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On Gamergate, and finding civility in disagreements

**Trigger Warning for discussion of violence and sexual assault**

It surprises no one who knows me that I am a bit of a nerd. More than a bit. And my personal variety of nerdism has always had a lot to do with gaming.

Lately, gamers seems to be set on justifying everything crazy old people said about us in the 1990s. When people blamed gaming for school shootings, we argued back against this idea, but now we have gamers out there threatening to shoot up a school because they don’t like what someone has to say.

I wish I could find a way to prove these people weren’t gamers. That they were just angry assholes, hateful misogynists who found a flag to hate under, and came running, but that would be avoiding the real problem. The #gamergate thing is HUGE, with a ton of people getting involved in many many different ways. It’s kids with an internet connection, and old gamers fighting a rear-guard action against progress. It’s young men taught women should be silent and subservient. It crosses age ranges, and racial lines.

It’s fucking sickening. We cannot unite behind a motivation of love, or hope, or support, but you want a hate based circle-jerk and the line’s around the block.

What happened to us as people who could have fun, who could disagree without hatred, and move on? We used to debate favourite games, or best in a field without wanting to kill anyone for thinking Halo 2 was better than the original (It’s not!!)

For those who don’t follow, lets say this:

I don’t know if Zoe Quinn actually fucked anyone for a good review. I don’t care. Who she has sex with is her business, not mine, and any breach of ethics would be on the part of the reporter/journalist for not disclosing a relationship… but all the hate is heaped on her. Even if people think everything an angry ex would ever post is 100% true, why is the reaction so violent against her, not sympathy for him? Yes, being cheated on sucks… it doesn’t suck as much as DYING.

Compared to what’s happened with Anita Sarkeesian however, that actually seems rational. At least having an overly emotional response to an accusation of cheating is something understandable (though still in no way tolerable.)

With Ms. Sarkeesian however, we get the same level, and a greater volume, of threats because, and I’m not joking here, people disagree with her opinion. That’s right. Gamergaters attacks her because… they don’t agree with her.

Her opinion is no worse than those old arguments about the best Final Fantasy game (clearly 7) or which third party controller was best. And yet it’s ending in death threats and mass shooting warnings.

To paraphase Jeff Foxworthy:

You might be a Gamergater if you watch this: 

and think this: 

is an appropriate response.

Seriously. We can disagree without the above can we not? If we really want better games (and we all do), or we truly disagree (and we will) on how to get them, the only reasonable thing is calm, intelligent, discourse.

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