what you find here is my own opinion only and not that of my employers. kindly do not blame them for my ravings.
One of the reasons I haven’t been writing blog entries in almost 2 years is that, well, for the past 6 months you would have to be literally insane to want to write about gaming. Because if you did, well.
When I’m feeling charitable, I like to think of the sea lions of Gamergate as inherently reasonable people who simply come at discussion from a different perspective. Call it Generation Chan – where everything is shouted at maximum volume, and from that a consensus chaotically emerges, in the most democratic of senses, and if you can’t handle a little chaos then get out because clearly your nethers are too tender for these pants. Jay “A Man in Black” Allen put it best here:
Anon culture is a decentralized echo chamber, but one that can produce interesting things through the work of many hands. Anons hold that whatever consensus emerges is the right one as an article of faith, even if that consensus becomes more and more toxic over time. One example of how hate can concentrate is 4chan’s /pol/ sub-board. Ostensibly for discussing politics and current events, it is now dominated by white supremacists. This toxicity isn’t necessarily contained to one board: usually-ironic, sometimes-not homophobia, racism, and antisemitism are common to almost all anonymous imageboards.
And Gamergate shares that toxic narrative – most obviously in how it is inherently hypocritical at its core. Those who disagree with them politically must be driven from the Internet (such as seen in “Operation Disrespectful Nod“, itself originating from a meme mocking someone who tried to be polite to a target of Gamergate’s hatred), while every comment from someone seen as an ally must be allowed, and any moderation of this is censorship (such as Anita Sarkeesian’s refusal to allow comments on her Youtube videos, which is seen by Gamergaters as fear of engagement and by normal people as a recognition of cause and effect.)
I bring this up because we now see the advent of Gamergate’s latest hero, Mark Kern, who apparently is being held in a black site by the CIA.
Devs, don't let your colleague @Grummz be drowned out. Plant your feet in the ground with him and demand real journalism. #letmarkspeak
— Oliver Campbell (@oliverbcampbell) February 25, 2015
@VG247 please realize that @Grummz just wants a platform to voice his opinions, I thought you developer-friendly?#LetMarkSpeak #GamerGate
— Ryan (@CausticDefiler) February 25, 2015
Well… wait… I got all these from Kern’s timeline. Maybe he’s not being held captive by the Islamic State after all.
Wow. It’s almost like someone familiar with social media is inciting a ready-made mob! What could prompt this awesome display of hashtag power? What can all this be about? Well…
@Grummz It says that the government cannot force the media to tell the truth, BUT if someone calls them on their BS they MUST respond to it
— Hermernermerner (@hermernermerner) February 25, 2015
That’s not entirely correct, (and France is not particularly a place denizens of /pol/ want to look to for their anti-Semitic meme publication needs) but regardless; what this is really about?
Well, you see, it’s about Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Yes, really.
They apparently did a Gamergate-themed episode, which was about as weirdly stupid as you’d expect. Mark Kern was offended by it (so much so, in fact, he made a change.org petition), and laid the blame for this at the foot of the gaming media for, well, doing their jobs.
The best response to this was from Cara Ellison:
VG24/7 published an article that basically said the same, just using more/less profane words.
You’re wrong, I’m afraid, Mr Kern. Your view makes no sense. As anyone who’s had anything to do with Gamergate will know, apportioning blame here is as constructive as sieving cheese. The issues surrounding Gamergate made it to the mainstream because it’s a ridiculous story about weird, dangerous sexists and the women they target. Not because Kotaku wrote about it.
Well, you’d think that would about do it – except that Kern demands the right of response – his honor has been tarnished by VIDEOGAME JOURNALISTS and he has to say something about it! So, you know, he went to wordpress.com, spent about 5 minutes filling out a form, and then said his piece, which he then promoted on Twitter as his response to what VG24/7 said. Much like, you know, what I’m doing right now.
Oh wait, no, I’m wrong, he went full Gamergate and decried VG24/7 for not giving him the chance to write a response ON THEIR SITE. Because you see, they wrote something about him which he disagreed, and if they don’t publish his response that’s CENSORSHIP, and didn’t you know that he personally is responsible for Diablo 2 AND Starcraft 2 AND World of Warcraft? VANILLA WORLD OF WARCRAFT, MOTHERFUCKER, NOT THAT PANSY-ASSED CASUAL CRAP BLIZZARD DOES NOWADAYS, HE’S MARK MOTHERFUCKING KERN AND YOU WILL RESPECT HIS SOCIAL NETWORK REACH AND HIS IMPECCABLE RESUME AND YOU WILL GIVE HIM THE HONOR OF RESPONDING TO YOUR READERS!
You see, the world doesn’t work that way, something you’d think a fully functioning adult like Mark Kern would understand. The media does not have the obligation to post your rebuttal. And trust me, if they did, I have about 50 articles lined up ready to post on returnofkings.com right now. Freedom of speech is not a business rule, it is a constitutional imperative; he is free to, as he is doing now, use his fairly large megaphone to make everyone understand how offended he is that games journalists write about things. Gaming journalists being what they are, this will raise such a hullaballo that at some point some fairly notable site (probably the Escapist, rapidly becoming the web’s number one source for Based News) will interview Kern about his thoughts. Maybe in person, he’s fairly important, he could fly out to their offices and they can film an in-person interview.
Or maybe he’ll just take the bus over.
(Edit 2/26 8:45A – comments on this post disabled temporarily because it’s a busy day at work and I don’t have time to babysit the KotakuInAction RESPECTFUL COMMENTARY incoming. Will be turned on this evening. Thanks!)
(Edit 2.26 8:00P – comments are back open. Feel free to tell me how horribad a person I am and how I got fired from every job I ever had!)