Hello reader, I go by the internet name of Jodis Welch. That is obviously not my real name but protection of identity is needed in this current climate, although I'm sure after this article there will be those who will not care for breaking the Data Protection Act 1998 anyway.
I currently work in a support role at an inclusive, public College in County Durham, England that is in the Top 20 bracket of Sixth Form in the country (Quite an achievement since most in the top 20 are rich private colleges) and I have performed the same role for other schools and Universities for nearly 20 years.
Gaming is a hobby of mine outside of my work. It is not my only hobby but it would be accurate to say it is my primary one.
My political affiliations are, well, none. That is to say that I am very distrustful of both the Left and the Right and I find that political parties to be nothing more than legalised Mafia organisations. I have been labelled an Anarchist as a result, however that would be inaccurate as I am agreeable with most of the structure of the British Government (House of Lords should be replaced with something else though!), I simply prefer to vote for a non-party individual to be my representative and hope one day that the House of Commons is filled with nothing but non-party representatives, although I'm willing to concede that it won’t be likely to happen within my lifetime.
I have also been likened to Conspiracy Theorists types that believe in the Illuminate and the New World Order (Not the Pro Wrestling faction) and that 9/11 was an inside job. In reality I have taken on their incredulity so much they think I am a C.I.A. “Psy Op“. An MI5 operative would be more believable since I am British but it goes to show how moronic they can be!
Anyway, that is enough introductions. I have a challenge to issue.
For the past year the Twitter hashtag GamerGate has been a significant talking point within the gaming world, if not necessarily aloud within the development and publishing part of the industry. Over 8 million tweets have been posted in the hashtag that was declared by its detractors that it would be over in a week, then a month and then it became just wishful thinking as they buried their heads in the sand, or at least they started to use blockbots!
Why the hashtag started is merely down to consumers being unable to raise their concerns about the unethical state of the industry’s media. When revelations came to light in the summer of 2014 that there was a conflict of interest between a reporter at Kotaku promoting a game without first, disclosing his financial support towards the game he was promoting (This earned his name being listed in the game’s credits), secondly not disclosing their close personal relationship, consumers had decided after years of suspicion of unethical behaviour in the gaming media that questions finally needed to be answered. They were instead met with censorship. Comment sections were being suppressed and forum threads deleted on a massive scale.
Consumers were left to turn to Twitter, YouTube and Chan Boards (Ones that would allow GamerGate discussions) to raise their questions and concerns. The actor Adam Baldwin was the first to use #GamerGate on Twitter while linking to one of the many videos being made at the time, talking about the gaming media’s unwillingness to tackle the accusations levelled at itself. While personally, I would have preferred a different name rather than using the clichéd suffix of having “Gate“ at the end of a scandal, you work with what you get and everyone else in the hashtag took to using it.
Rather than deal with the accusations and the evidence presented to them, the games media instead attempted the head in the sand technique by releasing the many “Gamers are Dead“ articles on the hope that they could emerge from the sand and be surrounded only by like-minded ideologues within a purpose made bubble, housing only the worthy (translated: privileged) few and keeping out the unclean “misogynists“ (translated: working class).
Over the following twelve months the narrative from the gaming media, which would infect the mainstream media, was that GamerGate was nothing more than an organised harassment campaign against women and other minorities trying to get into the male, patriarchal dominated video games industry simply because they were women and minorities. Unlike the significant number, if not the majority in the video game world of women and minorities that have already been in the industry, with great successes for the past 25 years that gamers have had no issues with at all!
What I have always found to be fascinating was the effort made to keep the narrative about GamerGate being a hate movement for this length of time. Proponents of Homeopathy and Geocentricism (Theory that the Earth is the absolute center of the Universe) are rightly mocked in academia and the media for their claims, largely in part because they are unwilling to offer evidence for their assertions or claims. Even if they do offer something they claim to be evidence, it is so faulty that it only serves to prove how spurious their claims are.
With opponents of GamerGate however, they have managed to go a whole year without ever being seriously held to account and prove the validity of their claims, albeit not that surprising given that they have the privilege of controlling the mechanisms for pushing the narrative. Disturbingly some on the Anti GamerGate side say without any irony that “Evidence is a patriarchal construct“ which does not help any attempts they might make to dissuade observers that their “Listen and Believe“ mantra is very much cult-like.
So here is where I finally put the challenge to opponents of GamerGate. Many will right now be shocked or “triggered“ to realise that a GamerGate sympathiser is in fact not stuck in a basement (They don’t really exist much here in the UK) but is in fact working in an educational establishment supporting the learning experience of young adults which I'm sure they find “problematic“.
Now as keen as they will be to call my employer and claim that I am every evil under the sun and demand I be fired ala Tim Hunt, I suggest they don’t for two reasons. First, I have already had two meetings with management over my support of GamerGate, they are supportive of my views.
This was done in preparation for meeting my constituent MP in July as I figured those who were Anti GamerGate then might try and harm my livelihood and yes you read correctly, I spoke to my MP about the demonisation of GamerGate supporters in the media after seeing two supporters of GamerGate claim on social media that they were going to attempt to take their own lives. The Anti side do not have exclusive access to Left Leaning, Female Politicians.
If the Anti side attempt to sully my name to my employers, the claims will either be ignored because they already know it is not true, or they will pass the complaint onto me in case I wish to invoke those infamous UK Defamation laws, or if the college believes their name is in danger of being besmirched they will make inquires on the same said laws or even possibly the Malicious Communications Act 1988.
Secondly, there will be no need to risk jail time in your attempt to destroy my livelihood because I am in fact going to gift you an open goal with my challenge if you can complete it. Based on Chris von Csefalvay’s statistical analysis, the best educated hypothesis is that GamerGate supporter’s numbers are rounded to be 100,000 people. For the Anti Gamergate statement to be true, that the majority of the hashtag for this whole year is nothing but harassing and doxing women, then 51,000 accounts on Twitter will have to be identified as doing nothing but harassing and doxing.
For perspective, Chris von Csefalvay came to a conclusion of 0.2% he believed was harassment only. That would be 200 accounts needed to be found to match that percentage, which of course is nowhere near the majority and I am sure that the opposition do not want to be likened to the sort of bigotry that says “Because this one Radical Islamist blew up a train, all Muslims are terrorists“!
However, if they can produced verifiable evidence of 51,000 Twitter accounts that have done nothing but harass and doxx, I will offer my resignation to my employer stating that I cannot realistically continue to be trusted to safeguard our students and for bringing down the reputation of the establishment as a result of supporting a hate group for a year.
There are some requirements to meet the 51,000 mark however. First, don’t just give me a list of account names from a Block Bot. That doesn't show me anything other than a list someone has decided to generate to help people with more burying heads in the sand. Plus considering that at one point Kentucky Fried Chicken ended up on a block list, without any reference to GamerGate made, that list’s trustworthiness is about zero!
For every name that you are putting on the list has to come with evidence of a section of tweets proving that the account is a GamerGate supporter and that they are mostly harassing or doxing people. Sorry, despite what may have been said recently at a UN Women’s conference, criticising someone making hypocritical statements, logical fallacies, lacking or refusing to provide evidence or citations for arguments or mocking statement/arguments made using sarcasm, parody or memes does not count as harassment in rationality let alone the law. Threats of physical harm counts as harassment.
Second, an account on the list will be disqualified if found that the account is in fact the common problem of a third party troll and I am referring the true definition of a troll here which is someone saying anything to rile up anyone and everyone, not someone who questions your assertions. If the account is only 6 months old maximum with less than 500 tweets, zero following count, low favourite numbers, that is a troll account made just to troll. If an account is found attacking both anti and pro GamerGate and anything else that is trending, that is also deemed a troll account and won’t count.
So there you have it Anti GamerGate, here is your chance to not only prove that the majority of GamerGate is actually harassment but you also get the chance to end the career of a supporter. Since I am what you call working to lower middle class, losing my job would mean I would become homeless and destitute within a month or two, which seems like a fitting punishment for someone promoting a hate group does it not?
Oh, you feel uncomfortable possibly making someone working class drop into poverty? Well if it makes you feel any better, you have never had any conscience or cared about that before! That is the point of all this though. I am willing to put my head on the block of the guillotine and I am daring you Anti GamerGate, Social (Media) Justice Warriors to pull the string. Because then you might finally realise and come to terms with what you are and the rest of the world can finally get to see who you really are.
Although I am sure that some of you will be quite content to do that while telling the rest of the “peasants“ watching that they can eat cake.