Recently my friend indie game developer Jennifer D’aww began urging those of us in #GamerGate to begin building up, rather than just merely trying to tear down, the towers of corruption we have been fighting.
It sort of reminded me of something my colleague and friend Matt Forney said last year on his blog about the amorphous internet entity called the manoshpere, that it had become “the intellectual equivalent of plucking turds out of a toilet bowl, then waving them in everyone’s faces screaming “LOOK AT ALL THIS SHIT! DOESN’T THIS SUCK???!!1″”
I’m not one to talk about what #GamerGate as a movement should or shouldn’t do. Personally I think, for the most part, it’s been doing just fine. I would even say #GamerGate wins every day that it continues to exist, because the longer we exist the most the opposition loses their minds with rage. But even so, I’m beginning to think we need to up our game.
What are we even doing anymore?
The other day I saw another “Send Emails” tweet directed at #GamerGate and I just found myself thinking “What’s the point?” Don’t get me wrong, this was a highly effective tactic at first. We put some major financial hurt on a lot of these “journos”, most notably the reported “seven figures” we cost Gawker.
That’s fantastic. But it seems to me this email campaign is running up against a law of diminishing returns here. I’m not saying it isn’t worth a few moments now and then to let some advertisers know what scumbags they’re supporting. But we can no longer expect this to wield the results it once did.
Other than the emailing, #GamerGate is often just a bunch of pointing out what shitbags and lunatics our opposition is made of and having a good laugh about it. Nothing wrong with that; in fact it’s probably a really good thing. These people deserve ridicule, scorn, and contempt. It’s good to shine a light on them, sunlight being a powerful disinfectant and all, and why not have a good laugh in the process? But like the email campaigns, we’re reaching diminishing returns on this.
We can’t just be in this for the laughs, the lulz, or the keks (which I’m pretty sure means laughs, but I’m not even 100% on that). Yes, Brianna Wu is mentally ill and
his her game looks like it belongs on the 32X. Yes Josh McIntosh is dangerously insane. Yes Movie Bob is a fat sad excuse for a man. Yes Zoe Quinn is literally a whore. All these things are true and we’ve all had some good laughs about them, but that isn’t enough. We need to do more than just point and laugh. We need to be better than them.
Time to light some candles
Eleanor Roosevelt said “It’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness”. #GamerGate has spent a lot of time doing the latter; it’s time to start doing the former. Making video games has never been more accessible. If you have an idea, get out there and make it happen. If you have a talent for art, for coding, for any aspect of game design, hone your skills and get it out there. A whole new indie game scene can rise up to displace the old rancid one.
If you’re not happy with the major gaming media sites, take your clicks elsewhere. Obviously there is this site, but I know some #GamerGate supporters take issue with some of the things here. That’s fine. There are plenty other sites popping up in the wake of #GamerGate. Sites with ethical standards who aren’t filled to the brim with social justice poison. And if none of them are what you want to see, start your own. I want to see a whole ecosystem of ethical gaming media rise up to replace the old.
Because that’s the thing, we will never expel the old until we can replace it with the new. Nature abhors a vacuum after all. It is pointless to demand these corrupt SJW “journalists” be better. They won’t and maybe even can’t. It is time for us to stand up and be better.