Before Gamergate was even a thing, before we knew for a fact that agenda-driven scolds were positioning themselves to make a play toward dominating the video games industry, there was still conflict. It came from the same place it comes from now: outsiders moved to claim the mantle of gaming culture, and provoked derision from those who deserved that title by right.
From this came the old argument about fake gamer girls. We started to see them whoring for attention online, making sure everyone knew that they were female and OMG LOEV GAMING!!! They were shocked that it was met with skepticism. Where were they all during the formative years of gaming? Did they simply gestate memories of the SNES era overnight, or were these people actually shallow posers, glomming on to something with rising cultural significance, rather than longtime participants who only now chose to reveal themselves?
To anyone who questioned their status as authentic parts of the gaming culture, the culture we built in basements and schoolyards, alone and in darkness, they looked like lampreys who aimed only to sustain themselves on the latest fad more than truly dedicated Players. And so the fake gamer girl appellation arose.
It wasn’t long before the self-appointed overseers of our hobby took notice of that derision, and shamed us for having questioned these so-noble creatures. These authorities, who we know to have even then been corrupted by influence and excess, claimed that we should not mock the women’s abrupt embrace of our previously insular subculture. They said we were “gatekeeping” the hobby, and accused us of having no place denying others from entering: “there is no gate, and you are not it’s keeper.”
Well, now there is a gate, a Gamer-gate, and it is more important than ever that we understand the root of this conflict, defend the gate, and articulate our complaints against perfidious carpetbaggers who ooze into our interests and appropriate the history and credentials built up over decades by real dedication to the medium.
Now we understand the resilience the “gamer girls” had to being questioned about their origins. They were only the cultural vanguard which heralded a full invasion of our corner of the entertainment industry by radicalized feminists and Marxist hipsters. The highest levels of the once trusted gaming authorities have been cowed into submission, lied to, or replaced by social justice sycophants looking for the next big conquest they can stomp upon in the name of homogenizing American culture and controlling what people are allowed to think, believe, and say. Recently, they have entirely embraced hypocrisy and the psychological mechanism of projection; calling someone else what you know to be true about yourself.
The latest ignominy levied against us on Twitter has been #FakeGamerBoys, the suggestion that GamerGaters are not truly dedicated to video games, and are presumably just doing this for… what, for laughs? It’s an insane accusation: where the controversy about fake gamer girls had rational suspicions about where these people had been the last twenty years before suddenly developing an abiding passion for video games, the notion that men in GamerGate aren’t interested in games raises more questions than it answers. Why would we be doing this if we didn’t care? How did we even become involved?
But there is no point in trying to pry apart ill-conceived arguments. Let’s instead try to understand why anyone would fight against fake-anything, why fake gamers are an insult, and why these people continuously pretend to have real gaming chops.
To Game, or Not to Game?
You should know what it means to be a gamer. A gamer has played games for hundreds, if not thousands of hours. A gamer would rather spend time with a controller than at the movies or watching trashy cable TV. A gamer knows more about imaginary worlds than their own neighborhood. We built these identities, and the industry around them, for decades while others were going outside, partying, or painting their nails or something. Gamers were an excluded group twenty years ago, and we didn’t care. We had our own business, our own worlds to live in. It was what was left for us and what we loved.
The idea that some Abercrombie-wearing pinkhair can fiddle with Braid for ten minutes, nod wisely at how deep its message is, and suddenly be a gamer is insulting to everyone who grew up with sore thumbs. That an airheaded bint could pretend to like “the Mario game” and take a picture of herself eating a controller only to be praised as a “girl gamer” is absurd.
The particular breed of parasite we find ourselves burdened with today are no different. They are only more ambitious, seeking to control the very production and acceptability of games rather than merely disguise themselves amongst us for a modicum of attention. They should have been rejected outright, but years of being told not to question anyone who says they’re a gamer dulled our collective senses.
Young boys took to gaming to get away from social drama and the societal expectation to do things they weren’t cut out for, and got ostracized for it. If a boy doesn’t want to play sports or talk to friends, then there’s “something wrong with him,” where a girl would just be called shy. Yes, gaming is mostly male, although there are some true female gamers; they just wouldn’t bother to make it an issue. Gaming was always a refuge for those who didn’t fit in anywhere else, who preferred their own company and that of the screen.
Now that gaming is big business, and extroverts realize that they can get famous online talking about games, this load of Johnny-come-latelys roll in and expect to just be accepted, get offended when they aren’t, then claim that it’s wrong based on social rules which don’t apply here. These people only weaseled in on the precedent of an “all-accepting gaming.” Now they want to pretend they are the real gamers, and we’re the false ones, with this newest hashtag. It’s pure projection, and tries to rely on the rejection that the faker girls got before, only flipping it around to attack men.
Like everything else though, they totally misunderstand the nature of the issue. Of course people rejected fake gamer girls, and they’d be right to oppose fake gamer boys too. Yeah, they do both exist. You’ve seen them right? That one on the bus with a 1-UP ‘shroom on his hat, or the girl with a Nintendo backpack and flawless makeup. Do they actually play games? Can’t tell these days; they sell that shit at Walmart. He had a basketball and a big group of friends, she never stopped yakking on her phone about What Cindy Wore. You didn’t get a Streetpass off of ’em, and if you go up to strike up conversation about gaming, all you’d get is a blank stare and a little taste of that old ostracism. “Video Games?” it seems to say. “Why would I like those?”
It’s not about gender, however much some types want to make every single thing about that, it’s about authenticity, about history, and about being able to identify with others over a common interest. When these people pretend to be gamers, they prevent us from knowing who really wants to talk about Sega, or have a few matches of Soul Calibur. They dilute the subculture to the point of vanishing, which is what it will do if the masquerading fascists manage to overtake the industry yet further.
Stealing An Industry
Of course people should hate fakers. It’s not an issue of gender. The fact that people want to make it one only indicates their true agenda: to turn gaming into another politically correct, meaningless pastime. Imagine what it would be like if gaming was like television. Nobody calls themselves a “TV-Watcher”, and that’s the level of identity they’ll bring to gaming: none. It would just be another thing someone does, and we would be left in the cold with a dwindling supply of real games, and no way of telling the hardcore from the casual.
This will seep into the industry, too. No one will care about quality products, the same way things have been pushed further and further in recent years under the yoke of SJW influence. It’ll just be a big circle-jerk about ‘meaningful messages’ and ‘social progress’, a parade of agenda-approved swill which serves only to cement their own positions as taste-makers and purveyors of culture.
It’s a vile, insipid vision for what gaming could be, and it’s the reason they continue to push for positions of importance in gaming. They’re too incompetent to make it in any established industry, so they want to pervert ours into something that glorifies their image. You can’t make “indie television,” but you can make indie games, so that’s where they squat and plan their next move.
GamerGate won’t accept it, and needs to prevent gaming from suffering the same fate that befell other subcultures like new-atheism and science fiction. Those thought-policing nags in the social justice camp are the only fake gamers in this conflict, the men and women alike.
Read More: Gamer Girl Privilege Is Real