Gamergate gets the profile it deserves
April 28, 2015 8:56 AM   Subscribe

“But before he emptied the contents of Quinn’s private life into the gaping maw of a bloodthirsty Internet, back before he instigated the most vicious online backlash against feminism in a generation, there was a first date.”
Zachary Jason writes about Eron Gjoni's break-up and his subsequent actions in Boston Magazine: Game of Fear: What if a stalker had an army?
posted by Going To Maine (460 comments total) 69 users marked this as a favorite
 
A cautionary tale about feeling sorry for people.
posted by Artw at 9:00 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I like how the author kept on giving Gjoni more and more rope to hang himself with. But in sadder news, apparently the gators contributed to the suicide of a trans game developer suffering from serious physical illness. Maybe that could be added to their list of crimes.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:08 AM on April 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


christ, what an asshole.

And that people, named people (Rachel Martin), were able and willing to help burn the mf'er down ? Geeze.

(also why I prefer to live in relative anonymity.)
posted by k5.user at 9:10 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Outside, he lit a cigarette and opened his phone to check the balance of his legal account, crowdfunded by Quinn’s attackers and First Amendment advocates. To date they have donated some $13,000.
Between this, the Sarkeesian Effect still getting about $7K a month (down from like $10k/mo at the peak), the Honey Badger Expo fund and legal defense fund, etc. GG has been able to throw an incredible amount of capital seemingly directly into the toilet so far. I don't know what that means, to tell you the truth. But their support seems to keep Gjoni talking well past the point that any sane lawyer would allow so, uh, good? I guess?
posted by griphus at 9:10 AM on April 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


Until this guy actually sees some serious backlash, as in his ass in jail, he won't stop. I'm glad his grossness is dragged into the light, though; too much focus has been on what his victims should/shouldn't do, not enough on what a sociopathic little slimeball he personally is.
posted by emjaybee at 9:13 AM on April 28, 2015 [42 favorites]


There was a three prong test of fascism from an earlier FPP on the rabid puppies mess that applies here.

1) Mythical Golden Era of Masucline Duke Nuke'em Shoot-em-ups that were't dogshit.

2) Stabbed in the back by Skeleton Gamers.

3) We will be led to victory by the 26yo Pope and his associates.
posted by Slackermagee at 9:16 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


Good Lord:

Since the game’s release, Quinn has tried to save every piece of harassment she’s received to a folder on her desktop titled “Just Another Day at the Office.” Before Gjoni’s post, she had received 16 megabytes of abuse. When she stopped saving threats last December—because she couldn’t keep up with the bombardment—she had 16 gigabytes: 1,000 times more.

The level of abuse Quinn has gotten is worse than I could have imagined, even after accounting for the fact that it's worse than I could have imagined.
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:17 AM on April 28, 2015 [37 favorites]


Between this, the Sarkeesian Effect still getting about $7K a month (down from like $10k/mo at the peak), the Honey Badger Expo fund and legal defense fund, etc. GG has been able to throw an incredible amount of capital seemingly directly into the toilet so far.

The money they have thrown at the Hugos is, unfortunately, still only debatably down the toilet.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:18 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Gjoni is a piece of work to put it mildly. He isn't the spearhead of a backlash movement. He's just a glorified wifebeater with computer skills. If he were a blue collar guy with no computer skills, we would have seen this on an episode of Cops.
posted by jonp72 at 9:24 AM on April 28, 2015 [37 favorites]


emjaybee: "Until this guy actually sees some serious backlash, as in his ass in jail, he won't stop."
When I emailed him recently, Gjoni said he’d been having second thoughts. “I don’t know that I’ll publish it anymore,” he wrote. “I’m finding it increasingly difficult to be concerned about people who think I’m a monster. Which is wrong of me, I know. But the last eight months have been taxing. I just want to code, and hang out with my friends and my girlfriend, and I guess just hope people figure it out on their own.”

Still, he wishes he’d put even more detail into “The Zoe Post.” “I was too much of a wuss,” he wrote, “to not say everything I should have said.”
He's hiding a broken bat behind his back wondering why people are raising a fuss. If he got put in jail he'd just wonder how Zoe did it.
posted by boo_radley at 9:26 AM on April 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


the money is a sort of outsourcing. They'd like to harass women all day, but they've got jobs and lives, and while they like the idea the actual reality sort of puts them off. So they send money to people to do the harassment for them, saves time and bother.
posted by sotonohito at 9:28 AM on April 28, 2015 [39 favorites]


Gamers are almost by definition a demographic with disposable income. Staple that onto the way there's been growing anti-feminism and anti-intellectualism within the subculture for about a decade, and you get lots of guys throwing money at phantoms.
posted by byanyothername at 9:29 AM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


I hope he goes to jail and gets one of those 'no computers or online connections again for decades' orders. I hope his mother spits at him if he ever sees her. I hope he doesn't hit his current girlfriend or destroy her life if she ever tries to leave him.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 9:30 AM on April 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


Writing a 9000 word screed because he got dumped is sort of .... mental illness levels of not normal.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:30 AM on April 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


(Also, if you need a palette cleanser after that, here are some kittens.)
posted by Going To Maine at 9:30 AM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


1) Mythical Golden Era of Masucline Duke Nuke'em Shoot-em-ups that were't dogshit.

The most impressive part of the article, I thought, was the hammer-wielding YouTuber who advocated for a return to the 1950s, before women ruined gaming, which sounds like someone who learned what little they know of history from the Fallout series.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:30 AM on April 28, 2015 [53 favorites]


You know, I hate assholes, but I'm actually really uncomfortable with orders preventing people from divulging stories of their own personal life. Imagine that the shoe were reversed - what if I had an abusive ex boyfriend, and I posted about him publicly, and was then barred from doing so because people were going after him? This reminds me of some of those campus rape gag orders.
posted by corb at 9:33 AM on April 28, 2015


I can't get over the bit where she bought him a plane ticket and he took it as an opportunity to sit in the library having a Facebook fight. All kinds of nasty and pathetic and awful rolled into one.

(Also, if you need a palette cleanser after that, here are some kittens.)

I now have the Japanese cat game where you put stuff in your garden and cats come sit on it. Highly recommended.
posted by Artw at 9:33 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


Really hoping this sociopathic puddle of cat vomit fucks up soon and goes to jail, because otherwise he will continue to stalk and victimize. And once his online popularity fizzles out, the abuse will take on physical manifestations, and a few years from now we'll be reading about the rape or murder case and "if only we could have foreseen and prevented this tragedy somehow," etc.
posted by Behemoth at 9:36 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Corb, we are talking about putting someone's SS# and home address out there and urging people, whom you knew to be dedicated harassers, to send them threats. Putting naked pictures of them online. If you had done that, then yes, you would deserve to be shut down.

He attacked her by name and with intent to cause harm, he didn't blow off steam on a personal blog anonymously. There's a world of difference between the two.
posted by emjaybee at 9:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [90 favorites]


(Also, if you need a palette cleanser after that, here are some kittens.)
posted by Going To Maine at 11:30 AM on April 28 [+] [!]


Thanks for the link, I needed that. And even better, right now the kitties are sort of asleep, but yet still moving all in a bunch. A bunch of kitties? No, a squirm of kitties....
posted by dawg-proud at 9:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


what if I had an abusive ex boyfriend, and I posted about him publicly, and was then barred from doing so because people were going after him?

Even more worrisome: what if my ex was a wizard, and could only be stopped by a magic spell, but the court didn't allow me to recite the spell? These kinds of hypotheticals are exactly why we're supposed to value free speech.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [177 favorites]


Money built the sewer, in which the money flows. Real saints do not wander through this miasma unawares.

The lure of this unreal world is the tangibles, but it is unreal in many, many senses, in fact, all of them. You just have to recognize an addiction and walk away. Bit tigers seem more real than paper tigers, but the allure is a coward's disconnection from danger, that substitutes various illusions of heroism. It is an industry centered on games, where rich dweebs bluster with computer keys. How is it they forget none of it is real except for the bank accounts and what they buy? What? Food delivery people so you can hole up in your house and shudder, then make electric drama. This is all advertising.
posted by Oyéah at 9:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


I feel that the profile gamergate deserves is the unflinchingly embarrassing Rationalwiki summary of events. It lays bare most of the truly embarrassing and terrible events of the last 8 months.

This bostonmagazine article is very well written, but I didn't really want to see another forum for EG to show how much of a psychopath he is.
posted by Theta States at 9:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


...what if I had an abusive ex boyfriend, and I posted about him publicly, and was then barred from doing so because people were going after him? This reminds me of some of those campus rape gag orders.

Then the circumstances would be entirely different than what happened between Gjoni and Quinn and it would be really difficult to use their case as precedent.
posted by griphus at 9:38 AM on April 28, 2015 [33 favorites]


Imagine that the shoe were reversed - what if I had an abusive ex boyfriend, and I posted about him publicly, and was then barred from doing so because people were going after him?

I think that if your post about an abusive ex-boyfriend caused him to get harassment of the magnitude experienced by Zoe Quinn then yes, I think I'd be fine with that being gagged. We've got courts and restraining orders for a reason.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:38 AM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


magine that the shoe were reversed - what if I had an abusive ex boyfriend, and I posted about him publicly, and was then barred from doing so because people were going after him?

This would only work as an analogy if Quinn actually had been abusive. She was not. So it's more like, "what if I got dumped and then trumped up some elaborate delusional fantasy about how it was all his fault and then used that as an excuse to post specific identifying details about the person who dumped me, but was then barred from doing so because the dude did not in fact actually abuse me?"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:40 AM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


The most impressive part of the article, I thought, was the hammer-wielding YouTuber who advocated for a return to the 1950s, before women ruined gaming, which sounds like someone who learned what little they know of history from the Fallout series.

It would be poetic justice to take that guy and lock him in a room until he masters all levels of Pong.
posted by jonp72 at 9:41 AM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Between this, the Sarkeesian Effect still getting about $7K a month (down from like $10k/mo at the peak), the Honey Badger Expo fund and legal defense fund, etc. GG has been able to throw an incredible amount of capital seemingly directly into the toilet so far.

Let's not forget $52k to create an ethical games website that will totally exist some day and is in no way a scam.
posted by Theta States at 9:42 AM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Corb, we are talking about putting someone's SS# and home address out there and urging people, whom you knew to be dedicated harassers, to send them threats

I'm still reading through and am only on part two - if he did that, that's fucked up and that should be stopped. But it sounds like that's not all the court is preventing him from doing.

Like, I'm reading through this post, and at the point I'm at, it just seems like a standard ' this is why my ex is fucked up'. And you know what? Even without the abusive angle - if I had an ex boyfriend who I had loved desperately who cheated on me with a bunch of people, I would absolutely make a post about him with his real name. I don't even understand how that could be a problem. I would feel that would be my right as a wronged girlfriend.

Posting details to help people find her is the fucked up part of it, but writing a "My Girlfriend Cheated On Me" post? Does it get significantly worse after the second chapter? Because this right now does not seem crazy.
posted by corb at 9:42 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


“All of it has very much been worth it,” he tells me. “I was very uneasy about putting in the Burgers and Fries thing. But it is hilarious.”

Jesus mother-loving Christ what a contemptible piece of shit.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:43 AM on April 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


This 'Zoe Post' stuff also seems to, at the top at least, be saying that people shouldn't go after her.
primer: I DO NOT STAND BY THE CURRENT ABUSE AND HARASSMENT OF ZOE QUINN OR FRIENDS. STOP DOING THAT. IT IS NOT IN ANYONE’S BEST INTEREST.
posted by corb at 9:43 AM on April 28, 2015


1) I have heard tons about GamerGate, but I didn't know until now that Gjoni had beaten Zoe Quinn. Somehow, he is even worse scum than I thought.

2.)
After crafting the post for weeks, Gjoni shared his polished draft with about a dozen friends—mostly female game developers—as well as his mother, and asked them to weigh in on whether he should unleash it. He says about 10 of them gave him the green light. His mother, he claims, reluctantly approved, but was “very worried that I was going into it overly emotional.”
Holy shit that is shitty parent
posted by ignignokt at 9:44 AM on April 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


I now have the Japanese cat game where you put stuff in your garden and cats come sit on it. Highly recommended.

You mean Neko Atsume? It looks both delightful and guaranteed to make teh hardcorez get angry that it exists.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:44 AM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


This 'Zoe Post' stuff also seems to, at the top at least, be saying that people shouldn't go after her.

oh, well, if he says that, then
posted by Greg Nog at 9:44 AM on April 28, 2015 [83 favorites]


I read that in the same tone as "nice restaurant you got here, it'd be a shame if anything happened to it," corb.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:45 AM on April 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


Maybe you should finish reading the article and then post your contrarian hot take, instead of putting it here halfway through?
posted by almostmanda at 9:45 AM on April 28, 2015 [87 favorites]


corb: "This 'Zoe Post' stuff also seems to, at the top at least, be saying that people shouldn't go after her."

He's not your kid. He's not your broken toy to fix. Stop finding excuses for him.
posted by boo_radley at 9:45 AM on April 28, 2015 [61 favorites]


primer: I DO NOT STAND BY THE CURRENT ABUSE AND HARASSMENT OF ZOE QUINN OR FRIENDS. STOP DOING THAT. IT IS NOT IN ANYONE’S BEST INTEREST

The continued existence of the zoe post pretty much puts the lie into that warning.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:46 AM on April 28, 2015 [60 favorites]


Writing a 9000 word screed because he got dumped is sort of .... mental illness levels of not normal.

I have to respectfully disagree with you there. Mainly because I've done this after a break-up. It was an angry hateful screed. I'm not proud of writing it, but it was very cathartic. The thing is, after writing it, I never showed it to another human being.
posted by el io at 9:46 AM on April 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


(Especially since, at around the same spot where it has the warning, he also writes that he wants to wreck her career.)
posted by Going To Maine at 9:47 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


This 'Zoe Post' stuff also seems to, at the top at least, be saying that people shouldn't go after her.

From the article in the FPP:
On August 18, after the release of “The Zoe Post,” Gjoni worked overtime to make sure readers would keep coming back for more. Stoking the mob, he joined 4chan discussion boards and released additional information online, including Quinn’s supposed location and baseless theories on her sex life. Despite tacking a disclaimer onto his post—“I DO NOT STAND BY THE CURRENT ABUSE AND HARASSMENT OF ZOE QUINN OR FRIENDS. STOP DOING THAT. IT IS NOT IN ANYONE’S BEST INTEREST”—Gjoni taunted Quinn directly over Twitter and claimed online to be acting as a puppet master. When someone tweeted, “eron youre the pope of gamergate why don’t u help us,” he replied, “I am actually doing a lot more than you know in the background.”
posted by griphus at 9:47 AM on April 28, 2015 [35 favorites]


corb, right at the top of page two, he talks about how he deliberately went through several drafts of the post to optimize chances of getting her harrassed.
posted by ignignokt at 9:47 AM on April 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


By the time he released the post into the wild, he figured the odds of Quinn’s being harassed were 80 percent.

SWEAR WORDS.

How can it possibly be legal for someone do something with the specific intent of causing another person to be massively, violently harassed?

“I’m finding it increasingly difficult to be concerned about people who think I’m a monster. Which is wrong of me, I know. But the last eight months have been taxing. I just want to code, and hang out with my friends and my girlfriend, and I guess just hope people figure it out on their own.”

Is anyone else completely terrified for his current girlfriend? What's he going to do to her when they break up?
posted by rabbitroom at 9:48 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


"sure hope no one rids me of this turbulent priest"
[winks so hard it sounds like an elephant shitting a loofah]
posted by Greg Nog at 9:50 AM on April 28, 2015 [63 favorites]


Sure, this guy may be a complete scumbag - I haven't finished reading his extremely long breakup postings. But even if he wrote it wanting to get her harassed, I don't think that means he should be prohibited from talking about the details of their relationship, because it sets a really really bad fucking precedent that I am not okay with. Like, this isn't even about him for me - this is about whether or not it's okay for judges to prevent people from talking about the experiences they have lived.
posted by corb at 9:50 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


That was a good article. I sometimes think it would be better to try to bury a person like this to prevent more people joining his "cause", but there's definitely worth in shining the light on him and showing people exactly what kind of a person they've signed up to follow.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:51 AM on April 28, 2015


Corb, while he wrote that disclaimer, he was on IRC night and day inciting people to harass her. It is a lie. He is a liar.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:52 AM on April 28, 2015 [70 favorites]


This 'Zoe Post' stuff also seems to, at the top at least, be saying that people shouldn't go after her.

that disclaimer was added later, during a period where he was provably filling up irc with suggestions of better ways to go after her.
posted by nadawi at 9:52 AM on April 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


Still reading the article but holy mothballs I LOVE the dress and shoes Zoe Quinn is wearing in that picture! I say this partially because they are awesome awesome awesome and I want them and partially because I would like to express my appreciation and respect in many ways and this is one of them.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:52 AM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'd be okay with him giving interviews from prison, I guess.
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:52 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


[corb, I'm going to ask you right now to step away from this for a while.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:52 AM on April 28, 2015 [67 favorites]


i think intent matters - if you post a horrid screed like that for the stated purpose of harassing someone, and then go into chat rooms and on boards and most certainly in email and phone calls and the like and give all the cretins more ammo that you didn't include in the post - yes, i think a judge can say cut it the fuck out.
posted by nadawi at 9:54 AM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


prevent people from talking about the experiences they have lived.

Except, you know, that's not what he's doing. He made up the Five Guys thing. He has implied that she has used her ~sexual wiles~ to corrupt the otherwise pure video game industry, all of which is false.

He is not telling about experiences that happened to him or anyone else. He is a liar. The things he writes are lies.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:54 AM on April 28, 2015 [41 favorites]


Corb, there's a difference between someone not being able to say "on such and such a date, this guy raped me," which is the kind of thing you're talking about, and "this woman's social security number is [blah], her address is [blah] and her phone number is [blah] and her bank details are [blah]" which is what the rest of us are talking about, so since the thing your'e worried about isn't actually happening there is no "dangerous precedent" for you to be worried about.

Honestly, I don't know whether you have a reading miscomprehension or you just like being contrarian, but it's awfully tiresome.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:55 AM on April 28, 2015 [58 favorites]


From the article:
His friend Benjamin Hitov said, “The funny thing is, he’s done so much better with girls since that blog.” Gjoni even has a new girlfriend now. “All of it has very much been worth it,” he tells me.
From "Why Does He Do That: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men":
Abusive men find abusiveness rewarding. The privileged position they gain is a central reason for their reluctance to change.... Partner abuse... can be rewarding to the abuser for many years, and potentially for a lifetime.
posted by clawsoon at 9:55 AM on April 28, 2015 [29 favorites]


I haven't finished reading his extremely long breakup postings.

Maybe you should. This is not just a guy talking about his experiences with a relationship. It is someone deliberately baiting trolls into going after his ex. The "don't do that" warning is transparently disingenuous ass-covering. It's the equivalent of giving a bunch of known arsonists some matches and gasoline and saying "hey, don't do anything with those" after the house is on fire.
posted by Metroid Baby at 9:55 AM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


This reminds me of some of those campus rape gag orders.

This isn't some kind of "he-said, she-said" dispute. This is a guy who deliberately rounded up a lynch mob to go after someone he was obsessed with. There aren't really any relevant facts in dispute.
posted by Slothrup at 9:56 AM on April 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


So hang on

this "gamergate" thing I've been hearing about for ages all comes down to some loser complaining about how his ex girlfriend was so mean? How the hell did people get behind that as a "cause"?
posted by Hoopo at 9:56 AM on April 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


The fact that one of the cats in Neko Atsume is dressed as a Hanshin Tigers fan may actually cause me to purchase the app.


Eron Gjoni is trash.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:56 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


I mean if anything this thread sure has become an object lesson in why Zoe's attempt to have a normal life remains a travail.
posted by griphus at 9:57 AM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


How the hell did people get behind that as a "cause"?

Because they hate women. End of story.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:58 AM on April 28, 2015 [73 favorites]


Yeah, people are pretty stupid about understanding free speech. Of course you can post or say whatever you want! But if you make a threat, then there are *normally* consequences to freely speaking threats, whether orally or in writing.
posted by ignignokt at 9:58 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


How the hell did people get behind that as a "cause"?

The people who got behind it already had a problem with women being better at designing games than they were, and the ex-girlfriend in question happened to be one of those game designers and they hung onto that excuse like starving lampreys.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:59 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


this "gamergate" thing I've been hearing about for ages all comes to some loser complaining about how his ex girlfriend was so mean? How the hell did people get behind that as a "cause"?

In addition to "my ex cheated on me", there was always a rider that "my ex is only successful in the video game industry because she is sleeping around with journalists and other industry folks". From here, you get to "ethics in games journalism" and all the rest.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:59 AM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


Wait, no that's not the end of the story.

They also hate PoC and LGBT people and anyone who wants to tell a story about something that's not playing on the lowest difficulty setting. Which, ironically, is what these human shitstains think fake gamers do.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:01 AM on April 28, 2015 [24 favorites]


Jesus. In my day, when you felt wronged by an ex you'd go to the pub and get drunk with your friends. Probably more than once. Maybe you'd leave an embarrassing voicemail or 2 after, or write terrible poetry or music that got thrown out the next morning.
posted by Hoopo at 10:05 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


there was always a rider that "my ex is only successful in the video game industry because she is sleeping around with journalists and other industry folks"

Which, just for emphasis, was a flat-out lie.
posted by straight at 10:07 AM on April 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


But if you make a threat, then there are *normally* consequences to freely speaking threats, whether orally or in writing.

That's the core problem here, isn't it. He's inciting threats (and worse), but not making them directly.

ZQ and friends need a RICO act for stalker organizers*. They need to be able to take out the fire ant nests where GG organize, the boards where recruitment of the saps who are doing the harassing happens. Otherwise this is whackamole and never ending.

*such a tool may already exist. My knowledge of US harassment law is nil.
posted by bonehead at 10:08 AM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


In the end, you can't explain why someone like this guy or his disgusting followers or street catcallers or white supremacists or school bus bullies do the things they do, other than lack of empathy plus lack of consequences. Lots of people have enough empathy to handle a breakup without then deciding to stalk and harass. For those that don't, we need consequences.

In other news, Twitter seems to have made some real improvements to their blocking and filtering software. I feel like Quinn's experience probably had something to do with pushing that forwards. Of course, for her and all of us, it would have been nice if they'd done this sooner.
posted by emjaybee at 10:08 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


This bostonmagazine article is very well written, but I didn't really want to see another forum for EG to show how much of a psychopath he is.

I disagree. Every time he opens his mouth he reveals to the world what a nasty, narcissistic little sociopath he is, and that's a message I'm glad people are hearing. He's absolutely one of those people who, when given even the slightest amount of rope, will do his best to get it around his neck.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:09 AM on April 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


this "gamergate" thing I've been hearing about for ages all comes to some loser complaining about how his ex girlfriend was so mean? How the hell did people get behind that as a "cause"?

he took it to 4chan, where the standard greeting for women is "tits or gtfo" and doxxing people is the traditional pastime
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:10 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wait wait wait, back on the topic of GG tossing money around, why are there no red flags for how they gave $52,000 towards a gaming website and there is nothing except this to show for it 4 months later?
Am I missing something? Did they change their name? Did they resolve to instead donate the money somewhere else?
posted by Theta States at 10:13 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


nearly everything they've donated to has ended up as vapor - it's a little hilarious that their big complaints against people like anita is that they are bilking their communities - and the outcome to that complaint has thus far been wholesale bilking of the gators, which they gleefully line up for.
posted by nadawi at 10:17 AM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


he took it to 4chan, where the standard greeting for women is "tits or gtfo" and doxxing people is the traditional pastime

Until the "SJWs" took over 4chan and kicked the gators out. Which is funny, because their motto used to be that "4chan (or /b/) is not your personal army." But that's exactly what they are now. They're bigots-for-hire, a cross between Blackwater and a plague of locusts going from one fandom to the next trying to burn shit down. It started in games, then they were welcomed with open arms by the guys trying to burn down the Hugo Awards. And since comics have become a hotbed of social justice now, they've decided that's a new toy for them to try and fuck up.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:19 AM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


(oh wait, found a blog saying they're planning a "phase 1"... for last week...)
posted by Theta States at 10:19 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


...why are there no red flags for how they gave $52,000 towards a gaming website and there is nothing except this to show for it 4 months later?

They gave more money than that to Yelling Bathtub Man and Canadian Non-Union Anton Lavey Equivalent for their Anita Sarkeesian/SJW exposé in the last six months alone.

For a consumer revolution they are really, really credulous consumers.
posted by griphus at 10:20 AM on April 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


GG is kept going in part because a lot of folks, the instigators, are making a ton of money on Youtube doing instigation videos. Between that and Patreon-like* subscription sources, it's in these folks financial interest to keep GG going. The human toll to them is the gravy.

GG is a for-profit enterprise for those at the centre. They're feeding well from the saps they organize.

*Patreon has been pretty good about keep a lid on this shit, but there are all kinds of copy-cat sites too.
posted by bonehead at 10:20 AM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


How the hell did people get behind that as a "cause"?

There's been growing anti-feminist, anti-intellectual, racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. etc. all around reactionary conservative sentiments within gaming subcultures for about a decade (arguably longer, but I'd characterize it in the 80s and 90s as mostly passive, i.e. repeating harmful tropes without conscious thought, while the breakout into the mainstream in 2007~ has made it increasingly active, i.e. willfully engaging in a narrative of bigotry). Before GamerGate, it was a lot more difficult to talk about that, because generally even left-leaning gamers denied that the toxic stuff had a hold on the culture/medium, while people outside the subculture just had no idea and didn't care.

GamerGate has made it a lot easier to acknowledge, because it's forced everyone to take a stance on bigotry in games culture, but it's been there for years. Gjoni's post wasn't even the first threadbare excuse to incite a hate mob, it was just the one in which the fire spread beyond the burn zone. If it hadn't been Gjoni, it would have been some other petty monster.
posted by byanyothername at 10:21 AM on April 28, 2015 [36 favorites]


But even if he wrote it wanting to get her harassed, I don't think that means he should be prohibited from talking about the details of their relationship, because it sets a really really bad fucking precedent that I am not okay with. Like, this isn't even about him for me - this is about whether or not it's okay for judges to prevent people from talking about the experiences they have lived.

Here's the thing: That doesn't seem to be what he is doing. Or rather that is a very small part of it. He is talking about the details of Quinn's life, not his. He got her accounts hacked. He is broadcasting her location to the world. He's involving her professional life. He's moved on to a new girlfriend, but she's a whore for having a new boyfriend.

Even in this Boston Magazine article, he's not opening up about the problems it has caused him. There isn't even any real complaint that his first amendment rights have been imposed on (not by him here). There's no complaint even about losing his job! (Although, seriously, what did happen there?!) There is no worry here that Quinn has further exploited vulnerable men since his post came out - and he's working on another post! Maybe he didn't go far enough!

Nothing in this interview with Gjoni show that he has any sense of real consequences from all of this. So don't worry too much about him sharing his experiences with the world because in the past and the future, his experience with the world seems to be mainly focused on Zoe Quinn.
posted by maryr at 10:25 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's been growing anti-feminist, anti-intellectual, racist, homophobic, transphobic, etc. etc. all around reactionary conservative sentiments within gaming subcultures for about a decade (arguably longer, but I'd characterize it in the 80s and 90s as mostly passive, i.e. repeating harmful tropes without conscious thought, while the breakout into the mainstream in 2007~ has made it increasingly active, i.e. willfully engaging in a narrative of bigotry). Before GamerGate, it was a lot more difficult to talk about that, because generally even left-leaning gamers denied that the toxic stuff had a hold on the culture/medium, while people outside the subculture just had no idea and didn't care.

Part of it is, as long-time ShitRedditSays folks can attest to, that right-wingers, racists, and misogynists like Stormfront and A Voice For Men have made youth outreach a big priority, particularly on Reddit where there's no mods to kick them out and a dominant culture of angry young white men to pander to and coopt.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:29 AM on April 28, 2015 [51 favorites]


I would also say that the growth in sexist actions/hate isn't just a random thing. It's a response to feminism's gains. It was easier to ignore feminists and women gamers in general a decade ago. But now they're more visible, more outspoken, more organized and louder. So now they're a threat as opposed to before when they were just laughed off.

In short, having to deal with women as equals scares these pitiful specimens. They are gibbering in fear and hate because if they are not superior to women (or other groups) then they might not win at everything, they might not be able to pat themselves on the back, they might be lost in the crowd and shown to be not that special. They might not be taken seriously and catered to and marketed to at all times. It's like a case study in Fragile White Heteromasculinity.
posted by emjaybee at 10:33 AM on April 28, 2015 [48 favorites]


How can it possibly be legal for someone do something with the specific intent of causing another person to be massively, violently harassed?

I think a big part of this is, as Quinn says in the article, is that every time she reports something she has to explain the internet to the police. And explain Twitter. Not that Twitter exists, but how Twitter is used. The learning curve is insane. She is trying to explain this to people who may not have a FB account. My brother is in law enforcement. He literally does not have a personal email address. It is rare for someone to do what this article does, which is put these events in narrative terms in a way non-internetty people can understand. I think this is also what makes legislation difficult. What's an IP address. What's a proxy server. She had to explain to the judge what a username is.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:35 AM on April 28, 2015 [38 favorites]


But in sadder news, apparently the gators contributed to the suicide of a trans game developer suffering from serious physical illness.

I don't think it's a good idea to blame "the gators" here. Gators harass, but to call all harassers gators makes them into a nebulous bogeyman like "the SJWs" and sets them up as the end boss of online misogyny when they are really just one part of a pervasive problem.
posted by knuckle tattoos at 10:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


The Boston Magazine article is a little meh, but that first link, to the Buzzfeed article from October, 2014 has some jaw-dropping stuff. Christ, what as asshole!

Gjoni says, "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.”

Which is partly incoherent and totally jerky.

He claims in the Boston Magazine article that his mother supported the post, but in the Buzzfeed article he mother is quoted saying, “I advised him to cool off and not make a decision based on emotions. 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.”

Also from the Buzzfeed article, he says he was asked to leave his job, and claims he didn't have time for it, I guess, because, "Internet warfare takes a surprising amount of dedication."

But no worries, people! Gamergate is no biggie because, “The scale is actually not that large. And gender doesn’t seem to be what sets off those harassment bouts, political ideology does.”

A restraining order against someone who admits to waging a warfare of harassment on his ex-girlfriend seems like an okay thing to me.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Until the "SJWs" took over 4chan and kicked the gators out. Which is funny, because their motto used to be that "4chan (or /b/) is not your personal army."

yeah I have some thoughts about how 4chan used to be more of a "safe"/cathartic creative space for being deliberately transgressive and wallowing in life's awfulness

going on 4chan is something I used to do when I was feeling depressed, I'd go there and look at horrible images and see anons treating each other abusively and, I dunno, it had a way of putting things in perspective

I think there's kids who stayed in there too long and got high off the fumes, though, and thought the 4chan ethos was something they should export to the wider world
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


I would also say that the growth in sexist actions/hate isn't just a random thing. It's a response to feminism's gains. It was easier to ignore feminists and women gamers in general a decade ago. But now they're more visible, more outspoken, more organized and louder. So now they're a threat as opposed to before when they were just laughed off.

Totally. And likely as not, a female president. Just being a guy used to count for more. And it still does, in a lot of cases, or I wouldn't have spent so much time as the only woman in meetings filled with men. But it's changing publicly and that freaks out the fearful, those who feel like they didn't have much more in the first place than just 'being a guy'.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:41 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also from the Buzzfeed article, he says he was asked to leave his job, and claims he didn't have time for it, I guess, because, "Internet warfare takes a surprising amount of dedication."

The time you're quitting your job to make harassing your ex your full time is probably around the time law enforcement should be taking a good, long look at you.


I think there's kids who stayed in there too long and got high off the fumes, though, and thought the 4chan ethos was something they should export to the wider world

Jay Allen/a_man_in_black attributes a lot of gg's fuckery to channers basically internalizing the 4chan ethos not as something to do on 4chan but as a way of looking at the world.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:44 AM on April 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


It is absolutely awful to see the way the GG has centralized the reactionary aspect of games culture. But I also think its equally awful to come to Metafilter and see posters saying things like "Really hoping this sociopathic puddle of cat vomit fucks up soon and goes to jail".

It makes us no better. When each side clings so desperately to the poles of their beliefs, there's no room for discussion or understanding or compromise. It just becomes a game of who can yell the loudest the longest.
posted by GilloD at 10:45 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I had some nitpicks with that Jay Allen piece, but yeah, it's a must-read on this subject.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:47 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Lol, "equally"
posted by en forme de poire at 10:48 AM on April 28, 2015 [63 favorites]


But I also think its equally awful to come to Metafilter and see posters saying things like "Really hoping this sociopathic puddle of cat vomit fucks up soon and goes to jail".

He reacted to being dumped by a woman he physically harmed by dedicating his life to leading a campaign of harassment and death threats against her, and after she got a restraining order he's basically refused to acknowledge it. Why is it wrong to want this man jailed?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:50 AM on April 28, 2015 [90 favorites]


ZQ and friends need a RICO act for stalker organizers*. They need to be able to take out the fire ant nests where GG organize, the boards where recruitment of the saps who are doing the harassing happens. Otherwise this is whackamole and never ending.

*such a tool may already exist. My knowledge of US harassment law is nil.


I think I remember reading that the Southern Poverty Law Center used racketeering laws to stop KKK harassment of Vietnamese fishermen in Texas. If it's been used against racial harassment, racketeering and RICO-style laws could conceivably used against gender harassment.
posted by jonp72 at 10:51 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think there's kids who stayed in there too long and got high off the fumes, though, and thought the 4chan ethos was something they should export to the wider world

Jay Allen/a_man_in_black attributes a lot of gg's fuckery to channers basically internalizing the 4chan ethos not as something to do on 4chan but as a way of looking at the world.


Yeah, the nerve of Zoe Quinn... Walking around in meatspace and insisting on using her real name instead of a user ID handle. [/sarcasm]
posted by jonp72 at 10:53 AM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


A_man_in_black seems to be taking some unrelated Twitter drama that I won't go into here badly. Unseenperfidy (SuperNESChalmers) says he has unrelated medical problems and insurance won't kick in until the 1st. I hope they're taking care of themselves.
posted by Yowser at 10:54 AM on April 28, 2015


Untimelygamer too. What a mess.
posted by Yowser at 11:01 AM on April 28, 2015




When each side clings so desperately to the poles of their beliefs, there's no room for discussion or understanding or compromise.

"Hate mobs vs. their victims: teach the controversy"
posted by RogerB at 11:02 AM on April 28, 2015 [121 favorites]


When each side clings so desperately to the poles of their beliefs, there's no room for discussion or understanding or compromise.

Eron Gjoni's belief -which is the one in question- is that he should be able to harass his girlfriend into oblivion. That is not a belief that deserves compromise.

In a better world, he'd have gotten some kind of treatment for obsession and depression waaay before any of this went down. But he didn't and the person he is now doesn't deserve the pretense that he's in any way engaged in civil discourse.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:04 AM on April 28, 2015 [38 favorites]


Jesus. In my day, when you felt wronged by an ex you'd go to the pub and get drunk with your friends.

In my day, some men would respond with a concerted, endless, violent, terrifying campaign of relentless stalking and harassment. Now, if they can push the right hateful buttons, they can raise an army to do that work for them.

It's amazing it hasn't actually led to a murder yet.
posted by maxsparber at 11:05 AM on April 28, 2015 [32 favorites]


Thinking the internal logic of your relationship is some sacred trust that is worth a witch hunt over a months-long thing that fizzled out is some overly-dramatic socially-awkward shit.

"I had a bad relationship" is not an idea worth devoting your life energy to.
posted by mikeh at 11:05 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


*Jay Allen/a_man_in_black attributes a lot of gg's fuckery to channers basically internalizing the 4chan ethos not as something to do on 4chan but as a way of looking at the world.

Yeah, the nerve of Zoe Quinn... Walking around in meatspace and insisting on using her real name instead of a user ID handle. [/sarcasm]*

To be clear, a_man_in_black is in no way defending any part of GG in that analysis.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:05 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


When each side clings so desperately to the poles of their beliefs, there's no room for discussion or understanding or compromise.

What, exactly, should people be willing to compromise to GamerGate?
posted by griphus at 11:07 AM on April 28, 2015 [32 favorites]


Apparently, it is offensive that we would want a serial harasser who has destroyed his girlfriend's life to go to jail and not date anymore.
posted by maxsparber at 11:07 AM on April 28, 2015 [36 favorites]


> It makes us no better.

If I say "Making this equivalence is really tiresome," does that make me just as bad as someone who doxes, harasses, or makes rape threats? Am I just as terrible if I decline to reach out in compassion to people who would be delighted to ruin my life just for fun? Are you on the gg boards asking them to be compassionate and exercise understanding? Do you beg them to stop clinging to tightly to their beliefs and listen to you?
posted by rtha at 11:08 AM on April 28, 2015 [50 favorites]


I don't think it's a good idea to blame "the gators" here.

maybe not - but in some of the gator havens (not linking per site policy) you have people straight up saying that her "special" gender identity (their words) is a smokescreen and that sjws are manipulating the narrative - that they've made up the harassment, and even if she was harassed then she should have expected it and she probably was going to kill herself anyway (and more awful stuff i won't repeat). it's the same deflection they always use when they're at the center of harassing someone - "it's not happening, and even if it were, it's not our fault!"
posted by nadawi at 11:13 AM on April 28, 2015


It makes us no better. When each side clings so desperately to the poles of their beliefs, there's no room for discussion or understanding or compromise. It just becomes a game of who can yell the loudest the longest.

From one of the linked articles: “I am losing patience with people who say, ‘maybe the truth is somewhere in the middle’. Really? Who sees somebody burning down a house and says, ‘maybe we should get the arsonist’s opinion’? Fuck you.” - Zoe Quinn
posted by The Gooch at 11:20 AM on April 28, 2015 [112 favorites]


The message here is you can do what you want online, there are minimal if any penalties in the real world. Also, all women have to do to free themselves from the constant online barrage of abuse is not be women.

In other words, humanity has failed. It's time for the next dominant species to control the world as it's clear we're not up to the task.
posted by tommasz at 11:21 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


You know, if you had described GG to me a few years ago, I probably would have thought MetaFilter would on the whole side with them, or go for more of a "let's be reasonable," "both sides" narrative. I'm really thankful that GG has been so absolutely unbelievably transparently incompetent at masking their hateful motivations with too-late fig leafs that instantly become jokes. That atmosphere nadawi describes--of denying that harassment even happens, or acknowledging it but arguing that discussing it is always inappropriate--was so pervasive in even the more progressive spheres of gamer culture that something like GG was perhaps necessary in demonstrating to many comfortable guys that this kind of toxicity is even real. Where calling Bryk's abusers "gators" gets confusing is that there still really aren't clear lines between "gator" and "gamer." Much of what falls under "gator" has been just normal in games culture for a number of years. It's only recently that there have been significant branching-offs to form more tolerant, feminist communities; and it's only post-GG that even they haven't also been full of veiled GGish talking points. GG has made it a lot clearer that the "sides" are "women, black people, LGB/T people," versus "stalkers, rape threateners, bigots."
posted by byanyothername at 11:22 AM on April 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


This dude is unquestionably a deeply troubled individual, and yet: the level of reporting/credulity in that article is stunning. The author refers, several times, to the amount of detail that Gjoni provided, and yet when this 'graph came up:

From the start, it seems, Gjoni wanted to make certain that his blog about Quinn would connect with a large base of people in the gaming community, some of whom he already knew were passionately predisposed to attacking women in the industry.

I was like, wait wait wait: how did Gjoni know these things? Who are these people "passionately predisposed" to attacking women in the industry? Why wouldn't you dig into that assertion by a subject who is pretty clearly mentally unbalanced? Just way too many assumptions going on for my spider sense not to tingle.

There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be, so to condemn him for the result as if he did know is illogical, and also shitty reporting. Dude is many things, but psychic ain't one of them.
posted by gsh at 11:25 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is anyone else completely terrified for his current girlfriend? What's he going to do to her when they break up?

Imagine dating a guy who left his job so he could focus full-time on orchestrating the harassment campaign targeting his ex-girlfriend.
posted by straight at 11:27 AM on April 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


"Normal" in online gaming communities, maybe, byanyothername. But you have to realize that the majority of people who play video games are not playing that many games online. Some only play games on their phones. Some play big-budget titles but ignore the online components.

Gaming is a huge, huge thing and defining "gamers" as the group who use twitter/reddit/4chan/gaming-specific boards as a way to communicate and build this culture, abusive as it may be, is limiting. One of the main ways the gamergate people silence others is by pretending they're the only target for games. Don't buy into that.
posted by mikeh at 11:27 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]




I mean, my coworkers are really into many games. They talk about Steam sales in the hallways at work, talk about how they play Minecraft with their Minecraft-addicted kids, and have played video games their whole lives. These people are, without a doubt, "gamers" but they're light years away from the gamergate people.
posted by mikeh at 11:29 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


how did Gjoni know these things

Because he was already involved in doing them. The attacks against Zoe Quinn fell on soil Gjoni knew was fertile because anyone remotely involved in gaming or online feminism knew about the attacks against Anita Sarkeesian, which started two years previously.
posted by suelac at 11:30 AM on April 28, 2015 [48 favorites]


I was like, wait wait wait: how did Gjoni know these things? Who are these people "passionately predisposed" to attacking women in the industry?

I take it that you're not familiar with 4chan? Because IMO, yes, their response to things like this is indeed very predictable.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:30 AM on April 28, 2015 [29 favorites]


How is this asshole not in jail yet? There needs to be a law, maybe called the "Send Eron Gjoni To Jail Bill", or SEBTJB for short, catchy, huh?
posted by signal at 11:32 AM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


how did Gjoni know these things? Who are these people "passionately predisposed" to attacking women in the industry?

There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be, so to condemn him for the result as if he did know is illogical


Quinn had already been harassed by misogynist gamers who didn't like her game Depression Quest. Gjoni basically threw her out the window to a lynch mob that had already gathered while publishing a pack of lies he hoped would (in fact, by his own admission, deliberately designed and revised in order to) draw a much larger crowd into the mob.
posted by straight at 11:32 AM on April 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


By which I mean, Gjoni absolutely knew how to structure his narrative to feed into the pre-existing belief structures of the misogynist subcultures of the internet: women using their "wiles" to obtain things they had no right to otherwise; women wanting to "censor" things which were "perfectly fine" as they were; any form of critical thinking using a sexism/racism lens being seen as attempts to shut down the activity altogether.

Plus he knew the tools that 4chan et al. use: doxxing, rape threats, hacking.

This was all entirely according to plan.
posted by suelac at 11:33 AM on April 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be

So, it is your contention that Gjoni posted his screed about a high-profile woman involved in gaming (who had previously received significant online harassment) on multiple high-volume web forums, including one of which he knew was a haven for fomenting trolling and harassment, because he didn't want to incite a strong reaction?
posted by tocts at 11:34 AM on April 28, 2015 [28 favorites]


> I was like, wait wait wait: how did Gjoni know these things?

I am not even an online gamer but I knew about these places, because I read stuff on the internet (well, metafilter). They're not exactly secret; the people who participate in them are often pretty fucking proud of what they do.
posted by rtha at 11:34 AM on April 28, 2015 [28 favorites]


There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be

He has straight-up admitted in previous interview and chat logs to knowing exactly what he was doing and what the effects would be. If what happened hadn't happened, he would have failed at what he has told people repeatedly he set out to do.
posted by griphus at 11:35 AM on April 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


You don't even have to go to 4chan to see the seething resentment so many guys in the gaming "community" have towards women. It's been on display in respectably corporate-owned forums and comment sections for years.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:35 AM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Just way too many assumptions going on for my spider sense not to tingle.

Seriously. The journalist said he was coding. How do we even know he HAS a computer? Maybe they made it all up? What if this "Eron" doesn't even exist? Ultimately, can we know anything? What is reality? Have you ever seen the Matrix
posted by Greg Nog at 11:37 AM on April 28, 2015 [99 favorites]


"4chan and gamers are awful. It is known. "
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be, so to condemn him for the result as if he did know is illogical, and also shitty reporting. Dude is many things, but psychic ain't one of them.

He's on record as having said that was exactly his goal, and it was successful beyond his wildest dreams.

He sure taught Zoe a lesson. I doubt she'll ever dump him again.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:39 AM on April 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


how did Gjoni know these things?

Because he admits to being in places where this stuff was out in the open.

Who are these people "passionately predisposed" to attacking women in the industry?

There's been a gajillion FPPs on the blue alone about harassment in the tech industries in general, and both the gaming industry and culture specifically.

Why wouldn't you dig into that assertion by a subject who is pretty clearly mentally unbalanced?

Because the author had been shown evidence, at least some of it from the targets, and much of which is easily available.

There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be, so to condemn him for the result as if he did know is illogical, and also shitty reporting. Dude is many things, but psychic ain't one of them

Did you miss the quote saying that he fully expected her to be harassed? It's one thing to not read up on all of other stuff about this, but it's another to not even RTFA in question.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:39 AM on April 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


At the very least, 4chan booted gamergate discussion a while back. All of the worst gamers moved to 8chan.
posted by Theta States at 11:40 AM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, just from the article: "They had enjoyed San Francisco before; just four months earlier, in March, they’d attended the annual Game Developers Conference, where Gjoni sat in the audience while Quinn spoke on a panel about the sexist harassment she’d suffered as a female developer and discussed ways to counter online abuse."
posted by taz at 11:42 AM on April 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


What, precisely, is the impetus to defend this asshole, and call into question charges that he himself admits to and there is copious evidence of? Can we not do this?
posted by maxsparber at 11:42 AM on April 28, 2015 [50 favorites]


Here's something Gjoni wrote in the wake of the Zoe Post:
Because [the decision to not allow the post to stand in numerous other forums] meant 4Chan would be left as the only avenue of discussion – and they would be completely free to set the tone however they desired.
...
Yes, I am responsible for thezoepost – yes, I knew there was a chance 4Chan might end up being the only avenue of discussion. And I set time aside in advance to deal with that fallout, because I expected there was a chance that might happen.
If you know what 4chan is, you know what allowing 4chan to "set the tone" is and what the "fallout" from that would be.
posted by griphus at 11:43 AM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


It's not bullying or even stalking. It's implementing a DDOS - distributed denial of service - attack on someone's life. That's the only way I can really conceptualize it to include the challenges. The attackers are everywhere and nowhere, everyone and noone.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:50 AM on April 28, 2015 [35 favorites]


Also, to hell with this guy. I hope this thing follows him around like the stink of shit and makes his life and employment difficult for years.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:50 AM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


This is the most positive and useful GG thread ever, since I now have three kitties in my Neko Atsume backyard.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:51 AM on April 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


You know, if you had described GG to me a few years ago, I probably would have thought MetaFilter would on the whole side with them, or go for more of a "let's be reasonable," "both sides" narrative.

Praise be to Jessamyn for forcing MetaFilter to change from a place where "I'd hit that" was an acceptable response to a post.

MeFi could've become an upscale 4chan, sharing some of that same toxic bullshit machismo background from 0.1 (BBses, Usenet) and 1.0 (90s web, early blogs) internet, but it took an u-turn into sanity thanks to Jessamyn.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:51 AM on April 28, 2015 [172 favorites]


maxsparber: "What, precisely, is the impetus to defend this asshole, and call into question charges that he himself admits to and there is copious evidence of? Can we not do this?"

Is this responding to older or deleted comments? In the past page or so of comments I see maybe some explanation of his tactic, but not defense. Perhaps I am confused here.
posted by boo_radley at 11:53 AM on April 28, 2015


It's implementing a DDOS - distributed denial of service - attack on someone's life.

That's a really perfect way of putting it that will be lost on those who most need to understand it.

Honestly, it's 2015. Not having a working understanding of computers and internet is like not knowing how to drive- inconvenient when you want to do something that requires it, incredibly irresponsible when you impose your ignorance on others.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:54 AM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


Well, we have CSI:Cyber now, at least.

:-(
posted by Artw at 11:55 AM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


This is the most positive and useful GG thread ever, since I now have three kitties in my Neko Atsume backyard.

You can photograph the cats to make a not-at-all-creepy cat stalking dossier.
posted by Artw at 11:56 AM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Is this responding to older or deleted comments?

I was responding to stuff like :

how did Gjoni know these things?

Why wouldn't you dig into that assertion by a subject who is pretty clearly mentally unbalanced?

There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be, so to condemn him for the result as if he did know is illogical, and also shitty reporting. Dude is many things, but psychic ain't one of them

All of this stuff constitutes questioning the facts, and for no purpose. These facts are not in dispute, and if someone has cause to dispute them, when we're in a thread about a concerted online attack on a woman, it is their job to bring in the new facts, not simply raise sealion-like questions because they have some miracle spidy sense that apparently works perfectly to question the narrative of a woman who has been relentlessly harassed.
posted by maxsparber at 11:58 AM on April 28, 2015 [43 favorites]


Yeah, there's people who do that faux naive shit every fucking thread, it's pretty tiresome.
posted by Artw at 12:00 PM on April 28, 2015 [38 favorites]


Artw: "Yeah, there's people who do that faux naive shit every fucking thread, "

The word is disingenuous. Synonyms: insincere, dishonest, untruthful, false, deceitful, duplicitous, lying, mendacious; hypocritical.

And yes, it is tiresome.
posted by signal at 12:05 PM on April 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


It makes us no better.

Well, this is a situation where one side is saying stuff like "This fucking asshole should go to jail for orchestrating an unrepentant campaign of harassment" and the other side is saying stuff like “Im not only a pedophile, ive raped countless teens, this zoe bitch is my next victim, im coming slut" (actual example Tweet from the originally linked article, depressingly not something somebody made up to satirize the level of discourse here).

Those are really not the same thing.
posted by rabbitroom at 12:07 PM on April 28, 2015 [26 favorites]


maxsparber: "All of this stuff constitutes questioning the facts, and for no purpose. "

Agreed and thank you for pointing them out. Some of those things slid past me.
posted by boo_radley at 12:08 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be, so to condemn him for the result as if he did know is illogical, and also shitty reporting. Dude is many things, but psychic ain't one of them.

I can sort of buy this, in the sense that he probably did not expect his harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn to be as immensely profitable for him as it was. He was probably "only" expecting to terrorize his ex for a few weeks or months. That's still a scummy thing to do and nothing about his response since indicates that he is anything less than delighted that he succeeded beyond his wildest expectations.
posted by kagredon at 12:12 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Praise be to Jessamyn for forcing MetaFilter to change from a place where "I'd hit that" was an acceptable response to a post.

Counting the total number of comments that consist only of the sentence "I'd hit that" seems like a good experimental metric for site quality.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:13 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


I had heard bits and pieces about gamergate but never delved too deeply in it so past hours have been very instructive.

I tried looking at this from gamergate's perspective and tried hard to see if there was a prism from which their actions would look .... reasonable.

The best I could come up with was that they are a bunch of scared, whiny juveniles who are worried about the changing world around them, don't know how to deal with these changes and are lashing out at people who, they think, are causing this change.

Thats the most positive spin that I can put on their actions: they are too dumb to "empathize" with the impact of their idiocy.

But, even with that positive spin, the fact is that these idiots are not kids and, hence, don't deserve any benefit of doubt (that they might have a kernel of valid complaint hidden in this madness) ... they are adults who ought to know better and who should bear full consequences of their actions.

I hope for two things: 1. that the future turns out to be exactly what they are scared of and 2. They get to feel the fullest extent of law and society coming down hard on them.
posted by TheLittlePrince at 12:18 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Well, this is a situation where one side is saying stuff like "This fucking asshole should go to jail for orchestrating an unrepentant campaign of harassment" and the other side is saying stuff like “Im not only a pedophile, ive raped countless teens, this zoe bitch is my next victim, im coming slut"..

That's just the surface of it. Now add this from TFA:

Three days before Christmas, Gjoni and Quinn entered a Dorchester courthouse for a private meeting with the clerk magistrate to discuss Gjoni’s latest violations. Among the numerous items on the docket were accusations that Gjoni had posted a message of support to Quinn’s harassers and given an interview to a podcast, during which he claimed he was the one who suffered emotional abuse, but then discussed how he used Twitter to reveal that Quinn was dating Lifschitz. When they reemerged 20 minutes later, the clerk had dismissed all the violations except the podcast, which the court will decide on at a later date. Wearing a wrinkled oxford and skinny jeans, Gjoni smiled for the first time since we’d met.. Outside, he lit a cigarette and opened his phone to check the balance of his legal account, crowdfunded by Quinn’s attackers and First Amendment advocates. To date they have donated some $13,000.

So read that as "Here is the evidence of violations of the Court's order" and the response is "nyah nyah I told you I was above the law." That's what's so sickening about this, they really are above the law. The harassment will continue until someone stops them by putting them in jail, which will apparently never happen. Remember, this is an alternate universe superimposed on our own world, it's where Weev is a hero and the EFF fought to get him out of prison because it was "unfair."
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:27 PM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


I had read a bit about GG over the past few months, but something about this article really drove home the mental illness side of the picture. Gjoni needs help, and I don't think he's on a path toward receiving it. That just means more people will be hurt.

It's as though 4chan is the gun that is left around in an empty house so that toddlers like Gjoni can shoot people.
posted by blurker at 12:42 PM on April 28, 2015


Gjoni needs help, and I don't think he's on a path toward receiving it.

It's not as if he wants help, and some of this is beyond any mental illness and well into the realm of Gjoni simply being a horrible human being.
posted by kewb at 12:44 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah, out of respect for people who have mental health issues, I try never to credit to mental illness what I can blame on a toxic mix of privilege, immaturity, and assholishness.
posted by maxsparber at 12:45 PM on April 28, 2015 [57 favorites]


"All of this stuff constitutes questioning the facts, and for no purpose. "

It's a rhetorical trick these guys use. It's been called variously sealioning, the Gish Gallop, "just asking questions", and in formal debate terms, "spreading". It's a technique of flooding an opponent with questions, mostly half-truths, nonsense, even outright lies to confuse and back-foot your opponent. It's used all the time on FOX and these youtube channels.

Symptoms include bulletpoint lists and long strings of questions. The asker doesn't want answers, just to throw people off the main point and start getting into side issues and trivia.

It's an attempt to hack normal debating, to make people look irrelevant and foolish by endless questions they don't have time or energy to engage with.
posted by bonehead at 12:49 PM on April 28, 2015 [46 favorites]


I'd heard of, but never read, The Zoe Post before today. Because I believe in being fair, I clicked the link, opened it, and started reading.

I'm not sure what it says about me, but I think I got about a quarter way through before I had my own brain screaming at me to stop, because trying to understand the manner of thinking was becoming painful, because I used to think that way and I worked hard to stop it, when being that unpleasant and difficult was pointed out to me. I took a look and tried to change, and the fact that I can see my 2x-year-old self in there both scares and pleases me. Scares that I was that way, pleased I stopped.

But to honestly not just think that way, but to write it down and publish it, is to me the equivalent of handing people pistols, while sitting next to a "wanted dead or alive" poster. And smiling.
posted by mephron at 12:54 PM on April 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


This is like a runaway train with no brakes. I don't think it's really going to stop until someone actually gets killed by an insane person. People thought that was happening with Brianna Wu until it was revealed that it was a prankster seeking "lulz" rather than an actual threat.

And, if 4chan and 8ch are anything to go on, there is that crazy, psychopathic nucleus of a peanut gallery who will respond to an actual death with "lolololz".
posted by theorique at 12:54 PM on April 28, 2015


Women have been killed this way, don't doubt it. That we haven't seen news of this doesn't exactly assure me it hasn't ever happened.
posted by agregoli at 12:58 PM on April 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


Walking around in meatspace and insisting on using her real name instead of a user ID handle

If memory serves, I think Zoe Quinn is actually a nom de plume. Not that I blame her under the circumstances.
posted by theorique at 1:13 PM on April 28, 2015


I know this is internet rule #0, but just in case, do not read the comments on TFA.
posted by signal at 1:22 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


If memory serves, I think Zoe Quinn is actually a nom de plume.

It is, but it's also the name she goes by. Her given name was outed at some point by Mike Cernovich when he was FOIAing up her various court documents, but discussing that hot mess would take us away from Eron Gjoni and his particular terribleness.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:24 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


If memory serves, I think Zoe Quinn is actually a nom de plume.

Not sure if it's her birth name, but it's her legal name.

Well, her full legal name is Zoe Tiberius Quinn.
posted by griphus at 1:26 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


" Remember, this is an alternate universe superimposed on our own world, it's where Weev is a hero and the EFF fought to get him out of prison because it was "unfair.""

Yeah, and the ACLU helped the Nazi's march.

That Weev case (and who exactly called him a hero? Martyr at best, but hero?) involved him grabbing data from a server and getting criminally prosecuted for arguably bringing a security flaw to light. It had nothing to do with his roll as an uber-troll.

The Feds will try to find the least sympathetic defendant when they are breaking new legal ground (and hell yeah Weev qualifies as the least qualified defendant).

The EFF was concerned about the legal principles at stake, and sometimes that requires dealing with unsavory people.

/weev derail.
posted by el io at 1:28 PM on April 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


The EFF's response to harassment has generally been vague, mealymouthed statements about how some people are mean on the internet peppered by the occasional "death and rape threats are totes free speech" numbskullery that might as well come from the gators themselves.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:35 PM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Something that surprises me is that Quinn hasn't brought a civil suit against Gjoni. He libeled her with the clear intent to both harm her reputation and her ability to earn money — how is his shit not garnished to bankruptcy?

As for the term for the GamerGate anti-"SJW," "revanchist" seems the most apt term.
posted by klangklangston at 1:37 PM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Yeah -- like, weev deserves to rot in jail, but not for the particular thing they wanted him to rot in jail FOR. (But yeah, EFF has been kinda shitty on harassment too. It's basically unpleasant all around.)
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 1:37 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


That Weev case (and who exactly called him a hero? Martyr at best, but hero?)

While Weev is certainly a derail, if you want to look up the whole mess that went down with Shanley Kane, Vivek Wadhwa, and some of Randi Harper's comments at the time, it seemed clear that some folks certainly wanted to give Weev some public presence now that he'd been exonerated. But like I said, the place for this is probably another FPP on the EFF.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:39 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's basically unpleasant all around.
Yes, but you can avoid the unpleasantness the way I did... by being born a White Cis Male.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:41 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, if we're comparing the ACLU to EFF, it's worth it to note that the ACLU also defended victims of violent harassment. The EFF should be embarrassed that they can't be bothered to do the same.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:41 PM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


This is the most positive and useful GG thread ever, since I now have three kitties in my Neko Atsume backyard.

I hate everyone with an iPhone.
posted by maryr at 1:42 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


klangklangston: "As for the term for the GamerGate anti-"SJW," "revanchist" seems the most apt term."

In my own head, I was using "counter-revolutionary" but didn't love the whole communist/anti-communist baggage. I think I like "revanchist" better.
posted by mhum at 1:47 PM on April 28, 2015


I hate everyone with an iPhone.

It's also for android...
posted by Going To Maine at 1:50 PM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


The EFF's response to harassment has generally been vague, mealymouthed statements about how some people are mean on the internet peppered by the occasional "death and rape threats are totes free speech" numbskullery that might as well come from the gators themselves.

EFF's statement on online harassment.

Nothing in that mentions how rape and death threats should be given full protection under the law. Comparing the EFF with the gators is the kind of rhetoric that really isn't conducive to civil dialog.

disclosure: While I'm not an EFF member, I have given money to then in the past.
posted by el io at 1:52 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I dunno about "revanchist" if only because it fits some of the pro-GG rhetoric too well. "Games are our nation. It has always been our nation since time immemorial, and we must reclaim it from these intruders."
posted by RobotHero at 1:59 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Not sure if it's her birth name, but it's her legal name.

Thanks. I hadn't realized she had legally changed it. I read far too much about this stuff 5-6 months ago, and even then I feel like a person could make it his full-time job (or more), if he were so inclined. Who has the time to be a full-time GamerGate volunteer? (On either side: I'm particularly impressed by the involvement of Jay Allan / "a man in black" - but I also wonder what he's getting out of it.)
posted by theorique at 2:08 PM on April 28, 2015


I know this is internet rule #0, but just in case, do not read the comments on TFA.

It is kind of darkly amusing to see the gaters show up and say, "Gamer Gate isn't about Zoe. We stopped talking about her after the first month. And here's eight paragraphs about how terrible she is..."
posted by straight at 2:14 PM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


EFF's statement on online harassment.

Nothing in that mentions how rape and death threats should be given full protection under the law. Comparing the EFF with the gators is the kind of rhetoric that really isn't conducive to civil dialog.


Oh BS. That's exactly what the document does:

Powerful people, corporations, governments, and online mobs are all adept at finding the best tools for censorship and using them to stifle criticism and dissent. They are also perfectly willing to use tools developed for one purpose for their own ends..

They are explicitly saying that you can't silence harassment because Freeh Speach.

I haven't seen such a duplicitous pile of doublespeak since Soggy Sweat.

This isn't a derail (although that attempt to Godwin it, was). This is the core problem: a corporate culture permeating the computer world, a world where Weev is protected but Zoe Quinn isn't.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:14 PM on April 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm particularly impressed by the involvement of Jay Allan / "a man in black" - but I also wonder what he's getting out of it.

A less misogynist society. It's super-devious of him, I know.
posted by kagredon at 2:17 PM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


It makes us no better.

in order to be a better person than these pathetic little manbaby shitstains, the sole thing i have to do is get up in the morning.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:18 PM on April 28, 2015 [47 favorites]


Powerful people, corporations, governments, and online mobs are all adept at finding the best tools for censorship and using them to stifle criticism and dissent.

Wait, you disagree with this statement? You don't think that historically, tools of censorship have been used by the powerful to silence the minority?

I found this short history of censorship that gives an outline of the past of censorship.

Weev certainly isn't protected from online criticism, and I would assume (because of the company he keeps) he's also been subject to significant online harassment (although obviously not to the degree that Quinn has).
posted by el io at 2:19 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


give yourself some credit, you'd still be a better person if you decided to stay in bed instead of getting up
posted by kagredon at 2:20 PM on April 28, 2015 [34 favorites]


with crackers and peanut butter even
posted by bonehead at 2:22 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


no, bed-crumbers are the lowest of the low

so just the peanut butter
posted by poffin boffin at 2:24 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Is Nutella okay? (peanut allergy)
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:26 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised no one has gone and doxxed the gamergate harassers.
posted by gucci mane at 2:45 PM on April 28, 2015


But, but... Ernie!
posted by ursus_comiter at 2:47 PM on April 28, 2015


actually it's about ethics in bedsnacking
posted by kagredon at 2:49 PM on April 28, 2015 [20 favorites]


I have to admit, I was involved with something hate-related. A while back, there was a poll for an early Justin Bieber world tour, where you voted for a country for him to visit. There was also an Anon op to spam the site with votes for North Korea.

So, yeah, I jumped on that bandwagon.

OTOH, I am on such good terms with my trans ex, my counselor kept wondering if we were going to get back together until she met someone else. (Actually, I am on disturbingly good terms with all my ex's, except the missus. I can't be around her, but that's due to my inability to emotionally divorce myself from the past. Don't want anything bad to happen to her, but it hurts too much to be around her.)

So what the hell does this say about me? looks baffled
posted by Samizdata at 2:50 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Powerful people, corporations, governments, and online mobs are all adept at finding the best tools for censorship and using them to stifle criticism and dissent.

Wait, you disagree with this statement? You don't think that historically, tools of censorship have been used by the powerful to silence the minority?


No, it's more of an excuse to do nothing, by saying "well, anything you do could be abused, so it's ultimately better to do nothing." If that sounds familiar, it's because it's the same sort of logic that the NRA uses to justify their zero tolerance position on gun control.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:50 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Wait, you disagree with this statement?

Yes, I totally disagree with the EFF using that statement to justify their position that victims of harassment should just deal with it themselves.

Weev certainly isn't protected from online criticism

The EFF protected him from Federal prosecution, at considerable financial cost. YOU gave them money to do that. Now he's out of prison and pumping out the Gamergate propaganda, even denying he doxxed Kathy Sierra and showing how he did it, just to prove he didn't.

You can trace the Gamergate tactics right back to Weev doxxing Kathy Sierra, the FPP explicitly did that. Both Weev and the EFF stand on their inalienable right to Freeh Speach. The EFF is not your friend, the EFF is a tool of corporate interests. The EFF is primarily funded by venture capitalists and telecommunications corporations. "Electronic Freedom" is for corporations, to free them from government regulation and the rule of Law:

We think that the best solutions to harassment do not lie with creating new laws, or expecting corporations to police in the best interests of the harassed.

On preview: What NoxAeternum said.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:52 PM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


re: neko atsume
It's also for android...

...in Japan. At least, Google Play has told me it is Not Available In My Country the last two times I checked.
posted by maryr at 2:58 PM on April 28, 2015


I'm surprised no one has gone and doxxed the gamergate harassers.

My understanding is that Gamergaters claim that GGers have been harassed, threatened, doxxed, etc, but I've never heard of the people they say it has happened to. I'm not sure if that just puts me in the same shoes I accuse them of wearing or if that means it's fake. I really do not know.
posted by maryr at 3:02 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I TAKE IT ALL BACK, NEKO ATSUME IS FINALLY AVAILABLE IN AMERIKA.

definitely not finishing this work tonight now
posted by maryr at 3:06 PM on April 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Weev was not on trial for his harassment. He was on trial because he collated and released semi-public data as part of full disclosure for a security vulnerability on AT&T's part. Full disclosure is a standard cyber-security procedure, and while he probably released as much as he did in a bid for attention, I don't know of a single cyber-security expert that thought what Weev did was or should be illegal.

That is why the EFF was involved. While Weev is a terrible person and the EFF is indeed lukewarm on certain issues, defending him in this manner was absolutely the right thing to do for security professionals to continue doing their job.
posted by ReadEvalPost at 3:07 PM on April 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


The EFF protected him from Federal prosecution, at considerable financial cost. YOU gave them money to do that

I gave them money to do that, too. And I endorse what they did with it, because the case against him was injust. Kathy Sierra agrees with this. He's a terrible person who did terrible things and I'd love to see him face legal consequences for his harassment. But he wasn't wrong in that case.
posted by Zed at 3:11 PM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm no longer interested in being chairitable to the EFF, because the closest thing they've promoted as a technical "solution" is increased security for anonymous IDs. As in, evidently women should not have public IDs if they want to avoid harassment. To be charitable, they believe that unremitting harassment is a small price to pay for allowing Arab Spring Tweets and general freedom to say what one wants, in a sort of Pollyannaish view of the internet from 20 years ago.

But I'm not that charitable any more.
posted by happyroach at 3:20 PM on April 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


I also think weev is vile, and I also gave the EFF money, some of which preseumably went to defend him, because, as ReadEvalPost explained above, the trial had nothing to do with the behaviours that make weev vile. By analogy, if Eron Gjoni were on trial for some Act unrelated to his (jaw-droppingly terrible) behaviour documented in TFA, and if it were important that the trial not set a precedent making the Act legally difficult in the future, then it would be important to defend him in that trial (and convict him for all kinds of things documented in TFA, in a separate trial).

Yes, I think a legal system with such a deep reliance on appeals to precedent is stupid, too, for exactly this sort of reason, but given that that's how it works, it is indeed sometimes necessary to defend specific non-reprehensible actions by reprehensible people. It helps to think in terms of discrete identifiable behaviours and ignore the people involved, to the greatest extent possible.
posted by busted_crayons at 3:23 PM on April 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Gamergaters claim that GGers have been harassed, threatened, doxxed, etc

The internet is full of horrible people, so I don't doubt it has happened somewhere, to some extent, and maybe not always by other GamerGaters? There's zero concrete examples though, unless you believe in Milo's syringe which quite frankly I don't.
posted by Artw at 3:24 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


it is indeed sometimes necessary to defend specific non-reprehensible actions by reprehensible people.

It is indeed sometimes necessary to prosecute reprehensible people for not-particularly reprehensible actions. They imprisoned Capone for tax evasion. They imprisoned Weev for conspiracy, not for hacking, and his case was overturned on a technicality about venue, not the merits of the case.

This isn't the place to derail further about Weev.
posted by charlie don't surf at 3:37 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


My understanding is that Gamergaters claim that GGers have been harassed, threatened, doxxed, etc, but I've never heard of the people they say it has happened to.

Like most paranoid hate groups, GG tends to accuse its perceived enemies of engaging in the same shitty behavior it engages it. It's a reflexive way to excuse its own behavior, by claiming that "everyone is doing it" or that it's somehow a justified reaction.

It's also important to know that what GG people think of as "doxing" when directed at them is about 10 orders of magnitude less than what they have done to other people. Literally, they view something like "pointing out that a twitter account harassing you is a sockpuppet for another person who has harassed you" as "doxing" them. Meanwhile, posting someone's home address with admonitions to go rape/kill them is just lulz.

While I don't doubt you could find a case of a GG person getting "doxed" by their definitions if you looked closely, in general, GG's claims of having been doxed are more or less on par with Christian fundamentalists screaming about how Barack Obama is a muslim who wants to enact sharia law -- all while they themselves are openly advocating for enshrining their own religious texts into the law.
posted by tocts at 3:37 PM on April 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


Weev was not on trial for his harassment. He was on trial because he collated and released semi-public data as part of full disclosure for a security vulnerability on AT&T's part. Full disclosure is a standard cyber-security procedure, and while he probably released as much as he did in a bid for attention, I don't know of a single cyber-security expert that thought what Weev did was or should be illegal.

That is why the EFF was involved. While Weev is a terrible person and the EFF is indeed lukewarm on certain issues, defending him in this manner was absolutely the right thing to do for security professionals to continue doing their job.


I really recommend reading the early Ars reporting on the matter, before he really became a cause celebre. Stuff like seeking to inflict damage to AT&T (and even discussing shorting the stock prior to the reveal), not disclosing the breach to AT&T prior to disclosure (as is expected by security researchers), destruction of evidence - all that got whitewashed away by the EFF.

(By the way, it's worth pointing out that had they actually gone through with the stock short, then the appeal argument would have failed, as there would have been little argument that NY was valid jurisdiction.)
posted by NoxAeternum at 3:41 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Praise be to Jessamyn for forcing MetaFilter to change from a place where "I'd hit that" was an acceptable response to a post.

MeFi could've become an upscale 4chan, sharing some of that same toxic bullshit machismo background from 0.1 (BBses, Usenet) and 1.0 (90s web, early blogs) internet, but it took an u-turn into sanity thanks to Jessamyn.


Is this what happened? Then thanks be to Jessamyn, indeed. Occasionally I go spelunking into older ("previously on Metafilter") threads, and my god, the comments--and even some of the FPPs themselves--can be stunningly meanspirited and juvenile at times on the subject of women, lower income anybody, etc.
posted by blue suede stockings at 3:47 PM on April 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


Oh yes, the super-flexibility of the term "dox" as used by GGers and other scummy internet types is quite a wonder to behold.
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


The thing is, I have no doubt that EFF is right that laws against internet harassment are going to be disproportionately used against vulnerable people, because that's what happens. Law enforcement reflects and sometimes amplifies society's biases. But they really don't have any other solution, other than giving women the tools we need to cower and hide, which is not really a solution if you believe that women have the same right to exist in public as men do. I totally understand and sympathize with their dilemma, even as I find their response totally unsatisfying and even infuriating.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 3:51 PM on April 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


While the article is good, I got annoyed by the line

Grand Theft Auto, which encourages players to murder prostitutes with impunity.

Why does this keep being pushed when it's a flat out lie? Nothing in any GTA game has encouraged players to murder specifically prostitutes or women - if anything, the game rather encourages you to kill more men, as almost every enemy and police officer in the games are male.
posted by ymgve at 3:57 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


"I dunno about "revanchist" if only because it fits some of the pro-GG rhetoric too well. "Games are our nation. It has always been our nation since time immemorial, and we must reclaim it from these intruders.""

Well, yeah, revanchists always see their struggle as legitimate. Just like Lost Causers believe in the nobility of the Confederacy. But since it's generally applied to ultra-nationalist extremists and often against colonial independence, it fits with identity politics being the new nationalism.
posted by klangklangston at 3:59 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


My info is only as fresh as San Andreas, but my recollection is that prostitutes drop a lot of money when killed, so there is a gameplay incentive.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:01 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


The solidly-anti-GG Cracked.com has a recent video that dramatizes that even the developers behind GTA seem to feel its players are terrible people (based on a key character in GTA V).
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:11 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really recommend reading the early Ars reporting on the matter, before he really became a cause celebre. Stuff like seeking to inflict damage to AT&T (and even discussing shorting the stock prior to the reveal), not disclosing the breach to AT&T prior to disclosure (as is expected by security researchers), destruction of evidence - all that got whitewashed away by the EFF.

Discussing an illegal act isn't itself illegal. Not disclosing the breach to AT&T instead of the public isn't illegal (though highly frowned upon, as you point out). I can't speak to the legality of deleting data before being arrested, but the point is moot if no crime was actually committed.

There is no doubt that Weev and Goatse Security were not actual security professionals and their motives, if not actions, are extremely suspect. The fact remains that moving a case to NJ to upgrade the crime to a felony when no NJ computers were involved is a gross overstep by the USG, and applying the CFAA when accessing what amounts to public data would have a negative impact on other, legitimate security researchers.
posted by ReadEvalPost at 4:22 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


My info is only as fresh as San Andreas, but my recollection is that prostitutes drop a lot of money when killed, so there is a gameplay incentive.

Drug dealers also drop a lot of money, so there's no need for any violence against women to get cash.
posted by ymgve at 4:27 PM on April 28, 2015


Just so I'm clear, we're now at the point in this discussion where we hyper-focus on minutiae that has no bearing on the overall problem so as to avoid accidentally addressing any of the terrible behavior directed at women and minorities?

I just wanted to be sure I'm following along properly.
posted by tocts at 4:30 PM on April 28, 2015 [51 favorites]


Isn't the deal with GTAIII that you can get your health refilled, then murder the prostitute to take her money?
posted by Greg Nog at 4:30 PM on April 28, 2015


Isn't the deal with GTAIII that you can get your health refilled, then murder the prostitute to take her money?

You can. The game doesn't encourage you to, any more than it encourages you to kill any other random pedestrian. (Who also drop money)
posted by ymgve at 4:33 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


An article makes 10 claims, 9 of which you are not in your field of expertise and which you can't verify either way, but one is, and that one is plainly a lie and exaggeration, you would feel safe in dismissing the other 9 as well. At least that's how some people are viewing it.
posted by xdvesper at 4:36 PM on April 28, 2015


(Also the reason this annoys me is that inaccuracies like these is what GGers love to point out to flat out dismiss anything wholesale. See: The Tropes Vs Women videos and the response to them)
posted by ymgve at 4:36 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not inaccurate, though. The game rewards you with big cash drops for killing prostitutes. It's not the only way to make money, but it's there.
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:37 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


you know what bugs me is how people mention blue shells every time Mario Kart comes up ITS PERFECTLY POSSIBLE TO WIN WITHOUT THEM YOU KNOW
posted by kagredon at 4:38 PM on April 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Then again, the game doesn't penalize you for killing anybody, good, bad or indifferent. Still great training for little haters to become future gators.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:38 PM on April 28, 2015


You can. The game doesn't encourage you to

Of course it does. You get life and money. That's an incentive, the same way as hitting question blocks in Mario is incentivized through power-ups. You can certainly CHOOSE not to hit them, but there is an incentive provided by the gameplay to do so.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:40 PM on April 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Just so I'm clear, we're now at the point in this discussion where we hyper-focus on minutiae that has no bearing on the overall problem so as to avoid accidentally addressing any of the terrible behavior directed at women and minorities?


Shortly to be followed by 'explain the whole thread to me again because I can't read' and 'let me play devil's advocate. I do this for the principle of the thing, not because I hate women'.
posted by winna at 4:41 PM on April 28, 2015 [39 favorites]


well, you don't have to despoil the environment, rip off the widows and children, exploit 3rd world peoples, oppress minorities and women, and screw up the world's climate to make money in the great game of capitalism, so i don't know what the hell people are complaining about it for
posted by pyramid termite at 4:41 PM on April 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


klangklangston: "But since it's generally applied to ultra-nationalist extremists and often against colonial independence, it fits with identity politics being the new nationalism."

Oh, I misinterpreted what you said here to mean you were calling the SJWs revanchist:
As for the term for the GamerGate anti-"SJW," "revanchist" seems the most apt term.
So I was agreeing with you more than I realized.
posted by RobotHero at 4:49 PM on April 28, 2015


(Also the reason this annoys me is that inaccuracies like these is what GGers love to point out to flat out dismiss anything wholesale. See: The Tropes Vs Women videos and the response to them)

It's kind of weird that you're acting like the fault lies with the person who didn't unpack every single nuance of a game mentioned in passing or as one of several examples (in the case of the TvW videos) and not with people who use that as a pretext for dismissal or derail.
posted by kagredon at 4:49 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


There's a certain amount of language parsing going on here regarding GTA and, earlier, regarding Enron Emoji's (sic) "disclaimer" that nobody should harass anybody. The suggestion seems to be that unless something is actively encouraged, its not really being encouraged.

Here at our school, students are told they are not allowed to play a Senior prank during their year. There have been pranks every year. The rules couldn't be more clear - we are actively discouraging senior pranks.

However, when the senior prank inevitably happens, everyone from admin on down laughs and says good show and doesn't do anything to discourage it. Indeed, the talk is usually about how this prank stacked up compared to last year's prank.

So, even though our words are discouraging the act, our actions are encouraging it. We're essentially tacitly encouraging the prank and this tacit encouragement is much more powerful than any active encouragement might be (indeed, if the adults were suddenly all like "kids, do a senior prank," I can't help but think the tradition would dry up).

All right, so, there might not be anyone actively encouraging the murder of prostitutes in GTA, but the fact that you can make money off of killing them means that you are being tacitly encouraged to do so. If they dropped no loot, they would suddenly be much less interesting targets.

If I can use World of Warcraft as an example, there's this one dungeon that is swarming with cultists. The cultists drop no loot and give you no experience. I do everything I can now to avoid them entirely because killing them just wastes my time (there's a single achievement you can get for killing a certain number of them all at once, but once you've done that, there's no point in killing them even if the game world suggests you should kill them). In fact, once you get hooked up with groups that do dungeons for speed, you quickly learn how to avoid nearly every minor/trash encounter. The game tacitly teaches you to avoid things that aren't worth your time.

Back to Inri Gnochi and his "disclaimer." While that set of words might say "oh, don't harass," his intent was clearly "harass but I want some plausible deniability if you do." He's tacitly encouraging the harassment based on lies he invented, choice of forum for sharing his article, and "behind the scenes" comments. The harassers are rewarded with community approval and sometimes ever individual praise from the community if they do something especially awful.

Long story short, you can actively discourage something while at the same time tacitly encouraging it in both games and real life. So, yes, GTA does encourage you to attack the prostitutes. Yes, Irie Gamon did encourage people to harass his ex. That does not mean that GTA = Gjoni just that parsing the word "encouraged" to only mean "actively encouraged" isn't really an accurate reading of the word.

And if the GG crowd is relying on that sort of language parsing to justify illegal and awful behavior, they're ipso facto in the wrong.
posted by Joey Michaels at 4:56 PM on April 28, 2015 [24 favorites]


Perhaps "ipso facto" is too strong - "they're most likely in the wrong" is perhaps a more accurate phrase.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:01 PM on April 28, 2015


Here at our school, students are told they are not allowed to play a Senior prank during their year.

forgive me for the totally off-topic comment, but there was a legend about an extreme senior prank at my high school, which had one of those totally enclosed courtyards - supposedly, the class got ahold of a teacher's car, 50s or early 60s chevy, and disassembled it piece by piece, climbed up the roof, used ropes and pulleys to take all the pieces up and then down into the courtyard and then reassembled it so that when school resumed monday morning, the car was sitting in the courtyard as if it had been driven there over the weekend

i don't know if this is true or what year it happened, but it would have been early 60s, at least 10 years before i graduated

now that would have been a prank
posted by pyramid termite at 5:08 PM on April 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


this "gamergate" thing I've been hearing about for ages all comes down to some loser complaining about how his ex girlfriend was so mean? How the hell did people get behind that as a "cause"?

I'm sure someone else has already basically said it, but this makes it pretty obvious you haven't spent a lot of time around seriously nerdy socially awkward men. There's an awful lot of men are from mars women are from venus amirite, and all the problems i have with women are the fault of women being crazy/stupid/unpredictable/mean, and just generally stuff like that floating around that's taken as baseline gospel of duh from our lord and savior logic.

He was selling a narrative of a woman being perfectly terrible to an audience of people who wanted to hear that. This is basically the 3 chord chugging guitar radio hit of misogyny, in the genre of nerdy dudes.

There's also a strong undercurrent, stronger than what was even mentioned above, that women are only involved in any nerdy pursuits for male attention. This runs DEEP. It's the kind of thing that you start learning as a young child if you're in to nerdy stuff, and everyone buys into it to some degree, even if they claim they don't. The messaging is just that strong. A guy who does a few nerdy things is automatically a real nerd. A woman can do tons of nerdy things constantly every day and is still suspect.

It's one of those things that even when you've spent years trying to deprogram yourself and unlearn it, you still have to push back against the stupid voice in your brain going "hmmm" at women once you've been around it for decades.

Gamergate was very carefully built, with a strong foundation, on these footings. Pretty much everything that's happened since Gjonis original post was basically waiting for an excuse to happen, honestly. He's a terrible asshole, but i think to an extent he's also a fall guy. A lot of money has changed hands, and a lot of planning/execution has happened. A bunch of these guys just wanted a point man.
posted by emptythought at 5:19 PM on April 28, 2015 [28 favorites]


A woman can do tons of nerdy things constantly every day and is still suspect.

Haven't you been reading the thread? Gamergate will take women seriously as soon as they learn the exact consequences, monetary and otherwise, of murdering prostitutes in a specific video game.
posted by almostmanda at 5:24 PM on April 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


Kathy Sierra. Rebecca Watson. Zoe Quinn. Brianna Wu. Randi Harper. Five prominent examples of women who have been the targets of unbelievable amounts of abuse, doxxing, even attempts to use the police to attach their homes through Swatting. This goes back to the 1990s, and likely before then - Kathy Sierra was just one of the first prominent women, not the first harassed and abused.

When their stories go into the mainstream, you end up with a Law & Order SVI episode where the Game Developer is cruel to her employees, dismissive of the police who want to help her, ends up kidnapped and raped, and stops being a Game Developer. I was saddened that Law and Order set the composite of Quinn and Wu up to be someone who doesn't deserve all the hard work those law enforcers do for them, but I wasn't surprised - no more than I'm surprised how frequently "this example is exaggerated" and "both sides are equally bad" come up as defenses of men who are rewarded for abusing women, even on MetaFilter.

I keep hoping we can do better, though.
posted by Deoridhe at 5:53 PM on April 28, 2015 [32 favorites]


Actually there was a TV episode, I think of Law & Order (not sure if it was SVU or not) featuring a 'pickup artist' (who was creating a show about PUAs). If recall, the PUA was found killed... And virtually everyone they encountered hated the asshole and was thrilled to see them dead. They didn't portray the victim sympathetically.

It was pretty enjoyable to watch, actually.
posted by el io at 6:41 PM on April 28, 2015


The Law & Order episode I outlined exists. It was written and produced a couple months ago, I think, and it was pretty horrendous. Both Quinn and Wu talked about what it felt like to be portrayed so unsympathetically; Watson also spoke up about how the police response in the episode was completely not her experience of their responses any of the many, many, many times she has reported her sustained abuse and harassment to the police.
posted by Deoridhe at 6:53 PM on April 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


I ran across this article on Twitter and tweeted the link with the comment that I was still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor after reading it. I very soon got responses. One guy said "I recommend you read both sides of that story", (eyeroll) another said "except that GamerGate happened on Aug 27th, burgersandfries and quinnspiracy were about quinn", (uh, what?) and a third person sent me this link, but I don't know quite what to make of it or whether there's any truth in the claims it makes about Quinn.

Gaming isn't my thing and the gaming subculture is almost unknown to me.
posted by orange swan at 7:03 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


orange swan, at this point in time the Wikipedia page for GG actually seems to be pretty decent; they give a timeline and discuss the "Fine Young Capitalists" thing there. Zoe Quinn has also addressed that particular issue publicly.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:35 PM on April 28, 2015


Huh, two the responses orange swan received are from Twitter accounts where their names end with # and a four-digit number. Is that the latest fad in GamerGate, or is it a glitch in the program they were using to generate their fake Twitter accounts?
posted by RobotHero at 7:38 PM on April 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Huh, two the responses orange swan received are from Twitter accounts where their names end with # and a four-digit number.

The numbers tie back to Randi Harper's GG Autoblocker program; the numbers are peoples' indices in the block list. When it started, at least some GGers assumed that the list was some kind of ranking. It's unlikely that all of them did because, as Harper pointed out, the order is purely alphabetical & gets recalculated every time the block list is regenerated.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:43 PM on April 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


orange swan, welcome to the exciting world of sealion wrestling!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:00 PM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


orange swan, if you're attracting the attentions of the sea lion brigade, strongly recommend that you implement @freebsdgirl's GG autoblocker. And then forget that those idiots exist.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:26 PM on April 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Why does this keep being pushed when it's a flat out lie? Nothing in any GTA game has encouraged players to murder specifically prostitutes or women - if anything, the game rather encourages you to kill more men, as almost every enemy and police officer in the games are male.

Is there anything about the way the game is designed that makes murdering prostitutes entertaining? If so, I'd say the game is encouraging players to do it.

In Far Cry 2, murdering animals was completely boring. They were no threat and if you so much as touched them with a vehicle or your body, they just dropped inertly to the ground without any sort of amusing ragdoll animation. It wasn't realistic, but it was a pretty darn effective way of saying, "This is not a game about killing animals."
posted by straight at 9:47 PM on April 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


I pointed this MF post out to Zoe. After all the crap she's been getting thrown at her, seeing the fantastic discussion here should be a breath of fresh air. :)
posted by freebsdgirl at 10:10 PM on April 28, 2015 [38 favorites]


Welcome back to Metafilter! It's good to hear that this place can be seen as fresh air from someone who's seen so much of what Internet Bile there can be.
posted by CrystalDave at 10:25 PM on April 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Writing a 9000 word screed because he got dumped is sort of .... mental illness levels of not normal.

This is the kind of thing that folks dealing with mental health issues tend to get victimized for more than they commit them. There's no illness that absolves Gjoni from responsibility, here: he's using purely cruel techniques to weaponize the irradiated misogyny that's loose on the internet, especially in gaming culture.

There's no way the prick would have known how huge his wacko post was going to be, so to condemn him for the result as if he did know is illogical, and also shitty reporting. Dude is many things, but psychic ain't one of them.

He was egging them on in the chat rooms. He 100% intended for this to happen.

You know, I hate assholes, but I'm actually really uncomfortable with orders preventing people from divulging stories of their own personal life. Imagine that the shoe were reversed - what if I had an abusive ex boyfriend, and I posted about him publicly, and was then barred from doing so because people were going after him? This reminds me of some of those campus rape gag orders.

(insert a comment about misogynists learning to co-opt social justice terminology that slowly dissolves into Zalgo text and then projectile vomiting)

These people are, without a doubt, "gamers" but they're light years away from the gamergate people.

One of the most awful thing about GG is that a lot of the Big Names still have jobs in the industry. Adam Baldwin is still voice acting, Nintendo just released a game with him starring in it. Total Biscuit's recommendation whatevers are listed on the home page of Steam. It's possible that people aren't noticing this if they aren't looking for it, but once you know who the big names are, it's hard to avoid seeing them in a lot of big gaming places; even if the majority of their customers aren't GG types or don't know about GG or hate GG or whatever they are still complicit in the people who make careers of this kind of shit.
posted by NoraReed at 10:50 PM on April 28, 2015 [36 favorites]


Yeah NoraReed, it's hard to escape the conclusion that in at least the short term, the gamergaters are if not winning, at least dominant.

I have hope that in the long term things will get better. Hell, just getting to a Hollywood level of bad would be a major improvement.
posted by happyroach at 12:13 AM on April 29, 2015


They're reducing a lot in number and are increasingly looking worse and worse, but the utter failure of the game industry to condemn the big name ringleaders is, well, fucking disgusting. I don't expect anything better of Breitbart, but I expect better of Steam and Nintendo, and I'm amazed that other people will work with them, including big names like Wil Wheaton who are supposedly on the side of the angels, who recently acted in a project that Baldwin was also in. People are willing to shake their heads and condemn the behavior, but as soon as it might hit their pocketbook to speak out, they go back to doing jack shit.
posted by NoraReed at 12:53 AM on April 29, 2015 [19 favorites]


"A guy who does a few nerdy things is automatically a real nerd."

As a guy with some deeply nerdy pursuits, that hasn't been my experience. Pretty much every bit of nerdery I've gotten into, including comics, D&D, rare albums, BBSes, baseball stats, sci-fi, video games, anime, and everything else I can think of, there's always been someone explicitly trying to position themselves as a gatekeeper to authenticity. A guy who does a few nerdy things is automatically a real nerd to people who aren't nerds, but is generally a dilettante in the eyes of the neckbeard priests.

What doesn't happen is having my gender thrown back in my face because everybody knows guys are no good at video games, or having mid-level bullies think that being a guy makes me an easy target, or the sexual terrorism of reminding me that rape by men can be a punishment for being noticed.

I think portraying it like you did makes it too easy to dismiss — plenty of misogynists have surmounted the same gatekeepers that I have, and that's a meaningful achievement for a lot of the Gators. At least some of the resentment stems from the mistaken notion that by getting rid of the explicit and implicit sexism and misogyny that is currently leveled against women in gaming/comics/nerdery/whatevs, women are somehow being exempted from those same gatekeepers. It's congruent with what you see in Gjoni's screed, where Quinn is portrayed as using her sex to bypass gatekeepers.

These are folks who have worked hard to become the kingshit of some tiny subreddit and don't want n00bs spoiling their reign of hazing now that they're the ones who decide who's got a legitimate interest. They don't think that's a problem; they think that's what justice looks like.
posted by klangklangston at 2:20 AM on April 29, 2015 [23 favorites]


The Fine Young Capitalists are pretty slimy. It's one guy (Matthew Rappard) who is outsourcing all the work to another company he owns (Autobotika). Anyways, I listened to a podcast with him on it. He could barely keep himself from laughing at the people who were "donating" to TFYC (which is a corporation, not a non-profit) he also is capable of talking in depth about television demographics and talks about his time in "the industry". His IMDB has one episode of one TV show listed. Sleezy Sleezy Sleezy.
posted by Yowser at 2:40 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


>MeFi could've become an upscale 4chan, sharing some of that same
>toxic bullshit machismo background from 0.1 (BBses, Usenet) and 1.0
>(90s web, early blogs) internet, but it took an u-turn into sanity thanks
>to Jessamyn.

Is this what happened? Then thanks be to Jessamyn, indeed. Occasionally I go spelunking into older ("previously on Metafilter") threads, and my god, the comments--and even some of the FPPs themselves--can be stunningly meanspirited and juvenile at times on the subject of women, lower income anybody, etc.


Without wanting to take anything away from Jessamyn's stellar work on this front, it's worth flagging up another significant moment in Metafilter's shifting culture, which was this MeTa thread from February 2003 where Mefites shared their Political Compass results. In the 18 months before that, the site had been a neverending political bunfight, with right-leaning members who had joined post-9/11, as well as older members who had discovered their inner right-winger, duking it out with left-leaning members. That thread suggested that Mefi was more left-leaning, overall, than we had suspected:

So far it seems as though MetaFilter leans well to the Left. That being the case, why is it that the minority of Righties make such a big stink over every issue, and the Lefties insist on responding, every time?

As this became common knowledge we saw a drift away from the site of right-leaning voices (with exceptions, obviously, but it became quite a different place). Given that right-wing attitudes can often go hand-in-hand with unreconstructed views about gender, that shift could have helped the moderators' cause of tackling the boyzone. I'm not saying that left-wing men can't be just as unreconstructed, because unfortunately some will be, but if we're looking at overall trends it could be part of the explanation for what you see in pre-2003/4 threads versus today's.
posted by rory at 3:00 AM on April 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Total Biscuit's recommendation whatevers are listed on the home page of Steam.

Yes, as is 'GamerGate Recommends'. I wrote to Steam about it a few weeks ago, but they haven't replied. Maybe if more people...?
posted by um at 3:46 AM on April 29, 2015


I bugged them about it on Twitter; I noticed that my recommended curators has changed (based on my taste, I guess?). I still see ToiletBiscuit's reviews all the fucking time, though; it's put me off buying more than one game in cases where I've been considering it, see that gross shit, and decide to skip it or get it on another platform.
posted by NoraReed at 3:53 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Never before have I been so happy I never got into games or Twitter or 4chan or Reddit or IRC.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:04 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Having (inadvertantly) tried spaking to some gators as though they were mature adults, I'm always reminded of this Jam sketch.

youtube.com/watch?v=kGex0kLgNok
posted by davemee at 5:04 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I did RTFA, but not all the comments here, but I will just say that some of my best playmates on PS4 are women, and they are a LOT better than me. This GamerGate crap is just .... stupid pointless crap.... and I say that as someone who has been playing video games since Pong and Space Invaders.
posted by Diag at 5:16 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


A less misogynist society. It's super-devious of him, I know.

I hear a certain snark. I wonder if arguing with GamerGaters is the best use of his time and talents, though. I mean, if he wants to do this, and doesn't burn out, then good for him. I just don't get the sense that pushing back earnestly against an ocean of trolls is a good use of anybody's time.
posted by theorique at 5:29 AM on April 29, 2015


Pushing back against bad behaviour's pretty unmeasurable as far as what it results in, because it's very rare anyone ever acknowledges that you've changed their mind. You definitely can't measure how many people are being deterred from agreeing with the aggressors because they saw you push back, either.

But in the end, it's a Sisyphean task, and people should do it with no expectations of reward and stop doing it the moment they feel even slightly resentful about doing it.
posted by ambrosen at 5:43 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


i love gta vice city - i've played it a whole bunch. i likely would have played the others, but i have dizziness issues with wooshing cameras. i think the games can have moments of good writing and pacing and can usually pack a lot of different kinds of fun. i don't think they should be banned. i wish they'd sort of end their life cycle naturally because i do think they're running thin on ideas - but i think there should be a place for adult games and any appeals about what 13 year olds learn from gta falls on deaf ears over here, because i don't want a world that's tuned to what's appropriate for 13 year olds. i feel this way about comics, movies, games, porn, and on and on and on.

having said all that - i am troubled by how immensely popular games are that feature a lot of sexualized violence. when people use the defense of "well, more men are killed!" they are completely ignoring that men in these sorts of games are very, very rarely killed in sexual ways - half dressed, moaning like they're orgasming, etc. women in these games are rarely killed in non-sexual ways. beyond the issues of idiotic dudes who can only relate to women in this way (that goes for both the creators and the audiences that really crave this part of these games), it's also disappointing because it's just so fucking lazy.

i hope that as indie gaming gets more of a foothold, and other mediums keep having success in bringing challenging women focused stories to print (bitch planet #4 is out today!!), that adult gaming can evolve from dead hookers and blow to something better.
posted by nadawi at 7:35 AM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


But in the end, it's a Sisyphean task, and people should do it with no expectations of reward and stop doing it the moment they feel even slightly resentful about doing it.

Yeah, that's a better way to put what I meant. If you're having fun trolling trolls back, then great - fill your boots. But if it's not fun, or if it starts to feel like an addictive/compulsive behavior, or starts to cause actual emotional pain ... time to step away from the computer.
posted by theorique at 7:50 AM on April 29, 2015


It's one guy (Matthew Rappard)

OMG DOXXING!!!!

(On the other hand of you want to post the home addresses and SS of some women that is totally fine.)
posted by Artw at 7:51 AM on April 29, 2015


Total Biscuit's recommendation whatevers are listed on the home page of Steam.

Yes, as is 'GamerGate Recommends'.


Ugh, really? Why don't they just put up "KKK recommends?" I'm so glad I've stuck with my plan to not buy anything that requires me to log into Steam.
posted by tavella at 8:02 AM on April 29, 2015


Total Biscuit's recommendation whatevers are listed on the home page of Steam.

I looked, but didn't see. Where on the page is it?
posted by zarq at 8:07 AM on April 29, 2015


it could be part of the explanation for what you see in pre-2003/4 threads versus today's.

i think the right vs left mefites thing is interesting, and certainly there are many things that paved the road to where we are now - but a gigantic part of the shift wrt women on here was deliberate hard work by jessamyn and mefites who wanted something better. also, to my recollection (backed up by trawling history from time to time) the bad old days extend far beyond 2003/2004 - i mean, the cooter countdown was ditched in 2008 and "hi, whatcha readin'?" happened in 2009.
posted by nadawi at 8:14 AM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


As this became common knowledge we saw a drift away from the site of right-leaning voices (with exceptions, obviously, but it became quite a different place).

I don't remember the 2003 poll as such a significant turning point politically. I think MeFi merely participated in the mass discrediting of conservative politics that was Bush administration. Voices went silent because it became impossible to ignore how they were proven wrong, perhaps even to themselves. Nor I don't think it's directly connected to the improving atmosphere for women on MeFi in any case; liberal men can be plenty sexist too, and conservatives are capable of being deeply against women's rights without being crass. Jessamyn and many other women of MeFi deserve a lot of credit. It helped me personally and I'm grateful.
posted by nom de poop at 8:26 AM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


[Comment removed; maybe let's just let KiA keep their fevered digestions of Metafilter threads to themselves.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:31 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Total Biscuit's recommendation whatevers are listed on the home page of Steam.

Yes, as is 'GamerGate Recommends'.


You can pretty much kill this problem by choosing to follow a few curators, since Steam will immediately bump them up over the rest. Some good choices might be: Feminist Frequency, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, Double Fine Productions, Amanita Design, and Ludum Dare, but your mileage will vary based on your own likes and dislikes. It's not as good as being able to say "I don't want to follow this guy's recommendations", but it gets the job done just as well.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:37 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


From the "Hi, Whatcha Reading?" Link:
"Are you wearing a tee-shirt making a rape joke? NOT A GOOD CHOICE—not in general, and definitely not when approaching a strange woman."

This seems oddly prescient given *this* post.
posted by Yowser at 8:41 AM on April 29, 2015


a gigantic part of the shift wrt women on here was deliberate hard work by jessamyn and mefites who wanted something better.

I think that's an interesting parallel there with the huge restructuring if rpg.net that occurred around the same time. Rpg.net was at the time rather like Reddit, with political arguments and extreme poisons on gaming taking up a lot of space and contributing to a toxic atmsphere. It took a major crackdown and a zero tolerance attitude by the mods to make rpg.net tolerable.

Of course since gaming is so reactionary, to keep out the racists and misogynists requires a really intrusive and proactive modding policy, such people still complain about. Still, if we could get an AI with the combined personality of jessamyn and Cessna to moderate the entire internet, I would not complain.
posted by happyroach at 8:41 AM on April 29, 2015


getting totalbiscuit off my personal front page doesn't solve the overall issue though - steam is still cosigning his bullshit by giving him that default space.
posted by nadawi at 8:42 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


Surprise - Eron Gjoni implies he's considering a defamation suit and goes into great detail about how the interviews went down and how much Zachary Jason got wrong.
posted by komara at 8:44 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


pretty sure he did the same dance after the last hit piece on him.
posted by nadawi at 8:46 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


getting totalbiscuit off my personal front page doesn't solve the overall issue though - steam is still cosigning his bullshit by giving him that default space.

I am still mad that Good Old Games gives him a platform to stream because he draws his milliards of eyeballs to them, but I am glad they get money from it to do what they do so sigh.
posted by griphus at 8:48 AM on April 29, 2015


getting totalbiscuit off my personal front page doesn't solve the overall issue though - steam is still cosigning his bullshit by giving him that default space.

To be clear, I'd say the "cosigning" here is pretty darn unvoiced -Steam is "giving him the default space" because he's the curator that most people have chosen to follow - both before & after GG. It's not some mystery algorithm that got him up there. That said, It'd be nice if they mixed up their algorithm choice & maybe booted the "Gamergate Recommends" community. Ah, pipe dreams.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:18 AM on April 29, 2015


ah yes - here it is - he rewrote the questions and answers after the interview and then claimed the reporter had lied.
posted by nadawi at 9:24 AM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


it'd be nice if people stopped sending tb review copies of things so his outsized voice in the space would dry up. but, alas, pipe dreams like you say.
posted by nadawi at 9:26 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


You can pretty much kill this problem by choosing to follow a few curators, since Steam will immediately bump them up over the rest.

Oh, he's showing up in Steam Curators then? Yeah, you can totally adjust that so he's not visible.

Steam Curators is sort of like Amazon's "List of media created by user you may like" feature. Anyone can create a curated list, the site's not actively promoting any particular user, and users aren't consciously promoted or paid to curate. Someone's appearance on your Curators suggestions list is based on the people you follow, (possibly also your stated interests/purchases?) and the number of followers they have.
posted by zarq at 9:42 AM on April 29, 2015


That said, It'd be nice if they mixed up their algorithm choice & maybe booted the "Gamergate Recommends" community. Ah, pipe dreams.

Unfortunately, the last thing they're going to do is deliberately piss off a large, outspoken and vengeful community who spend money on games. They'll turn a blind eye because those people keep them in business.
posted by zarq at 9:44 AM on April 29, 2015


...large, outspoken and vengeful community who spend money on games.

see I wonder about those boycott threats
posted by griphus at 9:48 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


so instead what they do is alienate another group who buys games - and besides some tweets and polite grumbling in threads like these, they mostly silently lose that money. squeaky wheel and all that - but that doesn't make it the best move.

...and not to mention that valve has absolutely no problem pissing off their user base for seemingly no reason, see : the skyrim modding fiasco.
posted by nadawi at 10:01 AM on April 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


i mean - according to steam, my husband and i have purchased right at 500 games - i wonder how the supposed core demographic stacks up against that. i've been told by a bunch of these cretins that girls don't really like games and that we only got interested because of portal fan art. i just roll my eyes and pick up my controller.
posted by nadawi at 10:04 AM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


i love gta vice city - i've played it a whole bunch. i likely would have played the others, but i have dizziness issues with wooshing cameras. i think the games can have moments of good writing and pacing and can usually pack a lot of different kinds of fun. i don't think they should be banned. i wish they'd sort of end their life cycle naturally because i do think they're running thin on ideas - but i think there should be a place for adult games and any appeals about what 13 year olds learn from gta falls on deaf ears over here, because i don't want a world that's tuned to what's appropriate for 13 year olds. i feel this way about comics, movies, games, porn, and on and on and on.

I've tried to write about 4 different versions of this comment, initially responding to oneswellfoop's comment upthread, but this said it better than I managed with any of them.

It's kind of like the Bechdel test. A movie can fail the Bechdel test and still have merit; a movie can have good, plot-relevant reasons why failing the Bechdel test makes sense; the issue is that a huge majority of movies fail the Bechdel test.

The latter GTA games are interesting to me, because they essentially take the sociopathy that is possible in many open-world sandbox type RPGs (sell your +1 sword to the shopkeeper, use the money to buy a +2 sword, stab the shopkeeper with the +2 sword and make off with the money, the +1 sword, and the rest of the inventory) and take it to it's logical, up-to-11 conclusion, and I don't know whether Rockstar was setting out to comment on the genre or just wanted to see how far they could push the envelope, but I think either way it becomes metacommentary. It ain't Barthelme, sure, but dismissing it as Murder Simulator: Fake Los Angeles also is a disservice. There's an argument that killing prostitutes is a logical extension of GTA's sandbox, which partly translates to "you can kill anyone and take their stuff" (which is not especially uncommon in open-world sandbox games--like I said, GTA in a lot of ways is not doing anything substantially different from something like Skyrim, but GTA attracts a lot of attention by making it cops instead of generic city guards and letting you steal cars instead of horses.)

I don't think every instance of violence or sexualization against a female character in a game is a problem. I do think that the number of games where female characters solely exist to be victimized and/or sexualized is a problem. I know Anita Sarkeeisian has made this point as well, repeatedly, but it keeps getting drowned out--it's not that any given trope should be banned and off-limits forever. It's that there's a repeated pattern of certain ones, and that pattern is hostile to women.

Hot Coffee and Jack Thompson coincided with my early-teens political awakening, and that's probably coloring this a fair bit. I do think older-me would point out to younger-me that the violence and exploitation sex workers face is pretty heavy stuff and that the sex-heals-you-take-the-money lulz is a little tasteless. Not something that should be outlawed, just tasteless. Younger-me would absorb this and then point out that cops killed in the line of duty and people being carjacked are also real harms that exist and fantasy is fantasy. Older me would concede that point, but also point out that there aren't many (any? The cops are all male, at least in the early-2000s vintage games, and you don't get a good look at most of your carjacking victims but I think they use reskinned cop sprites, and the NPCs you actually regularly interact with in the "story" are primarily male) female characters outside of the prostitutes, and that while there's fantasy, there's no part of that fantasy that requires women be present in only one role heavily filtered through the male gaze. Then we would design a GTA game where the PC would essentially be Michelle Rodriguez's character from The Fast and The Furious and there would be car mechanics minigames.
posted by kagredon at 10:09 AM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


griphus: see I wonder about those boycott threats

That's funny. :)

--

nadawi: so instead what they do is alienate another group who buys games - and besides some tweets and polite grumbling in threads like these, they mostly silently lose that money. squeaky wheel and all that - but that doesn't make it the best move.

I'm not really sure (purely from a money-making standpoint) that there is a best move for them here. Morally, yes, absolutely. I wish they they would take a stand against GG's bullies and thugs. But this will only blow up and really start costing them money when they address it publicly and take a stand. Until then, the only people who will care enough to walk are the ones who happen to notice or to whom it's pointed out. A different, lower level of attrition.

...and not to mention that valve has absolutely no problem pissing off their user base for seemingly no reason, see : the skyrim modding fiasco.

I'm not familiar with it. But I suspect there's a lot of off-camera calculus that goes into those decisions, too.
posted by zarq at 10:10 AM on April 29, 2015


i mean - according to steam, my husband and i have purchased right at 500 games - i wonder how the supposed core demographic stacks up against that. i've been told by a bunch of these cretins that girls don't really like games and that we only got interested because of portal fan art. i just roll my eyes and pick up my controller.

That's a really good question. I would hope that Steam tracks user demographics.
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM on April 29, 2015


it's just one more little thing in a mountain of things that says, "this space isn't for you." it's not valve's job to rectify, really - but they have let these assholes run rampant in forums, reviews, etc and they knew when introducing things like curators that it would be easy to game in this way. they just didn't care enough to make different choices.
posted by nadawi at 10:22 AM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


It ain't Barthelme, sure, but dismissing it as Murder Simulator: Fake Los Angeles also is a disservice.

I don't disagree with you in theory, and I have personally enjoyed a number of GTA games, basically from when they started through around San Andreas. That being said, though, I think there are valid questions to be asked about the value of metacommentary that the reader/player doesn't actually recognize as such.

It seems to have a lot of parallels to the problems that led Dave Chappelle to quit doing The Chappelle Show. When a huge number of the people cheering you on seem to be doing so in total earnestness without any recognition that you were intending to make a satirical point, it may be that you're doing more harm than good.
posted by tocts at 10:25 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


so instead what they do is alienate another group who buys games - and besides some tweets and polite grumbling in threads like these, they mostly silently lose that money. squeaky wheel and all that - but that doesn't make it the best move.

I want evidence about the amount of money they've lost from this. The actually-GGers-don't-boycot sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:36 AM on April 29, 2015


sorry i don't have empirical evidence of how maintaining a hostile space drives people away. maybe you can ask those in this very thread who have opted to buy games elsewhere because of it...
posted by nadawi at 10:43 AM on April 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


sorry i don't have empirical evidence of how maintaining a hostile space drives people away.

While human testimony is all well and good as evidence behind the motivations of particular individuals, it's basically anecdata that tells us nothing about the number of folks who would start -or stop- to buy games on Steam if Valve kicked off "Gamergate Recommends". I suspect that this is another case where making a stand on the side of all that is right & good won't notice in any appreciable impact (positive or negative) on Valve's bottom line.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:48 AM on April 29, 2015


well - as long as their bottom line is unchanged i guess it's ok. good for them.
posted by nadawi at 10:55 AM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Boycotts rarely work because they impact the bottom line. They work because they are public expressions of unhappiness, can attract a lot of attention, and have a history of successfully shaming businesses into changing their policies.
posted by maxsparber at 10:57 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hey, you know what's worse than "Gamergate recommends:" on Steam?

Reviews like this that are inexplicably still up after 4 months.
posted by almostmanda at 10:57 AM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


yeeeep. like i said - it's about what they tolerate community wide. they aren't surprised they're harboring this shit there and it's not just an issue of an algorithm.
posted by nadawi at 11:00 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I want evidence about the amount of money they've lost from this.

Pipe dream. Not going to happen. In part because Valve and Steam keep their financials private. In part because they have no vested interest in showing that they've lost money from a poor business decision. In part because the people who boycott will not necessarily declare their reasons. Also in part because determining a single reason for negative or slowed financial growth in a billion dollar company is virtually impossible. The company markets and retails online games. Sales, membership and use can be affected by a very wide range of factors. Unless a significant change in the company's fortunes is happening, isolating a single factor and thinking that one can determine its impact beyond a shadow of a doubt is not realistic.
posted by zarq at 11:05 AM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yes, as is 'GamerGate Recommends'. I wrote to Steam about it a few weeks ago, but they haven't replied. Maybe if more people...?

Is this an actual Steam-endorsed thing, or is it just a tag you can add?
posted by corb at 11:25 AM on April 29, 2015


It's a "Steam Curator" which means someone or multiple someones have designated themselves the arbiter of what GamerGate does and does not recommend. I'm sure they will be held to the highest of ethical standards.
posted by RobotHero at 11:33 AM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Boycotts rarely work because they impact the bottom line. They work because they are public expressions of unhappiness, can attract a lot of attention, and have a history of successfully shaming businesses into changing their policies.

Sure - so, have the disorganized forces of "we're not gamergate!" ever successfully organized into some kind of successful boycott to protest some game that was far too prejudiced? That is, I think the central question that I'm trying to get at. Because I'm not sure that I've seen any evidence that the disorganized folks have been able to show that they can prevent something like this.

Reviews like this that are inexplicably still up after 4 months.

Ick ick ick.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:07 PM on April 29, 2015


almostmanda: "Reviews like this that are inexplicably still up after 4 months."

Well, that's a flagging.
posted by boo_radley at 12:12 PM on April 29, 2015


Well, that's a flagging.

It looks like VanderVof the user behind said review, has made quite a few reviews that deserve a flagging. But what's weird is that the flagged reviews seem to be still visible. E.g., this review of Garry's Mod that just consists of ascii art of a naked dude. The review is still up, it has a lot of comments on it, and it has a big red banner reading "This review has been banned by a Steam moderator for violating the Steam Terms of Service. It cannot be modified by the reviewer."

"This review has been banned by a Steam Moderator." Why does it still exist on your servers? Why is it here?
posted by Going To Maine at 12:17 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


WHY IS THIS A STEAM GROUP? (NSFW)
posted by Going To Maine at 12:22 PM on April 29, 2015


WHY IS THIS A STEAM GROUP? (NSFW)

Because freedom, Going. It's always because freedom.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:34 PM on April 29, 2015


have the disorganized forces of "we're not gamergate!" ever successfully organized into some kind of successful boycott to protest some game that was far too prejudiced?

Maybe they're still all remembering the original campaign against Grand Theft Auto by Jack Thompson, but then, he was so transparently screwing up while self-promoting I still suspect he was getting paid under the table by Rockstar to PROMOTE the game.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:37 PM on April 29, 2015


gamergate has happily welcomed jack thompson into their fold. they are an irony free zone.
posted by nadawi at 12:41 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


I wonder how that is going, and how much money he has been able to tap out of them.
posted by Artw at 12:47 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this an actual Steam-endorsed thing, or is it just a tag you can add?

From here:
Steam Curators are individuals or organizations that make recommendations to help others discover interesting games in the Steam catalog.

Any Steam Community group can become a curator. By default, the officers of all groups have permission to make recommendations as a curator. To get started, go to a Steam Community group that you are an officer of and click the 'Curator' tab.

Steam recommends curators to follow based on the games those curators recommend and how well we think those fit with the games you've been playing recently.
I don't really understand the issue with GG or Whomever being a steam curator. It's as effectual as any other title Steam might provide, and anyway, I can ignore them and their recommendations. There are 3000+ other curators I can get recommendations from.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:48 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Never before have I been so happy I never got into games or Twitter or 4chan or Reddit or IRC.

I certainly understand why you would have this reaction and I don't at all blame you for it, but as someone who loves games it's so depressing to see this line of thought. Public opinion of games and gaming is yet another casualty of GamerGate -- games were finally starting to see mainstream acceptance, and indie gaming has been encouraging more marginalized people to get involved as developers, press, or just players. Now (as noted above) we're another "dangerous hobby of the week" topic for Law & Order and many of my friends have given up on the word "gamer" completely.

I've been playing video games since 1982. GGers are always complaining about johnny-come-latelys busting into their hobby and ruining everything with "tolerance" and "alternative perspectives" and "social skills", but the truth is that THEY came into MY hobby, and now they're salting the earth. Arrrrgh.
posted by jess at 12:51 PM on April 29, 2015 [17 favorites]


I don't really understand the issue with GG or Whomever being a steam curator.

the issue is the same issue with the gross reviews and forum posts and groups - steam condones their behavior by not doing anything to curtail it - not even the bare minimum of deleting reviews that are provably about harassment. it's about allowing their space to become hostile and letting it fester. the reason we're discussing this to begin with is because it was brought up in the context of how the powers that be cosign gg's bullshit and gives gg organizers free reign on their platforms with seemingly zero push back.
posted by nadawi at 12:55 PM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't really understand the issue with GG or Whomever being a steam curator. It's as effectual as any other title Steam might provide, and anyway, I can ignore them and their recommendations. There are 3000+ other curators I can get recommendations from.

It's not that they are curators, but that they receive top billing.
posted by NoxAeternum at 12:56 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


"Surprise - Eron Gjoni implies he's considering a defamation suit and goes into great detail about how the interviews went down and how much Zachary Jason got wrong."

"Not only did he not stop me from hanging myself, he kept giving me more rope!"

"WHY IS THIS A STEAM GROUP? (NSFW)"

It's folks from /d/, which is one of the hentai 4chan boards; a popular sub-fetish is futanari, or girls with penises and vaginas. They apparently like to play games together. I don't know Steam well enough to know whether any adult content games are allowed, but since I'm fine with there being like five different fetlife groups, I don't have a huge problem with /d/ being its own thing there.
posted by klangklangston at 1:08 PM on April 29, 2015


"Surprise - Eron Gjoni implies he's considering a defamation suit and goes into great detail about how the interviews went down and how much Zachary Jason got wrong."

What the reporter seems to have gotten wrong is the location of their first date (psst, there's another vegan restaurant at the other end of Central Square) and that he called it a Restraining Order instead of a Gag Order? Is that it? The reporter is under no obligation to say what your friend thought of Zoe. You said talking about this might violate your gag order, yet you still talked to the reporter for three hours and IMMEDIATELY showed him the Facebook stuff which, y'know, kinda sounds like what might violate the order? I don't know, I haven't read the restraining order. But so far this sounds like pretty normal journalism. You can report fairly on a topic and still have an opinion. He didn't fail to talk to other people involved with Eron and Zoe. Eron's friend said she had heard rumors about Zoe - the reporter can't report on third person rumors. That's why he's talking to Eron in the first place.

Argh. I'm mad about other stuff and hate reading. Sorry. I'll stop.
posted by maryr at 1:22 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's not that they are curators, but that they receive top billing.

They don't though. Gamergate Recommends has 8700 followers. /r/PCmasterrace, for example, has ~150,000.

You have to go 6 pages in their "Top Curators" list to even find it.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:24 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


jess: " GGers are always complaining about johnny-come-latelys busting into their hobby and ruining everything with "tolerance" and "alternative perspectives" and "social skills""

This is the crux, I think. Most GGers seem to be white, 20-something, theoretically-hetero male virgins with the social skills of a moldy potato, and gaming is the one environment where they feel able to thrive, even stand out, among the other similar 20-something virgins, and brag (or more precisely, fantasize) about what they would like to do with one of those scary, scary women if they ever dared talk to one who wasn't selling them a burger.

It must be incredibly galling for what they feel as a safe space to be invaded by real-life (non-inflatable) women and other people with lives, boy/girlfriends, careers, etc., and who expect them to possess a minimum of social skills, maybe even, gasp, empathy.

I get it, they want to hang out with their bros, let their guts stick out and talk about "pussy" and "gettin' some", and epic this, epic that, and more racial epithets than you can shake a stick at. Why should they be expected to behave themselves like civilized people in the presence of people unlike themselves?

It's like when you lift up a rock and all the milky white grubs sort of flail around, unaccustomed to the light and air.

Of course they'll react. Of course they'll try to attack people with whatever means they have at their disposal.

I feel sorry for them. I sincerely hope there was some way to slam the rock back down on their wet, soft, white little bodies.
posted by signal at 2:09 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


I certainly understand why you would have this reaction and I don't at all blame you for it, but as someone who loves games it's so depressing to see this line of thought. Public opinion of games and gaming is yet another casualty of GamerGate -- games were finally starting to see mainstream acceptance, and indie gaming has been encouraging more marginalized people to get involved as developers, press, or just players. Now (as noted above) we're another "dangerous hobby of the week" topic for Law & Order and many of my friends have given up on the word "gamer" completely.
There are a number of us in academia who love games, care about games, and believe games are important. We have been working for years to make games a legitimate tool for education and for study, and we were making progress. People were starting to take games seriously. And then came GamerGate. I have seen the careful progress of a decade come crashing down, and now, when I go to talk about games to industry groups or fellow academics, GamerGate always comes up as an example of how terrible and immature people who play games are. It will take years and years to repair the damage, and it is absolutely devastating to the serious study and application of the power of games to real problems. We are going to have trouble getting grants, getting foundations to fund games, and getting people to take us seriously. It is devastating and makes me very sad.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:13 PM on April 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


This is probably completely beside the point, but does anyone have any guesses what this was about?
Gjoni has attended enough arraignments and magistrate hearings here to know that the Spanish market across the street will store his cell phone while he’s in court.
If there's a restriction on using your cellphone in court, wouldn't you just turn it off? Why leave it at the market?
posted by nobody at 2:19 PM on April 29, 2015


Most GGers seem to be white, 20-something, theoretically-hetero male virgins with the social skills of a moldy potato,

I'd not be so sure about that. The chilling part about GamerGate and other such toxic masculine movements is precisily that many of its participants do not fit that stereotypical (and problematic on its own for still equating manhood with not being a virgin) image, but are rather quiet, decent fathers and husbands outside of their little harassment hobby.

Totalbiscuit frex, not himself as far as I'm aware a harasser, but one who has been way too friendly with GamerGate and who has been spreading a lot of their ideology, is married with children.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:20 PM on April 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


We are going to have trouble getting grants, getting foundations to fund games, and getting people to take us seriously.

Which of course is one of the aims of GamerGate, keeping their gaming ghetto pure and free of such taints: "keep games in the gutter, not in the classroom". They don't want people to think of games as anything other than pure entertainment, certainly not art or something so wussy as an academic pursuit. At best they want them to be propaganda for their rightwing ideas, which they see as showing the world as it is.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:24 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't know Steam well enough to know whether any adult content games are allowed

Their rule seem to be "no overtly sexualized content" in games unless you are big enough (GTA V for example, and I seem to remember there are several other games there with exposed breasts). Which leaves many Visual Novel fans pretty annoyed, as they can only get "clean" versions of their games there.
posted by ymgve at 2:24 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


If there's a restriction on using your cellphone in court, wouldn't you just turn it off? Why leave it at the market?

Because the court won't let you bring it in. Off isn't enough. The last courthouse I was at had a bank of pay lockers before the security line for people to store their forbidden stuff in.
posted by hades at 2:26 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


many of my friends have given up on the word "gamer" completely

Yep. I've been an avid player of videogames since the mid 80s. I've around 300 games in my steam library, 80% of which I've never even gotten around to installing. I've a fricking PhD in game studies, and my job is partly to analyse, research, and teach various things about videogames.

I stopped calling and thinking of myself as a 'gamer' long ago.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:30 PM on April 29, 2015 [15 favorites]


it's folks from /d/, which is one of the hentai 4chan boards; a popular sub-fetish is futanari, or girls with penises and vaginas.

I'm not wondering about people being into whatever cranks their chain. I'm wondering about the presence of explicitly pornographic images and other content on a community hub / videogame marketplace.
posted by Going To Maine at 2:32 PM on April 29, 2015


Eh, as to the term "gamer" I am reminded of that classic piece of American cinema, Office Space:

Michael Bolton: Yeah, well, at least your name isn't Michael Bolton.
Samir: You know, there's nothing wrong with that name.
Michael Bolton: There *was* nothing wrong with it... until I was about twelve years old and that no-talent ass clown became famous and started winning Grammys.
Samir: Hmm... well, why don't you just go by Mike instead of Michael?
Michael Bolton: No way! Why should I change? He's the one who sucks.
posted by Justinian at 2:37 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


They don't want people to think of games as anything other than pure entertainment, certainly not art or something so wussy as an academic pursuit. At best they want them to be propaganda for their rightwing ideas, which they see as showing the world as it is.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:24 PM on April 29 [+] [!]


Yeah, they have a definite interest in pushing the entertainment angle, as they think that claiming that it's just entertainment and therefore not serious is somehow some kind of +1 Armour of invulnerable to critical appraisal. There's also a fear that legitimate academic analysis and critique will somehow 'wreck' games, similar to people who argue that studying film, TV, etc wrecks the experience of consuming them - which it perhaps kinda does as it requires you to recognise and confront things like stereotypical representations of women, ethnic minorities, etc.

Anywho, I'm doing a lecture on online gaming communities in a couple of weeks. Last year there was a bit of GG related stuff but mostly in focused on insane Eve Online antics. This year there's going to be some pretty frank discussion of 'What is Wrong with GamingTM'.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:42 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, they have a definite interest in pushing the entertainment angle, as they think that claiming that it's just entertainment and therefore not serious is somehow some kind of +1 Armour of invulnerable to critical appraisal. There's also a fear that legitimate academic analysis and critique will somehow 'wreck' games, similar to people who argue that studying film, TV, etc wrecks the experience of consuming them - which it perhaps kinda does as it requires you to recognise and confront things like stereotypical representations of women, ethnic minorities, etc.

They screamed bloody murder about people saying that video games aren't art and now they scream bloody murder about people treating video games as art.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:44 PM on April 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


"take us and our hobby seriously, gamers are predominately adult and there should be games for adults.... Holy shit, there starting to taking us seriously and expecting us to act as adults. Fuck fuck fuck deploy The Invisible Back Pack Brigade and prepare for operation Clueless Entitled Man Children."
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:52 PM on April 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


there was a fantastic comment in another zoe quinn thread about games and art - here's just a small excerpt :
For these folks, "art" means the opposite. They think of art the way a child does, as something that is beautiful and revered simply for existing. Videogames as art for them means not criticizing or analyzing them, but instead framing them and hanging them up and adoring them.
posted by nadawi at 2:58 PM on April 29, 2015 [15 favorites]


No, see, they want video games treated as art the way Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Nolan's Batman are treated as art -- acclaimed and respected, fawned over and accepted, not analyzed and certainly not criticized.
posted by OnSecondThought at 2:58 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


As a guy with some deeply nerdy pursuits, that hasn't been my experience. Pretty much every bit of nerdery I've gotten into, including comics, D&D, rare albums, BBSes, baseball stats, sci-fi, video games, anime, and everything else I can think of, there's always been someone explicitly trying to position themselves as a gatekeeper to authenticity. A guy who does a few nerdy things is automatically a real nerd to people who aren't nerds, but is generally a dilettante in the eyes of the neckbeard priests.

What doesn't happen is having my gender thrown back in my face because everybody knows guys are no good at video games, or having mid-level bullies think that being a guy makes me an easy target, or the sexual terrorism of reminding me that rape by men can be a punishment for being noticed.

I think portraying it like you did makes it too easy to dismiss — plenty of misogynists have surmounted the same gatekeepers that I have, and that's a meaningful achievement for a lot of the Gators. At least some of the resentment stems from the mistaken notion that by getting rid of the explicit and implicit sexism and misogyny that is currently leveled against women in gaming/comics/nerdery/whatevs, women are somehow being exempted from those same gatekeepers. It's congruent with what you see in Gjoni's screed, where Quinn is portrayed as using her sex to bypass gatekeepers.

These are folks who have worked hard to become the kingshit of some tiny subreddit and don't want n00bs spoiling their reign of hazing now that they're the ones who decide who's got a legitimate interest. They don't think that's a problem; they think that's what justice looks like.


I guess i could have phrased that better or expanded on it more. I actually wrote half that post in the morning, and half of it when i got home in the evening so it was a bit disjointed.(and was originally intended to be longer, but i forgot exactly what bits i was going to add to the soup)

I meant to the average nerd, not to the ultranerd convention committee sitting dude. But even then i think my point still applies.

I've known a bunch of those sorts of guys online and off. It's not just about having your gender thrown back in your face, it's that the bar is always higher in general. I've NEVER really felt like i had to try hard to prove my authenticity to any turbo-neckbeard like you describe. There's been a challenge and response "oh yea well do you know about THIS?!?"/trick question sort of thing many times, but then i would very quickly just be accepted as a fellow basement troll hammering away at his letterless mechanical keyboard and eating microwave burritos while gaming until 6:30am(or whatever).

With the exception of a group of still toxic and awful ultranerds at my weird alternative school, that actually had a pretty even gender mix(although the women involved in that were almost entirely "not like all girls" types who would just enforce the same garbage against other women), i consistently saw not just the gender-as-response thing you described, but more often and more severe or thorough nerd credentials testing. That's what i meant.

Pretty much, that no matter what level of the "sport" you're at, you're going to be tested more as a woman. However hard you got challenged and reamed by comic book guy types, a woman in the equivalent situation would have had that same testing worse and the additional stuff.

I've talked about this a lot with one of my best friends. She works most days of the week at a local game/vintage game/TCG shop whose primary customer base includes a lot of that guy. My other friend manages the place, and he's worked there longer. He gets maybe 1/8th the amount of abuse/teasing/yea right/testing she does if not even less. They just assume that because he's behind the counter at this place, that he must be a sage. Then they assume that she's only there because she has boobs. And even when she proves she knows what she's talking about, after they've gotten past the girl stuff, they'll still keep testing her knowledge because DOES NOT COMPUTE.


That said, and to address you're third paragraph, i think what you're saying is absolutely true. There is a huge element of "i passed the tests, you should have to too!" just like you see in shitty workplaces and other hazing-type situations. I think for a lot of these guys it isn't just about that mistaken notion though. There's this basic belief that women just are never legitimate interested in these things, and are incapable of caring about them to the same degree. That any woman who is involved in this scene is in it for illegitimate reasons.

Fuck, i think a lot of them, especially ultra nerdy guys i've talked in real life, generally agree that sexism and misogyny are bad in the general world. But they'll fight right up until they die on the side of "women don't REALLY care about these things".

And every time i reflect on how true that feels, from the enormous amount of involvement i've had in gaming as a social group online and off, attending cons, being a panelist, organizing events, moderating forums, all of it... I start to feel like a significant percentage of these guys are just going to see any sort of equal inclusiveness the same way racists see affirmative action. And that there's not going to be a solution to completely eradicate that until a significant number of them retire or die. And then i just fucking weep.
posted by emptythought at 4:01 PM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Hello, I'm David McGahan: "prepare for operation Clueless Entitled Man Children."

(rolls in bespoke filth, crying and gibbering)
posted by boo_radley at 4:19 PM on April 29, 2015


Most GGers seem to be white, 20-something, theoretically-hetero male virgins with the social skills of a moldy potato, and gaming is the one environment where they feel able to thrive,

I don't know if you care, but when you do this, you are basically doing exactly the thing that they are accusing people of - nerdbullying and nerdshaming. You're also reinforcing images of toxic masculinity - implying that these guys are lesser because they have not sexually penetrated women, which only makes them want to penetrate women more to achieve social approbation. Reinforcing this shit is a problem, not a solution.

If you don't like the GGers, talk about the shit that they can legitimately be criticized for - not their looks, their weight, or their romantic status. Because that shit is frankly not cool.
posted by corb at 5:07 PM on April 29, 2015 [25 favorites]


They screamed bloody murder about people saying that video games aren't art and now they scream bloody murder about people treating video games as art.

I wrote about this on my blog a while back if you are interested!
posted by NoraReed at 5:14 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


You're right, corb, I stand corrected.
posted by signal at 5:17 PM on April 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


I don't know if you care, but when you do this, you are basically doing exactly the thing that they are accusing people of - nerdbullying and nerdshaming.

Someday we'll have a meta revisting the acceptability of "neckbeard".
posted by Going To Maine at 5:26 PM on April 29, 2015


Someday we'll have a meta revisting the acceptability of "neckbeard".

Neckbeard is fine but nerfherder? That's our word. You can't say it.
posted by Talez at 5:38 PM on April 29, 2015


Most of the eeevil SJW communities I'm in have dropped "neckbeard" because it's frequently a body-shaming pejorative, and virgin-shaming is frowned upon because we have so many more asexuals and the like around.

A more appropriate, and probably true, insult would be that these are the kind of entitled manbaby losers who think the friendzone is real and cry about it into their Vivian James body pillows, stuff like that. "Nerdshaming", like "kinkshaming", is a made-up concept that encompasses some stuff that is actually bad on some social justice axes, but is kind of a co-opty way of attempting to make everyone who is critical of a certain subculture look like bigots; "nerdshaming" in particular is a favorite among GamerGaters, who are really fond of "have you considered that if you replace 'gamer' with 'black person', you sound like the KKK." (Seriously, I've seen this on Twitter. A lot. HAVE YOU CONSIDERED THAT IF YOU REPLACE WORDS WITH OTHER WORDS YOU CHANGE THE MEANINGS OF THINGS. WOAH. WHAT DO WORDS EVEN MEAN. HAVE YOU EVER REALLY LOOKED AT YOUR HAND.)
posted by NoraReed at 5:46 PM on April 29, 2015 [29 favorites]


"nerdshaming" in particular is a favorite among GamerGaters, who are really fond of "have you considered that if you replace 'gamer' with 'black person', you sound like the KKK."

remember when that one guy slipped anti-semitic caricatures among caricatures of mra pua fedora nerds as part of an interminable blog post about this kind of thing and was all See. SEE

good times
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:21 PM on April 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


As someone that's been a longstanding member of the FreeBSD community, I have no idea why 'neckbeard' is a pejorative. You earn your neckbeard.
posted by freebsdgirl at 6:45 PM on April 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


"Gamergater" is the correct perjorative, everything else is a step down from that.
posted by Artw at 6:51 PM on April 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


"nerdshaming" in particular is a favorite among GamerGaters

This goes right back to my previous comment about their claims about GGers being 'doxxed'.

The standard GG MO when called on their shitty behavior is to first deny they did it, and then when predictably they can't make that stick, they fall back to "even if we did do it YOU DID IT TOO!". They then try to back up that claim by coming up with some truly absurd (and often offensively minimizing) equivalencies (i.e. "sure someone called in a bomb threat against an SJW but boo hoo my twitter account is being censored").

The only use GamerGaters have for any kind of social justice or acceptance concepts is whatever bullshit they can twist them into to justify their misogynist crusade.
posted by tocts at 7:00 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've mostly heard about GamerGate through the context of Anita Sarkeesian, the bomb threat, swatting, etc. I didn't know anything about the original Zoe post. Reading about it now, all I can think is that if a woman did that, she would be called a crazy, hysterical, bunny-boiler bitch. Eron Gjoni comes off as borderline sociopathic.
posted by armadillo1224 at 7:34 PM on April 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


More shameless self-promotion: I'm running WhatIsGamerGateCurrentlyRuining for anyone who wants to know what is up with any particular case but doesn't want to dive into the deep end of this particular shit-lagoon; a single-serve site with their current ruining on top of a blog with short summaries of their current bullshit and links to people who're covering it more in-depth. (I'll probably throw it up on Projects next week, but I figure it's thread-relevant, and there is a Brand New GG Crusade where they're spamming another hashtag and making it useless that I posted about.)
posted by NoraReed at 7:34 PM on April 29, 2015 [23 favorites]


Eron Gjoni comes off as borderline sociopathic.

Borderline?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:49 PM on April 29, 2015 [13 favorites]




NoraReed, consider it included in my lecture!
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 1:22 AM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I apologise if this comes across as off-colour, but the fake geek girl trope has always baffled me, because it is really not that hard to pull a geek. At least, one of the type that always complains about this. There is no value in someone manufacturing a years-long interest in a hobby in order to get off with a neckbeard. It is not The Bachelor. They are not George Clooney, George Best or Prince George. There is no reason for a woman uninterested in video games to bother doing this. No added benefit, social capital, or anything else that would explain why these FAKERS take the extensive effort to pretend to be into something because god knows women don't have any interest in anything other than fooling some Nice Guy into giving them a ring, amirite fellow gamers? It's such a weird, angry idea.

Women will get male attention at a games convention simply because they are women at a male-dominated event - it seems a really odd conclusion to jump to, rather than the more plausible one of 'hey these women like games and dressing up, cool.' I'm glad that nearly all of the gamers and geeks I know aren't so terrified of women/LGBTQ folk that the idea of one of them genuinely enjoying something they lime isn't literally incomprehensible to them.
posted by mippy at 1:54 AM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Having refreshed (I wrote that on the train) and read corb's comment: #notallnerds
posted by mippy at 1:59 AM on April 30, 2015


This is the crux, I think. Most GGers seem to be white, 20-something, theoretically-hetero male virgins with the social skills of a moldy potato [...]
I feel sorry for them. I sincerely hope there was some way to slam the rock back down on their wet, soft, white little bodies.


Would this kind of language be considered acceptable if we were talking about a different subgroup of society such as "black women", or "Asian liberals", or whatever? There are many ways to criticize Gamergate without fantasizing about violent hate crimes carried out with rocks.
posted by theorique at 2:04 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


We already talked about the problematic aspects of that, theorique, as well as the "if you replaced these words with different words, what you are saying would not be okay", which is an argument that ignores the entire history of marginalization. Also, I read the rock thing as metaphorical, though, to be honest, I don't really mind if people have violent fantasies about people who have actually been systematically ruining the lives of women who dare to speak publicly, as well as attempting to kill them by telling them to commit suicide repeatedly and constantly as well as threatening to kill them and attempting to commit homicide by cop with SWATings.

Also, the hate crime language is just more of the crying about reverse racism and gamers trying to paint themselves as a marginalized group, which is, obviously, ridiculous.
posted by NoraReed at 2:18 AM on April 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Also, the hate crime language is just more of the crying about reverse racism and gamers trying to paint themselves as a marginalized group, which is, obviously, ridiculous.

This was on full display in the wake of the recent Calgary Expo situation.

For those not following along, an anti-feminist MRA ally group made up primarily of women got a booth at the expo (possibly under false pretenses, though it's a bit vague), and then set up shop selling GamerGate merchandise. They also apparently went to some feminist panels with the express intent of interrupting them.Understandably, a bunch of people voiced their concerns about this to the expo staff, and to their credit, the expo ejected them from the event.

The immediate reaction of the gamergate crowd? "OMG HOW DARE YOU KICK WOMEN OUT OF AN EVENT, THIS IS MISOGYNY!!!"

They have so thoroughly internalized their own fucked up belief that anyone talking about misogyny or sexism is just using it as a cover to say that you aren't allowed to ever criticize a woman that when they turn around and try to use the language of social justice against the dreaded SJWs, this is how it comes out.
posted by tocts at 5:06 AM on April 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


Yeah after the Expo situation the party line was FASCIST CON KICKS OUT WOMEN FOR THEIR OPINIONS

It's like they're explicitly using the gender of the participants as some sort of, I don't know, shield against criticism of the actual activities maybe?

Yes, their shield.
posted by griphus at 7:40 AM on April 30, 2015 [26 favorites]


"I'd not be so sure about that. The chilling part about GamerGate and other such toxic masculine movements is precisily that many of its participants do not fit that stereotypical (and problematic on its own for still equating manhood with not being a virgin) image, but are rather quiet, decent fathers and husbands outside of their little harassment hobby."

This is absolutely true. It's what my response to rory's comment above was going to be about his speculations on MetaFilter history -- the fact is that left-of-center men are not that much less sexist than other men. Sure, there's a slightly higher chance that you'll find anti-sexist/feminist men on the left than there is on the right, but it's just not large enough to make much of a practical difference in any context that's large enough, like MeFi.

Having lived through the MetaFilter of 2004-2008, and now again from 2011-present, and having been heavily involved in the anti-boyzone push of 2007, I can say with strong confidence, and with some irritation, that MetaFilter isn't less sexist because it moved leftward, it's less sexist now because a bunch of people worked very hard to make MetaFilter less sexist. Some of the people farthest to the left were the worst offenders, and many of the rest were fucking useless because they just didn't think there was a problem.

It's comforting to think of MRA-types as all being Fox-watching morons, and it's comforting to think of the gamergaters as all being fifteen year-old teen boys (who are socially undesirable in other respects, natch), but the fact of the matter is that you'll find these attitudes wherever you look for them, from people you don't expect them from and, after, wish you hadn't learned this about them.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:07 AM on April 30, 2015 [28 favorites]


Michael Dorn laid a smackdown on someone on Twitter about this, responding to their comment that the truth was "somewhere in the middle" between this article and Gonji's post -

"On the one side, a woman's life was torn apart. On the other, video games. I suspect [the truth] is not in the middle."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:22 AM on April 30, 2015 [25 favorites]


The replies to that tweet are ridiculous. I did like "WONT SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE ABUSIVE HARASSING STALKER" tho.
posted by zarq at 9:44 AM on April 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


The GamerGhazi comments are pretty great too:
GG from the outside:
Prominent supporters:
  • Writer you probably haven't heard of
  • Lawyer you probably haven't heard of
  • Pundit you probably haven't heard of
  • A couple game developers you probably haven't heard of
  • Jayne
Prominent detractors:
  • ALL YOUR CHILDHOOD HEROES
and
☐ Not told
☐ Told
☑ Muqtovor
posted by zombieflanders at 9:50 AM on April 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


NoraReed: "who are really fond of "have you considered that if you replace 'gamer' with 'black person', you sound like the KKK."

Oh dang, I saw one of these "WHAT IF GAMERS??? BUT JEWS? CHECKMATES SJWS" posts on imgur. I replied with a replacement image of Gamers/ Gamergate with SJWs and I garnered a billion BUT THAT DOESNT COUNT downvotes before imgur mercy-ruled my post to deletion.
posted by boo_radley at 10:19 AM on April 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


the fact of the matter is that you'll find these attitudes wherever you look for them, from people you don't expect them from and, after, wish you hadn't learned this about them.

My biggest personal disappointment here was seeing internet friends I'd made playing Dark Souls and other games -- nice, funny, friendly, helpful, smart people, from different parts of the world and different walks of life (although, yes, mostly white dudes in their 20s) -- who'd even push back against some of the more egregious sexism on gaming forums -- come out in support of GamerGate, talk shit about SJWs on Twitter, etc.

It's a huge bummer to see people you thought were your people close ranks around the toxic shitlords spearheading the worst excesses of this "movement."
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:23 AM on April 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


In high school, my punk band was The Toxic Shitlords.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:36 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sorry to cause you some irritation, Ivan. I didn't state anything in terms of absolutes, I was just trying to suggest another factor that might have been involved in this long-term shift. I don't underestimate the work that the mods put in to turn things around, but if that political shift hadn't happened beforehand it could have been an even tougher job than it was. Sure, some on the left will have been useless when it came to recognising there was a problem, but at least they will have been less likely to push back in the way we're seeing the GGers do now. Or at least I hope so. Weren't they?

But I yield to your observations of 2004-2008, because I wasn't around much from late 2004 until 2009-ish (changed jobs, became a parent, was busy at another site). I came back in large part because the climate here had so clearly improved.
posted by rory at 12:44 PM on April 30, 2015


It's comforting to think of MRA-types as all being Fox-watching morons, and it's comforting to think of the gamergaters as all being fifteen year-old teen boys

I should add that I don't, and never did, on either score. I've read enough stories of how shitty the "right on" men of the '70s were to women, and remember enough of the '80s onwards myself, not to think that MRA types come in only one political flavour; and after reading far too much about GG back when it all first blew up, I think of its ringleaders as 30-somethings who should know better. We don't really know who the rank and file are; that's half the problem.
posted by rory at 12:54 PM on April 30, 2015


there's a slightly higher chance that you'll find anti-sexist/feminist men on the left than there is on the right, but it's just not large enough to make much of a practical difference in any context that's large enough, like MeFi.

I don't agree with this, though. There's a much higher chance that you'll find anti-sexist/feminist men on the left than on the right. That doesn't mean they'll be all of the men on the left, or even that they'll be a majority of the men on the left, but it will be noticeable in a large population, including Mefi's. The trouble is that it won't, as you suggest, make much of a practical difference to women on the receiving end of misogyny and harassment, because all it takes to make their lives a misery is a big enough population of harassers, from the right or the left. GG represents, almost certainly, a minority of all gamers, but that doesn't matter when a minority of a very large number is still big enough to dump gigabytes of abuse on people like Quinn and Sarkeesian.
posted by rory at 1:04 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Which is why the goal has to be to stamp out misogyny and harassment until it's lost all potential to be "big enough".
posted by rory at 1:06 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


"who'd even push back against some of the more egregious sexism on gaming forums -- come out in support of GamerGate, talk shit about SJWs on Twitter, etc."

One of the things that annoys me is that the gaming media is generally corrupt as shit, worse than the music press in the '70s, but #GamerGate has entirely destroyed the possibility of actually talking about that.
posted by klangklangston at 1:48 PM on April 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Joey Michaels: "In high school, my punk band was The Toxic Shitlords."

"A dollar for a shot of Scope?"
posted by boo_radley at 1:51 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


For me, the characterisation of GGers as socially maladjusted teenagers kind of makes sense as even those men involved who might be 35+ loving fathers and even perhaps otherwise upstanding members of their communities start acting like socially maladjusted teenagers when confronted with the shocking idea that women play and design games and that you shouldn't harass them with rape and death threats for merely daring to exist.

KlangKlangston: One of the more galling things about the whole 'ethics in journalism' smoke screen is that anyone who'd been paying attention knows just how problematic videogames journalism has been. Though it's predominately been an issue of large publishers using the leverage of advertising spend, lavish perks (swag, events, travel, etc), and access to pre-release review copies to secure favourable coverage and reviews.

Of course though the GGers hone in like a laser scalpel on a group of developers and journalist/critics that just happen to more likely be women who are trying to positively change videogames and videogame culture. Funny that. Fixating on things like 'oh this journalist knows, KNOWS, the developer of the game they are reviewing! CORRUPTION.' Well no shit sherlock, it's not uncommon for journalist to be on social terms with the people they are writing about - I've friends that have gone on road trips and weekend retreats and gotten drunk with bands they were writing about. Meanwhile, while the GGers are screeching about the perceived lack of moral purity on the part of so called SJWs, EA et al are driving dump trunks of cash up to the doors of the mainstream gaming press. But those publications publish objective reviews don't you know - look they score things using numbers, and we all know that arbitrary numbers are a more reliable form of evaluation than well considered qualitative opinion, feelings aren't objective.

Not your shield indeed.

I'm going to swear quite a lot more than I usually do when I lecture on this.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 2:35 PM on April 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


Hello, I'm David McGahan: "women play and design games and that you shouldn't harass them with rape and death threats for merely daring to exist."

One of the small concessions I will make to the Gators is they don't attack women merely for existing, they attack women for ever saying or doing anything the Gator doesn't agree with. Minor distinction, but it's important to them and they'll yell to high-heaven how you're slandering them if you don't make it.
posted by RobotHero at 3:59 PM on April 30, 2015


There's a much higher chance that you'll find anti-sexist/feminist men on the left than on the right. That doesn't mean they'll be all of the men on the left, or even that they'll be a majority of the men on the left, but it will be noticeable in a large population, including Mefi's.

If you consider more than zero to be a much higher percentage yes, but that's a hell of a low bar for back-patting.
posted by winna at 4:01 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


In keeping with the unexpected discovery of lovely things in this thread, Michael Dorn's Twitter is the most delightful thing I've seen since...okay, well, since Neko Atsume. But still!
posted by kagredon at 4:09 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Minor distinction, but it's important to them and they'll yell to high-heaven how you're slandering them if you don't make it.

I don't particularly fucking care if any of those cockbibs feel like we're slandering them with anything we say, to be honest. I will say anything I like about them, and I will think of them whatever i deign to think, and I will attribute to them the actions which they have done, and I do not give an ever-allmighty-fuck-nugget if they get their boy-panties in a lather because they feel like the way I phrased a comment about them has given their fee-fees an ouchie.

Because they thrive on us being too afraid to call them for what they are, which is spoiled and selfish immature jack-nuggets who ABSOLUTELY DO attack women merely for existing (I mean, whaddya call it when a woman just shows up in a thread and says anything at all and they say "show us your tits" right away?).

They will earn my willingness to be careful how to describe the things they've done when they stop doing all the asinine, offensive, slanderous, manipulative, disgusting, vile, intrusive, disruptive, misogynist, and illegal things which prompt us reacting to them that way. And until then, I refuse to debase my own right to express myself as I choose for their sake, and neither should you.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:20 PM on April 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


Back-patting? I was just taking issue with the suggestion that there are almost as many feminist men on the right as there are on the left.

As for "more than zero", yes: 25% of British men in a poll last year identified as feminists, compared with 47% of British women.
posted by rory at 5:10 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't agree with this, though. There's a much higher chance that you'll find anti-sexist/feminist men on the left than on the right.

someone saying they're anti-sexist isn't the same as being anti-sexist. you underestimate how many men, here and in other leftist enclaves, have told me they're feminist/anti-sexist/pro-equal rights, to justify their shitty misogynistic behavior - or how many rapists and other harassers hide in plain sight in liberal communities. i mean, pretty sure that gjoni considers himself liberal. nearly all of the gg who have filled my mentions over the last few months tell me that they're liberal - same goes for the rp/mra/pua shoot offs - lots and lots of them claim liberalism. i know so called feminist men who are dead beat dads (and so called feminist women who support them entirely while demonizing the mothers who exercised their choice). from elected official on down to gutter punks the left really is chock full of men who act sexist while saying they're not.
posted by nadawi at 5:19 PM on April 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


you underestimate how many men, here and in other leftist enclaves, have told me they're feminist/anti-sexist/pro-equal rights, to justify their shitty misogynistic behavior

Actually, no specific numbers have come up at all so far (except for that one survey). Certainly, I don't think anyone's lived experience has been denied.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:40 PM on April 30, 2015


someone saying they're anti-sexist isn't the same as being anti-sexist. you underestimate how many men, here and in other leftist enclaves, have told me they're feminist/anti-sexist/pro-equal rights, to justify their shitty misogynistic behavior - or how many rapists and other harassers hide in plain sight in liberal communities. i mean, pretty sure that gjoni considers himself liberal.

I've run into plenty of people who think that all they need to do is to say "I'm feminist," and that this somehow frees them from actually having to be a feminist. For that matter, in Act 0 of the Zoe Post, Gjoni lists some of the things he supposedly liked about Zoe: she "who was super into social justice stuff (good!)" So if he was a reasonable human being, I'd assume he thinks social justice is cool.
posted by Fanghorn Dungeon, LLC at 5:41 PM on April 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm not underestimating any of that, nadawi. All I tried to suggest, way back at the beginning, was that if Mefi in 2015 had the number of prominent right-wing voices that it had in 2001-2003, then a lot of the progress in recent years in making this a more inclusive community would have been more difficult to achieve. Instead of threads about GG full of Mefites largely agreeing that it's appalling, we might have had our own versions of the battles raging in Twitter. Nero writes for Breitbart, not for the Guardian. GG is part of a rearguard action from the right, not the left.

I don't doubt that there are plenty of men who profess to be anti-sexist or even feminist who don't actually practice what they preach. But the men preaching sexism and anti-feminism sure aren't voting on the left.
posted by rory at 5:43 PM on April 30, 2015


If you use the term SJW as anything other than a badge of pride, are you really going to be voting for parties devoted to social justice?
posted by rory at 5:49 PM on April 30, 2015


maybe you don't realize it, rory - but from my point of view you're digging in about how liberal men laying the ground work is the reason that the women who actively worked for years to make this place less of a shit show (in your absence) were able to make some headway. it's really rubbing me the wrong way. it's probably best if we just drop it since it's a derail anyway.

But the men preaching sexism and anti-feminism sure aren't voting on the left.
you are wrong about that.
posted by nadawi at 5:50 PM on April 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


and yes - anti-sjws will vote democrat - because they think sjw is basically "feminazi" - and that sjws are the real conservative morality police trying to shame the "real liberals."
posted by nadawi at 5:52 PM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Actually, no specific numbers have come up at all so far (except for that one survey). Certainly, I don't think anyone's lived experience has been denied.

oh come on, it is incredibly dense (are you going to ask for a measurement in g/mL to justify the phrase "incredibly dense"?) to read "you underestimate how many men, here and in other leftist enclaves, have told me they're feminist/anti-sexist/pro-equal rights, to justify their shitty misogynistic behavior" and act like that's an argument about statistics.
posted by kagredon at 5:55 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


oh come on, it is incredibly dense (are you going to ask for a measurement in g/mL to justify the phrase "incredibly dense"?) to read "you underestimate how many men, here and in other leftist enclaves, have told me they're feminist/anti-sexist/pro-equal rights, to justify their shitty misogynistic behavior" and act like that's an argument about statistics.

I didn't think it was an argument about stats; I thought it was an allegation that rory was literally questioning nadawi's lived experience, and I didn't think that was a fair read.

(Of course, stats would be great! But these threads often go to hell when lived experiences & requests for stats come up -especially because getting good stats is darn hard- and I have no desire for this thread to end up there.)
posted by Going To Maine at 6:14 PM on April 30, 2015


Where did I say liberal men laid the groundwork? There were men and women and users of unspecified gender on both sides of the post-9/11 political arguments here. And trying to suggest that an earlier phase in the evolution of the site might also have been significant isn't to say that subsequent efforts were less significant. I agree that those later efforts were obviously more significant.

Old Metafilter threads do sometimes contain unfortunate crap, because the years immediately following 1999 contained a lot of unfortunate crap. I am grateful that, despite recent years containing just as much unfortunate crap, Mefi threads now contain relatively less crap.
posted by rory at 6:17 PM on April 30, 2015


I thought it was an allegation that rory was literally questioning nadawi's lived experience, and I didn't think that was a fair read.

you would have had to ignore the rest of the comment to come to that conclusion. also this is the second time in this thread you've quoted my comment and mentioned stats, so it doesn't seem to me like you're trying to avoid dragging the thread there.
posted by nadawi at 6:20 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well, color me dense, then.
posted by Going To Maine at 6:30 PM on April 30, 2015


you are wrong about that

I suspect my UK/Australian sense of what it means to be on the left isn't matching well with US liberalism here.
posted by rory at 6:47 PM on April 30, 2015


I suspect my UK/Australian sense of what it means to be on the left isn't matching well with US liberalism here.

The words "manarchist" and "brocialist" didn't coalesce out of the vapor of pure possibility.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:55 PM on April 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Manarchist Ryan Gosling
posted by Going To Maine at 6:56 PM on April 30, 2015


UK and Australian parties of the left aren't anti-abortion, I meant.
posted by rory at 6:58 PM on April 30, 2015


Neither are the Democrats, generally.

It really helps if you make sure to remember that there is no left party like the UK and Australia have in the US. The Democrats on their best days are still pretty New Labor-y.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:03 PM on April 30, 2015


2/3rds of Britons think that abortion should not be covered on demand. Nearly 1/2 favor making the time limits on abortion more restrictive. You really think none of those folks vote Labour?
posted by kagredon at 7:21 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I know, Pope Guilty, but we're in the last week of an election campaign and I forgot my international caveats.

I at first thought you had conjured those words out of vapour, as a play on "monarchist" or something. I know the archetypes you mean, though.

kagredon, not none, no.
posted by rory at 7:32 PM on April 30, 2015


For "sure aren't" typed as rhetorical flourish, above, read "aren't generally". Broad political coalitions and/or genders will contain fellow travellers whose attitudes and actions are objectionable. Also, "the left" was not intended to mean 50% of any country's populace on one side of a bright dividing line, but rather, to different degrees in different countries, something less.
posted by rory at 7:55 PM on April 30, 2015


rory - Australian parties of the left refuse to make abortion a party platform either way. See Labor for Life, formed in 2012 as an anti-abortion faction of the Australian (major) left wing party. The UK Labour Party has their own Labour for Life group as well. I think you were just wrong.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 10:31 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, apparently so; I've heard of neither, and they're unwelcome indicators of Labo(u)r drift in both countries. A few hundred Facebook likes gives a sense of how irrelevant that new grouping is to most Labor supporters, though. Similarly, the UK group has no profile here that I've noticed. Such groupings are a long way away from major parties that make anti-abortion an open part of their platform.
posted by rory at 11:26 PM on April 30, 2015


Yeah, the Australian Labor Party has a pretty influential Catholic wing and the NSW Right faction has been in the ascendant for some time, though not everyone on the right of the ALP are anti-abortion.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 12:39 AM on May 1, 2015


The main thing I was trying to challenge in my first comment, admittedly from the wrong angle, was the idea taking hold in the thread that past-Mefi would have been pro-Gamergate. While there might well have been noisier arguments about it, with a higher number of GG voices represented in them, there would have been serious pushback from a lot of the same sorts of people - in some cases, the very same people - who are against it here and now. It's unfair to many of the site's past members to suggest it would have been some sort of 8chan. Sure, there was work to be done by mods, and it was done well, but none of them would have bothered if they hadn't believed in the basic worth of the place. Jessamyn was part of past-Mefi. A number of good, decent people were. I have no idea what that exact number was, but they were visible.

Even post-mod Mefi has had its Gamergaters; you can see a few in the big threads from last year. Some seem to have left once they realised the lie of the land here, though. Like some of our loudest right-wingers in the early 2000s.

(I do regret not having been as active when the anti-boyzone push was on, but when my time was under most pressure from elsewhere the first thing that had to go was reading MetaTalk and long political threads, two of the web's most efficient timesucks. I was usually reading the site to some extent, though.)
posted by rory at 1:35 AM on May 1, 2015


One of the things that annoys me is that the gaming media is generally corrupt as shit, worse than the music press in the '70s, but #GamerGate has entirely destroyed the possibility of actually talking about that.

Ditto for MRAs/redpill types and well... any number of issues affecting men they hold as primary tenets of what they're trying to achieve. I know men supporting feminism and feminist thought is the solution there, but they've basically dead-ended the conversation on a lot of that stuff to the point that it's almost impossible to discuss it non-ironically.

I suspect the same thing has been done here, and i'm fairly afraid that if and when the clock DOES reset similar assholes will take up the helm and run the ship in to the rocks again. It's just too fertile of a target for assholes to rally young, gullible and/or hateful men around.

The thing is, the gaming media is being replaced. They were a middle man, in the same way the music media in the 70s was. It wont die, but the primary way people hear about that sort of thing now is social media and friends, and maybe semi-popular figures on social media. Nobody fucking reads game informer anymore.

The media may really be corrupt, but it'll die fellating itself in a basement somewhere and very few people will shed a tear besides those gainfully employed. And if they're smart at all, they'll have been working on becoming youtube and twitter famous before that happens anyways.

The idea of the Evil Harpy Exploiting Men with Her Feminine Wiles is timeless though. That shit is older than Greco-Roman epics.


Pretty much, conversations have been ruined by these guys. But when you really reflect on it you'll realize that these conversations will lose relevance long before these type of guys stop existing. What they're upset about is some weird misogynistic malaise that is a much deeper cancer on society. It's a sort of, weep not for what they have fucked up that could have been a legitimate conversation... Weep that there's no clear way to disarm the fucking machine.

"On the one side, a woman's life was torn apart. On the other, video games. I suspect [the truth] is not in the middle."

Holy shit, i read this in his voice and it was the best thing ever.

also damn, that muqtovor thing is one of the nerdiest burns i've read on the internet in a while. it's like, cortexes fanfiction about DS9 being a roleplaying game on TNG levels of nerdy.
posted by emptythought at 2:14 AM on May 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Also damn, i read far enough down that i'm inspired to compose a comment and then read forward from where i stopped to write and the dump truck has been rolled in to the weeds with some hair splitting contest about feminist men, decent men, etc. We almost got to a non-ironic #notallmen.

I don't really see what part of this discussion needs to include how many good lefty feminist men there are out there. The only men that really feel on topic to me are the disgusting ones like Gjoni, other gators, and general hateful fucks. "There's more good guys than you think!" and the whole lefty/righty debate just feels like some sort of successful protracted derail via the symphony of #notallmen in four bowel movements.

Shape up, jeeze.
posted by emptythought at 2:19 AM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


The part where people were trying to portray pre-whenever Mefi as fertile ground for GG. It was never perfect, but it was never that.
posted by rory at 2:43 AM on May 1, 2015


oh my god no one was doing that. stop.
posted by kagredon at 2:49 AM on May 1, 2015 [9 favorites]


You're right. Sorry.
posted by rory at 2:56 AM on May 1, 2015


This comment was the one that got to me. I'm going to swear off GG threads again; they aren't conducive to a helpful state of mind even when we're all agreed that GG sucks and Gjoni's actions were awful.
posted by rory at 3:15 AM on May 1, 2015


Yes, you've told us what got to you. Repeatedly. Your disagreement has been pointed out now, can we let this derail drop?
posted by pseudonymph at 3:23 AM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: "Because they thrive on us being too afraid to call them for what they are, which is spoiled and selfish immature jack-nuggets who ABSOLUTELY DO attack women merely for existing (I mean, whaddya call it when a woman just shows up in a thread and says anything at all and they say "show us your tits" right away?)."

They also thrive on going, "but we're totally fine with the existence of 'Based Mom' and those women who went to Calgary Expo so that proves you are lying about us."

And if 1 out of 100 women (or however many) respond to "show us your tits" with "tee hee, oh you!" they'll point at those women and say, "See! I don't mind those women exist!"

If I say they attack women for stepping out of line, that's still horrible behaviour, but they can no longer use women who agree with them to dismiss me.
posted by RobotHero at 8:19 AM on May 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, stop it with the Neko Atsumi talk. My tablet is soft bricked so I can't do a thing like that.
posted by Samizdata at 9:51 AM on May 1, 2015


One of the things that annoys me is that the gaming media is generally corrupt as shit, worse than the music press in the '70s, but #GamerGate has entirely destroyed the possibility of actually talking about that.

I guess there's a bunch of corrupt mainstream media, but there's also far more excellent game journalism available than I'd ever have time to read/watch/listen to. And that journalism has led me to a backlog of excellent games that I'll never exhaust, even though I spend a lot of time playing games.

So I have a hard time getting upset about throwing the ethics-in-game-journalism baby out with that nasty GG bathwater. It's a whole lot easier to find good video game journalism than it is to find gaming spaces free of sexism. Sexism in the game industry and culture is a vastly greater problem than corrupt journalism.
posted by straight at 12:17 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, stop it with the Neko Atsumi talk.

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posted by maryr at 1:07 PM on May 1, 2015 [17 favorites]


Sexism in the game industry and culture is a vastly greater problem than corrupt journalism.

Asking people to evaluate that statement as true or false would be a good way to filter folks who are in GG.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:42 PM on May 1, 2015


I think the fact that GG has actually completely set back any actual discussions of the issues with game reviewers and journalists (and I think reviewers are a bigger issue) is notable and that the problem with sexism in the industry is largely reflective of sexism in tech in general, which is a Bigger Issue That Also Needs To Be Tackled, and which is (like sexism everywhere) complicated by intersectionality (tech is SUPER RACIST but also ageist and a lot of other things too). I love a lot of games and gaming things and it does kind of suck that I can't really count on reviews of Big Games and have to wait to hear what friends and people I trust say about them, and the shit they've been doing with buying reviews from YouTube folks and stuff is also pretty shitty, and the fact that companies are still sending review copies to generals in the Life Ruining Harassment and Threat Army like ToiletBiscuit is also pretty terrible. But GG has pretty much ruined all actual discussion of that just like they ruin discussions of everything that they decide to dump their sewage in.
posted by NoraReed at 3:05 PM on May 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


For game reviews, I'm a huge fan of what progressive podcasts and non-game-exclusive journalism sites are doing. Paste has a decent gaming coverage section, and Isometric, Unconsoleable, and Spawn on Me all talk about games, give game reviews, and discuss issues of minority representation within gaming.
posted by Deoridhe at 4:39 PM on May 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


cats cats cats cats cats cats cats cats cats cats cats cats cats

Hello, I'm David McGahan - Cats
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 5:20 PM on May 1, 2015




"Sexism in the game industry and culture is a vastly greater problem than corrupt journalism.

Asking people to evaluate that statement as true or false would be a good way to filter folks who are in GG.
"

Well, that's because "sexism in culture" is so big that it dwarfs either of the others, honestly. Whether sexism in gaming is a bigger problem than corruption in gaming media seems like a question that can only be answered with opinion and depends a lot on how you define size of the problem.

I don't think that the existence of some decent indie games journalism negates the fact that the major outlets for reportage on gaming are pretty much flatly bought and that that's a problem. It's like saying that sexism in politics is more important than corruption in political media. They can both be important, and the only reason you'd see them as opposed is because GamerGate has promoted that notion.
posted by klangklangston at 6:52 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Rock Paper Shotgun is my go-to for general gaming news/reviews--the house style there is at least detailed/thoughtful enough that I can determine not only whether the reviewer liked the game, but what they liked/disliked, and whether I would like or dislike those things, plus their scope is fairly broad and the staff and the comments sections seem mostly sane and lady-friendly. Other than that, I rely mainly on more-niche blogs or forums (Whine About Games, Temple of the Roguelike), and the occasional review or "hey-check-this-out" from more generalist sites (the AV Club, our own dear blue.)
posted by kagredon at 7:09 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


RPS also has been very plainly against gamer misogyny and taken flak from GG shitheads about it, which is good.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Er, that they've been good enough about it to get GG mad at them is good. GG shitting on people isn't good.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:53 PM on May 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


RPS does seem pretty good, though I'm still mad that they didn't hire me based on my excellent essay about how games can allow you to learn things by demonstrating them in ways you never would get from any other medium based on how I figured out why European monarchy is so fucked up, bloodline-wise, because I got frustrated that I couldn't marry my sister within the first, like, hour of playing Crusader Kings II. It was a pretty good essay!
posted by NoraReed at 9:18 PM on May 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


CKII is amazing at boiling-frogging you into the weirdest shit. Like of course I should pay someone halfway across the world to smother a baby and then bribe the Pope into excommunicating my mom. It's the obvious thing to do!
posted by kagredon at 11:57 PM on May 1, 2015 [12 favorites]


but it has to be in that order
posted by kagredon at 11:59 PM on May 1, 2015 [6 favorites]




Apparently the latest nonsense out of the GamerGate world is that someone phoned in a bomb threat to a bar in DC where they were having a GG meetup.

Could be a false flag (I hope).
posted by theorique at 12:36 PM on May 2, 2015


Probably, who knows? Here's hoping someone gets caught for it either way.
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on May 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


regrettably, being anti-gg doesn't make you automatically a sensible or good person. I wouldn't put it past the gg people to have phoned in the threat themselves, they're well established to use sockpuppets and other underhanded tricks. But I wouldn't be surprised if it was an anti-gg person who just did the wrong thing.

Either way I hope they catch the person, but I doubt they will.
posted by sotonohito at 2:08 PM on May 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


In the land of all things terrible, it seems Milo Y (via twitter) has decided to write a hitpiece on Arthur Chu. But... something something something ETHICS!
I won't link, it's all just ridiculously slimy and makes you shake your head at humanity.
posted by Theta States at 11:57 AM on May 5, 2015


I'm going to laugh my ass off if he accidentally writes about Ian Miles Cheong.
posted by RobotHero at 12:30 PM on May 5, 2015 [2 favorites]




I like the bits where they refer people to KiA for the "sane" version of GamerGate.
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


this "invite Gamergate to help me stir the pot in my own professional sphere" thing is really taking off
posted by kagredon at 2:10 PM on May 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


That SPJ link is amazing. And sad.

It's fascinating that the author asserts that he knows there's a problem with gaming journalism because of his own experience contrasting games and the magazine reviews ... and doesn't mention that the major publishers and the big (former) magazines and gaming review websites have never been the primary target of gamergate. While, in contrast, even what he regards as a fair characterization of gamergate from the gamergate wiki starts with "#GamerGate is a consumer revolt triggered by the overt politicization, ethical misconduct, and unprecedented amounts of censorship targeted at gamers and video games as a whole that is presently being perpetrated by many entities within the industry" -- two of those three primary concerns of gamergaters are not ethics in gaming journalism, but that they don't like feminist criticism. Huh.

And then in one of the comments I see this:

"The hashtag of SPJ was brigaded by a group of trolls that specializes in trying to aggravate Gamergate. Someone put it very well 'They are the angry ex-girlfriends of Gamergate'."

Ah, the bad acting false-flag trolls that are giving gamergate a bad name are ... bitter ex-girlfriends.

Sure, this isn't about misogyny -- It's about ethics in gaming journalism. Why don't I believe you?

I'm a little nonplussed at how fucking stupid these people are.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:13 PM on May 5, 2015 [11 favorites]


Ah, the bad acting false-flag trolls that are giving gamergate a bad name are ... bitter ex-girlfriends.

And it's a straight-up lie, given that KotakuInAction (about as "mainstream" GG as it gets) has had a giant link in their header to a thread organizing action in that hashtag all week long (it's still there at the moment)

I do think that drawing more media attention to Gamergate--and the point that part of the reluctance to engage with it is a fear of harassment--is an interesting idea. In addition to not wanting to deal with trolling or worse, I wonder if there's a perception that this is unimportant because of being an Internet-based...series of events, let's call it...about video games. This is the first piece I've seen about GG in a long time that I felt like I could pass on to friends who don't follow gaming news/politics. It's a convoluted and fast-moving thing with a lot of different players and I'd love to see more, well, journalism about it, even if I think the way he's going about it is kind of obnoxious.
posted by kagredon at 4:28 PM on May 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jesus Christ, that SPJ guy is insufferable.
posted by kmz at 6:06 AM on May 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


Jesus Christ, that SPJ guy is insufferable.


holy.
shit.
Insufferable is far too generous.
posted by Theta States at 6:10 AM on May 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


"These guys in this cult I'm joining actually seem pretty great!"
posted by Artw at 6:16 AM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


I fervently support any opportunity for Milo to debase himself in front of respectable people.
posted by griphus at 8:22 AM on May 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


"They're completely reasonable if you take everything they say at face value and ignore anything they've done that they don't want to talk about!"
posted by Artw at 8:26 AM on May 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


"They're completely reasonable if you take everything they say at face value and ignore anything they've done that they don't want to talk about!"

Finally, an ethical journalist!
posted by kagredon at 10:51 AM on May 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


From SPJ link, emphasis mine:
If you’re a GamerGater, please leave comments below suggesting who should represent your movement — and what opponent you’d like to see confronted. Mind you, I’m going to be courteous and fair to whoever you hate, because my job isn’t to take sides.

My job is this…

1. Introduce mainstream journalists to this topic in a personal way.
2. Give GamerGaters and their opponents a chance to debate face to face.

Ideally, I’d love to find 3-5 GamerGaters who can act as a committee for their cause. I’ll consult them as we congeal the details of this event over the next few weeks, and they can consult with the GamerGate community on decisions that need to be made.
Are you fucking kidding me? You want 3-5 people to help you decide which person they "hate" should be "confronted"? You're not seeking any input from the other side? What is wrong with you?
posted by maryr at 11:20 AM on May 6, 2015 [13 favorites]


no, but see he said he'd be courteous to both sides maryr! what more do you want
posted by kagredon at 11:26 AM on May 6, 2015 [4 favorites]


So it's Milo, TotalBiscuit, CHF, Sargon of Akkad and Mark Kern versus a wet paper bag, a scarecrow, an anesthetized goat, an empty Bic pen and a copy of the New Yorker from 1992 with the cover torn off.

FIGHT.
posted by griphus at 11:35 AM on May 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


that pen took kickstarter money! i want some answers about where it went!!!
posted by kagredon at 11:38 AM on May 6, 2015 [7 favorites]


There's no Bic Pen For Him! SEXISM. *shakes fists*
posted by maryr at 12:24 PM on May 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


How comes there's no Mr. Andry?
posted by Artw at 2:44 PM on May 6, 2015 [5 favorites]


On "Come To The Fun Home" I can't but think that Little Allison is channeling Carrie Brownstein across time.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:28 PM on May 6, 2015


> This is like a runaway train with no brakes. I don't think it's really going to stop until someone actually gets killed by an insane person.

*** IT ALREADY HAS. ***

On April 17, Grace Rebecca Mann, a student at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va. and a prominent feminist and gay-rights activist on campus, was found murdered. Mann, a junior, was board member of the group Feminists United, an appointee to the school’s task force on sexual assault and a member of the gay men and lesbians’ club; she was killed during a brief stop at her home between a anti-bullying event and a political rally. Her two [female] roommates found her bound and asphyxiated. Steven Vander Briel, a male roommate and fellow student, confessed to the crime, stating that he assaulted her and then fled.

Mann's killing came after months of online harassment and threats of physical and sexual violence that she and other prominent leaders of UMW's Feminists United received in response to Feminists United's work against misogyny on the UMW campus. Earlier this year, Feminists United brought to the UMW administration's attention the egregiously sexist behavior of the UMW rugby team, leading the administration to take disciplinary action; this led to an even bigger wave of harrassment against Feminists United leaders, who received over 700 threatening messages. The university administration, which was aware of the online threats, told Feminists United members that it could do little about them. The rugby team was suspended in March. Mann, a prominent member of the group whose activism led to the team's suspension, was murdered in April. Murder suspect Steven Vander Briel, was a former member of the rugby team.

Now, UMW Feminists United have filed a Title IX complaint against the university, alleging that UMW condoned and ratified a sexually hostile environment by permitting the ongoing gender-based cyberstalking and cyberassaults of Feminists United members. While the complaint does not allege that the university caused Mann’s death, Feminists United attorney Debra Katz says it "failed to act in the face of vicious abuse and ridicule" Mann suffered.

[And of course, right on cue, we have men arguing that she somehow deserved it: cf the top comment on the WaPo story on Mann's death -- can you imagine what her parents must feel to see that?! -- and the piece on feminist blog We Hunted The Mammoth.]
posted by Westringia F. at 11:24 AM on May 11, 2015 [17 favorites]


This comment should probably be the basis of a new FPP. It's big news in its own, and it goes beyond the scope of the specific harassment campaign whipped up by Eron Gjoni. Indeed, there's nothing about it that suggests a specific tie to #GG rather than just being another manifestation of which #GG is a part.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:42 AM on May 11, 2015 [4 favorites]


You're absolutely right, GTM. I'm too deluged with meatlife stuff and, TBH, kinda too rage-exhausted by it to do it well right now myself, though. If you -- or anyone else -- wants to turn it into an FPP, that'd be awesome! (And if nobody does in the next day or two, I'll try to get it up.)
posted by Westringia F. at 1:02 PM on May 11, 2015


New Feminist Frequency: Jade - Positive Female Characters in Video Games
posted by homunculus at 1:08 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


And just like that...
posted by maryr at 9:24 PM on May 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


And just like that...

what. just...what?

what is happen?

did i have a stroke?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:41 PM on May 12, 2015


(I'm not sure if that's directed at me or the tweet-logic. I was just impressed at the speed of the AND SHE'S PART OF THE CONSPIRACY! commentary.)
posted by maryr at 9:57 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh no, maryr, I meant the tweet logic, not you.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:14 PM on May 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sarah Nyberg has been screencapping recently much of GG's descent into conspiracy wonkery. The RationalWiki GG article is fun to read too, if you haven't seen it yet.
posted by sukeban at 10:30 PM on May 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Sarah Nynberg is a precious gift and her screenshotting and coverage of GG has been super helpful for me in archiving some of the shit they've done.
posted by NoraReed at 10:35 PM on May 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


The efforts of people whose exposure to feminism has solely been feminists condemning their actions to coopt the language of feminism is sad and hilarious at the same time.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:25 AM on May 13, 2015


From the Cracked article linked on the RationalWiki page:
A few weeks ago our message board and general inbox were bombarded with demands we address something called the "GamerGate Scandal", posts written with the urgency and rage one would associate with, say, discovering that Chipotle burritos are made entirely from the meat of human babies. It's apparently a big deal in some circles, so we followed the links and read the piles of data presented, and had to stop and take a deep breath just to grasp it all. "Gentlemen," we said amid the stunned silence, "do you realize that if what they're saying is true, then this is still the most pointless fucking bullshit anyone has ever forced us to read?"
lmao
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 3:51 AM on May 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


First, thank goodness for Cracked being willing to call it what it is.

Second, (can't believe I'm about to write this)-- how amazing would it be if other media outlets were as willing as Cracked to piss of their original core users in the interest of telling the truth instead of appeasing the loyal?
posted by a fiendish thingy at 5:44 AM on May 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


Apparently gamergate leaked Brianna Wu's private cell phone # yesterday and people have been calling her non-stop...
Oh wait, apparently it WASN'T gamergate because the people calling didn't use the hashtag during the phone calls and there's NO WAY gamergate could possibly be involved. OK, right.
posted by Theta States at 6:07 AM on May 13, 2015 [6 favorites]


I wrote about that last night and keep getting sea lions in my mentions now. One of them threatened to sue me for libel, which was pretty hilarious.
posted by NoraReed at 6:32 AM on May 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


And just like that...

what. just...what?

Actually, I think that the logic of comparing Jade and GG isn't too bad. I just don't think that GG would come out as well as the twitterer assumes…
posted by Going To Maine at 6:44 AM on May 13, 2015


I wrote about that last night and keep getting sea lions in my mentions now. One of them threatened to sue me for libel, which was pretty hilarious.

They'll send you to TWITTER JAIL!


Can you please link their libel comment?
posted by Theta States at 6:57 AM on May 13, 2015


I initially thought the references to GG and Jade was because someone was comparing GG and the shrill hysteria from a bunch of conservative guys about Jade Helm which might make sense as they both involve frothing reactionaries and whackadoodle conspiracies that have no basis in reality. Then I remembered the latest Feminist Frequency video was about a game character named Jade.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:23 AM on May 13, 2015


Going To Maine: "Actually, I think that the logic of comparing Jade and GG isn't too bad. I just don't think that GG would come out as well as the twitterer assumes…"

They're conspiracy theorists, so yeah, any story where the conspiracy theory turns out to be real, they're going to see themselves as the hero of that story. It makes as much sense as MRAs latching onto the "red pill."

Though painting Sarkeesian as the mass media trying to hush up the real story which GamerGate is trying to expose is glossing over the common pattern of:

Woman: "Hey, I'm going to criticize this videogame from a feminist perspective!"
GamerGator: "No, that's politics! It's not objective! You're not allowed! Shut up, shut up, shut up!"
posted by RobotHero at 10:27 AM on May 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


POLITICS have no place in VIDEO GAMES

*continues playing Call of Duty: American Bombs Everyone*
posted by griphus at 10:48 AM on May 13, 2015 [17 favorites]


Also it fits my minor distinction between hating women and hating women who ever express anything verboten by GamerGate. They can easily embrace a fictional female character like Jade, since the issue she champions has a science-fiction framework that doesn't directly fit any issue they would take exception to. So they're able to headcanon that Jade would totally be on-board for GamerGate.
posted by RobotHero at 11:16 AM on May 13, 2015


Jade would photograph them with extreme prejudice.
posted by asperity at 12:19 PM on May 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


new post from Zoe Quinn: Risky Business.
You know me. You know how I was attacked. But did you know that Alex was there too, every step of the way? That I told him to run and leave me, because I knew he’d be targeted next? He refused without hesitation, telling his girlfriend of one week that he would stay by her side regardless of if it cost him his job, because he could always find another job but he would never be able to go back in time and do the right thing. That he was willing to fight for this industry, and for people like me to be able to work in it. That there would never be a time in our industry’s history where right and wrong was so clear cut, and he wanted to make sure that he did the right thing and took a stand when the cards were down.
posted by Theta States at 6:25 AM on May 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Leigh Alexander on the Spawn on me podcast - talking about Offworld, gaming culture, the Gamers are Dead article and GamerGate.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on May 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Brianna Wu calls out the Ohio state's attorney for not prosecuting any of the hundred death threats she has received since this all started.
posted by suelac at 5:02 PM on May 20, 2015 [8 favorites]


Reviews like this that are inexplicably still up after 4 months.

So, back when this was posted, I logged into steam and flagged that comment as stupid and offensive. Today, I got an email from steam thanking me for flagging it, and that it has been removed.

Not the high standard we find here at Metafilter, to be sure, but still - doing the right thing is doing the right thing.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:21 PM on May 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


They keep saying these words, "removed," "banned." I do not think it means what they think it means.
posted by RobotHero at 9:39 PM on May 20, 2015


I guess to be fair, you can still view deleted posts on Metafilter if you have a link to them. Should I presume they mean something like these reviews are no longer listed if you're viewing the game?
posted by RobotHero at 9:45 PM on May 20, 2015


Should I presume they mean something like these reviews are no longer listed if you're viewing the game?

Yes. And as near as I can tell, they don't show up in the user's listed reviews either. So, they can't be found unless you already know the URL - as you've noted, same as Metafilter.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 9:13 AM on May 21, 2015


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