Opinion: A Note About #Gamergate

Oh yes, it’s that topic we’re broaching about tonight. What follows is strictly opinion.

Issues of misogyny and sexism in gaming culture was always a problem that had never really been resolved. I wouldn’t know, but just from assuming that the gaming industry is a very male-driven industry, issues of sexism would no doubt pop up like in other industries dominated by men.

All of this came to a head after the so called Quinnspiracy saga, and Anita Sarkeesian’s alleged death threats which drove her out of her home. Despicable actions? Most definitely. The people who have been hassling these women are disgusting people and they should be silenced. Game developers should not be harassed or bullied. Women should not be insulted and threatened. This point I CANNOT make clear enough. I should also raise the point of developer Milo Yiannopoulos, who also received death threats but with barely any online reaction.

Then came Gamergate, a counter trend to fight the growing backlash at the gaming population, dominated on Twitter as a hashtag. As websites proclaimed the ‘end of gamers as we know it’ a vicious tirade of hatred spewed forth from both parties. Gamers got offended, websites got offended at their accusations of a lack of ‘journalistic integrity’ and somehow it turned into an argument of gamers being sexism and hatred of women. People supporting Gamergate accused websites of having their own agenda, of pushing controversial issues to get more clicks rather than a fair assessment of, well, games. #NotYourShield, a similar hashtag focused on women and minority groups who are being ignored in the argument.

But the escalation of what is now known as ‘Gamergate’ is the problem. The problem is that the websites that have decided to attack the entirety of the gaming population, when the inherent problem is not the entire population.

Again, I must reiterate that what has happened to such personalities like Quinn and Sarkeesian is inhumane and disgusting. But there is a population of 700 million being attacked. 700 million, and maybe, MAYBE 1% of which are responsible for these attacks and accusations. 46% of these are female. If the side of gaming development is male dominated, gamers sure aren’t. Minus the 46% of the 700 million (due to the fact everyone is assuming it is only the male gaming population responsible) and that’s 378 million gamers supposedly attacked and harassing women.

I don’t believe that. I don’t believe that many people watch Sarkeesian’s videos. I don’t believe that many people even CARE about things like journalistic integrity and the whole Gamergate debate. I believe most of these gamers just want to play. Maybe some people want to actually talk about things like questionable ethics without being accused of misogyny. I think there should be fair debate without turning the argument into vitriolic accusations and automatic screams of sexism.

Here at Press Start we respect our readers. We love Australia and we admire and respect the people who make our website possible. Which is why you will not see us accuse ‘gamers’ of being dead, which is why you will never see us attack our reader base. You will also not see us join this Gamergate mess because neither side is doing things the right way. If you’re a gamer and are offended by the situation that has taken over the gaming world, then do something about it. If you feel websites are being unfair to you, stop visiting them, boycott them. If you hate women, well then I pray for you.

Otherwise, if you’re a gamer, then just enjoy games.