Do a podcast on Gamergate

Created by texasworldmusic on Oct. 16, 2014, 7:33 a.m.
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  • Dear Tested

    I am very concerned with the issue of women harrased and threatened while expressing their views of the gaming culture. Within the past 24 hours I've seen articles at the BBC and Mother Jones about Anita Sarkeesian canceled a speaking engagement at Utah State University due to death threats to herself and the university campus. I feel it is worth an extended focus by this community and TESTED.

  • @Rallier: Milking it? You can't be serious?

    She herself did not recieve the threat, it was sent to multiple staff members at the university and they were the ones who published it in full. There were a dozen articles about the threats in mainstream media before she had even made a comment.

    Listen, you don't have to agree with her, but at least conceede that her concerns were valid. A specific threat against your life and all those in attendance is not something you can just ignore and go ahead as planned. The university refused to provide sufficient security measures, putting their refusal to check for *any* weapons down to not wanting to offend against open-carry laws which is fucking ludicrous at a university campus.

    Whether or not it was serious is not even part of the discussion, it was an act of outright terrorism and a crime.

    That being said, I agree that this is a not podcast topic. Tested isn't the right forum for this discussion, because honestly it isn't a discussion. "Gamergate" is bullshit. There is no conspiracy, there is no corruption, just a pile of arseholes knowingly or unknowingly fueling a two year long campaign of hate and threats based solely on a false sense of oppression being pulled at by a select group of fuckwits. There are arseholes on both sides, mind, but one side has a ton more death threats and "hey, your address is *** and I'm coming over right now to rape you and your family with a knife"-tweets than the other, guess which.

  • More than anything, this topic is just depressing.

  • @Rallier: It was shared in full in mutliple news articles over a period of several hours, how is Wu responsible for making it public if it was released to the media by the university employees who recieved it?

    Even if she had been the first person to post the email, there is no doubt that the threat would be posted in full following the media interest. Wu herself has had to flee her home on several occasions due to direct, graphic death and rape threats that included her address and names of family members.

    I haven't been following this closely, just what gets retweeted by people I follow (heard about this round of bullshit via Gary's tweets), but any glimpse I do get of this whole situation genuinely makes me sick to my stomach.

  • Perhaps my take on this recent issue could be addressed in a more general nature. I am not even a gamer, I use technology to create music and film. As for whether TESTED is an appropriate forum for a discussion regarding mutual respect and have the right of free expression, my opinion still stands (even if others disagree).

    I am reminded of Carl Sagan's words, "We should be teaching our children the scientific method and the reasons for a Bill of Rights. With it comes a certain decency, humility and community spirit."

  • @Rallier: I don't want to get into this debate, because it really isn't a debatable issue. My "you can't be serious" comment still stands.

  • @Rallier: Answer me this:

    How exactly does Sarkeesian at all factor into the supposed journalistic standards that inspired Gamergate? Considering that she is not a game journalist. How was her work in any way related to this entire clusterfuck of a "movement"?

    You want to talk corruption in video games, look at native advertising and companies threatening to pull ads in response to low scores (something old Giant Bomb visitors should be relatively familiar with). Don't go out and try to dictate editorial guidelines for news coverage. Don't attempt to avoid critical viewpoints and keep everything nice and peachy by using the same exact tactic the developers and publishers use to garner favourable coverage (pulling ad money). It genuinely doesn't make any fucking sense. Unless of course you (this is a general "you") believe that giving a platform to critics making a case for wanting better representation of women in video games is somehow a journalistic offense. Because so far, that is the only cases I've seen referenced.

    For all the Gamergate babble, there is very little talk about how large publishers have been strong-arming the games media for decades, or how games media and industry interaction actually functions. Somehow its focus is elsewhere.

    The initial spark of outrage relating to a female dev sleeping with a journalist might have carried weight if the journalist had covered or reviewed her game. He didn't. In any industry you'll find personal relationships between people in an industry and the media covering it. There is no conflict of interest if one doesn't cover the others work. The only conflict of interest in the case you mention was the developers ex, who posted his rant containing the unfounded claims alongside nude photos and buckets of vitriol. One hell of a genesis to this "movement" indeed.

    But at least the Gamergate crowd is honest when its proponents claim that their attacks on certain media outlets are in response to "provocation" of gamers, repeatedly referring to coverage of the aforementioned critics. Because at least they are openly admitting that for a large number of people Gamergate isn't about journalistic integrity as much as it is about drowning out and/or punishing opinions they don't like. And when those dissenting voices they disagree with happen to be overwhelmingly female, and their critics are anonymous, it gets ugly.

    What genuinely baffles me though, is the widespread support for extremist behaviour justified by quite frankly ridiculous conspiracy theories.

    And your claim that the behaviour and attacks are in any way symmetrical from both sides is absurd.

  • @Rallier: Has anyone using the GamerGate hashtag had to leave their house due to someone in possession of their home address threatened to rape them with a weapon? Any terrorist threats so far from these alleged extremist feminists who in some unexplained way are corrupting games media (this is a truly baffling connection BTW)?

    I've read way too many twitter threads on this topic, it is all too easy to get sucked in. Yet for some reason the lunacy conspiracy theories, bizarre false-flag accusations and rape/death threats have all been coming from one side.

    Now, perhaps there is some forum I've missed where Gamergate proponents and those petitioning Intel are being doxxed and repeatedly driven from their homes under threats of having their partners and children raped and murdered... I suppose anything is possible in this day and age.

    Funnily, a major problem in taking gamergate seriously is that those who believe it is a real issue and a valuable movement "do not care to talk about it in detail"... which pretty much leaves the rest of the world baffled as to what the fuck this supposed corruption is. Those bullet points up there certainly don't qualify.

  • And all that being said, I still don't think Tested is the forum for these arguments, there are game specific websites and forums more suited for the topic, and perhaps also the type of "engaged dialogue". :)

  • @kim_a said:

    And all that being said, I still don't think Tested is the forum for these arguments, there are game specific websites and forums more suited for the topic, and perhaps also the type of "engaged dialogue". :)

    I think talking about it here is fine.

    Threatening people with violent is wrong and for that reason alone, it should be talked about. Fully.

    Defending individuals whose actions are intended to intimidate and cause disruption to peaceable lives is... wrong.

  • @Nscafe: I was mostly thinking about this conversation happening on This is Only a Test. Just seems like it'd be a fairly heavy and depressing issue to wade into, though I'm sure Gary would have loved it back when he was the regular guest :p

  • @Rallier: Your first response was excellent, thank you!

  • I hadn't heard about gamergate, I'm not a hard core gamer and I wasted far too much time trying to figure out what was going. My conclusion. The gaming media decided to simultaneously commit seppuku. Why they did this, I don't know. But to all go and insult their readership, on the same day, takes a stupidity on a level that is only rivaled by the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. If The Japanese were risking there oil supplies by declaring war, Gamer media is risking their lifeblood, advertising revenue. There's one number they should have been keeping their eye on. 12nm(nanometers). Why is that number important? Well Norm's new computer that he built is a pretty good clue. He paid $1000 for the Haskell processor and then wrapped it in a $5000 dollar box. That processor is either 12nm technology or the next generation back 19nm technology being used to fund the 12nm technology infrastructure. That infrastructure is incredibly expensive. I interviewed with the company that makes 80% of the worlds IC stepper machines. The 12nm stepper? Think of a machine the size of a bus with a resultant tolerance measured in millionths. Think lenses made of salt sitting in water. Multiton granite blocks moving on air bearings to kill vibration. All of this stuff has to work in clean rooms where a dust mote is a major disaster. These machines are incredibly complicated and full of unbelievable technology with price tags to match. Intel made a 9 figure down payment to make sure that nothing was going to slow implantation up. This is what Intel has done in the past, made the big gambles. But this may be a gamble they shouldn't have made and Intel is probably very revenue sensitive. Enter gamergate. There's been all the noise. But the gamergaters started doing something else. They started sending emails to Intel and other gamer media advertisers saying that they will withdraw their business if they keep advertising on those site. What happened net can be summed up in the following quote.

    "This is when everything fell all the way down the shitter.

    Early this month, Intel announced that it would cease advertising on Gamasutra. It would later claim that it was unaware of Gamergate when it its decision, but that it would stand by the decision and not advertise on Gamasutra. A handful of trolls, vaguely waving their hands about a non-existent sex scandal, had successfully bullied a corporation with a $158 billion market capitalization into doing their bidding."

    All the way down this scandal, you can see one side which has POWERFUL financial and political motives for smearing and discrediting destroying gamers. To make the whole thing go away. The thing is, by doubling down, they are only making things worse for themselves. I think that it's better to get the story from a source that doesn't have a financial interest in one side of the story:

    So they had much fun smearing their readership and celebrating the likes of Zoe, Brianna and Anita. Meanwhile the gamergaters pulled strategic end run and hit the game media supply lines. Now game media say whatever they want. But hey have to understand that their might consequence and things that they might not know that that they don't know.

    Intel can't afford to piss off people buying those $1000 processors and their chipsets. Which is why Intel is dropping advertising on the corrupt sites. Game companies can PR there way out of a bad game and probably think that they can do without the gamer community. In fact I think that they would be glad to lose the "nerds" millstone around their necks. Intel on the other hands NEEDS gamers to buy their new high end processors. Intel has invested HUGE(billions) sums of money on the next generation chips and needs high end customers to buy those $1000 dollar processors. You don't buy that much processor without wrapping it in a $5000 to $10,000 machine. It used to be that the markets for the high end were engineering and gamers. The problem is that engineering computers are mostly purchased by corporate bean counters and from personal experience it's getting harder to convince them that You NEED the power of the latest and greatest when Solidworks runs just fine on the machine you have, which is a laptop and not a high end desktop anyway. There aren't very many aircraft and shipbuilders that get real bang out of the high end processors and average computers have been able to handle most of the load for some time. So Intel needs gamers to keep buying high need machines for the performance. Now these machines are not cheap and require significant investments for what is a just a hobby. So Intel is terribly vulnerable to a boycott and that's why it's a HUGE deal that they dropped advertising. They can't afford to lose 100,000 or 200,000 chipset sales. They are in too deep, they've invested more than they probably can afford.

    The gamers have the power of the purse and that's why the game press is working so hard to convince them that they don't mean much before the boycotts REALLY hit. They are the desperate ones here. The Intel quote proves it. The problem is that doubling down on the name calling and victim is not going to make the problem go away, it's only going to make things worse. Now that gamer media has had their Pearl Harbor they are going their Midways, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Iwo Jimas and if they don't change their tune real fast, their Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Anita's death threats, Zoe's sexual antics, the character of gamers, none of that really matters. The only thing that matters is 12nm and the money behind it. Money that is too big to be risked because a small bunch of media idiots want to insult Intel, AMD, Nvidia and the others customers and make them unhappy.

  • @MantaBase:  I don't agree with every platform being used to discuss this. i disagree with the solution you describe though I don't attack or attempt to discredit victims, as some do, to make my point. Which is why I initially in this thread tried to temper what is only despair on behalf of people in general. The arguments on both sides show a disturbing groupthink, but as far as I can see only one side has a small portion of members taking it to the extremist level. Im lucky.

    Im a white male with western europe citizenship.
  • Clearly there is more to this issue than in generally known. And I don't know much, but thanks to this dialog, I am becoming more informed. My first impulse to launch this discussion was centered around personal experience with threats and my horror of other people's situations being played out in public. I am seeking insight to the issue of privacy and freedom of expression as our communications tools evolve.

  • @texasworldmusic: I feel that individuals should be able to say whatever they /mean/. As such, all threats should be taken seriously (and then checked against probability models). Words have meaning(s) and as such, consequences.

    No one should feel threatened in a public space for speaking their minds and if those things happen to hateful we need to analyze why such language is being used.

    The concept of "it's just online" and therefor "not real" is a fiction. Laws need to be updated to reflect this.

    There is ample room to be silly within languages and context can be established in terms of emotional presence ("I was just kidding, couldn't you tell?" and other lies we tell ourselves to escape culpability).

    Empathy is important.

  • I think it's fine to discuss gamer gate here - I don't need to see a podcast on it.

    I hope that the high standards and behavior I've seen on this board would remain while talking about this, it would be a shame if it turned into some kind of sludge of vitriol and trolling.

    Without bringing my personal feelings into this (and I have a few) the gamergate attitudes of a lot of people is really surprising especially seeing the history of what gamers (and nerds) have lived through - social ostracization, lack of respect, etc. Usually many "niche" communities are far more open to ideas and people as opposed to what I've seen and read about gamergate.

    So yes, by all means bring the discourse, but lets remember we are all friends here.

  • @matthew.langley said:

    So yes, by all means bring the discourse, but lets remember we are all friends here.

    Agreed. That is why I wanted to start a conversation. This is an emotional topic, and I value TESTED as an institution because of how thye have created a place for all of us to learn and enjoy.

  • @texasworldmusic: couldn't agree more.

  • @kim_a: Too answer your question first you have to prove that Anita's threats were in any way related too GamerGate in the first place. The way I see it she has nothing too do with it at all she was getting threats before GamerGate started she kept getting them after.

    Eron zoe's ex didn't post nude picture of zoe your information seems pretty skety first you claim gamergate has been harassing people for 2 years when it's only existed 2 months now you are alleging photos zoe posted on the net years ago and got paid for mind you is some how connected to her ex boyfriend she abused.

    @kim_a said:

    @Rallier: Has anyone using the GamerGate hashtag had to leave their house due to someone in possession of their home address threatened to rape them with a weapon?

    yes in fact they have one user got mailed a knife in the mail with letter saying to kill themselves 2 others got swatted a 2 weeks back the threats are actually pretty asymmetrical the opposite direction as you think .

    You seem to be in a rather large echo chamber you haven't bothered to go anywhere too get information about gamergate that isn't admittedly against it. Here have some reading .

    By the way the next time you say the corruption isn't their ask yourself why the FTC is investigating these journalists on anti trust grounds.

    @jccarlton: You'd probably appreciate what the advertisement world thinks of gamergate