I’ve been following the GamerGate controversy for a couple of months now and to be perfectly honest, my opinion about the movement has swung back and forth. GamerGate is supposed to be a leaderless consumer revolt against unethical video game journalism. That’s something I can support. The problem is that too many people in the GamerGate movement seem fixated on things that have nothing to do with unethical video game journalism. A whole lot of calories are being burned in the name of GamerGate raging against feminists and so-called “Social Justice Warriors”, not unethical video game journalists.
For example, a prominent GamerGate blogger recently had their website shut down by their hosting provider because they published an article written by someone else that contained photos of someone’s home, a female game developer who has been a vocal GamerGate critic, and according to her, someone forced to flee her home because of death threats from supporters of GamerGate.
The article called into question the claim that she ever fled her home.
The article’s author obtained the address of the game developer from one of the death threat posted on Twitter. The person posting the threat included the game developer’s home address. The author then used the address to search Google Maps for photo’s of the game developer’s house, published those photos, and attempted to compare them to photos pulled from a YouTube video posted earlier by the game designer herself. Then, the author tried to compare these photos to photos from interviews with the game designer, interviews where she stated that she was forced to flee her home because of death threats.
The implication from the article was that the game designer was lying about fleeing her home.
Personally, I could care less if she lied. Not really. It doesn’t matter to me. I fail to see how she is important to GamerGate. She’s not a journalist. She doesn’t work for a gaming website accusing of unethical behavior. None of the interviews where she claimed to have left her home in fear were even done by gaming journalists. She created a terrible looking video game and she tweets derogatory comments about GamerGate and the people who support it. I fail to see how posting photos of her home does anything to further the cause of eradicating unethical behavior from gaming journalism.
To most people, when you publish photos of someone’s home, especially someone who has received death threats, you look like a stalker. When you engage in things like this in the name of your movement, and the rest of your movement fails to condemn your actions, the entire movement looks bad.
As long as things like this happen in the name of GamerGate, the movement will never be taken seriously.