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Gamers vow to log off for 24 hours to protest GamerGate

- October 31st, 2014

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By positioning themselves as an important market demographic in the growing $66-billion video game industry, GamerGaters have scored some significant corporate victories.

But the people who stand against the movement — which is about ethics in journalism or harassment of women, depending on who you ask — are video game consumers, too. And  London based IT support engineer Joseph Guthrie, 28, is hoping to draw major gaming companies’ attention to that fact.

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Joseph Guthrie.

On Nov. 1, he’s calling on those who oppose GamerGate’s harassment tactics to log off for 24 hours. That means no Xbox Live, no PlayStation Network, no Nintendo Network and no Steam. The goal is a total blackout, Guthrie says. ”That includes using Netflix, Amazon Prime video, Twitch, TV apps, and all that fun stuff.”

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Yong Hian Lim – Fotolia.com

“It matters to me because I feel GamerGate has either inadvertently or blatantly (depending on the Gaters you ask) manifested themselves into a tire clamp as the gaming medium continues to evolve and progress,” Guthrie, who is also a musician and culture writer, tells Button Mashers.

“I denounced it early on as an aimless movement, but I don’t think anyone was prepared for the the venomous mess that it would eventually devolve into,” he says. ”It’s like watching a slasher flick: grotesque viewing, hard to stomach, but you can’t look away.”

He’s asking those who participate to post pictures on Nov. 1 to social media with the hashtag #NoAchievementsTilJustice.

The idea is gaining steam, slowly but steadily.

He’ll also be hosting a web chat on Google Hangouts “with people who want to discuss ideas to propose and implement going forward,” which you can check out on his YouTube channel.

“I’m hoping NoAchievementsTilJustice is the precursor to amnesty. I want to see everyone at the table and really talking about the issues that GamerGate failed to oversee a rational and cohesive discussion about. I’d like to see sincere apologies issued. I’d like for the major publishers and devs to acknowledge their role in all of this by largely being silent. Overall, I’m hoping this is the catalyst the culture and industry need to continue progressing positively,” he says.

“I feel strongly that the likes of MS, Sony, Nintendo, and Valve could do more to stamp out trolls. Stronger sanctions and consistent punishments for violators must be rigorously pursued. We deserve a fun and safe environment to escape to. This isn’t it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

GamerGate’s founder, latest victim speak out

- October 16th, 2014

GamerGate, it seems, is not going away.

In fact, it’s now getting mainstream press coverage and celebrity shoutouts. Deadspin calls it “The Future of The Culture Wars.”

And on Thursday, we heard two first-hand accounts of the phenomenon from opposite sides of this growing war — one from the jilted ex whose angry blog post sparked the whole movement, and the other from the latest game developer to be harassed and threatened to the point she had to flee her home.

Read more…

The Quinnspiracy: Depression Quest maker responds

- August 29th, 2014
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Screengrab: YouTube.com

By now you’ve probably read something about the #GamerGate a.k.a. The Quinnspiracy a.k.a. facepalm.gif. If not, this explainer from The Mary Sue should catch you up.

In short, Zoe Quinn,  the indie developer behind Depression Quest, found herself at the heart of a brutal mob attack (or gamer revolution, depending who you ask) after her ex-boyfriend posted a lengthy diatribe about her alleged infidelity.

Quinn, who has since been bombarded with some of the vilest threats and insults I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing, has refused to respond to questions or allegations about her sex life.

But, “now that things have begun to calm down,” she has responded to some of the other charges levied against her.

Read more…

Death threats force Anita Sarkeesian out of her home

- August 27th, 2014

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Anita Sarkeesian, the controversial creator of the Women Vs. Tropes In Video Games series, says she had to leave her home after one of her many naysayers threatened to kill her, her boyfriend and her family in a series of tweets that appears to have included her address.

 

Sarkeesian posted a screenshot of the threats, which you can see after the cut. Be warned: The content is extremely graphic.

Read more…

Anita Sarkeesian: Dragons are seen as more realistic than a world without sexual violence

- August 26th, 2014

Anita Sarkeesian concludes her latest installment of the feather-ruffling Tropes Vs. Women In Video Games series with a pertinent question: Why do we think depictions of brutalized women are necessary to make a game feel real?

After a thoughtful and lengthy dissection of how video games use violence against women as background decoration or lazy character development, singling out games like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Bioshock, Watch Dogs, God of War and Hitman, Sarkeesian explains:

It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game world would feel too unrealistic or not historically accurate.

What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend and break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection? We’re perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons in a massive invisible backpack, but somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.