I Don't Want to, but I Have To...
Posted on Monday, October 20 2014 @ 11:43:07 Eastern
This member blog post was promoted to the GameRevolution homepage.
Well, Gamergate has spilled over into the mainstream media and the coverage appears to be nearly uniformly dreadful.
Take "What is Gamergate, and What Does It Say About Gender In Video Games?" by David Konnow as an example. It appears that the writer has done little to no research at all on the relevant topics. He says practically nothing and leaves a hypothetical tyro just as uninformed as they were before reading the piece. It is completely worthless as journalism. The basic slant is obvious and the lack of citation, link or substantive information is a uniform indicator to a lack of integrity. The present post is a fisking.
"Gaming has come a long way since Atari and Nintendo."
Nintendo is still in the business.
"Yet there are still segments of gaming culture that are not as evolved as the rest of humanity, as can be seen in the current "Gamergate" controversy."
The phrase 'as evolved as' is as meaningless in the context of evolution as natural selection is in creationism. I have little doubt the author understands neither.
"A lot of people haven't heard of Gamergate yet, but what had been a small dust-up deep inside gamer culture is slowly becoming a national uproar."
Weasel words - 'a lot'. Also, you really have not done anything to clarify what it is, how it operates or anything else.
"It all began when the ex-boyfriend of a female game developer started posting sexual allegations about her on his blog."
The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of GameRevolution, but we believe it's worthy of being featured on our site. This article, posted on October 15, has not been edited. You can find more Vox Pop articles here. ~Ed. Nick Tan
That's rather like saying World War I began when Gavrilo Princip shot Franz Ferdinand. Factually correct but utterly misleading. Furthermore, 'his blog' consisted of nothing but said allegations. To dignify it by contextually suggesting it served any other purpose than dragging her private life into public view is ridiculous.
"This wasn't just a one-time thing: it was the opening of an awful floodgate of animosity, including an allegation that this developer (whom we're not going to name because she's had her name dragged through the mud more than enough already) had traded sexual favors for favorable reviews of her games."
The allegation was included in the posts previously mentioned. The above portion suggests otherwise. The unnamed developer has made one game, not games plural. It was not favorable reviews of the game she is alleged to have traded sexual favors for, or even that she traded sexual favors for anything, but positive coverage. More accurately, the allegation is that her relationships, not merely sexual but also and much more significantly financial, with various individuals in the gaming press skewed coverage of that among other unsavory activities such as sabotaging a charitable organization for not towing her ideological line.
"Other women in the gaming community, including the initial game developer who was targeted, have had their personal information broadcast across the internet; more than one has had to flee her home because of rape and death threats. Just last night, feminist social critic Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel a speech at Utah State University after receiving multiple online death threats, including threats of an Aurora-style mass shooting, prior to the event."
It is a good thing for your publication that at no point have you actually attempted to connect the dots and say that someone involved with Gamergate had anything to do with these activities. I'm guessing we have a prudent editor to thank for that.
"Although many who align themselves with the Gamergate mission claim that their intent is to expose the incestuous relations between game designers and gaming journalists, an increasing number of opponents have pointed to it as a clear sign of misogyny within the gaming community."
No indication of whether or not the former claim is true (spoiler alert: it is) or whether or not the opposition argument might be an attempt to deflect such criticism (spoiler alert: it is).
"One gaming developer posted an open plea for people to fight against attacks from Gamergate proponents, and publications like The Washington Post and the website Jezebel (who called Gamergaters "a hate group") have publicly denounced the men driving the effort."
First, what is a 'gaming developer'? Who actually develops 'gaming'? Haven't heard language that mushy since the closure of Tiger Telematics. Second, citing Jezebel for denouncing someone for doing something unethical is so idiotic it brooks no immediate comparison to other idiotic things. It's an outlet which posted photographs of a sexual assault to bait clicks. Third, link please. Fourth, are developers unanimous in believing that? Have you reached out to anyone yourself to get even a single substantive comment?
"Video games themselves have also reached new levels of depth and intelligence in their storytelling."
That's, uh, nice. I guess? It's not exactly true, but it is nice of you to say it.
"So an incident like Gamergate really shows how far some people haven't come in the gaming community."
You're right. There are people out there who call themselves journalists but don't understand that it is unethical to have financial or other similar ties to a subject whilst covering it as a journalist. That's a serious problem and a possible violation of FTC regulations. Those same people could not possibly be using gender issues as a shield to deflect relevant inquiries, no sir.
"There is a fear -- and it's a rational one -- that as this incident penetrates the mainstream popular culture that's indifferent towards gaming that it could give videogame culture a black eye after years of progress."
Who holds this fear? Did someone say this? Quote them, please.
"One would think women would be welcome in what's been a male-dominated world for decades, so why the misogyny?"
So you haven't bothered to find out if games journalism is rotten? You're just going to take sides without doing any actual research? You're going to advocate instead of report?
"We've seen cases of inherent racism and misogyny in gaming before, but rarely of this severity and length."
[Citation Needed] - I'm not saying he's wrong but some examples would really improve his vanishing credibility at this point.
"While we know where the first initial threats came from, it's hard to tell why this has mushroomed to this extent."
Do you have definitive evidence who they are? Can you name them? Why have you not done so? Why have you not pointed out their connections to Gamergate?
"One strong theory is that the men involved in Gamergate are sexually and socially frustrated in other areas of their lives, and resent the idea of women entering the one arena in which they feel they have some expertise."
That's your 'strong' theory? Armchair speculation about the social and sex lives of people you do not know? You complain about stereotyping and yet indulge in it here? What evidence supports your theory? What sort of metrical tests have you applied to it? What predictive power does it have? How well does it explain the behavior as against other possible theories (trolling, false flagging, etc.) which may also fit the evidence? Do you know that 'theory' is neither a synonym for 'unfounded guesswork' nor 'psychologically comforting thing I wish to be true' right?
"We' re certainly hoping these cowards will be tracked down and brought to justice."
Who are 'these cowards'? Did they pack up and vanish into the night after sending their threats? If you have even the faintest hint of a clue who they actually are it's because they already are on their way to getting tracked down. The police do take substantial death threats seriously.
"No, we don't wish death on them like they wish on others; some jail time will suffice."
All right. That's the end of the article. At no point does our author ever bother to connect the illegal activity of various creeps with Gamergate. We have no idea what Gamergate even is by the end of the piece or who coined the term. One could be forgiven for disbelief, even shock, at learning that a large number of women are supporters if this article was the only introduction a reader had. There is not a single phrase or sentence so much as implying it. No evidence is given whatsoever. Konnow simply places the two objects (harassment and Gamergate) next to each other on a table and leave them there in the hope that the reader will continuously associate them after that point. There is Konnow's word and that is all.
This subject was already dreary. Now it's getting ridiculous. I need a drink.
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