I’d never heard of Gamergate before reading the assigned articles. Most of all, I’m surprised so many people care so deeply about games that something like this would happen. I guess people who spend considerable amounts of money and time playing games are passionate and feel deeply invested when it comes to games, who makes games and how they’re covered in the media. It still surprises me that people care.
Basically, Gamergate started because some guy blogged about how his ex-girlfriend supposedly cheated on him with five different men. Ostensibly, she “did” this for publicity purposes — to drum up interest in her own games. As it goes, some members of the game community were outraged with this immoral, pleasure-seeking woman, and they publicly attacked and threatened her. When these people realized they actually were the ones being made to look bad, they made the issue about the ethicality of people who review and write about games. They even duped Intel into being on their side.
It’s upsetting that this woman was personally and publicly attacked over unconfirmed accusations concerning her private life. It’s upsetting that some gamers supported this movement and later attempted to shift from the personal attacks to a moral high ground — a shift they made only after realizing that personal attacks and misogyny were bad colors on them. It’s upsetting that some people care so deeply about games they would attempt to harm other living people in the name of games and the industry’s credibility. It’s all very upsetting.
I don’t have much of an opinion about some of the issues that fall under Gamergate — I lack knowledge of the game industry and how such business is conducted — but the entire notion of Gamergate seems misguided. A few people were mad that this woman might have been unfaithful to her boyfriend in a ploy to grow interest in her games. When that became an unpopular and unbecoming position for gamers to have, they conveniently shifted focus to the ethics of game journalism, even though this woman doesn’t seem to have crossed any ethical boundaries. It seems as if these people are scouring their lives and the game industry for presumably nonexistent issues about which they can be upset.