Thinking about gamergate and whatnot is easier when u cast the labels away.
A month and a half ago #GamerGate exploded into existence. A single figure at a centre of a spectacular controversy propagated a culture of hate, death threats and harassment just because information was unclear and far from satisfactory.
What keeps people searching for gamergate? What fuels it? Hate? That’s a inordinately long time to hate someONE, especially a figure which has garnered so much support as a result of her own victimization.
Ignorance? Clear the air then. Admit everything, because the line between private and public interest has already been utterly decimated. Is this a mindless crusade? Far from it if people can organize such an extended campaign of hating and oppression.
Today Intel decided to align themselves with feedback they’ve received from consumers, stating “We take feedback very seriously especially as it relates to contextually relevant content and parties” . Regardless of the shade you’re painting it, companies in the gaming industry are beginning to engage in the opinion exchange.
As if a new currency has just been invented, Intel bought into the impact that gamergate has had on the industry. This time, they chose to listen to the consumers, or the gamers if you will. What about the next time? Was this choice even correct? Who knows?
It is however very, very important to recognize that this effect was achieved through a unified email campaign, “Operation Disrespectful Nod”. We, as consumers have a mass power that can be exercised at will.
The time for passive use has already passed. People are literally affecting entire websites and the way they can act towards their audiences now.
I say that the audience now has power not to equate viewers to empowered individuals, but rather to suggest that the internet has reached a point where there must be some kind of narrative (and thus an empowering sense of belonging to your culture) that the users of the internet must have.
Gamergate creates this narrative and drives itself through the literal paper trail of notes it leaves behind. It makes gamers and non-gamers alike recognize something huge has happened, and it wasn’t some corporate fanfare that made it happen.
The sheer spontaneity spawning from a single blog post is not a hate-train, but the straw that broke the camel’s back. Why must the narrative continue? Because there isn’t one in the first place. “Online” is now a state of existing, to the point you have an entirely mutual identity as to when you are towards others in society.
The level of belonging and association to the virtual space has reached a limit that people will cling desperately to any form of narrative creation, harmful or otherwise.
Why perpetuate gamergate? Why even write about it? Because it’s time to know, and it’s time to realize that it has already changed the face of gaming. What used to be closed tests and perfect releases have given way to public betas and buggy, mass-tested releases.
This change reflects a very real phenomenon in gaming culture: the public domain has already merged with the private domain in gaming; any company or individual who expects they are working in an entirely “private” sector that works independently from the audience seriously needs to re-evaluate what they are thinking about.
The online handles, online persona are “real” online. They are as accountable as when a politician makes a racist statement, a mistaken phrase.
The popular have become leaders for a reason, and it’s damn time they better reflect those reasons, instead of turning around like some Shakespearean novel and decrying those that have put them into their popular positions.
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