Also at Popehat, Ken White did what he does best - launched a well-reasoned call for everyone to take a step back, reflect on the stupid assumptions they are making and admit that this is not a black and white issue. When I read Ken White I know there's a good chance I'm going to have my own attitudes and behaviors questioned, despite us being on the same side of most issues, and he did not disappoint:
Video game journalism has been ethically troubled for decades. There was controversy in the 1980s, when I was reading Computer Gaming World on paper like a caveman,over game magazines reviewing the same games that they were advertising. Suspicion that dollars drive game reviews have persisted, and with good reason.
So if you choose this particular historical moment to become Seriously Concerned About Journalistic Ethics, and your timing just happens to coincide with a related pushback against women's activism in the gaming community, and just happens to be triggered by a campaign against a particular controversial woman, and just happens to be congruent with 4chan's declared campaign against "SJWs," people are going to draw conclusions about you. This is especially true if your sudden fury about ethics in journalism appears to focus on the coverage of tiny indie games instead of big-money games, which is just odd.Well said. I've managed to have sympathies with both sides of this debate at different times, although I find myself closer to the pro-GamerGate than the opposition. Historically, video games makers have cultivated a frat-boy atmosphere and still pump out idiotic things like bikini armor that insult me as a consumer by assuming this is what I want. At the same time, online players have exhibited the worst behavior of the internet, on par with YouTube comments, and created an unpleasant atmosphere to interact in.
I am in favor of making video games more mature and classy and raising the level of discourse and civility around them, including issues with online players always wanting to discuss the novelty that a girl is interacting with them.
But then a leader emerged for that pushback, Anita Sarkeesian. At first I gave her my "nuanced" support and said while I don't like her radical feminist politics, at least someone was talking about these stubborn issues.
Sadly, over time I realized that she didn't have anything useful to add to the conversation, just a bunch of feminist textbook jargon and zero diplomacy skills. It was clear she wasn't interested in turning video games around, but using the video game world as a new territory to push radical feminism and I believe, make a name for herself. While GamerGate isn't about her in particular, the opposition has been about the ideas and tactics she represents.
So that's where GamerGate has left me: I'm stuck between defending the status quo of Maxim-magazine-style video game culture and replacing it with an oversensitive and joyless social justice pity party.
The only good thing about this, and I mean this sincerely, has been watching the awful Gawker media burn as GamerGate advocates have used their own platform-yanking tactics against them. Other than that, this has all been a waste of time and a lot of empty grandiose yelling.