“Nerds should be constantly shamed and degraded into submission”
– Sam Biddle
Is #GamerGate a right-wing movement?
I haven’t paid any attention to the Gamer Gate fiasco. I only buy one video game a year and its either an obscure title or something from my childhood. Men and women fighting on the Internet really doesn’t interest me either. I’d rather focus on my hobbies or go to the zoo.
Unfortunately, I had to stop being indifferent. Recent bullying comments made by Sam Biddle, a writer for media giant Gawker, got me involved.
Bullying and attacking people for being nerds is something that hit me on a personal level. I grew up in Iowa collecting comic books and playing Dungeon & Dragons. My teenage years weren’t exactly a cakewalk.
Since then I’ve always kind of felt bad for guys who got picked on due to their geeky interests. While there are some genuine weirdos in the comic and gaming niche, most of the dudes are good guys. They might be a little socially awkward or “uncool,” but I’d rather hang out with them and talk about how awesome The Hood was than spend 30 minutes with Biddle and his Gawker cronies.
Like I already said, there are some annoying gamers and nerds. But every culture has weirdos and people you don’t want to be around. For every basement dwelling creep there are 10 normal people who’d I’d proudly associate with.
With that said, I was really shocked to see that the “best” smear that news outlets could create about Gamer Gate involved politics. According to the press this is like some sort of digital version of the Tea Party. That really surprised me because most of the nerds I know are left leaning.
Gamers as sexists and harassers
I’ve never met a gamer who legitimately threatened women, or gay people, or minorities. Most of their “offensive” comments towards women are poor attempts at flirting. I guarantee that any woman with a Tinder account has heard way more inappropriate and sexist stuff than most female gamers.
Trying to end sexism in gaming culture would be like me trying to prevent 12 year-olds from saying “I f*cked your mom” whenever I play Xbox. It comes with the territory and, while it might suck, you just have to deal with it. I’ve played video games and had other men say they were “going to rape me” or “shoot my d*ck off” and I didn’t get offended.
Trash talk is part of competition
When I played basketball, or box now, people said all kinds of horrible things. Name calling and insulting others is a natural component of win-lose situations. People tend to forget this but competitive play is a simulation of war. “Sports is a metaphor for war” as the old saying goes. When you’re in a game, be it intramural football or the latest Battlefield installment, you have an enemy. In that environment it’s us verses them.
That doesn’t mean the aggression carries over to the outside world. I can punch it out with my sparring partner and then swap Christmas gifts ten minutes later. When I played basketball the guys you were boxing out on Friday would be at the same house party come Saturday night. Outside the game everyone got along.
Video games are no different. You’re entering a simulated war, sometimes literally, and you’re expected to deal with some nasty stuff. But at the end of the day it’s all pretend. Nobody is actually going to rape you, f*ck your mom (unless your dad is on the opposing team), or rip off your head and sh*t down your throat. It’s the same reason why no one is going to plant a landmine in your yard or shoot a plasma rifle at you, all that is only part of the game world.
Profile of an angry right-wing Gamer Gate supporter
After looking through a list of anti-Gamer Gate propaganda I decided to see if I fit the stereotype. Due to the fact that I am a gun enthusiast and advocate that young men don’t get married, I’m probably more “right-wing” and “extreme” than most participants. Below are four common tropes about Gamer Gate supporters. Lets see how I stack up:
This is sort of like a generic insult that social justice warriors love to use. Everyone they disagree with is a secret member of the Klan.
I think this one is a little weird because a lot of the gamer nerd culture guys I know are pretty cool with everyone. Back when I used to play lots of video games there were several “people of color,” as the far-left likes to call them, in our group. No one tried to lynch them and we’re all actual friends to this day. In fact, until I started writing this article I didn’t even realize that there was any sort of difference between us. Those guys are my friends and I know them by their first names, not their skin color.
Also, my girlfriend is, to use that politically correct term again, a “person of color.” Although I’m sure that some harasser masquerading as an activist could still pin me for racism of some sort, it’d be pretty difficult to do.
Like racism, Homophobia is another standard accusation. “I don’t like all the corruption in game journalism” says the concerned gamer. “What are you? A right-wing homophobe?!!!” Screams the social justice warrior.
Another dude I grew up playing video games with turned out to be gay. No one cared and we still hang out with him. Once again, he’s our friend and not some trophy to show how tolerant and progressive we are.
I think video games, like movies and comic books, have always been accepting of gays. Most of the people who grew up gaming aren’t rushing out to joining the Westbro Baptist Church or anything like that. Nerd culture has been, and always will be, about accepting everyone. These social justice types are nothing but bullies who try to pretend like they’re on board with acceptance.
Look at Sam Biddle, he’s all about tolerance as long as someone is getting abused and humiliated.
I’ll be the first to say that I’m probably way more sexist than most of the Gamer Gate supporters. When I was a teenager I had low self-esteem and thought that sleeping with a lot of women would solve it. This didn’t work and I’d wouldn’t recommend doing it.
With that said, would never support any type of harassment or abuse towards women. Also I’ve helped donate food to the local battered women’s shelter in my hometown.
So I guess that I’m more sexist in the James “I chase a lot of girls” Bond manner than the Hugo “I tried to kill my girlfriend” Schwyzer sense. Not that either is a good thing, but no one every actually got hurt from what I was doing and there wasn’t any malice.
Gamer Gate as a right-wing movement has to be the strangest thing I’ve ever heard. No gamer I have ever met has been a Republican. The biggest gaming guy I know was in a students for Obama group and is about as left as you can go. And he’s not even cool with the Gamer Gate slander that media organizations are throwing out.
Personally, I’m really anti-war and believe that there should be an earnings ratio cap within corporations. Also I’m big into environmentalism and have personally planted about 1,000 trees in the past two or three years. Although I don’t vote, I don’t really think that any of these things fall under the banner of being right-wing.
Also, the anti-Gamer Gate crowd is being supported by a known Nazi! I don’t think you can get any more right-wing than that.
It’s pretty crazy to think that a corrupt house of Nazis, abusers, and other unsavory types is trying to discredit a serious movement that wants some journalistic integrity and equality for all. The men and women supporting Gamer Gate are tired of being beat down and oppressed. They want standards and fairness for all. A place where they aren’t going to get threatened by men like Sam Biddle and his ilk.
And yet they’re the bad guys. The team filled with Nazis, abusers, and known liars is supposed to be the one with the people’s best interest in mind. These guys are somehow the people you want in power. The folks who know what’s best for society. In fact, they’re so confident in their ability to rule effectively and fairly that they’ll try to put down and silence anyone who questions them.
Even though I’m not the biggest gamer in the world, I’ll still support Gamer Gate. Their fight goes beyond entertainment. Its a battle to end corruption and oppression. A fight to bring the putrid and festering institution, bloated with bullies and racists, to its knees.
And after watching advertisers pull out from sponsoring sites like Gawker, home to dozens of individuals who make a living by promoting intolerance, I think the corrupt and evil are going to lose this time.