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I don’t think any­body expect­ed Gamergate to blow up the way it did when it start­ed back in August. I don’t think any­one ever expect­ed it to even be a thing in the first place. But Gamergate has become a storm sweep­ing over video games. One can’t help but won­der if Gamergate will become the hero or the vil­lain at the end of this.  Remember, the­se are my per­son­al thoughts and inter­pre­ta­tion of those thoughts based on the knowl­edge I have of this sit­u­a­tion. This is just my opin­ion on the mat­ter, from my point of view.

Many peo­ple believe Gamergate start­ed on August 28th 2014 with the “Gamers are Dead” arti­cles pub­lished by sev­er­al out­lets. But I believe there has been a silent under­ground out­cry of resis­tance going all the way back to Dewrito-gate and the Mass Effect 3 end­ing deba­cle. I think it was around this time that devel­op­ers and pub­lish­ers felt it was a more viable mar­ket­ing scheme to invest mon­ey into mar­ket­ing to the press instead of try­ing to mar­ket to the much larg­er audi­ence of con­sumers. There’s no deny­ing they prob­a­bly saved a lot of mon­ey mar­ket­ing to a small­er group and let­ting the press han­dle the con­sumers, but in doing so they gave the press more con­trol than they should have had. I think this is tru­ly the start­ing point where a need for Gamergate arose.
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With this shift in mar­ket­ing, I think it came to bring a sense of enti­tle­ment to the press. They came to be gate­keep­ers between devs and con­sumers. The press became the ones who decides what and who reach­es the con­sumers eyes and ears. Once the press became more focused on pol­i­tics instead of the indus­try itself they ulti­mate­ly came to hurt a lot of devel­op­ers. We came into an era where devs were required to have enough mon­ey behind them to buy cov­er­age or forced to toe a polit­i­cal line to earn cov­er­age from the press. With the­se hap­pen­ings, the under­ground rum­blings that would lat­er become Gamergate grew.

These things I men­tioned — and many more that I won’t here for brevi­ty [Editor Note: See our Death of Games Journalism series] — ulti­mate­ly lead to the fat­ed “Gamers are Dead” day that unin­ten­tion­al­ly caused the explo­sion of angry con­sumers known as Gamergate. And in the­se past ten months, which feels like sev­er­al years in inter­net time, we’ve seen mas­sive changes from indie scene all the way up to the AAA devel­op­ers. It’s much like sit­ting on the edge of your seat, bit­ing your nails, won­der­ing what will sur­vive and what won’t in this mas­sive storm. But one thing’s for sure going for­ward. Games jour­nal­ism as it is, is dead. The mass of con­sumers in this indus­try have spo­ken and have said, “No, we will not be insult­ed or slan­dered, we will be treat­ed with due respect, and we will be heard.” The games press is now left with a deci­sion. Either reform to the­se new height­ened expec­ta­tions or to die out in the storm they had a hand in mak­ing.

There are def­i­nite­ly risks going for­ward, though. Things that are still unfore­seen, and things we can only hope do not hap­pen. But the­se things call for a good dis­cus­sion going for­ward. One of the big wor­ries with any indus­try chang­ing event is: instead of true reform you end up with a mere exchange of pow­er. It is impor­tant that once the storm has made its due course and passed over that we do not turn into the things we fought again­st.

As was once quot­ed by actor Aaron Eckhart:

You either die a hero or you live long enough to see your­self become the vil­lain.”

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It is a very slip­pery slope, but Gamergate as a whole does have sim­i­lar upbring­ings as social jus­tice as a move­ment. The ide­olo­gies behind them vast­ly dif­fer, but both felt their way of doing things was for the greater good of every­one, both found a means of gain­ing pow­er to enforce the­se changes they felt need­ed to hap­pen, and both have yet to put down the pow­ers it is wield­ing. Granted, Gamergate is still in full swing at this point, but it is very impor­tant that once this is all over, Gamergate be respon­si­ble enough to put down this pow­er as to not turn into the thing it’s fight­ing again­st. The worst thing that could hap­pen, I believe, is Gamergate mere­ly becomes the vil­lains of gam­ing it is fight­ing so hard thwart.

Now I’m sure some might shrug off the­se notions that Gamergate could become the thing it fights again­st. But just as this storm brewed from sev­er­al sources that most nev­er expect­ed to go togeth­er in this once in a life­time event, it is pos­si­ble that this storm might not die and just changes course. All it real­ly takes is enough peo­ple in Gamergate get­ting drunk on pow­er — much the same way social jus­tice did — and refuse to put down this pow­er they are wield­ing and instead direct it towards anoth­er cause.

The cycle could con­tin­ue much the same way social jus­tice still wields its pow­er. No longer for noble caus­es, but for per­son­al gain and to keep those they do not agree with below them in a social con­struct with foun­da­tions in guilt and sham­ing.

There are oth­er things Gamergate needs to accom­plish as well before it can put down its pow­er — for good hope­ful­ly.  For exam­ple: address­ing the pub­lish­ers and devel­op­ers that ulti­mate­ly abused the press for favor­able cov­er­age and hope­ful­ly han­dling the minor­i­ty of gamers that do, in fact, give gam­ing a bad name with all their vit­ri­ol and hate. But it is impor­tant, as a level-headed Gamergate sup­port­er, that we use this pow­er we have achieved with respon­si­bil­i­ty and in the inter­est of all, not just our­selves. This is a mas­sive oppor­tu­ni­ty to change not only video games, but the world as a whole for the bet­ter. Don’t let that slip through our fin­gers by becom­ing what we fight.

(Disclaimer: The opin­ions expressed in this arti­cle are the author’s own and do not nec­es­sar­i­ly rep­re­sent those of the SuperNerdLand.com staff and/or any con­trib­u­tors to this site.)

https://supernerdland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/header-liq-gg2.pnghttps://supernerdland.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/header-liq-gg2-150x150.pngNick SoderholmOpinionGamerGate,OpinionI don’t think any­body expect­ed Gamergate to blow up the way it did when it start­ed back in August. I don’t think any­one ever expect­ed it to even be a thing in the first place. But Gamergate has become a storm sweep­ing over video games. One can’t help but…
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Nick Soderholm
Nick is a graph­ic design­er, upcom­ing stream­er, and all around busi­ness helper. Will wreck you with Ibuki. Will also like­ly piss you off, don’t take it per­son­al.
Nick Soderholm

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