devxlogo

GamerGate

Definition

GamerGate is a controversial online movement that emerged around 2014, primarily associated with the gaming community. It initially began critiquing perceived ethical issues in gaming journalism, but it soon evolved to include topics like censorship and the role of feminism in the video game industry. Though some advocated for positive change, GamerGate was often criticized for its widespread harassment and online attacks against women and marginalized groups within the gaming community.

Phonetic

The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “GamerGate” is: ˈɡeɪmərˌɡeɪt

Key Takeaways

  1. GamerGate was a controversy that initially began as a debate about ethics in gaming journalism but quickly escalated into issues of sexism, harassment, and the cultural impact of video games.
  2. Supporters of GamerGate claimed to be fighting against unethical practices in gaming journalism, such as conflicts of interest and collusion, while opponents argued that it was a misogynistic harassment campaign against women in the gaming industry.
  3. GamerGate exposed the deeply entrenched divides within the gaming community regarding gender, representation, and the role of the gaming press and is still a contentious topic that brings up discussions about online harassment, censorship, and the need for better ethics in gaming journalism.

Importance

GamerGate is a significant term in technology as it refers to a controversy that emerged in 2014 within the gaming community, highlighting the issues of sexism, harassment, and ethical concerns in the gaming industry and video game journalism.

The movement gained momentum when certain female game developers and critics were subjected to severe online harassment and threats.

GamerGate’s importance lies in its role in sparking widespread debates on pressing issues such as the treatment of women in the industry, journalistic ethics, online harassment, and internet trolling, ultimately leading to increased awareness and fostering discussions on fostering a more inclusive and ethical gaming culture.

Explanation

GamerGate, a controversial movement that emerged on the internet in 2014, was ostensibly aimed to improve the ethical standards of the gaming journalism industry. The proponents of GamerGate voiced their concerns about the perceived lack of transparency and objectivity in video game journalism, stressing the importance of holding industry professionals, particularly video game journalists and reviewers, accountable for any potential biases or conflicts of interest.

They argued that these issues could lead to skewed coverage and favoritism, ultimately misleading the gaming community and influencing their purchasing decisions. GamerGate supporters often used social media platforms such as Twitter and Reddit to express their opinions and advocate for changes within the gaming industry.

However, the GamerGate movement quickly became notorious for its toxic online behavior and targeted harassment. Critics of the movement point out that while some of its participants may have had genuine concerns about industry ethics, GamerGate ultimately became a front for negative attitudes towards women and marginalized groups within the gaming community.

These critics argue that GamerGate was used by some to attack progressive voices within the industry, leading to a prolonged and divisive online harassment campaign against developers, journalists, and critics, especially women. The fallout from GamerGate shed light on the undeniable need for a more inclusive and ethical video game industry, as well as the continued conversation around harassment in online spaces.

Examples of GamerGate

GamerGate is not a technology; it was a controversy in the world of video gaming that started in August

The movement initially began from claims regarding ethical standards in gaming journalism and rapidly escalated into intense harassment and sexism towards female game developers and gamers. Here are three real-world examples or incidents related to the GamerGate controversy:

Zoe Quinn and Depression Quest: A critical incident that triggered GamerGate involved indie game developer Zoe Quinn and her game, Depression Quest. Accusations against Quinn by her ex-boyfriend sparked the start of the controversy, as some individuals claimed that Quinn’s personal relationships influenced how the game was covered by gaming journalists. Quinn and others who defended her faced intense harassment online.

Anita Sarkeesian and Tropes vs. Women in Video Games: Anita Sarkeesian, a media critic, and creator of the web series Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, became a target of GamerGate supporters. Sarkeesian’s works focused on critiquing the depiction of women in gaming and her perceived focus on gender issues in video games contributed to the controversy, drawing harassment and threats.

Brianna Wu and harassment: Brianna Wu, a game developer, was another target of online harassment and cyberbullying during GamerGate. After creating a meme poking fun at GamerGate, Wu received threats against her and her family’s safety, causing her to flee her home for some time. The level of harassment that Wu faced further highlighted the issues of online harassment and misogyny in the video game industry.

GamerGate FAQ

What is GamerGate?

GamerGate is a controversial online movement that emerged in 2014, which focuses on issues around ethics in gaming journalism, as well as the representation and harassment of women in the gaming industry. It has been the subject of significant debate and criticism, and has led to numerous discussions about sexism, internet culture, and the role of journalists in covering the gaming industry.

How did GamerGate begin?

GamerGate began as a response to accusations of conflicts of interest and ethical breaches in gaming journalism. It gained momentum after a blog post by an ex-boyfriend of game developer Zoe Quinn leveled accusations against her and a journalist at the gaming news website Kotaku. This led to increased attention on ethics in gaming journalism and eventually evolved into the broader GamerGate movement.

What are the main goals of GamerGate?

Supporters of GamerGate claim that their primary goal is to improve ethics in gaming journalism, as well as to expose corruption and conflicts of interest within the industry. They also emphasize freedom of expression and artistic creativity, pointing to several instances where game developers have faced backlash for the content of their games. However, critics argue that the movement is primarily focused on attacking and harassing women in the gaming industry, with the stated goals serving as a cover for a larger, misogynistic agenda.

What are the main criticisms of GamerGate?

Critics of GamerGate argue that, despite its stated goals, the movement has disproportionately targeted women, including game developers, journalists, and critics, with online harassment and threats of violence. Many also argue that GamerGate’s focus on ethics in journalism is misguided, and that the movement has instead fostered a toxic and hostile environment for those who work in or are passionate about the gaming industry.

How has the gaming industry responded to GamerGate?

The gaming industry has responded to GamerGate in a variety of ways. Some developers and publishers have taken steps to improve ethical standards in regards to transparency and disclosure, while others have engaged in efforts to better represent women and other marginalized groups in their games. Many industry professionals, organizations, and journalists have also denounced the harassment and toxic behavior associated with the movement, and have sought to foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all gamers.

Related Technology Terms

  • Video Game Journalism
  • Online Harassment
  • Feminism in Gaming
  • Ethics in Game Industry
  • Social Media Controversy

Sources for More Information

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents

More Terms