I haven’t weighed in on Gamergate. In part because it feels like spitting in the ocean at this point. The people actually involved have told their stories, smarter folks than me have opined about them, and far, far dumber folks than me have had the opportunity to spew slurs in the comments sections there. Yet, thanks to the game content I’ve written for Cracked, I keep getting prodded about it. So here it is, the only things I have to say about Gamergate:
1. I think there’s something perfectly legitimate in the complaints about the laughably corrupt review industry.
2. That’s not how this whole thing started and everybody knows it. There’s no disputing that this all started out with attacking a woman for her personal life, based on a provably false accusation of corruption. The scramble to make it about “larger problems about reviews” only came about after public opinion turned on the rampant misogyny. It’s classic deflection.
3. If you want to talk seriously about paid reviews and incestuous practices in the game industry, fucking fantastic. Do that. It needs to be done. Most major review sites are entirely useless these days, everything is a B+ at least, and I’m sick of wasting my cash on crappy games because a marketing guy in alligator shoes bought somebody lunch. Take that shit on, it’s a good fight. Just call it something else. How about #reviewgate? How about #alligatorgate? Sticking with the label isn’t helping anybody. Let’s say a story breaks tomorrow insisting that Hitler has come back to life to lead the white race to glory. A bunch of Nazis whoop it up, spewing slurs and death threats against minorities on the internet. That story turns out to be false. I would not then try to piggyback my government-issued-jetpacks-for-voters argument on that story and call it HitlerGate. Those things have nothing to do with each other, and insisting on maintaining that connection would just degrade my current, very valid argument.
4. Instead of worrying about Gamergate, I have been playing video games. It has been a lot of fun. Have you played Shadow of Mordor? Fucking Tarka Man-skinner. Asshole. I killed you by hiding in a bush and shooting you with an arrow one time and you’ve been making fun of me for it ever since. You’re the one that died, dick!
5. I really miss that period of about 5 years, between 2007-12, when being a gamer was totally fine and we were not considered flailing assholes best confined to basements and convention centers. We can get back to that, but only if we shut up. Right now. Starting with me.