Inside Gaming Culture: Why We Need #GamerGate and a Gamer Identity Pt. 3

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Written by Dustin Murphy


Authors Note: Before reading, please note that I am not associated with #GamerGate nor do I have any hostility or disapproval about any names mentioned within this article.

In the last article we began to discuss the reason behind why GamerGate was something that in ways brought up a topic that needed to happen. Much of this could be related to such a thing as ethics in journalism, business practices, and even the treatment gamers deserve to have. This even includes the treatment that gamers get from one another, the practices in that of what they must approach, and even the practices they even administer among one another. This time it leads us into our wrap-up of this topic: one that has lead me to see some of the darkest parts of gaming culture, one which lead me into a dark world regarding a very anger filled portion of the community, which hosted both male and female gamers, but also lead me into another side that wanted equality among gamers, but also a heavy emphasis on disclosure regarding press coverage.

To do a small run down I’ve decided this time around we would do sections. Ones that will highlight the topic at hand so that each topic may be broken down in a debateful statement.

/-/ Why GamerGate Needs to Focus on a Singular Topic /-/

When reading through much of the GamerGate information on multiple forums, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit’s Sub-Forums, and even numerous other sources, I was almost shocked at some of the things I saw. Some of the themes did have a recurring process regarding dislike and utter distaste towards Zoe Quinn, Brianna Wu, Leigh Alexander, Kotaku, and even Anita Sarkeesian to name a few. Though I did find another theme regarding the GamerGate movement: Ethics in Journalism. Yes, you read that right, the topic was regarding business practices, the approach to reviews, and even the coverage of games so that the coverage remains unbiased, that no favors are pulled, and that articles remain truthful to what they should be.

However, with the confliction between harassment, threats, and even disapproval of others, it’s hard to find the silver lining for GamerGate due to the wide-array of voices that range from developers, gamers, journalists, and even critics as some of them call out for fairness among the journalistic mediums that have proven to be biased and even changed their practices after GamerGate called them out. However, should GamerGate really be so hostile towards others in the forms that are there? Even as a vocal bunch, GamerGate has brought some very real problems to light, as I stated, and even more-so has also shown that ‘gamers’ are a very diverse bunch within the gaming culture.

With the voice they have, it would be unsurprising to see them eventually get together, sit down, and form a list of ideas that could help developers, writers, and even gamers themselves. With a list of proposed ethics, agenda, and even a critical voice, it would be wise for GamerGate as well as gamers themselves (consumer or not) would be smart to work together and help promote a true, sincere, and polished goal in order for both the media and gamers themselves to understand.

/-/ Why GamerGate is Commonly Linked to Harassment /-/

When having read through GamerGate’s posts on multiple sites, I was shocked to see a very anti-GamerGate dislike for those whom may or may not support GamerGate. Though it is a common understanding why this may occur, but at the sametime, it fuels the ideology that GamerGate may be a very angry bunch that does not want men, women, or anything opposing their ideology around. So what does this mean? They are going to be widely linked to disapproval, give a poor image to all gamers, and unfortunately damage the Gamer Identity in the process of slowly causing discrimination towards a name that once identified a group of people, namely Gamers as a whole.

After looking through multiple posts, I found very common distastes towards Brianna Wu, Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, and even writers that stand against what their movement does. This is unfortunate as it has drawn a lot of negative attention from the press that has caused them to turn against GamerGate and unfortunately shine a light on the negativity. As this happens, it also puts a name on gamers that they do and do not want to be related to as some just want fairness with gaming in all aspects.

In order for them to get a more positive outlook, it would take GamerGate members, those posing as GamerGate, and even gamers to work closer with developers, but also for them to give positive and encouraging feedback in order to help strive forward for a more common goal. Though this is something the group, following, or whatever you may call it, will at the time commonly be linked with misogyny, harassment, disapproval of media, and even being a rather large hate group that will commonly be linked to the gaming culture until something positive truly comes out of it. Even with consisting of people from different genders, upbringings, appearances, jobs, preferences in gaming, enthusiasms about gaming, and interests in the culture, the gaming industry will still see it as negative for some time, which may not end for a while until someone steps to the helm and takes the lead to show that GamerGate can be lead, understood, and isn’t a loud and seemingly dangerous group.

/-/ Don’t Fear Gamer Identity isn’t Gone. It’s Just Misunderstood /-/

Like the previous article stated, the Gamer identity isn’t gone, but it has been unfortunately tarnished as the term focuses more-so on the hardcore gaming enthusiast. This means that even the ‘casual’ gamer has been undermined from the term as the industry sees the more hardcore audience as their people to go to, but should that be all? In truth, no, but it does mean that gamers will need to show that the title isn’t just a pinpoint for someone who likes to ‘video game’, but as people who enjoy the interactive medium of gaming be it on screen, at a table, or simply discussing the ideology and philosophy of gaming as a medium.

Because of how diverse gamers are, it’s not hard to see why perhaps the media, companies, and even we as a whole are a very diverse culture, one that is young, reckless at times, and still coming of age as the years pass. This can be attributed to many of the early adopters of gaming, such as those who started gaming back in the early to mid 80’s and carried on into the current day. Back then, however, they were not attributed to being gamers as the term didn’t seem widely used until the mid to late 90’s when gamers began to take in the term with open arms. This term was attributed to those who adopted the idea of gaming not just as a hobby, but as a lifestyle that spanned not just to the act of playing games, but to those behind the stories, the music, the graphics, the animations, and even the overall level design. As years have progressed, fans have become an ever growing part of the Gamer Identity, and have adopted the term moreso now than ever. This is something that developers of all sorts have taken a liking to since the community provides multiple outlets of feedback, criticism, and blunt honesty. Some of the communities even offering ways to fix, cause, and patch over known issues within games, but also assisting in providing new ideas for the games as they obtain future content. This is something that will remain intact for years to come, and hopefully does not die out as gaming grows with time.

/-/ Closing Statement /-/

Over the past three weeks we’ve discussed a lot of topics from GamerGate’s cause to the pro’s and the con’s of the movement. We’ve also discussed the importance of the gamer identity, one that Gamers should be proud to be apart of, and even rejoice in whether you are male, female, black, white, tan, purple, pink, or even blue, young or old. Being a gamer is unique and allows for you as a person to relate to something millions of others do even if we do not share the same viewpoints, but we all strive for one goal – to enjoy games.

About the Writer:

Dustin_BATGRDustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, MMO’s, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable and can’t be softened by even the biggest names in the gaming industry. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. To follow Dustin, hit him up on Twitter over at @GamingAnomaly, find him on his Google+. Wanna game with him? You can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.


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