It’s been at least a month since GamerGate first started, yet -somehow- the movement is still relevant. On October 3rd, Intel listened to criticisms from the movement, and pulled their advertising from Gamasutra.
The ads themselves were not the issue. Neither Intel nor GamerGate has claimed such. Instead, controversy arose because of the choice of venue. Gamasutra employs Leigh Alexander, one of the more prominent writers who wrote a “Gamers are Dead” at the height of GamerGate. The group, offended that Intel might be siding with this (and, therefore, against GamerGate), threatened to boycott Intel products and Gamasutra if they continued to advertise on the site.
We take feedback from customers seriously. For the time being, Intel has decided not to continue with our current ad campaign on the gaming site Gamasutra. However, we recognize that our action inadvertently created a perception that we are somehow taking sides in an increasingly bitter debate in the gaming community. That was not our intent, and that is not the case.
When it comes to our support of equality and women, we want to be very clear: Intel believes men and women should be treated the same. And, diversity is an integral part of our corporate strategy and vision with commitments to improve the diversity of our workforce. And while we respect the right of individuals to have their personal beliefs and values, Intel does not support any organization or movement that discriminates against women. We apologize and we are deeply sorry if we offended anyone.
What makes this story especially strange is the logic Intel has used to justify their actions. It seems completely backward to their goals.
For example, in their announcement for pulling the advertising, Intel says it’s because they don’t want to take sides. However, by capitulating to GamerGate’s demands, the company has clearly taken some stance.
Intel might be aware of this problem. The announcement also goes to great lengths to stress Intel’s committment to gender equality, despite GamerGate frequently being criticized as misogynist friendly. Overall, this represents one of the stranger moments in recent gaming memory.