Your thoughts on this?
My thoughts? Personally, I think the whole "Zoe Quinn" scandal was bullshit as well. Considering how much of the "evidence" came from her ex-boyfriend calling her an evil manipulative bitch (no ulterior motives there, no sir,) it just cannot be taken seriously. The most damning thing, in my opinion, is that it wouldn't be big news even if it was true. It wouldn't hold a candle to much more serious ethics problems that have been documented beyond a shadow of a doubt (like the writer fired for giving a bad review to a game who's publisher paid for expensive ads on their news site; see link in prior post.) A few writers getting doe eyes from an indie dev cannot compare to instituitonal editorial corruption. And none of it matters because it wasn't true.
"Gamergate" only became noteworthy after the remarkably shady way several gake journalism publications responded to it - but I think you raise a good point. Was the initial furor that needled thr journalists into that response born of petty sexism? As one familiar with that community, my take on it is thus: yes, but not as much as you might think.
What made the "zoe quinn conspiracy" so attractive to the bored 20-something hobbyists was that her game was more of a "disabilities awareness" interactive fiction than a game. Thus it smacked strongly of "SJW." "Social Justice Warrior," among my generation in general and among the 4chan community in particular has a more narrow connotation than most think. It refers specifically to self-righteous youth/young adults whom engage in constant mutual outrage/agreement with one another on social media for the purpose of moral self-aggrandizement. (Currently this trend is most visible and famous on tumblr.) Games promoting "social justice" themes - especially if they have little actual gameplay - are generally seen as the video game equivilent of "Emmy Bait"; movies that pander shamelessly to this or that sancified cause in order to win awards that enhance the director's reputation as Righteous. In this case the "Emmys" were the many glowing reviews the game recieved, which irked an audience already rightly distrustful.
But for all that, its hard to explain the vehemence with which the tempest was stirred in that teapot without at least some sexism. Yes, a great deal of it owes to bored 20-somethings treating rather minor matters with the gravity real adults save for national politics. They sit around and bitch about game publishers like you or I might bitch about major leauge teams. But anyone trying to tell you that young 20-something males on the internet is a demographic devoid of sexism is lying their ass off. 4chan and such is no exception. The angry lneckbeard sexists you sneered at? Oh yes, my friend - these petty little trolls exist.
And before the "Gamers are Dead" articles, that's exactly what the whole thing was - petty. A rather small number of clowns "sticking it to the biased media Man" who was backing up some "tumblr-tier hack." And many of them went about it with the same air of righteous crusaders as the "tumblrinas" they so despise. Kids sniping at kids sniping at writers so corrupt even journalists (with their own remarkably low reputation) won't deign to call real journalists.
But when it went big, it went BIG - and that's because sexism (and identity politics) are things that have been batted around by REAL adults in REAL politics for decades. And when THEY came in, "shit got real." You don't hear much about Zoe Quinn anymore, but you always hear about Anita Sarkeesian's latest tweet - because she's a femenist pundit/blogger that grown adults pay attention to. Her counterpart is Milo Yiannopoulos, the right wing pundit for Huffpo's dark mirror, breitbart.com. His original blog posts were remarkably candid: "Listen, I don't know shit about video games, but I think you're being left out in the cold."
The effects were felt very fast on 4chan. 4chan is a big damned site, and given the broad demographic appeal of video games it's unsurprising that the video game board is one of the most populated. To wit, the little neckbeards were truly little. Then "Death To Gamers" happened - and everyone on the board; white, black or green, were dragged into it. After all, they had all been told to drop dead. Milo posted on
Christopher Poole, owner and founder of 4chan, quickly banned "gamergate" discussion from the site. Soon after, he sold it off and moved on. He had been planning it for a while - the site took all his time and while it brought him fame, it never brought him much money - but it is widely suspected that he hastened his departure following Gamergate. And for good reason - association with something "sexist" makes you unhireable. Period. Recall the destruction of Mozilla's last CEO. Poole has testified before Congress concerning terrorism threats and child porn on 4chan, and he stayed... but sexism? He bailed as fast as possible. And I don't blame him one damn bit.
That's the power of the issues in play here. That's why "Gamergate" as it exists now is both much bigger and largely unrelated to the parties that spawned it. For instance, take me - I didn't write all this text because I give a damn about a bunch of dipshits who think they're on a crusade to save us from review writers who dared to write something nice about an arty game. It's something very different now - my entire generation pulling their heads out of their collective asses and waking up to issues I was writing op-eds about in high school because it finally kicked over one of THEIR sand-castles. And these otherwise disinterested 20-somethings, well, they're registered voters, too. The people who obsess over and harass Zoe Quinn are trolls and CHUDS - sexism is the least of their problems. But Gamergate as a phenomena? It is much, much bigger than that. If it wasn't, I wouldn't be wasting my breath on it!