Excellence in Journalism 2015 | Orlando, Fla.

New president Limor takes the reins of SPJ as conference closes

By The EIJ News

By Anthony Fenech

Another successful Society of Professional Journalists National Convention is in the books.

Tuesday night’s president’s installation banquet closes out the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2010 national conference. (TWANA PINSKEY / The Working Press)

Tuesday night’s president’s installation banquet closes out the Society of Professional Journalists’ 2010 national conference. (TWANA PINSKEY / The Working Press)

Tuesday night, inside a ballroom at Planet Hollywood’s convention center, Hagit Limor was officially installed as the 92nd SPJ president.

“Here I am standing before you and I’m truly humbled,” Limor said. “We’re all here for a reason. We have all been drawn to this room at this moment by a common denominator.”

Her installation was the final display in a night that included laughs, cheers and raw emotion on the podium.

Darcie Lunsford (left) waits to accept an award for SPJ’s South Florida chapter. (CAROLINA HIDALGO / The Working Press)

Darcie Lunsford (left) waits to accept an award for SPJ’s South Florida chapter. (CAROLINA HIDALGO / The Working Press)

In his final speech as president, Kevin Smith said, “We did more than just weather the storm. We built an ark.”

Carol Rosenberg, a reporter at the Miami Herald, was one of three awarded the SPJ First Amendment Award. Rosenberg fought for access to public records involving the Guantanamo Bay controversy.

“It hasn’t been easy,” she said, her voice trembling. “They banned me, they smeared me and they tried to get my editors to take me off the case.”

Herschel Fink accepts an SPJ First Amendment award for fighting for journalists' rights in the courtroom. (CAROLINA HIDALGO / The Working Press)

Herschel Fink accepts an SPJ First Amendment award for fighting for journalists' rights in the courtroom. (CAROLINA HIDALGO / The Working Press)

There were two winners of the First Amendment Awards. Lawyer Herschel Fink was honored for his work to keep Detroit Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter out of jail for refusing to reveal his sources. Dave Cuillier, a professor at the University of Arizona, was honored for his work as chair of the Freedom of Information committee.

“The First Amendment means everything to us,” Cuillier said. “I’ve seen it with my eyes. Journalism is not dead, it is alive and well.”

(CAROLINA HIDALGO / The Working Press)

(CAROLINA HIDALGO / The Working Press)

Smith also presented Cuillier with a President’s Award in the form of a statue of the late Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, known as a staunch defender of the Constitution.

David Perlman, a 91-year-old science writer from the San Francisco Chronicle, won the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Perlman started a 78-year journalism career at age 12 with his junior high paper but was unable to attend the banquet, instead blaming his “mean editors” through Chronicle city editor Audrey Cooper, drawing laughs from the crowd.

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  • AAAdeveloper

    Come into this. See a bunch of old people and others who frequent the “mary sue” on their profile. If you go to “The Mary Sue” Don’t bother commenting on ethics just don’t bother. I’d rather talk to the trolls who post porno on the gamergate hashtag I feel they’d be more intelligent and rational.

    “Ethics in gaming journalism” the fact is at this point if you deny their are issues you may a as well also deny climate change you may as well go outside look at the blue sky and say it’s green. Not only are there problems in video game industry and the coverage by journalists there are problems in independent game festivals. The amount of money and favors changing hands is disgusting.

    These issues go back further than 2014/15 Things like this have been going on for years –


    “I saw a curve once from a [big publisher] showing the correlation for an
    RPG between Metacritic score and sales. There’s an incredibly strong
    relationship, which is exponential. An 80 will get you a couple of
    hundred thousand sales, say, where a 90 will get you a couple million if
    it’s marketed properly.”

    “I’ve seen a PR manager in action for one of my games make a 79 an 81.
    And it cost him a lot of money; it cost him full page ads over multiple
    titles, but he managed to, and it had a big impact on the sales of the

    “And when you see scores being manipulated, that drives you completely
    bananas as an independent, small developer. Obviously if I was on the
    other side I would be happy if I could put shit in a box and put a nice
    name on it and get a 90% score.”

    “That’s a very scary thing, that one number can have such a huge impact
    on whether or not a studio is going to be allowed to make its next
    game… Studios are killed over bad Metacritic scores. That happens
    every day almost. If you look at what makes up the Metacritic score and
    how it’s done…you wonder how many reviewers or sites are taking it
    very responsibly.”

    Larry Felton Johnson

    – Frequent communities – Alternet. Larry you’re about 100 years old. I suggest you get up to finding out what “the youngins and der video games” are up to. Decrying anonymous people also haha. Some of us have to be anonymous because people like you have a bias and an agenda and put the jobs or people like me at risk. I’m not going to put a public face on myself when I have to deal with extremists from Alternet and Mary Sue. Hives of scum and villainy :)

    • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

      I have no idea what your argument is. If it’s that we’re old, I apologize. One morning I woke up, and my hair had turned grey. I’ll admit that my generation, which grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, may be more susceptible to social justice issues than later generations. In my specific case it comes from my direct experience with Jim Crow here in the south. I have an enhanced old guy propensity to take claims of oppression seriously. But then again, I’m old, so I might be senile.

  • Falcus

    I filled the hashtag with lots of proven corruption and related evidence.
    NONE of you holier-than-thou “pro-ethics” people trashing GG for posting off-topics have ever responded to my dozens of evidence-backed media corruption tweets.
    We even have sites stuffed with evidence which you never commented on.
    If you REALLY cared about ethics you would be out there actively digging corruption and exposing it, and collaborating with us.
    But no, you’re here complaining we “hijacked” the tag while doing absolutely nothing to deal with media corruption.
    And the ironic part of this is that, I bet what you want, you’re the same people who with one hand condones or justifies rioting/looting of cities because they have some reasons, and with the other you denounce GG doing the virtual version of this (without the looting and sending people into comas of course).
    Fighting corruption isn’t done by sitting on your ass and criticizing the victims of it, it’s done by going out there and doing something about it.
    GG has done a lot without any help beside Federal Trade Commission, and if someone really cared about ethics they would have popped up by now. But you didn’t. You ramble and point fingers without actually doing anything.
    I’m just one person and yet I uncovered my share of corruption and even managed to get corrupts to correct their articles, what have YOU done?
    Step down from your pedestral and come work with us, otherwise you’re just the “innocent bystander who whines about things while doing nothing about it”.

    • AnHumanBean

      Are you sure throwing around baseless accusations like that is such a good idea?

      • Falcus

        I’m not accusing anyone specific, just commenting the fact bystanders like to make high-ground comments while having actually done nothing at all if not impairing the cause of ethics.

        • AnHumanBean

          Read your post, read the guidelines the SPJ lays out, and make a little tally. What are you fighting for here?

          • Falcus

            Your replies smell a lot like derailing, veiled ad hominem and false ambiguity.
            Unless you go into details and evidence this is the last reply you get.

          • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

            By the rules of middle school debate which all serious journalists adhere to, I declare you the winner, Falcus.

    • AndrewMSeaman

      Once again, the Society teaches journalists about best practices. For the most part, there is no way to penalize journalists or journalism organization under the First Amendment – as we point out in our Code.

      As for filling our hashtag with “proven corruption and related evidence,” a lot of what I saw were lists of links without context. Most people are not going to click on random links if people use URL shorteners. Also, sending dozens of Twitter posts with four or five links is overwhelming for any person – especially the Society’s voluneers – to comb through. Few people were looking at the hashtag past Wednesday once it was filled with pornographic images. I understand people say those were from anti-GamerGate people, but there is no way to filter those out from the legitimate posts. (However, I’ve also seen posts that say anyone who posted to the Twitter hashtag wasn’t GamerGate.)

      Also, if you read the post, I don’t complain that GamerGate “hijacked” (your word, not mine) the Twitter hashtag. It’s the risk any person/organization runs by doing business on the Internet. I just wish it was handled in a more professional or somewhat organized manner – as outlined in the post.

  • Badgerbear

    What is so bad about anonymity in response to potential concerns of a business? While the difficulty of retribution in an anonymous comment is a draw to those who wish to cause trouble, it’s also a way for people to express legitimate grievances without getting singled-out and character assassinated.

    Is it fair to disregard someone’s opinion because of the actions of a group they may associate with?

    • Cole Pram

      Exactly, a persons reputation shouldn’t matter if their ideas are sound. If someone’s being anonymous and an a-hole, ignore them.

      If someone’s making good points why does it matter who they are?

  • SecurityBlanket

    Dear US Government,
    Feel free to revoke freedom of the press. We aren’t using it anyway, and I sure wouldn’t waste any energy defending it.

  • Wavinator

    Hi Andrew. Thank you for making a statement on this. One of the most frequent juxtapositions I’ve used in posting about what I feel are ethical failings in journalism is the SPJ’s call to minimize harm and humanize the subjects of a story with blatantly abusive reporting. I am, frankly, utterly astonished at how socially acceptable among journalists it has become to completely disregard this concept if one feels the subjects in question are odious enough. Surprisingly, I see more investigation and humanization given to the thoughts and experiences of religious extremists than I do gamers!

    It seems as if it has become widely acceptable, based on initial biased reporting, to demonize tens of thousands of people advocating for ethical reporting and resisting censorship in artistic expression. I struggle to understand why. My suspicion is that we are seeing a confluence of two powerful social forces, on the one hand the (very welcome) rising attention paid to the concerns of the traditionally marginalized mixing with a benevolent sexism that renders a “damsel in distress” narrative unquestionable. In the grand, the gross failures in reporting surrounding the Rolling Stone UVA story exemplify this phenomenon.

    This confluence confers something of an “original sin” aspect to GamerGate. The thinking goes something like this: The concerns of this consumer revolt are invalid because they arose out of an alleged harassment campaign directed at a female game developer and her involvement with a games reporter. It does not seem to matter that not only does the individual in question seem to have been involved in a harassment campaign herself (drawing ire that, while not excusable, was pre-existing) or that GamerGate has moved beyond the origins of the scandal into wider journalistic concerns. As the one-sided Baltimore Magazine’s recent detailed piece shows, GamerGate’s “original sin” holds powerful sway in many minds, facts or alternative perspective be damned.

    The culture of journalism, and its attendant ethical concerns, interests me greatly here. I can understand society rightly moving to condemn harm, especially what has been alleged to be sustained harm. But eliding facts and rejecting objectivity, as Kotaku’s Jason Schreier has championed, quickly slides into advocacy. Responding to the public with vitriol and contempt when they request a fair accounting of the facts and an utter disinterest in the perspectives of those affected seem to not be in the spirit of the SPJ.

    Finally, unless it’s not completely clear, let me categorically condemn any abuse endured surrounding this issue. I had hoped that the #SPJEthicsWeek tag would raise awareness of little reported issues, but Twitter’s inability to respond to reports of abuse in a timely manner (of which I and others flagged frequently) spoiled that effort. You’ll not find it surprising that that was the aim of these trolls– to provoke a response and, like all bullies, control the behavior of others.

    Nevertheless, I applaud your willingness to explore this issue.

  • Meittimies

    What is Andrew Seaman’s stance on journalists partaking in a massive smear campaign, trying to silence any and all criticism of its own corrupt practices by fabricating lies about the critisizer? Is that ethical? Also, should those kind of practices just be left alone and let the perpetrators practice them as they wish?

    So far over these 9 months in media, Gamergate has been called: neo-nazis, rapists, pedophiles, ISIS, terrorists, KKK, racists, communists, angry white neckbeards. 200 bots maintained by 20 people, extremist hackers, serial killers and minorities within Gamergate have been called sockpuppets and house niggers.

    Latest example of media bias and smear is the fact nobody feels the need to report on Gamergate meetup being dispersed due to a bomb threat FBI itself deemed “serious”, in the middle of DC no less. A bomb threat in Washington, and no news outlet picks that up, despite being all too happy to blame Gamergate for a vague bomb threat 5-6 months ago.

    Why is that? Should that behaviour from media be just ignored? Should we validate their bad practices by letting them get away with it with no repercussions? Is character assassination now a silently approved tool widely used by the US media? Should we allow journalists to indulge in this sort of behaviour?

    Good thing the hashtag and anonymity itself protects all of us from the more harmful effects of the smear campaign, but it has also severely damaged the trust on gaming media and journalism as a whole, that these unethical practices have been allowed to go on unimpeded even by mainstream media itself. They are creating a future where journalists are widely regarded among their own readers as scam artists and hacks first, and journalists second. And SPJ decides to ignore all of this and let their profession be tarnished by the many bad apples within.

  • SexyCRT

    It took Kotaku two years to update a story accusing Brad Wardell of something that a court proved him innocent of. They had no interest in correcting a wrong, because it fit their narrative.

  • Jack

    It’s great to hear from SPJ on alot of the issues regarding the criticism of mainstream Games Journalism. Though, for a variety of reasons, it’s understandable that this isn’t an easy discussion to have on, say, Twitter.

    What is interesting is that, for all that some of the sites being criticized would complain about it, each of them has taken steps to fall in line with demands for accountability and transparency.

    Your thoughts on anonymous whistleblowers are interesting, though. When there is substantial risk to those speaking out, is anonymity still not warranted? Does the identity of the person weigh in on the veracity of their claims? Should it, even?

    One of the reasons people speak out anonymously is because they fear abuse by the media they speak out against and have little to no protection against retaliation. What would you suggest to people who wish to speak out, but also wish to protect their identities against the people they speak against?

  • cammylover

    As a person who takes part in GamerGate I’d like to say that I’m just glad that they in facts set a standard, a standard that many gaming media site I’m glad to say are starting to at least jump on to, but still falling short or are just being reluctant to adopt. Frankly GamerGate and the SPJ do in fact see eye to eye, even if fools like Butts wish to not believe it to be true. Fact is GamerGate is pushing for more disclose between writers and subjects, to stop the black listing of devs cause they may have different views, and last but not least, good old fashion pay-o-la. This is why I still fight, this is why GamerGate will still be here and will never end until we at least get way less of these problems.

  • Thurinn

    First thing I would like to tackle is Anonymity and why I personally prefer it over sharing my real name.

    You might be aware that there was a #GamerGate meet up in DC Washington last weekend and that the people there had to deal with a bomb threat because they didn’t like some of the people there.
    If there were anonymous the evening might have gone a differently, we’ve also had allot of doxing done to people within #GamerGate including a lawyer.
    Anonymity is a defense against these kind of attacks and personally, I don’t see how that makes anything I say more relevant, why do you need to know who I am?

    That said, there are a few things with #GamerGate I wanted to point out, one is our accomplishments:

    GamerGate Achievements – GamerGate Wiki

    Second is a dosier that someone within #GamerGate prepared months ago:


    Thirdly an interview with Gregg Lisby, a lawyer in Journalist Ethics:

    Lastly I wanted to address the issue of trolls. If the SPJ do ignore #GamerGate because of this, which I hope they don’t, they legitimize a new strategy to silence any ethical concerns people from the outside may have in the future.

    #GamerGate is a phenomenon that doesn’t happen often, you rarely have consumers standing up to fix the industry in such mass. Usually this is done via the actual media sites itself or through Youtube personalities and I want to stress, look over the accomplishments we’ve done in the past 8 months, can you name another group who have accomplished this much in such a short amount of time?

    How about a group that has a diverse group of people? Look at #Notyourshield as a prime example of a sub group that spawned from #GamerGate if you want to look at the more social side of what we’ve accomplished.

    If you want to talk more I’m @_Thurinn though I must warn you, I’m not a professional in journalism, I’m an unhappy consumer that wants improvement.

    • AndrewMSeaman

      I’m sorry, but if people expect professionals to communicate with them, they must also unveil themselves. Anonymous sources are only used in journalism when the journalist and their editors know who they are. Also, if this issue is of such importance, the greater good should compel people to not hide behind anonymity. You’re asking other people to publicly take up a cause, but don’t want to do it yourself?

      As for “trolls,” they also fly the #GamerGate banner. I’m not going to keep checking a hashtag that’s filled with porn or really horrible Twitter posts. There are other ways to contact us.

      Another problem is that the demands I saw posted to the Twitter thread changed from person to person. Some just wanted general and unspecified action. One person wanted people to be fired and another asked for a national debate on live television. As people have started posting this blog to other sites, I’ve seen people in the comments saying people demanding a specific action aren’t GamerGate. Yet, further down, another person will claim people wanting a specific action isn’t GamerGate. So, my question to you is: Who is GamerGate and who is not?

      • Thurinn

        Anyone can be a part of #GamerGate just as anyone can be a consumer who dislikes the way gaming media has been these past few years.

        We do have a few who would speak without hiding their name, Oliver Campbell, an ex games journalist (@Olivercampbell) is one that springs to mind.
        Totalbiscuit or John Bane is another who has done a few interviews in the past not as a member of #GamerGate but rather someone who saw our concerns and took them to any gaming media outlet who would talk to him, he’s quite big in the gaming industry (top steam Curator)

        So to tackle some points you made, certainly with Anon is though in practice fighting for what we believe in, is noble but the problem is we’re dealing with people who will go after family members, you have to remember, they don’t WANT us to talk about it, they want us to keep quiet and they will go to such extreme lengths as to threaten to blow up DC in order to do it.

        There is no list of members in #GamerGate that you can check to say “This is a troll, this isn’t a troll.” just as there are no list of members who use #feminism or #conservative #labor etc.
        I don’t think it’s very reasonable to ignore any concerns someone has (when we provide evidence to back it up) just because of trolls who can easily just put #feminism to silence them.

        If you truly wish a dialogue with us then I would highly recommend a stream/interview with some of the two I’ve recommended, they have much more professional experience in journalism than many of us in #GamerGate could offer.

        You NEED to take this away from text if you want a more civil discussion, where trolls can derail the conversation as they did on twitter and as they are most likely trying on this website.

        • AndrewMSeaman

          But, why do the people you name represent #GamerGate while others don’t? Who decides who represents #GamerGate?

          • Thurinn

            Think of the Mass Effect 3 ending controversy, where consumers got together to get an ending that met their expectations. There was no real leader behind it, just consumers who were angry at the ending.
            Even though it was reported by big name youtubers, such as Angryjoe and Totalbiscuit, they weren’t leading it. It’s just that they made good arguments, they’re good speakers and people trust them to be civil.

            So who decides who represents #GamerGate? Depends on the individual. The best way to get a clear answer is to do a straw poll of the names who appeared the most when asking who we’d like (or let us do it on our own social media sites) and let us vote for who we’d like.

          • AndrewMSeaman

            Then, if people remain anonymous, how does someone know it’s actually a fair representation? What stops a handful of people from flooding the post with one suggestion?

          • Thurin

            As in how do you know the person we all vote for is someone we actually want?

            There are a few ways you can check if someone has been apart of #GamerGate, like checking their history, it’s what I do to make sure people who want to follow me are legit and won’t just send me abusive private messages.

            I wouldn’t imagine people voting for say, some random troll to turn up to an event, you’ll find that most people will suggest the same names over and over.
            The truth is that your right, some people won’t be happy with the choice and there isn’t much we can do about that.

            What I can say is people want discussion, who that will be I don’t know, it’s what a vote would have to decide. Here is a question for you and SPJ.

            If we voted for a speaker, someone who was either neutral or pro #GamerGate:
            What would SPJ like them to talk about exactly?
            What kind of speaker would SPJ feel be appropriate for discussion?

            Once we know what SPJ expects from #GamerGate we can (hopefully) make a choice on who would be best up to it and perhaps make a vote who we thought to be appropriate.

          • Jack

            That depends on context.

            In the case of anonymous activism, the appeal is to focus on the issue being raised more than the question of who is raising it – usually in the context of issues that are not really matters of opinion (i.e. clear ethical breaches).

          • Cole Pram

            This is an interesting topic I’ve struggled with quite a bit.

            I unfortunately had someone threaten my kids and to burn down my house for supporting GamerGate. Fortunately for me I wasn’t using my real name, I forgot my password because I hadn’t used twitter for a couple of years, so I started this account, which I use only when talking about GamerGate.

            I’m glad I forgot my password because the anonymity gives me a buffer where I can talk and argue with people without fear of someone coming after my family, or my home, or my job. I do my best to be polite and engaging as best I can, I don’t always succeed.

            Why does representation matter?

            Something I’ve learned from GamerGate is to judge people based on their ideas, not who they are. Anonymity makes that really easy because I don’t have to question myself on, “Do I agree because of this persons because we support the same things, or do I agree because it’s actually a good idea?”

            How do you know who represents GamerGate?

            You don’t know for sure, but the way I handle it is I look through their twitter history. If they frequently retweet certain people, use certain language and express certain concerns, I follow them. I’ve been around since August and there are definitely people I can say with a very high degree of confidence are GamerGate supporters, but it’s not always easy to tell. Generally, if they support ethics and are pro-free speech anti-censorship I’d throw them in the GG pile. If I see anything that looks like they’re attacking people, shaming, belittling, EXCESSIVE mocking, bullying, etc… I throw them in the not likely pile.

            If they don’t have much of a twitter history or don’t follow or are followed by a lot of people I pass, doesn’t mean they’re anti-GG or trolls, it just means I’m unsure. (I’d follow them anyway, but twitter has a follow cap I run into quite a bit)

            If they’re retweeting people I know are “anti-GamerGate” like SrhButts, or Arthur Chu, or A_man_in_black, I toss them in the anti pile.

            If I look at their time line and it’s fulled with gore, they’re probably trolls.

            That said it doesn’t matter if they are GamerGate or not.

            If someone’s making a good point discuss it.

            If someone’s making bad arguments challenge it.
            If someone’s being an asshole and/or trolling, ignore them.

            If someone’s making a claim ask them for or get verification from different sources.

            I admit it’s a lot more work, but the results are great.

          • Frank M

            I am more than happy to be out and proud as a #GamerGate supporter. I have videos here: http://www.dailymotion.com/forgottenforgegames which cover a range of topics as a group.

            You will notice that I do a series to camera which I have continued on Youtube here:


            You can see that the earliest ‘Shooting Straight’ videos are in the wake of the blow-up of Gamergate, with the Forgotten Forge Games Project in existence for about 18 months beforehand.

            I do not identify with any of the outrageous epithets added to Gamer Culture, but I am a gamer to the core – from video through to board, card and miniature games, which can be seen on other Daily Motion videos.

            I am more than happy to discuss things with anyone in a calm and civil manner.

          • ArsVampyre

            Because they say they do, and the trolls you claim ‘fly the flag’ explicitly have said they don’t. I’d say you could ask them, but they lied to Buzzfeed (and later admitted to doing it to troll).

            Common sense dictates that if it looks like troll behavior online, which I don’t doubt you can spot, that person’s ‘word’ can’t be trusted.

            When the people not trolling all behave generally in one way, and a few people who are trolling behave in another, why label them based on the trolls? It’s not terribly difficult to discern which is which.

  • Sterling Ericsson

    “In general, calls for transparency in journalism are not effective when they come from people who are anonymous.”

    That’s the best summary right there.

  • Brian Grant

    I’ve tried to follow GG and I’ve written on it. The problem with the “ethics” of gaming journalism is how much of gaming journalism is actually journalism? It’s mostly reviews and op-ed pieces. Very little reporting that’s done.

  • Point Less

    So they’re just never going to use their own #SPJEthicsWeek hashtag again? It’s not like they can make another one and GamerGate won’t pile on it again; the problems in gaming journalism isn’t restricted to gaming, but really I’m not sure how to stem the flow of trolls that love hanging on the popular hashtag.

  • http://escapednotice.blogspot.com/ Stephen Rynkiewicz

    Any journalism ethics discussion these days can turn into a lecture on video games. That’s fine if everyone holds to their ethical responsibility to let the voiceless speak. http://ethicsadvicelineforjournalists.org/2014/10/28/gamergate-ethics/

  • http://kittyanarchy.net/ Ashley Davis

    Nah, that’s ok.

  • Maniate

    What are things that nobody with any training in journalism or experience in mainstream media would say, Alex?

  • dirtysteve

    “Also you’d have to be a fool to think that the pathetic children ” Yup, makes you a person worth listening to.

    The fact that nearly 20 articles appeared in the space of one weekend, all reaching the conclusion ‘gamers are dead’ (Still not dead BTW), doesn’t seem odd to you?

    “Is it ethical for editors to tell editors at other outlets not to allow forum comments about the above behavior?” In what world is that ethical?

    “Is it ethical to sleep with a source two days after writing about them?

    Choice of sexual partner has no bearing in journalistic ethics.”

    I don’t think you understand the first thing about ethical behaviour.

  • hurin

    Don’t you find it strange that a large number of gaming publications would post similar opinion pieces at the same time?

    Imagine if 15 different automobile magazines all wrote opinion pieces saying Ford is shit and you should buy GM at the same time.

    These socalled journalists were conspiring on a secret mailing list called GamesJounoPros.

  • Doc Hammer

    Okay, so you’re very open about being an unethical person. How does it feel to totally invalidate anything you might write from this point forward because we know you have no scruples?

  • SexyCRT

    “Choice of sexual partner has no bearing in journalistic ethics.”

    You have got to be kidding me? Great, journalists should sleep with their editors not just the people the report on.

  • Maniate

    Yeah, because he’s joking. He’s as much a comic as a critic.

  • Jack Connell

    Don’t think he was that jokey in the Warfighter review where he outright laid into everyone telling him he didn’t like FPSs. It’s exaggerated, but it’s barely exaggerated. Pretty sure TotalBiscuit takes the piss out of his audience too.

  • Maniate

    Yet people still like those two, and stopped going to Leigh’s site in droves. There must have been some difference.

  • Jack Connell

    Couldn’t be because both men like taking potshots at “SJWs” and one is a massive GamerGate supporter, or because Gama got targeted by a campaign designed to shut down their ad revenue, right? Or could be because they’re men, one of the two.

    Leigh’s written for The Guardian and Time, and is doing pretty well over at Offworld. She’s not exactly hurting for work, and GG has probably driven up her profile quite a bit.

  • Maniate

    Only if time travel is involved, considering those stories happened close to the start.. It’s more likely that people felt she was serious, Yahtzee was joking and TB needed a bit of ass cancer to mellow him out because he was kind of a dick.

  • Jack Connell

    I’ve been a fan of Yahtzee long enough to know he doesn’t care about political correctness while also calling out COD for being racist. He’s funny like that.

    Wouldn’t say TB *needed* cancer, that implies he had it coming. I don’t like the guy at all, he’s always been an egotistical dick (that infamous Something Awful thread, for one), but he didn’t deserve to get hit with cancer.

  • Maniate

    Nothing to do with having it coming, it just happened to be the thing which made him change from what he was to who he is. He did need something, if you don’t like jerks, and that was the thing that he got.

  • Jack Connell

    Eh, I don’t think that mellowed him out. He blocked me on Twitter and I never spoke to him once. Maybe he searches his name like a motherfucker, who knows?

  • Maniate

    People say he spent a week with Derek Smart before he hit it big. Sequestered in a cabin in the woods, learning his ways.

  • Linda M

    What do you base your judgement of GamerGate being nothing but kids on? It seems to me these ‘kids’ were able to pull off a mass emailing campaign that damaged Gawker for millions. That their actions on the hashtag spawned this very discussion and others, that their tactical use of Twitter has worked plenty.

    What’s more, all of this is done in the open. If you want to find out how it’s being done, and you don’t mind the casual offense that typifies chan culture, you can go check out the threads that talk about this. You won’t see people calling for blind hate, you’ll see people saying “this is a great opportunity to get the word out, be polite and don’t act like an idiot”.

    If there’s one that should be obvious by now it’s that kids do not have the acumen or historical awareness to do something like this, they do not have an 8 month attention span and this level of immunity to derailing. GamerGate has involved gamers of all ages from the start, people who didn’t get why they were being lumped in with trolls, and demonized as straight white male neckbeards by a press they mostly stopped paying attention to. Awareness of the diverse history of games and game development in the 80s and 90s is what kept us from believing any of the press’ spin.

    Furthermore, GG is directly informed and inspired by similar incidents in other communities. The cliques of sci-fi spawned the Sad Puppies campaign. The atheists had ElevatorGate which spawned the self identified social justice safe space Atheism+. The open source community had DongleGate, which activists like Shanley Kane and their acolytes eagerly capitalized upon. GamerGate is simply the first time it hit a population which had the means and the position to hit back, to not be phased by meaningless accusations.

    GamerGate has been stereotyped as a hashtag spat, when in fact, the discussions on forums and in private are far more important. The media is obsessing over what they can measure and track, but they fail to realize just how big the growing silent dissent really is.

  • King of Bros

    I don’t believe you understand, we are desperate.

    Gaming Journalists BALKED at being criticized and declared us terrorist sexist racists,MSM took their narrative for granted for cheap views, and still we’ve persevered for 8 months uncovering massive amounts of corruption.

    And this controversy that has been raging for 8 months, primarily on twitter, suddenly sees a hashtag by SPJ(who we have basically used as our bible for referencing what ethical conduct should be) urging the discussion of ethics.

    So we did.

    Sir, the amount of posts who were from Gamergate and Gamergate only should deliver an obvious message:Gamergate has been THE conversation to have about ethics for the past year, and it obviously eclipsed any other branch of the discussion.

    I’m sorry if you do not approve of our tactics, but without the intervention of a proper watchdog group, we are the defacto one and must thus use whatever means we have at our disposal to draw attention to the issue.

    If an organisation of professional journalists cannot see the story they can draw from such an event, I am afraid I am at a loss for words.

  • Wavinator

    Greetings Larry! I remember your dismissive, derisive sentiments about GamerGate from previous Disqus interactions.

    I say bravo and keep it up! The refusal to hear a group’s concerns has, in fact, powered 9 months of advocacy, resulting in gaming outlets disclosing conflicts of interest they originally dismissed or laughed about. Furthermore, metaphorical lines have been drawn in the sand against censorship of art and free artistic expression. But then, what would one expect? In the interests of humanizing, consider how you yourself might behave when dismissed and ignored.

    While I do respect your concern that this consumer revolt’s agitation has been noisy and (omitting obvious trolls) in some cases uncouth, using the SPJEthicsWeek tag to highlight perceived ethical violations in games media hardly seems a misuse. But then, this is social media, and redress is different now. The doors to the rabble have been flung wide open by technology, and while there are a great many who downright despise this reality, it isn’t going away.

  • AnHumanBean

    Oh, he understands completely, considering he’s been at this for months.


  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    Yes, I’ve followed GG since late September. I’ve also interacted with a lot of gamergaters. I’ve read the Gjoni post, and regularly browsed KiA and the chan boards. I started this hoping that an article counter to the dominant narrative on GG could be written, since that would have made much more of a splash than “Gamergate dogpiles again”.

    It’s largely been a waste of time, since despite many of the articles getting minor details wrong, the popular notion of gamergate is largely true.

    The “Full Disclosure” crack is one of the reasons you folks aren’t going to be taken seriously unless you learn how applied ethics actually works. I’m posting under my open identity. I don’t need to tell you who I am, or what I’ve written, either in publications or on social media, because it’s out in the open.

  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    Oh, and the raid on the hashtag did take me offguard. I’m an SPJ member, and since I hadn’t looked at any of the gamergate gathering spots for awhile, I was expecting to have discussions of the ethics code. Instead it looked like a chan board.

  • Ryan Smith

    One of the biggest complaints of GG is collusion. It’s asinine to tell people “If you think this source is inaccurate simply watch another source” when journalists from multiple sources are colluding behind everybody’s back to make sure their stories line up. According to this:


    The board (minus the guy who wrote the article) made a group decision to ignore GG. So how many potential blogs/articles does that represent, that didn’t get written?

    And then you have Game Journos Pro, who all got together and decided to push the “Gamers are Dead” event in the first place. How are we to ‘find another source’ when all the major ones agreed behind closed doors to write the same kind of story on the same week?

    And of course there was Journolist before that, making sure everybody was on board supporting the Obama campaign, promoting the stories that would help him, squashing the stories that wouldn’t.

    The “Try another news source if you don’t trust one” presumes that rival news sources are behaving *ethically* and actually acting as the rival corporations they present themselves as to the public.

    As far as anonymity is concerned, there are assloads of people writing and making videos in support of GamerGate that don’t hide who they are in the least, and THEY get ignored by the media and put down in exactly the same way. Complaining about anonymity invalidating ethical complaints is essentially blaming people for using Twitter the way it was designed, which is odd since SPJ made the decision to launch a hashtag campaign there. Considering Twitter was designed for journalists in the first place, and considering how the collection of anonymous ‘tweets’ about issues has been used by journalism, it seems asinine to complain about it here.

  • AnHumanBean

    It should be noted that a lot of the anonymity and disorganized nature that others criticize the pro-ethics side of GG for using comes from lessons learned from ElevatorGate and other similar scandals. They quickly grow very heated to the point where doxing, swatting, and other behaviors rear their ugly heads. It’s a safety measure.

  • AnHumanBean

    Thanks a lot. Always welcome to hear a professional voice weigh in on these matters, and a definite breath of fresh air to see someone willing to engage in some civil discourse.

  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    Your answer was great! As someone who’s gone around the wringer with GG since last September, I’ve got a few suggestions about what aspects of journalism ethics might be useful for them to understand.

    First, they need to really understand that op-eds are different from hard news. They need to know that challenging (or insulting) the audience from an editorial position is not inflicting harm.

    Second, they need to understand that the herd instinct in journalism (the tendency of similar articles to pop up when a particular issue is in the news) is not necessarily an ethical issue, unless it represents an undermining of independence.

    And third (the most difficult one) is that specialized journalism presents many grey areas. The people reporting the news are likely to have had long term friendships with the people making the news. There is no way I could report on gaming news the way someone like Leigh Alexander, or Ben Kuchera, can.

  • dirtysteve

    And this is the productive, open discussion you claim to be in favour of?

  • dirtysteve

    Infographics aren’t porn or abuse. Posting isn’t ‘flooding’. Don’t be biased.

  • dirtysteve

    Except it isn’t porn and harrassment, anti #GG, on the other hand, has proven links to harassment.

  • Falcus

    If you enjoyed reading journos dehumanizing an entire demographic with slanderous baseless defamation you have no place talking ethics in journalism.

  • Remiel

    “I’d like to point out that the “Gamers are Dead” constellation of articles aren’t remotely insulting to anyone who doesn’t actually act like a jerk online.”

    And I’d like to point out that you only speak for yourself.

  • Meittimies

    context is everything. Those articles came 10 as total, in a span of 24 hours, right after people started critisizing Nathan Grayson of Kotaku of being corrupt. It was not just some random statement, it was a direct response and an attack towards those who dared critisize them.

    It was medias attempt to dehumanize their opponents. Nothing more. If you wouldve actually read those articles and realized what was going on, you wouldve known this.

    But alas, you didnt, and you werent.

  • WTF Magazine

    Why the reading comprehension insult?
    All the journalists who wrote those articles then crowed about them on twitter afterwards and blocked all gamers who called them out

    Those articles were a concentrated attack on the gamer identity and after 9 months if people still deny it, they’re wrong on so many levels

  • dirtysteve

    ‘They can’t dress properly’ ‘They don’t know how to talk to women’.

    People who still defend Alexander need to look into her history of attack pieces.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    Wouldn’t you prefer a Plutocracy? You clearly moved here from Pluto.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    Ebert insulted ‘moviegoers’ all the time, dude.

  • Hedger

    That is because every gamer has to prove they are a gamer to any circle outside of their personal one. It has nothing to do with her being female, but everything to do with her being a stranger…

    You cannot blame a social group formed around being ostracized from other social groups for being weary of new faces.

  • ArsVampyre

    There is no more ‘news’ then, because it’s all about ‘analysis’ and sourced from other sites who sourced it from a single site who sourced it from a single source who provided no evidence and was never questioned. This is an epidemic.

  • Jack Connell

    Yes, truly it’s an attack on gamers with phrases like “it’s a vocal minority that’s not representative of most people” and “Don’t blame an entire industry for a few bad apples.”

    If you’re not one of those bad apples, then what’s the problem?

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    Are you sure? He’s a real vampire, he’s studied ethics and the media for hundreds if not thousands of years.

  • dirtysteve

    A ‘characterization’ Is inherently a strawman. The rest of your comment is anecdotal evidence from you, a biased source.

    Literally every ineraction with anti#GG has ended with me being threatened. (see how that works?)

  • Jack Connell

    Women get accused all the time of being “fake” geeks, of doing it for attention. Men don’t. I posted in games forums for years and not once did anyone try and test me. So please don’t sell me that old chestnut.

  • AnHumanBean

    It is harder for women to prove themselves than men, but outsiders attacking men and calling them bigots for it will just make them defensive since a lot of the guys involved are used to being on the receiving end of negative attention. They went about it all wrong.

    There are plenty of girls out there who are in it for attention from low-hanging fruit, which make it even harder for the honest ones. It’s really unfortunate and I wish more would speak up.

  • Brian Grant

    Yeah you totally can. Ostracized groups should be welcoming to new faces.

  • Hedger

    Glad you have such a simple time of things.

    As far as the circles i find myself in “what do you play” followed by a contest of one up manship is a standard greeting to any new face.

  • ArsenicSpritzer

    I don’t know what color the sky is in the world you’re living in, but I’ve been listening to your complaints about the treatment of women in gaming and it does NOT match reality. I’ve been participating in the gaming community for decades. Basically, for as long as one has existed, and the MOST COMMON response from male gamers when a female ‘invades their territory’, is something between surprised bemusement and enthusiasm. I’ve never known ANYONE to be so much as mildly miffed at the presence of a woman in their game.

    What you’ve been doing is cherry picking examples of bad behavior directed towards women in gaming, then using that to prove a widespread problem exists. However, you ignore the FACT that males also experience poor behaviour from other gamers, at likely the same ratio, if not greater. You (and pretty much all third wave feminists) simply refuse to acknowledge it.

    It’s assumed that men can take care of themselves so harassing behaviour directed towards them is ignored. However, when it’s directed at women, they automatically become victims because they CAN’T take care of themselves. And this is the greatest bit of doublethink brought to us by third-wavers: complain BITTERLY about men “damselling” women as a means of robbing them of agency, while at the same time adhering to a philosophy that not only encourages it, but DEMANDS it.

    Anyone who thinks that women have been targeted by an industry-wide campaign to drive them out of gaming is either NOT a gamer or doesn’t want to know the truth. Women have ALWAYS been accepted in this community and any harassment they might face is the same sort of garbage to men have had to put up with as well. True misogyny is a much rarer are thing than any SJW is willing to comprehend. Harassing behaviour towards a women almost always has nothing to do with her gender and everything to do with her personality, demeanor and civility. However, the narrative reads “any type of attack on a woman is the result of misogyny”, which is not only a lie, it’s a damned lie.

    The holy grail for many young (and old) male gamers is to find a woman who they can share their hobby with. How successful do you think they’re going to be if they keep women out of the industry? Exactly. But I can tell you one thing that will do just that — the slanderous, malignant caricaturization of male gamers as misogynistic, oppressive swine, that SJWs have been trumpeting to anyone who will listen in the mainstream. THAT’S what is going to cripple this industry and keep women from entering it. Not the actual gamers the community consists of. I fear that they’ve already done so much damage to the credibility of gaming it will be years before women start looking at it again as a viable career. Thanks for that social justice fanatics.

  • ArsVampyre

    You can’t blame every bad thing that ever happened on ‘gamers’ or whatever group you want to attack. Gamers don’t police the internet.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    Actually, I enjoy reading well-written editorials by journalists I respect, and as someone who is *also part of that demographic*, I think you fellas are completely ridiculous. It’s not ‘slanderous baseless defamation’ to say I, an individual, think you’re kind of a jerk. It’s an opinion. It’s my opinion.

    Because it seems to me you’re kind of a jerk.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    I see how you think it works, and the fact that you see things this way is a pretty big part of why no one takes GamerGate seriously.

  • dirtysteve

    “‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction and professional life works etc.”

    Yup, pretty sure an attack on the culture encompasses more than these ‘bad apples’ people quote to defend Alexander.

  • dirtysteve

    Hell, look at the picture on the article, White, bearded, heavy-set and angry.
    Alexander and her cohorts constructed a target that led directly to the ‘Describe a gamer in 4 words’ and ‘Bring back bullying’ tweets.

    If that’s not destructive, divisive behaviour, from and old pro in Alexander’s case, then I don’t know what is.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    And you’re proud of that? I’ve never been interrogated about my legitmacy as a gamer by anyone outside of comment chains like this.

  • Jack Connell

    Again, if it doesn’t apply to you, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

  • Jack Connell

    It’s fun to take things out of context. Those paragraphs are all framed as “what the rest of the world knows about your industry” – implying that this perception is false.

  • j-Dank

    It was gamergate taking notice of the tag and calling people to post on it which brought attention to it. However you look at it, the posts either came from gamergate or came from gamergate by proxy. Don’t be obtuse.

  • Hedger

    never said i was proud of it, nor am i now saying its something shameful.

    Im simply saying that its a thing that happens, with no further malice then to generate small talk about a common interest.

    The idea that questioning the supposed credentials of a new face as some kind of sin is a naive perspective at best.

    “Welcome to game club, what do you play”

    not exactly a mature way to handle the encounter.

  • AnHumanBean

    Okay, let me see if this logic is right.

    Group 1 notices something, wants to get involved.
    Group 2 has a serious grudge with Group 1, decides to masquerade as them as a way to attack and discredit Group 1.
    Therefore, Group 1 is responsible.

  • Hedger

    Depends on the circle.

    Circles formed around competitive skills are rather straight forward. Win and earn respect. Play good matches and earn respect. Help your community and earn respect. Demand respect simply because you arrived and get laughed back out the door. That holds for both male and female players.

  • Katie Daze

    “There are plenty of girls out there who are in it for attention from
    low-hanging fruit, which make it even harder for the honest ones. It’s
    really unfortunate and I wish more would speak up.”

    No, those girls are not making it harder. People pretending that this is any of their business and something they have any business policing is what is making it harder.

    Do you think the local bowling club polices new membership applicants to ensure they are joining because they love bowling rather than because they think it might be ok and really want an opportunity to meet other people socially in a relaxed semi-structured shared-goal orientated environment?

    Do they think they care about that one bit so long as the applicant is personally amenable and willing to pull their weight as a team player and is compatible with the skill/behavior expectations of the club?

    It’s none of your business why someone is motivated to take an interest. It literally has no effect on you. This is control-freakism taken to “thought policing” levels.

    If someone is fun to have around, behaves appropriately for the context, whether they get attention for loving games or love games to get attention is neither here nor there. They are not a problem and you have no business policing their intentions.

    If someone is not fun to have around or behaves inappropriately, you’re allowed to address that even if they really love games rather than just attention.

    It’s not relevant to anything unless and until someone takes it on themselves to police this non-crime.

    There’s actually nothing wrong with wanting positive attention, nor with someone who wants positive attention getting it from people interested enough to direct it their way.

    Who is anyone to go around policing that non crime and then to brazenly act as though this is normal, natural and all the fault of the people these jumped up, self appointed gate keeping intention-enforcement squaddies are seeking to control?

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    My point is that, in pretty much all my in-person interactions with geek culture, no one’s shitty to anybody.

  • j-Dank

    No, your logic is not right. That is misrepresenting my argument.

    I did not say that group 1 is “responsible”, I was clarifying that this statement from the article is correct:

    “The posts were from an online community known as GamerGate”

    Especially when backed up by the sentence before it, “Many of the posts were links to articles about gaming” etc.

  • Hedger

    and my question to you becomes: How does asking someone about their interest become a “shitty” interaction when both parties are supposedly their to enjoy that interest?

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    PROVEN hyperlinks

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    Dude, you didn’t even frame it that way two posts ago–

    “As far as the circles i find myself in “what do you play” followed by a contest of one up manship is a standard greeting to any new face.”

    Who does that as an actual adult?

  • CTD

    Um… cite?

  • Hedger

    people who have fun…

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    What’s “fun”, I never heard of it.

  • Simen Kvamme

    And that would be just fine if the people oposing gamergate regularly try to get people fired for posting in the hashtag. Send syringes to journalists reporting on it, send knifes in the mail telling people to kill themself, send messages treathening the families and loved ones of people supporting gamergate and do treathening phonecalls and in other ways harass and in other ways mess up things in real life for people involved in gamergate.

    When I joined GG I were concidering wether to make a second account for GG or use my normal account. I ended up using my normal twitter account, I was outside of the US so I figured it was pretty safe. Didn’t stop people oposing gamergate from trying to mess up things in real life with lies and slander. Luckily nothing came of it, but that’s one of the reasons people in GG are hesitant to use their real names.

    When the media have dehumanized us for 8 months, it’s only a matter before something goes wrong. We have been called nazis, KKK, subhumans, journalists have called us worse than ISIS and suggested opening deathcamps for gamergate supporters. A gamergate meetup last week had to be evacuated because of a bomb treath and the media has done everything else than minimise harm and by all accounts will continue to escalate this until someone actually sees us as the monsters the media have tried to paint us as and decides the world is better off without us and acts upon the thoughts of Geordie Tait. And if that day comes someone will regret ever putting their name to GG.

  • King of Bros

    I’m posting under the identity under which I have discussed Gamergate as well, why endanger myself to the lunatics who would try to get me fired/swatted/send me unsavory mail? Does my real name empower my arguments?

    As for that ”crack”, it was just that. If humor is the reason you think we won’t succeed, you haven’t been paying attention.

  • hurin

    Using your real name is easier for you than it is for us. GamerGaters aren’t going to try and get you fired or swatted.

  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    I don’t have a problem with humor. I’ve seen GGers distort the concept of disclosure to the point that no specialized writer could write an article without the first 700 words consisting of disclosure. “Fred and I were in the Tech Model Railroad club together in 1965, after which we were both involved in a conference …”

  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    Nonsense. I was cyberstalked and harassed for several months about ten years ago. The stalker set up ids under the name of my deceased wife, and followed me around from forum to forum. Since I can’t do my job without having an open presence, I could only report the ids to the sysadmins as they popped up, and file useless police reports. It’s the reason I began following gamergate to begin with. I had a great deal of empathy for what Zoe Quinn went through after August of last year.

  • Remiel

    Except when these articles address my identity as a gamer and lump me in with behaviour that I’ve never indulged in. That gives me every right to be offended, sorry. Every right.

  • Cupcake Octopus

    It’s vacuous if she was being literal.

  • http://kittyanarchy.net/ Ashley Davis

    That mailing list isn’t a conspiracy. You’re a dolt if you think it is. And no, it’s not strange that several sites that cover the same general thing talked about similar things over the course of a couple days. I follow several different Android news sites and when something new happens I see no less than a dozen different articles about it within hours. It’s how journalism works.

  • Mark425

    If Ford made a car that regularly burst into flames, would you suspect a conspiracy if 15 different automobile magazines wrote pieces saying Ford was shit?

    Because that’s essentially what was happening in the lead up to Leigh Alexander’s piece. Gamergate was serving as a demonstration of how fucked up some subsections of gamer culture are, so it shouldn’t have surprised anyone when a bunch of people started to write about how some subsections of gamer culture are fucked up.

    Furthermore out of the 19 articles listed on gamergate.me as “Gamers are Dead” articles only 3 of the authors were on GameJournoPros. The first being Leigh Alexander, the second being Chris Plante and the third being Casey Johnston.

    Johnston’s piece is almost entirely about Sarkessian, Quinn and Gamergate and only touches on the ideas in Alexander’s piece in a single paragraph where she directly quotes from it to attempt to explain Gamergates behavior.

    Chris Plante’s article is blatantly not a “gamers are dead” article as it is about the Sony hack and bomb threat, live stream swattings, people being dicks to Sarkessian on twitter etc and it never claims this behavior is in anyway representative of gamers, just that it is unfortunate. Frankly I’m not sure why it made the gamergate.me list.

    What I want to know is why you and so many other gamergaters think that the articles were coordinated on GJP when a quick look at a wiki made by Gamergate makes it readily apparent that the total contribution of “gamers are dead” articles from GJP is 1 article and a paragraph.

    I honestly can’t understand how people went to the trouble to put together a list of everyone on GJP and all the “gamers are dead” articles but never bothered to see it there actually was substantial overlap. It probably goes back to the same reason Gamergate spent months claiming Quinn traded sex for reviews when anyone who regularly read the major games sites (or could do a 5 second google search) knew that her game hadn’t been reviewed by any major sites.

    Here are the sources I used if you want to check for yourself.


  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    If you know me, then you know that I’m always glad to be of help! You must also know I’ve been going around and around in the same circles with you guys for months.

    I’ll make a deal with you. I primarily write about Atlanta local issues. Line up a few Atlanta gamergaters willing to talk to me openly, and I’ll interview them and give them fair coverage. If I can’t find a local outlet interested in the interview, (I’m freelancing at the moment), I’ll publish it myself.

    I’ve never seen a movement with so few people willing to commit to opinions under their own names. I’ll be certain to put training wheels on the interview.

  • Wavinator

    That’s reasonable Larry. Thank you. I’ll see what I can do.

  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    As you know, I’m ridiculously easy to find.

  • Meittimies

    Reasons for that are quite simple:

    A) The smear campaign that has already attempted to destroy people using their real names. Currently Joss Whedon was a victim of this and he was harassed out of Twitter. Not revealing your real identity mitigates the damage on that (which is why my account is my cat).
    Gamergate as a hashtag and a group cannot be harassed or threatened away. I work in the gaming- and animation industry, and as Brad Wardells case has shown, gaming sites will stop at nothing to label you a terrorist or a rapist at every opportunity they get for easy clicks. Especially if you dare critisize them.

    B) Gamergate is heavily international. I myself come from Scandinavia and most of us gaming enthusiasts here are pro-GG by default, because the journalistic standards here are way higher than in the US. We take ethical conduct for granted, so watching the US gaming media fumble so badly over these months has been rather surreal.

    C) We want to represent ourselves as consumers on this issue, since the original media attack that created Gamergate in the first place was targeted against consumers. When Grek Kostikyan of Gamasutra threatened to fight to a duel every single dissenter of Leigh Alexanders article, when K.Thor Jensen of Escapist said my parents should die because I love video games, of course that can and should be perceived as an outright attack against their own readers.

    Gamergate does not look for yes-men. It looks for people doing their jobs properly. What do you think happens to a restaurant where the cook spits on people’s steaks and then kicks out those who dare complain about it, without giving any refunds? Hate us all you will Larry, but if you give us a fair shake in an article you yourself have written, and actually follow the rules on SPJ’s own website: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

    Then you are okay by Gamergates book. Its not hard. We demand even less than what SPJ itself does. Why is it so hard to add disclosures to articles with conflict of interests in them?

  • Meittimies

    That mailing list was started by the same people behind Journolist, which was so unethical journalists outside that group critisized it to oblivion:


    GJP was the exact same thing. To pretend it wasnt is to lie. Journalism definitely does NOT work that way.

  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    It’s a deal then.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    Actually, I did read them, which is why I referred to them as a ‘constellation’ of articles. They have the same thematic content, because of the inspiration– Quinnspiracy bullshit.

    These articles weren’t in response to criticism of Grayson, they were prompted by Quinn’s harassment. I was following the mess on r/truegaming and it was absolutely disgusting– that’s supposed to be a civil subreddit, and it blew up with the most nasty shit. Then, later, these articles came out and I thought “Yeah, I was just seeing some of this bullshit firsthand.”

    Of course, I’m always happy to have a total stranger tell me what I haven’t read when they’re the one struggling with what the articles were even saying in the first place.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    And you’ve stayed offended since October?

  • Meittimies

    Yes, that was called the Quinnspiracy-scandal. Funny thing about it was that Gamergate was blamed for it, when Gamergate is THE original hashtag that tried to distance itself from Zoe Quinn entirely (since shes not a journalist) and focus on Kotaku’s failures.

    “Yes, 10-12 articles about the same exact thing within 24 hours made by people who all belong to the exact same emailing group already caught from pushing blacklists and narratives in gaming sites that already had a rap sheet of collusion almost decade long- is just pure random coincidence, sparked by the subject matter itself!”

    You’re delusional. Or dishonest. Or both.

  • Jack

    So the articles, in response to criticism, just painted a huge strawman of their critics instead of addressing any of the issues raised against them – but it’s kosher because you don’t care?

    Aren’t you a total stranger waltzing around these responses telling other people what they have or haven’t read properly?

    Mother of all hypocrisy.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    Oh, but I was gonna say the same thing about you!

    But, seriously, GamerGate is the original hashtag that *to this day* perpetuates the same disinformation as Quinnspiracy, so if there was ever an intention to distance itself, it was a an absolute failure.

  • DoctorFacepunch

    Sorry, but that isn’t true. Adam Baldwin coined the #GG hashtag in a Tweet about a burgersandfries video. The “-gate” suffix is specifically in reference for the “sex-for-reviews scandal”; you know, the one that never actually happened, but that GGers to this day will cheerfully spread around anyway.

  • Meittimies

    Actually, it is true. Look at the amount of traffic on the hashtag and 4chan around that time and Gamergate exploded right after those 10 articles. Baldwin was the father of Gamergate, but “Gamers are Dead”-articles were the mother. Once again, you would know this if you wouldve actually been there.

    the -gate suffix is a reference to Watergate. Look it up. It also includes people being caught from something damning, and them trying their hardest to silence the opposition critisizing them by fabricating lies about them.

    Also, Nathan did write favorably about Zoe Quinn, but not on Kotaku, that much Gamergate got wrong. He wrote about her game in Destructoid.

  • Meittimies

    Disinformation? Really now? State this disinformation. Gamergate has grown far larger since those days, the original “rage” is pretty much gone now when everyone mostly responsible for those attack articles have either lost their jobs or relieved from game writing entirely.

    But alas, its opponents keep it alive, the corrupt journalists kept making more and more mistakes and unethical practices in their job to further validate the existence of Gamergate as a necessary thing. Had all the perpetrators apologized and fixed their problems (like PC Gamer and Escapist both did and are outside all of that drama now), Gamergate would’ve ended in a week. But they didnt, and decided to continue their unethical practices even more. And here we are.

    Its true that Gamergate isnt about its original dilemma anymore (since that was solved one way or another). But it has evolved into a consumer-driven watchdog group all thanks to everything that happened in-between its span of existence.

  • WTF Magazine

    > Quinnspiracy reference
    Confirmed for Zoe Quinn white knight

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    “Lost their jobs or been relieved?” Are you one of the folks who emailed SPJ asking for court martials?

  • Meittimies

    All the more reason to go pro-GG, help them fix the problem on gaming journalism ethics so all will be over and the 3rd party trolls dont have their playground anymore, yes?

  • Meittimies

    Nope. Leigh Alexander was laid off from Gamasutra, Ben Kuchera is “taking a break” from game writing. Gamergate boycott certainly had some part in it, but most of the reason realistically thinking was the already grim predictions of 2015 going to be a very rough year for these particular sites, mostly due to Youtube and Twitch taking all their audience and ad-revenue for themselves.

  • DoctorFacepunch

    Oh, I was there.

    “-gate” does originate from Nixon’s scandal at the Watergate hotel, of course, but it’s been slapped onto just about every other scandal since, including several in the game industry; Gerstmanngate, which barely caused a ripple, Doritogate, which no one did anything about, and then…this.

    Nathan Grayson doesn’t write for Destructoid. You might be thinking of rockpapershotgun, where he once wrote three words about Depression Quest in a list of 49 other games. Note that Eron Gjoni, *questionable* as his motives were, never actually accused her of sleeping around for reviews; early GG supporters made up that allegation and ran with it. For ethics. (Yes, that wasn’t *everyone’s* main focus, but it was a huge part of the early going; we all saw the IRC logs that prove that. And you should see the crazy fool in another forum who’s still going on about it now.)

    As for the articles, journalists don’t operate the way you think they do. There isn’t some secret cabal out to manipulate the world’s opinion…on video games). Mailing lists exist, but that’s true of any profession. It’s a small industry. Everybody knows somebody who knows everybody, and people from various parts of the industry talk as friends all the time.

    The way it works is more like: Something noteworthy happens, someone writes about it and gets a lot of attention, and then a bunch of other people weigh in. And, because it’s crucial in today’s media to be quick (or else your readers go somewhere else), you often see a barrage of articles around the net about the same thing, just like in politics or any other news topic.

    Besides that, Alexander’s original article, in context, was all about how gaming has become so ubiquitous that it’s moved beyond all the negative stereotypes. Unfortunately, a lot of people’s reactions to that, after reading the article poorly, was to prove that those stereotypes can still be true.

  • Thidran

    Wrong, he wrote favorably about Zoe Quinn in Kotaku AND RockPaperShotgun. Zoe Quinn’s article was in relation to her rebel jam.

  • Noah Caldwell-Gervais

    This is a very interesting fantasy, since both those people are still employed and respected game journalists.

  • facefault

    Joss Whedon is a loud opponent of GamerGate. I’vve seen at least one GGer, @atlasnodded, say GG got him off Twitter. And yet you word your comment to imply he got harassed off Twitter for supporting GamerGate. Ethics!

    >SPJ code

    Please reread the section “Minimize Harm.” The main chip on GG’s shoulder is actions taken to minimize harm to Zoe Quinn, by deleting threads spreading false rumors about her.

  • Meittimies

    Ah, thanks for clearing the mixup. GG supporters were not really in for Eron Gjoni, but going after the attack articles and those responsible for them. What you’re referring to is Quinnspiracy-scandal. I do remember that one as well. “Just another dumb ME3-ending scandal” I thought, ignored most of it. Then suddenly people got mass censored both on youtube and reddit about it, which caused a streisand effect.

    Then the attack articles came on top of that streisand effect and Gamergate was born. As the smearing articles of Gamergate began to rack up, 4chans /v/ decided to donate 70,000 dollars to TFYC (a feminist gaming project sabotaged by Zoe Quinn in the past) as a response to prove their narrative wrong. Did that work? Of course not. Lies continued to a point #Notyourshield began when people were forced to show their real faces for people who tried to argue theyre just “white man’s sockpuppets”. One colorful response about #notyourshield being made of house niggers was also something that everyone remembers.

    We do not live under the pretense that gaming journalists are some huge conspiracy behind everything wrong in the world. However, when one of them creates an article that has serious factual errors, only then for some of his friends to spread that article further without checking those errors himself, that creates a vicious cycle where pretty much the entire group is responsible of gross ethical errors on their own jobs. Hell, when the first GJP leak came up, Kyre Orland himself admitted of wrongdoing and apologized. So to say “theres nothing wrong with GJP” is false.

    The fact GJP was created by the same people behind the notorious disbanded Journolist was already alarming for obvious reasons: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JournoList ,Then came the leaks about the Alistair Pinsof case which bordered on illegal blacklisting. Which really did not help GJPs case either.

    You also have to remember what happened with Alexanders article afterwards, several other Gamasutra “expert bloggers” apparently mistook Alexanders “innocent” article (Greg Kostikyan “Gamersgate:STFU”) and wrote pure vitriol saying gamers are white virgin neckbeards. And surprise, Leigh and her followers applauded those articles.

    An avalanche of tweets from journalists saying stuff like gamers are all white man-babies (moviebob) and how parents of gamers should die (K Thor Jensen). Then, another expert blogger on Gamasutra critisized Alexander’s piece, which resulted in him being downgraded to just a blogger despite over a decade of expertise and experience in game development. This was only fixed way after the article itself.

    Games journalism has plenty to answer for. The silliest thing about all of this is that The Escapist and PC Gamer both actually did answer for their errors, they fixed their stuff and apologized. And now they’ve stayed outside of whole Gamergate boycott. Had all the other gaming sites followed suit, Gamergate wouldve been over in a week.

  • Thidran
  • Meittimies

    Gamergate was born from “minimize harm”, so the journalists we were after wouldnt have been able to use that argument. Quinnspiracy was the original scandal, Gamergate happened after the attack articles.

  • Meittimies

    He got harassed off Twitter by others against Gamergate. The smear campaign he was taking part with turned out to be his undoing.

    Gamergate was born from the “gamers are dead”-articles. Are you trying to say those articles were GJP’s attempt at “minimizing harm” for Zoe Quinn?

  • Crawdaddy

    Joss Whedon was run off of Twitter by the same types of “social justice warriors” he has been supporting. In fact, one of the big reasons he was getting blasted is that Sarkeesian’s boyfriend/writer attacked the new Avengers movie. Whedon was not being attacked by GG or even people who share similar views with GG. He was being attacked by Anita’s ilk.

  • Meittimies

    First one writes in a blog site nobody reads (Leigh herself has been complaining about it on her Twitter), and latter does not write about games anymore. Thats good enough. Leigh is not ruining Gamasutra anymore, Ben is not ruining the gaming community anymore.

  • Justin

    From his Battlefield Los Angeles review:

    Young men: If you attend this crap with friends who admire it, tactfully inform them they are idiots. Young women: If your date likes this movie, tell him you’ve been thinking it over, and you think you should consider spending some time apart.

  • CTD

    This is far from equivalent to Leigh Alexander’s article for three reasons:

    1) He doesn’t call all moviegoers idiots

    2) He advocates tact

    3) It’s witty.

  • King of Bros

    That’s fair enough, but we have plenty of actual conflicts of interest lined up too.

  • Reggie Anderson

    If you could avoid the use of logical fallacies such as the straw-man argument you’ve just used, that would likely go a lot farther in people trusting your honesty and eagerness to discuss this issue maturely and responsibly.

  • hurin

    If you as you say ‘was cyberstalked and harassed for several months’, then I find it strange, you would have sympathy for ZQ since she is a former Helldump user. Helldump was a forum on Something Awful that specialized in doxxing and harassment, it was shut down after it got accused of bullying a teenager to suicide.

  • Reggie Anderson

    Look at their disqus profile. That should show you a good deal more of what you’re asking about than their comments likely would portray.

  • Crawdaddy

    No, you said, “However you look at it, the posts either came from gamergate or came from gamergate by proxy.”

    GamerGate was posting ethics-related items to the hashtag to try to get GG-centric interests noticed. Groups like Ayyteam and GNAA started bombarding the hashtag with porn, graphic images, and so on.

    Based on your statement, GamerGate noticing and discussing the ethics hashtag “brought attention to it,” which means all of the posts “either came from gamergate or came from gamergate by proxy.”

    Those are your words, and it assigns blame to GG for actions carried out by people trying to make GG look bad. That is no different than Ayyteam masquerading as GG in the Buzzfeed article, which claimed everyone in GG is racist. GG keeps getting blamed for things even when a second or two of investigation would reveal the real culprits.

  • j-Dank

    Since you’re so wrapped up in GG’s persecution complex: hey fine, you can have it, everyone is blaming you, you know what I meant better than I do, etc.

    On that note however, I keep seeing the claim, “GG keeps getting blamed for things even when a second or two of investigation would reveal the real culprits.”

    ‘Ayyteam’ is your problem, most people including myself are barely aware of them. If “the proof” of how “they’re the real culprits” is so easy to find then please point me to it, because aside from vague dismissals on KiA, nobody knows where to do this “second or two” of research. We see a hundred posts to the hashtag an hour from accounts with gamergate logos, red star eyepatches and anime profile pictures, we’re not going to go and manually confirm the identity of every person.

    That’s the problem with having an anonymous movement.

    Just looking at the ethics week tag right now, that’s not even what I see. I don’t see the sexism, I don’t see the homophobia. I see a tag that has been spammed so much with “legit concerns” that it’s abandoned.

    This is where the sealion joke comes from, because hundreds and hundreds of people just trying to “get GG-centric interests noticed” all at once, to the point where you’re drowning out the people who are already there? That doesn’t look very innocent to anyone else, nor does it look like anyone else is responsible. That looks like the result of an ill-thought-out call to post information to the tag. That looks like gamergate’s fault, because it was part of gamergate’s self-admitted heavily-supported plan.

    Whether or not GG are the shitposters is irrelevent when even the legitimate concerns have bombarded the tag so much that it noise-cancels out everything else. To hell with the people trying to make GG look bad – GG doesn’t need them, it does well enough looking bad on its own.

  • Cole Pram

    “They need to know that challenging (or insulting) the audience from an editorial position is not inflicting harm.”

    It is inflicting harm because most people can’t tell the difference between an op-ended piece and “hard news” when articles are presented as fact, journolist (not spelled wrong) sprinkle in their own agendas presenting it as fact, then encourage their readers to attack people.

    When Jouros call people misogynistic women haters, worse than ISIS, the KKK, antisemitic and link them every hateful thing ever done they’re encouraging people to call in bomb threats on a peaceful meeting of an extremely diverse group of people who just don’t care about politics.

    Over the last nine months the media has degraded and dehumanized a group of people that just want the media to strive for higher ethical standards. You can hand wave it all you want, stirring up and encouraging a lynch mob to go after people holding “journalists” accountable for their actions is unethical.

  • King of Bros

    Have you written articles under a pseudonym? I can’t seem to find any.

  • Cole Pram

    Yeah, agree with you, that’s BS, I’ve been supporting feminism for a long time and have been a gamer even longer. I was tortured for it and still get odd looks from peers when I say that’s my hobby.

    Gamer is a label I chose for myself, only I get to define what it means. So yeah I was pissed off when all the sudden the GAME MEDIA decided “Gamer” was a term only misogynerds use.

    Now they’re trying to push it off as, “If it doesn’t apply to you then you shouldn’t be offended he-yuck”, yeah, screw that. To me it’s like saying, “Women are sluts, if you weren’t a slut you wouldn’t be mad. Why you so mad?”, or “All men are rapists, if you weren’t a rapists you wouldn’t be mad. Why you so mad?”

    It’s just a way to be hateful bigots to a group, but then claim only the people getting mad are part of the group you’re being hateful towards.

  • Cole Pram

    Good response to the, “Oh if you really cared about X, then you’d be all over Y. You’re not all over Y, so you must not really care about X”

    Despite the fact that it is actually in the set of things we DO care about, but it was kind of a long time ago and there’s just not much we CAN do about it.

  • Carlos Filipe Costa

    I think all you said falls under inflammatory speech. which is irresponsible and unethical… let’s not even talk about intentional mischarecterizations, and outright libel….

  • http://larryfeltonjohnson.typepad.com/ Larry Felton Johnson

    I’m not a heavy hitter, but you should still have turned up some stuff.

    My formal entry into journalism is recent, but you should have found a ton of writing by searching on my name, since I’ve been writing for 40 years.

    My older writing is mostly scattered across pre-web print publications. I’ve written for a number of the community weeklies and monthlies here. I don’t know if they’ve digitized their back issues.

    The last major publication to published me was the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A few op-eds from 1991 to 2002. A couple of the editors there knew me, knew I could write quickly, and would ask me to write on various topics. Searching on the “stacks” at the AJC turns up some of it, although my last, and longest, article doesn’t seem to be indexed. It’s about immigration and Atlanta’s neighborhoods.

    I ran a blog popular among architects and urban planners (if you search on atlantalarry you’ll find a ton of stuff) for about 15 years.

    One of my favorite things, still on the web, was actually a podcast interview with Donald Knuth, a pioneer of computer science, although my Gomer Pyle voice on the interview makes clear why broadcast journalism is not my thing.

    My profile here on Disqus and on Twitter sum up who I am nicely. I’m the “World’s Oldest Journalism Undergraduate”. It isn’t altogether a joke. I’m a senior (both in class standing and age) in the journalism department in the big state university here in Atlanta.

  • Brian Grant

    “Journalists are to be the eyes, ears, and mouth of the public. You tell us what’s happening, what you see, what you hear, what evidence says, and then you tell those in power what we say back.”

    Maybe they are and you’re not liking what they’re saying?

  • brian_x

    You gators get told over and over again that if you’re not an asshole, it doesn’t apply to you, and that most gamers understand that, yet you keep insisting that GG speaks for gamers even though many of us have told you in no uncertain terms that we reject your message. You’re like a splinter church excommunicating everyone in the old congregation even though most of the congregation either doesn’t know you left or actively supported kicking you out because you were disrupting services all the damn time. The rest of the world sees you as a bunch of angry, obsessive, and potentially dangerous lunatics, and it’s not the media giving us that impression.

  • Brian Grant

    You must never been on Xbox Live chat playing a game when a female comes on. 9 times out of 10 somebody will either:

    A. Make a sexist comment
    B. Try to hit on the female gamer
    C. Question her ability or knowledge in some shape or fashion

    I’ve seen it happen, and I just about every female gamer I know it’s happened to more than once.

  • ArsVampyre

    So every person who plays games is guilty of whatever ‘sin’ this one person committed? That’s nonsensical.

  • ArsVampyre

    So your response is a personal attack against him? Mature. You’re supposed to be someone people should listen to?

    I agree with Falcus, if this is what you think is appropriate, you need to move on to something else.

  • Brian Grant

    When a person says “9 out of 10 times…” that implies it’s a common occurrence. The only thing nonsensical was your post.

  • brian_x

    This is the part you seem to be having trouble with. What was said was that this is a problem within the gaming community, not that all gamers were doing it. If you’re not part of the problem, you’re not the target.

  • Hedger

    And you randomly attack random people. This is why GG is still around and necessary.

    If you honestly believed what you state why are you so concerned with the “splinter church” going off on its own? Especially when you didnt know they left or actively kicked them out?

    Part of GG’s problem is that no one can get “kicked out” because theres nothing to be kicked out of. So anyone gets to hang around the community and do what ever they feel like doing to who ever they feel like then leave the mess for other people to deal with. On the other hand you seem dead set on removing a very specific demographic, the splinter church, while trying to claim “inclusion.” Cant you see how hypocritical it is to claim promotion of inclusion when the sole goal is to exclude people mostly due to simple disagreement.

    If the media had done their job, and simply reported on the issue, you would not currently have GG. Instead they decided on participating in the excommunication thinking they had the right and the power to do so. And 9 months later you see how poorly that idea has turned out.

  • ArsVampyre

    I speak for me. I don’t speak for you. The difference is, I didn’t make up a lie about you to spread around to silence your dissent; I listened to it.

  • brian_x

    Because instead of going and doing their own thing, that splinter church is still flinging shit at the congregation that rejected them. Nobody wants to, or should feel obligated to, include shit-flingers. Frankly, the people who were being attacked originally were and are a self-selected group consisting, by definition, of assholes, so GamerGate’s entire premise is based on a paranoid lie. If you identify with GG, you will be deemed an asshole, because that’s how GG behaves, and all the browbeating in the world that you gators do to try to convince people otherwise will only strengthen the impression that you’re a bunch of raving obsessive thugs. (See also the hashtag attack/locust swarm that spawned this article.)

    So, just keep doubling down and ignoring the fact that everyone that isn’t you generally regards you as a cancer in the gaming community, and a particularly aggressive one at that.

  • Hedger

    And once again we come to the position of calling names and actively kicking people out. I dont think you care what my position is and i dont think i can say anything that would make you change yours. But i am interested in you elaborating on this:

    “Frankly, the people who were being attacked originally were and are a
    self-selected group consisting, by definition, of assholes, so
    GamerGate’s entire premise is based on a paranoid lie.”

    Who was the original group? Why are they by definition assholes? Which “premise” do you consider a lie?

    I honestly want to know your position on these things, because from the statement you make i cant honestly tell what you are trying to say because the generalizations you make change based on how your perceive this issue.

  • brian_x

    Considering I’ve heard absolutely every GG argument ever and they’re all either delusions or outright horseshit, no, you are not likely to change my mind.

  • Hedger

    So no elaboration then? Ok, cool.

  • ArsVampyre

    I hear your anecdotal evidence and counter with my own. Realize that Xbox live is not all of gaming, and that even if the experiences you relate are truthful, they may not be representative, and aren’t remotely in my own experience, which is likely much greater than yours, because reasons. It’s as perfectly valid as your own statement.

  • ArsVampyre

    No, what was said is that gamers in general have this problem, and it’s up to them to fix it, and it’s best just to ditch them all because those gamers don’t matter anymore, because look, misleading demographics confusing mobile puzzle gamers with all gamers, and also misrepresentation of research by Dan Golding.

    What was done was a vast venting of the general hatred these writers have of their audience, because they think they’re too good to write about this shit, they should be able to do whatever the hell they want, and ethics and responsibility be damned.

    When you read an advice column, do you expect the advice column to be a subtle sales-pitch for the writer’s friend, lover, or financial partner? Because that’s what’s been going on, and when they got called out on it and called out for censoring discussion of THAT, they attacked gamers, en masse, and then tried to back-peddle and say ‘well, we only met the trolls’. It’s not Team Gamer, Internet police, and saying people are trolls or hate women doesn’t absolve these journalists of performing their job according to the expectations of it, and not in a misleading manner in order to personally benefit, or give favor to those close to them for some reason.

    I don’t understand why people keep defending this practice. Because Gamergate supporters also are vastly anti-troll, anti-harassment, and anti-threats. There’s a reason the early stereotype of a supporter was a polite sealion, interrupting a public conversation with civil questions asked in a civil manner; because that’s how supporters behave.

    This harassment narrative is a fiction. There’s no significant link between supporters of gamergate and harassment, doxxing, or threats, despite claims of such. Of Anita Sarkeesian’s week of harassment tweets, 15% of them had used Gamergate at one point or another, and 2% of that had used it more than once (I’m using someone else’s statistics, as sourced from a debate between Chris Kluwe and Mercedes Carrera on the David Pakman show, so I can’t verify their authenticity beyond that. Take it for what it’s worth). That doesn’t even tell you if they were using it in support or against. And yes, there are groups who oppose both.

    I can see why you’d think what you say is true, Brian. Depending on when you came into looking at this, the story has warped and changed over time. If you weren’t involved with it right when the censorship started happening, most of the censorship is covered up with this sort of thing, and claims of conspiracy theory wackjobs. But the story the supporters tell holds up to the evidence, and the supporters told against them does not, no matter how many people in the media use it to cover up their own failings, most of which is just a failure to do research for themselves, and trusting other journalists and sites that they should not.

    After all, why would Kotaku be a reasonable source for if Kotaku was behaving unethically? Why would they admit to it if they could avoid it?

  • Brian Grant

    Ok, but I’m not going by my own experiences though. These are from women I’ve talked to. so the stories from people I know and the stories I’ve read from others, inclines me to believe this is true.

    Don’t take my word for it, there’s a documentary with real-live women sharing their stories – but they might be too anecdotal for you – because you’ve never experienced it, so it must be lies!!! https://youtu.be/ULEX97n5tac

  • Brian Grant

    Perhaps but other news sources outside the gaming industry have also looked into this story, and all basically came to the same conclusions.

    The talk of journalists potential conflicts of interests is a valid discussion because, if anything, the perception is there. But the way gaming media is presented hurts the gaming industry more than it hurts gamers.

    Like nobody gives a crap if a film critic reviewed a movie on their webpage but has advertisement from same movie company on the site or if a film critic is sleeping with a actress or director.

    On the flip side the threats against Quinn and others (who are not in gaming media) by people of gamergate (or at least people who use the movement to harass) is very real and has real life impact.

  • Ned Burner

    I’m not a part of this Gamergate discussion or anything but I wanted to chime in and say that as an outsider, you guys look like total crackpots. You want people to lose their job because of an opinion they have?

    You’re trying to police people’s thoughts, so I’m not surprised you’ve had zero success.

  • ArsVampyre

    I’m not going to take a side in this, but did any of you consider that asking ‘what games do you play’ is an attempt at finding common ground to relate, talk about something they mutually enjoy, and welcome the person into the group? Like a golfer asking which courses someone enjoys, I don’t think it’s as nefarious as you make it out to be.

    If you go into the group expecting hostility, you’ll see it even if it’s not there. When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  • ArsVampyre

    If they were it wouldn’t be provably false, now would it? Someone would follow up on the facts and it would show that indeed, no one was run from their home, or that no party took place on the night in question, etc.

    It’s important when someone says they are harassed, but it’s more important that when they say it, if you report on it, you’ve checked to see if it’s true. Do no harm? You do far more harm by lying to the public and making them suspicious of their news than you do by fact-checking someone and making them think that you didn’t just take them at their word.

  • ArsVampyre

    Apologies, but it’s the other side trying to get people fired for having an opinion. Example: Ben Kuchera, a ‘journalist’ who sought to have a man fired for having a disagreement with him on twitter. A disagreement on TWITTER. He contacted this man’s employer and attempted to have him fired, for conduct that had nothing to do with the man’s employment.

    This is SOP for many; they contact your employer, tell them you’re a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, and that they’ll tell the news that the whole company is if they don’t fire you, and because the journalists are either in agreement with the tactic (See Mr. Adam Sessler and his support for doxxing, or Mr. Bob Chipman and his statement that there are no bad tactics, only bad targets, with regard to doxxing, harassment, etc).

    You are woefully uninformed. When a bomb threat was called in recently on a Gamergate meeting, the FBI and the local police took it seriously, believing it to be a real and credible threat. When Ms. Sarkeesian canceled her talk, the police said there wasn’t a credible threat (I don’t quite agree with them myself, the letter was extremely threatening and has no place in civil society for any reason).

    You might look at the evidence before you make claims over who’s trying to silence who, and how. This doesn’t even go into the overarching culture-war stuff I’m thankfully not interested in fighting in, where an advertisement gets a company bomb and arson threats, and the UK government makes the company take it down because it’s demeaning to fat people rather than investigating actual threats of violence. Is this the way you want our country to be? Is that to be what we call a ‘free society’ now? Have the right opinion, and you can attack anyone in any way as long as they’re more ‘privileged’ than you, all because politicians fear being labeled some hateful name? Because right now, many journalists and news sites are marching lock-step with this facism. And that is what it is; facism.

    Call me a crackpot-I’ve been called worse for less worthy reasons. Take the time to look into things yourself. It’s far worse than it appears to be. These game journalists are not unique; they’re just arrogant and were easily caught. The SPJ has their work cut out for them, and as a concerned citizen, I’d like to lend what support I can, because I want my children to grow up in a free society where they can make their own thoughts, believe their own beliefs, and not be forced to pretend to be something else in order to hold a job, buy a house, or not be imprisoned.

    P.S. We’ve had a lot of success. Strangely enough, disclaimers of possible conflicts of interest are much more common, the FCC changed their rules regarding affiliate links, and we’re still here, talking about ethics in the face of stories about harassment that have no evidence other than someone’s word, and a lot of evidence otherwise.

    Good day to you, Mr. Burner.

  • Brian Grant

    “omeone would follow up on the facts and it would show that indeed, no one was run from their home, or that no party took place on the night in question, etc.” – Wait where are these “facts”?

  • Brian Grant

    I practice martial arts and I compete. We do not care about your skill level. As long as you’re willing to learn and treat others well we accept you.

    Earning respect is not inherent to all competitive activities. Gamers don’t have to be that way they’re choosing to be.

  • Hedger

    Who said earning respect was based on skill level?

    In fact i gave several different methods that respect is earned. Emphasis on earned. Earning respect is inherent to everything, respecting each other is the basis of society. Unfortunately “being respected” is not the default position, and rightfully so.

    Dont misunderstand though, being respected and being liked are completely separate ideas

    No one is stopping anyone from playing games, dont make it sound like there are groups going around throwing people out of arcades or game shops or tournaments, because that simply isnt the case.

    I think its funny you see it as a choice. I see it as the result of decades of a demographic being socially outcast. Its not the gamers who have changed…