Let’s just face it: when the “heated debate” has reached discussion on The Colbert Report and beat to shit on Cracked – a “humor” website that specializes in clickbait lists – and even Know Your Meme – even though #GamerGate is not a meme – you have to realize that this internet argument has really just turned into a shitstorm that even its participants just want to end… with the difference being that each side wants to be the winner and will not stop until someone comes out a winner when there is no clear winning this. I’ve broken down the base of what this stupid ass internet argument is and completely destroy it because it’s become this bandwagon of negativity and we need to dump that shit if this industry is ever going to be done with it.
This is an Internet Argument
Let’s treat this as it is – a huge group of people who are arguing so hard they can’t even agree on the subject to argue about and that’s just stupid. Each side had its valid points – yes, there is misogyny in the video games industry, as there is just about everywhere in mainstream pop culture today; yes, there is a sizable amount of “corruption” in the video games journalism industry, today – things started getting out of hand when each side felt the other wasn’t properly addressing or supporting their issues and it got completely out of control once the mudslinging, the threats, and the constant victimization started. This is not a debate, a disagreement, or a discussion, anymore, people: this is an internet argument just as useless as trying to talk about religion or politics on the web. #GamerGate has gotten so out of hand that everybody on the outside is, literally, for the most part, pointing and laughing at its expense. It’s gotten silly and it had started escalating by the time I got involved and what’s worse than all of this… it’s mostly happening on Twitter. All of this outrage is happening on one of the biggest black holes of the internet.
Once you realize that all this yelling, overreacting, and commotion is just making everyone involved look stupid…. only then might some of you realize that there are bigger troubles in the world and that we should just drop this fight and move on with our collective lives. If your need to be right is so strong and your need to squash your opposition is so passionate then you need to move this away from Twitter and out into the real world where you can actual make an impact and have to deal with the consequences of your stupidity.
Anger is Bad
I don’t know if I should really have to tell this to consenting adults that live without supervision but judging from the ire people garner on a regular basis – be it within the gaming community or otherwise – it would appear that this needs to be said: when you get so ridiculously angry over something that’s supposed to make you happy it makes you look ridiculously silly. You see that guy pictured above? He’s Chris Bores, otherwise known on YouTube as The Irate Gamer who is also well known as a slight ripoff of The Angry Video Game Nerd who is really James Rolfe. Their acts are thus: they find a game that is clearly either of poor quality, hated on by the greater gaming community, or extremely and unfairly difficult, and pretends to get crazily angry about it for the general amusement of their viewership. Aside from their cheap gimmickry and stage acts there’s a pretty good reason why this is entertaining: it’s extremely silly to watch someone flip out over something this trivial. If you didn’t like the game so much you should just put it down and move on. Everybody likes watching a good train wreck, though, and that’s part of why this whole #GamerGate thing has gotten out of hand: there’s a good portion of people on either side whose sole purpose is to fan these flames and make it so they can continue watching everyone get incredibly angry over something like this.
Basically, #GamerGate now looks like two toddlers arguing about whose toys are better and everyone’s just point at you guys, laughing about how cute you are and how silly you’re being. Except everyone is a grown adult, usually, and it’s really just sad, more than anything.
We Already Have More than Enough to Worry About
If you want to tackle misogyny, then you have to start by changing the minds and lives of people around you, taking the benefits of misogynistic behavior away from our society and showing people that fulfilling lives can be had without holding someone down. You don’t win the hearts and minds of people by fighting a group of people that weren’t even against you in the first place. You don’t win anyone over by showing a combative attitude that tries to overstep everyone’s opinions, to yell louder than the opposition, to fight everything that doesn’t benefit your agenda. Feminists should have known that singling gamers out in their fight against misogyny would have gotten them nowhere and all it really accomplished was bringing them into the mainstream media again in the totally wrong light but… well… some people seem to believe that any attention is good attention.
If you want to fight corruption in journalism, then you have to hit the journalists where they hurt the most – their reputations. Once you discredit a journalist they pretty much have no career, especially when other journalists start calling them out and the viewership starts taking notice. When you have people who know nothing about the situation joining the bandwagon, you have a surefire way of knowing that person’s career as a journalist is through and the regret will, then and only then, set in. Is it cruel? Yes. You’re fucking with someone’s livelihood but that’s what you have to live with when you want to bring the hammer down on the wicked in that industry. This is also why there is so much corruption in the journalism industry: it’s easier and more profitable to join corruption than it is to fight it. There will always be, in this society, more people who are weak enough to succumb to corruption in that field when offered it.
Both sides took to the wrong place and engaged in the wrong methods in order to accomplish their goals and only served to stir the shit piles of people they really shouldn’t have. I take a stance, as a freelance journalist, myself, against journalistic corruption, but I also know that in order to do so, it’s just like fighting misogyny: not only do you have to uproot all offenders, you also have to change minds over to a thought process where a fulfilling and profitable life that’s also easy to live can be lived without falling to corruption or misogyny. That’s not an easy battle to win. With all of the problems that we have today and all the worries that we face day in and day out, everyone decided to take the easy way out, plop all their troubles on Twitter and YouTube, and have turned this into something very far and away from anything resembling the proper debate it should have been.
What’s The Moral of the Story, Then?
If you’re not going to fight the good fight properly, there’s probably a sign waving above you that you shouldn’t be fighting it; at least not nearly as passionate as you are, to the point where it’s starting to ruin things for yourself and others. If you’re finding yourself doing the same thing over and over again just to convince yourself you’re making progress with your issue – and exposure doesn’t necessarily mean progress, either – there’s another one of those signs that you should probably just stop.
It’s gotten so bad that those of us who are simply trying to enjoy our games are being pulled into the mess to give our point of view on it and a good majority of us could really care less. Hell, a good number of supporters on either side really just want this to end so they can go back to enjoying video games.
What’s the moral of this whole spiel? Learn how to fight your fights properly so you can actually get something done and stop using our fun for your battleground, okay?