GamerGaters are justifiably pissed off at the amount of misinformation the media currently manufactures about their current social cause. And let’s not beat around the bush. Yes, the media is pumping out misinformation in a coordinated attack:
When the UK Telegraph spins Zoe’s sexual liaisons with five insiders of the indie game/journalism scene into… “her former boyfriend posted online accusations of infidelity: he claimed she had cheated on him with a games journalist” …then you know you something isn’t quite right. When every other news outlets sides with Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian outright, and claims that their respective attacks were driven by a GamerGate proponent, without any evidence to back up those claims, then you know something is wrong. And when the press focuses on Social Justice Warriors receiving blowback, calling it “harassment”, but neglects the doxing and hacking received by proponents of GamerGate, then you must realize that this isn’t the result of journalists making an unintentional mistake, but purposeful creation of a fictional narrative. It’s not as if it’s difficult to do research in order to find out the how and why of GamerGate. It isn’t difficult to get the facts or the timeline right, since InternetAristocrat and many others have already done the legwork explaining it.
In this way, GamerGaters have had their eyes opened to the way multiple media outlets repeat the same, false story. But there is more to media’s mouthpieces than a thousand voices screaming the same lines about GamerGate. The problem, as is always the case, goes deeper.
Let’s backtrack and talk about media itself.
We live in an age of mass consumer capitalism, and whether you like it or not is another debate for another time. In this system, new products and services, and especially new tech, are generated all the time. The likelihood of you walking around aimlessly and discovering these things in a storefront somewhere is next to nil. One job of the media is to make you aware of these products and services that could potentially improve your life, but would otherwise go overlooked.
We also live in democracies of varying structure. Yes, the US is technically a republic and technically the UK is a constitutional monarchy, but we vote for representatives and various local laws. The media’s job is to inform us of these approaching votes and how these issues are significant so that we may participate rationally.
We also have social issues both at home and abroad. There are plenty of people willing to help, if not to build a house than to donate a dollar. Ideally, the media is to make us aware of these things so that we may even out some of the world’s rough spots.
We also live in a global world with global concerns. The media’s job is to tell us of these faraway things so that we may prepare in our own way.
In an ideal world, the media is an entity aligned with True Neutral. It informs us of necessary products and services that we would otherwise miss. It would tell us of social and global issues while providing a level political platform to express ideas.
But we do not live in that world. We live in a world where advertising moguls have developed keen psychological tricks to make you want to buy a product. The political side of media has thrown off any guise of neutrality and has instead polarized into competing 5 Minutes of Hate sessions taking place in separate, blue and red colored rooms. Opinion isn’t given its skeptical consideration in either, and is instead expressed as fact. In this world, spreading the word about social issues isn’t a means to a greater end, but now has become an end unto itself. Hashtag campaigns and celebrity endorsements now do nothing but to spread awareness of those campaigns and celebrities. Global issues are swayed in favor of each political narrative. Outrage posts are produced to galvanize the Social Justice Warriors, producing nothing but anger in them and money for the companies who have their ads on the sidebar.
Some time ago, the media complex realized how much power it held, and immediately stopped being a neutral party to society and politics. Now, it is the fourth branch of government with its tentacles in everything. Remember from school the old photos of Standard Oil, the one with the octopus? So the story goes, their power and influence over a valuable resource made them a strong political and social power. Now, media is the new Standard Oil because the new valuable resource is you. Your wallet. Your vote. Even your thoughts. What you saw above regarding GamerGate is evidence of monopolistic collusion.
But then there are two questions: how can they just manufacture this narrative and why do they do it? First, let’s examine the how:
Reality is not black and white. Instead, it is a grey realm of actions and consequences. Sometimes those consequences are “good”. Sometimes those consequences are “bad”. Perspective decides what’s which.
The best example I can think of is this question: was dropping two atomic bombs on Japan a good or bad thing? Well, it depends on who you ask. Each side has a story and its own considerations which make reality far more complex than any single side can portray.
However, if you’re the media then you can decide which side seems good or bad out by highlighting certain aspects on one and ignoring aspects of the other. Point out only the good on one side. Point out only the bad on the other. From the grey, you can create a stark black and white picture that diverges from reality, but is easy to believe. Good thing is, your readers will never know.
The examples within GamerGate are easy to point out. With Zoe Quinn, just ignore the fact that she fucked around with FIVE guys in the indie game and surrounding industries, thus belittling the criticism against her. Then, highlight the negative reaction of GamerGate, and even exaggerate it by calling it harassment. Highlight the gender of Gamer’s as white and male. Ignore minorities and #NotYourShield to the contrary. Highlight the harassment received by Social Justice Warriors. Ignore Social Justice Warriors doing it to others.
From a blended reality comes a story with a clear hero and villain, a story that is easy to side with or against. Are these issues far more complex than that? Absolutely. Does each side have their own story? Yup. But you will never hear both because this is how the media works: make a story that people can believe in and get mad at, put some adds on the sidebar, profit.
But is that profit all there is? By now you must be asking: why GamerGate or why games in general? Sure, politics and current events are filtered through some kind of lens, but why is the battlefront here of all places?
It seems strange that the media blitz would end with GamerGate when gamers themselves are the most plugged-in demographic around and therefore the most capable of detecting manufactured bullshit. Asking demanding a source is standard operating procedure on nearly every game forum on the internet. If you don’t back up your statements, you get run out of town.
And gamers themselves are largely politically neutral, excluding the Social Justice Warriors. This neutrality comes from gamers either not having any interest in politics to begin with, or being smart enough to realize how political radicalism usually leads to dead-end cul-de-sacs. They don’t tolerate crap from either party, whether it’s from conservatives hammering games for their violence or Social Justice Warriors doing the same for supposed sexism.
Most of all, gamers just want to be left alone to do what they like – a rather libertarian, live and let live philosophy. Some are somewhat conservative due to feminism’s influence on gaming. Some are somewhat liberal due to the economic times we live in. Rarely do you see radicalism from gamers because politics isn’t the primary point of gaming, unless of course you’re a Social Justice Warrior.
So why would the media put so much effort into denouncing and smearing this niche when there’s so little profit and so much resistance? Why the sudden shitfest? It’s not just tumblr, is it?
While I’ve previously stated that the media has stopped being a neutral party and instead has claimed its own powers, what I didn’t mention, purposefully, was the political ideology of this entity. Some might have guessed it. The Anti-GamerGate side makes no sense otherwise.
The thing that many GamerGaters haven’t understood is that the thousand mouths speaking in the same voice has been going on for a while. The current Anti-GamerGate narrative isn’t the only narrative. In fact, it is merely the latest chapter of an epic that has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands of years. That epic is The Great Story of oppression and privilege, of slavery and colonialism, of racial oppression and misogyny, and of white supremacy and male supremacy. If you could condense our world’s history into a novel, The Great Story would be it, and it is a novel written by the ideological left.
The universities teach The Great Story as part of history, sociology, journalism, economics, and women’s and minority studies, just to name a few. The young graduates of these universities want to change the world and right the wrongs as told in The Great Story. It is The Great Story which transforms them into the infamous Social Justice Warriors.
It is through the lens of The Great Story that our current events are told. When Social Justice Warriors enter journalism, whether it be games journalism or otherwise, they selectively ignore and highlight aspects which go along with The Great Story.
It is why George Zimmerman was described as a “white Hispanic”, a term never used before, and was cast as a washed-out wannabe cop with a chip on his shoulder who beat his wife and supposedly molested a little girl, and it was why Trayvon was cast as an innocent boy who had absolutely nothing to do with the circumstances that led to his death. It was why the Westboro Baptist Church, with a congregation so small that it couldn’t fill a city bus, got hundreds of hours of national news coverage several years ago. It is why Putin is the biggest jerk in the universe. Ferguson, Ukraine, Ebola. All these issues are covered by selective readings which fit into The Great Story, when in reality these issues are not one-sided and far more complex.
And you might believe The Great Story. That’s fine, however, I will ask that you take a moment to think about your position, because the selective reading of these recent events in the gaming community didn’t start here, nor will it end here. The people who are feeding obvious bullshit claims about GamerGate are also the ones claiming truth to The Great Story as well. Doesn’t that seem suspicious?
The Great Story is the reason why the media has picked an obvious side on this matter. To them, video gaming is the realm of mostly white men – a mini-enclave and relic of Patriarchy that must be dismantled, per the plot of The Great Story. That is why Social Justice Warriors were so intent on establishing a foothold here in the first place and changing the landscape to suit their preferences. It wasn’t that they liked or even played games (Anita, looking at you); they merely wanted to conquer the next land.
This is why GamerGate is happening, and why it’s not a small, isolated issue. The Social Justice Warriors don’t want profit; they want to win, and they have won, up until this point.
If you don’t believe in The Great Story, or even if you want to keep the tale out of your hobby so that you may be left alone, then GamerGate is truly your last stand. Schools, business, politics, and the entertainment industry have already been claimed by the Social Justice Warriors, however it is here where they will meet the most effective resistance. Those of us that don’t believe the manufactured narrative posses independent minds by definition, and it is the independent mind that makes its own story by its own conclusions. This is why GamerGate hasn’t lost yet and it is why the thousand voices scream the loudest.
I believe a message needs to be sent to the Social Justice Warriors and their allies. Their zeal and their previous victories don’t give them the clearance to inhabit every realm that they desire. They need to understand that their views aren’t appropriate in gaming. And finally, I believe that The Great Story needs a plot twist.