A Little More GamerGate

(This post has some descriptions of sexual assault. And GamerGate. But no more after this, I promise.)

Because there is some speculation and I've been asked about it: Most of my comments disappeared from Gamasutra because I deleted my own Gamasutra account.

I deleted my account because I don't feel like contributing value to a site that feels, e.g. Kyle Redd's two years of arguments like this are materially acceptable

Kyle Redd on 16 Jul 2012 at 2:20 pm PST, wondering why games journalists are talking about sexism in games and not rape in Egypt.

Except people have actually been forced out of their jobs and homes due to arguments like that providing a foundation and tenor for a harassment campaign, and it's been happening for years, and these commenters continue plugging their ears or outright lying and gaslighting the people involved, so you realize there's no alternative but "fuck you, sexism is not welcome here no matter how nicely you mask it" — well, that's just unprofessional. So that comment was deleted (by Christian Nutt), and Kyle Redd's ramblings about how the real victims here are "gamers" stands.1

When "professionalism" means "rebut the same non-arguments for the Nth time while real people are still unsafe" fuck professionalism. (And yes, still, fuck you Kyle Redd - and plenty of other commenters who get away with the same thing.)

People afraid of losing their voices due to deleted comments — it's nonsense. Comment sections aren't "a voice" and no one loses "their voice" by not being able to comment. I am not afraid of being "silenced" by editorial decisions at publications, because I have my own site, because we live in an era where it's easy to say something no matter how wrong. Gamasutra and UBM should rather be afraid that if they don't fix a broken approach to community management, they're going to lose all the marginal value they extract from people writing for them for free.

I didn't delete my account because I was "censored." I wasn't. Even if I was that would be a reason to agitate more, not delete my account. I deleted my account because if the site wants to foreground "professionalism" and "discussion" and "both sides" it's not worth my effort.

I mean holy hell, there's still people saying Anita Sarkeesian's criticisms can't be valid because she once said she's "not a gamer" like that even means anything. Stop giving an inch for that shit. ComicsAlliance can figure it out, why can't anywhere in the games press itself?

I think there are legitimate conversations to have about the erosion of actual public space for discussion, but entertainment and industry publications were never that. It's Tumblr and Twitter that are displacing any real public sphere, and those are the services reactionaries and "anti-SJW" agitators mock as much as they use.

And I'd say no one is coming to take your manshoots and drugwars away, but frankly I'm not sure that's true anymore. But when you lose them it's not going to be because "we" (whatever nebulous group that is) banned sexist content. It's because you're the equivalent of a person smearing shit on the walls in a public bathroom while screaming to the janitor about how he wouldn't even have a job if it wasn't for your feces. Eventually, you're going to either get kicked out or all the janitors will quit and leave you alone in your shit piles.2

  1. I feel like I'm in pretty good company here at least. Greg Costikyan, the kind of game designer famous enough to have a Wikipedia biography, had a blog post deleted for similar reasons. 

  2. In this analogy Gamasutra is like the janitor that watches the pile grow until he and the dude are both waist-high in shit, and keeps calmly suggesting to use the toilet instead.