On #GamerGate

I had not originally intended to write about GamerGate, but it keeps coming up. If you are not familiar with the events that have unfolded, read the linked article above first.

I'll come right out and say it: I support Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, and Leigh Alexander. While I was not familiar with Quinn's work before these incidents, I have been a long-time fan of Sarkeesian's and Alexander's work. I think that the games industry is in dire need of serious feminist critique. I think Alexander said it best in her article "'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over":

‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction and professional life works that they can concoct online ‘wars’ about social justice or ‘game journalism ethics,’ straight-faced, and cause genuine human consequences. Because of video games.

I love games, as does Alexander, and Sarkeesian, and Quinn. We aren't saying games are irrelevant distractions. We aren't saying that if games are important to you, then you need to get a life. We recognize that games are a unique medium with the potential to affect us in ways other mediums can't. What we are saying is that wrapping up your entire identity in games, to the point that any form of critique on games is an attack on you, is very misguided. And it's not harmless.

So GamerGate. To all of the allegations that have been brought forth against Quinn, Alexander, and Sarkeesian (who isn't even involved with these events), I don't care. Let me say that again:


GamerGate proponents are so wrapped in this "controversey" that they have lost the forest for the trees. Games journalism ethics? A pipe dream. Most coverage of games that is classify as "journalism" is just marketing hype paid for by publishers. The only reason to single out Quinn's actions as opposed to every thing else that goes on in the games "journalism" industry is that a) Quinn is a woman and b) this incident involved sex. It's basically slut-shaming.

GamerGate proponents that I've talked to on Twitter keep wanting me to be outraged at Quinn and Alexander for their involvement with these incidents (and Sarkeesian for some strange reason).I just don't get it. I seriously couldn't care less about what Quinn did, and I love the work Alexander and Sarkeesian have done.

You know what I am outraged at: GamerGate proponents themselves. They keep working to uphold the status quo of gaming, whether they realize it or not. They don't want the medium to grow, to adapt. They want it to remain stuck in it's sexist, misogynistic, greedy corporate ways. I have only two words to say in response: fuck. that.

Update: As if on queue, Leigh Alexander wrote a blog post that describes many of the real issues in games journalism.