An open letter to @adrianovaroli – why #GamerGate is upset

“I’mma take a page from #GamerGate’s book and wonder why do they hate those articles about gamers being over. I don’t see the problem.” -@adrianovaroli

This is not an attack, or an insult, or anything of the sort. I just try to make a habit of reaching out to my ideological opponents. (I usually don’t do a very good job, but it’s always worth the effort). I will endeavor to be as calm, reasonable and rational as I can while answering this question.

In addition, from the few tweets we’ve exchanged, you seem to have missed the problem with these articles.

The ‘gamers are over’ (or ‘gamers are dead’) articles were so maligned by the gaming community because of how openly hostile they were to gamers as a group. Here, let’s take a look at Leigh Alexander’s article, the ‘gamers don’t have to be your audience’ one for Gamasutra. It’s linked to often by the other 9 to 12 ‘gamers are dead’ articles, so it seems as good a place as any to look: It starts out as identifying gamers as people who get into lines “with plush mushroom hats and backpacks and jutting promo poster rolls.” She says that gamers “don’t know how to dress or behave.”

So far the article’s entire focus is on the gamers themseles: not the absurd preorder and dlc practices, not the fact that some gamers were angry that prices FELL once (seriously, why NOT focus on that?! It’s practically gift-wrapped as an episode of gamer entitlement) but how we dress and act.

“‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction and professional life works that they can concoct online ‘wars’ about social justice or ‘game journalism ethics,’ straight-faced, and cause genuine human consequences. Because of video games. ”

This is not a critique of gaming markets, but a direct personal attack. First by claiming that gamers are socially inept losers with nothing to do but talk online (which is odd, considering that with the obsession she previously levied you’d think they’d be GAMING)

This entire article reads like that. Open personal attacks on “these obtuse shitslingers, these wailing hyper-consumers, these childish internet-arguers”.

Keep in mind that a games journalist’s job is to INFORM THE CONSUMER so that they can make good purchasing decisions. They’re supposed to be on the consumer’s side.

It’s not alone, either. Arthur Chu’s article opens with “The subset of entitled, belligerent gamers convinced that being ‘objectively’ right entitles them to defend their rightness by any means necessary are overwhelmingly male”, which is incorrect. And these articles are FULL of incorrect statements, assumptions, and outright lies (“Based on the lone fact of Quinn’s relationship with one Kotaku writer, Nathan Grayson, who quoted her once in an article and never covered or reviewed her game,” -Casey Johnston. This is completely untrue – NG covered the game twice and is even thanked in DQ’s credits.)

Attacks like this have continued for the *checks* wow, 9 months now that #GamerGate has been around.

Your side has openly attacked an entire group of people that they were supposed to be advocating for. Again and again, your criticisms of us are proven false. We’re not a bunch of white men, or wailing hyperconsumers, or right wing bigots. We are gamers.

And the one group of people in the industry whose ENTIRE JOB is to keep an eye out for the consumer… told us we were losers and should all just get out.

THIS is why gamers are upset. The articles were openly hostile to everything gamers were. You brought up DLC and preorders, and yes, how companies are handling those things are problems, but they aren’t actually brought up in the articles.

#GamerGate (or something very much like it) has been building for over a decade now. But this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. (Except in this case, the straw was more of an anvil)

… Wait, you actually read through that? Uh… thank you!

-David Burton, @HalfTangible

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6 comments on “An open letter to @adrianovaroli – why #GamerGate is upset

  1. Hello. Late to the punch, but then again, I don’t usually google myself. These are my comments:

    “how openly hostile they were to gamers as a group”
    No. They were openly hostile to a subgroup of gamers. I’m a gamer. I have gamed since the ’80s. I don’t feel insulted. Because I’m not an obnoxious hyper consumer demanding everybody cater to me, me, me, and trying to gatekeep based on outdated, ridiculous ideas of who’s actually what.

    “NG covered the game twice and is even thanked in DQ’s credits.”
    If you all want to be considered adults and be known for your research skills, do bother to learn a bit about what is coverage, and how the industry works. Three lines saying “I liked it” and a quote aren’t “coverage”. Not one that needs any particular disclosure, for anybody except your group. That NG was a friend of Zoe who helped test the game doesn’t imply he should recuse from ever saying he liked it. That’s not realistic. That’s just ridiculous.

    “the one group of people in the industry whose ENTIRE JOB is to keep an eye out for the consumer… told us we were losers and should all just get out.”

    Maybe, just maybe, that group of people want to actually be journalists, and not just coddle hyperconsumers. Hard truths are necessary. You are a bunch of whining losers. Sorry to tell you. GG is always mocking “reals b4 feels”, but you yourself type, right here, how you’re upset by some articles.

    “We’re not a bunch of white men, or wailing hyperconsumers, or right wing bigots. We are gamers.”

    Well. The NYS movement was astroturfed. Most of you are wailing, white, hyperconsuming men. Most of you are happy to accept any help that comes from the right. You are a little group of gamers, I’ll give you that. You don’t want to let anybody else into the term, though, and that’s sad.

    • halftangible says:

      “Hello. Late to the punch, but then again, I don’t usually google myself. These are my comments:”

      I typed out a longer response to all of this, taking everything you say and adressing it point by point… and then accidentally hit the refresh before I could post.
      Woops.
      This will probably be briefer and more rushed.

      “No. They were openly hostile to a subgroup of gamers. I’m a gamer. I have gamed since the ’80s. I don’t feel insulted. Because I’m not an obnoxious hyper consumer demanding everybody cater to me, me, me, and trying to gatekeep based on outdated, ridiculous ideas of who’s actually what.”

      1) Neither am I, not by the articles’ definitions anyway. I’ve never gone to a midnight release. I stopped buying CoD after modern warfare 3 and never really played the online modes. I’ve certainly never worn a mushroom hate.

      2) Did you actually read the Gamers Are Dead articles? The subgroup they described were people who wore mushroom hats, or waited for midnight releases. These people did nothing wrong and yet the articles openly attacked

      3) All you people have done for the last 11 months is try to gatekeep the industry. ‘This is sexist, remove it’ ‘this is racist, tear it down’ ‘this person deserves to be doxxed and bullied because I said so’.

      “If you all want to be considered adults and be known for your research skills, do bother to learn a bit about what is coverage, and how the industry works. Three lines saying “I liked it” and a quote aren’t “coverage”. Not one that needs any particular disclosure, for anybody except your group.”

      NG wrote two articles where ZQ and depression quest were mentioned. In Admission Quest, Depression Quest was given highly preferential treatment compared to the other 49 games in the story (including being its sole source for a screenshot). In the Indie Game Reality Show that Went to Hell, Zoe Quinn was quoted extensively as one of the article’s primary sources.

      I don’t think you should be disparaging someone else’s research skills while demonstrating a complete lack of them yourself.

      “That NG was a friend of Zoe who helped test the game doesn’t imply he should recuse from ever saying he liked it. That’s not realistic. That’s just ridiculous.”

      1) We’re not talking about casual conversation here, we’re talking about a news article. A news article is supposed to be as objective as possible to let the reader come to their own conclusions.

      2) No, it’s not ridiculous. It’s basic journalistic ethics that you don’t report on someone you have a close relationship with, or to AT THE ABSOLUTE LEAST diclose it.

      Six words. ‘created by my friend Zoe Quinn’. That was all that was required.

      (yes, I am aware that he was not in an intimate relationship with Quinn at the time of the article. They WERE close friends, however, and that should have been disclosed).

      “Maybe, just maybe, that group of people want to actually be journalists, and not just coddle hyperconsumers.”

      >Outing a gay man for no good reason
      >Keeping the fact that EA lost thousands of accounts’ customer data in a hack quiet
      >Intentionally manipulating facts and evidence
      >Ignoring scientific studies that vindicate gamers and propping up straw polls that attack them
      >Regularly claim to be bloggers, not journalists

      Yeah, they clearly want to be journalists and are just so oppressed by hyperconsumers. God forbid they be CORRECT about anything.

      “Hard truths are necessary. You are a bunch of whining losers. Sorry to tell you.”

      Implying ‘whining loser’ is quantifiable as a ‘hard truth’.

      I know the song says ‘high school never ends’ but I didn’t expect it to be this literal.

      “GG is always mocking “reals b4 feels”, but you yourself type, right here, how you’re upset by some articles.”

      1) That’s not what that phrase means. ‘Reals before feels’ means that when how you feel something has changed is does not match up with reality, it’s not true. Ex: “There were female characters at E3 for the first time ever” is an actual thing that has been said. And it is demonstrably false. In fact there were fewer female characters at E3 this year than last.

      2) I have never claimed that feelings are unimportant, and if I ever do you can take it as a sign that I’ve been drinking and/or my account has been hacked. I will, however, back up that what someone THINKS happened is not necessarily what DID happen.

      3) ‘Mocking’? Nice typo 😛

      “Well. The NYS movement was astroturfed.”

      When in doubt that your opponents are all white, pretend critics who aren’t white men don’t exist. Stay classy, Adrian. *eyeroll*

      “Most of you are wailing, white, hyperconsuming men.”

      Citation needed.

      “Most of you are happy to accept any help that comes from the right.”

      Most people in #GamerGate are on the left.

      Also, what exactly is wrong with being on the right? Actually, don’t answer that. Tell me what’s so wrong with the right-wing that it excuses doxxing.

      “You are a little group of gamers, I’ll give you that. You don’t want to let anybody else into the term, though, and that’s sad.”

      Things Anti have actually said:

      ‘This is our culture, not yours. Get the hell out’
      ‘Fuck gamers, fuck the games industry’
      ‘Gamers don’t have to be your audience. Gamers are over.’
      ‘NYS is deluded’
      ‘Can we start a new games industry where white men are literally not allowed in?’
      ‘Nerds need to be constantly shamed and bullied into submission’
      ‘So it’s serious when someone threatens to rape Anita, but not when someone [doxxes and] threatens to kill a child?’ ‘That’s correct.’
      ‘If #GGinDC is not kicked out of their bar, I will blow it up.’

      Sorry, who’s trying to kick who out, again?

      • I can’t argue. I really can’t argue with a group ready to dismiss every claim made against them with “haven’t done your research”, “This wasn’t done by GG, that dude is not really GG, nobody represents GG, it’s a hashtag” but then accuses “Antis have done this” as if we were a cohesive group of people, or as if anything “Antis” have or might have done made the stuff GG has done since its inception any better.

        But hey. You’ll not be hearing from me again. I won’t bother you in your petty little hate group. You’ll still be blocked. Byes.

    • halftangible says:

      (also, I’m not a big enough asshole to write to someone without at least letting them know I was doing so. You weren’t supposed to google it 😛 the reason your twitter handle is in the title is because I have this blog set up to automatically tweet a link to the article plus the title, so it should have sent this your way… I imagine you have me muted or blocked or something)

      • You know what? I apologize. Nevermind what I think of you or GG, this is your place, I said nothing new, and I shouldn’t have lashed out like that. I’m sorry.

      • halftangible says:

        *shrug* Bygones are bygones. Honestly, I’m kinda surprised I got a response to this at all. This went up a while ago, and most other responses I get (if any) occur over twitter.

        Have a good one, Adriano. Day, week, life, whatever.

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