prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

#GamerGate

Posted by prof e on November 3, 2014

Over at Vox, Ezra Klein has written an interesting, 25-paragraph essay Gamergate and the Politicization of Absolutely Everything. For those who have not been introduced to the raging debate swirling around the video game industry, gamergate is a controversy that touches on many of the media topics and themes that we’ve been addressing this semester: media effects and concerns related to sexual and violent content, politically incorrect stereotypes, censorship, and journalistic ethics just to name a few. Here’s Gawker‘s attempt to explain what all the fuss is about. Want more?  Here’s a great article by Erik Kain at Forbes.

Klein’s thesis is premised on the idea that everything has been politicized in the extreme. The gamergate battle lines have been drawn between waring factions. On one side the “young, white, male” demo (that has historically been at the core of the gamer community) and on the other side, feminists (more here). It’s hard to ignore the fact that real differences exist between gamers who like to blow things up and those who like to build things together. And finally, differences exist between those who feel marginalized by the present systems and,…well…those who feel marginalized by the present system. In fact the entire controversy has something to offend nearly everyone. It’s as though the controversy is a kind of ink blot test on which we are invited to project our own worldview and moral objections. As Klein notes, “Video games are the excuse for this fight, not the cause of it.” For those with political biases on the left, it’s about “sexism and online harassment,” but for those on the right it’s about “political correctness and speech policing.”

Klein’s essay ends on a cautionary note that predicts other battles, like gamergate, but with even greater consequences. As the culture wars escalate and battles lines are drawn, the battlefield itself will be the online space where digital avatars battle to the death over controversies large and small. Thankfully, digital wars are not nearly as painful as analog wars. After all, when your digital self is mortally wounded or killed a quick reboot is all that’s needed to get back in the fight.

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One Response to “#GamerGate”

  1. Lynn Compton said

    I believe that all video games have some kind of bias. There is always going to be violence in video games but it’s what the violence is face toward that can change how the violence is portrayed. If its against other humans that can cause children and some adults to condone that type of behavior but if its is trying to fight crime or something positive then there is a better chance of people taking that violence and using it in a positive way.

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