Why does #GamerGate exist?

bubblesort Oct 15th, 2014 (edited) 351 Never
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  1. Lets start at the beginning...
  3. 500 years ago the English civil war started... LOL I'm half kidding.  Some people do trace this conflict back that far, because this is about ideologies that are not new.
  7. So lets go a little more recent.  Women in technology is different than women who make technology.  Women in technology is about feminists (mostly leftists) who like to focus on the identity politics of working in technological fields.  Women who make technology are women who don't care for that kind of thing and resent being treated differently and being asked to speak at events just because of their gender.  Weev wrote the best short explaination of this I've seen recently (yes, I know he's a white supremacist, but he was also a political prisoner who currently lives in exile from the United States and he has made great contributions to the open source movement, and he does speak truth here.  Just think of him as a post modern Heidigger if Heidigger was a hacker).
  11. OK, so the tech world has had this conflict going on for decades.  It's kind of like San Francisco vs the world, because San Francisco is full of leftists who want to push women in tech over women who make tech.  This San Francisco attitude filtered down into forum moderation.  When Sarkeesian came out and had her problems anybody who questioned her in many forums got banned really fast.  I was banned from Something Awful for saying that I don't think that talking about tropes, in and of itself, constitutes useful or productive criticism.  I can do what she does just by searching the TV Tropes web site.  I got banned for that.  This was what, 2 years ago?  This kind of thing really started happening in forums everywhere when Sarkeesian started her kickstarter.
  13. To give you an idea of what kind of place Something Awful is... it was 4chan before we had 4chan.  4chan was really born into the mass consciousness of online communities when hurricane Katrina took out Something Awful's servers, so people migrated to 4chan (and before Something Awful you had, but that's lore for another day).  At some point the leftists took over Something Awful.
  15. 4chan started slowly getting taken over by leftists early this year.  The details are still hazy and 4chan is currently writing a abook about it, but the order of battle is as follows:  Leftists from Tumblr raided 4chan, calling them all shitlords and piss babies back in Feb.  Then on July 4, 4chan raided Tumblr back, and 3 Tumblr users attempted suicide over it.  2 succeeded.  One was the CEO of Gawker's niece and the CEO of Gawker is friends with Moot, the guy who built and runs 4chan.  Moot booted all mods who weren't leftist and started working to change the culture on 4chan to be leftist, like Something Awful, so every now and then they would start banning people for not agreeing with their new ideology.  4chan wasn't completely taken over until late Sept, during the XOXO conference, but I'm getting ahead of myself.  I'll get back to that.
  17. Why care about whether a forum is run by leftists?  Well, when leftists take over forums is that they start imposing rules that make no rational sense.  You must check your privilege, you must not mansplain, objectivity does not matter because everything must be about identity politics.  It's exhausting.  Even minorities don't like being forced into identity politics constantly.  These leftists used to call themselves SJWs.  I actually worked with some of them during Occupy Wall St, and I butted heads with them on some things, like the progressive stack, but all in all they were easier to get along with than some other people I could mention.  Since OWS they got crazier, though, and started running more forums, and at some point they decided that SJW is an insult, which I don't understand at all.
  19. So lets look at Zoe Quinn.  She released her game in Feb 2013 and tried to get it greenlit so it could be sold on steam.  It failed, which is kind of to be expected, because who wants to play a game about depression?  I mean, I do, but I'm weird.  I think Actual Sunlight is one of the best JRPGs out there and it's all about depression, but it's not something the masses will naturally latch on to, any more than the masses latched on to Katawa Shoujo, which is a video game 4chan made with a wheelchair bound protagonist.
  21. Zoe got an email from a CWCchan member the first week in Dec, 2013.  CWCchan was born during another explosive situation where the encyclopedia dramatica owner sold out and made it more commercially palatable.  The encyclopedia dramatica is the wikipedia of 4chan.  It's horrible... long story for another time.  Anyway, CWCchan posted some nasty things about Zoe on the WizardChan forums and blamed it on WizardChan.  These two posts that Zoe claims were harassment were not threats at all, they just called Zoe names and said her game was crap.  Yes I have links and screen caps to back all this up.  They did it because WizardChan is CWCchan's sworn enemy, for reasons nobody really remembers clearly.  Anyway, WizardChan is full of people who are clinically depressed.  It's like they all spent so much time on 4chan they got PTSD and can't function in the real world.  It's a really fucked up, depressing place.  It's the kind of place you read and then have to spend a couple of days with cat pictures to cheer yourself up.
  23. So Zoe called these two posts on WizardChan harassment and got some media coverage for it from reporters who don't check facts and want to support the leftist ideology.  Zoe got featured on some web sites and at a game dev 'competition' because she was harassed (the competition was rigged and she would ultimately sleep with a judge).  Then she had her followers DDoS WizardChan while doxxing and sending death threats to the clinically depressed moderators.
  25. Then she got into a reality game development show and didn't like how it was going so she called everybody misogynist.  She did this in Kotaku, with a journalist she was having sex with.  That's the truth.  She didn't have sex for coverage of her game, she had sex to destroy the game jam reality show before it aired footage of her behaving badly, and it worked.  
  27. Zoe also had sex to get a game design job at a company called, and I'm not making this up... Love Shack... to build a game called Framed.
  29. Then she decided that she had a problem with a non-profit that was trying to get more women involved in game development.  It was called the Women in Gaming Project, run by a group called The Fine Young Capitalists (TFYC).  She took issue with their stance that you are whatever gender you say you are, if you have identified as that gender consistently for more than 6 months.  This policy was checked by international human rights lawyers, so it seems like a solid policy to me, but not to Zoe because she is a Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminist, AKA she is a TERF.  She and her followers doxx, harass and threaten trans people constantly, so she had her people DDoS them, dox them, threaten them and smear them in the press.  If not for 4chan's support the entire project would have gone under, just like the game jam reality show.
  31. Zoe's game was still not greenlit, so she started tweeting about Robin Williams's suicide and relating that to her game.  That's what she was doing when the game was finally greenlit.  Some people took offense to her using Williams's death to promote her game, so I'm sure more people were evicted from their various internet forum homes for talking about that.
  33. Aside from that, she did porn.  That's just a fact.  I'm not judging that.  I have no problem with sex workers at all.  However, those pictures are out there, she did them willingly, got paid for it and she knew she was paid by somebody who wanted to post them publicly online and she agreed to that.  Now she claims the pictures were hacked somehow, because she's an idiot.
  35. With all this going on, even if all accusations against Zoe aren't true, wouldn't you want to talk about it?  (I want to note that all of the accusations I made here are true and I have evidence if you want it).  If you are a gamer who follows the industry you probably do want to talk about it.  Was she sexually exploited?  Was she sexually exploiting the journalists?  How about her co-workers?  This kind of stuff makes people talk.  In normal politics, how many of you at least made jokes about Carlos Danger?  Quinn is a public figure, so she should be subject to the same kind of treatment, right?  Wrong.  All conversation of this subject was censored on Reddit and most gaming forums, even the escapist, who has since changed their policies and allowed us to discuss gamergate there.  Imagine having your Facebook account taken away because you posted that you think it's wrong to hire people you had sex with.  That was happening in August.
  37. So I'm a redditor, seeing pages of deleted posts, friends getting shadowbanned and harassed and I look around at the other forums and they are getting the same treatment and it's like Something Awful all over again, but on a massive scale.  These bastards chased me from Something Awful to Reddit and now they want Reddit too.  They will continue to chase me and others until we prostrate ourselves before their clearly superior college educated, white, cis, upper middle class, sociology major females and apologize for being a white straight man (even though I'm not straight).
  39. People got pissed and 4chan started getting more upset.  People who were booted off of these forums started hitting 4chan and Twitter with their problems, looking for a new community.  Some idiots went crazy and started hacking game servers of big companies and called a bomb threat on a plane carrying Sony executives.  It was a dark time for the rebellion.
  41. While this was going on, Sarkeesian stuck her big nose into it and started tweeting support for Zoe.  She also released her 4th or 5th video in the two years since her kickstarter ended, saying things like female corpses are sexy but male corpses aren't sexy enough and that women should be beaten in video games by men who are good, bad and neutral and because this doesn't happen in games and games form our reality, games generate rape culture.  Yeah, I know that's crazy.  I don't understand it, that's just what she said.  Nobody knows what she said because nobody talks about the content of her work, they just talk about her as a victim because to talk about her in any other way will get you censored.  Then Joss Whedon tweeted support for Sarkeesian and Zoe, which is important for reasons I'll get into in the last paragraph here.
  43. This is where things start happening very quickly.  Leigh Alexander is the editor in chief at Gamasutra.  She wrote an editorial that Gamers are Dead.  This headline was followed by articles in a dozen other gaming publications, all echoing her thesis that their audience is irrelevant.  I could go on about how Alexander has a history of being a terrible person who puts her industry friends ahead of her readers or I could go on about how her arguments in that piece are nonsensical, but to make a long story short... it pissed off the audience, throwing gasoline on the fire and making us all come together to fight the big bad.  We are gamers.  We don't have leaders, we have heroes and monsters to fight, and through this massive PR campaign against us the journalists turned themselves into monsters that we must fight.
  45. Not that we ever really liked them to begin with.  We have been putting up with their bullshit for years.  Games journalism is some of the worst, most corrupt journalism in the world.  It's always been this way.  Raph Koster turned me on to this great piece explaining the history of games journalism, and if you read it you will understand why we don't care much for these people to begin with, even before they maliciously made our lives worse.
  49. So traditional web site games journalism is corrupt, but there is a new kind of games journalism coming up where the people stream themselves playing video games.  They are called streamers, and streamers have not been bought and sold like traditional journalists like Leigh Alexander.  Many of us started watching streams instead of reading reviews of games written by traditional journalists.  Streamers don't insult us.  In fact, streamers support gamergate.  From a certain perspective, this conflict is an industrial conflict between an old medium (gaming web sites) trying to crush the up and coming new medium (streamers).
  51. To put this all into a time frame you can relate to, the Gamers are Dead articles all happened two days before the fappening.  The fappening did not cause any of this, because this all happened first.
  53. Then Adam Baldwin got pulled into this.  Adam Baldwin played Jayne in Firefly, so he is friends with Joss Whedon.  Remember, Whedon threw support behind Sarkeesian.  Baldwin is a conservative gun nut and always disagrees with Whedon, so he came in on the side of the censored, insulted gamers and in an interview he coined the term #GamerGate.  We all latched onto this and formed our new community around it.
  55. That is the origin of the hash tag.  That brings us up to the first week in August, about a month ago.  I'll explain Sept and Oct in another post because it's getting late.
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