BOOM! Goes The Dynamite

So I did two previous posts about #GamerGate, and it was time to change the subject. Then BOOM! Intel goes and blows up the Internet.

Back in the day, there was Leigh Alexander. And she wrote an article for gaming media site Gamasutra. And it looked exactly like this:

Gamers are over

You can read a bit of it there on the image, and the rest of it here, but it said (in essence) “Gamers are dead, and good riddance!” After all, gamers are “obtuse shitslingers” whose “only main [sic] cultural signposts” are “Have money. Have women. Get a gun and then a bigger gun.” In short, abuse. And pretty vitriolic and one-sided abuse.

And that same day, in a coincidence so outrageous it staggers the imagination, this happened:

Death of gamers

You might not see the dates on those without squinting, but oddly enough each one is either Aug. 28 or Aug. 29. Again, oddly enough, each one bangs on about the same theme: the death of traditional gamers.

There were a dozen or so of these missives, posted at most major gaming media sites. And nearly all of them were as vitriolic and dismissive of gamers as Alexander’s. Thus (after some events recounted in the already-linked piece) was born #GamerGate, a full-on rebellion against a gaming media that was colluding to abuse and dismiss the very people it depended on for its existence.

This is the point at which you’re going to want some kind of rational explanation. “Why,” you’ll say, “why did all these gaming journalists decide to go feral at exactly the same time and attack their audience in vulgar, condescending, and above all personal terms?”

I have no rational explanation to give you. It was, and remains, utterly mysterious to me. (Not to mention bizarre.) And yes, it was personal. Here, again, is some evidence. A gamer complains about her “‘Gamers’ are over” article, and Leigh says:

By6TtpsCAAAomaC

This isn’t just insulting your customers wholesale, it’s insulting them retail. Personally. One by one. In alphabetical order, for all I know. Bowerick Wowbagger approves.

The odd thing is, most gaming media figures have joined her. But there’s a problem, and it’s one I can’t solve: what’s their end game? What do they think they’re accomplishing by insulting the people who provide them with paychecks?

As I see it:

Attack customers -> they leave. No customers, no clicks. No clicks, no ads. No ads, no money. No money, no site.

Is it really all that complicated? You don’t punch your customers in the face repeatedly, and expect them to remain your customers. Doing so anyway is a recipe for bankruptcy. (And is sheer lunacy.)

Back to #GamerGate. All during this imbroglio, people have suggested boycotting the sites and boycotting the sponsors. Which happened. And, for over a month, while traffic to several sites, including Gamasutra, has dropped, not much has gone down on the sponsor front.

Until yesterday.

Take a look at the Gamasutra cap above. See the three ads? One is from the Vancouver Film School. Ignore it. See the other two, in blue? They’re from Intel.

Intel. They make north of $50 billion a year. Their chips are inside most PC’s. Hell, their chips are inside every single Apple. They are the big dog of the computer industry.

And they pulled their adds from Gamasutra, because of #GamerGate. Evidence? Evidence!

Intel Drops

The move by Intel was later confirmed by Gamasutra. And the ‘Net went wild.

Note what this is not. This is not an endorsement of #GG, or its goals or means.

Doesn’t matter, it doesn’t have to be. All #GG needs is for Intel to leave, not agree. So long as advertisers pull ads from Gamasutra, #GG wins.

And this is a big, big win. Gamasutra, promulgator of one of the most venomous anti-gamer pieces posted, takes a big hit, direct in the wallet. BOOM! #GamerGate, long dismissed as being a small, meaningless, fringe group of obsessed reactionaries gains credibility, both as a movement with juice and as a group of reasonable, concerned consumers.

They contacted Intel, and communicated their concerns. Intel investigated, decided it didn’t want to be seen endorsing Leigh Alexander’s piece, and a $50 billion dollar a year company decided that #GamerGate was important enough to listen to.

If the number of complaints were tiny, no action. If the complaints were baseless, no action. If this was just a tempest in a teacup that would soon blow over, no action.

But they took action. And other advertisers will take notice. And, hopefully, so will other gaming media sources.

Gamers don’t want to kill these news sites. (Or didn’t, before. The more abuse they absorb, the more gamers change their minds.) They want transparency, neutrality, and a modicum of respect.

There is no good end-game here for Kotaku, Polygon, and the rest. If they lose, they lose their audience, advertisers, and likely their business. Gamers get their news elsewhere. Nothing good there.

Suppose a different outcome. Suppose Intel is the only advertiser who takes action (and I doubt they will be), so #GamerGate gets frustrated and goes away. Suppose, in short, that they “win”. In that case, they just lose their audience. Which means, eventually, their advertisers, and likely their business. And gamers get their news elsewhere.

“A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.”

Yet not only did they play, the gaming media doubled down each and every time they had an opportunity to back off. They kept raising and raising the stakes, utterly confident they would win, utterly confident gamers would soon lose interest, utterly confident #GamerGate was a tiny little group of bitter old white men trapped in their parents’ basements.

Two days ago, many in #GamerGate was discouraged and a few were prophesying defeat. But that was two days ago. Yesterday Intel blew up the Internet, and a consumer rebellion got a shot of hope and a newfound credibility. Who knows what will happen tomorrow?

[Caps courtesy various #GamerGate participants on Twitter, chiefly @FartToContinue.]

132 thoughts on “BOOM! Goes The Dynamite”

  1. Gamers are crazy, and you don’t want nunna that stuff on ya. Living Tar Babies.

    They decided to ignore that. Not a smart decision…

    And Welcome to the Biggest, Baddest Blog in existence!

  2. You’re right, not enough numbers so not 1337. Though, based on who they’re blaming, I think it’s technically PSbro.

    In any case, a big, bad Welcome from the Biggest, Baddest Blog in existence! Enjoy your stay!

  3. Do not compare SJW with a “push to make Christian games”. The SJW are cultural marxists and wants to disrupt the culture and subvert it. That’s why they try to push “gamers are dead”. They dont want more games, they want to change the audience even if it has to destroy many of them. They’r doing it for the “cause”.

  4. I think your missing the point. He’s not saying the two are utterly identical. He’s saying that when a developer values some message more than the game, it’s probably gonna suck.

    Doesn’t matter what the message is. It could be a Dodge Neon or Doritos or anything else, and it’d still suck.

    In any case, Welcome to the House of Geekery, the Biggest Baddest Blog in existence.

    And check the House Rules, up above, esp. Rule 2 and 3.

    Cheers!

  5. “Would that include bootleg VHS tapes of the Holiday Special too?”

    Only if one of my black market contacts ordered it special. (And maybe not even then.)

    I hate people shoving their politics in my entertainment. It’s like sticking a dookie on a filet mignon and calling it food. Well, it was — before you stuck you dookie on it!

  6. 80’s were the golden age of action movies. And Cock Rock, aka Hair Metal.

    I still listen to Poison, and anyone who doesn’t like that can punch themselves right in the face. (Also like Saints & Sinners, to go real obscure.)

  7. It might suggest a little slowdown in reading speed, but nothing bad. We did have an actual rocket scientist link here, Rand Simberg. That’s as close as we got, though.

  8. Yes, but we held an editorial board and decided I had to tone down the F-Bombs. When serious sites are excerpting you (Ed Driscoll, over at PJM) and rocket scientists are dropping by, half-a dozen f-bombs look bad. (That’s how many the “Epic Shitstorm” article had before I edited it.)

  9. The one’s I’ve had to talk to certainly hate being “nice”. It’s the biggest pack of trolls I’ve ever seen, and I used to do Usenet back in the days of alt.kibology.

  10. Message B4 making a great game (or book or film or song or whatever) means the work will almost always be crap.

    ‘course, many SJW devs can only make crap anyway, judging by what they put out. A half-assed choose your own adventure wouldn’t be very compelling even if it weren’t smug and dreary.

  11. You see , they have a political agenda to subvert the “masses”. It’s not about profit, it’s about control. They dont care if the gamer community shrinks , as long as they gain political control over it. That’s the answer to your “Why are they doing this?!”.

  12. I understand your POV, and respect your passion. You have well made your point.

    At this point, I’m going to ask, please, that you let the matter lie. There’s lots to talk about at the House, and 2 years of daily updates make for endless amounts of Geekery to revel in.

    Cool?

  13. It is one thing to want a “Christian game” or even a “Feminist game” as in more games that’s ok, but the SJW/Culture marxist wants ONLY their games. That’s why they push “gamers are dead”. That’s a huge difference.

    They dont care if it sucks and they lose money and shrinking the audience , they want control.

    When they manage to shut down debate even on 4chan you should realize how totalitarian and widespread they are. This is evil people.

  14. You say you don’t understand why they attack “their” base.

    You cant effectively fight an enemy you dont understand.

    I and others give you a logical “Occam’s razor” explanation exactly why they do this , because we’ve seen it in every other cultural institution and community.

    You say “I dont want to know”.

  15. “Nice” is a concept the SJW claim to worship, but they themselves don’t have to follow. They don’t like us non-PC folk because we aren’t nice, dammit, but back one into a corner with reasoned arguments (and a little sarcasm) and true colors are revealed. Scratch a SJW, find pure hatred.

  16. No, I’m saying that further discussion of the subject, in the direction you’re going, is off topic at the House.

    I’ve asked politely, now I’m going to ask impolitely: any more posts along this lines are unwelcome, and I’ll be forced to go digging into the mod tools afforded me by WordPress.

    I want people to read the blog, and be entertained. I don’t want political flamewars. Period.

    Mind Rule 2, or face Mod action. Thank you.

  17. Aye… except it’s my experience that those who try to argue for a Big Brother state almost always think they will either be in control of it or benefit from it somehow. There’s precious little realization that it doesn’t work out that way. History is clear on that point, but somehow it doesn’t sink in.

  18. Seems like that’s the point of this whole kerfluffle. Journalists (of all stripes, this event is just a bit more obvious) are more interested in pushing politics than in sharing facts. It’s nice to see gamers rightfully call them to task.

  19. This is pretty close to the (wholly subjective and arbitrary) Rule 2 line. You didn’t mention any political parties or people, which is gentlemanly and to be complemented. Hence the lack of brutal, cruel, and ruthless mod censorship.

    Also, I happen to agree. I don’t take political sides in public, but I hate authoritarian rule with a passion. Freedom is precious and those who squander it deserve the consequences.

  20. I think that’s the thing… they don’t see their job as reporting on games. They are provocateurs, brave truth tellers in a sea of… whatever they don’t agree with.

  21. Aye, I’m trying not to get political about it… and really, the impulse for Statism isn’t confined to any party or politician anyway.

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