#GamerGate: ‘It’s Not Over Until Someone Goes To Prison’ Says Game Journalist

Games Journalism

In a private e-mail discussion Toms Guide alum and current contributor to The Escapist, Devin Connors, quips in response to senior gaming editor at Ars Technica, Kyle Orland, that #GamerGate isn’t going to end until someone ends up in “prison”. While the comment may have been made in jest – with some of the information surfacing – I wouldn’t put it past the #GamerGate movement that someone may end up behind bars before this is all over.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with all of this #GamerGate stuff. Breitbart writer Milo Yannopoulos managed to get his hands on some  e-mails from a private Google group courtesy of an undisclosed leaker (and no I wasn’t the original leaker). They spilled all sorts of useful information about the correspondence between major players at big name gaming websites, including but not limited to Kotaku, Polygon, Joystiq, Game Informer and even Ars Technica. It painted a picture of collusion and willful negligence to report on specific industry-related issues with proper facts, honesty and integrity.

Following the leak of e-mails, the group’s headmaster, Kyle Orland, decided to close off access to the group.

During my tenure within GJP, I respected Orland’s non-enforced policy where he requested members not to publicly share anything that was mentioned in the group. The post reads as thus.

Make no mistake about it, many of them were not friends of mine; and don’t take my respect and adherence to Orland’s privacy policy as camaraderie. In my own code of ethics, I felt I would respect that policy so long as I was allowed in the group (though, to be honest I have no idea why I was allowed in for as long as I was, considering how I outwardly felt about some of them.)

Nevertheless, my access to the group was recently restricted on September 19th, and that means I no longer have to adhere to Kyle’s privacy policy. In other words: all bets are off.

Some of the e-mails from the private Google group known as Game Journo Pros reveals a tight-knit collage of individuals who believe heavily in what they preach from their platforms. Keep in mind that not all of them are bad people, and not all of them are what some people label as “radical SJWs”. But the e-mails definitely reveal that some of them  have become drunk on their own self-aggrandized ideologies.

Orland made a thread in the group called “Putting Gamergate behind us?” back on September 6th, 2014 linking to this blog post on Storify called “GamerOverGate”.

He then proceeds to explain a conspiracy theory that involves 4chan masterminding all of #GamerGate and getting Adam Baldwin, YouTube personalities and prominent academic figures involved just to create dissent amongst game journalists, harass a certain female indie developer and get some “lulz” out of it all. What’s truly hurtful to the platform of game journalism is that Orland gave the “okay” for Ars Technica writer Casey Johnson to post up the following article based on the Storify post, on September 9th, 2014:
https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/new-chat-logs-show-how-4chan-users-pushed-gamergate-into-the-national-spotlight/

The article had to be modified multiple times and updated given that it was factually incorrect through and through. It originally contained outright lies and pushed a very misleading pretense for those who were not already aware that 4chan did not create #GamerGate. Even to this day, the article still has factually inaccurate claims – such as the one below…

“Discussion logs, however, suggest that #notyourshield didn’t begin as a broad movement but was a campaign manufactured and orchestrated by 4chan users via sockpuppet Twitter accounts. And, according to screenshots recently released by Quinn, so was the original #GamerGate.”

#NotYourShield was started by Jason Miller and Twitter user Ninouh90. Both are black by the way… not “white cis males” sock-puppet.  Miller is known on Twitter by the handle of Polar Roller. I doubt Ars would issue an apology to Mr. Miller for being blatantly racist, no?

If #GamerGate wasn’t about game journalism ethics then that Ars Technica article really does stand as a shining example of why it should be.

Nevertheless, the day the article went up I e-mailed Ars Technica’s editor-in-chief about the purposefully misleading hit-piece and the multiple factually incorrect statements made throughout the article, as it fits the very definition of utilizing a media platform to misdirect and misinform readers; Ars Technica was used to promote lies.

Worse yet is that Kyle’s instant acceptance of the Storify blog instead of fact-checking it – a quick trip to Topsy reveals who started #GamerGate, and it wasn’t a 4chan troll – indicates that he is either neglectful of his duties as a senior editor, inept at fact checking or – as alleged in the Breitbart piece – he was possibly colluding to push a very specific agenda. Either way, it looks damning for someone who holds such a powerful position over public persuasion from the media platform in which they operate.

But to add a bit more context to this whole ordeal, Orland boastfully posted a link to this Twitter post before being checked by a few other members about #GamerGate not necessarily being at its end (I’ll refrain from mentioning their names, as they don’t need any unwanted attention). Orland responded saying…

Funny that the one pushing a false and factually misconstrued conspiracy agenda was Orland… especially with that Ars Technica piece. He’s standing by an article that claims the #GamerGate movement was about harassing a specific female developer, while purposefully ignoring or failing to fact check basic timestamps or key topical points; disregarding attacks and harassment #GamerGate supporters have been incurring; and establishing a predisposed view on how to spin the narrative without any kind of factual objectivity. That is corruption, not a conspiracy.

The lies and misleading information have been nothing but sickening since this all started, all while things such as EA covering up 40,000 hacked user accounts barely gets a mention – oh yeah, and when the incident was mentioned no one attributed it to the fact that #GamerGate helped get that exposed. Funny that, eh?

Some of you might say that Ars should be praised for updating the article with some of the appropriate information, but the thing to keep in mind is that the article (and many like it across major gaming and some mainstream websites) went up with a very specific intent. Facts were not the order of the day; investigative journalism was not being employed and each of these articles (before being modified, altered and updated) went live to push a very strong agenda.

I can’t help but get drawn back into what Devin Connors mentioned…

In jest or not, that statement could end up being more true than he knows.

Keep in mind that there are plenty more e-mails; plenty more conversations; plenty more topics from GJP to write and talk about. Of course, here’s hoping that the people who have been caught pushing their social agendas under an umbrella of lies and deception will come clean, admit their faults, resign from their current positions at their current publications and issue public apologies.

#GamerGate is far from over… but I can’t say the same for the careers of those who used their platform to corrupt and deceive.

(Featured image courtesy of True Activist)

About

Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Contact.

62 thoughts on “#GamerGate: ‘It’s Not Over Until Someone Goes To Prison’ Says Game Journalist

  1. Thank you for this interesting piece. I’m curious if you’d be able to browse the emails and expose any further evidence of collusion, manipulation, etc? It’s important that this stuff be exposed while GamerGate still has the public eye. Even if you’d prefer not to have names attached to it, it’d help us clean up the industry.

    1. I already sent Milo from Breitbart the list of everyone who is on the list, along with some additional e-mails. There’s quite a bit that paints certain individuals (especially Kyle Orland, Ben Kuchera and Jason Schreier) in the exact kind of light you would expect from them.

      1. Great! Thank you for doing this. The circumstances are unfortunate, but you’ve given tens of thousands of people the ammunition we need to defend ourselves from their attacks on our character.

        Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

      2. This would have been a much larger victory if it could have been posted at CB, but I don’t feel like arguing for several hours over what constitutes “truth” and “facts”.

      3. Thanks for coming forward with all this. I suggest, however, that you hide the email addresses that appear in the conversations. It can be potentially used for spamming, harassment or other inappropriate purposes.

      4. They keep justifying their terrible actions by saying they aren’t receiving any complaint e-mails (maybe because they’re hiding their e-mail addresses, or we hid the addresses for them), so I’m not particularly sympathetic towards blocking their contact info.

    1. I honestly don’t have much faith of that. There are so many blatant lies around us for which the truth has still yet to come out. If it ever happens, I won’t expect it to be within any of our lifetimes.

  2. We’ve uncovered numerous shady dealings and shot countless holes through their poorly researched arguments, and people still have the gall the call us “conspiracy theorists.”

    1. I know, right? Silly though it may be, that’s what bothers me the most about this shit. We’ve got PROOF in support of the allegations against these clowns, and still we’ve got shady morons wriggling out from beneath the floorboards to call us conspiracy theorists. The movement has been positive overall, but still they cling to the narrative that we’re just a bunch of basement-dwelling misogynists who want to keep women out of gaming. We’ve got people of all colors, gender identifications, and sexual preferences amongst our members, but still they claim that we’re we’re exclusionary. It’s sick, it’s demented, but most of all it’s just depressing to see people being so profoundly stupid. 🙁

      1. No kidding. Citizen journalists have committed actual digging-for-the-truth journalism and exposed a veritable arsenal of smoking guns and the cloistered cabal of corrupt hacks refuse to acknowledge they’ve been busted and double-down on their lie that it’s all fedora-wearing haters behind it and nothing to see here. And the twits who share their militant SJW worldview moo their agreement on the comments, howling down anyone who dare speak the inconvenient truths of the corrupt media. These people would douse themselves in gasoline and run into fire if they thought Fox News or #GamerGate people were telling them it was a bad idea.

  3. I think the person most at risk of criminal charges would be Fish. It certainly looks to me that he timed the release of his game to maximize profits based on the IGF win. Not sure if there is enough evidence but perhaps.

    Good to see the comments growing. William you have always done things the right way and you deserve every Gamer’s support. And yeah I have taken to capitalizing Gamer now. I think it is worth it.

    1. Don’t forget the allegations that the people who funded and received money from Fez were also a significant portion of the IGF committee that awarded Fez. Not to mention the allegations of Fish “hacking” himself.

  4. Wonderful article, it was a blast to read. And yes, we should be careful not to lump them all in the same basket. However, plenty most definitely deserve the axe.

  5. Ironic and sad that their blind self angrandisement will likely lead to this turning out much worse for them than it could have been in the beggining. Thanks for writing this and being honest.

    1. There’s been some discussion amongst artist/dev friends and myself about somehow designating our game projects as not supporting sites like Ars Technica, Polygon, Kotaku, Destructoid, NeoGAF, etc.

      Something akin to Capcom’s “Winners don’t do drugs”, perhaps.

      1. Totally. We need these guys to know that both we and the game industry can do without them. They are an unnecessary middleman that has forgotten their place.

        Just make sure I live when you saturate the planet. K Wesker.

    1. Funny that this probably all would have been over with sans the “Gamers are Dead” articles and Grayson having been let go for impropriety. Poof. Problem solved.

      1. Yeah he should have totally been fired for that review that he never wrote or planned to write. Moron, keep crying because they kicked you out of your club.

      2. No one said he wrote a review but you.

        He did write two articles, one at RPS and one at Kotaku, without disclosing his relationship with the individual he wrote about.

        It may have been minor at the time but the fact he let it escalate to the point that it did shows just how much he didn’t care to maintain any sort of ethical standard, or… be a man.

      3. Yeah, those articles he wrote that gaming news media and their cronies keep claiming he didn’t.

        Because they rely on people like you who can’t do basic fact checking by themselves. It’s easy to lie straight in the face of people like you.

      4. I suppose we should be grateful for their arrogance, otherwise they could have kept this racket going for who knows how long; leaving the careers of many innocent people, whose only crime was rejecting ‘The Gospel According to Kuchera’, in ruins.

      5. More like, “innocent people, whose only crime was not bending over to blatant self-serving and unethical conduct”.

        I mean, we didn’t even have to reject them. Simply not bending over was grounds enough for expulsion and ridicule.

      6. ^ This. Just standing by our disagreement with them makes them more angry than calling them every single slur one could think of. (“How dare these peasants think we are wrong?” – Marie Antoinette – The first “games journalist”)

      7. Without a doubt they could have ended this. But their opinion of Gamers is so low they just could not take the sensible course. Makes perfect sense with the SJW fanatics though. Only they know the ‘truth’ and they believe in that so strongly it gets in the way of rational thought.

        This has been the downfall of fanatics throughout the ages.

  6. If the accusations of one of the NeoGAF admins spreading revenge porn turn out to be true, someone probably IS going to jail very soon.

    1. the really fucked up thing is that something very similar happened awhile ago. you had this misogynist dude with big feminist support, dude shat on minority feminist all the time, was a complete fraud and yet they still kept backing him until shit blew up and it spawned the #solidarityisforwhitewomen controversy. I encourage people to look into that stuff because you gotta know it isn’t just a gaming thing where you have things like #notyourshield and all this abuse from people who are supposed to be social justice advocates.

      right now feminism is dysfunctional, you have all this talk of intersectionality and inclusiveness, but you have all these little cliques within the movement that fuck everything up for their own little power grabs and drive people off. if you have ever wondered why the people who are anti-gamergate have so little diversity this is the primary reason. it is why we managed to get monks all the way from fucking tibet to come help out in ferguson, but a place like RPS has never had a non-white employee.

      1. Well, it’s the same mentality that created countless religions and ideologies throughout the ages.

        It’s human nature. Today, it’s the majority of feminists, PETA fanatics, and radicals of various ideologies. Tomorrow we’ll have a new group of extremist idiots in hordes. All we can do is limit their negative influence.

        So long as we exist, these poisonous groups keep respawning too, with modifications and upgrades. It’s just their bad luck that gamers are masters of headshots.

        This what happens when you attack the Omega Weapon when you’re still level 3. Noobs,

    2. That is only illegal in a few places and the level of proof required is very tough to get. Possible but sadly unlikely. I would love to see that little bastard burn.

      1. You mean the proof that’s like…all over the internet, man? I mean…if we’re supposed to be a bunch of misogynist shitlords based on unverified allegations made by Quinn and Sarkie, surely the screen caps that show Malka straight up doing what he’s being accused of ought to stand as adequate proof.

        But eh, I’m not a lawyer.

      2. I know what you mean but when it comes to legal actions proof is much tougher to come by. The biggest problem is how easy it is to fake things here. People can make fake accounts and put any name they want on them. I have no doubt the little worm did it. But getting that proven in a court of law might be tough.

  7. It blows my mind that people like Leigh Alexander and Ben Kuchera aren’t fired immediately after the shit they do. Meanwhile Ryan Perez was fired immediately for asking if Felicia Day was a “glorified booth babe.”

    Shows how much these sites care about ethics.

    1. These people were hired and remained in those places likely because their bosses don’t disagree with them. Or is it that they don’t disagree with their bosses?

      Just having those inflammatory articles approved and published says a lot about how professional their bosses are.

  8. Sorry, but the only people that would even come close to going to jail over this are the hackers releasing people’s private information.

    No game journalist is going to jail for having private email conversations, which themselves have never been proven to be truly from the journalists and not fake.

    #GamerGate is just an excuse to perpetrate hate in the gaming space. It’s disgusting and I can’t wait to watch it slowly die as nothing happens because of it.

    1. You mean “hackers” like Zoe and her friends doxxing innocent people?
      Oh, I guess you didn’t know about that.

      I think the world would be a much better place if people didn’t waste everyone’s time by speaking their mind on matters they lack sufficient knowledge about.

    2. You mean the hacking attempts made towards GG supporters such as The Fine Young Capitalists, and DDOS against The Escapist are jail worthy too then?

    3. No of course they are not going to jail for conversations. However there is one aspect that might lead to that. And considering how fast Mr. Fishy cut and ran I suspect he is worried about it.

      https://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2014/09/gamergate-phil-fish-allegedly-outed-in-racketeering-scandal-reddit-mod-speaks-out/

      GamerGate has already scored many a victory with places like Escapist admitting their bias and mistakes of the past. But of course you don’t care about any of that now do you?

    4. Setting aside how horrifyingly ignorant you are about the world around you with respect to the potential consequences for what was exposed in those logs, Quinn is amongst those hackers to whom you refer. So…great! Let’s round ’em all up and serve ’em a nice piping-hot slice ‘o prison time!

      As for the e-mail conversations, you may want to take note of the fact that several of the journalists named in those leaked e-mails made posts on Twitter in which they acknowledged that they’re real. The only thing they dispute is the importance of those e-mails, which is kinda stupid in light of the fact that they show them colluding to shape a common narrative across their disparate sites. That’s something that some ACTUAL journalists got some prison time for doing, so there’s a very good chance that it could end up the same way for those jokers.

      Now you wanna talk about disgusting, eh? What’s truly disgusting is people like you who parrot that flimsy narrative of #GamerGate as being born of a hate campaign that VG journalists spun out of desperation in order to keep the spotlight off themselves. They thought that bullying us would get us to back down, but sadly for them it just ended up lighting a fire under our asses that has resulted in the discovery of all sorts of juicy details of corruption, conspiracy and collusion in gaming press.
      As for that story itself, even if the whole thing didn’t have more holes in it than Swiss cheese–the largest amongst them being the fact that the narrative owes its foundation to allegations made by Quinn and Sarkeesian, the veracity of which none of the journalists who rushed to use them against us actually bothered to do any research into–there’s still the fact that the truth about #GamerGate is quite readily available. There’s no excuse for continuing to believe in that insipid, brain-dead narrative at this point. Unless of course you’ve got a personal stake in doing so…

  9. Great post. Much respect.

    I think it says a lot when people that they’d consider amongst their own are calling them out on their bullshit and blatant lack of basic ethics. They’re the only ones who can’t and don’t want to see it.

  10. Orland looks like an Imperial NPC from Morrowind (makes note to put NPC to the sword next time I play the game). Just saying.

  11. You had to know that not all of the people on the list support the garbage Orland and Kuchera and friends were peddling. You even saw some of them speaking out in the original leak. People who started questioning why running hit pieces on men were fine but Quinn was mysteriously off limits.

    Those people came out with their credibility intact.

  12. And it’s important to note that Polar Roller was fired as a result of his tweet. Which was entirely a personal matter. Yep. Black man gets fired by white woman because of a conspiracy. He needs to sue hard enough to have his own development company.

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