A movement called Gamergate has been slowly building momentum online. It claimed, at least when it started, that it challenged ethics in the gaming industry.
The movement started when a man named Eron Gjoni posted a rant about how his former girlfriend had allegedly lied and cheated on him. His former girlfriend, Zoe Quinn, is an independent game developer and one of the men she is alleged to have cheated with, Nathan Grayson, is a video-game journalist.
Essentially, the movement suggests that video-game journalism is full of corruption, something which needs to be changed.
Whether video-game journalism is corrupt or not, Gamergate is only making things worse.
Critics of the movement suggest that it is actually hurting the gaming community rather than helping it. Felicia Day, an actress, geek icon and gamer took to her own blog to come out against the movement, saying that she was afraid to speak out for her own safety. Only an hour later, Day's personal phone number was posted to the comments section of her blog post.
"I have allowed a handful of anonymous people to censor me," said Day. "They have forced me, out of fear, into seeing myself a potential victim."
The whole situation highlights the world of gaming and the consequences of those who speak out against the gaming community. Brianna Wu, a game developer who criticized attacks on women by gamers, fled her own home after her personal address was posted in a chat forum.
There are a number of reasons that Gamergate is a movement that needs to die. First of all, the movement is largely a mob of angry young males, and an angry mob of any kind is never good at pushing an agenda. Also, most members of the Gamergate movement are able to remain anonymous, able to hide behind screen names and fake profiles. Ironically, however, this anonymity has also led to more fighting between members.
Another reason that Gamergate needs to stop is the fact that it is associated with violence, death threats and forcing female developers out of their homes. Whether these threats were made by one person or not is irrelevant. The Gamergate movement has spent far more energy denying a connection with threats and violence than it has condemning them.
While there are some on both sides of the fence who likely want to have a mature and enlightening conversation about journalism ethics, Gamergate is not the way to go about it. The Gamergate label is itself, ironically, associated with corruption and violence.
While Gamergate supporters may have thrown around the word "ethics," what they really seem to mean is "things that we don't agree with." Not only that, but these things seem really only to do with progressive viewpoints that are often pro-feminist.
While the Gamergate controversy will likely rage on for at least a few more weeks, here's to hoping that it won't.