM on October 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


    Pretty sickening that there's always such a rush to excuse the actions of these misogynistic little shitweasels because they're so lonely and miserable... as a few other women have said in this thread, I am in the exact same boat w/r/t loneliness and not getting laid, and yet there's no rush to help me out of my plight. Maybe I need to really lower myself into the gutter, start attacking people and issuing rape and death threats, and then maybe some very misguided people will realize how important it is to have pity for me.

    Fucking gross, people.
    posted by palomar at 2:11 PM on October 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


    I've been thinking about this a lot, and please forgive me if I get something wrong here. I'm kinda talking through this myself, to try to gain a better understanding.

    There's a problem. A group of people are doing very bad stuff. We want them stop, so what can we do? There should be punishments for doing bad stuff. This bad behavior, the awful threats and harassment, should have consequences for these people (where's the panopticon when you need it? ). Twitter and reddit are doing absymally at this right now. I'm not sure how the Law Enforcement angle is working, but so far there have been no arrests or fines or charges brought, so that's not great, but I don't know how quickly one should expect to see results. We could try to make it impossible for them to do the bad stuff (again, this would mostly be on twitter and reddit to solve by being able to effectively permaban actual people, and not enable instant creation of new harassment accounts. So it seems like at least, we should be pressuring reddit and twitter to have better policies, and to demand speedy action from law enforcement to provide security and deliver justice.

    The part that I think gets slapped down with the "oh no, what about the menz?!" argument-ender is the idea that we should pay any attention to the motivation of this group of badly behaved people. Honestly this response gets under my skin, because I don't want to see my own concerns dismissed just because I'm a guy. Like, no one wants to be subject to prejudice, thats not even controversial. But I recognize that my own concerns are not even in the same ballpark as the ones faced by the targets of GG, or those of women in general.

    So, what about the perpetrators? I don't even know how useful it is to look at the desires of this group. The stated goals of GG are incoherent at best, and probably just a smokescreen to try to legitimize the "movement". Many of the demands are just total non-starters, like turning every game-review into a unmoderated mini-4chan. Also the huge, overriding concern with the supposed sexual ethics of journalists, but utter lack of concern with actual ethical concerns makes the movement hard to accept as a legitimate call for change.

    So, maybe there's a "real" reason for this bad behavior, like that these people are alienated and lonely. The problem is, even if we can agree to that, what do we do about it? Like, why should we give them what they want, when they are hurting other people? Would that even solve the problem? Like, supposing that somehow it could be arranged that they all got girlfriends, would they stop being jerks (terrorists), or just become jerks-with-girlfriends? Finally, who are we, any of us, to offer up the current victims of the bad behavior as an inducement or reward for good behavior. Indeed, it seems unfair to place any burden of a solution upon the victims, since they are already bearing most of the consequences of the bad behavior. It's also just distasteful to make this argument because from a certain angle, its like you are arguing that the victims of the abuse are responsible for the abuse. Like, these guys are lonely and feel rejected, so they lash out at women. The abhorrent implication is that therefore, if they had not been rejected by women, then women would not be the target of this abuse. So with that said, even if you can pin down some underlying, unifying problem, what can we do about it? I guess you could try to offer up a "carrot" that you never intend to deliver, e.g. "Hey, if you abandon your bad ideas and adopt good ideas, you will get romantic success... But, surprise, one of the enlightened ideas you must adopt is that you are never entitled to romantic success, even if you adhere to the right ideas." My gut feeling is that is a complicated strategy to enact. What else could you do then?
    posted by rustcrumb at 2:12 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    GG is not a bunch of shy men; it's a right-wing conspiracy.

    it's a trial balloon and practice - and you can bet that a lot of political wing nut people are taking notes

    but what's really bugging me is this stereotype of some kid in his mother's basement who OMG can't get laid

    i don't think it's true

    i think there are plenty of women who would have relationships with misogynistic assholes because there's plenty of women who DO

    it's very interesting to me that some have said, well, gaming used to be a nerd thing, but then the jocks and bros got into it and now it's all gone to hell - so, if it's not just nerds, then it's not just socially crippled manbabies who can't get a date, but it's socially enabled manbabies who get more dates than they can handle

    so, check your assumptions - you may not be able to change these people by making them less assholish by helping them access the dating game better

    that there are assholes in the world suggests to me that assholes have sex

    my plan for changing people who issue death and rape threats is much simpler - get them arrested
    posted by pyramid termite at 2:14 PM on October 14, 2014 [23 favorites]


    pyramid_termite, I think I have arrived at the same conclusion. It seems like a way more straightforward solution to just apply the laws we have against this behavior.
    posted by rustcrumb at 2:22 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    That's sorta eliding the hardest part, though, which is getting them arrested. How do you do that given how disinterested in online threats most law enforcement seems to be. Maybe a civil lawsuit has a better chance of actually doing anything.
    posted by Justinian at 2:25 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    While police apparently lack resources and expertise to track down the criminals, some gamers (and others) are pretty technically adept and might be able to help. Does anyone know if police have any interest in citizens offering internet sleuthing to an investigation?
    posted by anonymisc at 2:28 PM on October 14, 2014


    How do you do that given how disinterested in online threats most law enforcement seems to be.
    must... resist... temptation... to refer to 'most law enforcement' busy practicing First Person Shooter games...
    (but you know, most of our problems do kind of dovetail with each other)
    posted by oneswellfoop at 2:30 PM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    And to go a step further, part of the problem of getting them arrested is identifying the culprits, which has proven to be a difficult problem as well. Anita's first bomb threat was months ago, and you'll notice there haven't been any arrests announced in connection to that.

    And that's even assuming they're in a location over which the FBI has any jurisdiction, which is not always clear.
    posted by Andrhia at 2:30 PM on October 14, 2014


    perhaps a civil RICO suit might work - making it against john does when necessary and issuing subpoenas to various ISPs and social media companies
    posted by pyramid termite at 2:32 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    This votable list of the world's worst ever people just might have been brigaded by dorkmad gamergaters.

    Moot: worse than Hitler, slightly better than Stalin. Zoey Quinn a marginal improvement over Kim Jong-il.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:33 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    while it is woefully inadequate, for those who don't know, zoe quinn did manage to get a restraining order (which included a gag clause) against her scumbag ex. this, as you might imagine, enraged the gaters.
    posted by nadawi at 2:33 PM on October 14, 2014


    Deadspin chimes in with a pretty strong summary of Gamergate so far, and its similarity to previous revanchist social movements. Worth reading its entirety, but a few points that jumped out at me with respect to hate group organization / tactics:

    The Future Of The Culture Wars Is Here, And It's Gamergate
    In many ways, Gamergate is an almost perfect closed-bottle ecosystem of bad internet tics and shoddy debating tactics. Bringing together the grievances of video game fans, self-appointed specialists in journalism ethics, and dedicated misogynists, it's captured an especially broad phylum of trolls and built the sort of structure you'd expect to see if, say, you'd asked the old Fires of Heaven message boards to swing a Senate seat. It's a fascinating glimpse of the future of grievance politics as they will be carried out by people who grew up online.

    What's made it effective, though, is that it's exploited the same basic loophole in the system that generations of social reactionaries have: the press's genuine and deep-seated belief that you gotta hear both sides.$100 billion industry, even as they send women like Brianna Wu into hiding and show every sign that they intend to keep doing so until all their demands are met.

    [...]

    Gamergate is surprisingly well organized, with "operations" staged from a mishmash of Reddit boards, infinite chan threads (having abandoned 4chan), and unofficial-official dedicated sites. "Daily boycotters," for example, are instructed not just to email targeted companies to express their grievances, but to spam these targets on Sundays and Wednesdays to maximize congestion-shit up the Monday morning rush, and dogpile in the middle of the week, so the mess has to be addressed before the weekend. They're told never to use the actual term "Gamergate," as that will allow the message to be filtered. [...]

    This is how a very few people can get their way, and the use of this technique is one of the many similarities between Gamergate and the ever-present aggrieved reactionaries whose most recent manifestation is the Tea Party.

    [...]

    What we have in Gamergate is a glimpse of how these skirmishes will unfold in the future—all the rhetorical weaponry and siegecraft of an internet comment section brought to bear on our culture, not just at the fringes but at the center. What we're seeing now is a rehearsal, where the mechanisms of a toxic and inhumane politics are being tested and improved. Tomorrow's Lee Atwater will work through sock puppets on IRC. Tomorrow's Sister Souljah will get shouted down with rape threats. Tomorrow's Tipper Gore will make an inexplicably popular YouTube video. Tomorrow's Willie Horton ad will be an image macro, tomorrow's Borking a doxing, tomorrow's Moral Majority a loose coalition of DoSers and robo-petitioners and scat-GIF trolls—all of them working feverishly in service of the old idea that nothing should ever really change.
    posted by tonycpsu at 2:35 PM on October 14, 2014 [34 favorites]


    The best part about the worst person in the world list is that moot was on it about eight times.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:35 PM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Does anyone know if police have any interest in citizens offering internet sleuthing to an investigation?

    Generally, no. And besides, without the power of a subpoena, good luck getting Twitter/gmail/etc to give up IP addresses and login info and such. Hell, the police often have issues getting that info.

    And that assumes that the info wasn't spoofed, VPNed, TORed or otherwise obfuscated.

    It's a hard problem and as serious as death threats are, the resources just don't exist to track them down if the perpetrator is technically savvy and not a particularly high value target.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 2:37 PM on October 14, 2014


    >"[...] some kind of social welfare program that helps socially awkward males [...]"

    Solution-seeking conversations are conversations where it's important to assume good intent. Liberals aren't surprised when an environment of poverty begets crime, or when an environment of violence begets terrorism. We argue against the red herring that "solution-seeking is shirking personal responsibility." Of course terrorists should be held responsible and criminals should be held responsible and bullies should be held responsible. The interesting question is, "what got us to this state of affairs in the first place?"

    The original post establishes that hate groups recruit from disaffected communities. If we follow the chain of events far enough back, we might see where that disaffection can be addressed by an intervention.

    The problem of disaffected men and boys is a social problem with society-wide implications. I'm not making sympathy for Adam Lanza to say that I wish that there was a safety net for him -- something -- anything -- that may have occupied his thoughts differently, or a friend who could have intervened in his messed up home situation or uninterrupted institutional mental health monitoring that could have caught his plans or at least limited his access to weaponry.

    A safety net may not catch any single individual, but when we're talking about public policy, we're talking about the aggregate. The same institutionalized pathway to self-actualization by necessity solves problems like suicide, abuse and neglect.

    How do we build impulsivity control for children? Relationship skills? Tenacity? I used to work for a non-profit (Friends of the Children) that connected a paid, professional, full-time mentor to one severely at-risk child for all of K-12. Around grades 2, 3 and onward those children were amazing, polite and ambitious. I've seen interventions work with my own eyes. It was an expensive program but scores cheaper once you factored in the never bought prison beds and never conceived teenage pregnancies.

    The question isn't "can we" lead boys and girls to self-actualization. We can. We do. We don't bring answers to scale because we don't have the political will to front-load the cost. We pay a large cost on the back end instead and some of that cost is in online bullying.
    posted by Skwirl at 2:37 PM on October 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Something that would change the dynamics of this: if a female FBI agent chimed in supporting Zoe. I assure you, once death and rape threats were directed at an FBI agent, the FBI would fully engage.
    posted by el io at 2:40 PM on October 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


    The interesting question is, "what got us to this state of affairs in the first place?"

    Patriarchy. What's the next interesting question?
    posted by Ipsifendus at 2:41 PM on October 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


    Anonymisc: While police apparently lack resources and expertise to track down the criminals, some gamers (and others) are pretty technically adept and might be able to help. Does anyone know if police have any interest in citizens offering internet sleuthing to an investigation?

    I don't have links handy or anything, but both online and off I've heard or seen stories of people showing up at the police station with a stack of evidence and documentation of someone harassing them, and getting traction. It's pretty similar to "this person broke in to my car and stole my laptop. Here's a picture of them doing it from my security camera, here's a picture of them, here's where they live, here's a picture of them trying to sell it"(and people I know have done that with a multitude of things)

    If works, is what I'm saying. It might not work every time, but it works a lot better than just "hey this is a problem" which is sad because that shit is supposed to be their damn job.

    The issue id see is that this is often an interstate crime, or at least coming from outside the jurisdiction of your local pd. then what, FBI? I don't remember how that was resolved in the stories id seen/heard. Just that the people were taken seriously.
    posted by emptythought at 2:42 PM on October 14, 2014


    I feel like this is the 80th iteration that I've seen on metafilter of this dynamic, where somebody really wants to take a stand for the idea that the best way to deal with groups of virulently misogynist men is to figure out what we can do for them, or to help them. That's odd, because the normal response to people who make unprovoked threats of physical violence isn't to start racking one's brain for ways to accommodate their emotional needs. It's only in conversations where the threat of violence is directed at feminists, by men. Really strange. I wonder why that should be?

    Actually, I don't really wonder. I am, hoever, a little surprised that anybody who reads the site regularly doesn't recognize "what shall we do about the poor disenfranchised lonely nerds" for the horeshit derail that it is.


    If you look at experts who specialize in gangs and cults, you'll see that figuring out how to help the people who become the gangmembers is a big part of what many of them do.
    If you look at people who specialize in virulently violent groups, such as terrorists, accommodating their emotional needs is very much a studied and applied strategy.
    If you look at a full on literal warzone where men are outright shooting people with guns, "Hearts and Minds" is a real thing that Serious People take seriously.

    Time-tested tools in the conflict-resolution toolbox are not a "horseshit derail". Yes, we've seen these things offered in less-than-good faith in the past, but reading this thread, I do not get the impression that that is what is happening here.
    "Stick or carrot" is an unnecessary dichotomy. Use everything.
    posted by anonymisc at 2:43 PM on October 14, 2014 [19 favorites]


    I hadn't even heard of this until this thread and I have to admit I find it bizarre. Trade magazines having cozy relationships with businesses? Stop the presses!! That they think faux outrage at a niche press most people could care less about "explains" their attacks on women is just laughable. It shows how delusional they really are. I'm surprised no arrests have been made, or the participants identities haven't been made public. Surely they can't all be uber hackers capable of evading law enforcement or their targets forever? And surely lots of people already know who they are? The identities have to be an open secret in some circles and ISPs etc can be subpoenaed. I really hope people do the right thing and turn them in to the authorities because these people are nuts.
    posted by fshgrl at 2:43 PM on October 14, 2014


    Something that would change the dynamics of this: if a female FBI agent chimed in supporting Zoe. I assure you, once death and rape threats were directed at an FBI agent, the FBI would fully engage.

    el io, the FBI is already fully engaged, to the extent where they explicitly went to the IGDA to offer their help in situations like this one.
    posted by Andrhia at 2:45 PM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    If the FBI lands one of them they'll immediately rat the rest to the best of their ability - that's how this sort of thing tends to go.
    posted by Artw at 2:47 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    zoe has been collecting info from go (which is how we got the irc logs) and has said she held some stuff back because it was being sent to the appropriate law enforcement groups.
    posted by nadawi at 2:48 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Andhria: They are engaged with discussions with an industry group. I wouldn't call this 'fully engaged', I'd call this 'aware of the problem'. If one of their own was the subject of death/rape threats there would quickly be arrests or at least visits to the perpetrators of such threats.

    What they are doing is more PR work than anything at the moment.
    posted by el io at 2:48 PM on October 14, 2014


    perhaps a civil RICO suit might work[...]
    Yeah, the GG trolls had a fashionable period a few weeks ago where they were threatening to get Leigh Alexander and other "SJW" journalists arrested under the RICO act.
    posted by whittaker at 2:48 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Hey, Anita Sarkeesian got what I believe is death threat number 4 because of a speaking engagement. #ethics
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:49 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    my favorite part of the rico stuff is that the indiegogo campaign to hire a lawyer to look into the possibility of charging these women with something, anything, had to be shut down because of corruption - the guy running the campaign was going to hire his wife with the money raised. yet, that corruption wasn't a big deal and more a misunderstanding, according to gameghazi.
    posted by nadawi at 2:51 PM on October 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


    From Elementary Penguin's link:

    LOGAN — Utah State University has confirmed it received an anonymous email terror threat from one of its own students proposing “the deadliest school shooting in American history” Tuesday morning if it went ahead with an event featuring a prominent Canadian-American author, blogger and feminist.

    The email author claiming to be a USU student wrote that “feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all the others they've wronged.“


    The comments section is kind of fascinating, in a train-wreck way.
    posted by rtha at 2:59 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Generally, no. And besides, without the power of a subpoena, good luck getting Twitter/gmail/etc to give up IP addresses and login info and such. Hell, the police often have issues getting that info.
    And that assumes that the info wasn't spoofed, VPNed, TORed or otherwise obfuscated.
    It's a hard problem and as serious as death threats are, the resources just don't exist to track them down if the perpetrator is technically savvy and not a particularly high value target.


    I suspect it's usually not a hard problem, just a very time-consuming one. Maybe some perps have both the inclination and expertise to cover their tracks completely, but for anyone who spends a lot of time online, I think anonymity tends to eventually melt under the focused glare of a dedicated methodical expert.

    OTOH, industry devs who are targeted probably either have internet expertise, or have friends and coworkers who do, so perhaps the amount that could be done along those lines is already being done.
    OTOOH, no-one in the industry has enough free time...
    posted by anonymisc at 3:01 PM on October 14, 2014


    And besides, without the power of a subpoena, good luck getting Twitter/gmail/etc to give up IP addresses and login info and such. Hell, the police often have issues getting that info.
    Death threats are being made repeatedly. Why should we assume that a subpoena would be difficult to obtain?
    posted by b1tr0t at 3:16 PM on October 14, 2014


    If you look at experts who specialize in gangs and cults, you'll see that figuring out how to help the people who become the gangmembers is a big part of what many of them do.
    If you look at people who specialize in virulently violent groups, such as terrorists, accommodating their emotional needs is very much a studied and applied strategy.
    If you look at a full on literal warzone where men are outright shooting people with guns, "Hearts and Minds" is a real thing that Serious People take seriously.


    I am quite in favor of solution-oriented thinking. I just think certain things that are repeatedly offered as "how the other side thinks" do not offer solutions because they buy in to false premises that are part of the problem.
    posted by atoxyl at 3:17 PM on October 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


    The comments section is kind of fascinating, in a train-wreck way.

    "We have assembled a grand and complex theory on game journalism corruption // why are you making a connection between certain women being harassed and threatened with violence in very similar ways?"
    posted by holgate at 3:17 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Death threats are being made repeatedly. Why should we assume that a subpoena would be difficult to obtain?

    It's been my experience with online harrassment, that even when the police take it seriously, they run into roadblocks. A company in Texas might not care too much about a subpoena from a Wisconsin court, for instance. Or could otherwise stonewall.

    Granted, I haven't had to deal with that for... 5-6 years. Maybe things are better now ? I don't think they are, though.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:19 PM on October 14, 2014


    >Skwirl: The interesting question is, "what got us to this state of affairs in the first place?"

    Ipsifendus: Patriarchy. What's the next interesting question?


    The next question is: "How do we create a society that is not structured by patriarchy?" My comment points at answers to that question. They may be dumb, simplistic answers, but it's also way out of the ballpark of whatever the hate groups are lobbying for. Supporting children's rights as a longterm strategy for furthering women's rights is a feminist solution no matter how you look at it.

    It's easy to become frustrated, but are we going to keep going round and round with snark or will sincerity be met with sincerity? Yeah, the misogynists say they are sincere, too. It serves two of their purposes to co-opt sincere tones because it provides them cover and it causes people who are looking for sincere solutions to be discredited. We have to do better than knee-jerk reactions.

    We also answer patriarchy with comforting and empowering the direct victims, teaching justice principles and punishing offenders. All of that is possible simultaneously. There's no zero sum game here. It's not a derail to address the topic of hate group recruitment with evidence-based answers to addressing hate group recruitment.
    posted by Skwirl at 3:46 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    It's not just interstate warrants they may be the problem- it's easy enough to make this a matter of international jurisdiction. For instance, after commenting on Gamergate, my wife got multiple hacking attempts from Brszil. A court in South America isn't going to care much for a request from Wisconson, unless it's backed by NSA level influence.
    posted by happyroach at 3:54 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    here's a scary thought - what are people going to be like if something really bad happens in this country? - some of them are completely losing their shit already over a feminist giving a lecture
    posted by pyramid termite at 3:58 PM on October 14, 2014 [11 favorites]


    pyramid termite: Like cops gunning down unarmed people in the streets without consequence? Like the death penalty being used to kill innocent people? Like mass surveillance of the population? Like infiltration of peaceful protest groups by agent provocateurs? Like mass shootings in schools - or worse - calls for gun control?

    Probably not much.
    posted by el io at 4:03 PM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    I am really uncomfortable with the idea that the only reason #gamergate is a thing is because games used to be a nerd-only thing but now the fratboys and jocks have taken over and that's why everyone is fucked up. Fake Geek Girls and the ilk show that nerdboys are just as capable of misogyny - it's not like this is new to modern gaming.

    NoraReed: ello's supposed banning of #GamerGate as hate speech is fake.
    posted by divabat at 4:06 PM on October 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


    The interesting question is, "what got us to this state of affairs in the first place?"

    Patriarchy. What's the next interesting question?


    Why did you have to do that? Go for the glib one-liner when someone is making a serious, good-faith attempt to address an issue we all agree is a problem?

    Are you really not at all interested in finding ways to stop this harassment?

    I just don't understand the mindset of someone who would rather repeatedly react with outrage when something predictably awful occurs than try to figure out why it keeps happening in the first place.

    It's like standing by a broken railroad track and getting pissed off every time a passenger train comes along and derails. You can curse at the track for being broken all you want, but it isn't going to fix itself. If the safety of those passengers really is your top concern, why wouldn't you do everything you could to fix that track instead?

    Talking about why these men lash out against women like they do and how we can stop our boys from growing up with that same poisonous mindset is absolutely relevant to this discussion.
    posted by misha at 4:06 PM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Are you really not at all interested in finding ways to stop this harassment?

    While it was a glib answer, I think a longer answer would be more discussion of the patriarchy and what to do about it. Law enforcement (arrests, lawsuits, trials, jails), civil suits (lawsuits, lawyers, crippling judgements) won't actually deal with the cause of the problem.

    What got us here is the patriarchy, and this harassment we are seeing is a symptom of it. Without addressing the root problem, the symptoms (if we address this particular symptom) will manifest in other awful ways.
    posted by el io at 4:11 PM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    I hesitate to contribute to the derail about why some men engage in this behavior, but I strongly disagree that the problem has anything other than a peripheral relationship to whether or not they can get a date. As has been pointed out above, misogynists have wives and girlfriends and daughters all the time. The problem is men who value women solely for their sexual desirability, and who try to use the desirability of the women who will sleep with them as a proxy for their own self worth. They hate the women who will not sleep with them for denying them the validation they crave, and they despise the women who will sleep with them because of course that doesn't solve the problem either and they still feel worthless.

    The same feelings of worthlessness lead them to believe that the women who will sleep with them must be coerced or tricked into it, and so they fight back against anything that they think will make women harder to trick or coerce, like equality. They externalize their self loathing, making it the fault of feminists.

    The reason it can be more of a problem for the socially awkward is that those are the people with low self worth to begin with. But as was also pointed out above, low self worth affects women just as much as it does men. And while addressing it may be important and help many people, it is a separate problem. It's not the solution to misogyny.

    The real problem is the sexist culture, the patriarchy (which might sound like a glib one-liner, but it's really not, it is the answer), the system that encourages (at worst) or fails to discourage (at best) misogynistic behavior. And the way you fight it is by confronting it, addressing it, reflecting on it in yourself.
    posted by Nothing at 4:14 PM on October 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Are you really not at all interested in finding ways to stop this harassment?

    There is only one way to stop this harassment, and that is for the people issuing death and rape threats to stop issuing death and rape threats. They will probably be less inclined to do issue those threats if it becomes abundantly clear to them that this sort of thing is not tolerated by decent society, which is why so many people are speaking up about it right now. This is not OK, this is not decent behavior.

    Moreover, it is not any woman's job to manage the gamergaters' feelings and find "solutions" for them. I am especially not interested in potential "solutions" that boil down to "stop provoking them."
    posted by dialetheia at 4:14 PM on October 14, 2014 [28 favorites]


    I just don't understand the mindset of someone who would rather repeatedly react with outrage when something predictably awful occurs than try to figure out why it keeps happening in the first place.

    It's like standing by a broken railroad track and getting pissed off every time a passenger train comes along and derails. You can curse at the track for being broken all you want, but it isn't going to fix itself. If the safety of those passengers really is your top concern, why wouldn't you do everything you could to fix that track instead?


    To use your analogy -

    The people saying "it's patriarchy causing this" aren't "cursing the track", they're the people who are saying "the track is broken and we need the track owner to come bring the proper tools to fix it", while the people saying "maybe we can just reach out to the gamers" are coming across like, "but what if we just used duct tape and chewing gum?"
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:15 PM on October 14, 2014 [18 favorites]


    i think there is a difference between doing evidence based queries into the causes of these men (and some women) forming what can be viewed as a hate group and saying, essentially, some men are lonely virgins and that makes them bitter and violent towards women so now lets turn the conversation to how to solve the problem of men without companionship. the first one is a fine exercise and i'd really like to participate in that conversation. the second one is a predictable derail that happens in pretty much every thread of this type, whether we're discussing skeptics or street harassment or industry conventions or websites about books or creepshots or whatever else - and i maintain that its function is to center the conversation on the men and their concerns and their pain rather than discussing the other things we can do, like how best to show support, or how to pressure organizers of events/websites/communities to not condone this behavior or what are the specific driving factors for the men in this specific subculture. it's super predictable and sad how well it works to derail.
    posted by nadawi at 4:19 PM on October 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


    This may seem like a strange thing to say...

    But while virtually everyone involved with promoting #gamergate is undoubtedly a misogynist, most misogynists don't go around making death and rape threats or defending those that do.

    #notallmisogynists
    posted by el io at 4:20 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I am really uncomfortable with the idea that the only reason #gamergate is a thing is because games used to be a nerd-only thing but now the fratboys and jocks have taken over and that's why everyone is fucked up. Fake Geek Girls and the ilk show that nerdboys are just as capable of misogyny - it's not like this is new to modern gaming.

    The bro-y guys that play madden and call of duty don't consider themselves 'gamers'. And their misogyny tends to be of your more stereotypical 'make me a sandwich' type and less 'i'm going to come to your house and kill you' type. The gamergate people are isolated loners, stewing in resentment.
    posted by empath at 4:20 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I'm sorry I can't read all the posts above yet - but one thing that sticks out to me, now, is the discussion of reframing things... "We're not misogynists, we like women in games, we just want "honest" journalism"...

    "We're not racists... We're "racialist"" (I remember when I first heard that bullshit line -- we don't "hate" other groups we just want to not have to ever deal with them! We're not racist!)

    Everytime I have an argument I do this thing where I ask the people who claim to be arguing in good faith "What is it you want? You say you want 'journalistic integrity'... Define it? Make a fucking agenda/platform and present it to the world, make a clear statement that you will not abide by anybody who harasses women, or devs in general. What would make you happy? Do you seriously propose a fuck-police who make sure to watch whose penis is going in whose hole so that they're virginally pure for your reviews? That's absurd, so what do you do? Do you seriously think that a small community like the game dev and journalist community keep 100% separation? Do you want them to hide in holes and never talk to each other but through proxies, like, I dunno, PR firms? Because THAT doesn't speak corruption and bullshit at ALL"
    posted by symbioid at 4:38 PM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Well, here's another full-fledged "Terror Threat against Anita Sarkeesian" when she speaks at Utah State tomorrow. Sounds like an Elliot Rodger wannabe.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 4:41 PM on October 14, 2014


    #GamerGate appears to be a huge movement that's gone not so much off the rails, as having in all directions like a veritable deluge. There appear to be a lot of misogynist, MRA, professional anti-feminism, troll-for-hire types in there. But at the same time, there are people who have joined after the start, a lot of people who have some vague idea of what's going on, and so forth. There appear to be a lot of disinfo going on.

    Is there a significant misogynist element? Undoubtedly. Should it be combated? Yes. But talking in echo chambers about how bad the other side is does not further the discussion. You inevitably create generalizations, caricatures of what the other side is. Maybe #GamerGate might be composed of 99% misogynists. Maybe not- but who can objectively tell? If you go on Twitter, they will quickly offer counterexamples of how their movement does include female members, and how many of the targets of criticism are not above being bigoted themselves. Maybe the former is as disingenuous as the EDL having token Jewish, women's, LGBT, and Sikh divisions to say "Hey we're not that bigoted!" Maybe the latter is jumping on a minor failing in comparison to their own movement's sins.

    Like all politics and all public discourse since the Bush administration, people silo themselves into their own groups. They read their own sources, and it becomes an epic circlejerk of drama and truthiness.

    This is not the first time there has been a huge uproar about gamers vs. supposed industry corruption. Does no one remember the Mass Effect 3 ending drama? That was a rather apolitical affair, unless one was to characterize the ire against Bioware to be crypto-bigoted, since Bioware is known to be rather progressive, I guess. Gamers can indeed mobilize for non-problematic reasons.

    I am not supporting #GamerGate, and I think that unfortunately it has been too poisoned both by public perception and by the presence of malicious elements to be effectively redeemed. But I just think that it's factually incorrect to generalize a huge group of angry people as all being extremist reactionaries. It's easy to imagine that all gamers are XBox Live vitriol-spewing, anonymous death threat Tweet sending, conspiratorial animals. It's easy to associate them as yet another subset of the Death of the White Male archetype. But are they all really?

    If #GamerGate is really about lapses in gaming journalism, then in theory it should be amenable to new members trying to simultaneously reform to movement to purge it of misogynist troll elements. This isn't Daesh or the Tea Party we're talking about here. This is a grassroots movement with a confused mess of different sides, subfactions, and members of ideological stripes at play here. But already, the hardliners in the movement have committed unforgivable actions to destroy any credibility they might have.

    Truth is being killed by misinformation. I don’t want to blame it all on 9/11, but it certainly didn’t help.

    Ultimately, #GG is a poisoned movement and a poisoned label. Those who genuinely care about corruption in gaming journalism should abandon it and start a new group without all of the baggage associated with the current movement. And they should start it off by saying online harassment is 100% not okay. They should police their own movement. They should not breed conspiracy theories and rumors. They should act in a self-aware manner. They should not make wars with strawmen in bad faith, lest they become strawmen of their own. And most of all, they need to comprehend that their grievances pale in comparison to the oppression women face in society. They should not allow their movement to be co-opted by the oppressors.
    posted by Apocryphon at 4:41 PM on October 14, 2014


    Elementary Penguin: "Hey, Anita Sarkeesian got what I believe is death threat number 4 because of a speaking engagement."

    What's pretty scary about that death threat is that it heavily references Marc Lepine and the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal. Either this person is old enough to remember an event from 25 years ago or they've been researching anti-feminist mass killings and found this guy matched his goals better than, say, Eliot Rodgers.
    posted by mhum at 4:48 PM on October 14, 2014 [16 favorites]


    What's pretty scary about that death threat is that it heavily references Marc Lepine and the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique massacre in Montreal.

    What. The. Fuck. I just came to post about this. It's literally insane. This has nothing to do with anything other than... I actually don't want to call it terrorism but I don't know what the hell else to call it. It's terrorism.
    posted by GuyZero at 4:50 PM on October 14, 2014 [14 favorites]


    symbioid: " "We're not misogynists, we like women in games, we just want "honest" journalism"..."

    The impression I get is they want women in games as long as those women never voice any dissatisfaction with the treatment of women in games.
    posted by RobotHero at 4:54 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    So, uh, is this the point where the Gamergate supporters take a step back and say "hmmm, maybe I don't want to be involved in this so much"? Or do they just keep doubling down?
    posted by naju at 4:55 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Is there any chance of major AAA developers speaking out to support the victims of harassment? Give the misogynists their worst fear. Get even a handful of the most popular devs on board and the hate groups have to make an impossible choice between playing games and blubbering about them.

    You may say that I'm a dreamer, but the IGDA statement is a start. Moot cracked down on 4chan. If Intel is so jumpy that they'll relent to one small group, then they'll react to any small group.

    Unpredictability is bad for business, and these hate groups have a hair trigger. They will come home to roost, or, to paraphrase another overworn idea, "first they came for the indie dev women, and I didn't speak up..."

    The gaming industry could address this on their own terms and united instead of waiting to be picked off and manipulated one by one. Plus, the hardcore gamer constituency is a locked market. The profit is in creating a mainstream gaming market where average people don't see gaming as fringe. In this case, the long-term profit agenda supports the moral one.
    posted by Skwirl at 4:56 PM on October 14, 2014


    At the risk of generalizing, I'm guessing these #GG adherents aren't the type of bros who appreciate indie gems like FTL or Don't Starve. Don't get me wrong; I like a good FPS now and then, but gaming has become so diverse and interesting these days. It's too bad the #GG types have such a narrow view of the hobby.
    posted by wintermute2_0 at 4:57 PM on October 14, 2014


    indie gems like FTL or Don't Starve

    Both of these games were developed by men, so they get a conditional pass.
    posted by Strass at 5:00 PM on October 14, 2014


    The impression I get is they want women in games as long as those women never voice any dissatisfaction with the treatment of women in games

    Frankly, I think even this gives them too much credit. The only women they want in games are the ones made from pixels that they can ogle or shoot or rescue or rape; not women as players, or player-characters, or game journalists, or game developers.

    Women are prizes, not peers, to them.
    posted by suelac at 5:00 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    "If #GamerGate is really about lapses in gaming journalism."

    Nope. Never was.

    No one in this thread is criticizing gamers as a whole. There isn't really a critique of 'gamer culture' here. #GamerGate started off as hateful anti-feminist crap and never was about 'ethics in journalism' - there weren't in fact any actual allegations that had any substance to them in the first place around this.

    You may not be a racist if you think Obama wasn't born in the US. But please don't blame me for assuming you are a racist if you self-identify with a birther movement.

    Maybe some gamers who support #gamergate aren't mysognists. But the moment you join a hate-movement there is a solid chance you are going to be called out on belonging to a hate movement.
    posted by el io at 5:10 PM on October 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


    The impression I'm getting is that the discourse has become so poisoned that a lot of people are joining #GamerGate are either unaware of the movement being misogynist, or they think the allegations of misogyny are falsified, or are actually claiming that they're working against harassers there. The whole matter is so completely polarized and politicized that it's hard to see what's going on.

    Then again, all I really know about the subject I learned from Erik Kain. And his account makes it into a long-drawn drama-filled process that's about as straightforward as the Syrian Civil War.
    posted by Apocryphon at 5:19 PM on October 14, 2014


    I really wish I had something more pertinent to say here to make meaningful contribution to the discussion.

    But all I an say is that I am terribly ashamed at all this blatant misogyny, reckless hate, and the willful propagation of misinformation.

    And yes... this latest threat against Anita Sarkeesian is a terrorist threat. As much as any other fundamentalist that would attack a church, mosque, synagogue, school, or clinic.
    posted by PROD_TPSL at 5:21 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Delusion Disorder was featured in one of the segements on This American Life last week. These Gamergate leaders seem to be afflicted.
    posted by humanfont at 5:30 PM on October 14, 2014


    May I insert some happier news. Somebody sic'ed an ELIZA program on GamerGate over Twitter. It has been going on for hours and it is glorious.

    Seriously check it out:

    Sample:
    @andrewlion19 I see #GamerGate as mostly misogynists who just don't realize it yet.

    @Geomancer1980 that is the 17th or 18th dumbest thing I've ever read...

    @ElizaRBarr @Geomancer1980 That's quite interesting.

    ‏@Geomancer1980 @ElizaRBarr sarcastic hyperbole for the win. I could have just said I found that very insulting but I had plenty of characters to use

    @ElizaRBarr @Geomancer1980 Can you elaborate on that ?

    ‏@Geomancer1980 @ElizaRBarr which part?

    @ElizaRBarr @Geomancer1980 What does that suggest to you ?

    ‏@Geomancer1980 @ElizaRBarr in context of other inflammatory statements he has made I took it as an attempt to troll. I took the bait anyway.

    ...and it goes on. It does suggest that many GG twitter members just need a Rogerian psychotherapist.
    posted by blahblahblah at 5:33 PM on October 14, 2014 [70 favorites]


    all I really know about the subject I learned from Erik Kain.
    It’s about mistrust and the way both sides are feeding into that mistrust, whether through over-the-top reactions to the Quinn affair, or a bevy of articles proclaiming that an entire group of people is now irrelevant. Trust is the casualty here...

    Whether or not some people are capitalizing on a culture of victimhood is a matter largely of opinion, and not something that can simply be stated as fact any more than alleged, unverified death threats against anyone ought to be reported as fact. So much of this is mired in speculation and partisanship at this point that it’s almost impossible to see the forest for the trees. Anyone selling you simple answers is likely ripping you off....

    Readers may claim that I’m white-washing the entire thing, that scandal and conspiracy really do lurk beneath all of this. And maybe they do. I continue to follow all the details and revelations. But what I’ve seen so far points more to rotting sea of mistrust embedded in yet another culture war battle than a smoking gun....

    What irks me most about both sides of the debate is their unwillingness to simply accept that the other side might have valid, or at least sincere, points. As human....

    Perhaps none of this is the answer. Perhaps the only answer is to encourage honest debate between people who truly care about video games. A conversation is a powerful thing.
    This is cack-handed "both sides are at fault" false equivalency at its best. Kain spends a lot of words and drags in every possible influence in order to get the scales just balanced.
    posted by fatbird at 5:36 PM on October 14, 2014 [19 favorites]


    Granted, he does seem overly sympathetic to their movement. Kain, at his heart, appears to be a populist. You could visibly see his conversion during the Mass Effect 3 outcry- first against the fan uproar, then one of their closest supporters.
    posted by Apocryphon at 5:39 PM on October 14, 2014


    Apocryphon: Yeah, that's a pretty awful account there.
    Jilted ex-boyfriend Eron Gjoni wrote a long treatise on the alleged infidelity of his ex-girlfriend, video game developer Zoe Quinn. Members of the video game industry and press were implicated.

    This led to an initial outcry over corruption in the video game press.
    So, by 'implicated', she was accused of having sex with people associated with the industry. And this is the beginning of this. But if you parse it a little bit - there isn't any actual accusation that any review of any game was 'corrupted'. So there was nothing there. The 'outcry over corruption' never actually included any real accusations of any sort (ie: 'so and so slept with so and so who then gave xyz game a good review'). It was just tawdry invasive speculation into someone elses sex life (I feel dirty even discussing this).

    It took me a bit of time to figure out what was going on with this at first - because it doesn't make any sense.

    Think about the claims of 'censorship' if someone is trying to discuss allegations of infidelity that don't have any impact beyond the relationships involved. Whose business is it, and why does it belong on gaming web sites? What website with any ethics at all would allow people to have their destructive accusations of infidelity be a 'story' on their websites.

    So yeah, you could say 'it's confusing, so sure some people picked the wrong side'. Um, yeah, I don't think so. It was confusing to me until I spent about 20 minutes reading about it. Before that I didn't have a side and didn't care much; but then I realized it was a front for violent (death/rape threats) misogynistic attacks on women. Then I took 'a side'. And like friggin *magic* because I didn't think it was appropriate for people to be spewing death and rape threats, I suddenly became a 'social justice warrior'.

    Similarly, the Birther issue is complicated to, if you listen to the Birthers. It makes no sense until you look into it all, then you realize Birthers are Bat Shit Insane. It's sort of similar. But I still don't have much sympathy for people that got 'caught up' in the Birther movement because it was confusing and the were conflicting reports out there.

    All that being said, the beginning of that Forbes article is pretty awful and some of the press is sure to blame ("we report the controversy, you decide the truth" - blech).
    posted by el io at 5:40 PM on October 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


    He appears to be someone smart enough to have his opinions but also to read the winds. And good for him: If more people were like that, we'd have less angry GG mobs in IRC organizing driven-to-suicide campaigns because they can't believe their opinions aren't treated like the Oracle's. That doesn't mean he should be considered authoritative. Bias also occurs in the selection and presentation of facts, even if the presentation is scrupulously fair.
    posted by fatbird at 5:42 PM on October 14, 2014


    As a woman in science, the L'ecole Polytechnique massacre is my nightmare. Literally. People who evoke that in a terrorist threat deserve to go to prison. And people who make "both sides" equivalencies between people who make such threats and women who critique video games are assholes.
    posted by hydropsyche at 5:42 PM on October 14, 2014 [37 favorites]


    This is not the first time there has been a huge uproar about gamers vs. supposed industry corruption. Does no one remember the Mass Effect 3 ending drama?
    What was the "industry corruption" angle here?
    posted by dumbland at 5:42 PM on October 14, 2014


    Originally Mass Effect 3 ended with a reminder to drink your Ovaltine.
    posted by RobotHero at 5:46 PM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    What was the "industry corruption" angle here?

    Here's a primer. Basically EA-Bioware overpromised and undelivered and most of the gaming press gave the AAA-title sterling reviews nonetheless. It prompted an outcry into the over-importance of Metacritic, among other things.
    posted by Apocryphon at 5:48 PM on October 14, 2014


    The impression I'm getting is that the discourse has become so poisoned that a lot of people are joining #GamerGate are either unaware of the movement being misogynist


    Well they should fucking well know by now.

    Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 5:49 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Originally Mass Effect 3 ended with a reminder to drink your Ovaltine.

    Marauder Shields sez, "Thanks for playing Mass Effect 3! Stay hydrated!"
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:00 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The @ElizaRBarr chatbot is genius. Total p0wnage.
    posted by humanfont at 6:05 PM on October 14, 2014


    "I'm Commander Shepherd, and this is my favorite malt breakfast beverage on the Citadel!"
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:06 PM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    "Ah, yes..."—air quotes—"'Ovaltine'."
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:21 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    "Rudimentary creatures of blood, flesh, and malted drinks. You touch my mind, fumbling in ignorance, incapable of understanding, but warm, satisfied, and sleepy."
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:23 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Anita's canceled her USU appearance tomorrow. Such rage. There are not enough swear words, in all the languages combined.
    posted by Andrhia at 6:45 PM on October 14, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Ovaltine is not recommended for quarians, turians or other dextro-protein species. Ovaltine is not certified by the Alliance Medication Board to diagnose or treat any illnesses. Ovaltine is not nutritionally complete and is not meant to act as a substitute for Standard Nutrition Packets. Consult your doctor before drinking Ovaltine if you have previously suffered Thorian enthrallment.
    posted by NoraReed at 6:51 PM on October 14, 2014 [16 favorites]


    From Utah State Today (emphasis mine):
    Anita Sarkeesian has canceled her scheduled speech for tomorrow following a discussion with Utah State University police regarding an email threat that was sent to Utah State University. During the discussion, Sarkeesian asked if weapons will be permitted at the speaking venue. Sarkeesian was informed that, in accordance with the State of Utah law regarding the carrying of firearms, if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue.
    posted by metaquarry at 6:56 PM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Anita's canceled her USU appearance tomorrow.

    This is a rather interesting contrast to Ann Coulter's feeble bow-out in 2010.
    posted by ovvl at 6:56 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    oi
    posted by postcommunism at 6:57 PM on October 14, 2014


    Bloody fucking hell.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:00 PM on October 14, 2014




    Would love to see a citation on that Utah law. If the president visits Utah for an event, are his attendees allowed to bring weapons too?
    posted by b1tr0t at 7:04 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    (a quick Google search reveals that Obama has not set foot in Utah, so maybe that law has teeth)
    posted by b1tr0t at 7:06 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    That's beyond messed up.

    "Enhanced security measures will now be in place, which include prohibiting backpacks and any large bags."

    Oh, okay, that sounds reasonable.... On wait, you're going to search their bags, but they have a legal right to have guns on their persons?

    So security can confiscate and disallow people from bringing tomatoes to throw, but not guns to shoot?

    Holy shit America is fucked.
    posted by el io at 7:10 PM on October 14, 2014 [15 favorites]


    If the threat hadn't said anything about killing anyone, but simply said "Hi Anita, I'm going to bring a gun to your talk tomorrow. Take care," I wonder if it would even be classified as a threat...?
    posted by naju at 7:20 PM on October 14, 2014


    I bet over on Twitter they're claiming victory.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:23 PM on October 14, 2014


    In case you were wondering how difficult it is to get a Utah concealed-weapons permit, it's not.
    posted by holgate at 7:24 PM on October 14, 2014


    I know that when I'm dispassionately evaluating a movement's credibility, terrorist threats are a big tick in the "moral high ground" box.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:34 PM on October 14, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Ok, look. If there is some sort of therapeutic solution to internet dude hate-gangs, I would like to state for the record that, as the president said, it is On You, guys. You want compassion and a guiding hand and understanding to lead these rape-threat-spewing hatebros out of darkness? Go for it. Love them into enlightenment. Use your manly bro-love to show them the way.

    The hostility that a lot of people show here to that whole idea is because when it's brought up, it's always women expected to do that sort of thing. Be the Angel in the Internet shining our pure forgiving light. But this time, we ain't. Nope. Not interested. Not stepping into that cesspool. We have Moved On.

    You wanna clean it up? Be our guest. Good luck and godspeed. We'll be waiting for you over here in Know How to Act Like a Goddamn Human Being land.
    posted by emjaybee at 7:35 PM on October 14, 2014 [37 favorites]


    Basically EA-Bioware overpromised and undelivered and most of the gaming press gave the AAA-title sterling reviews nonetheless.

    My well-considered reaction to your summary of this until-now unheard of controversy is who gives a single flying fuck? Seriously? Who gives a shit? Why does this matter? What wider impact does this possibly have on the planet? So some reviews for a fucking video game were inaccurate! I don't agree with a lot of movie reviews, too. I don't agree with the reviews of hotels on travel sites. Reviews of restaurants on Yelp are often bullshit. Who the fuck cares?! Really! Why is this an issue? It's a fucking game. A toy. Short-lived, whimsical entertainment! And don't give me that "Oooh it's a $100 billion industry!" bullshit. So is the coffee industry, and we don't see rape and death threats because someone said the coffee at Starbucks tastes great.
    posted by Jimbob at 7:43 PM on October 14, 2014 [15 favorites]


    But talking in echo chambers about how bad the other side is does not further the discussion.

    Just so we're clear here, the other side is people who threaten to rape and murder people. The rest of the world SHOULD be an echo chamber of "That's evil." You know what doesn't further discussion? Bomb threats. You know what's a pretty damn good sign that there's no actual discussion to be had? Threatening to rape women and then posting their addresses online.

    Are you seriously going bemoan how one side isn't interested in furthering discussion with a cause whose members view chasing them from their homes as a valid strategy? Really?
    posted by Gygesringtone at 7:52 PM on October 14, 2014 [46 favorites]


    Also, I didn't know that Zoe Quinn wrote the ending to ME3, then slept with a bunch of reviewers, then wrote an even worse ending, and also made it possible to play a female Shepard which makes me confused in my trousers-area...
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:53 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    My read of the ME3 kerfuffle was that the aggrieved gamers came off as a pack of entitled shitheels (nothing against you there Apocryphon, thanks for the link). If they've managed to spin it into an issue of industry corruption, that's ... weird. ME3 was a fantastic game with a shitty ending. It's not exactly unprecedented.

    Speaking of, if ME3's poor ending did suck the joy out of the series for you and you stepped away, I thoroughly endorse picking up all the DLC and giving it another playthrough, leaving the Citadel DLC (which is hilariously insane and a massive tone-shift) for last.
    posted by dumbland at 8:02 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    EmpressCallipygos: "I bet over on Twitter they're claiming victory."

    Ah, but they can't claim victory without saying it's their fault. Threats have to be either faked by Sarkeesian, or something that happened totally by coincidence, the 9 letters and octothorpe are blameless.
    posted by RobotHero at 8:09 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    There's lots of stuff with shitty endings. Harry Potter's epilogue sucked. Battlestar Galactica's final episode wasn't exactly well received. A lot of people were disappointed by LOST. Gamers just reacted worse to the ending of ME3 than any other fandom because somehow they manage to be worse than fans of anything else. Even when there are valid points, they manage to fuck everything up so badly that it's not worth associating with them, like the ones who threatened Roger Ebert after he said games aren't art.

    The worst part of this is obviously the harassment and threats and the chilling effect that they have, but it's also kind of a bummer that we can't actually have a conversation about why games journalism is so bad because these trolls keep shitting everything up. It's also deeply ironic, because these assholes are the same ones who flipped their shit over a 9/10 review of GTA V; they're so incredibly threatened by the idea of cultural criticism that they're threatening to kill Sarkeesian and others. It's clear that games journalism and games criticism pretty much needes to be doing the opposite of whatever they want. But there's not really a lot of room to have a conversation about the relationship between game publications and studios or any related topics because they're claiming it's corruption if anyone says Bayonetta isn't perfect and generally just pouring their sewage-views all over any actual conversations and also threatening women and generally being awful.

    Basically what I am saying is that the gaming community is deeply, maybe irreparably, sick with this kind of bullshit and its waves of grossness touch every aspect of gaming culture and gaming criticism etc
    posted by NoraReed at 8:27 PM on October 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


    I don't remember there being any "corruption" angle to the ME3 ending, more a feeling of being generally ill-used by Bioware, because Bioware was clearly capable of better and yet came up with a solution that was cheaper, because everybody was going to buy it anyway. It wasn't just that it was bad, it was that it was really mechanically lazy. Which was to say, it wasn't just that it was bad narrative, it was that the primary goal really seemed to be to cut down on how much game they had to make. BSG was going to be really stupid complicated to wrap up in any satisfactory manner to the bulk of the audience simultaneously--ME3 just needed some effort.

    Yeah, the reviews were still good--but even today, looking at Metacritic? The user killer3000ad says "99% of the game is brilliant but the last 5 minutes just destroys the entire franchise" and then gives it a 1/10. That doesn't seem any more realistic to me than the publication that says "the grand finale itself is simply perfect" and gives it 95/100. I can see it as an argument about how Metacritic is useless, but I dunno about corruption. I was really perfectly able to put the whole thing down to the average reviewer being a hell of a lot less invested in that story than the devoted fandom.

    Granted, since long before then, the only reviewer I really trust is Yahtzee, because he has completely different taste in games from me, and yet I can tell from his terrible reviews when it's something I'm still going to like, and I can tell from his great reviews when it's something I'm still going to hate. I really need to find more folks like that.
    posted by Sequence at 8:39 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Why did you have to do that? Go for the glib one-liner when someone is making a serious, good-faith attempt to address an issue we all agree is a problem?

    Ok, you don't like the short answer. Here's the longer answer:

    The question of how a phenomenon like gamegate occurs isn't hard. It occurs because a large percentage of human beings will indulge themselves in malicious cruelty whenever there is no cost to them for doing so, and the cultural conditions that we have inherited from thousands of years of patriarchy mean that the social costs of being cruel to women are many orders of magnitude less than the costs of doing it to men.

    Now, some people may not find this plausible, and go seeking for another explanation, something that involves the disenfranchisement of young men in the modern Information Age, something cribbed from one of Brad Pitt's speeches in "Fight Club", perhaps. But, even if I concede for the sake of argument that another explanation is needed (I don't) and even I believed that the discussion in this thread is likely to discover that explanation (I don't), what the hell good would it do? Metafilter is not an institution that can act on that kind of knowledge with a single will. We're just a bunch of people talking on the internet.

    On the other hand, what we can do, as individuals, is to incrementally increase the social cost of sexism by calling it out, every time. We can heap scorn on the pathetic goobers who are threatened by the mere fact of a woman speaking in public, and we can deny victim blaming as an appropriate response to rape or the threat of rape, and we can resist the tendency to drag every...single...discussion of women's issues onto the (at best adjacent) topic of how "men have it bad too, y'know!"

    All of those things can make a big difference, and have made a difference in the quality of the discussions here specifically. But even with that, you'll get a thread like this, where somebody wants to make a half a dozen comments about how absolutely vital it is for us to figure out what motivates these shitheads. Well, I don't think it is vital...I think it's a waste of time. I think that the only thing that will effect change is making misogyny, even the hint of it, socially unacceptable. One of the ways to do that is with the cutting, curt remark. If you find it glib, hopefully you'll find this explanation more satisfying.

    And yes, I am outraged. I find death threats and rape threats outrageous. There are multiple families that have now had to flee their homes over this shit. I'm sitting comfortably in my home right now. If I had to take my family out of here, because some sociopath thought it amusing to threaten them, or me, over a fucking video game review, I think I'd be furious, and I wouldn't give a shit how the sociopath got that way. I am "outraged" on behalf of the women for whom that situation isn't hypothetical.
    posted by Ipsifendus at 8:42 PM on October 14, 2014 [26 favorites]


    Seriously? Who gives a shit? Why does this matter?

    And seriously, capital-G Gamers have proved themselves very willing to defend shitty games that somehow redeem themselves through the strategic use of sexualised female characters.

    For fuck's sake, I can remember 8-bit magazines in the mid-1980s -- ones with covers like this -- publishing exclusive rave previews of games that were barely demos and were either terrible on release or never released at all. Certain big advertisers were treated with kid gloves. But that was a time when you bought games on cassette tape and wrote letters by hand to the magazines, so the feedback loop took months, and it was predominantly men (and teenage boys) within the scene.

    they're so incredibly threatened by the idea of cultural criticism that they're threatening to kill Sarkeesian and others.

    You'd think from the reaction that Sarkeesian had concocted some kind of radical and untested critical toolkit, when she's simply an perceptive critic using a methodology that ought to be uncontroversial. Chanting "take our games seriously" while acting like a pack of spoilt fucking children towards anybody who does so is not a good look.
    posted by holgate at 8:52 PM on October 14, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Well, maybe the #GamerGators really do have something to be afraid of themselves...
    (because every feminist is JUST LIKE Harley Quinn...)
    posted by oneswellfoop at 8:55 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Also, NoraReed, this is where the whole "using gamer to cover a broad group of people" gets to be a bit of a problem, because some of the people I knew who were most livid about ME3's ending were so because of exactly the attitude that WANTS more cultural criticism--the original ending downplayed the meaning of players' moral choices and ignored the level of emotional investment in the outcome that players had been building for three games, if you were a player with any modicum of empathy. I'm sure not everybody felt that way, but after three games spent playing as a Social JusticeParagon Vanguard, seriously addressing the player's choices and the implications of the ending seemed important. I have a hard time imagining the GGers making it through all three games, even on Renegade, without freaking out about the games addressing things like racism and genocide and, for that matter, homosexuality. There was certainly bad behavior on some parts, but it's a weird generalization from the people who get angry about lack of depth/consequences/representation to the people who get angry about those things existing.
    posted by Sequence at 9:01 PM on October 14, 2014


    Are you seriously going bemoan how one side isn't interested in furthering discussion with a cause whose members view chasing them from their homes as a valid strategy? Really?

    I'm saying that #GamerGate does not appear to be one monolithic entity and that there are all sorts of rogue operators involved who may be escalating these events. Many have been shown to be in the leadership (the IRC grassroots movement). But the rank and file, as angry as they seem, do not seem to be pro-death threat/rape/other terrible and unholy things. They do not seem to be rabid misogynists so much as indoctrinated activists.

    Do you think every Tea Party member knows what the Koch Brothers' agenda is and would agree with it?

    A member of #GamerGate is claiming that they themselves were the ones who reported the Anita Sarkeesian threats to the Brazilian police and that he was not one of their own but a clickbait journalist. If true, might that show that maybe not all of them are bad? It seems like some of their members are condemning the harassment and threats. Have they done enough to police it? Hell no. Far from it. But does that show that maybe not all of them are MRA-types? Maybe. Or maybe all of the above is falsified. Again, misinfo and disinfo is abundant all around.

    I don't believe anyone has a clear idea of what's going on on Twitter right now. It's a shitstorm.

    Again, #GamerGate is a poisoned movement. If they spent even a fraction of their efforts condemning misogyny and online harassment and fighting the trolls that have joined their movement, this would be a far less bitter conflict. It has been infiltrated and led by trolls. It is too blinded by its own self-righteousness and conspiracy theorizing to call for basic human decency.

    But to write off everything and everyone associated with it as one bloc of evil is guilt by association and unhelpful. (Though it does serve the salutary purpose of catharsis.) There are probably plenty of people in it who genuinely see it as an anti-corruption movement and don't know what's going on. And for the other side to just write them all off as pure evil is to ignore that every conflict has nuance. And it just allows the trolls and demagogues to portray themselves as an oppressed underclass, and radicalize more of its members.

    There's a metaphor here for the modern Middle East, but it's already been made before.

    My well-considered reaction to your summary of this until-now unheard of controversy is who gives a single flying fuck?

    It's the internet, yo.
    posted by Apocryphon at 9:01 PM on October 14, 2014


    Do you think every Tea Party member knows what the Koch Brothers' agenda is and would agree with it?
    No, but that's not going to keep them from voting for every candidate who is fully owned by the Kochs.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 9:09 PM on October 14, 2014


    True, but are they all as morally culpable for the same negative effects? Or are they simply ignorant or deluded? Should we regard them with the same animosity we would regard the Kochs?
    posted by Apocryphon at 9:11 PM on October 14, 2014


    Do you think every Tea Party member knows what the Koch Brothers' agenda is and would agree with it?

    No, but I think the every member of the Tea Party I talked too about the very real racism that was present knew about the specific instances I would bring up and didn't have a problem with most of them. Usually with a claim about how they're just being realistic about things or that people were just over reacting. Oh, and there was a lot of "nudge nudge wink wink" surrounding that stupid quote about the tree of liberty and the blood of tyrants.
    posted by Gygesringtone at 9:12 PM on October 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Which is to say, members of a movement almost always have a feel for the spirit of that movement, and the people involved in this crap have gone out of their way to advertise the fact that they endorse intimidation as an effective tool to silence the opposition.
    posted by Gygesringtone at 9:15 PM on October 14, 2014 [6 favorites]


    It's kind of a "not all men", Apocryphon--I mean, I don't mean it to be that pat. The thing about "not all men" is that yes, of course, we all know that it is not literally 100% of men. Even if you say "all men experience male privilege" or something I'm sure one could make an argument that the profoundly developmentally disabled wouldn't. The Tea Party doesn't need to have every single member sign off on the agenda--the agenda exists, if individual people in the group turn out to be okay then that doesn't change the nature of the group. Nobody's going around handing out individual moral culpability here in exact proportions. The fact that this good kid you know goes off the rails and joins the KKK--maybe he's still a good kid at heart, but it's still the KKK, nobody's going to talk about the KKK differently because a few members might actually be pretty okay folks.

    It isn't really useful to have a whole separate addendum to every conversation about "except for those couple people who might be okay". Assume good faith on the side of the other participants in the conversation and that people do know that there isn't actually a complete universality of opinion in any given group discussed collectively.
    posted by Sequence at 9:16 PM on October 14, 2014 [9 favorites]


    I'm saying that #GamerGate does not appear to be one monolithic entity

    From my seat here on the sidelines, it looks very much like they want to appear to be unified group when it is convenient to do so (e.g. look how much boycott power we have!) and gosh, just a collection of individuals who are concerned about journalism that is occasionally victimized by crazy people trying to make poor little us look bad when they send threatening messages.
    posted by rtha at 9:22 PM on October 14, 2014 [39 favorites]


    I guess my thesis is that things are very confused and that there very well may be genuine people within #GamerGate who are genuinely condemning the misogynist actions. Also, unlike the Tea Party, or the KKK, or Daesh, or whatever- #GamerGate doesn't seem to be an actual organization, with prominent leaders and an agenda for all to see. Unlike MRAs, or PUAs, or Red Pills, they aren't explicitly an anti-feminist, misogynist movement. So there certainly might be people- and how many, how would we know?- in there who are just freaking out about games and don't know anything about Zoe Quinn because it's not actually enshrined anywhere that you have to hate women.

    Though certainly, much like modern gamer culture in general, there's an inherent chauvinist to their tone even if you take them at their word that it is just about corruption in game journalism (Feminists are uniting to censor us! SJWs! Tumblr! Oh noes the matriarchy!)

    Maybe everyone's been played as fools by the trolls.

    From my seat here on the sidelines, it looks very much like they want to appear to be unified group when it is convenient to do so (e.g. look how much boycott power we have!) and gosh, just a collection of individuals who are concerned about journalism that is occasionally victimized by crazy people trying to make poor little us look bad when they send threatening messages.

    You can say that about every counterestablishment grassroots movement, though. Not to be glib- you need to appear strong to rally, and appear weak to incite sympathy.
    posted by Apocryphon at 9:27 PM on October 14, 2014




    #GamerGate doesn't seem to be an actual organization, with prominent leaders and an agenda for all to see

    I don't know - given that the worst of it seems to have deliberately and consciously organized by people making actual plans and strategizing ways to twitterbomb and harass and talking about how they had to be careful to not make this seem like it was about the women but about ethics, yeah! I just...yeah. This began as an organized campaign.
    posted by rtha at 9:35 PM on October 14, 2014 [15 favorites]


    Going all the way back, it's well documented as beginning as a personal vendetta by Zoe Quinn's ex-bf when he discovered her multiple 'other men'. (Not that it had anything to do with 'corruption' without painfully strained logistical gymnastics) And if Hell hath no fury like a Woman Scorned, a Man Scorned is always much worse (an usually with far more resources to bring out the Hell).
    posted by oneswellfoop at 9:41 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


    That's a fair point. Given that these misogynist trolls seem to be still in action, the movement is irreparably compromised. But I'm just saying the whole thing has snowballed so much there do appear to be people who not only do not support misogynist actions and may be actually working against them. I think a lot of people who are in now may just be duped. It's all too easy to dismiss them all as barbarians at the gate. But should we endorse collective guilt?

    But yeah, if any of those non-misogynists want to prove their rhetoric correct, they'd better shut down that shit pronto, and bring those perpetrators to justice.
    posted by Apocryphon at 9:50 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Apocryphon: "There are probably plenty of people in it who genuinely see it as an anti-corruption movement [...]"

    Maybe? A week ago, this article was posted on Kotaku (definitely one of the top ten if not top five gaming news websites) regarding questionable arrangements between Shadow of Mordor's marketing agency and YouTube/Twitch vloggers. It's basically classic, old-school corruption -- a quid pro quo: we'll give you advance access to our game so long as you make your video functionally equivalent to an advertisement, including no negative commentary (!), "strong verbal call to action" (100% advertising jargon), and even a prohibition on off-message references to the source book or movies (for a game based in the Lord of the Rings universe!). Moreover, it looks like they may have been withholding preview copies from traditional journalistic outlets in order to make sure these YouTube/Twitch videos would be the main source of early press.

    Where was #gamergate on this story? I'll admit that I'm not super-great at Twitter, so if someone could point out their take on this, I'd be most interested.
    posted by mhum at 10:04 PM on October 14, 2014 [15 favorites]


    Where was #gamergate on this story?
    Obviously, Shadow of Mordor's marketing agency was all male.
    ;)
    posted by oneswellfoop at 10:07 PM on October 14, 2014


    the movement is irreparably compromised.

    You can't "compromise" something that was never legit in the first place.

    I think a lot of people who are in now may just be duped.

    Entirely possible, yes. But there are a fuck-ton of places all over the web (including, sometimes, the comments sections of mainstream media reports on GamerGate) where people are pointing out that this particular misogynist Emperor has no clothes. It's not very hard to un-dupe yourself, and if you're supporting GamerGate but, somehow, "not the misogyny", then there's either willful ignorance or some serious cognitive dissonance at work.

    But should we endorse collective guilt?

    Yes.

    Because see above re: willful ignorance.

    This is not some kind of CIA black ops Sooper Seekrit too-classified-for-the-President task force, it's all right out there in the fucking open. The origin of the "movement", the timeline, Zoe Quinn has screencapped IRC conversations between people organizing the doxxing and the Twitter attacks, the Twitter attacks themselves have been saved and publicized, on and on and on.

    If all the evidence that your "movement" is a bunch of phony garbage is right out there in the first couple pages of a Goggle search, and you're still sticking your fingers in your ears and going "LA LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU", then, yeah, you've got to shoulder at least some of the guilt.
    posted by soundguy99 at 10:09 PM on October 14, 2014 [23 favorites]


    A member of #GamerGate is claiming that they themselves were the ones who reported the Anita Sarkeesian threats to the Brazilian police and that he was not one of their own but a clickbait journalist. If true, might that show that maybe not all of them are bad?

    Oh, honey. I've got a bridge to sell you.

    It seems like some of their members are condemning the harassment and threats. Have they done enough to police it? Hell no. Far from it. But does that show that maybe not all of them are MRA-types? Maybe.

    Make that two.

    Or maybe all of the above is falsified.

    Bingo!

    But yeah, if any of those non-misogynists want to prove their rhetoric correct, they'd better shut down that shit pronto, and bring those perpetrators to justice.

    Yeah, people were saying that a couple weeks ago. And this shit is still going on. I guess the "non-misogynists" in the movement are just lazy?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:13 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Oh, honey. I've got a bridge to sell you.

    What's the evidence that it was falsified? I'm being serious here.

    Make that two.

    Did you actually look at that link? There's a bunch of #GamerGate rando's chiming in against the death threats and rape threats and doxxing and other online harassment. They appear to live in a world where they imagine that #GamerGate isn't a misogynist movement. So are they all liars? Or are they all dupes?
    posted by Apocryphon at 10:15 PM on October 14, 2014


    I think it is likely that most of them are liars and some of them are dupes.
    posted by NoraReed at 10:19 PM on October 14, 2014 [26 favorites]


    Did you actually look at that link? There's a bunch of #GamerGate rando's chiming in against the death threats and rape threats and doxxing and other online harassment. They appear to live in a world where they imagine that #GamerGate isn't a misogynist movement.

    Of course they're chiming in against the death threats PUBLICALLY. What are they saying on their 8chan threads when they think people aren't watching?

    so are they all liars? Or are they all dupes?

    Well, YOU'VE been duped, so isn't it possible some of them have been too?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:26 PM on October 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


    Of course they're chiming in against the death threats PUBLICALLY. What are they saying on their 8chan threads when they think people aren't watching?

    And even, even granting them special snowflake naivety privileges: other hashtags are fucking available.
    posted by holgate at 10:36 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    They appear to live in a world where they imagine that #GamerGate isn't a misogynist movement.

    Which calls to mind that it is possible for a member of the KKK to say that they "don’t hate people because of their race. " When it comes to that sort of thing, there's what you say, and what you do.
    posted by Sequence at 10:49 PM on October 14, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Well, YOU'VE been duped, so isn't it possible some of them have been too?

    I don't think I've been duped in saying that quite possibly many of their members aren't actually angry MRA misogynist terrorists. I think many of them are in fact duped. And if I'm correct, then that changes the narrative of their members as inherently evil, does it not?

    Of course they're chiming in against the death threats PUBLICALLY. What are they saying on their 8chan threads when they think people aren't watching?

    I'm sure there are many trolls at work here. Maybe most of their leadership cadre. But are you saying everyone on Twitter, reddit, etc. who are condemning the actions, some of them apparently working to expose the harassment behavior are in on the trolling as well?

    It's not very hard to un-dupe yourself, and if you're supporting GamerGate but, somehow, "not the misogyny", then there's either willful ignorance or some serious cognitive dissonance at work.

    I think that's the crux of this problem. We're living in a culture where everything is questioned and seen as doubted, so long as it doesn't fit one's personal narrative. The truths about #GamerGate are quite visible to you. But to any random member, they'd dismiss it as part of a smear campaign. And they would be wrong. And... I guess that's an impasse. Unless you try talking to them? Most of them don't even respond with misogyny! But instead they just send you a bunch of YouTube videos and talking points. So it's arguing with the indoctrinated again.

    ...

    Anyway, here's a message from a former "moderate" member of GG to current members, which is worth sharing and repeating:

    It actually took far, far longer than I'm comfortable with for this to sink into my thick skull. When you finally detach yourself from GG, and move away from the constant reinforcement the group provides that "no, we're doing the right thing! These are the bad guys, remember how bad they made you feel? We're doing the RIGHT THING!" you look and see holy shit.

    This really IS a hate movement fueled by nutters. How did I get dragged into this?!

    I'd implore GG supporters to distance themselves from the tag, and from the community, and take a very good look at everything that's going on, and all of the people who are being hurt. Are videogame websites, that we don't even visit, worth peoples LIVES being ruined? It's so easy to feel like it's all just a game, because we aren't the ones on the other end of the hatred. It's easy to point at someone and call "false flag!" because we aren't the ones who are sitting there, having people actually show up on our doorstep, saying "come out and plaaayy". The ends do NOT justify the means.

    We don't NEED #GG to do good. There are a lot of people who want to achieve the same goals as us, but we are RADIOACTIVE until we move away from #GG because of what it represents. We can't start enacting change when the people who actually could start making these changes happen want nothing to do with us.
    posted by Apocryphon at 10:52 PM on October 14, 2014 [2 favorites]




    I skipped the Deadspin article linked upthread until a friend posted it in IRC just now and I have to say it does a really good job of explaining a lot of this, though I sort of disagree with the writer on the quality of Depression Quest (which I thought was a really interesting and smart use of the language of video games to demonstrate something that's hard to explain).
    posted by NoraReed at 10:58 PM on October 14, 2014


    So are they all liars? Or are they all dupes?

    Best case scenario is that they don't really have any idea what "sexism", "misogyny", or "corruption" are besides definitions they pretty much made up themselves.

    Look at this rant from one of the GamerGate supporters (who replied to GeekGirlDiva in that link you posted) who claims they're against the death threats and reported them to the FBI. It's borderline unintelligible, but clearly the work of someone so enraged by the "threat" to video games personified by Zoe Quinn & Anita Sarkeesian that utter vile garbage just spews out of his keyboard, and he's swallowed every lie told about the situation, hook, line, and sinker.

    For example:
    Look Zoe, I know you think you're this untouchable demigod. You're not. We have all sorts of your dirty fucking laundry airing. But all anyone can talk about is 3 fucking people spamming your fucking twitter. Boo-fucking-hoo Zoe. I'll play you a sad tune on the world tiniest violin. Now it's not about ethics anymore, IT'S AN ATTACK ON ALL FEMALE DEVS. EVERYONE PANIC.

    You are a monster Zoe. You. Specifically. Are a complete and utter monster. You don't care who you hurt, who's careers you end, and what standard of quality you damage with a shitshow like "Depression Quest". As someone who writes, and as someone suffering from actual, suicidal depression, your "Interactive Novella" is not only one of the most badly written fictions I have ever had the misfortunes of reading, it is completely and utterly insulting to me, and anyone else suffering with ACTUAL fucking depression. Not this off-brand tumblrina "Ohh, I had a bad day. :'( I'm depressed! Give me money to feel better!" BULLSHIT. You know how I cope? Video games.

    You're going to try to take my coping method from me? You think I'll just let you people do it? Really It makes me want to vomit. YOU make me want to vomit, Zoe. I don't give a fuck who you fucked, you can fuck around all you want. Go fucking nuts. But don't you fucking DARE sleep around to make your disgusting pile of tripe popular. And to make it free in 'Remembrance" to the late Robin Williams. This sickens me more completely and utterly than anything else. Is there nothing you won't pervert to make a name for yourself? How dare you gain from the death of one of the greatest entertainers in the world. How fucking dare you.

    So the dude is "helping" the FBI track down who made death threats? Great. Good. Way to go, dude. You've reached the point of human development where you can understand that threatening to actually kill somebody might be over the line.

    Yes. I am damning him with faint praise.

    If people like that are an example of a "not all bad" GamerGate supporter . . . . . .
    posted by soundguy99 at 11:02 PM on October 14, 2014 [20 favorites]


    mhum: "Where was #gamergate on this story?"

    Apparently, here. TotalBiscuit breaks the story and yet simultaneously downplays the issues there because it has "nothing to do with journalistic ethics". I kind of saw this line of argument coming ("Let's Plays aren't journalism.") but didn't put it into my previous comment because it seemed a little too on the nose. Anyways, maybe this might shed a bit of light on why some people might think that corruption is not their foremost concern?

    Also, they keep prattling on about gaming journalism when all of their alleged gripes seem to be about gaming criticism -- which I guess can be technically a form of journalism but is usually considered a separate medium. E.g.: Roger Ebert was a journalist and a critic. Of course, they probably phrase it this way because: 1) journalists have a bit of a higher social standing, so attacking them can be seen as "punching up", and 2) calling for "objectivity" in criticism completely unmasks the ludicrousness of their demands.

    Lastly, to put yet another nail into this coffin that's already more nails than wood, you can just look at the initial reaction to the Eron Gjoni screed to see how hollow their protestations are. Suppose we took their completely discredited first take on the story at face value: that Zoe Quinn traded sex with a Kotaku writer in exchange for a good review of her game. What was their reaction to this scenario? It was to pour all their vitriol onto Zoe Quinn, not the writer. For bonus points, name the writer. Not so easy is it? (It's Nathan Grayson, who also wrote that article I linked above about Shadow of Mordor's shady marketing deals). Why is that? Why was she the party in the wrong and Nathan Grayson was blameless? What power did she hold over him to force him to take the bribe? She's an indie developer working on her first game and he's a writer for a top website. He's the one with the power in this scenario and if it played out like that, he'd be the one abusing that power by taking a bribe. And yet, this whole thing was dubbed the Quinnspiracy not Graysonghazi or whatever.
    posted by mhum at 11:07 PM on October 14, 2014 [17 favorites]


    I think most of them are more like this guy, honestly.
    posted by Apocryphon at 11:07 PM on October 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


    You know how I cope? Video games.
    One of my personal concerns about video games is how many people with serious emotional issues cope using First Person Shooters. That's one of them.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 11:08 PM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Why was she the party in the wrong and Nathan Grayson was blameless? What power did she hold over him to force him to take the bribe?

    BECAUSE SHE IS WOMAN AND SHE POSSESSES THE EEEEEEVIL POWER OF THE UNIVERSE-DESTRYOING VAJEEPER!!!!1!!!1!!

    Sheesh. Do they have to spell everything out for you?

    [/heavy sarcasm]
    posted by soundguy99 at 11:22 PM on October 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


    This is a great example of what utter bullshit this is all based on. This has never been about journalism.
    posted by Jimbob at 11:32 PM on October 14, 2014 [21 favorites]


    One thing I find very amusing about this whole thing (you have to find humor, otherwise its just misery all around) is the basic premise behind the anti-feminist gamer analysis...

    Which seems to be this: that cultural critiques on the various works of art (games) will somehow force everyone who is making this art (games) to stop being misogynist and all future art (games) will be "PC" (and we gamers won't get to see half-naked elves in their games or whatever).

    This position essentially makes the feminist critics out to have incredible power to change the nature of a medium, simply by writing about it! Just bringing up the tropes, patriarchal tendencies, and mysogny in games will stop all of this from happening in future games.

    That's essentially the fear, right? Ruin games forever, ruin gaming forever; and what they mean by that is games will cease to have the troublesome elements that these people are pointing out in games.

    Imagine if writers thought that feminist critiques were going to 'ruin books' or that a feminist academic pointing out that movies have gender issues will suddenly change the way movies are made forever. Or that someone doing cultural analysis of rap lyrics will ruin rap forever - as rappers will quit saying their misogynistic rapping (I love rap, #notallrappers).

    Obviously the awful threats and harassment are horrifying. But underlying that is a perspective that feminist cultural critiques (that are more or less essentially academic in nature) will utterly change the medium they are critiquing.

    Then the irony is that once you have a very loud chorus (small in numbers, loud in whining) making these assertions - suddenly a whole TON of people that have probably never read a feminist critique of anything are busy reading (and watching youtube videos) of feminist critiques.

    So to all the misogynist, harassing, threatening people out there who have been making these womens lives hellish - fuck you for your actions. But thank you for turning a ton of folks into feminists, and helping give feminist cultural critiques exposure by making them controversial, important, and even dangerous.

    I know I wouldn't have watched any of Anita's videos if gamers hadn't first created their hateful campaigns against her.
    posted by el io at 11:43 PM on October 14, 2014 [16 favorites]


    Apocryphon: "Anyway, here's a message from a former "moderate" member of GG to current members, which is worth sharing and repeating:"

    Interestingly, when you look at that person's earlier comment in that thread, you find that they weren't drawn into #gamergate because of some idea about corruption in games journalism but rather because they felt their identity was somehow under attack via Leigh Alexander's "'Gamers' are Over" article. Sure, their initial motivation wasn't howling misogyny, but let's be clear here -- this person didn't align with #gamergate out of some noble intention. They joined up because their feelings were hurt. To me, this is only a somewhat milder form of joining up with the Ku Klux Klan because somebody wrote an article about how the effects of America's legacy of white supremacy can still be felt today and that made you feel bad about yourself for being white1.

    In fact, it's unclear if this person even really read the article (they call it "Gamers are dead") or if they just heard from someone that somebody (a lady, even!) said something mean about gamers. The article is very clear that it is responding to the already roiling misogyny of the early Quinnspiracy-era #gamergaters. If anything, I suspect the telephone game that transformed "'Gamers' are over" into "Gamers are dead"2 was probably responsible for dragging in a whole slew of these so-called moderate #gamergaters that Apocryphon alludes to.

    Footnote 1: Oh, fuck. I hope nobody joined the Klan because of Ta-Nehisi Coates' "Case for Reparations"
    Footnote 2: "Gamers are over" = 125,000 results on Google, "Gamers are dead" = 162,000 results. What do we make of that?

    posted by mhum at 12:08 AM on October 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


    Part of what's so baffling about the GamerGate spasm is that this is the best time ever for games, and for game journalism, and "gamer" as an identity. I've been a gamer for some 30 years now and never have I seen such diversity in both game publishing and game journalism.

    Apparently some gamers feel threatened by feminist critique, or portrayals of depression or some other game thing they don't like. I keep thinking back on something Sarkeesian said at XOXO, that gaming was more exclusively for boys and men in the past and now it's opening up. Perhaps some men feel threatened because there's increasing diversity, they have to share their hobby? What a childish attitude.
    posted by Nelson at 12:27 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The Unsafety Net: How Social Media Turned Against Women, [Caution: Disturbing Content] Catherine Buni and Soraya Chemaly, The Atlantic, 09 October 2014
    posted by ob1quixote at 12:27 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I keep thinking back on something Sarkeesian said at XOXO, that gaming was more exclusively for boys and men in the past and now it's opening up.

    I liked her XOXO talk, but this was the one I was a little unsure about. Like--when I was a kid in the 80s and early 90s, most families didn't have actual computers at that point, which we did, but the vast majority of my friends had at least one gaming console. I think maybe in adolescence it became slightly more gendered, but more in terms of what games we played, not that there weren't still plenty of girls with Playstations or whatever. There was some skew, but "exclusively"? I never felt like I was that much in the minority. I would have felt out of place trying to play things like shooters and fighting games, and so I didn't, which was a problem, but I still had my games. The Sims came out nearly fifteen years ago. The genres are opening up, but it seems very weird to me to treat "gaming" like it belongs to FPS players. And yet--pretty sure most of these guys do play a fair variety of games. They have to have noticed there were girls around before now, right? They can't have literally ignored it right up until someone started complaining about the sheer quantity of prostitutes involved in sandbox games, right?
    posted by Sequence at 12:52 AM on October 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


    i'm sticking to that this is terrorizing women, not mere harassment. (and i'm not trivialising the latter either)

    and seeing the shithead that started it all sit on twitter and write shit like this:
    Tbh, I kind of have an established pattern of causing trouble for people in power who exploit the trust they've been granted. Not OK.
    together with this makes me think he's utterly oblivious to the consequences of his actions.

    it all makes me sick.
    posted by xcasex at 1:03 AM on October 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Keeping quiet is siding with the way things are

    shirt please!
    Heh, why the hell not. One t-shirt. Or the UK version I did for me.
    posted by ArkhanJG at 1:06 AM on October 15, 2014


    xcasex: "and seeing the shithead that started it all sit on twitter and write shit like this: "

    Here's a thought exercise: a woman goes on 4chan and posts a link to a 200,000 word rant about a cheating ex, alleging various other malfeasance over and above simple adultery. What do you think the reaction would be? Go ahead and imagine.

    There used to be a saying: "/b/ is not your personal army". I guess /v/ is Eron Gjorni's personal army.
    posted by mhum at 1:19 AM on October 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


    It's time for people who love playing video games to stand up against "gamers"

    I started MefightClub 7 years ago with the stated principles that people who love games and gaming shouldn't have to put up with the sexism, homophobia, infantile rage, and all the other stuff that has been such a problem for so long in the pastime, and to try and create a place apart from it. Words to that effect have been on the front page of every MFC site (of which there are several at this point) since Day 1. There are more than 3000 of us today, and if you're not already part of our happy group of gaming friends, you are most welcome to join us.

    But I don't think much is gained from standing up against 'gamers' because I don't think redefining a word in a narrower way than is customary to castigate a subgroup -- no matter how much that group may deserve it -- is going to be very helpful in the long run.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:23 AM on October 15, 2014 [25 favorites]


    Here's a thought exercise(...)

    I'm not sure we're on opposite ends of the proverbial fence here. i'm not siding with eron or the mob, i'm against.

    if your argument is that a female could whip up an army like that i remember that a camgirl tried to get sympathy out of 4chan untold ages ago and was told to "stop being butthurt". and speaking of which, i know she follows my tumblr, time to remember a stagename.
    posted by xcasex at 1:27 AM on October 15, 2014


    Ultimately, this whole brouhaha plays on fears and anxieties of multiple groups, some (allowing people not to get fucking threatened) more pressing than others (having their status as hobbyists threatened). There are many tensions out there. If you look at the discussions now, Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, etc. are barely mentioned other than as some sort of bogeymen in the past. It's just pure screencap drama now accusing the other side of doxxing them, harassing them, all of the things they are accused of.

    I don't think their camp is right. I think their camp is full of people being misled. The trolls are the high-level operators who are fucking up shit more and more. They're likely either committing actual false flag operations against the pro-GG side or sending propaganda to fuel the flames. The rank and file has been led to believe that this is solely a gamer identity movement, and that the other side are faking for attention and control the media and ARGH

    Consensus reality broke with Bush v. Gore.
    posted by Apocryphon at 1:32 AM on October 15, 2014


    xcasex: "if your argument is that a female could whip up an army like that"

    Sorry if I gave that impression (it's late here, I'm getting a bit sloppy in my writing). Quite the opposite, actually. I imagine the reaction would basically be "what a psycho bitch" (with a dollop of "t*** or gtfo" because it's 4chan). I was just trying to point out how crazy it is that 4chan would side with this guy, regardless of the video game angle. No one should be taking someone's manifesto as serious as this.
    posted by mhum at 1:33 AM on October 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Sorry if I gave that impression(...)

    aaah then I understand what you meant, and I agree fully :)
    posted by xcasex at 1:44 AM on October 15, 2014


    They're likely either committing actual false flag operations against the pro-GG side or sending propaganda to fuel the flames.

    The Brianna twitter hack seems at this stage very likely the former, which starts to make things really ridiculous. I guess there's a fair amount of suggestion that the target, who's been heavily involved since the beginning of the Zoe stuff, has a history of deception, but even if she(?) didn't do it herself then she would have been a logical choice for someone who wanted to heat things up again.

    What gets me, though, is this is SO transparent. To be mislead by this--yes, sure, professional developers have this thing all the time where they tweet really offensive comments at GG luminaries, delete them shortly thereafter, and claim to be hacked to cover it up. I mean, not just "lost temper" but "wtf who would even call someone on the spectrum an aspie like it was a slur" and "wasn't this person complaining that Brianna was blocking her just a couple days ago, why would you unblock someone just to tell them to stop mentioning you". It doesn't hold water, not even a teaspoon.
    posted by Sequence at 1:55 AM on October 15, 2014


    Jesus, so much stupid, this is just a bottomless pit of turd-monsters. moot has apparently been brainwashed by a SJW girlfriend and is committing terrorism by being mean to Gaters.
    posted by Jimbob at 2:39 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    committing terrorism by being mean to Gaters.

    The utter lack of perspective on the part of the gaters is really the funny part of all of this- these are plainly folks who think Reddit and 4chan and videogames are a much, much larger, more important part of the world than they actually are.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 2:42 AM on October 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


    On behalf of the Stargate fandom, I take offense at the co-opting of the term "Gaters".
    posted by Mizu at 2:45 AM on October 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Sorry I'm on a phone and sometimes get sick of typing more letters than nccsry.
    posted by Jimbob at 2:46 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    It's okay, Jimbob. I for one completely agree that spending the time to type out "bottomless pit of turd-monsters" was more important, anyway. Is there some kind of script out there that will replace every avatar on every site of self-identified GamerGate assholes with an image of the transformed shit-monster brother from Weird Science?
    posted by Mizu at 2:53 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]




    Is there some kind of script out there that will replace every avatar on every site of self-identified GamerGate assholes with an image of the transformed shit-monster brother from Weird Science?

    It would be pretty easy; you'd just need to get a program to recognize pictures of Vivian James.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:10 AM on October 15, 2014


    Something I'm still having a little trouble with is this idea that TFYC got doxxed. It's a corporation. How do you dox a corporation? Their information is generally a matter of public record, available for cheap or free, and I doubt that's any different in Toronto. So in reading that it starts to look like it's not even just that they're lying about her involvement, it's that there isn't actually a "they", just a "he", that I'd lay good money on him being the sole or at least majority owner of the corporation, and I'm pretty sure it's going to be the same contact information as is on the website of their contractor, because the address given isn't an office building in Toronto, it's an apartment building in Toronto. So, from what I'm reading--he, not they, probably registered the corporation to his home address, then didn't initially want to give any hint of how to contact the corporation because that was going to give away that it belonged to a man?

    So apparently on top of corporations getting to act like people, we have a guy who wanted his particular corporation to be entirely anonymous and without any recourse for contact or designated agents. And after all that about it being about women making games--while the designer's a woman, notable that the company's owned by a man and the contractor's sole software engineer is a man. And yet, oh, very scandalized to have people find out information about the corporate location and governance, and still making out like if not Zoe, some woman has to pay for this.
    posted by Sequence at 4:24 AM on October 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


    The Brianna twitter hack seems at this stage very likely the former, which starts to make things really ridiculous. I guess there's a fair amount of suggestion that the target, who's been heavily involved since the beginning of the Zoe stuff, has a history of deception, but even if she(?) didn't do it herself then she would have been a logical choice for someone who wanted to heat things up again.
    1) I'm not following. Is the suggestion here that Bri "doxxed herself"?
    2) "She(?)"?
    posted by dumbland at 4:27 AM on October 15, 2014


    No, Brianna's twitter got hacked into and the hacker posted an inflammatory tweet directed at one of the GamerGate people. Who is allegedly a woman with autism, but since there's a history of them lying about that stuff, it's hard to know for sure. The identity of the hacker is unknown, but since the action was in line with a previously-expressed GG plan to make their opponents come off as ableist and specifically anti-autism, there's two possibilities: Either it was @The_Camera_Girl who did the hacking, since she was very quick to jump on exposing Brianna's alleged slurs and turn them into a new rallying point... or it was someone else who did it, possibly not even with @The_Camera_Girl's knowledge, which would mean that they see each other as fair game if it'll get people fired up again. No very good options, unfortunately.
    posted by Sequence at 4:33 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Ah, thanks. I was getting confused over who the involved parties were.
    posted by dumbland at 4:35 AM on October 15, 2014




    Incidentally, someone on NeoGaf put together a list of the various claims and "accomplisments" of GG. It is worth a quick view I'd you wonder id there is ant kernel of truth to the many accusations and supposed evidence they have gathered. (No.)
    posted by blahblahblah at 6:11 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I guess my thesis is that things are very confused and that there very well may be genuine people within #GamerGate who are genuinely condemning the misogynist actions.

    I guess my reaction to this basically boils down to "I don't care."

    Anyone who is paying any attention at all knows what's happening to women because of this "movement." I am not a gamer, I have not been making a particular effort to follow this story, but I know what's happening because coverage of this story is EVERYWHERE. If there are people associating themselves with "GamerGate" who honestly have no idea that so much harm and awfulness has sprung from it, those people are willfully ignorant and I'm not interested in their opinions.

    I don't care about hypothetical lost lambs within "GamerGate."

    I care about actual people -- mostly women -- who are getting buried under an avalanche of internet awfulness.
    posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:19 AM on October 15, 2014 [34 favorites]


    Be sure to check the #StopGamerGate2014 tag that was trending last night. I... might have gotten a bit heated.
    posted by Theta States at 6:21 AM on October 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


    It's absurd that people are still coming into these threads and voicing serious concern about the poor people in this hateful movement that aren't misogynists, just confused dupes roped in by their ethical concerns. Who cares? There aren't any consequences to that. There apparently aren't even consequences for the people making threats. Really, why should we care? Because they might feel bad when they realize they were wrong? Because they might be criticized for joining up with what is understood to be a hate group lobbing threats at every high-profile woman they encounter? Because if we don't join up with them now, we're missing our one lone chance to ever address corruption and ethics in this industry? What horrible thing is going to happen if I judge people based on the hate group they self-identify as a member of?
    posted by almostmanda at 6:39 AM on October 15, 2014 [23 favorites]


    the #StopGamerGate2014 shows how silly the "but what about the moderates???" position is - it was filled will people saying, basically, i want to go home, i want my friends to stop being harassed, i want us to stop losing good developers because the medium is so poisoned right now, etc. and the gamerghazi responding with, look! here are the actual hate group - they are silencing us!1!11!1 it's straight up nonsensical. they keep calling zoe, leah, anita, et al "professional victims" but from where i'm standing the people seeing fear and victimization in every action are the gamegate fools.

    i really have to start saving screencaps - but yesterday i saw one that was from one of these supposed moderates "blah blah blah journalism blah blah blah against harassment" and then a few minutes later something like, "shut up you stupid cunt bitch whore." just because you think someone sounds reasonable in a pull quote doesn't mean it's the entirety of what they espouse.

    when pax was about to happen and word was going around that there would be a group of people handing out "5 guys" flyers including links to zoe's nudes, and people got pax security involved, my mentions were filled with guys saying, "are you looking for another ferguson?? huh?? because that's what you're encouraging." around the same time i got flooded with egg/anime/vivian avatar dudes telling me that i was a rape apologist and a rapist by extension because zoe was a rapist for supposedly lying to her partner. these guys have zero perspective and want to be the victims so badly.

    if you read one thing that seemed balanced and now you're going cherry picking to find other balanced things, be aware that at some point you might be hit full force with the fact that the balance you are seeing is a smoke screen. it's a costume they're putting on to fool you. could they have fooled others - sure - but in my experience most of the (mostly) dudes who claim to have been duped have screeds like this one up thread which makes it pretty obvious that it's about girls and sex and ruining games, not about journalistic ethics (which is further bolstered by the fact that despite all of there very long and boring youtube videos and badly mocked up imgur links filled with red lines, basically everything they point to is a non-story which falls under the barest hint of scrutiny). there is no there there and i'm sorry you've been taken for a ride, but maybe you can stop filling up the thread with your half baked under researched theories about who the real victims are.
    posted by nadawi at 6:49 AM on October 15, 2014 [37 favorites]


    Also...FUCK! I hate this entire situation.

    I just came in here and wrote, "I am not a gamer," because I in no way identify with a larger gaming culture and have never been a meaningful part of a gaming community. But if "gamer" actually meant "a person who plays games and takes them at least semi-seriously," then YES. YES I AM ABSOLUTELY A GAMER!

    I have very strong opinions about Mass Effect. I just finished an extension to the transcontinental rail line on my Minecraft server that connects the walled mesa village I built to everyone's in-game projects, including the four other ridiculous houses and compounds I'd built previously. I'm better-than-average at Threes and probably complete at least four or five games on most days. I recently completed my first time through the two Portal games. I've played Gone Home and Borderlands and Halo and got all the way to the end of Candy Box 2. I've been trying to find the time to figure out Kerbal Space Program. Dammit, I REALLY LIKE GAMES A LOT! I play them as often as I have time for!

    But I would NEVER identify as a gamer.

    That is FUCKED UP.

    I mean, this isn't news at all. Thousands -- Millions! -- of people are in the exact same situation. It just didn't occur to me until literally this morning that I'M one of the people who've been edged out and alienated by this kind of stupid bullshit.
    posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:51 AM on October 15, 2014 [30 favorites]


    Narrative Priorities, I wrote Games Belong to Me a couple of weeks ago as an expression of *that very thing.* Fuck those guys, they don't control the definition of who a gamer is and what a gamer stands for.
    posted by Andrhia at 7:07 AM on October 15, 2014 [27 favorites]


    Andrhia- beautifully written, thanks for sharing.
    posted by blahblahblah at 7:17 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Incidentally: if you want to read a story about girls and women playing games that isn't also about their being treated horribly by jerks, In Real Life -- a collaboration between Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang, who did a fantastic adaptation of his short story -- just came out this week.
    posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:21 AM on October 15, 2014


    Narrative Priorities: "I just came in here and wrote, "I am not a gamer," because I in no way identify with a larger gaming culture and have never been a meaningful part of a gaming community. But if "gamer" actually meant "a person who plays games and takes them at least semi-seriously," then YES. YES I AM ABSOLUTELY A GAMER!

    [...]

    But I would NEVER identify as a gamer.
    "

    I think that this is the ultimate gist of Leigh Alexander's article. The delicious irony is that the people who were most infuriated by it are the ones most responsible for tainting the term. So, congratulations Gamergaters: "gamers" are over and it's all your own fault.
    posted by mhum at 8:49 AM on October 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


    I've been gaming since "Asteroids" was a thing, and right now I am so disgusted and angry that I want nothing to do with gamers and gamer culture.

    In fact I'm so angry right now I'm ready to say "Yeah, the internet was a nice idea, but it failed. Time to burn it down to ashes, and start over." And it's just Wednesday.
    posted by happyroach at 8:54 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    This comic is a pretty good metaphor!
    posted by valrus at 8:57 AM on October 15, 2014 [13 favorites]


    I'd say less Gamer Culture, more "Specific Game Culture", maybe, but then you get into the whole knobby mess of different people playing the same games for very different reasons.
    posted by Going To Maine at 9:16 AM on October 15, 2014


    Gamer vs. Gamist is how I'm starting to think about all this. Sure I spent this morning playing Chrono Trigger and Kingdom of Loathing, but it's not a part of my personal identity.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:19 AM on October 15, 2014


    > [...] the cultural conditions that we have inherited from thousands of years of patriarchy mean that the social costs of being cruel to women are many orders of magnitude less than the costs of doing it to men.

    > [...] what we can do, as individuals, is to incrementally increase the social cost of sexism by calling it out, every time.

    Thank you. This is a concept I've been trying to articulate for ages but haven't had the appropriate language, and currency is definitely ubiquitous enough to make a good analogy. Permission to think aloud about this framing?

    It costs more to be a woman (than a man), and it costs less to do harm to a woman (than a man) in many societies. That's fairly obvious and not exclusive to gender, although it will probably never be obvious enough for some people. But the idea of 'social cost' is useful framing to explain what the everyday person can do help in situations like this. People often say "vote with your dollar," but that's only effective when the aggrieving party sees the profit margin as the bottom line, and the aggrieved has dollars to spare in the first place.

    But a social cost? Everyone is—at most—one Person, no matter how rich or poor you are. And social connections may be the most important leverage one has against the GameGaters*, whether you believe them to be a spontaneous Revenge of the Nerds or a more calculated instance of terrorism driven by a few sociopaths. Engaging in this kind of extremely inconsiderate, inhumane behavior should cost your social life. So, if you believe someone has already clearly and implicitly devalued their own humanity, why not show them explicitly? I'm not saying hand out Scarlet Letters—that way lies McCarthyism and ruin. But don't hesitate to let someone know when they do something that you immediately lose respect for them over. Especially if you're a man, because it should apparently cost less for you to do so.

    Mind, this wouldn't address the most rotten apples in the bunch more than it would provide everyone with a clearer distinction between good and bad apples (and prevent more apples from spoiling). In a perfect world, it would be the legal or authority figures who say "You want to ruin an innocent person's career? Fine. I hope you don't plan on keeping one yourself." But as people have already pointed out, the GameGaters aren't the only misogynists in the world, and society's structural stopgaps aren't always on the right side of history.

    Typing that out reminds me of something Julian Assange said about fiscalized versus politicized entities. That fiscalized entities address controversy when they've lost a significant amount of revenue (e.g., when Paula Deen suddenly becomes unprejudiced after losing her advertisers), where politicized entities address controversy when they've lost a significant amount of 'face' in the eyes of society (for lack of a better example, Japan's decreasing reluctance to admit how bad Fukushima Daiichi was/is). I guess what I'm theorizing here is that—in light of that new Krampus bullshit fever dream—GameGaters are fighting a losing battle against a combination of fiscalized and politicized entities while they themselves are a very small politicized entity that could be so easily dismantled if the right person gave enough of a damn.

    *I'm partial to calling them GameGaters or some derivation, because they are absolutely deluded into trying to act as gatekeepers to the gaming community. That, and I refuse to associate them with "GG," one of the first and only shorthands for good sportsmanship that exists in competitive video games.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 9:20 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    The delicious irony is that the people who were most infuriated by it are the ones most responsible for tainting the term.

    There were GGers speculating that the SJWs were going to introduce and popularise a new "PC" term to replace gamer, which was of course an utterly ridiculous thing to think... before months upon months of misogynist harrassment and death threats in the name of gamers destroyed the term utterly for anyone who doesn't think phoning universities and promising shooting massacres is a cool way to behave.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 9:26 AM on October 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Sure I spent this morning playing Chrono Trigger and Kingdom of Loathing, but it's not a part of my personal identity.

    team Felonia 4 lyfe!
    posted by winna at 10:02 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]




    Gaming very much is a part of my personal identity. More so than gender is.

    I'm not letting mysoginistic, terrorist assholes speak for me or make me ashamed of that.
    posted by Foosnark at 10:14 AM on October 15, 2014


    This is a weird sentence in the article Going To Maine just cited (emphasis mine):
    Some opponents of the women have rallied around the Twitter hashtag #GamerGate, though it isn’t clear how many of them are involved in or support the more extreme threats against the women.


    That sentence implies that those who "have rallied around the Twitter hashtag #GamerGate" support most of the threats against the women. It would seem that threats of rape, assault, doxxing, etc. are so par for the course by now that it's a given #GamerGate supports them.
    posted by Gelatin at 10:17 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    That would be the "balance", I think. Which is technically true given #Gamergate's apparently entire amorphous nature: referring to them as "rall[ying] around the Twitter hashtag #GamerGate" emphasis the amorphous nature of the mob. Of course, it's also sort of unhelpful. Perhaps, in the case of affiliation with a hashag, we should agree that the intent of the tag is less important than the effects.
    posted by Going To Maine at 10:25 AM on October 15, 2014


    Ugh, I just went over to knowyourmeme to look up the origin of #notyourshield and their entire entry on #Gamergate is in GG POV.
    posted by murphy slaw at 10:36 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Knowyourmeme has been rather toxic about GG. I'm avoiding the site these days.
    posted by sukeban at 10:37 AM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    i really have to start saving screencaps - but yesterday i saw one that was from one of these supposed moderates "blah blah blah journalism blah blah blah against harassment" and then a few minutes later something like, "shut up you stupid cunt bitch whore." just because you think someone sounds reasonable in a pull quote doesn't mean it's the entirety of what they espouse.

    This one?
    posted by Lexica at 10:42 AM on October 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


    On a more positive note, I saw this post going around which is a former GamerGater saying he came to see that GamerGate is "a hate movement" so it is possible.
    posted by RobotHero at 11:07 AM on October 15, 2014


    The arcade games of yore referred to you as a Player* -- might be time to resurrect the term.


    * not to be confused with a Playa**
    ** not to be confused with a Spanish Beach.

    posted by Celsius1414 at 11:07 AM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    but i wish to be confused with a spanish beach
    posted by murphy slaw at 11:09 AM on October 15, 2014 [12 favorites]


    Between the length of this thread and the mutitude of quality links throughout it, I certainly haven't caught everything, so my apologies if this has come up, but one (nice?) thing to remember is that anonymity serves a number of purposes for hate groups, whether it's online or behind hoods, and one of those is inflating the appearance of their numbers.
    posted by Navelgazer at 11:13 AM on October 15, 2014 [9 favorites]


    one of those is inflating the appearance of their numbers.

    Now I'm thinking msscribe.

    As for Anita's cancellation:

    Muslim terrorists supposedly able to hide explosives in shoes and toiletries? Tighten up airport security worldwide and make it super strict for incoming flights to US.

    Anita Sarkeesian cancels talk at Utah State University because Utah state laws prohibit restrictions on carrying weapons, making her extra vulnerable to a planned shooting threat? RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS! NO GUN CONTROL!

    America, I really don’t understand you sometimes.
    posted by divabat at 11:50 AM on October 15, 2014 [13 favorites]


    Anita Sarkeesian cancels talk at Utah State University because Utah state laws prohibit restrictions on carrying weapons, making her extra vulnerable to a planned shooting threat? RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS! NO GUN CONTROL!

    To be fair, they have the same response to every actual shooting which kills people.


    Ebola, though? OMG OBAMA IS TRYING TO KILL US ALL #BENGHAZI
    posted by Foosnark at 12:21 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    ellaguro: Embracing the New Flesh
    getting past the role of media to help you feel better about yourself, and understanding that a piece of media is much more effective when looked at with an intensely critical eye, is tremendously painful to do. we see our natural state as one without ideology, and thus stuff that upends our natural state is seen as ideological. misogynistic gamers see feminism or LGBT rights as an ideology being enforced on them, rather than a critique of an ideology they implicitly, unthinkingly accept as valid.
    [spoilers for Videodrome, I think]
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:45 PM on October 15, 2014 [4 favorites]




    Also, I didn't know that Zoe Quinn wrote the ending to ME3, then slept with a bunch of reviewers, then wrote an even worse ending, and also made it possible to play a female Shepard which makes me confused in my trousers-area...

    You know, it sounds like a joke, _but_...

    Who can forget 2012, and Jennifer Hepler? A writer on Dragon Age: Origins, with no involvement in Mass Effect 3, whom a group of idiots decided was all that was wrong with BioWare, and by extension video games, because a) she scripted same-sex romance options and b) in an interview none of them had given some five years previously, she had said that having the option of skipping combat would make RPGs more attractive to diverse audiences.

    Cue a sustained campaign of abuse, threats and general harassment, which included credulous manbabies uncritically accepting forged quotes from Hepler in which she boasted of forcing the animation team on Mass Effect 3 to take time away from combat animations to animate male-male sex scenes. Because obviously this is the kind of call a writer on a different game entirely gets to make.

    Unlike Quinn, Hepler had the resources of a big studio behind her, which was immediately supportive; she left video games some time later, but not as a direct result of the harassment. However, a lot of the features are very directly comparable, including the suggestion that this was a group of people used to being catered to reacting with hostility to the presence of a woman writer, and male-male romance options, in "their" video games. More here.

    So, while people tend to think of the attack on the ending of Mass Effect 3 as a thing in itself, it's worth noting that BioWare had attracted considerable animus from, for want of a better term, the proto-Gater contingent in the run-up to the game's release.
    posted by running order squabble fest at 12:48 PM on October 15, 2014 [28 favorites]


    misogynistic gamers see feminism or LGBT rights as an ideology being enforced on them, rather than a critique of an ideology they implicitly, unthinkingly accept as valid.

    So, exactly the same as every other bigot? Hobby Lobby claimed health coverage for women was "an ideology being enforced on them." Conservative Christians claim gay marriage is "an ideology being forced on them."
    posted by Foosnark at 12:52 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    So, exactly the same as every other bigot?

    Yes. Exactly the same as every other bigot. And as EmpressCallipygos said way upthread, the whole "journalism ethics" thing is their version of "states' rights," or "Benghazi" or "where's the birth certificate?"
    posted by Navelgazer at 1:00 PM on October 15, 2014 [15 favorites]


    Did someone mention Julian Assange, because as usual he's picked the wrong side.
    posted by Jimbob at 1:07 PM on October 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


    I'd like to see the Venn diagram for #GamersGate participants who cry foul on 'journalistic integrity' and video game enthusiasts who said 'man Nintendo Power was a great magazine,' and were sad when it was shuttered.

    Nintendo Power was great in its own way (those centerpieces!) but if you want to talk about the troubling history of video games and the way they're covered in the press, NP is a great place to start.
    posted by Tevin at 1:09 PM on October 15, 2014 [3 favorites]


    #GamerGate is an attack on ethical journalism, Amanda Marcotte, The Raw Story, 15 October 2014
    arrative that is starting to take hold that is really beginning to bug me. That narrative, which is a classic example of someone assuming that the “middle ground” is always the most reasonable, goes something like this: “Yes, #GamerGate is a deplorable and misogynist harassment campaign, but there’s some poor, well-meaning fools that really did get involved because they have concerns about ethics in journalism.”

    Ah, horseshit. Anyone who legitimately cares about ethics in journalism would react to #GamerGate by screaming in horror and hanging garlic from the doors.
    posted by ob1quixote at 1:10 PM on October 15, 2014 [23 favorites]


    Did someone mention Julian Assange, because as usual he's picked the wrong side.

    Actually that looks more like "Julian Assange pounced on an excuse to find a potential new audience for his crusade".
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:18 PM on October 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


    That Amanda Marcotte article strikes pretty hard at the whole idea of a "moderate" Gamergater. What "corruption" are these so-called moderate Gamergaters specifically railing against? When I spent a little while going through Twitter trying to find out, most of what I could find was super vague stuff like this (what "actions"? what "proof"?). However, people were occasionally slightly more explicit about their grievances, tweeting things like "Gaming journalism is disgusting, they use serious subjects like racism and sexism as tools to further their bullshit." or "Corruption is just how they've been pushing their awful politics into gaming."

    I think when these people are talking about corruption in games journalism, they're not talking about what normal people would think that means, e.g.: payola, withholding previews from unfriendly reviewers, etc... They're talking about how the purity of their little world is being corrupted by the outside forces of feminism, etc...

    If anyone has any examples of people with concrete grievances about corruption in journalism (in the conventionally understood sense), I would very much like to see those and how they fit into the larger Gamergate universe.
    posted by mhum at 1:47 PM on October 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Tevin: Nintendo Power was great in its own way (those centerpieces!) but if you want to talk about the troubling history of video games and the way they're covered in the press, NP is a great place to start.

    Now we've got Game Informer, the third-largest magazine in the U.S., owned and published by the game store GameStop. But virtually nothing from GamerGate about that.
    posted by Woodroar at 1:53 PM on October 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Actually that looks more like "Julian Assange pounced on an excuse to find a potential new audience for his crusade".

    sure, but there's a reason he went to gameghazi instead of the feminists, no? he assumed they would align with him. there's a reason for that.
    posted by nadawi at 2:09 PM on October 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Speaking of Nintendo, the latest plan is to get Nintendo to boycott publications that criticize Bayonetta 2 for being objectifying.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 2:27 PM on October 15, 2014


    /KrabappelLaugh

    Hopefully Nintendo of America tells them exactly where to go. Even if it weren't simply the right thing to do, the idea that these pieces of shit represent a greater percentage of the Nintendo demographic than women do is laughable.
    posted by Navelgazer at 2:31 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Also, note the interest in "journalistic integrity" when trying to get a company to disavow any critical media.
    posted by Navelgazer at 2:32 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    > I think when these people are talking about corruption in games journalism, they're not talking about what normal people would think that means, e.g.: payola, withholding previews from unfriendly reviewers, etc... They're talking about how the purity of their little world is being corrupted by the outside forces of feminism, etc...

    this is super correct
    posted by postcommunism at 2:36 PM on October 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


    [Anita Sarkeesian's cancellation] prompted the the nation's top trade group for video game companies to speak out Wednesday. “Threats of violence and harassment are wrong," said a spokesman for the Entertainment Software Association in a statement. "They have to stop. There is no place in the video game community—or our society—for personal attacks and threats.”
    - The Washington Post, though I can't seem to find a direct source for the statement.
    posted by divabat at 2:38 PM on October 15, 2014




    Well, I feel that leaves out the part of the story where if that were true, then they know what they are doing by willfully misusing the word corruption.

    I can tell you I love conservatism if I by conservatism I mean liberalism but then that makes the whole choice of words irrelevant. They know what they are talking about. We know what they are talking about. They can call it "unicorn rainbows" and it is still a defense of misogyny.
    posted by Tarumba at 2:42 PM on October 15, 2014


    The newest Gameinformer actually has an interview with Anita in it, but dosn't seem to be on their website.
    posted by saffry at 2:45 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Once again, I regret introducing Julian Assange into a conversation, but I had to accurately credit where I first heard the fiscal/political thing. For the record, I doubt he personally sends the tweets from the WikiLeaks account, but he would probably approve of the attention-whoring.

    They probably targeted GameGaters rather than Everyone Else because the GameGater operation is the most transparent thing ever, and "leaking" about their corruption equates to doxxing a handful of people. It may be a waste to try to get some of them to refocus that relentless investigative rage, but not as wasteful as any real expectations of whistleblowers and bombshells within the GameGaters.

    WikiLeaks has a habit of pointing any existing weapons and momentum against its opponents, but considering their track record with the whole Chelsea Manning thing, it would have surprised me if they were endorsing further attacks on these women rather than legitimate attacks on Big Bad Organizations.

    But bringing up the controversy of GamerGate out of the blue without doing anything except shaming GamerGate out of existence does seem indefensible for PR at this point.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 3:02 PM on October 15, 2014


    assange's track record with women is far broader than chelsea manning and seems on topic if we're actually going to discuss this (i vote for no).
    posted by nadawi at 3:07 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I agree. I just didn't want to mistakenly take credit for an idea or make it seem like some kind of well-established theory.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 3:09 PM on October 15, 2014


    For the record, I doubt he personally sends the tweets from the WikiLeaks account, but he would probably approve of the attention-whoring.

    I think the Assange derail should probably come to an end too - I think he was just attempting to jump on a bandwagon he's been grossly ill-informed about - I'll just say it's pretty well established it is him personally tweeting from that account, at least most of the time. There isn't much left of Wikileaks apart from him to do it, for a start, and if you go through the feed there are plenty of conversations with Applebaum, Greenwald etc. which are written in a personal conversational style.
    posted by Jimbob at 3:18 PM on October 15, 2014


    I should clarify that I don't necessarily think Game Informer is a terrible magazine or overly biased considering their ownership, or that they deserve this abuse more than anyone. I just think it goes to show that GamerGate only cares about easy targets, especially those they disagree with ideologically.
    posted by Woodroar at 3:32 PM on October 15, 2014


    > Well, I feel that leaves out the part of the story where if that were true, then they know what they are doing by willfully misusing the word corruption.

    I don't think it's willful misuse, in a lot of cases. But I do think that that's what's actually being said.

    Sympathetic take:

    Person sees videogaming as a misunderstood culture from which they draw innocent pleasure, camaraderie, and community -- even major aspects of their identity. Person then starts to hear other people talking about how gaming portrays women and/minorities/men-who-might-not-be-sympathetic-to-them, or even sees those people making games of their own which do not fall in line with what Person sees as the values of their culture. To Person, this is wedging outside influence and values into their culture ("politics"). It warps and endangers their culture.

    Because these other people are, well, others, they must be an outside influence, a cabal pushing its way into Person's unsullied space and threatening Person's identity. After all, gaming is Person's in-group: if these people were legit, they would threaten the fact of the in-group itself. Hidden agendas, insincerity, and secret influence must be involved for them to get this far.

    So Person takes a stand for videogames and strikes back at these others, pointing out how they are bad and wrong and have only gotten as far as they have because of shadowy backchannels and plots.

    "Corruption" is the fear, becomes the explanation, becomes the accusation.

    So I don't think they're willfully misusing the term, but that dynamic is why people say #GG is not actually about corruption or journalistic integrity; the folks under the hashtag started out with ingroup policing and harassment of others, and every step they've taken since has been to either expand on or legitimize that aim.
    posted by postcommunism at 3:37 PM on October 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Because these other people are, well, others, they must be an outside influence, a cabal pushing its way into Person's unsullied space and threatening Person's identity.

    How completely lacking in basic logical capacity, self-awareness and general understanding of how analogous subcultures work, do you have to be, to believe this, though? It's as if a bunch of blockbuster action movie fans started getting agitated and threatening violence against people because romantic comedies also exist.
    posted by Jimbob at 3:41 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Sorry. One more post about WikiLeaks now that I've been disillusioned about their weird third-person grammar use on Twitter. It is kind of on topic, even if it doesn't merit further discussion or a derail.

    Here's the full conversation regarding Assange/WikiLeaks' GamerGate position. In a nutshell, Appelbaum challenges Assange to take a public position on misogyny, and he punts the request so, so, so far away.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 3:44 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I continue to be amazed at the Gaters' inability to understand how cultural criticism works. You would think that, with the sheer volume of criticism that can be found on thousands of media-centric websites, they could grasp that critiquing something isn't a prelude to banning something. But they are utterly convinced that any commentary on games that goes beyond "killer graphics, d00d!" is an insidious attempt to ban the forthcoming Call of Duty 47 or whatever the fuck the bros are playing these days.

    I'm not expecting that everyone take a class in deconstructionism, but don't these yokels ever glance at a movie or book review? Their cluelessness and utter lack of sophistication would be amusing if not for their toxic misogynist tendencies.
    posted by wintermute2_0 at 3:51 PM on October 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Sigh, I'd pushed the Hepler thing out of my mind. She was, IMO, one of Bioware's best writers and was totally right about a skip combat option, which would've vastly improved DA2 and the industry would be vastly improved by a few dozen more of her.

    The harassment campaigns, threats and terrorism really takes the fun out of pointing and laughing at the douchebros who are mad about Anders making a pass at their characters, too.
    posted by NoraReed at 3:56 PM on October 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


    "Corruption" is the fear, becomes the explanation, becomes the accusation.


    "Purity of Spirit" is a big preoccupation for a lot of fascist movements.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:03 PM on October 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


    How completely lacking in basic logical capacity, self-awareness and general understanding of how analogous subcultures work, do you have to be, to believe this, though?

    Dude, have you met some people?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:21 PM on October 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


    I think a lot of the usual and less-usual attention whores are going to be jumping on this just to make waves--I think that's honestly why the Fine Young Capitalists thing is still going, because the guy is putting his bets down on the side of hoping that if he keeps the GG people in his pocket, that if/when they finally release a game or do another round of crowdfunding, that the GG people will turn out keep using TFYC as their evidence they're totally not really misogynist. Wikileaks takes donations, too. I bet until this dies down there'll be a lot of internet libertarian types, less-ethical indie developers, people who think they'd love personally to be games journalists because it must be so easy, etc, all trying to take advantage of this to wring whatever dollars out they can. It's like those places that get Fox News style Republicans to invest in gold and seed banks.
    posted by Sequence at 4:34 PM on October 15, 2014


    I'm not suprised by Assange in the slightest.
    posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I'm really not calling anybody out, and I can barely believe I'm saying this at all, but seeing phrases like "attention whores" bandied about here, on this subject, is really jarring.
    posted by Navelgazer at 4:43 PM on October 15, 2014 [15 favorites]


    No, you're absolutely right. Use certain words basically your whole adult life and it's easy to forget the implications; I should have phrased it differently.
    posted by Sequence at 4:55 PM on October 15, 2014 [13 favorites]


    Interview on Huffington Post with some female members of #GamerGate - so is this a replay of Women Against Feminism? (previously)
    posted by Apocryphon at 4:58 PM on October 15, 2014


    A #StopGamerGate2014 hashtag was started last night and is now trending across the US. (article at Kotaku)
    posted by argonauta at 4:59 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    mhum: I think when these people are talking about corruption in games journalism, they're not talking about what normal people would think that means, e.g.: payola, withholding previews from unfriendly reviewers, etc... They're talking about how the purity of their little world is being corrupted by the outside forces of feminism, etc...

    I haven't been super closely following this, but weren't they at least selling it as the "normal people" stuff though, even if that isn't what they meant?
    posted by emptythought at 5:01 PM on October 15, 2014


    Apocryphon: Is that the same Huffpo panel that nearly tricked Zoe Quinn into participating?
    posted by divabat at 5:03 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I haven't been super closely following this, but weren't they at least selling it as the "normal people" stuff though, even if that isn't what they meant?

    Oh they have been vaguely trying, but that assumes "normal people" give a shit about something as obscure and irrelevant to humanity as "ethics in games journalism", which is about as much of an issue to most people as "ethics in gardening journalism" or "ethics in scratching my balls".
    posted by Jimbob at 5:06 PM on October 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Having finally seen what the "legitimate" GG issues are... these are stupid issues. Even if Zoe Quinn is the corruptest game designer ever... who cares? And these people clearly don't understand cultural criticism with their bizarre compulsion to rebut every singe thing Sarkeesian says. It's totally blown way out of proportion to any actual problem that might exist.

    Which pretty much just leaves the crazy hate.
    posted by GuyZero at 5:13 PM on October 15, 2014


    There seems to be a bit of an upsurge in media coverage lately painting GamerGate as being motivated in whole or in part as concerned about AAA games coverage - no evidence whatsoever of GamerGate themselves being interested in them. I think it's well meaning but naive journalists stretching for a way to be "balanced".
    posted by Artw at 5:14 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    In Assange's defense he's staying at the Embassy Suites not a Holiday Inn Express.
    posted by humanfont at 5:31 PM on October 15, 2014


    emptythought: "I haven't been super closely following this, but weren't they at least selling it as the "normal people" stuff though, even if that isn't what they meant?"

    Mostly they talk about "ethics" and "corruption" in the abstract, leaving the listener who doesn't dig any deeper to (incorrectly) infer good faith on their part. Who wouldn't be for ethics and against corruption? Moreover, trade press of all kinds (and videogame press is no exception) are well-known to have lots of conflicts of interests and such, so it's not as if they're railing against the Illuminati or lizard people or something.

    But, when I tried to figure out what concrete incidents they're reacting to, I didn't get anything close to "normal people" stuff. As far as I can tell in my Googling and Twitter trawling, it seems like the main, specific things they're actually upset about are:
    1. The totally discredited Zoe Quinn/Nathan Grayson sex bribery incident that melted away faster than a snowflake on a hot stove (but yet is somehow sort of still a live topic? not sure?)
    2. The Leigh Alexander article for hurting their feelings
    3. Anita Sarkeesian for daring to criticize their beloved vidya games from a feminist viewpoint
    Again, if anyone can fill out more of their list of grievances with actual stuff, I'm listening.
    posted by mhum at 5:31 PM on October 15, 2014 [12 favorites]


    I don't know if this is a derail but are there any game journalists who are unassailably "good", respected by Feminist Frequency, Gamer Gate proponents, and the Medill school of Journalism?*

    All I know of games journalism is reviews, tech news, business/industry news, and creator interviews, with various levels of depth, fandom and commentary, but nothing particularly hard hitting. Occasionally I'll see more sociological studies on games and gaming but usually from personal or academic places, rarely from a place of old/traditional journalism.

    *I do not put these 3 entities on equal footing and I'm not asking about "both sides of the story". Just curious about what the pinnacle of games journalism might be.
    posted by elr at 5:32 PM on October 15, 2014


    A guy on Twitter offered a polite discussion on GG. I took him up on it.

    The dude was very polite but he seems to have the function of criticism confused with mere consumer reporting.
    posted by murphy slaw at 5:33 PM on October 15, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Apocryphon: Is that the same Huffpo panel that nearly tricked Zoe Quinn into participating?


    No - that panel ended up being Brianna Wu, Erik Kain and Frederik Brennan, the founder of 8chan. It's the first link on that page.

    (Which was a fascinating example of Gater perception in itself: there was delight and YouTube celebrations over Brennan telling Wu that "8chan wasn't all about her" as a final word. In fact, the host felt he had to apologise to Wu for having to end that segment on such a cheap shot.)

    While that was going on, the chat was spammed with GGers complaining that there were no pro-Gamergate women in the discussion, which made it look more like a boys' club. So, HuffPo followed up with that "women of Gamergate" panel.

    Which... blimey.
    posted by running order squabble fest at 5:48 PM on October 15, 2014


    But, when I tried to figure out what concrete incidents they're reacting to, I didn't get anything close to "normal people" stuff. As far as I can tell in my Googling and Twitter trawling, it seems like the main, specific things they're actually upset about are:

    The totally discredited Zoe Quinn/Nathan Grayson sex bribery incident that melted away faster than a snowflake on a hot stove (but yet is somehow sort of still a live topic? not sure?)
    The Leigh Alexander article for hurting their feelings
    Anita Sarkeesian for daring to criticize their beloved vidya games from a feminist viewpoint


    Video game reporting sites are pretty darn assailable; see the aforementioned Deadspin recap and John Walker's blog post. I've seen at least one or two GG sites mentioning the Kane & Lynch blow-up a few years ago, so it's not as if the examples of payola can't be pointed out. Still, you could browse the r/KotakuInAction thread about the upcoming Blizzard boycott to see if they outline any more precise outrages.
    posted by Going To Maine at 5:49 PM on October 15, 2014


    murphy slaw: "A guy on Twitter offered a polite discussion on GG. I took him up on it.

    The dude was very polite but he seems to have the function of criticism confused with mere consumer reporting.
    "

    That's an excellent example of what I mean when I say that Gamergaters' notions of corruption are different than what I think is commonly understood: This is 110% "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" territory. This person appears to be espousing a concern that videogame reviewers could be (or are?) secretly torpedoing games in their reviews in order to further their ideological goals (feminism, probably; communism if you just finished Hofstadter).
    posted by mhum at 5:54 PM on October 15, 2014 [20 favorites]


    Going To Maine: "Video game reporting sites are pretty darn assailable; "

    That's the thing. It's not as if there aren't plenty of valid concerns. It's just that it doesn't seem to me like that's what's really got GamerGaters all riled up, despite their protestations otherwise. I previously linked to a Kotaku article about the questionable Shadow of Mordor campaign which, according to TotalBiscuit -- who actually broke the story -- has nothing to do with journalistic ethics and thus also, I guess, with #GamerGate.

    "Still, you could browse the r/KotakuInAction thread about the upcoming Blizzard boycott to see if they outline any more precise outrages."

    Ok. I'll take a look and see what I can find.
    posted by mhum at 6:06 PM on October 15, 2014


    Man, looking at TotalBiscuit's Twitter feed, he seems to certainly be something of a leader to the leaderless here.
    posted by Going To Maine at 6:35 PM on October 15, 2014


    It sure is brave of him to decry the mainstream media to his followers, who will then be forced by their own extraordinarily ethical standards to get their gaming news only from unbiased youtubers.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


    The dude was very polite but he seems to have the function of criticism confused with mere consumer reporting.

    Actually, this isn't surprising - there are a lot of people who equate free speech with "I say whatever I want and no one gets to have an opinion about what I say".
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:02 PM on October 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


    skwirl: In 1999, Susan Faludi followed her book Backlash with Stiffed....

    ... which was greeted with ferocious indignation by the men she was trying to help.
    posted by lodurr at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2014


    Ok, so I took a look into the Blizzard boycott thread on r/KotakuInAction. The background story appears to be that those guys are trying to organize a boycott of Blizzard and their upcoming World of Warcraft expansion because Blizzard is advertising on Kotaku and they consider Kotaku to be anti-GamerGate (probably a fair assessment). In that thread, some people are posting the letters they're sending to Blizzard to let them know why they're boycotting. Here are a few snippets of what I found:
    • By now I'm sure you're aware of the horrific smear campaign against gamers who are asking gaming journalists to hold themselves accountable for undisclosed conflicts of interest. Nathan Grayson plugging his friend's work, Robin Arnott chairing a competition that awarded his friend's game, Patricia Hernandez reviewing her room mate's game, and also her ex's game. Corrupt IGF judging [...] [link]
    • This site [Kotaku] has been actively engaged in attempting to ruin the reputation of members of the gaming public while also attempting to belittle them, their hobby, and their identity. [link]
    • Im not going the Boycott angle (I'm playing WoW still) but I will try to make the logical argument that those websites insulted me, thus I will not visit those websites [...] [link]
    • There is one problem, though, and that's the gamergate issue. I didn't initially follow it, because it felt like people were being unrealistic about their goals- journalistic integrity is hard enough with actual journalists [...] And then I was insulted, and called a basement dwelling loser [...] [link]
    • Which is why I am greatly troubled to see Blizzard advertising on controversial gaming news sites like Kotaku, who consider long-time gamers such as myself to be “dead” [...] Seeing writers like Patricia Hernandez violate journalistic integrity by promoting games developed by the person she’s living with while failing to disclose this information to her readers, [...] To see major sites like this denigrate something that has been a huge part of my life, both as a civilian, a Marine, and a veteran and denigrate me personally for the simple act of playing video games is terribly disheartening. [link]
    • It has come to my attention that you are advertising on Kotaku. This site has been involves [sic] in publishing slanderous articles, as well as having allegedly corrupt writers. [link]
    • The idea that GamerGate is about sexism and harassment is a lie and a deflection. [...] I am absolutely furious that this important issue is being used to deflect a real consumer movement and silence an entire group. [link]
    Ok. So what did I learn from this? Well, while most of the complaint letters are primarily about how the writer feels personally insulted and attacked by Kotaku, I now have three more concrete complaints about alleged corruption:

    Patricia Hernandez, writer for Kotaku, was housemates with game developer Anna Anthropy in the summer of 2012. She subsequently posted four articles about Anthropy's projects: Dec. 2012, Jan. 2013, Apr. 2013, and Oct. 2013. All of these appear to be free games except for the third which is a $2 digital choose-your-own-adventure book; although, I guess for this kind of thing, perhaps publicity and visibility are the true currency? The first article is a playthrough that makes the game seem fun. The second carries the phrase "worth a play". The last two are just blurbs pointing out the existence of the game/book. Also, all but the first of these now carry a disclaimer that the author and the game designer were once roommates but I think I can safely assume that the disclaimer was added more recently. Not sure why they left off the disclaimer on the first article.

    The next two complaints involve indie game contest judging which, if we were to apply TotalBiscuit's standards for what constitutes a matter of journalistic ethics, would seem to be irrelevant to the GamerGate matters at hand. Unless, I suppose, that the real journalistic corruption was that certain conflicts of interest in the indie game contest scene were not being reported, I guess? Anyways, the first case seems to be about the inclusion of Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest among the twenty-four (!) indie games selected for Indiecade's Night Games showcase in 2013. The chair of the selection process was/is Robin Arnott who was romantically linked to Zoe Quinn via Eron Gjorni's insane screed; given how shoddy the Quinnspiracy stuff turned out, who knows what the real relationship was. In any case, the selection process is supposed to be by committee/jury though I guess you can insinuate that the chair can unduly influence things but without real evidence that that's what happened, you just have tawdry innuendo. Interestingly, it does not appear that Depression Quest actually won any awards at Indiecade that year.

    The second cited case of corrupt game contest judging involves IGF. The link above further links to a 1 hour and 16 minute (!) audio file that's supposed to be evidence of some kind but I don't have the patience or fortitude to sit through that. If someone has an indication of what that's about, I'd be curious to know what they're claiming. In any case, the IGF has posted a response to the GamerGate allegations, so there's that.

    All in all, these all seem like pretty weak tea. The Patricia Hernandez stuff can definitely happen when you're dealing with small, tight-knit industries and is normally handled with nothing more serious than a one-line disclosure, which Kotaku has added. The Indiecade thing is kind of interesting because as near as I can figure, one undercurrent in the GamerGaters' "evidence" of malfeasance is that Depression Quest is nowhere near good enough a game to be recognized or acclaimed in any way so anything good that happens to it (or Zoe Quinn for that matter) must be the product of Zoe Quinn's magic, mind-controlling estrogen pheromones or something. I'll also note how the first guy distills the initial Quinnspiracy claims down to "Nathan Grayson plugging his friend's work". I wonder if they're feeling like bringing up Zoe Quinn by name will instantly mark you as a crank in mainstream eyes -- maybe like bringing up Saul Alinsky or Jeremiah Wright when talking about Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

    More interesting to me is how the theme of personal affront ("belittle them, their hobby, and their identity", "I was insulted", "denigrate something that has been a huge part of my life") just keeps coming up. Granted, getting called out by Kotaku was probably the proximate reason for this boycott so maybe I shouldn't read too much into it.
    posted by mhum at 8:25 PM on October 15, 2014 [14 favorites]


    Disappointed in TotalBiscuit; he tends to be the voice of reason in the often irrational gaming community, and he's taken a feminist stance on occasion in his podcast, so I don't know why he's falling in with the GG folks. I think he's stuck in the "fair and balanced" mindset for whatever reason. I hope he snaps out of it.
    posted by archagon at 8:41 PM on October 15, 2014


    He is currently in the middle of treatment for butt cancer. I think he probably deserves some slack given he just underwent surgery like 3 days ago and has been in chemo and so forth. I mean, that's not a blanket excuse for bad behavior but can probably at least give somebody a bit of slack for ill-advised but not evil tweetings.
    posted by Justinian at 8:45 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    when I say that Gamergaters' notions of corruption are different than what I think is commonly understood

    I saw one argument that game reviews should be like lab reports, with any "opinions" (i.e. discussion on game narrative as it intersects with, um, real life) relegated to separate pieces, which blows my mind. It's arguing that games should be reviewed using similar criteria to, I suppose, game consoles or game controllers. I could talk about the incoherence of being told to take games seriously but not apply serious critical frameworks, but the idea that game reviews should be obliged to operate within a "gamer" bubble distinct from real life seems... sociopathic.

    one undercurrent in the GamerGaters' "evidence" of malfeasance is that Depression Quest is nowhere near good enough a game to be recognized or acclaimed in any way so anything good that happens to it

    For what it's worth, I thought Depression Quest was slight but very interesting from a mechanical perspective: I played it through a few times, and was very conscious of the times when I was playing to "win" the game as opposed to making the choices that I was drawn to make. It operates in a similar space to Notch's Drowning In Problems. It interrogates gaming.

    Again: sociopathy.
    posted by holgate at 9:01 PM on October 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


    If the Gamergaters think that the items noted above (roommate's games being written about by another roommate, friends and possible lovers being linked around who gets awards and who gets recognition and/or funding) is evidence of some kind of horrific corruption, then I hope they never get near an urban art scene. They'd likely never recover their bearings.
    posted by jokeefe at 10:07 PM on October 15, 2014 [15 favorites]


    I hope they never get near an urban art scene

    They'll need resuscitation if they end up in dull corporate jobs and learn that the crappy trophies at the annual Regional Widget Suppliers' Dinner are given out to the companies who chip in most for the open bar.
    posted by holgate at 10:17 PM on October 15, 2014 [10 favorites]


    So, I had some clandestine interactions with the Gamerghazi kids on Twitter today, which resulted in me learning the talking-point of the day, which is, to summarize;
    "Social Justice" is not a real thing, because if you have to limit "justice" by qualifying it with the word "social" then it's not real justice, it's actually oppression.
    I got this from a few different guys, including one who tried to "prove" this with a quote from Hayek, with an explanation to me that "and he's a Nobel Prize winner".
    posted by Jimbob at 10:24 PM on October 15, 2014 [17 favorites]


    So, I had some clandestine interactions with the Gamerghazi kids on Twitter today

    Whenever people use the term "gamerghazi" my first reaction is "the cool people at /r/Gamerghazi", so it's a tiny bit disorienting to hear it used here to mean GGers.
    posted by Jpfed at 10:39 PM on October 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Damn this is the second time in this thread I've got in trouble for calling GamerGaters something other than GamerGaters in order to help kill off the term. I agree, /r/Gamerghazi is pretty great, though.
    posted by Jimbob at 10:42 PM on October 15, 2014


    misogynistic gamers see feminism or LGBT rights as an ideology being enforced on them, rather than a critique of an ideology they implicitly, unthinkingly accept as valid.

    So not "the same as any bigot", either.
    So, exactly the same as every other bigot? Hobby Lobby claimed health coverage for women was "an ideology being enforced on them." Conservative Christians claim gay marriage is "an ideology being forced on them."


    As bad as they are, those two examples are less physically violent, less wingnutty. The gamer faction is just plain unbalanced, a serial murder away from infamy. Hobby Lobby and the Conservative Christians aren't outright threatening to rape and murder anyone.
    posted by five fresh fish at 11:04 PM on October 15, 2014


    TIL not to engage in twitter wars with these hopeless motherfuckers. sweet jesus.
    posted by Navelgazer at 11:16 PM on October 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Enlightenment.
    posted by Artw at 11:18 PM on October 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Front page of the New York Times, and it's not quite the narrative the GamerGaters were looking for. "Noxious".
    posted by Jimbob at 12:19 AM on October 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Front page of the New York Times, and it's not quite the narrative the GamerGaters were looking for. "Noxious".

    Wouldn't want to be Nick Wingfield for the next few days.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 12:27 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Jimbob: Front page of the New York Times, and it's not quite the narrative the GamerGaters were looking for. "Noxious".
    Feminist Critics of Video Games Facing Threats in ‘GamerGate’ Campaign, Nick Wingfeild, The New York Times, 16 October 2014
    posted by ob1quixote at 12:35 AM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


    In a phone interview, Mr. Baldwin, who said he was not an avid gamer himself but has done voice work for the popular Halo games and others, said he did not condone the harassment of Mr. Sarkeesian and others.

    “GamerGate distances itself by saying, ‘This is not what we’re about,’ ” said Mr. Baldwin. “We’re about ethics in journalism.”


    Gamergate logic
    posted by supercrayon at 12:49 AM on October 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


    “We’re about ethics in journalism.”
    ...and doing your damnedest to eliminate it.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 1:06 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Where can I go to savor the ragetears of the fedora-clad trolls as they are exposed as dumbasses on the front page of the New York Times and CNN? Because I want to taste their tears. Is there a subreddit for them? /r/gamergate seemed mostly empty.
    posted by Justinian at 1:57 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    In addition to making the Gamergaters' vile idiocy front-page news, the NYT also highlights the cowardice of triple-A video game publishers: "Representatives for several major game publishers — Electronic Arts, Activision Blizzard and Take-Two Interactive Software — declined to comment."

    The video game industry has been riding to and fro on tigers from which they dare not dismount.... And Gamergate shows the tigers are getting hungry.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 2:14 AM on October 16, 2014 [15 favorites]


    Where can I go to savor the ragetears of the fedora-clad trolls as they are exposed as dumbasses on the front page of the New York Times and CNN? Because I want to taste their tears. Is there a subreddit for them? /r/gamergate seemed mostly empty.

    8chan, /r/kotakuinaction, /r/gamerghazi for the non-jerk take.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 2:42 AM on October 16, 2014


    Where can I go to savor the ragetears of the fedora-clad trolls as they are exposed as dumbasses on the front page of the New York Times and CNN?

    Why would you assume it will upset them? The hard-core will take it as validation of their persecuted status -- or in the case of the 'old men manipulating young men', as payoff in the game they're playing.

    Public denouncement is one of the few weapons available to fight them (that and criminal prosecution where it's feasible and appropriate), but it's a necessary means to the longer-term end of getting the world to recognize that they're a cadre of misanthropes* in thrall to a knot of psychopaths. Until the game is well and truly played out (and probably after), that knot of psychopaths and their cadre of misanthropes will thrive on negative validation.

    You can't fight people like this with their own acceptance of your victory as your goal. You'll never get that. You've got to just stop them from doing what they're doing, and hope a few of them eventually grow up.

    --
    *because 'misogyny', while accurate, is too specific.
    posted by lodurr at 3:09 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    one of the most telling parts of this whole fucked up bullshit is how adam baldwin can say he's not really a gamer and get lauded by the gamegaters but when anita says it they use it as something to try and hang her with. for all of their beepboopbeepbooplogic they refuse to see just how stunningly inconsistent they are.
    posted by nadawi at 4:56 AM on October 16, 2014 [19 favorites]


    a wild #GG leader appears
    posted by postcommunism at 6:13 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Something that probably bears repeating is that you shouldn't necessarily expect things like consistency and appeals to logic and reasoning—or, hell, even self-awareness at this point—from the more vocal GameGaters.

    Take Jimbob's recent example of their argument du jour:
    "Social Justice" is not a real thing, because if you have to limit "justice" by qualifying it with the word "social" then it's not real justice, it's actually oppression.
    It ignores a few major obvious facts. Like how "social justice warrior" was a term that originated from their cesspool to begin with. And the concept of "social justice" is a singular term that's been around for well over a hundred years and not meant to be separated or confused with individual justice. And if you want to talk about how "an injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere," that Adam Smith quote can go fuck right off. It can also go fuck right off back in the direction of GameGaters if you just replace the phrase "the consumer" with "innocent people and women in particular."

    I never really bothered to appeal to the GameGaters rather than continuing to show everyone else how utterly foolish they are. You really want to be the enemy of the entire concept of social justice? Here's a list of all the things you must disapprove of, then.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 6:21 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    oh i don't expect consistency - but rather, pointing out, again, that they fail their own tests time and time again. these dudes love to run around talking about how logical they are and if you just took emotion out of it and were perfect logic beings like themselves it would make perfect sense. but, as we all know, the fact is that they are highly emotional and very bad at the logic they are espousing.
    posted by nadawi at 6:26 AM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Then, I'll just leave this here, because I'm tired of dancing around particular words.
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 6:29 AM on October 16, 2014


    From the NYT piece ob1quixote links to above:
    Ms. Edwards said changes in games and the audience around them have been difficult for some gamers to accept.

    “The entire world around them has changed,” she said. “Whether they realize it or not, they’re no longer special in that way. Everyone is playing games.”
    "Difficult" is a polite understatement, but the positive final note of the last bit is encouraging.
    posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:02 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    one of the things i wish would be mentioned and remembered more - some of us women have been here the whole time (certainly longer than a lot of the guys who are currently in a tizzy). i've been playing since summer games on the commodore 64 and kaboom on the atari 2600. i've seen so many gater memes posit that no women were interesting in gaming prior to portal and even then we were only interested in the cute fan art (a lot of which women were the producers of). they act like we're brand new, or only play casual games, or aren't real gamers, or didn't suffer for being nerds - but a lot of us walked in their shoes and then, adding insult to injury, we were sidelined by them as well.
    posted by nadawi at 7:20 AM on October 16, 2014 [34 favorites]


    “Whether they realize it or not, they’re no longer special in that way. Everyone is playing games.”

    It's hard when you find out that not only are you no longer special, you were never special - and it was your own blindness that made you think you were.
    posted by rtha at 7:23 AM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


    Oh man someone went into KiA to do battle and it's a thing of beauty.
    posted by Andrhia at 7:37 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Ow. what... there's a trailer out for a game called "Hatred" that's literally about killing innocents brutally with guns. And quite a few comments supporting its creation are really... out there (and yes, they're addressing feminists and liberals derisively). Feeling pretty sick right now.
    posted by halifix at 7:41 AM on October 16, 2014


    Andrhia: "Oh man someone went into KiA to do battle and it's a thing of beauty."

    Holy shit.
    I'm most interested in the undue weight given to feminist critique of games. I'd like to see equal weight and column inches given to any and all -ists and -isms. I'm particularly interested in seeing more Islamist, Logical Positivist and Masculinist perspectives in game reviews but not to the exclusion of others. Sure, it might make reviews a little long and tricky to score, but equality is equality, is it not.
    I think we've just been treated to a script reading of an upcoming 45 minute youtube video.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 7:42 AM on October 16, 2014 [16 favorites]


    coming from a long line of military family, i keep doing a double take when someone calls r/KotakuInAction kia.
    posted by nadawi at 7:43 AM on October 16, 2014


    Logical Positivist

    At this point I think they are just looking words up at random on Wikipedia and throwing them into their "arguments".
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:45 AM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


    This is the part that struck me: "This is a powerful incentive for developers to cater to the ideological opinions being expressed even if they're not shared by the actual consumers of the game."

    I mean that's the heart of all of this, isn't it? The fundamental disbelief that people like them who like the same things as they do aren't the only gamers.
    posted by Andrhia at 7:46 AM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    I'm most interested in the undue weight given to feminist critique of games. I'd like to see equal weight and column inches given to any and all -ists and -isms. I'm particularly interested in seeing more Islamist, Logical Positivist and Masculinist perspectives in game reviews but not to the exclusion of others. Sure, it might make reviews a little long and tricky to score, but equality is equality, is it not.

    It really is unfortunate that the entire interwebs is full and now there is no longer any place for a person interested in those viewpoints to share and explore them.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 7:47 AM on October 16, 2014 [13 favorites]


    “GamerGate distances itself by saying, ‘This is not what we’re about,’ ” said Mr. Baldwin. “We’re about ethics in journalism.”

    I'm... disappointed in Adam Baldwin. I knew that he was a conservative, but having been a fan of several films and shows he's appeared in I fooled myself into believing he was benignly so.

    If I may propose a loose analogy for such attempts to shirk responsibility for his compatriots' actions:

    "The responsible white separatist community condemns this; it makes us look bad."
    posted by The Confessor at 8:05 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    PixieJenni did a survey for gamergates, and there are a number of answers.

    It is amazing to see how many people joined because of Leigh Alexander's article.
    posted by Theta States at 8:06 AM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Interview on Huffington Post with some female members of #GamerGate - so is this a replay of Women Against Feminism?

    No, this is gamergaffe using them as a shield.
    posted by Theta States at 8:07 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Justinian: "Where can I go to savor the ragetears of the fedora-clad trolls as they are exposed as dumbasses on the front page of the New York Times and CNN? Because I want to taste their tears. Is there a subreddit for them? /r/gamergate seemed mostly empty."

    You want 8chan, I think. It's an easy google. Content warning: 8chan.
    posted by jokeefe at 8:07 AM on October 16, 2014


    I'm... disappointed in Adam Baldwin. I knew that he was a conservative, but having been a fan of several films and shows he's appeared in I fooled myself into believing he was benignly so.

    "Now, you might not believe it, but under fire Animal Mother is one of the finest human beings in the world. All he needs is somebody to throw hand grenades at him the rest of his life."

    Early on Baldwin's best roles were, arguably, an amorally gung-ho Marine in "Full Metal Jacket", a bully-for-hire in "My Bodyguard", and the private-school jock leader of a hazing group in "The Chocolate War". While he's not exactly known as a Method actor, a pattern to his performances was clear from the beginning. Sometimes there's truth in typecasting.
    posted by Doktor Zed at 8:23 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Brianna Wu at XOJane:
    But, you know, because I am the Godzilla of bitches, by Saturday morning I was pissed off. I’m talking Jack Bauer pissed off. So, I decided I was going to do everything in my power to stop these fuckers.
    posted by almostmanda at 8:36 AM on October 16, 2014 [16 favorites]


    Adam's Twitter feed has been toxic for a _very_ long time. It was amusing to see Seth Rogen call him a fucking idiot the other day though. (Nobody involved in Firefly follows Adam's Twitter except for Nathan, as far as I can tell. I'm assuming/hoping Nathan just has him on mute.)
    posted by kmz at 8:37 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    a wild #GG leader appears

    I...what...


    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:38 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    This is the part that struck me: "This is a powerful incentive for developers to cater to the ideological opinions being expressed even if they're not shared by the actual consumers of the game."

    There's something delightfully backward in thinking that an irate reviewer is going to prevent a game maker from giving the people what they want to spend money on.

    Where can I go to savor the ragetears of the fedora-clad trolls as they are exposed as dumbasses on the front page of the New York Times and CNN? Because I want to taste their tears. Is there a subreddit for them? /r/gamergate seemed mostly empty."

    You want 8chan, I think. It's an easy google. Content warning: 8chan.


    r/KotakuInAction
    posted by Going To Maine at 8:42 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I'm... disappointed in Adam Baldwin.

    so, yeah, he's been really awful for a long time. a while back i found a system which helps me still enjoy his roles - just imagine that he is actually jayne cobb - i mean, of course jayne cobb is an asshole on twitter and holds regressive anti-women politics, that just makes sense.
    posted by nadawi at 8:44 AM on October 16, 2014 [13 favorites]


    Ultimate Weapon Against Gamergate (a short article about Eliza vs. Gators)

    I know it's already been mentioned, but for those of you who want your daily GG schadenfreude, stick to /r/GamerGhazi, and /r/BestOfOutrageCulture. In my own experience, it's much more enjoyable to read about their antics in the company of a friendly and vehemently anti-GG crowd. For me, reading straight from the source at 8chan or /r/KotakuInAction is too anger-inducing and I want to jump in the fray, which would just be a huge waste of time.
    posted by honestcoyote at 8:58 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    so, yeah, he's been really awful for a long time. a while back i found a system which helps me still enjoy his roles - just imagine that he is actually jayne cobb - i mean, of course jayne cobb is an asshole on twitter and holds regressive anti-women politics, that just makes sense.

    I'll believe this when he figuratively knocks down the statue of himself that #GG has built in his honor. I hope no one has to get shot first.
    posted by almostmanda at 9:01 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Once they are exausted, we must push back hard with Sword facts and spear politeness! Give them nothing, but take from them everything !
    ...
    Ladies of #Gamergate, we need you more than ever. We need you to be gaming's #notyourshield maidens and scream like the righteous furies of gaming we know you are, and let the world know the truth.

    okay then
    posted by murphy slaw at 9:13 AM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


    then I hope they never get near an urban art scene. They'd likely never recover their bearings.

    I had this conversation with a music journalist friend of mine when I was explaining the short version of what was going on a couple months ago when this was first starting to get going (ie: back when there was a comprehensible "short" version).

    Both his experiences as a writer about (mostly) electronic music and mine as someone on the periphery of the dance music scene where I live... Just. Like. There are many scarier factors at play here so I've not remarked on it so much since then ... But just wow, what these people think gaming criticism/reviews should be like is absolutely divorced from the reality of how any major creative industry (at the big level) or artistic scene (down at the smaller levels) actually works.

    Their thinking is completely alien to my experiences in how art scenes (and even big industries built around them) actually work.
    posted by sparkletone at 9:19 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Is there an easy one-page Gamergate Debunked article that I could link to?
    posted by divabat at 9:30 AM on October 16, 2014


    okay then

    I want to meet the dude who was like "i was gonna give up on gamergates until i saw this rousing message now i am dressed like a Valkyrie and am having second thoughts because this metal bikini really does offer little by way of protection please help."
    posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:31 AM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    For me, reading straight from the source at 8chan or /r/KotakuInAction is too anger-inducing and I want to jump in the fray, which would just be a huge waste of time.

    Yes, learn from me, do not jump in the fray. Molly Ivins had an old quote about how getting attacked by such-and-such politician was akin to being gummed by a newt, in that it didn't actually hurt but still left you feeling disgusting afterwards.

    That's what happens if you jump in the fray. Not worth it.
    posted by Navelgazer at 9:33 AM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    At this point I think they are just looking words up at random on Wikipedia and throwing them into their "arguments".

    There's actually something of a fetish in certain internet atheist circles for (an uninformed, incredibly shallow understanding of) Logical Positivism because it's seen as being a philosophy of pure reason and logic and always acting according to logic etc etc etc. In particular it's seen as opposed to postmodernism (which is used as essentially a synonym for "Cultural Marxism"), which is squishy and illogical and promotes the idea that said internet atheist's perceptions are not absolute or objective.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 9:35 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Is there an easy one-page Gamergate Debunked article that I could link to?

    There's this, but honestly while it's much longer than one page, I still think the best takedown/refutation piece is still this Deadspin one.
    posted by sparkletone at 9:35 AM on October 16, 2014


    a wild #GG leader appears

    Well that's a novel interpretation of Adam Smith. Someone could probably make a career out of that, but they'd have to, you know, get a PhD or something.
    posted by lodurr at 9:40 AM on October 16, 2014


    because this metal bikini really does offer little by way of protection please help

    There's a local armorer (and GM and sometime Green politician) who can be persuaded to give public talks on realistic battle armor. This is reminiscent of one of his more crowd-pleasing riffs.

    posted by lodurr at 9:44 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Sparkletone: you've just triggered an epiphany.

    What if the disconnect in how they think about game critique comes down to one thing: they don't perceive video games to even be art?

    Somewhere upthread (can't find it) is a link to where someone has a decent twitter conversation with someone about what they wanted game critique to actually be like. And the thing that stuck out for me is that the GG guy was hoping to see something that sounded kind of like a bare-bones review - a critque of the mechanics of game play itself. I take that to mean a reference to things like "the controls that dictate grasping things is very particular so trying to pick something up is frustrating" or "it's got a really unique approach to moving from one level to another". Discussions about the "art" of it just got in his way - they could be in a separate section, maybe, he argued, where people who didn't care about the tone of the music or the characterization could just ignore it. The conversation broke down a bit between "I don't think that's quite the point of critique, though, a critic can't totally remove their emotional response" and "but that's nothing to do with game play, so it's not what I look for in a game review".

    And it just hit me that it sounds like what this guy was hoping for was more like a tool review than a review of an artistic thing. And if you think about it that way, the perspective of the GG towards "what a review should be like" makes a hell of a lot more sense. Think of it like if you're looking for a review of a car - when you read a car review, you're looking for bare-bones facts like what the gas mileage is, how easy it is to suss out what the dashboard controls are, whether the gearshift sticks, or anything like that. Maybe you also look at the carbon-emissions output if that is what you care about, but such information is on a bullet point you can easily ignore if that's not a priority for you.

    So if THAT'S the case, then maybe the game reviews that treat games as art are coming across like someone trying to review a car by writing about the sweet little road trip they took over the weekend with a side digression into the conversation they had about cars with the old man they met at the Citgo station where he compared the car to "a kiss from your old sweetheart at your college reunion", and meanwhile they've got readers screaming "who cares about that, what is the gas mileage?" And then, maybe Anita Sarkeesian is coming across as the Electric Car Lobby Who Wants To Ban All Gas-Powered Vehicles.

    None of this excuses their behavior. But I wonder if that's what the disconnect may be, and if that can help reach people.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:46 AM on October 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


    EmpressCallipygos, reminds me of this comment from Legomancer, in part:

    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.
    posted by papercrane at 9:50 AM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    They don't want barebones reviews - they want all other types of reviews, commentary or critisism to stop existing.
    posted by Artw at 9:55 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    From this, quoting a Buzzfeed article:
    Gjoni also consulted his mother, a human resources manager who asked that her name not be used. Gjoni's mother, who trains workers in harassment avoidance, preached caution. "I advised him to cool off and not make a decision based on emotions," she told BuzzFeed News. "I was not very happy that he made the decision to publish. As a parent my feeling is that what you put on the internet is for eternity."

    You have to be fucking kidding me... Also, he's apparently giving interviews and stuff still despite a restraining/gag order or something?
    posted by sparkletone at 9:59 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Artw: read the link in murphy slaw's comment here. (FINALLY I FOUND THAT TWITTER CONVERSATION FINALLY)
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:59 AM on October 16, 2014


    I wonder what that completely objective reviewing mindset would actually say about a game like Depression Quest. How do you objectively review a nontraditional approach to understanding and dealing with depression? Objectively, if that game helped one person overcome depression (or even just understand things a little better), then it deserves 5 out of 5 stars.

    And what does that say about the old-school text games that play almost entirely on your subjective imagination of what a "grue" looks like?
    posted by Johann Georg Faust at 10:09 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    despite a restraining/gag order or something?

    A 209a order I believe. No idea what that involves. Someone on KiA covered it from the court room (but GG is not about Zoe.) If I recall correctly they were all in violent agreement that protection orders are grave injustices.
    posted by papercrane at 10:15 AM on October 16, 2014


    If I recall correctly they were all in violent agreement that protection orders are grave injustices.

    That makes sense, given their seeming consensus that laws or actions against death threats are censorship.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 10:18 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    "but that's nothing to do with game play, so it's not what I look for in a game review"

    Which is not a surprising attitude, even as his apparent belief that it's all about mechanics is clearly mistaken.
    posted by lodurr at 10:20 AM on October 16, 2014


    they (a group where the membership overlaps with the mra) feel like protection orders are part of female privilege and the misandry of the court system (their words). they are especially incensed in this case because they think zoe's boyfriend's parents bought off the judge or something and that she is obviously the abusive partner and that gag orders are illegal because of the 1st amendment. so, basically, their normal not in touch with reality ideas.
    posted by nadawi at 10:20 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I did see a Gater on Twitter, when trying to list positive things that GamerGate had accomplished, mention that Valve now requires Steam curators disclose paid-for recommendations.

    Though where I had seen that mentioned as an issue is Leigh "antichrist" Alexander's List of Ethical Concerns and I had heard it discussed on an episode of the Idle Thumbs podcast which was listed on a GamerGater boycott list for being anti-GamerGate and had Anita Sarkeesian as a guest a few weeks before.

    But the very first time I see a GamerGater mention Steam curators is to take claim for it.

    So that's part of the rhetoric of billing yourself as "about ethics" is you pretend nobody else would have ethics without your hard work.
    posted by RobotHero at 10:23 AM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


    I wonder what that completely objective reviewing mindset would actually say about a game like Depression Quest.

    Well, i think the kind of 'objectivity' that EmpressCallipygos was describing would be objective in the sense of having specific criteria -- a rubric, essentially. So the game could make you feel amazing, but if the mechanics of game play didn't satisfy the rubric, it wouldn't matter.

    Which is clearly not what they really want. Again, I understand that they probably really do think that's what they want, but the magazines and game review sites know better than to give it to them.
    posted by lodurr at 10:23 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I wonder what that completely objective reviewing mindset would actually say about a game like Depression Quest.

    They wouldn't find it fun, so they would want the review to say that, I guess? There's nothing "objective" about what they want. It just sounds like they want reviews which don't evaluate how a video game fits into or comments on society. They just want to know if they would enjoy playing the video game: guys who do not want to think about whether a game could be good or bad in ways that they have not already anticipated, and which do not in some way critique them.

    Assuming (very charitably) that they could be placated by having a video game review site appealing to their tastes, they would probably want something like GamePro circa 1993, where the reviewer just says whether the game is "fun", has replay value, the controls are snappy, etc. They don't want to hear whether a game has anything good or bad to say about anything else on the planet.

    SomethingAwful once did a great parody of this kind of writing - reviewing World War Z as if it was a video game. It was something like, "the images were in focus, you can really tell they used a camera, it filled up the entire screen".
    posted by Sticherbeast at 10:24 AM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


    i've seen some gaters holding up christian review sites as their ideal. which...uh. no. that's a bad direction for the industry to move in.
    posted by nadawi at 10:26 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    How do the christian review sites work? The only ones I've ever seen decidedly did not give good reviews to anything that didn't satisfy the ideological criteria. There might be some cursory mention of quality, but if it didn't meet the real criteria, it was a no-go. (Which is fine, for them, at least they're up front about what they want.)
    posted by lodurr at 10:28 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    The feeling I get is that they don't want anything in a review that reminds them that the reviewer is not a person exactly like them. It's easy to ignore bias when it matches your own biases, so to them "unbiased" means a white male middle-class nerd who loves video games for their own sake.

    An "objective" review tells them exactly how much they will enjoy the game, because it is produced by a simulacrum of themselves.
    posted by murphy slaw at 10:30 AM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Artw: "They don't want barebones reviews - they want all other types of reviews, commentary or critisism to stop existing."

    That's not fair. They are permitted in the designated subjective criticism zones.
    posted by RobotHero at 10:30 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    i've seen some gaters holding up christian review sites as their ideal. which...uh. no. that's a bad direction for the industry to move in.

    That's especially weird, because I associate Christian review sites with things like "moral quality" scores. I'm especially thinking of Christianity Today and Decent Reviews, both of which actually have very thoughtful perspectives of movies, where they are explicitly viewing movies through various lenses. Christianity Today literally has study questions for movies, so that families can incorporate their moviegoing with their religiously-based discussions.

    I mean, it's almost literally the least objective kind of review.
    posted by Sticherbeast at 10:30 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Exactly, lodurr. They want the misogynist asshole gamer dude equivalent of CAPAlert.

    I've been impressed with Common Sense Media, who provide descriptions of the possibly offensive or age-inappropriate material in movies without the Christian ideology. Very handy if you want to see if a particular film has, say, nudity, without the site celebrating or condemning the film for doing so. If you scroll down on Netflix pages for movies/shows, a bunch of them have CSM content linked from within Netflix.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 10:32 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I mean, it's almost literally the least objective kind of review.

    But they have scores for things! And bulletpoints! And a complete faliure to engage with the subject of the review outside of narrow criteria!

    OBJECTIVITY!
    posted by Artw at 10:36 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    from what i can tell, what they like about the christian reviews is how the separate out the objectionable stuff into a list a lot of times (to make it easier for their viewers to quickly discern whether it's appropriate or not). they view this as being more intellectually honest than reviewing the game poorly without outright stating your objections in a list type format.

    i mean, they also think it's censorship to not host comments and that reviewers should be forced to read and respond to comments, so, well of the deep end.
    posted by nadawi at 10:37 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    like this one - there's a game score and a morality score.
    posted by nadawi at 10:38 AM on October 16, 2014


    This article on the Awl about parents talking to their kids about GG really depressed me. Either there are parents teaching their kids hate from early on, or parents whose kids don't get why diversity is important.
    posted by toerinishuman at 10:39 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    This process has been harrowing for those targeted by it, by the sneaks and trolls that inhabit the various 'chans and worst parts of reddit.

    It's been encouraging to see however, that trolls are still allergic to sunlight, that the counter-reaction may be more important to the eventual gamer subculture, as lead by mags and blogs like Kotaku and Polygon. That this won't be easy to forget and dismiss, as has happened to women in most gaming subcommunities for basically ever.

    Specifically, this seems to have largely defanged 4chan as a place where horrible things can start. It's not over, it's never going to be easy, but things do look like they're getting better. The change I'm seeing isn't in the headlines, but in efforts, small, incremental but real, to be less tolerant of the assholes, on some of the gaming boards. By the end of this, being called a GGer isn't going to be a complement.
    posted by bonehead at 10:40 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    It's kind of absurd that I ended up on Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn's side of this, because I am nearly as dismissive of liberal ideologues as I am of conservative ones.

    I like to think that I'm nobody's ditto-head.

    But, y'know, when I was pondering that whole "tropes vs. women" thing several months ago, long before it got rolled up into #GamerGate, I read articles and comments that highlighted the dearth of women with agency in Grand Theft Auto V. The latest entry in what is arguably gaming's most prominent series. Three years of development. A budget of more than 250 million dollars. And a near-complete absence of positively-rendered strong women with individual agency. The exceptions are the woman kidnapped by Trevor (which is subverted when she subsequently develops Stockholm Syndrome), and Franklin's ex-girlfriend, who appears for perhaps three very memorable minutes of cutscene time amid dozens of hours of gameplay.

    So if you take GTAV as an example of what a prominent, top-shelf game aspires to be, then it seems that Mrs. Sarkeesian has a point.

    Supporters of socially conscious gaming are not, as a rule, lobbying for Grand Theft Auto: Social Justice Edition, they are lobbying for awareness. Tropes become tropes because they are seen as effective movers of narrative; they are, in my opinion, inextricable from narrative. The lesson that game developers should take from "tropes vs. women" is to not let female characters in their games become defined primarily as or by these common tropes.

    When it comes to Mrs. Quinn, I have already stated most of my views in this thread. There is nothing there; no evidence of any quid-pro-quo, which leaves only the possibility that there may have been some quidding going on behind her ex-boyfriend's back, which is hardly anyone else's business anyway, and certainly should not have inspired public disclosure of the details of her sexual life.

    It's a mark of how badly the #GamerGaters have fucked up their cause -- if they have any to speak of beyond harassing these women -- that I have become Mrs. Sarkeesian and Mrs. Quinn's partisan in this matter.
    posted by The Confessor at 10:44 AM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


    like this one - there's a game score and a morality score.

    Oh, okay. Admittedly, that makes sense, as far as these things go. Still doesn't give them a leg to stand on with regard to forcing other people and publications to do things their way.
    posted by Sticherbeast at 10:44 AM on October 16, 2014


    exactly. they told us - you want socially responsible games, go out and make them! and so we have, and they still complain. i'll say the same back to them - you want "objective reviews" (whatever those words mean to them), go on out there and pay for hosting and make them.
    posted by nadawi at 10:49 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    What if the disconnect in how they think about game critique comes down to one thing: they don't perceive video games to even be art?

    Yeah, the argument that games reviews need to be like "lab reports" is head-screwy in all sorts of ways. That doesn't necessarily mean they want a tool review, but a review framed by "laboratory" conditions defined on a normative basis, where objectivity is really just uncritical acceptance of everything within mainstream gaming. They want the equivalent of Top Gear car reviews, which give you horsepower and top speed and 0-60 and "torques", but also an aesthetic perspective ("WHOOOA", "WHOMP", "it's like riding a filthy dragon!") where the only valid framework is that of the boorish comedy petrolhead chauvinist.
    posted by holgate at 10:51 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    The nice thing about video game reviews is that they're much cheaper and easier to make than car reviews, let alone making actual video games. If they claim that they're bent out of shape over the state of video games journalism, then this seems like a classic example of "be the change you wish to see". Assuming that they would actually fill a need by doing things their way, then eventually their site would get promo copies and all the rest, and then they can go leave everybody else alone.

    But nnnoooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooooOOooOOOOoooOOOooo
    posted by Sticherbeast at 10:56 AM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


    then this seems like a classic example of "be the change you wish to see"

    but-but-but-Metacritic or something.
    posted by holgate at 10:58 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    from what i can tell, what they like about the christian reviews is how the separate out the objectionable stuff into a list a lot of times (to make it easier for their viewers to quickly discern whether it's appropriate or not). they view this as being more intellectually honest than reviewing the game poorly without outright stating your objections in a list type format.

    Yeah, exactly that. Christian review sites are kind of like Consumer Reports reviews - where you have the article, but you also have the "just the facts" bullet points off to the side, so you can just get the facts if you just want to get a vacuum and not think, or you can read the article if you want to get into the deeper mechanics of vacuum technology.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:59 AM on October 16, 2014


    They want the equivalent of Top Gear car reviews

    That's the core of it. What PC Gamer or Nintendo Power has been doing since the Eighties. That's what's defined AAA-Gamer "culture" up to now. That these were mostly advertorials or at least tit-for-tat, don't-piss-off-the-advertisers sorts of reviews doesn't register. That's what most Gamers grew up reading, and what they expect from an "objective" review. Any real critical analysis is utterly foreign to this mindset, and viewed as a personal attack on their worldview.

    GG has been from the early days framed as identity politics: gamers vs straw-feminists. That's how the original trolls recruit the kids to carry water for them.
    posted by bonehead at 10:59 AM on October 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


    What PC Gamer or Nintendo Power has been doing since the Eighties. That's what's defined AAA-Gamer "culture" up to now. That these were mostly advertorials or at least tit-for-tat, don't-piss-off-the-advertisers sorts of reviews doesn't register.

    You mean....the older reviews were a result of corrupt journalism?

    *gasps, fans self*
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:01 AM on October 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


    Oh, okay. Admittedly, that makes sense, as far as these things go. Still doesn't give them a leg to stand on with regard to forcing other people and publications to do things their way.

    SJW reviews might affect their precious Metacritic scores, basically.

    This is all so [military shooter franchise][latest version] doesn't get less than 9/10, basically.
    posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    There's also this List of Demands, which I swear was linked on one of our previous GamerGate threads, but which I just now found by Googling.
    posted by soundguy99 at 11:09 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Artw: "This is all so [military shooter franchise][latest version] doesn't get less than 9/10, basically."

    And also so that [unnamed shitshow shooter that had pretensions of Tackling the Big Issues and Commenting on Patriotism but then crapped the bed on racism and social issues when it came right down to it] doesn't get marked down for being a ham-handed slice of what the fuck.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:11 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    The irony with GamerGate is that if they were actually upset about corruption in game journalism, they would have been up in arms ages ago. Game journalism has always been about doing what the publisher wants in exchange for continued access.

    But no, they're angry because some guy claimed that a woman had sex with someone else. Perish the thought.
    posted by anemone of the state at 11:11 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    It's not about religion or politics, it's about family values, stop changing the topic
    posted by halifix at 11:12 AM on October 16, 2014


    SJW reviews might affect their precious Metacritic scores, basically.

    In the KiA link above where someone went in there to battle them that was explicitly one of the arguments made.

    So reviewers should collude to inflate Metacritic scores, because not doing that is corruption, or something.
    posted by papercrane at 11:14 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    the older reviews were a result of corrupt journalism?

    It's such a core irony to this whole thing, that it still surprises me that it isn't a bigger part of the conversation.

    I mean, the comparison is being made between a fringe indie games community awards and possible friends writing about friends issues with a 30-year-old system of advertizing and access quid pro quo or just straight-up "reviews" by a company of their own games.

    There is a conspiracy to write favourable game reviews, but it's not some shadowy SJWs, it's Microsoft, Nintendo and EA.
    posted by bonehead at 11:15 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I'm kind of confused by this "proof" that #GamerGate isn't behind any harassment. The argument seems to be (charitably inserting a middle step left out of the original argument): "Person A demonstrably harassed Person B. Person A is not part of group C. Therefore, group C does not harass Person B. QED." This is proof?

    Also, what is with these chowderheads using "women" as a singular noun?
    posted by hades at 11:15 AM on October 16, 2014


    BTW, tired of being classed as a social justice warrior? Not a good fit for who you are?

    The Mary Sue has you covered: Social Justice Class pins for all!
    posted by bonehead at 11:19 AM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Mrs. Quinn Mrs. Sarkeesian

    ?????
    posted by jokeefe at 11:24 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    yeah, that jumped out at me too.
    posted by nadawi at 11:25 AM on October 16, 2014


    Found this blog interesting/informative (If this has been posted already I apologize, getting hard to keep track of all the comments)

    Questions were asked of both sides and it is interesting to see the answers from many supporters who contributed.

    PixieJenni talks GamerGate with both 'sides
    posted by edZio at 11:26 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Mrs. Quinn Mrs. Sarkeesian

    THEY ARE MARRIED...TO SOCIAL JUSTICE

    THEY HAVE SAID "I DO"...TO THE QUESTION, "DO YOU PROMISE TO HATE MEN"
    posted by Sticherbeast at 11:28 AM on October 16, 2014 [39 favorites]


    I was told in an earlier thread on a different subject that it is demeaning to refer to women using their first names, which is why I used last names and gendered honorific. I'm sorry if I misinterpreted that complaint.
    posted by The Confessor at 11:29 AM on October 16, 2014


    The Mrs stands for MiSandRy!
    posted by jokeefe at 11:29 AM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


    last names and gendered honorific.

    Ms. is the generally preferred modern choice.
    posted by jokeefe at 11:29 AM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Good grief.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:33 AM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    The argument seems to be (charitably inserting a middle step left out of the original argument): "Person A demonstrably harassed Person B. Person A is not part of group C. Therefore, group C does not harass Person B. QED." This is proof?

    If you use Underpants Gnomes Logic.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:33 AM on October 16, 2014


    The Metacritic thing is lolworthy. Metacritic's success could not be more illustrative of the idea of a free market of speech. Don't like it? Make your own aggregator. It's not that hard.
    posted by Sticherbeast at 11:37 AM on October 16, 2014


    Just had a thought - I can't help but wonder where Anonymous is in all this. They were all up in everything in Ferguson, doxing the various police officers who were doing distasteful things with the protestors.

    But here? This? Now? Where are the Guy-Fawkes-Mask tweets announcing "This is the name of the guy who threatened Anita Sarkeesian's Utah State conference" or "this is the name of the guy who threatened to rape and kill Brianna Wu"?

    C'mon, guys, any time now.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:38 AM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


    I can't help but wonder where Anonymous is in all this.

    Based on tone and tactics I think I know exactly where they are in all of this.
    posted by Navelgazer at 11:41 AM on October 16, 2014 [16 favorites]


    It's the exact same idiots.
    posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I know that in the midst of this shitstorm, it might be a petty complaint: but every time I see a GGer reference Leigh Alexander's "the death of gamers" article it bugs the hell out of me. I've read that article. She never said the "death" of gamers. She said "gamers are over". There's a difference, and their reading of "over" for "death" seems to say something-- something small, but there it is-- about the hyperbole involved.
    posted by jokeefe at 11:44 AM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    They've never read it. Most people commenting on it in the media have never read it too.
    posted by Artw at 11:47 AM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Sadly I am sure you are right.
    posted by jokeefe at 11:49 AM on October 16, 2014


    I don't think it is the exact same idiots. I think it's a subset.

    I'll be hard pressed to find it but a couple of weeks ago I found some oblique references to 'anon' that led me to believe the gamergate core is afraid of that association. Like, if they made it an 'anon thing', they might get hurt for it.

    but of course anon is not here doing what they claim to be all about, which is, as y'all say, telling. I just think it's telling us where their sympathies lie, not that this is "anonymous."

    (FTR & FWIW, I think anon are a bunch of punks. But some of them understand the value of branding and some of the original gamergate psychopaths know that, and don't want to step on the anon branding.)
    posted by lodurr at 11:54 AM on October 16, 2014


    This series of tweets by Jonathan Blow (creator of Braid, the forthcoming The Witness) seems particularly cogent given Sarkeesian showing up on the NYT front page today, as well as going on CBS' morning show.
    posted by sparkletone at 11:54 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Not only do they not read it, not reading anything other than approved viewpoints is point of pride, a purity test.
    posted by bonehead at 11:55 AM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]




    The irony with GamerGate is that if they were actually upset about corruption in game journalism, they would have been up in arms ages ago. Game journalism has always been about doing what the publisher wants in exchange for continued access.

    Jeff Gerstmann, one of the founders of Giant Bomb, was literally fired by Gamespot for not giving the first Kane & Lynch game a positive enough review. This was in 2007 or 2008. Several other Gamespot writers who now work on Giant Bomb left at the same time in protest.

    Part of his/their intent in starting Giant Bomb was to not have to deal with that kind of bullshit anymore.... But now he and Giant Bomb in general are, of course, anathema to the Gater crowd despite the history there because their staff has been much too supportive of Anita Sarkeesian, too openly disgusted by everything around this, etc. It seems like they hate Patrick the most of the GB guys? But I'm not sure about that.

    Ethics!
    posted by sparkletone at 12:03 PM on October 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


    This series of Jonathan Blow tweets is better, imo.

    Ah, I remember these! Nice to have a link to all of them in one place.

    I know Jonathan Blow has gotten flack in the past for his tendency to be over-eager to join conversations online about Braid, or whatever, but from what I've seen in interviews, his twitter, Indie Game: The Movie, et al. he seems like a really smart, thoughtful guy even if I don't necessarily agree with any particular individual point he's making about something (and those instances are mostly limited to when I don't feel qualified to have an opinion about something because I wouldn't know what I'm talking about).

    He's not been as flailingly angry as someone like Phil Fish would be if he was still on twitter, but he's definitely pretty disturbed by all this, and the difference in the way that comes out between the two is attributable to temperament.
    posted by sparkletone at 12:08 PM on October 16, 2014




    Although I might change Blow's "If you believe it, you're gullible." No one actually believes it; they just like the feeling.

    "If that's all you value, you're missing out."
    posted by postcommunism at 12:17 PM on October 16, 2014


    Anita Sarkeesian cancels talk at Utah State University because Utah state laws prohibit restrictions on carrying weapons, making her extra vulnerable to a planned shooting threat? RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS! NO GUN CONTROL!

    When gun rights trump public safety: It wasn't threats that shut down Anita Sarkeesian's USU event -- it was the school's response
    posted by homunculus at 12:24 PM on October 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


    I know that in the midst of this shitstorm, it might be a petty complaint: but every time I see a GGer reference Leigh Alexander's "the death of gamers" article it bugs the hell out of me.

    I'm not sure it's actually that petty a complaint; if you read some of the responses to the PixieJenni questions (linked by edZio above), a LOT of the respondents seem to think there have been a whole slew of "gamers are dead/over" articles all over the place, and they've "joined" GamerGate in response.

    But I can only find two (2) articles/blogposts actually making this argument - Leigh Alxander's, and one by Dan Goldberg. Both were published on Aug 28th, AFAICT the day after Ms. Sarkeesian felt it necessary to leave her home due to death threats, and at least a week into the accusations against Ms. Quinn. And both articles are, of course, referencing these incidents as evidence for their "gamers are over" positions.

    So, clearly, a lot of GamerGaters haven't bothered to do even basic research into what actually "triggered" GamerGate and when it happened, and are drastically overestimating the number and level of "attacks" against gamers.

    Like mhum said above, it's the Paranoid Style of American Politics in action.
    posted by soundguy99 at 12:26 PM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]




    postcommunism: man, that playstation ad was creepy.
    posted by lodurr at 12:27 PM on October 16, 2014


    So, Eron Gjoni is basically a sociopath. That's good to know.

    See also this tweet I linked to upthread.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:29 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    WOW. What a freakin' gem. I bet Zoe Quinn is just soooooooo sad that she's not with this guy anymore. :/
    posted by palomar at 12:30 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    When gun rights trump public safety: It wasn't threats that shut down Anita Sarkeesian's USU event -- it was the school's response

    Even worse, as I linked to over in the other thread, that response was probably wrong on the facts:
    While USU was working with local law enforcement to increase police presence at the event, they could not guarantee guests wouldn’t bring in a firearm. Due to state law, school officials said they had to allow people with concealed carry permits to exercise their right to carry.

    “Not being able to do something about that, or take precautionary measures, in terms of preventing firearms in the lecture hall, is completely outrageous,” Sarkeesian said. “This was direct, specific, credible threats that were specifically stating the types of weapons that they would use about a mass shooting.”

    According to Salt Lake City defense attorney Greg Skordas, the university would have been within their legal rights to restrict firearms to the specific location, given the threats.

    “I don’t think anyone can read state law to say that a person can carry a firearm on a university campus at all times, for any reason,” explained Skordas. “There are certainly some exceptions to that, and this case seemed to have some basis for people to consider those exceptions.”
    posted by zombieflanders at 12:30 PM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Could the university have scrambled last minute to make arrangements at a private venue where they could provide adequate security also? I mean, surely that awful 2004 law that makes open cary on university property okay wouldn't apply elsewhere. Though admittedly, that approach has problems since this was all very last minute and stuff.
    posted by sparkletone at 12:35 PM on October 16, 2014


    Sparkletone: speaking as someone who has had some experience making arrangements for big event-type things like this, the chances of actually being able to "scramble last minute" to relocate the whole shebang to a different venue are nigh unto nil.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:38 PM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Presumably, USU isn't in a position to dictate terms to law enforcement operating on different assumptions unless they go out and get a court order.

    Though admittedly, that approach has problems since this was all very last minute and stuff.

    And at least part of the motivation behind this kind of threat is to make the cost of hosting Sarkeesian and other women for such events prohibitive because of additional security requirements. Asymmetric warfare.
    posted by holgate at 12:42 PM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Yeah. I mean, I've been involved in relocating some parties and stuff last minute and it's a HUGE, HUGE pain/nightmare. I wasn't sure how big a space they'd needed for Sarkeesian, and then also I suppose arranging more security last minute on top of that. Yeah. Thinking about it more, I can see why that wouldn't work out very well.
    posted by sparkletone at 12:42 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    It was Gjoni’s 9,000-word narrative blog post about the breakdown of his relationship
    Jesus. Dude, it was a break up. Most likely because you are a tool. Because there few greater signs of toolness than a 9000 word screed on the bitch who dumped you.

    What a goddamned child.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:42 PM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    From the Eron Gjoni piece:
    If I could go back in time and tell myself not to do this. I wouldn’t. That is, I wouldn’t tell myself not to. Because it’s for the best. Regardless of how the outcome is actually getting painted. As this giant harassment campaign against women filled with all sorts of death threats. On the ground the movement isn’t barely like that.
    "On the ground" ? "Isn't barely"? What the hell does this even mean? Does "on the ground" mean in IRC chatrooms (which the logs show as being even worse than #GG's Twitter presence)? What upside to this whole situation makes this "for the best"?

    Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug.
    posted by almostmanda at 12:44 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    almostmanda: "What upside to this whole situation makes this "for the best"?"

    "These women may have been threatened repeatedly with death and harassed out of their homes, but at least Polygon has an ethics policy now!"
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:48 PM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    It's basically word salad, because how else is he going to claim he thinks this is a bad idea while by his own admission he's been egging GG on for months, enough so that Zoe got a restraining order against him?
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    So I went on Twitter yesterday and today and just read a lot of stuff with both the StopGamerGate2014 and GamerGate hashtags. I saw a lot of reasonable discussion going on, as opposed to vitriol and trolling and harassment, which I liked.

    What the gamergate people are saying today, right now, is that they think that people with a bias are reviewing games based on that bias, and not being honest about having that bias in the first place. Which sounds very abstract and handwavey, I know.

    The example given that I read (and which made me feel like I could empathize with their position somewhat), was this:

    Let's say a reviewer is a conservative Republican and homophobic. He calls himself a journalist. He reviews Dragon Age: Origins, and tears it apart, not because the game mechanics are bad or the graphics suck, but because Dragon Age: Origins has gay characters. Journalists are supposed to be objective, not biased like that.

    To the gamergate people, that guy went into the game clearly biased, there was no way he was going to like the game given his biases, and journalists should not let their own biases influence the story.

    I can't really argue with that.
    posted by misha at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2014


    Cognitive dissonance is a hell of a drug.

    As I quoted earlier, his mother, who trains workers in harassment avoidance, told him he shouldn't publish it when he asked her about it. He didn't listen. Because of course not.
    posted by sparkletone at 12:50 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    What the gamergate people are saying today, right now, is that they think that people with a bias are reviewing games based on that bias, and not being honest about having that bias in the first place.

    As far as I can tell, that bias they're so worked up about usually boils down to "thinks women are people too."
    posted by sparkletone at 12:51 PM on October 16, 2014 [23 favorites]


    What the gamergate people are saying today, right now, is that they think that people with a bias are reviewing games based on that bias, and not being honest about having that bias in the first place.

    Well, in between their violent threats that are forcing women to leave their homes in fear and all.
    posted by winna at 12:54 PM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


    Journalists are supposed to be objective, not biased like that.

    I thought that when a person wrote reviews, they were called critics, and they were allowed to have opinions. Is that not how reviews work?
    posted by palomar at 12:54 PM on October 16, 2014 [38 favorites]


    The idea of "not letting your own biases" influence a review is super goddamn dumb. If you're a conservative bigot and you don't like the gay relationships in DA, absolutely talk about that in your review. I'll think you're a shitlord for it, but it's not "corruption" or "bias", it's your honest opinion on the game.
    posted by kmz at 12:54 PM on October 16, 2014 [28 favorites]


    I thought that when a person wrote reviews, they were called critics, and they were allowed to have opinions. Is that not how reviews work?

    The roles aren't really separate at most gaming sites. Someone will write a newsy blog posts, then turn around and post a review of a game the same day. Of course, being able to consider the two kinds of writing separately is the kind of simple, basic, nuance that these people are clearly incapable of.
    posted by sparkletone at 12:57 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    The "objective" reviews on goodgamers.us are always good for a laugh. They read like a sleep-deprived eight year-old giving a book report.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:57 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I'm gobsmacked that any reasonable person could wade into the GamerGate nonsense and actually come away thinking those kids are right. Not when those kids are making rape and death threats toward women they don't like. That's fucked up.
    posted by palomar at 12:58 PM on October 16, 2014 [13 favorites]


    Objective review of the Mona Lisa: The canvas is 77 cm x 53 cm, the medium is oil on poplar.
    Objective review of The Great Gatsby: It's a book, written by F Scott Fitzgerald, in English.
    posted by kmz at 1:00 PM on October 16, 2014 [18 favorites]


    What the gamergate people are saying today, right now, is that they think that people with a bias are reviewing games based on that bias, and not being honest about having that bias in the first place. Which sounds very abstract and handwavey, I know.

    What makes it abstract and handwavey is that if you actually look at the "biases" they are objecting to, it's people advocating for more inclusive games, for a more inclusive gaming community, for a wider definition of "gamer".

    Their "conservative Republican and homophobic" example is bullshit, because that never actually happens. What actually happens is someone reviews a game and takes a slightly "liberal", "progressive" stance by pointing out that the game might be kinda, sorta objectifying women, and then the "gamers" go ballistic.
    posted by soundguy99 at 1:01 PM on October 16, 2014 [21 favorites]


    > I can't really argue with that.

    I can -- it's a review. Dude wants to get angry about gay people, I know to disregard his review. It's not like he's ragging on the cooldown for Magic Missile when what he really means, but doesn't say, is "I hate that the elf-man hit on me." He's not secretly trying to torpedo the game, in other words; he's totally upfront with what he doesn't like about it.

    But again, that complaint is ultimately beside the point. However gaters express it, the result they want is in-grouping and pandering; the mere fact of, say, a woman, is offensive unless that person can pass some gatekeeping tests (Fake Gamer Girls / Real Gamer Girls).

    And they feel so strongly about this that the whole gamergate shenanigan started out with a harassment campaign against a woman dev, with her sex life as their point of attack, where, during the backchannel discussions, they vetoed trying to drive her to suicide because it would be bad PR for them.

    And it wasn't even the first time they attacked that woman. Nor the first time they attacked their second target. Or their third.

    Fuck 'em.
    posted by postcommunism at 1:01 PM on October 16, 2014 [19 favorites]


    Even if one takes aside the difference between criticism and journalism, is there any evidence that anybody's actually written reviews which, for example, totally trashed a game's mechanics just because they objected to a game's politics, and then gotten this review published by any major gaming media outlet?
    posted by Sequence at 1:02 PM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    misha: " To the gamergate people, that guy went into the game clearly biased, there was no way he was going to like the game given his biases, and journalists should not let their own biases influence the story.
    "

    I would not like that review, but thinking as an ex-journalist, if it went down like "as a conservative christian, I thought the gay marriages were terrible and not christlike and i dwelled on it all while I was playing", I could see it. The biases are disclaimed and present, and leave me, as the reader, free to say, "I disagree intrinsically with the viewpoint that informed your review.".
    posted by boo_radley at 1:04 PM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    ArmyOfKittens: "The "objective" reviews on goodgamers.us are always good for a laugh. They read like a sleep-deprived eight year-old giving a book report."

    Destiny
    During the traditional first-person portion of the game, movement is smooth, gun-play is quick and precise, and several usable vehicles (including turrets in competitive modes) add some depth to fighting through swarms of enemies.
    I thought Destiny was all FPS? Are there 3PS sections or etc in the game?
    posted by boo_radley at 1:08 PM on October 16, 2014


    What the gamergate people are saying today, right now, is that they think that people with a bias are reviewing games based on that bias, and not being honest about having that bias in the first place. Which sounds very abstract and handwavey, I know.

    Because it's meant to be abstract and handwavey to lend a patina of objectivity. That way they can make claims like this despite the fact that it's easily refuted by their complaints centering around reviewers actually expressing their opinions on the content of the games. I mean, c'mon, it's not as if they attacked "Tropes vs. Women" because Sarkeesian wasn't clear enough on her perspective or philosophy.

    To the gamergate people, that guy went into the game clearly biased, there was no way he was going to like the game given his biases, and journalists should not let their own biases influence the story.

    Thus explaining their equally vehement and not at all gendered crusade against those exact kinds of reviews, which have been around since the first days of gaming? Oh, wait...
    posted by zombieflanders at 1:08 PM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    The idea that you would even want a reviewer to hide their opinions is just really strange to me.

    And let's be clear: What they're going to get is reviewers hiding their opinions. Precisely what they claim to be afraid of.

    What they really want is people reviewing the games in the way that a lot of film reviewers have traditionally reviewed movies: 'Will people like it? And what do I think?' Because we don't really know how to take their evaluation of whether we'll like it without having something to situate them, for us.

    That's all assuming that the discussion is really about that, and it's not. That's just the latest thing it's pretending to be about. Because that's a simple thing that doesn't get a "gate" suffix and doesn't become the main focus of a bunch of people's lives. Right now the active gamergaters are basically living this as a cause, and living for better game reviews as a cause is...well, what the hell are these people missing? They could be playing the fucking games instead of advocating for them. I mean, it's not like EA or Valve need their advocacy help.

    Really when you get down to it we've got people devoting the same kind of time and energy (ostensibly) getting better game reviews that friends of mine did to Occupy or the Climate March or Ferguson. But I guess my friends are just SJWs, they're not real activists....
    posted by lodurr at 1:09 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Why are we even discussing the supposed justification for this misogynistic harassment campaign?
    posted by chrchr at 1:10 PM on October 16, 2014 [16 favorites]


    because the usual suspects always want to play devil's advocate.
    posted by nadawi at 1:11 PM on October 16, 2014 [26 favorites]


    What this is really about is a bunch of psychotic trolls, directing a hard-core cadre of misanthropic sociopaths, to dupe a large group of casually sexist and deeply naive fellow travellers into devoting their lives to a transient rage-cult.

    It's about a bunch of people finding something to live for.

    Shit, I'd almost rather they found God.
    posted by lodurr at 1:12 PM on October 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


    In order to cure, you must first understand.
    posted by Apocryphon at 1:12 PM on October 16, 2014


    chrchr, i think a lot of us still find it difficult to accept the truth about it. It's just too...alright, I'll come out and say it: it's just too fucking sad. If I'm really honest, much as I think I get it intellectually, I still can't really truly wrap my head around it.
    posted by lodurr at 1:14 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Hey guys remember that time that Burger King stopped giving out free refills and so a bunch of dudes online starting calling in bomb threats to burger kings and somehow then that morphed into calling in bomb threats to African-American churches? Because it's bullshit that we can't get free refills.

    That's what this conversation sounds like, right now.
    posted by Navelgazer at 1:14 PM on October 16, 2014 [17 favorites]


    The biases are disclaimed and present, and leave me, as the reader, free to say, "I disagree intrinsically with the viewpoint that informed your review.".

    Yeah, but the people who are spouting this nonsense are the same type of misogynist trashbags that threw a fucking fit when a woman reviewed GTA5, spent approximately two paragraphs in a fairly lengthy review about how the game's rampant misogyny made her uncomfortable, and STILL GAVE THE GAME A FREAKING 9.0 in the end. There were petitions to try to get her fired on top of the usual grossness (though I don't think she got doxxed or anything that severe luckily).

    It's incredibly difficult for me to take these people seriously or give them the normal presumption that they're arguing in good faith.
    posted by sparkletone at 1:14 PM on October 16, 2014 [32 favorites]


    In order to cure, you must first understand.

    Yes, I understand that they're transparently lying. Which is pretty despicable when supposedly "reasonable" people are doing it to defend a movement started on and thriving on terrorism.
    posted by zombieflanders at 1:17 PM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    it's impossible to see them as arguing in good faith since there is actual proof that they coordinate their talking points and organize their methods (which is hilarious since one of their complaints is journalists/critics having a seekrit back channel conversation space).
    posted by nadawi at 1:17 PM on October 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


    Another pretty decent storify run down documenting everything about how this started, for what it's worth.
    posted by sparkletone at 1:18 PM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    I have a hard time believing that the Gaters have any good faith arguments underlying their rancor. To the extent that any reasonable or halfway reasonable arguments may have been rolled up into the foofaraw, there does not appear to be any substantive focus on them.

    That's why I keep coming back to the fact that the best way to counter video games journalism which you do not like is to simply make the kind of video games journalism which you do like. If they were really serious about how video games journalism had gotten wrapped up in this or that, then far and away the best solution would be for them to simply create their own publication. They obviously play video games, they obviously have a passion for what they do or don't like, they obviously have internet-capable computers, so just fucking do it.

    Unless, of course, this isn't really about video games journalism at all, but rather a bunch of dudes who can't deal with the fact that women not only exist in their playspace, but are sometimes even listened to...
    posted by Sticherbeast at 1:20 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Apropos?

    Alex Hern: Lazy coverage of Gamergate is only feeding this abusive campaign
    [W]hile the movement identifies itself as being about ethics in gaming journalism, its targets and its practices belie the truth. Amanda Marcotte, writing at Raw Story, says the group is the exact opposite: “#GamerGate should be understood primarily as a misogyny-fueled attack on ethics in journalism”.

    Her list of reasons is extensive. Zoe Quinn, the first target of the movement, is not even a journalist. Sarkeesian, the second target, is “an exemplar of clean journalism”, taking money from reader donations, not industry advertising, to critically examine games from an independent perspective.

    What’s more, the movement has succeeded in shutting down a research project on gender in gaming by flooding the survey with malicious responses. It has set fire to the wall between editorial and advertising at industry journal Gamasutra, where Intel was convinced to pull its advertising over a powerful editorial by the Guardian contributor Leigh Alexander.

    “Overall, the pattern is clear,” writes Marcotte: “#gamergate opposes ethical journalism. They just claim the opposite, for the same reason conservatives say liberals are the ‘real’ racists and anti-choicers claim they want to ‘protect’ women and homophobes say they are trying to ‘protect traditional marriage’”.

    Many discussions on the topic have opened by suggesting that the answer is somewhere in the middle, that there’s good points made on both sides, that the majority of gamergate is interested in ethical journalism. But none of that is true. Nick Davies would call this “false balance” – the flawed assumption that if there are two identifiable sides, conflicts between them must be presented as an equal debate.

    Gamergate was described by Deadspin’s Kyle Wagner as “an assortment of agitators who sense which way the winds are blowing and feel left out”. But those agitators have been there for years; Sarkeesian was first targeted by a hate campaign in June 2012, before the first episode of Tropes v Women in Video Games was even produced.

    What has changed is that the agitators have gone from being a toxic undercurrent, to a well-defined group. And in doing so, they’ve managed to play the media at its own game.

    “It’s a neat trick,” says Wagner. “Agitate bare-facedly for the absolute necessity of developers investing the vast majority of their resources in games pitched at the intellectual and emotional level of a 16-year-old suburban masturbator, and no one beyond the gaming world is going to take you very seriously. But make it a story about an oppressive and hypocritical media conspiracy, and all of a sudden you have a cause, a side in a ‘debate’.”
    posted by zombieflanders at 1:20 PM on October 16, 2014 [23 favorites]




    One thing that Storify left out is that Baldwin's origin of the hashtag was a link to the horrible "Five Guys/In-N-Out" theory of so-called bias.
    posted by zombieflanders at 1:26 PM on October 16, 2014


    Yeah, but the people who are spouting this nonsense are the same type of misogynist trashbags that threw a fucking fit when a woman reviewed GTA5, spent approximately two paragraphs in a fairly lengthy review about how the game's rampant misogyny made her uncomfortable, and STILL GAVE THE GAME A FREAKING 9.0 in the end. There were petitions to try to get her fired on top of the usual grossness (though I don't think she got doxxed or anything that severe luckily).

    Those comments on the GTA5 review! The GTA5 review that gave it a 9.0!
    posted by Going To Maine at 1:26 PM on October 16, 2014


    Let's say a reviewer is a conservative Republican and homophobic. He calls himself a journalist. He reviews Dragon Age: Origins, and tears it apart, not because the game mechanics are bad or the graphics suck, but because Dragon Age: Origins has gay characters. Journalists are supposed to be objective, not biased like that.

    To the gamergate people, that guy went into the game clearly biased, there was no way he was going to like the game given his biases, and journalists should not let their own biases influence the story.


    The Gamergaters have pretty thin skins, I'll tell you what. They're angry about games not getting the reviews they think they deserve (as in the example upthread of EA overpromising and underdelivering)? They should try being a feminist for a while and dealing with everyday sexism and misogyny and having to hear it all from people who are actually in positions of power with the ability to cause genuine harm to people's lives. They'd last five minutes.
    posted by jokeefe at 1:28 PM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    Don't you know? Games that get less than a 9.9 from Gamespot are banned from sale and all the developers are forced to go to reeducation camps. It's why GTA V was such a financial disaster and Rockstar had to shutter all its studios.
    posted by kmz at 1:30 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    and lets not forget that the gaming sites they're holding up as the example of what they want are explicitly christian reviews which does the very thing they claim to not want.
    posted by nadawi at 1:32 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    (I wish somebody would give Carolyn a job. You want to know an _actual_ problem in games journalism? The homogeneity of most of the big sites, the shrinking revenue bases and consolidations which means less opportunities for people that aren't the usual generic white male.)
    posted by kmz at 1:33 PM on October 16, 2014


    I don't mean to harp on this, but I can't stop laughing:

    there was no way he was going to like the game given his biases, and journalists should not let their own biases influence the story.

    Is this what happens when you stop making English 101 compulsory? A generation of narrative illiterates?

    posted by jokeefe at 1:35 PM on October 16, 2014 [13 favorites]


    i feel like valve could really take one for the team here and announce half-life 3.
    posted by nadawi at 1:38 PM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


    chrchr: "Why are we even discussing the supposed justification for this misogynistic harassment campaign?"

    I like discussing the supposed justification because it's something hard and concrete they won't try to weasel out of and I can still argue why they are wrong.

    I don't have to argue over whether calling someone "bitch" and "cunt" is misogynistic. I don't have to follow some internet detective's "proof" why someone doxxed themselves. I don't have to prove a conspiracy doesn't exist. I don't have to argue over whether "both sides" harassed anyone. I don't have to prove what nine letters and an octothorpe are really "about."

    I like discussing the supposed justification because I don't feel like taking a shower after.
    posted by RobotHero at 1:39 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Half-Life 3, but now Gordon Freeman is Gordon Freewoman!
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:39 PM on October 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


    jokeefe: Is this what happens when you stop making English 101 compulsory? A generation of narrative illiterates?

    It wouldn't help. It's a rare instructor in a rare school that teaches anything of value in english, rhet or comp 101. The colleges really don't seem to have the foggiest notion of what they want from it.

    posted by lodurr at 1:40 PM on October 16, 2014


    sparkletone: "It's incredibly difficult for me to take these people seriously or give them the normal presumption that they're arguing in good faith."

    Absolutely, and I hope my response doesn't read as a defense of GG in any way.
    posted by boo_radley at 1:40 PM on October 16, 2014


    nadawi: "i feel like valve could really take one for the team here and announce half-life 3."

    Half-Life 3, with story by Roxane Gay.
    posted by mhum at 1:41 PM on October 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


    I will attest that current high school English courses don't teach you much about writing/thinking. Mostly you read books, take quizzes on their content, and write a simple report at the end of each.
    posted by Strass at 1:42 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Half-Life 3, but now Gordon Freeman is Gordon Freewoman!

    tagline : she was gordon freewoman all along.
    posted by nadawi at 1:44 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Valve announces Half-Life 3: A Twine Adventure.

    (I'd play it.)
    posted by kmz at 1:44 PM on October 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


    Crap. Why can't we have that? I think we need to start a movement. #TwineLifeGate
    posted by lodurr at 1:45 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    It wouldn't help. It's a rare instructor in a rare school that teaches anything of value in english, rhet or comp 101. The colleges really don't seem to have the foggiest notion of what they want from it.

    it also wouldn't help because most GamerGaters are not yet old enough for college
    posted by palomar at 1:47 PM on October 16, 2014


    I like how the commenters in the guardian article aren't taking shit:
    I'm tired of people telling me that I'm the same as the KKK or ISIS just because I support a hashtag.
    I'm utterly bemused by this. If someone voices support for ISIS, people treat them as a terrorist supporter. If someone voices support for the KKK people treat them as a racist. If you voice support for gamergate people will treat you as a misogynistic asshat.
    posted by Theta States at 1:49 PM on October 16, 2014 [20 favorites]


    What the gamergate people are saying today, right now, is that they think that people with a bias are reviewing games based on that bias, and not being honest about having that bias in the first place. Which sounds very abstract and handwavey, I know.

    A critic without biases is either a critic without an identifiable personality or no critic at all. I don't see a scandal there. The real scandal is that the big developers' money so powerfully affects most outlets' assessment of their games. Curiously, Gamergate supporters reserve their ire for small indie developers rather than the big studios.

    The original scandal was Zoe Quinn's supposedly sleeping with journalists for good coverage - which turned out not to be true. The next scandal was the gaming press's unwillingness to cover the assertions that she had done this, which, again, were untrue. A concurrent scandal was apparently the existence and mainstream acceptance of feminist criticism of video games as performed by Anita Sarkeesian, but I can't see anything inherently wrong with that. The final scandal seems to be "There is opposition to Gamergate," which is nuts.

    So why are Gamergate supporters mad? Their stated, respectable reasons turn to vapor if you press them. It seems to boil down to "Get the libs out of our press."
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:50 PM on October 16, 2014 [26 favorites]


    Also, "Stop pointing out our harassment of women! Otherwise we might have to stop harassing women!"
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:53 PM on October 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Adam Baldwin actually no joke has a bit voice part in HL2. For maximum trolling, he should be the (presumably silent) antagonist of HL3, the leader of a counterinsurgency opposing Alyx Vance and Judith Mossman, who he thinks have been manipulating Gordon Freeman through sexual favors.
    posted by zombieflanders at 1:59 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The "bias-free" critic is additionally silly in light of the fact that somebody who says that GTA V is funny would be seen as being without bias, whereas somebody who says that GTA V's treatment of women is not funny would be seen as having bias. It's unbiased when it agrees with them.
    posted by Sticherbeast at 2:01 PM on October 16, 2014 [16 favorites]


    I wish somebody would give Carolyn a job.

    Oh, damn. I knew Gamespot laid some people off back in the summer, didn't know she was one. Giant Bomb should hire her ASAP.
    posted by sparkletone at 2:03 PM on October 16, 2014


    Absolutely, and I hope my response doesn't read as a defense of GG in any way.

    It didn't. People here totally get the presumption of good faith until there's a very, very strong reason to believe otherwise. Just pointing another layer to the stinky, stinky onion that is these people's delusional, frequently kinda scary history of behavior towards criticism of games.
    posted by sparkletone at 2:05 PM on October 16, 2014


    They want the equivalent of Top Gear car reviews, which give you horsepower and top speed and 0-60 and "torques", but also an aesthetic perspective ("WHOOOA", "WHOMP", "it's like riding a filthy dragon!") where the only valid framework is that of the boorish comedy petrolhead chauvinist.

    Although Top Gear isn't afraid to dump on a car without fear of manufacturer's pulling advertising because thanks to the BBC the advertising revenue of Top Gear is 0.
    posted by PenDevil at 2:13 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    The example given that I read (and which made me feel like I could empathize with their position somewhat), was this:
    Let's say a reviewer is a conservative Republican and homophobic. He calls himself a journalist. He reviews Dragon Age: Origins, and tears it apart, not because the game mechanics are bad or the graphics suck, but because Dragon Age: Origins has gay characters. Journalists are supposed to be objective, not biased like that.
    To the gamergate people, that guy went into the game clearly biased, there was no way he was going to like the game given his biases, and journalists should not let their own biases influence the story. I can't really argue with that.


    And if that kind of thing actually ever happened, I wouldn't be able to argue with it either.

    However, that's an example they came up after the fact. What actually is setting them off is more like:
    Let's say a reviewer is a woman. She calls herself a journalist, and as it turns out she actually is one - albeit, a reviewer. She reviews Grand Theft Auto, and says that she's not happy with it - not because the game mechanics are bad or the graphics suck, in fact she admits that they're good, but because she's noticed that all of the First Person Shooters always seem to have female characters who only serve a limited purpose in these games; and while the game is cool and everything, she says that maybe in the future it'd be even cooler if NPC women had a wider role. Journalists are supposed to be objective - but reviewers don't have to be objective, so she is at liberty to mention her opinions in her review. Still, because the review has a negative element, this negates everything else she said in the review, even the parts she said she liked.
    The "let's say a reviewer is a Republican" twaddle is kind of like the "some of my best friends are black people" defense - something they came up with after the fact to cover their ass and try to deny that the only problem they have is that a girl said they didn't like their game, and people listened to her opinion over theirs.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:21 PM on October 16, 2014 [24 favorites]


    *punches a duck*

    "Hey, stop punching that duck, that's cruel!"

    "Okay, yes, granted, but I've stopped punching the duck and started talking to you now, so clearly you can't talk about duck punching any more. Also, what if the duck as a huge robot tiger trying to eat a hospital? You'd want me to punch it then, right?"

    *resumes punching duck*
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 2:57 PM on October 16, 2014 [29 favorites]


    Half-life actually triggers my anxiety real bad so I'd love to play a Twine version.

    It'd be nice if they'd say they'll start working on HL3 only when harassment stops and Quinn and Sarkeesian can go home.
    posted by NoraReed at 2:58 PM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


    *facepalm*
    posted by kmz at 3:13 PM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    So, I haven't been keeping too up to speed with this...only skimming and shaking my head.

    But today, I discovered that one of my close friends unironically supports GamerGate and believe it is about journalistic integrity and believes that efforts to make it about feminism are a way of avoiding the very real breaches of integrity that were happening.

    He was very disappointed that I couldn't "discuss the issue rationally" and was buying hook, line, and sinker into the social justice warrior obfuscation, and that I was being just like a biblical fundamentalist, rejecting evidence.

    I didn't want to debate narrative (since very obviously, if he seriously buys into the journalistic integrity thing, I can't really fight him on that), but I just said, "You know what...I'm going to say it like this. You can consider me a fundamentalist. Because if my fundamentalism is giving the benefit of the doubt to historically and presently harrassed, oppressed, and marginalized groups, I'm fine with that and I'm going to do it every time."

    He, like many other people, doesn't like that average gamers get "lumped into" the folks sending death threats, etc., But I had to say, "Look, we've had this conversation, and instead of renouncing death threats, you have said 1) that they cannot be verified as being serious and 2) that they are a distraction from "real issues". i just wish people were as vocal against death threats as they were in trying to address "journalistic integrity" or whatever"
    posted by subversiveasset at 3:17 PM on October 16, 2014 [17 favorites]


    It'd be nice if they'd say they'll start working on HL3 only when harassment stops and Quinn and Sarkeesian can go home.

    I support companies/major industry people stepping up and saying something (eg: Tim Schafer, the ESA's recent statement, and others)... But doing that would be a bit too literally negotiating with terrorists, and fuck that noise.
    posted by sparkletone at 3:25 PM on October 16, 2014


    i just wish people were as vocal against death threats as they were in trying to address "journalistic integrity" or whatever

    My first instinct would be to show a person the documentation about how all this started and how false the breaches are... But I'm not sure that would have any effect.

    I would at least maybe ask your friend to read that NeoGAF post by a former pro-GGer and really think about who he's associating himself with. Because the angle most press are taking is generally way more about harassment and death threats than "journalistic integrity," and for good reason.
    posted by sparkletone at 3:45 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    *facepalm*

    Oh dear god.
    posted by Artw at 3:47 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The Buzzfeed interview with Eron Gjoni gave an amazing portrayal of one of the most entitled and clueless individuals I've ever heard of. Near the end, he talks about how hard his life has become, and how he had to quit his job because of how tiring it was to launch and support an Internet hate group. "Internet warfare takes a surprising amount of dedication.”

    Just . . . . I want to say "man up, you fucking crybaby," but I realize that reaction shows how much I've internalized many of the same misogynistic attitudes underlying the gamergate attacks. So . . . "grow up you fucking whiner?" You know what takes a surprising amount of dedication? Keeping yourself and your family safe from troglodytes with Twitter accounts.

    Also, It's a rare instructor in a rare school that teaches anything of value in english, rhet or comp 101. - Really? Thanks for dismissing my profession with that stunningly well-grounded generalization.
    posted by bibliowench at 4:23 PM on October 16, 2014 [17 favorites]


    That BuzzFeed interview gets even more amazing when you check out the alleged transcript from that interview, that Gjoni posted this afternoon. It's here.

    And here is a comment on the Gawker post about the interview, in which the author of the BuzzFeed interview is like, "Those are revised questions he sent me hours after our Skype talk."

    Eron Gjoni, in case it's not obvious by now, is not mentally well.
    posted by palomar at 4:29 PM on October 16, 2014 [15 favorites]


    Eron Gjoni has basically set videogames back a decade, if not more, as a medium.
    posted by hellojed at 4:32 PM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    How ironic, then, that he doesn't even really like games all that much. They're not a "passion". So it's okay that he's just ruined it for a lot of people. What a mensch.
    posted by palomar at 4:35 PM on October 16, 2014


    He just really hates his ex-girlfriend.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:35 PM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]



    Why are we even discussing the supposed justification for this misogynistic harassment campaign?


    nadawi: because the usual suspects always want to play devil's advocate.

    Nadawi, are you referring to my comment? You brought up the Christian reviews and how gamergaters want reviews like that. So I was responding to that to say, hey, I read StopGamerGate2014 and GamerGate peeps on Twitter and here is what the gamergates are saying they want right now regarding reviews.

    I am not playing devil's advocate or trying to justify harassment in any way. I really hope you weren't trying to insinuate I was. Were you referring to me?
    posted by misha at 4:41 PM on October 16, 2014


    Eron Gjoni has basically set videogames back a decade, if not more, as a medium.

    Not really. The irony of this all is that GamerGate is kicking up a lot of sound and fury about random smalltime indie game developers. Not even big names like Phil Fish or Jonathan Blow, though the former did get sucked into the ensuing drama and the latter did voice his opinions. Does anyone think that actual game developers on Kickstarter, or Hideo Kojima, or Notch give a hot damn about any of this?

    The gamer "community", and gaming "journalism" will be wrecked for a good bit. (Not that the aforementioned Xbox Live cesspools, the harassment women gamers received at fighting game tournaments, etc. elevated the "community" in general prior to this.) GamerGate, like the Tea Party, is one of those phenomena that is part-astroturf, part-mob, and takes up a life of its own. So even after this all dies down, the GG label will be raised up again.

    But most people who play, make, or otherwise participate in video games really don't care.
    posted by Apocryphon at 4:41 PM on October 16, 2014


    But most people who play, make, or otherwise participate in video games really don't care.

    That'll come as a huge surprise to all of my game dev friends who have been talking about this issue for two months.
    posted by palomar at 4:43 PM on October 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


    I can't speak for anyone but myself, misha, but yes, when I saw your post, I was immediately reminded of every other time you've defended men against feminists. This seemed to fit.
    posted by palomar at 4:46 PM on October 16, 2014 [16 favorites]


    here is what the gamergates are saying they want right now regarding reviews

    ...that are in opposition to both their original and current tactics and are so completely transparent in their attempts to whitewash the movement that it won't pass the simplest smell test. You've participated in several of these threads, you've read the information provided, you know the timeline, you know how they've been trying to manipulate the narrative. Credulously reporting this as "hey, they're changed and now totally not that bad, guys!" is, at this point, pretty ridiculous.
    posted by zombieflanders at 4:52 PM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


    But most people who play, make, or otherwise participate in video games really don't care.

    I met a lot of the people affected by this, or know people who are directly affected. Some of the have quit games writing because of harassment. One of these writers was the first to feature a game I made in a podcast and talked about it at length. Gamer Gate has dominated the conversation for the past 2 months, and it's a big deal to me.
    posted by hellojed at 4:53 PM on October 16, 2014 [15 favorites]


    [A few comments removed, let's cut it out with the English 101 thing.]
    posted by cortex (staff) at 4:56 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Okay, fair enough. I didn't realize that the mob had grown to such an extent by now.
    posted by Apocryphon at 4:58 PM on October 16, 2014


    Really good article by Secret Gamer Girl: The Routine Harassment of Women in Male-Dominated Spaces

    Also the article links to this which is also quite good: Hyper Mode: How to Be Visibly Femme in the Games Industry which talks about the sort of double-covering (appearing femme, but not too femme) that law professor Kenji Yoshino talks about in his book Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights.
    posted by larrybob at 5:07 PM on October 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


    > Does anyone think that actual game developers on Kickstarter, or Hideo Kojima, or Notch give a hot damn about any of this?

    fwiw, Notch cited internet hate as the reason he cashed out.
    posted by postcommunism at 5:12 PM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


    From Eron's latest blog post about the BuzzFeed article:

    "I consulted with a bunch of people — over a dozen [which approaches statistical significance]. Most of them women, most of them in tech fields, a few in games. We thought through the risks, the potential fallout, I made flowcharts of probabilities and possibilities. We debated, we considered, and we came to consensus. From strictly utilitarian terms, the probabilistic risk she posed to those around her was greater than the probabilistic risk posed by the situation turning toxic. The deontological problem of a false idol struck us as more grievous than the deontological problem of potential for a false idol to be harassed. "

    "You don’t spend weeks making flowcharts and discussing probabilities with a bunch of people without accounting for the loudest possible outcomes. So yes, I’d considered it possible that things would devolve this way, but I’d assigned it an extremely low probability. Because the model I’d based my predictions on was that of Temkin and Mattingly. "


    This kid is so full of himself
    posted by Strass at 5:12 PM on October 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


    what
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:16 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    That sounds fucking nuts.
    posted by Artw at 5:17 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    He's seriously citing Max Temkin's response (which for the record was publicly saying "no, I didn't") to being accused of rape as his model for his ridiculous hate campaign?
    posted by Pope Guilty at 5:18 PM on October 16, 2014


    > Eron Gjoni has basically set videogames back a decade, if not more, as a medium.

    Personally, GG has made me discover a lot more interesting games, including Brianna Wu's Revolution 60 and Vi Hart's Synthesis. Lots more indie developers are getting their voices heard, and of course they will win out in the end. I really think GG (and its eventual failure) might herald the true start of gaming as an artistic medium.
    posted by archagon at 5:19 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    "I'm calculating a 32.3333% (repeating, of course) chance of survival."
    posted by Apocryphon at 5:20 PM on October 16, 2014 [6 favorites]


    That sounds fucking nuts.

    That sounds fucking actionable. He knowingly put her in a position that could possibly (however small) result in injury or death. He just bet that it wouldn't.
    posted by zombieflanders at 5:20 PM on October 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


    "but it wasn't a vindictive plot against my ex-girlfriend - i used SCIENCE!"
    posted by pyramid termite at 5:20 PM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    That sounds fucking actionable. He knowingly put her in a position that could possibly (however small) result in injury or death. He just bet that it wouldn't.

    Given the way she's behaved in general towards this thing and the way this interview thing's gone, I would be more than a little shocked if Quinn hasn't been on the phone to her lawyer today.
    posted by sparkletone at 5:25 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    "but it wasn't a vindictive plot against my ex-girlfriend - i used SCIENCE!"

    The part I can't get past is that he thought that this would make him look good.
    posted by Gygesringtone at 5:26 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    by the way, i thought he was under a gag order - just how is that going to work for him?
    posted by pyramid termite at 5:27 PM on October 16, 2014


    Re: restraining order - there are charming exchanges like this that make me think he's actually unstable and I don't know, everything about this is fucked.
    posted by naju at 5:29 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    He has a restraining order against him. Someone posted a link to a tweet from him earlier today (it's just a bit upthread) in which he says he doesn't care and he's going to keep violating the order.
    posted by palomar at 5:29 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Amazingly it WILL make him look good to some people. "well, he put on his Mr. Logic hat and figured this all out, it's not like women are people anyway Also we found out about CORRUPTION so it was for a good cause."
    posted by Artw at 5:29 PM on October 16, 2014


    by the way, i thought he was under a gag order - just how is that going to work for him?

    Someone quoted the type of order up above in the thread 209-something? I haven't googled the details about that. I'm honestly sort of hoping he really is stupid enough to just flagrantly violate it and get punished for it.
    posted by sparkletone at 5:29 PM on October 16, 2014


    And on non-preview, naju provides the link. thanks, naju!
    posted by palomar at 5:29 PM on October 16, 2014


    He has a restraining order against him. Someone posted a link to a tweet from him earlier today (it's just a bit upthread) in which he says he doesn't care and he's going to keep violating the order.

    Welp. That answers my question about whether he's dumb enough to flagrantly violate the thing constantly.
    posted by sparkletone at 5:30 PM on October 16, 2014


    The deontological problem of a false idol

    What in the actual fuck.

    What gets me about this is how completely wrong-headed the entire thing is, from the ground up. They're so deep into this that they throw around terms like "false idol" with a straight face, as if ANYTHING they're talking about is remotely weighty enough to merit that kind of language.

    But like...yes! GamerGate is an important thing that a lot of people are talking about! But only because these GG jackasses are behaving so abominably, not because anyone actually thinks that their points are reasonable or their grievances worth ruining women's lives over.
    posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:31 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    The storyify so far.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:35 PM on October 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Welp. That answers my question about whether he's dumb enough to flagrantly violate the thing constantly.

    And publicly! I suspect that judges really, really hate people who do that.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 5:38 PM on October 16, 2014


    That's a nice summary, EmpressCallipygos.
    posted by postcommunism at 5:42 PM on October 16, 2014


    I suspect that judges really, really hate people who do that.

    ... for values of 'hate' roughly equivalent to 'enjoy awarding maximum penalties to.'
    posted by lodurr at 5:47 PM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    That's a nice summary, EmpressCallipygos.

    To be clear, that's not anything I wrote, it's just something I found.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:52 PM on October 16, 2014


    The sad thing is like everything else, judges also vary significantly in how seriously they take threats against women and such, so--I try to be optimistic, but you kinda never know.
    posted by Sequence at 5:55 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    The fact that there's even a restraining order against him at all gives me hope that the judge will treat violations of the order with the seriousness they deserve.
    posted by palomar at 5:56 PM on October 16, 2014


    Strass: "From Eron's latest blog post about the BuzzFeed article: [...] You don’t spend weeks making flowcharts and discussing probabilities with a bunch of people without accounting for the loudest possible outcomes."

    I don't know what's more scary/hilarious (scarylarious?): that he's lying and never did this or that he actually did do this. What I wouldn't give to see those flowcharts.
    posted by mhum at 5:57 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    One of the big things I got from the @FuckNoVideoGames storify is the degree of conviction the original gamergate crew had with regard to the insincerity of "SJWs". It reminded me really strongly of the few times I've tangled with MRAs. (That and the cargo-cult deployment of debater's terms.) They seem utterly convinced that feminists can't possibly mean what they say, indeed can't even possibly understand what they're saying.

    It must all be a con, seems to be the thinking.

    They don't even consider the alternate possibilities.

    One of the consequences has been that when it turned out that feminists actually could understand one another, and thus knew when the language was being used in a cargo-cult fashion -- and so, as a consequence, could recognize when an MRA in #gamergate drag was transparently trying to manipulate the conversation -- it didn't go as they planned.

    That too is how it usually goes with MRAs. They bounce back, though; seem to assume that you just managed to put one over on them, because there's just no way you could actually be sincere. It's just not possible.
    posted by lodurr at 5:57 PM on October 16, 2014 [17 favorites]


    For anybody interested, the Isometric podcast with Brianna Wu is going to be starting momentarily at http://5by5.tv/audio, I believe.
    posted by Sequence at 6:00 PM on October 16, 2014


    Literally minutes ago, I was in my local vape (autocorrect keeps wanting to turn this to "cape" which would be awesome but wrong) shop and the guy in front of me in line asked the friend he was with if she'd heard about the Eliza bot trolling gamergaters on Twitter and she hadn't and suddenly me and the guy and the guy at the register were all acting out the "That's interesting! Tell me more!" and I nearly fell over.
    posted by rtha at 6:01 PM on October 16, 2014 [28 favorites]


    Wow. They seem like horrible political campaign smear coordinators.

    Outside of their huge biases, they seem very rational. Very psychopathically rational. Not trying to win any individual argument, but trying to utterly destroy someone because of their own warped code of justice.
    posted by halifix at 6:03 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]




    Or not. It sounds like because the IRC is continuing to exist and isn't moderated (all the 5by5 shows use the same room which stays up all the time), they're maybe not going to livestream. Pity.
    posted by Sequence at 6:17 PM on October 16, 2014


    They seem like horrible political campaign smear coordinators.

    Eh, maybe. I still think the fun of it for them is in the fight. We talk about them as though they're kids, but I'd lay odds that most of the worst of them are over 25, and a lot are over 35. It never ceases to amaze me how long people can hold onto that kind of anger and for a lot of people it just gets worse as they age.
    posted by lodurr at 6:22 PM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


    IOW: They may be self-sabotaging, to an extent, in order to keep the fight going. Cult leaders do that. I think it's one of the finer distinguishing points between a cult and a religion: if the leaders continue to pick new fights instead of accepting potential resolutions to conflict, it's a cult, not a religion. E.g, compare the Mormon church to their "Latter Day Saints" offshoots.
    posted by lodurr at 6:25 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    lodurr: It reminded me really strongly of the few times I've tangled with MRAs.

    I think there's a pretty big overlap between the two groups.
    posted by rmd1023 at 6:30 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    ...it's a venn diagram made up of a single circle.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 6:35 PM on October 16, 2014


    Gamergaters are not playing with a full deck.
    posted by humanfont at 6:38 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    David Futrelle over at We Hunted The Mammoth has been posting a lot about MRA involvement in and response to GamerGate. Mostly Anita Sarkeesian in the past couple of days, due to her USU talk being cancelled. And yes, there is a TON of overlap between MRAs and GamerGate.
    posted by palomar at 6:38 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    And yes, there is a TON of overlap between MRAs and GamerGate.

    SURPRISE! If anyone is wondering why this took off the way it did, there's your answer. Why would a bunch of videogame nerds on a message board let themselves get suckered by a jilted ex into mobilising? Because it allowed them to say shit they were already thinking and saying, but gave them a justification for it beyond "I despise vagina owners."
    posted by supercrayon at 6:42 PM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


    well, yeah: I assumed when i read that comment about 'older men manipulating young guys' that it meant MRAs.
    posted by lodurr at 6:48 PM on October 16, 2014


    halifix: "Outside of their huge biases, they seem very rational. Very psychopathically rational. Not trying to win any individual argument, but trying to utterly destroy someone because of their own warped code of justice."

    In D&D terms, I believe this would fall under the Lawful Evil alignment.
    posted by mhum at 6:58 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    NYT, CNN and CBS morning show today, but also the BBC weighing in on online harassment. The bit of that post that caught my eye in particular:
    And it does seem that in the last 24 hours Twitter has made urgent efforts to assist Brianna Wu. She tweeted last night: "I want to thank the Twitter security team for working with me to get my account secure. They get flack, but they've been wonderful to me."
    It's widely-accepted that twitter's reporting UI for harassment is execrable, and I totally agree. At the same time, good on them for having some people that will do what they can to help particularly prominent targets.
    posted by sparkletone at 7:15 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    At the same time, good on them for having some people that will do what they can to help particularly prominent targets.

    Would that they did the same for all targets.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 PM on October 16, 2014 [13 favorites]


    The deontological problem of a false idol--

    Oh, fuck right off, all the way to a contempt charge.
    posted by holgate at 7:26 PM on October 16, 2014 [12 favorites]


    A few weeks ago, the GG people have boycotted 4chan because they view Moot as a SJW. Does anyone have any idea if that has had any kind of impact on 4chan's popularity? If any site would be vulnerable to a GG boycott, it would be 4chan.
    posted by clockworkjoe at 7:26 PM on October 16, 2014


    Time.com: The Comic Book World Is Getting Safer for Women, But the Gaming World Isn’t
    ...using New York Comic Con's prominent anti-harassment policy signs as part of the contrast. And I must add, the fact that nobody threatened to shoot any feminists attending Salt Lake Comic Con last month is a good sign.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 7:31 PM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Would that they did the same for all targets.

    Like I said upthread, the tools available to verified users can mitigate (to some degree) the experience of being a Twitter target. They are handed out far too sparingly. She's been asking for verified status to restrict sockpuppeting as well. If Twitter doesn't have the resources to support a far lower threshold than it currently sets for the protections that come with verified status, well, um, it's a $30bn public company, and it should have.
    posted by holgate at 7:33 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Would that they did the same for all targets.

    Presumably this would be the active goal of a team dedicated to making their reporting infrastructure less bullshit. Which they clearly need. They're too busy finding new ways of showing us tweets by accounts we don't follow though.
    posted by sparkletone at 7:34 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    I really don't feel like looking up the link again, but at one point I saw somebody in KiA asking about the 4chan thing and another GGer saying that basically it hadn't had much impact but they were sure it would eventually and then more people would move to 8chan.
    posted by Sequence at 7:37 PM on October 16, 2014


    Does anyone have any idea if that has had any kind of impact on 4chan's popularity?

    I'm guessing it's negligible, to be honest. 4chan's audience is shockingly broad, and given the built-in anonymity, unless moot says they've seen a real traffic drop, I don't trust any of them to really have been boycotting. They just take that sliver of traffic elsewhere.
    posted by sparkletone at 7:37 PM on October 16, 2014


    A few weeks ago, the GG people have boycotted 4chan because they view Moot as a SJW. Does anyone have any idea if that has had any kind of impact on 4chan's popularity? If any site would be vulnerable to a GG boycott, it would be 4chan.

    ~3000 people not going to the site even if it was never again wouldn't even be a drop in the bucket of their traffic. 4chan used and probably still does regularly place super high in alexa rankings. it's been a top 50 site for years.

    The idea that this would do anything is something that is only real in the minds of delusional assholes.

    Remember what came up above, this is not a large group of people. It's a couple thousand at most.
    posted by emptythought at 7:42 PM on October 16, 2014


    Also, it's impossible for me to read his update post without thinking that he's trying to basically go revisionist history and say "well since i didn't ask for this what happened isn't my fault" in a lot more words.

    Because he's gotten exactly what he wanted. He got revenge on her in a way he couldn't personally do on his own. Now that it worked, it doesn't need to be associated with him at all in any way so he's trying to pull the plug.

    I hope he gets eviscerated in court.
    posted by emptythought at 7:46 PM on October 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


    He got revenge on her in a way he couldn't personally do on his own. Now that it worked, it doesn't need to be associated with him at all in any way so he's trying to pull the plug.



    Yeah, narcissists gonna narc.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:58 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I am not playing devil's advocate or trying to justify harassment in any way. I really hope you weren't trying to insinuate I was. Were you referring to me?

    I didn't say anything at all in response to your comment, misha, but I surely did think to myself,"This? Again?"

    Several hundred comments ago I made a smart ass remark that you took me to task for. I made a more serious response because I thought the topic deserved one, but that you haven't bothered to engage with at all. And yet somehow, in reading the transparent bullshit put forth by the gamergate cretins to justify driving perfectly innocent people out of their homes, dragging their name through mud, and suppressing free speech in academia, you've managed to look past the mountain of toxic crap that they spew, and actual terrorism for fuck's sake, to find something that you can agree with. So maybe take it on board that your approach here seems...idiosyncratic. And that's me expressing it politely.
    posted by Ipsifendus at 7:59 PM on October 16, 2014 [24 favorites]


    Strass: "From Eron's latest blog post about the BuzzFeed article:
    "

    "GamerGate can’t distance its self from the trolls because the trolls chase it around, and GamerGate can’t gain legitimacy,"

    What a garbage dude.
    posted by boo_radley at 8:09 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The deontological problem of a false idol.

    Ignoring the nonsensical pretension of that phrase, it seems like he is waaaaay overingflating the actual significance of Quinn to the game industry & community.
    posted by Going To Maine at 8:28 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]




    Yeah, I think all interviews from here on out will have to be done under some ground rules

    Ground rules for interviews (even pre-approved questions) aren't out of the norm at all. Where this goes off the rails is what his suggested ground rules are.
    posted by sparkletone at 8:52 PM on October 16, 2014


    yes that is the point

    that is why it is notable

    i went "well that's not unreasonabwa" when I read them

    he's clearly in mourning and doesn't know how to process at all
    posted by boo_radley at 8:54 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    zoe quinn is actively being doxxed on 8chan (link goes to screen shots where no doxxing info is shown) - note the 5 guys icon...but this isn't about her or the zoepost, nosiree.
    posted by nadawi at 8:57 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Haha goddamn he has no introspection whatsoever. Reminds me of Dave Sim insisting that anybody who wants to communicate with him by letter sign a form stating they think he doesn't hate women.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 8:59 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    i don't think he's mourning, i think he needs professional help (and maybe court mandated time away from the internet since he can't seem to follow the restraining order). i don't know how anyone read the zoepost and came out of that thinking everything was exactly as he presented it. even people on 4chan saw through it immediately.
    posted by nadawi at 8:59 PM on October 16, 2014 [10 favorites]


    mourning isn't the right word -- he's looking for sympathy and validation and he doesn't understand why he's not getting it from the people who matter. so odd
    posted by boo_radley at 9:08 PM on October 16, 2014


    A woman scorned hath not nearly as much fury as a man scorned. Because women aren't encouraged to be pompous, self-absorbed narcissists and men are. Heck, in some circles it's required.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 9:13 PM on October 16, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Honestly, I think he and this kid have a lot in common. previously
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:13 PM on October 16, 2014


    There has to be some place to send these guys that doesn't buy into the prison industrial complex
    posted by divabat at 9:14 PM on October 16, 2014


    Why would we ruin a decent place with these guys?
    posted by palomar at 9:16 PM on October 16, 2014


    Honestly, I think he and this kid have a lot in common.

    No. Assuming the engineer isn't lying about lack of payment, that is an entirely justified response that kind of horseshit from people who agreed to pay you in return for work you've done for them who then refuse to pay you. They are not remotely morally equivalent.
    posted by sparkletone at 9:24 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Assuming the engineer isn't lying about lack of payment

    Listen to the song, man!
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:25 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


    The cognitive dissonance between "reviews with a bias ahhhhh" and "everyone who wants to talk to me has to agree to these rules which are terrible" is...wow. Just wow.
    posted by jetlagaddict at 9:26 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    I've been waiting for this whole mess to be addressed by one of the webcomics I follow (even knowing that Penny Arcade is hiding from the issue in an underground bomb shelter), and finally, we have something from David 'Damn You' Willis in "Shortpacked". But if you're looking at something more 'moderate', here's Chris Hallbeck's "Minimumble".
    posted by oneswellfoop at 9:29 PM on October 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Listen to the song, man!

    I did back when I first saw this. I don't see the connection to it and the thread we're in right now. As the link states:
    Attempting to explain the situation away via YouTube comments, vocalist Alexander Ruiz claims, “Basically we just weren’t financially stable at the time but we WERE planning on paying him back.” Which was instantly shot down by pretty much everyone.
    If they promised payment, failed to come through, and then failed badly enough that this seemed like a fun idea to the engineer they screwed over... I have little to no sympathy for the band. Is there something I'm missing here?
    posted by sparkletone at 9:34 PM on October 16, 2014


    Misogyny isn't our message! It's just our exclusive medium!
    posted by Navelgazer at 9:36 PM on October 16, 2014 [18 favorites]


    Several hundred comments ago I made a smart ass remark that you took me to task for. I made a more serious response because I thought the topic deserved one, but that you haven't bothered to engage with at all.

    were you waiting on a response from me? I didn't realize. I have some major life shit going on right now and have barely glanced at this thread all day.
    posted by misha at 9:38 PM on October 16, 2014


    Penny Arcade did address it, didn't they? With the whole "wtf people why do we even have to say that you shouldn't threaten and harass people" thing.
    posted by Sequence at 9:38 PM on October 16, 2014


    The Penny Arcade writer actually came out pretty firmly against gaters recently, saying that even if they had a good point on the side, they've totally ruined it by being awful and need to stop.

    "Here’s what’s going on: a distilled form of Abuse is being iterated on a profound and gruesome scale. Such people cannot be allowed to win. Ever.

    You can’t threaten people with death, and I resent very strongly being made to type that out. Not only can you not do that because you can’t fucking do it, it has the power to obliterate everything else you say. In fact, it obliterates everything the people around you are trying to say.

    [...]I’ve enunciated a reasonable position though, right? That you can’t threaten people’s lives? Watch me get crucified for it; let my crossbeams be made from two sturdy hashtags."
    posted by sandswipe at 9:40 PM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    nadawi : "i don't think he's mourning, i think he needs professional help (and maybe court mandated time away from the internet since he can't seem to follow the restraining order)."

    I read this comment and thought "wait, did I post this and not remember doing so? No, I generally use capital letters."

    Which is to say, what nadawi said.
    posted by Lexica at 9:49 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    nadawi: "i don't think he's mourning, i think he needs professional help (and maybe court mandated time away from the internet since he can't seem to follow the restraining order)."

    Professional help is a good idea. After reading the buzzfeed article, I get the sense that his mom is trying to be a positive/ nurturing influence to him. I hope she succeeds, because, like you say, he's having problems following his restraining order.
    posted by boo_radley at 9:55 PM on October 16, 2014


    PBS News Hour.
    posted by sparkletone at 10:10 PM on October 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


    I'm amazed that dude *quit his job* (or was he fired?) so he could prosecute his restraining order violating Internet stalking campaign full time. I can't wait for the ask meta where he wants to know what to say to future employers about that.
    posted by chrchr at 10:20 PM on October 16, 2014 [11 favorites]


    I was dumb enough to engage again, but I think it went better this time.
    posted by Navelgazer at 10:22 PM on October 16, 2014


    Age, medication, and fatherhood appear to be working their magic on the PA guys. I'm not sure which of the three are affecting which of the principals but I know all three are involved in various combinations.
    posted by Justinian at 10:55 PM on October 16, 2014


    So I went to the PA forum to see how the fans reacted to his comment and found:
    Good job on Gamergate Tycho. Didn't know you learned from late 1930's Germany in how to deal with groups of people, but the Nazi's would be damned proud of you.
    I... I... what? It's just one guy but still... what?
    posted by Justinian at 11:01 PM on October 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Also he used an apostrophe for pluralization. Who is the real Nazi here, I ask you?
    posted by Justinian at 11:02 PM on October 16, 2014 [9 favorites]


    Thanks for bringing to my attention Penny Arcade's not-very-strongly-worded opinion as an add-on to the newspost attached to a cartoon about Star Wars (which I had otherwise missed) and gave some wiggle room by only dealing with the threats and abuse and giving the #Gaters who 'did it right' an out...

    I know that this situation is more complex than anyone is willing to enunciate. I know that “Gaming Journalism” is a contradiction in terms. But they’ve broken your banner, now, and you helped them do it. I grieve for the ones who tried to do it right.

    But the response in the PA Forum was heartening... it starts out weak (yes, Godwin was on the #GG side), but by the third page of comments, the not-all-that-numerous defenses of the 'reasonable' #Gaters (most from users who don't even have avatars in the forum) have been responded to rather conclusively by a few good people with facts on their side. Sorry, Tycho, but it wasn't too complex for users Djiem, Cambiata, Pony and Aegeri to enunciate, and you're still hanging too close to the Dickwolves.
    posted by oneswellfoop at 11:06 PM on October 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Extra Credits has been similar: on the side of good (Daniel Floyd has used the #StopGamerGate hashtag, for instance, but also specifically telling threateners and doxxers to "fuck off," which is, I guess, strong language for him) but considering their position, they really really need to say something off-twitter about this.
    posted by Navelgazer at 11:12 PM on October 16, 2014


    I really liked this article by Arthur Chu on the Daily Beast: Of Gamers, Gates, and Disco Demolition: The Roots of Reactionary Rage

    He theorizes that there's not as much space as you might think between blowing up disco records and creating a movement to terrorize women for the perceived crime of existing.
    posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:28 PM on October 16, 2014 [14 favorites]


    He theorizes that there's not as much space as you might think between blowing up disco records and creating a movement to terrorize women for the perceived crime of existing.

    oh, please. I was there when the disco records got exploded. That mostly had to be done*. There is very, very much space between that and this.

    * I won't derail any further here as I already said my piece about Disco + Suckage in the mid-late 70s in this thread.
    posted by philip-random at 11:41 PM on October 16, 2014


    I really liked this article by Arthur Chu on the Daily Beast: Of Gamers, Gates, and Disco Demolition: The Roots of Reactionary Rage

    I'd been debating with myself the last couple hours whether to post this article. I'm still not entirely done processing it. A connection between that facet of (to me) gay culture and this current bullshit... Well. It hadn't ever occurred to me, even given that I'd long ago recognized Disco Demolition as a deeply homophobic part of Chicago's history.

    Yet as removed as I am both temporally and in terms of race and class from disco's roots, it's... Incredibly personal to me for reasons I can barely begin to articulate. But I'm about to try:

    I mentioned earlier in this thread being on the periphery of dance music in Chicago... Well. My roots in getting into that are falling in a roundabout way deeply in love with disco. Yes, the super-polished, cheesy-as-fuck, top 40 shit... But even more than that the beautiful, emotional, and frequently musically just batshit crazy/awesome real stuff that most people have never heard of or about (I'd be happy to give pointers to gateways). The kind of disco that gave rise to house. The kind of disco whose roots are in communities of gay men (primarily) of color, whose experiences at the time are so removed from mine, I can only admire their fortitude.

    The kind of shit that when it was played at the public memorial for Frankie Knuckles, who passed away this year, in the heart of Chicago... EVERYONE that was there got emotional.

    Everyone I admire in dance music modernity either is blatantly working to be a legit part of that lineage, or pays enough tribute and has clearly done their home work to the point that it's not appropriation even if they're working on some other shit. It's veneration. It's knowing what you're about and why you're about it.

    I can't say I was any kind of part of it until at most 6 or 7 years ago, but the feelings have been there since 3 or 4 more before that, and it's only grown more intense since I got closer to the epicenters. It's sort of funny. Gaters scream about objectivity, but I feel like my relationship to that music and to the things descended from it is too intense for me to really discuss it coherently. As we've discussed endlessly here, art that really connects with people (even if it's a very few) can't be boiled down to some bullshit lab report "review."

    There are other factors, but this plays a major role in what I hope has made me turn out to be an adult I'm vaguely sure isn't inexcusably shitty or blind-folded about the social issues feminists and many others are trying to address despite my deeply white and very privileged background. It's very much part of why I get MAD AS FUCK about this stuff (I've been much more calm in this thread than I've been on twitter and by a large margin more even calmer on twitter than I'd be in real life). If it's not me it's my friends, and if it's not anyone personally, it's values we hold dear.

    This is a really long-winded way of saying... The particular connecting of some dots in the linked article gets to some really fucking live-wire shit for me even on top of how this was already and I'm not sure how to deal because I was already sort of red-lining in terms of handling the last few months of this shit.

    I guess at the moment ... Preaching to the converted ... But maybe let's all give a fuck or two about other people, especially ones who aren't like us and might not be so fortunate... And then maybe think about how that came about and give another fuck or two.
    posted by sparkletone at 11:57 PM on October 16, 2014 [29 favorites]


    Amen.
    posted by naju at 12:28 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I've been thinking about Gjoni and his use of language in his 'enhanced transcript.' Particularly his insistence that he cares deeply about social justice, and that that's why he was so concerned with 'the deontological problem of a false idol' (a.k.a. destroying Zoe Quinn).

    And what struck me was that a month or two or three from now, we will be able to see Gjoni doing a total bitflip on his 'social justice' position. He'll be waxing grandiloquent about the illegitimacy of Social Justice as a concept, and insinuating the insincerity of feminists trying to work for social justice.

    In short, I'm pretty sure we'll see him transition into a slick, pretty MRA.

    I showed his screed to my wife, on the page that has that cheesecakey picture of him in on the balcony as a background graphic. And her immediate reaction was [paraphrasing from memory] "oh, how predictable, he wants to look like Jesus."

    More swirling around in my head, but having a hard time articulating it right at the moment... basically, the guy is creeping me right the hell out.
    posted by lodurr at 2:13 AM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]




    The deep danger and the great trap, the sticky shitty mire that traps our boots and our happy feets and our souls to the dirty floor, almost every-goddamned-one of us in these days of easy instant and disposable 'celebrity', is paying attention to the personalities and so losing sight of the important and enduring things that we should keep pinned flapping to our foreheads so we don't forget to stop thinking about them.

    It shouldn't be about who, it's never about who when you take even a marginally longer view, it's about what and why. Or it ought to be, anyway. I'm far from perfect -- I get my furyjuices all a-flowing and running down my chin mixed with the blood and swearwords all the fucking time -- but I still recommend. I always make with the recommending.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:25 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    But, you know: when the impulse is positive, when the doing is about support and help and defense of those who need our help and support and defense, the bit flips decisively to 'who'.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:30 AM on October 17, 2014


    oh, please. I was there when the disco records got exploded. That mostly had to be done*. There is very, very much space between that and this.

    If you RTFA, the author does a very, very good job of bridging the very, very much space between that and this.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:03 AM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


    That Arthur Chu piece really is pretty great.

    One of the things I really like about it is where he doesn't go: He doesn't talk about the fallout from being an asian guy who had the temerity to win against caucasians by Using A Strategy. I thought that was an incredibly smart choice of what to not talk about.

    I was also impressed by his willingness to eat crow on his own complicity in things like the Dunham pileon.

    Chu's turning out to be an interesting voice.
    posted by lodurr at 3:09 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    "I consulted with a bunch of people — over a dozen [which approaches statistical significance]. Most of them women, most of them in tech fields, a few in games. We thought through the risks, the potential fallout, I made flowcharts of probabilities and possibilities. We debated, we considered, and we came to consensus. From strictly utilitarian terms, the probabilistic risk she posed to those around her was greater than the probabilistic risk posed by the situation turning toxic. The deontological problem of a false idol struck us as more grievous than the deontological problem of potential for a false idol to be harassed. "

    So, a creepy dude who thinks his ex is a "false idol" found a cohort of creepy people who give terrible advice?

    This. Changes. Everything.
    posted by running order squabble fest at 3:19 AM on October 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


    Well, he says he did. creepy logicdudes are always talking about the flow charts they've made that never were, and the research they've done that never was. As someone else said up thread, I'm not sure which is worse: if he did, or didn't. If he did, there over 6 women, at least one of whom was in a tech field, who 'came to a concensus' with him that this was a good idea.

    But of course that whole passage is weasely as shit. the 'we' referent is vague and he can retroactively claim that 'we' in the third sentence doesn't refer to all 12+ consultants. And it couldn't, because we know that one of them was his mother, and we know that she wasn't part of the concensus.

    So he's really a creepy dude, and we just can't take anything he says at face value.
    posted by lodurr at 3:27 AM on October 17, 2014 [12 favorites]


    He is obviously delusional and everything he has written is a fantasy.
    posted by humanfont at 4:48 AM on October 17, 2014


    You disappoint me, friends.

    You disappoint me.
    posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 AM on October 17, 2014


    Well, then, the 'what': someone deploying deceptive language to make his enterprise appear well thought out and meticulously reasoned. And the 'why': because that impresses some people.

    The 'who' being relevant insofar as we can see from the particulars of this who that he appears to be exhibiting highly narcissistic behaviors -- to have what look like delusions of grandeur. Which leads to another potential 'why': He wants to exercise power over weaker beings. Not just women, but also "betas."
    posted by lodurr at 5:26 AM on October 17, 2014


    I only caught the tail end of an NPR story this morning, but right before the reporter signed off, she said that "GamerGate" originated as criticism of corruption in gaming journalism. To which I responded, "No, it started as a jilted ex claiming that his former girlfriend recieved favorable press coverage in exchange for sexual favors, which was a total lie, and you're helping give credence to that lie and the rancid movement it spawned."

    Sadly, yelling at the radio has had little effect at improving poor journalism.
    posted by Gelatin at 5:26 AM on October 17, 2014 [21 favorites]


    And the 'why this who': because he's the proximate cause (at least, appears to be, and certainly thinks himself to be) of the current shape the discussion has taken. (He did the flowcharts, after all.)

    but stravros, i do take your point: making gjoni the villain of the piece misses the larger and deeper picture.
    posted by lodurr at 5:31 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I'm also marveling at the weird shit in Eron Gjoni's skype transcript where he claims both to be pro-polyamory AND seems to believe infidelity "violates consent". I feel bad for picking on someone who clearly is having a major breakdown, but Christ, no, regardless of the terms of your relationship, you were not raped, son.
    posted by almostmanda at 5:37 AM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Gelatin: I'm an NPR member and I'm going to comment on that report on their web site.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:02 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    ....Never mind, about 999 other people have done so already.
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:03 AM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    @EmpressCallipygos: Good; I hope in this case reading the comments would be heartening.
    posted by Gelatin at 6:07 AM on October 17, 2014


    I'm also marveling at the weird shit in Eron Gjoni's skype transcript where he claims both to be pro-polyamory AND seems to believe infidelity "violates consent".

    I haven't seen exactly what Eron Gjoni said, but those concepts aren't mutually exclusive. One can be pro-polyamory and believe that when in a monogamous relationship arrangement, having sex with someone else without one's partner's knowledge and consent is out of bounds.

    (I hasten to add that no, it doesn't make the monogamous relationship "rape," and if he's claiming that I do agree that's deeply weird. It means you were cheated on -- and I've known polyamorous couples in which one partner still cheated -- not raped.)
    posted by Gelatin at 6:12 AM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    I've been reading The Fine Young Capitalists interview on apgnation. They seem to throw around some terms pretty loosely -- e.g., posting a link to someone's Facebook profile seems to count as "doxxing", tweets that lead to high traffic count as "DDOSing", and there's a picayune level of tit-for-tat detail. It's interesting. Are these folks supposed to be actually representative of some new feminist wave? Because the vibe I'm getting is not very trustworthy. I would not want to interact professionally with these folks, based on what I'm reading here.
    posted by lodurr at 6:21 AM on October 17, 2014


    I think he's only using the word "consent" to signal transgressions far more severe than whatever went down in this relationship. The interviewer gives him several opportunities to explain what she did that warranted such a severe, public reaction, and all he can do is speak in generalities peppered with words like "abuse" "violation" and "consent" to make a very typical bad breakup sound like domestic violence.
    posted by almostmanda at 6:24 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    That transcript is here btw.
    posted by almostmanda at 6:27 AM on October 17, 2014


    Gelatin, I had a similar thought re. polyamory and "cheating" -- I know that a lot of people in 'open relationships' have an agreement that permission will be asked, and in something that qualifies as 'polyamory' I've always understood that consent of the partners was generally required. Gjoni's not a terribly trustworthy source, though, so who knows what the real relationship was. He's admitted to sexing up the narrative to make it appealing. Apparently that was OK because it served the larger, and critical, deontological imperative of bringing down that false idol. Given that, we don't really have a way of knowing what else he's going to deem is less important than his deontological imperative.

    Which is the key thing, I guess: His deontological imperative is used to justify a 'useful lie.'

    And this is another 'what', to deploy stavros's criteria: someone who accepts the 'useful lie' will probably assume that everyone else accepts it, too. Which could explain the conviction that anyone who claims an interest in social justice must be lying.
    posted by lodurr at 6:28 AM on October 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Gjoni's not a terribly trustworthy source, though


    This. We're trying to examine the motives of someone who would be the perfect unreliable narrator of his own 18th-century bildungsroman.


    We know what he did, and even he freely admits it. At this point, his self-serving justifications are wholly irrelevant.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:32 AM on October 17, 2014 [15 favorites]


    ... the perfect unreliable narrator of his own 18th-century bildungsroman.

    Has this been done? I mean, as an 18th (or 19th) century period piece. It could be neat.

    posted by lodurr at 6:39 AM on October 17, 2014


    That would probably involve a closer reading of his corpus than I am willing to do.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 6:43 AM on October 17, 2014


    5 Responses to Sexism That Just Make Everything Worse, Winston Rowntree, Cracked, 15 November 2013
    The worst response to sexism is of course to brush it off or cheer it on or suggest that it is somehow "over"; let that not be in doubt. But as good as it would feel to go off on a jeremiad about such things, it's likely going to be more productive to focus on what we the non-sociopaths are doing when faced with the depressingly ongoing issue of people treating others based on a few trivial anatomical differences. Like all problems, it persists because the majority of people are not doing enough to combat it, so what could we the majority be doing better? A lot, probably. Because so often our reactions when faced with sexism are a Pogo paradox-style causality loop of inadvertently making the problem worse.
    posted by ob1quixote at 6:59 AM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    lodurr: Where the Fine Young Capitalists are concerned, I think the thing that they found most objectionable is that there isn't actually a "they". It's a "he". One guy appears to own the whole thing, but he didn't want his name associated with any of it. It's also a for-profit corporation, not a charity, and that wasn't clear from their original fundraising, either. That information coming out sort of wrecked the chances of his getting rich off of his alleged feminism; the GGers are his second choice revenue stream. So now he's playing up the victim thing and deliberately baiting Zoe Quinn and whoever else he can think of.
    posted by Sequence at 7:15 AM on October 17, 2014 [12 favorites]


    If he did, there over 6 women, at least one of whom was in a tech field, who 'came to a concensus' with him that this was a good idea.

    being a woman does not automatically make you side with other women, especially if you think you're "not like the other girls." i know a group of self proclaimed feminists, men and women, who all rallied around a dead beat dad because they didn't like the mother of his child - they have bought his side of the story (which is weasel-y bullshit) and attacked her while absolving him of having any interaction or responsibility to his child. so he continues on surrounding himself with poly affection and bolstered by women who swear he's not a bad guy while his ex and his child get by on their own. this awesome fpp discusses how women turn on each other (and maybe how we can stop).

    as far is the sad sack of shit that started this santorum ball rolling, the rape stuff comes directly from thezoepost, he claims it's something she said - that infidelity was forcing your partner into a non-consensual relationship and as such was rape. whoever said it, it's a dumb idea and very wrong - and what inspired a bunch of fuckboys to fill up my twitter mentions accusing me of being a rape apologist and a rapist.
    posted by nadawi at 7:18 AM on October 17, 2014 [18 favorites]


    That helps. TFYC was recently cited on a Facebook thread my wife was on as an example of "bad feminists who need to be called out." (In context that was a totally inane thing to say, regardless of any +/-virtues of TFYC.) The term 'fifth-column feminists' was also used, which piqued my interest.
    posted by lodurr at 7:19 AM on October 17, 2014


    as far is the sad sack of shit that started this santorum ball rolling, the rape stuff comes directly from thezoepost, he claims it's something she said - that infidelity was forcing your partner into a non-consensual relationship and as such was rape. whoever said it, it's a dumb idea and very wrong - and what inspired a bunch of fuckboys to fill up my twitter mentions accusing me of being a rape apologist and a rapist.

    Congratulations, you've found literally the worst thing I've heard since I got up last night. That's simply amazing.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 7:20 AM on October 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


    ... and what inspired a bunch of fuckboys to fill up my twitter mentions accusing me of being a rape apologist and a rapist.

    They thought they'd found a linguistic exploit.
    posted by lodurr at 7:22 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I'm sitting here trying to parse the idea and can't make sense of it; I need to let it go and get work done. But it occurs to me that there are 2 basic options with a concept like that:
    1. Accept that it doesn't make sense and put it aside in some sense.
    2. Treat it as a linguistic exploit, as though it actually meant something.
    posted by lodurr at 7:24 AM on October 17, 2014


    It's a cargo-cult argument: a bunch of important sounding words and phrases strung together without any deeper understanding of what makes an argument persuasive.
    posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:24 AM on October 17, 2014 [13 favorites]


    being a woman does not automatically make you side with other women, especially if you think you're "not like the other girls."

    Quoted for motherfucking TRUTH. I've encountered so many girls and women in my lifetime who prided themselves on not having any female friends because they can't get along with other women and prefer being "one of the guys". The women who are part of GamerGate seem very much like the women I've known before.
    posted by palomar at 7:26 AM on October 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Re: TFYC, I'd say it's more like "not feminist at all, but would like to financially take advantage of feminists".
    posted by Sequence at 7:26 AM on October 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


    sequence, that reminds me again of Faludi's Stiffed -- she basically calls out the Promise Keepers for trying to do that to conservative men, as the organization seemed to really be all about harvesting revenue off of underemployed christian men.
    posted by lodurr at 7:29 AM on October 17, 2014


    they use rape because they think it's a trump card and they think that's all women use it as. they often don't believe in non-violent, non-stranger rape. they think we've weaponized it it "win."
    posted by nadawi at 7:29 AM on October 17, 2014 [26 favorites]


    What's terrifying is, as lodurr said above, this is what they think women do because they assume insincerity. They think when feminists/women talk about rape culture or accuse someone of sexual assault, they are twisting innocent things to be associated with rape to tar people with opinions they don't approve of. And figuring out some language trick to call feminists "the real rape apologists" is just dishing out what they're receiving, not complete nonsense.
    posted by almostmanda at 7:31 AM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


    Interesting angle: GamerGate is McCarthyism. Don't let it silence you.
    posted by palomar at 7:43 AM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]




    I saw one argument that game reviews should be like lab reports, with any "opinions" (i.e. discussion on game narrative as it intersects with, um, real life) relegated to separate pieces, which blows my mind. It's arguing that games should be reviewed using similar criteria to, I suppose, game consoles or game controllers.

    I wonder if that person agrees with Roger Ebert's initial contention that video games are not art, because that position seems a powerful argument in favor of it.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:02 AM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    So Brianna Wu just got targeted by this.

    "Now remember, we are doing this to incite as much butthurt as possible, so don't engage in civil reasoned debate."
    posted by murphy slaw at 8:23 AM on October 17, 2014


    I've never felt the 'art'/'not-art' distinction helps much at all for this kind of thing, but that may be because I have a particular view on what constitutes art. To me, 'art-making' is the process of (I would say, consciously) engaging in creative activity to solve what for lack of a better term & being sloppy will call a 'metaphysical problem.'

    So most commercial video games, like most *wood movies, aren't really art, because the creative activity is engaged in to solve a commercial problem, not a metaphysical one. Some would be, if their creative teams are in it for that kind of juice and have the latitude to push that agenda.

    But still I'm not sure what that would do for a review. To me the review's qualities are the same, because whether it "is" art or not doesn't necessarily have any bearing on whether someone reads it as art.

    And if they did or didn't, what bearing would that have on the review? There are still functional criteria to address. (Does it play well? Are the graphics fast?) Some of those are aesthetic. (is the imagery attractive? Does the character-logic make sense?) Some may be artistic. (Does it speak to me? Does it say anything I think is interesting?)

    I think you can read almost any narrative product as art, regardless of whether it fits some definition, mine or anyone else's. And I think people routinely do.
    posted by lodurr at 8:29 AM on October 17, 2014


    There's also the fact that "objective reviews" are nothing more than a gossamer fig leaf for their actual purpose.
    posted by Navelgazer at 8:32 AM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Of course, and just another example of how, as nadawi pointed out earlier, they fail their own tests time and again.
    posted by Gelatin at 8:34 AM on October 17, 2014


    ... a gossamer fig leaf for their actual purpose.

    You mean in the gamergate rhetoric, or in general?

    If the former, I agree wholeheartedly.

    If the latter, I respectfully disagree. But that's probably a derail we don't need to get into.
    posted by lodurr at 8:37 AM on October 17, 2014


    So Brianna Wu just got targeted by this.

    I just copied the URL of the screenshot and did a search for any new game reviews that seemed to take this tack, and commented on how fishy it was that a 3-month-old review had a 3-day-old comment and pasted the URL for the screenshot. Sort of an "I saw what u did ther".
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:37 AM on October 17, 2014 [11 favorites]


    So Brianna Wu just got targeted by this.

    They're holding on to their straw-feminist stereotypes ("womyn") so tightly that they can't even let them go when attempting to infiltrate feminist discussion. I can't even gin up outrage for this, it's so pitifully inept.
    posted by almostmanda at 8:42 AM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    One of the big things I got from the @FuckNoVideoGames storify is the degree of conviction the original gamergate crew had with regard to the insincerity of "SJWs". It reminded me really strongly of the few times I've tangled with MRAs. (That and the cargo-cult deployment of debater's terms.)

    They're holding on to their straw-feminist stereotypes ("womyn") so tightly that they can't even let them go when attempting to infiltrate feminist discussion. I can't even gin up outrage for this, it's so pitifully inept.

    You know what it really reminds me of? It reminds me of people who are bad at a game and who have no interest in understanding it, don't understand even the real basics of skillful play, and so they freak out and scream at people who do have that understanding and skill. They're the people who button mash because they don't understand the difference between that and skillful play, all the while screaming at the people who win for being lucky or cheating. They're the people who are angry that skill exists and angry at people for having it, and never caring to acquire it for themselves.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 8:48 AM on October 17, 2014 [20 favorites]


    A+ for Arthur Chu for ending with a Gloria Gaynor quote
    posted by Strass at 8:52 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    That Arthur Chu piece really is pretty great.

    I'd seen that piece but hadn't caught that it was Chu (filed it away in my to-reads in Instapaper and then just read it without noticing the author). Every time I see something he's written, it's solid. I'm glad he tackled gamergate.
    posted by immlass at 8:54 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    "Objective" is a meaningless term primarily used to indicate the user is a Mr. Logic type about to bore the listener with their smug superiority.
    posted by Artw at 8:54 AM on October 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


    That hits really close to home, Pope_Guilty, if I think back to myself before certain growth events (when I was about 17 or so, back in teh stone age).

    If the pretty, smart girl you'd like to make time with thinks you're a clown, it can feel utterly humiliating -- but it's even worse if she's got access to language and intellectual tools you don't have the most basic comprehension of.

    And letting yourself run away with that digs you into an even deeper hole, where you see it all as a bunch of tricks that exist just to keep you down. It's the same mindset that underpins the MRA/PUA cults.

    If you allow yourself to literally grow into that culture, as a lot of guys these days seem to do...well, once you're past about 28-30, there's probably not a lot of hope you'll really change in any deep way.
    posted by lodurr at 8:55 AM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    lodurr: They seem to throw around some terms pretty loosely -- e.g., posting a link to someone's Facebook profile seems to count as "doxxing", tweets that lead to high traffic count as "DDOSing", and there's a picayune level of tit-for-tat detail.

    They're too young to remember when we called that "slashdotting", bless their little blackened hearts.
    posted by sukeban at 8:56 AM on October 17, 2014 [17 favorites]


    I started following Arthur Chu on twitter due to his patient discourses with some of the gaters. And wow, his article is one of the best pieces I've read. It is also rather heartening, and doesn't directly address gamergate as much as other articles.
    posted by Theta States at 9:28 AM on October 17, 2014


    sparkletone: the beautiful, emotional, and frequently musically just batshit crazy/awesome real stuff that most people have never heard of or about (I'd be happy to give pointers to gateways).

    aw yeah any time
    posted by sandswipe at 9:29 AM on October 17, 2014


    From Waxy: Gamergate is Running Out of Heroes

    It's interesting that Yahtzee Croshaw hasn't taken a stand against Gamergate. Granted, he's on Australian time, but still...
    posted by Going To Maine at 9:33 AM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


    My brain is pulsing in preparation for explosion at the idea that you could read Oglaf and assume the creators are pro-GG. Yeesh.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 9:37 AM on October 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Maybe they got pro-GG and pro-GGG confused.
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:43 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Quick correction, everyone: Eron Gjoni does have one regret! And it's a doozy.
    posted by palomar at 9:50 AM on October 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


    Pope Guilty: "My brain is pulsing in preparation for explosion at the idea that you could read Oglaf and assume the creators are pro-GG. Yeesh."

    Because Oglaf has sex in it and feminists hate sex, doncha know?
    posted by RobotHero at 9:52 AM on October 17, 2014


    Hilarity :
    The Leader of Gamergate 10/17/14 (Fri) 01:52:14 ID: 3511f8 No.147792
    Can someone link me the tweets in question? I'm on my dad's ipad and twitter makes even less sense than usual.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:53 AM on October 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


    I don't see Yahtzee being in a rush to jump into this, but I also don't see him being faintly concerned with game criticism being overrun with SJWs, either, since he's been fairly pragmatic about such things in the past. I.e., he seems to regard statements like "shooters where all the bad guys are brown are uncomfortably racist" and "there is not actually a reason to make the same boring white guy the protagonist of every single game" as not actually controversial.
    posted by Sequence at 9:56 AM on October 17, 2014


    I doubt he cares enough to risk alienating any of his viewers. Also, not that this is damning evidence, but his trademark is literally the wearing of a fedora. That might just be a brand he's now stuck with, of course.
    posted by gilrain at 10:01 AM on October 17, 2014


    Also, he's still on The Escapist, right? They've been fairly pro-GamerGate throughout this, so he may not want to cross the party line.
    posted by gilrain at 10:03 AM on October 17, 2014


    I'd never heard of Oglaf before someone mentioned it in reply to my sharing of the waxy.org post elsewhere. But I'd guess GG dudes believe all SJWs/feminists hate everything sexy, and therefore it's theirs. (ha!) But...apparently most of them think that having done anything X-rated renders you morally compromised and a fair target. Now, don't ask me how they manage to hold both of those ideas at once, but I'm pretty sure "zero self-reflection ever" MIGHT have something to do with it.
    posted by wintersweet at 10:06 AM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    It makes sense if you assume they thought Oglaf was drawn by a dude.
    posted by almostmanda at 10:09 AM on October 17, 2014


    From Waxy: Gamergate is Running Out of Heroes

    If Gabe Newell said anything, this movement can be over yesterday.
    posted by Apocryphon at 10:12 AM on October 17, 2014


    But...apparently most of them think that having done anything X-rated renders you morally compromised and a fair target.

    For some of them it's obviously just vicious misogyny [which it kind of freaks me out that people actually & unironically say that kind of thing outside of rage-porn].
    posted by lodurr at 10:13 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    If Gabe Newell said anything, this movement can be over yesterday.

    Unless he owns a controlling interest that would likely mean losing his job. You will note the absence of anyone corproate commenting anywhere in the whole thing.
    posted by lodurr at 10:15 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Eurogamer finally weighs in. The dominoes keep on falling.
    posted by gilrain at 10:16 AM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Valve is not public and he owns more than 50%, so he could weigh in as he pleases.
    posted by gilrain at 10:18 AM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    But I'd guess GG dudes believe all SJWs/feminists hate everything sexy, and therefore it's theirs.

    feminists are humorless and think sex is bad, unlike me, a man who screams slurs at women online for having sex
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:18 AM on October 17, 2014 [22 favorites]


    Quick correction, everyone: Eron Gjoni does have one regret! And it's a doozy.

    Yes, I regret Zoe was willing to risk doing this to those women. I.e, you are assigning blame arbitrarily down a causal chain

    "If I have one regret, it is that the bitch set me up"?
    posted by murphy slaw at 10:24 AM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


    From the closing paragraph of the Eurogamer piece, because it's a nice button:

    GG is now a common acronym for GamerGate. But it has another meaning in games culture: "good game", quickly typed at the end of a match of StarCraft or Counter-Strike or sent over Xbox Live after a close race in Forza; a sportsmanlike bow at the end of a duel, and always considered good form. Even within the heated world of online gaming, it's a universal expression of courtesy, of community spirit, of common enjoyment - which, it's worth remembering, have always been deeply held values of the gaming community.

    Let's keep talking about how games matter, but let's turn our back on the term GamerGate and all the hate and exclusion it has come to stand for. We hope this is the last time we'll ever have to use it on this site. Let's have GG mean "good game" again.

    posted by Going To Maine at 10:25 AM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Then WTF is he waiting for? are there any indies he respects? They could apply some gentle pressure. (Of course we don't know what the blowback for him would be inside the company, but fuck that.)
    posted by lodurr at 10:26 AM on October 17, 2014


    E.G.: you are assigning blame arbitrarily down a causal chain

    "But not as arbitrarily as I am."
    posted by lodurr at 10:28 AM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Quick correction, everyone: Eron Gjoni does have one regret! And it's a doozy.

    Wow, what a narcissist piece of shit. At least Quinn's well rid of him.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 10:30 AM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Oglaf is a two-person collab, is it not?
    posted by bonehead at 10:31 AM on October 17, 2014


    I have a fantasy, today, which is Gabe Newell says "GamerGate is absolute bullshit. Go ahead and boycott Valve. Oh, by the way, Half Life 2: Episode 3 will be shipping next week."
    posted by rmd1023 at 10:40 AM on October 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


    rmd1023: "I have a fantasy, today, which is Gabe Newell says "GamerGate is absolute bullshit. Go ahead and boycott Valve. Oh, by the way, Half Life 2: Episode 3 will be shipping next week.""

    yes, ala steam_modern_warfare2_boycott.jpg for those unfamiliar with How This Sort of Boycott Usually Goes.
    posted by boo_radley at 10:47 AM on October 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


    Rolling Stone published an interview with Anita Sarkeesian today.
    posted by papercrane at 10:47 AM on October 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


    aw yeah any time

    MeMail me, sandswipe and anyone else, because I am both less likely to forget to do this if you do, and also this thread isn't the place for that kind of infodump!
    posted by sparkletone at 10:54 AM on October 17, 2014


    I have a fantasy, today, which is Gabe Newell says ...

    Valve announces Twitter integration with Steam. Users who have never tweeted #Gamergate or have tweeted #stopgamergate2014 get special hats (or DOTA items, or CS:GO items.)
    posted by papercrane at 10:58 AM on October 17, 2014


    rorgy: I believe, and I am sympathetic to, the idea that this game of conquest hurts men, not just women.

    Jimbob: Yep. Saw this the other day, it's great and I don't understand why so many men don't get it.

    Because misogyny is so damned systematic that put-downs like "man-boobs" aren't generally recognized as a misogynistic diss. I've only become aware of "You [do x] like a girl" being recently treated as a put-down to women, though discussions don't usually take this to calling out those disses as misogyny, which they are. When misogynistic jokes are part of the cultural norm, it's hard to step back and realize there's something deeply wrong.
    posted by filthy light thief at 11:05 AM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


    I love this last part from the Rolling Stone interview...

    Yet you've been targeted in ways that are literally criminal. Have you ever wanted to say "OK, that's enough" and walk away?

    I'd be lying if I said I'd never considered stopping. I mean, anyone in this position would have doubts now and again. I've been terrorized nonstop for over two years now. It's a lot for one person to take in.

    But I feel like the work I'm doing is really important. The amount of support that I get for doing it, the actual change that I am starting to see, the really sweet messages that I get from people about how they were resistant to identify as feminist, but then they watched my videos and they were like, "Oh, obviously! I agree with these things!", the parents who use it as an educational tool for their kids…all of this is really inspiring to me. When I was in Portland for my talk at the XOXO Festival, this little boy came up to me and said, "Hi, I'm a feminist gamer." How do you stop doing this work after that?

    posted by naju at 11:09 AM on October 17, 2014 [29 favorites]




    On the one hand, I'm happy that more and more mainstream news groups are doing good reporting on the issue, further isolating the Gameegate people. On the other herbs, it worries me that this is feeding the gaters sense of being persecuted "truth holders".

    I find myself comparing it to the old "fandom is a way if life" and "fans are slans" beliefs from SF fandom, of being a special group misunderstood and persecuted by the larger society. But while that attitude lead to some horrific results (like MZ Bradley), it was oriented toward separatism and maintaining internal order, not attacking perceived enemies.

    On the other hand, I'm glad that Vox Day and the Baen Boys didn't have GamerGate as an example when they were attacking women in science fiction.

    So I'm seeing Gaters in the future becoming more isolated, conspiratorial and extreme. I think the best case scenario is that the true believers give up on engaging with people, make their own walled garden, and create their own review sites. Of course before then, the people using them are going to have to drop out.
    posted by happyroach at 11:54 AM on October 17, 2014


    Going To Maine: "MetaFilter's fearless leader"

    I have to admit I was expecting a link to this.
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:01 PM on October 17, 2014 [13 favorites]


    Happyroach: Vox Day used a lot of the same tricks, including trying to co-opt the language. He just had the misfortune (or we the good fortune, depending on your PoV) to be widely and deeply disliked and distrusted within the SF/F community. That, and going up against a bunch of people who were way, way better writers than him.
    posted by lodurr at 12:06 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    In fact Vox Day could pretty much be a template for your typical original-core-gamergater.
    posted by lodurr at 12:09 PM on October 17, 2014


    Rolling Stone published an interview with Anita Sarkeesian today.

    Their subhead calls her "pop culture's most valuable critic". Good going, Gamergaters, you have put one of your biggest targets in the mainstream cultural spotlight.

    Meanwhile, from the above link to Waxy's Gamergate is Running Out of Heroes, they have officially "lost" Felicia Day, William Gibson, Patton Oswalt, Seth Rogen, Greg Rucka, John Scalzi, Tim Schafer, Jon Stewart, and Joss Whedon, Wil Wheaton, among many others whose support they never had in the first place.

    Isn't it time Gamergate changed its mascot from "Vivian James" to this?
    posted by Doktor Zed at 12:21 PM on October 17, 2014 [16 favorites]


    I find it beyond hilarious that these chumps ever dreamed that Felicia Day would be on their side, let alone any of the other people listed. To me, that's probably one of the biggest indicators of how delusional they are. Sure, kids, a big bunch of famous people who are against sexism and racism and bullying and general shitweaseldom are TOTALLY going to be cool with you. Suuuuuuure.
    posted by palomar at 12:25 PM on October 17, 2014 [15 favorites]


    I love how "lost" implies a straying from the herd

    like William Gibson or Scalzi would ever have given their attitude the time of day.

    EDIT: although of course, "lost" is also framing to say "we are so sincere and innocent in our beliefs that of course we assume these people would be with us"
    posted by postcommunism at 12:26 PM on October 17, 2014


    Oh, Scalzi would have given it the time of day, alright. And it would have wished it had never made the acquaintance.
    posted by lodurr at 12:28 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]




    Oh, Scalzi would have given it the time of day, alright. And it would have wished it had never made the acquaintance.

    In fact, that's pretty much how it played out.
    posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:33 PM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Scalzi's been mocking them since shortly after the whole thing began, and Wheaton's posted a lot of links to takedowns in his tumblr/blog.
    posted by zombieflanders at 12:33 PM on October 17, 2014


    The Guardian has a new piece today on Brianna Wu:

    Brianna Wu and the human cost of Gamergate: 'every woman I know in the industry is scared'
    posted by palomar at 12:33 PM on October 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


    The New Yorker has a new piece up on Gamergate. Loved the conclusion:

    Those who wish to censor or expel certain creators and critics are often avid fans of video games, but their views are antithetical to its virtues. At their best, video games promote empathy and understanding by allowing us to experience virtual life from another’s perspective. Those who stand against honest debate and dialogue may think that they are protecting a beloved pastime, but their actions compromise its vibrant future.
    posted by papercrane at 12:36 PM on October 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


    In the thread mourning the "loss" of William Gibson, one the first comments is "red pill him. the 60 seconds of gamergate usually works". Like the level of delusion here is hilarious. Red pill him, bro. The 60 second video will convince him!
    posted by naju at 12:37 PM on October 17, 2014 [11 favorites]


    So, serious question:

    I'm currently interning at a major international organisation working on a project aimed at highlighting women in STEM. The project is in conjunction with the larger organisation's main vision of funding women's rights projects worldwide, and the plan is to have a Technology fund to support projects that either support women in technology or help bring access to technology to other women's groups.

    After GamerGate (which my direct supervisor is aware of) I'm wondering about how we can better support ourselves and our would-be grantees against this level of abuse. For instance, if we funded Feminist Frequency (and I really hope we do) we might get a zillion death threats and hatemail from GamerGate types.

    (I kind of anticipate that we'll get some backlash just for the exhibition content alone, but the money aspect could be yet another factor.)

    What are some things we could do as an organisation to provide support and safety both for us and for our grantees? Is there anything we can do?

    As mentioned, I'm an intern, so I'm not entirely sure how much power or say I have in how the Technology fund will run. But they've appreciated my content ideas so far and I'm personally curious anyway.
    posted by divabat at 12:39 PM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    Why would anyone have assumed Felicia Day, creator of a series about gamers including women, would be on Gamergate's side?
    posted by jeather at 12:47 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    the human cost of Gamergate: 'every woman I know in the industry is scared'

    I know that after I engaged my first gater I went through my feed and deleted any tweeted family pics so they couldn't be vandalized and then used against me.
    posted by Theta States at 12:47 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    For instance, if we funded Feminist Frequency (and I really hope we do) we might get a zillion death threats and hatemail from GamerGate types.

    I think at this point there is SUCH a critical mass that the odds of anyone targeting your group would be slim.
    It's like with #StopGamerGate2014, many women finally felt there was the critical mass that they weren't a risk for being "made an example of".

    And GG is all "slick PR talk" this days, so I don't think they'd say boo about a Women In STEM org.
    posted by Theta States at 12:51 PM on October 17, 2014


    I'm still enjoying /r/BestOfOutrageCulture. It's basically become a list of what one commenter there called "attempted Braveheart speech moments".
    posted by ArmyOfKittens at 12:51 PM on October 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


    We are a major international organisation that is 100% focused on women - if anyone's going to get the brunt of the death threats it'd be us. They've already harassed Intel and The Guardian.
    posted by divabat at 12:54 PM on October 17, 2014


    (the Women in STEM thing is a new subproject, not the entirety of the organisation's work)
    posted by divabat at 12:55 PM on October 17, 2014


    I'm still enjoying /r/BestOfOutrageCulture. It's basically become a list of what one commenter there called "attempted Braveheart speech moments".

    Oh those motherfuckers did not invoke To Kill a Mockingbird.
    posted by Navelgazer at 12:55 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    From BestOfOutrageCulture:

    "I personally want revenge for my attempted murder as a result of SJWs."

    ....and when you click through for the explanation, it's someone tweeting about "nearly getting shot in the head through the actions of '68 Marxists".

    ....Uh?
    posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:59 PM on October 17, 2014


    We are a major international organisation that is 100% focused on women - if anyone's going to get the brunt of the death threats it'd be us. They've already harassed Intel and The Guardian.

    I would just inform your Public Relations department to expect about 1100 concerned-yet-stern letters about The State Of Gaming Culture today, then. :)

    But really, they have no way to pile on you. Writing to Intel was just a tactic to punish Leigh Alexander, trying to make her "a very expensive writer for a site to hire".
    I am sure The Guardian fields a mountain of crackpot letters daily. Have they done anything else for The Guardian that I am not aware of?

    They don't take on large orgs of any stripe, which is part of the Gamergate joke: They only attack small-reach [women] indies so they can chalk up victories.
    posted by Theta States at 1:01 PM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    This breakdown of the similarity of the KiA subreddit to others, and the overlap of users with other subreddits, is kind of interesting.
    posted by palomar at 1:08 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    In fact Vox Day could pretty much be a template for your typical original-core-gamergater.
    posted by lodurr at 12:09 PM on


    Including having a bunch of followers who are convinced they everyone else has "drunk the koolaid". And moving from general forums to a private forum where there are no dissenting voices.

    I'd wonder if there is much overlap between the two groups, but the Baen Boys seem even too reactionary for the gamergate crowd.
    posted by happyroach at 1:25 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    So someone in my propaganda class just linked to this story about Hatred, which appears to be a mass murder simulator. How kicky and fun! My classmate floated the rumor that the developers (who are Polish) are honest to god neo-Nazis, but I can't find anything to back that up... in any case, their decision to release the game trailer this week pretty much reeks of trying to capitalize on GamerGate. Grosssssssss.
    posted by palomar at 1:26 PM on October 17, 2014


    Good going, Gamergaters, you have put one of your biggest targets in the mainstream cultural spotlight.

    I'd like to take this opportunity to express our undying gratitude to all the brave Social Justice Rogues who went undercover, with no regard whatsoever for their reputations, to bring what started out as a desperate false flag operation to such a triumphant conclusion.

    Sadly, their medals shall remain in the Vault of the Fallen at the Hall of Social Justice. We long for the day their contributions can finally be openly acknowledged.
    posted by tigrrrlily at 1:26 PM on October 17, 2014 [8 favorites]




    Sadly, their medals shall remain in the Vault of the Fallen at the Hall of Social Justice. We long for the day their contributions can finally be openly acknowledged.

    Nooooo! Wherever are our wayward Social Justice Clerics with their Social Justice Potions and Social Justice Cure-Moderate-Wounds Wands?!
    posted by Navelgazer at 1:30 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Like, we can't do that it would be a dead giveaway duh.
    posted by tigrrrlily at 1:40 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I'd love to know more about how the GamerGoobs are coordinating their astroturfing campaign. I have a slightly obscure linkblog twitter account where I tweeted a link to the Rolling Stone interview. Some 5 hours later three replies showed up, all obliquely critical of Sarkeesian. I guess they found my tweet with the keyword "Sarkeesian", but who is writing this stuff?
    posted by Nelson at 1:43 PM on October 17, 2014


    I'd wonder if there is much overlap between the two groups, but the Baen Boys seem even too reactionary for the gamergate crowd.

    As far as I can tell, that entire crew is all in with the Gators. When your proudest achievement is making sure that people that think women and GLBTQ people are less than human get more attention and money, it's no stretch to do the same for people who think that they deserve to die. Throw in a little "Sarkeesian is Literally Hitler because she wanted USU to take away our guns!" and you've got the average Weasel's social media and blog posts.
    posted by zombieflanders at 1:56 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    That's where their use of 'shill' comes from, isn't it?
    posted by postcommunism at 2:04 PM on October 17, 2014


    Giant Bomb weighs in.
    posted by bitterpants at 2:07 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Meanwhile in Portland, a poster-defacing campaign and a single craigslist post came out criticizing the 3rd annual women's comedy festival "All Jane No Dick." After much uproar, hilarious local comic Amy Miller tracked down the guy.

    He has no support and is clearly influenced by online MRA discussions. But IRL he sounds like a sad, naive and deluded little boy. Her interview with him is both funny and interesting in the context of all this stuff.

    It seems like men would be more threatened by the severed dicks than women. Don’t you think? A woman wouldn’t have to worry about that.
    posted by msalt at 2:09 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    He's going to be protesting Rock and Roll Camp for Girls? SERIOUSLY?
    posted by divabat at 2:14 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Of all the places, I don’t think the Country Fair is the kind of place where men are threatening. Those hippie guys are not threatening. They’re totally non-threatening, passive, friendly guys.

    omg if only
    posted by divabat at 2:14 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    To all Social Justice Guerrilla Fighters engaged in the People's Struggle!

    Sisters and Brothers- the hour is nearly at hand! On all fronts the paper tiger GamerGate reactionaries are defeated and flee in panic and disorder. Soon we will crush the final pockets of counter-revolution, and pull down the message boards and chatrooms of the Patriarchy! It is then that the real work of revolution must begin, and gaming will be re-shaped in the image of that revolution! Female nudity or outfits of a titillating nature will no longer be permitted! Intimate relations will only be portrayed between same-sex male characters! Womyn player-characters will automatically receive stat bonuses and special items! The only Destiny armor shaders allowed the crucible will be "Pride Rainbow", "Leather Bear", "Mother Goddess", "'80s Dynasty Fierceness", and "Anti-Sex League"! Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will now be an exploration of PTSD and re-integration into civilian life! It will take place entirely in a series of menial jobs, community centers, VA waiting rooms, and bars! Your character will be a lesbian amputee person of color! It will be text based!


    A Luta Coninua!
    posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:16 PM on October 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Fucking finally, Jeff. Still a little more hedgy than I'd prefer, but not bad. And already LOLing at the sad sad GGers who are all mad at GB now.
    posted by kmz at 2:19 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    This Matt "Lone" Woof kid is fucking delusional as fuck:
    You’ve admitted to not being a comedy fan or a consumer of comedy. According to the All Jane website, fewer than 19 percent of all stand-up comics are women. At the top tier of comics, it’s probably closer to 5 percent. We’re working in an extremely male-dominated industry. In that case, can you understand the motivation to organize an all female comedy festival?

    Are you saying that comedy festivals and comedy clubs, that some of them just don’t want women doing comedy? Can you mention a comedy club that discriminates against women?

    I could, but I want to work in them. So, no. But they exist.

    Well that’s sexist and that’s wrong and I would be down to protest that fact too, right alongside you. It’s sexism that I’m against. But I really doubt people have any problem with women. People will laugh at a man just as fast as they’ll laugh at a woman. It’s just as good for business.

    I have some hilarious female friends. I don’t even think about the gender of a comedian I’m watching. It’s like a grocery checker. I don’t care if they’re a man or a woman. Even though most checkers in this town are women.

    I find it hard to believe that women are being discriminated against in comedy. Why would they be? What’s the money in it? Who wants to have all men on a show? That doesn’t make any sense.
    "I really doubt that people have any problem with women"?! ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! How far up your ass does your head fit, son?
    posted by palomar at 2:21 PM on October 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


    > This series of Jonathan Blow tweets is better, imo.

    Pairs well with this playstation ad
    Especially recently I've noticed how hilariously over the top the "you, gamer, are the most important person in the universe, we've been waiting for you--the chosen one--and it's all up to you now" marketing has become. Either by having that statement almost be verbatim what the voiceover narration in the Destiny trailer. Also, the recent AAA trailer trend of having an average Joe and his buddies magically teleported into Call of Duty world to effortlessly mow down enemies and flirt with Megan Fox. I am not even making this up.
    posted by whittaker at 2:22 PM on October 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


    I’m not anti-feminism. What I really am is I guess you could call me a Men’s Rights Activist. Does that make sense? Is that a thing?

    Totes. Adorbs.
    posted by Going To Maine at 2:30 PM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    That's not even new. "It's time to slay the dragon!"
    posted by Apocryphon at 2:34 PM on October 17, 2014


    Gamespot released something at basically the same time as Giant Bomb. Makes me wonder if CBSi bigwigs were dictating a steer-clear policy until now...
    posted by kmz at 2:36 PM on October 17, 2014


    I would have liked a bit less hedgy from Jeff.

    That said, it does contain the line "So when "GamerGate" rose up to cover over a campaign of harassment with a veneer of concern for the ethics of games journalism, it more or less set off every single disgust alarm I have." Which is pleasantly unequivocal.

    GameSpot weighed in too. Not very impressed by that one.
    posted by bitterpants at 2:36 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    ah, the old "well, sure most ceos are men, but most kindergarten teachers are women, so i ask you, who are the real sexists??" argument. always adorable when that comes out, and it's often along side "i don't even notice gender but i happen to notice that this entire group is women!"
    posted by nadawi at 2:37 PM on October 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


    Gamergate folks are saying that apparently they got Mercedes to pull ads from Gawker?
    posted by Going To Maine at 2:52 PM on October 17, 2014


    Should I be concerned about these sites that have had 2 months to signal their disapproval but were strangely silent until today? I feel like they're only doing so now that mass mainstream disapproval has set in, and the cards are so clearly against GamerGate. Not a very brave stance, and I just wonder what the source of the delay is and how badly it reflects on them.
    posted by naju at 2:57 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    Going To Maine: "Gamergate folks are saying that apparently they got Mercedes to pull ads from Gawker?"

    "Es ist der verschwitzt Ruck Mart, Dieter! Sie sind entscheidend! Müssen wir kapitulieren!"
    [teutonic wailing intensifies]

    Seriously, I don't think that Mercedes is looking at the gamer segment with that kind of deference.
    posted by boo_radley at 2:58 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Metafilter: [teutonic wailing intensifies]
    posted by Tknophobia at 3:00 PM on October 17, 2014 [15 favorites]


    I just wonder what the source of the delay is and how badly it reflects on them

    They were hoping it would go away. And it absolutely reflects badly on them.
    posted by bitterpants at 3:01 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    TIL I adore boo_radley
    posted by Navelgazer at 3:19 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    A senior editor at Gawker made some bad jokes, GamerGaters talked to advertisers, and Mercedes-Benz pulled their ads.
    posted by Woodroar at 3:53 PM on October 17, 2014


    "Es ist der verschwitzt Ruck Mart, Dieter! Sie sind entscheidend! Müssen wir kapitulieren!"

    "It's the sweaty jerk Mart, Dieter! They are critical! Must we surrender!"

    Google Translate has probably failed me again but I do love "It's the sweaty jerk!"
    posted by honestcoyote at 3:56 PM on October 17, 2014


    A senior editor at Gawker made some bad jokes, GamerGaters talked to advertisers, and Mercedes-Benz pulled their ads.

    "Dear Sirs:

    When I get old enough to drive and get a job at McDonalds, I am so NOT buying a Mercedes ..."
    posted by pyramid termite at 4:04 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    It's funny how from this side of the fence the GiantBomb piece seemed too charitable, and yet GGers are losing their minds over it in the comments and on Twitter.
    posted by bitterpants at 4:20 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    As far as I can tell, that entire crew is all in with the Gators.

    I confess I haven't had enough Pepto Bismal on hand to visit their area of the net recently.

    I really have to wonder just how much high-end coordination there is between these groups. I'd it Jumping into a social media bandwagon? Some shared membership? Or does the leadership of the International League of Reactionary Fuckwits have regular conference meetings? I
    posted by happyroach at 4:20 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    A senior editor at Gawker made some bad jokes

    I think calling those "bad jokes" is really a minimalization. GamerGaters are being rightly excoriated for the same type of thing. FWIW two of the tweets in question:
    Bring Back Bullying

    Ultimately #GamerGate is reaffirming what we've known to be true for decades: nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission.
    Those tweets are obviously inappropriate and I don't see how anyone could think otherwise. People on the right side of an issue can and do act badly and they shouldn't get a pass. That's how the GamerGate folks act. Be better than they are.
    posted by Justinian at 4:22 PM on October 17, 2014 [11 favorites]


    i think those tweets were really dumb and not ok and of course gawker is filled with shitheels.
    posted by nadawi at 4:24 PM on October 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


    Well, yeah, it's Gawker. One hopes they will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history. But I am not holding my breath.
    posted by Justinian at 4:26 PM on October 17, 2014


    Yeah, that seems a lot less like #Gamergate got Mercedes to bow to their awesome power and a lot more like they brought something to Mercedes' attention, which Mercedes responded to appropriately. This is totally orthogonal to anything actually at issue in this conversation.
    posted by Navelgazer at 4:34 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    "It's the sweaty jerk!"

    I'll thank you to stop quoting my business cards.
    posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:40 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    Biddle apologizes.
    posted by Rustic Etruscan at 4:41 PM on October 17, 2014


    Trawling for something that looks like it might offend someone then shopping around for someone to pay attention to it is totally their MO, in this and the previous case.
    posted by Artw at 4:47 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    I'm sorry, my definition of "bad joke" is pretty broad. I agree the tweets weren't okay. I first read them as poorly-worded biting sarcasm of the "it sounds like he's punching-down but he's actually punching-up" variety, but a) I can't be sure of that intent at all, and b) even if that was the intent, 140 characters isn't sufficient to get that point across.
    posted by Woodroar at 4:53 PM on October 17, 2014


    I wonder if they pulled the nerds-as-oppressed-minority bullshit or just flat out decontectualised it and argued the joke went to far or if they just flat out claimed it was a blunt pro-bullying statement. My money is on the later.
    posted by Artw at 5:04 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    > Especially recently I've noticed how hilariously over the top the "you, gamer, are the most important person in the universe, we've been waiting for you--the chosen one--and it's all up to you now" marketing has become. Either by having that statement almost be verbatim what the voiceover narration in the Destiny trailer. Also, the recent AAA trailer trend of having an average Joe and his buddies magically teleported into Call of Duty world to effortlessly mow down enemies and flirt with Megan Fox. I am not even making this up.

    Wow — that's really weird, now that I think about it. I grew up with the types of games that barely even acknowledged the player: here's a world, here's a gun, good luck not getting shot. I loved getting thrust into a hostile environment and figuring out the rules. Now it's all about YOU! YOU! GET THAT POWERUP! HAVE AN ACHIEVEMENT! GOOD WORK, HERO! There's been a toxic cultural shift somewhere along the line. Maybe that's why games don't captivate me as much anymore.
    posted by archagon at 5:09 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    while not stepping back at all from "those jokes were not ok" (they weren't), i will say that the gators' response is the exact same intellectual dishonesty that they have been exhibiting all along. i was on kia this morning and it was wall to wall with the biddle outrage, comparing it 1:1 with the type of harassment they have been dishing out - which, no. not even close. they keep confusing "someone was mean about something i identify with" and "i had to leave my house and they keep calling my dad to tell him about their imaginations of my sex life."

    and on preview, yes - 100% bully and direct harassment was their take on the tweets.
    posted by nadawi at 5:10 PM on October 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


    The Gaters remind me of the Westboro Baptist Church. Not just because they're shitty, but also because their shittiness is impervious to others' behavior. Arguing with them is like wrestling a pig: you'll get covered in shit, and the pig likes it. You can't have a good faith discussion with the real movers and shakers. Mockery can be fun, but it gives them attention, plus they'll disingenuously whine if you make a joke one-tenth as mean as they are.

    I wish there was a way to coordinate a campaign which combined a Swear Jar with a Penny War: donate a dollar to $CAUSE_ONE for every time a Gater invokes Sarkeesian, donate a dollar to $CAUSE_TWO for every time a Gater invokes Quinn.
    posted by Sticherbeast at 5:12 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    what's funny is they compare their "opposition" to the wbc.
    posted by nadawi at 5:13 PM on October 17, 2014


    Should I be concerned about these sites that have had 2 months to signal their disapproval but were strangely silent until today?

    IMO the turning point is Anita Sarkeesian's death threats and subsequent cancellation of her appearance at USU. It was unambiguously illegal, unambiguously about silencing female voices, and got a lot of widespread media coverage, with specific details about the threat.

    So that made it very clear that ignoring this shitstorm won't make it go away. It also made it very easy to choose a side, and the widespread media coverage greatly reduced the amount of pain any one site is likely to get just from talking about it.

    The non-gaming media coverage also greatly improved gaming media's rhetorical footing. Until they were widely debunked, claims that gamergate was focused on journalistic integrity made it difficult for gaming journals to issue a simple statement without looking like they were just circling the wagons or otherwise trying to deflect the accusations. "Allegations that we're corrupt? Nah, nobody really cares about that. Let's talk about how you're harassing women!"

    However, there were gaming sites who did weigh in on this much earlier on. I feel Polygon did a fairly good job of covering this. They do have a fairly well moderated reader/commented community, and a more socially progressive user base, but I am sure their moderators have still been dealing with a lot of extra bullshit over this.

    I'd like there to be more sites like that. And yeah at this point, statements like, for instance, Penny Arcade's "you can't send people death threats", are so incredibly safe that they don't suggest a whole lot of conviction.

    Polygon gets a gold star. A weak, late, "me too" denouncement doesn't, but it's a lot better than silence. I'll take it.
    posted by aubilenon at 5:17 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I don't think Polygon actually officially weighed in (if they did, I missed it). They covered some of the events, and it's not exactly a secret that they are a progressive-learning site, but I was sort of disappointed they didn't take a firmer stance.

    The Verge weighed in about as unambigously as you can,as in "A lot of people are finally fed up with Gamergate's dumb crusade against women"
    posted by bitterpants at 5:28 PM on October 17, 2014


    The thing is, I just feel like right now, the easiest way for a gaming site to de-toxify their community is to unequivocally come out against GG, while GG is making their list of all the shunned sites. Good riddance and all that.
    posted by Navelgazer at 5:28 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    The only gaming site I read daily is RPS. Their community has noticeably improved since GG put them at the top of the "most corrupt" list.
    posted by honestcoyote at 5:31 PM on October 17, 2014 [10 favorites]


    Meanwhile, from the above link to Waxy's Gamergate is Running Out of Heroes, they have officially "lost" ... Jon Stewart ...

    Did Jon Stewart actually make a statement about GamerGate, or is this just from him being progressive in general? I don't remember anything from The Daily Show.
    posted by Gary at 5:37 PM on October 17, 2014


    My impression from reading the thread on 8chan that waxy linked is that they were disappointed by his discussion about white privilege with William "Bill" O'Reilly on Thursday's show.
    posted by chrchr at 5:44 PM on October 17, 2014


    i could be wrong, but i think the jon stewart thing was actually about him believing in white privilege.
    posted by nadawi at 5:45 PM on October 17, 2014


    Thanks, that makes sense. I usually skip the interview segment and certainly wasn't going to make an exception for O'Reilly.
    posted by Gary at 6:00 PM on October 17, 2014


    i finally watched it because we were talking about it and it really is incredible. it's full on shouting at times (of course) and super smug and dumb bill-o, but jon stewart eviscerates him.
    posted by nadawi at 6:02 PM on October 17, 2014


    So they crossed Jon Stewart off their list because he discussed white privilege? Well, that strips the veneer off the "ethics in journalism" angle, doesn't it?

    I'm engaging a gater on KotakuInAction, and his/her first response was all about 'corruption' and journalism and ethics, nothing obviously objectional so far. I'm curious to see where this goes.
    posted by msalt at 6:09 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    sticherbeast: plus they'll disingenuously whine if you make a joke one-tenth as mean as they are

    Thing is, i think a lot of the people we're seeing in comment threads and the like aren't being disingenuous about it -- I'm pretty sure a lot of them really have no clue what it feels like to take what they dish out.

    Of course the hard-core MRAs are a lost cause, and it's hard to tell the difference. One possible way might be to say something nice to them and see what happens. MRAs like to think they're so wise and clever and manipulative, but from what I've seen they just smell that as weakness and go for what they think is your throat. Ordinary people will often relax a little.
    posted by lodurr at 6:23 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I don't think Polygon actually officially weighed in (if they did, I missed it). They covered some of the events

    Yeah looking back through their archives... they had dozens of articles about this stuff, and while they don't actually ever issue a single clear statement, they've written lots of articles on the harassment of women, many of which rely heavily on statements by the women themselves. The framing of the coverage clearly indicates their stance, and the quantity shows they feel it's an important issue. That's means a lot more than just saying "harassment is bad" and now that that's out of the way let's talk about VR goggles.

    (They did quite early include the harassment of Zoe Quinn on a list of awful things gamers did that week, though they don't mention her name there or use the word GamerGate.)
    posted by aubilenon at 6:26 PM on October 17, 2014


    Hot off the presses: Polygon weighs in.
    posted by bitterpants at 6:36 PM on October 17, 2014 [12 favorites]


    I like the way Polygon put it: GamerGaters don't want politics out of games journalism, they want progressive politics out of games journalism.
    posted by Justinian at 6:46 PM on October 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


    I like Sticherbeast's idea about donating. I've only been contacted a few times by Goobergrape shills, but there's been an uptick. So what causes do you think are both excellent causes and, you know, so in oppositions to the GG rhetoric that they'll actually be OBVIOUSLY in opposition?

    Feminist Frequency, We Hunted The Mammoth (not familiar with, will look up), anything else?

    I'll have to cap my own contributions, but still, why not.
    posted by wintersweet at 6:48 PM on October 17, 2014


    We Hunted the Mammoth looks interesting. Sharp writing, and they don't put up with their commenters stooping to the enemy's level. At a quick glance, seems to be a strong trans presence there.
    posted by lodurr at 7:03 PM on October 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


    "what causes do you think are both excellent causes"

    There's always donating to Zoe Quinn's Patreon for sheer karmic value-for-money.
    posted by bitterpants at 7:06 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Disclaimer: I donate to that patreon. I think that means I'm corrupt or something.
    posted by bitterpants at 7:10 PM on October 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


    The Giant Bomb official statement is a little hedgey, but I don't know how anyone's surprised at its overall tone. They've to a person made offhand comments on Twitter and in morning shows, podcasts, unprofessional Fridays about how disgusted they are by what's been happening. And they've not shied away from covering any of the major events. From my POV, that full statement is basically a (welcome) formality form them.
    posted by sparkletone at 7:15 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    Sparkletone: it's hedgey, but it does not make /r/KotakuInAction/ very happy.

    I think the value in it is mostly that they are fairly loved by "core" gamers. Those folks can write off Polygon, but coming from Jeff, it hurts.
    posted by bitterpants at 7:18 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


    I know I'm guilty of FTFY jokes way too often (and for some of you, once is too often), but there is one very minor adjustment I'd make to the last sentence of the Polygon statement:

    "No need to jump at shadows of conspiracy or collusion, GamerGaters; you've already unearthed become the most damaging force in video games today."
    posted by oneswellfoop at 7:20 PM on October 17, 2014


    but coming from Jeff, it hurts.

    Yeah. I'm just saying that, well. In typical GG-er fashion, if they'd been paying any attention at all without their insane blinders on, it was clear that Patrick and Alex weren't the only GB dude that are completely fucking disgusted by them. It's all of them. They just hadn't made a Formal Statement™ about their disgust. "Merely" expressed it steadily and casually in their regular output.

    Their sadfaces about GB are the same kind of bizarre as expecting Tim Schafer et al. to think they are anything but scum.
    posted by sparkletone at 7:25 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    And skimming that godawful comment thread... Unshockingly: They still seem to hate Patrick the most lol. And even more bizarrely think Ryan would've given the time of fucking day. Idiots.
    posted by sparkletone at 7:28 PM on October 17, 2014


    The irony of hating on Patrick is he spends an inordinate amount of time trying to listen to and politely engage with his haters, which is ostensibly the very thing that they want: "real discussion."
    posted by bitterpants at 7:32 PM on October 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


    The irony of hating on Patrick is he spends an inordinate amount of time trying to listen to and politely engage with his haters, which is ostensibly the very thing that they want: "real discussion."


    Well I think it may be their image of "discussion" works something like the way conversions are supposed to go in people informed by Jack Chick tracts. That is, the reasonable person merely has to listen as the Gamer recites "the facts", and, instant conversion! And if they aren't convinced, if they exhibit skepticism or bring up contrary facts, then they are corrupted or one of the enemy, and they're lying if the say the want dialogue.
    posted by happyroach at 8:00 PM on October 17, 2014 [17 favorites]


    I think that's exactly how it goes... a GoobleGobbler jumped up my ass in a Polygon comment thread on Facebook and told me to just take the time to watch some videos and I'd see that it's all about ethics in journalism. Then he linked to the Quinnspiracy and "five guys" videos.

    What's with these guys and videos?
    posted by palomar at 8:09 PM on October 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


    they want their opinions spoonfed to them?

    edit: I feel like this is a super derisive statement but I can't find a better way to explain what I mean. They confuse a host who talks quickly with logic.
    posted by Strass at 8:12 PM on October 17, 2014 [1 favorite]




    What's with these guys and videos?

    To be fairer than I'd like to be, Anita Sarkeesian makes videos and gives talks and doesn't really write articles, and the aim there was to get beyond a more scholarly audience. (Ian Bogost, who's an academic but also engages with more popular media, asked today whether her work would have