GamerGate Wistfully Interpreted


It seems like ages have passed in the month since I first took interest in GamerGate. I know, I was a bit late to the dance, and I can only imagine how it has been for the people who were there for the “first” salvos, whichever event they choose to define those as. I think I am gravitating to the “Gamers Are Dead” school of thought, myself. That particular gem deserves a snappy name, but a better one than I could come up with. Imagine with me, something that would read like a Venture Bros. alternate episode title. It could use a Spanish phrase, one evocative of danger and death. There would definitely have to be a “muerto” in there.

GamerGate is amazing, and it is frustrating. I am definitely not a person used to exercising a great degree of caution on the opinion side of things, but an early realization that came from hearing the voices in the story was that GamerGate was, and remains, bigger than myself or my opinion. I figured that I owed it to the spirit of wanting something pure in the world to hold my sarcasm down, in my funeral-best display of an approximation of reverence.

See, in my personal view, it has never been about “just” collusion in gaming media, or “just” an overstep of social justice, disposing indiscriminately of babies and bath water. To me, once I stopped holding myself far away from the controversy and sarcastically deriding both sides (I really did, before I paid attention), it began to look like a definitive generational struggle. If one were generous, they might accept the view of GamerGate as a revolt against a culture that has spent way too much time worrying about spinning narratives than addressing concerns. It is about a generation caught in the middle of a culture war, like divorced parents alternating between cajoling and guilting the kids in an utterly selfish battle for a love that they forgot they still had to deserve.

I feel compelled to criticize the Anti-GamerGate side over the use of what amounts to shame tactics. There always seems to be another lecture in the pipe, another feature in a nationally syndicated web magazine calling gamers spoiled brats and reminding them of the starving children in China. Eat your social justice broccoli, you little [expletive]s! And it came with a heaping helping of the worst kind of hypocrisy. GameJournoPros amounted to “Pay no attention to the journalists behind the curtain,” and you could practically hear those people frantically practicing their Jedi mind-tricks from the other side of their monitors. “This is not the scandal you are looking for,” with a limp and pathetic horizontal swipe of the hand.

People, you deserve better. You deserve cable news to be clearly labelled as opinion. You do not deserve to grow older worrying about what your kids are exposed to behind your back, by people who claim authority over knowledge itself while simply servicing the spirit of the times in a manner expeditious to their careers. We all deserve freedom of thought as a precursor to freedom of speech, and to expect that our kids will be around people who care more to teach them how to think than what. And something else while I am on an excited rant!

GamerGate, to me, has been the closest thing I have seen come to addressing all of that. It is the closest thing I have seen to representing a radical center, one that refuses to be moved by sweet nothings whispered with the promise of influence. A fortunate attribute of a leaderless movement like GamerGate is that nobody knows who to try to corrupt.

This year, I am thankful that I found all of this. I was well on my way to cynical. Take care, and happy holidays.

Blog by Brian Whittemore



One Angry Gamer

Photo by Brian J. Matis – flickr License

10 Responses to "GamerGate Wistfully Interpreted"

  1. Mikel Crawford   November 29, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Interesting article on how the GamerGate wars represent our generation.

  2. GOBACK (@JoeKlemmer)   November 27, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    It still amazes me how little most GamerGate supporters know about the background, history and origins of this whole thing. Pity, really. Imaging what could be accomplished if all this energy was put to some constructive purpose.

  3. Anonymous   November 27, 2014 at 4:24 pm

    Love it. Well done.

  4. bspencer (@vacuumslayer)   November 27, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Look at the sources. LOL!

    • Professor Babby, PhD (@Professor_Babby)   November 27, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      it’s better than citing nothing, like anita sarkeesian

      • Mike   November 27, 2014 at 10:31 pm

        Um, you do know that she has always linked to her sources and other resources on her website, right?

    • Jesus Christ   November 27, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      And if you look at the sources of those sources you will find well researched articles. Gamergate has found a lot of evidence against the gaming press.

    • Stephen   November 28, 2014 at 3:46 am

      Questioning the source, rather than the information contained therein, is one of the issues this article tried to raise.
      I think you may have missed the point.

      Before all this, I would have never dreamed of touching a Breitbart link. That was my error. So if you resent #GamerGate driving people to the right, perhaps you should be demanding better journalism from places like the Guardian?

    • Brian Whittemore   November 28, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      A wistful and obviously opinionated blog post does not ethically require to be predicated on anything. It’s a policy of GLV to use sources on everything published, so I put those there to cover the requirement. It’s fitting, as they refer to the subject matter that I’m opining on. Also, see below comment addressing the “lacks credibility” fallacy often proffered by those having trouble challenging the actual document that they’re reading. Thanks for trying.

  5. Cole Pram No. 1892 (@colepram)   November 27, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Great article, I’m glad we seem to be reaching some people. Thank you for this ^_^

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