I have been following the Gamergate idiot-fest fairly closely, particularly in recent weeks. I am not a gamer, but I am a feminist. I just have a few simple, stray thoughts, mostly regarding discourse I've read.
- There keeps being this back-and-forth about whether this is about misogyny or ethics. It can be both. I keep seeing statements about the honest, good people who are just the silent majority of the movement, who just want journalistic integrity in game reviews. While I understand this desire (and surely, I want it on a lot of fronts), this call to ethics was brought forth through the (rumored) sex had by a female game developer. It takes a woman, (allegedly) using sex to get a good review, to suddenly call this into question? Sounds like misogyny to me, because that is what set the fire - an inquisition about a woman's sexual behavior. There is absolutely no way to stand in solidarity with Gamergate and to not be at least peripherally associated with this misogyny.
- Furthermore, this rumor has been apparently disproven, but this woman is still centered in the vitriol, BY THE PEOPLE WHO ARE JUST CLAIMING TO TALK ABOUT ETHICS. The reviewer she was rumored to have slept with? I couldn't even recall his name without looking it up.
- People keep using the "Gamergate is not an organized movement" defense to remain associated with it, but try to distance themselves personally from the harassment and sexism. If it's not organized, why do they feel the need to remain associated with it? You can't wear the label, and disavow the label, all at one time - and then claim it's not a label at all. These same people are also simultaneously denying the inherent sexism in the movement. They want to be part of the sexist movement without being called a sexist. Which makes them sexist.
- People wouldn't be so violently defensive of Gamergate if they didn't know that they were having to defend a very flawed "movement." Disassociate, if you're really a good person who just wants to read some unbiased reviews. Do it. By defending it to death, with such fervor, it appears that you 1) view it as a war that needs to be won (and, let's face it, female gamers are the opposition here) and 2) subconsciously, if not consciously, accept its deep and disturbing roots.
- You can't be associated with a movement and disassociate when it is convenient; you can't simultaneously admit there is misogyny, distance yourself from the misogyny, and then still want to be part of this. It makes you complicit.
- Just reading comments on Kotaku, the tone is really strange to me, and really vitriolic on all counts. Even people who are thoughtfully expressing views I agree with, will end the comment with nasty name-calling or stereotypical assumptions about the person they are commenting to. There's not much maturity to be seen in the discussion, which I think makes it worse (if this rings true in other online communities, which I'm sure it does).
ETA (more thoughts)
- There is too much crossover in conversation between the people who talk about how this is *purely* about ethics, and the people who keep dragging the same old arguments against more diversity and better representation in games. If the two are unrelated, why do you keep bringing the latter up?