I was originally going to write a more academic post this week, but there were two problems with that. First, I’m not exactly thrilled with how the first draft came out and the past two weeks have been uniquely terrible. While I touched on this briefly last month, it’s important to not only touch on it again, but to be far more forceful.
For those of you not in the know, let’s start at the beginning. Gamergate started with a developer named Zoe Quinn and a game called Depression Quest. Her ex-boyfriend accused her of sleeping with games journalists, one of whom gave Depression Quest favorable press. Except this favorable press doesn’t actually exist and Zoe Quinn’s personal life is no one’s goddamn business. The point being, this got claimed by the scum of the internet as a rallying cry for integrity in games journalism.
This is utterly nonsensical for two reasons. The first problem is in regards to the entire concept of integrity in games journalism. Integrity is a rare commodity because publishers can withhold access if they don’t get favorable press. It’s why negative reviews are so rare for example. Secondly, objective reporting doesn’t exist, reading something by an author means that you’re reading something written by a human who has preferences and biases, which is even more true in an opinion piece like a review. The other issue is that this crusade for integrity is really about harassing women and ‘sjw’ aka social justice warriors aka a derogatory name used to describe those concerned with social justice.
Now at first this was just your usual eruption of internet hostility that tends to blow over, except this started back in August. Since then it’s escalated with such events as Adam Baldwin joining in on the harassment, to Breitbart.com taking up the cause, to outlets like the Washington Post reporting on it. Oh and we have developers being forced to flee their homes because they’ve received death threats and Anita Sarkeesian speaking at a university prompts threats of a mass shooting.
Yeah, let that last part sink in for a moment. Gamergate is a terrorist movement concerned with preservation of toxicity and keeping games as an unsafe place. There is no other honest interpretation of it. As such, the only ethical thing to do is to denounce them. Silence is complicity in their actions.
Next week, I talk about something I actually want to talk about and not denouncing bigots for a while.