On #GamerGate & Social Justice

EvilBob gives his thoughts on Gaming & Social Justice.

GG and socjus header

(Special thanks to LR for do­ing some of the leg­work, my broth­er for the ideas, thanks to Brad Wardell(@draginol) for his ar­ti­cle and in­spi­ra­tion, and @cainejw for his ar­ti­cle that in­spired this. This was an old­er ar­ti­cle of mine from MindlessZombieStudios and up­dat­ed for re­pub­lish­ing on SuperNerdLand. Thanks again to ScrumpMonkey for all the imagework)

I have long spent sev­er­al of these past days, that had turned into weeks, and now will soon turn to months, won­der­ing why.

Why has #GamerGate gone on for as long as it has? Why are so many up in arms over what the main­stream me­dia has ig­nored for so long — de­spite the vol­ume and num­ber of com­plaints lodged against the gam­ing jour­nal­ism me­dia? The main­stream me­dia per­son­al­ly launched their own at­tacks – in near uni­son I might add – (All ar­ti­cles cit­ed were added in the same 48 hour pe­ri­od), de­cry­ing gamers as ex­tinct and dead. And yet de­spite all this, the #GamerGate tag is still beat­ing strong, with heart-felt thoughts and tweets from those men and women of all races and creeds post­ing un­der #no­ty­our­shield in ef­fort to fight along the very gamers thatso­cial jus­tice war­riorsclaim are op­press­ing them.

This morn­ing, I re­al­ized why; why it was that — above all oth­ers — Gamers were the ones to stand up to Social Justice Warriors and win when the au­thor­i­tar­i­an left had thus far en­joyed free reign over polic­ing media.

Gamers fol­low in an an­cient tra­di­tion, es­poused by Thomas Jefferson and philoso­pher John Rawls. I posit the fol­low­ing ar­gu­ment, and for those who wish to burn me at the stake for it, hold un­til I am fin­ished. Gamers are de­fend­ing the great­est and most hon­est ex­pres­sion of Social Justice, Video Games, while the Social Justice is, in ac­tu­al­i­ty, fight­ing for Social Equality.

Hear me out.

Thomas Jefferson’s de­f­i­n­i­tion for so­cial jus­tice is ar­guably the most well-known, as it is tak­en di­rect­ly from the Declaration of Independence. I have di­rect­ly copied the fol­low­ing quote from the ar­ti­cle linked above:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are cre­at­ed equal, that they are en­dowed by their Creator with cer­tain un­alien­able Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. That to se­cure these rights, Governments are in­sti­tut­ed among Men, de­riv­ing their just pow­ers from the con­sent of the governed…

John Rawls stat­ed sim­i­lar thoughts and ideas, and again I will be copy­ing di­rect­ly from the above ar­ti­cle to present his prin­ci­ples in short.

First: each per­son is to have an equal right to the most ex­ten­sive scheme of equal ba­sic lib­er­ties com­pat­i­ble with a sim­i­lar scheme of lib­er­ties for others.

Second: so­cial and eco­nom­ic in­equal­i­ties are to be arranged so that they are both (a) rea­son­ably ex­pect­ed to be to everyone’s ad­van­tage, and (b) at­tached to po­si­tions and of­fices open to all…

These men es­pouse self ev­i­dent truths: That for so­cial jus­tice to oc­cur, all must have equal ac­cess to op­por­tu­ni­ties, and any un­equal ac­cess must be re­solved so that all peo­ple may have ac­cess to these very same opportunities.

Now, hold on to these words for a moment.

We live in an era of un­par­al­leled ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion and en­gage in a near­ly un­lim­it­ed ex­change of knowl­edge and ideas from every cor­ner of the world — all thanks to the Internet. We live in a time where any man, woman or child with ac­cess to the in­ter­net, is more than ca­pa­ble of learn­ing a new skill or ex­chang­ing of ideas world­wide. Where does gam­ing cul­ture tie into this? Because of the in­ter­net, any­one can con­sume, cre­ate or ex­change any­thing and every­thing in­volved with video games.

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Spend three months learn­ing how to code and sud­den­ly you’re a pro­gram­mer and soon to be in­die dev. No mon­ey? That’s no prob­lem, if you have an idea that has mer­it and you have the will and dri­ve to suc­ceed then you can turn to crowd­fund­ing to se­cure a liv­ing. Have no mar­ket? Again, there are new mar­kets emerg­ing every­where that al­low new in­die devs to sell their prod­ucts to an ex­pand­ing and di­verse audience.

It doesn’t mat­ter if the plat­form is Steam, Stardock, Desura, the Gamestop store; if you can pro­vide then the cus­tomers will come. You don’t want to pro­gram, but are filled with ideas, and are will­ing to prove that you are able to see them through? That’s quite al­right, there are com­pa­nies like the Fine Young Capitalists who will take their ex­pe­ri­ence and present your project to the mass­es to prove that your ideas are worth mer­it, no mat­ter your gen­der. In short, when it comes to video games, this is an era of equal ac­cess to all.

Whether you are Brazilian


Possibly the rest of the world

Gaming has touched every­one through the ad­vent of spe­cial­ized con­soles for re­gions as well as the rise of mo­bile gam­ing, PC gam­ing, and the many, many deaths and re­births of con­soles over the years that brought so-called hard­core gam­ing to the mass­es. Various AAA and in­die games are even work­ing with the colour­blind to re­duce the dis­ad­van­tages that they have in view­ing games me­dia; many games (Battlefield 3 and 4, Civ4 se­ries on­ward) al­low the colour­blind to be able to play along with the non-colourblind.

Gaming has touched every­one; be­cause it is tru­ly as close to the ab­solute best mod­el of Social Justice we may ap­proach in our own time, with in­equal­i­ties dis­ap­pear­ing year­ly as new tech­nol­o­gy comes out to aid those with phys­i­cal hand­i­caps which al­lows them to ac­cess the medi­um on equal footing.

Unfortunately for us gamers, in this age of man­u­fac­tured out­rage, “Social Equality” is a thing.

What is so­cial equal­i­ty? It’s sim­i­lar to so­cial jus­tice, in that it is con­cerned with mak­ing sure every­one is equal. However, where the so­cial justice’s old (and true) pri­ma­ry goal was about equal ac­cess to every­one with few con­flict­ing lib­er­ties and thus the be­gin­ning of true equal­i­ty — Social Justice Warriors these days are at­tempt­ing to reach the goal of so­cial equal­i­ty, which is in­her­ent­ly pe­nal­iz­ing to those who suc­ceed in favour of those who do not. This ar­ti­cle by CaineJW pon­tif­i­cates on the mat­ter; posit­ing that they are con­cerned with mak­ing sure no mat­ter who you are, or what you have ac­com­plished, that you are rewarded.

Rewarded with what, you ask? Attention, mon­ey, ac­co­lades — it doesn’t mat­ter. What any­one says or does — whether it is worth hear­ing, say­ing, or do­ing or not — de­serves equal treat­ment, at­ten­tion, mon­ey, and ac­co­lades. Everything must be re­ward­ed. Even if it is not at all worth hear­ing. Even if what you have ac­com­plished is over­shad­owed by far bet­ter and well writ­ten pro­duc­tions, they treat every­thing as though it is worth learn­ing from, or that it is equal to or worth far more in ac­co­lades to far more ex­pen­sive, and pro­duced ti­tles such as Call of Duty. They are not above cre­at­ing this narrative.

socjus side page 2And that’s the prob­lem. There are far bet­ter games than Depression Quest, or Gone Home, or any flavour of the month art game that ex­tols the ex­pe­ri­ence over the en­joy­ment of a ti­tle. It’s as if they think these ‘art games’ and ‘ex­pe­ri­ences’ should be the only rep­re­sen­ta­tives of gam­ing it­self. They wish to po­lice and con­trol the nar­ra­tive, such that, these games artists all de­serve far more at­ten­tion — and thus mon­ey — than the mar­ket will al­low. They want their ti­tles to be held as ex­am­ples for non-gamers to fi­nal­ly un­der­stand what video games are all about. As with so many oth­er groups, they tried to ma­nip­u­late and change and gamers were large­ly silent for years. They were con­tent to ig­nore the pol­i­tics and just play games un­til Social Justice showed their true colours, and be­gan a cru­sade of out­right cen­sor­ship and name-calling that has, so far, con­tin­ued un­til this day.

To think, this en­tire mess start­ed in the 70s; with Social Equality hav­ing tak­en on the flag of Social Justice. It has been taught and re­taught over and over un­til the mes­sage it­self be­comes dog­ma, and those who go any­where against the group-think are im­me­di­ate­ly and hor­ren­dous­ly turned pari­ah un­til they re­cant. This be­hav­iour con­tin­ues on and on, with so­cial jus­tice act­ing more and more like a cult each day.

Two es­pe­cial­ly vo­cal push­ers of the so­cial equal­i­ty polemic are Jonathon McIntosh and his stooge Anita Sarkeesian, who gath­er crowds of dis­af­fect­ed thir­ty year old males to­geth­er, and tell them to stop ques­tion­ing the rhetoric of the me­dia. “Listen & Believe” is the mes­sage be­ing taught to new war­riors such as these, as crowds gath­er round and cheer group-think lines like, “One of the most rad­i­cal things you can do is to ac­tu­al­ly be­lieve women when they talk about their ex­pe­ri­ences.” Gone is the idea of ob­jec­tive thought, ev­i­dence, or cul­pa­bil­i­ty for one’s ac­tions.  They at­tempt­ed these very same tac­tics on Gamers — who are not at all falling for it, with #no­ty­our­shield be­ing the great­est weapon of de­fense non-white/non-male gamers have to pro­tect them­selves from the ac­cu­sa­tions lobbed at mil­lions. All this, from a group where the cause is el­e­vat­ed above all else, and the ends jus­ti­fy the means.  A group where ob­jec­tive thought is anath­e­ma, since it is “Impossible to achieve” or “sil­ly”; thus there is no rea­son to at­tempt to even ap­proach ob­jec­tiv­i­ty at all with folks like this.

Twitter user and Escapist Co-Founder Alexander Macris (@Archon) point­ed out this is cul­tur­al marx­ism, with even Sargon of Akkad dis­cour­aged to dis­cov­er our op­po­nents es­pouse sim­i­lar views to such dan­ger­ous ideals where vari­ance is pun­ished and eq­ui­ty is the high­est ide­al over ob­jec­tive thought or a writer’s per­son­al ex­pe­ri­ences. Even the mak­ers of My Little Pony made a two-part episode this year that lam­bast­ed the Marxist idea of so­cial equal­i­ty, pre­sum­ably in a re­sponse to see­ing it’s en­croach­ment in me­dia. [Editor’s Note: It’s well worth the watch, de­spite the Pony na­ture of the pro­gram. They manged to hit the nail on the head here].

socjus insert 2

Another is­sue from the SJWs pur­su­ing so­cial equal­i­ty is the prob­lem of iden­ti­ty quo­tas, which ties into the cul­tur­al marx­ism; the idea that every me­dia must in­clude a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from any and ab­solute­ly every race, creed, gen­der, and sex. Even if it makes those peo­ple into to­ken char­ac­ters or two di­men­sion­al stereotypes.

All this is done un­der the guise of cre­at­ing a prod­uct that will ap­peal to every­one equal­ly, de­spite the mar­ket it­self deny­ing the need for a top-down au­thor­i­tar­i­an mob on so­cial me­dia de­ter­min­ing what peo­ple ought to like or dislike.

A mere ten years ago, de­vel­op­ers and writ­ers both could write en­tire­ly for their au­di­ences and only add in char­ac­ters that were well de­vel­oped, writ­ten or moved the sto­ry along — and gamers re­ward­ed them. However, in the cur­rent cli­mate of games, every sto­ry re­quires mul­ti­ple lev­els of in­ter­est to pass the so­cial jus­tice lit­mus test — Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Alphabits, Black, Asian, White, North/South American — with no rhyme or rea­son as to why the char­ac­ters are in there. It’s only for the sake of be­ing represented.

Ultimately, it ends up with every­one worse off than be­fore as the writ­ers can only do so much with any giv­en amount of time and/or mon­ey. This is such a prob­lem that Project Eternity chose not to in­clude in-game ro­mances to pre­vent this very prob­lem. This is not mere­ly a bud­getary is­sue; they’d have to add so many di­a­logue trees from so many dif­fer­ent view­points that it ends up be­ing a Sisyphean task with no end in sight.

Meanwhile, there is an­oth­er trou­bling is­sue has grown. Social Justice is or­ga­nized in mobs, just as they claim their op­po­nents are. And are as dan­ger­ous and dis­parate as they make out the “Gaters” to be. They use co­er­cion and dox­ing to ter­ri­fy their op­po­nents into si­lence. During the re­search for this ar­ti­cle, af­ter I post­ed this article’s draft on my Twitter ac­count, I re­ceived an email from the fake LinkedIn I use as bait say­ing that some­one tried to break in. 

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This is a very im­por­tant first step to dox­ing some­one. Obviously, they are ter­ri­fied of the ex­po­sure one writer can make of their agen­da, to the point where they’d tar­get a near ab­solute no­body on Twitter to try and si­lence him. [Editor’s Note: Correlation is not cau­sa­tion. While the tim­ing of this is sus­pi­cious, it should be not­ed that it has not been 100% ver­i­fied that the post­ing of the draft and the at­tempt­ed break in of the LinkedIn ac­count are connected.]

Overall, gamers are not with­out their prob­lems. They are in­deed, com­pared to the world, a mi­nor­i­ty them­selves. But in our hob­by, whether you are male, fe­male, non-binary, tumblr-gendered, black, white, yel­low, green, pur­ple, gay, straight, les­bian, al­pha­bet, Amerifat, Europoor, Slav, African, Brazilian (gib monies), South American, Hispanic, Chinese, Thai, Korean (South or Best), Japanese, Indonesian, Indian, Vietnamese, Australian, or hell, Moldovan, there are games for everyone.

This is our strength: not that we force or de­mand our de­vel­op­ers to cater to our ex­act tastes, or bul­ly those who don’t overt­ly be­lieve in what we be­lieve; but that every­one has equal ac­cess to an ab­solute­ly vast and wide ar­ray of prod­ucts. An ocean of games that is grow­ing each and every day from hori­zon to hori­zon and will con­tin­ue to do so into the future.

We only need to stand to­geth­er and re­al­ize that free­dom of thought and free­dom of choice are our great­est and most prized as­sets. If we fail to blunt those who would cen­sor that — scream­ing for Social Justice when, in their heart, they ac­tu­al­ly wish for so­cial eq­ui­ty — then all the neat things about be­ing gamers could end.

Clearly we have our work cut out for us. But I have faith we will stand against those who would cen­sor those who ac­tu­al­ly work for their ac­co­lades. We shall strive to en­able artists and de­vel­op­ers in­stead of hob­bling them in favour of quo­tas or the SJW’s faux rage of the week. Let us all dream of and work for a bet­ter to­mor­row. Where any­one can cre­ate and con­sume games, no mat­ter their race, creed, gen­der, sex, na­tion­al­i­ty, ide­ol­o­gy or any oth­er ge­net­ic fluke of birth that we have no con­trol over.

The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.
My name is Michael Campbell. I am a bud­ding writer, pro­duc­er, and the content-manager for off-site opin­ion pieces. I fo­cus on Early Access Game Reviews, Traditional Games Media (Primarily Pen & Paper Role-playing Games), Steam Games, Origin, and Indie Titles. My in­ter­ests in­clude draw­ing re­al­ly ter­ri­bly, run­ning far too many RPG games a week and hor­ri­fy­ing my co-workers and friends. I also get re­al­ly an­gry on Twitter at in­jus­tice. I am also like­ly go­ing to be­come a fix­ture in the ed­i­to­r­i­al sec­tion of this site, due to the above anger. You can reach me at M.Campbell@supernerdland.com if you have ques­tions or com­ments; As well, you can reach me @EvilBobDALMYT on Twitter to see some of that anger in motion.

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