Regarding ending the #GamerGate hashtag

EDIT: To be clear: this is an idea that’s been floating around, not an ‘effort’ as I originally said. It’s more of a discussion that has yet to take a solid grounding. Either we all go, or we all stay.

So… judging from Sargon’s livestream, that DM imgur floating around is not faked. There is an idea amongst various high-profile GG members for an endgame for the hashtag.

The short of it is that the hashtag pulls off one last constructive Op, and then we declare the tag done. Go out with a bang, so to speak, and then move on. What, specifically, we’d move on to is a little less clear. But the idea is to retire the label, not the group.

I respect a lot of the people who are pulling this, and don’t think any of them are being malicious. And I am no one worth noting in the hashtag – the most I do is put up a morale post every now and again, argue with trolls and signal boost.

That said, imho, this plan is bad. REALLY bad.

The whole idea is to throw off the #GamerGate label and identity. But #GamerGate has tried that on multiple occasions, especially in the early days. And every time, that new group got painted with the #GamerGate brush, and the narrative that SJWs push relentlessly continued. I have seen people ask for ethical practices, get labelled #GamerGate, and then be confused about what #GamerGate is. The label will still exist and still drive people away, we’ll just have lost the communication network that the hashtag gave us.

Further, I guarantee that even if our big names leave, a lot of people who have used GG will stay in the tag. A hashtag movement isn’t something you can just close off. There will still be posts to the tag. People will still make images of Vivian James. Some will still try to organize meetups. There are so many aspects to #GamerGate as a group that you really can’t kill them all.

Something that really disturbs me about this plan is that it feels more like a surrender of the narrative on #GamerGate than an attempt to “retake it.” #GamerGate is still referred to as a terrorist misogynistic harassment campaign, and SJWs/Anti have made it very clear that they want to turn #GamerGate into a scarlet letter – have it burned into our skins (metaphorically, I hope) and never forgotten. Which means that if we abandon the tag while it’s still seen as a harassment campaign, everyone associated with GG will be labelled as such by the media. Trying to distance ourselves from the tag before THAT narrative is won is just going to make it impossible to dispute with any real clout.

The big constructive op? That, I can get behind. #GamerGate has been a bit listless lately, it needs to rally around something more constructive than Butts being a pedophile. #OpSockPuppet is the last Op I really remember, and I don’t know if that one even got anywhere.

I’m not worried, though. Even if #GamerGate the hashtag does end (which I find highly unlikely, given that the hashtag is largely built on individual initiatives) it will continue in spirit. We’ve rallied a lot of gamers together with #OpSkynet, and I know that many of us will continue to fight the good fight even if there’s no tag behind us.

I’m just saying, the stated reason for ending the hashtag (that it will let us retake the narrative) has been proven false over the last year and frankly feels dumb.

A brief review of ‘ Through the #GamerGate ‘ by Sean Williams

This review is not meant to be a replacement for the original story, which can be found here. However, I do not recommend actually reading the story because it is terrible.

So. In between school assignments right now. Let’s take a look at ‘Through the Gamergate’ by Sean Williams.

I don’t think I’ve ever been witness to such blatant demonization in my entire life, and definitely not of an entire gaming culture. Granted, this is a fictional story, so I don’t expect a works cited page that links to well-documented and researched data on the subject. However, this story is also meant to be allegorical and thus should have some basis in reality.

Let’s look at the story itself.

The first major problem is how impersonal this entire affair is. No one is mentioned by name, not even our protagonist. There is no dialogue, nor do any of the ‘characters’ (and I use the word very loosely) behave in a distinct manner. We have no physical descriptions, either. The result is that there are no clear characters, just a bunch of one-note caricatures without distinction from one another. So there’s no one to get invested in. Anyone with any experience writing will tell you that if you don’t have any clear or distinct characters, your story is basically dead in the water. A plot will only get you so far.

Speaking of the plot, it would be dire enough on its own to warrant some attention, except it isn’t built or presented in any cohesive manner we can latch onto. We’re told at the end that the people who are getting tortured will help to build discontent, but we see no sign that anyone in the camp actually cares before this point. It’s a cliche to say ‘show don’t tell’, but that’s only because it’s such good advice. You end up telling us the entire moral at the end without building anything up previously, and so the ending message comes across as forced.

Now, I can’t pinpoint the exact reason for this, but it’s a big enough problem that I feel you need to hear it anyway: the actual language used to convey the story is subpar. It doesn’t… flow. Reading this felt like a bumpy road. I wish I could convey the exact problem better, but hopefully you’ll find it on your own.

And then there’s the allegory. It fails. It utterly, completely fails. No one is going to be convinced by this.

Presenting your opposition as literally insane was probably your biggest mistake. (Padded cells? REALLY?!) Making this opposition into the most disgusting, hateful people imaginable didn’t help your case, nor did presenting these ‘Agents of Change’ as revolutionaries who are happy to see flowers grow at their feet.

Yeah, this institution sounds horrible, but it has no basis in anything real. It’s blatantly obvious that you intentionally presented your opponents in the worst light possible, so your intended message falls apart almost immediately.

Don’t even get me started on how often “white male” was mentioned as if it mattered. Urgh.

On top of all of that, the enemy you’re calling for people to fight doesn’t exist. #GamerGate is here because SJWs attacked gaming culture and the gamer identity, and because games journalism is corrupt to its core. There was never anything preventing them from entering the games industry. There STILL isn’t, aside from their own insistence that gamer culture is a cesspit and their open hostility.

So… yeah, all in all, this was pretty terrible. Better luck next time, Sean.