#GamerGate’s Actions Are Its Message

Recently I returned to school to acquire an M.S. in Communication. Working full time in sales for a start up tech company plus pursuing a graduate degree has been very time consuming to say the least! It has been a great experience on both fronts though, and my only regret is that I have fallen behind on my blogs.

For my introduction to communication theories class project I have chosen to write about the #GamerGate movement and how the theories that I am learning help to explain what is occurring on both sides of the phenomenon. On the side of those who oppose the #GamerGate movement the message is clear:

  • misogyny is wrong
  • death and rape threats are wrong
  • using threats to silence others is wrong

Now on the other side of #GamerGate the party line is that the movement is about ethics in video games journalism. The problem is that when I research what #GamerGate proponents have actually done the actions do not line up with the message. The constant barrage of attacks against women has been the only constant of the #GamerGate movement. The women being attacked are not even journalists which still would not justify the attacks.

The attacks are mostly against female video game developers (Briana Wu and Zoe Quinn), celebrity female gamers who dared to share their concerns (Felicia Day), and female scholars critiquing video games (Anita Sarkeesian). Many supporters of #GamerGate will say that the threats do not come from true members of the movement, but the evidence tells us otherwise.

After spending over a month researching #GamerGate I find it such a sad and pitiful statement regarding just how far we still have to go. Women face real dangers every day not just from #GamerGate, but I think this movement has shown how just beneath the surface of our modern culture a horrible cancer lurks. Seeing this movement unfold has been an eye opener to my own misogyny in the past.

Equal rights for all people is not about agreeing with each other. Equal rights are about civilized conflict. If you do not like what Anita Sarkeesian has to say about misogyny and video games start your own YouTube channel and share your counterpoint. That is something that I will defend even if I disagree with your argument.

Rape and death threats? Using fear and terrorism to the extent that people feel that it is necessary to leave their homes? Those are not the tactics of a movement based on ethics. Those are the tactics of evil people. #GamerGate is smeared with these tactics from head to toe. Not because #GamerGate was attacked by others, but because it decided to roll in that shit from the very beginning.

I doubt that I’ll blog about #GamerGate after this post. I do not think that I am really adding anything of great substance to the debate, because in the end there is no debate to be had here. #GamerGate is terrorism against women.

Instead what I will do is my very best to raise my daughter and my son as feminists. #GamerGate is just a puff of meaningless smoke that will dissipate and die. The fire that we need to put out is the sexism that creates the smoke. I do not want my children to be fuel for that flame.