I am not a fan of Gamergate.
Maybe that’s been unclear to some because on occasion I’ve been willing to listen. That’s simply because, no matter the hashtag a group might band together with, I believe that if they raise serious issues about ethics in journalism, those issues should be addressed or looked into.
But here’s the problem: While the Gamergate movement does on occasion raise those issues, it also raises a myriad of unrelated issues. Those who use that hashtag also harass, antagonize and say and do other vile things. Sorting through the nastiness, the unrelated, the personal attacks, is both exhausting and a waste of time.
So here’s what I propose: If your concern is ethics in game journalism, if that’s what motivates you, than use a different hashtag to bring up those issues. I’m not addressing the import, value, or your right to be a member of GamerGate, but I am saying that I can no longer justify to myself, the value of wading through the political mire, vitriol, hate and ad hominem attacks to find those occasional important concerns.
Besides, if what you want is ethics in journalism, why would you want that very important message lost in a sea of unrelated messaging and antics? If that’s really your concern, it’s time you find a new home.
What about something simple? Maybe EiGJ. Of course that hashtag will only be valuable for as long as those who use it can maintain its purity as a place to discuss ethics, not the myriad of other topics that so overwhelm the GG hashtag.
GamerGate is a movement that – even if you ignore how it started and its use by people who have broken the law to harass others – is inarguable about much more than simply ethics in journalism. Continuing to use it to address that is at best a fallacy and at worst dishonest.
Game journalism, all journalism, faces a slew of ethical quandaries. Sifting through them to determine what has already been figured out through past example and what needs to be discussed or revisited is an incredibly important task.
What GamerGate has done in regards to ethics in journalism is create a smokescreen behind which some non-journalists can lob attacks and some journalists can hide from a very real, very important call to action.
Let’s, those of us who really do care about this topic, move on and find a new place for civil discourse.