GamerGate Has Been Underrepresented


I want to start by saying that I was surprised by the attention that my article, GamerGate in Review, got after publishing last night. It has been by far the biggest response, and the most interaction with readers, that I have gotten so far. A lot of concerns were brought to my attention about parts of the story  on which people, mostly of Team Gamer (I do not think my article got as much traction in the media that considers the story over), felt that I came up short in representation. I have appreciated the feedback.

The biggest, most profound subtext that I took away from the experience is the extent to which the people in the GamerGate community have been underrepresented. It is a diverse group of people with complex concerns. Many of them gave me incredibly positive feedback, saying that they saw it almost as a favor that I steered clear of dragging them through the mud. Their right to self-identify got lost in the narrative as it played out, along with many details, such as that there are self-identified feminists who have cast their lot with GamerGate (I can only imagine the abandonment that they feel), who were denied a real opportunity to say  for what they were fighting, and that honestly, there are multitudes of the next generation that will be called on to lead who have bus tracks on their backs and a damaging distrust of the news media.

GamerGate, as a community, came together to say that they want a more ethical field in gaming journalism. What happened when they did  was that they were basically laughed at and told that those concerns were a story they made up to take the heat off of their collective misogyny. What they need is a more ethical field of journalism, full stop. Simply participating in GamerGate has been allowed to become a litmus test that they automatically fail. Whoever they may be, they are made into an oppressor, most likely an overweight one, who lives in their parents’ basement and curses at pictures of women. They likely fetishize the violence against women in games, using it to fill the void left by their lack of actual physical relationships.

Those are the types of insults that get attributed to their Reddit handles and other online personas, and they amount to an enormous factor of something like a high school popularity contest existing behind the scenes. The diversity of the people comprising the group ends up blurred and swirled into a caricature of an easy villain – likely a bigoted, Caucasian male one. The effect of that narrative has been that it has inhibited most of the media from speaking with these people. There is no leader to speak for GamerGate as a whole, which makes it more critical than ever to engage with members of the movement en masse. That is, if their testimony was something that society remembered to value in broader terms.

I wanted to break the fourth wall of journalism for a bit, and that is why this is being written as a blog post, rather than an article. I felt like it was important to employ the first person perspective, and to admit to the implied bias that comes with it. I cannot help myself but to sympathize, or if I may be so bold, empathize, with the voices that I have heard after the publication of my first article on the subject. When I was offered a contract to write for Guardian Liberty Voice a short time ago, I was told that the company had a two-word constitution; “Boldly Inclusive.” Those words reflect a value that has been enshrined in the democratic conscience, regardless of who uses or claims them, that encourages us to strive to seek a better understanding of the truth.

The people of GamerGate are people, and the media blackout that they have received is immoral. There is a lot more to the story than I have touched on in either this post or my previous article, and there are untold thousands of journalists looking for stories to cover. I would like to personally challenge the broader media to show up, de-weaponize the narrative and try to untangle the events. The most heinous criminals are afforded due process and offered a public defender at the minimum. GamerGate was tried and convicted in the court of public opinion with no due process and no representation. That is simply unjust. Maybe GamerGaters are the proverbial canary in the coal mine, suffocating to inform the broader public that when it is their turn – when they need a voice – they could face being laughed at and yanked off the stage with a comically oversized shepherd’s crook, too.

Blog by Brian Whittemore



Photo by Quinn Dombrowski – flickr License

67 Responses to "GamerGate Has Been Underrepresented"

  1. kequilla   October 29, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you for this.

  2. Burriloom (Lily Feng)   October 29, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Oh man, I don’t even know what to say about this. Just….thank you so much.

    I’m an asian female that was encouraged to join game development by a couple other people in GG, among them including another actual female gamedev making a farming simulator. How has that EVER translated to “I’m a fat angry white man who doesn’t like women” to people? Ever?

    And then people have the nerve to ask photo proof that I’m not a sockpuppet account (or block me and pretend I’m fake anyways) or they pull this “poor ignorant girl” thing. FFS, at least GG can treat me like an equal without judging me on the basis of my gender or race.

    After everything, I just want to call you to deliver a personal thanks, from this person that doesn’t seem to exist to anyone.

  3. Wouldntyouliketoknow (@DaEmprah)   October 29, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Thank you for doing proper journalist work. It’s tragic that that has to be said in this day and age.

  4. nicholasdorazio   August 28, 2015 at 12:11 am

    Thank you for bringing attention to how unaware progressive writers are to how they marginalize us GamerGate supporters. I’m a father of five adult gamers, four of them female, and I so strongly support our cause I could not just sit idly by with this footage of real gamers of both sexes interacting at real events. So I made this video. Please consider it for your audience.

  5. arjenblog   August 7, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Thanks for your words on the topic. The way most journalists and outlets have treated GamerGate is unintelligent at best and nefarious at worst.

  6. Interested reader   November 8, 2014 at 9:56 am

    What I’d like to see is an unbiased discussion of how consistently Gamergate enthusiasts are actually calling out the triple-A game mega sized development companies for their practices or the influence they exert in the form the publicity for a new game is handled. To my knowledge, this problem has gotten very little attention. Instead most of the focus and anger of Gamergate advocates seems to be directed at indie gaming. I thought Myles Gann’s coverage touched on some of chronic problems of the journalistic coverage being confined to vague descriptive of how much “fun” mega games are. In other words, to the lowest common denominator characteristics of mega games . I’d be interested in why this is not being addressed within Gamergate.

    • Lindsay N   November 8, 2014 at 9:59 am

      I think mostly because indie developers are the most effected by the journalism. They put all of their money into their games and be destroyed by bad reviews, unlike triple-As who have all sorts of advertising and money ate stake per game.

    • Tenebrae (@TenebraeAeterna)   April 17, 2015 at 11:31 pm

      On a side note, as a disclaimer, I can’t speak for the whole of #GamerGate seeing as how I’m but one individual amongst a very large revolt. Ultimately, the goals are to push “journalists” into embracing ethics so that we’re not getting screwed. They need to act more like journalists and less like critics while claiming to be journalists.

    • Hans Schmitt (@hansschmittfree)   May 27, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      You are confusing cause and effect here. Gamergate tackles the pitiful state of video game journalism. Bad games get promoted for being akin to a potlitical agenda of the review author and not for being good games, with great production value, challenging gameplay and potential fun for the player. Those games often happen to be Indie Games. Indie Games themselves are not the target though. Gamergate advocates the artistic freedom of game devs, unlike censorship advocates like Anita Sarkeesian and Jack Thompson and all of those puritans who want to control what and how people consume media.

      AAA gaming coverage is also relevant, but only so far as bribes of reviewers are condemned, just like hasty reviews of people who don’t even play the games for longer than half an hour and still rate the entire 20h+ product with some obscure score.

  7. Josef Ouano (@AbyssGuard13)   November 8, 2014 at 3:41 am

    it isn’t hard for the so called “games journalists” (call em bloggers if you like) to put down and follow a code of journalistic ethics if they want their content to taken seriously by gamers. yet Time and time again they fail to do so, that’s why GG has grown big and loud. They stoked that fire by releasing multiple articles about the “death of gamers”, and that was revealed as a concerted move from the “games journalists”. If they truly cared about their readers and gamers, they could’ve acted professionally and take criticism, listen to what the readers had to say. But no, they became big douches about it. Hot tip to would be journalistc websites; put integrity first above all. Do not make a website just because you want clicks; because if you made a journalsitic website just for clicks and say f*** you to readers when they want integrity and ethics from you, you reap what you sow in the future.

    • Mark   November 8, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Many of the targeted blogs already do have such ethics statements. Polygon, for example, always had one, and IGN recently added one. Have you actually looked for the ethics statements you say you want?

      • J.C. Honório Pedro (@JCHonorioPedro)   November 8, 2014 at 1:36 pm

        Yes, we did look. The Escapist has the only one that mostly satisfies those in Gamergate. The rest don’t even manage to get as much as a fraction of an approving nod once they’re dissected.

      • Peter Houlihan   November 9, 2014 at 5:42 am

        Ethics statements are a step in the right direction, but they still have to own up to the fact that they did something wrong in the past for there to be any confidence that they’ll refrain from doing so in the future.

  8. Ervis (@AllAboutRage)   November 8, 2014 at 12:27 am

    It is truly refreshing to see someone with enough intelligence to think for himself and write what he thinks deserves a look in 2. I personally think that GG my community is made of people from all over the world, all walks of life, and all shapes and sizes, not 1 of them is like the other. To place us all in the same garbage bag and dispose of us as if we are trash, is the biggest mistake the media has ever made, this is not a threat of any kind. This is a promise from me to you, if i have to spend my entire life fighting for this cause, i will do so knowing that my fight is against corruption, and that corruption is you the people who branded me. The same people who know absolutely nothing about me, you don’t even know my name let alone what i have done.

  9. Adam J   November 7, 2014 at 10:54 pm

    I would be supportive of GamerGate if their methods reflected their claimed focus. The problem from my perspective is that a group focused on ethics in journalism should hold, at the core, the right for journalists to freely and transparently express their opinion. Yet the vast majority of GamerGate’s actions have been to silence opposing perspectives, from the initial and onoing fight to prevent “subjective” (read “feminist”) commentary in games reviews, through to the (saddly successful) moves to pressure advertisers to pull their advertisements from publications which have expressed views that GamerGate supporters don’t like. How can you argue that you are trying to improve journalism while using external pressure to prevent journalists from publishing their perspectives on events?

    • Benjamin   November 8, 2014 at 1:01 am

    • Jennifer R   November 8, 2014 at 9:31 am

      The thing is, we are NOT boycotting them for having “feminist views” Once again, you’re generalizing the issue with the pretty misogyny button. We’re asking the advertisers to pull due to unethical behavior and, really, slandering the gamer name. Gamers are their target audience. Journalists are covering their room mates, covering games they have a monitory investment in, and shoving gamer devs out of the industry because they want the games in the market to be politically correct. Journalists have been going out of their way to find problems with games in order to generate more revenue. Or, slander people for their own pleasure such as Alistair. They run articles and nearly destroy peoples lives like Max Tempkin, whom a girl thought their relationship was more than sex and when he told her it wasn’t she cried rape. They all jumped on the politically correct train, saying how wrong it was and how deplorable he was without giving him a side. She even retracted her statement later, knowing she overreacted. Not every video game has an agenda, sometimes they just want people to have fun and tell a good story. Is it wrong for devs to try to please as many gamers as they can? The journalists shouldn’t have a choice as to who is and isn’t going to release games in the indie scene. We should. They’re threatening game developers. That’s not right. Feminists, at it’s core, have nothing to do with this.

      • Adam J   November 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm

        Some of what you say is valid – this is why GamerGate is something that I would have wanted to support. I agree that the influence of personal relationships on reviews is a bad thing, and if GG was simply arguing for more transparency I’d be a supporter of the movement. There are many things in GG that are good and I’d want to stand behind, such as the Tempkin issue you raise.

        What I can’t get behind is a movement that claims to be trying to improve ethics in journalism while boycotting and trying to get advertisers to boycott publications for expressing views that they disagree with. What about the calls to pressure Nintendo to remove advertising from Polygon because GG thought the review they provided was too focused on social issues? Or the ongoing letter writing campaign (which you acknowledge) to get advertisers to pull their advertising from publications which published “gamers are dead” articles? Whether or not I agree with what they said, I can’t see it as ethical to try and punish publications for printing something that I disagree with.

        Sure, it would be wrong for journalists to choose “who is and isn’t going to release games in the indie scene”. But they don’t. What they should have is a choice to review games using the criteria that they see as appropriate, without being threatened with boycotts and groups using advertising pressure to convince them to bring their reviews into line. Reviews – whatever the criteria – are not a “threat” to game developers, but campaigns to pull advertising are certainly threats to journalists.

        • Jennifer R   November 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm

          There is a difference between disagreeing with their views and the journalists flat out slandering us. They have spread a narrative that we are misogynists and hateful in order to distract from our disagreements with how they handle their writers. Journalists are reaching out to one another to oppress our disagreement with their narrative. Hence there being so many articles all saying, more or less, the same thing. There are journalists who are speaking out against us on social media, using hateful words and more than once using violent context. In the case of Destructoid, some of the websites have actually broken the law.
          I personally believe that the biggest problem gamers have with it all is that, at times, it seems like they are shoving social issues down gamers throats. That they’re almost searching for social issues to get revenue when the developers had no such idea in mind.
          Also, since we started the movement we have had several developers come forward with stories about journalists shutting down their projects. There is currently a petition on a game in which it is stated that the person is a blogger with connections to journalists and threatens them to stop making their game or else they would destroy it with reviews.
          Developers were getting blacklisted merely for showing support towards Gamer Gate. Paul Reubans had half of his friends abandon him for posting one article that seemed to be pro-GG.
          In Australia there were tens of thousands accounts information from a gaming company stolen by an unknown source and the journalists refused to cover it due to their strong ties to said company. They hid it the best they could.
          With that said, how would you have dealt with our grievances? :3

          • Jennifer R   November 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm

            Oh, also. How do you find this much different to a picket line?

          • Adam J   November 9, 2014 at 4:45 am

            The problem is that GamerGate lost the high moral ground. I don’t question that there are problems in games journalism, and that there have been bad practices, but the problem isn’t solved by engaging in the same practices that are being argued against. You can’t argue that censorship of a message is wrong while attempting to censor other messages, or argue against blacklisting while trying to have journalists fired.

            This is just my opinion, but on the whole I’ve always thought that journalists want to have good reputations, and will respond well to criticism when posed in a manner that allows them to do so without appearing to be rolling over. It is in their interest to clean house, because it is one of the fields most dependent on trust. But part of that focus on trust means that they also have to be independent. They can’t afford to give into pressure from advertisers, because doing so weakens their ability to express what they believe they should, and damages reader’s trust in their independence.

            I liked Damion Schubert’s suggestion of GAMR – although personally I’d focus more on pushing for an Ombudsman. I’m a big fan of effective, industry supported Ombudsmen and the like, because they can have both the ear of the public and the ear of the publishers, and it is in the interest of publishers to listen.

        • O'Donoghue   November 10, 2014 at 11:35 pm

          You’re clearly not very educated on this subject and haven’t been following Gamergate outside of the mainstream media’s slander and deflection pieces..

          Do some proper research before taking the time to write several paragraphs about this issue rather than echoing Gawker/Vox recycled garbage masquerading as a voice of reason which you copy/pasted.from an Anti-Gamergate Twitter user’s blog.

          • Adam J   November 10, 2014 at 11:57 pm

            Not the most considered response. 🙂 I have been following this closely, and by reading as many different perspectives as I can find. Certainly I’ve followed it close enough to be aware that this is a very polarised debate, and accordingly I don’t expect everyone to agree. You are certainly more than welcome to disagree with me, but you are mistaken if you believe that my thoughts were formed by reading only mainstream sources.

    • hm   November 8, 2014 at 12:49 pm

      A feature of asymmetrical warfare is to inflict pain while calling for talks or change. For an overview you might try:

      Slate’s David Auerbach: “Gaming journalism is over”
      Vox’s Ezra Klein: “Gamer Gate and the politicization of absolutely everything”
      Forbe’s Erik Kain: “Gamer Gate: A Closer Look..”

      Commentary is one thing. Vitriol is another. Readers have a right to decide if they were offended. They also can withhold their clicks and encourage a boycott. Something that we’ve seen used increasingly in the culture war and that Ezra Klein believes is only the tip of the iceberg. And IIRC Gawker media is in the crosshairs for something a male employee said.

      • Adam J   November 8, 2014 at 3:35 pm

        Readers have a right to boycott. Readers even have a right to try to pressure advertisers to pull their support from publications. But I can’t support a movement which claims to be about ethics while it tries to silence opposing voices using such means – the disconnect between arguing for ethics in journalism while fighting to silence journalists for their views is one I can’t get past.

        • yatima   November 8, 2014 at 6:16 pm

          You think GamerGate is silencing opinions?!? The media have mostly whitewashed this issue, and the corrupt journalists have never ONCE openly addressed the concerns of GamerGate, except the dude who did an interview with Total Biscuit (name isn’t coming to me at the moment). And they do this while tying GamerGate to the actions of trolls with no evidence of any connection (threats never even mentioned GG). What has happened is that the last resort GG has to exercise our voice is boycotts and telling advertisers the truth. It is the advertisers who stop after simply being informed. We do not lie to them. GG has a wonderful habit of being as honest as possible, at least for a decentralized Internet movement. We are the voiceless ones, and our cause is just. But our only power is as consumers. For the most part we have not been properly represented. It is sickening and frustrating to get called misogynists, when GG has raised $70000 for getting women in gaming, and we have feminists in our midst. We have been given no other option than economic warfare.

          • Adam J   November 8, 2014 at 8:19 pm

            I hear that argument a lot. “It wasn’t our fault that the advertisers pulled their advertising from a site – we just sent thousands of coordinated emails, following instructions on what we should say and how to word it, threating to stop buying their products if they didn’t pull advertising from sites we disagree with.” Sorry, but that isn’t convincing.

            It is your choice to engage in, as you call it, economic warfare to punish sites for publishing articles which you disagree with. But similarly, it is my choice to see that juxtaposition of “we want journalists to be free to write reviews without being influenced by developers” and “we want to use pressure from advertisiers to force reviewers to write in the way we want” as inherently contrdictory.

        • Jonas   November 9, 2014 at 4:29 am

          No one is silencing the ‘opposing’ voices. We’re keeping them from PROFITING. There is a difference. If I don’t pay you to stand on the soapbox to yell out your hateful rhetoric and encourage others to not pay you to do so, you can still choose to stand on the soapbox and yell out your hateful rhetoric. Plenty of other soapboxes they can can get paid to stand on while yelling their hateful rhetoric as well. The problem is, the gaming media by and large stood up in one unified voice and told their market “F*** You”. Unsurprisingly, their consumers didn’t appreciate it.

          Best way to make a change is to hit them in the wallet. This is the only recourse we have to show our displeasure unless we want to get physical. Shouldn’t take a genius to point out that the situation isn’t even close so bad that we need to start filling body bags, so the peaceful route it is. What other option is there? Visit the site to give them exactly what they want as we argue with them? Why should we reward them for insulting us? Why shouldn’t we punish them for their collusion, their inability to adhere to even the simplest ethical standards? The problem is, in terms of the media, there is *NO* opposing voice. They all got together to push the same message, and to censor dissent. Hitting their wallet is the best way to fix it without resorting to actual violence, since that’s usually a bad thing if the problems aren’t really ‘life or death’ in nature. If they don’t shape up, we slash and burn the entire crop and let new organizations fill the void, while we point to a field of failed businesses and angry investors and say “You’ve been warned, we want journalism not tabloids pushing an agenda”.

          In the end, I don’t care if we end up with the gaming equivalent of “Fox News” alongside the gaming equivalent of “Not Fox News”. Journalism will almost always be biased. The problem is that in gaming, they all have the *SAME* bias. Imagine if EVERY news outlet was Fox News (or your local ‘not even pretending we’re not horribly biased’ news outlet of choice). What is your recourse? Stop giving them money, and start giving money to better news organizations. That’s what we’re doing.

          • Adam J   November 9, 2014 at 5:06 am

            It is entirely correct for people to refuse to use a service that they don’t agree with. If you don’t like Gamasutra, don’t read it. I have absolutely no problem with people refusing to read a publication that they don’t support, and there are a number of publications that i simply won’t read because I disagree with their stance.

            But there is a big difference between choosing not to support a publication and actively attempting to punish it. Trying to put a publication out of business because you don’t agree with what they say is something you have a right to do, as much as I dislike it. Just don’t be surprised when people view punishing publications for their views as unethical and against the notion of journalistic freedom.

        • hm   November 9, 2014 at 6:15 am

          Understood. Personally I’m more interested in why, as one EA executive put it, the games media responded to a small protest by firing on their broader audience thereby creating a riot. Was this in anger or part of a deliberate effort to create a firestorm to push their private agendas? There is no question that this small group of bay area writers are more interested in identity politics than games themselves

          I think we’ll never know.

        • John G   November 11, 2014 at 1:11 am

          The boycotts on gaming sites aren’t retaliation for articles we “disagree” with; they are retaliation for collusion in the GameJournoPros group. Two results of that collusion were the following:

          1) the simultaneous release of 11 “gamers are dead” articles on (supposedly) independent websites

          2) the blacklisting of at least one writer (Allistar Pinsof), which is illegal

          It’s strange that competing websites would coordinate on content and firing/blacklisting people. Clearly those are violations of free market principles.

          The boycotts against Gawker (as a whole, not just Kotaku) are also due to Sam Biddle and Max Read being bullies on Twitter.

          We want these practices to stop.

          • Adam J   November 11, 2014 at 8:41 pm

            Having read through the leaked GameJournoPros emails, I’m not convinced that there was collusion, but I certainly agree that collusion would be a problem if there was, and support the idea of fighting against it.

            However, it is clear that many people in GamerGate are attacking these publications primarily because of the content, rather than because of the possibility of collusion. And in some cases, the articles causing boycotts (such as Polygon’s Bayonetta 2 review) are clearly issues of content rather than ethics. At any rate, my core problem remains – fighting for ethics in journalism by using advertising to punish publishers and get them to fire journalists is going to be a problem. I can’t reconcile the means with the aims.

            Naturally, I have no problem if other people are comfortable with this. That’s their choice. This is just why I can’t support the movement, even though I agree with some of the aims.

    • Peter Houlihan   November 9, 2014 at 5:47 am

      Because journalism isn’t about the opinions of the journalist, that’s what editorials and opinion pieces are for. One of the major issues gamergate is fighting for is the principle that journalists should be giving unbiased coverage wherever possible and clearly labelling their opinions as such when they are introduced.

      And that’s not to mention the demonstrably un-transparent practice of colluding on secret mailing lists to produce a unified message based on a single political agenda across several, supposedly independent, outlets (as was revealed to be the case when the gamejournopros list was revealed). Along with all the blacklisting, favoritism and prize fixing of course.

  10. Linda M   November 7, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    I find it strange that the same people who keep on saying “do you support equality? then you’re a feminist!” find it so impossible to believe GamerGate might actually just be about ethics in journalism. But I guess they forgot about Valerie Solanas and her SCUM manifesto, they were too busy painting all MRAs as Elliot Rodger clones.

  11. Mike   November 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Thank you.

  12. Brian Whittemore   November 7, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    I wish the site had a feature to “like” all your comments. This has been an incredibly positive experience for me, and I’m grateful to have gotten to exchange some tweets and reddit comments with some of you. I really hope you guys can move forward with this, and I ask that you don’t give it up until you’ve had your say. Don’t let the history books slam shut on you. Maybe in between letters to advertisers, you guys can write to some media figures, and remind them that their code of ethics compels them to hear you out.

  13. anirt   November 7, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    I just want to say Thank-you. You give me hope.

  14. Vim   November 7, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    All these people who say they are neutral or sympathise or empathise with ‘gamergate people’, you are gamergate people, gamergate people are just normal people like you.

    Gamergate, the real gamergate movement is about truth, honesty and ethics. If those ideals are something you demand in the media industry then it doesn’t matter if you are a vocal or silent supporter, you are a gamergater.

    Those who want to stop this movement have tried to turn this into a sexism in gaming issue and have drawn in misandry preaching militant feminists into the scene knowing that it will rile young male gamers and all the mainstream gaming media companies colluded to shift the tide against them to those attacking their corrupt media cartel.

    Mainstream gaming media do not want ethics or standards forced on them, they do not want their corrupt system of bribes and kickbacks to be laid bare for all to see, they do not want to be held accountable for their actions, do not want to be forced to adhere to the journalistic code of ethics.

    Gaming is a 100 billion dollar industry, it is bigger than the movie and music industries combined, the ability to influence or manipulate the industry in the media has adverse implications, it harms the industry, it denies investors a free market free of cronyism and corruption to operate in and denies consumers the best possible products due to this media cartel which controls the success or failure or products.

  15. ☤ Gamergate Doctor ☤ (@ItalyGG)   November 7, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Journalism Ethics vs Feminism are just the tip of the iceberg of what is more deeply, a cultural dispute.
    Anti-Gamergate is basically a bunch of DiGRA-dependent outlets pushing radical left agendas, and Gamergate are libertarian left moderates trying to stop this takeover.

    Remember, “first they came for gamers and I did not speak out because I was not a gamer”:
    We didn’t kill Fascism and Nazism to give a chance to their Left equivalent to happen.

    It’s not just journalism ethics at stake (which is important too!) but also Libertarianism as a whole.

  16. Nikki   November 7, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    The GamerGate debacle taught me something very important about how false narratives come to be made and controlled in a very detailed way. I hope other young people learned that too during all of this.

  17. Aaron   November 7, 2014 at 5:43 pm


    Thank you.

  18. Jeremy M.   November 7, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    Although I admit my grasp of “GamerGate” began murky and hasn’t cleared up over time, I think I can say that this is a case where the label (e.g. GamerGate itself) has been successfully tarred and stigmatized to the point where trying to have a conversation under its banner is doomed to failure at the outset. If GamerGate is truly about ethics in Gaming Journalism, then argue that without relying on the label – because it will either at best confuse the issue or at worst actively poison your audience against you before you can actually speak. Perhaps this is a time for the moderate parts of the GamerGate movement to actively excise their more radical elements and rebrand themselves accordingly – fair or not, the social narrative has turned against the brand and I doubt that the fight to somehow reclaim it can be won.

    • O'Donoghue   November 7, 2014 at 6:45 pm

      This is nonsense.

      GamerGate was “tarred and stigmatized” by the media specifically BECAUSE of the corruption it was uncovering IN THE MEDIA. That is what Gamergate revolt is all about.

      Any attempt to re-brand wouldn’t be treated any differently by the media because it still stands to uncover the corruption in games media which is the sole cause for the “tarring” and “stigmatization” in the first place.

      A rebrand is pointless and will only serve to weaken GamerGate’s impact. Gamergate will never win the media over in any form, because it is exposing the corruption within the Journalism establishment itself. It’s effectiveness comes from being a consumer revolt that is attacking the very media institutions involved in corruption and those organisations which have chosen to slander and obfuscate the true purpose of Gamergate.

      Summary: Gamergate does not need the media’s approval to achieve its objectives.

  19. khinter   November 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Great article. The way Gamergate was, and has been, represented in the media really grabbed my attention to research it more. All I can say, is that from everything I have seen and looked into regarding Gamergate, it is absolutely nothing like the mainstream media suggests. REALLY eye opening.

  20. I Hall   November 7, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    I’m a gamergate sympathizer. There are highly odious elements to both sides, but the way it has been handled by the mainstream media and gaming press has been intolerably dishonest. I started out as neutral and dubious of the movement’s claims, but the media and those that took the story at face value have been so consistently abusive, childish, and petulant in their behavior, that it pushed me away from believing them.

    I think it has severely and permanently damaged my trust in mainstream media. I was already lacking in trust, but the coverage given to the issue, especially when you start to dig really deep, has been so poor that it would be laughable if it wasn’t so depressing. Group think, dogma, censorship, bullying, has been seen on both sides, but an absolute unwillingness to discuss the ethics issues in any manner or forum, even outside the gamergate movement, has soured any sympathies I may have felt for the movement’s detractors.

    I for one feel that sexism and ethics both need to be addressed seriously and openly by everyone involved, but I don’t see that happening unless drastic changes in tone happen across the whole spectrum of those in both camps.

    I for one would be a vocal supporter (of both sides to some degree actually), but I don’t care to be dogpiled and called nasty names, and my friends and family dragged into the melee, solely for my desire to discuss very complex, multi-faceted issues in an open way.

    I also don’t entirely agree with aspects of the movement, specifically the fringe group hangers-on that seem to be clamoring for a place in the spotlight. These issues of sexism and ethics need to be discussed openly and specifically, with no caveats or sub-causes muddling the waters. Both sides are extremely guilty of muddying the waters.

  21. ZURATAMA1324   November 7, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    We are grateful for listening our concerns.

    If you found our response overwhelming or aggressive, I apologize for that.
    We have been thrown under the bus by the media for so long, we have developed some kind of defensive hostility towards journalists.
    I hope you understand.

    Anyway, I am so happy that you are starting to address our core concern rather than talking forever about a barely relevant issue which resembles beating a dead horse.
    I hope this becomes a platform that leads to having honest debate about ethics in journalism.

    If you want to know more about what “we” see as #GamerGate supporters,
    I suggest starting from here.
    These are community written articles.

    Also, I will admit that we have several misinformation in our side.
    Because this is a leaderless consumer revolt with little to no support from any organization, there is a lot of chaos. (Which is both an advantage and a disadvantage in our movement)
    To get information sources with no misinformation (at least I think so), I suggest checking out
    While this page does not cover all the events that have happened to #GamerGate, it gives a solid, detailed information on #GamerGate.

    Again, I and perhaps we, really appreciate you trying to communicate with us rather than throwing under the bus like many of whom we trusted did.

  22. Jay   November 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    The best article I’ve ever read regarding Gamergate.

    Which is a tragedy when you think about it.

  23. thank you   November 7, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I’m not a member of gamer gate but I sympathize with their concerns

    There is no question in my mind that members of the gaming media meant to insult their readers back in August and that the insult was received as intended. Social media has since taken these sentiments and brewed them into even more toxic caricatures in the name of goodness and righteousness and whatever other ten dollar words were lying around that day. It may not be the most important topic in the world but it’s certainly been an eye opener..

  24. zev   November 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    thank you! wanting transparency in the press does not = sexisim, it actually has nothing to do with it.

  25. NorBdelta   November 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Thank you for taking the time to have a further look into GamerGate, it means a lot to us that our narrative can be heard.

  26. conrad1on (@conrad1on)   November 7, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Appreciate the call for the wider media to take a deeper look with fresh eyes, but it’s worth pointing out that if the mainstream has actually lost interest altogether, it means Anti-#GamerGate’s rather unpleasant bag of tricks has been diminished.

  27. BeebsMagoo   November 7, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    Thank you so much for your kind words!

  28. I Need Ethics! 61! (@ebNASgbXPo)   November 7, 2014 at 4:29 pm

    You’ve captured it perfectly.

  29. Andrew Woolford   November 7, 2014 at 4:28 pm

    Exactly, if people stand by and let this happen to Gamers, I just pray for their sakes that they don’t end up in the crosshairs like those they’re currently allowing it to happen to.

    It really shows the dark side of the mainstream media and public mindset right here.

  30. Ken   November 7, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    Great article, glad to see people so willing to do their journalistic duty. I wish more people would put the effort into covering both sides of the story. Thank you for writing it!

  31. Daniel Mack   November 7, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    WoW what an article you voice so well what i have felt as a person ,that supports the idea of ethical journalism and participated in #GamerGate, for a long long time.

    ful disclousure I am a white male (though thats the standart in switzerland) sad that this seem to make my opinion weight less. but i am afraid of how the internetpress and some internetuser treat people just because another blog or mediasite spinned a narrative.

    I did not read your article but i surely will now (you should have linked it) but it is good to see that some people are still able to see trough all the muck thrown.

    Also you did not call gamergate a movement which makes you one of the very very few journalists actually seeing to the bottom of this aspect (even some people that participate in GG have a hard time making that distinction, my respect for that.

    So thank you for those nice words.

  32. Miliardo   November 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Some people in the industry have insinuated and outright stated that supporting Gamergate will get them blacklisted in the industry. That’s something that shouldn’t be allowed.

  33. Trever Bierschbach (@tjbierschbach)   November 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Thank you so much for the article, it’s certainly a morale boost. As a father and long time gamer, bullied nerd, and husband, I fight this fight for my kid. I don’t care what anyone says about me anymore, this is so he doesn’t grow up in a world where he gets labeled as something evil by virtue of his gender or skin tone.

  34. Raine   November 7, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Thanks for the awesome article! I’m a woman that supports GamerGate, so all these generalisations that I’m something I’m not has been incredibly frustrating. This extends beyond the media though, I’m afraid… I had a rather cruel encounter not long ago when I was trying to talk about GG to somebody that proclaimed they were in the social justice movement. I was trying to talk to them as an individual person and as an equal to them and instead I was called a “token”, completely dismissing my views and identity.

    To say it’s upsetting that even those that fight for social justice would dehumanise someone for having different view is an understatement. I wish more people would realise what an incredibly diverse group of people GG is and give those in it the respect it needs.

  35. Jamal Messun #6854 (@JMessun)   November 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you very much for the post. There can be many reasons why many of the neutral journalists haven’t covered this issue, and hopefully with posts and articles like these the ice can be broken.

    Thanks again, Brian; you have my gratitude and support

  36. Gamer No. 2717 (@colepram)   November 7, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I’m feminist pro-gamer supporting GamerGate. I have a university degree, a job, house, car, wife and kids of my own. I enjoy playing games with my friends, family and even complete strangers.

    I was bullied and abused most of my childhood so I’ve built a tolerance to mean things being said to me. I forgot just because I was ignoring the bullies, it didn’t mean they ever went away. It just meant I didn’t pay attention to how many of them and how loud they were. I’ve been at this for just about two months now. I’ve been called everything under the sun and had my family and job threatened all because I dared to ask to be treated like a human. Not be called a misogynist because I like games, not have my family and friends called misogynist.

    Not once has any mean thing or threat other people threw at me made me feel bad about standing up for myself and fellow gamers. If anything I only feel bad for the people that don’t understand they’re the ones being hateful, and yet I find myself feeling overwhelmed at the fact that you called me, us, a person. Actually, it’s one of those it feels so good it hurts moments.

    Thanks, I don’t think you can realize how much this means to me.

    We are gamers, we are alive. Treat us like it.

  37. Joshua Marks   November 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this! I constantly hear how I hate women and minorities on every front. It’s a tremendous boost to see neutral people willing to get involved on our behalf. Thank you.

  38. Sail   November 7, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    This was a great article!

    All you need to do to realize the people of GG aren’t monsters is have a talk with them. Kind people like you see past the narrative quickly just by giving them a fair shot at all.

    Thank you so much for being a genuinely good journalist & person. Honestly.

  39. Anon   November 7, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Really nice, its good some people can see past the labels that the mainstream media lazily stuck on us. Many thanks

  40. Ceara McCord   November 7, 2014 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this. It is good to have someone listen to us. We get so few people willing to listen and give us a chance to defend ourselves. In fact, I could probably count the number on two hands. That is why we appreciate any support we are given. And, if anyone gives you crap, we have your back. 😀

  41. Anonymous supporter   November 7, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    That was an excellent post. It is also worth pointing out that admitting to being pro-GamerGate is essentially a death sentence to many people’s careers.


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