A Message to GamerGate

*This article reflects the opinions of the writer and not TeckComesFirst as a whole*

The internet has never, ever focused on a topic as long as it has for GamerGate. Usually, we are distracted by funny cat pictures. GamerGate is unprecedented this way; even with the vitriolic trolls somehow GamerGate continues to get hundreds of posts per day. The discussion of GamerGate is still continuing on, even on major websites like Buzzfeed. Face it detractors, GamerGate is going nowhere.

GamerGate became widespread because of the Zoe Quinn incident , yes I can’t deny that , however Zoe Quinn is not the disease but the symptom. The corruption within the games industry has been plentiful , especially in the medium’s dark ages. From incidents like Dorito(s)Gate to incidents of developers paying for good reviews or embargoing sites that gave bad reviews , corruption has been rather widespread. That’s not to say that all mainstream game journalists are corrupt, far from it. Rather that corruption has slowly been spreading and finally the gamers are taking a stand against it. That is what GamerGate is. It is a response to the corruption within the Gaming media.  This is not going to be an article describing the ins and outs of GamerGate , there are many that describe the issues and problems thoroughly.here
(Editor’s note , for more information please read the link above , you may get confused later in this article)  This instead will be my complaints and advice to the GamerGaters (as supporters of GamerGate will now be known as).

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  1. We need to respond to meanness with kindness

Yes , there are many trolls on GamerGate calling you hateful names with made up definitions but never become angry at them. Instead , politely remind them to stay on topic and to not derail the discussion. If they start harassing you then screencap it and if it gets too much to bear block them after a warning. We need to lead by example and the best way to do this is to be polite. It will only strengthen our argument in the long run. This will also destroy the notion that all gamers are horrible nerds “worse than the ISIS”. If we show people that we are actually nice people and it’s just a minority of trolls then perhaps we can stop the “Horrible gamer” posts from the mainstream media.

  1. We need to police our own.

In order to make our argument clear and concise, we need to get rid of the extraneous stuff. That includes all the stuff about sexism from GamerGaters or from non-GamerGaters. While we have virtually no control over non-GamerGaters , we still can police our own and steer the discussion towards corruption.  This also means make sure that any harassment gets dealt with on our side. We need to make sure that we are above the level of a common troll. This will increase our persuasive power for the future.

  1. We need to define Gamer

What do I mean by this? Well , #NotYourShield is doing this perfectly. Due to the mainstream press, many assume that gamers are misogynistic white cis males. Gamers are actually an insanely diverse group of people but we have yet to prove this. NotYourShield shows that gamers are incredibely diverse group but we can take this even farther. This goes in with my 1st point but we , as a group need to be incredibly polite and calm. We need to show that we accept and respect all people of all ages, groups ,and genders. This way , if we make the definition of Gamers kind hearted nice people who respect everyone and play videogames we can get rid of the negative denotation put upon us by the mainstream press.

  1. We need to make a solution

A non-GamerGater actually pointed out one glaring fact to me during a discussion (yes , not all non-GamerGaters are vitriolic hate-mongering trolls) GamerGate , while it has exposed the corruption within the industry has failed to find a solution to fix these problems. While it is simple to just link to the SPJ code of ethics, this is not necessarily a long term solution.

Another purported solution would be to just visit smaller sites. While this is great for small sites.this solution is again not viable in the long term. Mainstream sites still have dedicated viewer bases and a bigger brand. Their sphere of influence can sometimes extend even beyond gamers, something that smaller sites , simply put , cannot do. These sites will continue to gain money in the long term and chip away at the reputations of Gamers with “Gamers are Misogynistic NeckBeards etc.” articles.

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What we need to do is to create our own ethics policy designed specifically for gaming journalists. We need to create our own standardized ethics policy and demand for harsher treatment for those that break it. This is, to put it bluntly, difficult. It is difficult because there is so much to consider. What constitutes corruption? What are the exceptions? This type of solution will take a couple of days or more of deliberation and hard work to create. It will also require the cooperation and collaboration of the sane voices of GamerGate , both GamerGaters and non-GamerGaters. The end result will be something that will, hopefully, prevent future incidences of corruption within the industry.

Then you might say , what is to stop the press from ignoring the standard ethics policy that we have created? Simple, Gamers will stop the press. If any incident of corruption leaks out, gamers will once again rebel against them using all the GamerGate tactics. Gamers will boycott advertisers, blacklist the site and brand it as an “anti-gaming” site. The mainstream sites have already seen the power of Gamers once they unite. They know not to push us around anymore.

Meanwhile, Gamers , continue to do what you have been doing until an ethics policy has been created. Continue to boycott, continue to email advertisers. Eventually , they will cave in because we are their consumers. And we won’t stop until we get what we want. Game on; Game forever.

 

 

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Hydro Ninja

Hey, I am Hydroninja9. I have been in the tech writing biz for 2 years now and I joined TeckComesFirst in February of 2013. I am a gamer , technophile and audiophile. Of course some info about me isn’t known; blame mind control chips for that. I also make YouTube videos on a regular basis.

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  • I particularly like #4. In my own very limited commentary, I’ve expressed that hashtags aren’t going to work. We need to actually do something. I don’t know what that is, but one that I suggested was that maybe we need someone willing to back the sort of gaming sites that we want to see. Give Destructoid and Kotaku some real competition.

    Hashtags can be great at a grass roots level. It’s bringing awareness. On the other hand, this one has gone on far too long, and I’m afraid we’ve lost control of it.

    Likewise, I’m afraid that GamerGate might be guilty of some hypocritical posturing. Some of us are fond of saying that anyone who complains about an issue but doesn’t offer a solution is a whiner. GamerGate can’t afford to let this happen to itself. There has to be real action.

    (And no, I don’t mean funding fraud Indiegogo campaigns.)