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  • eacaraxe 12:09 am on December 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: elections, , , media,   

    Why the organized left needs to put its foot down on anti-Gamergate, RFN 

    I’ll be brief, as my point is short and easy to make. Which American demographic plays video games the most? Youth. The same demographic which leans left, but suffers from serious turnout issues.

    The same demographic which Democrats are in danger of losing already.

    How influential is the youth vote, one might ask?

    Some guy who no one outside hardcore political circles knew about until January, 2008, who thought the youth vote was worth marshaling.

    Pretty damn influential, as it turns out.

    Enter Gamergate, on which I won’t directly elaborate here…but did I mention that demographic already has an axe to grind with the mass mediafor many of the same grievances raised by Gamergate, and it is not a new one, check that linked article’s date of publication. The Democratic party’s and the left’s anti-videogame pedigree is well-established by this point, might I add.

    Now, if I were a Democratic donor, candidate, or campaign strategist, I’d be looking at the ESA’s numbers and wondering to myself, “what happens if so much as 1% of people who play video games get pissed off at the left enough by this they start staying home if they already voted, or start protest voting Republican as my own side has deemed fit to frame this a left-right conflict?”. Given what’s at stake in the next few elections and down the road looking at 2020, I’d probably be pretty fuckin’ nervous.

    Of course, were I a Republican donor, candidate, or campaign strategist, I’d be looking at this and thinking to myself, “who can I label the 21st Century’s Joe McCarthy first?”. Which is ultimately what this is about, because the disorganized, fringe left who comprises anti-Gamergate (and who really are the 21st Century’s answer to Joseph McCarthy) is playing with fire, in a huge way, that can have pretty damn serious ramifications for the left and the Democratic party at large if this manifests in any way in voting behavior…and the way things are going, it probably will.

    After all, we Americans take our freedom of expression, particularly when it comes to art and entertainment, pretty goddamn seriously.

    • ZenJos 12:39 am on December 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply


      The most generous estimates have GamerGate at about 200,000 supporters worldwide. That’s barely a blip on the national demographic radar, no matter how your slice it. In 2008, voters between the ages of 18-29 made up of 18% of total voter turnout, which, while not insignificant, is not the election-decider you characterize it as here. And in 2012, that demographic did grow….by one whole percent. And in both elections, we won by a much larger margin than 200,000.

      And if any of this shit is still relevant by November 2016 then there truly is no hope left for humanity.


      • eacaraxe 11:07 am on December 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        That’s 200,000 estimated vocal supporters. Throw in factors not easily quantified such as free riders and non-vocal supporters and there’s a serious problem…especially considering that if this issue takes any sort of real root in the public, considering the left-right framing and the Democratic party’s extant anti-gaming positions, the right will be extraordinarily quick to jump it (as they already have, at least within the gaming community).

        You also discount the power of the youth vote. Further reading:



        You also seem to forget that in order to participate in the 2008 general election, Obama had to be nominated first…and to do that, he had to go from being nationally unknown to by the DNC overcoming a candidate who was easily the most-entrenched, well-funded, and well-known Democratic candidate in recent history, and who for ulterior motives had the support of conservative Republicans in open primary/caucus states (Clinton). That was on the back of the youth vote.

        Yes, the youth vote IS an election decider. Not just in Presidential elections, but in Congressional elections, state elections, and mid-term elections, which in the run-up to 2020 (Democrats’ next do-or-die year) are going to be MUCH more important than whomever occupies the oval office.


  • eacaraxe 11:21 am on December 12, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Objectivity/Impartiality in game reviews, part…3? 

    I have maybe ten minutes to write this, so I apologize in advance if my thoughts aren’t articulated nearly as well as I might hope. I don’t have a lot of time to write about Gamergate lately, so I have to take whatever opportunities are given to me by my schedule and thought processes.

    I’ve discussed this before, here, here, and again tangentially here. This, put succinctly, is the problem:

    An example of impartial/objective reviewing: “game X made statement Y about a social issue. I disagree with the statement [a disclosure of bias, by the way], but it was stated clearly, communicated well, and was even persuasive and thought-provoking in its statement, which is a net positive.”

    An example of biased, agenda-driven reviewing: “game X made statement Y about a social issue. I disagree with this statement, so I’m giving it a bad review.” [see, Polygon and its review of Tropico 5, despite the fact the reviewer was actually factually incorrect about Latin American history and politics]

    Even setting aside allegations of conflict of interest, market-meddling, and incestuous relationships between journalists and devs, what occurs now among established gaming news outlets is almost exclusively the latter, and hardly (if ever) the former. This, relevant to gaming reviews, is the problem. Simply put, the latter isn’t journalism or criticism in any justifiable sense, it’s punditry.

    I know I keep going back to Birth of a Nation (see, here and here), but it’s still the best-possible example of which I can think to illustrate the point a work’s content and message, and its technical quality, are two separate entities which must each be judged on their own merits, and qualitative judgment of one should not impact the other.

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