“Harassment” Doesn’t Affect Nor Negate the Validity of #GamerGate’s Call For Ethics in Gaming Journalism

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Retaking The Narrative: Ethics in Gaming Journalism

“Guilt by Association” or rather “Wrong by Association” is one of the most utilized tactics of the online media age. It panders to the to the intellectual laziness in our culture which finds it much easier to dismiss arguments based on where they come from rather then what they are.

It is why you will see/hear people dismiss arguments and positions based on retorts such as, “Alex Jones nut”, liberal whackjob, bible thumper, fundamentalist, ect.  instead of bothering to actually examine people’s arguments  Why? Because it is far less tim consuming to simply dismiss ideas based on who has said them. This is essentially intellectual laziness, which as we can see, is really bad for a culture.

These tactics are used today by not just SJWs, but by most passionate souls on the internet.  Often in order to discredit your opponents argument(s) in the ever watchful internet eye,  opponents will attempt to associate a group or a movement with (1) their most radical members who are examples of poor judgement and unwise actions (2) define what the movement is about primarily about rather then it’s own advocates.

Essentially, they attempt to dictate and control the narrative and construct straw men about what you supposedly believe, and then proceed to beat the ever loving shit out of them.   It’s a dirty sneaky tactic and it is one we should be aware of.

Currently, I believe anti GamerGaters and SJWs have managed to dictate the narrative and determine what we will talk forcing us to often be on the defensive.

We’ve been sidetracked defending ourselves against “harassment” claims of people like Wu, Randi, Chu, ect.  While many in #GamerGate justifiably dislike what SJW’s have slowly done to gaming, they are not the main focus – Corruption and a complete lack of ethics in gaming journalism is.  To make matters worse, it isn’t even just gaming journalism that has gone down hill,  it’s the majority of publications, newspapers, and websites that have been influenced by the “Post Now, Update Later” mentality.

While it is unwise to ignore the actions of the SJWs that will do anything to destroy those who support GamerGate, we can not focus on them, yet we must still be aware of them. Remember, they are their own worst enemy.

I sense a disturbance in the Force

Their actions in doxing, outing, harassing, and threatening minorities, gays, women, transgenders who support GamerGate prove that they really don’t care about them to the neutrals and the rest of the world that is watching.  It shows that identity politics and ideology trumps even the most non-cis transgender black ect, ect, ect, person if they dare to support GamerGate.

It is not enough to be one of the “oppressed” according to SJWs. You have to fall lock and step in with their conclusions on anything, or you will be thrown to the wayside.   Even those who do acquiesce to their complaints about racism, sexism, homophobia, trans-phobia and every kind of phobia and “ism” out there still can’t win.

In the end, SJW’s have seriously curbed the artistic freedom of developers and have been able to successfully shame people with cyber twitter lynch mobs if they don’t hit all of the items on the checklist of Social Justice.  Daniel Vavra who has worked as a designer and writer for 15 years in the gaming industry has some sobering insight as to what SJWs are slowly doing to the industry:

The biggest problem we have is, that there is a group of people that think they know what’s right and what’s wrong and that they have a mission to make the world a better place and protect the oppressed by any means. They don’t even care what the “oppressed” people think. They censor any feedback they don’t like. They try to censor Twitter. They think that they are better than the rest. It’s funny that they are absolutely unable to have any discussion or provide solid arguments. Have you ever seen any of them in direct confrontation with their opponents? I guess you didn’t, because they only know how to bark at others from behind the fence and then how to play victims when somebody barks back.

And they will never be happy. If you don’t have a gay character in your game, you are homophobic, if you do have gay character in your game, you are homophobic, because they don’t like the character. If women in your game look good, you are sexist, if they look bad, you are sexist, if you can fight with them, you are misogynistic, if you can’t fight with them, you are using them as objects, if you don’t have any women, because there is no correct way how to have them, you are misogynistic.

It’s a witch hunt and it’s affecting my artistic freedom.

What is even more concerning is that they have become arguably the dominate representation in Gaming publications and sites and they are only too happy to throw the notion of journalistic ethics out if the “ends justify the means”.

They have been and still are willing to promote terrible game and give them unjust scores that don’t reflect their quality, plot, gameplay, ect as long as said games have the “right” messages.  If the game’s don’t have those “right” messages, they are willing to let that shortcoming unduly effect their reviews and discussion of it.   This is a double-standard that I will address later in this article.

The “Harassment Debacle”

I’ve seen countless twitter battles going back and forth in which Anti-GamerGaters continually attempt to put us on the defensive and divert the narrative away from talking about Ethics in Gaming Journalism to talking about supposed harassment that has happened to Anti-GamerGaters.

Observe that even minor “E celebs” like Mike Cernovich haven’t been just harassed, they’ve been doxxed and with no remorse from the supposed denouncers of harassment.  In fact, Zoe Quinn herself knew about it and helped in the dox.    So much for her complaints about doxxing.  Dox up not down right?

https://twitter.com/cernovich/status/526224173526298624

The hypocrisy is noteworthy.

Now, whether every case of harassment they claimed has actually happened or not, it is irrelevant to the our strongest demand – Ethics In Gaming Journalism, but I’ll focus more on this later.

A conversation I had on Twitter with an Anti-Gamergater and what I assumed to be a feminist – rightfully so later as I would find out – kept bringing up the “harassment” claims, as well as the supposed allegations on Hotwheels supporting child porn. Whether 8chan having Child Porn on their boards is factual or not, it doesn’t invalidate any of the arguments being made by GamerGate supporters there.   This is a point I’ll drive home later in this post, but first let’s take a quick look at the story.

I found an interesting forum thread while browsing through the story and one poster summed up the thought process at play here far better than I can:

Think the other major problem is that he’s just being disingenuous. Hotwheels and his volunteer moderation team have always been pretty clear that they do not tolerate illegal content on their boards. The article was supposed to be on how the moderation team at 8chan were complicit in the distribution of child pornography, and I mean the legal definition of the word here. As much as I am opposed to that shit on moral grounds alone, most of the ‘CP’ shown there is completely legal under United States law. If SJW’s don’t like it, then they should be lobbying to get it declared illegal, not complaining about the distributors. But Hotwheels himself has said that he received no reports of CP the night the author of the article supposedly went through 8chan to find CP, which indicates that the author made no effort to actually contact the moderators of the website to get it removed.

This could mean multiple things: 1. He genuinely saw CP, but nevertheless made no effort to contact the moderators to get it removed. This, at best, makes the message of the article moot, as mods cannot do their jobs if the community does not direct them to the one thread in the one board out of literally hundreds. It’s like recording somebody getting mugged to use as evidence of the inefficiency of the local police, while not bothering to actually call the police to report the mugging. At worst it indicates that he does not really care about the distribution of CP, just that he can use it as a weapon to attack his opponents). 2: he didn’t see anything that does fit the legal definition of child pornography in the US, and did not report it because he knows it would give Hotwheels a solid trail to link back to him and call him out for lying. 3: he has no idea how the moderation of 8chan works, and is trying to talk shit about stuff he doesn’t understand.

Also another important point that was made is a rather simple but shocking one: What if he planted the child porn there himself?  We have witnessed SJWs often “dox” and harass themselves in order to gain sympathy and appear to gain the moral high-ground. While that doesn’t necessarily mean that the same thing happened here, we should be VERY skeptical of any claims they make considering the dubious tactics they are willing to employ to “win”.

Anyway, back to the “harassment” issue.

So I undertook the foolhardy task of attempting to first question what “harassment” actually entailed.  Enter the mind of a male feminist SJW with whom I still dialogue with on Twitter to this day.

I found this conversation we had to be very useful for seeing what kind of arguments opposing viewpoints would make and how ingrained assumptions – me and him both – about how words are used and the people that use them affects the discourse.

One of the first things you’ll notice here is that they like to define harassment as actions and words that they don’t like – such as the 1000+ notifications and “telling someone to go die.”   I’m also sure some of you have noticed that “harassment” will also often include essentially anything and everything they don’t like.  I find this unfortunate because it destroys the necessary stigma for the words to actually mean something.

It becomes much harder to believe feminists and/or SJWs who claim they have been harassed because the definition has been applied to just about everything.   I just hope that when an actual case of harassment happens, the concept of “crying wolf” doesn’t hinder someone from receiving the help and support they may need.  No it wouldn’t be vengeance through Karma, it would be an opportunity to show compassion.

My Response:

Him:

Catch that?

This is a lesson for me to learn and that the rest of GamerGate should as well.  If the other side is going to chose their own “definitions” for what constitutes things like harassment, and any attempt to refute the obvious shortcomings of that definition can simply be dismissed by them as “redefining”, there is no point to addressing any conversational matter with them that addresses the subject of “harassment.”

I won’t make this same mistake twice.  When dealing with people – specifically SJWs – who literally bend ANY word to mean what they want it to mean, you will likely not be able to actually agree on the definition of the word.  Let it be noted that ideology and worldview – regardless of whatever it is affects how you view concepts as well as how you define them.

As that piece of historical and timeless wisdom says, “He who defines, wins.”

Logically Exposing The Double Standards

Many of our opponents, SJWs in particular, have often engrossed themselves so thoroughly in presuppositions that involved double standards.   The spewing of the entire “privilege” and “racism doesn’t happen to white people because they are not the oppressed race/class” manure is a perfect example of this.

Essentially they are convinced that it is okay for them to be “bad”, but only them.   Everyone neutral onlooker with a half a brain that hasn’t been indoctrinated 1984 style by the US public school system will be able to see through this bullshit.   It is our job to point said bullshit out.

When I challenged him statement that their has been little/next-to-no harassment from the Anti-GG side and showed him several links, he responded with:

For some reason the Twitter URL wouldn’t display the tweet on this page so I screen capped it.

Well now.  Isn’t this the same kind of “victim-blaming” behavior they have been accusing us of when we dared to doubt the veracity of Sarkeesian, Wu, ects claims of their supposed harassment?  Note his tweet is evidence of that “double standard.”  I proceed to point it out:

The Fallacy of Taking Responsibility For Others

In the following tweet I asked “her”  whether she would take responsibility for all the terrible things said by the “radicals” in feminism – specifically 3rd wave feminism – and denounce the label.

He predictably would not, and I can see why.  Notice what he said when I applied the same logic to feminism:

I then pointed out why then would he expect GamerGate supporters to do the same?  If it’s just the extreme exceptions to feminism that are saying absolutely horrific things, then shouldn’t we apply that same logic of “exceptions” to GamerGate?

I refused to accept responsibility for “harassment” in GamerGate and denounce the label because he wouldn’t take responsibility for “feminism” for the things said by radical feminists.

Logic hurts. It also is a valuable tool to employee to the onlookers on the sidelines whose minds have not yet been subjugated to the SJW cog.

Maintaining the Focus

In the long run, It actually doesn’t matter if harassment, doxing, ect has taken place or not.  In fact, let me repeat that:   It actually doesn’t matter if harassment, doxiing, ect has taken place or not.

It is a distraction and besides the point because it DOES NOT diminish in anyway nor invalidate our observations that (1) ethics in gaming journalism is a problem both before and right now, (2) the gaming press still has made no real effort to acknowledge the corruption and blatant bias in pretending to be impartial while actually conspiring to drive a very specific narrative that they felt their audience didn’t need to know, (3) a refusal to disclose collusion which was later revealed by lists in which journalists  secretly admitted choosing which stories they would and wouldn’t cover – the very definition of “biased media”, and (4) their persistent refusal to actually admit the glaring ethics violations that took place, offering no apology or remorse, and instead deflecting the criticism with accusations of “misogyny” and “sexism”

While we can condemn actual harassment that has taken place, we must immediately take back the narrative and focus i back onto what us and neutrals on the sidelines can plainly see:  The corruption and the lack of ethics in gaming journalism.   These attempts to insist that “harassment” diminishes our call for ethics in gaming journalism must be dismissed because they are actually irrational when you employ a tad bit of logic.

Note the exchange below:

His Response:

Let’s think about that for a moment.  Logic 101 dictates that it does not matter WHO advocates an ideology.  What matters specifically is the validity of that ideology, regardless of who actually advocates it.  Either the ideology is valid or invalid. Note that his tactic here is essentially another form of “Guilt By Association” or rather “Wrong By Association.”  

I’m going to break Godwin’s Law here, but not in the way you think.  Take into account Hitler’s and the Nazi’s emphatic support for environmentalism – the kind often endorsed by many liberals. Does that mean that “environmentalism” is automatically wrong because the Nazis and Hitler endorsed it?  No, it doesn’t.  Who espouses the ideas of radical environmentalism is irrelevant. What is relevant is whether the ideology has merit or not.

Okay, Next:

Logic 101 again tells us that “truth” and what is “right” or “wrong” can not be accurately nor should be determined by a majority.  Might should not make right.  A majority of “Public” figures supported slavery leading up the Civil War.  Did that make it right?  A majority of “Public” figures opposed the Civil Rights movement during its struggle. Were they automatically correct being the majority?  You get the point.

I think it’s safe to say he missed the point. Entirely.  This doesn’t speak badly about him but rather shows what influence the assumptions of our worldviews have on how we perceive issues as well as others.

Ultimately everyone is GamerGate is responsible for themselves.

This is important to point out considering how many of us do not hold the same views on issues ranging from politics to culture.  I am one of the staunchest proponents of gun rights out there, I think Climate Change is nonsense, and I advocate making ALL drugs legal.

I can guarantee many GamerGate supporters disagree with at least one of those three positions of mine.  So should I denounce my fellow GamerGaters for not subscribing to EXACTLY the same opinions as my own? Nah, I’ll let the SJWs do that as they eat each other which we have seen them do so often.

The Importance of “Objectivity”

Let’s be honest; absolute objectivity is impossible.

Objectivity in journalism terms  these days is often understood to include journalistic concepts like “disclosure”,  telling both sides of the story, ect.  Any “decent” opinion column – that’s about as rare as a comet these days – will argue a position on an issue without completely misrepresenting the opposing side’s viewpoints and will refrain from creating strawmen.

As the internet becomes more and more of an echo-chamber, the definition of objectivity has changed much in the way the definition of trolling has.  If you disagree with someone, you are immediately accused of trolling after you have been accused of being “biased”.

To give you a very simple example, the definition of Objectivity has changed in as much the same way “Democracy” has.  People say America is a “Democracy.”  No, America is more of a Republic with Democratic elements. A pure Democracy is literally where 51% of the people determine the laws.   (Essentially 51% of the people in a “Democracy” could decide they don’t like Asian’s anymore and ban them from driving and it would be “the law”)

In fact, most news outlets and press publications don’t exactly bother to hide their biases. What this entails is knowing that Breitbart leans to the right and The Washington Post to the left.  They don’t attempt to hide it, so readers are aware of it, something that is important.

When it comes to many gaming journalists, they have gone through great lengths to disguise their biases, while still directly letting them influence their reviews of games and effecting which ones they promote.  Objectivity, in the sense of being completely 100% impartial, isn’t necessary or possible to avoid “corruption” in gaming journalism.   Those biases however can’t be left undisclosed if they will be allowed to effect the reviews and the rating scores given to game.

Some journalists have unfortunately allowed their biases to distract them – Bayonetta 2 for example – from reviewing the aspects of a game that matter – content, level design, plot, characters, gameplay, graphics, ect – and instead dismiss games based on whether they like them or not – which some people actually think is fine!  This brings up an important point when you consider the kinds of bonuses that developers can receive for good scores and how personal worldview bias can actually be used to penalize developers for making certain games. In fact, Kotaku ironically pointed this out in an article, “Metacritic Matters: How Review Scores Hurt Video Games.”  It looks like they have perfected this observation into a unique form of cultural warfare.

Eacaraxe – whose blog on gaming and media I highly recommend, expanded upon this line of though in a series of posts, specifically concerning the case of Bayonetta 2:

“Are certain critics, if they are docking points simply for finding the game’s content distasteful, trying to punish game developers and their publishers by denying them review-based bonuses? If so, is this emblematic of an effort on the part of critics to influence what games are produced and how they produced, contrary to critics’ claims? Is this a valid, or ethical, form of protest against content deemed objectionable by critics and those who produce it?”

This is certainly obvious in the case of the recent controversial game, “Hatred”.  Whether a journalist approves or disproves of a game is irrelevant. Their duty is instead rather to inform their readers about the game and include such unnecessary details like plot, character, gameplay, ect.  At least the creators of Hatred are honest and fully upfront with what their game is about, something many journalists are not and refuse to be.   Will however future reviewers allow this to effect their games and also effect the kind of perception that the public – particular the corporate sector?.

Kotaku’s Social Justice influenced reviews aren’t going to be objective and we know that.  We do however expect them to disclose relationships about the games they are reviewing, promoting, and giving attention to.  There is an expectation that they would acknowledge the conflict of interests between either (1) the publication and the story (2) the journalists involved in the story.

Instead of doing just that, they couldn’t be bothered to disclose the glaring conflict of interests at hand between Quinn and journalists like Nathan Grayson.  Disclosing a conflict of interest is Journalism 101. If you take ANY media journalism classes, it is one of the first things you will learn.

Think about anti GamerGate folks like Ian Miles Cheong that can boast that they don’t give a fuck about ethics in gaming journalism, to which no one in the the anti GamerGate coalition seems to object.  The long and documented lack of journalistic ethics still doesn’t appall them in the slightest. This is a point we must continue to ram home.   We can do this as we gather even more evidence that shows and will show just how bad the state of ethics in gaming journalism has become and that the corrupt gaming press still “doesn’t give a fuck”.