GamerGate and You: A Discussion of Gaming Journalism 6655 replies

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#1 3 years ago

Good day, everyone. I hope you're having a pleasant day.

This thread is for the discussion of GamerGate, the ongoing scandal regarding ethics in videogame journalism. There is also a sister thread on the Escapist:

The Escapist : Forums : Religion and Politics : GamerGate Discussion, Debate, and Resources

Now, there are much more eloquent users than me who have also commented on GamerGate. For the purposes of brevity, I will be quoting the venerable Agayek:

"Agayek" post="528.860762.21397733"GamerGate Disclaimer: GamerGate does not, has not, and never will, endorse the harassment or abuse of anyone for any reason. Everyone should call out anyone who attacks, harasses, or abuses anyone.

What does GamerGate want? In a phrase: Ethical Standards and Practices in the Gaming Journalism Industry.

GamerGate desires straightforward, honest coverage of the industry, such that anyone can read these outlets with the basic expectation that they are being told the truth. In an ideal world, every gaming outlet would adopt the New York Times' Standards and Ethics policies, but that is an unrealistic goal in the world of internet media. As such, we must be content with ethical policies that fit within the limitations. The Escapist, a gaming media site of some repute, has already adopted such a set of standards.

To put it in layman's terms:

1.Truth and fact must be treated with the respect they deserve. This means, at a minimum: -Opinions are not to be stated as universal truths -Hearsay is not to be reported as factual without corroborating evidence -Assumptions and speculation are not to be reported as fact -Intentionally misleading or inflammatory wording is not ever to be used, in headlines or elsewhere -When in doubt, stick only to information that would hold up under examination in a court of law

2.Editorials and other opinion pieces are to be kept separate from News pieces. Bias and opinion will always color a writer's work, but they should strive for as much objectivity as reasonably possible in the News. If they wish to share their opinion on the piece, something that should be encouraged, it should be done in a distinct space.There's nothing wrong with the News article including "And I think it's great/terrible/stupid/etc, click this link to find out why" or some variation thereof. It is only within the article proper that opinions are to be avoided.

3.All journalists must be required to behave professionally within the public space. This includes but is by no means limited to: -No irrational, emotionally-driven rants -No insults, threats, or any of the other assorted childishness -Engage the audience calmly, reasonably, and without rancor, or do not engage them at all -Be aware when one is within the public space, especially any and all social media. -Do not treat one's audience as an enemy

4.Journalists must strive to be objective. No human can be truly impartial, but journalists must strive to the best of their ability to be above external bias, and to inform their readers when they cannot. Put simply, this means they must, at minimum: -Recuse themselves from reporting news regarding subjects that they have a personal or financial link to -Disclose any personal or financial connections to subjects they are giving opinion pieces on (Editorials, Op-Eds, Reviews, etc) -Engage in honest and fair coverage. Consistency and the interest of/relevance to the audience must be the deciding factor in the decision to run a story.

GamerGate simply wants gaming media websites to adopt some variation on these policies, much like the Escapist has, and actively work to adhere to them. Nothing more and nothing less.

Why is it happening? Over the last five years, the gaming media has grown increasingly politicized, all with the same political stance and agenda. It has become almost unheard of for a gaming news piece not to include at least a passing comment about a game being retrograde for not matching this stance, or for a game to be praised to the moon because it reflects the right politics. Many gamers are sick of it. Add on to this the claims of corruption, of censorship, of blacklisting, and of careers ruined, and these gamers have become incensed.

Gamers have been lied to, belittled, shamed, stifled, and held in contempt by the industry they created and continue to drive. Developers have been attacked, silenced, belittled, and forced to compromise their art by this same industry.

It has to stop. GamerGate is a grassroots movement by the gaming community to hold the press accountable for their actions and to demand better.

Where did it come from? GamerGate is a recent, wide-ranging controversy that began in late August 2014 as a direct result of the seemingly corrupt and wildly unprofessional behavior of the gaming press. On August 16, Eron Gjoni, ex-boyfriend of developer Zoe Quinn published a blog on wordpress called The Zoe Post. In this blog, he alleged that Quinn cheated on him with several members of the video game industry, one of whom was a writer for Kotaku. This post created a substantial uproar in the gaming community. Some took the post as license to attack Quinn, while many, many others were incensed by the relationship and potential for conflicts of interest it presented in Grayson's reporting.

Overwhelmingly, the gaming press responded to this in a markedly different fashion from previous, similar allegations and began a campaign of censorship. On nearly every gaming-related website, from user-driven sites like Reddit and NeoGAF to contributor-driven sites like Kotaku, any discussion of the topic, or even topics almost completely unrelated, was quenched immediately and without question. Even a handful of 4chan's moderators came into play and tried to silence the discussion.

This nearly universal response and behavior pattern, wildly outside the normal bounds of the sites in question, made many people suspicious of collusion or conspiracy and questions began to be asked. Such as why it was considered acceptable for a professional journalist to have sex with a subject. Or why there was a nebulous network of financial support between developers and journalists through the use of websites like Patreon. Or even simply if ethical standards existed in the gaming journalism industry.

Major industry figures confirmed that these issues existed and insisted that they were not a problem. Then on August 28/29, 11 gaming news sites (Gamasutra, DailyDot, Kotaku, Polygon, and several others) published articles declaring some variation of 'Gamers are Dead' and that any and all calls for better journalism were made only as cover for 'neckbearded misogynerds' to harass women. This incensed a large portion of their audience and even reached well known actor Adam Baldwin, who coined the Twitter hashtag #gamergate upon his getting involved, which the movement has since adopted as its moniker.

In the ensuing weeks, gamers and the entrenched gaming press have been at odds over the issues of honest and ethical reporting laid out against claims of anonymous harassment and threats.

Articles TechCrunch - #GamerGate – An Issue With Two Sides Brightside of News - Inside the Secret World of Games Journalism Breitbart - Exposed: The Secret Mailing List of the Gaming Journalism Elite DigiTimes - Commentary: Time is running out for console makers to clean up GamerGate Adland.tv - #Gamergate - Insulting consumers shrinks the market Slate - Gaming Journalism Is Over Breitbart - Feminist Bullies Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart A Narrative of #GamerGate Slate - Twitter is Broken GamerGate Updates and Current Events

Videos #GamerGate in 60 Seconds Interview with Dr. Greg Lisby, Associate Chair of the Department of Communications, Georgia State University The Truth About #gamergate and #notyourshield You are the Solution: What to do and How – Action Points GamerGate: The Outright Hypocrisy, Manipulation & Disrespect of Consumers by Media – EventStatus Dragon Con Was More Fun Than Video Games – SuperBunnyHop I will now ramble about games media for just under 30 minutes – TotalBiscuit

What can you do? If this cause seems worth supporting to you, the reader, please consider sending an email voicing your discontent to the advertisers that allow such gross journalistic malpractice to continue under their banner. Many gamers have united in this campaign, which has been coined Operation: Disrespectful Nod.

LINKS: here BLACKLIST: here

[/quote]

We also have a lovely and long list of resources and reading material, which was compiled by the honorable Cari:

[QUOTE=Cari;5746532]

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Sorry mods, lots of links! I hope this is okay :S

[size=+2]Reading, Viewing & Listening To Get You Up To Speed[/size] [size=+1]We welcome new passengers but this train has no breaks so please start running before you hop-aboard :)[/size]

#GamerGate in 5 minutes: https://imgur.com/qJetJIQ

Our list of goals: gamergate list of goals v2 - Pastebin.com

Watch: An Open Letter To #GamerGate Watch: Interview With Greg Lisby on Journalism Ethics Watch: The Investigamer talks #GamerGate

#GamerGate Resources and Info at GitGud * This is the 4th repository location as GitHub, GitLab and Gitorious all deleted it without warning under allegations of it being a harassment campaign.

GamerGate.me website

[size=+1]Timelines[/size] Over the course of #GamerGate, there have been many attempts to document the occurences. One of the best places for #GG history is the Know Your Meme page for the event.

Indiefensible! Alleged corruption and racketeering in Indiecade - Originally there were videos talking about findings from Polytron's hacking. These were pulled due to legal reasons, and are currently being reworked. #GamerGate: Phil Fish Allegedly Outed in Racketeering Scandal & Reddit Mod Speaks Out

Censorship on Reddit Listen: https://soundcloud.com/user613982511/recording-xm-2014 Leaked images: http://imgur.com/a/GD4EM Statement from the ex-Reddit mod on the leaks watch: Let's Take Back The Internet not Reddit related but free speech and censorship related:

[size=+1]The "Gamer is dead" articles that kicked the whole thing off[/size] Read:

Articles discussing the effect of "Gamer is Dead":

[size=+1]Silverstring & DiGRA[/size] SS is a transmedia company with links to a lot of the names that come up in #GG. Feminist Frequency's Anita Sarkeesian & Jonathan McIntosh are advisers for them. Sometimes discussion will be about what is contained in some of the links below, as the ideology these people follow may be behind a lot of what we see from games media today.

[size=+1]Those infamous chat logs a.k.a #GameOverGate[/size] ZQ posts a series of tweets showing cherrypicked sections of the IRC log for the #burgersandfries channel. While not actually proof of anything, people declare #GamerGate to be over (it wasn't).

[size=+1]Blacklisting of #GamerGate supporters and indie devs[/size] prominent #GG oponents have been using a shared blocklist (originally created for Atheism+) to block thousands of #GG supporters on twitter. There have also been allegations of industry and media blacklisting prior to #GG, and threats of blacklisting since #GG started.

[size=+1]Wikipedia Edit Wars and Wikipediocracy Outing of Editors[/size] Since the beginng of #GamerGate, the wikipedia article on the topic has been a battleground for editors & admins fighting for bias vs neutrality. A wiki editor joined in the Escapist thread to explain some things, and Jimmy Wales has even weighed in on the matter.

[size=+2]Related links and articles[/size]

GamerGate - Investigating corruption in gaming - source for #GamerGate info #GamerGate Wiki GamerGate | Investigating corruption in gaming GamerGate Explained | The Unofficial GamerGate Resource Blog

[size=+1]The Effects Of & Responses to #GamerGate[/size]

Lots of links to various articles and videos:

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Lunar Archivist's interview on "Princesses Are People Too" over at GamesNosh Although most of the media has tried to downplay #GamerGate, some changes have been made and reported on. The Escapist Publisher Issues Public Statement on #GamerGate and Revised Code of Ethics The Methods of Journalism Have Changed. Doing It Correctly Hasn't Digitimes article on how #GamerGate could affect The Big Three 10 Lessons The Gaming Industry Must Learn From #GamerGate #GamerGate Controversy Inspires Suicide Prevention Charity Fundraiser #GamerGate: Lies, Corruption, and a New Beginning The Escapist, Destructoid Update Their Policies, Ethics In Light Of #GamerGate The #GamerGate Movement is Making Terrific Progress, Don't Stop Now #GamerGate: Why Gaming Journalists Keep Dragging [literally who]'s Sex Life Into the Spotlight Watch:CHSommers: Are Videogames Sexist? #GamerGate: Misogyny or corruption in the gaming community? #GamerGate supporters are blocked from following Mighty No. 9 project The Escapist Forums Brought Down in DDOS Attack Reaction to Adland's #gamergate - insulting consumers shrinks the market article Watch:Cheshire Cat Studios: Violence & Misogyny in Video Games (part of their #GamerGate series #GamerGate, Film Criticism, Sports Reporting and the Silent Majority

[size=+1]GameJournoPros Mailing List[/size] Actually, it IS about ethics in games journalism.

GameJournoPros is a private (but not secret) mailing list of 150 games journalists & some game company PR types. Genuinely inspired by JournoList, Kyle Orland of Ars Technica created the list a few yeasr ago. Since the first leaks, more and more information has come out pointing to collusion & cross publication pressure to control certain narratives and blacklisting of devs and journalists.

Links to various articles, including the original exposing the list: MarkdownShare : 58259e90-b4ec-477f-8fdf-93a560b4820e

[size=+1]Developers and Journalists Speaking Out[/size] Since #GamerGate exploded onto the twittersphere, developers and journalists have started speaking out about their experiences.

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#GamerGate - The Free Ride is Over #GamerGate andd the RPS Response #GamerGate Escalates Gamers Are Not Dead, They Just Levelled Up Who The F*%k is [literally who]?!? A Personal Statement from an Indie Dev on why #GamerGate Is Important Stardock CEO, League of Legends Devs, Others Support #GamerGate Industry Insider Slams Unethical Media Over #GamerGate #GamerGate Interview - Anonymous Xbox Edition Real #GameDevs Sound Off Regarding the #GamerGate Controversy TechRaptor Interview with Brad Wardell Watch: My response to yesterday - PHubans following harassment he received for posting a #GamerGate/IGF video Watch: I want to clear up some things - PHubans on being run out of the industry Watch: #GamerGate - Stephen Tom Sawyer, ex-game journalist Watch: A Video Game Publisher Employee Sent Me Nudes?!?!?! - video by a games reviewer Watch: A Conversation with Polygon Contributor Liana Kerzner about #GamerGate Watch: Devi Ever speaks out When a Black Game Journalist Spoke up on #GamerGate A Female Indie Dev's Perspective on the Culture of Intimidation in the Indie Dev-Journalism Scene Chris Mancil from EA talks #GamerGate Indie Dev Jennifer Dawe Talks #GamerGate and Women in Gaming @Grimachu onf #GamerGate, an unsolicited response to Zen of Design

Escapist dev interviews & responses:

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Anonymous Devs - Intro | Dev #1 | Dev #2 - i, Dev #2 - ii, Dev #2 -iii | Dev #3 | Dev #4 | Dev #5 | Dev #6 | Dev #7

Named & Pseudonymous Devs Intro | Brad Wardell - i, Brad Wardell - ii, Brad Wardell - iii | Grek Costykian - i, Greg Costykian - ii | Royale - i, Royale - ii | Crowned Daemon Studios - i, Crowned Daemon Studios - ii | James Covenant | Scion - i, Scion - ii | Daniel Vávra - i, Daniel Vávra - ii | Dave Rickey - i, Dave Rickey - ii | Kyle McConaughey | Tadhg Kelly - i, Tadhg Kelly - ii | Damion Schubert - i, Damion Schubert - ii | Oakheart - i, Oakheart - ii, Oakheart - iii | Xbro - i, Xbro - ii | Glaive - i, Glaive - ii | Roo - i, Roo - ii

RogueStar's pulled interview - https://archive.today/1fQo2 | https://archive.today/e7aCp Grimachu's pulled interview - https://postmortemstudios.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/gamergate-escapistdesborough-interview-disclosure/

LemonSqueezy on Anonymous female dev interviews and the hipocrisy of Game Journos and Women in Game Culture

[size=+1]TFYC[/size] The Fine Young Capitalists are a feminist group running two projects: one to help women realise their ideas as games, and another to get more black characters into manga. They were caught up in #GamerGate by when a relatively obscure indie developer took offense to TFYC's competition. As a result, TFYC's indiegogo campaign was hacked and they have received harassment and DDoSing since. TFYC, despite running an initiative to get more women into game production and to be valued for their ideas, was since blacklisted by the gaming media. #GamerGate waere able to get their indiegogo campaign funded, and /v/ and Reddit will have a character each represented in the game Afterlife Empire (Vivian James and Gilda Mars respectively).

[size=+1]#NotYourShield[/size] #NotYourShield is the sister hashtag to #GamerGate and is used in conjunction with the #GG tag. It was born out of #GG supporter's frustrations engaging with oponents to #GG that presumed all supporters to be straight, white, cis-males. Any declaration otherwise was met with sock-puppet accusations, resulting in many of #NYS having to post their pictures. Some, repeatedly. AGGros often accuse #GG of using #NYS as a shield themselves (failing to acknowledge that #NYS are #GG) or being an astroturfing campaign created by "4chan". Twitter users Ninouh90 and j_millerworks have both been credited with the tag's inception.

Streams King of /pol/ Stream 22/09/2014 Women of #GamerGate stream 22/09/2014 Recording of the KingofPol, Liana K and InternetAristocrat (2:20) stream

[size=+2]What you can do if you want to support #GG[/size]

Watch: ActionPoints - You are the Solution: What to do and How

Starve the websites involved in declaring the death of gamers and engaging in dubious practices * use archive.today - webpage capture to share posts and articles from these sites

Support the websites and companies that are reporting on #GamerGate decently * give these sites your clicks and views

blacklist & whitelist here: The Escapist : Forums : Religion and Politics : GamerGate Discussion, Debate, and Resources and here: Mr. Bones Wild Ride / Sp00kyGateOP | GitGud

E-mail advertisers: Operation Disrespectful Nod Operation Baby Seal

Get the word out: Operation Watchmen

Sign the #GamerGate petition: Petition · Please stop the hate · Change.org

Sign the TechRaptor petition: Petition · Please publicly display, with easy access, your ethics policy/statement. · Change.org

Support any of the fundraisers started by #GG by spreading the word or donating:

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Support GamingAndPanda's Fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention https://www.crowdrise.com/NSHGamers/fundraiser/loping

Support the #GamerGate fundraiser for the Pacer Centre for National Bullying Prevention https://www.crowdrise.com/gamergatestompsoutbullying/fundraiser/loping

Support #GamerFruit, a fundraiser for Action Against Hunger USA https://www.crowdrise.com/gamerfruit

Discuss #GamerGate anonymously at: https://8chan.co/gg/

Join the #GamerGate community: http://gamergate.community/

Links to other discussions:

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r/KotakuInAction

GameFront - please keep #GG posts to this thread if you are new to GF :)

MMO Champion

The Escapist - please keep #GG posts to this thread if possible

Follow the discussions on twitter: #GamerGate #NotYourShield #GamerFruit #AchievementsForCharity

Follow the discussion on Facebook: Corruption in Video Games Journalism

[size=+2]What NOT to do[/size] Do not harrass or send abuse to anyone! This is not what #GamerGate is about, and anyone seen doing so must be called out.

Anyone receiving harassment for talking #GamerGate can report it here: Gamer Gate Harassment

If you are on twitter, report users doxing or sending threats using these forms:

Call for back-up by tweeting the username of the person along with "#GamerGate Harassment Patrol".

On harassment & #GamerGate by a non-supporter: https://storify.com/LadyFuzztail/gamergate-may-be-a-victim-of-a-false-flag-operati #GamerGate Movement Claims Their Female, LGBT and Non-white Supporters are Under Attack

The previous #GamerGate Megathread: The Escapist : Forums : Off-topic Discussion : Zoe Quinn and the surrounding controversy




Rikupsoni

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#2 3 years ago

Yeah well, I can't say I have been following everything that has been going on around Gamergate, but I have read quite a bit about it. I think it's true that initially focusing on indie game journalism is a bit odd, given that there's corruption among big publishers paying for reviews as well.

However, it's pretty clear that completely biased reporting by journalists has been feeding this controversy. It's as if many of these journalists feel so stongly about this that they're actually following a political dogma (eg. taking a strong stance because they consider it to be anti-feminist and thus "reactionary"). That is, despite that it seems many of the "gaming industry is fully misogynistic" people do not play games themselves but just do this for feminist politics. Some of the discussion is even close to Jack Thompson type of arguments, that games cause violence and misogyny among those who play them. So it's not surprising there's a reaction from gamers.

There have been several well-made Youtube videos that are critical of Anita Sarkeesian's theses and do not include any threats, so it is biased on an absurd level to write that her opponents only include people who send death threats.




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#3 3 years ago

Gamergate has been a bizarre ride.

I hopped in not long after the Zoe post, why wasn't it being covered like any other "sex" scandal in tech (brad wardell, et. al), why was everything being deleted/banned, etc. etc. I made a big ol' long post about it over on the escapist, so I might repost it here.




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#4 3 years ago

Escapist regular reporting for duty.

Yeah, this whole mess has been one of those "how did this happen?!" kinda things. Just think, an apology, slap on the wrist, and fake revisions would have stopped this day one.




Adrian Ţrumpeş Forum Mod

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#5 3 years ago

Maybe. Of course there'll always be someone on the fringe if not in a position of major popularity to stir the pot now and again. IME these sorts of things have a habit of being rekindled by the above.

Though I do find it a tad hilarious that it started over a breakup. Kinda reminds me of when major celebrities divorce and suddenly people start handing out team jackets :uhm:


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



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#6 3 years ago

Eh. I'm tempted to agree, but the "celebs" in question are peripheral at best. It's definitely got the same sense of tribalism and binary divide though, so /shrug.




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#7 3 years ago

Mathmachine;5745214Escapist regular reporting for duty.

Yeah, this whole mess has been one of those "how did this happen?!" kinda things. Just think, an apology, slap on the wrist, and fake revisions would have stopped this day one.

Maybe 2 days.

Seriously, we call it the "Hollywood Apology" in LA.

Star f's up.. Star says "I'm so sorry, i'm going into rehab." Star then disappears until it all dies down

They go on being jerks while no one pays attention.




Adrian Ţrumpeş Forum Mod

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#8 3 years ago

Mmm...the more I read the more interesting it gets.


"I'd shush her zephyr." ~ Zephyr.



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#9 3 years ago

Escapistee Ronack here, reporting for duty. Thank you for allowing us to party in your backyard! Promise I won't pee in the bushes. :)

@Adrian: Oh, there's no doubt about it. Gamergate has been a fun ride, from start to finish. It's been well over two months and my soul has been crushed so expertly that I'm more entertained by all of it than outraged. I'm having a good time, tbh.




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#10 3 years ago

Ooh, I like that you can have tags for threads!

Echoing Grayarch's sentiments: thanks for having us! We'll keep it sane & contained :)

Rikupsoni;5745208 That is, despite that it seems many of the "gaming industry is fully misogynistic" people do not play games themselves but just do this for feminist politics. Some of the discussion is even close to Jack Thompson type of arguments, that games cause violence and misogyny among those who play them. So it's not surprising there's a reaction from gamers.

There have been several well-made Youtube videos that are critical of Anita Sarkeesian's theses and do not include any threats, so it is biased on an absurd level to write that her opponents only include people who send death threats.[/QUOTE] There's another person behind the TvWiVG videos, called Johnathan McIntosh. Looking at his personal twitter account (@radicalbytes), it's pretty clear he's the one that's sending out the more JT-eqsue tweets from tthe FemFreq account, as well as the one pushing that over-all tone. Personally, the guy comes acrosss as a bit of a closet-misogynist from the way he sounds on twitter. It's worrying to read his tweets and realise it's actually him behind the big "feminist" (benevolent sexist, really) push into gaming culture and development...

[QUOTE=Adrian Ţepeş;5745219]Though I do find it a tad hilarious that it started over a breakup. Kinda reminds me of when major celebrities divorce and suddenly people start handing out team jackets :uhm:

It wasn't quite a normal break-up tbf. When I first heard about thezoepost, it was from Dr. Nerdlove's exctinction burst article, which presented it much the same as any of the other publications did: bitter rantings from a jilted ex. But after reading it for myself, it was pretty clear that Eron was actually outing his abuser :( It was DNL (and the allegedly progressive media) completely glossing over that aspect which piqued my interest in #GG. And since falling down the rabbit hole, as someone that was sipping the Green Tea before all this, every day has felt like Opposite Day.

Lessons learned: Question everything. Trust no one.