#GamerGate: Scandal Shows Decline in Media Ethics

What mainstream media isn’t telling you



Many gamers are uniting under #GamerGate to confront corruption in journalism.

by Jack Densmore, Staff Writer

Twitter has been buzzing in the gaming world these past few weeks. The #GamerGate hashtag is a tag in regards to corruption in gaming journalism, and how many news outlets don’t represent both sides of the argument.

This movement mainly started after an indie gamer named Zoe Quinn allegedly had affairs with gaming journalists to boost ratings for her video game. The accusations started after an ex-boyfriend named Eron Gjoni made a blog post stating that Quinn had these sexual affairs with gaming journalists such as Nathan Grayson who writes for Kotaku, a popular gaming news site. Grayson later denied the claims and said that he did not make a favorable review for Quinn’s game “Depression Quest.”

Youtube gamer TotalBiscuit addressed gaming journalism in response to the Zoe Quinn scandal.

“The long and short of it is that Quinn is being accused of exploiting the neoptism [SIC] that tends to plague this industry by getting a bunch of favorable coverage from people she supposedly slept with. In addition to this, videos supposedly critical of these actions have been taken down from Youtube with copyright claims, including a video by a smaller channel named MundaneMatt.” (@TotalBiscuit, Twitlonger)

In addition to TotalBiscuit, many Youtubers have also joined the #GamerGate movement such as MundaneMatt, SargonofAkkad, and many others. The #GamerGate movement also has the support of actor Adam Baldwin. Recently a new hashtag called #OpSKYNET popped up on Twitter. The hashtag is used to support #GamerGate supporters and runs like a #ff (#FollowFriday).

“In simplest terms it’s like follow Friday for people who are pro-GamerGate. Not necessarily an echo chamber, but those of us who support this particular topic as well as gaming and other elements inside pop culture and media, and it’s a great way for us to come together, forge new friendships, new relationships, and show people that we’re not a hate movement, we’re not anything more than a consumer revolt that is evolving into a community.” (MundaneMatt, Youtube)

The accusation and fire from gamers on Twitter, as well as the people who have cyber-attacked Quinn, got the attention of Feminist Frequency host Anita Sarkeesian. Frequently on her video posts, she claims video games are sexist and misogynistic towards females; games like Grand Theft Auto, Dragon Age, and etc. She claims that women in video games are sexualized and are damsels in distress. These videos have been under immense ridicule from male and female gamers.

Sarkeesian had also recently been sent death threats as she was supposed to speak publicly at a school and someone sent her threats of a mass school shooting if she were to speak at the school. Sarkeesian appeared on the Comedy Central TV show; The Colbert Report talked about this incident, as well as her stance on the issue.

“I think women are being perceived as threatening because we are asking for games to be more inclusive,” said Sarkeesian on The Colbert Report. “We are asking for games to acknowledge that we exist and that we love games.”

The main counter-argument to Sarkessian’s arguments on the show is that she could only think of one game title that had sexist content which was Grand Theft Auto. Also, the only video she showed was of one scene in Dragon Age that involved sexist behavior by a male antagonist.

Art is subjective. If you don’t like the art someone created, you are 100% to create your own to express your own views. Its THAT simple,

— @mundanematt, Twitter

The mainstream media has mostly favored the #StopGamerGate side by only interviewing the supporters of #StopGamerGate and not the other side, thus labeling #GamerGate and its supporters as sexist and misogynistic. This has been the main argument on the #GamerGate side.

The ethics brought up in these disputes is the fact that there is no opinion of the other side. Only one opinion is stated. This has been a growing problem in mainstream media as only one opinion is stated while no opposing argument is represented. That is something that should be fixed.

The solution is very simple: interview the other side, as well as state facts rather than opinions. These aspects will help solve this issue. One of the main ethics in journalism is if a writer is going to do an opinion piece, they state their opinion, but they should also state the opinions of the other side.

From what many have seen, this has not been the case. Anti-#GamerGate supporters are being highlighted and supported by the mainstream media with little to no opinion stated from the #GamerGate supporters. This not only goes against the ethics in journalism, but is also leading people to support one side without hearing the other.

The #GamerGate is actually more of a movement to bring attention to the corruption in journalism. The media should do equal coverage of both sides. Then anti-#GamerGate supporters would be able to understand the opposing point of view. Finally, the public would be able to finally know that corruption in journalism exists and people overall should do their own research from multiple sources rather than simply trusting one source of information.