Category Archives: Political

I Am A Gamer, and I Oppose #Gamergate Because It Is Wrong

I won’t add many of my own words to this. I’ve not been very active about it. I tweet articles sometimes or retweet others’ thoughts. Basically, it has come down to this: For those aware of what’s been happening in gaming lately, supporting #Gamergate and not opposing it are both immoral acts. That is not to say they are equally immoral. It’s one thing to say ISIS has some good points and another to actually behead people, but they are both wrong. If you believe comparing #Gamergate to ISIS is hyperbole, you might be right but just barely because at this point #Gamergate is a terrorist organization. True, they haven’t actually murdered anyone yet, but the tactics of threatening and fearmongering are remarkably similar for a group of people claiming to be concerned with “ethics.” Anyway, I won’t say more about them myself. Below are links to articles more comprehensive and eloquent than anything I have to say. The purpose of this post is for me personally to take a stand. I want anyone who reads this, anyone who knows me to know, I am a gamer, and I oppose #Gamergate because it is wrong.

 

Links:

If you only read one of these, make sure it’s Felicia Day’s. She shows so clearly exactly the problem with the #Gamergate movement while expressing her usual, positive call to action attitude where so many others, myself included, can only speak negatively regarding this.

The Only Thing I Have To Say About Gamer Gate by Felicia Day

Why #Gamergaters Piss Me The F*** Off by Chris Kluwe

Report from the Salt Lake Tribune regarding Anita Sarkeesian cancelling her speaking engagement at Utah State University after receiving a mass-shooting threat.

From The Guardian: Gamergate is loud, dangerous and a last grasp at cultural dominance by angry white men

How To Boycott John Scalzi For Speaking Against #Gamergate

Rape and death threats are terrorizing female gamers. Why haven’t men in tech spoken out? by Brianna Wu

And finally, a report from ThinkProgress, which I admit isn’t the best source for objective news, but they’ve done a good job with the facts about the backlash against Felicia Day. Actress Felicia Day Opens Up About GamerGate Fears, Has Her Private Details Exposed Minutes Later

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Ferguson In My Back Yard

So this is a thing that happened close to where I live: “Lawyer: Autopsy shows Saratoga Springs man shot from behind.” In case you didn’t read that on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 a young black man carrying a “Samurai-type sword” was shot and killed by police officers in Saratoga Springs, Utah. An autopsy of the young man, Darrien Hunt, showed that he was shot exclusively in the back, which seems to be completely against the police description of the incident. This of course brings to mind the equally tragic shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO.

For those of you not familiar with Utah, it is a predominately white, Mormon/Christian, conservative old timey sort of place. Yes, we do have our diversity in small doses scattered around the cabinet. I even have one black and two gay friends. Diversity!

The reason I point this out is to note that issues like what’s happened recently in Ferguson, MO don’t really hit home here in Utah. I feel outrage. I feel disgust. I feel sad. But I never feel like stuff like that is real. It’s all stuff that happens somewhere else. I’m mad it happens anywhere, but I’m very distanced from it. I know a lot of that isn’t just geographic. Hell, I’d be willing to wager all my money that if I went to a Panda Express with a sword strapped to my back the worst I’d get is turned away from the restaurant and maybe have my sword confiscated.

I once had my bag searched in the airport because I had gone camping and forgotten to remove my knife before flying to Florida. And don’t think I was a Wally Cleaver white boy at the time. I hadn’t shaved in a week, my hair was long and messy, and I was wearing what could have been a pretty decent unabomber costume. When the TSA found my knife after I had just told them I didn’t have any weapons with me you know what they said? “Do you want to mail this home or leave it with us?” That was it. I left my knife and flew through the sky like a dove.

Point is, I wasn’t even worried when the TSA searched my bag or when they found a dangerous weapon I had just lied about. Sure it was unintentional, but I had no reason to worry. I’m white. So when I hear about young black men being killed, it bothers me but it doesn’t have the full weight of reality. I think a lot of people in Utah feel that way. When 90% of everyone you interact with is white, racial inequality is something you have to make an effort to see and understand. It’s not something you notice every day, even when you see it. Then a young, black man is shot in the back and killed in my metaphorical back yard, and suddenly it’s real. It’s here, in my life. And it’s something I can’t take for granted anymore.

Now, just to be clear, I’m not making any statement of guilt regarding the specific incident with Darrien Hunt. I don’t know who the officers involved are. I don’t know anything about them. I will make a guess though that they don’t see themselves as racist. I will guess that they were a bit freaked out and acted more out of fear than livid, burning hate. I will guess that they have families and friends and colleagues who respect and love them and support them right now, and I will guess that they deserve that support. Finally, I will also guess that the reason they shot a man in the back has a little to do with the sword he was carrying and a lot to do with the color of his skin. And that’s the real dangerous canker we find in our society today. As individuals, it’s not our fault. It is, however, our responsibility to fix it because whether we see it or not, it’s part of our lives.

The Futility of Misogyny

There’s been a lot news and opinions flying around about the dreadful murders which occurred in Santa Barbara last week. I’ve neglected to post anything about it on here because honestly, I felt like enough was being said already. I did decide to add my comments to another post, and while doing so I discovered one sentiment which I feel strongly enough about to share. That comment follows. The original post on which this comments is here:

The Santa Barbara Shooter Spews MRA Mind Poison Before Going On His Shooting Spree

Transcript of the shooter’s video, and the quote I take below, can be found here:

Video allegedly from mass killer in Santa Barbara: “If I can’t have you, girls, I’ll destroy you.” [TRIGGER WARNING]

Comment below:

One thing I wanted to say earlier, but felt didn’t quite fit, is how to me the saddest part of Roger’s pathetic rant was the statement, “All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them while they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes.” This thing is entirely in the subjunctive “what if” case. This rampage was, at least in large part, motivated by entirely perceived possible future slights. I don’t know if there’s any combination of words that can accurately convey how utterly pathetic and useless this is. He didn’t even ask these girls out and give them the chance to reject him. It’s like a bad plot twist at the end of a horror film. “And then he woke up and realized the girls’ rejections were all in his head.” It’s like a bad Game of Thrones dating show where the host has to grab the idiot and tell him, “Maybe if you just asked her out you could have a nice relationship without any rape or murder.” Obviously there are far worse things we can and should focus on, like the actual murders, but this part of it just pisses me off so much for the sheer imbecility and uselessness of it all.