GeekDad speaks out about Gamergate



Why are people still compelled to “speak out?” Why? Can’t this go on the ashheap of history already?

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Because the asshole trolls are still out there, causing harm to their targets. It’s the same reason why it’s still news when someone like Tim Cook comes out of the closet. Because gay people are still targeted by bigots. Funny, 99% of the time, people who complain like you are and say we should just move on because it’s the 21st century blah blah blah are themselves not entirely on the same page…


Exactly. Case closed, problem solved, everybody is living happily-ever-after, and these geek-dads have no reason to worry about their daughters’ future.


Yes yes of course I’m the problem. But surely the outrage must be replaced with a new outrage some day. I personally can’t give internet trolls 100% of my attention forever. I suppose that makes me a reactionary.


Nice strawman you got there, would be a shame if anything happened to it.


Strawmen are people, too. I don’t think you should make thinly veiled bigoted threats to their well-being.


How about when my daughter is damn well able to take care of herself and s**t like this doesn’t happen anymore?

I don’t see anybody going “oh, we’re so tired of hearing about the bad boys having sex with our daughters*. Can’t we replace this with some new outrage?”

They’re not mutually exclusive. My daughters only 2.5, and I’m already glaring at cars driving by with glass-pack mufflers.


‘*’ My daughter is, as I said, two-and-a-half. I’ll happily indulge in overblown cliches until she’s out of highschool, while still keeping a wary eye on the chess club. Those little geeks got moves.


We further commit, however, NOT to reject in any way any video game simply because nobody on the development team was female. Because that would be just as bad as the discrimination we’re trying to fight.

Uh huh. Nice effort, but I have a reflex of side-eyeing groups of men who feel the need to codify that discrimination against men is OMG JUST AS BAD as sexism. Call me when more than 10% of video game designers are women, and I’ll consider your claim that all-male design teams are not a problem.


Yeah, I totally agree. I’m okay with the intent of most of the pledge, but point four is problematic. At some point, Men will have to get their head around the notion that boycotting a video game (for whatever reason) is in no way “just as bad” as what the women on the receiving end of the Gamerhate movement are experiencing.

Even walking back from that, let’s just talk about the notion of boycotting in general. In a nominally capitalist society, a boycott is more or less the market speaking. It’s also easily avoidable. Just doesn’t fit in with the discussion.


Actually, just look at the link “Tim Cook just changed the world” for a rebuttal: by entreating people to “just move on” because “there are more important things to worry about” simply works to diminish the value of an issue that is still of critical importance to many and remains largely unsettled. It’s just a passive-aggressive turn of phrase that reinforces a position of ignorance.


If you, think it is not OK to reject an “all-male” video game but think that this an entirely irrelevant straw man because discrimination against men (which would be sexism, BTW) just isn’t happening on any relevant scale, then you should just say “Yes, so what?”. Straw man arguments are annoying, but defending the straw man just does not make sense.

If you think that an all-male development team is grounds for boycott, then it wasn’t a straw man argument. Then there’s no need to “side-eye” them, they weren’t trying to derail the debate, they were defining their position. You are just honestly disagreeing with them. You can choose to discuss this disagreement, or you can agree to disagree and be happy that you have them on your side for the points that really matter. Sure, you might care about diversity in development teams, but lets start on “fewer death threats” first.

In this context, point 4 looks like a perfectly reasonable way to appeal to the “middle” segment of the audience. They’re not bringing up a straw man (boycotting everything made only by men) in order to use it against women, they are acknowledging that some people in their audience are maybe afraid of that straw man. They attack the straw man to make their other points credible. And since no one cared about the straw man in the first place, that shouldn’t be a problem.

Kind of like American politicians saying “I’m no communist, but everyone should have health insurance!”. Talking about communism to attack universal health care would be an obvious straw man argument; anticipating the same straw might even be necessary to get any message across.


Tangentially, I was having a conversation the other day with a coworker and discussing the scale of gaming as a “culture” and framed it like this: not only are there more games being published than reasonable people can expect to play (let alone even hear of), this trend holds true for niche subgenres as well. I love digital board games (and conversions) for iOS, and even that has titles that I haven’t gotten around to playing.

My point is this: there are a crap-ton of games out there, and if someone chooses to skip a game because the designers didn’t stop to question why their development team turned out to be all male… Well, that’s the developers’ fault, not the gamer’s.

Boycotting is a natural extension of the typical gamergate entreatment of “if you don’t like it, make your own game”. We also don’t have to play it, and we reserve the right to critically discuss it at the same time.

So yeah, number four seems like their attempt to be reasonable, but as you point out, it’s a bit hollow.

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IKR? And she doesn’t stop to question if she’s burning the roast again.

One thing I have found bogus about all of this is the assertion that females don’t/shouldn’t play or develop games. Or that those who do are “looking for attention”.

I have been involved in a competitive gaming scene for years, and I know that many of the participants are female, even just from their voices on the microphone. They definitely don’t claim to be female or even talk about it, but it is still apparent that they are. And this is even just the sampling of those with mics - many, including myself, don’t use them. Some of our best players are female, and “butthurt” over having them hand you your ass would just be sore losing. It is a game of skill, and the players are hardcore. They are a significant demographic in our part of the game world, and admins don’t tolerate personal attacks based on gender, or any other reason.

The gaming world needs only one thing: It’s own Larry Flynt. One person to take the heat, make games people want to play regardless of it’s cultural implications, and not back down.

This pledge should have only one point:

  1. We commit to developing and supporting good games.


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Ha ha ha. You must be referring to something cultural critics call the “status quo”.

Games today are great when held up to where they were ten, twenty, or thirty years ago. Rather, the current discussion is “what can make them better?”


We’re talking past each other. I don’t mean people should hurry up and get over sexism. That would be stupid. I mean that eventually these particular trolls have to run out of their fifteen minutes of glory. For me, that was about fifteen minutes after I first heard of them. Then again, I don’t particularly care about ethics in gamer journalism.

We’re all looking for attention. Aren’t we posting comments on the internet?


FWIW, you didn’t come across that way. you could do an “UPDATE: [what I really meant was]” edit to the original, while leaving the original text intact, to lend clarity to both your intentions (honorable!) and the subsequent commentary.


I’ve tried to follow this whole thing and this seems to have nothing to do with the real gamergate. For the record I’ve worked in the gaming industry for over 15 years, and I think in every case women were my managers or were vice presidents. On the other side, I’ve also worked with marketing setting up events and promotions and I saw how much the press gets in incentives. Isn’t that the real gamergate?