Collection of #gamergate Misconceptions & Lies

There are two possible ways to interpret these factually incorrect statements: either they’re an outright, direct lie or they are reckless misinformation being forwarded as fact without fact checking. In either case, they’re guilty of slander. There’s a reason actual journalistic outlets fact check and offer retractions.

  • Zoe Quinn slept with people for reviews: never happened, no one she had a sexual relationship with ever reviewed anything she made.
  • … Well, then, she slept with people for positive press: Still no. This was investigated and debunked by Kotaku. This was also confirmed to be impossible even by Zoe’s ex.
  • Zoe Quinn launched a DDoS attack on The Fine Young Capitalists. The Fine Young Capitalists admits this never happened. Their website did accidentally go down after Zoe tweeted about it (via what is known as the Slashdot effect) but this is not the same as a DDoS attack.
  • Zoe Quinn won an award at Indiecade because of her personal relationships. She never won an award at Indiecade, nor was she even a finalist for one of them.
  • Zoe Quinn never donated a portion of her game’s proceeds to charity, despite claiming she did: this was proved completely baseless within 24 hours of the original accusation.
  • Zoe Quinn is accepting donations for Rebel Game Jam, despite having no way to differentiate between those donations and personal donations to her through her own site: again, incorrect. You can find this out yourself live by clicking the donate button on the Rebel Jam site.
  • Zoe Quinn created the Rebel Game Jam to benefit from the publicity over TFYC, as a direct competitor: Completely baseless, as can be seen from the description on the site itself. TFYC as a project where they’d make a game based on an idea from a woman. Rebel Game Jam is not woman-only, it’s not a contest, they don’t make the game for you, and the goal of the whole thing is to document the game jam process and upload videos of it to youtube in a documentary style. They literally have nothing to do with one another.
  • Zoe Quinn’s criticism of TFYC was baseless and unfair: she had plenty of completely legitimate problems with how TFYC was being run and who was running it. You can disagree with her criticism of them, but there is no way you can say it was baseless– they’re not teaching women to make games, they’re making them for them, and these people have never made a game before, among other things.
  • Phil Fish hacked himself to make #gamergate look bad: these kind of conspiracy theories are disturbingly common in #gamergate, but this one’s even more absurd than most. If he just wanted to make it look like he was hacked to make #gamergate look bad, he wouldn’t have released personal information of his employees. This would open him up to enormous lawsuits. All to… smear random people?
  • Anita Sarkeesian lied about talking to the police. The reporter who made this original claim retracted it fully. She was dealing with the FBI this whole time, even as people were screaming “she lied! she never contacted the police!”
  • Jenn Frank refused to disclose her patreon contributions in her article in The Guardian: She did disclose, The Guardian removed it. For this she was harassed out of the industry. The Guardian looked at the disclosure and determined it was not relevant.
  • Maya Kramer colluded with IGF to get The Stanley Parable awards. The only award won was voted by the public.
  • Anita Sarkeesian made up or faked the mass shooting/massacre threat: When a threat like this occurs, it is the job of law enforcement to determine of the threat poses a real, immediate risk to the public or not. Saying it does not (as was later determined) does not mean the threat was “faked” or made up.
  • Anita Sarkeesian says all gamers are sexist and/or misogynistic: This is an issue with comprehension. She never says this, anywhere. Art and pop culture both reflect and shape pop culture, often in subtle ways. The thesis is never “if you play games you’ll become a horrible misogynist.”
  • Jonathan McIntosh is the “real voice” behind Feminist Frequency: this is both absurd, unfounded, and insulting. Yes, he is a co-writer and a producer for the show. This does not invalidate that it is primarily Sarkeesian’s work. She wrote her master’s thesis on representation issues in geek portrayals of women in media; she clearly had an interest in the subject matter long before any association with McIntosh.
  • Brianna Wu used a “serious autism picture” to mock #gamergate: This originated here despite being completely baseless. It’s a stock photo of a child throwing a temper tantrum. That stock photo was also once used in one site about autism.. That doesn’t make it a “serious autism picture.”
  • “Game Journalism Pros” involved collusion among writers: People are confusing “collusion” with “people talking about what they write about, and the ethical considerations of their coverage.” There’s a reason only Breitbart picked up this story; there’s no substance to it. It was sensationalism, nothing more.
  • “Gamers Are Dead” was a coordinated attack and the result of collusion: Leigh Alexander’s piece was the original (which was aimed at developers, not attacking consumers). The other pieces are direct responses to Alexander’s piece. In other words, this isn’t the result of collusion, but dialogue around an idea forwarded by her.

These are some of the absurd claims that have proven to be patently false upon even moderate inspection, yet they’re still being used to slander these people to this very day. These kind of baseless accusations are ruining peoples lives and invading their privacy.

Nevermind the incredibly bizarre preoccupation with people like Sarkeesian, Wu, and Quinn who have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with journalism.


4 thoughts on “Collection of #gamergate Misconceptions & Lies

  1. Reblogged this on Artemis Flight Books and commented:
    I’m going to step away from talking about writing and RPGs for a moment to talk here about sexism in gaming.

    In RPGs, sexism is pretty rampant – I think we all remember the filmy rubber swimsuits on the cover of Rifts in the 90s, and similar artwork on the cover of Exalted within this past decade. Boob plate has appeared everywhere from the inside of indie press RPG manuals to big-screen movies (much as we hate to admit it, 2000’s Dungeons & Dragons did, in fact, appear in theatres).

    RPGs, however, have known for a long, long time (at LEAST since the mid-1990s, which are now 20 years ago) that women are a substantial portion of their market segment and as a result have taken steps – halting at first but with greater confidence and even some grace and skill of late – at approaching women, people of color, and LGBT people.

    Video games, however, have suffered from listening to their own press – they assume that their core audience are still adolescent boys, and continue the same set of assumptions in their fiction: Most video game heroes are men in their 30s, usually white, with the manly features that teenage boys often wish to have. Their adventures often prominently include the embarrassingly juvenile “rescue the girl” type plot construction that other forms of media have long outgrown (Mario and Link have gotten by on this plot for 30 years with no sign of slowing).

    The GamerGate crowd seems to be following the example of Republican politicians in the United States Congress: Behave badly in ways that are so over-the-top that the audience’s instinct will be to disbelieve that it even happened because they can’t accept that anybody would be that infantile.

    Any excuse of “ethics in journalism” should be long-dismissed – the disgusted response of actual journalists to the antics of GamerGate is diagnostic in that regard. But of course, with typically lacking self-awareness, GamerGaters refuse to take “Journalism ethics do not work that way!” from people whose job it is to actually KNOW the ethical standards and charges of their profession, accusing all manner of journalists of collusion in their faux-scandal. Seriously, actual journalists from students to the highest levels of professionalism are uniformly disgusted by GamerGate.

    The backlash to Sarkeesian’s “Feminist Frequency” web series (which pretty much surrounds the fact that she disabled comments on her videos – something that many people discussing serious subjects on YouTube do because of the phenomenally awful ratio of abuse to useful content in those comments) counts as the beginning of organized resistance to any form of feminist thought in video gaming. (though calling it “organized” – or indeed, “resistance” is giving it too much credit; given the brazenly horrific behavior of GamerGaters and others in the reaction camp, it’s more like “mob blowback”).

    This is actually a pretty serious problem. Anita and the other women targeted by GamerGate are just the latest in a series of feminist betes noir for less-than-ethical people calling themselves “gamers,” because they’re women who have expressed mild reproach for the tendency of the video game industry to consider itself an industry that caters to men first and women only incidentally. This despite the fact that an absolute majority of people now playing video games is women, AND a substantial amount of the hardcore gaming crowd IN SPITE of the aggressive misogyny faced against said “gamers.”

    Evidence that 4chan fabricated GamerGate to help an angry ex abuse the woman who dumped him:

    (not that it’s necessary, no one observing GamerGate could fail to notice the obsessive hatred for women in general and Ms. Quinn specifically)


  2. Let’s not forget that any hashtag they deem “Anti-GG” is some kind of great conspiracy or plot to get them to leave the GamerGate hashtag. See: #StopGamerGate2014, #INeedDiverseGames.


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