Tobold's Blog
Monday, February 13, 2023
Gamergate 2nd edition

In 2014/2015 there was a huge online battle in the culture wars known under the name Gamergate. People usually don't remember what the fight was about, because any discussion of arguments was quickly overshadowed by the abysmal behavior of the right-wing side. The whole thing just became a huge harassment campaign, which in the eyes of most of the audience invalidated any argument the trolls might have had.

Now in the wake of Hogwarts Legacy the same battle in the same culture war is flaring up again. Only that in this second edition Gamergate, it is the left-wing side that is using harassment and mobbing tactics. Outraged that their boycott of Hogwarts Legacy failed completely, and the game is breaking all sorts of sales records, the left-wing activists have started a campaign to harass any streamer on YouTube and Twitch that is covering the game. The targets are mostly completely unpolitical, they are just typical videogame streamers who are playing the game on stream. The streamers aren't doing anything that could remotely be described as "right-wing", they are just streaming a game, which in itself is full of progressive content and a diverse cast. But because the game is remotely connected to the books of J.K. Rowling, and J.K. Rowling is politically active against trans rights in specific instances where those collide with women's rights, the activists feel justified to harass the streamers with very, very nasty comments. I've seen stuff like "I hope you see a loved one die this year" directed at one streamer, and in another stream one of the two streamers casting it broke down in tears as result from the harassment. Some left-wing activists designed a website where you could find "target" streamers that had dared to stream the game for harassment, although that site was later taken down.

You might faintly remember that in the original Gamergate there was a lot of talk about "game journalist integrity". This is the point where the second edition is starting to flare up, because, honestly, there are some pretty shameful examples of "game journalism" surrounding Hogwarts Legacy. Wired had the review for Hogwarts Legacy written by their sex toy reviewer, and gave the game a 1 out of 10, with the whole review being just about J.K. Rowling and not giving any information about the game. Aggregator sites like Metacritic then rightfully refused to add that "review" to the critics review scores. Still the user score is higher than the critic score, because a lot of other reviews deducted political points and added some anti-Rowling disclaimers to their review, in order to stave off the progressive trolls. Other game journalists just fan the flames, and are trying to convert the outrage into more views for their sites. It's all pretty pathetic.

In the end of course nobody will remember any argument about what exactly the role of game journalism is, how political games can or should be, and whether one should separate the opinions of the author from his work. All that will be remembered is the online harassment and bad behavior of the trolls. I believe that this is the sort of "political activism" that hurts your side more than it helps.

The issue with the far left (and remember I'm fully a liberal here) is that pushing these view points is A) very unpopular as most liberals don't share those viewpoints and B) turns people away from liberalism.

Asmongold recently reacted to some news pieces describing how he was being "harrassed" for playing Hogwarts Legacy. His audience being so large he wasn't even aware he was being harrassed because the idiots doing it were such a minority they weren't even noticed by him or the rest of his chat. He then proceeded to see one of his harrassers was a Twitter account with 7 likes.

When "Journalists" write articles citing Twitter accounts with insignificant numbers of views/engagement are they truly reporting on things happening in the gaming space or trying to push their own agenda? That question ties back to the supposed argument of the original gamergate which was ethics in journalism.

The answer of course is that 99% of news media is pushing some agenda whether the author intends it as such or it just reinforces the status quo (which itself is a conservative agenda). The game journalist space just happens to fall far enough on the left side of the spectrum that they at times push some radical left viewpoints.
Correct me if I am wrong bot IIRC Gamergate originally started over a woman who allegedly had some relationship with a game journalist who favored her games or something? And because she was a thorn in the side of the very right leaning gamers with too much machismo and not enough sense it just sort of exploded into an industry wide kerfuffle over which the original disagreement was buried under millions of tons of angry crap....?

But yeah, you are spot on that this seems to be happening now with Hogwartsgate. The faux-liberals on the left who have adopted the tactics of the enemy and forgotten that you can only be the good guy if you act like one are revealing how far they have fallen from grace in this moment. And yeah, I am a liberal and progressive, but the moment you start trying to control the message through the three Bs: bannings, burnings or boycotts, I think you've made a deal with the proverbial devil, there. If you can't be recognized as different from those you stand against, then you have lost your own fight.
I doubt that it's left wing activists actually doing the harassment. Some people just enjoy bullying others and this is a goldmine of an excuse for them.
I doubt that it's left wing activists actually doing the harassment.

I don't think that they carry a badge or something. A troll using left wing arguments on the internet is indistinguishable from a left wing activist harrassing people. I'd actually argue they are the same thing.
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