Last week I had an in-depth interview with one of the most influential voices of the #gamergate movement, Lizzyf620. She initially made her mark by sharing and offering her opinions on #gamergate news through her twitter account, which currently has 11.8k followers at the time of this writing. Lizzyf620 is in a unique position to sway neutrals to understand what #gamergate really is because she doesn’t fit the media description of a typical #gamergater. The media can’t simply slap a “misogynist” tag on her and call it a day.
Lizzyf620 isn’t known for her twitter updates alone. She has written many articles regarding gamergate. Topics such as censorship, diversity, and feminism are covered in her blog. Her latest article on Buzzfeed #Gamergate Through My Eyes was marred by censorship controversy when the article was mysteriously deleted after a “technical glitch.” However, Buzzfeed quickly put the article back online after huge backlash from #gamergate supporters.
The Buzzfeed article itself was one of the best articles introducing gamergate to a new audience. Lizzyf620 precisely explained how the movement came to be leading up to the present day, debunking the mainstream media narrative of gamergate as an anti-women movement. After reading the Buzzfeed article, I decided to contact Lizzyf620 for an interview.
Can you introduce yourself to the readers at reaxxion.com, Who is Lizzyf620? What are you aspiring for as far as a career?
My name is Elizabeth Fogarty. I received a Bachelor’s in Paralegal Studies, and am working on expanding my degree within the field. I am also a freelance photographer. I haven’t yet decided which I will pursue more.
What is Lizzyf620 like in person? What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of video games?
Books are my greatest weakness. I treat books like movies – I hate starting and stopping. Just wish there were more hours in the day! I’m also an avid fan of football and hockey. My favorite teams are 49ers/Bengals/Eagles, Maple Leafs/Flyers/Devils (the Devils are entirely because I am a Jagr fan, and by default like any team he’s with.)
How did you first get into video games? What are some of your favorite games?
My older brother was the first to introduce me to games, when I was about 3. I fell for the trick of the “Ghost Controller” for longer than I’d care to admit. I am what you would call a “console peasant,” although I do dabble online. I became more involved in the community aspect when I was 14, and began first showing symptoms of Lupus. I was homeschooled, and had very little social interaction outside of my home. I was deeply depressed, and felt so alone. Gaming communities, in a way, saved my life.
I love Final Fantasy, MGS, Bayonetta, Halo…..but I left my heart in Hyrule. I am definitely a LOZ girl.
As a female gamer, do you feel that you get treated differently by other gamers?
The times I’ve been treated differently, it was people treating me BETTER honestly. I can think of very, very few instances where I ran into an asshole being an asshole for no reason to me, and even then there were plenty of people who told them to back off (not that I need the help ;))
What motivate you to be an active contributor to the #gamergate movement?
Like many others, the censorship of discussion was a primary draw for me. I largely took the position of an observer until it became clear that both forums on these sites, as well as 3rd party (4chan, reddit) were censoring discussion of the ethics issues, and deleting posts related to potential ethical breaches. Censorship is something that affects everyone, whether the topic interests you personally or not, and should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Why do you think most of the mainstream media chose to portray #gamergate in a negative light? For example, Wikipedia claims that #gamergate is nothing but a misogynist movement.
In my personal opinion, this is the result the combination of 1) a sort of “professional courtesy” with media outlets, 2) laziness in reporting on a culture they typically do not cover, and are largely unfamiliar with, and 3) the attempt to expand the narrative of a “war on women”
Why do you think so many people buy into the media narrative that #gamergate is all about misogynist harassment?
Because, as far as the majority of people go, many still believe and trust the news they receive. They believe that, because it is the responsibility of the media to bring them factual accounts, that this is actually happening. As we have seen, this is not the case.
What do you think of Zoe Quinn? What do you think her motivations are?
I can’t speak to Ms. Quinn’s motivations, as it would be unfounded conjecture. My personal opinion of her is that she was, and likely still is, an abuser (details from The Zoe Post, which she has not disputed, despite being given a very large megaphone to speak her piece). I personally disliked her game, as there was not any strategy or actual gameplay involved, but that is just me.
What is your opinion of the Feminist Frequency web series?
I think the series is designed, intentionally, to appeal to non-gamers. A large amount of the material is misinterpretation, removal of contradictory facts, and cherry-picking, which is easily identified by people who have played the games covered. FF was fairly unsuccessful when originally covering other types of pop culture. The extremism of modern feminism has blossomed, which has called for a blossoming in extremist feminist views.
As a business, they are extremely successful, that is without question. However, they are selling IDEAS. It is troubling that a business specializing in criticism has completely cut themselves off from being open to criticism in return—disabling comments, autoblockers on twitter, etc. I would be more inclined to pay them attention if they were willing to open themselves up to any sort of debate. Also, it is important to note, criticism of someone’s point is not a personal attack on the person, yet that is how all criticism of FF is being taken.
Why do you think Feminist Frequency and Anita Sarkeesian has so much influence on the gaming industry? Shouldn’t sane people see one video from the series and say “that’s bullshit”?
You would think so! I definitely feel it is a sort of intimidation through influence. No one wants to be branded with the label of misogynist. And even if it is insane and untrue, it’s still an awful thing to be called. I believe there is a large amount of pandering to Feminist Frequency in order to spare such a label.
You mentioned that you are a long time critic of feminism, why is that the case? Shouldn’t all women be supportive of feminism?
Before I go too deeply into it, Id like to clarify that I am a supporter of Women’s Rights Activists, and many Men’s Rights Activists, but not the movement of feminism. And there is a difference. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Women’s Rights Activist, recently slammed feminism for focusing on “trivial bullshit.”
The biggest mistake people make is assuming feminism is synonymous with “women.” 3rd wave feminism, as a movement in developed countries, is split, indecisive, and unclear on actual goals. And in comparison to struggles faced by women and girls, and men and boys, in less fortunate countries, it is almost an embarrassment to see what they are complaining about. In America, I personally feel the largest contributor to inequality is class. Focusing on a single factor and acting as if it will solve all issues is spectacularly naive.
What do you think of Intel’s $300 million “diversity” initiative?
I think, as a company, they should feel more than free to spend their money in any way they choose. I personally don’t have a huge issue with that in theory. The biggest issue is that they are placing demographic above qualifications and interest. While that is certainly their right, I don’t agree with quotas or hiring based off anything other than merit, and their choice of partner to pursue this is definitely questionable.
Where do you see #gamergate heading in the future?
I have very big hopes that we can impact not only the games media, but the media in general. When the spin in the delivery of facts is prioritized above the facts themselves, there is a very serious problem. I have no doubt that we will all keep fighting for creative artistic freedom, and against censorship.
Update: Lizzyf620 was doxxed and her family was personally threatened. She decided to leave the movement as a result of this attack. However, She left #gamergate a final letter before leaving.
Hey guys, Liz here. There’s been a lot of talk the past few hours about what happened with me. Just to clear up a few things:
I won’t be back to Twitter. This was professionally and thoroughly done, likely paid for, by someone who wanted to intimidate me. It worked. I kept my children private for this reason, I knew that eventually they would be used as a weapon against me. My plan, all along, was if that occurred I would deactivate. I was fully prepared for this, and intend to stick with it. I ask that anyone with any decency respect this.
I will not be on Reddit. There is already a username Lizzyf620 (seemingly to share the dox further). If you see a Twitter account, Reddit account, anything, claiming to be me, it’s a lie.
I’m heartbroken over this. I invested a large amount of myself into GG, but – unexpectedly – invested even more of myself into you guys. I feel like I’ve lost all of my friends, and that hurts more than anything. I adore you all, please don’t doubt that. The relationships I formed with you guys were, and still are, very real. For me, at least.
BOTH sides: this was not the work of GG, or anti-GG, or KIA, or Ghazi, or 8chan, or Baph. Don’t blame groups, don’t guilt by association. This is the responsibility of whoever posted it, and no one else. My life and my family are not politics, nor are they chess pieces in a match. They are mine, and only mine, and I ask that both sides respect this.
If anyone needs to get in contact with me, as a friend, I’m still always here for you. You can reach me through @TheBrandonMorse , @TheFartRises , or @Noprivilegeme. I sincerely and truly love you all. Go make some ethics happen, and be kind to one another ♡