What Is GamerGate? Here’s An Explainer For All The Confused Non-Nerds Out There.

Back about a month ago, we told you about GamerGate when it was in its infancy stages, and I kind of figured that was the end. Instead, it’s mutated into a truly ridiculous mess that’s brought in political operatives and sucked in unwilling celebrities. And, thus, a lot of people are hearing about it, but they’re not clear on what it is. And so, for the benefit of those of you wondering what the hell is going on, here is an explainer.

OK, so what the hell is GamerGate?

It’s a lot of things, to a lot of people, but sticking to the facts, it’s a hashtag that began trending on Twitter as a response to pieces from major gaming outlets with titles like ‘Gamers’ Are Over by Leigh Alexander:

‘Games culture’ is a petri dish of people who know so little about how human social interaction and professional life works that they can concoct online ‘wars’ about social justice or ‘game journalism ethics,’ straight-faced, and cause genuine human consequences. Because of video games.

Depending on whom you ask, these pieces were a reflection of the widespread corruption in the gaming industry and the collusion between the gaming press and game developers against gamers. Or they were a reflection of a bunch of adults finally losing their s**t on their largely teenage audience.

What triggered these angry editorials?

The ex of an indie game developer, Zoe Quinn, alleged among other things that she slept with developers for good reviews of her free game Depression Quest. Unfortunately, the gaming community has a long history of being crappy towards women, and a lot of the misogynist dolts who occupy the hobby also hate Depression Quest because it’s a game critics like that does not involve shooting. So they were on Quinn like bedbugs about how she’s a big ol’ whore and obviously slept her way to positive reviews of a game she released for free.

What’s the response from gamers?

Essentially, that the misogynist attacks either aren’t happening, which, you know, they are. Or that it’s a minority of all gamers and thus game outlets shouldn’t be so mean. It hurts their fee-fees to admit that, yes, maybe there might just be a few terrible human beings on Xbox Live!