What’s so fascinating in the video you linked in response is that despite the constant disproving of minor points is that he never actually disagrees with the base assumptions of the GamerGate movement.
To emphasize, these are the following base assumptions of GamerGate that have not been disputed:
- There are no real problems with inclusion or representation in gaming.
- Any problems that do exist don’t matter because that’s just market economics appealing to the majority of players.
- The status quo is a natural state, thus any disruption is inherently artificial.
With this in mind, it’s hard for me to comment further on this in any sort of way that I think can get through to people holding these three base assumptions. I live in two different minority communities who play a lot of video games. We often lament how little opportunity we have in games to play as or interact with characters that reflect who we are. GamerGate and its supporters do not view us as gaming consumers, even though we’ve been playing games and purchasing content for decades.
We already have data
that shows that more diverse films have been making more money. If you cannot see that there is a market out there that is willing to buy more content that includes them, then I don’t understand what it is you want that is defending the free market notions GamerGate continues to preach.
The other major thing he seems riled up about is the idea that “’gamers’ are dead.” This seems to be a major point of conflict for GamerGate supporters, but I have yet to fully understand why the conversation about how the gaming market has expanded beyond the stereotype that gamers are just white, male, socially maladjusted recluses is a bad thing.
He also constantly focuses on how any sort of attacks on feminists working or commenting on games are the acts of individuals who have taken a personal offense to what those feminists (usually women) have done, but then says that he speaks for GamerGate and what GamerGate cares about. This hypocrisy itself cannot stand. You cannot align yourself with a movement and then disregard what members of said movement do as the work of individuals, an then talk about how the true movement rejects this and is instead a consumer revolt.
Speaking of consumer revolt, GamerGate seems incredibly upset about what it views as the disruption of the free market. I must ask once again, “How is games criticism a disruption of the free market?”
GamerGate discusses games. Feminists discuss games. White supremacists discuss games. Queer black intellectuals (hello) discuss games. Why is GamerGate itself threatened by the notion that gaming is a space open to others beyond straight white men?
Let’s focus on something else important now: economics.
Each game that comes out pays for the next game that development house is making. If Dragon Age flops, there will be no future Mass Effect. This is the way this has always worked. THQ is gone now because their games were not profitable.
GamerGate says it is focused on ethics in games journalism, but GamerGate never commented on the fact that publishers essentially use gaming news outlets as free publicity with their exclusive media deals. GamerGate does not talk about how the gaming news media grew out of gaming enthusiast blogging. GamerGate does not talk about the abusive policies publishers use against coders and programmers, or about anti-consumer policies of the publishers themselves. GamerGate does not talk about the rising development costs, the increased costs of networking infrastructure, or that the number of units sold to make games profitable continues to rise.
These are not the issues in gaming relevant to GamerGate. Feminist critique of games and websites giving them space are the real threat.
Moreover, GamerGate talks about wanting to defend the right of publishers and developers to make whatever content they want, but then they reject the gaming press itself that points out that the ESRB (like the MPAA) ACTUALLY affects what content can and can't go into games. AO games are not playable on consoles or on Steam. The ESRB can shut down a game by giving it an AO rating compared to an M. The ESRB, like the MPAA, is a secret organization of people that none of us elected that decides what content is good and bad in games based on cutscenes and short examples of gameplay.
Why is THAT not a threat to the free market?
Oh, right, let's get back to talking about how corrupt the gaming press is because it posted a video of Anita Sarkeeisian.
Women make up half the gaming population. When Infinity Ward added female soldiers to multiplayer, Activision said
straight up that it was a highly requested feature and an acknowledgement of the players who were already there. People of color also play lots of video games.
GamerGate must realize that they are making the same mistakes comics made right when Marvel was facing bankruptcy. Continuing to focus efforts exclusively on one demographic is not a recipe to long-term success. Additionally, what evidence does GamerGate have that feminist criticism of video games has actually done any harm to the profitability of the gaming market itself. Rockstar gets a lot of criticism for GTA, but GTA still made record-setting money.
People are talking about games, and GamerGate is losing its mind. For a movement that claims to be defending the free market, it sure seems hell bent on silencing opposing voices.