No One’s on the Right Side of #GamerGate
No one’s on the ‘right side’ of #GamerGate, because there is no right side of #GamerGate.
Here’s what #GamerGate is:
Tired of agenda-driven journalism (I know, welcome to the club), thousands of gamers aggregated on various message boards and comment threads to lash out at the ‘game media.’ This collective outrage by thousands of autonomous gamers is loosely connected by the hashtag #GamerGate.
One of the agendas they are tired of is the leftwing feminist agenda. So when female game developer Zoe Quinn was accused of sleeping around to get better media coverage for her game, and as self-proclaimed feminist and video game critic Anna Sarkeesian used her YouTube channel to continue blasting video games for being hostile to women, things reached a tipping point, and these two women became the focal points of the backlash.
Some of the backlash has been foul. Anna Sarkeesian claims she received rape and death threats that caused her to flee for her life after her address was posted online.
But mostly, #GamerGate is about people sick of both getting lied to and having a swarm of militant social justice flies buzzing around their heads. The message was and is: Get out of my face.
And this is where the Left jumped in.
The conflict has bubbled up as a microcosm of the cultural wars writ large, mostly because left-leaning journalists try to force their left-leaning template on everything.
The attention a #firstworldproblems pissing contest has gotten from mainstream media sources is remarkable but understandable. It’s become a way for self-righteous elites to go after a cheap and easy target so they can get their feminist merit badge without doing anything actually brave, like challenge violently misogynistic Islamic practices in Middle East countries.
It’s resulted in snobby and pompous pieces in mainstream outlets, hypocritical diatribes denouncing the same economically destructive tactics routinely used by angry mobs of Leftists, and nonsensical rants from bloggers like ex-NFL punter Chris Kluwe, who is the Picasso of insults but the Brick Tamland of rational thought.
Since #GamerGate goes after Leftist pet causes and groups, it does not get the same fawning adulation that the equally inchoate and short-lived Occupy Wall Street movement received (even though in Occupy Wall Street women were actually raped). And while the media trashes the supposed conspiracies the #GamerGate legion pushes (such as accusations of orchestrated collusion by journalists to redefine the term ‘gamer’ for political reasons), these claims are a pale shadow of the radical insanity that huge chunks of the Democrat base engaged in for years. (See: Bush orchestrated 9/11; Bush sabotaged the levees so Hurricane Katrina could wipe out New Orleans.)
And here’s where I get to the #GamerGate people.
You’ve had some success, but in its own way, so does a riot. You have power, but now it’s time to build a serious and respected movement with a quantifiable platform. Then you need to push out the vitriolic elements and solidify around the core ideas that will then be synonymous with the name. You’ll still get stigmatized and lied about in the mainstream media, but that’s what being a cultural force is about.
As a limited government type who is also tired of corrupt media, I want to sympathize with the #GamerGate crowd (disclosure: I’m a gamer), but right now it’s hard to sympathize with an amorphous blob filled with random cyanide pockets.
Why is there no right side to this issue?
Each side, instead of building the world it wants, is trashing someone else’s world. And ‘they started it’ isn’t a winning argument.
To the Anna Sarkeesians of the world:
Instead of more feminism in gaming, why don’t you put more gaming in feminism.
The answer to hate speech is more speech. Likewise, the answer to bad products is more products. If you think the existing product stinks, then build your own. If you think women gamers are ostracized in the gaming industry, start an all-female gaming company that makes more female-friendly games. If it’s truly in high demand, then people will buy these products. Then you will be filthy stinking rich and a major cultural force in the years to come.
However, if you’re actually a talentless, professional whiner destined to a life of YouTube hackery, then you’re the flavor of the month and your fifteen minutes will soon be up.
To the #GamerGate crew:
Ideas die when no one is listening (like the ancient gods in Neil Gaiman’s American Gods). Instead of lashing out at the grating condescension of self-appointed culture warriors, use that energy elsewhere.
Don’t like the current game journalists? Build a gaming news platform of hardcore gamers. Websites are inexpensive, and if you have a lot to say, say it there, where you can create trusted gaming reviews and solidify your ideas. (And I emphasize the plural. The idea that the #GamerGate platform has to be a monolithic idea, a talking point repeatedly pushed by the self-righteous gatekeepers of the media, is false).
Finally, remember how the media and professional social justice warriors deal with the people they disagree with. Remember how the media tried to destroy you by holding up the worst elements of your position. (A move both hypocritical and absurd. Are all environmentalists terrorists because ELF blows stuff up?)
Next time some politician proposes a law giving government more control over something, remember that the Sarkeesians of the world control the government and that the changes they want to bring about won’t just be advocacy.
Their beliefs will be enshrined in law, and what you love will be illegal.
Robert J. Guenther has many interesting things to say. He posts his sage words and clever comics strips at BiasBreakdown.com. For excessively harsh comments, he dives into the Twitterverse, @BiasBreakdown.