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#gamergate Ben's story

On 09/18/2014 at 01:09 PM by BrokenH

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So a lot has happened with me being in gamer-gate. Don’t worry, this will not be a piece bagging on Anita or Zoe as I feel like the movement (feels weird calling it that) has evolved so far beyond its’ initial roots it‘s no longer about them. If anything, I wish Gamer-Gate had started on a more positive note other than a hurting ex-boyfriend airing his girlfriend’s sex-life. Don’t get me wrong, overall I’m sure Eron is a nice guy but like the rest of us sometimes do, I think he did something kind of questionable in the heat of his emotions. The only good thing about The Quinnspiracy is it “did” bring up the issues of nepotism and cronyism. Everything else is throw away garbage for me.

Not that was the start of all this for me personally. I remember when Bob Mackey (a game journalist) first wrote “This Month In Misogyny” for 1up. It was the first time the “shame narrative” was in full swing and Bob seemed to take a perverse glee out of hitting gamers where it hurts. I recall him slandering J-rpgs especially, saying games like Hyperdimension Neptunia were just for pedophiles. (At the time I knew several female game friends who “loved” J-rpgs too, including the ones with racier, sexier, and cuter content.)  Rape-culture was used as a catchphrase a few times as well. Many 1uppers were offended or outright furious and I was one of the loudest voices against Mackey.

The feud between Bob and I continued on and off from that point on. Eventually Bob was so pissed at me he got members from the forum Bo News to descend upon my 1up blog. Yes, this was a professional journalist recruiting “mercenary friends” to troll me. Among them was K. Thor and his loathing of gamers seems pretty apparent even to this day.

To the credit of 1up, Jeremy Parish eventually stepped in, apologized, and put Mackey in his place. It’s a rare gesture I don’t see often (As in an editor siding with the readers) and though Jeremy and I had our disagreements as well I still respect him for trying to keep the ethical standards of being non bias and fair to everyone. Has Jeremy clung to those standards? I hope so though after I read Kat Bailey’s article comparing Lords Of Shadow 2 to Rape-lay, I simply could not stomach sticking around on US gamer any longer.

But if you think that’s my only initiation into how these people work you would be a bit wrong. Not too long ago I made a little rpg using rpgmaker VX ace.(With pixlbit's resident blogger Blake contributing some of the music) I’m certainly not endorsing it as anything special. It told the story I wanted it to yet was not that ambitious when it came to bells and whistles. Sure, I made original sprites for each character (Using a sprite editor) and chose a more urban modern setting but  the battle system was right out of the first Dragon-Warrior and once you collected all the soulmorphisis cards the difficulty became way too easy.   

 I released the game too early before changes were added later to make it more user friendly. This got me some very well deserved criticism and helpful feedback that I would later use to revise the project further. But even then the atmosphere was tense. There were complaints about my art being “objectifying to women” and once it was known my game dealt with rape and depression (And yes, I’m bi-polar irl) the sentiment was “Oh, it’s okay to address sexual assault and depression but we know you’re going to botch it up anyway because you’re a white cis shit-lord who has never known hardship in your whole life!’.

With that particular rpgmaker site being filled to them brim with cynicism and nepotism, I decided to give game-jolt a try. The people there were a lot nicer and Gutter-delve seemed to skate by on positive scores for awhile. Then came the whirlwind of negativity that is Gliz-Caldo. Gliz had done a whole series of videos mocking my game on you-tube. Granted, it was the earlier build so a good portion of his grievances were probably legitimate. However, he took his impressions from that early build and scored my updated game based on that. Eventually I convinced Gliz to do another review and get back to me. Had he been a reasonable person he might have complimented the improvements but instead he found new things to bitch about and the list goes as follows.

1. Instead of being happier there were no more random battles Gliz complained the enemies seen on screen did not have aggressive enough AI to seem threatening and that they re-spawned after a few seconds. First of all, the enemy sprites are just there to eliminate the need for random battles. Their point is for gamers to touch them to be whisked into the battle-screen. That’s all, really. Had I made an action game Gliz’s critique would have been more valid but this was an rpg instead. Rpgs are known more for their story and they handle fights very differently from action games. (At least turn based rpgs do) Also, it takes awhile for the enemies to respawn, enough time for the player to move on with no troubles.

Perhaps Gliz’s oddest statement in all this was that he said he felt guilty killing the monsters because they were too easy. Yes, the “too easy” remark is a valid concern but feeling “guilt” over dispatching the enemies? The game is not violent. It has mature content and swearing but the battles are the least offensive thing in Gutterdelve. (Beyond the monsters saying some pretty messed up dialogue but that is meant to keep the player aware they’re fighting a dark force that represents the ills of humanity.)

2. At one point the female characters have a conversation in the kitchen. You would think this would not spark anything negative in the audience but Gliz tried to spin it as “They’re females in the kitchen=sexist symbolism!” And my gawd, it worked too. Soon other complainers mentioned this very scene and accusations were flung I simply cannot write female characters very well. Keep in mind these characters were introducing themselves to a new female character. They were not “making sandwiches” for their boyfriends or anything nonsensical like that.(The game even let’s you know earlier on the male character Liam is the best at cooking) It just so happened they were hanging out in the friggin kitchen!

3. Gliz complained the “new music” put in the game was “too generic”. Keep in mind he was the same guy to harshly get on my case for using copyrighted music when he first played the game so I changed it based on his feedback. Yeah,he made the game worse for himself! Beyond that, I’m happy with the new soundtrack anyway and I’m glad you-tubers doing let’s plays of my game will not get flagged. That’s the beauty of using open source music!

Regardless I was fucked after that. Once one asshole decides to shit on something it encourages other assholes to shit on something. Yet all through this abuse I did not flag comments or even flag Gliz’s videos.

Assuming my game is still at Game-jolt you can go there and see the comments. (Good, bad, and inflammatory) If anything ,at least I was anti-censorship through it all. I let people air their grievances even though I thought many of them were overly sensitive hipster douche bags. (I think I complained to a mod once. I just cannot remember how that went exactly.)

Before you think I’m a martyred saint don’t jump to that assumption just yet. Admittedly I have made some pretty nasty blogs about Gliz and I confess some of the stuff I said about him was unjust and uncalled for. Still, this was pent up frustration after the guy had followed me around and camped on my game page a lot! Yes, I pulled an “Eron” and I hope I will handle this kind of crap better in the future!

This all happened pre-gamer-gate and I think it is a good indicator on how developers and gamers both experience pressure from a toxic politically correct environment. It’s one thing to critique a game for having bugs or being too easy but it is another thing to rally against design choices and “creative expression” just because they do not fit some preconceived notion of social acceptability and moral superiority.

How gamer gate has made me a better person.

I never would have guessed feminists of all people would have spoken up on my behalf but they have. Yes, there are feminists that are pro #gamergate. Granted I still prefer the term “egalitarian” for myself but it’s still great to see people like Christina Sommers and Liana Kerzner helping us out. Because of this my narrow-minded views of feminism have changed. I’m having to re-evaluate and re-examine my personal beliefs about them and that is a good thing. I “want” to keep growing as a person. An epiphany like this one helps me do that while simultaneously making me into a better human being.

Then there’s #notyourshield, a phrase that spawned from lgbts and other ethnic groups fed up with game journalism using them as an excuse and a diversion to cover up their own corruption. There are just so many wonderful people  from all walks of life nicely mingling on twitter right now it makes me almost tear up. To me “this” is diversity. “This” is true harmony. Make no mistake,#gamergate is not just a bunch of pissed off straight white dudes attacking people like Anita Sarkeesian. It’s a rainbow collective of gamers from around the world of all colors, all beliefs, all genders, and of all sexual preferences. And I’ll be happy to ride that rainbow right down the throats of corrupt games journalism and politically correct Marxism until they choke on us!  




09/18/2014 at 01:39 PM

I guess I didn't learn much for all of this Gamergate thing is because I never really got involved in all of this. I was just content sitting by the sidelines and busting my gut with laughter with all that was taking place. Upon reading this I do feel a bit gulity in laughing if it was at the expense of legit individuals who were trying to make an inteilligant statement toward the whole thing.

With that said I still can't help but snicker at the whole thing. Hopefully all have learned something from all of this. All I learned is just to be happy to be me and never feel I need defend my interest as a gamer. I like to kill things. simple as that.


09/18/2014 at 02:54 PM

I know on the surface it might just seem like dumb folks beating the crap out of each other with a less-than-verbose vocabulary on twitter. I can see how that might be funny from an outsider perspective. lol.

However, I do think forced censorship,slander,mud slinging,nepotism,ad-hominem attacks on a whole consumer base,and collusion are things we should worry about. I know we live in a jaded age where the common thought is "Things are corrupt and that's just how it is!" but frankly I rather fight and try to come up with solutions.


09/19/2014 at 01:38 PM

I agree with you wholeheartedly when it comes to those core issues about the situation. It is indeed something we shouldn't just accept as the new normal despite the points to the contrary. But at the same time there had to have been a better way to address it than what came about. that's what also put me in a laughing fit. This was the best responce as gamers could come up with?

It was either laughing like a madman or shaking my head in disgust. So I chose my default reaction, you cant' spell "manslaughter" without "laughter".


09/21/2014 at 10:53 PM

I can see why folks want to steer clear of the whole damn mess. It's gotten to the point pro-gamergate gamers have been doxxed and threatened with replies like "We have your personal info,stop taking about gamergate". Frankly, I never thought it would go this far. Yet that does show you a difference is gradually being made. The other side seems very desperate right now. Do you know The Escapist's gamergate forum thread came under d-dos attack after a conversation between Greg Tito and Ben Kuchera? Crazy shit. Surprised


09/18/2014 at 02:07 PM

I first tried to ignore the GamerGate controversy just because I didn't want any drama. Though now that I see the great effort of people of both tags, i'm quite following a bit of it and i'm glad of the people that are making very good statements and calling out the bullshit of the Tumblr type Social Justice Warriors.

Also, since you mentioned GOOD feminism (Christina Sommers for example), ever heard of the developer group The Fine Young Capitalists?


09/18/2014 at 02:31 PM

I'm listening to a stream with The Fine Young Capitalists right now. That's uncanny,man!


09/18/2014 at 02:29 PM

I've tried my best to continue fence-sitting on this issue, but it's kind of hard to stay that way after reading a mess of articles/blog and twitter posts that basically amass to 'anyone who even considers being pro-gamegate is a [insert random generalization here]'. All it really does is show me that for all the bluster, they're really no better than the people they claim are in the wrong.


09/18/2014 at 02:33 PM

I understand fence sitting but this is something very personal to me that has been an issue for awhile. Regardless, I do think mainstream game journalism needs reform.


09/18/2014 at 04:06 PM

On that I agree wholeheartedly. Maybe it's about time I step off of the fence and see what meager contributions I can make. What's the worst that could happen?


09/18/2014 at 08:50 PM

Well,nothing terrible has happened to me,probably because I'm a small fish. lol. And it's easy to make a positive contribution without putting your neck on the chopping block. There are bigger contributors helping GG and it means they would probably be targeted before us foot soldiers. And you don't even have to be a soldier. If you have the heart of a gamer you're technically already on the right side in my opinion.


09/18/2014 at 02:29 PM

I've stayed out of the Gamergate thing. I have a view of Twitter as the Internet's toilet anyway, where anyone and everyone can take a big public diarrhea shit. The only problem is, once you take a shit on Twitter, you can't flush it away. My Twitter account has lain dormant for three years and I'm probably going to go on Twitter one last time to close it down.

First, I really don't think Gamergate is going to accomplish much as far as "journalistic integrity." If you want to discount the folks tapping away at Candy Crush Saga or Kim Kardashian's Hollywood on their phones while sitting on the can as not being "true gamers", as a lot of the hardcore gaming community seems to do, gaming is a small, niche hobby. Gaming "journalism" outlets are enthusiast sites, not the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, and nothing more. As such, they're never going to attract budding Edward R. Murrows from journalism schools. As such, they're always going to be beholden to the content creators to a degree, in part because they're never going to attract steady outside ad revenue from big non-gaming firms like Procter and Gamble. Their primary source of revenue will always be gaming and gaming-related companies, so that makes for an obligatory relationship between the game publishers and the professional game writers. That's why we'll never see any true hard-hitting articles about, say, Electronic Arts' less-than-stellar business practices, which, IMO, are a hell of a lot more important than allegations that the developer of a little indie game may have slept with the writers of some game website that ranks 100,000 or below on Alexa. You're better off, in that case, sticking with PewDiePie or some other gaming enthusiasts that might share your personal tastes in games. This post here is pretty much one of three posts I've ever made about Gamergate, and I have no plans to get involved in Gamergate in any other way, shape or form. :)

The only gaming-related publication I ever thought was worth subscribing to was Nintendo Power - a publication published by Nintendo of America, that shamelessly picked winners and losers in Nintendo's ecosystem by promoting them in its magazines and reviewing them. As a subscriber, I was basically paying Nintendo to advertise to me. I mean, in Nintendo's defense, they didn't pretend Nintendo Power was supposed to be hard-hitting journalism, and every issue clearly had the words "Published by Nintendo of America" in it, at least until Nintendo turned the mag over to Future Publishing, so there wasn't any misrepresentation there. But man, was it fun. I never cared about game reviews, honestly, and NP had tips on how to play games that, for the most part, I really liked. I couldn't give less of a damn about all these gaming sites like Kotaku, Polygon, or Rock Paper Shotgun that cropped up after all the big gaming mags, including NP, bit the dust.

What Bob Mackey did to you was bullshit. Full stop. I am proud to say that I was one of probably more than a few 1UP compatriots that e-mailed Jeremy telling him (politely but firmly, since the problem was Mackey, not Jeremy) that I thought he needed to sit Bob down in the office and talk with him about basic customer service and human decency.


09/18/2014 at 02:37 PM

I agree with almost everything you said,Andrew. However,what you are saying about Gamergate seems a bit cynical. I mean this is something still going on that has not tapered off. This is something composed of many people from all walks of life agreeing on a core issue. Sure,there's a lot of crap posts and crap replies on social media sites but they can be used for accomplishing something good too.

But I will not try to sway you. If that's your stance that is your stance and I'll respect it. But you have to at least admit mainstream gaming sites declaring the death of the gamer in unison while comparing us to terrorists and misogynists is overkill and more than a little "wrong". Personally I'm tired of it.

PS: And Andrew,thank you ever so much for speaking up on my behalf to Jeremy Parish. It means the world to me,sir! Smile


09/18/2014 at 10:44 PM

Happy to be of service to you. As cynical as I may seem sometimes, I didn't care for that crowd dog-piling on you on Twitter and on 1UP, especially as I consider you to be a friend. I've also read some of the shit you've put up with on the RPG Maker forums. There's legit criticism... and then there's being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole.  I saw precious little of the former and an awful lot of the latter.


09/19/2014 at 02:04 AM

Well,that's why I'm kinda mad. The same shit that happened to me has finally started to happen to many more people in unison. But I understand your point of view as well. I'm hoping enough people begin to ignore places like Kotaku to the point they just kind of crumble in on themselves. But even if Kotaku and sites like it survive, #gamergate did introduce me to a lot of nice people and alternative sites to go to that are more like pixlbit. Thus even if GG does not cause the "sweeping changes" I hope for,at least I got something positive out of the experience,Andrew. Laughing


09/19/2014 at 03:26 AM

Not to mention that this is not the first time that the lack of gaming media's credibility has been revealed. But people will continue to frequent the likes of IGN to fuel their console wars and validate their tastes.  Remember, games "journalism" is corrupt until they give a game the score people think it should have before they've played it themselves.


09/19/2014 at 03:36 AM

IGN is aight. I mean they're "corrupt" but it's not that typical "You're filthy terrorist misogynists" anti-gamer propaganda kind of corruption. It's more of an issue of them simply being bought out by big developers and their advertisers. No,it's still not right but it's easier for me to endure the newest COD game get the standard obligotory "8.5" than having to put up with another knee-jerk article on how my favorite rpgs are somehow errily similar to disgusting rape simulators. Yell Just my derptastic opinion,Chris. lol.


09/19/2014 at 03:45 AM

I agree.  I never bother with their reviews anyway.  Any place that gives Godhand a 3 is diametrically opposed to my tastes.


09/19/2014 at 03:49 AM

Yeah,they lost me by giving Deadly Premonition a shit review. But their God-hand review was a travesty too!

Cary Woodham

09/18/2014 at 09:02 PM

That's a lot of drama.  I don't really get into all that, but I do remember some poops and snobs on 1up.  They should've hired me when they had the chance!


09/18/2014 at 09:07 PM

I dunno,Cary,a lot of these self proclaimed "big-dawg gamer sites" do not even know what a good reviewer is. Besides, I tend to have more love for places like pixlbit and gamer dad anyway! Wink


09/18/2014 at 11:55 PM

Look at that.  I learn something new about gamergate.  Cool


09/19/2014 at 01:59 AM

Glad to help educate,James. Funny,I consider myself to be a lousy teacher though. Tongue Out


09/19/2014 at 03:40 AM

These people are toxic. I think they come from broken families and grew up lacking adult role models to teach   The guys are as emotional and catty as your stereotypical teen girl, which speaks to a lack of male role models. The girls were probably never held responsible for their actions or taught coping skills. Let's be real, the way these people carry themselves does not speak well of their breeding. They are 20-30 year olds with an emotional age of 16.  I suspect their lives are going to be filled with otherwise avoidable discontent and tribulations until the day they die.  I wouldn't take anything they say anymore seriously than I would the whining of a child.


09/19/2014 at 03:56 AM

I agree. I mean sure,our generation did not walk 10 miles in the snow just to go to school but most of us could gracefully handle a bit of ribbing,rough-housing, and trash-talk. But these people grew up in a sycophantic echo-chamber Marxist utopia bubble that embodies San-Francisco right now. Almost feel sorry for em. I don't think they're prepared for the real world outside their suburbs and universities. When their glass dome shatters they're in for a rude awakening!

Matt R Staff Alumnus

09/19/2014 at 04:20 PM

Yup. This^ This is the generation that grew up watching Mean Girls so it's not surprising.


09/21/2014 at 10:49 PM

Heh,you put it in a nut-shell,Matt. lol.

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