Chris Kluwe responds to Baldwin: #GamerGate 'won' when Sarkeesian went on Colbert
Image via Joe Bielawa, (Creative Commons licensed)

Former Vikings' punter and noted gamer Chris Kluwe agreed to talk to Raw Story after reading this afternoon's interview with Adam Baldwin.


Kluwe began by noting that it was strange that Baldwin, a critic of journalistic ethics, requested that the interview be conducted on Twitter, which is not conventional journalistic procedure -- but that he understood the desire to work in a format in which ideological opponents would not be able to manipulate your words.

He said that decision is part and parcel of the conspiratorial thinking that undergirds the GamerGate mindset. "Those who support it will do anything possible to avoid the facts of the situation," he said, "and if you don't present things in their view, then you're probably a part of the conspiracy. Because GamerGate is, at its core, a conspiracy theory -- the facts are indisputable, the whole thing was started to harass Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu."

This conspiratorial mindset is why he believes Baldwin reached back to the public educational reforms instituted by John Dewey in the early 20th Century.

GamerGaters not only think that large cultural and social forces are aligned against them, they like to "believe that they're part of a larger struggle that's always been there, even if most of [those reforms] have no bearing on the current situation. They sound quasi-intellectual, though, and give a veneer of authority -- but it's Internet authority, like, 'Here's a link to a 500-page book, you read it and tell me what I mean.'"

Kluwe also took issue with Baldwin's attempt to frame the controversy as a non-partisan issue. "There are legitimately left-of-center people in GamerGate, but the problem is, they're willingly or unwillingly blinding themselves to the fact that the entire movement is based on misogyny. If your movement is attracting groups like Stormfront and Holocaust deniers, that's not a good thing -- especially if you want to base your movement on 'ethics.'"

These untoward associations are why, "if GamerGate ever wanted to be a political movement, they needed to approach it as such. Instead, they approached it like a game. 'Let's talk to these advertisers and level up,' or 'let's achieve this goal and get our spoils.'"

"But if you want to create a public movement," Kluwe added, "you need the public on your side -- and death threats that cross into the real world? Everyone's going to look at your movement and say, 'No, this is not something that should be happening in the real world.'"

As to the question of whether GamerGaters have "won," he said "that's what so funny. I agree with Adam that they've changed the narrative in a substantial and lasting way -- but it's the complete opposite of what they want. You don't get Anita Sarkeesian on The Colbert Report if your side is winning."

"You're an example of what not to be, even if the issues -- the treatment of women and minorities in online communities -- is something we should be talking about."