GamerGate may have happened four years ago, but it continues to be a subject of conversation—at least among the journalists who owe any amount of social relevance to the event.
As I detailed extensively on Human Events, GamerGate galvanized the gaming community against censorship, corrupt journalism, and efforts to marginalize the core audience of video games. The event, which is described one-sidedly by journalists as a supposed attack on “women, POC, and LGBTQ” within the gaming industry, is once again being talked about after a left-leaning YouTuber supporter, Peter Coffin, observed how GamerGate impacted the two factions propped up by the six-year-old event.
He talked about how the anti-GamerGate faction is using the event to denigrate supporters of Bernie Sanders. Posting on Twitter, he wrote: “The anti-Gamergate people who have remained liberal and are mobilizing against Bernie Sanders effectively demonstrates how the overall effect of GG was the cementing divisions between conservatives and liberals.”
“Gamergaters justifiably felt alienated by the neoliberal fetishization of feminism and the reductionism of politics to identity teams – and powerful people with supremacy ideologies have worked a long time to subsume this alienation,” he continued.
While Coffin’s language is unnecessarily academic, it can be translated thusly: Supporters of GamerGate were alienated from their own space by activists. Described as “misogynists,” and “bigots,” these gamers were disenfranchised by social justice activists and game journalists who occupy mainstream platforms, who used the event to virtue signal and marginalize anyone who disagreed with them. Opportunistic figures from “supremacy ideologies” (i.e. the Alt-Right and the Red Pill/manosphere community) saw it as an opportunity to court marginalized individuals and convert them into their own ideologies, using GamerGate as a means to “redpill” them.
If you were anti-GamerGate, you were a “progressive.” If you supported it, you were knocked into the conservative camp regardless of your political beliefs. You were a harasser, a bigot, and a “deplorable” person. The divisions became further entrenched with the election of Donald Trump and the mainstream media’s attempts to disenfranchise conservative voters. This remains true.
Even though those who supported GamerGate no longer talk about the subject and have long since abandoned the gaming press as anything but corrupt, game journalists continue to cling to relevance by bringing it up, and are now taking Coffin to task for daring to share his observations.
Sady Doyle, a vocal opponent of GamerGate and Salon writer, dismissed Coffin’s points, to claim: “TFW you neoliberally fetishize the idea that hordes of men not call you up late at night and threaten to murder you just because you put a lady in a video game.”
There’s no evidence that anyone ever received late-night calls from “hordes of men,” but the narrative has already been set. GamerGate supporters, one and all, are bigoted white supremacist men who live in their grandma’s basements who make harassing phone calls to female game developers because they hate seeing women in video games.
This is also the plot to the Law & Order SVU episode, Intimidation Game. It never happened in real life.
Doyle was joined by other journalists, including Leena Van Deventer, who claims “Gamergate happened because a jilted f*ckwit wanted to outsource domestic violence on his ex. Sympathisers jumped on because they didn’t want women to think they could do whatever they want.”
YouTuber Jack Saint described GamerGate as “a group of mostly middle-class white dudes built an identity around ‘geek culture’ and didn’t like feeling their hobbies were infiltrated by women/PoC/The Gays. it was the result of a culture that told people they could find identities via consumption.”
Fellow left-wing YouTuber Alexander Mixter, who now goes by “they/them” condemned Coffin’s claims. He wrote: “Rewriting goobergate as a white male class awakening has the dual function of rehabing GGrs outside right-wing crankery, & gives a more believable backstory, covering the unbelievable truth that it was all because a abusive dick set a mob of angry fash nerds to destroy his ex gf.”
New Republic journalist Libby C. Watson managed to drag the Washington Post’s suspension of Felicia Sonmez following her comments Kobe Bryant’s death as a “gamergate style campaign from right-wing psychos”—as if most of Kobe’s fans are unhinged conservatives who also play video games.
Without proper context, it’s possible to see GamerGate as a kneejerk reaction to everything feminine or “diverse” in the game industry—and the presence of actual misogynists and racists who piggybacked onto the movement and used it as a label for their own hateful ideologies lends credence to this belief. But GamerGate was, by and large, a response to the corporate pinkwashing of feminism, virtue signalling by developers intending to court woke game journalists and the corruption of journalists who provide undue amounts of coverage for their friends’ products (which just so happen to carry woke messaging) without proper disclosure.
Efforts by game journalists to protect individuals like game developer Zoe Quinn, who is accused of pocketing over $75,000 from Kickstarter backers for a game that never materialized, further entrenched GamerGate supporters’ understanding that game journalists and their friends in the game industry are corrupt, and boldly so. The same thing can very easily be observed among the rest of the entertainment media, which took to condemning Joker as a movie about “angry white males,” sparking fears of an “incel uprising” following the movie’s release in theaters. With so much information available at our fingertips, we needn’t buy into the official narrative put forth by game journalists when the truth itself is as plain as day.