How to Boycott Me, I Mean, REALLY Boycott Me

So a few days ago, it was suggested to a faction of the hot, pathetic misogynist mess known as GamerGate that launching a boycott of Tor Books was a possible “action op” for them. This was quickly shot down, no doubt in part because the person suggesting it was Theodore Beale, and no one at this point actually gives a crap what he thinks about anything. However, last night I went on another Twitter tear on the subject of GamerGate, and I woke up this morning to a few chuckleheads bleating to Tor about what a terrible person I am, in order to, I don’t know, get Tor to talk to me sternly about having opinions on the Internet, because apparently Tor is my dad. So maybe this push to boycott Tor because of me has legs after all! Hooray!

That said, my takeaway from these furtive attempts to make me shut up about the fact that GamerGate is basically a bunch of terrible human beings being shitty to women, up to and including threatening them and publishing their personal information online in an obvious attempt to silence them is to be just a little bit sad. Not because a few of these human-shaped pieces of ambulatory refuse are trying to do it, but because they’re thinking too small about it.

I mean, seriously, boycotting just Tor Books? Why limit yourself? Sure, it’s the largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy books in North America and possibly the world, but it’s just one imprint of Tom Doherty Associates. There are several other imprints, including Forge, Starscape, Tor Teen and Seven Seas. You should boycott those, too. That’ll show me!

But even then, you’d be thinking too small. Tom Doherty Associates is itself just one appendage of the publishing giant known as Macmillan, with offices in 41 countries! It publishes thousands of books a year! What a target! You should boycott all of Macmillan. Man, I’m quaking in my boots just thinking about it. But even then, it’s small potatoes, for Macmillan is just one part of the mighty Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck, with annual sales in the billions of euros. Boycott it all! No doubt all of Stuttgart shall fall into a shambles at the thought.

But even then you are not done, boycotters! For you see, I am crafty and have diversified my revenue stream. I have many publishers and many people I work with. You must punish them all for having me in their midst. All of them. And not just the tiny imprint or sub-company that works with me directly. That’s what a coward would do. And are you a coward? Well, yes, probably, because the tactics of GamerGate have been astoundingly cowardly right from the start. But still! Think big, my friends. Your boycott must not just take out a few targets, it must nuke them all from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

With that in mind, here are your other boycott targets:

In the UK I am published by Gollancz, which is part of Orion Publishing Group, which is in itself part of Hachette, which is part of Lagardère Group. Crush them!

In Germany I am published by Heyne, which is part of Random House, which is itself owned by Penguin Random House, which is jointly owned by Pearson and Bertlesmann. Squish them!

In audio, I am published by Audible, which is owned by Amazon. Surely it is worth giving up your sweet Amazon Prime subscriptions to make Jeff Bezos shake in his chinos!

But wait! We’re still not done. Because as you may know I have TV deals! One is with FX, which is owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, which is part of 21st Century Fox (yes, it’s 21st Century Fox now. Look it up). You will need to boycott it all. Yes, even Fox News. Be strong! It’s for the cause!

Another is with Syfy and Universal Cable Productions, which is part of NBCUniversal, which is itself part of Comcast. So for this one, some of you will have to give up cable, and possibly your Internet connection. Keep your eye on the prize! It will be worth it!

My third TV deal is with Legendary TV, which is part of Legendary Pictures. And you’re thinking, whew, at least they aren’t part of a multinational corporation! True, but they make films that are distributed through a number of film studios, including Warner Bros (basically, all the DC Comics movies) and Universal. They also own both Geek & Sundry and Nerdist Industries. Noooooo! You can’t get your nerd on anymore! Stay focused! Your pain will make victory that much sweeter!

So, in short, in order to effectively punish my business partners for me having thoughts you don’t like, all you need to do is boycott three of the five major US publishers, two of the five major film/television studios (plus selected product of one of the other ones), and the largest single online retailer in the world. Which, well. It will keep you busy, at least.

Which, to be clear, I am fine with. While you are off whining to these corporations about me, perhaps you will be too busy to, you know, threaten death, rape and assault against women who also dare to express thoughts you don’t like. And you know what? I think that’s a fair trade.

So please: If you’re going to boycott a company because of me, at least do it right. Do it big. There are all your targets, laid out for you. Go get ’em! I’ll be rooting for you, kids!

And in the meantime, just remember this:

Still true, people. Still true.

317 Comments on “How to Boycott Me, I Mean, REALLY Boycott Me”

  1. I expect quite a lot of Malleting in this thread. But to make it simple:

    If you lead with “But GamerGate is about JOURNALISTIC ETHICS,” you’ll get Malleted straight off. It’s not, never was, and I’m not going to tolerate pretending it was. Likewise, “those people threatening women aren’t GamerGate” or, indeed, anything else that’s straight off the GamerGate Bingo Card. Just don’t, son.

    Likewise, as a note to the GG flybys, just because you have not read the site comment policy doesn’t mean it won’t be enforced.

  2. I think you should post this to Administrivia so it’s always readily available to all the people who want to boycott you, all the time. I mean, make it as easy as possible for them, right?

  3. Someone should point out to the erstwhile #notallgamergaters that if you do, in fact, lie down with dogs, you’re gonna get up with fleas.

    Oh wait. Many, many people have.

  4. Oh Mr Scalzi, I did enjoy reading that.

    Can I boycott Fox News anyway, even if I’m not part of GamerGate? I don’t know whether getting them to boycott it is making them miss much, actually. But, yes, one must be completionist about these things.

  5. You also live in America and take advantage of the services its government provides (and even, I assume, contribute to its coffers as required) – maybe we can get them to boycott that too.

  6. Okay, I double-checked the bingo card, and I’m clear.

    There’s a thing in US politics of late where people promote allness thinking. All X are Y. All This are That. And it’s creepy as hell. And it’s extra creepy when it comes from people you respect on topics where you agree with them.

    For instance, if John Scalzi, one of the few people I can unironically refer to as a male feminist, were to preemptively disregard any suggestion that a twitter hashtag might not be a monolithic entity or accurately characterized by the reporting on it? That would freak me right out, because that implies that my confidence in rationality and truth as higher priorities than tribe alignment is failing me.

    Death threats? Rape threats? Absolutely, undeniably, horrible and totally inappropriate. This isn’t a question of whether the hypothetical motivations for them are true or false, they’re just not appropriate things. But that doesn’t mean that absolutely everyone accused of them ought to be assumed to be engaging in them.

    I read something on this recently which I found fascinating:

    What’s most interesting to me, though, is one of the responses posted later. Someone pointed out that this was obviously biased, because it just parroted what people were saying and the gamergate people were endorsing it. But that’s the *point*, kazerad explains; this is an accurate summary of what many of the people using the term *think* they are doing.

    I don’t assume that every non-theist I meet endorses everything Richard Dawkins says. I don’t assume every Muslim I meet supports ISIS. I don’t assume every American I meet endorses drone strikes. And I don’t assume that everyone using the “gamergate” hash tag endorses threats of violence.

    Humans love to circle the wagons and defend the tribe. There is a risk, in activism, of deciding that a given threat is too horrible to bother with the niceties of fact-checking, or remembering that groups are rarely if ever monolithic, and of going straight for the all-of-them rhetoric. And it’s a bad thing. There are a ton of really horrible misogynists in the gaming community who will attach themselves to anything at all that sounds like it might hurt women. That doesn’t mean that it’s safe or rational to automatically disregard anything they latch on to.

    There are a lot of people who have actual coherent points which are getting shouted down, not because of anything they do or say, not because of anything anyone they endorse does or says, but because of things random unrelated people decided to post on twitter using the same hashtag. That’s not a good thing at all.

    I grant that the well is long-since poisoned and there’s no real way to salvage this. I don’t think anything could be done now to make the hashtag usable. But it’s important to remember that there are a ton of people who have posted things with that hashtag, or said they think something called “gamergate” is good, who are right now laughing their asses off at the idea that a bunch of misogynists could threaten you by harassing Tor books.

  7. Daniel:

    I am actually on pretty good terms with Baen. This may be difficult for some people to believe.


    ” I don’t think anything could be done now to make the hashtag usable.”

    The fact that so many people seem to cling to it, however, casts doubt on their sincerity when they say they are actually concerned about other issues.

  8. It would be super useful to have a concise list of creative folks who are actively speaking out against GG (and being cursed at by those shakers of tiny fists) so that those of us who are on board can do a sort of ANTI-boycott and support y’all. Does such a thing already exist?

  9. I’ve never gotten the impression that the jerks who caused GamerGate were big readers in the first place. I’m boycotting punching myself in the face until they behave more nicely to people.

  10. I realize this wasn’t the point of your post, but mentioning all the umbrella corporations and such really drives home the fact that boycotting as a way to actually deprive an objectionable corporation of profits is pretty undoable. Though I’m sure there’s some nuance about affecting one sub-corporation’s profits enough to shut them down, I suppose. I know nothing of business matters.

    Also, that’s a really longwinded protestation of NAMALT, or perhaps more accurately, NA#GGALT.

  11. Seebs, I know it’s hard to accept, but when a group of people gather under a chosen symbol–a hashtag, a flag, a slogan, whatever–they accept that they will be judged just like anyone else who is under that symbol. The symbol, after all, is chosen as a point of unity. And at the moment, the #GamerGate symbol is flying over enough hateful misogynists that a reasonable observer will assume anyone waving it is happy to be judged alongside those hateful misogynists. Not everyone waving the Confederate Battle Flag is a racist, but given the number of Klansmen, Dixiecrats, and miscellaneous racists who have waved it long and hard, it’s hard to blame anyone who sees that flag for assuming the guy waving it is also a racist.

  12. After Intel and Mercedes both decided to pull advertising from Gamasutra and Gawker, the GG people seem to think this is their best tactic. Personally, I think you and Gawker have the best response to the lunacy. Don’t give in.

  13. I was really surprised a week ago, when i noticed that one of the major GG activists was actually someone i know. Not closely, but we have been in contact a few times over the years. I tried to talk him into walking away from GG but i had no luck. He is not just participating but actually wants to build his career on it.

  14. What about food chains and grocery stores supported by your dirty thought-money? And btw, what brand of toilet paper do you use? THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING OF THE BOYCOTT!!!1one!

  15. At this point, I have to wonder what the end game is. Do they think that they will get all women (and only women, I note they haven’t dared dox say Chris Kluwe) to stop voicing any opinion they disagree with? Are we just going to see this drag out for a few more years where it periodically dies down and flares up again when it catches their fancy (it’s already been running since the Tropes series popped up on Kickstarter years ago).

    Law enforcement, even if they were interested, isn’t going to bust down the door of these assholes. There isn’t a coherent end goal to even reckon with beyond “don’t criticize my consumer products (which I use as my identity) or me”, and that’s so amorphous it is like fighting crime with the standard of “don’t do bad stuff”.

    Worst (and unfortunately very plausible) case end game is that this shit gets folded into what is viewed as a legitimate political position. There are already D-list shills trying to fold it in under the conservative header, if we end up with a woman candidate or president we can reasonably expect to see an upsurge in mainstreamed misogyny, just like we did racism with Obama.

  16. Martin:
    How exactly does one build a career on this? Start your own gaming review site? Try and become a political activist with this at its core? Try and join the legions of “mainstream media is corrupt!!!1” mainstream media pundits?

  17. If John Scalzi is “one of the few people I can unironically refer to as a male feminist” then you either know not enough males or have a weirdly skewed social circle. I have a hard time thinking of male friends who I can’t unironically refer to as feminist.

  18. Don’t forget that each book you buy reduces your ability to buy a different book, so buying books by other authors is boycotting you too.

    However, checking all of these things for other authors as well could become time consuming. So, if people want to send their book money to me I will not only purchase books for them, but guarantee they will never see a pro-equality author’s work again.

  19. Way to go John! Putting the I’ve in diversified. I see your plan for world infiltration and domination seems to be on track.

    The hashtag, if it ever stood for something positive, has been appropriated & hijacked by the rabble. At this point the hashtag GamerGate only stands for an intolerant and hateful movement.

  20. One of the websites I write for made it onto one of their “‘to boycott’ websites” lists and for a half day we were at least thinking “Well, at least this will keep them away from the comments.” And yet they keep coming onto the site – it’s almost as if they don’t understand what the word boycott means.

  21. Re: the Seebs & Scalzi exchange —

    Thinking only about the organization (or rather the haphazard lack thereof) of their group, at this point I suspect much of the unwillingness to start a new tag is basically fear that it won’t take off trending regardless of whether their cause is “just.” Trying to herd that many cats into the new, right direction on a new tag without also dragging all the trash they’re trying to leave behind along with them and get successfully trending again, keeping their current (if threat-motivated) momentum to get the “real story” going in the media untainted?

    I don’t know enough about social media to be a great judge of this, maybe, but that seems like a reasonable concern. Reasonable enough to justify staying on a tag that has so much ugliness stuck to it after months of this? I don’t know. Probably not. They might just value the momentum more than the image. After all, if they’ve had this much trouble/resistance to getting “their side” heard up to this point (which may be due to, I don’t know, all the death threat accusations stealing the headlines, maybe, just a guess), I can see why they might have a hard time believing all it would take to get a fair shake is starting a new tag and saying, “Okay guys, all that GG stuff is behind us now, we’re ONLY talking about the real issues!”

    Maybe if it had happened within the first few weeks, but after something like 3 months of this? I dunno, seems a little unlikely to succeed to me. :\

    But, again, maybe that’s just my inexperience with social media showing. I dunno.

  22. The “Gamergate Alternate Theory” is more like “Gamergate Alternate Reality” containing just enough true facts to cover for its Big Lies, like how #GamerGaters doxxed some Brazilian dude for being THE ONLY ONE threatening Anita. For much of this mess, whenever somebody from #GamerGate made a valid point, I’d do a little research and never have to go more than two levels down to find the disinformation campaign organized on 8chan or elsewhere.

    “How exactly does one build a career on this?” There are companies making some pretty reprehensible games that are likely to make money off the #Gaters. Example:
    Never underestimate the profitability of hate and fear. It keeps Vox Day (a proud #GG supporter) well paid (but not as well as Scalzi… too bad jealousy isn’t as profitable).

  23. I’ll second the notion that this was actually a really eye-opening look at how much impact a boycott of a particular brand or label may or may not have, given the size and scale of conglomerates. That’s going to be something to chew on for awhile.

    But again, it’s fascinating (in that *facepalm* -> *headdesk* -> *curled into a ball on the floor weeping* sense) how the worst that the Gamergaters think they can throw at you is threatening to not buy your stuff (when you’ve been very open about the fact that you don’t see the loss of their dollars as anything to cry over), when in contrast, when it comes to women like Felicia Day, Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, Anita Sarkeesian, Jenn Frank, and so many more, the near-immediate response is doxxing their information, resulting in harassment and threats of violence and rape.

    That difference alone speaks for itself about what’s at the core of Gamergate.

  24. Seebs, you’re comparing a 2-month-old hollow internet movement rooted in harassment to 1) deep, personal religious beliefs (and non-beliefs) that people are often born into, and 2) where someone was born. I’m having a hard time finding a valid point in those examples.

  25. King of tangential to this whole thing (great piece, total support on this John): the “end bias in games journalism” supposedly somewhat legit original purpose for GG is itself based on the misapprehension that specialized, industry-specific “journalism” is somehow the equivalent of mainstream journalism – and in many, if not most, cases, it simply is not.
    Most industries that end up warranting “coverage” (sports, games, entertainment properties) do not have an arms-length relationship with the industry they serve. Indeed, most of the publications serving up the meat are funded directly, in one way or another, by the very industry they are reporting on. That’s one reason why, oh, Consumer Reports, was such a different animal (don’t know if they still are); they received no support – not even review product. Firearms rags, paintball rags, gaming rags etc., etc., are all dependent, financially, upon the industry they cover, which is a large violation of the wall right there. The whole GG anti-journalistic bias thing is demonstrably nothing more than either a cover or just plain idiocy, and probably both. (I have seen, with my own eyes, a publication try to turn the tables by turning themselves into an extortionist: if you don’t advertise in our magazine, we’re going to give you bad reviews…)

  26. In a show of solidarity, I would also like to be boycotted by GG and its supporters. Can we start #boycottmetoo ?

  27. And so, like any other moustache-twirling villian, you reveal your plan… to take EVERY DECENT AUTHOR IN THE WORLD hostage, thus preventing the noble #Gamergators from boycotting your evil self. Fie, fie upon you. Fie, I say.

  28. See, this is why I don’t boycott things. All the research, it’s exhausting.

    In other news, even though I haven’t had anything published yet, and only started sending stuff out, I think I’m going to *say* that GG is boycotting me!

  29. @ Lisa – The Gamergate hashtag never stood for anything positive. It was coined by Adam Baldwin (yes, the guy who played Jayne Cobb in Firefly and whose actions have succeeded in making Jayne Cobb look like Mr. Warm & Fuzzy by comparison), who waded into the fray to “take a stand” against the PC liberal hordes and such even though he’s admittedly “not a gamer,” building off the ugliness that started with the whole Quinnspiracy nonsense and Zoe Quinn’s harassment. The roots of the movement – such as it is – have been rotten from the get-go.

    As others have been pointing out, if there was ever a time to start talking about “ethics” in gaming journalism, it should have been when Jeff Gestermann was fired from GameSpot in 2012 for writing a negative review of a game. But then there wouldn’t have been any convenient excuse to harass and threaten women out of gaming under the guise of “ETHICS!”

  30. In my discussions with Gamer Gate people, I’ve had a hard time trying to connect what they complain about (ethics and journalism) to anything in the real world about ethics and journalism. It comes off to me as an idealized view of both that is not workable in the real world and would shatter at the first touch of real world concerns.

    And that’s not even going to the hypocrisy (slamming reviewers who give money to projects, yet cheering when big companies withhold money from sites over content concerns).

  31. But, but, but, not my internet!

    In all seriousness I never really understood the masses who are all ‘boycott so and so and all his stuff’ without actually doing the leg work to figure out that to actually so any monetary harm you got to go right to the source! Bigger is much more noticeable!

    This post just turned a cruddy Thursday into something much better. I thank you for that John :)

  32. While I snortled my way through your entire essay, Mr. Scalzi, I think my single most favorite phrase is “human-shaped pieces of ambulatory refuse.” Laughed out loud at that one, so I did.

    Thank you on many levels, sir. I am proud to have your works on our bookshelves.

  33. “Human-shaped pieces of ambulatory refuse…”

    I don’t even smoke, and after reading this I feel the compulsion to take a long drag and smile lazily at the ceiling.

    Thanks, John!

  34. I second the …. interesting… observation that the worst they do to you (going by this site, don’t know the reality) is threaten not to buy your products, but Felicia Day’s address is all over the place, and she’s specifically said that she had (or has) stalkers at her home previously. Not to mention the insults and threats pointed her way.

    Funny how EVERYTHING associated with GG just proves them wrong and horribly so.

  35. I totally need to bake you a pie. What’s your flavor? (This is a serious query, you do come to the Phoenix area occasionally. I WILL bring you pie.) ^_^

  36. Scalzi is, of course, right. This is how you boycott things; you refuse to do business with anyone who is even vaguely related to your protest. It’s the only way to even possiblly get any change.

    Of course you need to have a large group who would normally be consumers actually boycotting; make it clear what you’re protesting and what redress you hope for; and finally be able to stand up in front of an apathetic public to explain the justice of your cause. Good luck GGers!

  37. Don’t you live in John Boehner’s district? I guess they can’t vote Republican if they want to really boycott you.

  38. One thing mentioned in this PCMag piece that doesn’t get mentioned enough, especially when someone says “BUT IT’S ABOUT ETHICS IN JOURNALISM!”:
    Grayson never reviewed Depression Quest, nor did anyone else at Kotaku.

    Also, while I normally say “Stay out of the comments”, Sascha Segan has some good replies in the comments there.

  39. @ Karina – What’s worse is that the level of risk women have when they’ve been outspoken about issues like this, and their information is doxxed, isn’t necessarily the same as the risk men face – it’s often **higher**.

    A Pew study was recently released with some disturbing data regarding the variations and frequency of online harassment.

    Specifically: “Online harassment is especially pronounced at the intersection of gender and youth: women ages 18-24 are more likely than others to experience some of the more severe forms of harassment. They are particularly likely to report being stalking online (26% said so) and sexually harassed (25%). In addition, they are also the targets of other forms of severe harassment like physical threats (23%) and sustained harassment (18%) at rates similar to their male peers (26% of whom have been physically threatened and 16% of whom have been the victim of sustained harassment). In essence, young women are uniquely likely to experience stalking and sexual harassment, while also not escaping the high rates of other types of harassment common to young people in general.”

  40. You failed to provide an extensive things that you like, so they can boycott them, too. After all, if they caused the companies that supplied things you like to go under, it would suck for you!

    And I imagine that they don’t want to be like you. So breathing, clothes, toilet use, and sleeping would seem to be a problem for them. I suggest they live naked in forests, holding their breath the best they can.

  41. Honestly, I know some bivalves that are smarter than these gamergaters. Journalistic integrity? Might as well call it WMD’s. Both are ficitonal excuses for violence.

  42. I think trying at being boycotted by #GamerGate is a good thing, like drinking less soda. Therefore, I applaud you on this healthy decision to have less #GamerGate people in your life. Now I seriously need to try drinking less soda.

  43. [Deleted for bog-standard posturing from a sad little boy who doesn’t even know how to flounce correctly – JS]

  44. I want to be you when I grow up. I don’t even care that I’m the same age as you.

  45. @sojournerstrange and others,

    Re: The effectiveness, or lack thereof, of boycotts: When I heard that Chick-fil-A gave to anti-gay organizations and even a small amount to a known hate group, I stopped eating there. I don’t know if it did any good or not, I just didn’t want any of my money going to causes like that.

    Now that they’ve stopped (, I’ll probably eat there again now, when I’m in the mood. (That was in September 2012; apparently I’m behind the times.)

    Only part of a boycott is to attempt to influence behavior. Part is also to not support causes you disagree with, and you can do that all by yourself.

  46. This was fantastic. The internet can be a really crappy place sometimes. It’s a comfort to know that within this fetid cesspool some people can still be relied upon for their wit, compassion, and relative sanity. So thanks John, sincerely.

  47. OMG you are totally, utterly, brilliant!! :) I bow down to your excellence :)

    Love you to bits <3

  48. I still don’t eat at Chick-fil-A, mostly because the food is terrible. But also not because of the company or company founder’s positions, but rather on what I think will go down as one of the least dying gasps of bigotry, the massive “counter protest”. It was much the same bullshit as GG: “I’m not a homophobic asshole, I just believe in freeze peach!” Yeah, sure, you keep telling yourself that, asshole.

  49. I’m someone who “support” the Gamer Gate movement, I care about the journalism ethics issues that have come to light and I think the best way to do so is through good discourse and debate. However I will say that there is an issue with the movement not being able to differentiate between organizations that legitimately oppose the movement through lies and those with dissenting opinion. The latter should not be silenced and should in fact be engaged through good debate, the problem is that few people can see the value of dissenting opinion. This is exactly what is happening here.

    While I certainly don’t agree with everything John says, I do think that not only does he have the right to express it, he shouldn’t be villainized for having a different opinion. John should not be boycotted and I in fact denounce such an act. Then again I’m just one person who supports the movement.

  50. My biggest takeaway from the whole essay was a reminder that basically all of the media we consume is controlled by a very few gigantic multinational corporations, something I knew of course, but manage to lose sight of often. Scary.

    Regarding #gg: I’ve spent the last few weeks up to my elbows in it, reading blogs, tweets, responding, fighting the good fight. In that time I’ve been utterly convinced that the ‘ethics’ controversy #gg has ginned up is utterly fabricated. But, I’ve also read a few pieces sympathetic to the movement that made me think about how this ‘discussion’ is being conducted. And I have to say once I start saying things like “slopebrowed weaseldicks” and “you are a shitty human” my words have become merely tribal signifiers. Once I’ve reached the point of hurling invective, my only real motivation for staying in the conversation is to beat my opponent with my rightness and signal to others which side of the discussion I fall on.

    I believe in ‘social justice’ and I believe in fighting for it. But history tells me that a generation of African Americans stood up to fire hoses and dogs and bombs and beatings and unjust jailings and could still say “Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love.” How can I let an online twitter swarm drive me away from these principles? When we speak out, we must use the methods of our own worldview to do so. Read Brianna Wu’s twitter feed and observe how she was graciously accepting apologies yesterday and tweeted this morning about how love conquers fear. She is persistent in pointing out abuse and supporting allies, but also consistently gracious to her interlocutors, despite having been driven from her home. How can I do less, who is so much less affected and have so much less to lose?

  51. Well, Eric, I just hope you develop the self-awareness to realize that your “movement” is built of bullshit, top to bottom. Have you even stopped to contemplate what perfect “gaming journalism ethics” would look like? Have you considered applying the same level of “ethics” to other forms of entertainment journalism? Difficulty: if you think you have, but have ever used the phrase “objective review”, then you haven’t.

  52. You’re still thinking way too small.

    You use DSL for internet access, and your use of the internet is a key component of your business as a writer. I’m not sure who your DSL provider is – from your location I’d guess either AT&T or CenturyLink, so to be on the safe side, they should boycott both AT&T and CenturyLink (can’t be too careful).

    Your tweets are used, among other things, as marketing. They have to boycott Twitter. And you tweet from your cellphone, which (I think you have said) is on the Verizon Wireless network, so they have to boycott Verizon.

    I believe you have mentioned in the past that you have used Google Docs to write some of your material. They have to boycott Google.

    Part of your business involves travel to book signings and other events. This travel requires you to travel by air, and since Dayton is served by America, Delta, Southwest, and United, they should boycott all of those airlines.

    You also drive to some of your events, so they should boycott the interstate highway system. They should also boycott any company that uses the interstate highway system.

    You use electricity to run the computer on which you write, and the North American grid system is all interconnected, so they should boycott all electrical providers.

    I think it comes down to “cabin in the Idaho woods.”

  53. The Felicia Day thing was just ridiculous – her piece was awesome, thoughtful sad and moving, all at once. And the response completely justified her original stance, unfortunately.

    Anyone who still waves the #GG flag after all the crap that they have pulled needs to take a good, hard look at themselves, get in the shower, was #GG off, and STFU.

    I may have to change my name after the malleting of my namesake on this thread.

  54. Pardon me if I do not understand, but is your basic argument “I am too big to boycott”.

    I agree with the idea that a small and petty group of asshats are acting like a small petty group of asshats, but are you pointing out anything other than that?

    Also, isn’t Ali-baba the world’s largest online retailer

  55. I have come to realise that I might have a Civ save game on my oldest computer that is older than some of these ‘true gamers’. This is the second time recently you have made me feel old.

    I totally hope your daughter drops the cat on you!

  56. @ dglinj, I would think that the only way this boycott could work is for them to emigrate to somewhere where John is unknown and has not visited. This means(Thank heavens) they could not come to the UK. Actually if they came to the UK, I suspect our law would come as a terible shock-no 1st Amendment here!

  57. I have considerable difficulties in keeping a straight face when someone refers to the ‘Gamer Gate movement’, not least because of the scatological connotations, but on balance I think it’s helpful in identifying the strange blend of ignorance and pomposity which characterise those members of their self-proclaimed ‘movement’ not currently sending death threats to anyone who disagrees with them.

    The thing I find seriously weird is the fact that its proponents are obviously in urgent need of Capitalism 101; you would think that people moaning about liberals would have at least a basic grasp of the way in which the world functions…

  58. #boycottVerlagsgruppeGeorgvonHoltzbrinck, now there’s a hashtag for you. Not quire 140 characters, but close.

  59. Peter Cashwell – Kudos to you for knowing that it’s the Confederate *battle* flag!

    John Scalzi – Kudos to _you_ for such a finely-crafted writing, expressing a sentiment I admire!

  60. Chris:

    “Pardon me if I do not understand, but is your basic argument ‘I am too big to boycott.'”

    My basic argument is if they’re going to boycott, then don’t be piddly about it. Let’s see if they can go all out.

  61. @docrocketscience

    Really gaming journalism ethics isn’t any super lofty ideal in some utopian fiction. It’s quite simple: no more nepotism. People can be friends/lovers with whoever they want (just disclose if your writing about them). If you are backing someones project and then end up writing about that disclose that (possibly having someone else write a review but that depends). Its really just about being open, or at least that is my take on it.

    As for “reviews” I’m guessing you’re referring to the uproar over people inserting politicaly/sociologicaly/ideologicaly driven criticisms into reviews? Honestly I’m not a fan of that either but probably not for the reasons you might think. I think such criticisms are great whether I agree with them or not but I don’t think they belong in the context of a review. For me a review answers the question “is it good”, when I read a review I want to know about the graphics, gameplay, sound, atmosphere etc. I think opinion/analysis articles are the best venue for people to explore and criticize (or celebrate) things about games. Obviously no one can be objective as we all have opinions and this is mine.

    Thanks to John for letting me drop a couple of posts here but I’d rather not co-opt his blog for the sake of my own opinion. If anyone would like to continue discussing this I would be happy to via twitter or perhaps another form if that isn’t your game. @Cap_trooper is my username.

  62. Eric:
    Gamergate is a house of cards, built on a foundation of hate and hypocrisy, glued together with bullshit.

  63. I agree that the boycott should be expanded, but in terms of those who sell your books for you, print and e-books. That includes Amazon of course and Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Powell and most bookstores. It also includes iBooks, which is owned by Apple, so all of Apple. There goes the music supply. And it includes Sony, which had a Reader Store selling your e-books, and then closed that store and transferred their business in e-books to Kobo, so all of Sony. Kobo is of course using an Android app, as are many who are selling your e-books worldwide, and Android is owned by Google, so all the Google stuff should be boycotted, including of course YouTube, which includes all sorts of video readings of your work, and all Android phones as well as the Sony or Apple iphones. You also forgot your own video game — Morning Star, which means they should boycott Industrial Toys at the very least. And then of course you consulted on the t.v. show Stargate Universe, which was owned by MGM Television and is part of MGM. MGM owns United Artists as well, so them too and all the productions film and t.v. that they put out.

  64. I work for an online school that is owned by Pearson, so that means the GGers can’t send their kids to our school. They also can’t use Pearson’s text books, and they pretty much dominate the K-12 market. American education is now closed to them! Mwahahahaha!

  65. Given that I don’t think Eric is personally worth chasing around the internet (in no small part because I think he may be retreating to friendlier confines), may I leave a final remark here for the benefit of the peanut gallery?

  66. Or, I can let him have the final word, even if he is wrong on the internet. That doesn’t hurt too much, does it? Does it???

  67. To paraphrase PG Wodehouse (And Bertie Wooster)

    The trouble with you, Gamergaters, is that just because you have succeeded in inducing a handful of half-wits to disfigure the gaming scene by going about in black shorts, you think you’re someone. You hear them shouting “Heil, GamerGate!” and you imagine it is the Voice of the People. That is where you make your bloomer. What the Voice of the People is saying is: “Look at those frightful asses swanking about in footer bags! Did you ever in your puff see such perfect perishers?”

  68. You have a good point about the hashtag, and I agree that they should probably write it off as a sufficiently-poisoned well.

    But for the exact same reasons that I think it’s completely pointless for them to try to rehabilitate the name, I also think it’s actively harmful to discourse for anyone *else* to promote the idea that there is a single unifying correct interpretation of what “gamergate” means. It’s not a monolithic or organized thing, it has no authority figures to determine who is or isn’t part of it… And that means that it is wrong to claim that it’s “really” about ethics in journalism, but *also* wrong to claim that it’s “really” about misogyny. It’s about different things to different people, and has mostly turned into a pure wagon-circling meme with little to no semantic value.

    It’s more useful to talk about specific people and their actions, I think, and just ignore the hashtag because it’s completely useless as an identifier. The question isn’t just why these people are trying to defend or rehabilitate a label that they adopted in good faith while apparently unaware of the conflicting views on what it meant; it’s why you and others are insisting that the label has exactly one specific meaning and that anyone using it obviously endorses that meaning and everything associated with it. I’ve met a lot of people who identify as “pro-gamergate”. *None* of them are discernably misogynists. Most of them are every bit as opposed to harassment and threats as you are. But since you started with the belief that the tag is primarily for misogynists, you’re assuming they are willingly associating with misogynists, while they think they are being unwillingly associated with by misogynists whom they wish would go away.

    It is reasonable to argue that the label has been deprived of any possible utility for productive discourse. It’s not reasonable to argue that it has been deprived of any possible positive meaning, but then assert that it absolutely and clearly has a negative meaning and that anyone using it should be okay with being judged accordingly. I think the fair answer is “this label has been deprived of any coherent meaning whatsoever, and no reasonable inferences can be drawn from it”. If I meet someone who says they are “pro-gamergate”, it could be a thoughtful feminist who thinks that the media coverage of this has been abysmal and that death threats are horrible, or it could be a hilarious self-parodying brony who’s going to lecture me on how women have it easier than men.

    I am all for castigating the people behaving horribly, and such people there are a-plenty. I am not comfortable at *all* with “anyone who uses label X is intentionally associating with horrible people”.

    I should perhaps point out: My initial impression of “gamergate” was that it was all misogynistic trolls, but I’ve since been convinced that my view was inaccurate and that it’s actually not a cohesive thing. I never thought it was *actually* all about ethics and accountability, but I’ve been convinced that enough people who were using the tag since it showed up thought so and acted in reasonably consistent manners that I have no basis for declaring them to be *less* representative than the much more publically visible bad actors.

    I say this as someone who continues to identify as a Christian despite people periodically blaming me personally for Westboro Baptist. And, well, to be fair they’ve made a heck of a lot more headlines than all the churches I’ve ever attended put together.

  69. “Journalistic integrity?” Seriously? We don’t have journalistic integrity in any other form of reporting, but it’s worth issuing death threats over reporting on video games?

  70. If it was about journalist integrity, how about going after, oh, say Electronic Arts, instead of a female indie developer who has probably sold fewer than 10,000 games in her entire career.

  71. As I noted on Twitter last night, GamerGate is to ethics in journalism what the GOP’s Voter ID restrictions are to voting rights: a thinly-veiled attempt at misdirection, while the real purpose is to silence voices they don’t want to hear.

  72. I should probably say that I unironically encourage GGers to do this. It is a better use of your time than 97% of the stuff being done in the name of the movement/hashtag.

  73. The first time I came across “gamergate” (didn’t see that tag used until a while after) I seriously thought it was a joke. There were these people who were talking about “ethics in games journalism” as if it was a matter of life and death. Yes, I do think games journalists need to adhere to ethical conduct. But really… Doxxing? Rape threats? Murder threats? THREATENING SOMEONE’S CHILDREN? Surely NOBODY thinks those kinds of tactics are called for when talking about _video game reviews_ FFS.

    I don’t have much time for gaming these days, but in my teens years I spent many, many, many an hour playing Half-Life, flight simulators, GTA and numerous less known games both on PC and PS. I guess at that time, I was an active gamer. Some day, I will probably reactivate that part of my life, when I have time. My daughter, 6 years old, is already accustomed to playing PS and other electronic games. I like games. I’d like to see them develop and evolve.

    But I can’t imagine threatening someone’s life because they are saying something about videogames that I don’t like. I just… I can’t, you know? I just can not fathom the process that goes on in someone’s head when they do this! I can’t even imagine doing it in retaliation for the horrid things they’ve done.

    Thank you for this post. I loved it! To be honest, I’m not familiar with your work. But there’s no time like right now, eh? Amazon goes clickety-click… ;) So fear not for loss of readership, I think you’ve just gained plenty of new ones. GamerGaters are doing loads of marketing for you!

  74. Thank you Mr. Scalzi.
    To any GamerGaters reading – you don’t get to bitch about ethics while applying the least engaging in such egregiously unethical behavior.

  75. Said it elsewhere, I’ll say it here: the “journalistic ethics” argument is specious at best. And here’s why:

    A) Reviews are inherently subjective. It’s an opinion piece on whatever is being reviewed.

    B) Advance copies of small, easily-transported products (books, games, music, to name but 3 examples) are often provided by publishers/producers to reviewers so that reviewers can, well, review and have their reviews in their [newspaper, magazine, website, TV or radio show] in a way that’s timely to the release of the product in question, namely release day or in the first couple days after release.

    B2) Movies and TV shows are often advanced-screened to reviewers for the same reasons.

    C) Larger products (say, cars and trucks) are often provided by their manufacturers to reviewers ahead of their on-sale date. Often, the reviewers have to agree to an “embargo” on the review until a set date to allow all the traditional dead-tree media outlets to get through their publishing/printing/distribution lead times. Even more often, reviewers are invited to travel (at manufacturer expense) to a particular site for a review, and housed/drinked/dined at the manufacturer’s expense.

    This has been true since the dawn of modern periodical publishing and has carried forward into the digital age.

    The lone thing in question is disclosure of provided material (advanced copies, screenings, trips to review product). Often, this is baked into the review (“Bourgemobile Motors flew us to St. Tropez to drive their new entry-level Proletariat Eco in an environment wholly at odds with the vehicle’s purpose”), but even when it’s not explicit, there’s an implied disclosure — you are holding, in your hands, a newspaper or magazine that has a detailed review of Product X, the VERY DAY Product X is available to consumers! Barring the use of a TARDIS, a Flux Capacitor and a Mr. Fusion, or an inverse tachyon pulse, what sort of magic do you think was at work to allow the writer to experience Product X, write a review, have it be edited, typeset, published, and physically distributed all over a geographic data at the exact same time Product X was released to the public?

    And reviewers meet creators all the time. Industry functions. Press tours promoting Product X. Interviews. As we’re dealing with human beings, and given that reviewers tend to be people already interested in the subjects they’re reviewing, it’s inevitable that friendships will be struck to varying degrees.

    With the current climate of crowd-funding independent creations, it’s possible a reviewer will spend some of the money they’ve earned writing reviews contributing to a crowd-funded product. Sure, it’d be great to have disclosure if said reviewer ends up writing a review, but since a crowd-funded product’s typical model is basically a pre-purchase of that product, how is a reviewer spending their own money to buy said product any different than Consumer Reports spending *their* own money to buy the products they’re reviewing? CR is somewhat unique among product review publications in that they do not accept manufacturer-provided test samples, even going to the trouble of using individuals to buy products so not even the retailer knows it’s going to be tested. How is throwing down on a Kickstarter at the reward level that gets you the product (and most reviewers don’t make enough coin to throw down at the larger levels) any different beyond the possibility that the producer will see your name?

    As far as the GG “movement”, it started out toxic, it’s remained toxic, and it’s totally disingenuous pretending it’s about anything other than a bunch of 10-year-olds (or notional adults acting *just like* 10-year-olds) really upset that icky girls have found out about their clubhouse (video games) and, worse, the girls *also* think it’s fun, so they’re going to do every mean, spiteful trick they can think of to drive the girls out and lock the door behind them.

    That the GG “movement” Venn diagram has heavy overlap with the MRA/PUA/right-wing blowhard sectors is also not surprising. They each share an attitude about women that’s at least 50 years behind the rest of the planet’s timeline. I’d suggest they try to evolve into a more sensible species, but many don’t believe in evolution.

  76. Oh, yeah, and the GGers should be boycotting all Coca-Cola products because our esteemed host has a serious Coke Zero habit.

  77. They’re not really boycotting. They’re just e-mailing threats to boycott. A real boycott would require some sort of act of self-denial on their part.

  78. Seebs, how about “gamergate” = “clusterfuck”? Your post illustrates that, IMO. People claim what it is, what it isn’t, what it says about people who use it, what it doesn’t say, and there is nobody who can take away the impression the general public now seems to have of it, if they are aware of it at all. If those who use the tag believe that any publicity is good publicity and that’s why they’re hanging onto it, they’re going to have to deal with the blowback, whether they deserve it or not. They *are* intentionally associating themselves with horrible people. They might think it’s worth it not to have to start over with an unknown “brand,” but that’s their choice to make.

    I don’t think the Christian/Westboro analogy holds water. As far as I can tell, the majority of people who find Westboro repugnant don’t associate all Christians with their actions. You ran across a few bozos, apparently. I have never, in speaking with anyone about Westboro over the years, heard anyone blame other Christians for their activities, and in all the extensive media coverage of Westboro, including my local newspaper, which is not all that liberal, I have not seen Christians or Christianity blamed for what Westboro does. Christianity was a strong “brand” for centuries before Westboro came along and will no doubt survive it. Gamergate has never been a stand-alone movement for good that was much later tarred by association with the repugnant and sometimes criminal actions of the people who wrap themselves in the name. It has been a poisoned tag from the start, and I don’t see any way to change that now.

  79. Here’s the problem: Boycotts are not going to work for either side here. There’s not really overlap between the products the GG folks buy and the kind of products Scalzi produces (some gamers I know are really into anything involving SF/F- literature, comic books, merch, etc. – but many just like games. Likewise, I know plenty of SF/F media fans who are just not into games.) What overlap there is, even if the politics are a factor, people can simply find other media products more in line with their political/social tastes to substitute for them. Boycotts don’t matter if the people are not already buying the stuff that’s being boycotted.

    Capital seeks the path of least resistance. As long as there is a demand for a product, it will be produced, and people who want them will buy them and enjoy them regardless of what the neighbors (or or the government and/or various pressure groups) think. Scalzi’s supply of money is secure. (So is the money for people who make stuff GGers like.)

    (P.S. That said, I really, really want to see the GG dumbshits slinging around injury/death threats get Hulk-smashed by law enforcement on principle. Speech is fine. Threats are not.)

  80. Hmph. The very BEST you could possibly say about Gamer Gate right now (bending backwards so far that your spine is in serious trouble) is that they’ve allowed their brand to be hijacked by misogynists and stalkers. And they have absolutely no clue on how to take it back.

    Frankly, that’s a more serious problem than ethics in journalism.

  81. Dear Seebs,

    This is perilously close to the “not all men…” dismount.

    Don’t really care. Doesn’t matter if gamergate was started with noble motives or malign ones. It really, really doesn’t. Because it, and its public image, basically its “brand” have been hijacked by monsters, totally awful and reprehensible men who don’t deserve the least bit of support or recognition and should be thrown in jail.

    You can’t rehabilitate the name. You may not be able to rehabilitate the topic for years. They have salted the earth. Trying to invoke gamergate to discuss journalistic ethics will be like trying to invoke the Ku Klux Klan to discuss states rights. Too damn bad for you, but if this really, really upsets you, you should be getting outraged at them. Actively and publicly. Read “spacekat’s” column that John linked to. Wringing your hands here, not so useful.

    pax \ Ctein
    [ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
    — Ctein’s Online Gallery
    — Digital Restorations

  82. Eric: John should not be boycotted and I in fact denounce such an act.

    Hrm. I can think of some things far more deserving of a denouncing, but, everyone has their priorities.

    You gave that game 5 out of 5 stars?!?!?!?!?! I’m gonna rip your head off, shit down your throat, desecrate your corpse, molest your children, and set fire to your house. Journalistic integrity! At any cost! (as long as someone else is paying, of course).

    But yeah, boycotts are mean too.

  83. I caved and spent a bit looking at this idiotic gamersgate fight. I think I lost a few brain cells. You are better off ignoring them. By giving them attention, they get what they want which is more attention.

    dont respond. ignore. If they get attention they win. if they come to your house. shoot them.

    btw. if they post on forums and they are run by a business, you can issue a subpoena to get the IPs. I don’t think its more than few hundred dollars. If hosted in the US, its unlikely the company will fight it, its not worth the trouble. from that you can run a simple network command to find out ISP. then issue subpoena to ISP to find out who the person is. could be a school or mcdonalds. but if its someones home. you can make them famous. you can probably get this reimbursed with a kickstarter. I wouldnt post the kickstarter until you collect IPs and addresses first or they may make changes.

    probably can’t get charges, but you can get them fired (if they have a job) or humiliated.

    this guys are not going to be smart enough to mask their IPs. Those of us who know how to do this (and its not hard) are getting paid. We have better things to do than do stuff like this.

    for those SJWs who are tying this crap to conservative. Dude, we are the ones telling 20 something nitwits to get off the computer and go outside. We have better things to do than waste our time with this garbage.

  84. I’m not a gamer–can’t stand shoot-em-ups and don’t care to play in general but I stumbled across the whole GG thing and got sucked into the internet rabbit hole and just end up shaking my head.
    What I really don’t get, myself, are the young women I came across on Huffington Post Live (I think it was) who are all upset about how GG is being misrepresented and how as gamers and developers themselves they totally get how it’s about journalistic ethics. But then I also don’t really get gay Republicans who endorse people like Jesse Helms and that ilk.
    I think my favorite was the woman whose company had a game that got glowing reviews except for one that docked them points for sexism. She referred to it as as example of collusion and not relevant to the review of the game. Feminism in gaming should be a separate issue.
    I get that they (GG people who see it as a journalistic standards thing) are desperate to redeem their hashtag but I think that ship has sailed. Let it be a lesson in unleashing an anonymous internet group.

  85. Hey Autojim,
    I have a 10 year old and a 13 year old gamers at my house and they would be pretty insulted by your comment. I have had to explain to them all about the GamerGate crap and we saw Cory Doctorow discuss it as well. My kids are better thinkers than GG. I think it was best summed up by my son; “so they don’t like girls…playing video games? I don’t like girls but I like anyone who likes to play video games with me. That is just stupid.” (goes back to playing Skyrim).
    I also love how geek gods are speaking out against this crap, and I can just hope this is the last dying gasp of haters.

  86. Your argument against GamerGate boils down to “Why haven’t you stopped beating your wife?”, almost literally.

    Think about that.

  87. Your argument against GamerGate boils down to “Why haven’t you stopped beating your wife?”, almost literally.


  88. GamerGator:

    Actually, it would be “Why haven’t you stopped harassing and threatening women?” QUITE literally. Because, you know. GamerGate hasn’t stopped threatening and harassing women. LITERALLY.

    Hope that helps.


  89. @john: contact word press and get the guys IP address who posted as gamergater. post it on your site. we can track to the ISP. then its 1 subpoena to get where it came from.

  90. Great Post John.
    They should also boycott the USA since you live here. I have no problem with them leaving.

  91. Yes boycotts are stupid, same as when people whined about Orson Scott Card and his opinions and wanted to try and hurt him and the movie which he already was paid.
    As for gamergate, think people who put down women, make them objects etc are stupid. But i find it interesting that most people who are fighting about it will later watch tv shows, movies, video games etc that have very sexist themes.

  92. GamerGaters: asking “why hasn’t Zoe Quinn stopped sleeping her way to the top of the gaming world” and expecting to be taken seriously.

  93. Whatsit:

    I’m pretty sure the folks who complain about sexist themes in video games also complain about sexist themes in other media, actually.

  94. Two things:
    1. I read something recently about comparing men to a bowl of M&Ms. if we told you that 5% of the M&Ms were poisoned, how carefully would you decide which ones were good?
    John, you are a good M&M.

    I am, whoever, considering whether that % should be higher, given the boys of gamergate

    2. have you seen the redo of Lesley Gore’s ‘you don’t own me’? you should. everyone should. That is why I just added this to twitter under the #gamergate tag

  95. Good advice! But still not big enough. You’re a horrible HUMAN, so I’m going to boycott all of humanity, including myself! I’m going to cut off my nose to spite my face and send it to Gaugin! My nose that is, not my face. Oh, wait. That’s EARS, isn’t it? Where’s my razor?

  96. Not sure point of having gamergate ip and then supposedly trying to get them in trouble? Did he/she post something illegal here?

  97. Seebs – Your information on what gg is is entirely wrong.

    It originated with a vengeful ex-boyfriend and a group of 4Chan/8Chan trolls who were gleeful about doxxing, threatening and ultimately harming a stranger. They were ecstatic about the idea of driving Zoe Quinn to kill herself. The chat logs and screenshots are out there for everyone to see. There was never any legitimate concern about any serious issue at the root of this. It was about harassing a woman who had already been through several previous rounds of harassment.

    They invented out of whole cloth the cover story about “ethics” – and again, it’s in the logs that they did this because they knew they could never get useful rubes like yourself on board if they advertised that their entire goal was to drive a woman to kill herself.

    By bleating about how “there’s merit to both sides” and “it’s a big complex thing it’s not faaiiiiiirr to label everyone” you are providing cover for these decrepit specimens of humanity. When you try to cloud the issues and conciliate and spew garbage about how it’s all so complex, you are building a smoke screen for these vermin to continue to harm women.

    You are allying yourself with people who gloat about wanting to drive a total stranger to suicide. That is what you are defending. There is no complexity here. Anyone who claims they are part of this group because of “serious concerns about ethics in gaming journalism” is either a sock puppet or a willing participant in trying to harm other people for being different from them. End of story.

  98. I agree with the general import of this, but what’s with the mocking of boycotters for how puny their monetary power is next to that of the giant corporations they’re directing their disapproval to? What else would you have consumers who disapprove of giant corporations, whatever the reason, do? Good guys want to boycott giant corporations from time to time too; should we likewise be mocked?

  99. And Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck is intern owned by Combine Honnete Ober Advancer Mercantiles, so boycott the spice!

    The more I read the more I angry I get at these man-children claiming to speak for my sex and my hobby.

  100. Fafyti:

    “what’s with the mocking of boycotters for how puny their monetary power is next to that of the giant corporations they’re directing their disapproval to?”

    Actually, I am suggesting to them how to maximize their gigantic economic might.

  101. people mentioned Kluwe by name, but I didn’t see a link to his amazingly awesome rant.

    GamerGator: Your argument against GamerGate boils down to “Why haven’t you stopped beating your wife?”, almost literally.

    Mike Tyson: “Yo, Evander talks a lot. Dude won’t shut up. He gets on a topic and he’ll just chew your ear off, man.”

    yeahhhh…. I’m guessing you didn’t think that one through….

  102. @guess: might be interesting to see who this poster really is. you can’t be anonymous on the internet right?

  103. @seebs, no “probably” about it. If an individual has a complaint they feel is legitimate, why would they deliberately link it to a hashtag that would get the issue buried under all the misogyny? When something goes this toxic there is no way to get out fast enough. Not all press is good press.
    Anyone who tries to ride a wave of death, rape, and terrorist threats in order to promote awareness of an issue of ethics needs a new moral compass. Frankly, anyone who attempts to ride said wave for any reason needs their moral calculus checked.

    May they all boycott the internet. That would sure show us. Also computers. Because originally most computer programmers were women and now any time you use a computer you’re supporting their feminist conspiracy.

  104. [Deleted because, yeah, no, actual 200-proof eye-rolling stupidity here. Run along, GamerGator. I’m sure someone more credulous will think you are very smart — JS]

  105. MNmom –

    You are correct. My comparison of GGers to 13-year-olds is an insult to well-adjusted 13-year-olds everywhere, and for that I apologize. They’re more like a movie stereotype of a maladjusted 13-year-old in a movie where the late John Ritter gets kicked in the nards a lot.

  106. Fafyti, another way to look at this is that Mr. Scalzi derives income from quite a few sources, so if the “boycott Scalzi” lads really want to affect his finances, boycotting Tor is only a start.

  107. Wow.

    Your entire premise hinges on all of the (numerous) bad actors in GG being false-flag operators.

    That’s just… wow. Wow.

    Put your analyst on danger money, GamerGator. You’ve got a bad case of the Alex Joneses.

  108. I laugh at the outrage of people who place their messages in firehose of shit, and pout when others assume their message is full of shit.

    Gamergate (yech!) is a firehose of shit.The actual fecal percentage is irrelevent. Your signal is fails to get out of the noise created by the firehose of shit.

    To misquote Marshal McLuhan – if your medium is shit, your message is shit.

    If you wish to be heard, get out of the latrine.

  109. @gamor gator

    “hired falseflaggers”

    The world (even the internet) is not as convoluted as all that. People can be and are sh*&y on the internet.

  110. BW – yeah, that was kind of my point. Because John is diversified (as he points out) and so are the corporations that publish him, anyone who wishes to punish him economically lacks any power to do so. (John writes of having them “maximize their gigantic economic might” – again, like the post itself, with sarcastic irony.)

    It just concerns me to see arguments like this that could so easily be put on the other foot.

  111. Oh, the Noble GamerGater Who Is Totes Not Misogynist You Guys. The Way Less Sexy Drizzt Do’Urden of Hashtags. Except…no.

    Guys. Dudes. Even if you got into GG *before* the rape threats and the doxxing and the similar ridiculous, you still…signed on with a “journalistic ethics” movement whose center and creator was somebody’s butthurt ex.*

    Has there ever been a connection between “WAAAAH SHE WON’T TOUCH MY JUNK ANY MORE” and a reasonable political or journalistic movement?

    Did you really think there ever would be? Or are you willing to, *at best*, be fine associating with all of the above because you think your Glorious Manly Cause is more important than women’s right to, say, not be harassed and stalked?

    In other words: are you evil, or just stupid?

    *And for the record, everyone’s personal feelings about infidelity and the truth of accusations aside? Only reason I *wouldn’t* cheat on whatshisname’s crybaby ass is that I’d have to date him to do that. I hope, if he ever dupes another girl into dating him, she sleeps with the starting lineup of the Patriots, comments copiously on how much better they are, and embeds the video in his desktop such that it plays whenever he starts up the computer.

    Hell, if I weren’t so lazy/too impatient for the long con, I’d do it myself.

  112. fafyti:

    To be clear, if GamerGaters think that boycotting any/all of my business associates will do anything, they are welcome to try. And they might even be right! But it does seem to me unlikely, as among other things for the boycott to be effective they would have to get others to join in, and, well. I don’t see that happening.

    Everyone else:

    I deleted Gamer Gator’s tweet for being actual stupidity. Please stop responding to it.

  113. (To start off, I am not a gamergater, and have been highly critical of them… but in some of their defense…)

    Gamergate is more than the wastes-of-humanity that do the reprehensible acts in their name. To paint them all with one brush is to lump all the discord into one easy-to-dismiss package.

    It isn’t.

    It’s tragic that the actual good people who are trying to make a change in how incestuous the gaming “journalism” industry is get lumped in with the dregs of humanity. They can’t do enough to distance themselves. They’ve actually outed people who have committed such evil acts but that doesn’t get press. They’ve actually proven some of the threats weren’t from people within Gamergate, but hacks who wanted more clickbait for their website.

    If they were smart, they’d create something like #Gamesreform or #GGnotaboutwomen or something that would create more separation between the evil and the good.

    Because there is CLEARLY a lot wrong in the games “journalism” industry, and more is coming out each day to support that.

    It is just getting lost in the echo chamber.

  114. For any of the people who are genuinely concerned about ethics in gaming journalism, a few questions:

    First, why haven’t some of you started your own game journalism site? If the issue is of real concern to a significant number of people you could Kickstarter the site and surely you could find decent writers.

    Second, How pristine to people have to be? In the real world, relationships are complex. If a games reviewer is at, say, E3 and ends up having drinks with some game developers are they forever tainted? What about if a games journalist once worked on the development side? You folks seem to want everything to be clear and unambiguous and real life ain’t that.

    Third, of all of the issues of the day you’re really hitching your reputations and energy on ethics in gaming journalism? REALLY??? This is the cause that’s so important you’ll ally yourselves with misogynist, doxxing, near-terrorist trolls? More transparent game reviews are worth this?

  115. I don’t twitter, but I noticed a couple days ago in the sidebar Scalzi had a tweet that linked to a list of the main actors in gamergate and listed all the misogynistic crap they were doing before hand. Can’t find it now. Did anyone catch it?

  116. Shayde: Because there is CLEARLY a lot wrong in the games “journalism” industry,

    Kind of takes the wind out of the sails of that argument if the instigating event that supposedly showed gaming journalism doing something devious turned out in fact to be no such thing.

    Also, out of curiosity, what do you use as a reference for good journalism? We’ve got networks whose sole reason for existing is to lie to the american public about really important things like ebola, international politics, domestic politics. And you guys decide to take on the game journalists?

  117. They’ve actually outed people who have committed such evil acts but that doesn’t get press.

    They actually have not. Their harassment of Zoe Quinn continues to this very moment – and that leaves aside the Doxxing of Felicia Day. All of this is coordinated and collaborated on at 8chan and r/kotakuinaction – and that’s the publicly available stuff. Lord knows what they are cooking up in more private areas.

    GG is about misogyny and suppression of women’s voices in gaming. There is no other explanation.

    As a gamer of 30+ years, the existence of GG vexes me. As a human, the conduct of GG offends me.

    Fuck GG, and all it’s supporters.

  118. John Scalzi is part of reality. Therefore we should boycott ALL OF REALITY! Let’s see someone top THAT! (Alternate realities don’t count).

  119. Why not go all the way…I think they should come into the 21st century and buy lots and lots of copies of your books as ebooks and then show you by deleting them…heck they could even then post video of the deletions to show everyone how much they’re hurting you :) I just hope they don’t read this comment and realize how bad they could be…

  120. Rick

    This does indeed demonstrate the absence of legs to stand on in the GG camp; if people are genuinely interested in fair and equitable reviews of games then they don’t even have to run a Kickstarter.

    All they have to do is create a blog (which can be done for free with WordPress) and start writing the fair and equitable reviews which they say they want. They are not doing that; instead they are dumping yet more toxic waste into a poisoned subculture, and then complaining about all this toxic waste which is preventing them from being treated with the admiration they think they deserve…

  121. Hm…one of the many strands is that there’s an emergent accusation that Sarkisian and other people like Arthur Chu are just token puppets for white Social Justice Warriors.

    It’s kinda clear they don’t really see how patronizing or racist that is. And they sure as hell don’t know any other feminist or POC activists.

  122. John: ” for the boycott to be effective they would have to get others to join in, and, well. I don’t see that happening.” OK, that’s where the difference lies. Thank you.

    Rick: And thank you for your three points addressing the possible molehill of truth that underlies the mountain of [expletive]. They say that’s what they’re really concerned with, but if they were, they’d do X, and they’re not doing it. A phenomenon visible in a lot of other Very Loud political movements, especially, though not exclusively, over on the right.

  123. Given the comments made by the ‘reasonable’ supporters of gamergate, it would seem they have already signed on to the concept of boycotting reality.

  124. Shayde, I think what you’re saying is that you have no clue on how to reclaim the tag from the misogynists and harassers….

  125. As I suspect that most of the adherents to “GamerGate” live in their parents basements and have issues even Axe body spray won’t handle…
    Why in Gawds name would I want to boycott YOU, your business associates or Tor? I enjoy your work very much! More importantly, as a would be author, why would I want to piss off one of the largest publishers in the world?

  126. Shayde:

    Considering that particular subreddit is Denial About GamerGate Central, I would be taking any repudiation there as (to put it politely) highly limited.

  127. That was just the quickest bit I could google. There’s a lot of such efforts out there to try to clean up the movement.

    Which I think is a lost cause, but I’m a fan of Don Quixote.

  128. I really wonder what the fallout of gamergate will be. I’m a bit depressed by my speculations.

    On the bad side, we have threats, stalking, divulging of personal details, and loss of sponsorships for progressive gaming publications by major corporations.

    On the good side we have what? A more public recognition of the support many gaming journalists and developers already had for diverse voices?

    Does gamergate result in changes in Twitter comment policy (and in other social media)? Do those involved in the worst threats get arrested? Does gaming journalism as a whole become more focused on issues of diversity, and game developers more focused on turning the tide away from exclusion? I may be pessimistic to say this, but at this point, it looks like the bullies are getting away with their bullying.

    It heartens me to see so many geek celebrities coming out in explicit opposition to gamergate, but what is happening to prevent this from happening again? Does the “movement” just die down when the trolls find a new source of “LULZ” (read: bullying targets) that is hopefully more impotent in causing harm than this one?

    I’d like to see something good come out of this, or at least less bad. And please, whoever is reading this, I won’t hear from you, because John is awesome like that, but please spare yourself (and any thoughts directed my way) from the thin veneer offered by the delusion that journalistic ethics will change as a result of your complaints. If it was ever about ethics, you’re on the less ethical side[1], and this was the worst possible way to start a conversation.

    1: Yesterday I discovered the channer term “moralf**” OK, morality and ethics, not the same thing, but I have some suspicion that some of them are snickering at the True Believers on their own “side”. Moral outrage or offense being antithetical to “LULZ”

  129. This plan is so controversial it must be dubbed #ScalziGate.

    It will also morph into a deeply nuanced discussion about those damn Mexicans in about 7 days.

  130. Chris Kluwe – writer of the truly epic creative profanity-laced screed against GG – is doing an AMA on Reddit at the moment, and when someone asked how to handle the kind of crap that she is likely to face going into the industry, he replied that he didn’t have much concrete advice “because life basically gave me easy mode (tall, white, family moderately well off)”.

    Thought you’d appreciate the rather familiar turn of phrase :)

  131. John, I know a few people who can enrage a crowd of idiots, not by calling them idiots, but by proving beyond a shadow of a doubt TO THEM (limited intelligence as they are) that they are idiots. But YOU do it with style. I imagined Wil Wheaton was reading it, his voice and your words go really well together. Keep up the good work.

  132. Shayde

    If you had actually ever read Don Quixote you would know how ludicrous your claim is; Cervantes’ character would prefer to die in a ditch rather than associate with GG in any size, shape or form…

  133. Shayde: Because there is CLEARLY a lot wrong in the games “journalism” industry,

    No, there’s isn’t, clearly or otherwise, for anyone not too stupid to understand how entertainment journalism works. Yes, sometimes publishers are kicking some swag over to some reviewers, and hoping (and possibly expecting) a little quid pro quo. Such is true of the film industry, the TV industry, the music industry. And yet, somehow, in everything I’ve read about and from GGers (and I can’t seem to stop looking at this fucking train wreck), I’ve never seen anything about ethics there. (Or, for that matter, ethics in political and business reporting. Y’know, shit that affects everyone’s lives.)

    There’s the interesting question about game reviewers pledging to Kickstarters and the like, and if they should disclose that, or be prohibited. But I don’t see the problem. GGers (bless their black little hearts) bleat on about, “Well, then they’ll give it a good review because they supported it.” Well, no shit, Sherlock. Everything they give a good review to is something they support. It that case, they’re supporting it not only with words, but with their own money. And it’s not crowdfunding is an investment with some sort of return.

    But ultimately, even if everything the GGers are going on about is true, so fucking what? What’s gonna happen, you’re gonna plunk down $60 on a game it turns out you don’t actually like? Caveat fucking emptor, dudebro!

  134. Docrocketscience:

    I think you might be thumping on Shayde a little much there. Ratchet back the personal a little, please.

    In general:

    I’m seeing temps beginning to rise a bit in conversation. Let’s try not to do that.

  135. The trouble with “fair and equitable reviews” is that it’s code for “write what I want, and don’t write about things that make me uncomfortable.

  136. @stevie – my point on the Kickstarter is that many people could chip in to support some writers for a while which would eliminate the “Well, I’d do it, but I have to eat…” excuse that I’m sure would arise.

    I mean how hard is it? Do a Kickstarter or Patreon, get some people to write about games and be perfectly lily white. Never ever associate with other humans, especially those in the game industry. Don’t even talk to them because hey, that could be construed as a conflict. Never grab coffee at a con with a developer. Drinks or god forbid a meal? You must be out of your mind, no reviewer could hope to be fair after such favors. Of course, they might need to take ads to support themselves but they would never let that ad money influence things. Nope….Not these perfect people. [/sarcasm]

    Or they could grow up and realize that relationships between people are complex, that by and large the review sites are OK. And that game reviews aren’t even close to them most vital issue of the day.

  137. I absolutely stand with you. I’m a game dev who works on some of the biggest titles in the world — I’m also a woman and have been doing this for over a decade. In some strange logic, because I make games people enjoy playing, they feel the need to threaten to rape and kill me.

    So you know what? Don’t buy my games. Because my studio is focused on diversity, representation, and equality (we fuck it up royally at times, but we ARE working on it — you should have seen the internal blowup after E3). So every penny spent on these games helps fund all of these things. Our office is one of the better ones (still not great) in terms of gender diversity, it is the best in the world in terms of multicultural diversity, and we take seriously giving back to our community which includes charity events of sponsoring game jams for kids, game-a-thons, talks for girls and young women regarding STEM subjects and representation, talks for high-schoolers about getting into gaming development and what their broad range of experiences bring to the table, and gaming nights with the local Gaymer groups. In fact, if you don’t agree with this stuff and DO buy my games, you’re a fucking hypocrite, because that’s where your money is going.

    We’re going to keep making these games, and we’re going to keep making better, more representative, more diverse, games. You can’t stop that. You can’t stop me from going to work. The ONLY way would be to stop my livelihood from existing. So you know what? If you support GamerGate, don’t buy my games. Don’t buy the new AC games, the new Farcry, the new driving games, the new dance games, the new shooters. Don’t buy my games, because I promise you that hundreds of women (and people of every gender, sexuality, skin tone, nationality, and religion you can imagine) have touched every single one, have been major driving forces, content creators, creative decision-makers, writers, modellers, programmers, marketers for every single one. These games don’t exist without us, NEVER GAVE, and never will. So don’t buy my games.

    I don’t want to play online with assholes anyhow.

  138. Reply to Pogo: Yes I went to 8chan to read about what was REALLY going on – you know, go to the source before making up my mind? – and imagine my surprise that they posted Brianna Wu’s info there before they doxxed her. Then deleted the thread because they got scared. Reading 8chan was for me like lifting up a rock. I don’t know why they post all the stuff they do if they wish to be viewed as heroic or even normal.

    They coach their followers on what to reply to questions they get and all the while running down women and SJWs (I really want someone to call me that, it will be a proud moment). Reading 8chan gave me an even worse opinion than I had before.

    And they should see all the swag and books kicked librarians way so they will order the books for their libraries and recommend the books to patrons – do #gamergaters think that is corrupt, too?

  139. Well at least I can finally say to my wife that you are not perfect after all Scalzi. :) You don’t drink/like beer or coffee? Oh well at least you have all these other wonderfully redeeming qualities that make up for that. :) Thanks for carrying the torch and trying to bring light to the darkened corners of the internet.

    p.s: Read “Red Shirts” last week and loved it. Moved on to “Old Man’s War” and really am enjoying that as well, about half way through.

  140. rochrist

    I understand your point, but I personally wasn’t coding anything; the Internet is a very big place, with ample room for vast numbers of blogs so there is absolutely nothing to prevent people from writing their reviews of games.

    Nobody can prevent all the people who say they want fair and equitable reviews from writing those reviews themselves and sticking them up on the Web for the benefit of every passer by; they are perfectly free to do so, and they can do so for free since there are lots of ways to get free blogging space.

    Obviously they would have to buy the game itself to do the review but that, surely, is a clear benefit; if they have paid for the game then they cannot be indebted to its creator/vendor/advertiser/etc. etc. etc. and therefore cannot be accused of favouritism of any kind.

    And yet not one of the people involved in GG has done so, and not one of them seems remotely interested in doing so; they have an incredibly easy way of achieving what they say they want to achieve, but instead of doing so they devote themselves to attacking people they hate, which seems to include just about anyone who doesn’t look exactly like them and may not agree with them at all times and on all possible subjects.

    No reasonable person, confronted with those facts, would believe that the GGs have any genuine interest in fair and equitable reviews of games, because if they did they would be writing them, not making people’s lives a misery.

    Also, Cervantes was a genius so it pisses me off when people who haven’t even read his books drag Don Quixote into the discussion, but that’s just me :)

  141. Aunti Laura writes:

    . I read something recently about comparing men to a bowl of M&Ms. if we told you that 5% of the M&Ms were poisoned, how carefully would you decide which ones were good?

    I believe the original version of that is:

    You say not all men are monsters?

    Imagine a bowl of M&Ms. 10% of them are poisoned.

    Go ahead. Eat a handful.

    Not all M&Ms are poison.

    It was meant to discredit the #notallmen tag.

    What am I supposed to make of this analogy? Should one avoid all men or should one spend some energy determining which ones are monsters? This depends on the relative merits of men and M&Ms.

    If working TARDISes were available and 10% were poisoned, I would expect a fair amount of energy to be expended testing them for poison.

    Whatever the percentage, some fraction of men are poison. The same is true of women. Is the solution to life therefore to avoid all human beings and spend the rest of your life in the company of cats? I’ve met a real character or two among cats too.

  142. I may be misremebering, but wasn’t there a brief, abortive effort to actually make such as ‘pristine review’ site? It didn’t take off, as I recall. Besides, Zoe Quinn keeps getting brought up as such a blight upon gaming, but you don’t hear jack shyte about the guy whom she supposedly slept with to get that (nonexistent) review, do you? Does anyone even know his name without looking it up?

    I rather like John Roger’s analysis of why GamerGators have a problem that only THEY can solve. Tl;dr: GG has a PR problem, and it’s not up to the people they are engaging with, or attempting to engage with, to solve it.

  143. Sorry, the heat there wasn’t meant to be focused on Shayde personally, so much as all the “gaming journalism ethics” cover nonsense.

    FWIW, I feel better getting that all off my chest. >.>

  144. Muckraker, yes a supporting video by the Amazing Atheist, best known for making rape threats online and for trying to trigger a rape victim, totally shows that Gamergate is not based on misogyny!

    Seriously though, if Gamergate wanted to be seen as something more than an excuse to harass women, the first thing it should do it to distance itself from people like the Amazing Atheist.

  145. JS

    Apologies for two posts; I hadn’t seen Rick’s response when I drafted mine to Rochrist.


    I agree entirely; over the Pond we have a tradition of Judges who have heard the case, read the opinions of their fellow Judges, and then say ‘I concur and have nothing to add’, which is fine in court but not hugely interesting in exchanges on a blog 😉.

    I just doubt that these people are ever going to grow up because that would require effort, and a willingness to learn, and I see neither of those qualities in any of the reams that I have read from them.

    There’s a personal response as well; I have a daughter who’s a doctor, dealing with very ill patients at the sharp end, leading the resuscitation team where life or death is down to making judgement calls and there are around 4 minutes to reestablish the flow of blood to the brain before irreversible brain damage occurs.

    The sort of people who think women can’t create good games are also the sort of people who think women shouldn’t be in charge of the crash squad; that stuff about silent Barbie being a good role model doesn’t work too well when you have to issue orders which must be obeyed if there’s to be any chance of hauling said patient from under the wheels of the proverbial ten ton truck. There’s a whole series of interlocking beliefs which cause immense damage; GG is just the tip of the iceberg…

  146. That’s right, GGers. Instead of the small bleats of “journalism ethics” that are lost in the horrible signal:noise ratio of GG’s pervasive focus on getting all the uppity wimmenfolk out of gaming, you could BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD!

    To maintain impartiality, you’ll just have to use the Consumer Reports model:

    – CR does not accept any advertising whatsoever in their print magazine (as I understand it — I am not a subscriber — their website may have advertising via a 3rd-party ad service so that CR does not get direct funding from manufacturers).
    – CR’s funding is subscriber-based.
    – CR does not accept free manufacturer-provided review samples, be it a toaster or a Tesla Model S.
    – Nearly all the products CR reviews are purchased from random retailers by individuals who are coached to not provide any hints of their association with CR.
    – CR will pay for advanced “press samples” on occasion, but maintains that they are purchased, not provided by product manufacturers free of charge, and does not include press samples in their ratings as they cannot verify the conformance to retail spec.
    – CR typically compares competing products in a particular market segment.
    – CR provides long-term reliability (and, where applicable, repair) data based on a weighted aggregation of their own testing and consumer (reader) surveys.

    So there you go: just get yourself enough paying subscribers to cover your expenses (CR has a budget in the neighborhood of $25 million annually, but you can probably get away with much less than that for a games-focused review site), and knock yourselves out.

  147. Don’t forget that wordpress is enabling your thoughts on the internet AND that you must be purchasing your webspace through someone… they should target all wordpress sites as well as whoever you get your webspace through. Think big.

  148. JOHN! You forgot about your work on Midnight Star with Alex Seropian, which means they should boycott Industrial Toys, and every game Bungie has ever produced including Destiny and the entire Halo franchise. FOR THE CAUSE!

  149. Mike–

    What you’re supposed to do with that analogy is realize that you can’t dismiss the poisoned candies, or the men who do evil things, by pointing out that most M&Ms aren’t poison. You either find a way to sort the poison from the non-poison candies, or you let other people decide for themselves whether to risk being poisoned. No compulsory M&Ms, no matter how many you personally would like to eat.

    If someone says they got food poisoning at the Xyzzy Diner, you can reasonably suggest they not go back, and maybe stay away yourself. Or call the Health Department. Or you could even say that you’re sorry they got sick, but you’ve been okay so far, and like the jambalaya there, so you’ll gamble that it was just one bad batch of supplies, not something the kitchen did wrong.

    What would be unreasonable is to claim that because you ate there a month ago and didn’t get food poisoning, your friend must be lying about their experience. “Not all men” is an attempt to distract from the reality that yes, some men. The statement “Man A did a bad thing to me” does not mean “and so did Men B, C, D, etc., including you.” If you aren’t actually being accused of doing something wrong, you don’t need to defend yourself. And if you jump in and respond to a complaint about a specific man by saying “not all men,” people may wonder why your response isn’t sympathy but to defend against an accusation that nobody is making.

  150. I read the list of Holtzbrinck stuff and thought, “meh, these douchecanoes don’t read that anyway”. Same with the other publishers. But when you got into Amazon, Universal/Comcast, Fox, Legendary, WB… yeah. Their precious purity is going to break down. They’ll have nothing left but self-published screeds, which may be all they’re reading anyway. (WB owns HBO — so no Game of Thrones, and also no Time Warner Cable)

    Also Nerdist = Chris Hardwick = BBCA (thus BBC. No Doctor Who and Sherlock!) and Comedy Central. No South Park.

    CC is owned by Viacom; thus no Showtime, Nickelodeon, MTV, Spike, Joost, indirectly a big deal with Microsoft (no more Xbox, boys!), and of course Paramount Pictures — no more Star Trek or Indiana Jones! CBS, no more Big Bang Theory! And once you’ve got both Viacom and Fox out, you’ve got no Hulu.

    Am now picturing PNH and TNH wagging fingers at Scalzi and telling him he has to go to bed without any supper.

    It is kind of heartening that even they don’t want anything to do with VD. I guess there’s still hope?

  151. I work for an online school that is owned by Pearson, so that means the GGers can’t send their kids to our school. They also can’t use Pearson’s text books, and they pretty much dominate the K-12 market. American education is now closed to them! Mwahahahaha!

    Suzanne: that’s a bit like threatening vampires with losing access to garlic bread.

  152. @John – if it’s all the same to you, I already boycott Fox News; just for different reasons. But it would really hurt those scared supremacists, having their confirmation-bias tap turned off. Neat-o.

  153. Scalzi: I CAN QUIT ANY TIME

    Drinking Diet Coke when the local shop runs out of Coke Zero DOES NOT COUNT!

    (As my wife has pointedly pointed out to me)

  154. On the subject of games journalism and the lacks thereof, one of the things that’s been blowing my mind is the apparent position of some people that the quality of a game (and whether or not it’s worth spending money on) operates independently of the “social commentary” or whatever they’re calling that level of critique these days.

    A hypothetical situation in which there are two equivalent games, one of which has skeevy race/sex/etc. issues and one of which does not (or at least has less), I will go for the better game. If the skeevy race/sex/etc. issues in a game are bad enough, it will ruin the game for me far more than, say, an impenetrable interface (keeping in mind that I have played and enjoyed Dwarf Fortress here, heh).

    So I wind up kind of baffled by the idea that this stuff doesn’t have anything to do with how good a game is, whether or not it would be enjoyable to play, and so on. Many, many games are good enough to be enjoyable even with their skeevy whatever issues, but that doesn’t mean that that’s not part of the quality of the game.

    And it’s apparent to me that some of these people definitely would consider some of this stuff useful information, too – I mean, “women are not used as decorative titillation elements to be collected like pokemon” might be a positive for me, but it would be a detriment to some other people, and thus it is still useful information!

    So the whole content-policing thing on reviews falls apart from that angle too and I can’t understand how someone could even begin to forward it as a plausible argument.

    (I threw in on a kickstarter for a game earlier today solely on the basis of its social commentary, meanwhile. Because it was that good. And mentioned it to a friend, who was considering kicking in at the more-digits-than-I-could level because of how strongly he felt about the social commentary. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’ll fund.)

  155. OH! OH! I got it! The answer is “Illuminati” right? I mean the “Gamergate” conspiracy theory blame shifting madness has now reached that of “people on the internet who are dissecting every pop video as for illuminati symbolism and evidence of our hidden lizard overlords” but only if that madness was enhanced by those illuminati dissectors being THE DIRECTORS OF THE VIDEOS THEY ARE IN TURN DISSECTING!

    So I guess I’ m saying if you are truly committed to sweating behind a computer screen in pure fear (lizard overlords or women and minorities increasing presence in games um, I mean, ethics?) then you will find creative ways to find the enemy in every corner and rationalize your insane beliefs. Including, I guess, demanding that a publisher scold an author for underlying opinions and world views they already knew he had when they published him in the first place (GASP! You mean the author of Fuzzy Nation doesn’t have strong opinions on equality and might strongly dislike well positioned privileged people trying to silence others who might threaten their personal wealth, position or privileged?)

  156. Seebs:

    I also think it’s actively harmful to discourse for anyone *else* to promote the idea that there is a single unifying correct interpretation of what “gamergate” means.

    Well no, GamerGate meant something very specific. It was created as an accusation that Quinn had sex with a reviewer in return for a favorable review. That’s not an “interpretation” of the name. That’s what the name was defined as meaning when it was created by the people who created it. It didn’t become toxic, as others have pointed out. It started out as a libelous accusation against a woman by her ex-boyfriend and some anti-feminists.

    And it was not true. It was shown to be not true in five minutes. So GamerGate was an accusation that was knowingly false. It did not raise an important issue. It was just an attempt to libel a person and serve as an excuse to go after her with harassment, doxxing and death threats — crimes. It was a criminal enterprise from the beginning.

    If there are actually people who think that there is hanky-panky going on between game companies and reviewers, then A) let them stop using the words nepotism and incest incorrectly; and B) let them form a new hashtag and campaign and go directly at the marketing departments of game companies and the games reviewers for their criticism. Most of those people happen to be men.

    And yet, no one has done this. They’ve instead left up the hashtag that was a false accusation calling for illegal activities against a woman and attached themselves to it, as others attached to it go after woman after woman, most of whom have nothing to do with games reviewing or marketing and most of whom have been critical of games, not heavily praising of them. The only review sites they’ve gone after have been those who have been critical of GamerGate, not those who are doing puff reviews. There has been no attempt to improve the ethics of the gaming industry at all, especially when it comes to reviews.

    New hashtags are formed on Twitter about every two seconds. It’s not hard to do. If they truly care about “ethics” in the gaming industry, they would abandon the GamerGate hashtag and start a new effort. So if someone says that they are still part of GamerGate, then they’ve chosen harassment of women who have nothing to do with game PR over actually doing something about the issue they supposedly care about. Which means that they are lying about what they care about, as GamerGate itself was a lie about Quinn.

    Felicia Day has done more for games than anyone involved with GamerGate. And they’re trying to hurt her, scare her and commit crimes against her. John Scalzi has nothing to do with games reviews, and yet some want to boycott his stuff for calling out an organized — and it is organized and centralized — campaign to lie about a woman and harass her, as well as any other woman they can think of. So if someone says they are involved in GamerGate, that’s what they are supporting. They could go support a real ethics movement if they wanted to, but GamerGate has no interest in ethics and never did from the beginning.

  157. As a heads up, I’ll be turning off this thread when I go to sleep and opening it back up in the morning. So expect it to switch off around 10:30 – 11:00 Eastern time.

  158. You are one of my heroes, its why I had you sign my iPad (right next to Felicia Day).

    Who has recently been doxxed due to this stupid affair *sigh*

    Attempting to savage one of their sweethearts is NOT a good way to win credibility in the Geek community, GG guys.

  159. What do we do from here, though?

    There are a LOT of asshole gamers. Well, there’s no surprise there. A lot of geeks aren’t well-socialized (not necessarily causation – some people get into geek things because they’re poorly-socialized, some people get into geek things and are ostracized thereby.) Some of these guys are the “nice, but never learned how to deal with people” types, and then some of them are “well, if I’m an asshole I might as well be an ASSHOLE” type. They’re the reason that you want an anti-harassment policy at conventions. Gaming seems to have a lot of them because not only are you talking a fairly widespread geek activity, but one where person-to-person interaction is pretty common these days; playing a multiplayer game is going to run you into more people, and by extension more assholes, than sitting around enjoying a book. (By which I mean, maybe there are a lot of assholes enjoying books, but I don’t have to deal with them while I’m enjoying books!)

    (It’s also worth mentioning the “anonymity over the internet” factor…)

    It would be nice if there was some kind of anti-asshole neutron bomb we could drop on these guys. There ain’t. Gamers who are not themselves assholes have had to deal with the presence of these guys ever since the first Internet-enabled online games got chat and the developers didn’t include mute functions because, after all, who would spend the whole game typing the same racial epithet in over and over and over? And then games got voice chat and THAT didn’t come with mute functions because who would spend the whole game screaming the same racial epithet into an open microphone? (Ahh, we were naive in those days…)

    Eventually you either got used to it (to the extent that you had to – blessed, blessed mute) or you quit playing. Lots of gamers did a mix of the two. There are entire genres with games which look like the games are fun but which the poor experience of having to deal with random assholes from the Internet make the whole exercise a losing proposition for me. It got so bad in the MOBA genre that the big players are actively working on rolling anti-asshole features directly into the game matchmaking.

    And it’s hard! The assholes are everywhere. You can’t give access to anti-asshole tools to the regular folks because the assholes will gleefully latch onto them and make them yet another facet of their assholery (and so the net effect ends up that non-assholes become even more frustrated, and leave that much faster, only increasing the concentration of assholes). Having actual people deal with them is quite difficult because doing nothing but dealing with assholes all day is soul-crushing work, even if you get to drop the hammer on them… and also most of them will loudly proclaim their innocence and declare you the anti-Christ come to persecute them, right up until you wave the chat log around… at which point they go hunting for your personal details to post online so that their fellow assholes can harass you directly. Except some of them will actually be innocent, victims of yet other assholes who view your anti-asshole reporting tools as anti-anti-asshole tools…

    I wish there was a good solution so that people who just like games, and people who want to work on games, didn’t have to deal with assholes. I’m not sure that there is. In a sense, you’re already working in one of society’s sumps; with no prospect to flush it out, how do you wade in but stay clean? But at the same time, completely aside from the perfectly natural instinct to not retreat in the face of jerkdom, if people get sick of it and find other things to do with their time, that just leaves the remainder slightly more assholish on average…

  160. And I was supposed to be going to sleep, there being a considerable time difference, but then I saw the Ebola case in New York, and realised that GG have run out of hysteria time…

  161. Know what journalism isn’t held to the “ethical standards” of GamerGate? Medical. Billions of dollars and lives on the line, and they know that the standards that GamerGate is asking for are useless and would be counterproductive.

  162. Reblogged this on Damian Trasler's Secret Blog – Do Not Read! and commented:
    I haven’t been following the Gamergate story from the outset. I’m sure some people really are concerned about responsible journalism in the gaming industry. But the flood of vitriol, the rape and death threats have shown that the personal standards of a lot of the people posting with that tag are very, very low. Reading about the response to Felicia Day’s post on the subject made me shake my head in disbelief. As often happens, John Scalzi lays it out nicely.

  163. Regarding the “Kickstarter issue” with journalism.

    First, backers aren’t investors. A backer literally has no incentive to puff up a game that they backed. The backer gets nothing, so why bother?

    Second, there has been no shortage of criticism for products people have backed on Kickstarter. If someone backs a game, and it turns out to be crap, there’s no reason not to review it as such. Plenty of people have complained about the product they received.

    I honestly don’t get why this is supposed to be “corrupting”.

  164. fafyti:

    “Because John is diversified (as he points out) and so are the corporations that publish him, anyone who wishes to punish him economically lacks any power to do so.”

    Pointing out the many companies with some kind of interest in John’s products makes it *easier* to have an effect.

    They want to boycott TOR, right? Well, many GamerGaters may not have planned to buy any TOR books, anyway. So right there, their boycotting has no effect. You can’t really boycott a company whose products you weren’t planning to buy.

    The more companies you are boycotting, the more likely it is that there will be companies that sell something you would actually buy if not for the boycott. If someone extends their boycott as far as Comcast/Universal, that could mean not spending $100+ each month on cable.

  165. If this whole gamer gate thing would really be about ethics in gaming journalism, what’s stopping these people from starting up an ethical gaming blog and reviewing games in a completely ethical and neutral manner?
    Seems to me to be a much better tactic than all this boycotting, doxxing, and harassing of women (oops, I meant opponents).
    I won’t be holding my breath…

  166. GaryG: I know, right? That happened to me elsewhere. Lots of discussion of some “Larry” person who was a ::shudder:: Christian apologist. It was vaguely surreal.

    Though I’d rather people confused me with a YEC Christian apologist than a GamerGater. :)

  167. I still don’t think the boycott goes far enough.

    FACT: John Scalzi consumes oxygen, protein, carbohydrates, and fat. BOYCOTT THE TOOLS OF THE COMMUNIST SOCIAL JUSTICE WARRIORS!

  168. Ouch. Wonder if Vox is self-aware enough to understand just how humiliating it is to have the GG folks instantly recognizing his attempt at sourcing a personal army. His main mistake was engaging a few days after media started publishing articles on all the D-list grifters and conservatives (who have a funny history of anti-gamer rhetoric) who are latching on to GG for various cynical reasons.

    And feel free to delete this comment if I mess up embedding a link but there was an amazing comment recently on a boingboing article where a user used Topsy data to analyze the GG hashtags in the twitter stream over the last 30 days. Some amazing data points including noting that only 100 twitter users are responsible for 24% of GG hashtags and half of those accounts are three months old or less (“Hi 8chan!”). The other amazing data points drill into analyzing how often the purported “true targets” (game publishers, journalists, etc.) of GG are mentioned in tweets as compared to mentions of the women being harassed. This should surprise nobody but the twitter data overwhelmingly shows that the harassed women are mentioned an order of magnitude more often than the purported “focus” of the GG mob.

    Link should be here (if it works), the commenter is “MBD”:

  169. I know people have said similar things, but let me add these two cents.

    If you take GG seriously as a political movement, let’s make an analogy to the Tea Party. (I said, “if”.) Some people of the camilial persuasion tried to “brand” the word “tea bagger” to describe themselves. Then they discovered the term was already contaminated by an image they would rather not be associated with. So they distanced themselves from the term. End of story, more or less. There was no venerable association of Teabaggers, no long and storied history of teabaggery; there was basically a trending catch phrase and when it did not work, it was disposed of. If GG really stands for something, it should be just as easy to substitute a new hash tag (of all things ephemeral, a hast tag seems even more ephemery than most.)

  170. Vicki: The statement “Man A did a bad thing to me” does not mean “and so did Men B, C, D, etc., including you.” If you aren’t actually being accused of doing something wrong, you don’t need to defend yourself.

    From “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” the founding document that created the word “privilege”: “males are taught not to recognize male privilege.” That’s “males”. Not “male A” and not “some males”. But the collective males as a category. All men.

    “men work from a base of unacknowledged privilege, I understood that much of their oppressiveness was unconscious”. Not “male A” and not “some males”. But the collective males as a category. All men.

    They [men] may say they will work to women’s statues, in the society, the university, or the curriculum, but they can’t or won’t support the idea of lessening men’s.

    According to the privilege theory of equality, all men have privilege, and equality requires giving up privilege, therefore all men will resist equality. Not “male A” and not “some males”. But the collective males as a category. All men.

    And this comes out in the speaking of some feminist students even today. Emma Watson’s HeForShe campaign drew hate from men who are women-hating knuckledraggers. But she also got hate from some feminists.

    A PhD student in Feminist Theology posted that she hated the HeForShe campaign because it is asking the oppressor to denounce their place of privilege for the betterment of the whole.

    Asking men to join in the battle for equality is asking the oppressor to … wait, what???

    This is what happens when someone takes the concept of privilege to its maximum meaning: Since all men are privileged, therefore all men will resist equality, and since all men resist equality, therefore all men are oppressors.

    This isn’t languaging that all feminists use. Some feminists use quantifiers to say “some men” or use specifiers to say “man A” is/are sexist. But the founding document that created the concept of “privilege” isn’t one of them and that document makes a number of blanket statements about how all men relate to women, how all whites relate to blacks. And this languaging can be found even in the speaking of some feminists today.

  171. Very informative post. I will now go do the opposite of a boycott because this was the highlight of my day. (Came here via the Mary sue :D)

  172. Again.. not a GGer, but anyone who thinks games journalism isn’t filled with grabass and bribery, you aren’t looking at it objectively.
    There have been many examples of good reviews for cash. Kane & Lynch is the first one that pops into my mind. IGN clearly has sponsor bias 24/7 and the only thing that isn’t an ad in Game Informer is the stamp. There’s sponsorships given to certain youtubers that state flat out they can’t give a bad review.
    Hell, I did freelance for two different conventions and was showered with parties, swag, etc. One game developer even flat out said I could break the NDA on a beta if it were positive.
    As a legitimate journalist for over 20 years (Then retired), I couldn’t even write a couple of the articles because I knew I had been influenced. I was nobody. A freelancer edging for free media PAX tickets.
    I have multiple friends in the games review industry who have said it is hard to be impartial, and have to clearly say no to offers made to them. They can control their fate being smaller fish.

    It’s an industry that needs more sunlight to be clear. Only problem is the message gets lost in the shit.

  173. Greg

    When you cite a paper it is generally considered appropriate, not to mention honest, to cite the full title, which is:

    White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack

    Peggy published it in 1988, addressing the way in which she had acted in a racist manner.

    I haven’t a clue as to why you chose to misrepresent her, though it certainly fits in with the GG action plan…

  174. Avatar: there are solutions to idiots online and they DO work. Do they work all the time, constantly? They do not. But compare Xbox-LIve NOW to Xbox-Live circa 2004 and you’ll notice a world of difference. Adding things like reputations, content controls and better options in-game have improved the online experience dramatically. Limiting options such that people have more and better control over their own experience is a facet of it; designing games that don’t allow assholes to do asshole things is another.

    Consider: Mario Kart 8 allows only for the most bare of interactions between players. You CAN’T say something anything to another player, unless you’re already a friend of theirs, except for preset list of friendly or neutral phrases. Consider Hearthstone, where you only have 6 things to say to another player and even those can be squelched. Chat channels can be filtered or ignored; group chats and team chats and private discussion parties.

    And things like Geek Socialization is a bullshit excuse that we can’t allow to stand any longer. We can tolerate it to a degree, but we can’t keep excusing it, especially amongst our own tribe. It’s one of the geek fallacies that needs to die. When I was a youth, playing D&D and reading comics and SF/F made you a target or a weirdo, sure. But it’s 2014: the most succesful movies of the last 15 years have been based on comic books and SF/F novels. We’re not the outsiders, WE’RE THE ONES PEOPLE ASK FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THOSE THINGS.

    And anonymity? The idea that people not knowing your name makes you bolder may generally be true, but the last couple of years have made it clear that real names don’t stop online bullying or asshattery. Some people are just fine being shitty and don’t care if anyone knows.

    When I was a kid, people still used terms like the n-word and various epithets for homosexuals and ethnicities without much fear or concern. 40 years on, that doesn’t happen. Even the most die-hard homophobe or racist usually feels the need to look both directions before uttering that kind of language in all but the most intimate of company. The misogyny that we’re rooting out now? It will go the same way, eventually. They’ll just make it hard until we banish them to the places they belong.

  175. Greg:

    “Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” (the correct title of which is “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”) did not “create” the world privilege (nor did it create the specific sociological application of the word). In fact, McIntosh is pretty clear that she is taking an existing concept and applying it to a new dimension (in the case of the article, race).

    That nitpick aside, your reading of the article seems to ignore a key component of it. Namely, McIntosh description of privilege as something invisible, something we assume is “normal” and therefore tend to ignore. It is not the benefits of privilege which drive one’s resistance to challenging it, but its invisibility. McIntosh herself points out that some of the benefits of white privilege are actually beneficial to anyone who holds them and do not enforce oppression.

    Thus, when you claim that “[a]ccording to the privilege theory of equality, all men have privilege, and equality requires giving up privilege, therefore all men will resist equality” you ignore why (according to McIntosh) men resist giving up privilege. While some might do so specifically out of a desire for dominance, others might resist simply because they are unaware of this invisible knapsack and the benefits it confers.

  176. Shayde: One game developer even flat out said I could break the NDA on a beta if it were positive.

    Well, as a gamer myself, I place about —->||<—— this much faith in game reviews. But then, I place about the same amount of faith in any kind of review. It's not like game reviews have a special problem. Embedded reporters during wartime get kicked out if they report negative information. Washington-based talking heads know that if they ask politicians really hard questions, they will likely not get any access to those politicians on their shows again.

    The thing that gamergaters are complaining about being their mission to fix? Its an intractable problem. One might be able to achieve some level of improvement of the issue if they are given to an extremely informed, well nuanced, presentation of the issue and some specific improvement that could be made. But that’s not gamergaters.

    The thing is, with gamergaters, it isn’t that the “message” of journalistic integrity “gets lost in the shit”. Gamergaters might as well be running the script to “Birth of a Nation”. There is no “message” there. It’s just bigotry looking for a rock to hide under.

  177. Stevie:

    I’m pretty sure Greg would not identify as a GamerGater, so let’s not do that, and indeed, I would like you to apologize for the suggestion.


    You’re doing that thing where you intentionally or otherwise go out of your way to derail a conversation that involves feminism in any context. You do this so consistently and persistently, and I have to spend enough time babysitting you, that I am seriously considering permanently banning you from contributing to such threads. I understand you believe you’re on the side of the angels with this, but you are a consistent problem on this topic. Think about this fact. Think about it seriously.


    It’s certainly true that if games journalism was ever actually an issue for GamerGate (and it wasn’t other than as a stalking horse for harassment), the folks concerned about it could not have picked a worse vehicle for their concerns.

  178. It’s because Fox doesn’t do games reviews. That’s all they care about. :P

    Well, a lot of them. Others are monsters who love being monsters and this gives them an excuse to be monsters. There are MANY with good intentions.

    I agree, it’s a horrible vehicle. It’s like if Occupy Wall Street had 10% of them molesting every woman who walked by.

  179. @ Shayde – “Again.. not a GGer, but anyone who thinks games journalism isn’t filled with grabass and bribery, you aren’t looking at it objectively.”

    Please do point to where anyone pushing back against GGers and the mess they created has claimed that gaming journalism doesn’t have problems, because otherwise that’s one very large strawman that just got erected.

    Because the point that John and many, many others have been making about the sheer hypocrisy in GG’s claims to be primarily about “ethics in gaming journalism” is that if it really **was** about “ethics in gaming journalism,” Gamergate would have taken place LONG before this and focusing on, you know, gaming site, AAA companies (the ones who actually have power & money to influence publications, far more so than indie developers making free games). Actually, as I mentioned way upthread and you referenced, Jeff Gestermann’s being fired from GameSpot for writing that negative review due to pressure from the game’s producers would have been a reasonable issue to center the discussion around.

    But then that wouldn’t have provided the flimsiest of excuses for these people to go after women in the industry under cover of “BUT ETHICS!” now, would it? Because while GGers were crying about how a woman created video games and slept with a guy to get good reviews for it, notice how it was **the woman developing games** who they went after and not the journalist who supposedly slept with her (nevermind that the whole scenario’s been debunked as patently false).

  180. Shayde: Yeah, you’re right. Games journalism (and entertainment journalism in general), is full of that.

    And the Gamergaters don’t actually care. They aren’t talking about IGN, or Game Informer, or youtubers. Their idea of ‘corruption’ is that games are being looked at in a wider cultural context.

  181. I made a comment on Twitter today, under the name of a character identity from an online game, about how people who were actually serious about ethics in game journalism should start over and ditch the GG tag.

    Got one answer telling me “heard this a million times. Drop it.” Wanting me to stop talking. Why? Afraid that I’d change the mind of someone committed to GG? Or afraid that someone who hadn’t chosen a side might, God forbid, listen to me?

    One response asked if I was sincere about gaming journalism integrity, and advised me to email a sponsor.

    And one started off by saying “we just delivered an uppercut to Gawker; now you want us to abandon GG?” I cited the link to the anti-Quinn movement, the hate and fear that are linked with GG whether they like it or not, and the response to that was – I am not making this up – “All I see are people standing up for themselves.”

    I cited the Felicia Day incident, and the response was: “could have been anybody. Any anonymous troll with bad intentions. Not GG.”

    Then I got someone saying that calling GG to account would essentially be feeding the trolls.

    I don’t know if I accomplished anything other than to document the 21st-century equivalent of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

    But on the other hand, I wonder what would have happened if I’d rolled a female character in that game, and used that as the basis for my Twitter account?

    How do you get through to people who have seem to have so much of their self-worth depending on not getting it?

  182. Having no real inkling about the gamergate controversy but thinking: I heard that word at some time but I cant find any connection to this I searched for it in wikipedia……
    And yes, I may have encountered gamergate in my university biology lectures….. Its a (female of course) worker ant that has become fertile because of the lack of a queen….

    Somehow I find that slightly ironic

  183. zemadmax: you ignore why (according to McIntosh) men resist giving up privilege . … others might resist simply because they are unaware

    Er, I didn’t ignore it. I quoted McIntosh when she said “much of their [men] oppressiveness was unconscious”. The privilege theory as to why all men are oppressive is sort of overshadowed by the implication of privilege theory that all men oppress, whether the oppression is done consciously or unconsciously.

    That’s my point.

    The HeForShe campaign asking men to join the fight for gender equality isn’t “asking the oppressor to denounce their place of privilege”.

    There is a huge functional difference between “all oppressors are men” and “all men are oppressors”. And sometimes, as in the hate towards HeForShe I quoted above, a feminist forwards the “all men are oppressors” version. And it’s wrong.

  184. Let me start by saying anyone who is threatening anyone is scum, and anyone in #gamersgate who *isn’t* that sort of person is surely staining their soul by remaining there.

    That said, I think there are serious problems in game journalism. There has been for quite some time. People have been fired from review sites and magazines for giving good reviews. Reviewers get promotional items and, worse, get *more* promotional items if their past reviews have been positive. Independent game reviewers who give mostly positive reviews get free games to review, more critical ones don’t, or receive less.

    Here’s a two year old link. Normally I’d link something more recent, but in this case the age guarantees it free from #gamersgate’s (and their opposition’s) influence. It links to a number of other similar articles, if you’d like to explore the topic a bit more:

    Of course #gamersgate isn’t threatening IGN, Gamesradar, or PC Gamer Magazine staff. That says something right there – obviously threatening people is nasty and evil, but if they refuse to realize that and see it as an appropriate tactic for “fixing game journalism” why isn’t that tactic pointed at the big boys, rather than small time operators? We all know the answer – because games journalism has very little do do with their movement, outside of a crappy excuse for their nasty behavior.

    I bring this up because I’ve seen a lot of knee-jerk reaction saying that there’s no problem with the gaming journalism industry. Just because a bunch of assholes believe something doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Stalin believed clouds cause rain and that water is wet, after all.

  185. Can I just note that verbing weirds language…and “languaging” is an abomination that should be nuked from orbit. What is wrong with good old “speech?” I ask you.

  186. Folks:

    I think we can take it as read that gaming journalism has places where it can improve. That’s not actually the topic of conversation for this thread.

  187. My apologies. Feel free to delete (i.e. I won’t be bothered if you delete – I expect you feel free to do that without my permission) the earlier post and this one. Wasn’t trying to cause disruption.

  188. Real men know the difference between saying, “Holy heck, there’s something very wrong here,” and making excuses. So glad I married a “real man” who stands up for women’s rights. These are the men we need in the gaming/SFF/”geek” community, along with Scalzi and Wendig and a whole slew of evolved humans who fuggin’ “GET IT.”

    Just . . . thank you. Thank you for being a voice. If other men see badass male writers taking a stand, they might stumble onto something here.

  189. Scalzi: You’re doing that thing where you intentionally or otherwise go out of your way to derail a conversation

    Sorry. Wasn’t trying to derail. Was just responding to Vicki, which was a tangental conversation, and I suppose taking that tangent further only goes further off topic. But it wasn’t meant to take the thread off gamergate bigotry, I’ll happily continue pointing at the bigots and mocking them.

    I understand you believe you’re on the side of the angels with this

    Well, I don’t think I ever thought that. Angels don’t make mistakes. I know I make mistakes and I try to acknowledge/apologize when it happens.

  190. John, your stance on this has made me want to buy more of your stuff, not less. Is there a word for the opposite of boycott?

    With regard to GGers trying to claim it is about ethics or integrity (which, by their actions, they seem to know nothing about), it seems that what they really mean is they object to any calls for more diversity in gaming, which they apparently find threatening. Their references to SJWs is a dead giveaway.

    (To me, SJW is a compliment: social justice is something we should all be fighting for. But then I’m generally considered a left-wing, liberal, progressive techno-hippie.)

  191. Seebs: So, according to that blogpost, it’s Quinn’s fault for not telling the world, “I had sex with people in the gaming industry, but I didn’t get a good review because of it”? Really? No.

    Matt W.: Oh, dear. Chris Kluwe was so uncivil to the slopebrowed weaseldicks. Pass me my smelling salts and push the fainting couch beneath me.

  192. I would not have thought it possible to find anything humorous to say about the anti-woman terrorists of GamerGate, but Scalzi has proved me wrong. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face, John.

    BTW, GamerGate idiots think calling someone a Social Justice Warrior is an insult? If that puts me in the company of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela, insult away then. I’d be honored.

  193. Crystal:

    Reviews aren’t journalism, first off. They are editorials and criticism. They are someone offering a subjective opinion about a product, with all their own ideologies, preferences and politics attached as part of that opinion. Anyone can review games and most game reviewing on sites and personal blogs is done by people who do it as a hobby. Those who find their reviews useful will read those reviewers and others who don’t, will not.

    If a games website decides they don’t want a reviewer who is too critical, because that’s not what they want their content to be, that’s not an ethics breach. It’s an editorial decision about content. In the free market (that most GGers give lip service to,) if their reviews are then seen as unreliable — as bought — people would then stop visiting their site. No one can force you to read a review, trust it or agree with it. (And most of the people who play games never read reviews.)

    None of these are new issues and all are well known and discussed in the gaming community and have been for decades. GamerGate did not shine sunlight on to some hidden skullduggery that no one knew about. GamerGate made a lie about a woman who wasn’t a reviewer — not exactly ethical.

    And GamerGate has no interest in positive reviews bought by swag, as we know. They instead are upset about negative reviews where the reviewers have criteria for what makes a game fun and well designed that differs from their own cultural and political personal views. Specifically, if reviewers sees the options of playing something other than white male characters and the depiction of women in the game as issues that affect the quality of play for them, the GamerGate folk want to silence them and ban such criteria completely. They haven’t done much on that except try to stop some ad buys from some sites, because reviews overall are not their main concern.

    What they really don’t like is much of the indie game industry because it contains folk who are designing games that are not like the games they like to play and which often do feature women and minorities. They are concerned about game designers with liberal values different from their own and that those values are and will be popular, that the games may do well enough to change the bigger game companies (and they somehow think such change will make all the white male protagonists disappear.) They are concerned that the success of women designers in indie games will lead to more women being employed in big gaming companies. They are trying with increasing fruitlessness to shape the entire gaming industry to follow their political ideologies, or at least stir up trouble by driving some women seen as having the wrong political and cultural values away with harassment and threats. That’s why they so often talk about themselves as being under siege.

    And that’s why Anita Sarkeesian is the biggest target of GamerGate. She’s an academic studying feminist issues. She has nothing to do with games reviews or games design or games marketing. She is critical of the gaming industry in her work, in the sense of looking at how the image of women is used in the wider culture. Which is exactly what the GamerGate folks don’t want anyone talking about.

    There are thousands, perhaps millions, of game reviews on the Internet. Whatever sort of review you are looking for, you can find and rely on those reviewers’ opinions as you choose. And reviewers can choose who and what they believe and will influence their opinions, as can sites and magazines who hire and/or publish them. Certainly issues about whether a reviewer’s or website’s reviews are worth anything if they seem to be puff pieces can be discussed. The reviewers’ ideology in a review can be discussed. These things usually are. They do not constitute a big, hidden scandal problem in games, nor do they have to do with the ethics of journalists to report facts, since a review is an opinion piece.

  194. Well I’m boycotting boycotting John Scalzi. So there!
    And oddly I’ve just realised that we have something else in common, non-drinking non-coffee drinkers, Weird.
    And I’ve resisted the temptation to post an off-topic “on this day”.too.

  195. Have you considered charging T.B. for the publicity you provide? The only time I think about Poxy is when you’re wearing him on the end of your shoe. You’re providing 100% more publicity than he could ever achieve if he had to rely on his talent (LOL) alone.

    I think it would be hilarious if you sent him an invoice every time you made fun of him.

  196. Sorry Crystal, JS: My refresh didn’t have the green box. I should have done a second one. But what I’m saying on the GamerGate actions I’ll say stands.

  197. Kat Goodwin:

    “Reviews aren’t journalism, first off.”

    Let me put on the former journalist hat here and say that reviews are journalism, but they (typically) aren’t what’s considered “straight reporting,” i.e., covering events with an editorial slant dialed down to a little as humanly possible. Reviews are highly subjective and opinionated by definition, but they can (and often do) contain some reportage and fact finding. Confusing reviews with straight reporting can be a problem, however.

  198. Dear Shayde,

    “There are MANY with good intentions.”

    This is the “Not All Men…” dismount. Look it up. No one cares and no one who is genuinely an ally buys into it.

    Good intentions???


    When the GG apologists rise up en masse and go on the offensive against the monsters and thugs which dominate GG, when they drive them from GG, then I will believe in their good intentions. Until then, I most sincerely doubt their good intentions, their safe and gentile hand-wringing from behind closed doors.

    There’s only one excuse a GG apologist can legitimately give for not doing this, which is that they are terrified of becoming the monsters’ next target. Few will deny the legitimacy of that fear nor demand you be in harm’s way. Maybe you should be, but most will feel it has to be your call.

    But, if that is the reason for not forcefully confronting the thugs, one has to deeply wonder why GGAs keep identifying with their feared oppressors.

    No, actually, one doesn’t have to wonder much at all.

    pax / Ctein

  199. Michael P.: The opposite of boycott is probably ‘sponsor’, though ‘maxwell’ may be appropriate.

  200. I’m glad someone mentioned atheism, and Richard Dawkins. A lot of the really decent, humane atheists I know have removed “atheist” from online profiles, and specifically and overtly disavowed any connection to Dawkins and organized atheism in general. That movement, like GG, is corrupt at the core and whatever I want to be a part of has to be apart from that movement unless I want it to be similarly rotten at its foundation.

  201. I think one of the core problems with the Gamergate ‘movement’ and its apologists is that they want to be considered to be a movement when it suits them and not one when it is inconvenient for their purposes.

    It has no central leadership or organization, other than mingling groups that communicate in similar circles (gaming websites, forums and places like twitter and facebook) that agree to a common idea (and hashtag). It simply CANNOT expel the bad elements, because it has no boundaries or organization to do so, other than a shared hashtag that anyone can use. So they are perfectly OK representing themselves as the Vox Populi of people ‘rising up’ against the lamest, weakest injustice in the First World Problems category. But when they receive criticism for the bad actors that walk amongst them, they suddenly turn to their ‘but he’s not really one of us’ bingo spaces and then metaphorically wipe the dust of their hands. They want to eat their cake and have it, too.

    If they were sincere, they would actually organize. They would create leadership, centralized websites and develop a common message and spokespeople. They have not done so and have no intention of doing so, because this was never truly about that.

    For all the talk of journalistic ethics with regards to the videogame industry: other than a few female creators, can you name any of the supposed male counterparts for all these ethical breaches? You don’t see widespread attacks on many of the outspoken male critics of GG, but most GGers don’t even know the name of the guy who fired Jeff Gerstmann or what game he was reviewing that got him fired. I haven’t heard of rape threats to Ben Kuchera, no doxxing of Adam Sessler or any such. THANKFULLY. The point being is that their targets speak as much about the GGers as their tactics, IMHO.

  202. Yeah, I’ll believe they’re about improving gaming journalism ethics when they go after the cozy relationships between makers of AAA games and IGN, Game Informer, etc.

    Way up there yesterday, kiya_nicoll said some good things. Information, whether presented as “good” or “bad” is useful! If a review of a game says “Bewbs everywhere, and you get sluttier girls the more you level up”, this is a game that Kiya and I will not purchase. Yet, guy in the basement will be down the Game Stop with mom’s credit card instantly. This is useful information; basement guy is a happy consumer, Kiya and I are happy we didn’t buy it. Other way around, with a small-breasted female PoC as the main character and respect for individual rights, me and Kiya are firing up our credit cards and basement guy doesn’t waste his cash on something he’s going to hate.

    Mass Effect seems to have done pretty well with having a main character who can be of different genders, races, and sexual orientations. So it is possible.

  203. I read something that would seem to apply very well to the whole “but you can’t judge the whole hashtag” arguments the other day: A few bad apples spoil the barrel, but once the barrel is spoiled, removing the bad apples won’t change it back.

    GG-ers, your barrel is spoiled. Frankly, it was built with rotten wood to begin with – the movement was founded on someone’s very clear personal grudge and designed to ruin a specific life. These dreadful tactics were the *roots* of your hashtag. If you want me to say that GG is “misogynists and criminals and people who don’t bother with research” fine, but women are suffering for your lack of due diligence, and now they’re also suffering because you can’t own your mistakes and move on.
    I’m not giving you any passes.

    And looking at this post, I am ever more annoyed. Not that I think John should get doxxed and harassed because no one should. But the double standard is infuriating: a woman gets death threats and personal attacks and all the rest from everywhere. A man gets a half-hearted attempt at a boycott from a couple dudes.

  204. Mr. Scalzi, you are still thinking too small. Since everyone who reads your books supports you, and since no one can know exactly who They are, the only viable option is to boycott every person on Earth. Except for those who can’t read and don’t have electricity. Which is a depressingly large number.

  205. You write with words. They need to boycott words. No more words, because they’re Scalzi things.

  206. Long time reader of OGH’s books, been following the blog off and on for a few months, and much more closely in the last couple of weeks. This is the first time I’ve gotten to a GG-related post while the comments were open.

    I’m coming in late to this thread, so I have a lot of replies to get through. I would try to slowly post them and test the waters, but I am aware that Our Gracious Host prefers them in one big lump. I’m very afraid that this is too big of a lump, but hey, here goes:

    First, I would like to thank OGH for providing such a well moderated forum for discussion. This is such a welcome haven that it’s put me in mind of the 23rd Psalm. Truly, thy mallet and thy kitten, they comfort me.

    Thank you for providing a link to the GamerGate Bingo Card. Sadly, about 90% of the GG discourse I’ve seen so far has been so incoherent that the bingo card doesn’t work. Maybe we could have a few spaces for “complete incoherence”? But those would basically be free spaces.

    Now, on to some replies:

    “Actually, it’s about ethics in games journalism.”:

    For a movement that is supposedly focused on ethics in games journalism, the GamerGators’ knowledge of journalism and journalistic ethics is abysmal.

    There was a backlash to Polygon’s claim that objective reviews are impossible, but it’s pretty clear to me that, like Polygon says, all reviews are subjective. Objective reporting is problematic enough – go talk to Hunter S. Thompson about that one. (My main index case for this is one GGer on Twitter. He’s a WWE fan. Somehow, I get the feeling he’s not a smark :/)

    Also, Brianna Wu linked to an article some blogger posted on that wonderful… object, Mike Cernovich. Mike Cernovich then claimed that he had been doxxed – implying that it had been Wu that had done it. I took a look at the article, and while it wasn’t [i]great[/i] journalism (it read about like a gossip column article), it was a fairly good job of investigation, and most importantly, it didn’t provide any Personal Identifying Information that’s the essential hallmark of doxxing. Y’know, the stuff that might allow others to send you hate mail, death and rape threats, and steal your identity.

    Somewhat predictably, I later saw Cernovich tweet that SJWs were “redefining doxxing.” Somehow, I doubt that a Wikipedia article on doxxing from before GG blew up would back him up on this.

    GamerGate: Claims to be about ethics in games journalism. Can’t tell the difference between doxxing and journalism.

    Shayde: “If they were smart, they’d create something like #Gamesreform”

    This sounds like a really good idea. If they did it right, and completely cut out the GG crap, they could probably get most of #StopGamerGate2014 on board. One of the horrible things about GG is that the journalists they’re attacking are the indies that are trying their best to be ethical journalists.

    It might be a good idea for “gamesreformers” to start by addressing kya_nicoll’s point:

    “one of the things that’s been blowing my mind is the apparent position of some people that the quality of a game (and whether or not it’s worth spending money on) operates independently of the “social commentary” or whatever they’re calling that level of critique these days.”

    Greg: “Also, out of curiosity, what do you use as a reference for good journalism? We’ve got networks whose sole reason for existing is to lie to the american public about really important things like ebola, international politics, domestic politics. And you guys decide to take on the game journalists?”

    Well, since we’re talking about game reviews, Roger Egbert might be a good place to start. Unless he has some serious skeletons in his closet that I’m not aware of. We don’t need to aim for perfect, just better.

    Eric Wagner:

    “While I certainly don’t agree with everything John says, I do think that not only does he have the right to express it, he shouldn’t be villainized for having a different opinion. John should not be boycotted and I in fact denounce such an act. Then again I’m just one person who supports the movement.”

    While I do agree with everything John says on this topic, I also support boycotting as a legitimate (if often ineffective, especially in this case) tactic in civil discourse. Unlike doxxing and death and rape threats, which are illegitimate, and, in the long run, ineffective.

    Matt W:

    “But, I’ve also read a few pieces sympathetic to the movement that made me think about how this ‘discussion’ is being conducted. And I have to say once I start saying things like “slopebrowed weaseldicks” and “you are a shitty human” my words have become merely tribal signifiers. Once I’ve reached the point of hurling invective, my only real motivation for staying in the conversation is to beat my opponent with my rightness and signal to others which side of the discussion I fall on.”

    Yes, this is a very real thing. I would highly recommend Sarah-Jane Leslie’s work on “generic generalizations.” It’s a hugely insightful study into some serious bugs in the way humans do induction and conceptualize the world.

    This is a very low-level bug in human cognition. (Seriously, if I thought Intelligent Design was true, I’d be looking to file a bug report.) So it’s pretty much impossible to root it out entirely. The most I can recommend here is: It might well be appropriate to label Gators in the abstract as “slopbrowed weaseldicks.” But when you’re dealing with an individual member of that movement, give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they’re a human being, real and actual. Until proven otherwise, of course.

    Leslie’s work also gives insight on how to appropriate and otherwise handle epithets. For example, I think Dan Golding and Leigh Alexander committed a tactical mistake when they declared “Gamers are dead.” What they might have said instead is “Everyone is a gamer, so it’s safe to ignore the Gators, since they’re only a minority.”

    (Heh. I only learned about Dan Golding, who got his shot in before Alexander, just now, because I was googling to make sure I spelled Alexander’s name right. White cis-het males really are GG’s kryptonite!)

    Finally, be careful when insulting an individual by putting them in a category. It might just be giving them a label to live down to.

    Wendy Brown:

    “I have come to realise that I might have a Civ save game on my oldest computer that is older than some of these ‘true gamers’.”

    Thanks for smashing the gamer binary! :) Just like Feminist Hulk, only with more games.


    “The thing I find seriously weird is the fact that its proponents are obviously in urgent need of Capitalism 101; you would think that people moaning about liberals would have at least a basic grasp of the way in which the world functions…”

    People moaning about “liberals” in general probably don’t have a good grasp of capitalism. Fun fact: Rand Paul counts as a “classical” or “right” liberal. In Europe, “libertarianism” is a form of socialism.


    Thanks for letting me know about the Chick-fil-A policy change. A friend of mine tried to get me to try them, about two weeks after the story broke. My friend fully supports gay rights, she just really likes their food. I’ll have to give them a try now. When possible, rewarding people for changing their minds (even if they still have a ways to go) is much more effective than yelling at them for being wrong in the first place. Too bad “we’re not being stupid and/or immoral anymore” tends not to make the headlines.


    “But for the exact same reasons that I think it’s completely pointless for them to try to rehabilitate the name, I also think it’s actively harmful to discourse for anyone *else* to promote the idea that there is a single unifying correct interpretation of what “gamergate” means. It’s not a monolithic or organized thing, it has no authority figures to determine who is or isn’t part of it… And that means that it is wrong to claim that it’s “really” about ethics in journalism, but *also* wrong to claim that it’s “really” about misogyny. It’s about different things to different people, and has mostly turned into a pure wagon-circling meme with little to no semantic value.”

    One of the problems with gamergate, aside from, well, [i]the entirety of gamergate[/i], is that it seriously runs afoul of the discursive dilemma.

    The discursive dilemma is that a collective will decide differently if they vote on premises of an argument and then the collective draws the appropriate conclusion, than they will if they vote on the conclusion of the argument. Things get really bad when they try to vote on both the premises [i]and[/i] the conclusion of an argument.

    For example, let’s say 2/3rds of congress wants to reduce the deficit, and 1/3rd thinks a deficit is okay and doesn’t want to reduce spending or raise taxes. Of the 2/3rds that want to reduce the deficit, one half wants to do it by reducing spending, and one half wants to do it by raising taxes.

    If congress votes on each point individually, then by a 2/3rds vote, they will conclude: 1) we need to reduce the deficit, 2) we shouldn’t reduce spending, and 3) we shouldn’t raise taxes.

    I hope you see the problem here. Doing things this way leads to the collective acting in an irrational and incoherent manner. Kind of like this gem from Twitter:

    “Go f*ck yourself you stupid c*nt. Learn your sh*t before you try to make something out of nothing. Gamergate is not hating on women”

    Only it would be a collective that consists of actually sane and rational individuals acting in an irrational and incoherent way, instead of a single individual speaking in an irrational and incoherent way.

    The solution to the discursive dilemma is to “collectivize reason,” and use discipline to get the members of the collective to pull together instead of apart. For example, Congress could decide that they really need to reduce the deficit, and do what it takes to get that done, even if it means doing things that a majority of the congress doesn’t want to do – cut spending, raise taxes, or some combination of both.

    For gamergate, they need to 1) decide if they’re about ethics in journalism or persecuting women for daring to enter their space (and it can’t be both), and 2) policing their own movement. Until then, somebody should be tweeting: “Gamergate isn’t responsible for misogyny” -> “Gamergate isn’t responsible.” FTFY

    By the way, this was also a problem with Occupy. Except most members of Occupy were actually decent human beings. Not sure what the percentage is for GG.

    Shayde: “I’m also a fan of Felicia Day, and the “doxxing” was clearly repudiated.. [link]”

    … and the false flag accusations start on the second level of replies. (4th reply on the page.)

    Strangely, the most plausible candidates for false flags I’ve seen (possible observation bias here, I’ll admit) have been GGers posing as “anti-GGers.” At least, the WWE-fan GGer I was talking about earlier pointed at another tweet-er as an example of racism in the anti-GGer ranks. I headed on over to see if I needed to do some policing of the kind I mentioned above. (“Hey, man, not cool, do you mind knocking it off?”)

    What I found was… not terribly clear. The tweet-er presented as a trans Person of Color. (No indication of what gender, if any, the tweet-er was presenting as, which I thought was a bit odd.) Given this persona, some of the alleged racism could be chalked up to N-word privileges, etc. Not all, maybe, but a good chunk of it. But some of the things I saw in earlier posts seemed to indicate that the tweet-er was pro-GG.

    I’d be tempted to chalk it up to a chat-bot… but chat-bots are usually better about passing the Turing Test… Sigh.

    That’s one of the things I hate about GG. Having to seriously consider the possibility of false flags after having to deal with all of that “9/11 Truther” crap for a decade. And false flags would fit in perfectly with the rest of the GG playbook. But at least in this case, I think the WWE-fan GGer just got his wires crossed, and mistook a fellow GGer for an “anti-GG”er.

    GamerGator: “Your argument against GamerGate boils down to “Why haven’t you stopped beating your wife?”, almost literally.

    “Think about that.”

    Yes. Yes it is, actually. As GamerGate continues punching her right in front of me.

    Chris B[uech]ler:


    I could say more, but…

    Sigh. One of the bad things about being smarter and generally better human beings in general than our opposition is that we might be better at thinking up tactics than they are. I sometimes get the horrible feeling that, if I don’t watch out, I might be doing their thinking for them… And they don’t have our higher ethical standard to keep them in line.


    [“Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” stuff]

    [And hoping that this isn’t feeding into the derailing OGH has warned about.]

    I would point out that a flaw in the “All men are privileged -> All men are oppressors” argument is that it assumes men, and humans in general, are egoistical jerks.

    It does seem that all men, [i]qua[/i] men, are privileged: To the extent that men conform to the orthodox masculine gender role, then they are playing a privileged role in society. Of course, things aren’t quite so rosy if you’re biologically male, but don’t quite conform to the masculine gender role. Until quite recently, if, say, you prefered reading books or playing video games to playing football (to use a very minor example), things might not have worked out so well for you.

    (Which just makes this whole GG thing that much more annoying. Dammit, X-Men taught us better than this!!!)

    And it does seem that privilege, in general, is invisible to the privileged.

    But it does not follow from this that all men would absolutely refuse to renegotiate gender roles to make society more equitable, once the problem has been pointed out to them. Sure, they might be slow about it, and reluctant to change. (After all, even putting the privilege thing to one side, we’re still talking about rewriting a large chunk of cultural programming.) But in the end, I would like to think that most men would be willing to do it. Not because it’s in their best interests. But because it’s the right thing to do.

    I’m a big fan of Philip Pettit’s work on republicanism. His main claim is that freedom does not just mean that other people are not actually interfering with you, it also means that nobody is in a position to interfere with you without you being able to fight back.

    For example (to bring the conversation back to the original topic), boycotts are one way to fight back against corporations if corporations are interfering with our freedom. (Unfortunately, they do not always work.)

    For another example, Pettit does admit that if somebody who occupies a privileged position has a conscience, this might limit their power, since the people they have power over could fight back against misuse of that power by essentially guilt-tripping that privileged person. (Or, better, to tell the privileged person, without explicitly asserting that he has done anything wrong, necessarily, how he can do even better in the future. A much more effective tactic, and less likely to cause knee-jerk reactionarism.)

    This might be a good place to mention that Voltaire, in response to people claiming that “Woman really rule the world, thanks to their lady parts,” pointed out that this true only to the extent that they already have the power to not be raped.

    To some extent, women do have the power to not be raped, because guys in general would never think of raping women, or even see women as sex-dispensing machines. But, sadly, this is not true of all men.

    And it has been proven to not be true of a vocal faction of the GamerGate movement.

    But I still hope that some followers of the GamerGate tag can be convinced to abandon it by appealing to basic common decency. If we peel off the “useful idiots” the true core of haters will be left without their fig leaf.

    Nicole Benker: “You write with words. They need to boycott words. No more words, because they’re Scalzi things.”

    Some of them have appear to have already thrown out language, and replacing it with various grunts and gurgles. I suppose words wouldn’t be too far of a next step.

    Now, hoping I haven’t used too many words…

  207. My two pence: you can’t be gently moderate about the Mighty, Mighty Gee Gree Crew. I’m sorry, but you can’t. …Well, you CAN, but it won’t accomplish anything because of the nature of the sarlacc pit in question. I know y’all cautioning moderation can see where some of the self-titled moderates are coming from. Sure, so can I. But they are in the wrong place and the wrong time now. The apples in the barrel are spoiled. You’re not MEANING to, but you are enabling some of this business and I do not think you want to.

    Here’s why I take serious exception with the “be-gentler” tactic, and yes I know it all sounds Fox Mulder and grimdark, but I’m one of those crusty hippie types and have seen this situation play out a LOT in activism circles. It makes me ill and cold to see it happening in a movement that has so many many younger teenagers in it.

    Gee Gee, because of its genesis and its, turned into a smorgasbord for the predatory. Given their usual habit of screaming “OMG LIES” at abuse survivors, and given their general attitude toward what is/is not abuse and why it happens? They’re sitting ducks for the obvious slimy elements. They’ve created this poisonous, nasty, little nest for themselves, and should something horrific go down, there will be no help for them inside, and they will be so self-indoctrinated with this us-n’-them song and dance that they will not seek help outside.

    The big fish in movements like this can amass a cult of personality around them, and if they’re scummy, they use it to prey on the little fish–who then have no recourse and no refuge.

    I have seen this play out over and over and over again in activist movements (legit and non), and while YES the wannabe-Master-Chiefs do get hyperdefensive if you go “LOLNO”, a gentle touch and kind words and a mild tone are not going to fix this. I’m not advocating for perma-capslock but tactlessness is really the only way to handle this.

    That’s the middle of the road. Not “being nice”. “Being nice” is just letting them keep swilling poison until someone ELSE gets hurt. And someone else, and someone else, and etc.

    And the cynical side of my crusty hippie mind thinks that, were the targets of the abuse not largely women and PoC and otherwise marginalized? This be-nice line of “reason” would not be trotted out so damn often. (also, if you are a white gay man too, shush about how you’re not part of the issue, cause, y’all are. we’re teh top dawgs in marginalized circles, so don’t even go there with this oh-so-downtrodden thing.)

  208. And now we have the ludicrous position where GG puts out stuff trying to tell Chris, John and others to ‘check their privilege’.

    Given that the slimeballs prime complaint about John up until now is that he was the person who came out and said that he was privileged, at a time when it really wasn’t popular to do so, that really demonstrates the total lack of any kind of moral compass in GG.

    True to their disingenuity they provide pictures of people allegedly demonstrating the diversity of GGs, including disabled people and immigrants. I very rarely volunteer to allow pictures of myself to escape into the wild, but as an immigrant (born in Egypt) cis gendered white woman, suffering from an incurable and progressive disease which will kill me, I’m prepared to put my face where my mouth is, along with a round up of the disease which is killing me, together with the scientific evidence that yes, I do have it, and yes it will kill me.

    Admittedly, GG are probably not capable of making any sense of CT scans but their ignorance is not my problem, it’s theirs…

  209. JS:

    Reviews are highly subjective and opinionated by definition, but they can (and often do) contain some reportage and fact finding.

    Numerous game reviews are by customers and on personal blogs and social media, rather than being published in any journalistic publication; these people still get swag and beta copies from game companies if they have enough people who like their reviews. (In fact, Felicia Day satirized this in her series The Guild and yet still she is doxxed.) Reviews that are published by magazines, newspapers, website magazines, newsletters, etc. are still editorials. Reviews do not have to have any reportage and fact finding whatsoever in their review. They merely have to express an opinion. They can do so while barely talking about the product they’re reviewing. They can paraphrase the press release they got with the product.

    They don’t have to get the facts right about the book, movie, game, etc. that they are reviewing, and a lot of the reviews I run into frequently get the facts quite wrong. In fact, it’s one of the main reasons I don’t read movie reviews anymore, (another is that they tend to write about the movie they would make rather than the actual movie itself,) — which is what people decide to do with reviews; they decide whether the person giving the review has an opinion that they think is worth anything and whether they are ever going to bother listening to that person’s opinions about things again. The same goes for when you talk about games — or books, or movies, etc. — in chat rooms with other people, whose recommendations and dislikes you may listen to or dismiss.

    So while journalistic outfits do sometimes offer reviews, and reviews can if the reviewer wants contain cultural reportage and analysis, reviewers are not journalists. (Not even when it was you doing movie reviews, JS.) They are not subject to a code of journalistic ethics. Any restrictions placed on their reviewing are made entirely at the whim and decision of the publications who publish their reviews, if there is any publication and not their own stuff.

    So when people go on about reviewers being too cozy with companies and people offering products for review and that there is an imaginary code of journalistic ethics concerning reviewers, they are talking out of their ass. If they want to complain about individual reviewers who they think have lousy or pandering opinions, it’s done all the time and that’s simply your opinion about someone giving an opinion, not social reform. So when they then pretend it’s a big, recent, hidden conspiracy that they’ve uncovered and a deeply urgent disaster that people are doing reviews like reviews have always been done, it’s blowing smoke for a standard far right harassment campaign that of course has barely touched any reviewers (most of whom again are men.)

    Gawker is not being attacked for having a cozy review relationship with gaming companies. Gawker is being attacked for publishing editorials and satire that are critical of GamerGate, as well as a few journalistic articles offering facts about GamerGate. So if the ones bleating about “journalistic ethics” are crowing over Gawker, they are simply cheering attacking people, not reform. They’re saying, “anyone who disagrees with us we can hurt” which has got nothing to do with ethics or journalism or even reviews.

    So no, the people who are bleating about ethics in journalism in the gaming industry re reviews are at best idiots and at worst, just GamerGaters clinging to their costume as they hunt women and their endless list of enemies. Either way, a kneejerk dismissal of ethics claims is entirely appropriate. At least the boycotts have an actual purpose, rather than making up an imaginary corruption charge in their heads.

  210. On the ‘save game older than some of these people’ front, while I don’t have any of those, I did have an amusing conversation on Facebook with someone who said he was sympathetic to gamergate. Who wound up gracefully backing out of the conversation when I started comparing internet debate to certain Atari games. (Asked the mutual acquaintance how old the fellow was, and got an answer that made me realise I’d accidentally made it clear to the guy he was trying to argue the ‘women don’t game so that perspective doesn’t matter’ side to a woman who had been gaming longer than he’d been alive.)

    But I’m still pondering Joust. Maybe if I got more crashing into flying ostriches and trying to micromanage the higher ground I’d be less cranky on the internets.

  211. I enjoyed the Check Your Privilege graphics, with the upstanding #GG supporter Vox Day (Native American PoC)

  212. “They are not subject to a code of journalistic ethics.”

    Kat, it is bizarre to think that you can unilaterally set the standard for what people will consume. If some cadre of readers wants to not ready or boycott or protest some news source because of having or not having a standard that they don’t like, there is no harm. Only good. This the levers of choice being worked on the internet. It is a net good everytime.

    The only thing that I have personally found interesting AT ALL in this vein is that the someone at one news source thought it was a wise move to say all sorts of bad things about ex-advertisers. Not because it’s bad business (which maybe it is, who knows), but mainly because they were good enough people to buy ads a few weeks ago, and now they’re idiots. That is a weird conversion to have.

  213. I was a teenager during the whole attempt to link violent video games to violence panic and it sincerely blows my mind that people who claim to love games are doing their obnoxious best to prove the moral panic right.

    How long is it going to be before someone is killed over freaking video game reviews?

  214. Dh

    I’m having difficulty reconciling what I think Kat is saying with what you seem to think Kat is saying; in the circumstances I’ll leave it to Kat…


    Frankly, I think these were deeply unpleasant people long before they got near video games, violent or otherwise…

  215. Stevie:

    I’m having difficulty reconciling what I think Kat is saying with what you seem to think Kat is saying; in the circumstances I’ll leave it to Kat…

    I’m not entirely clear on what DH is actually saying, and whether it was agreeing with me or not, so I was kind of waiting to hear other people’s interpretations and maybe DH elaborating. After I misread a satire post that last time, I’m being a bit cautious here. :)


    How long is it going to be before someone is killed over freaking video game reviews?

    Again, GamerGate has got nothing to do with actual game reviews. It is an organized, centralized campaign to go after various women they don’t like, because they feel these women represent a liberal, diversity minded ideology that they want to block from games and everything else, and then to keep feeding red meat, they send folk after whatever websites and people are critical of them, but mostly the women:

    The death threats and doxxing for making death threats easier are towards woman who are not game reviewers. And this is not a grassroots, de-centralized movement any more than the Tea Party was. These folk started their plans on 4Chan, got kicked off there and set up their camp on 8Chan. And some of them are teaming up with right wing media and there’s money involved at this point as well.

    Again, if you are sincerely worried about games reviews and want to encourage websites and magazines in gaming to place stricter rules on their reviewers, form a new hashtag and start lobbying for it to those websites and magazines. But if you’re hanging out on GamerGate, trying to get ads pulled from sites that criticized GamerGate, and shrugging about women being persecuted and threatened with death in the name of GamerGate, then you don’t have a lot of credibility and certainly not about ethics or reviews.

    I don’t have a problem with people complaining about overly positive games reviews, if that’s really what they want to do. That’s part of the whole process of reviews. But nobody has actually done this in GamerGate, which, again, was founded on a deliberate and obvious lie. What they have done, with documented evidence, is plot to get the personal information of women they don’t like out in the world and come up with plans to try to drive them to commit suicide. If that’s what somebody wants to ally with, that tells me exactly what their values are.

  216. Kat Goodwin: Sorry I didn’t make my point more clearly, I think #GamerGate is a creepy stew of misogyny and very thinly disguised hatred of women.

    I also think that like, anti-abortion campaigners, their extreme rhetoric is going to see one of the people they have unleashed their flying monkeys on seriously hurt or killed and that the ostensible trigger will have been video game reviews.

    It’s mind-boggling that there are likely to be physical victims of video-game violence in the near future.

  217. Hi, reading through the comments I’ve noticed there hasn’t actually been a whole lot of links and information posted, so I thought it’d be worthwhile to add some. is a fairly comprehensive list of articles and information related to GG. I’m not trying to push the agenda of either side here, I just want to make this information available for those that haven’t been able to see it.

    In case anyone asks, I do support GG, to an extent. I don’t honestly care about ethics in games journalism (I never buy anything until it’s been out for ages anyway) and I don’t think there’s a huge issue with people pushing their agenda onto games. My issue is with free speech on the internet, and I support what people flying under the GG banner have done to further that cause.

    Also, my two cents on the whole misogyny issue? I hear a lot more about it from the anti-GG side than I’ve ever seen myself. Granted, I don’t use Twitter, so that may account for the discrepancy. Still, I don’t support insults, personal attacks, threats, harassment or doxxing from either side. I won’t pretend I’m an expert on the matter, but I’ve seen evidence from both sides and I think it’s reprehensible no matter who’s doing it. Regardless of whether we agree or disagree, we should be able to have a civil discussion on the matter.

  218. Dear John,

    Bullshit. You don’t have a “civil discussion” with the Klan, the Mob, or the Aryan Brotherhood. You can’t. It doesn’t exist.

    “Free speech” has never, ever– since Day One of the Constitution and Bill or Rights– been construed to include the right to make criminal threats against people or to shield any sort criminal behavior.

    You don’t get to choose a middle ground. You’re enabling the Bad Guys, and that does NOT make you a Good Guy.

    pax / Ctein

  219. Ctein

    I suspect that the claim that this is about free speech is the latest desperate ploy to put some sort of shine on the bullshit; thank you for your pithy analysis of said desperate ploy…

  220. ctein:

    Comparing GG to any of those is a bit much. GG isn’t a hate group or a criminal organization, no matter how much you try to make it one. Just because some people appropriate the name to make hateful comments doesn’t discredit reasonable discourse.

    If you’d read my post you would have noticed that I mentioned I don’t support people making threats. I should clarify what I mean when I refer to free speech. When the scandal first erupted, discussion of it was heavily censored on many public forums. Not just threats, mind you, but any discussion at all of the situation. On the other hand, GG supporters have made an effort to allow people to express opposing viewpoints without being censored. For example, the writer of a very anti-GG piece for the Verge joined the 8chan IRC shortly after he wrote his editorial, expecting to be attacked for his views. On the contrary, he was able to express his opinion and have a decent discussion with other members of the chatroom. I support free speech. I don’t support making threats and I don’t support silencing people you disagree with.

    Claiming that this is all black-and-white is incredibly naive. GG encompasses many issues and there are both reasonable and terrible people on both sides of the debate.


    I am not claiming that GG is just about free speech; I’m merely stating why I support it. All I want to do is provide information to help people understand the situation.

  221. John Dicks

    The problem is that you have self-evidently not bothered to read the many comments already made by people on this thread. Had you bothered to do so you would realise why you are being met by derision.

    If you cannot be bothered to inform yourself of what has already been said, quoted, linked to etc. etc. etc. then unsurprisingly your offer to enlighten us is seen for exactly what it is; an attempt to weasel out of informed discussion under the guise of offering information.

    Your posts are long on vague exhortations and short on anything which could loosely be called facts; I appreciate that this is because the facts make your claims risible but you cannot expect me, or anyone else, not to notice it…

  222. John:

    My issue is with free speech on the internet,

    Nobody has tried to stop the GamerGate people from talking. Whereas individuals using the GamerGate tag have tried to stop women from talking by issuing death threats and constant harassment, including a mass shooting at a university if an academic gave a lecture, and involving the FBI. And the GamerGate people have tried to shut down or otherwise damage websites with ad removals that have run pieces of free speech that are critical of GamerGate, and been quite open that they are trying to silence those folk for being critical of GamerGate. The boycott of Scalzi — which they have every right to do — is because they would like Scalzi to shut up and not be critical of GamerGate. That’s not advocating free speech either, even if that particular effort is legal.

    Additionally, GamerGate claims to want reviewers not to consider the portrayal of women and diversity issues in their reviews of games. They want to curtail the reviewers’ free speech because they don’t like those subjects or the reviewers’ views about them. That’s not advocating free speech. Death threats are not free speech — they are criminal acts. And making them to shut someone up is not advocating free speech.

    Your free speech is not curtailed on the Internet. GamerGate participants’ free speech is not curtailed on the Internet. But GamerGate is trying to drive several individuals, nearly all women, off the Internet and unable to speak freely on it or about games elsewhere as well. If you are really concerned with free speech on the Internet, start a campaign on the Internet to advocate for it. But if you stick with GamerGate, who are not only engaging in terror tactics to shut up free speech, but there is documented evidence in their group logs that have been turned over to the FBI that they planned those tactics from the start, then don’t expect anyone to believe you actually give a crap about free speech on the Internet.

  223. John Dicks, gamergate got a mention on the hatewatch list for Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that tracks hate groups like the KKK and neonazis. They link to an article from the Gaurdian that you should probably read

    Tldr; its not about free speech when the issue isnt government censorship, but rather that mainstream people refuse to listen to hate filled bullshit hiding behind nonsense like “journalistic integrity”.

  224. Stevie:

    I will admit that I did not read all the posts in the thread, merely reading the first and last few and skimming over the middle. If information has already been made available than I apologize for assuming it wasn’t. I’m also not trying to “enlighten” anyone – just provide information related to the situation that I figured many people might not have already seen. I didn’t really plan on engaging in discussion myself and in retrospect probably shouldn’t have mentioned my own views on the issue.

    Kat Goodwin:

    “Nobody has tried to stop the GamerGate people from talking.”

    That’s just plain wrong. People trying to stop the GamerGate people from talking was the catalyst for this whole situation blowing up. I could elaborate on the details, but they’re already included in the link I provided earlier.

    Your other points are fair, though. I’m split on the boycotts. On the one hand, people shouldn’t feel the need to censor themselves just so they can keep a roof over their heads; on the other hand being a public figure means you have to be careful about what you say and do, whether you’re a politician or a journalist, because people will hold you accountable.

    However, I’d like to rebut the point about GamerGaters not wanting reviewers to consider the portrayal of women and diversity issues in their reviews. There’s a small review site with a Christian focus call ChristCenteredGamer. As they are a Christian reviewer they have very strict standards for morality in games. However, they give every game two scores: one for morality, and one for it’s worth as a game. I think the feeling among GGers is that many reviewers focus too much on ideology and morality and not enough on how good games are as games. What CCG demonstrates is that it’s entirely possible to judge a game as a game separately from personal ideology. For example, they gave South Park: The Stick of Truth a 0% morality score, but it still got an 86% game score – because despite finding the content morally reprehensible, they acknowledged that it was still a good game.

    If there is documented evidence, I wouldn’t mind seeing it.


    I can’t say I agree with that article, but I appreciate your linking it.

    One could as easily say it’s difficult to get people to listen to what you’re saying about journalistic integrity when others are covering it with hateful bullshit. That doesn’t mean that what people are saying about journalistic integrity is invalid.

  225. Dear Stevie,


    I try to be kinder and more nuanced early-on, but when it’s obvious that someone either hasn’t bothered to read those comments (or they found them too convoluted to comprehend) then I figure it’s time to cut to a simpler chase.


    Dear John,

    Read my earlier comments. Which, clearly, you either did not or entirely discounted. Either way, I ain’t cutting you any slack.

    I’ve been many dubious things in my life, but I haven’t been naive since I was about 12, which was a handful of years back.

    pax / Ctein

  226. Dicks, its not a “free speech” issue unless its government censorship. Its not a “free speech” issue if the issue is someone wants to say “death to all women” and private citizens dont want that crap on their website.

    Every case of “censorship” i’ve seen around gamergate has been either of two things: (1) some knuckledragger wants to talk smack about women and a lot of people call him an asshole, delete the comment, and possibly ban them or (2) some one trying to pull a shining altruistic ideal out of a movement defined primarily by knuckledraggers wanting to talk smack about women.

    If free speech truly is something you want to support, then your commitment will be far better served by the various organizations that are designed to defend free speech, such as the ACLU and similar.

    In the gamergater universe, their version of “free speech” boils down to “we should be able to say mean things and no one should be able to call us mean”. Thats not how free speech works.

  227. John:

    That’s just plain wrong. People trying to stop the GamerGate people from talking was the catalyst for this whole situation blowing up. I could elaborate on the details, but they’re already included in the link I provided earlier.

    No, they didn’t and no it wasn’t. The catalyst for GamerGate was a guy pissed at his ex-girlfriend, Quinn. GamerGate was started by him and people who made up a lie about Quinn and claimed it was a scandal. They then harassed her, doxxed her and issued death threats. That’s how GamerGate STARTED. On a lie about a non-existent supposed “ethics” problem that was used to go after Quinn with terror tactics, which were then used on Sarkeesian and others who had nothing to do with games reviewing or Quinn for that matter.

    Second, the Internet is a public network. The websites and chat forums that use it are not. They are private property owned by groups, individuals and businesses. And the owners of a property can kick people off of their property who they feel are disrupting and damaging their property. That’s not curtailing free speech. That’s the owners exercising their free speech and rights. That does not stop anyone from talking on the Internet. It does not throw them in jail. Freedom of speech does not mean that others are forced to listen to you when you talk, nor that they have to refrain from criticizing you and your speech and actions. It does not mean that they can’t shut their own door in your face.

    4Chan threw the GamerGate guys out when logs showed that they had conspired to get Quinn killed or suicided from the very beginning, or at the very least, drive her off the Internet and out of gaming. 4Chan, home of the “we hate women” fan clubs, actually went you’re committing crimes on our turf, leave. That hasn’t stopped GamerGate one whit from talking their heads off. Here are some of the leaders of the group you are supporting:

    I think the feeling among GGers is that many reviewers focus too much on ideology and morality and not enough on how good games are as games.

    What they don’t like is that reviewers have different, non-conservative views than they do about women and minorities in games and as game characters and they want those reviewers and others in gaming to shut up about that subject. They’re trying to censor reviews and articles about the gaming industry they don’t like. They are trying to threaten Sarkeesian into going away by harassing her with thousands of tweets, emails, etc. calling her a cunt and telling her they’re going to kill her and others around her. They aren’t having a discussion about reviews; they are trying to drive women they target off the Internet and scare the shit out of them, or send others in a mob to do it for them. That’s not advocating free speech. They are trying to shut down sites that have been critical about games and about GamerGate. That’s their right to attempt, but it isn’t a goal of advocating free speech and open discussion. This entire campaign of GamerGate is because people whose views they don’t agree with — especially women — have used their free speech to express those views, and they want them to shut up and try to ruin them professionally and personally to do it. If you truly believe in free speech and open debate, you should be nowhere near these people.

    If there is documented evidence, I wouldn’t mind seeing it.

    Well lucky for you, there’s a thing called the Internet with that info right there. This is what got them eventually kicked off 4Chan once Briannah Wu, a game developer and another of their targets simply because she was critical of GamerGate, had to call in the FBI when she was doxxed and threated with death:
    And there are numerous, numerous articles in main media with plenty of documentation. Specifically about how these charming conspirators figured they could rope people like you in to giving them cover while they went after their targets.

    There may be people trying to discuss things that they care about amid GamerGate that does not involve punishing women who irk them. But there is no reason such people can’t go off and start their own campaigns or debates on Twitter or elsewhere on the Net without GamerGate. If you stick with GamerGate, well, you’ve picked your speech and your values, and they aren’t for free speech. And you’ll have to deal with how others react to them with their free speech.

  228. “It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.”–Voltaire

    Dicks, you might want to ask yourself how much GamerGater’s are using “journalistic integrity” and “free speech” as their trumpet to rally large numbers to do heinous things.

    The answer is “a lot”, by the way.

  229. John Dicks

    The first sentence of your first post stated that you had read the comments. You now admit this was untrue.

    Lying to people is not helpful if you wish them to have any confidence in your subsequent comments; after all, you are obviously willing to tell lies if it suits you.

    It is unsurprising, therefore, that I place more trust in, for example, articles in the New York Times and the Guardian than I do in an anonymous individual whose very first statement is an obvious lie; I would have to be exceedingly stupid to do otherwise, and I am not exceedingly stupid.

    You say that you do not condone the vile acts we have seen, and go on to condone them; that too is blindingly obvious to anyone who is not exceedingly stupid.

    As for dragging out a Christ Centred Gamer review site as a token gesture; it may have looked good on the drawing board but I’m English, and we tend to regard the existence of such entities as things we really do not want foisted on us by US evangelical groups who have been doing their best to import their toxic brew of misogyny and homophobia into our country. They are having more success in Africa, where people die as a result, but we have been less willing to accept that the Prince of Peace would be really pleased if women were entirely subjugated to their fathers and their husbands, and gays imprisoned and killed.

    Scalzi has a lot of readers around the world; most of the people commenting here are from the U.S. and other English speaking nations, but we are not, on the whole, people who dislike discussion and arguments. We like it, and we value Whatever because it is one of the few places where we get to argue because he moderates it very carefully to let people argue constructively; he also Mallets us. One of the many comments that you did not read, but which is definitely there, was me apologising to Greg because I sloppily wrote something in the heat of the moment which was not intended and certainly not justified. John accordingly observed that he thought Greg deserved an apology, and he was right.

    So when someone wanders in lying about himself and complaining about John it’s not really surprising that the brass band doesn’t turn out to welcome you; he’s not perfect, I’m not perfect, but after years of arguing about an awful lot of things I know he doesn’t lie. Which is helpful if you want a genuine discussion…

  230. Folks:

    We’re very clearly wandering off into a general discussion of GamerGate which appears mostly about Mr. Dicks reading off the Bingo card and everyone else correcting him. Let’s go ahead and wrap up this particular line of discussion, please.

    Mind you, as I’m about to start traveling and won’t have time to moderate the site, later this evening I will be turning off the comments globally through Friday, so you’ll have to wrap up your comments soon in any event.

  231. @ John DIcks
    How did I miss the memo that it’s all about free speech?
    In an effort to be fair–(well, a half-assed effort, but still) I checked out your link and it’s a nice effort but needs to be more user-friendly.
    But really, any website that includes, as a bullet point for their side, an article by John C. Wright telling Chris Kluwe to “check his privilege” because he’s opposed to GamerGate and these Filipino/disabled/trans people aren’t? Needs to re-think just what it’s trying to accomplish.
    Good for a snicker, though.

  232. I’ll apologize again for saying I read through all the comments when “skimmed” was the more appropriate word; still, my original intention was to provide information from an alternate viewpoint, and I’ve done that.

    I think, Kat and Stevie, that you misunderstood what I meant about CCG. What I was trying to demonstrate was that it was possible in game reviews for someone to acknowledge their bias and still give the game an objective review. That they’re a Christian site isn’t the point. Also, I don’t recall complaining about Mr. Scalzi at any point in my messages; in fact I appreciate that he is allowing me to speak here.


    I have to admit that I can neither agree with nor disagree with what you’re saying. The story that you tell of Zoe Quinn stands in opposition to the other story I’ve heard, which is that she was a liar, a cheater, and emotionally abusive towards her boyfriend. When someone made a video about it, she got it taken down via a DMCA complaint, despite there being no copyrighted material in the video. When people began discussing this, they were silenced en masse. People got curious, started digging deeper, and found all manner of unsavory things going on.

    I won’t say that’s the true story either, because I can’t. I’ve seen enough evidence to give both sides credence, and I know enough to say that plenty of it could have been entirely fabricated – again, on both sides. The issue is tremendously muddled, and believing anyone unconditionally does a disservice to the other side. This confusion repeats itself with every issue that comes up.

    I want to say something about GG as a whole before I go. From what I’ve seen, I feel that this is a case of two juxtaposed narratives: “Man-hating SJW’s want to destroy my games!” vs. “Misogynistic gamers want to drive women out of gaming!” That’s very simplified, to be sure, and leaves out a lot of the other important issues swirling around it, but it’s definitely where the most vitriol is being spewed. Both sides have a profound sense of self-righteousness and feel that they are fighting against injustice. It’s a far more attractive narrative than “Video game ‘journalists’ are acting unethically” or any of the other issues that have been stirred by this debacle, and I think that’s what’s had the most adverse effect on actual progress. If this has shown me anything it’s that the GG banner has definitely been co-opted by proponents of the first narrative, or at least appears to have been in the public eye. I do wish that it could have turned out better, but I suppose with the advantages of anonymity also come consequences.

    Anyway, I don’t want to try and “enlighten” anyone, as I said earlier, so I’m going to pull out of this discussion now. I appreciate your engaging with me despite disagreeing with what I say. I encourage you only to stay well informed and not to shut out the other side.

  233. “From what I’ve seen, I feel that this is a case of two juxtaposed narratives: “Man-hating SJW’s want to destroy my games!” vs. “Misogynistic gamers want to drive women out of gaming!” That’s very simplified, to be sure, and leaves out a lot of the other important issues swirling around it, but it’s definitely where the most vitriol is being spewed. Both sides…”

    Oh my god. Did you seriously just try to say both sides are equally reprehensible??? BINGO!!!

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