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GamerGate a Year Later

Her lips say “Let’s play.” but her eyes say “I can’t believe I’m the mascot for these assholes.”

GamerGate was a months-long distraction for me. As I am not a gamer or involved in the gaming world whatsoever, or even a prominent feminist, I could dip my toes in its fetid poo-waters and remove them whenever I liked. And at one point I did, completely. I could just walk away. For the women who were targeted by the movement it wasn’t so easy.

I came at GamerGate from a weird angle, as the gaming world is pretty foreign to me. But I recall being at once completely absorbed and repelled by the politics at play in this “movement.” (You say “consumer,” I say “bowel.) I recall following the hashtag religiously. I recall following a handful of accounts of some of its most vocal critics. Most of all I remember following Zoe Quinn and then reading my timeline to discover that her past as a sex worker had been shouted from the rooftops by slavering Gators. (I don’t know when or in what capacity she worked in the industry, nor do I care.) And I remember my chest aching when this woman I didn’t know from Adam declared that the people in the sex industry had treated her with far more respect than the Gators had. Zoe Quinn doesn’t get to just walk away from GamerGate. She’s been hounded and harassed and humiliated for a year. That’s something you limp away from, even if I’m guessing (hoping!) she’ll fare better and better as time goes on.

LGM poster Origami Isopod sent me two GamerGate-related links recently. I thought  to  myself “Do I want to open up these old wounds?”  Then I counted myself lucky that I considered them “old” wounds, because for the women directly impacted by GamerGate those wounds are still quite fresh.

Tangentially related: here is Amanda Marcotte on the right-wing pile-on of #BlackLivesMatter’s Shaun King.

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