My #Gamergate Is A Purple Unicorn

Not purple but good enough.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that this “war” between gamers, industry, bloggers, journalists, basically everyone, has lasted so long. From the sidelines it all looks like a giant cluster. I keep thinking the boil will burst and this will all subside but alas, it just keeps going.

For a brief moment it did feel like things would cool off: since I began drafting this post The Fine Young Capitalists managed to get fully funded. I decided some days ago to not contribute to their campaign but not because I wish them any ill will. My heart does want some good to emerge from all this mess, but I wasn’t convinced this group could handle/manage what they’re promising. As I’ve said before, whilst I understand the desire to respond in kind to hate, and the frustration of a seemingly media blackout, I feel that official channels should be kept as professional as possible. The lack of ability to maintain a business tone in the face of adversity does not bode well, in my humble opinion.

TFYC’s Matthew Rappard was interviewed by APGNation, which was…interesting. He named dropped two journalists that haven’t written about his organization despite speaking with him. Jason Schreier of Kotaku I don’t feel was a big deal, only because Schreier himself had stated he talked with Rappard. Schreier has since reveled why there is no article on Kotaku about TFYC and probably won’t be anytime soon. Freelancer Choli Rad is a different story. Unlike Schreier there had been no public statement prior about talking with Rappard, and undoubtably the interview led to hate-filled spew flung her way. Even so, she handled the situation professionally (there’s that word again!) and maturely. She, too, gave an explanation for the lack of coverage. Her explanation makes perfect sense: it was a bunch of he-said-she-said drama and she wanted nothing to do with it.

The problem is a number of sites did decided to document the drama, just without the TFYC angle. That was a mistake. The omission of the campaign by nearly all major gaming sites gave credence, false or not, to some of the gamergate claims about journalism ethics and integrity. By treating Rappard and the capitalists as persona non grata, the press created a “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” situation, thus TFYC’s strange allies/bedfellows.

It’s possible that if the gaming press had given TFYC enough rope they would have hanged themselves, but instead the press has created a rallying point for gamergate that is now a bit hard to dismantle, if not imposibble.

As far as the rest of gamergate, well, there really isn’t much to say. While sympathetic to the affront felt with all the “death to gamers!” posts going up, there is no denying I am a feminist, and on the left side of politics. As such, upon seeing the hashtag/movement/whatever become so… MRA, right-wing, and anti-feminist, I had no desire to be associated with it. I do agree there are issues with the gaming media, but these are probably growing pains. So yes, be critical of the press and force them to be more accountable and transparent when such things are needed, but this desire to remove all politics and social awareness is just backwards.

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