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Gamergate is described as a culture war over cultural diversification, artistic recognition, social criticism in video games, and the social identity of gamers. Many supporters of Gamergate oppose the increasing influence of feminism on video game culture. Gamergate is viewed as a right-wing backlash against progressivism. Gamergate proponents have stated that they were a social movement, but they had no leaders or manifesto, and statements claiming to represent Gamergate have been inconsistent or unfounded. Gamergaters falsely accused Quinn of an unethical relationship with journalist Nathan Grayson, and more generally claimed there was unethical collusion between the press and feminists, progressives, and social critics. These claims were widely dismissed as trivial, conspiracy theories, groundless, or unrelated to actual issues of ethics in gaming. Gamergate supporters have frequently denied the harassment took place or falsely claimed that it was manufactured by the victims.
Gamergate is described as a culture war over cultural diversification, artistic recognition, social criticism in video games, and the social identity of gamers. Many supporters of Gamergate oppose the increasing influence of feminism on video game culture. Gamergate led figures both inside and outside the gaming industry to focus on methods of addressing online harassment, ways to minimize harm, and prevent similar events. Looking back, Gamergate really only made sense in one way: as an exemplar of what Umberto Eco called “eternal fascism”, a form of extremism he believed could flourish at any point in, in any place – a fascism that would extol traditional values, rally against diversity and cultural critics, believe in the value of action above thought and encourage a distrust of intellectuals or experts – a fascism built on frustration and machismo. The requirement of this formless fascism would – above all else – be to remain in an endless state of conflict, a fight against a foe who must always be portrayed as impossibly strong and laughably weak. This was the methodology of Gamergate, and it now forms the basis of the contemporary far-right movement.
Prominent critics of the Trump administration need to learn from Gamergate. They need to be prepared for abuse, for falsified concerns, invented grassroots campaigns designed specifically to break, belittle, or disgrace. Words and concepts will be twisted, repackaged and shared across forums, stripping them of meaning. Gamergate painted critics as censors, the far-right movement claims critics are the real racists. Perhaps the true lesson of Gamergate was that the media is culturally unequipped to deal with the forces actively driving these online movements. The situation was horrifying enough two years ago, it is many times more dangerous now.