GamerGate is an issue about sexism in video games versus the possible corruption in gaming journalism. The GamerGate supporters believe there has been secret cooperation between media critics such as Sarkeesian, female developers, and reviewers. The controversy started when developer Zoe Quinn was alleged to have had relations with a journalist from Kotaku. This has since been disproven. Women have been threatened or harassed over social media including a threat of a school shooting where Sarkeesian was scheduled to speak. Sarkeesian made an appearance on The Colbert Report last night to explain her views on GamerGate. Watch a short clip here.
Stephen Colbert began the interview as a stereotypical gamer arguing, “I’m saving the princess. Do you want her to die?”
“Maybe the princess shouldn’t be a damsel and she could save herself. I think women are being threatened because we are asking games to be more inclusive. We are seeing different types of games, indies and mobile games. That is what GamerGate is responding to. They are lashing out because we are challenging the status quo of gaming being a male-dominated space.”
When asked about how GamerGate is framing this all as concern for the ethics in gamer journalism Sarkeesian replied,
“It is a compelling way to reframe the fact that this is a tax on women. It is actually men going after women in really hostile ways. That is what GamerGate is about.”
I believe gaming should be a safe and open experience. Ethics in journalism is important but the claims against Quinn were untrue and even if they were true, how hard would it be to have someone else in the company review the game? The fact that there are death threats is ridiculous. After all this is over, I hope gaming will be changed for the better and be taken more seriously as an art form.
Nathan Reid is an Associate Writer at MONG who makes the worst D.I.Y. Halloween costumes.