Games Journalist Threatens Devs Not To Support #GamerGate, Devs Respond

Mark Kern, the founder of Mek Entertainment, recently made a petition to help bridge the rift between gamers, games media and game developers. Various video game journalists responded to the petition; some of the responses included light threats against developers who want to support #GamerGate in reforming ethics in the media arena.

One has to question, what kind media ring attacks developers for wanting to root out corruption in the industry?

Anyway, Kern’s Petition, which has more than 1,500 signatures, and seeks out the support of developers, states…

“On Feb. 11, Law and Order SVU aired an episode about video games called “Intimidation Game” that is being called the “Reefer Madness” of our times. It was a relentless and histrionic parade of slander against video games and gamers. It has helped set back the public image of the video games by years if not decades. It made absolutely nobody happy in the gaming industry.

“This result, this episode, shown to millions of non-gamers worldwide is the inevitable result of months of gaming press coverage on the rift between gamers that currently plagues our hobby. A rift that the gaming press are accountable for conflagrating through a slew of articles that only served to fan the flames, celebrate the extremists on both sides, magnify the rift and sensationalize the issue. There is a term for this, called yellow journalism, and it has started wars before. It has no place in a gaming press that is supposed to support our industry and gamers in particular, of all walks.”

Kern calls for Kotaku and Polygon to help reform the landscape they helped scorch. This all started because Gawker and Kotaku refused to take responsibility for Nathan Grayson’s indiscretions that kickstarted #GamerGate. To this day, Grayson has not been reprimanded for damaging the gaming industry in the way that he has by not providing proper disclosure in the first place and attempting to defend his impropriety, part of a string of corruption that Grayson is known for, as documented in this article about the Game Journo Pros and their nepotistic behavior.

Patrick Garratt from the gaming website VG 24/7, published an article attacking Kern for making the petition and supporting aspects of #GamerGate to reform the ethics in the media ring.

According to Garratt…

“Kern is saying that the reason the “rift” has made it into the non-gamer sphere is because of Kotaku and Polygon’s reporting. While it’s never clear in his document if there are any specific articles he particularly blames, or if it’s just the entire body of Kotaku and Polygon’s Gamergate coverage which is at fault, the “help” he’s asking for appears to be in terms of stopping their reporting in relation to this story. I’m guessing: Kern never says what he’s actually asking for.”

Kern is referring to articles like the “Gamers Are Dead” pieces that purposefully ignored facts in order to push an agenda. Both Kotaku and Polygon were involved in the yellow journalism present in those pieces.

Garratt further states…

“Also, and this is incredible, Kern seems to be saying that Kotaku and Polygon are wholly responsible for the making of the Law & Order SVU’s Intimidation Game episode (he’s even changed the wording at, of course, the request of the public, to be less “civil” towards the sites). You can read an overview of the episode here if you haven’t seen it, but it basically riffs on the real incident of someone threatening to commit a mass murder if feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian made good on a speaking commitment at Utah State University.”

Kotaku, Polygon and many other major media outlets were responsible for being the core platforms in which the information for the episode was inspired. Most of all the information from those websites have already been debunked as false, including proper citations on why they’re false, as detailed in this article pointing out their factual inaccuracies that were inspired for the Law & Order episode.

If your name is listed in that article with multiple “Citations needed” in there, then it means you may have helped contribute to spreading false information. That’s yellow journalism.

Worse yet is that one of the co-producers and writers for Law & Order: SVU [via Twitter user Matthias] even admitted to scouring Wikipedia for information, saying…

Garratt finishes the article saying…

I’m going to finish this article with a call to developers thinking of jumping on this particular bandwagon. Please don’t. You’ll only make yourself look foolish to anyone other than the people that really are to blame for the negativity recently, and rightly, placed on “gamers” by the mainstream media over misogyny.

[…] As was made blatantly obvious by Gamergate, the last thing the gaming community needs at the moment is more ill-informed bigots getting angry on the internet. Think before you sign. It may be very difficult to erase the ink.

Bolded parts added for emphasis.

Basically, Garratt is telling developers not to sign Mark Kern’s petition. He’s advocating that somehow it’ll be bad for developers to want a fair and representative gaming press that isn’t corrupt, cronyistic or ethically challenged.

Garratt is not alone.

Nathan Grayson, the indiscretionate journalist employed by Kotaku who has yet to apologize for the damage he’s caused, also spoke out against the petition, saying on Twitter

“…everyone is being really silly today. the argument du jour shouldn’t even be an argument” …

“a) it’s important that the games press covers unfortunate bullshit–even if it reflects poorly on portions of the gaming community and shit, 90 percent of the time our coverage is literally, “look at how cool this thing gamers are doing is.” that is the whole point” … “the only reason this sticks out so much is bc it deviates from that gamers are human. sometimes they’re cool, other times they’re fuckers. we report on all of it.”

“b) the enthusiast games press doesn’t have the reach or influence to single-handedly birth an episode of svu. that assertion is beyond silly… there are so many other factors that fed into that svu episode, which itself was sloppy garbage. as we pointed out”

Grayson is right, the games press is too insignificant to influence the birth of that Law & Order: SVU episode. However, enough of the whining and childish, factually inaccurate temper tantrums from the inept and cognitively challenged games press affected the mainstream media, in which case they then picked up on the shoddily reported news and did their own negative, factually inaccurate spin.

It was the mainstream media’s yellow journalism that helped make that SVU episode possible, but it was the childish, drunken, incestuously collusive gaming press that got the yellow journalists from The Guardian, The Washington Post and The Daily Telegraph involved.

Speaking of the Daily Telegraph, Peter Oborne recently resigned over their very own yellow journalism regarding the HSBC coverage, as reported by Order-Order and the BBC, the latter of which was found to have spun a narrative on #GamerGate [via Sargon of Akkad], just like the yellow journalists at The Daily Telegraph. A thief reporting on a scoundrel’s antics… how novel.

Nevertheless, those whom are seated at a table for swine, eating the bread of iniquity and preaching with a childish tongue of lies, have continued to defend VG 24/7’s stance and belittle Kern for attempting to make piece with the war-mongers of the written word.

Polygon’s Ben Kuchera made the following comments about bridging the gap and closing the breach that those of his ilk have created, stating on Twitter

Co-founder of The Escapist, Alexander Macris, had a rather welcoming quip as a retort to Kuchera’s outburst against the people who put food on the table and keep this industry alive, saying…

The Guardian and Rock, Paper, Shotgun contributor, Cara Ellison, also dropped into the conversation on Twitter to state…

“We sit there and do not do actual reporting because the consumer does not want to hear about people in pain. Games press.” … “I hope videogames are worth it because we are all tired of trying to smile at our abusers and write something they like”

That’s fine and dandy, but when your fellow cohorts are found to have blacklisted fellow journalists as well as industry professionals, are consumers and developers supposed to shrug and allow that kind of mafioso-style monopolization continue?

Thankfully, some developers are finally seeing reality and stepping up and stepping out from the shadows to do right by the industry that loves and supports them. The iron-fisted abusers that rule the promotional ring in the realm of daily textual updates and mundane press-release news are no longer holding sway over the creators and the consumers in the way they once thought.

As spotted by Kotaku in Action, creative director Adrian Chmielarz from The Astronauts, the developers behind The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, spoke up against the VG 24/7 piece, stating…

Up-and-coming indie developer Danielle Maiorino, the bright mind behind the upcoming Afterlife Empire, mentioned in a recent interview regarding the potential blacklisting for having been supported by #GamerGate that…

“I won’t lie and say it doesn’t worry me a bit. But honestly, if people are going to blacklist me for how my game was funded without taking the time to talk to me about it, then I don’t know if I’d want to work with them to begin with. My views haven’t changed because I’m being helped by people whose own views I may disagree with, and being friends with someone doesn’t mean that you share the same beliefs or ideas.”

Mark Kern also had a few words of wisdom for the journalists threatening blacklisting (an activity they are not averse to employing), saying…

If more developers begin to speak up and speak out against the corrupt media ring, there could be a turn in the tide of the current battlefield that has done nothing but scorch the earth of the interactive entertainment industry. Hopefully, all the gatekeepers of old will be left in the dust from a war they created out of their own impropriety and peddling of fear-mongering.

In the meantime, #GamerGate will not stop. False narratives, national news spinning and poorly veiled threats by those with a ticking timer on their jobs will not slow down the locomotive of ethics reform.


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

  • Nick_Soapdish

    There is a set of people who believe the Law & Order episode is very realistic, for example people at Polygon. This was my opinion of it:

    They truly believe themselves to be more important than the people who produce content. The narcissism is amazing. I’d say they’re stupid but to be honest this plays into what they want. They want a gaming a landscape where only certain games get the coverage so this plays into their hands. The interesting point is whether they’ll be able to live off the money they get from covering that smaller range of titles.

    • C G Saturation

      They know there’s so much crap everywhere nowadays that most devs won’t get the attention they need unless the media gives it to them.

      Reminds me of how publishers and distributors treat creators. Their attitude often seems to be “where would you be without us?!” instead of “we wouldn’t have anything to sell if it weren’t for you”.

      We just need to bypass these assholes.

  • JoeSislack

    Somehow I doubt our friendly Tim Schafer will be one of those devs to respond.

    At least not on the consumers side.

    • Elilla Shadowheart

      How does one make a profit, when one pisses on their customers right? Seems to me that Tim is taking a page from the book entitled:

      “GM, Ford, and Chrysler. You’ll like our shit and buy it you fucking peons.” That of course was written in 1980, nearly killed all three companies.

      • C G Saturation

        Yeah, but they didn’t have the Invulnerable Shield of Female Gender to magically protect them from every criticism.

      • Elilla Shadowheart

        True, then again it seems to be backfiring with the latest round of happenings that have been going on. People all over have simply had enough.

    • John

      Out of all these controversies, the one that hurt me the most is seeing Tim on that horrible FemFreq white Men Guilt video. I use to love the guy, fuck! At least i won’t feel bad if his games doesn’t sell well anymore, he chose the gaming press over his own customers, fuck him.

      • NastyNinja

        I played Broken Age. It was a weak ass adventure game made for 5 year olds. He is definitely trying to dumb shit down for the casual non-gamers who call themselves gamers.

      • C G Saturation

        Or he was too busy swimming in cash to bother making a decent game. He probably knows he can get away with pumping out garbage because people will still support him because of his past works.

      • C G Saturation

        I recently played through Grim Fandango for the first time (its style, concept, etc. are great… the story is not) and was surprised to confirm that Schafer wrote and directed it.

        He hops on the FemFreq bandwagon while Grim Fandango’s female characters are written in such a way that they aren’t believable people; the way they act and react doesn’t make sense. Several scenes also involve female characters being murdered, attacked, imprisoned, or acting seductively.

        This is why FemFreq and its supporters can’t be taken seriously by anyone with a brain that isn’t pocketing bribes. They’re little more than huge hypocrites peddling ludicrous nonsense. None of them practice what they preach.

      • Tom

        Its nothing more than a protection racket. Claim to be a feminist pay your dues and be left alone to actually do as you please. Of course once they have enough acolytes they will proceed to try and force their agenda on the rest of us.

  • Alex Murdoc

    The behavior of the gaming press is becoming increasingly shameful.
    I assume this is out of desperation, but it’s so self-defeating.

    They fail to understand (or else refuse to acknowledge) that they are simply the middleman between the industry and gamers, neither of whom are satisfied with the job said middleman has been doing. It’s only a matter of time before they’re removed from the equation entirely.

    • Yep. They’ll only be around on Patreon to support the games they feel aren’t fun but are socially important. Not sure how lucrative that will be given that the market for those games is small.

      • Alex Murdoc

        I imagine that will fail in short order, seeing as their fans can only support so many of them for so long. That Patreon Bubble will pop, especially if more and more journalists opt to take that route.

      • Anthony L.

        Patreon is just a panhandling circle jerk for their indie dev besties & fellow game journo trash.

    • Meittimies

      And more vile their actions become, less sympathy will they receive when they lose their jobs, and more likely their names will become synonymous with “career suicide” if you associate with them.

    • carlparsosn

      Contact every company you see advertised on these websites and magazines and tell them you won’t support their products if they continue to advertise with these inflammatory middlemen.

      • Tom

        Better yet stop visiting these sites. Time to deny them quite literally the oxygen of publicity. Lets stick to the sites who do not wish to devide us with an ideological agenda. As gamers are dead so are gaming journalists. (or bloggers or whatever they call themselves now and of course our friends at tech raptor et all).

  • Hopefully, this mostly positive trend will continue. The more light shed the better. Onward for Ethics.

  • Stovie

    This is delectable, I love seeing emotionally driven nutsos cave in on themselves. Next, we can jump on getting rid of SJWs once and for good out of all media sites. Why stop at gaming news ? Remove cancer before it spreads again.

    • Václav Lacina

      Why stop at media? We should get them out of politics and universities. The world would be so much better place. 🙂 Let’s start some Gamer International Party already.

  • Dm Gray

    When will the fever break?
    When will an honest reporter realise they’ve been fed a pack of lies and turn the outrage on the people that have engineered this entire scandal *exclusively* to preserve the status quo, to protect their friends.
    I really do hope figurative hears will roll, especially anyone near mainstream media that *touched* this story. They need to be held accountable for the unprofessional conduct their engaged in or excused.

    • C G Saturation

      When they stop taking all the bribe money.

  • iEatWoofers

    I hope everyone stops reading Kuchera’s articles specifically. I don’t even know any other Polygon bloggers, but that guy alone makes me stay as far away from the site as I can.

  • I’ve read the petition and it read good. The intentions are clearly noble but I feel it is naive. To repair the rift between games media and gamers sounds amazing but what does that really entail? It comes down to ethics in journalism. It would be mean Kotaku and Polygon would be eating their proud words where they demonise their audience and actually making significant changes to how they work.

    My problem is that the petition hasn’t stated that (feel free to correct me, I’m going by memory). If Kotaku and Polygon says hey, gamers are not dead and they’re awesome, is that enough? It wouldn’t cut it for me. I want to see real lasting changes which we might only observe after a long time. On the other hand, it may be a step towards what we want. May be, because I don’t trust them. It’s just not enough given the damage they did.

    • dsadsada

      Various policy changes and the enforcement thereof is something that would work but it would take a long time to see if it actually does. Furthermore, that won’t dispel the disdain many gamers still feel towards these publications so many of their audience that they attacked wouldn’t even want to give them the time of day. Frankly, the firing of certain toxic individuals, notably people like Kuchera, would be the immediate way to get gamers back to give these publications another chance. I’m not holding my breath.

      • Smoky_the_Bear

        At the end of the day people should just stop clicking on those 2 websites. They would starve from lack of ad revenue. Nothing of value would be lost.

      • I stopped. 🙂 I like TechRaptor these days.

      • GEhotpants101 .

        Since I stopped going to other places, and started going to TechRaptor and Niche Gamer, I find I’m actually reading MORE video game related news items than I ever was before.
        I thought I wasn’t that big on keeping up with the news, but it turns out I just subconciously was rejecting shit all these years.

  • This is really bad practice from these developers. Threatening journalists to not sign a petition that they have every damn right to sign should they choose.

    I’d rather avoid wishing these people would lose their jobs but in this case they should.

    • Mark Neil

      I think you have things confused. It’s the Journos threatening the devs.

      • Oh yeah my bad 🙁 got developer and journalists mixed up. God knows how that happened.

      • C G Saturation

        You probably accidentally visited Kotaku or Polygon.

  • Les Ismor

    This is what happens when all your social interaction is limited to one fringe group (for instance, a cult). Just because you and your friends really, really believe something doesn’t make it true; and it doesn’t mean people are just going to accept it because you spin it to seem sympathetic.

  • Mister Grimm

    Wow, he didn’t blatantly say, “we will blacklist you if you sign the petition.” But the threat was clear. when we allow ourselves to remain silent, The enemy takes our silence for consent.

  • Mister Grimm

    So game “Journalists”, how is operation lemming progressing?

  • shadus

    Being a highly intelligent person, I used to believe that I was always right, That I could work smarter not harder then everyone else, that it was my duty to make sure everyone else was informed of the right way. As I have matured I have learned that good ideas can come from anyone, that there is faults in every side of an argument. Yes intelligence is a gift. It allows me to break down arguments quicker, learn things faster and occasionally see solutions no one has thought of yet. It does not grant me some sort of omnipotence where every argument I make is correct. It does not place a responsibility to lead lower IQ individuals to some greater truth they refuse to see. These ideas are born of ego. I appreciate every discussion no longer with the assumption that I am 100% correct. I am not perfect I am still egotistical being as this post probably proves but I am constantly trying to improve

    • C G Saturation

      It’s more of a culture thing. People in the West nowadays are raised to believe that they’re always right and perfect.

      You know how Asians tend to be “smarter”? It’s because they’re always told that they’re not good enough. On the contrary, people in the West like to believe they are already the best.

      The first step to improvement is accepting that you’re not perfect. Nobody is perfect.

  • TheNaiveCynic

    The claim that games journalists don’t have the influence to determine how a Law & Order episode goes is hilarious when you consider, as you point out, the Law and Order writers claim to use Wiki to get things right…

    And wasn’t the GG wiki page a massive edit war, and aren’t all the things cited there from the very places GG accuses? (when they even bother to provide citations…)

    The games journos are in fact responsible for the sad hilarity that was Law & Order: Special Victim Unit’s pun episode.

  • Wavinator

    Fine work as always. I keep waiting for devs to react to the climate of fear these people appear to be pushing, and maybe now it’s starting to happen.

  • Adam_Rodriguez

    So “Wikipedia” is also partially responsible for the SVU cancer because they took a long time to listen to /gg/ supporters and reign in Ryulong and their show writers were crafting the show based on his special snowflake vies?
    top kek!

    • Even without Ryulong it’s still a mess. Well, from when I last checked back on February 14th, not sure if they fixed it since then.

      • Brad Donald

        It needs to be redone from scratch IMO.

      • C G Saturation

        Like everything else with its founding roots wrapped tightly around nepotism and cronyism.

      • Tom

        Its better but hardly impartial. For example it now mentions that our favourite critic ms sarkesian chose to cancel her talk and that LE told her the threat was not credible as opposed to the previous explanation that she was forced to cancel. But it still starts off with GG is a harrasement movement blar blar before mentioning ethics in journalusm. The problem is SJW are still waiting to impose their view on it and other articles and are now trying to brand Wikipedia mysogonist simple for enforcing rules on edit wars. This is the classic SJW tactic of rather than argue a point with reason brand them sexist and hope they simple capitulate to your demands.

  • Nanowired

    I do not want off this crazy train.

  • johnmoser

    Does anyone still watch L&O in any of its horrible incarnations?

  • Anthropophagic

    Does this article count as “gaming journalism”?

    Just hope you are holding yourself accountable too.

    • Does this article count as “gaming journalism”?

      That’s something the audience would have to answer.

      Just hope you are holding yourself accountable too.

      If anything is factually inaccurate, just let me know.

      • Anthropophagic

        Just wanted to make sure.

        I see plenty of these #GG articles and redit posts pop up in my new feed. Everyone seems to have their own personal crusade against so and so. Half the time everyone is trying to spin this comment or that into some kind of damming evidence in some grand corruption scheme. Like they discovered the pentagon papers.

        It seems that everything is becoming less of a critique of the gaming press and their operation and more of a, I don’t know, soap opera at best, witch hunt at worst.

      • Everyone seems to have their own personal crusade against so and so. Half the time everyone is trying to spin this comment or that into some kind of damming evidence in some grand corruption scheme. Like they discovered the pentagon papers.

        Well yeah, everyone has their own thing. I’m mostly just focusing on the media’s corruption. I have some other stuff in the pipeline but I just need to verify some more info before publishing anything.

        It seems that everything is becoming less of a critique of the gaming press and their operation and more of a, I don’t know, soap opera at best, witch hunt at worst.

        I imagine things will really settle down once the narrative shift takes place. It might be coming sooner rather than later.

  • C G Saturation

    Entirely unsurprised that they reacted in this way. It’s why I have zero interest in reconciliating, reasoning with or forgiving such people. They’ve repeatedly proven themselves to be thoroughly and repulsively sociopathic. They love corruption, bathing and soaking it into their every pore.

  • Cenobite

    Mr Mark Kern,
    I have read your petition, and while I do not agree that it will be any part of a solution or that it promotes a solution. I do commend you for it, and respect you, and your position. I would like to make a few comments for your consideration, and open them up to every other developer, and producer of games, and gaming paraphernalia.

    The damage as you have put it has been done, there is no way to undo the SVU episode, or actually alter the now colored opinions of those who saw the show, and are not actually part of the gaming community. The truth is it matters little in the scheme of things. People have always had low opinions of gamers, and you watch any main stream media coverage of gamers or Gamer Gate. You will inevitably see one or more bobble head that tosses out the kid in the basement stereo type. Now they call us other names too, and this is new how?

    While a petition is a most time honored way to get one’s point across to the other party. The other party in this case has a long established track record that you need to consider by reviewing their actions to date, and their history thus far.

    1) They will deny, and lie habitually, continuously ignoring reality to suit their needs on a minute to minute basis.

    2) They are subject to Myer’s Law which states that they will purposefully, and willfully misrepresent anything you do or say, and use it against you by any means possible.

    3) They have no morals, or integrity to speak of, and will seek to harm you, your family, friends, and loved ones, both personally, and professionally by every means possible, and available to them.

    4) They have no ability to actually discuss anything civilly that may go against their doctrine.

    5) Their only recourse to criticism is to claim an aggrieved status, promote themselves as victims, and then use it as justification to request alms. They will then under their perceived smoke screen of being the victim utilize point 2, and prove point 3 again.

    Some of these points are evident in how they responded to your petition in the first place. However, I leave it to your own intellect to judge if I am accurate in my assessment of those on the receiving end of your petition.

    The other thing I want you, and your colleagues who produce the goods we purchase to consider is as follows. Gamers will continue to boycott those sites, and anyone who writes for them. As gamers, and you know this, we do not give up on boss fights, ever. We don’t quit because, and you know this too, the elation one feels when they finally defeat a boss that was hard is second to none. Gamers will not end this if you really think about it, because the opponents cannot see the writing on the wall, and will deny it until there is only a crater in the internet where their sites once stood.

    The people who will bring an end to Gamer Gate are the producers, and the developers. The power to end this is actually in your collective hands if you think about it. If developers signed a petition stating that they were not going to work with any site or journalist that is currently at odds with the consumer base, and that they would not consider working with or allowing as members of the accepted media any individual who is not working for a media outlet that has a clear set of ethical standards. Then followed through with the delivered petition. The change in those sites would be instant, and have all the appearance of heart felt, genuine, repentance.

    We are the Gamers, and we spend our hard earned cash on what you make. We buy it because we enjoy it, the art of it, the story in it, the challenge of it. We are in revolt against those who abused us, belittled us, and lied to us, and by extension to you as well. This is something Gamers can do, and we will win, but the scars will be many, and the wounds will be deep. The damage incalculable, but we are committed. The boss fight is on.

    Our enemy is some of the gaming press. They think that because they control a portion of the media, and can control the narrative that they can ignore real facts. They think they can hold you the developer hostage with their reviews, and threats of black listing, eight balling, or crony connections. They believe that they hold the upper hand. They are wrong.

    You, and all like you the developers, and manufacturers of games are the other end of the equation. You actually have the power to remove these individuals from access to your products, and make them tow the ethical line. You can if you act as a group end this fight before the damage goes farther. You can bring them to the table by removing them from the equation.

    Food for thought.

  • bans

    Great read, and it’s great to hear some devs are coming out and saying no to corrupt games journalism. Personally tho, too much damage has been done by the media, I cannot reconcile my feelings, I will not be happy until the old empire is in flames.

  • Dataninja

    Gawker Media and all it’s sites are NOT news sites. They are blogs. It only takes reading a few posts at any Gawker blog site before the childishness of most of their bloggers can be seen.
    Anyone that stays at Gawker Media as a writer is not a journalist.

    • John Doe

      Except that Gawker Media tries to use the +9001 Sheild of “But I’s a blog” when it suits them, and insist on having titles like ‘Editor’ and using the term ‘Journalist’ all the fucking time whenever they aren’t being called on bullshit.

  • Lord Twinkie

    Adrian Chmielarz quoted me in that piece! it was exciting.

    “Nice little game you got there, would be a real shame if no one gave it coverage, a real damn shame.”

    • Haha, you’re a superstar now!

  • Thanatos2k

    The devs do have the power to stop this, and quite easily – cut the journos off. Polygon wants an interview? No. Polygon wants review copies? No. Tell then why. Give coverage to ethical outlets, there’s plenty out there.

    Without their lifeblood of content – these sites die, and die quickly.

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