I seriously don’t understand this one narrative thread in Gamergate about how it’s giving “voice to the voiceless”.
This is the Internet. Make a blog. Pitch articles. By definition, you have a voice.
But let’s look at this idea of clutching the megaphone of Gamergate.
There’s no denying they are being heard: almost every major media outlet has covered it, from the New York Times to the Boston Globe to the Guardian. None of it favourably, all of it looking at the toxicity and abuse that is its outer, wider, flailing parts.
(The spine of morality is there for some, but again – it’s hidden, propping the rest of it up and sustaining it as the reason it can push on. I really do suspect that those who have moral goals are why it continues with such strength and without self-reflection for some.)
In terms of voice, news outlets that don’t really have a stake in gaming culture, are listening to this voice; they’re not pleased because they’ve looked wider; they’ve examined the environment of women in male-dominated spaces and, as always, find it awful. You’ve been given a voice and that voice is one yelling about maintaining a status quo that makes it unsafe, toxic and unfriendly to many women and other marganlised folk. Ask them.
Ask Brianna Wu. Ask Anita Sarkeesian. Ask women who are studying game development but are reconsidering their career now. Ask me about taking on Ubisoft and Nintendo, being yelled at by major conserative websites, while all these keyboard warriors take their magnifying glasses to indie dev’s sex lives.
You have a voice, Gamergate. You don’t get to complain about how we’re hearing the wrong voice, when the choir has reached its volume level and you’re trying to do a solo. You don’t get to dictate what comes out the megaphone you’re holding along with a thousand other hands and a thousand other voices.
And seriously, if you want to do a moral solo, join me in examining what marketing does to developers; help us make it better and safer for women and other marginalised groups; this is what I try do. This is what others do. Why help hold up the poisoned megaphone in the hope your goals make it through, when the rest of us – who share moral goals with you – need your voice alongside ours devoid of that toxic frame?