I think that’s about as bad as it got.
In the vortex of the Twitternado that is GamerGate, simply posting a note to twitter including the #gamergate tag will unleash a torrent of responses, each explaining to you what their interpretation of GamerGate is. Many of them will tell you to “do your research,” along with links to youtube videos espousing various complex conspiracy theories.
Richard Garriott, known to many as Lord British, the creator of the Ultima series of computer role playing games, tweeted a link to an NYT article called The Disheartening GamerGate Campaign. Someone responded “Sir, you might want to do some more research on the subject :/” And then this happened.
Alright, you well-intentioned but disastrously myopic supporters of “ethics in journalism,” admonition accepted. Let’s do some research.
Who Is John GamerGate?
There seem to be two main venues for meetings of the GamerGate hivemind. The more pleasant of these is the subreddit KotakuInAction. The other, closer to it source, is the 8chan.co imageboard /gg/ - GamerGate. You have to modify your usual expectations of discourse when entering the rough-and-tumble chans. Chans are like the Web’s version of the Nether in Minecraft. Organic life is largely built upon the fundamental building blocks of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. The chans are built upon the fundamental building blocks of the words “fag” and “cunt” — but mostly “fag.” You will find “fag” used as a suffix, a prefix, and occasionally an infix. In chan-speak, the word “faggot,” without modification, seems to translate to “trusted, like-minded friend.”
On 8chan.co, all posters on the topic of gamergate appear to use the name “Leader of Gamergate” — itself a play on GamerGate’s leaderless antistructure. This is both a strength and weakness of the Gamergate movement. It formulates a framework in which it need not accept responsibility for anything; since anyone can post under the “banner” of GamerGate, any statement can be written off by other GamerGaters as the work of outside agitators and not part of the “real” GamerGate. In that sense, saying that GamerGate it specifically “about” anything (pro or con) puts you on slippery ground.
Now that you’ve to donned your hazmat suit and are ready to slog through slurries of slurs in search of salient sophistry, we will sojurn to a /gg/ thread where GamerGaters debate the worth, or lack thereof, of Felicia Day. Some “Leaders” are supportive of Day — but many are, shall we say, less so. A few (not mutually exclusive) theories emerge. Quotes from /gg/ are in italics; I added the boldface to call out certain phrases.
GamerGate Theory 1: Felicia Day is a glorified booth babe and attention whore exploiting attention from GG to prop up her career
If it looks like attention whore, uses her boobs like an attention whore, whines like an attention whore, and demands White Knight shilling backup like an attention whore - she's a goddamn attention whore! There's no two ways about it. The media was out to get us since day 1. WE should be willing to call a spade a spade and not self-censor. Fuck "gamergurls" "nerdgurls" and their associated retinue of validation-seeking hipster narcissists, male and female. These people are a societal cancer who poison and destroy everything around them — The Leader of Gamergate
So Felicia day puts out a blog post then gets doxxed. Who wants to bet she is next to go into hiding and start doing tv appearances and interviews for the left media. I guess she saw all the press LWu and LW1 LW2 were getting and decided she wanted to be in on that. Maybe a good way to get her career back on track to something other than H list booth babe. — The Leader of Gamergate
just ignore it, if someone blames GG for it tell them to produce proof, and when they can produce no proof tell them to send Literally glorified booth babe some money. - The Leader of Gamergate
Felicia Day was the red head that appeared in one episode of Angry "7 dollars" Joe and never ever came back again? Yeh, seems like an attention whore. - The Leader of Gamergate
Wasn't she the first 'i'm a girl gamer xD' attention whore? -The Leader of Gamergate
Well Felicia, your character in dragon age 2 was shit, your voice acting is subpar and now you're spending your time on this board to get your 15 mins of fame. How low you have sunk. — The Leader of Gamergate
I always thought she oozed of holier than thou, looking down on people, it's probably just in my head though. regardless, i'm not a fan, and i've really tried to like her, i really want to, but something just doesn't feel right. — The Leader of Gamergate
GamerGate Theory 2: Felicia Day is great and would have supported GamerGate, but she was mislead by the mainstream media and the SJWs
There’s this persistent theme found throughout Gamergate writings that they feel their movement is unfairly maligned by the “mainstream media.”
The difference here is the Felicia has written blog post about her previous experiences with Gamers and how she has been a long time participant in the culture. And, from the looks of it, she hasn't had any negative encounters in person. All of her fear now is coming solely from the media. That is something we should not just let happen. You're telling me that you're not even going to TRY to reach out and shatter the negative stereotype she's been led to believe by the very people we're against? All because some people in the past haven't listened? — The Leader of Gamergate
No, sunshine, many — not all, but many — people in gaming are afraid of some of the more extreme elements of video game fandom, and not because of articles they read on Gamasutra. The term #gamergate was coined by Adam Baldwin in a tweet linking to two videos totaling 50 minutes of comparing a woman’s alleged sex life to fast food. That's NOT OK. That was NEVER OK. That NEVER WILL BE OK.
What I see is a gamer who has seen all of the vitriol being thrown around, and reading about it in the media and has had her perception of gamers damaged. This article shows one thing. It shows that the media effort to paint gamers as hateful and misogynistic is working. Gamers are doing exactly what the media hoped. They are associating being a gamer with all these terrible things and wanting to have nothing to do with gamers any more. - The Leader of Gamergate
The efforts of the media damaged the perception of gamers? Hail Hydrazine, what about anyone who dropped in to the very imageboard you were posting on?
We have someone who is, pseudo-celebrity or not, a 3rd party. Someone who has tried this entire time to stay out of it...but in the end has succored to the fear-mongering that SJW sites have been putting out and is now speaking out against us. - The Leader of Gamergate
Take a drink everytime the term “social justice warrior” appears on 8chan. You won’t just be drunk in 10 minutes—your friends would be calling an ambulance to rush you to the hospital.
I have enough faith in her to come out and insult the Doxxers rather than play the victim card. Something tells me she'll get mad more than anything. - The Leader of Gamergate
I’m guessing that whoever made that comment probably wound up disappointed.
GamerGate Theory 3: Felicia Day isn’t a “real gamer”
A point often raised in the various “gamers are dead” articles — which made GamerGaters go ballistic — is that some parts of the gaming community are awfully quick to dismiss women as not being a “real gamers.” GamerGaters would like you to know that they welcome everyone; but, there’s this…
Day is kind of your prime example of fake gamer/nerd. It's not even because she's a woman, if she was male she would still be prime example of fake nerd. She's like Sheldon (bigbangshit) but female. - The Leader of Gamergate
Hopefully gamer becomes such an awful term that all of the hipsters and scene girls start to avoid us again. Then all of the cool kids can fuck off to whatever other hobby is trendy and games can go back to the glory days again. Felicia Day not wanting to associate with gamers is nowhere near as bad as Felicia Day wanting to associate with gamers. - The Leader of Gamergate
GamerGate Theory -32768: Pure GIFT
And people seriously wonder why Felicia Day might not feel welcome in GamerGate?
I was triggered when she asked if I wanted to date her avatar and dropped jew golds into her cleavage. — The Leader of Gamergate
She's a hysterical retard getting herself all worked up over boogeymen and made up psychopaths that the internet convinced her are real. - The Leader of Gamergate
I saw a few episodes of "The Guild" because it was downloadable on XBL and I was bored during a LAN while everyone else was sleeping. It was possibly the worst youtube series I've ever seen. Then out of nowhere she appeared in Supernatural. I quite like supernatural. Her character was annoying and whiny, quite reminding me of my brief introduction to "The Guild". I'm quite happy she's now in Oz and hopefully doesn't show up again. Ever. — The Leader of Gamergate
This last one appeared in the thread on Felicia Day, but the poster’s concerns went to some other places:
Grill the fuckers. Don't be nice. Call bitches who attention whore and whine and fake out on things. I think it's funny the SJW's at NEOGAF dickride Jessica Nigri so hard. Never have I seen an obvious example of an attention whore lapping up the money attention and validation of men as her. And what do they do? Wage internet warfare to defend her obvious scam. Same as they do for other ones whose ideas are "liberating" like Sarkonian — The Leader of Gamergate
An inter-GamerGate debate
In fairness, I present some voices defending Felicia Day against more negative elements:
Pro-FD: Did you shills even read that blog post? Do you know who Felicia Day is? How old are you again? She's kind of integral to a lot of the gaming/nerd community. She has never been a "gamergirl :3". Learn your facts, cravens.
Anti-FD: Shill. She isn't integral to jack shit
Pro-FD: Where have you been in the past 10 years? Obviously not in any gaming community. Or else you'd know a thing or two about Felicia Day. You fuckwads aren't worth the time that this movement has put into anything. Fakers.
Pro-FD: Be sure to join in and vote up the support of other GGers to show that we aren't the monster she's been led to believe we are!
Anti-FD: go back to the joss whedon hugbox, you fuckin nerd
Pro-FD: We don't need to be an ass to her. Ofc she's a gamer, but she's also made it part of her acting career. So what? We need to stick together.
Pro-FD: I like felicia. Shes a gamer too. Reading her blog post, she clearly seemed torn to me. I can understand why she dislikes us, because shes afraid of her personal safety. We don't want to hurt her, and we can all understand why she hasn't spoken up. While we may not agree with her decision, we shouldn't judge her for it. I mean come on, I fucking loved the guild.
You keep using that word…
People on Twitter keep asking those skeptical of the GamerGate movement to do their “research.”
Are you sure?