Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gamergatge

I’ve been following #gamergate, tracking it on Salon, Pandagon, We Hunted The Mammoth, and others. I’ve watch Sharkeerian’s videos on gaming tropes. It’s been an education and an obsession. The take away is that #gamergate is a hate group. Thankfully I did not actually have to wade through the 8chan logs to find this out myself, other more intrepid explorers had done the heavy lifting for me. And what a fever swamp of racism and misogyny #gamergate turns out to be. Just reading the few eye bleeding examples is more than enough to convince any sane person this is a bad lot of apples. And it just goes on and on and on. This is no group of fine outstanding patriots standing for Truth Justice And The American Way, this is the very beating heart of Troll Town.

But leave it to the Moron Media to get this wrong seven ways to Sunday. “On one side, but on the other.” Go back to covering Ebola if you are going to be that clueless. The leg work is already been done, the favored narrative is patently false. Why are you failing to do your primary job which is to inform? You’re not even doing your secondary job of entertainment. If you were not so afraid of the label “Liberal Media” the story would write itself.

Intel’s retreat into a fetal position does not surprise me either. They are a fab joint, they make stuff, just like Ford makes stuff, Black and Decker makes Stuff, and Kitchen Aid makes stuff. Intel is a brand, and they don’t want any controversy surrounding their brand, God forbid they loose market share to AMD, Qualcomm, TSMC or Samsung. The folks at Intel have no clue about games nor the game community. Intel’s support of Independent game development was a marketing decision for a halo effect. Once #gamergate created it’s false flag operation, Intel tucked tailed, ran, and hid under a rock, where it remains. Large corporate entities do not do controversies, even when those controversies are ginned up from false flag operations, run by a tiny clique of net savvy operators who know how to amplify their numbers, and have the time to keep plugging away at the project.

Switching gears, isn’t it interesting how 2nd Amendment extremism in Utah managed to trump the 1st Amendment’s right to free speech? Almost like as if that was the intent of the “bring your weapon to college, what could go wrong?” meme. A credible series of threats was received and their was no way campus police could prevent any person not only from waltzing onto the campus with a gun but right into the auditorium. That person could not be disarmed at any point. No group of persons could be disarmed at any point. Thus was the mission of the University perverted. An institution devoted to the free exchange of ideas was denied the views of one woman by a small group of malcontents. Thus did a small authoritarian cohort impose a putsch on the University and negate the foundations of Democracy. Remember that when someone tells you that the 2nd Amendment protects ‘”freedom”. Those Utah students became less free to share and debate ideas because the safety of the speaker could not be guaranteed. A well armed minority got to impose its will on the rest of the student body, a minority that probably was from the outside of the school and the state.

I do wonder how this plays out. Having formed under a nucleus, #gamergate has mutated into something else, a hate group. But this is a netcentric hate group, which operates, for now, under new rules. It is a school of piranhas, leaderless, but still a very lethal collection of razor sharp teeth. Those who become the center of attention of the school become all too away of its viciousness. This is after all a bunch of white males at the bottom of a pecking order who thought they had found empowerment in a special corner of a constructed world where they were “safe” and “understood.” They were gamers, part of a male geek tribe, proud outcasts flying their freak flag. Then along comes some icky girls into their He-man Woman Haters Tree House Club, and tells them “um, no, you’re not oppressed, you’re actually a bunch of a-holes.” It would be like telling a PETA activist that the cure for cancer lies in the pelts of freshly clubbed baby seals. It just does not compute, it engenders a visceral reaction. This is not to excuse the behavior of #gamergate but to offer context.

I worry for the safety of these women. I worry because I already see the Reactionary Right trying to get its talons into #gamergate group and provide leadership. I also worry because I do not see law enforcement taking this one with the seriousness it deserves. What is the point of having a NSA state if a group like #gamergate can not be brought down and brought down hard? Don’t tell me you don’t have the tools, you have the tools. If these guys went after the CEO of Intel instead of a Vlogger for Feminist Frequency it would be a 03:00 wake up call with flash-bangs, a Swat Team in full battle rattle, and free ride downtown. It would at least rate a visit with some not so friendly FBI agents asking some very pointed questions. How much more damage is going to be allowed because this is “just” games, and “just” women? How many broken bodies and how many broken lives do we have to sacrifice to break another glass ceiling?

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