Thursday, October 16, 2014

Are Threats Necessary? The Side of #GamerGate That Few Are Discussing

Pissed off video game fan is pissed.

I don’t want to be labeled as a “gamer” anymore because the word is so heavily filled with hatred and anxiety these days with the hullabaloo that is #GamerGate.

In my overtly opinionated piece yesterday morning, I expressed my displeasure at the entire situation.

Those who support #GamerGate, I get it. You all are afraid of change. You like your video games just as they are. Some of you feel that sexism isn’t really involved and people are nitpicking at every detail to find flaws in a hobby that you enjoy. Some of you do see the sexism and don’t think it’s a big deal – that it’s a part of gaming and there’s no reason to cause a fuss over it. And some of you are dicks. I don’t know how else to put it, because if there is anything that I’ve learned about #GamerGate is there are a lot of dicks on the internet who also play games – if you don’t conform to their standards (white male) then you are beneath them and it should always stay that way.

What I’m disturbed by is just how vitriol this whole situation has become. What started as a Twitter hashtag has blown into advertisements being removed, death and violence harassment, and now a school shooting threat?

This morning I left a retro gaming group on Facebook – their focus is on buying and selling classic gaming material and open discussion on older games. Most of the users are fairly civil. There were a few bad apples, but they posted so rarely that they were easy to ignore. Someone posted an article about Sarkeesian cancelling her speech at the University of Utah. What followed was a slew of comments ranging from vulgar to asinine, and a few people approving of the school massacre threat stating along the lines of “obviously it wasn’t going to happen but it’s the only way she’ll be stopped.”


These aren’t 12 year old boys but grown adults anywhere from age 30-60. This is ‘gamer’ rage on a new level of insanity. And it sickens me that people consider it “the norm” to issue threats of violence and death against others because it’s part of the gaming scene.

Try that against a government official and see what they have to say about your “playful threats.”
We live in a country that gives us the freedom of speech, which is fantastic. But we also live in a post 9-11 world where any threat is taken seriously. You can’t joke about it. If you even hint at violence against another living creature, you are going to be investigated and found. It’s as simple as that. And I expect the legal bills are quite daunting.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Everyone. You don’t have to agree with what is being said and you have the right to not listen. Throwing around violent memes is not going to force a person to back down from their point of view. And frankly, all it’s doing is lumping ‘gamers’ into this extremist group which is not at all who we are. The majority of ‘gamers’ are fairly open and laid back.

I don’t expect this post to change people’s point of view regarding gaming. If you like things as they are now, then keep playing your games and make your opinions know. NOT VIOLENT OPINIONS. I’m sure you would be equally afraid if someone threatened you or your family because it is not funny. Ever. And if you want things to change with gaming, that’s fine too. Make your point of view heard around the globe.

The bottom line is our response to opinions should NEVER lead to violence. It’s perfectly fine to be passionate about your perspective. When you threaten people, that’s crossing a line that is serious and never funny.

Our concerns right now should be not about making changes in games (as difficult as that is for me to say) but at our culture that is promoting and glorifying these acts of violence and harassment.

Note: I have been critical of the Feminist Frequency videos and other gaming critics. Being a feminist does not mean that I need to share the same point of view as others like Alexandria Leigh. I’m allowed to openly review their work and provide rebuttals. I don’t always agree with their opinions, nor do they agree with mine. This piece was written not in defense of writers who want to dive deeper into video games, but as a plea to bring sanity back to ‘gamers.’

Today's additional reading material:


  1. I just wanted to say this is a fantastic post. I, too, identify as a feminist, but also have been critical of Sarkeesian and Leigh. That being said, the #gamergate "movement" is a misogynistic joke, a veiled attempt to scare women out of video games. It's never been about "ethics," it was harassment and smear tactics from the very beginning. I've stopped calling myself a gamer thanks to these people.

    Anyway. Excellent post! Really happy to have found your blog today!

    1. This is where Blogger is sorely missing on a Like button. Thanks for the comment! Glad that we were able to stumble on each others blogs. XD


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