If #NotAllGamers Is Your Defense, You’ve Already Lost

I delved into Intel’s withdrawal from Gamasutra this weekend, seeing if public outcry has changed their minds about supporting misogyny and hatred over a woman’s right to be part of the gaming community.

No shock–they prefer the misogyny and hatred over the right of women to work in the video game industry.

During my reading I came across an article on Forbes.com by Erik Kain titled “Why It Makes Sense For Intel To Pull Ads From Gamasutra Over #GamerGate And Why It’s Still The Wrong Move”. There was very little said about the “wrong move” other than Intel is right to listen to their customers and quite a bit about how not all gamers are misogynistic thugs sending rape and death threats to women in the business, trying to drive them out. When your main defense of the attempted destruction of Zoe Quinn’s career and life is “Not all gamers do it” you’ve already lost the battle. That’s the same defense that #NotAllMen use, and instead of focusing on issues of misogyny, hate, bigotry, harassment and the like, it sweeps them under the rug so the “but I’ve never done that!” men never have to think about the problems, never have to try and help solve them, and in the end, ignore them because they’ve never done anything like that and the abuse doesn’t happen to them, anyway, so it can’t be a problem.

Kain is angry that Leigh Alexander had the gall to stereotype all gamers into asshole misogynists who send rape and death threats to women. “Nerds” have been fighting those anti-social stereotypes for ages. They are not the secluded basement-dwellers of myth because nowadays gaming is ubiquitous. No, no, gamers are normal people. You see, #Gamergate is really about how people buy good reviews for their video games and how underhanded that is. Sparking controversy by lighting the fuse to a bomb centered on “Entitled Gamers” is just stupid. In the end, it’s Alexander’s fault that Intel pulled their ads from Gamasutra, because her focusing on misogyny, hate, bigotry, harassment misses the point of why #GamerGate was established, and gamers have every right to insist Intel succumb to their “I have a right to send death threats to whomever I want and if you don’t agree, I’ll never buy another one of your products again” demands.

Kain’s article is a “No really, it’s not us gamers who are assholes, it’s the women who are at fault” article. When I read it to my husband, the first words out of his mouth were, “Is he really that clueless?”

Yeah. He is.

Gamers under the #Gamergate hashtag claim they want to solve the problem of game developers buying good reviews. That’s really what the Zoe Quinn thing is all about. No, really. It isn’t about the hundred-page screed her ex wrote to trash her because she broke up with him, and it isn’t about him sending hordes of men after her to shame, threaten and harass not only her, but her family and friends, because they broke up because hey, she slept with a game reviewer who didn’t even review her game Depression Quest but she still slept with him and that is absolutely inexcusable, though we don’t really say much about huge corporations buying reviews because they make COD and GTA and those are games gaters like!!!

And gaters will just ignore the male reviewer she slept with. He’s not that important, even though he’s supposed to be part of the problem. They won’t demand he lose his job. And why not?

So I have a question. If these gaters truly wanted to solve the problem, why attack Gamasutra? It’s known for doing everything #Gamergate people claim they want–fair, good reviews. Oh, wait, that’s right. They really don’t give a shit about fair game reviews–they just want to punish a website who had the audacity to publish an article critical of the gamer culture that led to Quinn’s absolutely horrible experience.

Let me remind you, Mr. Kain, that Intel would not have pulled their ads from Gamasutra if just a couple hundred people complained. No. They had to be inundated with complaints from gamer after gamer, people that you claim don’t really exist. Sure, there’s a few bad apples, but that doesn’t spoil the gaming barrel, right?

Yes, it does.

You see, the message Intel has sent me, and so many others, is that men who believe that women don’t belong in games, creating games, or playing games are in the right and the people who would love to see more diversity in character, story and gameplay aren’t important enough to their bottom line to care about. They prefer to support rape and death threats over articles trying to have a conversation about those horrible things, because silencing critics is an easy way to ignore the problems. They think what happened to Zoe Quinn is justice.

That’s one spoiled gaming barrel. What’s going to happen is that other websites are going to take note and silence their writers so they, too, don’t lose income. Problem solved through threats, which gaters are so good at.

I’m not so willfully blind.

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