Rants tag

Rants, ruminations, and rambling remarks from my mad, muddled, meandering mind.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Gamergate Must Stop

Mi·sog·y·ny (məˈsäjənē)—noun: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.
(Google it)
I was trying to stay out of gamergate because up until now, it seemed pretty silly: a bunch of hot air and anti-feminism trying to disguise itself as a movement for journalistic integrity. But it has gotten way more serious, and it has to stop.

NEWS FLASH to the gamer-gaters out there: journalism has been prone to corruption for centuries, since long before William Randolph Hearst raised yellow journalism to an art form. News outlets are there to make money; whatever story that sells brings the most revenue will be printed. The industry is a revolving door in and out of politics and other businesses, and the video game development world is no different. Deal with it.

In the meantime, you have allowed whatever modicum of integrity present in your movement to be blown completely away by misogyny. Anita Sarkeesian is pointing out literary tropes that fuel many of the games we play. Counterarguments—even countertropes—and justifications do not make the tropes vanish. It is a literary critique, not a scientific survey; something you would understand if you had paid any attention at all in your high school or college English classes. Brianna Wu and Zoe Quinn are only trying to make games they want to play. There is not a woman out there who is capable of bringing harm to your precious access to digitized violence. You know why? Because there's too much money to be had in publishing the latest GTA or CoD, making your heroes manly men and bodacious babes.
Ter·ror·ism (ˈterəˌrizəm)—noun: the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.
(Google it)
Both Wu and Quinn have had to leave their homes due to credible threats against them and their families. The threats are ugly, describing heinous acts of violation and violence no one should have to contemplate. And now Sarkeesian has decided to cancel a speech at Utah State University because she didn't trust the local police to be able to protect her and other attendees from a specific threat that referenced the Montreal Massacre, a mass shooting in December of 1989 directed at engineering students in Montreal's École Polytechnique. The shooter in Montreal also claimed that his life had been ruined by feminists, singled out women, and murdered 14 before killing himself.
Obtained from this story in the Standard Examiner
If this were an Islamic militant, I would bet money that DHS would already have him (because it's not a woman) in custody. I can only hope the authorities track down the USU threat with the same zeal they would any other terrorist and prosecute him to the full extent of the law. To do otherwise would be hypocrisy in the extreme. The ideology is irrelevant; only the threat matters.
As·sault (əˈsôlt)—noun; Law: an act, criminal or tortious, that threatens physical harm to a person, whether or not actual harm is done.
(Google it
And to those who are trying to defend the gamergate movement by saying these sociopaths are only a few outliers, and why shouldn't we be concerned about journalistic integrity, I say this: Look in the mirror. You weren't too concerned about the coziness of game devs and journos before. But your anger exploded based on lies told by a jealous ex-boyfriend. So much for the integrity of the movement. Fight real issues, not theoretical conspiracies. Your first step might be to shed the Gamergate appellation; because frankly, it's tainted by the trolls and whackjobs among you.

I grew up dealing with bullies (more on that in a different post). Gamergaters jumped on me the second I started decrying the movement through the StopGamerGate2014 hashtag. You are not downtrodden, no one is oppressing you. You are nothing but bullies, but you will not bully me. 

Sure, always be wary of what you read. Every journalistic story has biases; some are hidden better than others, and there may even be "corruption." That is no excuse for cajoling, coercing or threatening people out of their homes or jobs because they have opinions or beliefs contrary to your own.
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