Writer’s Note: “Hi. What you’re about to read is a complete work of fiction and should not be taken seriously whatsoever. It’s a parody. It’s not real. The goal of the piece is my attempt at expressing the amalgamation of the various GamerGate hit pieces and narratives that have ran over the past five years. I wanted to capture not just their “reality,” but their cumulative perception of reality as well.
That means there’s lies in there, too. A bunch of lies. That’s bound to happen in this case. Sorry in advance to anyone offended with that. Or at all.
This was done for entertainment purposes only, to commemorate the five year anniversary of GamerGate. Enjoy.”
They want to blame video games for the recent mass shootings in America. Don’t do that. That casts too wide of a net over a more specific problem. All three shooters in the trio of slayings had something in common. They were WHITE MEN. The incel epidemic is the root of the issue at play here.
For those of you who don’t know what GamerGate is, the best means of introduction is the always-reliable Wikipedia.
“The Gamergate controversy stemmed from a harassment campaign conducted primarily through the use of the hashtag #GamerGate. The controversy centered on issues of sexism and progressivism in video game culture. Gamergate is used as a blanket term for the controversy as well as for the harassment campaign and actions of those participating in it.”
A sensible and accurate description on it’s face, absolutely. But what you might not know is the deeper lore and history going on here. Back in late 2014, Wikileaks spent a few months trying to groom gamers. The shadow organization fed their community fantasies about NATO corruption being just as bad as their slights against games journalism. Wikileaks told gamers that it wasn’t just video games journalism that was flawed, but all journalism all around the world.
The real story about GamerGate goes straight to the top. In August 2015, candidate Donald Trump retweeted a GamerGater.
“@CommissarOfGG: You are being attacked from all sides, yet you have the people’s hearts. Just be calm and trust yourself. We love you.”
GamerGate was a September 11th for the internet. Objectivity is a false god and I want you to understand that. There’s no such thing as a universal 100% truth. Advocacy journalism is the only answer to work towards a better society. If I tell you MY truth, then you can grow from listening and believing my experiences.
The truth is that the Rick and Morty fandom’s collective breakdown over Szechuan sauce makes more sense than GamerGate. A saga that has Donald Trump and Russians in it.
The crusade of supposed “video game ethics” was merely the gaming community’s excuse to attack innocent people. Their targeted harassment campaigns zeroed in on women within the video game industry they didn’t like, in what was the old guard’s last breath. The death of the “Boy’s Club” of video games. It’s a problem we’re still struggling with eradicating today, certainly. The Fortnite World Cup has a glass ceiling that needs breaking, as not one of the 100 finalists was a woman.
GamerGate began when a vengeful ex-boyfriend tried to slut shame successful indie game developer Zoe Quinn. He wrote a series of screeds ultimately known as “The Zoe Post” and used this as a rallying call to the toxic underbelly of 4chan. In the gaming community’s delusions, they conjured up a review out of THIN AIR about Zoe’s game Depression Quest in order to have a means of attacking Kotaku. A notorious professional internet troll named The Aristocrat captured these baseless rumors in video form. “SEX FOR FAVORS, SECRETS, COVER-UPS, CORRUPTION” these videos blasted at the beginning. All meant to sensationalize this made-up conspiracy.
Adam Baldwin bought the bait. He tweeted these videos as a call-to-action, calling it “#GamerGate.” Everyone was really disappointed in Baldwin for doing this because we all loved Firefly.
Over the next few days, several outlets were publishing articles all with the theme “GAMERS ARE DEAD.” They did it because it’s true. You don’t even know how long it took us to introduce PLAYER as the mainstream word for people interacting with video games. The modernization of terminology to be more inclusive was our way of trying to be more forward-looking. The current year is 2019, after all. We as a society have evolved. But in the minds of those who survived GamerGate? The year is always 2014. At New Year’s I see the big ball drop and everyone celebrating, but time never seems to move forward.
The GameJournoPro “leaks” were a big nothing burger. So game journalists talk to each other and communicate. So what? They exchange dog and cat photos, or play multiplayer online games for review. That’s not so bad. We have to stick together when it comes to facing that toxic gaming community out there. All for one and one for all. For example, my wife’s son told me that he saw Patrick Klepek averting his eyes from naked ladies in a video game he was playing. What better way to send a thank you to him than our Google mailing list? It was perfect. In fact, I’d call the Google group MORE than necessary in some cases. We don’t want another “Escapist” incident. No way. We can’t just have one of our “people” going around our backs and allowing a headquarters for harassment and hate. The Escapist Magazine became a breeding ground for alt right rhetoric. A buddy of mine said he saw them passing around PDF copies of Mein Kampf, way back when Alex Macris was in charge. What’s WORSE than that is that Macris spearheaded an effort to give GamerGate a PLATFORM. He allowed discussion on the Escapist forums and he dared to interview pro-GamerGate individuals, trying to legitimize a twisted cause.
I’m so glad that Russ Pitts is in charge. I’m confident in his ability to lead the outlet back to glory.
N*cheG*mer is a failed abortion. A cathedral of misogyny masking itself as a legitimate outlet for games journalism. Just a few months back the outlet was in bed with Sega’s Chief Creative Officer Toshihiro Nagoshi.
“Niche Gamer: I wanted to just comment on your games. We cover lots of very Japanese games and we’re very passionate about the culture. We think because they’re very Japanese and they just don’t really try to be anything else they are successful. That’s why your fans like them so much. Thank you.
Nagoshi: (Laughs) Thank you, you guys keep complementing me so I feel happy (Laughs again, clearly bashful).”
Disgusting. Does editor-in-chief Brandon Orselli kiss his Mother with that mouth? It’s about ethics in games journalism. We can see everything wrong with what N*cheG*mer did by looking at how Kotaku wrote about the same people. “The Creator Of Yakuza And Judgment Brutally Owned My Haircut,” is absolutely sublime because it’s all about maintaining DISTANCE with game developers (exception being the Indie community).
It all comes back to gamers and their entitlement. “We want to keep politics out of games!” they say, without realizing every bit of culture ever written is inherently political. It’s not just a coincidence that GamerGate broke out around the same time as Black Lives Matter got started. It’s symbolic. That community of theirs had a choice to fight against something more important. Like racism and misogyny. But instead these bitter disenfranchised basement dwellers had to unleash their bottled-up anger at the video games industry. I shouldn’t dress up their cause though. The gamers started a fight for their right to boobs. They wanted to grasp control of breasts in video games while fighting against real life women who they politically disagreed with. Tens of thousands of outraged white men moaning on social media, lashing out to harass and intimidate their targets.
One of the earliest victims of GamerGate was the wonderful Jenn Frank. She was a prominent female journalist who stepped up to spotlight Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn’s plight. Jenn broke down the militant cyber terrorism that GamerGate was employing to intimidate their adversaries. She did all of this despite the great personal cost of also being targeted by GamerGate’s fury. A footnote revealed that the editors at the Guardian dropped the ball when it came to disclosure. Jenn did her due diligence but the Guardian didn’t believe that was necessary.
GamerGate swallowed Jenn Frank up and gave her an extremely forced “motivation” to retire.
GamerGate took another scalp as a trophy when they ousted Alison Rapp from Nintendo. She was a mid-level marketing person at the company up until early 2016. The GamerGaters ran a black PR campaign against Alison Rapp because of a paper she wrote back in college. The contents of which were twisted as a character assassination, accusing Rapp of supporting pedophilia. It’s not surprising that the Daily Stormer had their hands in this as well, fanning the flames. Let me make this clear to you. The hocus pocus that Nintendo fired Alison Rapp because she had a second job is bogus. It was the GamerGaters. It was the harassment. It was the mob. A lot of outlets reported as such, so it must be true. They can’t all be wrong. So what if she took on a second gig? It’s a rough economy. Everyone has to make ends meet somehow.
Thank god for guardians of gaming like Patrick Klepek. Who covered the Rapp story feverishly. Where would we be without this man’s brilliance? How worse off would the world be right now without courageous men like him?
NeoGAF and ResetERA are excused from the routine condemnation that the gaming community has recieved over the years. I commend their valiant efforts, of time and time again trying to tame the beast and keep the misogyny at bay. Even when it came to NeoGAF Founder Tyler Malka, who apparently couldn’t keep his misogynoodle in check. Embarassed by the #MeToo’ing debacle, a sizeable chunk of the NeoGAF community left in digust to make ResetERA. Who is this magnificent audience of gamers, you might ask? Polygon’s audience. Back when The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, questions were asked as to why there were no black folks to be found. CD Projekt’s excuse was priceless. They played the “historical accuracy” card for their fantasy world with dragons. Colorblind racism exposed!!
ResetERA ain’t afraid to give Nintendo a collective beating, either. The team behind Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was convinced to get their act together and make a patch, after Mr. Game & Watch invoked racial stereotypes about Native Americans. Tensions with Nintendo were high for ages, ever since the Paper Mario: Color Splash debacle. They got away with calling it a “coincidence” that “five fun guys” (Toads) got into a “Shufflegate” controversy.
CD Projekt seems to be the deeply problematic apple in the games industry bunch, though! There’s a myriad of problems surrounding transphobia and sexism going on there. Not just in-game either. The company contended with a rogue employee on the GOG Twitter account getting into a series of PR snafus. A Eurogamer interview with the degenerate in question revealed he wasn’t responsible for the August 2018 “Did you just assume their gender?” catastrophe. But the one from July of that year (pissing on the grave of games journalism) and the “Classic PC games #WontBeErased” later on in October definitely were him. Thankfully the extremist in question was successfully run out of the games industry and can’t find work. As nature intended.
Let’s look at how cultural scrutiny can make a single game MILES better. Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch.
The spark began with Tracer. I found it stunning and brave of Blizzard to open up their eyes to what fans were saying, and took care of the harmful sexualization tropes they employed when it came to how big her ass was. It wasn’t lore-friendly whatsoever and jarring to see something of that magnitude make its way into the game. The vigilance of the community shined a spotlight later on, too. When a new Mei skin made its debut there were conflicting messages about what a “healthy” female figure looks like. Blizzard acknowledge this over-slimming of Mei that the skin caused was a bug. Great team effort by both the dev team and the community! It’s quite a roller coaster. This all built up to a moment recently. One where I shed tears of joy to see the same passionate Overwatch community speak out against the introduction of Sigma. The developers broke their promise of diversity in the cast of playable heroes by adding a white guy. It villanizes people with mental health problems by playing into cartoonish stereotypes of “crazy.”
Don’t you see? It’s progress every time we can get a game studio to remove all swastikas from their game. It’s a big step forward to stopping the normalization of Nazis. You gotta understand. When we called video games “art,” that meant we were opening ourselves up a door of cultural scruntiny. This is something we’ve been working on for at least a decade, stretching all the way back to the days of when we called Resident Evil 5 racist because it was set in Africa.
But this is the GOOD type of public pressure from the gaming community. Please ignore this when we’re talking about gamer entitlement. Remember Fez. His name was Phil Fish. He wanted everyone to suck on his dick and choke on it. He cancelled Fez II, to give the games media a “Fuck You.” But he still stuck around on Twitter to bullshit. It wasn’t until GamerGate began, when Phil Fish ran. Those gish-galloping gaslighting sea lions hacked Polytron and made it all gone.
If you were to ask me. Lionhead Studios closed down because of their rampant sexism on Twitter. Who do they think they are, whipping out the frothy tits of their characters for men to salivate over? And let’s be frank here, GamerGate was full of men. Not just that, but white college-aged men.
Let’s talk about GamerGate’s main target. Zoe Quinn. The movement was hellbent on taking her down a peg, no question. This all began with The Zoe Post after all. Her ex-boyfriend Eron Gonji looking to get even with her. The track record of supposed media collusion regarding Quinn is non-existent. Squeaky clean. Despite that, Breitbart took their pound of flesh. Milo himself took another pound of flesh. The cutthroats over at TechRaptor added their two cents of pressure to the mix. Imagine all that every day, all day. You know what they say. August never ends. Zoe Quinn only dropped the restraining order against Eron Gonji so she could move on with her life. The gag order was no detriment to the tidal wave of harassment Zoe was facing. Cyberhate had a foothold in society now. In this BBC interview, Quinn’s expression looks like she saw her comrades die in Vietnam. She pointed out that people were making Reddit threads titled “if eron goes to jail, I will hunt zoe quinn down and rape her”. Here’s that thread. It looks pretty serious. All the threats made against a female game developer are super serious.
Zoe Quinn’s generosity wouldn’t let her lifestyle get in the way of donating blood. She tried to lobby social media companies to get their act together. But years of their inaction made her bitter. Quinn blames Google especially, for propping up “conspiracy shit.” It’s a shame places like Twitter bought into the smear campaign surrounding Zoe Quinn’s anti-harassment support group Crash Override Network. Twitter used to list CON as a Twitter Trusted Source. Now they don’t. It’s a shame too. The launch campaign for Crash Override’s debut was a completely organic and grassroots effort. The notion that Crash Override was a dox army is a fantasy. It’s something that was pulled out of thin air, and there’s definitely no history of Quinn engaging in this kind of behavior. Screenshots from an alleged Trello group could have easily been doctored. So don’t look at them. Crash Override’s volunteer staff had glowing reviews for their boss. They were upstanding citizens. The lot of them. Thank God that sites like Eurogamer suppressed the spread of this disinformation campaign. Wikipedia stood their ground too in stopping the slander.
It’s worth repeating myself. The leaks were totally fake.
C’mon now. Crash Override partnered up with Feminist Frequency, and we KNOW Anita Sarkeesian is legit because she was in the TIME 100 for 2015. This buddy system of theirs would come in handy. The two have SUCH a natural chemistry in cases like when Anita Sarkeesian interviewed Zoe Quinn about her GamerGate book. Just so you’re not confused, let me clarify. Zoe Quinn named both her anti-harassment network and her book Crash Override. A much sought after title, Amy Pascal snapped up the movie rights to Quinn’s Memoir. It also gave birth to unruly elements in politics. From Crash Override, the world would be introduced to Candace Owens. A social justice jedi that turned to the dark side. A decline into right-wing extremism. She accuses the left-wing of doing hit pieces. Zoe Quinn warned Candace Owens via phone call that her “Social Autopsy” idea was bad news because people don’t want to found out who exactly harasses them online. Kickstarter pulled Candace’s project soon afterward. Her interview with Stefan Molyneux about GamerGate shows how video games transition to extremist politics.
Yes. Zoe Quinn had some Kickstarter trouble with that Chuck Tingle project. She’s only ONE gal, she can only spread herself so thin. Men have it so easy. As a survivor of GamerGate AND a woman, Quinn’s life is hard. The lass had to go on a four month book tour, because her novel ain’t going to promote itself. She had to fight off Notch calling her a “cunt,” for goodness sakes. What matters that in the end, she told the truth and said the Kickstarter “ran out of money a long time ago.” Therefore. Misogynists like SidAlpha have no right to dog pile Zoe Quinn because LIFE happened.
We can’t forget the tragedies that ensued during GamerGate’s reign of terror. Something which could’ve been stopped if the gaming media propped up Anita Sarkessian to a fuller extent. In failing to do so, GamerGate ended up being too much for her to handle. People didn’t donate enough to Feminist Frequency and Sarkessian stretched her valuable time and resources too thin. Everyone remembers back in October 2014 when far right extremist Mr. Repzion called in a bomb threat to Utah State University. They accuse Anita Sarkeesian of not being a real gamer (she is also NOT Jack Thompson!). That she’s some sort of teleseminar evangelist that arrived just to make a quick buck. The notion that a female can be a nerd is lost on them in the mists of their gross male fantasies. Blinded by their chilling levels of privilege, GamerGaters write off victims as “hipsters and cultural critics” under a colloquial “Social Justice Warrior” lingo. Thereby painting a target on people’s backs.
“You’re a Bolshevik feminist jewess that hates white people… and you expect to be taken seriously when you’re “critique-ing” video games? Fucking ovendodger.” — one of millions of insults that Anita Sarkeesian faces online.
Her groundbreaking original series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games was a bright candle that fought off the darkness of the gaming community. She was a one woman army who did it all by herself, to boot! We salute Anita’s legacy as it reflects what it truly means to empower female independence. A cornerstone of the right side of history. Sarkeesian has this magic touch. In late January 2018 she visited Bioware’s Edmonton office for a tour, and to presumably give some of that gold standard insight into video game feminism. It’s no coincidence that Bioware’s Anthem video game launched as well as it did, then, one year later. The company is in great shape at the moment. Clearly. Without Anita Sarkeesian’s diligence, we wouldn’t have ever known about E3’s implicit systemic gender bias. Their lack of a 50-50 representation of males to females on stage strongly suggests they’ve got a long way to go when it comes to proper inclusivity. At least Zoe Quinn made an attempt at restoring balance to the gender scales, when she chewed out Tim Soret of The Last Night. God bless her. Soret needs to go join the has-been club with Markus “Notch” Persson. Notch *used* to be the guy that made Minecraft, but his fringe politics he preached in the past few years have stripped him from that title. So repeat after me. Microsoft made Minecraft. Microsoft made Minecraft. Microsoft made Minecraft.
“The terrorism of this campaign has actually accomplished its goal: to make us suspect our neighbours; to make simple associations possible conflicts, particularly among the least protected and thus most politically threatening group of people.” — Lana Polansky
Brianna Wu is the mastermind behind the blockbuster success Revolution 60. A subversive masterpiece that captivated audiences for weeks on end. Let it serve as a testament to the immense success that Wu’s independent game studio was. She is the embodiment of a successful woman in video games. If I had to make a comparison? Brianna Wu is like Batman, Godzilla, or Harry Potter. Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn were her Ron and Hermione. GamerGate were the Death Eaters (who are basically magic Nazis anyway) and Jace Connors acted like their Voldemort.
This maniac crashed his car trying to track down where Brianna Wu lived. With the blueprints of Wu’s home that GamerGate had acquired, it’s only God’s intervention that a plot to break-in and assassinate Wu was stopped. Many suspect that Jace is the GamerGater that poisoned Brianna Wu’s dog. More importantly though the timing is perfect for Connors to be the one that spearheaded the effort to downvote Revolution 60 when it was on Steam Greenlight.
“When you’re in Gamergate, you fundamentally lose your ability to assess reality. What I mean is the issues they are angry about aren’t real.” — Brianna Wu, 2016.
Brianna Wu made a parody account early on called Brolulz. It was like a polyjuice potion that allowed Wu to disguise herself as a stereotypical GamerGater. The Gators responded in the most extreme way possible, doxing Wu’s address on 8chan and forcing her and her husband to flee their Hogwarts. Their home. Brianna Wu didn’t ask for any of this and was thrust back into the limelight. GamerGate would’ve won if it weren’t for Brianna Wu. She single-handedly Hodor’ed the army of misogynists off to take the heat off of Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian. Wu had to fight off the likes of David Pakman after a hostile interview with him. Brianna faced one of her thousands of harassers on Skype, in fact. It desensitized Wu to the war and violence. When GamerGate intimidated Brianna Wu’s game studio from showing up at PAX East, she boldly defied her aggressors and showed up anyway. The media used Brianna Wu as a barometer for Twitter’s progress when it came to the implementation of their quality filter. Our Iron Lady said it was a good start, but urged Twitter to keep doing more. She wrestled with Twitter for ages and held Reddit’s boots to the fire. Brianna put places like 4chan on notice too. That is, when she could find the time. They were often busy blowing the whistle on diversity in the games industry.
Wu is right about two things. 1.) GamerGate is like Don Draper from Mad Men. A horny white man with a throbbing erection, looking to screw women over whenever he can. To Brianna: I’m a white man too. I’m sorry for this. 2.) Samus is a transgender woman.
When President Obama didn’t listen to her pleas to stop 8chan, Wu took matters into her own hands. Hillary Clinton was happy to back her home girl up. In return, Brianna Wu gave back to our nation in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. Brianna Wu even ran for office herself, to the applause of both media and her critics alike. At the end of it all, who’s laughing? Brianna Wu. Channel 4 had her on to talk about 8chan in the aftermath of the El Paso shooting. In the end, the FBI was wrong. Especially with their final GamerGate report.
I wish Brianna Wu was my mom. What a babe! She reminds me of Sarah Connor.
“Gamers rise up?” No. If you see a gamer walk to the other side of the street. Even if it means running through oncoming traffic. Furthermore, if the rest of us don’t Pokemon Go to the polls, we’re going to have to suffer FOUR MORE YEARS of Donald Trump. Don’t question if you’re out of touch. No, it’s the gamers that are wrong. Everybody can see the racist undertones that the term “PC Master Race” carries. It’s up to us to speak up about it all.
Gamergate is all right wing. GamerGate is the problematic of problematic people.
I’d condemn Boogie2988 for his involvement in GamerGate. But after five years, nobody still knows whose side he’s on. It’s unbelievable to me that Jon Jafari got a gig with Yooka-Laylee despite the fact he called someone the R-word on Twitter. NOPE. That was fine for the game’s developers. It took three more years from that incident before Jafari finally went too far and they removed him. The troglodyte spewed extremely racist rhetoric in a “debate” with some streamer named Destiny. Was anyone really surprised Jon did that? This is the same guy that shouted the N-word a lot during his Game Grumps stint.
But those are all just side distractions. We need to look at the heart of GamerGate and examine their leaders. I want you to picture The Creation of Adam painting. But instead of God and Adam, we have 4chan on Earth and Milo in the heavens. Their fingers touch. The GamerGate as we know now it as is born. Immortal in the eyes of history’s memory.
If Breitbart’s Steve Bannon is the devil incarnate, Milo Yiannopoulos is his son Lucifier. Milo carried out Bannon’s evil will by capturing the lightning of GamerGate into a bottle. “I realized Milo could connect with these kids right away,” said Bannon. “You can activate that army. They come in through Gamergate or whatever and then get turned onto politics and Trump.” Steve Bannon confessed all this in a recent book.
Milo radicalized the gaming community and taught them to harness 4chan’s style of guerilla cyber war tactics. Yiannopoulos put the crosshairs on Brianna Wu in an effort to scalp her for his career. Milo acted as GamerGate’s attack dog by going after the hate movement’s critics. He dug up ancient chatlogs from Sarah Nyberg’s website to drum up false accusations of pedophilia. A statement by Nyberg debunked that as them simply being an “edgelord” in these private exchanges. GamerGate block list inventor Randi Harper was also terrorized by an onslaught of Milo pieces. He tore down an internet guardian angel who discovered a means of fighting back against online toxicity. The GamerGate autoblocker used the movement’s most prominent influencers and pushers as tools. Harper made a list of over 10,000 Twitter accounts seeded by the followers of certain GG individuals. Milo’s sidekick was that Mike Cernovich guy. I don’t remember much about him other than he got his start in GamerGate by challenging Anita Sarkeesian to a boxing match. Cernovich bet $10,000 he could win and the rest is history. As far as I recall Mike got his fortune from selling Gorilla urine. People against GamerGate mostly left him alone because he hired investigators to go through trash.
There’s something in common with both the “GGinDC” meetup that happened in May 2015, and the SPJ conference centered around GamerGate discussion a few months later. 1.) Milo was there. 2.) There were bomb threats that ended each of these events. Coincidence? I think not. I’ll stop short of saying it was a PR stunt meant to paint GamerGate as victims. I’ll let you be the judge whether or not such a thing could’ve happen.
But the GamerGate bombs were just a prologue to what he had cooking next.
In October 2017 the always excellent Joe Bernstein of BuzzFeed blew the lid on Milo’s Nazi underground railroad. It’s worth reading the article in it’s entirety, but the depth of analysis it goes into might be off-putting to some of you. While many already know Milo Yiannopoulos had a team of ghost writers, that rumor ends up being an understatement for what reportedly went down. Milo used his “trigger the libs, own the libs” clout from GamerGate as a springboard for building up the alt-right. As outlined by BuzzFeed, Steve Bannon took the training wheels off of Milo’s bicycle and set him loose on the world. Under the umbrella of Breitbart Tech Yiannopoulos began the transition process that integrated the gaming community with the political sphere. While he did lean heavily on his sidekick Allum Bokhari to make this happen (focusing on the “optics” aspect to be inconspicuous), Milo acted as a catalyst that recruited the worst of the worst extremists under his banner.
But Steve Bannon, like an absentee father, would “go out for cigarettes” and never come back.
“I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight,” a quote from Milo Yiannopoulos. He’s much like Trump in that respect, being able to open advocate for shooting people on the street in broad daylight and nobody caring. Milo ushered in the post-truth world.
In late January 2017, one of Milo’s events ended in violence as one protester shot another. Shortly after that incident, Milo’s extremism heightened tensions even further with the infamous UC Berkeley riot that caused $100,000 worth a damage. All the fuss was surrounded his scheduled appearance. The villain had an agenda of targeting transgender students, for goodness sake. Milo Yiannopoulos used that chaos and bloodshed as a means of boosting his book sales. He’s like a war lord that way. It’s blood money. What’s worse is that people bought into it, regardless. It all came crashing down in the second half of February 2017. A supposedly conservative group called The Reagan Battalion POUNCED on a Drunken Peasants clip of Milo. In his appearance it appears as if he had a discussion where he advocated pedophilia. You’re free to read Milo’s response to the controversy but in the end it doesn’t matter. People saw what they saw and took away their own meaning from the situation. Milo Yiannopoulos resigned from Breitbart on the 21st of that month. This is the formal sort of “end” to him as far as anyone cares.
Milo Yiannopoulos tried to be like Freddie Mercury but got hung up on spreading around his own brand of AIDS. Apologies to Freddie Mercury for that comparison, may he rest in peace, but Milo is just the “wrong” type of gay. The only penis Yiannopoulos seems to suck these days is his own. Others in this category include alt right YouTuber Dave Rubin. The German SPIEGEL magazine labels him as an “illusionist” of sorts. Rubin defected from The Young Turks and uses that as a crutch to lead people to believe he’s still on the Left. But the way he treats problematic GamerGaters like Colin Moriarty as if their concerns are legitimate leaves much to be desired. Coincidentally, Dave Rubin interviewed Milo Yiannopoulos. Once upon a time. In what I’d like to call a “sandwich of brainwashing,” Rubin interviewed GamerGate leader Mike Cernovich TWICE. Once during the rise of Donald Trump, and again three years later after the world went crazy. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Dave Rubin added Peter Thiel to his basket of interview deplorables. Peter was the mysterious financier that bankrolled the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against Gawker. Which in itself was a revenge quest because Thiel falsely (as explained by Huffpost) believed that Gawker had outed him as gay back in 2007.
But that isn’t the only case of rich people bankrolling right-wing causes. To bring this back around to Milo, Yiannopoulos was involved in the downfall of Palmer Luckey’s career at Oculus. The Daily Beast article on it describes Milo’s role in this “meme machine” scheme where Luckey and Nimble America were planning to put up anti Hillary Clinton billboards. Milo Yiannopoulos was supposed to simply be an ambassador for the public when it came to confirming Luckey was legit to the Donald Trump subreddit. But as a Blake J. Harris book detailing Luckey’s career explains? Milo led Palmer right into The Daily Beast’s ruse. Luckey felt cheated after reassurances were granted by The Daily Beast’s Gideon Resnick, guarantees that Luckey’s identity was safe. Nope.
The games media had a field day with the story. It started a domino effect where Palmer Luckey was ousted from the video game industry as a social pariah. The cause being every project that Milo touches ends up dying. He just likes spectacle and attention.
If you ask me? Twitter INVENTED deverification BECAUSE of Milo Yiannopoulos. He pushed the limits of the website so much that Twitter had to get creative with punishment. This was before the Leslie Jones incident, obviously. It was then that Twitter KNEW in their heart that a “yikes” wasn’t going to cut it this time. Milo’s racist tirade and harassment campaign against the Ghostbusters actress was a *very* bad look for Twitter. Patreon smartened up and got rid of him too. Milo is so dangerous that not even NPR can interview him without some kind of calamity. In an effort at a regular Daily Caller gig? OTHER people ended up getting fired. The ACLU faced a lot of backlash for siding with Milo on free speech too. By the time Facebook/Instagram deplatformed Milo it was a mercy killing. He had gone so far downhill to the point where he was ranting in the gutters of his comments sections.
The bottom line is Milo Yiannopoulos needs to be dragged in front of a Human Rights Tribunal and charged with war crimes. We already tried telling the United Nations about GamerGate but they shrugged it off. The damage he has done, and continues to do to our planet, is incalculable.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Alex Jones of Info Wars funded Milo.
Slippery Steve Bannon serves as a link to someone other than Milo. The culprit being the greasy gentleman interviewing Bannon in this video (why hasn’t YouTube taken this down yet?). The UK certainly wasn’t spared of GamerGate blight across the pond. Longtime Alt Right figurehead Carl Benjamin (known by his cult following as Sargon of Akkad) was one of the lucky opportunists able to catapult himself to notoriety back in 2014. When Carl could pull himself away from his harassment campaign of Anita Sarkeesian, Mr. Benjamin tickled the conspiratorial fancies of the gaming community. He espoused some baseless conspiracy theory about academia “infilitrating” the gaming industry in order to inject politics into gaming. Going back to that Steve Bannon interview, it seemed like Carl had a crush on him. Mr. Benjamin was definitely in a half-chub, half-mast sort of mood. The interview winds on with Bannon and Benjamin exchanging populist ideas with one another, as enthusiastically as High School lovers exchange saliva during a date.
To give you context, the Sargon of Akkad YouTube channel’s earliest video was about GamerGate target Sarkeesian. Don’t let your guard down by the piss poor audio. Mr. Benjamin got on YouTube in the first place because he wanted to harass the hell out of her. I conducted an informal audit of Sargon’s channel to see how egregious this problem was. Thirteen videos mention Anita Sarkeesian by name in the title alone. Twenty-two videos (with little to no overlap regarding the previously mentioned thirteen) use a picture of Anita Sarkeesian in the thumbnail. This pattern demonstrates how an angry cisgendered white male like Carl Benjamin is trying to compete in the YouTube sphere. He was unable to use the “boobs in thumbnail” approach and had to adapt.
If we expand the criteria to Sargon targeting Sarkeesian and her allies, as well as feminism in general, we easily break over 100 videos of this. Over 100 anti-women hit pieces. I’d tell you my criteria for what qualified on this, but I’m crying too hard right now. Hopefully my tears say enough.
Carl Benjamin climaxed with Anita Sarkeesian in front of a live audience at Vidcon 2017. Crashing her panel, Carl had poor self-control and couldn’t help whipping out his male gaze to attack Anita. In an act of self-defense Sarkeesian called Sargon a garbage human to assert her dominance in the situation. Carl Benjamin and the extremist entourage he brought with him were all escorted out of the area. It became a public safety issue. If you read both VidCon and Anita’s responses to the incident, you’ll notice they’re succinct and get to the point. Whereas Confused Carl went on a one-hour video rant to cash in on some sweet YouTube ad revenue.
“We made a mistake,” VidCon’s CEO told Polygon the following year.
That’s the same thing UKIP would end up thinking. As they not only allowed Carl Benjamin and Nazi pug guy Count Dankula to become members of UKIP, the party even allowed the pair to formally run for office. Sargon took it more seriously than Count Dankula, however. TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE but we have to talk about it because a significant Sargon controversy involves that as the subject matter.
“I wouldn’t even rape you, @jessphillips.” — Sargon of Akkad, May 29th 2016. For those unfamilar with UK politics, Jess Phillips is Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley.
GamerGate elevated Carl Benjamin to a position where he felt comfortable openly pondering raping Jess Phillips. Sargon of Akkad is the Leader of GamerGate. Therefore, GamerGate is rape. THIS ISN’T HARD TO UNDERSTAND, FOLKS. CARL BENJAMIN RAN A UKIP CAMPAIGN WITH RAPE AS A PART OF HIS PLATFORM. The media coverage surrounding it was astronomical. It sunk the UKIP party, it did. During election season, UKIP leader Gerard Batten was forced to defend Sargon’s tweet rape. Batten had to straight up leave media interviews because he got so sicked and tired of being asked about that. I don’t even want to describe other “hot takes” of Sargon’s that came to the surface during his UKIP campaign run. But if you looked around you’ll find a lot on Carl “depends on the child” Benjamin. We aren’t just talking about an old tweet either. Carl couldn’t contain himself and continued on his rape spree. “West Midlands police announced an investigation into Benjamin’s remarks made in a YouTube video about Labour MP Jess Phillips, where the UKIP European election candidate questioned whether he’d rape her before concluding “nobody’s got that much beer”,” says this BuzzFeed article. YouTube took action to demonetize the Sargon of Akkad channel. Which, by the by, is a slap on the wrist for what Mr. Benjamin deserved.
One of the most dangerous agendas of Sargon Carl Akkad is his blueprint for something dubbed “GamerGate 2.” It was Benjamin’s lust for a return to his “glory days” of late 2014. He missed the rush of rising to prominence and wanted to replicate that. His plan boiled down to getting Donald Trump’s attention and having him tweet about GamerGate. A simple act on the surface. But the deeper lore behind it is that Sargon wanted to jump start a new age of extremism by manipulating the media currents and public consciousness. To put it another way, Carl Benjamin wanted to restart the clock and make it August 2014. But forever this time.
The crux of Sargon of Akkad’s problematic behavior is that he acted as a radicalization bridge between video gamers and the political sphere. The wonderful Jared Holt over at Right Wing Watch explains how Carl Benjamin wields YouTube as a extremism amplifier. The far right-wing YouTube “shock jock” sphere became self-aware on how to network with one another. Like an A.I. computer gone haywire. They gamified YouTube by interviewing each other in such a way that combined audiences for multiple channels. Thereby creating a Golden Gate Bridge that directed unsuspecting viewers down a rabbit hole to white supremacy. Sargon of Akkad played the part of this seemingly innocuous stepfather to his audience of hundreds of thousands of GamerGaters. He was a so-called “classical liberal” who had a history of trust built-in, in his community’s eyes. This created the perfect climate for him to manipulate people by recklessly sharing his platform with alt-right figureheads. Case in point being the Richard Spencer debate Sargon had with him. Thousands upon thousands of people were exposed to radioactive toxic ideologies that day.
You can imagine how such a polarizing figure would overwhelm Brittany Venti. Sargon set up an interview with her and almost did not show up. It was a tense situation that Carl was thankfully able to defuse with the power of money. But you can tell by the look on Venti’s face it crushed her spirit. Mr. Benjamin defended himself by claiming he was very busy GETTING DRUNK over the past few days because it’s “what you have to do in politics.” But sources close to Akkad tell me there’s more to the story. It’s not just a work thing but also a recreational one. Imagine Sargon showing up to a mate’s house drunk as a skunk, and adding WEED on top of that. So now you have Sargon hammered but high as a kite too. What do you think the logical conclusion to that combination is? The answer is vomit. So you’re inside your mate’s house reading the newspaper or something. Then this wasted/blazed bearded middle-aged man BARGES in and pukes all over the place. Just everywhere. In the kitchen sink, on the carpet, you name it.
It’s not something I have seen personally, but heard about enough to be confident printing it.
Patreon banned Sargon of Carl and it caused such a kerfuffle for a while. Benjamin thought he’d start some kind of internet riot because he got deplatformed for publicly shouting the N-word at people on a livestream. I mean, who does that sort of thing, even in private? The Patreon Exodus had mixed results. Anyone who decided to stop using the crowdfunding site because of what happened to SARGON, ended up impacting EVERYONE ELSE a particular “leaver” of Patreon had supported. That milquetoast fence sitter Tim Poole lost over $5000, for example, because of the audience overlap between him and Backwoods Carl. This was a more prominent specific example demonstrating the general trend going on. People were inadvertently dragged in because THEIR income was now on the line too.
I don’t get all the fuss. Patreon staff were kind enough to directly call people on the phone and have a one-on-one talk about the whole debacle. It’s the maximum amount of transparency that a company can grant to individual cases. Twitter’s ban of Carl Benjamin worked in a similar fashion. In March 2019, Tim Pool had a face-off on the Joe Rogan show. His opponents were Twitter’s leadership, Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde. This clip snippet details Vijaya describing verbatim the infractions caused by Carl Benjamin. Vijaya looks visibly uncomfortable as she quotes Sargon’s vulgarities word-for-word. It’s gross and every time I listen I start visibly shaking. But for those with a strong enough stomach, you can watch the video for yourself (TRIGGER WARNING FOR ANTISEMITISM AND VIOLENCE) and wake up to the fact Sargon’s removal from Twitter was not a free speech issue.
What was the end result of Carl’s Patreon rebellion? https://www.patreon.com/ is still up at the time of writing. So if their goal was to bankrupt Patreon they done goofed. Carl Benjamin, Nazi Pug breeder Count Dankula, and Mike Cernovich all jumped in bed for a Russian orgy with Vladimir Putin. This was made possible via Patreon alternative SubscribeStar. This is the most noteworthy product of Sargon’s screeching, as this Kremlin-backed front is still in operation today. Not everyone was quick to adopt SubscribeStar as a new home, however. People waited for Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson to launch their own vision of a crowdfunding platform alternative, but to this day they haven’t delivered on that.
So many chose limbo.
“Let’s read this story. But before we do head over to timcast.com/donate if you would like to support my work. There is a PayPal option, a crypto option, and a physical address,” is what Tim Pool nowadays says in every video since the days of the Patreon debacle. Every. Fucking. Video.
It’s what Mr. Carl Sargon represents, that’s the greatest danger to the moral fabric of our society. The neckbeard basement dweller that doesn’t give a damn about social cohesion. It’s the very foundation of this hotbed of hate that we’re all struggling to deal with right now. That means we have to talk about Pepe and Kekistan.
The poor soul that created Pepe was Matt Furie. Someone who never intended to have his cartoon creation become such a polarized political figurehead. He hated this so much that he strangled his Frankenstein to death and gave it an open casket funeral. Extremists tried to indoctrinate children using Pepe as a gateway drug, and Matt Furie was successful in stopping their plan from being carried out. What happened? “We basically mixed Pepe in with Nazi propaganda, etc. We built that association,” @JaredTSwift told The Daily Beast in May 2016. 4chan infected Twitter and from there the rest of the internet. Months later The Daily Caller tried to downplay The Daily Beast’s piece, but the damage from 4chan was already done. It was all meant to radicalize the online support rallying behind then-candidate Donald J. Trump. Pepe was used as a speech weapon at a Hillary Clinton rally towards the end of August 2016. Donald Trump Jr. posted a meme on Instagram that featured Pepe a few weeks later.
All hell broke loose. On one hand, Pepe the Frog was idolized as a face for the internet average Joe. It dominated the news cycle in what became known as The Great Meme War. “Pepe is a White Nationalist symbol” according to CNN. Cher echoed similar sentiments. Nicki Minaj had been completely oblivious to this and posted Pepe on Instagram. Katy Perry was entirely unaware of the racial connotations when posting the forbidden frog on Twitter.
Hatemonger Sargon of Akkad helped amplify the right-wing hijacking of Pepe the Frog (a fact undisputed internationally), and went as far as establishing a white supremacist terror cell codenamed “KEKISTAN.” Something that the SPLC was swift to denounce. Much akin to how the ADL published a piece detailing how Pepe the Frog is now a general hate symbol. The bottom line is if you post Pepe the frog one day, you’ll end up marching in Charlottesville the next. The alt right ruined ALL memes, not just the frog one. The conversation around them changed. No longer can we see memes like Ugandan Knuckles as purely innocent. The “hip new” thing with the kids is saying “we’re living in clown world.” What skin color are clowns? That’s right. White. It’s a reverse blackface meant to perpetuate white supremacy. The racist undertones can’t be ignored. Memes can now be hate symbols and it’s all because of GamerGate.
Apple was ahead of the curve when it came to aggressively moderating Pepe content. When Baked Alaska featured Pepe in his Build the Wall: The Game project, the App Store put their foot down. Sony has recently taken a more proactive approach to content moderation. In a prominent cases a few months ago, a Pepe Head was removed from the Dreams game for PS4. Elsewhere, Bungie took diligent care in removing a gauntlet from Destiny 2 because it resembled the Kekistanti hate symbol. PewDiePie needed to be conditioned into censoring Pepe imagery. A few years ago it was a staple of his YouTube channel. Thankfully he learned how harmful that this illegal appropriation can be and now censors it. He’s not to the only YouTuber to perpetuate radical symbology though. LegendofTotalWar has a 45 minute video that’s a war simulator about what it’d look like if Kekistan was a military force.
This tweet from esteemed movie critic Devin Faraci rings true to this day. “I have more respect for ISIS than the anti-Quinn people.” It’s true. Compared to GamerGate, ISIS treat their women better.
It’s a sentiment that caught on. “The #GamerGate cabal are the technology world’s ISIS,” said George Reese of the DELL company a few months later. You may have heard of Dell. It’s a pretty big deal. The reason why? Faraci was a prophet. One of several male feminist vanguards that noblely served a cause greater than themselves. A few other favorites of mine: Rupert Myers, Joss Whedon, Juan Thompson, Glenn Fleishman, and Matt Hickey.
You don’t need to just look up high to see these problems online either. Down in the gutter of social media underground, you’ll encounter Ethan Ralph. Back when GamerGate started he used to be as fat as Devin Faraci. But I guess a prison diet really helped him slim down the calories. A convicted felon. Seriously. Even the criminals in the alt-right are given a soapbox.
GamerGate had to contend with hypocrisy when it came to accepting Ethan Ralph into their circles. Back in the day he ran a WordPress website that was a powerhouse for GamerGate related stories. If you wanted the scoop on the latest round of hot garbage drama, Mr. Ralph was your guy. But it was obvious to everyone he got high off his own supply. So much in fact that it was commonplace for former employees to publicly lash out at him and stage interventions. Back in GamerGate’s hey day it was all about optics, and everyone gave a damn about Ethan Ralph because the press described him as a GamerGate leader.
“Before Gamergate I was a pretty standard liberal or even a socialist,” Ralph once told Buzzfeed. “I’d write hit pieces on right-wing figures. It was a hobby. But when Gamergate broke out and I got an audience that happened to be more reactionary, I thought, It’s my job to do propaganda for Gamergate. The ethics in video game journalism stuff, I didn’t care about that.”
This belligerent thug punches a COP and it makes no difference to his toxic pestilence of a goblin community. If you wanted proof of GamerGate’s bloodshed? This is the place. Sadly I need to specify this a bit further, since Ralph and this gang of ne’er-do-wells have MONETIZED a “Blood Sports” ritual outright. Alas, no. I’m not talking about their routine where the internet neanderthals beat each other up on-air for entertainment. Ralph’s followers did an electronic Hitler salute after the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting last year. The Wall Street Journal pointed out that people often gave donations in the amount of $14.88 as a means of signal boosting their Nazi ideology. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital refused to accept Ethan Ralph’s $26,000 donation, made from a “Super Chat for Good” event. GOOD. Ralph tried to weaponize charity and normalize his audience’s hate through their tainted money. St. Jude saw through this facade.
What you need to know is this. One of Ralph’s employees killed a guy. A right-wing conspiracy theorist named Seattle4Truth murdered his own dad in cold blood. The guy came from the toilet of GamerGate too, of course. He rose to fame in May 2015 with a three-hour long video that cooks up some wild conspiracy about what gaming’s adversaries are really all about. Lane “Seattle4Truth” Davis is an example of toxic masculinity inceldom taken to the final extreme. They lived with their parents but also in a state of solitiude. Essentially a pressure cooker situation that had nowhere to go but explode. To top it all off, the bastard shouted that his parents were “leftist pedophiles,” validating the fears of radicalization that hearkened throughout the 2016 Pizzagate affair and beyond.
It shook Buzzfeed’s Joe Bernstein to his core.
“I began to wonder about the people who spent all day online with Lane. Lane had worked as the political editor for a culture war shock site called the Ralph Retort. It had been a hub for some of the most malignant trolls on the internet — including people who had sent me violent anti-Semitic threats in the past. I hadn’t taken this rhetoric seriously for two reasons: First, there is so much of it that to dwell on it would be paralyzing, and second, the people behind it almost always claim to be trolling, testing boundaries, pushing limits. Now that Lane had killed his father in an apparent spasm of conspiratorial pique, it seemed that what was left of that extremist/troll boundary had started to collapse.”
Listen to the 911 call. A monster born from GamerGate and radicalized by Ralph. It’s POETIC JUSTICE that Brianna Wu reported on Ralph’s arrest, after the brute snuck into one of Wu’s talks months earlier.
Ethan Ralph hosts something called the “Killstream.” To everyone’s surprise, his guests aren’t murdered live on-air for the audience’s pleasure. They are all encouraged to deny the holocaust beforehand, though. Once in writing, and a follow-up Skype call afterward just to verify authenticity. The only thing that’s killed by Ralph is people’s careers. One of his earliest victims was former GamerGate leader MundaneMatt. Back in August 2014, Matt added to the fervor surrounding the GamerGate controversy when he made a video about Zoe Quinn. The outcry came when someone DMCA’ed the video he made. People suspected foul play. In a Pepsi twist of irony four years later, the internet discovered Matt was guilty of doing the same to his critics. After that came someone by the name of Tonkasaw. Tonka was in the same “Blood Sports” scene as Ralph for quite some time. But a feud between him and one Andy Warski escalated into a weeks-long drama surrounding a scheduled boxing match that was planned for the two. Ralph threw in his weight to that debacle to help hype up the gawking crowd. Things ended up falling apart at the last minute when Tonka cowardly chickened out, attempting to cheat the system by changing his last name and allegedly giving someone else’s blood to the boxing officials. Warski went out to the ring anyway with Ralph in tow.
It was truly something you would see out of a movie. Behind the scenes, a relationship appeared to blossom between Ralph and Andy Warski. People suspected the two were seeing each other after how close they grew in Nashville. There were plans made for some sort of official podcast or YouTube series or something, hosted by the pair. It ended up with a trip to Florida. This is where things ended in tragedy. Some kind of lover’s quarrel broke out when the pair were down there, leading them to part ways.
Warski ended up livestreaming an incident where one of his friends pulled out a gun on a guy in the street. Andy screaming “STAY BACK” as the weapon was drawn.
Alas, Warski would never regain his mojo after this incident. In fact he’d vanish from the internet entirely after a follow-up disaster. In what Andy alleges was his account being hacked, someone in control of his account went around Twitter sending sexually explicit private messages to scores of women in the community.
What Andy Warski needed in his life? A Code of Conduct. They’re a magic fix for everything problematic out there.
Pewdiepie acted as a radicalization vehicle that poisoned the mainstream internet with the GamerGate lifestyle. Months before Logan Paul posted a video of himself finding a dead body, Felix Kjellberg was hard at work corrupting the world’s youth. In both a figurative and literal sense. In an egregious episode spotlighted by the Wall Street Journal, it’s revealed that Pewdiepie incentivized hate speech. He hijacked the Fiverr platform and bribed some youths from India to happily broadcast politically inappropriate messaging. YouTube’s Nazi apologism started to come to the public’s attention back then. They were too lenient with Kjellberg in response, giving the equivalent of a slap on the wrist. Pewdiepie will always be YouTube’s king when it comes to making money off of hate. YouTube’s CEO laughing all the way to the bank, high-fiving Mark Zuckerberg in passing as he and Brenton Tarrant go on a road trip to Christchurch, New Zealand.
The shooter gamified hatred by using a Go Pro first-person point of view to livestream his murders. But what people have forgotten is GamerGate popularized LITERAL Hatred as a video game. The gators were furious when Apple yanked products that had Confederate flags from their store. They gave a canned “historical accuracy” cop-out that makes no sense when you examine games from a wider lens. None of these games were one-to-one depictions, so booting them from the eyes of the general public is for the greater good.
GamerGate is filled with literal Anime Nazis. Don’t believe me? Here’s a Kickstarter trying to fund a visual novel video game called Mein Waifu Is the Fuhrer, therefore accomplishing just that.
If the video games industry wanted an exemplar of TRUE progressive progress, movies and cinema are lighting the way forward. Who can forget the lovely ladies of the redefined Ghostbusters? Or the bold new female leads of The Last Jedi? It’s all about the girl power. Just saying. Ocean’s Eight now overpowers the rest of their respective franchise. Speaking of franchises, MARVEL’s future success is absolutely guaranteed. Captain Marvel is basically the new Iron Man for goodness sake, and Lady Thor will give the fist of feminism that that EMBODIMENT of toxic masculinity needed.
With any form of media we consume it’s all about starting a conversation.
Law and Order SVU‘s GamerGate episode was accurate in capturing the heat of the moment. An up and coming female game developer gets targeted by an online forum that takes things too far. The fear of having a white man screaming “GO HOME GAMER GIRL” at you is something that never goes away. It’s hard to watch when those pale skinny gamers cornered that female developer in the bathroom and leveled up on her. The SWATing during a livestream? The coordination of Redchanit? Escalating all the way to kidnapping. SVU depicted one of the most real things in our society, there on television. The Good Fight on CBS accurately depicts 2019’s political climate too, on top of that. Two of the show’s main characters get sent on poll watching duty in order to suss out any potential voter fraud. It shows the apathy of the system as the polling place’s manager (another white male) seems to be removed from giving a damn about his job. Our heroes being Democrats bicker with their Republican counterparts, using disputes regarding the official rules as a means of trying to score votes for their particular side. A pro-marjuana voter displays a t-shirt with that kind of message on it and they successfully get him to remove it…. only to reveal the SWASTIKA underneath. A perfect metaphor about the undertones of white supremacy hiding in plain sight. Things escalate when a Richard Spencer lookalike opportunist enters the area. He brings his crew of Far Right Extremists to intimidate people from voting. The show’s protagonists successfully dox them but it does nothing to stop the stubborness of the Red Jackets, escalating into an all-out riot.
But the Nazis got punched and that’s all matters there. When I saw it happen to Richard Spencer I stood up from my chair and clapped.
Kotaku let the terrorists win. A full day before the GamerGate hashtag was born in earnest, their Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo capitulated to the mob. He set forth a new policy disallowing Patreon contributions from Kotaku writers. Totilo gave credence to GamerGate’s delusions. He should’ve taken Polygon’s route and simply required disclosure rather than an outright ban. That way Kotaku would’ve stayed on track with a portfolio of mission driven storytelling, and continued to lift up minority voices as a means of reparation for the history of systemic racism and slavery in the United States.
Kotaku’s capitulation didn’t work out well for Gawker. The ruthless goobergators attacked anyway. What the gamer rebels dubbed “Operation Disrespectful Nod” was a boycott campaign meant to target advertisers at all the prominent games media outlets. Their goal was to scare advertisers off, to shake up their business relationship with the targeted sites. Enough so that the advertisers pulled out, and dented the overall cash flow into the outlet’s coffers. In practice this meant that GamerGaters emailed the advertisers with their thoughts and feelings. Their anger and fury about how the advertisers are willing to business with these outlets. Often attached to these emails was a “payload” of dirt. That is to say, so-called evidence of wrongdoing or controversial behavior that paints the outlet in a negative light. This in turn made the advertiser look bad in a motion of guilt-by-association.
The question is: did it work? Of course it did. The gamers rallied together every time an advertising company responded to them. It was like winning another level or getting another collectible to them. GamerGate cost Gawker “seven figures” in dollarydoos. Maybe even eight or nine, down the line. Depending on how you look at it. At the time, Gawker aptly labeled GamerGate “dishonest fascists” for their campaign. It was true even back then, before the alt-right factor ever took off.
Who would be so heartless as to strip someone of their livelihood for what boiled down to as a simple disagreement of politics?
It was a blessing as well as a curse. Gawker’s sacrifice wasn’t in vein. A group known as the Sleeping Giants hijacked GamerGate’s attack strategy and declared war on conservative media. This put our comrades on the Left in an offense position, rather than the defensive one that had been used beforehand. Breitbart was the “white whale” that brought Sleeping Giants to the public’s attention, initially. Kellogg’s was one of the first prominent “scalps” taken from Breitbart’s advertising income. It happened as early on as the tail end of November 2016. People were getting to work at weakening Trump’s allies even before he got into office. The Sleeping Giants became an invaluable tool for restoring sanity in the world, this way. “The biggest way that this disinformation will continue is ad revenue, just like any news source. Beyond really wanting to stop this nonsense, this effort was really born out of the need to inform advertisers about the kind of material that they’re sponsoring,” the creator of Sleeping Giants told Digiday.
CNN got in on the action too, as they knocked down Alex Jones and Info Wars another peg. Just to clarify, CNN’s intense scrutiny of Info Wars advertisers (and their subsequent cut business ties) is not the same as that time Oliver Darcy and others at CNN investigated the Alex Jones/Info Wars Twitter account for wrongdoing. Pamela Geller and Ramz Paul got CNN’s attention too, in regards to advertisers.
8chan is the root of all GamerGate evil. Three recent mass shootings in 2019 were announced in advance on this headquarters for extremism. Even the founder of the site, Frederick “Hotwheels” Brennan, is now raising alarm bells about it. I’m not praising Brennan though. The bastard was an opportunist who took advantage of the turmoil in September 2014. On the 18th of that month, 4chan made a move to kick out GamerGaters from the site. That should’ve been the end of it. But instead of dying off like they were supposed to, Brennan welcomed these radicals with open arms. A month later they all became drinking buddies. Thankfully years later Brennan woke up and smelled the soy.
As far as I know? The blood spilled from GamerGate is on Brennan’s hands. Early on the 8chan founder participated in a live debate against Brianna Wu. Eager to prove himself, Fredrick tried laying down some “sick burns” that had the potential to be extremely dangerous to Brianna’s safety.
It’s hard to believe that even 4CHAN of all places knew better than to entertain those free speech absolutists.
GamerGate had their safe space. A haven where they could doxx, dump personal information, and conspire to attack targets. We sane people didn’t think as much of them then. All you saw was a circlejerk orgy of neckbeard weirdos. But then came the doxing. The SWATING. The child porn. Making A.I. racist.
Fun fact: the QAnon cult was born in 8chan. This grand conspiracy being that there’s this “Q” fella who is a government insider, hailed as some kind of Nostradeamus of political unraveling. All current events past, present, and future are all part of “Q’s plan.” You might laugh. But such wild fantasies quickly became dangerous as an armed man brainwashed by Q got into a standoff at Hoover Dam.
Brennan left 8chan but the internet hate machine had a caretaker. Jim Watkins. He and Brennan were in cahoots together for a short while, Jim kept the site afloat over the long-term after Fred left.
The DDOS protection service Cloudflare terminated their relationship with 8chan on August 5th 2019. The blog post announcing this says the company’s rationale is that 8chan being linked to three shootings is ample evidence. If 8chan wanted to be known as the cesspool of hate on the internet, Cloudflare was going to give them what they wanted. They weren’t going to stand in the way of a hate-to-hate relationship between them and the general public. Cloudflare’s founder gets super preachy about how reluctant they were to do this to 8chan. They overcompensate by going into extreme detail about Rule of Law and lawlessness blah blah blah.
Forget all that. Let me break this down for y’all. Cloudflare deplatformed 8chan. Cloudflare deplatformed The Daily Stormer. Therefore 8chan is equal to The Daily Stormer. 8chan only exists because of GamerGate. The ultimate conclusion to this being GamerGate is The Daily Stormer. It’s simple math. But logic doesn’t matter because we have feelings. At the time of writing, the link to the 8chan website is dead. Feels good man. What topped me off further is the fact that 8chan’s Jim Watkins is being dragged in front of U.S. Congress and having to answer for the internet hate machine he’s in charge of.
I have a confession to make. For years, GamerGate has cockblocked me from successfully masturbating. Every time I tried to choke the chicken I’d think back to their atrocities. I’m ashamed to admit I even considered buying one of those blow-up dolls as a quick fix. Don’t worry I had it all planned out. I was going to be sensible about it and call it my wife, first. Pay some tolerance respects to the Christian way of life….. (kidding! I’d get a transgender one so I can display my tolerance for LGBTQ+ minorities).
But after 8chan FINALLY shut down? My dong transformed into a firetruck putting out a five alarm fire.
Sweet release. It was beautiful.
Fuck your “freeze peach.” We won’t tolerate ANYONE who goes around making the world more unsafe. You can’t shout fire in a crowded theater. Free speech is an illusion of equality for all voices but doesn’t address the systemic bigotry and racism of our institutions. Free speech is used as a weapon to suppress marginalized voices. Soapboxes are a gateway drug to harassment. It took ages for Reddit to figure out, but they woke up and smelt the shitposts. The problem with all this is the concept of anonymous identities. Letting people get away with pretty much murder. Their hate speech that they spew is DEFINITELY not free speech. Don’t let them fool you. From the words to say, to the shirts or hats they wear.
Everything is sexist, everything is racist, everything is homophobic, and you have to point it all out. We made progress in other places. I don’t need to remind you that, once upon a time, there were actual GUNS as emojis. But more sensible people spoke up and stepped in to change that.
If the blogging sphere and true journalists don’t speak up, who will? It’s our ultimate purpose in society. To check everyone else’s privilege. We gotta apply pressure to places like Twitter to get rid of Alex Jones, for the greater good of everyone else. If you’re confused whether or not this piece is focusing on video games or politics, that’s the point. They’re interchangeable. But to make sure everyone reading this understands what I’m talking about, we’ll use gaming journalism as a focal point. The game journalist pros decided to themselves rebel against the print magazine era by making radical changes in how they do things, for the sake of adapting to the internet age. The age of New Games Journalism shifted focus from video games to the gamers themselves. The foundation of this is that we discovered a way of recycling old video games as a means of content for our articles. Instead of focusing on the upcoming newest titles, trapping ourselves in the cycle of preview foreplay and the final climax of review?
We can now look into our own bodies, ourselves. Imagine 3000 words about your relationship with SHODAN in System Shock 2. That is money in the bank. Ironically, the notion of being “online” in a video game in of itself is a reflection of our decision to adapt to New Games Journalism. All those Jedi Knight 2 players working together in multiplayer and interacting with each other is grounds for one hell of a compelling article. Think about it. Think about how transformative it is.
“But how does this relate to politics?” Hold your horses, I’m getting to that.
So. From the mantra of New Games Journalism making us to look inside ourselves as people, the byproduct is the “video games are art” line of thinking. That is to say any video game product whose story and gameplay contents leave an emotional resonance with the people who play them. This applying to whatever thematic message woven by the game’s developers into the product itself. If the player is able to “click” with that, that’s the magic of video games as art at work. Video games as art opens a door to politics. Therefore it becomes our job as games journalists to make sure you, the public, aren’t led astray to toxicity. This is why you deserve to enjoy blockbuster titles like Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
This governing dynamic of our vision for a better society doesn’t limit itself to the symbols/messaging of video games either. Let me blow your mind. Replace our critical approach to video game analysis with anything else in the world. That’s right. Throw the video game out of the equation. Rip that disk in half. Boom. Now you can start a RESIST revolution in politics and fight Trump’s nightmare in Washington DC.
Go back and rewatch some old cartoons. Through your newly acquired modern cultural lens, you’ll pick up on a TON of red flags.
That’s the real gem of 2014. We the game journalists applied that concept to our work.
You. Are. Welcome. It’s our job to make demands from the world, and protect that position from any other groups that attempt to do the same. We the media are qualified journalists who have a permission slip to critique anything and everything in culture. You the audience are riff-raff who don’t know any better about the world around you, so your responses to us are pure harassment by their very nature. Our detractors dismiss this as “SJW”isms and political correctness. But there is no such thing as political correctness. It’s a catch-all term used by the privileged meant to dismiss concerns they don’t think are important to them. The cowardly developers behind Ion Fury have decided to backtrack from their apology over homophobic content. Now they’re just attention whoring themselves out and making a bold “WE STAND AGAINST THE FORCES OF CENSORSHIP” bravado. I wasn’t going to buy their game anyway in the first place. However, I wanted to look good in front of my friends at ResetERA when this trainwreck of a situation came up. So I told everyone in the thread that I was going to buy it after the Ion Fury developers announced their apology.
But now what on Earth do I do? You realize how much of a bad look it is on us as consumers when the developers play their audience like that? I digress though. This is just a side rant that applies to the overall issues we’re talking about here.
If you want a more long term example, the “Big Tech” companies are a centerpiece to us journalists. We have to crack the whip and make sure the guys/girls/xems/xers over there know we’re in charge.
The only hero to step up and put their fist down was the magnificent Ellen Pao. Although her time as Reddit’s CEO was short, Pao really packed a punch. I would put her tenure up there with Equifax’s chief security officer, Susan Mauldin.
The Conservatives are getting all anal about their people being suspended and deplatformed. But the truth is it’s not enough. We can do better at purging their extremism.
YouTube used to be a Wild West of unknowns. A hive of scum and villainy. The demonetization efforts that started back in 2016 were just a hard pill we need to swallow. When we gentrify a platform to make it a safe space for everybody, there’s going to need to be some sacrifices. Sorry Philip DeFranco. Sorry David Pakman. Sorry Count Dankula. Sorry Retsupurae and Slowbeef. Sorry Tim Pool. Sorry Ron Paul. Sorry Reviewbrah. Sorry Dave Rubin. Sorry Aaron Meehan. Sorry Jeremy Penter. Sorry m0E_tv. Sorry OMGItsBirdman. Sorry ChaseFaceShow. Sorry Chris Ray Gun. Sorry ChimneySwift11. Sorry Pelo. Sorry Gaby Dunn. Sorry Wade Barnes. Sorry Jaclyn Glenn. Sorry Richard Lewis. Sorry Criken. Sorry Numberphile. Sorry UberHaxorNova. Sorry SuperMegaShow. Sorry TimDotTV. Sorry Many A True Nerd. Sorry NoahJ456. Sorry Millie Weaver. Sorry theneedledrop. Sorry ArmouredSkeptic. Sorry SwingPoynt. Sorry Chase Ross. Sorry Explosm. Sorry Comment Etiquette. Sorry indeimaus. Sorry Lazy Game Reviews. Sorry Lost Pause. Sorry RazörFist. Sorry JackFrags. Sorry AlphaOmegaSin.
Sorry…. everyone? But YouTube needed to grow up. Tough luck.
I for one am glad that Becca Lewis and her brilliant report on the Alternative Influence Network cancer that lurked on YouTube made such a big difference. I fully put my trust in her because she’s a woman so she knows better than me. Also I discovered her in the first place because I read about all this on Kotaku. It’s here that Becca Lewis directly claims that several “radical” YouTubers sprung up from the GamerGate era, so again we have another “video games to politics” sort of moment.
Facebook needs to go further. I’m relieved that Facebook cooperated with the media when attempting to identify a harmful opinion maker, of course. But they should formalize this as a company policy and set up channels of communication with trusted mainstream journalists on this issue.
Oh, and Twitter? I won’t criticize Twitter. Keep this between us. But I have a friend who works on the Trust & Safety team there. I can get rid of whoever the hell I want from the site. No questions asked. The only thing getting in the way is PR backlash. If that happens, they have to chalk it up as a “glitch” and reverse it. Real shame too.
I feel like there was more that happened during GamerGate. A very loud gentleman that was the King of Poles (I don’t know if that meant Poland, or the North and South Pole), some kind of crazy lunatic named Star Rogue, and a furry stalker raccoon fella popped up here and there. But they’re all gone now. What does it matter then, anyway? They probably weren’t important. Thank god websites like Twitter and Facebook and YouTube obliterate any trace of their existence off the face of the Earth. In it’s place they put some kind of black hole, but for memories.
I can keep going with all this, but my outlet is suffering from a wave of layoffs and I was just cut. I’m going to consult with my union to at least make sure my replacement the company picks up from the streets is an under-represented minority.
Close the gate.