GamerGate’s impact on academics and archivists

GamerGate is killing video games. "There are a number of us in academia who love games, care about games, and believe games are important. We have been working for years to make games a legitimate tool for education and for study, and we were making progress. People were starting to take games seriously. And then came GamerGate. I have seen the careful progress of a decade come crashing down, and now, when I go to talk about games to industry groups or fellow academics, GamerGate always comes up as an example of how terrible and immature people who play games are. It will take years and years to repair the damage, and it is absolutely devastating to the serious study and application of the power of games to real problems. We are going to have trouble getting grants, getting foundations to fund games, and getting people to take us seriously. It is devastating and makes me very sad."

  1. I’m kind of unclear why this would incline people to not archive this stuff. Even if it’s reflective of a juvenile aspect of our culture, it’s still an aspect of our culture and could be of interest to researchers. Comic books were not always great art but were reflective of the culture that produced and consumed them. Or am I missing the point of archiving games?

    And honestly responses like, “Good. Fuck academia.” were not what I predicted. I predicted, “The real blame is on those journalists who wrote bad things about GamerGate.”

  2. I’m kind of unclear why this would incline people to not archive this stuff. Even if it’s reflective of a juvenile aspect of our culture, it’s still an aspect of our culture and could be of interest to researchers.

    I agree. Dismissing the entire medium because of the behavior of a subset of gamers is itself a very childish reaction.

    And honestly responses like, “Good. Fuck academia.” were not what I predicted.

    Yeah, that surprised me. Then I remembered what Lilly Tomlin said: “No matter how cynical you become, it’s never enough to keep up.”

  3. There was a fair amount of pushback from some other academics I follow on twitter saying stuff along the lines of “Not to invalidate this individual’s experience, but this is not the case in my department etc.”

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