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.