GamerGate has become a monstrous thing. It says it is a attempting to clean up corruption in journalism. If that was the case, one of their biggest targets should be Fox News. On the face of it, cleaning up journalism and forcing it to be fair and balanced is a good thing. But in all honesty, GamerGate really doesn’t have a firm or solid philosophy.
At it’s birth, it began as one guy whining about his ex-girlfriend, who just happened to be making a video game. He whined so much, he wrote a 10,000 word rant (which is a really big waste of time). With that kind of energy, he could have used that to make a really awesome first draft of a novella, but no, he used it to complain that his ex-girlfriend cheated on him.
From there, it went into something else, as members of this “movement” attempted to give it solid ground. GamerGate is against corrupt journalism. But what they view as being corrupt is opinionated reviews of video games. Which is impossible to make a review of a video game without being opinionated. The reviewer plays the game, the reviewer has an opinion on everything in that game from story, to graphics, to game play, and even box art if he or she so chooses. That’s how a review goes. If you disagree with the review, that’s fine. No one’s saying you’re stupid (or they shouldn’t) because you find a review that doesn’t match with your feelings on a game (or movie). Hell, there’s games and movies I loved playing that reviewers tanked on.
GamerGate has recently said they are anti-harassment. Again, this is fine on the surface. But many of the more outspoken members of this movement also happen to be serial harassers. Several have targeted known feminist and pop culture reviewer Anita Sarkeesian. They have done so with death threats and rape threats. And she’s not alone. Some of the more outspoken members of this “movement” have gone on to make parody video games where Anita is beaten bloody. I use parody with tongue in cheek. And it’s constant harassment. If GamerGate is so against harassment, why isn’t it, as a “movement”, attempting to filter out these negative elements and moving away from them.
But GamerGate has allied themselves (or has received alliance from) some major Men’s Right Activists. Some of whom are outspoken haters of reviewers like Sarkeesian.
If GamerGate does anything, it’ll be to make mainstream media take several awkward steps away from the video game industry. Throwing it back into the stone age of media and ignoring it completely. GamerGate has accomplished to make themselves look like right wing extreme radicals who want education stripped away from women (the Taliban), who want the rights of women’s health scrutinized by legislative law (several right wing legislatures in the United States), and close off equal opportunity to everyone (many States which have but a ban on gay marriage or made it impossible for trans*gender people to get jobs or living accomodations).
There’s going to be those who will say comparing GamerGate to the Taliban is extreme. Normally, I would agree, but one GamerGate individual has already proven that comparison is dead on. Of course, it could also be compared to the Montreal massacre at Ecole Polytechnique in the late 80s. A message was sent to USU which stated “Feminists have ruined my life, and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all others they’ve wronged”. It was signed Marc Lepine, who is ironically, the name of the individual who killed a number of women at Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal in 1989. One individual, basically a murdering psychopath. But GamerGate has a whole host who have proven they are ready, willing, and able to issue death threats, rape threats, to dox, to form hate filled diatribes of women, and blame it all on some fantasy called misandry (which DOESN’T FUCKING EXIST!). So I think the comparison of GamerGate champions to the Taliban is pretty dead on.
I do apologize if the comparison has triggered anyone who has actually been affected by the Taliban, as they as a group have committed atrocious acts of violence, have committed acts of rape and murder, and have used their version of ideals to commit crimes in the name of God. Those who have felt the effects of the Taliban, and other organizations like them, I do apologize because your suffering is very real, and we should take care when mentioning it.
But GamerGate, you’re on the cusp of becoming that. You are driving people from their homes with real fears that you will enact violence on them. You are very close to becoming a terrorist organization, leaderless or not. You, GamerGate, are a new brand of evil.