*sigh* You know, it's funny. When I first heard about a, I had no idea what to think of it all. I had heard of women such things as "Feminist Frequency" and it's only recently that I heard of Depression Quest.
Like most people, I was going to just ignore it all and hope it would be over. Being the Internet, this would be the type of thing that would come and go after lingering on foe a little while. Little did I know that this would evolve.
It has been more than 2 months since this movement came to be. Most of us now referred to it as #GamerGate.
To see how it all began let's look at one of 2 the catalysts for this: Ms. Anita Sarkeesian, herself.
It all stated with her series of videos which were supposed to examine all the ways in which female characters have been represented or utilized in gaming. Once the videos were made and uploaded, she was met a... less-than-positive response.
Upon seeing these reactions, she immediately went to as many media outlets as she could. Detailing the amounts of threats and harassment being thrown her way (according to her), she had managed to gain a lot of supporters and media coverage. Needless to say, she was loved by many. This led to multiple tours and interviews with personalities on networks on CNN. Such support has even lead to many people backing her Kickstarter campaign.
However, since that time, much of what she had discussed about the use and handling of female characters (again, according to her) have since been debunked by many. Examples include video such as:
and even on blogs written by other women, such as this one: http://gintaxalvissforever.tumblr.com/post/81629999178/reasons-why-people-still-defend-anita-debunked
To say nothing of the claims she had been making concerning whether or not she has even played video games: http://youtube.com/watch?v=gcPIu3sDkEw
What really puts a damper on Ms. Sarkeesian's experiment has been information being revealed in which she may have not even bothered to cite her sources or even give credit to where the gameplay footage came from: http://victorsopinion.blogspot.be/2013/07/anitas-sources.html
There have even been videos that document this as well such as: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvwiYmVhW94
and most of all, this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmxcMZ6p2zg
as well as this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj1sbFgI1NA
Now, you would think the story would end right there. However, there's a 2nd person of whom will play just as much of a part in all of this: Zoe Quinn .(It should be noted that while her name in actuality is Chelsea Van Valkenburg, she will be referred to by her alias for the rest of this post).
After trying (and ultimately, succeeding) in getting her game greenlit on Steam, she was also given a deluge of threats and harassing comments. Naturally, she was also shown lots of love. She then goes on to say that it was all started by a group of people on the site known as Wizardchan.
Also, like Ms. Sarkeesian, she became a star in her own right as her game managed to obtain a major award from the Indie game community.
Yes, everything was going well for Ms. Quinn and there really wouldn't be much else to talk about...
Except this came along: http://thezoepost.wordpress.com/2014/08/16/tldr-2/ and this is where things get even crazier.
In a series of posts written by a Mr. Eron Gjoni, he details all that went on with his relationship with Ms. Quinn. Going so far as to document all the times where she might not have been as faithful to him as he was led to believe.
While most would look upon it as being a tawdry, disgusting piece meant to smear and defame the good name of a woman by an angry ex-boyfriend. In actuality, it's a tale of a guy who was in love with someone of whom he thought would be the girl of his dreams. The kind of girl that would live lif according to a strong morality code.
Only to find out that nothing she said or believed in was true.
To get an idea of what I mean, here are the posts themselves as written by Mr. Gjoni:
Right now (assuming anyone will actually read this), you're probably asking: "Why post this?, do you not know that everything you've written and posted could be really damaging to these people?"
1. I post these things in order to help paint a picture of what this is going to lead to.
2. Yes. But, everything written here has a point to it, in some way.
3. Before anyone asks, I know this isn't something that I should be concerned with. However, I'm not the only one who has talked (or are talking) about this and on top of that, these posts mention the names of very influential people within the game journalism industry. Many of whom hold a lot of sway in not just the reporting of video games and how the reporting is done, but also the possibility of being told which games are the type that we, as consumers should buy.
Each name can be found in the above mentioned posts. But, 2 names that will come up later are Robin Arnott and Nathan Grayson (they both play a part in this in some way, too)
"Okay. So far, you've managed to point out that there are two kinds of people: One may have lied about the facts she has presented in an attempt to prove her points about how female characters are either misused or mishandled in a series of video games and you also pointed out that there's another woman who may be using her connections to get her game out there in a way that will likely be unethical.
for what other reason should I care about this?"
Well, remember when I said that there were threat (as told by Ms. Quinn) by the folks at Wizardchan?
It turns out that there may be a whole different side of the story to this:: http://imgur.com/a/4VOcx
Before I continue (and this ties into what I'm writing on), I'd like to tell you a story about a very talented group of women who have a dream. A dream involving more and more women getting into the gaming industry.
A group of women who help others by merely helping them bring their ideas to life. Mainly by help in the creation of concept art and a possible pitch along with a demo concerning their game with the intent of giving all but 8% of profits to charity so that they may further their career in gaming (if I am getting it right). These women are collectively known as The Fine Young Capitalists:
Why bring this up?
It's mainly because of the fact that Ms. Quinn didn't quite understand the purpose of what they were trying to do (and also did not understand their policy towards transgendered folk). Because of this she decided to have their production/Game Jam ruined.
As shown here: https://soundcloud.com/super-admin/tfyc-confession
and here :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1d6Q3VpqXyk
This was all done after she had managed to shut down another Game Jam sponsored by Pepsi and produced by Maker Studios's Polaris brand while she started up her own at the same time.
Going back to what I said earlier, I had mentioned that there were 2 more people who may have had a hand in this ongoing problem.
Well, one of the people involved in the Pepsi sponsored Game Jam is Robin Arnott, A sound designer and developer of a game called Deep Sea. In addition to that, he is also one of the chairpeople for the international independent video game festival known as IndieCade. His name was mentioned in the posts from earlier above. He was also instrumental in making sure that Depression Quest had won some prestigious awards at that show over other games like "Papers Please".
With Nathan Grayson (who is a writer and contributor to game publication blogs Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun), in addition to being on of 5 people mentioned in Mr. Gjoni's posts along with Mr. Arnott, it's been said that he had also provided positive coverage for Depression Quest which can be shown here.
3 more things that should also be mentioned are the constant censorship of blogs, posts, and anything else that isn't just being done by Ms. Quinn in regards to her or possible corruption/collusion on the part certain people within her circle. It's also been done by others associated with her such as a reddit moderator by the moniker of "El Chupacupcake"as documented here. In fact, it has become so terrible that many of reddit's users are calling for his removal as the moderator for their /r/ gaming subchannel.
Moreover, these acts of censorship have extended to YouTube as there was a false DMCA claim filed by Ms. Quinn with regards to a video made by YouTube host MundaneMatt. The video in question is this. Said video has since been reuploaded.
The situation in and of itself is a weird and nutty one since many people such as another YouTube host by the moniker of InternetAristocrat has made at least 3 videos documenting everything that has gone on up to that point. Why is it strange? It's because none of the videos he has made have yet to have such claims filed against him.
Then, there's also this claim which was quickly responded to by one Philippe Poisson (also known as Phil Fish).
What's more: the claims made by Ms. Quinn concerning her accounts on tumblr and Twitter being hacked (which was also the basis for her support amongst her fans) may have been proven untrue.
There are even more instances of censorship coming out. Not the least of which is this: :https://i.imgur.com/ZBOas7p.png
"Hmm. Okay, With what you've written so far, it seems like these two people aren't exactly the type to be trusted and might be more than a little shady and dishonest. But, you've mentioned these two as the catalysts for this whole movement. Surely, there must be some sort of connection between these 2 women."
There's also this link which may or may not have contributed to so many sites like the aforementioned Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, and others publishing articles proclaiming "gamers are dead": https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/game-words-incorporated/VxYXZhDqv8I
Oh. did I also forget to mention how whole gaming websites like those mentioned above (as well as Gamasutra) have shutdown any and all conversations about either Game Journalism or even Ms. Quinn herself (The former being much more important that the latter)?
"Okay. but in what other way are they connected?"
About that, there's also the matter of one Maya Felix Kramer, A PR agent for both Ms. Quinn and Silverstring Media.
Why or how is is that relevant, in any way?
SilverString Media is not only backed and supported by Ms. Sarkeesian, but they also do PR work for the abovementioned gaming websites. One of those sites (namely Kotaku) has the same Nathan Grayson working for them who went out of his way to give Depression Quest a positive review.
There's also this little piece of information them: : http://pastebin.com/jrLJyp0W
and this, too: http://imgur.com/a/3NZXZ
"Wait a minute, Back up. You mentioned something about how sites are censoring discussions. Well, How do you know that these sites are shutting down discussions and such?"
These quotes say it all: "Only half of the half that are left stood for Anita Sarkeesian. Some progress was made, and progress is good.The backlash means were making a difference."
"But wait, where did that come from", you may ask? Simple.
It all comes from this site: http://caseyodonnell.org/2014/08/07/studio-studies-debugging-the-culture-and-work-of-game-developers/
(a backup copy of it is also here as well): https://docs.google.com/document/d/1S-QQML7a3dbJ5JJDd5-EmQ6nOnYewNGmkn7VQ_G_oxk/edit#
And let's not even get into the fact that there are companies outside of the videogame industry who support these sites and their practices: http://pastebin.com/faAxbF4E.
Or the fact that even journalists working on publications like Forbes don't even want to speak on this, as shown here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km3DZQp0StE
There may very well be a connection between the 2. Aside from the fact that Ms. Sarkeesian has publicly endorsed Ms. Quinn's game on Twitter, there have been videos like this one which have pointed out even more possible connections to not just Ms. Quinn and Ms. Sarkeesian but even more people closely associated with her,
Then, there's this little piece of information: http://pastebin.com/qWX5qTvB
and this :http://pastebin.com/13J2VELP
What do they have in common? Both involve interactions between Ms. Kramer and the chairman of the Independent Games Festival, Brandon Boyer.
What might he have to do in all of this? Well, he is one of many people who help pick out which game will either make the finals of or ultimately win Indiecade. Guess which game won an award at that festival with help not just from Mr. Arnott?
Yes. Depression Quest (among some other games like The Stanley Parable, for instance).
There are more connections involved. All of which can be summed up in this video, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgW5NRUfs44&list=UUVt7ujK-9TT9KByzL9g_2QQ
If you've managed to read everything being said here and you still have no clue about what all of this is or what it means, this post can sum up the entire reason as to why such a movement like #GamerGate exists in a much better fashion than I possibly could: http://imgur.com/qJetJIQ
So, having said all of this, where do I stand or what's my take on all of this?
Well, here's what I have to say on people like Ms. Sarkeesian, Ms. Quinn and others like them (excluding Mr. Gjoni):
On the subject of both women: Heard of them both. Originally felt sorry for them. But given the information about them and the supposed connections that they may have should any of this be proven true, I can sum it up like this: I think that within due time, every single person involved in this scandal will get exactly what they deserve.
But, I think that my friend Chuck said it best here: "To have people call me a misogynist for calling out a female game dev who used her body and connections to get her game better known and maintain corrupt connections with game "journalists" while she simultaneously bashed a feminist game jam is a sad sign of the reverse extremism that exists on the internet. It's bad enough that there are terrible male gamers that DO reflect the claims of SJWs....but being a bully yourself and fighting non-issues like sexy game characters doesn't help fight for those who have been hurt by terrible people in real issues, some almost as bad and brainwashed as ISIS."
As did YouTube host, MrRepzion (pay attention to the 2nd half of his video): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi6ga7NOVYA&list=PL83E51D6D1AEF1059
Before I end this, I would like to ask a question:
Is it wrong that I take much more stock in articles like these: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/01/Lying-Greedy-Promiscuous-Feminist-Bullies-are-Tearing-the-Video-Game-Industry-Apart
and this: https://medium.com/@sixthman/who-is-harassed-more-f81799a2f550/
Moreso than I do with anything made by today's so called "Gaming Journalists"?
To wit, they were the first instances in which news media from outside the gaming industry actually covered this subject in a way that was not antagonistic towards its audience as opposed to the various "Gamers are dead" articles written with the intent to get more people angry. Also, these articles felt like they were written by people who at least looked at things from a whole other side compared to articles made by people like Devin Faraci.
(Update: Recently, there have been articles of which cite the reason why such articles of been written to include the various bits of click-bait: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite
If that wasn't already bad enough, there's this more recent piece which explains the lengths that some will go to just to have an article written in their favor: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/23/How-sloppy-biased-video-games-reporting-almost-destroyed-a-CEO
This more recent article seems to suggest that such a group of people may be putting an end to this. Though, who's to say that such activities won't be done elsewhere may remain uncertain.
And that's just the information which has been collected over the course of a few days.)
On a final note:
To you Mr. Gjoni, I wish you all the best of anything and everything within your life and I would also like to say thank you for making the posts that you did calling out the person you spoke on.
You didn't have to post it all, but we're all glad you did. For being as brave as you were (and are), I salute you for unintentionally bringing about (most of ) these chain of events.
To anyone who may be asking: Yes, I support #GamerGate and to all those within both the gaming press and certain members of the indie game community claiming to speak for all who play video games, I have this to say: I am #notyourshield.