At this point, proving over and over and over again that Gamergaters are lying when they trot out the “ethics in journalism” might seem a bit tedious. And yet! Somehow the inability of Gamergaters to conceal that they don’t know the meaning of “ethics” or possibly “journalism”—but they do know they think women should shut up and know their place (which is to serve)—continues to be fucking hilarious. Witness for instance, Adrian Chen, who is a great journalist covering the creeps-on-the-internet beat, covering a get-together for Gamergaters. Due to their obsession with ethics in journalism, they went where you can find “ethical journalists” a plenty, to the strip club. You may say, hey, stripping is not about journalism! But that’s where you’re wrong. After all, ethical journalism is defined by being this thing where women cater to a man’s every whim and are mostly there for display purposes and pretending your sexist jokes are funny. The strip club is where you can buy all the ethical journalism your heart desires!
Chen got some really awesome thoughts on ethical journalism from the party-goers, many of whom were under the drinking age.
“I’m not much of a gamer, but it’s really amazing how they’ve used the platform to really go after these fuckers,” said Brennan as he sat in his wheelchair in a parking lot before the party, between trips to raid a liquor stash in the trunk of a nearby vintage Mercedes. “Like, I encourage it. They try to make me take down the board, but I’m not going to do it.” Publicly, Brennan has been adamant that 8chan users aren’t behind the threats and harassment.
They’re against harassment. They just want you to “go after these fuckers”, meaning women who think they have functions besides drink-pouring and cock-sucking. What does “go after” mean? It’s like a non-harassment deluging of people with insults, threats and abuse until they shut up out of fear. Call it garassment. Or varassment. Just not harassment. One day they’ll figure out the euphemism, I’m sure.
Inside the club, the 8channers sat around tables eating cake under elaborate rotating chandeliers. They traded the kind of rationalist locker room banter familiar to anyone who has spent much time browsing geek message boards, the dankest murmurations of the male id dressed up as pure logic. Dieter and Raj were deep in conversation about the nature of sexual attraction. Dieter believed it was an uncontrollable force of nature. He posited that it was only natural for a man to find women of one race more attractive than another. “It’s not racist,” he said. “I think evolutionary psychology plays into what you find attractive. It’s not up to you; it’s up to your dick. Your dick choses.”
A young man in his very early 20s with a bowl cut, crooked rectangular glasses, and braces from New Jersey declared himself a sworn enemy of social justice warriors. (Like other gamergaters, he refers to their opponents exclusively as “SJWs.”) “The SJWs want to remove sexism from gaming, and at first that seems nice. But what does that mean? It means changing the game to fit their needs.” He believes that if the SJWs have their way, gaming will become “watered down, like today’s pop music.”
Nitush Abede did an interesting analysis of trends in pop music a few years ago for New York. He did, in fact, find that it has changed quite a bit:
Another change that’s swept through the charts since 1980 is the steady disappearance of white men. In 1980, more than half the artists at No. 1 were white men; in 2010, the only white guy in the top spot was Eminem. Today’s pop world is female, African-American, and Latino, dance-pop and hip-hop and R&B. The audiences it’s usually associated with are female, African-American, Latin, gay, and young. And the music running through the charts is filled with qualities that look a lot like the aspirations and survival strategies of people who’ve felt marginalized—people for whom ego and self-worth can be existential issues, not just matters of etiquette.
I assume that’s what this young man means when he says pop music is “watered down”: It’s diverse now.
A young woman named Brooke, a college student studying neuroscience and sporting a rose tattoo, glasses, and cheetah-print oxfords, complained that feminist critics of video games were on a power trip. “They’re just trying to make it what they want — ‘you can’t have what you want in your little hobby!’”
Having what you want from your little hobby is a male-only privilege. As long as you believe this, you get to be the Cool Girl who is told repeatedly how you’re better than all those other girls. Just ignore the fact that, by implication, you still aren’t as good as the guys.
Meanwhile, she said, feminists hypocritically used the deplorable actions of a few Gamergaters to smear all gamers even while they complain about the stereotyping of women.
As Katherine Cross made very clear, the victims of Gamergate are all gamers themselves. So, no. On the contrary, it’s the people outside of Gamergate who believe that gaming belongs to everyone and not just to a bunch of reactionary white guys and their token women they wield as shields. Even this woman contradicts herself, saying one moment that the victims are bad because they are gamers who want more games to suit them and then turning around and claiming they aren’t gamers and stereotyping gamers. The only people leaning on stereotypes here are Gamergaters, who have an idea of what stereotype you must adhere to in order to qualify as a gamer and policing anyone who falls outside of it, saying they don’t count and are interlopers.
“Gamergate is the most fascinating flame war I’ve ever seen,” he said. With a sort of fatherly pride he predicted that Gamergate and 8chan would endure, no matter how vociferous the critics were. “We’re talking about gamers, who spend 15 hours a day chasing a gold coin,” he said. “As long as they don’t have to do any lifting, gamers aren’t going anywhere. If the U.S. government could channel the energy and tenacity of the gamers, they could win any war.”
Their arguments may be crap and they may be repulsive assholes, but they have tenacity on their side. I don’t know if I’d really say that a willingness to die on a hill made of bad arguments and outright lies is a virtue.