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I guess I just like liking things

I’ve called myself “Gamer” for a long time now, but recent events have made me hesitant to even use the word anymore. Talking about how it all started just seems to give it power, but let me sum things up as I understand them:

  1. People made some accusations which may or may not have been true
  2. [lot of other things happen here, but it is difficult to suss it all out]
  3. Now people are making death and rape threats, releasing personal information about those they’re attacking (“doxxing”), and creating an environment of fear and hate which is driving people (mostly women) not only from their jobs but also their homes.

(Not completely understanding step 2 there doesn’t matter much when people are threatening to rape and kill other people over it. Knowing that’s happening is enough reason to know it’s dangerous and stupid.)

One of the main targets has been Anita Sarkeesian, producer of a series of videos entitled “Tropes vs Women in Video Games.” An article in the New York Times today talks about her recent decision to pull out of a talk at Utah State University because of death threats.

To borrow a phrase: I can’t even.

I cannot wrap my head around this, folks. I love gaming and have for longer than many of you have been alive. Never once has my love of gaming been threatened by someone else’s love for a different kind of game, or a different system, or writing about games, or anything. Playing games is not a zero-sum situation: I do not gain any more satisfaction because someone else has less. I do not understand the thought process that says “I disagree with that person, therefore I must destroy them.”

Do not misunderstand: I know that these kinds of people exist, I just don’t know why they exist. Why is it so important to bully women out of videogame culture? How does this help you at all? I literally cannot understand it at all. When you threaten death and rape and financial ruin and everything else, you have given up any hope of ever being considered “in the right.” These are not the acts of civilized people, these are the ploys of thugs who deserve the full brunt of the law. I hope every last one of them is found out, shamed, and punished.

I am very saddened for these women who have been threatened and I am frustrated by a lack of power on the issue. I don’t know what else I can personally do to change things other than to draw this little bit of attention to it. More words thrown into the “discussion” doesn’t ever seem to stem the flow of vile, reprehensible behavior.  It’s easy to just not say or do anything but I am reminded to do the two things I always can:

  1. Be mindful of how I treat others, whether it’s game-related or not. Respecting others is easy and it’s vital.
  2. Don’t stand for those around me being jerkfaces. (Even as I say this, I know it’s not that easy: those who speak out against the idiots get targeted themselves.  Be careful.)

Follow the tag #StopGamerGate2014 on Twitter for more voices against.

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