According to an “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit that included the staff of PC Gamer, they revealed their true intentions on where they stood on corruption, illegal activity happening within the gaming industry and #GamerGate back when it first popped up: they actively chose to ignore it.
Responding to a question about some of the legitimate concerns and issues raised through the GamerGate hashtag regarding ethics in journalism, and why PC Gamer never addressed those issues, PC Gamer’s deputy editor, Phil Savage, unabashedly admits…
“As far as I remember, the only time we addressed Gamergate’s concerns directly was in specific reference to the ethics stuff they once touted as their purpose. We didn’t publish an op ed about the dangers of authoritative statements of sexism. Nor, however, did we publish an op ed extolling the virtues of authoritative statements of sexism. We tried to hold course and do our thing, because, honestly, we decided that, whatever that group’s points, they weren’t worth the oxygen based on their treatment of ourselves, our peers, an whatever developer had crossed them that week.”
People asked them about the actual corruption that largely went unreported by a lot of media outlets, some of which included things like Allistair Pinsof’s blacklisting at the hands of the GameJournoPros, to 40,000 people being hacked and a journalist covering it up so he wouldn’t disrupt his relationship with an EA employee (which to their credit, Kotaku did cover), to various gaming websites caught violating Federal Trade Commission regulations, to various gaming websites misreporting the facts to damage the image of a video game publisher, to Zoe Quinn admitting in the Crash Override Network leaks that she actively worked with some developers to purposefully sabotage the Polaris Game Jam, to the former IGF chairman caught in multiple scandals (some of which were potentially illegal), to loads of other issues. Thus, leaving gamers to question why none of these were covered or at least acknowledged in any way by PC Gamer?
According to Phil Savage, it was because they don’t report on games journalism, just games…
“Actually, it’s not just this one side of the issue we, where possible, tried not to write about. It was the whole issue in its entirety. As I say in the other reply to my last comment, we’re a games site, not a games journalism site. We cover the former, not the latter.”
Except, that’s not entirely true. PC Gamer had an entire editorial centered around the meme “PC Master Race”, in which they said that the gaming community needed to move away from the meme due to its political connotations to racism. The article had nothing to do with a specific game, but about the culture surrounding the meme. The article was titled “Let’s stop calling ourselves the “PC Master Race”.
Another user also pointed out that #GamerGate was mentioned in another article by PC Gamer called “The PC Gaming Lows Of The Year”, in which editor Chris Thurstun spends an entire segment talking to the “gators” about… #GamerGate. None of the corruption issues mentioned above were brought up by Thurstun, and just like how he evaded and defended the corruption carried out by the GameJournoPros, Thurstun conveniently sidesteps any mention about the wrongdoings of game journalists in the article itself.
In fact, PC Gamer’s own executive editor Tyler Wilde was involved in exchanging sex for positive coverage, dating a Ubisoft employee and writing about Ubisoft’s games without disclosing his ties to the publisher. PC Gamer was part of the corruption.
The scandal was exposed by #GamerGate barely two weeks after PC Gamer wrote their piece about #GamerGate, prompting Tyler Wilde and the PC Gamer staff to issue an apology on January 16th, 2015, acknowledging the lack of disclosure and their lack of ethics surrounding the matter. They then retroactively added disclosures to all of Wilde’s pieces where he was covering Ubisoft games while dating an employee.
PC Gamer only issued the apology because they were caught, not because they valued ethics in journalism, otherwise they would have disclosed the ties back when they were discussing #GamerGate and not because #GamerGate brought the gavel of ethics down hard upon them in the court room of social media.
So why hasn’t PC Gamer changed their stance after one of their own literally got caught with his pants down in the stall of corruption? Well, because according to Phil Savage #GamerGate is still about harassment…
“Gamergate as an entity was (and still is) pretty quick to harass anyone who disagreed with it, many of whom were women. That doesn’t make individual Gamergaters misogynistic, necessarily, and it definitely doesn’t make gamers misogynistic.”
I’m sure Savage can provide evidence for his claims, right? All of the facts say otherwise in regards to #GamerGate being a harassment campaign, but surely Savage should be able to back up one of his claims since everything else he mentioned about #GamerGate was either untrue or misrepresented.
Also, Savage seems to be ignoring that out of the 250 or so journalists in the Deep Freeze database, just over 30 are actually female. Out of the total 250 entries corralled by the diggers of #GamerGate, 17 of those journalists have five or more violations in the database, and they only make up for 7% of the total database. Out of those 17 journalists, only six of them are females, which means that the top most corrupt female journalists in the database only make up for 2.4% of the total journalist entries on Deep Freeze.
According to those stats, Deep Freeze doesn’t have a very diverse selection of corrupt female game journalists. I’m curious how Savage can equipoise those figures to mean that more corrupt male journalists on Deep Freeze means more women get harassed?
Unlike other sites we actually do encourage giving voices to both sides of the issue, though. Hence, the right of reply is always open for PC Gamer.
(Main image courtesy of Yahlantykan)