A couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine, and former alumni of The Washington Journalism and Media Conference, approached me about doing a collaborative blog post on the controversy which is #gamergate. When he first mentioned this, I had never heard of it before and began to research what it was and how it affected both women and the gaming community. Read more to hear our views on #gamergate.
Hey everybody my name is Dallas Satterfield. I’d describe myself as a one in a million kind of guy. I grew up in the mountains of North Georgia and currently go to Kennnesaw State University. I have taken forays into carpentry, welding, and art. I have released a single with my roommate called “I’m Feelin’ You” just because I could. I spend all my time on the internet and have been immersed in it’s culture for years. I love knowledge and absorb information as much as possible. From theoretical physics to Batman, I know a lot. If you could hear my voice you’d notice the accent and your internal since for rednecks would go wild, but I’m not anywhere near a redneck. Instead of raise hell and eat cornbread, I like to talk about philosophy and talk about why America is not the best country in the world but could be if people tried. I believe in speaking truth, no bullshit, and trying to understand all points of view, so hopefully that will show in my writing.
Mia Renee Cole
Born and raised in North Carolina, Mia began showing an interest in writing at a young age. Starting with Harry Potter fan fiction at the age of eight, her writing–both fictional, nonfictional, and poetic–has evolved and continues to evolve. In 2013, she attended the Washington Journalism and Media Conference which inspired her to dive into the world of journalism, contributing to the development of this blog.
Mia Renee has a strange obsession with cats and hot tea as well as a passion for culture, languages, and equality of all kinds. She likes warm weather, comfy pants, and tattoos, and you can always find her drinking tea in a coffee shop. She is an alumni of the Washington Journalism and Media Conference, a former North Carolina DECA State Officer, and a rising freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
What is #gamergate?
To be honest it’s a clusterfuck of internet rage and political bias. On one side you have Feminists like Aniita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu attacking gaming culture for how it portrays women and treats women. On the opposite side, Gamers are trying to fight for ethics in the gaming press. In between you have extreme feminazis that want stick to any male that says anything, men’s rights activists that are mad that their parents got them circumcised as a child and they didn’t choose, and of course the anonymous internet trolls that love to watch the world burn.
It all started with Zoe Quinn’s jilted ex-boyfriend posting a massive info dump about her using her feminine wilds to get good reviews for her indie game “Depression Quest.” It exposed multiple people in the gaming press as being corrupt. This lead many gamers to rise up in outrage at the fact that the reviews that most definitely sway people’s purchasing decisions of video games were not honest.
In response the gaming press went on the offensive posting articles like gamers are dead and making it an issue of gender in order to throw people off their trails.
By doing so, some Feminists jumped in and attacked a sleeping giant. Aniita Sarkeesian is the host of Feminist Frequency and makes videos about how video games undermine women and the gaming culture treats women like objects. Indeed women are treated poorly in the community, but so is everyone else. People are assholes to men, women, trans, homosexual, pansexual, polyamorous, or asexual. It doesn’t matter who you are; the trolls and angry children are out for blood.
How does #gamergate affect me?
Well I play video games and I also consider myself a bit of a journalist. I have ethics and so should the gaming press. They say they are not journalists, just bloggers, but then why do they have press access at video game conventions. They affect peoples’ purchases and can sway the people in gaming culture, so they need to be help to a higher standard.
On the Feminism side of things, yes, women are looked at differently. There are dudes white knighting all over the place try to treat girls like the Queen of England, but then there are guys yelling,“Tits or GTFO” at the top of their lungs. Again people are assholes, but there are also some of the best people you’l ever meet. Gaming culture is just like any other culture.
On the topic of trolls, you just have to learn to avoid, ignore, and occasionally turn the tides. Of coursed I’d with they’d go way, but I doubt my wish will be granted.
Why are feminists involved in #gamergate?
One of the largest controversies surround that of Zoe Quinn, a woman who developed a highly criticized online game called “Depression Quest.” It was after she and a boyfriend broke up, that he revealed her multiple sexual relations with other men in regards to advancing her career in the gaming business. It was said that one of those men wrote a positive review for Depression Quest in exchange for sex. Though these allegations were never proven, Zoe began to receive death threats from gamers online through various websites, eventually reaching her personal e-mail and mailing address.
There were multiple problems with this scenario. The first and most obvious one is the lack of journalistic ethics within the gaming community, which have been addressed since. It is appealing to feminists, like myself, though, because of the specific treatment Quinn has received throughout this whole scandal.
Though the real focus should be on the lack of ethics with certain journalists, instead gamer fans have been highlighting instead Zoe Quinn’s sexual choices. By sending her very serious threats to the point she had to stay at her friends’ homes to having more media coverage on her than the lack of moralistic ethics among the gaming community, the overall view has been peering in on the wrong side of the argument: the one that is least important. Not only is Zoe’s sex life her business and not that of the public, but she shouldn’t be receiving death threats for being a “slut.” For the reasons of equality, why should she be condoned for having sex with multiple people when men do it all the time with no harsh words spoken? Why is the one receiving threats over journalistic ethics just the woman involved and not the journalists who supposedly traded good reviews for sex? It’s almost as if she’s the only one affected by this entire situation when the journalists should also be seeing consequences as well.
So that’s what drew me to #gamergate. I’m not a gamer, and I know nothing about the gamer community, but I do recognize a prejudice-based problem when I see one and this is one hell of an example.
How does the feminist argument contradict the journalist one?
With all of that being said, there are some contradictions seen here. Whereas Zoe Quinn is free to sleep with anyone she pleases, there are problems with the rumors about her having sex with particular journalists in order to get good reviews. If these rumors are true, it is just as much her responsibility as it is for the said journalists. Within the world of journalism, one must remember to hold their morals high in order to create the most effective and reliable story for people to read. Regardless if one is paid for their reviews or opinions, if it is posted and highly regarded, it should be done with professional standards; therefore, reviews should be done honestly without having any influence.
The issue with Zoe Quinn controversy is that, if she truly did exchange sex for favors, that’s what the writers need to focus on: the immoral choices made by journalists and gamers within the gaming community rather than Zoe Quinn herself and the choices she’s made
Why should people even care?
Well honestly caring is totally up to you, but it affects a big culture and whole corner of the economic sector in which billions of dollars flow. I say people should for good all around. Instead of choosing sides. Create a new side, one where people fight for journalistic ethics in the gaming press and for everyone in gaming culture to be treated well.
So there you have it, folks. Though #gamergate is an older issue, it represents only a fraction of problems seen within the gaming community. Your thoughts? Leave them below.
I wanted to give a hugeeee thanks to Dallas for helping enlighten me on this subject and collaborating with me. I hope to do this again!
P.S. – here are some snaps of Dallas and I back in DC in 2013. Oh, how time flies!
Featured image courtesy of: stream.aljazeera.com