#GamerGate and other popular controversial hashtags

I wanted to talk about the recent popular controversial hashtags that I have avoided to talk about, and how it has affected me lately. You notice that I included as many trendy hashtags in the tags section just to catch readers’ attention, so this promises to be interesting.

While I’ve tying been active on the gamer community of the Internet, there are news, controversies, popular trends and hashtags that breezed through my brain, mostly by accident. There are moments when I stare at the computer or phone, and contemplate my boredom, tying to fill it with anything trivial. Mostly it is during time when I’m supposed to sleep but fails to oblige. Among the few places to fill my brain is the game developer community. I find content on YouTube, Twitter, and wherever it leads me. There is still not enough interesting content to grip my attention. Eventually, I derail and bump into the trending topics. Since I follow the gaming community closely, the trending controversy to hit me is #GamerGate.

My first reaction to the word #GamerGate? Well it kinda sounds like #BillGates, but I doubt it would have anything to do with him. I remember a while ago there was a problem with the iPhone’s antennae, which caused Apple to apologize to its customers and offer a freebie. Can’t remember if Steve Jobs was around at that time but I can hardly imagine Steve Jobs apologizing for anything. That made the word #AntennaeGate popular, so by analogy I thought #GamerGate means the gamer community is broken. Not sure if associating the hashtag means I side with gamers or against gamers, but actually I didn’t really care.

Then the term #GamerGate keeps re-popping during my lazy internet exploration. I was watching BlizzCon, cause I really love Starcraft, and Blizzard’s CEO Mike Morhaime starts talking about recent harassment issues and other crap that seems to lead to #GamerGate. Later, there seems to be this trendy feminist YouTuber called Anita Sarkeesian who seems to be getting a lot of popularity and a lot of hate. So is that what all the fuss is about?

Later, I was exposed to more details about #GamerGate, like a consumer getting exposed to subliminal advertising. Apparently, the big fuss is there’s a war that stated when a game reviewer was having sex with a game developer, and that made the reviewer biased, and for some reason people really don’t like that. I still had a hard time giving a fuck, but I can’t help, out of morbid curiosity, to dig out the dirt out of this story. So far, I heard that people got bullied, which is bad… so bullied that they had to close their Twitter account. Hum.. ok…. I heard there were death treats, yeah that’s pretty serious. So this is what people are waging war against on the Internet, that’s what they spend their energy fighting for. I saw a lot of recurring comments about Anita cherry picking moments in video games to prove her point gender inequality. Yeah, that’s bad, she shouldn’t do that. Oh but that actually helped her gain popularity. So I guess it was smart for her to do that. Yah, but it does not reflect the truth about the gamer community. Ok… can’t we just end the debate at “She’s half right” and be done with it? It seems like a lot of gamers get really worked up over this. It made me question myself. Am I really insensitive and unwilling to defend the gamer community by not giving a fuck? Actually, I don’t really have that much ammo to criticize her because I think she’s half right that the video game industry is a bit macho, and yes I didn’t have to watch her videos to say that. And as silly as it sounds, I am wasting my time writing this article just to show how much I don’t care. It seems silly to me that an issue like this would escalate to death treats. I hope nobody died from #GamerGate, I didn’t really follow you know.

There’s more about feminism. So I watched a video from another feminist, Rebecca Watson. And I got on her channel simply because of a video she made on 5 tips to beat Civilization V. I have to admit feminism is a turn off for me, but it doesn’t really induce hate. So not sure why, that silly video about Civ V made me subscribe to her channel, then I get all those vide about feminism. I don’t really buy it. For me it’s kinda crap, but it’s like a cheap burger, not satisfying but it’s enough to fill my boredom. But then I encounter the video of people attacking her. For some reason, a feminist talking shit doesn’t really bother me, but men attacking her for talking shit kinda does. Isn’t it a big sign of insecurity when a man go all their way to attack a woman, when her message is not even directly addressed to them? A lot of people (I assume most of them men) seem to defend the image of their community as if they’re fighting for freedom or something. That did made me wonder if I’m not the jerk here. By not caring, not taking sides in those controversial issues, does it make me bad in some way? And if it does, should I really care?

I think I do care to some extent about my online persona, because I do publish games online, and an attack on me would kinda suck and probably affect negatively what I want to achieve. On the other hand, I don’t really give a fuck that much. Jack Le Hamster is not my real name ;-P. But now, I find the irresistible urge to voice my opinion, despite that doing it shows I do give a fuck and completely invalidates my points.

So at first, it’s true I didn’t really care for all this controversies. I was just letting it pass on my little cloud. I’m sure most of us would not care about this at all in 1 or 2 years, but perhaps there’s a little bit of my thoughts I could share through this story. When I grew up, I used to think the important things in the world to care about are the hungry children in developing countries. We’re talking about children dying here. It’s a serious problem, which have gone by for so long that I now feel desensitized by it. Sadly, it’s almost becoming a fad, it’s so 90’s. But humans still need that sense of purpose in their life, this idea that they have to fight for a cause. When this whole controversy came out, a lot of heated arguments on social media took place, yet for me, it seems so trivial to even think about that.

I also think there’s something about wrong for men with publicly attacking women on social medias. While this clearly shows gender inequality in my mind, I really do think that Anita’s claim didn’t have to be taken seriously. It would actually be the best way to be against her, since fueling the controversy increases her popularity. Who knows, maybe it was her plan to get unwanted attention, and anti-feminist felt into her trap. If someone makes a bad comment about you or your community, the best way is really to ignore, or respond in a way that shows you don’t care. What is the worst that can happen if some people believe Anita’s claims? Women characters having more power in video game? Defending against that shows a lot of insecurities about gamers in my opinion. That ruins the image of the gaming community a lot worst than having people believe the gaming industry has gender inequality.

Now for the part that’s gonna get feminist to hate me…

So does it mean I agree with feminists and all their men bashing videos? Well, like I say I’m really turned off by feminists and I consider most of what they say as unimportant. I’m don’t have much love for anybody who attempts to spread message of hate, but I guess we can lend them an ear once in a while, to figure out ways we can less piss off women. Guys, we all know we can’t win fights against women, so why even try. When women argue with men, there’s maybe between 30%-99% bullshit that you can ignore. Trying to argue with that makes you look downright stupid. I think women just want to be heard, they don’t necessarily need a response of some sort. Just knowing that men understood their message is enough I think. For men, showing hints that they got the message is probably enough. We don’t have to be literal about everything women argue about, because remember, there’s a huge chunk of bullshit that needs to be filtered out.

So you’ll notice that there’s even more crap I added in the tags section, more trendy controversial hashtags to discuss about.

Maybe I’ll skip #KimKardashian. I was just screwing around.

So aside from that. There’s another recent controversial hashtags that surface recently. #JeSuisCharlie et #JeSuisPasCharlie.

I have to say, the terrorists attacks on the French cartoonist really didn’t concern me. First of all because I was born in France, but also because I do believe in freedom of expression, and that the cartoonists shouldn’t have been murdered for criticizing a religion through their cartoons. I won’t even claim that I’m brave enough to risk my life by defying a religion and proving my freedom of expression, yet I feel somewhat outraged by some of the perspective that came from this story. Saying that they deserved it or that they saw it coming is the kind of comments that really shouldn’t be made. Other comments that directly attack the religion are not great either, but that’s something unavoidable given the situation.

I didn’t really jump on the bandwagon with the whole #JeSuisCharlie tag. If I had to choose, then yes, I’m on the side #JeSuisCharlie. I actually find the sound of it pretty silly, and I also didn’t feel like falling in this trap of following the popular trend.

So following the popular trend makes me a sheep, yet perhaps ignoring it makes me feel left behind. At the end, I think this is really just a decision I have to make whether or not to leave this historical trace of me on the Internet. By experience, whenever I look at something I wrote five or ten years ago, I always think: “That is soooo stupid!”. But I don’t think I’ve ever regretted.

Well, since I won’t regret anything, let’s just puke every opinion out and let it go. So that #KimKardashian picture from PAPER magazine…. godamn awful!!

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About jacklehamster

Technocraft and internet developer

Posted on January 24, 2015, in Jack Le Hamster and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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