Disclosure and introduction: Shatter will be posting this information on behalf of a guest writer.
After an article by MoviePilot writer Alisha Grauso titled The Battle for the Soul of Geek Culture went viral via the gaming news networks, reddit, and twitter – Shatter picked up on it and started to listen. Having known Alisha many years, she paid attention to anything directly dissenting from her article and found a direct YouTube appeal to Alisha was popping up all over. Shatter reached out to the user for comment and offered a platform for discussion – and as a result will be bringing you ScrumpMonkey’s three-part take on GamerGate from a dissenting opinion. We ask that everyone remember their manners and try to add only constructive voices. So, with no further ado – content begins below:
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The Future You Chose
You know, it’s hilarious to see that one Law and Oder SVU episode being disavowed by so many people. People who then make equally sensationalist claims about gamers. SVU is simply the media narrative put up on the screen, a logical extension of a lie. Why complain about having your own moral panic parroted back at you? Is there such a lack of self-awareness that you can’t recognize your own words?
What we need in this discussion is sanity. Unfortunately, websites like The Verge and Gawker have been piling on the crazy by the truck-load. When Gawker called GamerGate members “Dishonest Fascists,” they neglected to note their own losss seven figures, due to GamerGate calling out their support for bullying. It can’t go both ways. You can’t belittle gamers from a great distance for upwards of six months and then pretend to be their champions. Recently, more and more developers have been speaking out against this entire situation has been handled by the media. This includes names as big as Ken Levine, who has been met with the same level of hostility and veiled threats. There is no self-reflection here. It is merely the same finger-pointing at anyone except themselves. We can draw a straight line between the early censorship and circling of the wagons, to the now infamous “Gamers are Over” articles, to the attacks on GamerGate by the gaming press, to the coverage in the mainstream and onto the SVU episode. All of them partly informed by a woeful Wikipedia article that caused some upheavals of its own.
So where does this leave us six months down the line? Well, it seems that the overall coverage of GamerGate has degraded to such a degree that it’s now indistinguishable from overdramatic TV. Every time I think that the press won’t sink any lower, they disappoint me. GamerGate is intractable now, immovable, part of the landscape for as long as the glaring issues remain and the lies continue. In internet time, six months is an eternity. And as such, things can never go back to the way they were before. This isn’t just going to blow over. Even if you hate GamerGate, you’re going to have to deal with them somehow. Especially since because the current tactic of “Smear and Jeer” seems to just be getting bigger. There’s nowhere else to go. GamerGate has been accused of everything, and had an equal amount thrown at it. Yet, it’s still here. Is this what you really want? A state of constant conflict with your consumers, eventually leading to a shrinking market and loss of livelihoods? Trotting Zoe Quinn’s tear-stained face out for the thousandth time isn’t going to cut it. There is one way and one way only to end GamerGate: engagement and compromise, on both sides. If you bring together the vast majority moderate voices the extreme elements in either camp will simply drop away or become isolated. It’s that simple.
Listen. All I can do is tell you the truth according to Scrumpmonkey, and beg you to maybe consider re-examining how you interact with a group of disgruntled gamers. I’ve been in this since its inception; I’ve seen how GamerGate operates and how it gets things done. It’s not this monster that is paraded out in the press for people to throw rocks at. I am not a monster, and I hope you don’t come away from this thinking that I, or and that thousands of people just like me all over the world are capable of acts of evil and depravity we stand accused of.
Though they even made a meme about “It’s about ethics in journalism,” it still holds true. I don’t know what else I can do. If reason fails and passionate, sincere words fall on deaf ears, then this thing is truly unsolvable and the gaming community is doomed to fight this war of attrition with itself or have people turn away from it altogether in disgust.
Gaming deserves better than this. Gamers deserve better. We have a glorious, wondrous medium where someone can create pure joy out of textures and code. How can large sections the press that covers this medium be so bitter, selfish, and petty that they would allow their own stubbornness to override their basic humanity? Listen. The worst I will call anyone in this situation is corrupt. But once, just once, in this long sorry affair, can the journalist come down from the barricades and talk on equal and honest terms with their audience? With Gamers.
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