A Formal Apology: GamerGate

The first time I posted about GamerGate I was furious. I had seen harassment, sexism, and multiple other things along those lines expressed by “pro-GamerGate” people.  While that was some time ago, it’s time for me to apologize for how I behaved.

Let’s give you a brief history of my political standpoint.  I’m not going to preach my beliefs, only share them so you can understand the point of view I have.  Nearly a year ago, my girlfriend found her voice in feminism.  I didn’t really have a voice at all, just some general beliefs.  She came to me with these revelations of what feminism was and  what it fought for.  It was one of the first times (among many since) that I said to myself “This makes sense.”  So I became a feminist too, because everything it had to offer made sense to me.

Fast forward a few months to #GamerGate where I constantly was seeing sexism and harassment in the form of tweets and comments.  Well, that’s what the game sites would have me believe anyways, but more on that in a moment.  I blindly started hating the very instance of #GamerGate in my feed.   I blindly followed the voices of those who shared my opinions, something I don’t like others doing.  In other words, I became a hypocrite, and only now do I see the errors in my ways.

Time passed and I honestly forgot about GamerGate.  I went on with my life, playing games and cheering every time I saw pro-women in video games, all of which I still do to this day.  It wasn’t until recently that I found /r/KotakuInAction while attempting to find a new sub to browse.  The way I found it was how I discovered my hypocritical ways: Subreddit of the Day.  The mods of the sub were interviewed by a writer, Xavier, for Subreddit of the Day, and Xavier shared a long story about himself and how he feels about KotakuInAction and GamerGate.  He outlined what GamerGate really is and discussed the bias in journalism that I had heard GamerGate supporters claim they stood against.

So I started reading and watching videos to try and discover the un-biased truth, something I should be doing as a journalist.  I even started a thread in KotakuInAction to share my story, much like I’m sharing it with you now., in hopes of getting a better picture of what GamerGate really is.

GamerGate is a movement that stands for ethics in the gaming industry.  What does that mean?  Having the gaming industry be transparent and for it to strive as a healthy industry because the people involved in GamerGate only love the games they play.  Nowhere in their mission do they stand for harassment or sexism or anything that the media had painted it out to be.  The same media they are fully against, who would have guessed it huh?

But what about the sexism that was reported and shared?  Was it really just the media molding their own story?

Yes and no.  It’s hard to find the truth but from what I’ve been able to understand and from my Reddit discussions, trolls rose to the occasion and the journalists who were being called out used their journals to re-write the story in a sense.  Did harassment happen?  Yeah.  Were fingers wrongly pointed?  Yeah.  Are there extremists in every social cause? Yeah.

I guess the real thing to take away from this is that I blindly hated what I didn’t understand because of the lies I was being fed and the way the news was warped to cleverly point the finger at those who stand against it.  Just make sure you understand the issues you stand against and make sure you find the un-biased sources behind it instead of just outright hating for no damn reason.  That’s where I went wrong, and for that I’m sorry to anyone I offended that may somehow read this article.

So to wrap it up, I can fully say I am for GamerGate because the things I previously wrote were just plain wrong.  The movement calls for ethics in gaming and I fully stand for ethics, equality, and all of that awesome stuff.  I’m just upset it took me so long to understand it.

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