Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Fine You Win. Gamergate Actually Does Matter Goddamn Us Everyone

In September of 2014, I became the maddest I had ever been in my life. Even now if you search my Twitter account you might be able to find some of that insanity. It was during the middle of Gamergate which I strongly opposed.

I eventually backed off because I was angry about other stuff in my life and Gamergate made it so I couldn't just zone out and do one of the things I do to blow off steam when I'm about to blow my top and while I disagreed with Gamergate that had very little to do with the actual arguments being tossed around. In short I was mad but (mostly) not at the stupidity that was or I guess still is Gamergate.

That realization came when I was arguing about their use of ad-block to view content from writers without giving ad revenue to them. Although I shouldn't be I am generally ambivalent regarding ad-block. There are enough malicious ads on the internet that will screw up a computer that even I use it. I mean I white-list a bunch of stuff but I use it.

Nope what had me hopping mad was Gamergate's undervaluation of the work that writers and journalists do, and considering that yes I would like to make a career out of that, somebody telling me that no matter how hard I work at it or how good I get at it nobody should have to pay me for it hit a particular nerve especially since those same arguments have been made by people in my life who shall not be named.

I don't like it when people tell me that my life's work is joke.

Not only that but that realization made me believe at the time that spending so much time on what was essentially a big giant argument about the bleepy bloopy games was kind of pointless. There was a pretty interesting election in my district. I wanted to work more hours to save up for Christmas presents for my family. Why was I wasting so much damn time and brain power on a Twitter war.

As Trump comes closer and closer to the GOP nomination I can't help but feel I should have listened to the other less self-aware voice in my voice in my head telling me that Gamergate was just a front of a larger culture war that had somehow made it onto my front doorstep, right in my particular wheel house.

Political Correctness

I said some of this stuff in my Twitter feed but Bob (Moviebob) Chipman said it so much better in his videos in the immediate aftermath.  (By the way I forgot to say it during my Supergirl thingy but he also did a pretty impressive set of videos explaining her history)

That free speech is a two way street.

"My right to speak is also your right to tell me what I spoke was wrong, or stupid or offensive to you or to ask that I please not say it or reconsider saying it or even get a bunch of other people to shout about it until I've effectively drowned out."

That what is often called censorship in the political correctness debates is often nothing more vocalized disagreement, and sure it sometimes sucks that that vocalized disagreement can cause people to lose jobs or ruin relationships but it's also better than living in a make believe fantasy land where there is only one ideological, Marxian and political view point, where people who raise their hands and say, "hey this aspect of society bugs me" end up getting thier presses burned or worse are met with physical violence.

Particularly when it comes to Gamergate, and to a lesser extent the Sad Puppies we're talking about the age old argument that fictional media has somehow become a bastion of the left.  And that the tropes and messages of the right are being less and less heard. I don't know how to respond to that but on the other hand part of me feels the guys who would normally partake in this sort of culture war in the newspapers, talk shows and magazines may a bit out of their depth.

I grew up on video games, and fantasy novels and superheroes. These things have inherent meaning to me. I don't have to fake believing that Captain America is the American ideal, I don't have to fake believing that Game of Thrones shows incite into how politics actually work.  I don't have to fake believing that a video-game can be a political manifesto. I don't have to fake believing what anime manages to cross from east to west as hits says something about where the international community has cultural common ground.

I don't have to fake believing these things are or at least can be important in shaping how we think about the world we live in and as a consequence the decisions we make.

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