So what does that mean in real terms?
Well, the hashtag is still being used and there is still a core of people identifying with gamergate.
So as to identify, where we are, it has to be in context of both where we have come from and what we faced.
How long have “Progressives” (Hereon named Social Justice Warrior) been in the Gaming industry? That is a bit of a “How long is a piece of string?” type question. No, idea. Nor could I hope to know. What I can say is that from within the communities around gaming, it became increasingly clear that many people were Social Justice Warriors OR supportive of such people. A few in the gaming press were happy to write a few articles to shore up ideological positions and signal to the SJW populace, then the ideological push was ripe to begin.
It was ready and ripe to push aggressively into the gaming community. A nice little test run was Atheism community. No real cash benefit but a great test run before the push into the multi-billion dollar industry. There are such similarities that are so very blatantly obvious between the gaming and the Atheism push from SJWs. The modus operandi is close enough to identical. (No seriously, the “don’t mind us, we are just here and think that your space should also be about Feminism and feminist and Social Justice Warrior sensibilities. No? Well actually, we now INSIST on you being predominately driven by our ideology and if you do not hold our precise views, you are misogynistic, sexist, racist, homophobes and we will bring in media and look to take whatever means to censor, ban, expose, shame, humiliate and co-opt your space. I think you better join us”. Elevatorgate/Quinnspiracy, PZMeyers/Anita, Rebecca Watson/Zoe Quinn)
Hey they were well prepared an had media megaphones at the ready and with Quinnspiracy went Hell for leather. This was their push and they went hard. They wanted to take a 70 Billion dollar industry for what they could. They wanted to sink the claws in as deep as they could. Then they ran into a brick wall called gamergate.
But the stage was set. One one side was a Social Justice Warrior contingent. A large swathe of Social Justice Warrior gaming outlets (backed by the cousins in mainstream media), The IDGA and various large boards and think tanks and public relation companies and conventions and Indie funding corporations and developers….and on the other a small handful of mainly independent developers and a couple of youtubers and a stack of gamers.
They should have rolled us. They poisoned the well rather well. We were literally overnight all a bunch of misogynist, sexist, homophobic basement dwelling neckbearded cisgendered white males. They in one day had 30+ articles telling us so and in came the Social Justice Warriors to “finish us off”.
But we held them. Gamergate did not move nor buckle. We countered their assault and gave away little. They had only lies and inference and we hit them with gotcha moment after gotcha moment. Not that gotcha moments are necessarily going to sink your opponent. Exposing lies to their side that does not care, and your side that was aligned to you in the first place, does not strengthen your cause BUT it takes away THEIR ability to smear without being checked with the truth.
Throughout this drama the Blockbot queen (Randi), The I hate video games but I’ve been a lifelong fan (Anita), Zoe “Its all about me and always will be about me. Please keep talking about me”Quinn and Brianna “I abuse myself on my steam account and make and screen capture a 1 sec old tweet of a sockpuppet account of my dying dog because…reasons” Wu, have attached themselves like flies on shit to Gamergate. Why? Because by doing so they monetise their oppression. They need only to fall onto their virtual fainting couches and say “I got so much hate tweet and it absolutely came from Gamergate and it is actual violence like a physical assault and therefore I need money. Money they got. Sympathetic Feminist Women trying to bolster these brave women who seemed to poke the bear they supposedly feared whenever attention on them dwindled. In fact for some of them receiving $3000-4000+ per month AND convention circuit fees, this was an actual livelihood. The empowerment of being a victim.
But the push started becoming a little more desperate. The allusions to Social Justice Warrior game success and marketplace acceptance could only be falsified for a short time. The “Social Justice Warrior Indie Cabal”, in the same way they could give a non-gamer and non-industry figure Anita, an Ambassador award, they COULD give awards and great reviews for really bad Indie games. IF the gaming industry could just be tricked into thinking these games had worth and that the awards meant anything, the gaming public might be tricked into accepting sub-par indie games.
Unfortunately, the Social Justice Warrior games marketplace did not back the allusion. Things started going wrong. Gamergate was pushing back hard enough that by petitioning against the Social Justice Warrior media, they started costing millions of dollars. Worst still, they were able to counter many of the Social Justice Warrior thrusts (such as the attempt to petition to ban Adam Baldwin from Supernova). Some independents crossed the floor to gamergate. Gamergate meetings being evacuated due to bomb threats did not look good for the narrative. Sunset (an independent Social Justice Warrior game) going bankrupt was an eye-opener as to the lack of marketplace. (In fact many Social Justice Warriors started dropping the pretense that THEY could make Social Justice Warrior commercially successful games and DEMANDED that successful developers make the Social Justice Warrior games for them – at THEIR risk and expense and without any support from the demander).
A year down the track and many battles later, the anti-Gamergate league tried a desperate push. But at this stage they were out of gas. Their force and credibility was restricted, their nails clipped and the headlines that were so cutting edge a year ago were not newsworthy now. Besides now they had the FTC on their backs in respect to their inability to be ethical. They had poisoned the wells well, but they were unable to sink their claws in and no ability to sustain their push forward.
Gamergate too suffered. There were people bailing quicker than we could replace. Crappy moderate Gamergate allies took great effort to tone police, nanny and PC police their allies whilst looking for compromises and defence of the other side. Some too went very extreme on conspiratorial on anyone in their midst being too SJW for them. More became split between ethics only or SJW invasion only OR Left vs Right. Ally vs Ally.
So where they started is where they are now. So if both sides are, after all of this, stalemate to where they are a year ago, who is the winner in this situation? For all the efforts of thousands on both sides, if neither side made any real ground, who won?
Gamergate did (has). That is right. Gamergate was there to resist the push into their space and they did. Sure they were branded unfairly as misogynists but no biggie, they have been branded before. The co-opting of this juicy, resource rich space, was nullified. The incursions and the industry’s adoption of Social Justice Warrior values and Social Justice Warrior gameplay did not eventuate.
So what of the big names on the other side that I mentioned? Anita has lost stacks of followers and whilst Feminist Frequency earns good deal of cash, her star is falling and she seems to be re-branding. Zoe is perhaps the big winner. She monopolised her victimisation into a memoir and a possible screenplay (possible in the “unlikely to ever happen” due to the likelihood of being sued), Randi at her peak – two months ago, reach $5200.month on Patreon and has since dropped to $4500/month. Brianna Wu cannot help but shoot herself in the foot to the point of toelessness.
Gamergate itself? I think the days of mass action and mass campaign and cohesiveness are behind us. We are going to be a somewhat activist/watchdog/provocateur mob keeping the other side honest. We did enough though and we kept them at bay. Their effort after the success at Atheist spaces, proved to be a failure.
This year we can be very proud of what we did and where we came from and why. Long live Gamergate