Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on October 30, 2014 By Frogboy In Gaming

They say timing is everything.

I keep being told that #gamergate started as a harassment and threat campaign.  Maybe they’re right if you treat #gamergate as having started years ago when people under the guise of “Social Justice” started harassing and threatening people they didn’t like.  I don’t just speak of myself.  What is happening now in the gaming community has been building up for years. 

So let me be succinct: People have the growing, creeping feeling that “pull” and “politics” rather than merit are becoming the driving force of our society. They believe it’s infected the coverage of their hobby. And they’re now pushing back.


But let’s talk about bulling. Let’s make sure we understand each other:

Let me address those friends and colleagues who are vocally anti-GamerGate who have told me I need to be careful not to be associated with “GG”:

Don’t tell me that I must disassociate myself from #gamergate because it’s become a “harassment” movement when many of you personally witnessed the harassment, threats and hate I have been receiving for years on forums and social media that you knew was undeserved but did nothing about.  You didn’t say a word. You didn’t speak up. You just didn’t want to get involved.  Some of you participated in the very threads where I was being attacked and just looked the other way.

And mind you, I didn’t hold it against you that you didn’t want to step up and come to my defense.  I didn’t expect you to. I have a thick skin. And I am the bigger person.  That’s what I keep being told. In essence, I’m told I have to put up with the abuse and harassment and threats by the virtue of having the ability to crush them if I wanted.  Therefore, as an “overdog”, you felt no need to say a single word in, say, a thread that was full of personal attacks you knew were false because, hey, I can take it.  And you’re right. I can.

But it also means that your outrage against harassment, threats and abuse is selective. When you saw me being defamed for years and just ignored it (no tweets, no comments, etc.) you clearly made a distinction that some people need to be supported and others do not. 

In fact, in all those years, only one person who knew the details spoke up for me. (and you can look at the thread to see the hate thrown at me and then see that these haters now, 100% are the ones bullying and smearing #gamergate supporter today. Go ahead, check. These aren’t anonymous people. These are the people claiming to be “the good guys”).  And you know what they did to him? My friend? They suggested disgusting things about us. Ridiculed him. Of course, some of you know that because you saw what they said on other forums but you said nothing. Didn’t want to get involved.

I’ve seen the tactic used over and over: Delegitimize your critics and disperse their support base.  That’s what you’re trying to do to these #gamergate people through insults, bullying, ridiculing. 

And if that doesn’t work, economic punishment:


He’s using a word I don’t think he understands. Basically: I should be fired because…reasons (unspecified) Tolerance.

If I say something or do something or write something that you think is inappropriate, inflammatory or unfair then call me on it.  I can take it. 

But don’t tell me that I have some “guilt by association” thing going when you were perfectly okay associating with people and groups that have spent years harassing others.

on Oct 30, 2014

It's a damn shame he got a case of the stupid, because I think of him as someone who wants to do the right thing- he pretty much gave up his NFL career over civil rights.  I don't think he's a bad person, I think he's just someone who got some bad information, and feels like he has to take a leadership role because of his position and is going off half-cocked because he feels he has to do something.


I've actually been afraid to comment on stuff now because of the bullying.  That said, one thing this whole mess has done is make me more careful with my own words, because I don't want to sound like these people (and I know I have before).





on Oct 30, 2014

I don't want to pass judgment on him as I don't know him.  I know the team was a fan of him because he mentioned fallen enchantress.

But I had NO idea what I did or said that set him off. 

on Oct 30, 2014

When people on the consumers and game production side both can see eye to eye on this particular issue, it's pretty clear that there's an issue on the ones doing the reporting.


That's why there's the "innocent until proven guilty" clause in the justice system.  Because the truth can be easily twisted and misrepresented.  These people were never "the good guys", they are vigilante trying to bypass due process.  They are no different than villains that thrives on their self-delusion of moral superiority.


I try not to comment all too much, but enough is enough.  Gamers grew up, they are not the kids and the outcasts from highschool.  They are not the awkward nerds that can't stand up for themselves (but they can still be awkward and nerdy xP).  I honestly never seen such a strange sort of coalition in history, and they are ALL looking with critical eye at game media.  Their end goals might be different, and all of them see game media as the problem as well as the so called "good guys".

on Oct 30, 2014

Everyone likes to be a big damn hero, but how do you show the world you're a big damn hero?  By protecting all the oppressed weak innocents from the big damn villains, that's how.  Gamers know this better than anyone.  So since we all like being big damn heroes, we're all also constantly in search of big damn villains to defeat and oppressed weak innocents to protect.

It's ironic, then, that what so often causes us to become the big damn villains ourselves is that we already defeated all the other big damn villains (read: all the ones we aren't too cowardly to fight,) and so we begin to imagine them where they don't really exist.  It is also ironic that, in doing so, we have a tendency to initiate or perpetuate the suppression of those whom we purport to protect by implying they can't or shouldn't stand up for themselves.  Thus, one tyrant tends to replace the last.

This is not a new phenomenon.  It's just exploded in today's age of inter-connectivity and 140-character philosophizing.

I'm sorry you've had to put up with this crap, Brad, and while I am not a partisan in the gamergate conflict* I will offer my voice in support of you on this specifically.  It is unfortunately a quiet voice, while your detractors have the loud ones.  That's the way it goes sometimes.

* I'm hesitant to become a partisan for a handful of reasons that fall outside of the purview of this particular discussion.  That is not to say that I'm subject to the golden mean fallacy on this as many other non-partisans seem to be, nor is it to say that I do not recognize the legitimacy of the group complaint.

on Oct 31, 2014

Most likely he got bad info from someone and believed it, as he's probably pretty busy and didn't have time to vet, and he's stuck in a hivemind vortex.


Happens to most people when they're worked up, and justice is an issue that is riling a lot of people up given the times, with both the left and right having legitimate targets these days.


Too bad you can't offer to meet him somewhere and show him your side of the story.

on Oct 31, 2014

I like your framing that pull and politics are winning over merit. I'm on the side of the feminists intellectually, but when they start activating their network to shame people they're using a kind of power that's very virulent and hard to resist.