I mentioned #GamerGate briefly in my last post, and no doubt some readers were thinking “wait, that’s still going on?” (For those of you saying “I still have no idea what that is”, check out this piece I wrote way back when to boil it down to the bare necessities.)
Yes #GamerGate continues on unabated, having evolved into a full blown Internet subculture fighting on the front lines of the culture war. Their latest effort to reestablish some sense of ethics in the media was launching deepfreeze.it, a site dedicated to keeping track of the conflicts of interest and various shenanigans of the gaming press.
Those shenanigans not only include outright ethics violations, but also attempts to force industry players to conform to certain ideologies, like the constant harping on Ubisoft for not including enough female characters in their Assassin’s Creed series of video games. Last year one of the biggest controversies in gaming was the revelation that Assassin’s Creed Unity would include multiplayer, but not a female character model. After claiming they cut the female character for budgetary reasons, Ubisoft was lambasted in the gaming press for their excuses.
But now Ubisoft has finally added a playable female character to share the lead role in Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, so everyone’s thrilled they’re making their games more diverse, right? Haha no, of course not. Here’s Edward Smith at the International Business Times asking “Is Ubisoft exploiting feminism for easy PR?”
The announcement this week that the new Assassin’s Creed, entitled Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, would feature a playable female as well as male protagonist smacks, to me, not of an industry that genuinely cares about women, but one that is prepared to use them for the sake of publicity.
The fact that “female characters will be playable” is a press release at all – that Ubisoft, the game’s developer, felt it pertinent to drip release that information – makes me feel as if women, especially in this case, have become a cynical kind of marketing tactic, deployed to whip up online chatter between GamerGate sexists, and make the rest of us normal people simply feel a bit warm and fuzzy.
Proving once again that appeasing the perpetually offended doesn’t work. That’s something Micheal Koretzky from the Society of Professional Journalists seems to be learning as well. He decided he would not be deterred by concerns about hacking and threats like his colleagues, and he has taken it upon himself to set up a debate between the two sides of #GamerGate in order to hash this all out once and for all. Unfortunately, like so many before him, he’s discovering that nobody opposing #GamerGate is the least bit interested in a discussion of any kind, despite the fact that he asked the #GamerGate folks to publicly denounce harassment (again) to drown out the hateful voices supposedly spooking the opposition.
In fact the opposition isn’t even interested in allowing gamers to get together for drinks in the real world. When Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos and AEI’s Christina Hoff Sommers hosted a #GamerGate meetup at a bar in Washington D.C., the bar was bombarded with demands they not host the “hate group.” When that didn’t work, somebody called in a bomb threat. Our friend Allan Bourdius of Their Finest Hour was there, and you can read his account of the events here.
Not that it’s deterred #GamerGate in the slightest. They’ve planned meetups across the country in response, one of which will be held in LA near the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). That will be an especially interesting one to watch because not only is E3 one of the biggest video game-related events of the year, but as the Daily Caller reported, a pro-#GamerGate group already got kicked out of and banned from a convention for nebulous reasons. Then when they decided to meet fans in a public space nearby, the convention even called the cops on them. The group is now suing, because #GamerGate supporters just won’t back down.
The Right, and especially the GOP, could do well to learn from #GamerGate’s example, as they have spent almost 9 months now driving the far left absolutely crazy with their inability to be broken, bullied, or even budged.