Barbarians at the GamerGate

Yes, a GamerGate article.  I suppose I should tremble in fear of retaliation from…someone…but I don’t think any of the (maybe) six people who read my blog are likely to break out the pitchforks and torches.  In any case I’ve been online for decades meaning my personal information isn’t hard to come by and I’ve been threatened by people standing in front of me with weapons so I’m not too concerned about what some schmuck on the internet says.

As is nearly always the case when an issue blows up like this, the short answer is that both sides are wrong.  What legitimate points GamerGate advocates have are getting lost in the attacks (whether or not those attacks are actually coming from GamerGate advocates) and the “Social Justice Warriors” are just victim feminists plying the same tired arguments they’ve used against other forms of media.  Erik Kain pointed out in a Forbes article that much of the Gamergate controversy is previously-existing political warfare invading gaming culture.  Allum Bokhari on Techcrunch pointed out that both sides are engaging in the same kinds of bad behavior, including death threats and doxing.  The whole thing is really the Streisand Effect on steroids and crystal meth.  Christina Hoff Sommers recently posted a video on YouTube on the subject, which I think captures many other problems.

I’ve been a gamer pretty much all of my life, avidly playing both tabletop and video games.  I’ve never seen a fellow gamer do anything to “drive girls out of the boys’ club”.  Quite the reverse, they were much more likely to try to get them interested in gaming.  According to the SJWs though, I’m a lifetime member of the He Man Women Haters Club for being a gamer.

If GamerGate’s advocates are serious about opposing corruption in gaming journalism they need to retire the Mongolian clusterfuck approach.  Start an actual organization — do not call it GamerGate or refer to the hashtag in any way — with a real governing body and formal membership.  This will let them distance themselves from the threats, which are most likely being lobbed at both sides by trolls on neither side.  It will also give the journalists someone they can actually talk to and maybe negotiate with.

My personal opinion of Sarkeesian is that she’s a twit.  She cherry-picks the material she complains about (I refuse to call it “critiques”) almost to the point of fabrication.  She has no interest in engaging in debate or even dialogue; she just wants to be heard.  And perhaps ironically given her complaints she’s become quite adept at playing the damsel in distress.  Yes, I’m sure the death threats aren’t “false flags”, though calling them “real” is a stretch.  (As it turns out, people who are serious about killing you have historically found it easier to do that if they don’t tell you they’re coming first.)  I’m also sure she got twenty times more publicity from cancelling her Utah appearance than she’d have gotten from giving it.  (Just as an aside, Daniel Dennet, a man who receives no shortage of death threats, recently spoke at my alma mater.  There were no special security procedures in place.)  Victim feminists like Sarkeesian set the cause of real equality feminism back a year every time they open their mouths.

Unfortunately the primary effect of GamerGate has been to get Sarkeesian more coverage.  I’m guessing the New York Times isn’t going to have anyone from GamerGate writing guest editorials for balance.

Fortunately there are two true things about GamerGate: this, too, shall pass, and the “cultural crusaders” won’t have any real effect.  They can’t get the incest porn off the magazine rack at the local convenience store; they’re not going to get women in chainmail bikinis out of video games.

Relax, it’ll be over soon…oh, wait….

Dennis Heffernan

No one of consequence.

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