A Letter to a Poser

I chose to avoid most of the coverage about #GamerGate because I already knew how the liberal media would spin it. It took little time before the claims of “misogyny” and “sexism” trumped any level of honest reporting. Only a handful of media outlets interviewed GG supporters, and most of those interviews continued to peddle the “all gamers are sexist men” trope.

The death threats against Anita Sarkeesian, Brianna Wu, and Zoe Quinn continue to receive attention while the numerous threats and doxxing of GG supporters largely goes unmentioned.

What bothers me most, however, are the attacks on gamers in general. It is not that the attacks any different than the usual “they’re basement-dwelling losers” nonsense. It is that I assumed that people were past this kind of invective. I assumed people had seen enough evidence that gaming did not make anyone violent or hateful. I assumed that people had seen enough attacks on gaming to know that most gamers only want to play games. I assumed people had seen enough to know that gamers are people, too.

Instead, I saw people falling back into old habits, lambasting gamers as pasty white, unshaven, unwashed men living in their mom’s basements. I saw people who write for gaming publications calling for bringing back nerd bullying. I saw a geek culture icon attacking the very community that made his so-so film a $1.5 billion success.

Yet none of that prompted a need for a response. After all, these are far-leftists. There is little more that one could expect from them.

One article, however, did necessitate a response. Former NFL player Chris Kluwe took to The Claudron to attack supporters of GamerGate. His invective and ad hominem-filled rant perfectly demonstrates why the anti-GamerGate side has not won despite every attempt to do so. Below is my response to Kluwe’s rant:

Dear Chris Kluwe,

Do you know why you piss me the fuck off?

Because your immediate response to gamers criticizing those who attacked them was to resort to name-calling. It speaks volumes about the level of stupidity and the lack of character involved for a person with at least nominal intelligence to assume that all Gamergate supporters are trash because they to do not like being attacked.

That is, after all, how the #GamerGate hashtag began. It did not begin with attacking Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, or Brianna Wu. It began as a response to nearly a dozen online gaming magazines telling their audience that they did not matter anymore.

Think about that for a moment. Imagine if the NFL called its largely male fan base all sexist, racist homophobes because they do not want sports announcers engaging in political commentary while calling games, and would like said announcers to disclose their connections to the teams they are talking about. Is that remotely logical? Is it remotely sensible?

Of course not.

Yet that is what occurred. Any threats made against anyone are horrible and should not happen. However, the vast majority of the GG supporters do not make such threats. A handful of people (who may be sockpuppets created by feminists and their ilk) sent threats. Indeed, Newsweek’s recent failed hit-job proved that. Over 90% of the comments made by GG supporters in the last month were neutral. They were not sexist, not attacks, and not threats.

Granted, no one pays any attention to that. One could visit Twitter and read the tweets as they appear and see that the vast majority are at worst snarky. Most of the hateful attack comments come from people like you, Kluwe, who mock gamers, call them names, support and encourage violence against them, and then complain when someone calls you on it.

That is rather juvenile, and although, given the language you chose to use and your former profession, one could hardly expect a mature response from you, one would think that as a person who considers himself a gamer you would put yourself in the shoes of those you are attacking. Because they are gamers, just like you. They have spent just as many hours playing games as you, had as many LAN parties, and spent as much money facilitating their hobby. They have nice homes, girlfriends and wives, boyfriends and husbands, and children. They wash their bodies, groom their hair, clothe themselves, and even go outside for more than twenty minutes.
They are people, just like you.

I know it makes you feel good to attack them. You are, after all, defending a woman’s honor, and everyone likes a white knight, particularly one who beats up small, wimpy men who should know better than to even look at a woman, let alone disagree with her.

However, it does not make you look good. It makes you look like a bully. It makes you look like the type who would beat up boys who talked too much about Link and then brag to you jock teammates before you go home to Ocarina of Time.

Oddly enough, that is exactly the crowd of people you sided with wants. You sided with people who call male gamers “rapists” and “pedophiles” because they like Bayonetta. You sided with a group who doxxes GG supporters who disagree with them. You sided with a group who sends out death threats and gets people fired from their jobs because they do not support a political position.

You think you have the moral high because you said a bunch of mean things about gamers, a group who, let us be honest, you clearly do not like.

But you do not have the moral high-ground. You are simply a bully.

I know bullies quite well. As a survivor of child abuse, I grew up with them. I spent the first 14 years of my life being abused by them. As an advocate for male victims of sexual abuse, I have dealt with them in the support community. I know them when I see them.

You are a bully, and you have sided with bullies.

I am not a member of GamerGate, however, I am a gamer. I do not want politics in my games. I do not want feminism or Marxism or neo-conservatism or Evangelical Christianity in my games. I just want to play the games.

I know I am a bad person. That was made very clear to me when I was a child, made clearer by the social workers when I got out of that home, and made even clearer by feminists when I spoke out about the abuse I suffered. I accept that.

I will not accept, however, that I am a bad person because I want my games politics-free or because I agree that gaming journalists should be upfront about their connection to the game developers or because I agree that Anita Sarkeesian conned the gaming community and should be called out on it.

You can call gamers whatever names you want. That will not change that the people you sided with are bullies exploiting people’s willingness to mock an ostracized group in order to take control of the industry so as to push their political agenda. And it will not change that the moment you sided with them you became a bully yourself.

Or rather, you reveal what you had always been: the jock who beats up nerds during the day while playing the same games you pummeled them for at night.

There is a word that kind of person: poser.

10 thoughts on “A Letter to a Poser

  1. You’ve summed up exactly what angered me so much with his “article”. Should also be noted that he’s employed by Gawker “Bring Back Bullying” Media.

  2. “Or rather, you reveal what you had always been: the jock who beats up nerds during the day while playing the same games you pummeled them for at night.”
    You hit the nail squarely on the head with this one, TS. It’s that same tired high school drama playing out yet again. Football jock shit talks/bullies gamer nerds to impress the girls. You’d think he’d have grown up by now.
    If merely picking up a controller and playing a video game makes one a Gamer, and qualifies one as some sort of expert, heaven help us. Back in my high school days, when computer games were in their infancy, Gamer meant something quite different. We were the players of table-top war games and pen and pencil fantasy role playing games. We paid our dues in being misunderstood, shamed, picked on, dismissed, or belittled. Guys like Kluwe were the ones we had to look out for; The enemy. He’s never paid his Gamer’s dues, and he has zero right speaking on behalf of Gamers. He’s just a jock with a game system; A poser, like you called it.

  3. “However, the vast majority of the GG supporters do not make such threats.”

    Not to nitpick, but no one has proved that ANY Gamergate supporter has threatened anyone. Some people received threats, sure, but who knows who sent them? When some anonymous idiot threatened to release scandalous photos of Emma Watson, it turned out to be just a ridiculous publicity stunt, not MRAs. The threats received by Anita Sarkeesian were investigated by the FBI and found to be not credible. There are cases of feminists threatening themselves and blaming men. Gamergate stands innocent, as does everyone who hasn’t been proven guilty.

  4. Not to nitpick, but no one has proved that ANY Gamergate supporter has threatened anyone. Some people received threats, sure, but who knows who sent them?

    I agree. However, some GamerGate supporters have sent harassing tweets, so it is reasonable to assume a few of them may have sent threats. It is clearly not the majority, and people should acknowledge that.

    The threats received by Anita Sarkeesian were investigated by the FBI and found to be not credible.

    It is funny how that never made it into the mainstream media.

  5. TS, thanks for coming over to the men’s rights reddit to argue with that guy. The urge to protect women at men’s expense by any means available is engrained so deep that completely well-intentioned people are just blind to it. He was surely convinced he was being even-handed, when he was in fact trying to equate quite different things as a way to excuse the anti-GamerGaters’ tactics.

    Have you seen Andrew Sullivan’s latest, pretty insightful and empathetic posts, on the affair?

  6. y’know I spend way more time drinking beer and playing guitar than playing video games…

    but, I’d be prowd to be called a misogynerd neckbeard mouthbreader with scruffy facial hair that a real womyn ™ like Mandy Marcotte would not go near in a million years…

    now funny thing is I checked out the App that Zoe Quinn made her “game” with and I made one too, just an evening of drinking beer and I’m now a Game designer and high level software developer w/o writing any code.


  7. funny thing, that dudebro, err, alpha male real man ™ who plays a real sport crushing other men like a modern day gladiator because male disposability does not exist ™ –was playing Assassin’s Creed and irony of motherfucking ironies, I think it was Brianna Wu, was complaining about that game specifically…

    Just like David Futrelle, he will relish throwing other lo status men under the bus for womyn who wouldn’t give him the time of day…

  8. Gingko, I just finished reading Sullivan’s article. I think that was the balanced looked the GamerGate supporters have wanted from the beginning. Sullivan focused on the most important point:

    It’s pure vitriol, resting on an unspoken, hard left view of culture that is more disturbing because it presents itself as snark and analysis, rather than tired, easy agit-prop. It’s a classic piece that asks all the cool kids today to smear and dismiss all the bullied of yesterday – and give them one last shove into the locker.

    As I wrote above, I grew up with bullies, and I know them when I see them. The anti-gamer crowd are nothing but bullies hiding behind their faux concerns about identity politics. Again, Sullivan writes it better than I could:

    And look, many gamers were the bullied in high school; this was their safe space; it was a place they could call home. They now feel it slipping away, and it has unhinged some and disconcerted many, as a lot of mainstream culture has heaped scorn and ridicule on them at the same time. And I’m sorry, but I feel some sympathy here. That sympathy has, alas, been swamped by revulsion at the rhetoric and tactics that have come to define this amorphous movement. I haven’t, to continue the analogy, gone stalking bachelorettes or yelling obscenities at them. I just sigh and move on. But these people do have a point; they have long been ostracized and marginalized; their defensiveness exists for a reason; and, in the last couple of months, they have also been the target of truly out-there dismissals and vitriolic abuse – often from other men, and often from those who were not bullied in high school at all.

    Am I wrong to detect in this pile-on another round of bullying of these people, of treating them as scum, of dismissing anything they might have to say?

    This is precisely the reason I have nothing to do with people on the far left, and why I have little patience for them.

  9. “it is reasonable to assume a few of them may have sent threats”

    It’s reasonable to hold that as a possibility, but there is no evidence directly putting a gamer behind any threats. I remember the Oklahoma City bombing; when that happened, a lot of people thought it was reasonable to assume Muslim terrorists did it, but that turned out not to be the case.

    I appreciate that you are being fair, but accusations of threats are the only card in the anti-GG deck, so it should be headed off at the pass whenever possible. (Mixed metaphor?)

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