Rebranding nerdom as “rage”

Noah Brand resurfaced on the Good Men Project to remind everyone that gamers are losers who were born losers, will die losers, and not even other losers will mourn them.

And that is just the first part of the series.

The amount of condescension and projection in the article is stunning. I agree that the “notion that one is either the bully or the bullied, and it’s impossible to be both, lies deep in a lot of thinking, and it’s a trap. Indeed, it’s one of the primary intellectual sins of social justice movements, when we imply one is either the oppressor or the oppressed, but never both.” The article is an excellent example of that.

It is also precisely what it looks like to bully someone. Brand’s article is yet another body in the three-month-long feminist pile-on on gamers. Feminists took to the gamer hate with a glee and fervor not seen since someone dared suggest some women lie about rape.

Brand attempts to show sympathy towards gamers, yet his definition of sympathy proves fleeting:

The key defining element of all the wild-eyed Gamergate lunatics and all their unhappy ilk is not that they’re white and male. It’s that they’re socially nonfunctional.

That sounds like I’m just insulting them, but I’m not. That is just a simple, even sympathetic description of what’s going on with these guys: they cannot function socially. Anger is just the mask worn by pain and fear, so to understand these guys’ anger, we have to understand their pain, and their fear. Yes, this will involve extending understanding toward people for whom rape threats are practically punctuation. Nobody ever said social justice was always going to be pleasant. Buckle up.

He goes on to write:

These folks tend to create spaces for themselves where they can play by rules they understand. Consistent, comprehensible rules. Computer programs, role-playing games, literature that’s notably short on things like abstract metaphor, complex symbolism, and unreliable narrators. The great thing about science fiction and fantasy is that they explain their internal rules for how the world works, and then they have to abide by those rules. If you haven’t felt it, it’s impossible to explain how comforting that is when you’re thirteen and getting mocked for not understanding which shoes or singers or slang are uncool this week.

So the best idea is to attack gamers as losers for creating consistent, comprehensive rules they expect everyone in their group to follow?

Even if Brand thought it would work in his favor to attack gamers as losers, it will not. Let me use an analogy to illustrate:

I work and live with foster children. Many of these children have been abused. Most of them distrust adults. Many suffer from a variety of mental health issues, some they were born with, others they developed as a result of abuse. The children are quite often socially dysfunctional.

These children often prefer consistent, comprehensive . It helps them cope.The worst thing I could do, other than abusing them, would be to violate, ignore, or change those rules. They created those rules to make themselves feel safe. If I want to help them, I must work within the confines of those rules.

Stating that gamers have “a sense of being invaded by outsiders in a space they believe to be their own” ignores the situation: it is their space. They created it. They support it. They perpetuate it. They have every reason to expect those who want to participate in their space to follow the rules.

The rules are consistent and comprehensive for a reason: there is no trick. They do not change at random.

Now let us look at that the so-called “social justice warriors” bring to the group: constantly changing rules about what is and is not acceptable, who can and cannot participate, and whose voice does or does not matter.

Take the idea of male feminists. One day feminists want men to be feminists, and the next feminists list all the ways male feminists are phonies trying to co-opt feminism.

That sort of nonsensical double think is apparent in Brand’s article. He claims sympathy, yet shows nothing but disdain for gamers. One senses that his true concern is not gamers but men:

Assume you’re a straight or bi guy. You’re going to be interested in women. Assume you’re perpetually socially awkward. You’re going to be rejected a lot, and that’s going to hurt enormously. Assume you’re steeped in a culture that tends to consistently cast women as a monolithic Other group, and that you like simple, comprehensible rules. Your takeaway from your experience is going to be Women hurt me. Therefore, women are bullies just by existing. Quod erat demonstrandum.

This is nothing more than a strawman argument and projection. Many gamers were and continue to be hurt by women. Yet that has nothing to do with gamers policing their space. The issue here is that the left-leaning side projects their feelings about gamers onto gamers. Brand, and progressives like him, think men are a monolithic “other” group bent on oppressing women. They think men will hurt women and anyone who supports them. Therefore, gamers, by virtue of being a predominantly male group, are bullies. And as bullies, they must be dealt with, preferably with much humiliation and violence.

However, that sounds bigoted, so in an attempt to side-step the blatant hate-mongering, the so-called “social justice warriors” project this onto the other side. It is not they who are biased, but the gamers. Those basement dwelling misogynists who live with their moms and cannot get over that one time with the pretty girl pretended to like them for the second half of the day only to have her jock boyfriend pummel them in front of half the school as she laughed.

Brand is not helping increase an understanding. He is rationalizing bullying by arguing that he is doing “losers” a favor by calling them out as losers.

Technically, this would work to get gamers to listen out of fear, except for one problem: gamers are used to being bullied. Gamers have dealt with that since their community began. Telling a gamer that he is socially nonfunctional and therefore undeserving of friendship, compassion, or basic understanding is moot: he already knows you think he is a loser. He already knows you think the worst of him. He already knows you do not care about his suffering.

You have nothing to threaten him with.

The bullying routine impresses other left-leaning people, but it does nothing to win over gamers.

To go back to my analogy, if I want foster children to listen to me, I must start by listening to them. It is hard. It takes patience. Their guards are up, and they should be. They have been hurt by people they reached out to, people they trusted. People like me, saying we want the best for them. If I want them to believe that, I must treat them as if I mean what I say, because they will know if I am bluffing. I should know. I was one of them.

That is why gamers are so angry. They know Brand and those like him are bluffing. They know the “social justice warriors” do not want the best for them. They know these people do not care.

The progressive crowd simply wants to take over gamers’ space. Gamers can see it coming, and they want no part of it. That does not make them “misogynists.” It only means they learned to stand up for themselves.

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31 thoughts on “Rebranding nerdom as “rage”

  1. I got halfway through that GMP article before the sheer vitriol made me give up in disgust. “Laugh at the Losers” bullying disguised as some sort of social mission statement.

  2. Guess what? Calling adults losers doesn’t work. They aren’t teenagers. They lived their lives and know what they are.

    Now calling a SJW an immature ass…

  3. I’m no longer surprised at The Good Men Project in general anymore.

    Feminist Critics did an excellent takedown of Joanna’s cognitive dissonance.

    So it’s predictable that they embrace Noah Brand’s form of advocacy. The guy is a self-hating misandrist.

    Just goes to show that The Good Men Project has reached the bottom of the barrel and will never climb out. Nor want to.

  4. I’m not even going to bother commenting there either. Last thing I want is to waste energy screaming about having my comment awaiting moderation then deleted.

  5. ” … if I want foster children to listen to me, I must start by listening to them. It is hard. It takes patience. Their guards are up, and they should be. They have been hurt by people they reached out to, people they trusted. People like me, saying we want the best for them. If I want them to believe that, I must treat them as if I mean what I say, because they will know if I am bluffing. I should know. I was one of them.”

    Beautiful TS. It brings a tear to me.

    I was never in foster care, but this sure speaks to me as someone abused as a child. That sense of constant betrayal. That’s really touching, and I really wish more people could “get it”. Is it really so hard?

    And I’ve heard in men’s stories, and even read in journal papers, so much…how if a child has just one person in their life they have this safety with, this experience of “being heard”, some consistency in stated adult intentions and what they do…. it can be huge. Some ray of hope for trust in relationships to hang on to in a crazy, frightening world. Otherwise, it seems people eventually get really troubled. Oddly, like the SJWs. So confused and twisted and very, very hard to reach.

  6. I work with gamers. I think many of them are wasting their time. Many are socially inept INTJs. Losers in other words. Some are nothing better than wounded animals seeking peace in their lairs.

    As for the anti-gamers, NEVER follow a wounded animal into its lair unless you are willing to kill or be killed!

    For those who are not willing to leave gamers to their safe places, I have no sympathy.

  7. Many things piss me off about feminism and this is one of them. Nerds/gamers/fanboys/etc as a collection of people inflict so little harm on women that it boggles my mind the vindictiveness that women hold for such men.

    And I really agree with TS on sjws being just another group of bullies with no conscience.

  8. The key defining element of all the wild-eyed Gamergate lunatics and all their unhappy ilk is not that they’re white and male.

    I seem to distinctly recall Gamergate starting the #notYourShield tag to show that they’re not all white dudes. Which promptly was claimed to be sockpuppets by anti-GG folks. Rebecca “Elevatorgate” Watson said it was socks, and when someone challenged her, admitted that real women and minorities may have been suckered in by the fakes. And that they were stupid.

    No evidence was provided, and the mainstream narrative has largely studiously ignored the hashtag. Incidentally, the guy who created it lost his job over it, which indicates that the anti-GG folks got a minority dude fired for telling them to stop ignoring him.

    It’s that they’re socially nonfunctional.

    [citation needed]

    Stating that gamers have “a sense of being invaded by outsiders in a space they believe to be their own” ignores the situation: it is their space. They created it. They support it. They perpetuate it. They have every reason to expect those who want to participate in their space to follow the rules.

    Which reminds me of the SJW hullaboo about “safe spaces”. And the time they protested that men were getting their own “safe space”, as if they would immediately start plotting how to rape and oppress women the second they were out of the public eye. How about the folks insisting “male safe spaces are everywhere!”, as if men didn’t have their own gender roles.

    Take the idea of male feminists. One day feminists want men to be feminists, and the next feminists list all the ways male feminists are phonies trying to co-opt feminism.

    And the other day they’re forgetting malefems even exist.

    Your takeaway from your experience is going to be Women hurt me. Therefore, women are bullies just by existing. Quod erat demonstrandum.

    Leaving aside the sheer madeupness of the the narrative here, there has been article after article from feminists about how women are justified in fearing men, most notably “Schrodinger’s Rapist”.

    Those basement dwelling misogynists who live with their moms and cannot get over that one time with the pretty girl pretended to like them for the second half of the day only to have her jock boyfriend pummel them in front of half the school as she laughed

    Funny, Elliot Rodger claimed that happened to him. But acknowledging that he was bullied by both boys and girls was ignored in favor of calling him an entitled, misogynist MRA who attacked women.

  9. Many are socially inept INTJs. Losers in other words.

    I do not think they are losers. Many of those people have autism or another illness that affects their ability to relate to other people, particularly when it comes to understanding emotions. These people often feel safer with games and numbers because the rules are simple. This is part of the reason I find the attack on gamers so annoying. Every one admits these are wounded people, so why would anyone keep attacking them? How does it make you a better person to humiliate and bully a scientist who just landed a space craft on a comet all because he wore a shirt designed by a woman?

    This is what bullying looks like.

  10. “Everyone admits these are wounded people, so why would anyone keep attacking them?”

    It’s a lot safer than attacking someone whose strong. Bulloes are wimps, after all.

  11. Attacking gamers is like those ogres mages in the Forgotten Realms who attacked that old man showing trained canaries to people… That old man just happened to be Bahammut (the freaking GOD OF GOOD DRAGONS. Not just a simple god, the god dragons prey to (okay, some humans do to, but good aligned dragons prey to him. Let that sink in for a second.) in human form, and his seven canaries were… 7 thousands years old dragons in disguise (as if the ogres weren’t already screwed dealing with just Bahammut…). The second they suffered retaliation, they realized how screwed they were… Can you say “curb stomp battle”?

  12. “I work with gamers. I think many of them are wasting their time. Many are socially inept INTJs. Losers in other words.”

    Why do you think they’re losers? Have you even gotten to know any of them personally outside of your professional relationship?

    Let me put it this way: If these gamers aren’t sponging off the government and are earning their way through a job while able to afford their hobby, then I hardly consider them worthy of the loser label. And even if some are, perhaps there’s a justified reason.

    If they’re socially inept, many were likely bullied into a corner and are now having to live with the trauma day in and day out.

    I’m a gamer so take it from someone who’s had years and years of experience.

  13. “Computer programs, role-playing games, literature that’s notably short on things like abstract metaphor, complex symbolism, and unreliable narrators. The great thing about science fiction and fantasy is that they explain their internal rules for how the world works, and then they have to abide by those rules”

    Apparently science fiction and fantasy can’t have those things. Books like Riddley Walker, Dhalgren, The Left Hand of Darkness, the Foundation books, A Case of Consience, Little Big, The Once and Future King, the Earthsea books, and the Majipoor cycle don’t exist. (I’m a gamer, female, a sci-fi and fantasy fan, and a literature major who eats up unreliable narrators and abstract metaphor like cotton candy.) Maybe they like sci-fi and things like that because they’re so different from whatever is going on in their lives? When you’re being bullied, what you need is some form of escape.

  14. ““Computer programs, role-playing games, literature that’s notably short on things like abstract metaphor, complex symbolism, and unreliable narrators.”

    Once again, Noah speaks like he’s an expert on everything and everyone else is just wrong according his worldview.

  15. At this point it’s obvious how toxic he is. Just plain toxic.

    He basically ruined No Seriously What About The Menz. Then he moved on to do what he could to turn TGMP into a fetid sewer of misandry.

    What puzzles me is why no one stops to ask why he of all people is in any position to call anyone else a loser. He poses for pictures of himself in various hats, for God’s sake.

  16. I intended to use the word ‘losers’, the same way lower socio-economic whites use ‘redneck’, and African Americans use ‘n****r’.

    The point I was trying to make, is that even gamer nerds can be pushed to a point where they will fight back.

    Some of the other responses to my comment, indicate a certain amount of fighting spirit. Good on ya, lads.

  17. Here’s an upside – when I follow the link to the article, it passes through some kind of site that warns me TGMP has been labeled “offensive.”

    A taste of their own medicine may do them some good.

  18. Ginkgo: “What puzzles me is why no one stops to ask why he of all people is in any position to call anyone else a loser.”

    Come on, Ginkgo. These were the same people who welcomed toxic individuals like Amanda Marcotte and Hugo Schwartzer into their fold.

    Asking them to stop and think nowadays is asking too much. They’re in it too sell subscriptions and placate the misandrics masquerading as “Progressive”.

    When Tom Matlack left, he took the magazine’s shades of grey with him.

  19. You want another example?

    http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/problem-boys-parents-hesaid/

    Notice that the title is bluntly worded and has NOTHING to do with what the author is saying. Not “My Problem with ‘Boys will be boys'”, not “My Problem with Parents of Boys”, it’s simply “Boys” as a collective. As if irresponsible parenting is being laid at their feet alone.

    If the author didn’t mean it that way, he should’ve lobbied the person responsible to change it.

    Or the author is just another one of those False Progressives.

  20. Ginkgo, how did Brand ruin NSWATM? That was my first intro into the counterdebate on all of this after Elevatorgate kicked off….*sigh*

    ——

    I liked Brand’s article initially, but having read this and thought about it some more, I don’t think he gets that much further away from the usual tired stereotyping that caused Gamergate to explode the way it did.

    I’ve never really commented much about this before, but I’ve had my basement dwelling phases where I did nothing but play games. It wasn’t until fairly recently that I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder – and I noticed that my stress levels have a lot to do with how much I game. I think the reason I hid away so much to play games was because it was my coping mechanism, essentially. Particularly when I was younger and still in school – unsurprisingly, unpopular geeky bookish guy that I was.

    And a lot of these guys so casually stereotyped have probably had the exact same experience. They may be struggling with their own mental health issues and games may well be keeping them alive. How dare anyone try and interfere with that on the back of a handful of propagandist videos?

    Another point that’s been mulling round in my head the last few days is – I’m sure some gamer girls have their own frustrations with guys (and gamer guys). It did occur to me that maybe a piece like Leigh Alexander’s “gamers are over” piece was her form of lashing out instead. But notice the difference in reaction. People nod respectully towards her and enable and validate her acting out. Male gamers who act out? Still troglodytes.

    Great piece, well done for challenging people with it.

  21. Hmm. I wonder if Noah Brand still has a ‘Sarah Palin is a c*nt’ t-shirt in his wardrobe? To be honest though, every time I hear ‘rape threats’ I smell a rat. Unless objection to their SJW nonsense is now defined as ‘rape’ all of a sudden.

    ‘Gamergate’ my arse.

  22. Computer programs, role-playing games, literature that’s notably short on things like abstract metaphor, complex symbolism, and unreliable narrators.

    Bioshock 1 and Infinite, Spec Ops the Line, lots and lots of arty games, MGS2, and that’s off the top of my head, without checking the relevant TVTropes pages.

    The great thing about science fiction and fantasy is that they explain their internal rules for how the world works, and then they have to abide by those rules”

    No they don’t. There’s “soft” fantasy, with vaguely defined rules, like Narnia, or LoTR, vs “hard” fantasy with hard rules, like Mistborn. Works like Skulduggery Pleasant or Harry Potter fall somewhere in the middle. Dresden Files and Codex Alera and Circle of Magic trend toward the hard end, while the Lioness series, by the same author as the latter, is much softer. Same with sci-fi. In some stories, there’s more important priorities than internal consistency.

    @Eagle35;

    Come on, Ginkgo. These were the same people who welcomed toxic individuals like Amanda Marcotte and Hugo Schwartzer into their fold.

    And David Futrolle. Of course, this was before he renamed his site to make it clearer that he considered men talking about their historical gender roles to be misogyny…somehow.

  23. Oh, for the love of-

    Computer programs, role-playing games, literature that’s notably short on things like abstract metaphor, complex symbolism, and unreliable narrators.

    Bioshock 1 and Infinite, Spec Ops the Line, lots and lots of arty games, MGS2, and that’s off the top of my head, without checking the relevant TVTropes pages.

    The great thing about science fiction and fantasy is that they explain their internal rules for how the world works, and then they have to abide by those rules”

    No they don’t. There’s “soft” fantasy, with vaguely defined rules, like Narnia, or LoTR, vs “hard” fantasy with hard rules, like Mistborn. Works like Skulduggery Pleasant or Harry Potter fall somewhere in the middle. Dresden Files and Codex Alera and Circle of Magic trend toward the hard end, while the Lioness series, by the same author as the latter, is much softer. Same with sci-fi. In some stories, there’s more important priorities than internal consistency.

    @Eagle35;

    Come on, Ginkgo. These were the same people who welcomed toxic individuals like Amanda Marcotte and Hugo Schwartzer into their fold.

    And David Futrolle. Of course, this was before he renamed his site to make it clearer that he considered men talking about their historical gender roles to be misogyny…somehow.

  24. I bit the bullet and left a comment.

    If it ever gets deleted, you can see it here instead:

    “OP…you clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    Trying to pass of gamers as angry, bitter individuals looking to attack women does nobody any favors.

    I’m a gamer and I’ve also been bullied and hurt as well.

    You know who you remind me of?

    Those very bullies whom derived pleasure from policing people considered weaker and on the lower rung of the food chain. Do you seriously see any difference?

    That’s the real issue here. Not misogyny, not prejudice against women, or nerd rage. Gamers who have been hurt in real life are seeking solace in the only thing that’s validating and gives them motivation. It’s no different from people who use television, movies, music, or books to escape. Granted, some are well-balanced and supremely confident.

    However, those that aren’t, who are you to besmirch how they deal with the world? They only want to play their games and support the developers who make them.

    This article is simply a more polite version of the countless articles written that attack them, declare them dead or sexist against women.”

  25. Pingback: These aren’t the nerds you’re looking for | Toy Soldiers

  26. From Dr. Helen Smith’s latest — she puts it better than I could, so I’ll just leave this here.

    The conformists hate that their groupthink doesn’t extend to everyone and are taken by surprise that the geeks don’t care if they are invited to the party. They learned long ago that they weren’t invited in the first place and many made their own world that didn’t depend on being popular. One thing about being on the outside is that it can be freeing and allow one to fight back without restraint. The conformists can’t forgive that. When you see people on Twitter and in the media calling these guys names and bellyaching about them, it just shows that the geeks have won.

    http://pjmedia.com/drhelen/2014/11/20/geeks-on-strike/

  27. A nitpick here: the notion that one is either the bully or the bullied, is nothing wrong with. Bullying is by one common definition, a group or a person deliberately and repeatedly hurting an individual who can’t effectively defend themselves.

    This is something distinct from a conflict. In a conflict, there are two parties who disagree on something. The bully doesn’t necessarily disagree with anything the victim thinks, he just thinks the victim is pathetic, contemptible and a legitimate target for abuse.

    Whether you use that definition or not, it’s important to see the difference, and not treat (what I call) bullying like you would treat a conflict between equal parties. Conflicts can be negotiated, disagreements can be resolved. But if you try to be a “peace negotiator” in a bullying situation, you just make it worse for the victim – there is extensive statistical evidence of this in the bullying literature, see for instance the systematic review here: http://www.campbellcollaboration.org/news_/reduction_bullying_schools.php

  28. “No they don’t. There’s “soft” fantasy, with vaguely defined rules, like Narnia, or LoTR, vs “hard” fantasy with hard rules, like Mistborn.”

    I personally would say Lord of the Rings is very hard fantasy. Read the annexes, read the Silmarillion. The world is weird, but extremely consistent. The languages actually exist. You could learn to speak Dwarfic, Elfic languages or Hobbit slang. The geography is fine and most people don’t have teleporting skills (unlike Harry Potter where people can sometimes teleport…sometimes have to walk, and it’s not dependent on anything we know).

    We know a ton of things about their world origin, and how the world-of-gods worked pre-Ragnarok (ie before the two trees got axed by Morgoth). And it’s obvious Morgoth represents all that is evil and corrupted, like Satan/Lucifer in Christian mythos.

    We might not know why the 5 wizards are there, or Tom Bombadil (their purpose), but we know they’re mostly non-interventionists, of the “let them survive of their own merit, at best we nudge them in the right direction” types.

    The rules in Harry Potter seem to constantly change, new spells make others obsolete or irrelevant and tend to be revealed at the speed of plot only.

    Arhur C Clarke and Tolkien both reveal tons of non-important-to-the-story details, an encyclopedia’s worth. It’s immersive, and it seems less like plot is the only thing that exists in the universe.

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