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.


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) 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:


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.



(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)



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.


Your culture knows nothing about Gaming.


(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)




Your culture wants to commit genocide.



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.


David Burton



2 comments on “An open letter to @Spacekatgal #GamerGate

  1. Neowarden says:

    Reblogged this on neowarden and commented:
    Well put

  2. […] into the Hugo Awards controversy, telling everyone that geek culture belongs to you and yours. I already covered why this series of tweets makes my blood […]

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