As we approach the one-year anniversary of GamerGate, I’d like to talk about the things I’ve learned from this important movement.
1. Do not talk about GamerGate
We’ve been taught at a young age to not talk about taboo topics like politics or religion, and you can add GamerGate to that list. You can try to argue all you want to your gamer friends about how GamerGate is about ethics and not about harassment, but it will simply lead to a dead end.
Your friends will most likely dismiss your sources as unreliable as they claim that they have reliable sources on their side, while showing you various studies proving that you are wrong on GamerGate and that it is indeed all about harassment. To counter their argument, you would have to show them that the entire mainstream media is corrupt and that the study is flawed.
Before you can convince them, your friends will dismiss you as a crazy conspiracy theory person. As they pretend to listen to your reasoning, they think to themselves, “There is no way that the media all lie about this one topic. There is no way that what I’ve been taught to think in school for over ten years is wrong. There is no way that the rest of the world is wrong. This person I’m talking to has to be crazy.”
Talking about GamerGate outside of GamerGate circles brings you no benefit. At best, you’ll agree to disagree. At worst, you’ll commit social suicide. Personally, I was fired from a job hours after I was hired because I was having a casual conversation with my boss about GamerGate and it ticked him off that I wrote controversial articles online anonymously about the movement. Sadly, another person from Australia was also fired for associating himself publicly with GamerGate.
Lesson learned: don’t talk about GamerGate.
2. Mainstream media outlets cannot be trusted
The biggest social issue in modern America is whites killing black people. Politicians have to apologize for saying “all lives matter” instead of #BlackLivesMatter. Movement supporters argue that black lives have been neglected for too long by “society.” I’m not going to get into this discussion. What I’m interested in is how everything started to begin with. Are white people suddenly targeting black folks for whatever reason, or is the media selectively reporting every white on black murder to stroke racial discontent, thus increasing their ratings?
The truth is, the rate of whites killing blacks has remained steady for over twenty years. The rate is consistent with the rate of blacks killing whites in that there has been no notable increase or decrease in numbers. If there is no spike in the rate of whites killing blacks, what is everyone going on about?
It looks like the media is over-reporting whites killing blacks because the first time they did it with Trayvon Martin, they managed to cause a national outrage. It has become a recipe for success and so every time a black man is killed by a white man, it will always be reported on more heavily than other types of murders. No one cares about blacks killing whites, so the media doesn’t report on it.
Imagine that you are an average black person who doesn’t know how the media actually operates behind the scenes. How would you feel if every day you saw news stories of yet another black person murdered by whites? You would think that something is wrong with this world, when in reality it’s just the media pulling strings in order to cause outrage and increase their ratings.
The media have the power to influence and shape society and yet all they care about is money. When the movie Jaws came out, people were too scared to go to the beach, even though the odds of an individual going for a swim and being attacked by a shark are almost infinitesimal. What people see first on TV tends to stick with them.
The media attempted to do the same with GamerGate, except gamers fought back. The media chose the narrative of harassment because they figured that it was the best way to get clicks and attention to their stories. ABC straight up admitted that they reported GamerGate the way they did to maximize ratings.
GamerGate taught me that the media is a business and as a business, their primary objective is to make as much money as possible by doing whatever it takes, and that includes inciting half the country into violent racial conflicts or intentionally defaming a movement about ethics in journalism.
3. Wikipedia is biased
I thought that I could still use Wikipedia to learn about other subjects before I discovered why the site’s GamerGate article is heavily biased and how Wikipedia edits articles. In short, they edit articles using sources they consider to be “reliable.” As long as the website has a reliable reputation, every word in the article is treated as if was fact. And whatever they consider to be “reliable” doesn’t matter as long as the article supports the agenda that they are trying to push through.
When I saw that the editors consider Buzzfeed to be a reliable source, I was done with Wikipedia.