I recently quit GamerGate because GamerGate has become everything it alleged to fight against. I was one of the pioneers of the movement. Hell, I had been fighting corruption within the video game industry for well over a year before the infamous “Zoe Post” that set this whole thing off was even an idea in Eron Gjoni’s head. I got fired from my four-year column at Examiner for actually reporting on the industry and not just playing ball (check out my appearance on the HipHopGamer Show talking about this).
After GamerGate began, I had a game review taken down from another site I contributed on after mass complaints from SJWs who were offended over a tweet I made where I called a friend of mine a bad name on Twitter WEEKS earlier. I also got permanently banned from Wikipedia, where I had been a respected editor since 2006, for merely mentioning Anita Sarkeesian’s work history with Bart Baggett on her talk page and asking if it should be included in her article (I even sourced her old archived website and his current website both saying this information – but you’ll hear more about that in TheSarkeesianEffect). My history of fighting corruption to my own peril speaks for itself.
Does anybody remember when it came out that TechRadar’s William O’Neill joked “Who here hasn’t slept with a PR person or game developer? #AMIRITE”? That’s the kind of stuff I wanted to get out of the gaming industry and I thought GamerGate did, too. I was wrong.
So what happened that helped me recognize GamerGate for what it really was? Back in September of last year I applied to be a video game contributor on a fairly well known gaming website after one of their big name people left. I’m not even going to be bother naming the site here but I’m sure once the story is finished you’ll know exactly where I’m talking about anyway. After some emails back and forth with the Founder, he told me that they were not currently hiring but would add my name to a list of people to contact/consider once they were. Fine.
Then in January that site fired another of their major personalities. Surely with two people gone now they’d be looking for replacements right? I decided to once again take the initiative and follow up with another email seeing if they would be looking for a new video game contributor now. No, said the Founder (calling him that sounds really Deep Space Nine-esque), unfortunately they were downsizing rather than expanding and were not hiring any new writers. He assured me again that my name was on the list of people to consider if and when they made new hires. That sounded unfortunate but hey what are ya gonna do?
That’s when things went downhill. Less than a week after that, it was announced they had hired new video game contributor – a well known female GamerGate e-celeb. I found it strange that for months I had been told they weren’t hiring. Stranger still was that the new hire had absolutely no professional writing experience whatsoever. She is a former amateur alternative model. That is fine but how exactly would she be more qualified than someone with over six years experience in the industry, thousands of articles written, and tens of millions of views? It didn’t make sense to me why they would hire someone objectively less qualified than other candidates. Could it be because she was an attractive woman?
When I brought this up on Twitter, I expected GamerGate to be outraged. After all, GamerGate claimed to support a meritocracy when it comes to job positions. They claimed they would like hiring to be based on objective qualifications and not simply to hire someone because of their gender or their looks. SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) on the other hand want women to be hired simply because they’re women and we need more of them in the industry, actual qualifications of the applicants be damned. What happened next was shocking.
Many GamerGate supporters began spamming me the exact same tired old lines that SJWs have so often used. For example, they asked me why I hated women. They called me a misogynist. Some asked for proof of what I was saying and when it was given to them they pretended it hadn’t been. They simply blocked me instead.
A few others did see what I was saying and agreed. They were immediately spammed as well. One poor girl was dogpiled by GamerGate supporters calling her an “anti-GG cunt” for echoing my concerns about hiring a less qualified candidate. This girl had actually been a GamerGate supporter since the movement began. Guess this didn’t matter to them because it got so bad for her she contemplated deleting her Twitter altogether. She ultimately ended up just scrubbing it with a bot that deleted everything and went on as if the whole thing never happened.
The incident becomes stranger still when I talked to the newly hired person in private. She confirmed that she had been hired after I had initially emailed the site (she didn’t know when I applied but I asked her when she got hired and it was after my emails) so it’s not like I emailed them too late and they had already locked her up or something. That would have at least been a rational explanation. She did say they had been in “talks” for several months, though.
What makes this part interesting is that she actually “quit” GamerGate last month after some trolls doxxed her. She said she was quitting GamerGate and deleting Twitter forever in order to keep her family safe. Less than a month later, she was back, and her new job was announced.
I asked her, “You quit GG to lay low after you got doxxed. Doesn’t this put you back into the crosshairs?” A fair question, I thought. Her response: “There’s a difference between actively participating in a heated discussion and attempting to gain experience for a potential future career. Although I don’t see why any of this is of any concern to you.” (Editor’s Note: This post has been edited to reflect word for word reproduction of the conversation, originally this conversation was paraphrased. No other edits have been made)
Oh. So apparently the risk is acceptable because now it’s benefiting you? Should GamerGate really just be a stepping stone to further people’s careers? I thought it was about ethics in journalism.
None of this mattered to the vast majority of GamerGater supporters. They stood behind her anyway because “one of theirs” had “stormed the trenches.” They made every excuse under the sun as to why she “deserved” the position over me. They said she was some sort of dynamo writer that wrote really, really interesting things so she doesn’t need to have any experience. Or maybe my writing just sucked so that’s why she got chosen.
Never mind the fact that I had contributed several articles to The Ralph Retort that some of these very same GamerGate supporters now criticizing me loved and tweeted out links to at the time. Then they tried saying we didn’t even apply for the same type of job, that I supposedly wanted a full-time job. Never mind the fact that the very title of my email was “Video Game Contributor.” They asked for proof. I showed them. They pretended it was photoshopped and either blocked me or spammed me with “salty” memes. Apparently they couldn’t let evidence destroy the narrative.
This opened my eyes to what the movement had become. Perhaps GamerGate started out with good intentions of fighting corruption. It is absolutely true that many SJWs really aren’t good people and they really do want to achieve power and control through surreptitious means. This should not be allowed.
It’s a shame GamerGate has become just as dubious now. GamerGate is NOT misogynist so let’s get that out of the way right now. But GamerGate definitely no longer cares about ethics in journalism. GamerGate supporters now only seem to care either about 1) benefiting themselves or their friends or 2) simply hurting people they personally don’t like – namely SJWs.
Neither of those things have anything to do with ethics in journalism. Trying to take down SJWs for the sole reason that you don’t like their political opinions isn’t ethics in journalism. Not all SJWs act unethically after all.
GamerGate has the same messed up double standards its supporters accuse SJWs of having. When something unethical benefits GamerGate, they look the other way. How is that any different from SJWs looking the other way on their shady dealings?
Imagine if the person who had been hired instead of me were not a beloved former pro-GamerGate personality but instead a well known and despised SJW. I am confident that GamerGate would have been in an uproar about how this is a prime example of nepotism and gender-based hiring. The fact this didn’t happen because they liked the beneficiary proves GamerGate doesn’t actually want to fight those things.
There’s also something to be said about the fact that the whole time I was pro-GamerGate, I never got spammed with hate on Twitter. Yes I did have complaints emailed to sites I wrote for and got unfairly banned from Wikipedia for pointing out Anita Sarkeesian’s hypocrisy, but my Twitter didn’t get hundreds of insults and hateful messages from SJWs. Most of them have me blocked, actually. My notifications only started blowing up when I began to question that girl being hired over me and her cult-like followers took exception to it.
Come to think of it, GamerGate is pretty cult-like. It meets at least ten of the points on the International Cultic Studies Association’s Cults 101 checklist (found here: http://www.csj.org/infoserv_cult101/checklis.htm).
For example, dissent is discouraged and although there is no one leader, people are zealously supportive of the e-celebs within it. Supporters feel there’s no life outside of the group. Just look at their Twitter feeds. Many GamerGate supporters have been obsessively tweeting about it 24/7 for MONTHS. GamerGate is also unhealthily preoccupied with bringing in new members. You always hear about how “we need to get the neutrals.” These are just a few points to highlight from the checklist that GamerGate fits exactly.
GamerGate has become an “us” versus “them” (which ironically is another point on the aforementioned checklist) battle to see who can grab the most power in gaming media. Sorry, but I won’t support that. Power grabs aren’t ethics in journalism. I am against corruption no matter who it benefits. Unfortunately, that means I can no longer support GamerGate.
It seems that GamerGate would now agree with Leigh Alexander’s ethics policy of “get money, fight bullshit, and make sure that those I love stand the longest. That’s it.”
– Jon Ireson (Editor-In-Chief at RealGamerNewz) Quits #GamerGate
– Nerdcore Artist Random AKA Mega Ran Releases #EndGamerGate World Premiere On RealGamerNewz
Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this article are that of the author and may / may not represent views of the rest of RGN Staff / our audience. This article will not be removed and all takedown requests will be ignored.