#GamerGate: Here’s What You Need To Know
Since August 2014 the online video game community is heated in arguments over a lot of things relating to sexual harassment, feminism, and gaming journalism corruption. #GamerGate and #NotYourShield is being used by gaming enthusiasts to defend gaming and gaming ethics on various social networks.
So, What the heck is #GamerGate?
There are many meanings of #GamerGate, but there are a few key points you should know about it.
The #gamergate hash tag was popularized by actor Adam Baldwin.
It all began in August when Eron Gjoni, a robotics and AI programmer, accused his ex-girlfriend Zoe Quinn, an indie game developer, of cheating on him with five men, including a writer of popular gaming website Kotaku, Nathan Grayson. Literally gamers have nothing to worry about sex lives of Zoe Quinn developers but as a game developer she is best known for the indie game Depression Quest. Which in turn, is best known for the gaming press liking it a lot more than actual gamers so that was something which got out in the public.
Obviously I don’t know if she actually slept with those journalists but the thing which was made clear that variety of major gaming journalists were promoting bunch of games without even notifying user if it was a promotion or a honest opinion.
Another thing which added to this was an piece on a popular gaming site ‘Gamasutra’ which had a raging title as ‘Gamers are over‘ and this article was sited by many popular gaming sites. These pieces were basically a reflection of the widespread corruption in the gaming industry and the collusion between the gaming press and game devs against gamers.
Later on a bunch of female game critics were harassed online which included some key names including Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn and Jenn Frank among others.
To sum up, GamerGate is a uncontrolled online moment which fights against many things but not all of which are for a good cause, I mean like cyber-bullying female game developers and journalist that’s not cool but fighting for the integrity of gaming critics.
So Are There Problems in Gaming Journalism?
Yes! Sponsored Post is one of the most effective form of advertising used by various publishing media as it makes a advertise look like a news/editorial piece. John Oliver does a fantastic job explaining that to you in the video below. The thing is there has to be a line between this type of posts atleast on major publications. These game developers paid some of the game critics to write a positive review about their games, that’s so frustrating! I mean sponsored articles like Easter eggs, recommendations etc. are okay considering the fact the they mention it’s a Sponsored post but beyond that I guess that would be crossing morality of journalism.
Is There a Problem with Misogyny in Video Games?
Many say that men are frustrated over the fact that woman are now making and playing games, I guess a very small majority of them are but not all.
No! Women represent a fairly large number of gamers and even if they are targeted right now by few ugly gamers, men don’t have problem with them. For most parts they don’t even care if its a men or a women as their opponents, its just that because of “Few” male gamers targeting female, various news outlets are making it a sexist thing.
Gaming is Art
So are the games! Gaming is and will always be a fun hobby, some publication bashing ‘Gamers are dead‘ will not affect any gamers. I must still say that gaming industry is evolving in terms of designing a game and developing it. Unlike the previous times, now even the overall art is a taken into consideration while making games that’s why games like Transistors are amazing. Although shooting and other mainstream games still dominate the market but now games with some better gameplay mechanics show up, which are not always action games.
For most parts this does not piss-off gamers, just like those indie movies which not everyone watches or gets, these games are also not everyone’s piece but that doesn’t mean they are bad or anything.
So What Now?
#GamerGate supporters have contacted many advertisers to remove their ads from various publications and it has happened, Intel removed ads from Gamasutra, Adobe stopped supporting Gawker (The media company owning Kotaku), also The Escapist is drafting new guidelines for it’s authors, while Kotaku is now forbidding its writers from supporting indie developers on Patreon.
I don’t understand why women are suffering due to this issue, it was the fight about gaming journalism ethics and must be about that. I know some trolls took things far off by cyber-bullying women from gaming, but good thing is that FBI is tracking down those bullies.
In every revolt there are problems from the opposite front, Hong Kong protests are the great example of it, I mean there were people wanting freedom and they stood against the Government without any sort of violence of public property disturbance but there are also those who were of idea that they want to governed by China so they used violence but the democracy supporters never used violence. Well the fight for Hong Kong’s universal suffrage is still on but again it isn’t causing any violence or harm for public property.
Now getting back to the original discussion, #GamerGate revolt is just that peaceful protest but there are some elements which are making things look bad.