I don’t like Koretzky. I never really did. My first impression was him saying that the SPJEthicsWeek hashtag had porn/gore/gay images from day one and sprinkled within the hashtag were a few decent posters asking decent questions.
This was a bold-faced lie. It is COMPLETELY untrue. Others tried to point out that this was not true. Whilst yes, there were some horrible images and spam posted by AyyTeam, these were posted in the last 2 or 3 days of a week long inundation of tweets in the hashtag. MOST of the tweets were pointing out ethical concerns on the gaming industry. In fact if anything, Ayyteam were off their game and had taken about 5 days to realise that #SPJEthicsWeek was a thing. Koretzky stuck to his guns that no these were from day one and outnumbered the tweets manyfold. Complete lie. We were there posting on there. We were there retweeting and favouriting the tweets. We saw what was there and what wasn’t.
So, the next thing that I could hardly fail to miss was his condescension as he tried to set us all straight about who we were or weren’t and what we MUST or MUST Not do. Of course the “This may be your only chance for legitimacy” narrative did not wash with me. Koretzky is NOT able to either grant legitimacy nor would he be our path to legitimacy, were this our big goal
I did not like him pissing off Brad Wardell nor Oliver Campbell either.
I do not like him going out of his way to smear us and constantly use essentially the same allegations and false representations that Anti-Gamergate has, whilst pretending just enough ignorance of Gamergate. and allowing just enough praise or receptiveness, to keep everyone in Gamergate from dropping the Airplay idea. It is not exciting or clever or beneficial. It is ego masturbation.
So….I had some real misgivings. The fact that it was run by Koretzky FOR a journalist organisation, and the panelists on the other side were professional journalists (I had not known much about Derek Smart), had me a little more than a little concerned. I further learned that Ren had some issues with Gamergate and was not likely in my mind to give us a fair shake.
It was shaping up rather badly especially with Koretzky telling us what we were not allowed to talk about and changing the allocated time to talk about Gamergate. I, as did many others strongly suspected a trap. So, those of you who are saying “Do you feel stupid now?” NO. No, I don’t. It had every appearance as such and so why would i feel stupid for not having more blind faith in Koretzky and his journalist peers, in being more critical of his profession than pretty much every other gaming and mainstream media publication? It is the petulance of the kid poking their tongue out saying “I told you so, I told you so, never-neer-ne-neer”. If anything this, is something to feel stupid for. As for me? I think it could have been so much worse. My expectations were very low, and so I am moderately pleased as to how it went off.
There is not too much to tell about the morning panel. The reason is not that it was dull or nondescript, but rather it was just very smooth. Koretzky was very well behaved and that pleasantly surprised me. I knew Allum but not the other two panelists and as unknown quantities, I was concerned. In short they were terrific. The start was a little shaky but they did enough to answer the right things and in the right way. The message was conveyed and the path set.
I will say only that I found it a bit perplexing that the Neutral Journalists panel made such a dismissal of Kotaku and/or Gawker. GAWKER WAS listened to. Whilst everyone can say “Nick Denton is terrible and Gawker not worth quoting”, Screw that, you did! Media and journalists lapped up every word. Gawker Media headed the charge and Vox Media and Conde Naste and Gamasutra and all the other Games media follow their lead. Then Washington Post and New York Times and every other mainstream media joined in and finally Wikipedia used all these “reputable sources” as “verifiable proof” of the narrative Gawker ran with. So NOW Gawker is not to be trusted? Really?
So, what can I say. I think that this went well.
As to the 3 neutrals. Derek Smart was a mixed bag (and I suspect like to play at being hard to “pin down” on issues) but I have to say was really neutral in that he was just as critical (calling Gamergate supporters “unhinged”) as he was complimentary (saying that there was never a harassment or misogyny position of Gamergate to need to defend against). Lynn Wash? A lot of people are singing her praises. I am not as quick to. She seemed very nice. She seemed relatively reasonable. BUT I did take exception to a few things she said. Mostly I felt she was humouring Koretzky. Her want to “act”(?) completely vacuous when having aspects of Gamergate explained. I do not think she is stupid and I do not think most people if they had this explained in exactly the same way would be ignorant of what was said. To lend credence to my assertion, they had a non-gaming journalist asking questions and a journalist student seem to get what was said. I however WAS impressed with much of what she said in respect to ethical breaches. She knew her stuff. She wasn’t trying to downplay ethical breaches or rail against Gamergate. Ren? Not a fan. he seemed to be pretty dismissive and condescending. We started off the day (ironically as we finished it) with an announcement of a bomb threat against them, yet he STILL is “suspicious” of Gamergate’s intentions. He can think whatever stupidity he wants, and I am sure he does. If the fact that he and gamergate supporters were being targeted is not a suggestion that maybe, just maybe the narrative of Gamergate are always the harassers, may not be entirely right, then he is only worth laughing at.
The Afternoon panel? Well it was very good and very bad. Where the morning panel was very calm and collected and Koretzky reigned in his “personality”, he certainly didn’t in the afternoon. He was being an ass. He butted heads with Milo. Milo simply was not prepared to have Koretzky change the things he was or was not allowed to talk about, be insulted, talked over, or dictated to. I say, fair enough
Here are some examples:
“However you spent your time talking about how awesome you are”, said Koretzky
“That doesn’t sound very likely” replied Milo
Koretzky asks whether Gamergate wants to “remain a dark subculture”
Koretsky condescendingly tells Milo not to interrupt Lyn Walsh after he had hypocritically interrupted Cathy and Christina a number of times and then continued to do so throughout Airplay.
Koretzky told Milo that he said he spoke on behalf of all of Gamergate. Milo objected and Koretzky tried impotently to shout down Milo. Milo asked him if that was how he did reporting?
So it goes.
They managed through Lyn, more than Koretzky, to get at least a little bit of flow. Koretzky tried admonishing the crowd a bit in between. But at least there was some flow.
Then of course was the bomb threat, the evacuation and the end.
So why would I say it was very good and very bad? Because I am proud of what we did and importantly we did not let Koretzky control the narrative or get away with bullshit or bullying. I personally think this was JUST as important as the morning panel. Our guys are also quite right. THEY managed to learn about Gamergate and without this hand holding. It is not rocket science and we don’t have to make it easy for the journalists. The journalists IF they are going to report simply need to do their jobs.
I am not a reporter. I knew NOTHING about gaming. I had no contacts in Gaming and had never used Twitter So how did I get the scoop on Gamergate? I paid attention and researched. I was invested in finding out so that I could see where I stood and what aligned with my values. It was important to me because I want to know whether to defend or fight against Gamergate. It took me 2-3 days. That is all. Why these people can’t do better, or find themselves confused where to start?
Its ridiculous and we ought not have to tell them how to do their job. If they report they need to research first and not regurgitate some hitpieces.
So I was with little expectation and am very happy how it turned out. I don’t like Koretzky but I will say this was a far better result than I had hoped and I know he needs to be given credit for the effort he went to for this. For all his loathsome personality, he did commendably well and ought to be deservedly congratulated.