The intensity of the #Gamergate shitstorm has me rolling my eyes in disbelief.
It is difficult to understand how the revelation that one game developer was sleeping with a reviewer represents wholesale corruption in the entire games industry. And it’s near impossible to believe the gaming press could be remotely as corrupt or as destructive as vast swathes of the music press have been for decades. Although it has to be said that one or two of the inflammatory editorials I’ve seen appear to have been written with the deliberate intention of pouring petrol on the flames.
I’m not into video games, but my social media feeds are filling up with it all the same. From the outside the whole thing looks like yet another round in the same culture wars we’ve been seeing across the SFF fandom and the Tabletop RPG worlds over the past couple of years. It’s the same mess of entrenched positions and exclusionary rhetoric where truth is the first casualty, and the internet is yet again amplifying the loudest and most polarising voices.
The way these things constantly blow up over relatively trivial issues is getting very wearing. I’m not surprised that I’m seeing good people quit social media, burned out by the never-ending outrage.
Of course, whenever there’s a shitstorm of this natures, the trolls descent like vultures, but we should be wary of claims tying those trolls to any wider demographic.
It shouldn’t need to be said that there is no justification for anonymous threats aimed at individuals, ever.
If you are one of those who thinks these wars are a fight to the death between “Us” and “Them”, and you consider a sizeable part of the fandom or hobby as “Them”, then you are part of the problem, regardless of which “side” you are rooting for.