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GamerGate is far more important than, well, games…

This evening I went to a well attended informal meet-up in Islington of #GamerGate supporters. This proved to be very interesting indeed, hearing what by any reasonably definition were ‘libertarian’ views about tolerance and objective truth being widely trumpeted, but being agreed on by people from a broad section of the political spectrum. I listened to a thoughtful self-described left-winger deliver an angry critique of the Guardian, not just their contra-evidence based reporting of #GamerGate, but also the deeply intolerant culture being propagated there. It appears such folks are not just shocked by what they see, they are serious pissed off by the ‘Social Justice Warriors’ doing it. The very rationally argued animus was palpable.

It seems clear to me that over the eight months #GamerGate has been going on, it is now leading diverse people to re-evaluate long standing social and political views and alliances. An articulate young lady I spoke with said she has lost friends over this, and now saw certain people very differently. Even if #GamerGate was over tomorrow (fat chance), there has clearly been a tectonic social event, and the aftershock is going to be felt for quite some time. New and very spontaneous networks are forming and it will be interesting to see where this leads.

35 comments to GamerGate is far more important than, well, games…

  • AKM

    I agree, I’ve seen evidence of that in the comments of Breitbart; numerous self-described left-wingers speaking out against the SJWs. I have no idea if we’ll be able to persuade them that the nanny state is a bad idea, but just convincing them that we don’t kick poor people or eat children while beating our wives will be a step forward.

  • NickM

    I have to disagree Perry. You are right but giving that games are the art form of my lifetime. Games are worth fighting for in themselves.

  • My point Nick is the GamerGate is *bigger* that just games.

  • Tarrou

    Gamergate has the hallmarks of a more basic shift than that. As sjw/leftists have taken over more and more of the hierarchy of institutions, they have become institutional. Gamergate is a grassroots revolt, but a revolt of the young against the establishment. It is, in short, an inversion of traditional leftist memes. The young will always chafe at the restrictions of their elders, only now the elders are the left! I expect to see more of this as the anti-sex, anti-fun brigade oversteps their bounds.

  • Ellen

    I didn’t need gamergate to re-evaluate people I knew. I got on Facebook instead, and watched in horror as people I thought reasonable were breathing flames and commanding all kinds of people be put up against the wall.

    So I left Facebook, erased all traces of my presence there (if the FAQs told the truth about how to do it) and am sending out fewer holiday cards.

  • NickM

    Agreed Perry but even if it was just games…

  • I completely agree, Perry. Whenever I get depressed about British electoral politics (which is often, these days), I dive into /r/kotakuinaction on Reddit, or the comments on one of Milo’s posts at Breitbart. Cheers me up no end.

    What does give me pause is wondering if this is just the current crop of a constant supply of disillusioned Leftists – there’s no shortage of them here at Samizdata, after all – with Gamergate simply being the modern-day equivalent of being jerked around by a bolshie shop steward or something, or whether we’re really seeing things shift up a gear. Either way, it’s certainly welcome.

  • NickM

    Nah, Sam. Went for a pubic lunch (sorry had to be crude) and there entered a consortium of “hipsters”. Fuck their almost beards and cloth caps which my Grandad stopped wearing in 1985 (and he had been a pit shot-firer).

    Fuck them and the bicycle clips on their thrift-store trousers they rode in on. The trews that were certainly last shat in by a “gentleman of the road”. Found in a dumpster by Stockport station.

    The twatterage of the unbelievable followed. It almost put me off me chow. Cunts, the fucking lot of them and not ordinary cunts either they were truly imbibers of Mandelson’s furriest arse-gravy. Truly the piss-flaps of Grotbags had gone full scale deflection.

    Truly the opening of the labia of Mordor. But with a bit of a beard.

  • Gamergate, and the feminista response to it, are a continuing demonstration of just how much, and how deeply, feminists hate men who refuse to lick their boots.

  • Patrick Crozier

    I cannot claim to understand the ins and outs of gamergate but I think the chances are very much in favour of me being on Perry’s side and so what he is reporting sounds good.

    The only caveat I would make is that I’ve seen this sort of thing before – anyone remember the early days of blogging? Lots of enthusiasm, lots of “we’re going to change the world”, followed by the world going on much the same as before. Not that that’s a reason not to keep up the good work.

  • George Atkisson

    That is an impressive take down of the hipster lot. We do have the equivalent over here across the pond. They are equally worthy of spite and disregard.
    I do wish that I could appreciate the full value and context of your descriptions. Alas, we are still separated by a common language.

  • Johnnydub

    Quality rant there Nick.

    So I take it you don’t like the beardie twats much then?

  • Mary Contrary

    Real-life meet-ups to discuss #Gamergate are a thing?

    Well, I guess that proves Perry’s point in itself.

  • yes gamergate is far more important than just games.
    it’s also about respecting others political view.

    MAYBE YOU GUYS CAN LEARN FROM THEM, instead of wishing they would turn libertarian
    don’t waste the good thing gamergate has going by trying to define gamergate as a political movement

  • Kevin B

    The long march through the institutions took several generations and Patrick is right in pointing out that taking them back will be more than the work of a few years.

    However, the institutions that have been taken over, (i.e. pretty much all of society these days), tend to become such a sick joke that more and more people are starting to see them for what they’ve become.

    Young people are going to be one of the groups most affected by the insanities of the Social Justice Warriors and their political enablers, so it’s good to see that they are beginning to fight back. It’s going to take time though. Or a societal collapse, (as regularly forecast).

    Incidentally, what with hipsters, islamists and Rolf Harris, it looks like it’s time to shave off my scruffy little goatee. Ah well.

  • it’s also about respecting others political view.

    Nope. I do not respect any political views that are not in accordance with mine, because I do not respect things I believe to be incorrect. GamerGate is not about respect either. It is about tolerance, which is not the same thing at all. I am willing to tolerate and ally with people I do not agree with on other issues, without ‘respecting’ their mistaken views on other matters.

    MAYBE YOU GUYS CAN LEARN FROM THEM, instead of wishing they would turn libertarian

    Actually no, because they are the ones moving in my direction. I have not needed to change my views one iota due to GamerGate, as I always thought Gawker, Guardian, NYT, BBC and all the other media outlets who have been describing GG as a “hate group of misogynists”, were run by a bunch of Critical Theory informed scumbags. This blog was founded in 2001 on precisely that premise.

    The fact GamerGate has now caused many people on the left who also think “truth” and “reality” actually matter to now also see what I already knew… well that makes me very happy, and I welcome such people to look at the world with fresh eyes. Will they end up becoming libertarians? Yes some probably will, and those who do not will at least have moved somewhat in our direction, which is still good news.

    don’t waste the good thing gamergate has going by trying to define gamergate as a political movement

    You get no argument from me on that point… I agree GamerGate is not a political movement, it is part of a wider Culture War, and no less important for that. Personally I fucking hate politics. But of course the SJW are indeed trying to turn anti-GG into an overt political issue.

  • patriarchal landmine

    a lot of gamergaters are waking up to find that they have been “mugged by reality” as the saying goes.

    a lot of left-of-center gamers are finding out what it’s like to be a conservative. every action you take is construed as “racist/sexist/homophobic.” people will outright lie about you just because you refuse to follow in lock step with their agenda. it must be shocking.

  • John Galt III

    The left only knows destruction. It creates nothing. Nothing. It will eventually destroy itself. We can hope that happens before they invite in a flood of 100 million Muslims who are equally destructive and have created nothing. No wonder they like each other.


  • llamas

    I know precisely zero about video games & video game culture.

    That being so, would someone please explain ‘gamergate’ in terms that I can understand. I’ve tried reading news coverage about it because it is reported as though it is important, but it all ends up talking about people who are unknown to me and concepts which I do not understand.

    A primmer for the outsider, please.



  • David Jones

    @llamas – re GamerGate. Even its origin is disputed.

    A ‘games developer’, Zoey Quinn, created what she claimed to be a game, called ‘Depression Quest’. In fact it’s just a bunch of HTML pages strung together. You can play it online for free. It’s laughably bad. That raises the question of how it got promoted so much and got such a high rating. More on that in a bit.

    Her boyfriend then dumped on her – after she’d dumped him – with an unedifying and completely unnecessary bunch of details about their – and her private lives. This is where the accusations of being anti-women and women-harassers stem from.

    However, among the details revealed was the accusation that she’d slept with influential games journalists in order to promote her efforts. This then prompted a backlash against the journalists and their web sites by people who began identifying with the tag ‘GamerGate’. Those supporting Quinn, or just being anti-Gamergate are the …anti-Gamergaters

    The gamergate hashtag on Twitter has been – er – gamed by both sides and by out-and-out trolls. So when someone from the ‘anti-‘ side (that’s the side of ZQ) says they’ve been threatened by ‘GamerGate’ what they usually are claiming is that they’ve received an abusive, threatening or harassing Tweet from someone who’s used the gamergate hashtag. The actual provenance of the person doing the threatening will be unknown. There is also a great deal of suspicion that the claimed threats are being exaggerated.

    There are women on both sides; and there are organisations of women on both sides. The gamergate side, the side that claims to be pushing for ethics in journalism, has raised money for the radical feminist collective, ‘Fine Young Capitalists’; and the group called HoneyBadgers, have just been kicked out of an expo/meetup in Canada for being on the wrong side. A noted supporter of the Gamergaters is the Philosophy Prof and self-described equity feminist, Christina Hoff Sommers.

    But underlying the spat is the obvious point that this is the latest extrusion from the Social Justice Warriors. If I was inclined to conspiracy theories I could almost believe it was deliberate and planned – attempting to take over, bit by bit, contemporary culture and discourse, starting at its least-defended edges, like the atheist and sketpical community in the US, or campus culture in the US. We’ve seen significant crossover in websites and individuals piling into the argument using very similar language and tactics to previous incursions.

  • David, I would say although the Quinn event started the ball rolling, GamerGate very quickly became much less about her far more about journalistic ethics and rampant collusion between games developers (as well as ‘games’ developers like Quinn) and the gaming press… blatant examples of an iteration of what used to be called payola etc. in which crap buggy games given glowing reviews from almost the entire mainstream adversing dependent gaming press and yet these same games got almost universally shat upon by independent non-advertising based publications, with burned players quickly seeing their experience with said shit games made it clear who they should have listened to.

    And then there were synchronised “the gamer identity is dead” articles over a couple days and all manner of (now documented) back room attempts to cover up very cosy relationships between ‘journalists’ (in the most debased sense of the word) and the commercial interests they were writing about. And then there was the strange phenomenon of games with otherwise good reviews getting bad reviews in certain publications not based on gameplay or software stability, but rather because they were politically incorrect.

    It is quite a complex story 😀

  • Perry

    I think you’re quite right to connect this s–t with the Critical Theory craze.

    What is interesting is that the founder of that system of thought , Martin Heidegger has recently been exposed as a hard core, unrepentant Nazi.

    I wonder if that will make any difference ?

  • the frollickingmole

    David Jones
    A nice potted history.

    I think one of the crucial aspects I havent seen mentioned is the accidental application of “gramsci” against the anti-gamersgate mob. The focus on Quinn wasnt because she was a woman, its because she was an identifiable, fallible, living embodiment of the corruption in the industry.
    It shows very much Gramsci tactics arent all a one way leftist tactic, that finding the worst supporter of an ideology and making the opposition spend “capital” defending them is brutaly effective.
    The SJW/Gramsci left got one dose of its own medicine back and its made them much, much weaker.

    Its been done on UKIP, those “oh look at this mad candidate” stories arent anything other than Gramsci in action. Meanwhile the established parties (who have a generations worth of internal vetting) pretend they dont have nuts of their own.

  • Quinn was only the first pebble in the avalanche, the focus of GG has not really been about her for months now. The odious fraud Anita Sarkesian and the assorted SJW brownshirts in her orbit are far more prominent targets. Likewise Gawker and that entire incestuous set (several of whom I knew ‘back in the day’) are the people getting fire focused by GamerGate for their role both in commercial collusion and utterly dishonest ‘journalism’ that tried to cover it all up and change the narrative about what was happening to them.

  • George Atkisson
    April 19, 2015 at 8:12 am

    And I thought it was just me. And being old.

  • Re: “gramsci” In the US we have/had Saul Alinsky. And a President who was his acolyte.

    They are trying for one more round with H. Clinton. The Republican field is universally described as a “clown car” or “clown show”. How did they all come up wit the same phrasing in such close proximity in time? Ethical journalism.

    OTOH our UKIP is Rand Paul.

    Re: misogyny. You might find this of interest: http://www.singularity2050.com/2010/01/the-misandry-bubble.html

    He predicted the fall of the SJWs by 2020. In 2010. Seems like he is on track.

  • the frollickingmole

    Perry de Havilland (London)

    I agree Quinn was a nonentity in effect, but by personalizing the attack on her (lifestyle/sexuality/lack of ethics/being a shitty person) the “gamersgate” found a focus rather than just being a general grumble about shitty games being promoted.

    While on the one hand deploring the attacks on individuals named, to refuse to hold their being “shit people” against them is refusing to use the single most effective tactic against them.
    Force them to defend shitty people, while they are doing that they are losing “steam” from the rest of their agenda.
    And dont underestimate the odium of a cheating woman on other women, especially when that woman cheats with other ladies boyfriends. Its one thing to claim to be liberal in your sexuality, its quite another to be a serial seducer of other ladies blokes.

    And dont forget, these are bad people who desire nothing more or less than you comply with their worldview, and that media you consume reinforce only that worldview, preferably enforced by a government agency, using your funds and administered by them, as highly paid commissars.

  • John Galt III
    April 19, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    The link you posted leaves out the American Right and its very bad habits. The American Right supports the Police State and the largest gulag in the world (per capita or by actual numbers). More Blacks incarcerated per capita than South Africa at its apartheid worst.

    Yes the left devolves into a police state. But in America the Right already has one.

    And of course my continual pointing this out is generally OT. But it weighs very heavily on me. Every day. I wake up hurting from it and go to sleep hurting from it.

    All an accident you say? A devolution as leftism requires. No it was by design.

    “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

    Couldn’t resist their dark impulses? Despicable. And we are now in a position where the population majority no longer supports the policy and yet the politicians on the right still do.

    Government is a tool for doing evil. And theft is the least of that. But you all know that.

    I have been leaving this around. To some effect on the left and the right.

    Every tax, every regulation comes with it an army of bureaucrats and behind that an army (with guns) of enforcers.

  • CaptDMO

    “I know precisely zero about video games & video game culture.
    That being so, would someone please explain ‘gamergate’ in terms that I can understand.”
    Historically, nothing new.
    First, Gamergate has precious little to do with ACTUAL video games, or ACTUAL “gamer” culture.

    As with ANY successful venture, children will resort to (previously successful)LOUD violent, public tantrums, and arguments with children’s “magic” logic, as to why they are ENTITLED to “free” candy at the supermarket, located where MOST folks have to actually pay at the exit, and FAR from the doors where “stuff” is carried in, un boxed, shelved,
    kept at proper temperature, etc., etc.,….
    Of course, I COULD be wrong.

    Goldilocks and the Three Bears
    The Dog in the Manger
    The Boy Who Cried Wolf
    Also SEE: “Higher” Education Industrial Complex.
    SOME folks will work MUCH harder, for “free”crap they don’t merit, than the actual work required to achieve it without the extra attention “bonus”.

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so Perry.

    The “Social Justice” warriors are exactly that.

    And people, even some people on the left, are starting to get a little taste (in their own concerns) of the totalitarian evil that Social Justice is.

    Social Justice is not compatible with freedom – it is the antithesis of freedom.

    In showing the evil that Social Justice is, the Social Justice Warriors have done us all a service. They have also shown the “Guardian” for the evil that it is – and has always been (from its covering up of the tens of millions murdered in the Soviet Union onwards)

    I wish you, and everyone engaged in the resistance in “GamerGate” success.

    Sad puppies for ever!

    Remember it is “for the children”.

  • First, Gamergate has precious little to do with ACTUAL video games, or ACTUAL “gamer” culture.

    Not so. It comes down to “fuck OFF you SJW cunts, stop trying to make games be about something other than GAMES”

    Moreover the corruption/collusion issue that gets GG people so wound up is indeed about actual video games, and the fact many in the gamer press write the very best reviews money can buy, either literally or servicing crony networks. And not just indie games, people like BIOWARE. Bioware have essentially engaged in the latest iteration of Payola, outright bribing people with favours for good reviews that often bare little resemblance to the actual reality of the damn game we buy. Or the editors change scores upwards for fear of displeasing EA Games and their advertising departments.

    The meteoric rise of previously dinky sites like TechRaptor owes entirely to the fact they (and few other sturdy folk like them) wrote brutal reviews of both Indie and AAA $$$ games, when brutal reviews were justified, and likewise did not grade other games which had less commercial clout on the basis of their political content.

  • Some one added an addendum to my

    Every tax, every regulation comes with it an army of bureaucrats and behind that an army (with guns) of enforcers.

    a standing army of soldiers, a kneeling army of priests and a crawling army of informers

    Link to the author here:

  • Re: bought and paid for press.

    Those of you involved in the technical side of things / energy technology will note the big push for the “Smart Grid”. An idea that basically opens our electrical power and other service infrastructure to hackers the world around.

    When I refused to back off from this point, I was let go from a tech writing job I had contracted for. The reason? There is a LOT of advertising money to be collected from “Smart Grid” proponents.

    There is a LOT of money to be made implementing stupidity. And more implementing evil. GamerGate is the least of it. There are very few in the press who aren’t whores one way or another. And this is nothing new. Never expect honest journalism.

  • CaptDMO

    Perry de Havilland (London)
    First, Gamergate has precious little to do with ACTUAL video games, or ACTUAL “gamer” culture.

    Not so. It comes down to “fuck OFF you SJW cunts, stop trying to make games be about something other than GAMES”
    Just as the Hugo Award for science fiction kerfuffle comes down to “fuck OFF you SJW cunts, stop trying to make Science fiction be about something other than the actual books”

    I’m pretty sure we’re on the same page (as it were) here.