Gawker is Proving #GamerGate Right, and They Don’t Care—It’s a Culture War

hatred 10-23-14-1

This is an editorial piece. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.

It’s a bit of a stunning thing to witness—the majority of the mainstream media, developers, and gamers alike unanimously declaring #GamerGate dead, and presenting the face that they are “moving on”, returning to their regular schedules. That’s far from the truth, and if the recent pulling of Mercedes-Benz and Adobe from Gawker (one of the most popular blogging/tabloid websites), and Intel from Gamasutra are any indication, there may be even more support for the movement.

If you’ve been frequenting our site, you know that we’ve been open supporters of #GamerGate since practically the beginning. We’ve encouraged game developers and gamers alike to speak out against the flagrant collusion and agenda that seems to be driving many of these websites. The websites’ behavior is not that of rulers declaring to the peasants that they’re all living hateful (especially women-hating) lives; this is the rulers saying that the peasants shouldn’t enjoy things the rulers don’t like, and using obfuscation to dress up censorship.

You see this in the responses from Sam Biddle of Gawker, who simply opted to say that gamers should be bullied, shamed, and driven into a corner like they had been for decades prior to gaming becoming a bigger, (somewhat) mainstream market. These were the messages that #GamerGate supporters pointed to when telling Adobe, Mercedes-Benz, Intel, and other advertisers about the outlet.

Now comes the completely insane part—instead of owning up to their childlike tantrums, hate speech, and lies, Gawker runs a piece by Max Read, in which he writes that Intel “is run by craven idiots,” among other ludicrous claims. Really? They’re a company and their most hardcore, passionate market was asking for them to take action with regard to running ads in publications spreading hate speech.

What Gawker’s really doing is publishing an ultimatum: either you’re with us, or you’re against us. They claim #GamerGate is causing the divide but in reality it’s them. There is no appeasing these people, save for abandoning your beliefs and way of life, and adopting theirs. It makes one wonder how widespread this kind of mentality is, considering how pervasive and easy to abuse it is.

These charlatans achieve dominance in the social sphere by isolating and humiliating their opponents into submission, irrelevance, or public death (e.g. blacklisting). They exclude you from events, from access to PR assets, from having positive or objective coverage, and you better hope you’re not making a game the cabal decides to lampoon.

We’ve had editorials on this kind of thing—how #GamerGate is a microcosm of a real culture war. On the one hand, you have progressives who are proudly marching over everyone and everything in the name of their ideology, and on the other hand you have gamers who mostly just want … more games, and more honesty from the gaming press and game companies.

The same people in the gaming press and game development who are asking for more inclusiveness are typically the ones to demand censorship. They do this through underhanded tactics. They criticize and shame the games they disagree with, morally or artistically, through a lens of critical theory that lends their opinions a false authority.

These are the same people who want games to be considered “art.” Yeah, remember these people? The ones we mentioned in their hypocrisy when saying that games shouldn’t be just about “fun”, they have to be progressive and be held to a higher standard. These are the people who are ashamed to say they’re game developers, or game journalists.

Are these really the kind of people you want championing better games?

Look, we’ve never said that certain kinds of games should not be made. The supporters of #GamerGate have never advocated for this. Diversity and creativity help the gaming industry thrive and innovate, so why are we seeing this many people asking for cultural Marxism, under the watchful hegemony of a handful of power brokers?

I’ve been to mainland China. My wife is from there. I’ve seen real censorship with my own eyes when I couldn’t view my own website, or my own Facebook page, or my own Twitter from behind the great firewall. Do you have any idea how fucking terrifying that is? Do you realize that these people are leading us to that same future?

These are the people who want to legitimately co-opt the gaming industry under the thin veil of inclusion and equality of outcome, not opportunity, because we all know that there’s just way too many fucking men working at Oculus Rift—right?! That’s a problem for these people, and they’ll never be happy with gaming just being a free market, for the gaming community to exist as it has, as an already-inclusive hobby.

To say that gaming has ever been a boys club is not only completely disingenuous, it’s hateful and generalizing to gaming in general. I think what these fascists are trying to say is that the games that tend to sell the most, are the ones made with men in mind. You know, the games with guns and violence and explodey things.

They don’t like this, so they scream about it in an attempt to make talented developers make games that are more inclusive. Yes, we are getting more games that are more inclusive now, and that’s an amazing thing. I truly am happy that more people are gaming now, that more people identify as gamers, and I believe they deserve fun games to identify with, too.

However, what I cannot stand for is censorship. I am one hundred percent against censorship. To say that for more inclusion to happen, certain games need to stop existing, is not only disgusting and horrifying, it’s entirely wrong. Inclusive games can exist next to the dudebro shooters and the Dead or Alive: Xreme Beach Volleyball games.

For any potential anti-#GamerGate folks reading this: stop treating gamers like children. We can think for ourselves and we can enjoy the mindless blockbuster games (now occupying the same space as blockbuster movies) right alongside your hallway simulators that have groundbreaking commentary on social narratives or whatever.

Just stop fucking saying this is about women, or misogyny. For the love of GOD stop spewing this horseshit, and go fucking educate yourself. Stop being so insular in your own culture and your own way of thinking. Someone else might feel differently. They might even be right.

#GamerGate is not dead, it’s not slowing down, and the culture war rages on. The free market will continue and games you don’t like will continue to get made, so deal with it or deal with us checking your goddamn lunacy every step of the way.

Brandon Orselli


Owner and Publisher at Niche Gamer and Nicchiban. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. Pronouns: Patriarch, Guido, Olive.

Comment Policy: Read our comment policy and guidelines before commenting.
  1. LickTheEnvelope
    October 23, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    Well said Brandon, thanks.

  2. Rosalina
    October 23, 2014 at 11:47 pm

    With hot air/ Projecting so hard it displays power presentations / forever delusional in the minds.

  3. Jarvis
    October 23, 2014 at 11:49 pm


  4. Kris
    October 23, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    The fear-mongering is real… I can’t even use the hashtag anymore on Twitter because the anti-GG people disregard my opinion immediately. I feel powerless, as if my voice had no volume. I don’t know what to do to reach out to those I admire, but are so blinded by their belief that GamerGate is all about misogyny. I’m afraid that they’ll hate me just because of a simple hashtag. It’s scary…

  5. GDI
    October 24, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Inclusive games will still be made. “Not-Games”/”Walking Simulators” (which are derogatory terms, though the first term was actually first coined by Tale of Tales who made the Path, the first game of its type I played and enjoyed).

    We just don’t want Gawker and its ilk to be the curators. It’s that simple.

    The difference is the approach. Let me give an example, you have Mangagamer. The Gawker-type games journalist would assault Mangagamer’s line-up, cheer when it gets hacked and its customer base gets doxxed, and criticize “perverted Japanese culture” with a holier-than-thou smug attitude.

    The right approach would be to applaud Mangagamer branching into otome and yaoi games, and supporting their women-targeted ecosystem alongside their bread and butter (which was nukige for a long time and only recently transitioning to story-based games).

  6. TiamatNM
    October 24, 2014 at 12:12 am

    Wow that youtube video. What did she want them to say? “Oh yes, we will start implementing gender quotas right away!”

  7. GDI
    October 24, 2014 at 12:19 am

    The cultural netsplit is happening right now. I’m an amateur dev but I’m gonna be targeting the GG market and neutrals right now. Too bad a lot of people I admired believing all the anti-GG bullshit.

  8. MidBoss
    October 24, 2014 at 12:19 am

    I don’t know how Niche feels about linking to the GG subreddit but it has tons of information about how to make your voice heard to the people that mater.
    The Twitter war of opinion was never one we were going to win, I’ve had to remove several personalities I used to follow from my list and I know how it feels, but don’t ever say your voice is powerless. We ARE causing change.

  9. epy
    October 24, 2014 at 12:19 am

    Gawker effectively threatened advertisers not to pull or they and their friends at The Guardian et al will give them hell. How can anyone not see this as corrupt? Somehow they became entitled to ad money. Time will tell if companies will fold to this bullying.

  10. Joshua Montgomery
    Joshua Montgomery
    October 24, 2014 at 12:28 am

    Thank you for posting. : 3

  11. Carl B.
    Carl B.
    October 24, 2014 at 12:31 am

    Not to play the left/right game here, but that’s typical far left thinking. That idea that “You can’t be trusted to make your own decisions, so let us do it for you.” I hate that kind of talk, as it is the antithesis to the American way of life, if not the way of life to all freedom-loving people. It basically tells us that we are worthless, uneducated plebeians who have to be directed and driven by an elite, erudite few who are gifted enough to lead our lives for us.

    Because if a young man watched Bayonetta bend over and flash her crotch, he will grow up to be a rapist. <—-This is really what they think.

    I think to be a member of the far left requires you to be both a narcissist and, to some degree, a misanthrope. Only someone who believes themselves superior and thinks the entirety of mankind is beneath them would feel that their own beliefs override the basic right of human liberty and freedom.

  12. samjo
    October 24, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Here here!

  13. Chris Gregoria
    Chris Gregoria
    October 24, 2014 at 12:38 am

    At this point, I’m fairly certain that the far left and the far right are both crazy. When you take any idea, whether good or bad, too far, it intrinsically becomes bad. And their way of thinking is right in line with that. Feminism is not bad by default- take it too far, though, and you’ve got a problem on your hands.

  14. NintendoNaut
    October 24, 2014 at 12:50 am

    Don’t give into the BS. Continue to call them on it and run them out of town.

  15. tyren02
    October 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

    Horseshoe theory is real. There are so many parallels between their way of thinking and Jack Thompson’s it’s not even funny.

  16. vivianjames
    October 24, 2014 at 2:27 am

    Awesome read. Thank you for this.

  17. Phelan
    October 24, 2014 at 2:44 am

    I saw on some other side nice interview
    1- with girls from GG movement
    2- with anti-GG

    The first side spoke, in polite manner making rational points. The second started bashing the first side, using hate speech, claiming that GG is based on hate yada yada yada.

    And yet… many people say that it is US who are haters and trolls… I don’t get it.

    Nowadays to be hater/troll you just need to have your own opinion.
    If you don’t like iPhone you are a hater.
    If you don’t like McDonald you are a hater.
    If you don’t like X Game you are a hater.
    If you don’t like being bashed you are a hater.

    Really I see Fred Dutton posting yet another twit against GG, full of vitriol… claiming that we are a trolls… Isn’t that also HATE? People are sending links to articles trying to explain everything… but they don’t even bother to listen.

    That’s sick society, part of masses who can’t even think on their own. To them you are a sinner, and you shouldn’t exist.. They will bash you, flame you, expell you… even if you will speak in most polite manner.

    You know what, maybe one day all GG gamers should spam twitter with simple twit like “WE ARE NOT MYSOGINISTS, LISTEN TO US BEFORE BASHING”

    I mean… that’s sick… this whole situation is not even funny.

  18. GDI
    October 24, 2014 at 3:44 am

    I gotta admit though the Felicia Day doxx was pretty powerful, and since they’re mainstream I’m assuming they have a never-ending supply of token women to sacrifice to save their own asses.

    We only saw an inkling with the celebrity nude leaks and pinning it on 4chan, courtesy of a viral PR marketing company.

    If Gawker really has so much millions stashed in the Cayman islands you bet they’re working all their connections in overdrive.

  19. Nebbyn
    October 24, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Excellent piece, Brandon.

    Honestly, this whole thing is the craziest shit I’ve ever seen. At least Jack Thompson seemed genuine in his beliefs, as wrong as they were. All I see from the mainstream media is groupthink and buzzwords. I consider myself a bit left of center, though I do believe in the 2nd amendment and some other right-leaning topics. This whole authoritarian and hate-mongering bullshit from the anti-GG crowd is seriously fucking with my political beliefs.

    Though I guess it’ll be for the better, because now I’m going to do research on anyone I might vote for before an election. I’m not going to just blindly vote Democrat as I’ve done in the past. Statements and actions are going to get analyzed, and my choices will be made on facts, not party lines. I’m not going to let some shit-sipping, kool-aid drinking, racist, sexist, hate-fueled scaremongers get into office anymore. Just as I’ll vote with my wallet when it comes to games, I’ll vote with my brain and conscience when it comes to elections.

    Keep on, Gamergate. Winter is coming.

  20. Erthwjim
    October 24, 2014 at 4:04 am

    Actually on your left/right thing, the anti-gg side is pretty much using some of the rules in Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals in how they try to portray their message.

  21. disqus_plwrgNhsGx
    October 24, 2014 at 5:21 am

    I stopped reading when you used the term ‘cultural marxism.’

    Just so you know, congratulations for lowering yourself to the level of Anders Behring Breivik.

  22. StewfartLegofham
    October 24, 2014 at 6:47 am

    This rings true for me on so many levels. good read.

  23. Thomas Fährmann
    Thomas Fährmann
    October 24, 2014 at 6:56 am

    They are totalitarian people who are weak, spineless and cowards when shit gets real. People who faced real fights (pain is a good therapy…) dont throw insults around or act in the way those gawker idiots do because of physical consequences. It´s just that. You learn to respect people when you know there is a certain limit of everything. They are so spoiled it´s beyond anything i have seen in my live. They are weak clowns of empty talk but dangerous nonetheless because of their influence and “support” by their brainwashed followers. It´s a state within a state what they have established!
    I was in china too back in 96. And those gawkers should live a year over there and get some real experience about the things they tell us is so “great”…
    Lets take that Fullmcintosh as an example. One strong backslap and he will never ever again talk in the way he does on twitter. I know it!
    And the only children is see are those who show not a little bit of respect for other people, their culture or hobby whatever!

  24. Thomas Fährmann
    Thomas Fährmann
    October 24, 2014 at 7:36 am

    … oh my.. Breivik… please keep your paranoid delusion private. No one needs insane people like you!
    And something else… if you are an adult show some responsibilty for the younger ones. Spreading fear is not an act of responsibilty!

  25. Abu Schwarab
    Abu Schwarab
    October 24, 2014 at 7:41 am

    I guess it depends on your definition of far-right. Social conservatives and the like are just as bad as those advocating censorship and pushing their leftist ideology. I consider constitutional conservatives, who tend to champion the ninth and tenth amendments, and right-leaning libertarians to make up most of the far-right camp.

  26. Abu Schwarab
    Abu Schwarab
    October 24, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I don’t tend to involve myself much in the politics of gaming culture, as it used to be so varied and would just cause dissent, but more and more over the last several years, lines seem to be drawn. My wife and I stopped bothering with the Gawker network, among others, awhile back, and over the last several weeks I’ve removed any who have come out in favour of anti-GG rhetoric, and disallow any discussion on the matter, from my bookmarks. We’re both hopeful that there are many like us, not necessarily making our voices heard, but at the same time removing revenue from these sites, and letting the market adjust accordingly. For both of us, the same goes towards celebrity figures, game developers, and the like in regards to their products as well.

  27. Gillman
    October 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

    These are also the people that shut down the internet to protest against net-neutrality. I guess when it means that it might be slowing or blocking traffic to their site it is an issue, but fuck everyone else?

  28. Jake_Was_Here
    October 24, 2014 at 9:57 am

    You want to see how far around the horseshoe goes? Consider this: The Nazis, whom everyone pretty much accepts as history’s DEFINITIVE lunatic right-wing movement, had the word “SOCIALIST” right there in the name of their party. The main factor that kept them from going all the way around to the left wing was the mutual hate between them and the Communists.

  29. kasey307
    October 24, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Great article!

  30. Abu Schwarab
    Abu Schwarab
    October 24, 2014 at 10:48 am

    That’s European “far-right,” which is viewed as fairly far to the left, still, in America. It’s just a bit more militant and blatantly aggressive, as far as European Leftism goes.

  31. bardkun
    October 24, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    “They criticize and shame the games they disagree with, morally or artistically, through a lens of critical theory that lends their opinions a false authority.”

    Panic and fearmongering over this shit is just the dumbest fucking thing and I’m so tired of reading variations of it. Going from Anita’s stupid dumb videos to “HEY HAVE YOU BEEN TO CHINA BECAUSE THAT’S WHERE WE’RE GOING” is just absolutely asinine.

  32. nonscpo
    October 24, 2014 at 1:04 pm

    Would you mind providing the link id love to see that interview/video?

  33. Jeremiah Nierras
    Jeremiah Nierras
    October 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I love watching the mainstream media squirm over what #GamerGate has done to their ‘heroes’.

  34. nonscpo
    October 24, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    You can criticize this movement all you want, however the reality is that these gaters are making headways. To be frank if they keep this up all the way into the holiday season, the anti-gg side could potentially risk losing the console manufacturers, publishers, and developers if the gaters band together and begin organized boycotts. I hate to point this out but EA, Activision, and especially Ubisoft are in a bad place from a PR standpoint.

  35. nonscpo
    October 24, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    “Just stop fucking saying this is about women, or misogyny. For the love of GOD stop spewing this horseshit, and go fucking educate yourself”…Brandon while I agree with most of the things in this article there’s no need to lowering yourself to there level by throwing insults. There’s a time and a place for everything and its called twitter.

  36. bardkun
    October 24, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    I AM a GamerGater, about ethical issues like conflicts of interest/financial ties to developers. If you’re reviewing a game and you’re friends with the dude who made it, disclose that. If you’re reporting on a conflict and you’ve donated to the patreon of one side of it, disclose that.

    But…dude. Every time someone tries to go from foo-foo-dumbass Polygon criticism to communist fascist China my eyes start bleeding.

  37. Brandon Orselli
    Brandon Orselli
    October 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you’re seeing is the same thing I’m seeing. I’m not panicking over it, I’m merely stating how these people use bully tactics and isolation to further their agenda.

    They’d be happier with forfeiting their own personal liberties in favor of being able to remove other peoples own beliefs and cultures. The fact that they have no respect for the very companies and audience that pay their bills is evidence of this, and with how nastily and ignorantly they attack anyone who doesn’t fall into their camp automatically.

    To them there is no other option, it’s only their way or the highway. It’s the same way in mainland China, if you question the government and you get spoken to by scary dudes in suits. I shit you not, I know people this has happened to.

    I didn’t mean to whip out tinfoil conspiracy theories, but honestly with how ludicrous their stance and their response to criticism/differing opinions is, it’s pretty damn hard to believe anything but what they put out there.

  38. Wolfe
    October 24, 2014 at 7:59 pm


  39. Darkness Dragon
    Darkness Dragon
    October 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    No, it’s not the horseshoe theory that’s real. It’s that people’s perceptions of a single-dimensional line is fading and the idea there are only left and right must be abolished.

  40. Darkness Dragon
    Darkness Dragon
    October 24, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Actually, what those people propose is authoritarianism. It’s not merely left or right and not a simple horseshoe theory, but a multi-dimensional alignment with authoritarian opposite of libertarianism while left and right only refer to economical propositions.

  41. Anbutou
    October 24, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks for venting some steam here. I’ve been feeling the pressure building up in me too. It’s cathartic to know that there’s a site out there that can bring itself to say the nasty words in connection with this whole mess… Our tone policing has become so bad that we might as well be an SJW hugbox creationist group. Freedom. Of. Speech. Everyone. Report actual harassment, otherwise move on.

    On other, more hilariously rage inducing news – here’s a fun link for those of you who enjoy rage knowing that Anita is plugging her patreon account and her book with people who’s bodies have barely cooled off.


  42. Phelan
    October 25, 2014 at 3:32 am

    Thx for warning. I’m going to remove link just to be safe.

  43. Perry de Havilland
    Perry de Havilland
    October 25, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    The HUGELY important issue here is:

    Do not take the bait and get into extended discussions about people threatening Anita Sarkeesian or Brianna Wu or anyone else within the context of GamerGate because…


    Even if the threats are true (and it is a big if) it is simply unrelated, much as some people would like you to think otherwise. The correct response is:

    “If anyone was genuinely threatened because of their views, I condemn that unreservedly. Now, lets get back to actually discussing GamerGate, which is about corruption and collusion in the games industry.”

    That is what the anti-GamerGate people are trying to do, re-frame a debate in which they are getting their arses handed to them, over and over and over again, from being about game industry corruption and games punditry corruption… into being a debate about misogyny and “forcing women out of the games industry” (as if most gamers actually give a damn).

    These are simply unrelated issues even if that is all that anti-Gamergate folks want to talk about, as a way of stopping people talking about what GamerGate and NotYourShield are really about. It is as if every time the subject of Chelsea vs. Manchester United Football Clubs comes up, someone insists that the discussion is about football hooliganism rather than soccer.

  44. Thomas Fährmann
    Thomas Fährmann
    October 25, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    “They” do this everywhere. Wherever you have some feminazis (can be man too) showing up be sure the whole thing blows up and ends into a idiotic flamewar about “woman”. These people dont like it when the world does not work the way they “see” it. And so they have to change that. Step by step like little rats they eat away the cheese that doesnt belongs to them at all. You can say these people are organized robbers! And their key to enter everything is “social justice”… now listen and believe us….

  45. Niwjere
    October 26, 2014 at 1:59 am

    How about we just point out that Anita Sarkeesian has officially made Jack Thompson’s exact argument in public — that video games cause violence? Of course she couched it in her radical feminist vocabulary, but it can be condensed to “video games cause sexism, and sexism causes school shootings.”

    I have said it before and I will say it again: the real enemy is authoritarian extremism of all forms.

  46. miiyukichan
    October 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Which is sad because it was literally her fan mail address. ;I

  47. miiyukichan
    October 27, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Women are being ‘forced’ out of the industry because of scare mongering done by the journalists.

    Just saying.

    Look at Felicia Day, who, despite yeaaars of gaming, got persuaded by these lunatics who claim all gamers are misogynist.