Gamergate/Analysis

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The "pre-history" of Gamergate.

Gamergate tends to be considered a significant case of Could Have Avoided This Plot since it came to light in August 2014. But while the catalysts involved the "Quinnspiracy" and "Gamers are Dead" pieces, it's not without precedent. Cases of ethical failures in games journalism and antagonisms between media and gamers not only predate GG (among the most infamous being "Doritogate," the Mass Effect 3 controversy and accusations of gamer "entitlement") but also go back decades, well into The Eighties. This suggests that while Gamergate could have been avoided or at least ended much sooner, the pressure that led to something like it happening had been building for a relatively long time.

The role of "clickbait."

One recurring issue that's brought up by pro-GG is how "clickbait," such as the sort practiced by the likes of Gawker Media and Buzzfeed, is not only a major factor behind the current predicament in gaming, but also reflecting similar changes across journalism, especially online at the expense of fact-finding, ethics and/or even truth. This trend in turn meant that as time went on, it became evident that those partaking in "clickbait" had more interest in sensationalism, sloganeering, social connections and/or personal gain than the audiences they were purportedly serving.

The paradox of Gamergate.

One paradoxical aspect of Gamergate as presented by the press and anti-GG critiques is how on the one hand, it (and/or its supporters) is utterly irrelevant, a dying gasp of vocal reactionaries, sexists and nerdy holdovers of another era. On the other, a massive conspiracy against women, progressive values, and/or the public at large; most infamously, GG has been likened to terrorists. This reflects a recurring tendency to frame GG as a convenient boogeyman, regardless of the truth, that could be applied even to topics that have little to no relation to video games.

Accusations of historical revisionism.

A recurring accusation from pro-GG has been of journalists, anti-GG figures and ideologues reinterpreting not only how Gamergate began, but also the history of video games and nerd culture in general. Such claims stem from myriad pieces of how (among others) there were no empowered female video game protagonists, let alone actual female developers prior to recent years, women were never welcomed into the gamer "boys' club," and how gaming has been a domain of backward-thinking ideologies and ideas that have no place in the 21st Century. These works reached a nadir in 2014 with the "Gamers are Dead" pieces that helped spur Gamergate in the first place.