An open letter to @Wheeler regarding #GamerGate harassment

Dear Wheeler,

This letter is not an attack on you, nor harassment or anything of the sort. You seem like a decent guy, and willing to listen to reason. So I just want to respond to a point you made in our conversation earlier. In particular, I want to address the question you posed regarding one of Gnoll’s points. Gnoll noted that the death and rape threats Anti-#GamerGate uses to prove its points are not credible, and your response was:

“Are you seriously saying none of #Gamergate’s critics have been harassed or threatened?”

(Or something very close to that – sorry, I’m typing this up on my laptop and can’t find the original tweet)

No one is denying that #GamerGate’s critics have received harassment or threats. That would be ludicrous. This is the internet, of course they have.

However, as Gnoll showed you, several of the death and rape threats being linked to #GamerGate are false flags, where the people involved in Anti either deliberately ask for people to tweet rape and death threats to the hashtag (rather infamously even offering download codes for games at one point) or do so themselves and then remove their names from the screencap (such as the one Gnoll showed you) to slander the tag.

In other cases, a troll account with almost no other tweets will use their first tweet to the hashtag as an opportunity to send a death/rape threat. This is not an uncommon practice within Anti, and it’s regularly used as ‘evidence’ of GG’s status as a hate movement. But these threats are not credible because the accounts sending the threats are either barely involved in #GamerGate or Anti false-flagging us.

What’s worse is that Anti will excuse cases like this:

Syringe

By saying that #GamerGate is a verified hate group. But again, none of these threats are CREDIBLE.

(To be clear: ‘Credible’ in this context means that the death threat is neither a hoax nor trolling, but an actual threat on someone’s life, and can be verified as such. Such as sending someone a needle half-full of an unidentified liquid.)

The burden of proof that #GamerGate is a hate group falls onto Anti, but they have gone out of their way to outright lie about our group and use fringe/troll accounts so many times that at this point I can’t take anything at its word anymore. If you (in general, not you specifically) can regularly declare that #GamerGate is THE F$#@%ING KKK I EXPECT YOU TO BACK IT UP.

But no. Instead Anti spends its time declaring itself the good guy while doing stuff like this. (NSFW)

#GamerGate is not the hate group, its critics are.

AntiIsTheHateGroup BringBackBullyingMovieBob_Token_Calgary

#GamerGate from a Gamer’s Perspective

Sums up a lot of the issue very well, I think

riptyed

GG saves mario

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while.  If you don’t know me, I have a very “heal and forgive” mentality so it’s actually particularly difficult for me to see the entrenched, motionless, culture war stalemate that is the gaming industry right now.  So I suppose this is my appeal to the anti-GG crowd, to Anita Sarkeesian, or anyone else.  Progress and dialogue can only happen when we try to understand the opposing side’s point of view, and I sincerely hope there might be some out there who are looking for such.

I began gaming as a kid on Sega Genesis.  It was an awesome way to play with my siblings.  In high school my friends and I avoided the party scene for religious reasons, and gaming was an alternative way for us to get 16 people together on a Saturday night and play Halo on Xbox LAN parties without…

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WHAT THE HOLY HELL @arthur_affect #SJW #Racist #GamerGate

I… I don’t even know what to SAY.

I mean, I thought I was angry at Briana Wu before. And I was, for valid reasons. I figured nothing could top telling me to get out of a hobby I’d been in my whole life because it now belongs to people who hate it. But I wanted to move away from hugely upsetting subjects, get to either actual attempts at diplomacy or answer some really silly arguments we could all laugh at together.

……….

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED!!!!!!!

ArthurChuIsARacist2

I mean… What is there to say? It’s dehumanizing? It’s unbelievably racist? I DON’T NEED TO, YOU CAN ALREADY SEE THAT!!!

I just… WHAT?!

….

WHAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?!?!

An Open Letter to @DamonGantX #GamerGate

Dear Damon,

This is not a personal attack, or harassment, or an attempt to belittle you at all. I just want to correct you and feel the need to do so in a full blog post. (Also, I’ve been on a bit of a serious-stuff binge lately and wanted to talk about something more benign than, say, my years of contemplated suicide that video games saved me from, or attempted murder through mailed syringe.)

You said that a lack of empathy is what ties autsitic people, #GamerGate, and evil people together.

Let’s ignore your ableist language and talk about your use of the word ’empathy’.

‘Empathy’ is the ability to understand and (more importantly) share the feelings of another. This is not something that autistic people, #GamerGate, or even evil people lack (sociopaths do, but that’s not the same as being evil)

You, on the other hand, used empathy to mean… Honestly I’m not sure. You kept saying that a lack of empathy was why we couldn’t understand why Anti-#GamerGate thinks we’re a terrorist group. But we know and understand exactly why you think we’re a terrorist group: you’re cherry-picking the worst responses tweeted to the hashtag as if they’re representative of the whole group (“A cannibal was born in new york once. Therefore, all people born in new york are cannibals!”) and willfully ignoring the same BS pulled by your own side. An opinion that was only reinforced by your behavior.

When I presented you with these tweets from Anti-#GamerGate:

AntiIsTheHateGroup

You ignored them entirely. This is very typical of aGG, and

You insisted, over and over, that the reason I couldn’t understand was because I lacked empathy because I’m autistic.

What I have is aspergers syndrome, which means I lack social empathy. I can still feel like anyone else can, and understand the emotions of others. Lacking social empathy means that recognizing the emotions another is feeling is not something that comes naturally to me. I had to learn it, like any other skill.

Yes, aspergers is a form of autism, but autistic people do not lack empathy.

Oh, and evil people DO have empathy. Evil people have friends, family, loved ones… even will sacrifice themselves for others. You’re thinking ‘sociopaths’. Which is like evil, only smarter.

@HalfTangible

PS. No, I didn’t look up who ‘juicebro’ is (though I was told Mike Cernovich). Only anti calls him that and I don’t google anything that sounds like a porn star name.

First Impressions: Cutie Markless (SPOILERS) #MLPseason5

HO. LY. SHITAHE MUSHROOMS.

Now THAT is how you open a season! If this is what took you guys so long, DHX, then I am sorry for EVERY SINGLE THING I ever complained about during the wait. Because WOW.

I never thought there’d be an episode of My Little Pony that includes false imprisonment, implied starvation, brainwashing and COMMUNISM.

One thing you’ll notice very quickly about the episode is that not a single moment is wasted. The plot gets started almost immediately with the animatic, and from there there’s always something happening. The plot here is probably the most… ‘full’, for lack of a better term coming to mind, of any of the two-parters we’ve had so far. Nothing is rushed, there’s no wasted space, everything that happens leads into something else, the humor is right on the dot… I’ll have to watch it again to be sure, but it doesn’t seem like a single inch was poorly handled.

Now, the song. ‘Our Town’. It reminds me of a marching tune (as in ‘marching in lockstep’), and the entire sequence is just creepy enough to be unsettling while still keeping the facade of a happy group intact. I don’t know who pulled that off, but they need a medal or something.

This episode also introduces us to a new mage character named Meadowbrook, with 8 magical items. Also, he’s apparently an ‘eastern unicorn’ from the distant past. I’m glad they didn’t go with Starswirl the Bearded yet again, and it’s a nice bit of world-building.

Starlight Glimmer is… a good villain. She’s intelligent, charismatic and devious with the ruthless cruelty to lock people in a shed to be brainwashed (and while it’s not outright stated, it’s implied that the ponies in that shed don’t get any food. Did you see any plates during that time lapse portion? I didn’t.). Her plan was both ingenious and horrifying, and I have to agree that getting a Princess to Equalize willingly would be a huge boost to the town’s popularity. The fact that she was the only pony in town whose colors weren’t desaturated (i think that’s the right word? eh, someone’ll call me an idiot if it’s not) was a brilliant bit of foreshadowing that both called back to Discord’s personality altering-magic and also helped Starlight to stand out amongst the group.

I was going to call her ‘great’, but there’s one big problem: We never really figure out why Starlight believes what she does, and it kinda harms the character. We don’t know why she decided that all cutie marks were bad, or what she wanted the community for. She says in the episode that she wants to foster friendship by making everyone equal, but not only does she not hold herself to that standard, she continues to say it even after it’s too late to fix anything. Presumably there’s a reason she’s doing this, but it’s never really made clear.

Also, much like with Sunset Shimmer, her name is basically ‘Twilight Sparkle’, which is distracting as all crap. She definitely works as an evil mirror counterpart to Twilight, so I can see why they did it, but the fact that this had been done before got a little distracting.

The good news is that she ultimately escapes at the end of the episode, meaning there’s a chance she’ll return as a recurring villain, and we can learn more about this philosophy of hers.

While the Equalization was an interesting idea, it wasn’t around long enough to get a good look at in my opinion. When the Mane Six were Discorded, we had numerous scenes showing what each of them was like under the effects. We had something similar here, and it could’ve been brilliant, but unfortunately we only get one or two jokes from each of them. It’s a little disappointing, but nothing that distracts.

One other bit that sort of disappointed me was the chase at the end. While it’s a very good climax, so much of what occurs during that climax feels… off. Double Diamond just happens to find his skis during the chase? And they just happen to work fine after what I can only assume was years? Really? And while it’s a minor nitpick, I was disappointed with the balloon bridge portion – What I thought was going to happen (and would’ve been very appropriate to the episode’s theme) would be that Night Glider (and maybe another pegasus) would pick up the other ponies and bring them across the bridge.

But again, that’s a nitpick. This is by far the best opener to a season we’ve had so far, and hopefully a sign of good things to come.

An open letter to @Spacekatgal #GamerGate

EDIT: To clarify, I am not going to kill myself. Bringing up that I used to consider it is there to make it PERFECTLY CLEAR why I am so upset about this.

BrianaWuNutty

Dear Briana Wu,

It’s Easter, so I am going to do my best to be polite and civil. However, I will probably fail.

I’m not going to modify any of the images from how they are on my computer (well, okay, i resized the Anita one, but I didn’t change the actual content).

Normally, when I see statements like this, I try my best to laugh. You’re presenting yourself as the gatekeeper to not only gaming, but to all fandoms, and deciding that because you disagree with a group, you get to tell them what they’re allowed to enjoy. It’s a statement of such megalomania, such an insane holier-than-thou attitude that I simply cannot take it seriously.

This time, I am too furious to laugh, I am too angry to say this isn’t an attack (it’s not intended to be, but I honestly don’t care if you take it as one anymore) and too livid to think you’re worth the effort in any case. The ONLY reason I am coherent enough to respond is because I’m trying make the effort to be a good man on Easter.

Let me explain to you why I need to make an effort to remain calm.

When I was five or six, I received my first console and video game. It was the Nintendo 64, with Super Mario 64 (i think it was a promotional package or something?). My father was in Saudi Arabia at the time, but he had contacted my uncle and gotten him to buy it in his place. I loved that console immeasurably. Dad thought I was obsessed with it, and honestly, I kinda was.

I played a lot of games after that – Star Fox, Lego Racer, Super Smash Brothers… And most of them, I took as seriously as I do Bioshock Infinite today (mostly because I was a really dumb kid). I missed out on a ton of classics, but video games were my hobby. Practically my life.

When I entered middle school, I was bullied. A lot. None of it was physical (i thank the lord I hit my growth spurt early), but psychological. I had a very short temper that was only compounded by both puberty and a medicine I was taking for ADHD that had the unfortunate side effect of making it almost impossible to ignore anything (and mom wouldn’t let me wear hunting earmuffs because she thought I’d get beat up for it, even though I wore them a lot anyway and never did). In one instance, I became a bully in my own right, something I regret to this very day (If you’re reading this Paul, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have treated you that way). It continued into high school, to the degree that many thought I was insane. Honestly, I thought so too – I can’t hear the Happy Birthday song anymore without going into a rage, or wanting to sob.

I have thought about killing myself a lot both during and since that time. At this point I know full well I’ll never go through with it, but what scares me is that the thoughts keep coming back. Over and over again, I think about how much better the world would be without me in it, how much better I’d feel if I skipped ahead in line to the pearly gates.

There are a lot of reasons I never did it, but I attribute the most thanks to three sources: roleplaying forums (in particular, the now-defunct Chaos Forums), My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, and Blizzard’s Warcraft 3. In particular, the map mods. The most famous of these would be Dota, but I also enjoyed DoBRP, Line Defense, Uther Party and other strong games made in the WC3 engine. There was so much variety in that game alone that last I checked (about a year or so ago) Battle.net was STILL hosting games on the Frozen Throne. More recently, Dota 2 has been my bread and butter. It’s been a lot less fun and happy than my previous games, but there’s nothing quite like a good dota match to get the blood pumping. In October of 2013, I built my own rig, and it’s pretty impressive considering the budget I had to work with.

Then #GamerGate happened.

I’m not ashamed to say I’m right-wing. I don’t really identify too heavily with conservatism, but it’s what people keep telling me I am when I list my political views (low taxes, strong military, small government, etc) so I list it as such. So when I was first heard #GamerGate, my immediate response to the controversy was along the lines of “People need to stop adding -gate to things to refer to scandals; it’s irritating”. But I didn’t really understand what it was.

When I got involved, I found that those opposed to #GamerGate used the same rhetoric I’d always hated from left-wingers: “You’re racist so shut the f#@$ up,” “you’re sexist no matter what you say,” “women can’t rape men because patriarchy,” etc etc. #GamerGate itself had its bad apples like any other internet group, but I saw didn’t see a targetted harassment movement – what I saw were random internet trolls profiting from the chaos, and a much larger group of people who were trying to get ethical standards into gaming news sites. I’m firmly in the pro-GG camp now, but I have tried on a few occasions to bridge the gap between GG and Anti-GG. In a couple of cases I’ve even succeeded – I told Rami that there’d been actual attempted murder of GG supporters, he seemed surprised by it and asked for proof. I provided the image below:

Syringe

and went on a multi-tweet tirade about how aGG had behaved far too poorly for me to give it any credit, and that I was going to leave the conversation. He said he’d like to talk to me again through another medium, which honestly I found kinda surprising. I’m appreciative that it ended on such pleasant terms, of course, but I’m getting off track.

Recently, of course, we had the #SadPuppies thing. Now, you blame #GamerGate for this for some reason, which is so paranoid I almost laughed… but then you told everyone in #GamerGate to get out.

……..

Because it’s YOUR culture.

……..

No. Gaming is not your culture.

Your culture has attempted murder. Not just the needle, either: numerous GGrs have been doxxed and SWATed since this whole mess began.

Your culture caused this:

Booted to avoid sexism

Your culture hates fun, hates its current audience and does not care about gaming.

MovieBob_Nazi

FunIsATrick

(In case that one’s too small: the paragraph says that “fun is a neurological trick” and we should stop upholding it as something positive in gaming. It also says that we should avoid ‘terms like cool or awesome’ because I guess they’re bad things or something)

DrownHimInTheBath

ItsJustGamesJournalism

Your culture hates freedom of choice. (An idea so antithetical to games I’m honestly shocked you aren’t decrying them as kid’s stuff) Yes, I’ve seen the speech. Context does not make it better.

FeminismIsAntiChoice

Your culture knows nothing about Gaming.

FullBinder2

(For the record? I haven’t played any of the games listed aside from Paper Mario, (and while I have played the Mario series I don’t remember playing one with Toadette) and I’ve at least heard of ALL of them)

Your culture hates evidence so much it created a brand new term to deem it as a form of harassment (sea-lioning)

EvidenceIsIntrusive

B_gP75EWQAA0nf-

AskingForProofIsBlockworthy

Your culture wants to commit genocide.

KillAllMenErika

AntiIsTheHateGroup

All the while, your culture claims to be the good guys.

And this is only the START of the horrible, disgusting s#@$ I’ve seen ‘your culture’ do. I haven’t even gotten into the constant lies, subversion, and bullying developers into doing what YOU want.

Gaming is NONE of these things. It never has been and never will be, because we know EXACTLY what it is like to be marginalized and hated. Despite what your culture claims, gamers are not all rich white heterosexual men. We were once, but we haven’t been for a long time. Gaming is the most open and accepting group on the entire internet (which admittedly isn’t that hard, cuz… internet) and your culture is the most intolerant, hateful bull that I have ever seen.

In short, ma’am: Gaming is our culture. This culture that you hate so much and are so determined to destroy saved my life. It gave me friends, it’s the reason I’m as computer-savvy as I am, it brought me so much joy I can barely believe it. No amount of whining is going to change that.

And your culture wants us to get out.

No. You get out.

Bullies are not welcome here.

Sincerely,

David Burton
@HalfTangible

AmericaYOUmove

An open letter to @DAVIDMDRAIMAN #GamerGate

Dear Mr.Draiman,

I’m going to avoid being hostile in this letter as much as I can – much like my letters to Todd in the Shadows and Misandraste’s Herald, I’m not writing this to insult you personally, belittle you or your opinion, or anything like that. I just want to explain some things.

When I first saw you tweeting about an anti-semitic joke, it was April 1st. Naturally, I didn’t take it too seriously at the time – I figured this was either an April Fool’s prank you’d taken as serious (understandable, given that anti-semitism is a very serious issue) or that it was an April Fool’s prank of your own. You might’ve seen my tweet to you on that, actually (doubt it, but still.)

It is now mid-afternoon on April 2nd CST and you have continued to speak about it, so I must assume you’re serious. As such, I wish to respond to your apparent confusion that GamerGate doesn’t care about anti-semitism.

The reason GamerGate didn’t join immediately in your hashtag (ignoring that several people DID) is that we don’t see any merit to the idea that @TrevorNoah’s joke was anti-semitic. Actual hatred is different from a joke. Saying ‘I knew white guys couldn’t jump’ in response to a failed basketball shot is nowhere near the same level as, say, spray-painting a Nazi swastika onto the grave of a Jew.

(EDIT: Also, because #GamerGate has nothing to do with anti-semitism, it’s a pro-developer movement for ethics in journalism)

Part of the problem for me is that I can’t find the actual joke that set you off, at least in part because as far as I can tell you haven’t been promoting it. It’s one thing to say ‘stand with me against this anti-semitic asshole’ it’s another to just TELL us he’s anti-semitic.

The reason we still haven’t joined in is that you blatantly created this hashtag in order to attack one person who said something you dislike. In case you haven’t noticed, #GamerGate has been against attacks like this for a long time, despite what Srhbutts would have the world believe.

Here’s the really big one, though: If you wanted #GamerGate’s support, telling us that we’re either with you or against you in this matter (“you have one day to show your support, or you’re anti-semitic”) was the worst thing you could’ve done. We’ve been hearing that same s#@$ thrown at us for 8 months now and it instantly turned most of us hostile to you, and unwilling to listen.

Because saying that someone is a horrible human being to get them to do what you want is not what #GamerGate does – it’s what Social Justice Warriors do.

Was the joke actual hatred? Maybe, but as I said, you aren’t showing the joke. As someone who has tried his hand at comedy a few times (albeit usually poorly) I find it concerning that we’re just supposed to ASSUME that the joke is anti-semitic.

And on top of all of that, you’ve given Anti-#GamerGate the perfect, juicy little story to continue to slander and defame #GamerGate. Now, as far as the public is concerned, we’re anti-semites because you decided that one joke was worth burning down an entire movement dedicated to ethics. It doesn’t matter now if #GamerGate DOES jump behind you and support this move – we’re stained by this slander now.

Again, this is not an attack – I just want you to consider what you’ve gained from this move for a moment.

@HalfTangible

PS. Also, please consider: you’re fighting a comedian – who now hosts the Daily Show, btw – with words. That’s like trying to fight a dragon with a flamethrower. You’re gonna lose. The fact that your tweets are in all caps is not going to help matters, either.

PPS. Yes, I hate anti-semitism. That’s not the point.

(EDIT: One other thing. Anti-GG has outright stated that they want the gas chambers to return, so they can shove GamerGate supporters into them. I’ve got screencaps if you want ’em)

(For the uninitiated: Social Justice Warriors are a brand given to far-left activists that attempt to censor and/or silence the opposition through dog-piling and shame tactics, largely in the name of ‘social justice’ or ‘equality’ or other nice-sounding terms that mean whatever they want them to. You can imagine what this right-wing libertarian/anarchist thinks of THAT.)

EDIT: Okay, I found your twitlonger.

While I have to disagree on the assumption you make that comedy is worth attacking someone for, I was wrong to assume this was a crusade against one purpose. And I would be lieing if I said I was okay with how Jews have been treated lately.

Maybe it’s just because my education went amazingly well given the state of America’s schools, but it baffles me that anyone can deny the holocaust.

I condemn anti-semitism.