Point-Counterpoint

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Gamergate was founded on misogyny and future actions have made the tag tainted

The GamerGate consumer revolt was founded in order to pursue ethical standards in games journalism. This is the only universally accepted ideal, which can be determined by polls as well as by the sheer amount of declarations to that effect.

More often than not, this claim is brought up in regards to the controversy surrounding two events that occurred before GamerGate, and which were associated with the hashtags #quinnspiracy and #burgerandfries. These were related to the fabled Zoe Quinn Scandal, or "Quinnspiracy" (taken from Zoe's twitter handle), which began on August 16 with Eron Gjoni's "TheZoePost". In the course of these events, the relationship between Nathan Grayson and Zoe Quinn was exposed, and suspicion began to accumulate when it was discovered that he gave positive mentions about her and the Rebel Game Jam she was planning.[1][2] Note that Nathan's version of the story deliberately left out details from another record of same event to make his subjects look better.[3] To quote Indiestatik: "Zoe pulled me aside with Davey and Tom as she demanded Matti’s head on a stick. Adriel was livid. Robin wanted blood.". Several other events occurred as well, such as the filing of DMCA claims (notable in that the claim was illegitimate) against Youtube videos that discussed and commented on the concerns, censorship across many forums regarding discussing the matter, and the DDOS attacks and dox attempts against The Fine Young Capitalists, a group with which Quinn had previously been involved but had subsequently terminated her relationship with over disputes regarding perceived inadequacies in the group's recognition of transsexuals' identities.[4] Following these events, the blacklisting of The Fine Young Capitalists by many notable gaming journalism outlets was discovered, especially by those in which Quinn had been previously involved with. On August 27, Adam Baldwin retweeted a post by Miss Angerist regarding these events, adding the hashtag "#GamerGate" to the tweet.[5]

A few days later, several Games Media outlets published articles declaring that "Gamers are Dead" within the same 24 hour period, which is commonly believed to be retaliation against the gaming community for the events of the past month. This elicited a massive outcry from the gaming community at large, along with those who had been following the Quinnspiracy event. The response was so great that this group came together across many forums that still allowed discussion on the matter and adopted the hashtag originally used by Adam Baldwin, #GamerGate, with the goal of pursuing greater journalistic and ethical standards in gaming journalism.

The idea of the tag being 'tainted', however genuine the thought may be proposed, is superficial at best. One of the chief complaints about #GamerGate's supposed "taint" is its association with the prior hashtags and the individuals who followed them. Were this idea to be taken seriously, and if #GamerGate were abandoned and replaced with another hashtag, would not the same argument still be valid? That the new hashtag is tainted because it is associated with #GamerGate? As one can see, this is not a solution, but instead a meaningless pursuit that would not fix the "problem" that it is intended to solve. This argument also assumes that the origins of the hashtag, supposed or otherwise, actually matter, which demonstrates usage of the Genetic Fallacy and is therefore an unsound and irrelevant argument which fails to address the actual ethical concerns that the consumer revolt is pursuing.

Additional Information:

Threats and Gamergate

Trolls

Boycotting is a form of censorship

This is a misconception. It arises because one equates "suppression of speech" with "not being supportive of speech". #GamerGate absolutely does not condone the hateful speech levied towards it and others by people claiming ostensibly to be professionals in the field of Gaming Journalism. The boycotts are used to show that #GamerGate will not support companies who continue to perform and associate themselves with such behavior, and these companies are free to draw their own conclusion on that matter, as is their right.

As both gaming journalism outlets and the businesses which advertise with them are for-profit, they have an obligation to make decisions that are in the best interest of their companies, including what types of individuals and companies they choose to endorse and support. Likewise, consumers have the right to speak out when a person or company makes a hateful statement, which includes communicating such concerns to third-party companies who are affiliated with these publications.

To say that boycotting is censorship, and that it should not be done, is to deny that consumers and companies have the right to support or denounce their affiliates. To say this is to say that no one is allowed to have a choice in what products they purchase or what they can decry, because this would constitute 'censorship', by the logic employed in this argument.

Therefore, in the interest of promoting and protecting basic human rights, we reject this idea entirely.

GamerGate is About Harassing Women in the Video Games Industry

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The 'Literally Whos' are mentioned on here because almost every, if not every, article coming from the games media about Gamergate has referenced them. This is usually done in an attempt to condemn #GamerGate or gamers in general due to the abuse that these individuals have received, even when there is no discernible link between the abuse they received and GamerGate.

They were referred to as 'Literally Who', not because people didn't want to namedrop them, but to show that they are not relevant to the discussion unless you want to talk about what catalyzed the consumer revolt or want to speak of the corruption exposed in the Zoe Quinn Scandal.

However, when they are constantly referenced in articles and constantly criticizing members of GamerGate, people need to respond. Most participants in GamerGate don't want to, and it would be for the best if everyone could just move on from discussing these individuals, but the gaming media just keeps bringing them up.

Additional Information:

Threats and Gamergate

Trolls

The real corruption involves rich publishers and studios, but GG is targeting indie developers and journalists

Totalbiscuit has written an excellent piece on this - http://blueplz.blogspot.nl/2014/10/saloncom-knows-nothing-about-gaming-and.html

1. It is not our responsibility to pressure the publishers to stop giving bribes. It is the responsibility of gaming journalists to stop accepting bribes.

2. We want to focus on addressing the problems regarding the relationship between the consumers and the gaming press before tackling issues regarding the relationship between the gaming press and the publishers.

We are aware that there have been ethical issues in the relationship between AAA developers and journalists which go much farther back than GamerGate itself (http://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/355300/The-Dirty-History-of-Games-Journalism/) and will deal with them in due time.

3. The statement that the "real" corruption involves rich publishers and AAA studios is also a logical fallacy. It is an "appeal to worse problems", or "the fallacy of relative privation" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy_of_relative_privation).

"Ethics" is just a cover

There are serious ethical issues with gaming journalism. Calling these a "cover" implicitly denies that there are sincere concerns about these issues and that many people want them addressed.

If GG is only using corruption as a cover, why not address the corruption so that the cover is taken away from us?

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/10/how_to_end_gamergate_a_divide_and_conquer_plan.html



GamerGate is About Feminism

The role that feminism plays in GamerGate is that of a red herring. It has no direct relation to the consumer revolt or the majority of the people in it, outside of the statistical inevitability and proven fact that some members of both the consumer revolt and its opposition are feminists. It comes up regularly, however, largely due to conflation. Feminists, such as Anita Sarkeesian, have been the subject of much criticism and parody by individuals associated with the GamerGate consumer revolt because of the factual inaccuracies presented in many of her arguments. Too often, this criticism of a feminist's argument is conflated with and wrongly interpreted as opposition to feminism as an ideal.

Like the disproportionate media coverage of the “Literally Who”s, feminism is something the that has been exploited by anti-GG supporters in order to obfuscate our arguments and to tap into the strong resonance that issues like women’s rights and equality rightfully hold with many people. There are a significant number of feminists on the side of #GamerGate, including, perhaps most notably, New York Times bestselling author Professor Christina H. Sommers, and the reason they support GamerGate is because they have examined the consumer revolt objectively and have found a gap between the frequent accusations of "anti-feminism" levied against GamerGate and the reality of the situation, which is that GamerGate is largely diverse and welcoming of all individuals, regardless of sociopolitical association.

These allegations are deliberately intended to resonate with people’s concerns about equality, tolerance, and inclusivity. #GamerGate unequivocally supports these maxims because all come together as Gamers, a group in which the meritocracy of score is undeniable. We compete with anyone and everyone. We have proven ourselves to be great, and have also suffered many defeats by those greater. We play and learn together with people in games where our identities can be simplified to "Player 1" and "Player 2". As gamers, we are all human beings of different races, genders, backgrounds, ages, and political persuasions. Probably the biggest reason why we united behind the #GamerGate hashtag is because we felt our rights as consumers were being violated, that we were being excluded from our own industry, and that we were the ones being treated unequally by the gaming media and their associates. We've even put our money where our mouths are by donating over $70,000 to a feminist game development fund[6] along with many other charities because we genuinely care about the issues going on in our community.

"They're not calling for censorship or taking your games away. You can post whatever you like and still get your (decadent) games!"

A big narrative and PR spin has been happening. The media claims that the gaming community is "filled with misogynist trolls and ignorant reactionaries". Of course, gamers being a very large and diverse $80 billion dollar industry would refute this. Sadly, the PR spin has the added effect of marginalizing any and all criticism from gamers to their would-be critics as well, thus limiting their impact. It doesn't matter how many videos, comments, tweets, or blogs are out there pointing out every single flaw their opposition's arguments, let alone how detailed and solid said critiques are presented. If a person were to go off of what the media told them, they would treat it as white noise and ought to be treated as such. At the same time, it also cultivates a mindset that encourages further echo-chamber hijinks and the notion that dismissing/silencing opposing but otherwise valid views is acceptable. A mindset that, in time, would make any negative comment seen as anathema and the likelihood of a new Hayes Code or Comics Code Authority for video games increase tremendously. This in turn can impact gaming development massively, as said mindset puts the preferences of fellow travelers over other devs regardless of competence or merit, eventually making things like GTA or even Call of Duty risky ventures if not unthinkable. Thus, they're not taking your voice or games away but they are pushing for an environment where your voice and gaming culture are not taken seriously, where they no longer matter.

Lo-Ping on KoP's stream:

"Our concern is because people are coming into the market, they have a wide variety of ideals and because they're not sharing some ideals that, apparently, now you guys are the status quo, the establishment, if they have ideals that don't coincide with what the establishment, that's you guys, thinks then their game is gonna die and those guys are never gonna see the light of day."

In gaming lingo “fun" is often code for feeling powerful and feeling powerful is code for doing violence to people and other living things

Many games regarded as fun actually punish the player for the definition of "fun" shown above. Lets use the 2012 steath action hit Dishonored which was met with high ratings(4.5/5 on Metacritic) and crowned winner of a few game of the year awards. You're given the bad ending if you're violent. It's literally the antithesis of this flawed definition of "fun". But that's actually beside the point, because the 'fun' in dishonored comes from the ability to choose what you do with your powers, not how you kill. You can be violent, you can be sneaky. The game actively encourages you to be sneaky. In either case, the violence is contextualized in the story, and is not the sole progenitor of fun. I think that's the most basic thing that one who makes this argument fails to understand is that violence in and of itself is not fun. Gamers don't look at ISIS beheadings and think "Gee, this sure is cool!", we understand and derive entertainment from the contextual absurdity of shooting pig men wearing LAPD shirts. Gamers also understand, and have the ability to comprehend, the fact that this type of fiction will not make a person predisposed to more aggression against real pig men wearing LAPD shirts, because they can discern reality from fiction, which John Mcintosh apparently can't comprehend on his platform of encouraging social change on the basis that games are sexist, therefore they make people sexist. Which interestingly enough is the same argument Jack Thompson used, except with violence.

Why hasn't Gamergate tried opening discussions?

We have:

#NotYourShield is being used as a shield

NotYourShield is a sister hashtag to GamerGate, it is filled with people of various ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations and backgrounds who have all banded together to spread a single message. Journalists do not speak for all of the "oppressed" people that they claim to and more often than not they only do so to further their own agenda. Time and time again it has been accused of being primarily composed of "sockpuppet accounts" and despite these insulting claims they have have proved themselves to be legitimate. Telling people about NotYourShield is not using it as a shield instead its pointing out a group a people that the generalizations pro-corruption(or anti-gamergate) refuse to acknowledge due to the very concept being narrative breaking.

The above statement was written by a minority.

Gaming culture must break in order to become more inclusive

We need to remember that our difference with DiGRA is metaphysical. Gamers, whether they know it or not, are philosophical realists. DiGRA's critical approach is nominalist.

We use the words "gaming" and "games" to describe things that actually exist in the real world. WE are gamers. We make, mod, and play video games.

We have no problem using these words in conversation, because we have an organic understanding of what they mean. The words describe the reality.

For groups like DiGRA, "Games" and "Gaming" are arbitrary constructs that reflect artificial boundary-making by marketing forces, race and gender hierarchies, etc. Deconstructing these artificial distinctions yields a more inclusive, theoretically appealing concept of "game," "gamer" and "gaming."

From an activist standpoint, this revolution in meaning is inevitable (on the right side of history) but should also be accelerated. Note their similarity to Marxists who claimed their revolution was unavoidable even as actively worked to bring it about.

What we see as free association, free speech, aesthetic vision, and market response to consumer demand is for them illegitimate and artificial boundaries of sexism, hegemonic masculinity, racism, exclusion, and financial pressure.

This is why journalists, SJW's, and academics who share DiGRA's worldview can say "we don't exist" while attacking us as a horrid, unmentionable "thing that should not be."

They KNOW the future of gaming, and we're not in it. Our refusal to disappear is a moral offense against their entire worldview.

But there was a harassment problem in gaming long before GG

Recent research (the Pew study) has said otherwise.[7]

In fact, men are nearly twice as likely to receive harassment in online gaming than women. According to the study, about 21% of men experience harassment in online gaming, compared to 11% of women. Also, it was noted that the majority of harassment was done either by complete strangers (38%) or people whose online handles they recognize, but don't actually know who they are (26%).

And before you cherry pick: Women, on the other hand, are more likely to receive harassment via social media. But that is in no way relevant to the discussion at hand, because you specifically mentioned gaming.

On another page of the study, it was found that 51% of people felt that gaming was welcoming to both sexes equally. You can see for yourself the sample sizes, I believe they're at the end. The male/female numbers are nearly equal, and margin of error on this study was well within respectable limits (around 2% on average), and far better than past studies on the topic.

Archiving webpages to avoid giving the websites in question ad revenue is illegal!

Section 107 of the Copyright Act defines fair use as follows: The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

So no, according to US law it is perfectly legal

There are bigger issues than collusion in video game journalism

This is the 'fallacy of relative privation', meaning that somebody is attempting to push an issue aside simply because there is a bigger issue, like starving children in Africa, ISIS, etc. This implies three points:

  • A person is not capable of being concerned about two different issues of different magnitude at the same time, i.e. it is impossible for a person to be both involved in ethics in gaming journalism and starving children in Africa at the same time.
  • An issue cannot be important if there is a more important issue at hand, importance is exclusionary. If there are starving children in Africa, all other problems in the world are not important anymore.
  • Following the reasoning of this argument, the person raising the point is being a hypocrite, as he feels that there is something more important than the issue he is pointing to to point out that there is a bigger issue.

Also if something as 'unimportant' as ethics in video game journalism cannot be solved, how could anybody suspect a larger issue could be solved? Good luck trying to deal with ISIS if you failed dealing with video game journalism ethics.

There are ulterior motives behind GamerGate's charitable efforts

To suggest GamerGate's numerous charitable efforts — giving money away which will never return — is somehow malicious, strikes as a little perplexing if not bordering on a conspiracy theory. Even if there were ulterior motives behind, it would in no way diminish the real world impact it has. Trying to rationalize why a supposedly anonymous hate mob would donate to charity should definitely leave you with some cognitive dissonance, especially considering this supposed mob really has nothing to gain from doing so; in fact there's monetary loss, and the mob would still be characterized as a hate mob regardless. Not that it's clear what they would gain from positive press as whether they are legitimized in some way or not makes no difference when their activities are anonymous. Furthermore, it does not follow from the fact that such actions might improve PR that it's therefore a bad thing. Considering the slew of bad press GamerGate has gotten it's hardly surprising a little positive press would be wanted, even if that's — at best — a secondary goal.

GamerGate is nothing but a reactionary movement

It hardly qualifies as "reactionary"[8] when it calls for change as opposed to upholding a status quo. Detractors, on the other hand, seem to want to uphold status quo by trivializing the corruption and collusion that has been going on in the gaming press. Furthermore, GamerGate is comprised of mostly liberal minds[9][10] who are concerned with journalistic ethics and the ideology of Social Justice Warriors behind, trying to inject gender politics where it hardly belongs and excusing their behaviour by saying they're doing it in the name of social justice and progress when nothing could be further from the truth. Games are a 100 billion dollar industry,[11] and the kind of questionable ethics which has been exposed so far only shows that the gaming press needs to grow up and become more professional in order to better reflect this important industry.

GamerGate can't take criticism

See this section. This argument is at best ironic considering it's detractors from GamerGate who can't take criticism and actively try to silence debate (part of the reason GamerGate blew up in the first place). In fact, the whole "movement" has since its inception been completely open to anyone, and most criticism against it has been thoroughly addressed as you can see on this page. If you disagree, you can even edit this section or others, although you'll probably have to face some discourse before your revision is approved (so try to use the talk page first). You are free to debate anyone who supports this consumer revolt under a pseudonym on KotakuInAction, on Twitter, or even completely anonymously on 8chan's /gamergate/ board. Compare that to, say, Anita Sarkeesian, who disables comments and ratings (ratings recently opened on the "Ms. Male Character" video)[12] on her videos, and has never engaged in any public debate or been held under the tiniest amount of scrutiny in interviews without her having control. Try visiting GamerGhazi once; even hinting at something positive in relation to GamerGate will get you banned.

See also

References

  1. https://archive.today/0KhZv
  2. https://archive.today/iS4Ru
  3. https://archive.today/MNLyp
  4. http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/2e6ops/the_fine_young_capitalists_creators_of_a/
  5. https://twitter.com/AdamBaldwin/status/504801169638567936
  6. The Birth of Vivian
  7. https://archive.today/0DIdv
  8. TheFreeDictionary: reactionary
  9. One Angry Gamer: #GamerGate Mostly Left-Leaning Liberals, According To Survey
  10. GamePolitics: Editorial: #GamerGate Political Attitudes, Part 1- Is The Movement Right-Wing?
  11. Statista: Video Game Industry
  12. Feminist Frequency: Ms. Male Character

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last modified on 4 March 2015, at 18:15.</li>