GamerGate, or, Why I Contemplate Giving Up On Games Every Day

I want to write about Kiefer Sutherland right now. I want to write about the come-up of indie and what that means to me, but I can't do that shit. I can't fucking write about why I trust Hideo Kojima to make a meaningful Metal Gear Solid with a Hollywood actor attached when people are being driven from house and home.

Those other posts will come. Maybe even later tonight, but I would feel sick to my stomach if I neglected this issue in this forum for another second.

I've had a couple false starts with Twitter but I began again in June or May of this year and have been going strong, when I finally made sense of that platform, and practically since I've been there, GamerGate has been right alongside me. Every time I see somebody posting death threats, rape threats, and people being doxxed, I just feel sick.

I want to fight and bitch and do what I can to help, but it's hard just not to say "You know what? I quit gaming. I quit games. I quit writing about games. I don't want to be associated with this anymore." I want to throw up my hands and surrender.

It's fair to say that games are mainstream, because they are. It's expected that most adult ages 10-35 have some sort of Call of Duty connection at least, but nobody on this site is that kind of person. None of us pop in Call of Duty a couple nights a week and that's it. We have accounts on a video game website. Lots of us pay for special content on a video game website. I listen to at least four hours a week of Bombcasts, and am consuming content here everyday. I got on Twitter for the precise reason of following industry people because this is the kind of work I want to do, but I'm willing to throw it all away if the loudest voices in my community are the people screaming "CUNT!" out of a car window.

I used to feel a twinge of annoyance when I would tell people that I was really into video games and they would immediately draw a line to CoD if they didn't just cringe instead, but the rampant hatred, entitlement, and sexism in the industry from the people who play games just like I fucking do makes me want to cut my ties to video games altogether.

I'm not here to do a comprehensive writeup about whatever I think GamerGate is, because that's available in a million other formats from writers far more informed and competent than I am. I can say though, that even if you do think that GamerGate is about corruption, pay-offs, and agendas, the right answer is not to send somebody a rape threat or a death threat, make their private information public, and harass their friends and families. That shit isn't a game, those are human beings.

I want to play games. I want to talk about games with other people, and talk about the industry. I love it. I love most of the people in this industry--that's a huge part of why I'm here in the first place. I don't want to be a part of this machine though when parts of the community are so toxic and loud. And I'm not saying that gaming is the only thing with this sort of community problem, but to the outside world, it's hard to see what's really going on, and really easy to see the terrible comings-and-goings of an event like this.