I'm a huge supporter of the #gamergate movement, because I'm sick to death of the "-gate" suffix, and after something this stupid no one will ever use it again. Journalists could be reporting on a hinged wrought-iron frame scandalously barring the way to a secret government interplanetary portal and they'll still refuse to use the term.
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"The president approached the swingy bit of fence today ..."
David and Mark tackled some of the stupider parts of the scandal, Sargent explained how anger can cause them, and Zoe Quinn explained what it's like to be the eye of such a colossal shitstorm that you can see toilet tidal waves in every direction. Now I'm going to poke the most ridiculous lumps of psychic sewage those waves threw up.
TERMINOLOGY: I'll be using the term "gater," not "gamer," because these assholes claiming to represent gamers is like a cannibal claiming to represent eaters. They're the only ones who think you have to tear into other people to do it properly, instead of it being something pretty much everybody does now without it defining our lives.
"YOU ARE NOT REPORTING BOTH SIDES, OR PROPERLY BASTED!"
#Gamergate started when an ex-boyfriend of a video game developer went on forums to talk crap about her to strangers. And instead of responding, "Wow, now we know why she broke up with you; you're shittier than a belly-flopping sewer worker," some Internet-users said, "You need some assholes to attack a woman? You've come to the right place!"
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"THIS SHOUTING IS ALL I DO HERE!"
Most commenters left the ex-boyfriend anonymous while focusing on developer Zoe Quinn. Some reviewed her award-winning free game, Depression Quest, and said that it didn't count because it was a visual novel (a sentiment that is just going to surprise the hell out of Japan). I'd like to provide balance by reviewing the ex's blog post. Which involved even more words and electronic drama. My review reads: "Eron Gjoni is a piece of shit." When a guy's breakup story starts: "Act 0: Whereof One Cannot Speak, One Must Be Silent," and then absolutely doesn't do that for over 8,000 more words, it's not an "allegation," it's an epic saga screamed into the outside of a locked door at kneeling height.
It's something Morgan Freeman would read in a disappointed voice while his hothead partner paces the filthy room. You could only get more psychotically detailed overreaction if you voided the warranty on your Terminator's target-recognition circuits. Gjoni posted this novella on multiple forums, and they wisely deleted it, so he set up a new website specifically and only to host his hatred. Because that's totally the act of a sane non-dickhead. No, I won't link that asshole.
Staring at this for half an hour will have the same effect.
It was the jerkiest move short of masturbating into Caribbean spiced sauce. Normally that would be it: one man wailing to an audience of dating scambots, and they'd be his perfect partners because they also enjoy long, public posts about desperately pictured sexual improprieties. But he was writing about a female video game developer. The result was and still is a terrifying outpouring of hate toward Quinn, with effects up to and including driving her from her own home, and that is exactly what Gjoni wanted. He knew that as a female video game developer she was already a target. In several parts of his sobbing saga he mentions how much shit he knew this posting would cause.
In interviews it's clear he still wants people to believe he's Mr. Lawful Neutral, and that his target-designating blog starts with an edit stating that he totally-honestly-for-real doesn't mean for this to happen. (It takes up 0.3 percent of the rant, which is still up after causing all this to happen.) He justifies the post with: "It is here to warn you that she is indeed capable of the things she claims she would never do." He wants to warn people, and he got his ex hounded from her home by rape threats? Fine, here's a warning: NO ONE IN THE WORLD SHOULD DATE ERON GJONI. ERON GJONI GOT HIS EX HOUNDED FROM HER HOME BY RAPE THREATS.
Rule 34 states that's there's a porn version of everything, apparently including manufactured movements. Which would be so much less awful if that was referring to android coprophilia. At least that would count as recycling. Some gaters created a fake woman to agree with them, and the only thing that makes it a more perfect representation of gater culture is that there was almost immediately porn.
"Vivian James" is the mascot of their movement, and she's an anime girl because of course she is. I'm only sorry that the National Institute of Standards and Technology wasn't around to use their atomic clock to time how long it took for her to appear naked, and then stuffed with and possessing every genital configuration ever imagined.
Sure, I could publish a pixelated version of a teenage redhead cartoon character with a giant penis ejaculating all over herself,
but in a more important way, no I couldn't.
Another comic complains that anyone who attacks Quinn is accused of misogyny, while simultaneously being a comic in which a cartoon Quinn has sex with five game sites. Someone was able to draw that without seeing any contradiction. They didn't even change pens or draw the two parts on different pages so they wouldn't explode and cancel out the universe when they touched.
No way in hell I'm giving such bullshit space in my column. Have some wallabies.
We live in a world where people have porn of the personification of their complaints about their favorite luxuries, and they still say modern technology isn't focused enough on their needs. Caligula would say that is too indulgent. And the computers could be explained to him by trained and willing monkeys without so many awful misconceptions.
A gater-founded Indiegogo campaign for "Lawyers Against Gaming Corruption" was canceled due to accusations of corruption. That's not so much a stopped clock being right as the Clock King falling into the gears of his time bomb after being punched by Batman. The gater asked for $35,000 to hire a lawyer to prosecute unfair relationships in the industry, and apparently didn't think it worth mentioning that the lawyer was his wife. There are minelayers setting their own stage for Hamlet who aren't such perfectly petarded examples of failure.
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Polonius enter stage left, exeunt stage ceiling.
It was canceled almost immediately but still hasn't returned the money. I can't say it was a failure from start to finish because their actions were so much louder it deafened everyone. The campaign has raised almost $1,500, and Indiegogo is apparently refusing to cancel it partway, which would mean they get to keep 9 percent of the total when it fails. Leaving the founder to personally repay that out of his own pocket if he wants to avoid being accused of corruption. Two wrongs can't make a right, but they can be hilarious.
Mentioning #gamergate online is like scrawling a giant dick over the Bat-Signal before lighting it: you've summoned a whole horde of crazies, and the only result will be pain. One mention on Twitter and you're mobbed by a horde of accounts, all with incredibly strong opinions and many entirely coincidentally created in the last month. There haven't been so many freshly hatched eggs trying to drown out all human communication since Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
"I DON'T AGREE WITH THE HARASSMENT, BUT WHEN THEY'RE NOT CHANTING 'WHORE' THEY RAISE SOME FAIR POINTS!"
Trawl through the #gamergate tag -- and I really must urge you never to do so under any circumstances -- and you'll find huge a current of complaints about "Social justice warriors." Gaters often rail against the evil influence of these people complaining about discrimination. No, there isn't a comma missing after "people." A large vein of gater traffic is effectively railing for discrimination. Because veins are what carry organic waste to be filtered out.
Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Get
"We'll pass the camera through the anus, into the gater-storage area, and then point and laugh."
It's always hilarious to hear SJW used as an insult. "Social justice warrior" is the basic plot of most '80s action shows and cartoons. Arriving in places and fighting against discrimination? The A-Team were social justice warriors. It's practically a synonym for Knight Rider. Insulting someone for respecting other people is like insulting them for masturbating -- the fact you don't do it has way more to do with why you're so upset all the time.
When you use "wants equality" as an insult, you're the bad guy. Look around: are you conforming to a movement with a large group of other people? Do you wait for a target and then pile on hoping that sheer numbers will wear them down? Are you wearing some kind of helmet which interferes with your ability to aim lasers at rebels?
Did I mention that the corrupt game review, the one that is the alleged reason this blew up, never existed? I just did. And now I should mention again that the game review never existed. That's something that should always be mentioned again, possibly with hovertext or an interstitial page every time anyone uses the #gamergate tag: this was started by total bullshit.
There are people on more rewarding unicorn hunts right now.
When that was revealed, the gaters decided to carry on anyway. It's almost as if the original story was nothing but a thin veil over pre-existing hatred! They swore to expose corruption in the system, revealing that various gaming writers knew some indie developers. Which shocked the ass off everyone who'd thought gaming writers scrimshawed their articles onto little wooden balls from inside sensory-deprivation baths connected to ENIGMA decoders.
Hlib Shabashnyi/iStock/Getty Images
Applying the Zygalski mesh and ... my god, he thinks it's "a solid addition to the franchise"!
Gaters don't seem to know that the game journalism "industry" is about 20 meters across. Probably 10 by the time you read this. Gaters act aghast that people whose entire career is based on games sometimes play and pay for games. Would it be better if they didn't? And, what, the only way to avoid corruption would be to get sent things for free?
The alleged scandal is a pathetic fantasy. A woman bestowing sexual favors so that men will look at the video game she made? Hey, losers, when choosing an excuse to attack female developers, maybe don't choose one that sounds like the letter you wrote when you thought the Game Boy was a spinoff from Playboy.
After her home address was leaked, the threats against Quinn got so violent and specific she had to leave her home. Just like Anita Sarkeesian of the "Tropes vs Women" videos had to leave her home. That's insane. If this level of hatred was directed at multiple BMW salesmen it would be on the front page of every newspaper. The police wouldn't just post protection, they'd issue licenses for vigilantes prepared to battle such insanely specifically themed villains, and every newspaper would have stories by psychologists trying to work out how people went wrong this badly.
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"In this one case, it might really be all dicks."
If you want to campaign against corruption in video game journalism, fantastic! You've chosen the most luxurious righteousness on Earth. But joining #gamergate is like marching under Sauron's flag because you're worried about Minas Tirith's feudal inheritance of rulership. Even if you're claiming more enlightened motivations, you're charging with a stinking mob intent on ruining everything, unleashed by a raging asshole.
New Line Cinema
"ZOOOEEEEE WHY DID YOU LEEEAVE MEEEEEE?"
Self-described "gamers" claim that it's because the gaming industry is under attack, but when someone self-describes as "spends most of their time violently attacking imaginary enemies" they might not be the most reliable sources. Wade through gater comments and it becomes pretty clear that they want a games industry where you have to press the Y chromosome to continue. They're very upset that that time is over. And don't understand that the more frantically they hammer the buttons, the faster it'll end.
Their doom spelled in the caps they love so well.
Read what gaming assholes are meant to be like in The 7 Most Impressive Dick Moves in Online Gaming History, and behold direct digital dick moves with The Incredible Advertising for the Penis Fitness Tracker.
For more from Luke, check out Why Shia LaBeouf Is Hollywood's New King of Jerks and 7 Needlessly Difficult Features of Every Retro Video Game.
The next time someone on your Facebook feed brings up another #Gamergate "scandal", click the 'share' button below and counter their B.S. with some truth.
How did these hyper-specific tropes spread so quickly?
The Hollywood rumor mill has been playing games with celebrity deaths for at least a century.