#GamerGate took the blame for yet another controversy (even though it takes the blame for just about every controversy these days from overeager, under-paid, trust-fund hipster bloggers). The media blamed #GamerGate for making an over-the-top petition about getting Far Cry 5 cancelled. One writer ended up getting into a conversational scuffle about it, and after visiting the #GamerGate hub on Reddit, he changed his mind about it and apologized for blaming the movement about ethics in journalism for making the petition.
Geek.com writer Will Greenwald posted up an apology as part of an update to his article entitled “Gamergaters, Here’s Your Chance to Prove You’re Not Easily Triggered Snowflakes”. The article was originally published on May 31st, 2017 but was updated recently after Greenwald went into a discussion thread on Kotaku in Action (the main #GamerGate hub) to talk to the denizens and discover that they had nothing to do with the petition to get Far Cry 5 cancelled.
According to Greenwald…
“I’ve been proven wrong on this subject, and based on the reactions and feedback I’ve seen regarding the petition it seems clear that the core Gamergate community is not responsible for it. Shortly after the story went up, I was invited on Twitter to comment on the discussion thread on my piece in Reddit’s /r/KotakuInAction subreddit, one of the earliest and most prominent Gamergate forums.
“I can say with a fair amount of confidence that the petition is wholly condemned by that community, and if you consider KiA to be the defining community of Gamergate, that means that Gamergaters have been shunning the petition from the beginning.”
Originally the petition that went live on Change.org called for Ubisoft to either cancel or change Far Cry 5. The petition garnered a lot of attention from the media who blamed #GamerGate for its creation. Lots of the language in the petition was called “trollish” and “false flag” bait by the #GamerGate community due to the fact that the petition was written as if it were from a #GamerGate supporter, but called for the cancellation of Ubisoft’s upcoming first-person shooter because the petition maker didn’t like the way they portrayed Americans. He called for the villains to be made more diverse instead of just killing white Americans (viz., you can actually kill more than just white Americans in th game), and to not have the game set in rural America, amongst other things.
The petition was written as if the individual was a far-right Republican, and most of #GamerGate disavowed it. As many know (or may not know), the majority of those who used the GamerGate hashtag identify as left-leaning libertarians, as noted by several political survey studies, including one conducted by Brad Glasgow at GameObjective.
Regardless, after receiving a hefty helping of ethical porridge and a slap to the face from the schlong of objectivity, Greenwald decided to offer up an apology after properly looking over the facts. He explained…
“I approached the subject spoiling for a fight, with a political chip on my shoulder. I also didn’t directly go to KiA first to find reactions to the petition, and for that I apologize to its users and those who consider KiA to be the heart of Gamergate. I did you a disservice, and I’m sorry.”
Greenwald still holds firm to not really liking #GamerGate due to the language its spawned that has spread out into the broader political spectrum, and he’s also still not fond of people being labeled as Social Justice Warriors due to him feeling it comes across as a a pejorative, feeling as if many of these people using the term are “unashamed bigots”.
However, Greenwald couldn’t escape the headlights of justice, driven by the merry band at Kotaku In Action. The facts and the truth eventually won out, and Greenwald did the right thing by updating the article and apologizing after having his eyes opened… because in the end it’s about ethics in journalism.