The above is an e-mail sent by Intel to one of the #GamerGate supporters who have been part of Operation Disrespectful Nod: A co-ordinated campaign to target the advertisers of gaming websites who pushed the original slew of ‘Gamers are Dead’ hit pieces, and have continued to just generally be antagonistic fuckwits in the weeks, following.
People have been e-mailing the advertisers to let them know they’re not particularly thrilled at being called racist, misogynistic white guys when they are often none of those things, and that they cannot in good conscience continue to buy that advertiser’s goods or services so long as they support a publication which perpetuates these stereotypes.
In some circles (i.e. people with access to a dictionary,) this is known as a ‘boycott’, to some journos and seemingly the majority of anti-GG supporters, it’s censorship.
You wanna talk censorship? Censorship is making the simple mention of a topic a bannable offense on your site. Censorship is editing comments on forums to remove dissenting opinions against your one-sided hit pieces. Censorship is Ben fucking Kuchera attempting to bully another editor for a website he has nothing to do with into shutting down rational discussions because he doesn’t like what is being discussed.
What censorship is not is consumers exercising their right to withdraw their own custom from companies which support something they disagree with.
As far as I’m aware, GamerGate has never officially pressured or threatened other people who continue to buy goods and services from these companies [I say ‘officially’ purely to negate the inevitable examples of trolls being trolls, which have nowt to do with GG]: all we have done is state why we, personally, aren’t giving them our custom.
It’s sort of like how we’ve never actually tried to silence people like Leigh Alexander. Quite the opposite, in fact: We’ve went out of our way to make everyone very much aware of all the lovely things she’s said.
GamerGate is not about censorship, and never has been. It is about consumers being allowed to have their voices heard. If you don’t like what we say, that’s fine: challenge us on it. But please, when we present you with the evidence that backs up our argument, at least have the balls to accept you’re wrong instead of just running the fuck away.
Trying to call this recent victory for GG an act of censorship further shows how utterly delusional these people are: they literally cannot process anything that doesn’t gel with their rigidly held worldview, to the point where they have to completely change the meaning of words to suit their own warped needs.
Then again, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised: They’ve been calling video games misogynistic for years when they clearly have no fucking idea what the word means.
The most annoying thing about this, though, is that the people who are saying going after advertisers is too much are acting as though that was our first port of call; completely ignoring all the paths we tried to take before now. We tried to discuss it on forums, the threads were locked; we tried to talk to you on Twitter, we were blocked; we tried presenting differing viewpoints on your articles, our comments were deleted.
At this point, all I can really say is this: You could have stopped this. You could have ended this any time you wanted, all you had to do was admit you fucked up and put a new ethics policy in place, like The Escapist did –notice how popular based Archon has been since coming up with the world-beating idea to actually listen to his audience?– and agree to be completely transparent in your dealings with devs/publishers and all of this would have been over.
Instead, you have attempted to silence us at every single turn when, if you actually had any conviction in your beliefs, logically granting us the basic courtesy to let us have our say would have been your best option. After all, if you had been correct in your assertion that we were just a vocal minority, all in the wrong, we’d have been quickly eclipsed by a weight of evidence that exists to contradict us.
If you had just done that, all this could have been over and done with within a week, but in reality you knew no such evidence existed to shut us down –while we have ever increasing mountains of proof to corroborate all the shady shit you’ve been getting up to– which is why you instead chose to lock the doors and sling shit at us from atop your ivory towers.
At every juncture we have been roundly told to fuck off: you have tried to rob of us our voice, and then our identity, and you really thought we’d just give up and go away? You left us no other choice but to go for the money, the lifeblood of your websites, and so that is what we did.
Because we are gamers, and we play to win.
How the anti-GG crowd have reacted to this new development only further solidifies my original theory for why a lot of the games journalists have acted in the abhorrent way they have, during GamerGate, as well as how many of them have conducted themselves for years (again, fuck Ben Kuchera).
I don’t mean the ones with a political axe to grind, we all know what their game is, but the ones who have been consistently and disproportionately hostile to anyone who has approached them, politely or otherwise; seemingly for no rational reason.
A lot, if not the majority, of these people have no prior professional experience as journalists, academic or otherwise: they’re literally just bloggers who kept at it and eventually caught a break; you trace most of them back to their roots I guarantee that’s what you’ll find. Because of this, they haven’t gone through any of the formal training that a real journalist would have to in order not to do any of the stupid shit they have been doing.
As many people have pointed out, if these journos publicly conducted themselves the way they do in almost any other profession they’d be claiming unemployment within a week, and rightly so. You try going into your work tomorrow and telling your customers to go fuck themselves, see how long you last.
Sadly this is not what has happened in games journalism: They’ve been left to their own devices for years, and they’ve grown accustomed to a certain way of working that, while completely unprofessional and often highly unethical, they were allowed to get away with and so they never questioned it and eventually became completely comfortable with it. Honestly, I can’t say I blame them entirely: if any of us were being given free games all the time and getting flown to shit like E3, would we complain?
Of course, over time that indulgence has bled into outright corruption, as it so often does, but there’s also the factor that a lot of these guys are just plain lazy and don’t wanna change how they work: imposing standards means that their output will be held up to a level of rigor it never was before and that means they’ll need to work a lot harder.
After all, what’s harder: Meticulously researching a reasoned article that cites references supporting both sides of an issue, or shitting out a lunatic fluff piece about how kissing your wife as part of a tutorial on stealth will teach players to associate murder with romance?
That’s the real reason so many of them are pissed off, and it hasn’t got a damn thing to do with misogyny: They’re pissed because while their parents have been away they’ve just been fucking up the house and eating whatever the hell they want, staying up late to watch TV and having crazy parties with all their dumbass friends…well now the parents have come home, and they want to enforce structure and ways of behaving and so, naturally, the bratty entitled journalists the industry has nurtured are throwing a shit fit and chucking all their toys out of the pram.
Honestly, I know they’ve used that analogy about gamers, but it makes so much more sense when you apply it to the attitudes these guys have been displaying for almost two month, now. Irrational completely disproportionate outburts, saying grossly offensive things just to provoke a reaction…they’re acting like gobby teenagers, right down to the, ‘I HATE YOU, YOU’RE NOT MY REAL AUDIENCE,’ articles they’ve all been throwing up.
Honestly, at this point they’re about one step from posting their top ten Linkin Park songs on their fucking Deadjournals.
TL;DR: These people don’t want to be professional because it’s never been asked of them before. It’s essentially the difference between someone who earns a million dollars and someone who is given it: the person who earned it will most likely invest it wisely in order to accrue more wealth, because they understand the value of every dollar they earn, whereas someone who just gets thrown a pile of money and told to go nuts will almost always fritter it away on gaudy, transparent displays of wealth like a fancy car or a Rolex until all the money has gone and then they quietly disappear back into the mediocrity from whence they came and where they probably belong.