Open Letter About #GamerGate To All Media:
Deciding how to start this letter was almost as challenging as trying to figure out how to get you to read it, but I am going to try.
I am writing this letter on behalf of myself, as a “member” of #GamerGate. I quote that, because we do not actually have members, just supporters of a movement we choose to be a part of. You, media, have chosen to label us as members. Every time you write about #GamerGate, you speak of the atrocities committed, either by the group as a whole, or by “members” of the group.
That is actually what I am writing to you about. I do not write this letter out of anger, or retaliation, but instead out of concern. You completely misrepresent what GG(#GamerGate) is actually about, and in the process, you do exactly that which we are fighting against. It’s about ethics. Tired of hearing that line yet? I don’t blame you, even I am almost tired of hearing it, but that does not make it any less true. It is about ethical and honest journalism. It started as a desire for ethical and honest journalism in the gaming industry, but I think we have learned since the start of GG that it goes beyond just that. We need ethical and honest journalism period. GG has been vilified in the media, either for ‘shock’ factor or simply due to poor fact checking on the part of the journalist. GG is not misogynistic. GG is not about game sexism. GG is not about any kind of sexism actually. We have been forced to take part in defending ourselves against such rumors thanks to a few people who told some big lies for their own personal gain. Never at any point have “members” of GG been a part of harassing and oppressing women or women’s rights in the name of GG, or at least none that I have seen or been shown evidence of. There may be people who claim to represent GG that do these things, but they don’t represent GG. It is very easy to tell who is really a supporting member of GG. Here’s how: Ask them what GG is about. If they say anything other than journalistic ethics = not GG supporter. Don’t misunderstand, some of us have taken up other causes necessary in defending GG, like the battle against the sexist and misogynistic stereotypes that GG has been labeled with. We have had too. We never lose sight of the true goal of GG though. Ethics, ethics, ethics.
I suppose at this time I should point out, incase it wasn’t already known, that I am a woman. I am an active feminist woman who has been gaming for nearly three decades. I have seen it all in the gaming world. Yes, in games there will always be some immature people who want to throw out insults to you based on your gender, your race, your sexual preference or your abysmal K/D ratio. For every one person spouting their hate, there are 100 more who don’t. Video games or real life, you will encounter that type of person in both worlds. They do not now, nor have they ever represented the whole, not in life or in video games.
Aside from the fact that GG has been grossly misrepresented in the media, the media’s handling of GG has caused a major set back in the gaming community. For decades, we have fought to be seen as more than just immature white teen boys in their parent’s basement. Gaming has been a big part of my life for my entire life. That image of a “gamer” has never fit me. That image of a gamer has never fit my husband. My husband is Chinese, and he did not grow up in America, but he grew up loving many of the same video games as I did. Today one of our favorite hobbies is to cuddle up on the couch and play games together. We have both been long time fans of the Halo and Gears of War series, because they offer fantastic split screen co-op. At the risk of sounding pathetic, I would say that gaming is even a big part of our marriage. Our love for gaming was part of what brought us together.
Due to the inaccuracies about GG that have been painted in the media, not only do we have to suffer a constant assault from “anti-GGs” online, we now have to watch as major T.V. shows help to spread the lies and further hinder our progress as a community. I would also like to point out at this time that I have NEVER been harassed by a supporter of GG, even before I myself became a supporter. Since becoming a supporter of GG, I have faced a LARGE amount of harassment. All of it has come from the anti-GG “members” who claim to be against GG because it is a “sexist, misogynistic hate group”. How ironic that they attack me for being, and this is a quote from one of those anti-GGs, a “stupid, dumb, white bitch”.
To sum up what I am trying to say here: #GamerGate is not a sexist, misogynistic hate group. It IS about ethics. Media is perpetuating a very inaccurate stereotype, please stop. A large portion of the gaming community is neither white nor male. A large portion of the GG community is neither white nor male. Please, please, please I beg of you, stop helping to spread the lies and damage a community that matters so very much to me. Please do not believe things said by those who are just seeking attention, money or some other form of personal gain. Fact check. I will say this again, fact check. Get BOTH sides of a story, as should ALWAYS be done in good journalism. Please do not ignore the women and minorities of the GG community, the way several of our opposition groups have been conveniently doing lately. I suppose I can’t blame them though. It would be hard to say you are the victim of a misogynistic hate group filled with white males, if you had to acknowledge all the non-white non-male members of it.
I really don’t know what else I can say here. At this point I can only hope that you please consider my words carefully and that they have an impact on how you choose to portray #GamerGate in the future. Thank you for taking the time to hear my concerns.