Why Would Anyone Want to Kill Brianna Wu?
March 7, 2015 2:32 PM   Subscribe

"What anyone can see by looking closely at Wu is an entrepreneurial archetype. She's not a countercultural artist like Quinn or a crusader like Sarkeesian." Inc. profiles Brianna Wu.
The piece mentions Wu's being interviewed for the movie GTFO, a documentary on women and video game culture. The New York Times has just run a feature on the film and its director, Shannon Sun-Higginson.
posted by Going To Maine (63 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
 
Your timing is sadly spot on.
posted by Punkey at 2:42 PM on March 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Because cooties.
posted by acb at 2:57 PM on March 7, 2015


Your timing is sadly spot on.

Wow. That's...fucking awful. And horribly predictable. And still fucking awful.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 3:09 PM on March 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


This has nothing to do with what's happening to Brianna, which is (a) disgusting and (b) indefensible...but I really wish her actual game was a little more progressive in its styling choices.

These are what her characters look like. And of course she's entitled to make whatever game she wants. I just wish she'd gone with something that looked a little less like lily-white Bratz dolls incarnate.
posted by harperpitt at 3:10 PM on March 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


harperpitt: A few weeks ago she posted images of remodels of her characters that were a lot more reasonable than what they currently are with respect to that, though I don't have a link handy and I'm not sure if the intent was to actually update her game as such.

Sebmojo: She's one of the many gamergate targets that have recieved many violent threats since the movement has started, so you're very incorrect on that. Today, even, it came out that one of the security people at PAX was not only one of the members of GG that have been sending threats to her and other targets (including tweets about wanting to "hate fuck" Anita Sarkeesian") but he had straight-up stalked her at PAX and retweeted a message on Twitter about killing her right after. Try again.
posted by flatluigi at 3:33 PM on March 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


Brianna's actually been quite open about the criticism of her character designs and is in the process of reworking them in response.
posted by Kosh at 3:37 PM on March 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


If these are the types of reworkings she's talking about, I'm not impressed. At least the character's head is bigger than her waist this time. :P
posted by harperpitt at 3:51 PM on March 7, 2015


I am sick of these gamergaters and their bullshit.
posted by humanfont at 3:54 PM on March 7, 2015 [19 favorites]


It's certainly an improvement, especially where the waist and thighs are concerned. The suctionboob seems to be gone, too. It's not my preferred style, but it's a step in the right direction.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:55 PM on March 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Fair enough, dinty_moore. It is definitely a step. (And I'm looking forward to seeing what she's got in the queue in terms of new game development...starting from scratch certainly comes with a lot more freedom to play with sizes, ethnicities, gender expressions, etc.)
posted by harperpitt at 3:58 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wait, this gator is a PAX Enforcer? Please tell me they fucking ejected them like a villain from a Bond car.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:01 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


[Comment and a couple replies removed; please don't jump into threads with terse dismissals of the premise, it's just picking a fight instead of getting the conversation off to a decent start.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:08 PM on March 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Wow, this part of the article was gross:
"She taunted Gamergate for weeks," this woman continued, who asked that her name be withheld. "She baited them, and then they finally came after her, which is exactly what she wanted them to do."
What. The. Fuck. She "taunted" them, so hey, no worries about the fucking DEATH THREATS, they're all fine.
posted by Lexica at 4:11 PM on March 7, 2015 [24 favorites]


She also has two other games in production of different types. On her podcast, Isometric (which is awesome) and I think even on her second podcast, Rocket, she has talked about how feedback from other feminists has changed and informed her perspective on women's bodies and the representation thereof. Both she and Maddy Myers have talked about their history with feminism on Isometric (in a nutshell, both were Chill Girls for a long time until they began to see the trap in being the token female 'one of the boys' and have subsequently embraced feminism and relationships with other women but are still learning and open to learning more). They talked a lot about this in relation to the video game Bayonetta, which both of them love and find to be a power fantasy for themselves (Maddy wrote an article about her view of Bayonetta as a power fantasy for some women; its one of the interesting disagreements they both have with Anita Sarkeesian).

Honestly, I'm mostly impressed that Brianna continues to be open to feedback on her work given the history of significant, plausible death threats she's endured since October 2014, including individuals attempting to figure out the vet she was taking her dog to when he was severely ill, and one person making videos of himself with a gun and claiming to have flipped a car driving to her house (subsequently shown to be false, defended as a "joke" and "parody" by the man who created and shared the threats, who - in a show of true irony - has now asked to be left alone because the threats and abuse he's now experiencing are so painful for him).

I am dismayed at how much these routine, plausible, detailed threats against certain women are being dismissed by law enforcement. I know several of the women who have endured 2-3 years of this abuse have been in continuous talks with both local and federal law enforcement, but I feel like the lack of response and the apparent general shrug on the part of law enforcement will eventually embolden someone to act on one of these threats. Shootings targeting women are relatively prevalent among mass shootings in the last ten years; none of this seems implausible to me, and it definitely has a chilling and terrifying effect on a lot of women. It is, from my perspective, a particularly insidious form of terrorism.
posted by Deoridhe at 4:19 PM on March 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


This is why people like Wu need the explicit support of the big, well known developers and high profile outlets. Because there is no reason these shits went after her, other than that they thought they could get to her.
posted by selfnoise at 4:20 PM on March 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


Wait, this gator is a PAX Enforcer? Please tell me they fucking ejected them like a villain from a Bond car.

Though many of us would like to believe PAX is an oasis of acceptance in a desert of hostility, you do realize PAX was also once home to dickwolves, aka a joke in mildly poor taste that then became something to throw in the face of people who objected on the grounds that it made light of rape victims. PAX ain't doing shit.
posted by chrominance at 4:21 PM on March 7, 2015 [15 favorites]


For a long time, I thought Existenz was all you needed to understand whatever is apparently happening with men in the gaming community, but lately I'm wondering if "The Screwfly Solution" isn't a little bit more on point.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:24 PM on March 7, 2015 [12 favorites]


PAX ain't doing shit.

Randi Harper was an enforcer in the past, so something might happen, but it's hard to say what. Meanwhile, as covered in this Gamerghazi thread, the guy has claimed to be a "neutral" and apologized for having retweeted a death threat. So, no harm done, right?
posted by Going To Maine at 4:37 PM on March 7, 2015


Speaking of law enforcement, I'm really worried that the continuing ineffectual and disinterested response (and sadly I can't imagine that improving soon) will lead to a normalization of vigilante behavior amongst all parties. Witness the Curt Schilling imbroglio, for example.

It's like if Mefi had no mods, just Metatalk. (shudder)
posted by selfnoise at 4:38 PM on March 7, 2015


If these are the types of reworkings she's talking about, I'm not impressed. At least the character's head is bigger than her waist this time. :P

Her body type looks pretty darn normal to me. Not as muscular as I'd expect from someone with the physical skills of a super-spy, but she looks like one of the many fit young women I see around my university campus.

I boggles my mind that GamerGate is still going. This shit usually burns out within a month. How are they able to hold onto that much hatred and assholery for so long? Though, I guess the theory that it's become one of the main channels for White Male Indignation would explain that.
posted by schroedinger at 4:51 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Witness the Curt Schilling imbroglio, for example.

If someone were to put together a group that would go after harassers as direct as those that targeted Schilling's daughter in the same way he did, I would donate money every month.

There are points where such things are taken too far. I honestly don't think people should get fired for an off-color joke made in the wrong environment, even if it deeply offends someone who happened to overhear it. But when it's deliberately targeted harassment? When it's the kind of stuff that Wu and Sarkeesian and Quinn have had to deal with?

Sign me up.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 5:05 PM on March 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


Doesn't seem very neutral to me. Seems that's a common Gamergater dodge, they get caught and claim "neutrality".
posted by Punkey at 5:23 PM on March 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


Seems that's a common Gamergater dodge, they get caught and claim "neutrality".

Wow, he's not even neutral on ethics in gaming journalism.
posted by Etrigan at 5:34 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yep, that's the thing.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:34 PM on March 7, 2015


It boggles my mind that GamerGate is still going.

So, one of the Twitter folks who have been following GG for some time thinks that the total number is around 500. (That's not a haystack, it's just a tiny pile of needles.) Five hundred fanatics could probably sustain themselves without too much difficulty.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:44 PM on March 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


In answer to the question in the title: Because she's a woman? Anyone not answering it that way hasn't enough credibility to report on gg.
posted by OmieWise at 5:45 PM on March 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


A security detail should make people at an event feel more safe.

They should have dropped this guy for harassing behavior. Immediately.
posted by themanwho at 6:01 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


This, this is what I was taking about before in another post re: war zones on other sites.

Anyways, rumour is that PAX brushed it off(maybe a slap on the wrist) until Brianna caught wind of their "inaction" and took care of things.
posted by Yowser at 6:40 PM on March 7, 2015


[A few comments removed. There are workable ways to join a conversation as a brand new member of the site, but holding forth with a lot of dismissive Look, Here's The Real Deal stuff is not one of them. Please cool it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:52 PM on March 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


[Themis, I'm not sure what you were hoping for here but this is not a reasonable way to jump in to conversation here. You need to give this thread a rest, period, and if what you're looking for is to become a member of this community rather than just a fight on a some pre-primed subject, you need to spend a good amount of time lurking on the site and getting a better idea of the basic discursive expectations here so this pattern doesn't continue.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:12 PM on March 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


It seems that the enforcer who was being creepy to Brianna has been kicked out of Pax and banned. This is the rumor on Twitter and various other social media at the moment. Hopefully Pax will issue a real statement.
posted by humanfont at 8:07 PM on March 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Gamergate will continue to be a 'thing' until a sufficient number of "gators" take up residence in America's prisons for their threats and harassment. How many is sufficient? Well, the current tally... ZERO... is not it.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:24 PM on March 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


The UK has sentenced a pair of trolls to short stints in jail. Buzzfeed has an article with one of the trolls. Tldr alcoholic gets nasty on Twitter, ends up getting 12 weeks in jail. Continues to be a total shit but escalates into actually fighting and physical violence. Now seems to finally be sobering up.
posted by humanfont at 9:37 PM on March 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gamergate is more than 500 people. They're not really a vocal minority so much as a voice for a lot of the dominant thought and attitudes in games culture (and in wider culture, really) that has been on slow boil for over/about a decade. Gamer culture has contained those elements for a long time, but traditionally no one took a stance or admitted it was real, until the well contained nothing but poison. As terrifying as the whole thing is, it has at least been a wake up call for everyone who has traditionally been on the fence about the toxicity of games culture. Their right-out-there-in-the-open misogyny made the toxicity of games culture undeniable, and I've seen some surprising positive shifts and good pieces from outside games culture. And some creepy reactionary temper tantrums. My list of regularly checked games writing venues is very small.

I do still worry about the disconnect law enforcement have over this, though; things happening on the internet aren't "not real," and as stupid and absurd as it is every time you type it or say it out loud, dudes really are that angry about videogames. I worry that someone is going to get actually hurt or killed if this continues to be dismissed as trivial.
posted by byanyothername at 9:38 PM on March 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't be so quick to say that law enforcement doesn't take threats like this seriously. Just because very few people have been arrested doesn't mean that they're not paying attention to the threats - they know (or hopefully know if their job is threat analysis and prevention) how quickly a threat can turn into an act. It's just that in many cases, there's jurisdictional issues involved - if they know the real location of the person issuing the threats at all. As was stated above, Gamergaters have a lot of dummy accounts and sockpuppets, and those accounts probably don't have entirely accurate location data attached to them either. I'd imagine that the serious harassers are taking precautions against being caught, which is probably why the FBI is taking an interest as well. Is it warranting a nationwide task force? Probably not, but that doesn't mean that there's not people out there working to put a stop to it.
posted by Punkey at 9:44 PM on March 7, 2015


Actually, if I was Brianna Wu, I'd be looking into exactly where the line for stalking and other similar offenses is in Boston. Taking the picture might push this guy's acts over the line into a criminal offense.
posted by Punkey at 9:49 PM on March 7, 2015


GDC 2015 - The Empty Chair
posted by naju at 11:01 PM on March 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


On Monday Offworld is launching (re-launching, technically) on Boing Boing, spearheaded by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson.

"This will be an unequivocal home for women and minorities, whose voices will form most of the work published here. We're central to the growth and development of this warm, brilliant, expressive medium."
posted by naju at 11:04 PM on March 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hope Offworld is good, though I don't much care for BoingBoing these days. I am, however, convinced that part of the reason that gamergate is so mad about it is because the dorky little asteroids game on their launch page is orders of magnitudes better than the asteroids clone that Roguestar made. (This Roguestar guy is a piece of work, but I have some pretty great schadenfreude over how absolutely AWFUL his game looks. There are some screenshots of it in the thread from that tweet I linked, though it's possible there's also a lot of awful sealioning gators; I use the autoblocker so I don't see a lot of their vitriol.)
posted by NoraReed at 11:27 PM on March 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Gamergate is more than 500 people. They're not really a vocal minority so much as a voice for a lot of the dominant thought and attitudes in games culture (and in wider culture, really) that has been on slow boil for over/about a decade.
It's close to a hundred-billion-dollar industry worldwide - gg can be a lot more than 500 people without being anything but a vocal minority.
posted by gingerest at 1:31 AM on March 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


If someone were to put together a group that would go after harassers as direct as those that targeted Schilling's daughter in the same way he did, I would donate money every month.

Not quite the same thing, but it's worth noting that Zoe Quinn is one of the co-founders of Crash Override, and is one of the directors of the newly formed Online Abuse Prevention Initiative spearheaded by Randi Harper. The emphasis is on protection rather than prosecution, which honestly I think is a better strategy at this point considering the current state of law enforcement and the potential risk of actions like Curt Schilling's backfiring (if, for example, you identify the wrong party as the harasser).
posted by chrominance at 3:42 AM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


(packs bowl, lights it) Quarterly brain dump time, from hard-working indie developer, GO!

I was sitting in the room (right behind Brenda and John Romero) at the IGF / Developer's Choice awards at GDC the other night, and was refreshing /r/KotakuInAction on my phone as the whole thing was being livestreamed.

So, near the end of the IGF awards, Nathan Vella makes a speech about how we as an industry can no longer ignore the hatred and toxicity, imploring us to stand up and address and denounce it loudly, and to work toward making this a safer place for people from all walks of life. He gets a 3 minute long standing ovation from the audience -> DEAFENING SILENCE FROM KiA

Then, Tim Schafer leads off with a few mocking jokes about sock puppets, using a sock puppet -> MASSIVE OUTRAGE EXPLOSION. OMG SJWS ARE BIGOTS, SEE??

They play Ashly Burch's "Social Justice Warrior" comedy video where she's literally a gun-slinging warrior, "Welcome to the PAIN-triarchy" -> MASSIVE OUTRAGE EXPLOSION. OMG SHE'S MAKING DEATH THREATS, SEE? PROOF FEMINAZIS ARE HYPOCRITE BITCHES

It's like nothing Nathan said even registered with anyone, and all everyone wants to do is react with ever-increasing vitriol, and just escalate and confront and yell and punch and seethe.

After half a year, I'm STILL trying to reach out to individual GG supporters who I know personally (dozens) and debate 1-on-1 with them in private, with mixed results. Usually, after a less-than-fruitful conversation, yeah, digging a little through their posting history reveals some pretty disgusting stuff. In a lot of cases, as soon as I bring up Zoe Quinn, the true colors come out fast. It's not pretty.

But... not always. These people are multifaceted human beings, and many are not sociopaths or virulent bigots, and many are highly intelligent; at worst, they're just not willing to accept that the timing of this particular "ethics" uproar is, for many people, a cover for organized harassment. That they're not helping by sharing a podium with creeps. That the "corruption" they should REALLY be targeting is that of AAA publishers who hold extravagant press junkets and pay for reviews. That the reason GG's targets are mostly female indie devs with friends in the press is no coincidence. I'm not ready to give up on every single person who identifies with this thing, though, because allies are made one at a time, and some of these people are genuinely thoughtful people who have thought themselves into a corner.

Sometimes worldviews evolve or even change completely, and I want to be a gentle positive influence on young people within my reach, and give them stuff to think about, without talking down to them, or painting them as evil villains. Some of them are beyond reasoning, definitely, but some are still making up their minds about the world, and will back away and think stuff over when the conclusions they've drawn are challenged.

I realize it's much easier to be patient and measured when I'm not a woman being intimidated and forced out of my home or career. Some people on "our side" might think I'm being cowardly by not shouting at the top of my lungs and going on the offensive, and of course, some GGers reading this post would think I'm trying to be duplicitous and recruit the weak-willed into militant feminism. But fuck, I don't know what else I can do to help the situation instead of just throwing my hands up and walking away. I respect that some people have to do exactly that for their own sanity, but nothing will get better if we ALL do that. Goddammit, I love making and playing video games, and want others to have that opportunity too, and I think we all have to help in our own ways.

Just honestly don't know what to do from here. I will say that I'm currently directing a project (which due to MeFi rules, I can't link to) with a majority-female artist roster. Not to make some kind of statement -- a lot of the best animators and designers I've worked with just happen to be women, and we invited them based solely on their GOD-TIER talent. And they're charging a lot, and they're gonna get hella paid.
posted by jake at 4:36 AM on March 8, 2015 [31 favorites]


I will say that I'm currently directing a project (which due to MeFi rules, I can't link to)

You can – and are more than welcome to! – self-link in comments. It's only FPPs with self- or friend-links that are verboten. Would be great to hear more about your project.
posted by fraula at 5:44 AM on March 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


You can also post in Projects.
posted by brujita at 7:07 AM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


You can – and are more than welcome to! – self-link in comments. It's only FPPs with self- or friend-links that are verboten. Would be great to hear more about your project.

Nah, it's a Kickstarter in progress, don't want to seem like I'm soliciting support. We've gotten a bunch of press coverage and interviews because the project itself is pretty unique, and we were just awarded one of the first three Unreal Engine Dev Grants, if you wanna go looking!

But it's co-created and 50/50 owned by me and my sister-from-another-mister, Jessie (singer, artist, and project manager) and the women working with us are awe-inspiring. I'm taking the first steps toward launching my own independent game studio over the next couple years, and you can bet that diversity and equality (in both hiring and character design) will be core values from the start, even though our games won't be focused on social topics as much as music and wordplay.

If any women reading this are on the fence about pursuing careers in game design, art, music, programming -- or if you're one of the many women already kicking ass in the industry -- let me be just one small voice of support. These jerks can't silence all of you. Gaming is going through awkward and terrible growing pains, definitely, but equality issues are becoming impossible to downplay or ignore, and more and more people are fed up and speaking out, and it's gonna get better. Let's build up faster than the haters can tear down.
posted by jake at 8:09 AM on March 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


So, near the end of the IGF awards, Nathan Vella makes a speech about how we as an industry can no longer ignore the hatred and toxicity, imploring us to stand up and address and denounce it loudly, and to work toward making this a safer place for people from all walks of life. He gets a 3 minute long standing ovation from the audience -> DEAFENING SILENCE FROM KiA

You find that unless Gamergate is mentioned by name in these sorts of speeches the traditional response from Goobergrapers is "see? they support Gamergate! We're against harassment too! Damn Femnazis always harassing people!"

The cognitive dissonance rivals even those of Fox News viewers.
posted by Talez at 9:00 AM on March 8, 2015


Speaking of Leigh Alexander: A (partial) list of actual ethical concerns in video games.
posted by flatluigi at 9:17 AM on March 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


flatluigi: That is a very nice article. Wish I believed those who would need to approach it sincerely would even read it.
posted by seyirci at 11:50 AM on March 8, 2015


Your timing is sadly spot on.

FFS. How do these idiots never get tired of being assholes. Hopefully something will come of this.
posted by homunculus at 12:35 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gamergate is more than 500 people. They're not really a vocal minority so much as a voice for a lot of the dominant thought and attitudes in games culture (and in wider culture, really) that has been on slow boil for over/about a decade.
It's close to a hundred-billion-dollar industry worldwide - gg can be a lot more than 500 people without being anything but a vocal minority.


Just to be clear, the article's argument is less that only five hundred people are pro-GG and more that the vast majority of GG's overt actions (Twitter follows, harassing tweets, emails, etc.) can be attributed to a small number of folks who are particular obsessed. That's compelling to me, especially given the floaty nature of what GG actually is. I suspect that there are plenty of folks out there who hate the guts of Zoe Quinn and other outspoken women, would be glad to say that they sympathize with GG's aims and generally let the worst behavior pass unnoticed. But the engine that gins up the outrage at a joke by Tim Schafer is itself quite small.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:59 PM on March 8, 2015


Just want to say something nice about PAX East:

My fiancee is a game developer who also cosplays pretty seriously - technically I guess professionally, now, as she's moonlighting as an in-character brand rep. for one of the indie booths at the show this year.

Thus far, her experience at PAX has been far less harassment than she'd typically encounter in a mall or walking down a city street, and every 2 hours or so a rather built senior Enforcer stops by and asks all the women working their booth whether there's been anybody giving them even the slightest trouble or in need of a talking-to.

Unlike previous years (including a couple where I was boyfriend-guarding her while she cosplayed on the show floor) only one person outright asked her out, but he was polite and he desisted immediately when she indicated she was in a relationship. There's only been one actual case of harassing behavior, which unfortunately came from a disabled kid in a wheelchair who was pretty clearly exploiting that fact to treat a bunch of people (she was just one of many) in a rather vile fashion.

In general she reports feeling safer on the show floor than any year prior and has been impressed as hell with the improvement. Show management has clearly put an enormous amount of effort into fixing things, and it's having a palpable effect.
posted by Ryvar at 4:45 PM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


So, near the end of the IGF awards, Nathan Vella makes a speech about how we as an industry can no longer ignore the hatred and toxicity, imploring us to stand up and address and denounce it loudly, and to work toward making this a safer place for people from all walks of life. He gets a 3 minute long standing ovation from the audience -> DEAFENING SILENCE FROM KiA


Well, there was some abreaction to that, but it was drowned out by the wails of anger about Tim Schafer. Adrian Chmielarz, the Creative Director of The Astronauts and one of the few devs/studio heads with actual product in the market to rep for GamerGate - posted a Twitlonger that downplayed Schafer's dad jokes but took vehement issue with Vela's speech.
Second, the only moment when I was really pissed off myself was the bullshit about "women pushed out of their homes and the industry". I do not remember exactly what was all about as I was considering ragequitting the ceremony at this point. To add insult to injury, this got standing ovation. Not from everybody but still. I found the whole thing pathetic. Obviously not because I do not care about harrassment etc. - as every sane human being, I do. But it was a clearly one sided nod to the professional victims, a nod from those whose lies contribute to why some women might not want to join this industry. I felt like watching bullies accompanied by the betanodders and the uninformed visiting that nerd in the hospital that "unidentified someone" beat up. Hypocrisy and propaganda going over 9000 so fast it's visibly distorting time and space.
It's the usual mix of Gamergate talking points - railing against "professional victims" (i.e. Sarkeesian, Quinn and Wu), blaming the media for keeping women out of games by reporting on harassment - and the MRA/PUA obsession with beta males, but he's absolutely right. If you're a GamerGater, you shouldn't be worrying about Tim Schafer making dad jokes. You should be worrying that an auditorium full of game developers - the people your movement claims to represent - gave a lengthy standing ovation when another developer unambiguously condemned what you've been doing, theoretically in their name, for the last six months. Insult to injury indeed.
posted by running order squabble fest at 7:38 PM on March 8, 2015 [10 favorites]


Considering how consistently beset GGers seem to find themselves all the damn time, its hard not to parse "professional victims" as referring to GGers themselves.
posted by Bugbread at 10:50 PM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


They're hella unprofessional though. I mean, not quite men's rights movement level of looking like shitty children from their prose style + photoshop skills, but definitely not professional looking.
posted by NoraReed at 10:58 PM on March 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


I feel like, at this point, the-silly-hashtag-and-its-silly-people are being propped up more by response than support and that basically their "movement" barely exists apart from a small group of bad actors who should just be dealt with individually. Google Trends and every Twitter tracking tool I can find seem to support this presumption.

There is no doubt that the issues involved are still issues, and I absolutely support both women in gaming and making gaming better for all humans. I do kind of wish we'd all stop giving these-silly-people-who-are-really-quite-gross a high five for their stupid club's name every time this crap comes up though.
posted by trackofalljades at 8:11 AM on March 9, 2015


Tumblr user Zennistrad on how Gamergate has damaged the status of video games in academia:
For many years, people have been fighting for games to be recognized seriously as an art form. GamerGate, as it seems, has caused serious damage to that. Social scientists have been studying the influence of games, not just because of their negative effects, but because of the potential positive effects as well. Games could potentially be a powerful tool to help teach empathy, and increase satisfaction and happiness.

But now that GamerGate has shattered public perception of gaming in academia, we may never be able to fully understand how to allow games to reach their full potential in this regard. But it’s not just media studies in video games that have suffered.

Rebecca HG, also known as 8BitBecca, is a video game archivist. Her work is vitally important to the future of video games, as the passage of time guarantees that physical storage media degrades and becomes unusable. Within decades, many out-of-print games may be lost forever, outside of illegal ROMs.

But now, thanks to GamerGate, video game archiving as a professional practice is all but dead.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:05 AM on March 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


trackofalljades: if there's one thing I've learned from my years of dealing with shitty people on the internet, it's that ignoring an issue will never make it go away -- and, for the sake of the people whose lives are STILL being made worse in this eternal August, I really think that just shouldn't be an option now.

Thankfully, we're finally (FINALLY) edging towards people in the industry doing widespread, vocal denouncement of the movement by name. Showing them that their vocal minority is not actually a silent majority should hopefully go a long way, and at the very least will make the women and other minorities in the industry feel safer and more welcome.
posted by flatluigi at 10:25 AM on March 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


I feel like, at this point, the-silly-hashtag-and-its-silly-people are being propped up more by response than support and that basically their "movement" barely exists apart from a small group of bad actors who should just be dealt with individually.

That is very easy to say from the perspective of someone not targeted with hundreds of rape and death threats a week.

1) These "silly" people continue to harass and abuse women; dismissing them as "silly" minimizes their effect on the women they target - which serves their purposes and doesn't help the women.

2) So far, not a single "bad actor" has been dealt with. So far as I know, two named individuals have had restraining orders put out against them (one by Quinn, one by Wu) and both of the "bad actors" have violated those restraining orders.

3) By and large, Law Enforcement doesn't seem to be taking credible threats seriously, much less the barrage of harassment which those "silly" people continue to unleash against women whom they target for abuse. Granted, Law Enforcement is slow to respond to threats unless they are against Law Enforcement, but claims that these "silly" people should be dealt with "individually" is equivalent to saying, "Look, women who have been harassed for anywhere from four years to five months, you just have to figure out who these people are, get law enforcement to take you seriously, and if you're lucky, maybe a cop will stop by their house and not even check it for guns!"

TL;dr: Dismissing abusive people doesn't help anyone but the abusive people.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:54 AM on March 9, 2015 [15 favorites]


Meanwhile in Reddit news, r/KotakuInAction, the main subreddit for GamerGaters was picked as subreddit of the day yesterday. It's not really a Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" sort of deal, but more of a thing meant to draw attention and bring recognition to worthy, smaller subreddits.

Anyways, if you want to take a look at the level of self-deception among GamerGaters, just take a look at the wall of text (or just skim it like I did). It seems mostly tied up in a bunch of mod cabal censorship conspiracy, probably related to the initial thread-deletions they had head off the potential for a doxxing headache around the initial Eron Gjoni screed. But, notice that there is no mention of feminism (or "SJW"s) anywhere in the wall of text even though the very name of the subreddit is a play on r/TumblrInAction which might have started out poking fun at the more outré identity stuff on Tumblr (e.g.: otherkins, etc...) but nowadays is devoted primarily to mocking "SJW"s and sometimes even the very concepts of feminism, privilege, etc...
posted by mhum at 8:23 PM on March 9, 2015


It's almost funny how like 90% of GamerGate's energy these days is directed solely at being mad at people for shit-talking GamerGate.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:38 PM on March 9, 2015 [2 favorites]






Actually, this time it is about ethics in gaming journalism: Ars Technica's failed interview of Fredrick "Hotwheels" Brennan (Storify)

Good round up on info about the interview, Brennan, and 8chan from a DKos diarist: Ars Technica Readers: Meet the Real Hotwheels
Following the doxing and subsequent harassment of an unnamed Ars Technica reporter by 8ch.net users, the technology and news site granted a longwinded interview with 8ch.net admin Fredrick Brennan, age 20. According to Ars, Brennan had the dox of the Ars reporter removed by a moderator in exchange for nicer coverage by Machkovech and Ars. Evidently, Brennan got what he wanted.

The interview was a three-page puff piece, intended to whitewash and legitimize Brennan's board as beyond his control and virtuous in its anonymity. The headline absolved Brennan of any responsibility for the platform, and the byline valorized it. The meat of the article was loaded with softball questions about Brennan's personal life intended to make him seem sympathetic. Machkovech gave Brennan a lot of room for excuse making, at times even acting like Brennan's spokesman. On multiple occasions Machkovech failed to challenge Hotwheels on outright falsehoods; about stories Machkovech had previously reported on for Ars. Machkovech didn't challenge Brennan on any of it, though he must have known Brennan was lying to him.

Ars Technica seems to be letting Brennan lead them around on a bridle, showing us only Hotwheels (his nickname, for the wheelchair he rides) as he would like to be depicted. All the tough questions Machkovech asked Brennan were left on the cutting room floor. In the past, Ars has also changed headlines for Hotwheels to reflect Brennan's ideas about 8chan's personhood. In this interview, Ars euphemistically referred to the child porn on 8chan as "illegal activity".
posted by zombieflanders at 12:34 PM on March 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


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