An open response to Mark Kern in regards to his Gamergate petition

Originally posted via twitlong, 16 February, 2015

Hi, you don’t know me, but I’m a long-time Blizzard customer and fan. i own Rock ‘n Roll Racing, for God’s sake. I also happen to be a heavily moderate #gamergate supporter.

I thank you for speaking out, putting your employment and status as a game developer on the line, and trying to effect positive change to end this debacle. That takes genuine courage, especially in what — as far as anyone can tell, through the veil of near-absolute opacity on the part of the gaming press — is a deep and well-entrenched culture of fear among the games industry. Indie devs and journalists have been blacklisted and publicly shunned in real time and in public for doing less than you did today.

Hell, when the chairman of an IGDA chapter is put on a blockbot by his own trade association, there was what appears to be an internal coup, and the chapter was ostensibly dissolved over it, it becomes clear all is not well in the state of Denmark. So, know that whatever comes of this, gamers such as myself will support you and your products even if the games media will not.

But, I can’t support your petition. I wish I could, and it very much bothers me that I cannot. After nearly seven months of demonization, posturing, bad-faith dealing, outright fabrication, and censorship by the gaming press — especially by the very outlets you name, and key players within those outlets — I have zero trust in them to respond in good faith and honor a call to action, in the long or short term.

Even before that, I stood witness to the press debacle over Mass Effect 3’s endings, and while I enjoyed the endings, I understood the anger of those who did not and supported their right to speak their mind and watched them go through the same turmoil Gamergate does now. I bring the “retake Mass Effect” campaign up specifically because, in many ways it set the precedent for press response to Gamergate. It was then gamer-baiting, disfiguration, and transfiguration were set in stone as the modus operandi to respond to consumer malcontent.

Back to Gamergate. It was the gaming press that started this. The gaming press, for years before Gamergate started, relied upon old and damaging stereotypes to bait, manipulate, and I would even say gaslight, gamers and misrepresent them to the mainstream media. When Gamergate started, it was the gaming press — and their surrogates and accessories — who likened us to ISIS, the KKK, Nazis, and more. This continues even today, with those responsible for the disfigure not merely unrepentant in their accusations, but reveling in it:

This comes from Bob Chipman, a personal friend and now-colleague of Devin Faraci, the originator of the “Gamergate is worse than ISIS” meme among major names in the press:

(Disclosure: this tweet was made during the “Quinnspiracy” phase of this controversy, before it was labeled Gamergate, when games journalists and gaming outlets were unilaterally and without explanation censoring all debate over Quinn’s professional conduct and any implications thereof.)

This controversy is merely a symptom of a more endemic problem in gaming and the gaming press. The implicated journalists themselves — and make no mistake, they are overwhelmingly white and male, lest my statements draw the typical disfiguration from detractors that I am simply misogynist and trying to drive women, minorities, and LGBT’s from gaming — are the cause. So long as they remain, while tensions may temporarily loosen, the cause remains and there will be further controversies and implications of widespread wrongdoing.

This does not end so long as they, or their platforms, remain in any position of influence over the gaming press or gaming industry.