"Too bad we couldn't stay,
We're on our way
(Straight on down the drain!)
We're taking off today,
So get on board the train...."
- Stakka Bo, "Down the Drain"
Nothing like 90s Scandinavian Europop-rap song lyrics to remind you ove how far we've reached Peak Stupid on the whole GamerGate issues. I've mostly been following along the sidelines, but now that we've reached the point where journalists are apologizing for having professional discussion groups and 4Chan is now censoring its users, we have reached Peak Stupid™.
First, there's something that both sides should acknowledge: both sides have a point. Women do not have enough opportunities in the gaming industry, and whether that's due to sexism or the boys' club or maybe the wrong flavor of coffee is served at the Starbucks across the street from Valve, the thing is that we need more voices in gaming - across the spectrum. On the flipside of this, yes, gaming journalism (the institution, not the body of journalists) needs better credibility. A friend in the journalism biz once told me that in a study he read somewhere, gaming journalism has less credibility than the National Enquirer. Think about that.
So all y'all are idiots.
Second, would it hurt to discuss the issues? Maybe Anita Sarkeesian is a lone voice of sanity (some people I know think so)…or maybe she’s a con artist (other people I know think that.) Maybe the “revolting gamers” are actually revolting against what the perceive as a conspiracy against them (see: Breitbart article on that) or maybe people are just plain revolting (see: way too many articles in various institutions on that.)
The end result is that gaming, which for years has been trying to move past the “overgrown kid in their parents’ basement” as an image has firmly ensconced itself as that due to the actions of some. Likewise, feminism and journalism has taken a beating by alienating, intentionally or otherwise, potential allies in improving things. And you’ve all done it on the international stage. Congratulations on looking like morons in front of seven billion-plus people, folks. That’s real talent.
Why not…I dunno…have a decent discussion? And no, /v/ is not a decent discussion. Journalists lecturing their audience is not a decent discussion. Breitbart making a mess of things isn’t either – nor is Sarkeesian throwing video after taunt etc. etc. You’re all guilty of propaganda, not trying to convince the other. Seriously. Has anyone considered holding a summit on this? Or are you all too busy sharpening your swords for the next round?
No, instead you debate about gamers being dead, or how Zoe Quinn’s game is not a game (or, for that matter, how her private life is compared to fast-food.) Or how gaming journalism has formed the next Illuminati or how all males in gaming that don’t agree with one side are thus troglodytes. You’re doing everything but trying to do the most important thing: reaching out to one another and trying to find common, middle ground and improve the situation.
Stop trying to get that pyrrhic victory at all costs.
And in the end, I’ll leave you with Erik Kain’s wise words:
And now in this latest scandal I just want to say the same thing: “You’re all wrong! All of you!”
Because it’s true.
You are all wrong.