Talking about GamerGate leads to harrassment

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

The tactics used by the GamerGate crowd are worrisome and effective:

That Day’s fears were so swiftly proven right is the most obvious story here, and the headline writes itself: “Felicia Day Says She’s Afraid of Gamergate, Immediately Gets Doxxed.” But the fears themselves are noteworthy for reasons other than the dispiriting, seemingly inevitable attack that came in the wake of their expression.

Day’s post left me feeling incredibly sad. It resonated with me on a couple of different levels: That we increasingly think of fellow gamers as people to suspect and fear. That the art form that brought us together now feels like something that divides us. That we no longer feel safe online. And most of all, that we are afraid, and that we can be so hard on ourselves for being afraid.

When talking about how she hadn’t addressed Gamergate up to this point, Day wrote the following:

I have had stalkers and restraining orders issued in the past, I have had people show up on my doorstep when my personal information was HARD to get. To have my location revealed to the world would give a entry point for a few mentally ill people who have fixated on me, and allow them to show up and make good on the kind of threats I’ve received that make me paranoid to walk around a convention alone. I haven’t been able to stomach the risk of being afraid to get out of my car in my own driveway because I’ve expressed an opinion that someone on the internet didn’t agree with.

HOW SICK IS THAT?

I have allowed a handful of anonymous people censor me. They have forced me, out of fear, into seeing myself a potential victim.

And that makes me loathe not THEM, but MYSELF.

I know that fear, and the self-loathing that comes with it. That probably sounds silly, since I get basically no flak from anyone about Gamergate. There’s a reason for that, however: The main reason I don’t catch shit about Gamergate is that I rarely say anything about it in public.

I keep quiet for a number of reasons, but it’s primarily out of fear. Fear of uttering an opinion only to be sea lioned into circular debates that feel engineered more to exhaust than to enlighten. Fear that the fact that I briefly backed Zoe Quinn’s Patreon for a total of $10 might be used as an excuse to make me into the movement’s next punching bag. Fear of being targeted, or of my family being targeted. And so I keep quiet.

You can’t talk about Gamergate. That’s the first rule of Gamergate. If you talk about it, particularly if you’re critical of it, you better watch your back. You will be attacked. It remains to be seen how intense the attack will be, or what form it will take, but rest assured, it will happen. I’ll be attacked for publishing this article.

It will be worse if you’re a woman. That’s the second rule of Gamergate. If you are a woman and you talk about Gamergate, particularly if you’re critical of it, you better really watch your back. I’ll be attacked for publishing this article, but I won’t get it half as bad as I would if I were a woman.

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