October 17th, 2014

pigtails

Gamergate is a dumb hashtag anyway.

Because I don't really enjoy wading through screeds of vitriolic abuse against women, I haven't read a whole lot about gamergate. Which says a lot about the problems with gamergate IMO.

What I am getting is that there is a small group of people who claim that it's about ethics in gaming journalism. However, the example that became known as the one that sparked it, was a woman who made a game, and later split with her boyfriend. The ex-boyfriend then posted a long rant on the internet that said a lot of nasty things about her, including that she'd slept with a game journalist to get a good review for her game. Turns out the guy had never reviewed her game, but that doesn't seem to matter any more, because she has become the target of an extensive harrassment campaign that has nothing to do with ethics and everything to do with that fact that she's a woman.

Now, gamergate is viewed as an essentially anti-woman thing. Regardless of whether there are some earnest folk out there who actually do want to raise the ethical standards of gaming journalism, what happened to Zoe Quinn and other women who defended her is the defining characteristic of the whole debacle.

Whatever cause might have existed at the start has been subsumed under a tide of woman hating, to the point where it's impossible to find anything that *doesn't* include it. The more moderate types are attempting to discuss the 'end of the gamer identity' because gaming is no longer the exclusive clubhouse it once was. Many are scoring points by saying this is a good thing.

My opinion is this - first, it really annoys me that the word 'gamer' is being used in this controversy in the place of what should actually say 'entitled prats'. Gamers are a large group of people. I'm one. I resent that this part of my identity has been usurped by these gits, and that those reporting on it are allowing this to happen. Second, as a gamer of 30+ years, I find it infuriating that the response to the aforementioned entitled prats finally realising that they don't get to define what a gamer is and having a tantrum about it, has led to speculation that the identity doesn't exist any more.

Gamers exist. Gamers who do not match the demographic of Entitled Prat On The Internet exist. News flash, we have always existed, and we continue to exist.

I will always be a gamer. In some things, I have probably on occasion acted like an entitled prat. What I am not is a woman-hating arsehole who is afraid of girl cooties in the clubhouse (those cooties have been there since gaming began, yo), and responds to my fear with threats of violence. That person? I don't accept their behaviour as my identity.