Sunday, 5 October 2014
Hypocrisy of anti-#Gamergate
Imagine you were writing for an automobile magazine. Imagine now that for some reason known only to you, you decide that enough is enough, and write an openly hostile article declaring your target audience obsolete, your readers dead, and the beginning of the new era right at the doorstep, where car enthusiasts are not needed, because the boat lovers will do just fine. Now imagine the reaction of your readership. As this was certainly not a joke, they will first want an explanation. When you insult them further, block all their means of protest, you should not be surprised when your car enthusiasts give in, and give up on you.
You should not be surprised when your former readership contacts various car and tire companies, and informs them that your automobile magazine decided to shift markets onto boats, decrying and insulting all the car enthusiasts in the meanwhile. We would probably all agree that it is in the best interest of the car and tire manufacturers, your magazine, and the future readership if the unnecessary ads are gone. And by unnecessary, I mean the ads that do not target your readers. It is pointless to have a baking dishes ads in a specialised magazine focused on cars. So it is as pointless to have car ads in a magazine that wants to write for boat lovers instead.
After all, one hand takes care of the other, and in this day and age, in this world you have to earn your money. Nothing is free. Thus everyone is looking to make good use of their money, and if your magazine will not write for car enthusiasts any longer, then it is a waste of money on the tire manufacturer's part to finance the ads in your magazine. Better to give a chance to some boat companies, and cruise ship voyages. They might find your new direction more favourable, than the tire manufacturers. After all, boats don't have tires, but ships do float on water.
And to come out, all outraged and furious, claiming tire manufacturers that stopped doing business with your magazine because of the new direction your magazine has taken, hate women is absurd. It is ad hominem, strawman, and probably couple of other logical fallacies as well. And that is a disgrace to you and your magazine as "supposed" professionals. This is the current predicament of Gamasutra. They published the article of Leigh Alexander decrying gamers, insulting them, and marking them as unneeded. Gamers said fuck off, and went to the advertisers, telling them what kind of stuff are they saying over at Gamasutra, and that there is no point in advertising for gamers, as they are not the target audience of that website any longer.
Reasonable stance all things considered. And then, comes the gall of these people, the nerve to try and change a perfectly reasonable business decision into something personal, something toxic. Intel did not remove ads from Gamasutra because they would hate women. They removed ads from Gamasutra because its editor-at-large insulted their core audience. And they realised any further connection with Gamasutra would reflect bad on them, and unlike Alexander, Intel understands who are they selling their hardware to. Nothing personal, just business.
As you probably know, Intel later on issued an apology in regard to the whole matter. But as you will notice, they apologised for any misunderstanding. They do not hate women (common sense from a business perspective), but they will not be doing business with Gamasutra either in near future.
That said, I find appeals to emotions a disgusting thing. And to see this happen in front of my own eyes is rather revolting. I saw people asking for solidarity toward Gamasutra, to support the site because Intel "dared" to pull their ad campaign. I saw people asking for mercy. I don't know in what utopia those people live in, but in my world, and I would like to believe that is the world of all sensible people, there is no mercy for the corrupt, no pardon for the wicked, and no solidarity towards unethical. These are the things where we should never compromise. You are either ethical, or you aren't. You are moral or you are not moral. There is no middle way. Only absolutes.
What I find the most interesting of all, is the smear piece they wrote about #Gamergate in past couple of days over at Mirror, and wanted to determine what #Gamergate is all about through a poll. Well, they have singlehandedly helped legitimise the movement, if that was ever required, as the option about fighting the corruption is in major lead over all other options in the poll combined, misogyny included.
Boycott is a valid means of protest. It is in my personal opinion the best form of protest in this day and age. Nobody will cave in to you for free, nobody will change their stance just because you say their stance is wrong. But reasonable people, once they see money is not coming in will notice and reconsider. Reasonable people might come to conclusion that what they are doing is wrong, and they need to change their ways.
Unfortunately gamers are not dealing with reasonable people here. They appear to be greater narcissists than me myself and I, and that is telling a lot. It does not seem any critique comes to them, and they appear to be living in their own little world isolated from any different opinion. Unfortunately for them, gamers play to win, not to have fun. For gamers fun comes form winning. And destroying their opponents is nectar of gods for gamers. Gamasutra and its likes changed this into Rule or Ruin scenario with their hostile rhetoric. What they did not realise is that gamers already rule, and they are not afraid to ruin anyone pretentious enough to question their existence. Not with the violence, but by simply not giving them any money.
So let the hypocrites burn. I look forward to seeing Gamasutra and other sites like it, who attack their core audience instead of facing the accusations raised against them fall apart and to the oblivion. It is survival of the fittest on the internet, and if you lack the common sense, then it is a good thing when you become obsolete.