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#GamerGate, a squabble among children


Somewhere along the line I came across a story about #GamerGate, a Twitter hashtag focusing on a squabble among independent game developers and elements of the gaming “press” (magazines and websites focusing on video games). After slogging through several mind-numbing stories about the issue, it finally made me want to send a Martian hit squad to track down each of the participants and break their fingers with small silver hammers, so they could no longer perpetuate such online nonsense.

  • This socially-challenged whiner started the squabble with an endless screed about how his game-developer girlfriend left him, allegedly slept around to further her career, came back, left again, thought about coming back, left again… I couldn’t keep track amid all the whining. Note to SCW: you cannot control your partner’s actions, and your partner cannot control yours. It’s up to you to make yourself the most inviting, attractive, caring partner you can be, so your partner will not want to stray or betray you. If your partner does anyway, it’s their loss, not yours, and it’s time to move on and make better choices in partners next time. Returning to an ex-partner usually invites more suffering, and is not recommended; when you break up, it had better be final. And whining in an hours-long post about your ex-partner’s infidelity and duplicity is both pathetic and boring. Chalk it up to experience and move on.
  • The SCW’s ex-girlfriend allegedly engaged in sex with multiple people to obtain favored access and media coverage of her work. If that’s true, it’s her prerogative to do that, and it’s equally up to her potential targets to avoid her. What she does with her body and her career is her business. People who don’t like how she does business won’t do business with her, and that’s their prerogative also. The gaming developer world is relatively small, as is the world of gaming “journalism.” Word would get around, even without SCW posting such obnoxious drivel.
  • Various trolls in the gaming world piled onto social media to take one person’s side or the other. It really reminds me of a kindergarten playground, with all the associated shrieking and crying and name-calling.
  • Conspiracists called into question the trustworthiness of gaming websites and magazines who were targets of the ex-girlfriend’s career moves (meaning that they were perceived to have provided positive coverage to her in exchange for favors), and then began questioning the trustworthiness of all gaming press. From a “journalism” perspective, I agree that it’s unwise to believe most media coverage of specific games. Very often the game featured in the story is either never released, or it is a disappointment compared to the hype in the story. Gun magazines are the same way (remember the Bren Ten, one of the first mass-produced 10mm pistols? No? Guns&Ammo touted it heavily, but it died a swift death soon after because it was too powerful. Decades later, there are numerous .40 caliber pistols on the market, which use a shorter, more controllable 10mm cartridge). I haven’t read game magazines or visited game review websites in many years. If I want the scoop on a game, I go to Youtube and look up “[name] gameplay,” and watch what other gamers have done with the game. With or without a voice narrative, you can get a good sense of the game from watching a few minutes of it. That’s how I learned to love Portal and Portal 2. Also, I only buy used games after they’ve fallen below a certain price point. How long they take to fall to that price point is a good indication of how good the game is (the longer the wait, the better the game). Good games also retain their value. Lousy games can be had for pennies. The used-market price and rate of fall is a good gauge of a game’s quality. By definition, I don’t dabble much in the indie game world, since I don’t download games or play them online for security reasons. To me, most indie games are worthy of the name. Kind of like community theatre. Strictly minor-league. Sure, every game developer has to start somewhere. But it’s not my job to help them on their way. What limited time I have for gaming, I want to be a quality experience. (Mainly I just use it for target practice. Saves ammunition.)
  • Social Justice Warriors (SJWs, usually women) in the gaming press have attracted flak for using their positions in the media to harp on their favorite topics of sexism and misogyny and general victimhood. This is natural for them, since in college they are taught militant feminism, victimhood, and perpetual aggrievement, and of course they are working in the male-dominated tech industry, where inappropriate behavior occurs often and provides endless opportunities for SJW aggrievement. And of course such SJW-ing mirrors the general trend among “journalists” to use the media for broadcasting their own liberal propaganda. Then again, SJWs are allowed to have an opinion like anyone else, but I choose to ignore them because they are irrelevant. Unfortunately, various trolls have taken to social media and issued horrific threats against SJWs and the SCW’s ex-girlfriend and anyone else who takes their side. Those trolls are at the top of the list for the silver-hammer hit squad, because such antisocial behavior can only be discouraged by acute physical pain. Note to trolls: If you do not agree with someone, ignore them, do not threaten them. And don’t complain when the target of your threats retaliates. Note to targets of troll-threats: buy a weapon, learn how to use it, and use it without mercy when necessary.

Honestly, if this stupidity had a soundtrack, it would sound like this.

After reading entirely too much about #GamerGate, I decided that all of the participants deserve to have their fingers broken and their electronic devices recycled in an environmentally-responsible manner. The main protagonists and antagonists in this sideshow have confused gaming and online activity with life. They really need to get out more. Perhaps they’ll sit outside, nursing their bandaged hands, and remember what it’s like to breathe in the sunshine. Or perhaps not. The sunlight would probably kill some of them.

Either way, listen for the tinkle of silver hammers.

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