Gamergate, Hatred, and Gaming Culture
The term 'gamer' has been tainted by communities like Hatred's and some participants of GamerGate. From their conception hateful, immature people, reinforcing other negative gamer stereotypes have been running rampant. Recently the community around Hatred is becoming the norm for video game culture and it needs to stop.
Though some argue our culture has groomed this behavior. The type of cesspool culture that's become synonymous with GamerGate has seeped into Steam Greenlight. Since Steam reinstated the controversial game Hatred, the comments surrounding it are very reminiscent of the slander, libel, and hate speech from some GamerGaters.
Though, no direct ties to the hashtag phenomenon connect Hatred's community and GamerGate together, the hostility towards Social Justice Warriors/feminists/opinionated humans, are very similar from both groups. GamerGate and Hatred's community seem laser-focused on feminists and have very little civility in forums and on social media.
Eight months ago some folks accused Zoey Quinn - who made Depression Quest - of sleeping with journalists in exchange for positive press for her game. Though these rumors and accusations are still unproven to this day, GamerGate can't seem to let it go.
The concern is: some journalists are building close relationships with developers and publishers, thus creating content that may be biased to favor those involved with the process. Regardless of this fairly legitimate concern, the slander and harassment used under the GamerGate banner overshadows any true or genuine intentions for sites to include/disclose said relationships.
The banner in which GamerGate attempts to flag is one about journalistic integrity within the games industry... I mean, because interactive entertainment journalism is such a grave subject. What would happen if Hollywood journalists didn't have integrity or even worse, music critics?
Actions and consequences
That's not to take away serious criticisms of diversity and inclusion in the industry, its games, or developers. If games want to strive as an art form, critical analysis is necessary. Anita Sarkeesian creates a series of videos about tropes vs women in gaming. A vocal portion of the Internet reacted with hate speech and misogynistic messages towards an array of feminists and "Social Justice Warriors" after this video.
This behavior by some gamers caused Universities to cancel talks by feminists such as Anita Sarkeesian due to death threats. They've taken photos of Briana Wu's house with floor plans, phone numbers, pictures, and more terrifying things all posted on the Internet - all associated with GamerGate.
Are gamers all the same? Does one title fit all? I don't know, but if it does, I want out.
These displays of power have caused some of these women to move and remain under police surveillance just to keep their pets, friends, co-workers, and families safe.
Over the course of eight months these people, mainly women, have had to shoulder this burden. To add to this toxicity a game has rallied a similar group of people. As the barrage of attacks on SJW's continues, a game Hatred enters Steam Greenlight and adds fuel to the fire.
Hatred breeds hatred
Hatred is a game about commenting a mass murder on unsuspecting civilians... All in the name of "fun." Steam originally took the game down to later send an apology letter and reinstated the murdering simulator.
Once reinstated, the forums for the Steam Greenlight lit up like the Griswald House on Christmas. Comments ranged from "can we kill children too" to an entire thread devoted just wishing feminist like Briana and Anita be put in the game to kill.
If they're gamers, am I?
There are many people I've seen and interacted with via Twitter, Facebook, and the like, but never once have I disliked or loathed someone as to hurt them the way this hateful culture surrounding 'gamers' has. Some have argued the term gamer is no longer applicable - that it's too general of a term.
Which begs the questions: Are gamers all the same? Does one title fit all? I don't know, but if it does, I want out. Video games have earned this culture. The very diversity and understanding SJW's are striving to achieve in this industry, in our culture, can be accomplished by getting rid of the stereotypes and begin to move forward.
They've taken photos of Briana Wu's house with floor plans, phone numbers, pictures, and more terrifying things all posted on the Internet
With all the pushback regarding diversity in games, maybe the term gamer isn't just a generalized term anymore. Maybe we're just people who have a passion for a hobby - video games. If being a gamer means I have to associate myself with people like the Hatred community or GamerGate, I'm not a gamer.
Maybe games like Hatred, POSTAL 2, and the like are just what the gaming community deserves though. After all, isn't that what people have assumed all along? Whenever there's a mass school shooting, video games get the blame. And why not, if you were on the outside looking in right now, you would blame games too.
We all know the best way to express yourself is through death and rape threats. Maybe if we play our cards right we can start alienating people due to their console of choice... Oh wait...