This Forbes piece gets it right. GamersGate is a consumer movement created due to a deattached games media that has become hostile to gaming. There is also nothing new here except the game media removing their mask and going totally hostile. For many years, they have been disdainful of gamers and talked down to them. But the outright hostility is what is sparking this. The Zoe Quinn episode was just the spark to an Internet of black powder. Gamers felt this was a problem while the Game media, such as Neogaf’s Evillore’s contemptuous put-downs on anyone who thought this was a problem, just pissed everyone off. The dam has broke.
GamersGate is also winning. BMW has pulled their advertising from Gawker. While the games media keeps calling for ‘calm’ while insulting gamers, some are calling for ‘discussion’ which only happens when they are losing. If they were not losing, they certainly would not be calling for discussion. They never called for discussion years ago, did they? No.
Many are trying to turn this into a Right vs. Left political thing, but it is really about a consumer movement. People have no idea how pissed off the consumers are with gaming. No idea. The Big Clue should have been the Wii revolution itself. DS and Wii didn’t just succeed because of ‘blue ocean’ and ‘expanding the market’, they succeeded because they tapped into being More Than Just Consoles by being a Consumer Movement itself. People who were attracted to the Wii were Not Happy with the Games Industry.
This site has always been Anti-Game Industry and Anti-Game Journalism. It’s long been noted how game journalists would rather be considered an ‘insider’ instead of aligning with their readers/viewers (you know, gamers). It is funny to me to watch people in the game media be so stunned at the pushback they are receiving. They thought this would be like movies or music with little resistance. But enthusiast gaming has the highest concentration of men. Many people are gamers because there is nothing on TV for them to watch, there isn’t much worthwhile going on in movies, and books aren’t as fun as they used to be.
But you and I know that people are not upset over GamersGate because of what the believers of it think and feel. They don’t care what they think or feel. They know they have felt distraught for so long. It is the tactics GamersGate is using that is truly upsetting them. Other people are noticing this too.
At the risk of engaging in some questionable psychoanalysis, allow me to suggest that one of the reasons the left is so disturbed by the rise of #GamerGate is that this is the first time in many years that these self-proclaimed Social Justice Warriors have met any sort of organized pushback. And they find it doubly infuriating to see the tools they have used so successfully—the Twitter mob, the email campaign, the claims of grievance—turned against them.
This is why you see Whedon et al resorting to dull ad hominem. “#GamerGate is a hate group” is an easy slogan, one that can be used to intimidate media outlets trying to give the story fair coverage.
I do admit I am enjoying seeing the Social Justice Warriors type look like they ate a stove with all this unexpected pushback coming at them.