A Response to Henry Jenkins: “Popular Culture & The Civic Imagination: “Who and What Belongs: #Gamergate and Abjection” (1 of 2)”

Jimmy Page
Mar 26 · 7 min read

So Henry Jenkins has put out a piece talking about #Gamergate……….I guess the ride never does end?

If you’re reading this hello Henry, if not hello reader I’m going to try and go over this latest piece about Gamergate and break down some of the problems. Obviously this will include quotes from the piece in question and a response from me. I’m doing this as the original place it was posted doesn’t have a comments section and this is going to be too long for a tweet chain plus it’s 2 tweets in I’d probably be blocked anyway and hopefully this way Mr Jenkins or at least others will read this.

I think as Brianna Wu argues, we can see the tactics of gamergate being used by lots of folks in the #altright and even to some extent on the left when we hear about some ostensible Sanders supporters doing it to folks from the Nevada hospitality union.

Are you really sure you want to listen to Brianna Wu though as a reputable source?

I mean this was her first post about Gamergate.

Here’s some of her later antics

Oh and those two got archived so you can check for yourselves that they do indeed exist. Wu tried to smear GG with a fake second account. Hell Wu has a history of making false claims about GG that I wrote about before . This is the same Wu who was crying about harassment before Gamergate started and at the time was unknown enough to have under 1,000 follower on twitter based on archives of her account you’ll also note no actual examples of the alledged harassment were shown

But anyway carrying on

SP: There’s a line that you quoted early in your piece that touches on this idea very well: “. . . This hashtag was the canary in the coal mine, and we missed it” (214). It captures the idea that this whole event was more about the who, what, and how it ostracized and labeled people as bad and dangerous to the community. Seeing these tactics echoed across different spaces shows that it was less about the game and more about everything else.

I’d personally argue it was less the canary in the coal mine and more the canary dropping dead and people not noticing. It was the alienation of people from those meant to be covering their hobby. It’s funny really to see talk about ostracism when that’s just what the play was here. I mean how many times have you seen people on about toxic fans because they dared criticise some aspects of a property these days? It was Toxic fans who didn’t like Ghostbusters 2016’s trailer. There was a push to remove “Undesirable” elements from gaming which apparently included socially awkward people or though not expressed openly to curate the audience similar to how TikTok is alleged to curate things.

When subsumed into an echo chamber of videos and peers, it can be hard to see through it in the moment, even though it’s easy to see in hindsight. That is scary. Second, many of the loudest voices were from the altright. The fact that these tactics crop up in different spaces, especially along with the altright, goes to show how resonant that quote was. Canary in the coal mine indeed.

Well you are right it can. Odd how you don’t have a comment section to make sure you’re not stuck in an echo chamber. Also odd how the Anti-Gamergate side literally built a system to auto block out any of the Gamergate side. Also it was Gamergate who tried to have a debate via SPJ airplay and Anti-Gamergate who refused to show up . It’s also worthy of note anyone can come into KotakuInAction on reddit and unlike Gamerghazi you won’t face an instant ban for going against the narrative. Gamergate an echo chamber so open it actively seeks out and engages with others………..

jm:…So it became untenable emotionally for gamergaters to share a fandom with anti-gg because they had conflicting affect about the object (video games) of focus.

Which yes that would be entirely correct because Gamergate saw art while Anti-GG in many cases well. They saw a new way to deliver their political ideology.

Or another medium to claim ownership of in a stupid culture war.

For gaming to be an inclusive medium that means different ideologies being allowed here and the value of art being more than if you agree with the message of said art or not. It however shouldn’t mean every single game having to cater to every-one.

SP:…I think that these GG videos bashing Depression Quest are a clear part of the process of “radically excluding” the abject element. By demonstrating that #gamergate defines Depression Quest and Quinn as that which is harmful to the system, and that those things need to be radically excluded for the good of the system, we can see a textbook example of abjection and the processes associated with suppressing it.

Well I think for at least one person if Zoe hadn’t been given a huge platform it would have been good for the medium. Plus quite a lot of the Polaris staff. Oh and lets not forget those Kickstarter backers who have been left hanging or Tim Soret who’d have had a much less hassle at E3 without her being given such a platform.

jm:….the radical dismembering of virtual identities through doxxing and harassment.

Oh you mean like how friend of Zoe Quinn Maya Kramer shared round the phone number of TFYC head at the time who Zoe was lets just say not happy with.

There’s room for every single gamergater but there’s absolutely no room for ambiguous others like Brianna Wu or Anita Sarkeesian or, it’s worth noting, people like me.

Well Wu was mostly in it to be self serving and get attention to her game to try and make money. Which she left broken and didn’t bother to fix when it got a poor reception and didn’t get the sales numbers she was hoping for. As for Anita well

After a brief pause and a laugh, Sarkeesian responded: “I would love for companies to have moral restrictions, but they don’t.” She then dove into a multitude of examples of games or movies wherein female characters are used only as devices to show how depraved a male character is, citing specifically Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and the Grand Theft Auto series. “Video games are an art form, but they’re made by corporations, and corporations aim to make money,” she explained, noting a corporate flaw.

That was an excerpt from a Q&A session reported on by The Triangle . Now I’m not sure how familiar you are with efforts to censor media in the past but often the claim is it must be done for some moral reason or other. Anita basically admitted she would like to be the person to do to gaming what Fredric Wertham is credited as doing to comics or The Council of Trent did to renaissance art works. The Games Anita mentioned are already reviewed by ratings boards and given an age rating just like films get but Anita objects to content in them and wants said elements entirely banned.

So to you Joan Miller, I have to ask why you feel there is no place for you? I mean unless you’re trying to take advantage of people and merely advance yourself or trying to claim the medium must be censored for the good of the world like many a moral puritan in the past then there likely is a place for you. That is if you do care about the medium as an art form.

By using virtual and emotional violence gg-ers can push others off the internet and therefore out of existence.

Oh you mean like falsely blaming youtubers for alleged harassment?

Then having people falsely report them to literally have them banned from twitter for a while?

Or I mean you could try to shame them into silence

Or how about use your platform to hurl insults and smear people?

Or how about the large number of bit of evidence GG people collected of harassment, actual documented things not merely claims and and before you claim fake one of those images on there was submitted by me after an attempt to mass flag my twitter account to get me banned.

I mean there were multiple bomb threats against GG meetups and against SPJ Airplay . Or do they not count because GG are ‘The bad guys’ in your view?

So yes thank you for reading and Henry Jenkins. I hope if you’ve read it you’ve maybe learned something. If you got this far. Also you can comment below on this should you wish to because this isn’t an echo chamber you can respond to me here.

Oh and one more little thing you might enjoy learning about the harassment. There’s evidence it was fake. I mean if it was so real and in such a volume why would trolls have to bribe people?

Jimmy Page

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I'm doing various things For just content updates follow @DwarvenhobbleUD for nonsense yelling @Dwarvenhobble

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