Web and game developer. Sometimes I write things, too.


Matt Grandis

Both Sides

4 min read

Well, oooookay. Here's the thing. I'm really, really tired of hearing how "both sides" are to blame in GamerGate. Yes, GamerGaters have been harassed, too. Yes, mailing Yiannopoulos that syringe was a fucked up thing to do. And like I said before, there is no "but" in harassment. So "both sides" are completely equal in this game, right? Wrong. The sheer amount and quality of harassment that's being posted under the hashtag GamerGate far outweighs whatever is being directed AT GamerGaters by a huge margin. And please don't tell me being called a "whiny manchild" is totally the same as being told you deserve to get raped to death. Don't bother showing me examples of GamerGaters that have gotten rape threats. I can assure you, I will find 10 times as many rape threats coming FROM GamerGaters in under 5 minutes. There just isn't any equality here. Not even close. There never has been. I know huge parts of the GamerGate movement are made up of Libertarians, and part of being a Libertarian seems to be the unwavering belief that if we just wished hard enough, everyone is equal. I'm sorry. That's not how it works. There still is inequality in the world. Gender inequality, racial inequality. Pretending it's not true (especially not if you're just lucky enough to have been raised in privileged surroundings) doesn't change the facts. If women were equal, no one would have had to flee their house just because they dared being women in game design in the first place. Yeah, I know there a women who support GamerGate. But a few women (sorry, you ARE the minority, not the silent majority you wished you were) supporting an inherently sexist hashtag doesn't make it magically feminist. And good old victim blaming like, "well, grow a pair of balls, I wouldn't have left my house if I was her"? That's just a shitty thing to do. "I've went through a lot of shit in my life and I ain't complaining!" That's great, amazing, you're probably a role model in many ways. But that still doesn't make institutionalised sexism go away. If women have to face more harassment, more (sexual) violence than men -- then it's not their fucking job to suck it up and deal with it until it goes away. If a woman harasses and / or rapes a man, the man doesn't have to suck it up either. That's the only equal thing in this story -- these things are horrible and must stop. But the fact of the matter is, it happens much more to one group than the other. So, enough with the "both sides" thing. Are there shitty people on both sides? Yes. Does that make both sides equal? Hell no. Stop confusing being told you're wrong with harassment. And if you act like an asshole, people will call you an asshole. That's not harassment either.

Oh, and one more thing. If you insist that GamerGate isn't about these things -- I'm afraid you're wrong. GamerGate has no official leadership or charter, but that doesn't mean you get to decide what it stands for. Go to Twitter, look at the mentions when someone posts something anti GamerGate. THIS is what the rest of the world sees. THIS is GamerGate. Look up the chat logs where GamerGaters conspired to "fight the feminist agenda". THAT is GamerGate. If you truly, honestly believe it's about ethics, please put your own house in order first. Once the death and rape threats have become the absolute exception, the rest of the world might start believing you that it's about something other than hating women. And if you don't want to do that, you are willingly aligning yourself with the sexists and misogynists. Don't be indignant if people treat you accordingly. Wanna talk ethics? Forget the hashtag and talk ethics. But instead of attacking the weakest link in the chain, like indies with barely an income and practically no influence on the industry, how about going after EA? That's another thing that would give you a little more credibility. Unless of course it's all just about your personal politics after all. In that case, please stop lying to yourself and us. Thank you.

PS: it's totally fine wanting to stay out of this debate. But please be honest about not wanting to get involved, don't use the "both sides" argument as an excuse.