“Oh, a storm is threat'ning My very life today If I don't get some shelter Oh yeah, I'm gonna fade away War, children, it's just a shot away It's just a shot away…”
- Rolling Stones (“Gimme Shelter”)
For two months the phenomenon known as “GamerGate” has scorched the interwebs. As a partisan, I’ve participated in the careening storm that’s ripped through the comfortable cold war that simmered between those for whom the term “gamer” is a pejorative (“anti-gamers”), and the video game constituency who so identify. In large part, GamerGate was an organic response to, and in opposition against, a concerted effort of self-style progressives to infiltrate gaming in order to infuse games and gaming culture with feminist political ideology. As I have repeatedly written, “#GamerGate is a polite way of stating, ‘Get your f*cking agenda out of my face!’” But, more than that, GamerGate has given venue for the expression of protestation against a diverse range of grievances in the gaming community that has smoldered under intense pressure beneath the surface of a false calm. GamerGate is messy because it is a populist movement. The opposition is focused, “on message” and disturbingly Orwellian.
The anti-gamers have been good at controlling the narrative to all of those outside the storm. Their constant chant that GamerGate is a hate movement created to attack women, while demonstrably untrue, plays into the mainstream political narrative currently in vogue. The so called “social justice warriors” intentionally confuse the terms “feminism” with “women” and thereby try to conflate any criticism of feminists/feminism as an attack on women. While it’s true a few women have been heavily and publically criticized, the criticism has been directed at self-identified feminist activists, i.e. Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, Leigh Alexander and Jenn Frank. These women have been criticized, not for being women, but for being activists pushing feminist ideologies onto gaming culture, and insulting/attacking gamers.
Not well documented, but truly fascinating is the rabidity of the opposition to GamerGate. Why have anti-gamers so vociferously attacked the movement? The response by anti-gamers have been filled with extremist deflection, misdirection, slander, doxxing, bullying and flat out lies. The anti-gamer faithful view GamerGate, rightly, as an attack on their ideology. Anti-gamer fanaticism is driven by the realization that GamerGate is not a discreet phenomenon limited to a small subculture, but is symbolic of a much broader rejection of the doctrinal underpinnings of “social justice,” i.e. the tenets of radical feminism and “critical theory.” Much to chagrin of the “Social Justice Warrior” (“SJW”) crowd, the opposition is just not coming from 4chan, reddit and unsophisticates, but from educated, articulate commentators whose analysis is evidence driven and critical of SJW assumed paradigms.
Large swaths of feminist “progressive” activists view gamers as straight, white, heterosexual, young men with a libertarian worldview, who embrace traditional expressions of masculinity. To SJWs, such a demographic is analogous to Beelzebub in Christendom. This presumed demographic is anathema to SJWs, who see these characteristics as “toxic.” The SJW worldview encompasses radfem concepts such as “patriarchy” and “privilege,” and who find men and traditional expressions of masculinity to be “problematic.” They want to redefine masculinity and shape the parameters of acceptable discourse, thought and expression of what it is to be a man. And much like Christianity, the philosophical underpinnings of the SJW belief structure is dogmatic, inflexible, and relies on faith based assumptions that cannot stand-up up to inquiry into its validity. Many GamerGaters simply reject SJW assumptions, including the assumption that there is something fundamentally wrong with men and masculinity. This rejection of orthodoxy fuels the rage of the faithful. If one rejects the premises underlying SJW assumptions, a massive “404 Error Not Found” appears in the paradigm’s logic structure, and thus the entire faith is debased. It is the questioning of orthodoxy that has enraged the opposition. For SJWs, such a blasphemy is best crucified.