There have been plenty of people who have spoken out about the #GamerGate nontroversy far better than I have, from Deadspin’s Kyle Wagner to Popehat’s Ken White. At this point it should be abundantly clear to anyone that, for many members, the #GamerGate movement isn’t so much about “ethics in games journalism” as much as it’s about hanging up a large “WHITE, STRAIGHT, MEN ONLY” sign to the entrance of the gaming community. With each new female target, successful “dox,” misogynist slur, and terrorist threat, this fact becomes clearer and clearer. Of course, I can’t slap the label of “sexist” on every person who uses the hashtag #GamerGate on Twitter. I’m certain there are people who have hope that this movement will have an impact on what appears to be a hopelessly corrupt industry.
But, like any reactionary movement, it attracts some of the worst people humanity has to offer: narcissists, sociopathic trolls, and bigots of all stripes. Case in point, the groups of neo-Nazis and other white supremacists who have been pledging support to the movement.
Writing for Radix Journal, the biannual publication of the openly racist Washington Summit Publishers, self-styled “racial realist” Gregory Hood defended #GamerGate in an article entitled “Gamergate and the End of Culture.” After juvenile jokes about Zoe Quinn’s sex life (“[W]hat does Zoe Quinn do after she’s been to Five Guys? Finally get something to eat.”) and reinforcing the oft repeated lie that Quinn “essentially slept her way into a career,” Hood lets slip his own greatest concern about the state of the video gaming industry: women, nonwhites, and LGBT folks intruding where they aren’t wanted. He quotes Markus Willinger, a far-right Austrian-born author, as saying:
There [the world of computer and video games] one finds that which no longer exists in the real world—a community to belong to, solidarity, great heroic deeds, authentic chivalry, and true love. In fact, video games are, for many of us, the last possibility to somehow perform heroic deeds, experience epic battles, achieve victory in combat, and overcome defeat.
This is why many of us choose this path, and some even forget their real lives in favor of it. They don’t want to go back into the cold, senseless world that you’ve created, into which you’ve forced them.
“Now,” says Hood, “the SJW’s [“social justice warriors”] are moving to take even that away. As Sun Tzu wrote in The Art of War, ‘One must leave a way of escape to a surrounded enemy.’ By denying it, the SJW’s have inadvertently encountered a level of resistance and fury far beyond anything they could have expected.” Indeed, as he puts it, #GamerGate is important to White Nationalists because “it is one front in a war that encompasses our entire culture” which, if his SJW foes win, will cease to exist.
People like Gregory Hood view this as an extension of our nation’s simmering “culture war” — a war between traditional white, Christian America, and hordes of leftists, black and brown folk, gays and lesbians, feminists, etc. In another white supremacist publication, American Renaissance, Hood wrote glumly about our nation’s prospects in the year 2034:
Contra excitable American conservatives, the future will not be FEMA camps, the repeal of the First Amendment, or a roundup of Christians. It will be White America’s death by a thousand cuts. Intelligent and educated lawyers, judges, activists, and legislators will justify ever greater burdens on a diminishing white middle class in the name of reparations for past discrimination. Even past enforcement of immigration laws will be remembered as a moral crime comparable to Japanese-American internment. And as all this rhetoric will be framed in terms of slave morality and legalese, American whites may feel unjustified in rebellion.
It is the thought of an increasingly diverse, multicultural America that he fears most. A nation that he and his white ancestors would view as unrecognizable. Put simply, he does not want to be reduced to a racial or ideological minority in his own country.
This sentiment is shared on other online bastions of anti-black and anti-Semitic hate. Take Vanguard News Network, the forum of choice for racist spree killer Frazier Glenn Miller, for example. In a thread on #GamerGate, VNN founder Alex Linder, who believes the only way to deal with the Jewish people is to “exterminate them,” described the #GamerGate controversy as “basically jew-feminists going after white-male gamers for usual anti-white gap & diversity bs.”
A commenter named “Varg” claimed that mainstream gaming sites are “becoming more and more jewed [sic]” and that the reason so many #GamerGaters went after Zoe Quinn was because they “basically just didn’t want SJW and feminism forced into their hobby where it has no place.” Another who goes by the name N.B. Forrest (a reference to murderer and Klansman Nathaniel Bedford Forrest) added that “the jew-minded cunts never actually prove any of their ‘oppression’ fantasies; they just keep screaming & sneering.” “They can join the kikes & coons in the pit,” he said.
It was probably “Lincoln Briggs” who summed up the position of the most entitled #GamerGaters:
FOR OVER !4 YEARS I listened to females call me “immature”,”stupid”, and “a loser” or “a baby” if I so much as mentioned the title of a video game in their presence. My older sisters and their friends gave me HELL over my love of video games. I was practically hazed for it. Now that Call Of Duty is available these snotty bitches want to come along and call themselves “gamers”. It makes me sick. Gamers,my ass. They probably think Atari is some kind of Japanese birth control pill.
Feminists STARTED this fight. They started it with other things,a long time ago. They took away our gentlemen’s clubs, when we went to sports clubs they followed us and forced their way into them. Did you know a female journalist can legally walk into a shower room full of naked dudes and harangue them for her article? Did you know that a male journalist would be called a “rapist” by these feminists for doign the same thing to a female sports team (an oxymoron,I know)? Do you know why that double-standard exists? SHEER SPITE. They wanted us to know that there was NOWHERE that we could be alone, not even when we were showering. They wanted us to know that we could not even TAKE A SHIT in peace without some snotty bitch nagging us about the method we used when wiping our asses. But god help us if some mere MAN,some PERVERT as they would have called him (look who’s talking you fucking manjawed walking abortions),wanted a little EQUALITY,some goddamn reciprocity for these violations of OUR privacy.
When we had nowhere else to go, we turned to video games. Eventually,they even followed us there.
They already had the script ready. We were “bullies”,”harassers”,”misogynists”,”abusers of women”,”creeps”,”rapists”,we were “threatened by women”,”afraid of vaginas”, they had used it all before successfully when THEY were the ones harassing US and shutting down OUR group or team activities. Whether we fought back or meekly accepted this latest intrusion,they were going to say the SAME EXACT THING,that it’s their “right” to come over to our chess table,kick the pieces off, and then take a shit right in the middle of the chess board and fuck up our game out of nothing but fucking penis envy over the fact that we had the interest in doing something that they could not understand or enjoy themselves. And because they don’t know or care anything about it, it must not have any worth at all.
Fucking arrogant,narcissistic,megalomaniacal cunts.
We weren’t doing ANYTHING,except enjoying a harmless pastime together. Not bothering a soul.
Well,not THIS time. They got the blowback that they asked for, and fully deserved. They are NOT receiving death or rape threats,they are exaggerating replies like “Fuck off,bitch,keep your feminist bullshit out of my games” into “OMIGOSH,HE’S FOR SERIOUS GONNA KILL ME YOU GUISE!!!!” and an “epidemic of misogyny”. The irony is that nobody would have had any problem with women enjoying games for what they were together with us, and they had the opportunity to do so, but they were too busy calling us “losers” and “babies” and telling us to “grow up” the whole time that WE were making the gaming industry into a multi-billion dollar international industry. Now that there’s big money in it,and it’s easy and even popular to play games, these gold-digging whores want their cut. They want the money, and they want the status, and of course, they want to grind their man-hating axe against us for making them ask for it and not just giving it all to them even though they would have been sooner seen DEAD than be seen as a gamer just within living memory.
They’re aren’t getting any rape or death threats even though they would have fully earned them by the way that they treated gamers for around 30-some years now.But they aren’t turning us out into the cold yet again either, and ruining yet ANOTHER pastime and social activity for males out of sheer greed and penis envy,not after the abuse that WE went through from THEM for just trying to enjoy our video games in peace. Not THIS time.
Better pack a few dozen extra tampons,ladies,because it’ll be a cold day in Hell when we roll over and let you fuck THIS up for us too.
This, right here. This sense of intrusion upon a “male space.” This idea of escape, from women and reality itself. This sentiment is what is fueling so many #GamerGate supporters. This is the sentiment that powers anonymous trolls as they hack into the personal information of critics and release it online, or call in vicious threats about repeating Marc Lépine’s 1989 École Polytechnique massacre in order to prevent feminist critics from speaking. And if #GamerGate is going to be taken seriously by anyone who doesn’t post on sites like Vanguard News Network or 8chan, it’s going to have to labor intensely and excise the bigots within its ranks. But, somehow I find that improbable.