On GamerGate 2


First, read­er, a note. This piece is not a ret­ro­spec­tive, nor is it an info-dump. It’s a mes­sage. If you are some­how unaware of the war that has been waged again­st promi­nent women in gam­ing in the past weeks, Google it. We at the Ontological Geek have always focused more on com­men­tary than news any­way.

I do not give a rat’s ass about alleged cor­rup­tion in games jour­nal­ism. The fact that this “move­ment” per­sists even after the trolls behind it have been revealed, their plans and motives a mat­ter of pub­lic record, is inde­fen­si­ble. It is known who they are and how they have tried to ruin not mere­ly the rep­u­ta­tions but the lives of Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, and now Brianna Wu, among many oth­ers. To ignore these facts and enter­tain what­ev­er high-minded notions they claim is the worst form of intel­lec­tu­al dis­hon­esty.

GamerGate is noth­ing more than a smear cam­paign again­st women in gam­ing. The fact that it has met with some degree of suc­cess (even though Zoe Quinn still stands), and that we are still talk­ing about it after it has been shown to be as much, is a harsh indict­ment of the Internet-community of peo­ple who like games, that is “gamers”. By the con­cert­ed effort of those who sup­port GamerGate (and rad­i­cal and so-called “mod­er­ate” alike share in this), noth­ing of value is gained. Censorship through fear, fear on the part of women to con­tin­ue in or enter this field where there are lit­er­al­ly infinite pos­si­bil­i­ties and worlds just wait­ing for us all to explore, is a trav­es­ty. Horizons will not be broad­ened, the medi­um will not advance, gam­ing (and gamers) will suf­fer. To put this in sim­ple yet polar­iz­ing terms, we will never grow up beyond Call of Duty, that mean-spirited cesspit of teabag­ging and bul­ly­ing that is emblem­at­ic of why I avoid play­ing with oth­ers online. But don’t mis­un­der­stand: this isn’t about me. It’s not about Quinn either, nor is it about women as an oppressed group. It’s about call­ing bull­shit.

I have no illu­sion that this post will reach mil­lions, end this asinine non-debate, or do much of any­thing. I’m not going to con­vince a sin­gle per­son that the GamerGate peo­ple are rep­re­hen­si­ble, misog­y­nis­tic pip­squeaks deserv­ing only of scorn and a spanking/severe ground­ing from their mommy. But I can say this much: The so-called GamerGate move­ment is a sham, and the Ontological Geek stands in oppo­si­tion to it and the harass­ment it rep­re­sents.

As editor-in-chief, I will brook no dis­cus­sion of any mer­its of the “move­ment” in any com­ment or piece on this site, for any move­ment used as a cow­ard­ly shield to dis­tract from a cam­paign of bul­ly­ing and harass­ment deserves no dis­cus­sion. The Ontological Geek is a place of ratio­nal dis­cus­sion and exchange of ideas, yes, but it is also a safe place, a place where bul­lies and bull­shit will never be tol­er­at­ed.