GamerGate Exposed: A Peek Inside and How I Went Native



It was not terribly long ago that I, in the pursuit of new online stomping grounds to glean newsworthy interests from, stumbled into the metaphorical internet refugee camp of GamerGate. My original intent was something raconteurish, along the traditional path of muckraking; that I was tasking myself with advocating for the popularly-perceived Devil by means of doing a story which would buck the trend of branding the pro-GamerGate camp as misogynist prior to fair consideration. I had flattered myself to think of that perspective as being unique, mostly due to how few and small the sympathetic voices were.

I can tell you, with all the integrity and credibility due to my name, that theirs was the most orderly and polite refugee camp I had ever witnessed belonging to a group of people marginalized by public media. The GamerGate crowd that I have been in contact with are not your run-of-the-mill angry young people hurling the verbal equivalent of Molotov Cocktails. They are a group of people who are deeply troubled by their misrepresentation to the public, and to the “Social Justice” astro-turfing that accompanies every near-breakthrough they have had that might have lead to a fairer shake in the media.

One of the most stunning experiences I have had so far, while keeping in contact with the community after the publication of my first story on them, has been to discover that GamerGate feminists are real. Despite what a person would assume after being constantly bombarded with the narrative of their misogyny, do-it-yourself feminism is an everyday aspect of the movement. The only condition to that statement is that the feminism which GamerGate represents is the type that becomes offended at the suggestion that women need help to achieve what a man can. It is the type of feminism that believes in promotion by merit, not quota, and where the women are themselves individually powerful enough not to require leadership to assist in determining what they are allowed to think or say.

That goes back to the cumulative character of the people who make up GamerGate. It would have been easy for any of them to eschew the label and enjoy the comfort of being a less persecuted human being. Instead, the character of the average gamer-turned-media-activist tends to be such that they stand directly in the line of fire, knowing that the temptation to disassociate from the movement is the primary means through which a corrupt confederation of clickbait media institutions and Social Justice charlatans intend to dismantle it.

That is how I went native; by becoming convinced that these people represent the highest ethical standard, and through watching them put their personal reputations in harms’ way on principle. For evidence towards the veracity of my words, a person needs only to observe the GamerGate hashtag and take notice when something horrible or abusive is said. Then, if they were so inclined, they should take the next logical step and view the full profile of the guilty account. While there, enjoy some of the screenshots and reference links. For a person to invest heavily into the narrative of either side of this ongoing controversy, it has to mean something to them. It has to touch on something that they find important to their ideals. I know that it does for me, and I can state quite simply what that intersection is. I care, first and foremost and above all else, to know the truth of things.

Blog by Brian Whittemore



Photo by Kyle Nishioka WikiMedia License

74 thoughts on “GamerGate Exposed: A Peek Inside and How I Went Native

  1. Thank you, great article.

    You make a good point here, all it takes really is to look deeper into things and decide for yourself.

    This is a complex issue with (so far) 5+ months of history behind it, so there is a lot for neutrals and outsiders to digest, but the truth is on GamerGates side, you just need to do some digging. I encourage all neutrals interested in GamerGate to look at BOTH side, even look into the most prominent anti-GamerGate personalities, because the truth will come up when you do.

    But agreed with the other commenters, you’ll probably be slammed now, by SJWs or other media outlets for not toeing the “They are nothing but nazi terrorist misogynist murderous racist pedophile rapists!!” line.

  2. And this week, on “Guess which journalist’s about to get fired for not calling Gamergate the root of all evil?”!

  3. This too I know—and wise it were
    If each could know the same—
    That every prison that men build
    Is built with bricks of shame,
    And bound with bars lest Christ should see
    How men their brothers maim.

  4. Unfortunately, I can’t share your opinion that GamerGaters “represent the highest ethical standard”. I am absolutely convinced that there are many in GamerGate who do, and wish to see games journalism lifted to the highest standards that journalism can aspire to. But a scan of twitter feeds from those in GamerGate, reading the main forums such as KiA at Reddit and /gg/ at 8chan, or looking at sites such as therealphretort makes it clear that these standards are not shared by all, and when they fall from them they fall a very long way. Similarly, I’m not convinced that all those opposing them also have the high standards that we’d all love to see – as always, the behaviour from all sides is a mix of good and bad.

    1. Here’s the thing we’re not journalists we don’t need to hold ourselves to the standards of journalism. We are consumers we have no expected standards to uphold

      1. Brian Whittemore’s argument was that GamerGater’s represent the highest ethical standard. Whether or not you should, Whittemore is mistaken.

  5. Prepare to be libeled in mainstream media outlets such as the BBC, the Guardian, the CBC and The New York Times–all of which, with the acquiescence of incurious editors, have run hit pieces advancing narrative that GamerGate is anti-feminist.

  6. Gamergate at it’s most purest and ethical I believe actually about accountability in gaming journalism. I have no doubt there are people like those Brian Whittemore met who actually want to change gaming and the journalism reporting on it for the better. But lets find the truth on both sides of the debates, too try and find a way to bridge this gap.

    Don’t let vocal minorities dictate the agenda, put aside labelling each other’s movements as misogynists and sexist pigs on one side and feminazi’s and social justice warriors on the other. If this is truly about ethics and accountability, put the name calling aside and work to actually get to the truth of this matter and hopefully find a solution.

  7. Haha, tomorrow you will be labeled a white cis male basement-dwelling neo-reactionary misogynist and member of ISIS. Welcome to GamerGate.

  8. Yes. Perhaps the SJW’s can force Mr. Whittemore to resign in disgrace. Either that or force a humiliating apology…

  9. PS, I also used to be a journalist and an editor. I have been more than disgusted, I have been appalled at the lack of ethics in the last two decades in journalism. You are literally the first journalist I have encountered in all that time doing his due diligence in a professional fashion, and speaking the truth. I salute you.

  10. You just got a glimpse of what it feels like to be on the receiving side of a baseless slander campaign created solely to validate the feminist conspiracy theory that there are groups misogynists called “patriarchy” oppressing women as their daily to-do list.
    It’s shocking how a group spanning of thousands individuals – among of which there are honest doctors, lawyers, professors and PhDs – can be simply painted as a bunch of cartoon villains without a drop of real evidence and without any consequence.
    It takes a lot of bad faith to not see the “unethical journalism” we are talking about here.
    But hey, gender-studies crowds need to make a living too don’t they? The poor guys are being told there is an evil boogeyman for years and when they come out of education and realize such as thing doesn’t exist, they need to fabricate it to keep up their job.
    Too bad real people are getting flak in their real lives due to this; nowadays if you play videogames you need to respond to people asking if you hate women – even if you are a doctor who saved thousands of women’s lives.
    Intimidation of neutrals, censorship of enemies and group-think brainwashment of the allies: this is what in Italy we call the fascist method.

  11. and this is why Im always nice :3 *well that and cuz canada* never know who your talking to so why not try to be kind where you can

  12. As Pro-GG i really enjoyed reading this piece. It motivates to point people at the evidence that has been collected, at the facts that say we arent a hate movement. But i must be honest. #GamerGate as a whole isnt the knight in shining armor. As a inclusive movement, we cant prevent nutjobs from joining. Which doesnt mean we appreciate them. We need to police ourselfs as hard as we do Anti-GG. If we level up and reach a higher ethical and moral standard, we cannot be mislabeled anymore.

  13. That article was what REAL journalism should be: confronting events without prejudice and with a desire to relate information as is it, rather than shove a recycled narrative down the throat of the audience.

    Thank you for doing real work.

  14. “… a corrupt confederation of clickbait media institutions and Social Justice charlatans …”

    You’ve got to laugh. This is a faked piece of journalism which can’t help tearing off its own disguise part way through.

    We already know that everyone who believes in the concept of ‘Social Justice charlatans’ supports Gamergate and has done from the get-go. That’s why Breitbart, Return of Kings and other right-wing sites jumped on the bandwagon.

    No one reading this – and I mean *no one* – who isn’t already a GGer or a right-winger will fail to notice that the author subscribes to the absurd conspiracy about ‘social justice’ types ruling the media, and that this means he sympathised with them from the start.

    1. ‘Charlatan’ specifically implies deception. Someone can care about social justice without being a ‘Social Justice charlatan,’ they just have to actually believe what they say and know what they’re talking about.

      Is that concept actually hard to grasp? It really shouldn’t be.

      1. The term was used specifically to differentiate. I did not refer to all social justice activists as charlatans, I said social justice charlatans to refer to the ones who haven’t spent any time at all speaking with gamergate people, yet carry the narrative of their misogyny. Also, this is a blog post, not a news article, and I still disclosed my bias in the title. Thank you, though, for your concern.

        1. Yeah, that’s what I was trying to say. I guess I did a bad job, since you thought I was piling on more criticism.

          There’s a reason that I shouldn’t be a writer. 😛

    2. There isn’t anything faked about it at all. I blogged about my experience actually talking to the GamerGate community. If it seems like they’re being supported by the right wing, then that’s on the left, who turned them out. I pointedly avoid attempting to co-opt their story into a right wing talking point, though.

      Those sites took an opportunity to do what journalism is supposed to, which is cover both sides of a story. The initial coverage didn’t. You can get hung up on the partisan aspects, get angry that the truth behind it is that it’s easier to support the claim that GamerGate was exploited by a certain tenor of voice in the media than that all of it’s members hate women, and that’s fine. But if you want your math to check out at the end of the day, you should try to suspend your disbelief for a minute and go look again.

  15. Really like this. We won’t be offended if you have to take it down from external (or internal) pressures, the fact that there are people out there willing to go out of their way to get to know us is highly appreciated.

  16. I appreciate you giving us a fair shake. It’s not too often we get that from media outlets. You have my gratitude, though it’s going to come at the ire of every social justice advocate imaginable when they read this article. Thank you much. 🙂

  17. hah what a cool article thank you for looking at the stuff a bit deeper and not copying what newyork times said 🙂

    also well said i get angry every time people want to say noone that supports gamergate is a feminists they are the most marginalized people of all i think

  18. All it takes is an hour or two (if that) of watching the hashtag to see we aren’t what the media tries to paint us to be. Thanks for doing due diligence.

  19. This is all we wanted at the start, for people that call themselves journalists to act like it. I still can’t figure out why the “SJW” decided they had to force their way into this discussion but so far it seems like a huge mistake. Every time they try something new to end #gamergate it backfires and brings more supporters to our cause. #gamergate was losing steam and then Milo had his Twitter account suspended and more people joined us. Now with the start of #opskynet and the launch of the #gamergate dossier I don’t see us slowing down anytime soon.

  20. Thank you. You are fair minded and see us for what we are. You took the time to get to the truth of the matter instead of listening to what others would have you to believe. You don’t know how rare that really is. I think your article is great. Thank you for taking the time.

  21. Thank you for being fair minded, sir. We appreciate the media coverage, and encourage you to continue to explore the truth. If you have any questions, please, ask us.

  22. Yes thank you for your kind words, We are so used to being demonized by almost any media outlet who do the bare minimum of fact checking. this article was a breath of fresh air.

  23. As a feminist participating in #GamerGate, thank you!

    It’s nice to finally get some recognition, and you’re totally right. The issue here is feminism has been co-opted by people using it to spread “politically correct” hate, as well as, hide behind in order to hide their lack of character. It makes all feminist, and women, look weak and hateful. STOP USING FEMINISM AS AN EXCUSE!!

  24. So when is GamerGate going to stop obsessing over Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkesian and other women; and actually focus on ethics in gaming journalism? I don’t need to listen to “SJWs” to think GamerGate is misguided and stupid; I just need to look at the crap it says and does, every day.

    I can condemn GamerGate on its own terms. The fact that they think calling people “Literally Who” is somehow an improvement on matters is laughable; that any GamerGater believes the movement is going to achieve anything but polarising the gaming world, equally so.

    But someone is sure to come along and tell me how I’m wrong and don’t know what I’m talking about because I disagree with them. Sorry, I’ve done my research, I’ve been following GG for months, and I still think it’s ugly.

    1. GamerGate does not obsess over them, yet they are repeatedly brought up in most main stream media articles. They obsess over the fact that what they DO care about is ignored in favor of articles about the LWs.

      They call them “Literally who” to protect themselves against the censorship that plagued the initial conversations about this subject. Then it stuck, and that is all.

    2. I think the problem is that everyone else keep brining up Zoe & friends so the converstation keeps getting stuck on those 3. That’s why they use Literally Who because they really don’t want to talk about them and focus on their actual complaint. But everytime the media put out a new article… the converstation goes back to that.

      Here’s what they’re accusing the media of doing:

      The ball has been on Kotaku, Polygon, Gamastura, GameranX and etc court for a while. Still no answers. Still deflecting by calling everyone misogynists and other insults. Address those and the majority of GG will go back to playing their games.

      Looks like they’re trying to solve it in various way on their own. At least Jennie is with plan.

      1. To re-enforce this point: watch David Pakman interviewing Arthur Chu. Then tell me who you think is obsessed with Quinn.

    3. We aren’t obsessing over those people, you morons keep bringing them up constantly. When we focus on journalism, you drag them back in and make dumb memes about “it’s actually about journalism”. It’s cowardly suppression tactics.

      They are called literally who so we don’t have to talk about them, they are called that because they aren’t relevant now and 2 of them never were in the first place.

      “But someone is sure to come along and tell me how I’m wrong and don’t know what I’m talking about because I disagree with them”

      Apart from being wrong, you are incapable of being honest, that’s all. You aren’t wrong due to mere disagreement, maybe you should think being making loaded statements.

    4. “So when is GamerGate going to stop obsessing over Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkesian and other women”

      When idiots like you STFU about them and when the media stop giving these professional victims attention.

      GG has been focusing heavily on journalism ethics, but being as you’ve clearly not done your research, you wouldn’t know that.

    5. Show me evidence that we actually are obsessing over these women and you’re not just repeating what you’ve been told and I’ll try to answer the question.

  25. Sounds to me like we are finally starting to crack the shell on all the people looking on not realizing just how corrupt our media has become to slander anyone who dare stand against it.

    Maybe just maybe we’ll win this on the back our their very lies after all once you are a proven liar it’s hard too obscure the rest of your skeletons

  26. I’m not going to gratuitously inflate your ego or anything, but as someone whose friends refuse to talk to him on this subject: thanks.

    I don’t think any of them would read this even if I linked it but it’s nice to know that someone gives a damn.

  27. Great work Brian. I have spent weeks reading every side of this and when you get down in the trenches it’s amazing on the Gamergate side. I find them even to be a little reserved in their actions since they don’t want to upset people most times, but they are being crushed by the press because they have a narrative they want to sell.
    And they wonder why their newspapers are dying. People know the truth. Most everyone I know doesn’t bother with the papers anymore, they go online and seek out the truth.

    There are too many journalists selling a narrative that their PR teams are telling them to without realizing who works for these PR companies. There is so much collusion it is sicken and there needs to be laws to stop this.

    Also spend some time in the Anti-GG circles. It will make you ill. I have never seen so many closed minded, hypocritical trust fund babies grouped together in one place. It’s almost like they have nothing else to do but bully people just like they did in school.
    Sad the media empowers their fantasies.

  28. Finally someone who investigates instead of jumping on the narrative train. But now that you’ve done it, you better prepare for SJW outrage.

  29. It’s nice for a journalist to actually investigate the issue in closer detail and scrutiny instead of repeating the same false narrative over and over and it originating from taking the other side at their word for it. Thanks and we hope other real journalists look further into the actual facts of this issue.

  30. Thanks for the fair shake. It’s all most of GG ever wanted. I’m a bystander, but GG-sympathizer.

    The main thing that sealed the deal for me was the unflattering narrative that all GG are evil misogynists and woman haters. Even the most cursory glance through their discussions shows this not to be the case.

    Another is the allegation that it is not about ethics… Ethics is discussed near continuously, except, of course, when the media and anti-gg keep diverting the conversation to whatever the bigotry flavor of the week is. I have seen hundreds, literally hundreds of instances of GG supporters trying to initiate conversations on ethics, only to see them diverted by baseless and humorously indignant deflections at every turn.

    I personally am not able to participate, but I have deep respect for those in the trenches. The crap that the deluded Sjw’s and corrupt media are putting these people through literally makes me sick to my stomach.

  31. As I told someone who had threatened to take action to get me excommunicated from my religion and cast out from my family, “I’ve talked to my friends and my family. They like me more than you. You have nothing you can hurt me with, I already lost everything else.”

  32. *shakes the writers hand* I appreciate this, very much so. Very few outlets are willing to look at deeper into it 🙂 One thing that I would like to say is that some of us aren’t even gamers. I’ve seen plenty of videos of people saying, or implying that they aren’t one, but they stand with us because they are against what we are against. Here is a video thatis a small compilation of a bunch of people who are “NotYourShield”, some of which are what I’m talking about:
    You did very much hit it out of the ball park with this article.

  33. We’re used to being marginalized and bullied. We aren’t afraid of being attacked, because we’ve spent most of our lives being attacked for being different.

    1. Just as a picture with Morgan Freeman face said (TheSpectacularspider-girl) ;

      Let me get this straight.

      You are going against gamers.
      People who are programmed to win,
      to grind and slog for months for a prize,
      who can put up with the most horrendous of insults being thrown at them.

      And you plan is to try and slander and outlast these people?

      Good luck.

      1. I have 400 wipes recorded on Heroic Lei Shen, 200 on Heroic Durumu, I literally lost track of the number of times I wiped on H Thok, Siegecrafter, and Klaxxi Paragons, and I never gave up. I’ve died more times than I can remember to bosses in pretty much every single MMO and I’ve never stopped trying.

        We haven’t even wiped yet. We’re just in Phase 2, and my Mana Bar is full.

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