#gamergate and the Revenge of the Cool Kids

Today I tried to voice my support for #gamergate and managed to offend both pro #gamergate and anti #gamergate people. It’s a talent. A word to the wise (which obviously didn’t include me): Twitter is very unforgiving of thoughts that span more than 140 characters!

I posted the following four tweets this afternoon:

According to my twitter feed, all right thinking people agree that #gamergate supporters are lying, misogynist supporters of rape & murder.

And anyone associating with #gamergate invites justified social and business ostracism from respectable society upon themselves.

Sounds cool. I’m signing up to #gamergate. Fuck respectable society. Note: I only play DDO, SL, & Bejeweled, so I may not be a real gamer.

But you can insult me now, too, anyway.

Amusingly enough some of the pro #gamergate people apparently only saw the second tweet of the series and responded as such. I’m not upset about those responses. I understand how weeks of having people tell you that you are the scum of the earth can make people sensitive to perceived criticism.

So here—in long form—are my thoughts on #gamergate.

There are a core group of nChan trolls who are busy trying to make both sides look bad via various black propaganda techniques. These are evil little fucks. But the nChan trolls—no matter how repulsive they may be—just seem transparent and silly to me after dealing with their ilk for years in Second Life. It is the busybody control freak “Social Justice Warriors” that really annoy me. At least nChan doesn’t pretend to be doing something positive (well they might if they thought it would piss someone off).

And I feel great sympathy for gamers who have created a safe spaces for themselves only to have internet Social Justice Warrior missionaries invade. These Social Justice Warriors picked the weird kids as their target for this crusade on purpose. They remember high school. They remember who was on the bottom. And they remember who would not fight back.

I was a weird kid. I am a weird adult now. I remember what it was like in school to have kids calling me a fat faggot. And I recognize that kind of bullying when I see it again.

The Social Justice Warriors are fond of describing pro #gamergate people as “maladjusted”, “fat”, “basement dwellers”, “neckbearded”, “repulsive”, etc.—and at the same time insisting that the #gamergate supporters are “privileged” and somehow in a position of power. Bullshit. The Social Justice Warriors are bullies picking on some of the least powerful, least privileged people they can find.

But to their surprise, the weird kids are not lying back and taking it this time. The Social Justice Warriors are seeing their own weapons turned against them.

Please note that I am not saying that the internet Social Justice Warriors don’t have the right to say what they are saying–even if doing so turns them into crude bullies. They have the same right to free speech that I do (at least in the United States, where most of this controversy is centered). Unlike many of the Social Justice Warriors, don’t believe there is some sort of magic written-in-invisible-ink-on-the-Constitution “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment. I welcome their speech. The more the Social Justice Warriors rant, the more people will see them for what they are.

What they don’t get to do, is to make their opposition shut up; #gamergate is over when the people talking about it decide to they are finished talking. Not one moment sooner.

Notice I have not mentioned “depiction of women in video games” or “ethics in journalism” once in the paragraphs above. That’s deliberate. #gamergate stopped being about any of that stuff some time ago.

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