Gamergate: Last life for game journalists, full health for gamers.

If you’ve never heard about GamerGate then you either don’t play video games, or you’ve been playing too many to notice it in the media.

GamerGate is a whirlpool of misrepresented facts, feminist/misogynistic slander, and a whole heap of questions about ethics in video game journalism.

Zoe Quinn, the centre of Gamergate, who was doxxed and harassed online for her game ‘Depression Quest’ (PHOTOGRAPH BY JASON GROW)

When Zoe Quinn released her game ‘Depression Quest’, an interactive novel about living with depression,in August 2014,  it garnered a significant amount of positive reviews from critics. However, the community of gamers felt that the game was over praised and didn’t deserve the feedback it was receiving.

Gamers blamed the journalistic ethics of the video game industry for the illegitimate attention to the game when Eron Gjoni posted a “rambling online essay” detailing an unfaithful relationship between Quinn and a Kotaku  journalist Nathan Grayson. These allegations were later proven to be false.  This didn’t stop angry gamers doxxing Quinn and sending death and rape threats and continuing to blame journalistic ethics.

Gamergate isn’t about ethics.  That is simply a misguided cover for what has become a sad blight on the word ‘gamer’. The scandal has spurred hundreds of hypersensitive articles simple because women are “challenging the status quo of gaming as a male-dominated space”

But the journalists are no better. In the wake of #gamergate gamasutra, destructoid, and vice have declared gamers to be dead. The truth here is that gamers aren’t dead, its the video game journalists who are dying.

” ‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction and professional life works that they can concoct online ‘wars’ about social justice or ‘game journalism ethics,’ straight-faced, and cause genuine human consequences. Because of video games. ” – Leigh Alexander

Gamasutra found in another article that YouTube personalities or video game enthusiasts had a bigger impact in sales than traditional journalistic reporting.

Gamers who threatened school shootings, rapes and death threats and accused journalist of ethical malpractice and the journalists who after only a few weeks pronounced the identity of their audience dead. It’s all part of Gamergate.

Gamergate became very quickly a mess of journalistic ethics, practices and questions about the relevance of video game journalism. Certainly there is a shadow on the word ‘gamer’ since August 2014 but they identity of the gamer is far from dead.


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