The source of my anger at Gamergate

Originally posted on twitlong, 31 Aug.

Well, after some soul-searching tonight I finally realized what about this whole shitstorm really stuck in my craw. I really shouldn’t have given so much time and thought to this tempest in a teapot, but something about it I couldn’t quite place kept me here. I should have figured it out when a noteworthy “blogger” publicly fat-shamed a prominent Youtuber, but I didn’t, and in retrospect I feel rather silly for it as it was right in front of my face.

I’m sure other, more sensitive to their own, and others’ feelings have realized this…but hey, I’m slow on the uptake when it comes to the feelings department.

I still believe in the straightforward ethics and integrity in journalism, but there’s an additional angle to it. A far more damning, insidious one. As much as certain gaming journalists have gone on about inclusiveness and acceptance in gaming, engaged in various forms of despicable demagoguery, demonstrating a truly phenomenal lack of self-awareness and making themselves case evidence of the very grievances against gaming journalists, stereotyping and demonizing gamers in order to convince people this is “really” about misogyny rather than their own house of cards, they seem to have forgotten one crucial aspect that fundamentally undermines every claim they have to make and proves them exactly what they are.

That gamer stereotype? Let’s take a critical look at it. Nope, not talking about “white, teen-to-early adult, heterosexual cisgendered male”. That other stuff, the stuff journalists want you to see anything but. The dirty social connotations and baggage. The stuff journalists are playing reverse “no true Scotsman” in vain attempt to frame around.

Many gamers are introverse. Many gamers suffer the entire gamut of social anxiety disorders. Many gamers are on the autism spectrum. Many gamers have health-related issues that impede movement, energy levels, and the like. I’m no psychiatrist or physician so I’m in no position to say who has what, but these are common aspects of MANY gamers.

When we’re called “shut-ins”, “lazy”, “socially awkward”, “emotionally stunted” or even “socially retarded”, or any other libelous labels to stereotype us, that’s what they’re identifying. Those are aspects of ourselves that are seen as defects, which underprivilege us, to which they’re referring. In short, they’re being stunningly ableist and invoking social privilege for self-proclaimed champions of inclusiveness.

“Ugly”, “virginal”, “fat”, “unwashed”, “unhygienic”, “Cheeto (or even in a truly hilarious moment of un-irony, Dorito-) stained”, et cetera, is fairly straightforward and obvious. It’s appearance-shaming, and its being employed by would-be pillars of equality.

Even “nerd” for its social connotations and mixture of all of the above has the stink of it.

When journalists invoke “gamer” and use those words, they’re bullying in a very real way. They’re being oppressive. Nope, not in a “muh man feels” or “male tears” way, they’re being actual fucking oppressors.

Those responsible for the “death of gamers” want you to see a stereotypical dudebro, a white, cisgendered, heterosexual male who “really” doesn’t have anything “wrong” with him, he’s just a misogynist asshole. They don’t want you to see someone with Asperger’s, or someone who suffers from crippling social anxiety disorder and struggles everyday with it. They don’t want you to see someone who suffers from hyperthyroidism or diabetes.

Those people aren’t “gamers”. They’re the new, inclusive face of a kinder, gentler hobby that’s better off without the misogynerds. Never mind the fact the language used to describe the constructed outgroup throws their kindler, gentler, new brand of gamers straight under the bus as collateral. Don’t look behind the curtain, you misogynist, you might see the demagogue behind the smoke and thunder..

The “death of gamers” is a hate campaign founded in ableism and body-shaming, laughably executed in the name of intersectional feminism. It’s not against misogyny, because for it to be against misogyny it must actually be for inclusiveness and acceptance, and that is clearly not the case. I won’t make any assertions as to what I believe it to actually be about, I’ll leave that to the readers, but I think it’s fairly clear.