To be absolutely honest, I would never have heard of Zoe Quinn if the so-called “GamerGate” hadn’t come up on my twitter and facebook feeds. Because two men I respect and find amusing brought it up or replied to others in their posts. I never would have heard about Anita … I can’t even remember her last name much less how to spell it. That woman making all the really good points and critical observations on Feministfreqency over on YouTube.
But here’s the thing. Spreading the personal information, addresses, locations, financial information, and phone numbers of other people all over the internet … this Doxxing crap? It’s a crime. Making threats of rape and murder? That’s a crime. That’s terrorism.
Here’s what it boils down to: So what if Zoe cheated on her former boyfriend? That’s between her, her ex, and whoever else. If you weren’t having sex with her, it isn’t your business. If you were, that’s none of my business. And if you’re going to start screaming “journalistic integrity” how about screaming it at the journalist instead of the game developer? Oh, and before you start pointing out all the real celebrities who’ve had their personal lives splashed across the media? I don’t care, that’s none of my business either.
So what if you don’t agree with Anita’s observations on her YouTube videos? You’re allowed to disagree, you’re more than welcome to offer a different viewpoint, but calling people crude names and threatening violence, especially sexual violence, is really just proving that she isn’t wrong.
If you can’t figure out a way to express your disagreement in a mature manner, well, it’s only ever going to come off as you being a twelve year old stomping his feet in the middle of the arcade screaming that girls aren’t allowed to play after your high score got wiped out by someone in pigtails and a Hello Kitty tee-shirt.
Y’know what, though? Half of all the people playing video games in the US are female. Some of us have been gaming since we had to beg our parents to give us our allowance in quarters and give us a ride to the nearest arcade so we could spend the entire roll on a beat ’em up or a shoot ’em up game.
We have been here just as long as you have. Playing video games, reading comic books, watching Star Trek, Star Wars and Doctor Who, and collecting dice for table top RPGs and action figures.
We have as much right to enjoy and create and even criticize games and game culture as you do. That goes for the act of being a nerd and/or geek in general, actually.
And we aren’t leaving.
So go make your own sandwich, we’re busy.