The best summary I've seen to date comes from
Jim Hines

One of my conservative friends (who I butt heads with on a regular basis) is on the side of, "it's about ethics in journalism," which I find confusing. I haven't seen any proof of unethical behavior anywhere."

What are your thoughts?
jewelfox: A portrait of a female anthropomorphic fox, with a pink jewelled pendant and a cute overbite. (Default)

From: [personal profile] jewelfox

I think that it would have been nice if there'd been an outcry over "ethics in gaming journalism" around the time that the Kane and Lynch review controversy occurred. ^^;
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)

From: [personal profile] qem_chibati


There is no evidence of Zoe doing anything unethical in gaming journalism. There is evidence of people going to extremes to punish her for things outside of gaming journalism.

Is there ethical problems in journalism? Sure, but I don't see movements gathering over AAA games, of which there is plenty of evidence that they've been sold out on,

It seems like another case of "boys" going crazy because "girls" are playing with their toys. Or worse yet, asking or working for their own.
qem_chibati: Coloured picture of Killua from hunter x hunter, with the symbol of Qem in the corner. (A cat made from Q, E, M) (Default)

From: [personal profile] qem_chibati

Well she's admitted to not behaving the best in the relationship with her ex... but my goodness, that's totally a valid thing for a bunch of strangers to get involved with online, amiright?

Fuck that noise, she's got the moral high ground forever in that relationship, given everything that's happened to her as part of gamergate.

And also, doesn't explain what's happened to all the other women involved.
thene: and the space is filled with stars (centuries)

From: [personal profile] thene

I've been periodically engaging with the tag, and have actually had a couple of long and somewhat productive conversations with Gamergaters. It's interesting if you have the appetite for it. Sometimes I've just been trolling or tanking, sometimes I've been actually trying to level with random Gamergaters and get what's on their minds and how they operate.

Either you get to engage with a real live human being, or you try to engage until the other party explodes. Thus far I've pushed 4 Gamergaters to beg me to stop talking to them. This is their usual move when rhetorically cornered, because it lets them have both the last word AND the satisfaction of feeling faux-bullied, plus their communications strategy relies on avoiding the appearance of rudeness and conflict. This is a big deal, actually; they don't want to be seen as causing reasoned conflict, which is why you should bring it to them.

fwiw, this is the best primer I've seen, especially point 3. It's also worth watching the tag itself or 8chan a bit, to observe how they apply messaging discipline amongst themselves (eg. the 'it's about ethics in games journalism!' front, and other disseminated tactics of variable effect). The great thing about supposedly leaderless, open-access movement is that its mechanics are also open to you - to observe or to fuck with. (For some background reading, have some overly-alarmist 5-year-old reading about how fascist movements develop in modern America).

I've also come up with a few personal observations & tactics with which to engage if you wish to do so;

1. Gamergate has no content. (As you kinda observed, no one actually cares so much about 'ethics in journalism' that they'd threaten mass shootings over it LOL, an that sure as fuck wasn't why this started). Gamergate messaging is simply munitions. Explosive words packed into a penetrative shell; the arguments being made do not matter and primarily exist to distract the recipient. One clear example of this is the way they respond in packs in order to intimidate people who use the tag to criticise Gamergate. When 10 people show up in your twitter feed simultaneously badgering you about something you've said, the real purpose is the atmosphere of intimidation; it does not matter what their messages say so long as they say something. A friend of mine experimentally tweeted about the weather using the Gamergate tag in order to see if she got any argumentative responses...

2. Related: remember that most of what they say is simply emotional vandalism. Lots of flash, bang! with words. Wild accusations that require more space to rebut than twitter provides. Twitter is a great medium for emotional vandalism, so you have to be aware of it and absolutely NOT get sidetracked by it. If you're having a strong reaction to a tweet, don't reply to it - it's a flash grenade, designed to distract you. Focus on the substance.

3. Be yourself. Very, SPECIFICALLY, yourself. That means, if a gamergater tries to bring up some irrelevant or imagined slight, immediately explain that it's nothing to do with you. (Eg. "I'm not a journalist/not a game developer so why are you lambasting me about this...?") This is especially important for handling any paranoid accusations you will encounter - a common one I've done goes something like this; "Huh, I didn't call you a sockpuppet - did someone else in this thread say that?" Needless to say, what they MEAN is someone somewhere said someone might be a sockpuppet (and they probably were)... Accusations like these are the kind of thing they drop to try to knock you off track, and you should reminding them that they're talking to YOU, not some monolith that was once hazily accused of doing a bad thing.

4. Offer a semblance of benefit of doubt. Even if you're very sure they ARE sockpuppets, speak to them as if they're real. It's actually harder for them to deal with, imx; I guess staying in character is stressful and it makes them crack.

5. If you feel filthy enough, turn it around. If it's remotely applicable, use the exact same burns you've seen them use because they have literally no idea how to deal with such things. Someone says 'Well I'm a woman and I've never been harassed playing games', say 'It's not about you, how self-obsessed are you, no1curr about your experiences'. Someone says they've been accused of being a sockpuppet or traitor? Tell them they have a persecution complex and they're a whiner revelling in their victimhood. Derail previously sane conversations with your enthusiastic harping on their persecution mania. (I am kinda proud of this one; ('the dog' refers to my avatar, Precious. Say hello to Precious). Actually, point out all instances of persecution complexes and claims of victimhood. As far as they're concerned this is like the worst thing you could say about anyone so they never really have a response other than 'Um' and 'i have a headache please stop talking to me'.

6. Anyone mentions 'ethics', ask why they so strongly associate 'unethical' with 'a girl likes sex'.

7. Most of them are trying to distance themselves from Eron Gjoni, so ask why they let someone's weirdo ex personal-army them. If you can get someone into conversation on this, I think it's worth saying that if ANYONE of ANY gender is starting ex drama, esp if weird sexual jealousy is involved, you need to STAY THE FUCK AWAY because you are in CRAYLAND. Most people who've ever had a social life can warm to this sentiment.

8. Reread Strange Rumblings In Aztlan, and everytime someone talks about the sanctity of journalist-source relationships, take a shot. (No, really, read that thing).

9. Have some substance. Ask why they aren't building bridges with people with existing concerns about ethics in journalism, such as Leigh Alexander. Read http://www.critical-distance.com/ to find substantial work about both Gamergate and the much, much longer history of ethical concerns in the games industry.

10. Try to reach people, and speak to what they're really in this for. Because it sure as shit isn't anything to do with who knows who in indie gaming journalism.
Edited (spelling/grammar) Date: 2014-10-30 01:41 am (UTC)


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