Gamergate has a now long quite complex history that I am not going to attempt to explain here. Search the web, there is loads of stuff out there that will drive you insane trying to unravel.
My interest is where Gamergate is now and where it may be going. As I see it, based on some conversations on twitter over the last few days, there are three main “factions”.
- There are the games journalists and media.
- The Gamergaters who are interested in exposing unethical practice in the media.
- The Gamergaters who are doxing, harassing, threatening and generally being evil to people – mostly women – involved in the games industry.
From what I have seen nothing is going to be easy to solve. I feel that the games media would benefit from listening to the gamergaters who want to discuss ethics. I found several as I was talking on twitter.
What fascinated me was as soon as I mentioned gamergate not being associated to ethics, I got comments straight away. For 3 hours I talked to supporters of the movement or as some see it the revolution. Their arguments for the most part made sense. They wanted to see an end to any corruption in the games media. Whilst I am yet to be convinced of the level of corruption they speak of, I feel that this is a worthwhile cause really – corruption anywhere should be stamped out.
They also all condemned the harassers and what they had done / were doing. They were also scared of them themselves. It turns out that they have also been threatened by this group. I was critical of them using the Gamergate tag, because in my mind this is so heavily associated with abuse now, that it can’t really help their cause at all. They were no interested in that, seeing themselves so far removed from the harassers that they felt it would be giving in to the them to do such a thing.
Also interesting was that in those three hours, more gamergate supporters joined in, whilst no games media or any of my industry colleagues said a thing.
I have always believed in balance. There are two very loud voices in this situation. The harassers and the media. In fact, the media are amplifying the voice of the harassers with constant articles attacking them (quite rightly) but that then deflects away from any conversation about ethics that could happen. I like to think this is not deliberate, but I also think that we should try to open the ethics conversation in a fair way.
As such, I have openly invited any gamergater who wants to have some voice above the use of Twitter and forums, to write an article here. I have some rules.
- They must use a name that identifies them. I understand many are scared and don’t want use their real names, but they need to at least provide a Twitter name that can be verified.
- It must be clean and non-offensive.
In return, I will not edit meaning or content – outside of spelling and the like.
The offer is open to pro or anti gamergate as well as media, reviewers, critics and press alike. The idea is to give some balance of voice, rather than what we currently have.
For the record, I am not a supporter of Gamergate ethics or harasser groups. For me there is too much negative happening for me to directly feel I could support them. However, I do believe in ethics in the media and in fairness.
I hope they take me up on the offer and we can start some dialog that can lead to better things.
Use the Get In Touch button above if you are interested.