Saturday, 13 August 2016

Two Years and the Continuing War

At the time of writing this, we are almost at the two year anniversary of what was the start of the biggest culture war ever seen. A war where gamers were thrown under the bus by their own media, where they were also called sexist and where feminist critics and certain indie devs gained more standing in the industry than they should have. There are those out there like myself who believe that the contempt with the gaming media and the way they operated had been brewing for some time and when the August 28th articles dropped it was like a flame to a growing pool of petrol, it's a belief I will always have and the way the media addressed the whole situation always serves as a confirmation of this to me.

The above image will always have a certain grimness to it for me but it is also one of the most accurate, the gamers finally took a stand against these culture critics, these hipsters with degrees and they pushed back when they were told that they were over by their own media, the very people who were supposed to have defended them the entire time. Towards the end of 2015 I took part in a live stream with some friends where we talked about it towards the end and I made the announcement that I was to move on from the whole thing because in my mind it was done and I didn't think there was more to do in this fight we've all been in. I faded away from the gaming scene this year because I chose to get rid of my Xbox One and switch to PC but I also switched my focus to comics and my own writing only to find that the politics of these hipsters, these Social Justice Warriors, was there too and my heart sank for a while. The thing was that comics were more personal to me so I focused on that and wrote about them for digifira for a while. It is noticeable though with comics though that the SJW set of politics have not gone down well with the readers as sales have bombed of pretty much every title that has adopted them. Take a bow, Marvel.

The whole time I was doing this I constantly kept looking over my shoulder at what gaming was up to and it was always a look of concern. I didn't want to leave it behind because the community was one I had always cared about and hated seeing it trampled on by these people but watching this happen came to me with the conclusion that I had been wrong about a few things.
A situation took place recently where some of these SJWs did their best to dox and reveal the identity of a Twitter user and Gamergate supporter by the name of mombot. They were so convinced they had done so until it turned out that it had been a ruse pulled off by mombot herself and it showed these people exactly for what they were. Journalists Brad Glasgow and Allum Bokhari reported on this for and Breitbart and I would suggest reading their pieces as they describe it better than I ever could but I still decided to share my thoughts on it. I spoke with a good friend about it and he told me of a story about how Eskimos used to hunt and kill wolves: they would take a razor sharp knife, coat it in seal blood, freeze it and repeat the process until they had an ice lolly of sorts and then dig it in the snow. A wolf would come along and find it and lick away until the knife would carve up its tongue but it wouldn't notice because of the seal blood and bleed to death, therefor the Eskimos used the animal's nature against it and that is exactly what mombot did so well. Mombot and I follow each other on Twitter and messaged her saying that I was going to write about it and was there anything she wanted to add, she was kind enough to give me this statement:

"I don't want any of the would-be doxers to lose their jobs. Them just being themselves is punishment enough."

Notice I address mombot as "her".
We do not know each other at all but I know what I believe I know about her. I believe that she is indeed a woman and I also believe that she is a sharp minded and smart individual, it is why she was about to pull off this ruse and pull the likes of Matt Myers, Izzy Galvez and even a Ubisoft employee into the burning light. Those involved has mostly shrunk back but they did so whilst throwing their rattle out of their prams but keen as ever to get some attention from it, Brianna Wu, the answer to the question nobody asked, even had an exchange with Brad Glasgow over Twitter about it.

As I thought about this particular event and its revelations something struck me. I had been wrong along time ago, this fight was far from over back when I thought it was. These SJWs are still out there and flooding their views into gaming, films, comics and pushing back against their politics was a series of battles in a prolonged war. It struck me that myself and those like me hadn't really left this fight at all, we simply went about our own thing for a while as games were poorly received, comics sales dropped and films flopped at the box office. We will always be here, watching and waiting to say our piece about something we perceive as wrong because that is our right, we know the entertainment industry better than these SJWs as we have been the ones who have paid for their products and we refused to put our money in when we didn't like what we saw.

But what about the gaming press themselves and those who were involved in all this? Leigh Alexander left games journalism after Offworld bombed but still writes for the Guardian, Brandon Boyer resigned as the IGF chairman due to health, Laura Kate Dale was fired from Destructoid after they closed their UK branch, Kris Ligman was replaced by Zoya Street as Editor in Cheif of Critical Distance but still writes for the site, Danielle Riendeau is no longer with Polygon but still writes with Zam and podcasts with Idle Thumbs, Jenn Frank apparently "left" journalism but still works at Paste, Jonathan Holmes was demoted from Editor in Cheif of Destructoid and also shut down his "Sup, Holmes?" video series, Ben Kuchera did stop covering games for a while but is still with Polygon, Cara Ellison was fired from Rock, Paper, Shotgun but is still freelance writing. As for the Kotaku crew? Well, their future is uncertain after Gawker was successfully sued by Hulk Hogan earlier this year but I hope little sympathy for any of them at this point. Patrick Klepek jumped off of the sinking ship and is off doing something I don't care to know about and good riddance to him. I will watch with some amusement to see what happens to Kotaku as granted, Gamergate was not responsible for the killing blow but it did inflict the first.

This looks to be a long-running culture war, one where battles need to carefully be chosen before jumping in but it must be remembered that these SJW progressive types will strike at any bad behaviour or idiot that gives them good reason to. The scenario with Alison Rapp proved that some people did go too far in not only getting her fired from her job but apparently also exposing her as a sex worker. The lengths they went to, how and where they posted about it and who they used to help get Rapp fired have left an unsavoury taste in mine and a few other mouths which can still be felt today. We must also be careful when it comes to championing these muckraking bloggers that come along and try to be our spokesman, I forget the slob's name now but as I recall he didn't do too well after the hashtag faded for a while and even had to open a Patreon account to help keep his blog site going or something along those lines. Really trying to remember his name now but its just gone. Oh well.

After all this time the ride is still going, they will push against us, we will push back but we have to remember to be better than them, as mombot has shown, or all this will be for nothing in the end. The Wikipedia entry has been changed on this at least four times by my count and leaves out a lot of information and as a result is biased against Gamergate, the media attacks gamers whenever they can to this day and yet we are still here, still pushing back against the flow of misinformation but we have suffered along the way.

However, I offer this in closing for those who will admire the irony of all this. Gawker will start to be auctioned off on the 16th of this month, exactly two years to the date The Zoe Post was published online.
Someone pass me a beer.

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