I ran in to a reddit post via Ian Miles Cheong, aka @stillgray, aka one of the many Social Justice Warriors an epitaph given by the same people who disguise the #GamerGate hashtag to be about journalistic integrity. The Hate Machine that popped into being still grinds on incensed by posts like this, entrenching people in their opinions.
Make no mistake, journalistic integrity is important, but having followed the discussions closely, this is not what #GamerGate is about. #GamerGate is about sheltering a misogynistic and anachronistic hero factory, tailored to meet the needs of a masculinity that is outdated and to some extent harmful*. Yes. That’s what I actually think.
I’ll take a moment to go through the Reddit post. I’m doing it in the vain hope that someone will read what I have to say, and actually reflect. Well. Half truth. I’m also doing it because it pissed me off.
A great schism has occurred in gaming, not because the culture is slipping towards a progressive demographic as they claim, but because an elitist attitude of condescension towards fellow human beings has been exposed, originating from a group of extremist SJW ideologues in positions of power in games journalism.
If there is any kind of elitism in the gaming culture, it stems from the hierarchy within gaming, where the triple-A gaming culture have always set the tone and claimed the right to interpret what is a good game and what is a bad game. Needless to say, any game that isn’t triple-A is lower on the ladder than games aimed at a wider audience. Playstation and Xbox are at the pinnacle of the status ladder together with Nintendo 64 (because that was back in the day when Nintendo still made “real games” and didn’t mess about with silly kids’ games, am I right? Besides, it’s always cool to have been playing a long time). Right below triple-A we’ve got the “cool” mobile games, like XCom and others of that ilk. Below that mobile games in general. Then we start in on the casual games and last and least come the Facebook games and other trivia. Those games are lucky if they even qualify as games. Well. Not true. Games are cool if they have a certain theme. This theme should be hardcore. Hardcore games are those games that replicate the triple-A hero factory.
The only people I’ve ever heard being elitist are the hardcore gamers that won’t admit that mobile games can be just as tricky and difficult to play as their beloved Call of Duty-clones, Grand Theft Auto-copies and Uncharted-replicas. (Don’t believe me? Read Jesper Juul’s the Casual Revolution.)
They were indoctrinated in very sheltered socioeconomic, and academic bubbles from their affluent backgrounds, their not used to people challenging their ideals, and they are unable to cope with others debunking them.
Ever since I started playing I’ve been told I don’t belong. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been told I’m different, I don’t fit in. If the above were true, I’d not lasted long in games or the games industry. Instead I’ve had to fight to be taken seriously, I’ve had to confirm time and time again, that yes I do belong. Many, many, many women and men are not allowed to belong in a culture that rejects them solely based on external markers. You’re a woman – you don’t belong. You’re a person of color – you SO don’t belong. If you play anything but the approved “cool” games you do not belong, and if you by chance do play games that are cool, you’ll be told that no, you don’t because [insert gaming minority**] doesn’t play games. Oh and incidentally, you don’t belong.
I question the quality of their intellects and work ethic, since most of them couldn’t hack it in STEM, and are unable to debate their philosophy in a civil manner without censorship and extreme bias from their allies in the media.
Hey, I’m hacking it in STEM. So are many of my colleagues who – whoa! – also think that representation in games is an important issue. As for the civil manner of debate, I’ve never heard of a so called SJW threatening anyone with rape or violence just because they have an opinion.
They do not consider “gamers” to be their intellectual equals, they consider you to be unwashed masses in need of enlightenment from their social betters (them of course), that are to be indoctrinated with their political agenda through video games.
No. I consider everyone who plays a game to be a gamer. I do not divide players based on what game or what console a gamer uses. Do you play Candy Crush for an hour on the bus every day? Kaching! You’re a gamer. Do you play Call of Duty? Kaching! Gamer. Do you play on a C64 that has barely survived the test of time? Kaching! Gamer. Do you play table-top roleplaying games, or board games or e-sport? Gamer. We are all the same. We are all human beings and we (most of us anyway) all enjoy games. But the rhetoric here is designed to other people who have a differing opinion. Othering is the first step towards objectification. Objectification renders someone less human. This is elitism at its worst. To think that just because our opinions differ I am worth less than you. As soon as you start to think of people with differing opinions as “them” and the people you hang out with, the people who think like you as “us”, that’s trouble. What I am saying now is not “you have to think like me.” What I’m saying is that MY opinion is just as much worth as YOURS, and I have the right to voice it, just like you. But don’t for a second think that I or my fellow SJWs will let it stand unopposed.
With the risk of sounding flippant and elitist. Learn to make a stringent argument and back it with something else than your own opinion or prejudice, stop attacking people as a group and stop ascribing people who don’t think like you opinions that you have no clue as to whether they harbor or not.
This is what I hate most about being someone who actually thinks before I speak (or as it were write). I don’t use name calling. I don’t use ad hominem attacks. I try to base my opinions as much as I possibly can on facts (even if you won’t find sources in this blog post, I can tell you that the basis for this wrath stems from countless papers written on the subject, a few books and a lot of reading). This is a real drawback. You’ll note that I’ve not ascribed any opinions to anyone. Using this rhetoric is harder than just saying “this is what my opponent thinks” and then proceed to dismantle said opponent because they have supposed crappy views. Instead of attacking people, I have to argue with facts and experiences. Unfortunately, the gaming culture decides which experiences and facts are real as well, no matter how well documented.
I am fucking angry because my experiences are never allowed to stand unchallenged. I am fucking angry because I struggle with this every goddamn day, and have been for 14 years. #GamerGaters have had two weeks of mild opposition. Grow the fuck up and learn to make an argument without threatening or name calling.
* For men. It teaches to never have emotions, to take revenge using violence and that the ends justify the means.
** And as it turns out, not such a big minority anymore. Yes, yes, I know. If we play, we’re not playing real games, and if it turns out that we are playing real games, then what’s the problem? Amirite?