This excerpt from a 4chan post really sums up what bothers me most about this whole GamerGate situation.
Like, I keep seeing people pushing the idea that GamerGate is some kind of attack against female developers, or that it’s driven by a bunch of sexists or racists trying to…
No. Very no. Very very no.
Point A, released today: https://storify.com/strictmachine/gameovergate
Points B-Z: Gamers haven’t suffered shit. Gamers, those people, haven’t endured a goddamn thing. Do you know who has? People I know and people I admire. People whose work I care about. People who, seeing the harassment of their peers, speak out against it, and then become so harassed that THEY LEAVE. Games writing lost some fantastic people this week because of asinine group think and rampant misogyny. GamerGate became different things to different people, but it STARTED as a way to attack Zoe and Anita from behind cover. Hundreds of people had it as their aim to personally wound them and whomever else supported them and their work via hacking and harassment. Proof is ample up above.
I have personally met, and was very impressed by, the work that Zoe has done to make games more inclusive. She did not attack a feminist org, she openly questioned their trans* policy, which was in fact pretty dumb. She’s a goddamn hero in my book, to survive this. She gives away her Steam game FOR FREE. She has nothing to gain from manipulating this shit, and you’re SO WRONG if you think ANYBODY wants harassment. You’ve been manipulated, yo.
This is kind of the attitude that confuses me, though.
Like, Point A: it’s not a secret that /v/ is strategizing. Like I said in the actual post you replied to, they are being completely open about it. Zoe Quinn didn’t crash some secret meeting, she literally just joined a public chatroom. She should have been in there from the very beginning. I mean heck, if she’s concerned about this, she should’ve been talking to them, like “hey, is there any way I can smooth this over quickly and peacefully?”. They’d help her. This would’ve lasted a day.
What in these screenshots is even incriminating? It’s not a secret that /v/ came up with #NotYourShield. I mean, these IRC logs even have someone saying “Hey, I’m not white. Can that be used to help you guys”. Do you even realize how much agency that removes from these people, saying that they were “unknowingly manipulated”?
Or how about that log of her ex-boyfriend “coaching them on how to fuck over indiefriends”? The log literally shows him saying “I can’t give you guys too much info because some of you will misuse it”. Or how about that log proving “The Fine Young Capitalists were nothing but a pawn”, where they commend TFYC for remaining neutral and professional, and acknowledge that them doing so helps GamerGate? Or look at this log proving the GamerGate people are “sock puppets with ulterior motives”:
This is literally them saying that they should call out people on 4chan who encourage harassment, and take pictures of the responses as proof that they as a group do not condone it. They’re saying that rather than attacking people who slander them as harassers, they should show evidence that it’s not true. The only thing in these logs that is even mildly incriminating - the only thing from these highlights she felt were strong enough to post to her Twitter - is pictures of one blackhat hacker, “Rogue Star”. And the logs even show someone else calling him out, saying that he’s “not getting it”.
And I really want to know: what does she expect from people who disagree with her? They’re encouraging eachother not to harass people or call them names, they’re refusing to share info they think will be misused, they’re discussing how to play their strengths while remaining respectful to one another, and they’re even discouraging people who want to cross legal boundaries. Is she berating them for being intelligent and planning PR out? Because that isn’t a bad thing - it’s the thing she direly needs to do herself.
As for points B-Z: yeah, people are pissed off at Zoe Quinn. That’s not a secret. I wrote an entire post on why I’m pissed off at Zoe Quinn, and how uneasy I was to admit it. This all started because people were pissed off at Zoe Quinn. It got worse - it became GamerGate - when the press started trying to defend her, and joined in on her attempts to spin this as misogyny.
Do you remember a few months ago, when animator Skyler Page was accused of sexually harassing a co-worker? Skyler Page lost his job because of this. Cartoon news outlets were running the story before proof had even emerged. Skyler Page made one of my favorite short animations ever, and I didn’t want him to be guilty, but people looked into the situation and it eventually became very clear that he had actually groped this woman. Seeing the support shown to her, other female associates came forward and admitted the same.
Do you remember a few weeks ago, when game designer Zoe Quinn was accused of sexually harassing a co-worker? Nobody fucking talks about it, and the guy who stepped forward about it was attacked and called gross until he apologized for “being mean to Zoe”. How does this not bother people?
As far as The Fine Young Capitalists go, if Zoe wanted to ask questions about their transgender policy she could’ve emailed them. This is a thing that normal, functioning people actually do. Instead, she publicly posted to all her Twitter followers that TFYC’s trans policy was regressive, they were exploiting their winners, and that they were probably a scam. These tweets are still there; you can look at them if you want. According to TFYC, she never responded to their offers to discuss it privately. If you’re going to acknowledge TFYC is a feminist organization, why not listen to them when they blame Zoe Quinn for all the problems they have been running into?
And Zoe released her game for free on Steam? Big deal. I’ve made text-based games before too, and like Zoe, I didn’t charge money for them. The difference, of course, is that she does get paid for her work via Patreon, where her number of patrons depends on how many people want to support her. You know, support her because they like her work… perhaps because they think she is a victim who needs help.
The thing that kind of gets me the most, though, is you saying that I’ve been manipulated into supporting GamerGate. Like, I’ve been following this as best as I can. I’ve been writing essays all week outlining my thought process. 4chan and the other GamerGate people have been presenting their case in the open, and I support it because I think they are right. And yet, somehow you have the audacity to accuse me of being manipulated into supporting them, presenting these highly-incriminating photos of 4chan discussing how to best gain support.
Like, this is it. This is the final evolution I can see GamerGate’s opposition taking. First, they attacked GamerGate as being misogynists. Next, they attacked GamerGate for being gamers. And now, they are attacking GamerGate for tactical thinking. You have this game developer who throughout this has expressed the PR ability of a peanut, she posts photos of people discussing PR tactics, and declares “look at these people! They are doing something bad!”.
And, like, this is really it. The angle used by Zoe Quinn and her supporters literally cannot get any dumber than this. She is implicating 4chan for thinking ahead. You are telling me that I am being manipulated against my will because I agreed with a group that tried to get people to agree with them. Zoe Quinn has realized that she is so bad at PR that she has decided to paint the very act of PR as evil.
What I’m saying is: don’t fall for that. Like, this is the dumbest possible defense she could be relying on. It should not be working on you, or anyone. Please don’t let it.
EDIT: whoops, just realized there was a second page to the article Oats linked. Among a bunch more pictures telling people not to harass and clarifying misconceptions Zoe Quinn is not actually guilty of, there is also one more blackhat hacker plotting to look into a company she’s associated with.