Last week, I wrote about the Entertainment Software Association’s reaction to “Gamergate” — the months-long culture war over gender and ethics in the gaming industry. My Twitter feed was flooded with messages from those who said we’d been unfair in our coverage of the harassment of female game developers and media critic Anita Sarkeesian.
So we reached out via Twitter to Gamergate supporters, who are defending gaming culture against accusations of misogyny, for their opinions and suggestions of who they felt could tell their side of the story. That led to four conversations with self-proclaimed supporters, suggested by their peers, who denounced the harassment done in the movement’s name. But, they said, for them Gamergate is not about harassing women; it’s a debate about journalism ethics.
Gamergate critics, meanwhile, say that defense is simply nothing more than a coordinated attempt to harass women out of the game industry. In other words, the massive fight around Gamergate is complicated by the fact that two sides don’t even agree on what they’re fighting about.
That may surprise those who’ve seen coverage of the controversy only in relation to violent threats sent to Sarkeesian and to game developers Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu after they weighed in on the issue. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned about Gamergate in the past week, it’s this: It’s complicated. Gamergate, in some ways, brings to mind two other recent mass movements — the tea party and Occupy Wall Street. Supporters see it as a consumer movement that’s also, essentially, leaderless.That means, they said, that more rational voices who want to talk about ethics in journalism have been drowned out by people sending loud, undeniably hateful speech in an Internet echo chamber that rewards sensationalism.
“I don’t think this is indicative of either side,” said “Lizzyf620,” a female Gamergate supporter who asked to be identified only by her Twitter handle because of threats she’s received online — including one from a person who made threatening comments about the security of the windows at her home. “I think these are sick people doing sick things.”
Read the Full Article: Source – Washington Post
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