Essay: “What #GamerGate Means To Me…”

It’s a hard question, harder than what I thought it would be. I identify myself as a gamer, I have played games most of my life and they have shaped me in more ways than I previously thought possible. I have a lot of passions and hobbies but gaming has always been and always will be my main hobby.

I have been an avid follower of gaming news outlet for decades, ranging from early printed magazines to the modern gaming sites. I love reading news about gaming and I loved it when to see people who had the same passions as me had such grand avenues of communication.

Gaming was regularly attacked by mainstream media and I always ended up in arguments with non gamer acquaintances who openly preached that games ‘fry your brain’ and ‘make you violent’. It was refreshing to see that there were avenues to defend my hobby and I felt reassured that I wasn’t the only one who defended gaming.

That was the case up until a few years ago. Initially it was a small trend in certain gaming sites that criticized certain aspects of gaming; it felt odd to me, on one hand I thought that some criticism was warranted but on the other I never saw the particular things that were criticized in my gaming life. The gaming sites had earned my trust however and as thus I let it slide.

Years later the criticism became downright false, acidic and unwarranted. The things that they were criticizing gaming about weren’t there or they were taken out of context. What was worse was that no one was pointing this out. I felt that I was going insane as a result.

This is what cultivated in me becoming a supporter of GamerGate; the outright lies and unwarranted criticism angered me and when the revelations started coming in that everything was down to collusion and financial gain…

I lost all trust I had for certain people. They broke that trust with their actions, I followed and listened to them, basing my purchase habits on their word but they never returned that trust with some basic respect towards me and the rest of their audience. I don’t think that they will ever regain that trust from me.

In the end, #GamerGate is about my broken trust towards people I used to respect. #GamerGate showed me that I am not alone in feeling betrayed and that there are legitimate concerns in regards to the corruption among gaming journalists. Perhaps I am a fool, I always knew that there was some corruption in the industry but I never believed it would go this far.

I never believed that a small clique could hijack most of gaming news site in order to push an agenda and I never believed that they would even go as far as to attack game developers and the gaming audience.

I just wanted to play games and be informed about games; that’s why I trusted them. They then used that trust to push an agenda. With that agenda in mind they attacked anyone who they considered an enemy, game developers, fellow journalists and even ordinary gamers. None of them were left untouched by their false agenda. I want this to stop and that is what #GamerGate is to me.

Stopping people from abusing their power in the industry.



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