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President Donald Trump wants to meet with members of the video game industry this week to talk about violence in their games, which he believes might be at the root of gun violence in America. Video game fans — including some of Trump’s earliest and biggest supporters, many from the Gamergate movement — are furious.
In response to the shooting in Parkland, Florida, on Valentine’s Day, Trump held a White House roundtable where he said: “We have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it, and also, video games.”
“I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence on video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts,” he said.
The meeting hasn’t been scheduled yet — in fact, representatives of the largest video game companies had not been informed of any such meeting in the first place. But the reaction among politically minded gamers has been harsh and swift.
As one poster commented on Reddit’s biggest Gamergate-themed message board: “Congratulations Trump supporters, the next push to censor videogames is your fault.”
The political elements of Gamergate helped contribute to the rise of the alt-right. Some of them morphed into hardcore online Trump fans — defending him with aggressive tactics from trolling to doxxing. But Trump’s anti-video game views have roared back to the surface — putting many gamers on the defensive.
Trump is disappointing some of his biggest supporters
Trump’s anti-political correctness rhetoricduring the 2016 presidential campaign and beyond appealed to many gamers, particularly those who took part in the Gamergate movement of 2014.
Gamergate began, as my colleague Todd VanDerWerff has written, with two separate issues: the treatment of women in gaming and the ethics of video game journalism, with criticism of how much coverage goes to social issues featured in video games as compared to the gameplay itself. The launchpoint centered on a woman game designer and her ex-boyfriend, and her alleged relationship with a writer for an influential video game website. But over time, the movement seemed to metastasize into one dedicated to trolling.
In their quest to defend video games from the threat of censorship by so-called “Social Justice Warriors,” Gamergaters doxxed their opposition, harassing women on Twitter and even driving some of their targets from their homes — a tactic that the alt-right would later use against anti-Trump voices. As one of Gamergate’s biggest targets, Brianna Wu, told CNET in 2017, “GamerGate was the canary in the coal mine.”
Some Gamergaters (particularly those who joined the movement to protest “political correctness” in video games) contributed to the rise of the alt-right, a loose cadre of populist-leaning reactionaries and some conservatives who deemed the traditional right wing as ineffectual.
They found a voice in Trump, particularly after former Breitbart News chair Steve Bannon took a role in Trump’s campaign. Many of Trump’s biggest online supporters came into pro-Trump activism from Gamergate. These include people like Mike Cernovich, who calledGamergate “the most important battle of the culture war this century,” and disgraced former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who attempted to “legitimize” the alt-right within conservative media and take it (and its racism and anti-Semitism) mainstream.
Gamergate Reddit’s response: “I don’t even know what the fuck he’s doing”
It’s likely that Trump’s meeting with video game executives (if it happens at all) will have little impact on the industry. In 2011, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association that video games are protected under the First Amendment, with Justice Antonin Scalia writing, “[t]his country has no tradition of specially restricting children’s access to depictions of violence.” And as Polygon’s Mona Ibrahim writes, video game companies have powerful lobbying arms and considerable sway in Congress.
But the biggest supporters of Gamergate are still trying to figure out what the hell Trump, the loudest voice in the fight against perceived “PC culture,” and his fellow Republicans are doing when they try to regulate video games.
Some Gamergate supporters have found a way to make Trump’s comments about video games progressives’ fault. Others, especially those on Reddit, are furious at Trump’s remarks.
Trump’s views on video games aren’t new. The president has long believed (despite ampleevidence to the contrary) that playing violent video games leads to violence in real life, and that something should be done about it.
It should be noted that many of those who still consider themselves Gamergaters knew that Trump wasn’t a video game supporter in the first place.
But other gamers, particularly those who have supported the Gamergate movement from the beginning, are confused, as America’s “tells it like it is,” anti-PC president has started to sound like the left-leaning media some of them seem to despise.
Is this funny to anyone else?
It's not like he has pronciples he sticks to - he'll forget about this once either the Parkland fervor dies down or a video game industry rep. tells him "Video games don't cause violence good sir" while cutting his campaign or business a check for a million dollars. Gamergaters are pretty unintelligent and unaware if they're concerned about this. Don't worry, gamergaters, Mr. 45 lies and deflects all the time, he'll forget this talking point in a week for one reason or another.
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thats not what gamergate was about. it got really twisted quickly, it was about certain Video games journalists taking favors (sexual ones in this case) from a female game developer (Zoe Quinn) after it was revealed by her boyfriend and later some financial transactions between the two entities that helped support this which is considered an ethical breach of journalism, especially when some people use that as a platform to make a financial decision (like myself) to purchase a video game we want to know that its good and whats expected when you put $60+ USD on the table.
was she had what was coming to her and if she just took her lumps it would have died within a month or so, but social justice warriors and white knights came to her defense and that's how it turned into the shit show it became, even before Anita Sarkeesian decided to inject herself in and add the cancer of identity politics which just made everything even worst.
but what do you expect from social justice warriors besides making everything worst? besides The Supreme Court ruled video games are protected under the first amendment. so he's blowing smoke up butts.
At 3/6/18 02:32 PM, EdyKel wrote: Yeahhh, like the game industry is going to listen to him. Seems like Trump is back to ass licking the NRA.
woah buddy don't kink shame from what the cool hip kids are telling me eating ass is the new thing.
Trump is simply wasting his time blaming video games. It’s not that much different than when he targeted the NFL and everyone got into a major hissy fit for a couple of weeks before moving on to something else. I’m not going to speak on Gamergate, as both sides did their best to come off as ignorant and douchebags with the constant changing of the narratives involved. (Which Trump uses to drive a wedge between social groups)
Frankly, game companies shouldn’t bother to address this, (or if they do, send out a token response and call it a day) nor should the be frightened by this. Video gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry that isn’t a dying breed, and shouldn’t be swayed by someone who’ll forget about all this in a month, tops.
Just stop worrying, and love the bomb.
At 3/6/18 03:04 PM, Tony-DarkGrave wrote:At 3/6/18 02:32 PM, EdyKel wrote: Yeahhh, like the game industry is going to listen to him. Seems like Trump is back to ass licking the NRA.woah buddy don't kink shame from what the cool hip kids are telling me eating ass is the new thing.
If you like that type of thing... Not my cup of tea, though. :P
Old article, but NRA went after games to, and the media, and Obama. They were basically placing blame on everyone but themselves for these shootings.
At 3/6/18 04:16 PM, EdyKel wrote: If you like that type of thing... Not my cup of tea, though. :P
life's to short to be prudish or judgey, if they're into something different to get off more power to them.
At 3/6/18 11:13 PM, The-Great-One wrote: He's not the first President to make that correlation for PR and he won't be the last.
That may be, but the supposed effectiveness of that argument is dwindling by the day, not that they have much to begin with due to self-regulation and the fact that they’re a multi-billion dollar industry that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
As I say constantly on trumped-up (no pun intended) non-issues like this, move along everybody, nothing to see here, show’s over.
Just stop worrying, and love the bomb.
I'm excited to see how the video game industry adapts.
Can't show as much violence on screen? Maybe they'll step up their writing; imagine highlighting an object and getting graphic details Stephen King Caliber descriptions. Maybe they'll do a less is more approach to monster transformations instead of in your face....
It's their own fault for being surprised or shocked by this. He made a tweet saying exactly this years ago, but they seemingly just ignored it.
This does bring a smile to my face, seeing supporters tripping over themselves over this.
shows how much both sides want to censor the industry no matter who you vote for some form of censorship will follow Trump as been against video games since the start of many call of duty games i rather vote for independent than vote for liberals and trumpubicans.
Remember back when videogames were just about blowing up space aliens, making it through the haunted house, reaching the end of a platforming level, or sneaking through the jungle shooting dinosaurs?
Those were the fucking days, I don't remember anyone complaining about the aliens in Galaga being overly sexualized, or about how the Super Mario series didn't try to say something about the rights of transgender frogs or some bullshit.
They were just goofy, fun, electronic games you wasted time with to have some fun. But then people found out that Samus Aran was a girl and a bit of blood got on the screen in Mortal Kombat, and some housewives and senile politicians got upset. And those were the first turds in the shit-pile we're talking about today.
Videogames used to be about kids (and their dads when they were bored) having a bit of fun, now it's practically turned into a gender war.
We should go back to the Atari days where you could barely tell a woman from a broom, because apparently we can't handle all the creative freedom interactive technology gives us today. Somebody might get a little upset.