I joined #GamerGate to try and understand why all the social justice inclined people I looked up to or followed in the geek community, were totally glossing over the outing of an abuser, to the point of enabling said abuser and victim shaming the victim.
It started with Dr. Nerdlove’s “Extinction Burst” article. I read it, it wasn’t unusual for him to call out toxic behaviour in the geek community, and thought “oh great, more shit from the minority of loudmouths.” Days later I was compelled to find out what actually happened, I guess Boogie’s petition must have popped into my FB feed a few times that made me wonder what was going on, and I happened across the original Escapist megathread thanks to Google. There were already 400-odd pages by that point but I started from the beginning. I hadn’t yet read thezoepost, but about 80 pages into the thread it seemed like there might be more to this than was reported.
So I read it and was apalled.
It wasn’t some “screed” by a “jilted ex-boyfriend”. It was very obviously a warning to anyone close to that relatively obscure indie developer to watch out because she was an abuser. And the “jilted ex” was actually a victim of abuse, that had done the incredibly brave thing of outing the abuser and was now getting a fuck-ton of grief for doing so. I saw it for what it was, and believed his intentions because I could completely understand why someone would do that in a “would also, if I could” kind of way.
It was completely baffling that even the good Doctor had missed this aspect, since he’s recognised the signs of male abuse victims in reader questions in the past, and has talked about it on his site. The mass censorship of the discussion anywhere but The Escapist further clued me in to something being not quite right here.
The massive web of connections people had found behind the scenes was fascinating, the Indie-fensible! videos and GameJournoPros leaks were shocking, and the continuous gaslighting from the anti-#GG media was disturbing. The last four weeks have felt like a perpetual opposite day, where the supposedly progressive and social justice anti-#GGs were using tactics they often accuse trolls of in their own spaces, being openly racist and sexist towards #GG members posting in #NotYourShield, and doxxing, harassing and abusing people for daring to disagree with them. I just couldn’t pull myself away from it all.
So here I am, 4 weeks later still hooked on the events of #GamerGate, still supporting, still trying to find out why people have taken leave of their senses and are protecting an outed abuser, and enjoying the break #GamerGate has afforded my mind from recent events IRL.
#GamerGate has restored the faith I lost in the gaming community because of the clickbaity gaming press.