Last week, an op-ed was penned at gamepolitics.com claiming to show that gamergaters are not right-wing but actually left-wing, and that GamerGate itself represents a divide in the left.
The article’s methodology was to poll 1500+ redditors, and then draw conclusions. That alone should raise red flags, but also the fact that the article drew 200+ comments presents a very disturbing trend within GamerGate itself that threatens to bring down the entire movement amidst endless squabbles of political bickering. Indeed there are many who believe GamerGate has already petered out and is simply going to drown itself in irrelevancy by arguing whether or not hetro-normative values should belong in games or not, or if transsexuals need representation, or any other worthless SJW debate.
As much as I want GamerGate to succeed, I must say the naysayers will be proven correct should GamerGate degenerate into a political pissing contest. GamerGate has nothing to with politics and never has. It is fundamentally a consumer revolt against lousy business and journalism practices that disrespected their audience with bogus game reviews, a corrupt game-awards system, and the ruining of successful gaming companies by turning them into a mouthpiece for whatever pet-cause some girl on Tumblr (i.e. your average SJW) wants.
GamePolitics.com is an Ill-Concieved Idea
The very notion that there exists a website dedicated solely to exploring video gamer’s political preferences makes no sense to me. What exactly about video gamers are special enough to warrant their own political category? Are not gamers also the same ones who buy food and work the same jobs as anyone else? Do video gamers constitute an especially important demographic that Republicans and Democrats will spend billions fighting for? Are gamers the new swing vote? All of these questions are rhetorical and the answers are obvious, yet there are many delusional enough to believe that their politics matter simply because they play video games.
Well, I have news. No one cares if you play video games. It’s not going to change the next election nor will it change the world. On the other hand, politicizing video games could easily destroy the video game community and split it into various camps who only support “their” brand of game developers because of various political reasons. Sometimes it appears to be heading that way, and I fear if GamerGate fails then that is the fate all of us as gamers must endure.
However, it seems many are oblivious to the danger politics can bring to gaming, and it does seem that the left is particularly guilty. After all, the article linked from GamePolitics.com at the top of this page was based on a polling of redditors who frequent the KotakuInAction subreddit. Can you believe it? They polled reddit and found that most of the users are left-wing? Shocking, I tell you, absolutely shocking.
Given that reddit is one of the most left-wing places on the net, how could anyone conclude that KotakuInAction represents GamerGate as a whole? What a terrible sampling error, and this alone invalidates the entire article.
Anyone who has been following GamerGate for more than a month knows that the right-wing GamerGaters all hang out at 8chan. 8chan, a place dedicated to pure free speech in wake of the 4chan crackdown on Zoe Quinn shit-talkers, has the most right-wingers out of any internet home I’ve seen. This is most likely due to the rather totalitarian way left-wingers on major message boards will censor any right-wingers they don’t like, so an absurdly high number of them can now be found at 8chan. You will find people who want lower taxes, those who oppose illegal immigration, and those who are straight-up Nazi apologists! Had GamePolitics.com polled 8chan, they would have proclaimed most GamerGaters are right-wing, despite of course not being true.
Regardless of the horrible methodology, it is the intent that deserves criticism. For what is there to gain by trying to label different political sections of GamerGate? Why even conduct the poll in the first place?
Politicizing GamerGate is Nothing but a Divide and Conquer Strategy
The fact is there is nothing to be gained from declaring GamerGate to represent one political interest or another. Although most would agree that it is SJW’s who have co-opted gaming to force their politically-correct nonsense into it and most would agree that SJW’s are far-left, it does not follow that anyone who opposes SJW’s are necessarily left or right. People who believe that men and women are biologically different as the result of a five billion year process are not right-wing, they’re just good scientists. People who enjoy playing as a masculine character because they are masculine men aren’t woman-haters, they’re just men who enjoy having their own likeness represented in the virtual world. Men who dislike Dragon Age: Inquisition because most, if not all, of the characters are ugly as sin or outrageously gay aren’t “oppressive white-men,” they are just men who don’t consider that sort of thing entertaining.
GamerGate as a whole is a consumer revolt against supporting these kinds of products. Ultimately, it’s not about who you vote for, but what you spend your money on. It’s an economic struggle, not a political struggle. That is why the enemies of GamerGate, rather than address our concerns head on, resort to trying to derail the movement by claiming GamerGaters are right-wing (which is false, plenty of left-wing GamerGaters out there), GamerGaters are misogynists, or GamerGaters are angry white men (which is hilarious as Asians may compromise the largest gaming market of them all). These derailments should be dismissed, and condescendingly mocked as irrelevant non-sequiturs to the issues at hand which concern us as gamers.
However, as all too often with Americans, we are too easily distracted by political claims. A cry of sexism or racism and suddenly the original topic is forgotten as everyone rushes to defend themselves. Men tremble at the thought of being a racist and losing his job. But this defensive posture is a mistake. GamerGaters are not doing anything wrong. Ignore the bullshit and press onwards. Continue to call out shitty games when you see them. Mock SJW’s pathetic attempts to make games at every chance. Tell your friends not to spend money on producers who are more interested in politics than entertainment. These are the real issues, because money talks louder than shrieking feminists. Once the money starts flowing only to those who focus on making great games with fantastic gameplay, SJW’s will be powerless to corrupt gaming any further.
Conversely, if SJW’s are allowed to dominate the discussion with their irrelevant diatribes concerning women’s issues or whatnot, then it’s only a matter of time before gamers find themselves in sub-groups each with different political allegiances claiming only to support some types of games or another because of these allegiances. It’s really no different than how the Soviets created the “social realism” art movement, and as a result the only art that could be displayed in the USSR was art that depicted the living conditions of the working class. Similarly, it is not inconceivable to imagine a future where certain companies are given blackouts from the gaming media because of political disagreements, or individual gamers themselves cannot find a game they enjoy but only ones that they agree with.
So please keep all of this in mind as GamerGate continues it’s march towards gaming Valhalla. Do not be swayed off the path of righteousness to placate a bunch of political misfits. Sites like GamePolitics.org have little to no value to us as gamers, and if you need to do politics then take your politics into /r/politics, 8chan.co/pol, or even better, organize a local town or city election and run yourself. But please, don’t ruin video games, one of the last apolitical places for men worldwide to enjoy their free time with objective based activities.
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