The Archon convention set to take place later this year at the end of September in St. Louis, Missouri was approached by a supporter of #GamerGate in hopes of getting a panel discussion going that would feature both pro and anti individuals to discuss topics surrounding the event. However, the Archon committee took the topic to a vote amongst the community, and various anti-#GamerGate individuals chimed in to say that it was about misogyny and harassment and a discussion should not be allowed to take place.
Archon posted up their final decision on the matter, writing on their Facebook page on May 24th, 2017…
“ Although the panel was presented as an opportunity for open dialogue from multiple viewpoints on the issue, it is clear that any sort of discussion regarding this topic does not align with the values that Archon maintains. The Archon 41 Programming Team, along with the Archon 41 Con Committee, will not allow a GamerGate panel to take place at Archon 41.”
They reached this conclusion after numerous individuals posted Facebook comments to Archon’s Facebook page when they asked their community if they should allow a #GamerGate panel to be present at their event.
Some of the responses mostly related to anti-#GamerGate individuals not wanting Archon to allow discussion because it would simply enable the “trolls”.
Michael G., wrote…
“ Gamer gate is simply men who feel they can harass, stalk threaten, endanger women under cover of so called ethics on journalism. Frankly, no one cared until a woman became successful and out spoken. Gamer gate is about silencing women in gaming, developer or journalist or regular gamer. It has no place at archon, archon should be a safe place for all, including women and lgbt. Gamer gate and their violent, women hating ideology has no place at this con.”
Tim H., exercised a bit of prescience by keeping up date with #GamerGate outside of the Archon happenings, writing…
“ Archon can’t win with this. Even allowing the beginning of a discussion was a loss because these are trolls who are excellent at manipulating everything around them. By even going this far they’ve doomed themselves and made Gamergate look like a victim. Already the pro-gamer gate guy has framed it as “sjws try to censor reasonable discussion.”
Unsurprisingly, SJWs did censor the discussion.
Other comments claimed that even allowing for discussion would create an atmosphere of harassment and misogyny. Cass B., wrote…
“No. This creates an atmosphere of exclusion, harassment, and bullying (all of which have already been seen and repeatedly reported, mostly to be ignored). If Archon wants a con that all of fandom will attend, this cannot be allowed.”
Many more of the comments play out in a similar fashion, none of which address the fact that the FBI report indicated that they couldn’t gather enough evidence to make any arrests or classify #GamerGate as a harassment campaign, nor could a report funded by the European Commission.
The one who wanted to organize the panel, going by the handle of Netscape, put together a half hour video explaining his intentions, the process of trying to discuss the panel with organizers, and the fallout that followed thereafter.
In the statement by Archon, they mentioned in the second half that they don’t condone prejudice, discrimination or bullying, and that they want to provide a “safe” space for attendees. Additionally they mentioned that after researching #GamerGate they felt they made a mistake in considering it for a panel, writing…
“Although the Archon Programming Team strives to incorporate suggestions and requests for panels from Archon’s attendees, we absolutely do not condone or support any sort of discrimination, prejudice, violence, or bullying. Consideration of this panel was a mistake and the Archon 41 Programming Team deeply apologizes for any distress that this has caused. At the time the panel suggestion was submitted, the Programming Team researched the issue but did not understand the full scope and severity of the GamerGate controversy. We regret and apologize that we were not as informed as we should have been before considering this panel request. The Archon 41 Programming Team and the Archon 41 Con Committee will strive, as always, to provide a safe, accepting, supportive, and fun environment at Archon 41.”
Unfortunately they probably took a look at #GamerGate’s Wikipedia page, which is filled with falsehoods and misinformation, and decided to make their decision based on that.
Sadly, this is another case of those on the Social Justice Warrior side shutting down discussion and stamping out free speech at every turn.