#LetDevsSpeak Takes Off After Game Journalists Ridicule Devs


At this rate it looks like #GamerGate might not ever end… unless, of course, the journalists perpetuating the onerous tumult within the gaming industry finally take a leave of absence. The continuing saga of the battle for ethics managed to suck into the fold the digital director of communications at Electronic Arts, Chris Mancil. Why? Because he mentioned Ben Kuchera, an editor from Polygon and a Game Journo Pro, in a post that involved prominent journalist Milo Yiannopolous from Breitbart… and his association with #GamerGate.

Mancil recently wrote about losing 2,500 followers on Twitter for simply retweeting a brief message from Yiannopolous. He did so on his blog called ChrisMancil.com [backup].

Mancil described the absurdity of the event and proceeded to explain why the 2,500 followers stopped following him, writing…

“Little did I know, that Milo Yiannopoulos currently bears the gaming community’s Twitter version of the scarlet letter. This flaming mark of public shame and exile which was apparently sewn on his breast (profile) by auto-blocking bots that systematically mute and silence a wide-swath of gamers, and their friends, whom they dislike and disagree with.”

“In warfare, dehumanization and ‘othering’ allows more flexibility for the troops, and their administrators, to you know – temporarily abandon ethics and morality, for the greater good, and other such mindless rationalizations. A dangerous but all too familiar historical phenomena in war, but also with strong roots in our entertainment history – such as the Hollywood Blacklists for communist sympathizers.”

Mancil’s plea for rational thought was met with a rather odd bit of criticism. In the original article Mancil linked to Ben Kuchera’s article about how Twitter could improve policing harassment on the social media service.

However, Kuchera was not pleased that his work was linked in Mancil’s piece, going off on a Twitter tirade, stating…

“I can’t stop @chrismancil and others like him from linking my articles when defending harassers in gaming…but I can sure let everyone know how repugnant his actions are. This is @EA’s director of digital communications, for the love of god.

 

“Never, @ChrisMancil. Never ever. People are afraid to speak up, but I’m not. Don’t use my work that way. Don’t you dare.

 

“The guy who “leads player engagement” for @EA can’t understand why we block those who threaten to KILL us? @ChrisMancil, you’re the problem.

 

“I have zero tolerance for people using my work in that way. So angry. Sorry for the rant.”

Mancil proceeded to remove the link to Kuchera’s article and attempted to appeal to reason by stating the following on Twitter

“Death threats & harassment are serious problems in our communities. Let’s be united on that. Then be open to discuss the right remedies.”

Nevertheless, this was met with more vitriol and repugnance from Ben Kuchera, who appeared to be indignant at the idea that neutrality and peace should be sought. However, an unlikely individual stepped up to defend Mancil… Josh Olin, the community and publishing director at Xaviant, and former community manager of Turtle Rock Studios.

After seeing Mancil get shutdown by Ben Kuchera – the same as Mark Kern getting shutdown by Ben Kuchera and VG 24/7’s Patrick Garratt – a few other devs decided to step in and speak up against the gaming journalists responsible for twisting a narrative against the gaming community since August of 2014.

Thomas Geffroyd, the content director on Ubisoft’s Watchdogs, was one of the Cavalry that arrived to backup Mancil, joining in on a new hashtag called LetDevsSpeak.

Geffroyd was then joined by other developers who chimed in as rebellious chorus against the gatekeepers of old. Game designer Matthew Callahan hopped on board, utilizing the hashtag as well.

Moderate journalists and writers also joined in on the action, hoping to get more developers to step forward and speak out, something that’s been a difficult task to accomplish for the past seven months due to the kind of backlash that we’re seeing against developers like Mark Kern and Chris Mancil.

This has been compounded with tools like the GG Autoblocker, which adds various neutral followers and retweeters to a list generated around prominent #GamerGate figures and blocks them systematically. This GG Autoblocker has even managed to catch various indie devs just looking to get informed about events surrounding the matter.

Mancil wants to take the peaceful road about it, but some developers genuinely want the corruption to end, such as Mark Kern and Adrian Chmielarz.

On the upside, Eurogamer has added a ‘right to reply’ clause to their ethics policy in hopes of bridging the gap between news and editorials that developers feel portrays them or their content in an inappropriate or unjust light; however that doesn’t really solve the problem of games media using their platforms to silence and censor developers from addressing rampant censorship and speaking out against corruption.

(Main image courtesy of Alejandro Argandona)



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

  • Ms_Fortune

    Everything GamerGate has done will be pointless if developers don’t take a stand, enough with letting bullies like Kuchera have their way.

    • Very true. It will take the combined power-levels of gamers and devs to deal the final blow.

    • Michael Goutman

      I disagree.

      GamerGate opened the eyes of many thousands of people to the agenda-driven corruption in gaming, and the corruption within western society that birthed that agenda, and for those people, myself included, that’s more than enough of an accomplishment.

      Anything GamerGate achieves beyond this point is just a bonus in my book.

    • bryoneill11

      I dont understand why developers, publishers, artists and writers dont join gamergate once and for all and take a stand. We gamers are defending them. Their RIGHT to express themselves and Creative Freedom. ITs not our work or job! They need to take a side now. Gaming journalists is an occupation that dont exist, they invented that shit. They do literally nothing. They contribution is ZERO to the industry. Why the fear? Look what is happening with the comics too. I tall you one thing, if they leave us alone and dont support us, they are part of the problem too. We consumers are the only ones fighting a fight that is not ours. Its time to cut the press once and for all. Nintendo Direct, Youtubers, Twitch is the future. DO NOT SUPPORT developers campaigns on kickstarter anymore. IF a developer is against gamergate PIRATE his game. DO NOT BUY IT. Dont visit gaming sites. If you need to USE AD BLOCKER. Get rid of this sites on your bookmarks, feedly, flipboard, blinkfeed, etc. Tell your friend, family, neighbor. If a company speak against gamergate dont support their products!!! If they think they are all together, let them know WE the REAL CUSTOMER are together too. SUPPORT BLOGGERS, YOUTUBERS, who defend you and speak their minds against this abuse of power and censorship. Lets speak with our wallets. Its about time they join 1up and Joystiq!!! DONT FORGET THE NAMES OF THE SITES AND PEOPLE WHO SAID THAT YOU ARE SHIT! DONT EVER FORGET!!!

  • Sand Ripper

    Kuchera is so easy to dislike.

  • Fenrir007

    Well, can’t say I’m surprised by how Ben “Manchild” Kuchera handled this. Perhaps he realized that radicalizing it further will solidify Polygon’s position as the Jezebel of gaming and attract the radfem niche crowd before all antiGG webites have to scrape for clicks due to driving away their saner readership.

    One thing I was unaware of was the right of reply on Eurogamer’s ethics policy. That’s pretty damn good. Is it something only they have, or do other websites have a similar policy?

    • Whoops, forgot to link that Eurogamer article in there.

      But eh, I don’t know if other websites have it. I haven’t seen it very often. Then again, so few sites do follow-ups (in the gaming space anyway) it’s no surprise why it’s not in the policies more often.

      Hmm, I guess I should flesh that aspect out in the disclosure/disclaimer section while I’m at it.

  • dirtysteve

    Eurogamer needs to reign in their mods before they’ll regain credibility. Perma bans for nothing and blanket bans on TotalBiscuit videos being linked.

    • C G Saturation

      A site like that would never regain credibility in my book.

  • Pooch Nasty

    Game Journos can’t stop any devs from taking to youtube and twitter, like everyone else. Game Journos aren’t gatekeepers, anymore. Nintendo was just the first to show us that.

    • Syltique

      Yeah, I absolutely LOVE Nintendo DIRECT and their E3 coverage. That is the future.

      Why even have journalists playing these games, and then filtering their experience through their jaded ass belief systems? Just let the consumers see it and play it instead. They actually enjoy the product still.

      • Pooch Nasty

        Exactly. Between a direct connection to consumers and plenty of independent LPers and critics like TB – who give us every opportunity to judge whether or not we want to spend the money on this stuff – the old guard journos are utterly irrelevant.

  • C G Saturation

    Kuchera the harasser throwing a tantrum about being a harasser. What a nut.

  • Erthwjim

    Mancil wants to take the peaceful road about it, but some developers genuinely want the corruption to end, such as Mark Kern and Adrian Chmielarz.

    True, but at one time I think both Mark and Adrian also wanted the peaceful road, the vitriol from those against gamergate has made them realize pursuing that road is not viable anymore. I foresee the same thing happening with Mancil eventually too if he keeps speaking out.

    • C G Saturation

      They’re being naive. It’s not possible to seek peace from people who are figuratively leaping to burn the houses of anyone who even brushes upon the topic of their corruption.

      The only peace they wait is the complete silence of everyone else in the face of their continued corruption.

  • Dave The Sandman

    As Kuchera and Polygon have shown themselves for what they are – enemies of games companies and games developers – the only sane response is to isolate and starve them. No more advertising. No more access. No more review copies. No more press invites to launch events. No more goodie bags. Nothing.

    If Polygon wants to become an irrelevancy let it. You get more exposure for your products and brands by using new media like the venerable Boogie and Biscuit, and sites such as this, than you do from an increasingly irrelevant rag like Polygon.

    Its up to the game companies, but if I were sitting at the board table of EA, you can guarantee that by lunchtime Monday every person in the press and publicity units would be getting a memo cutting Polygon off completely and for good.

  • Xinox

    I think that the “right to reply” clause in Eurogamer’s policy is going to be the only thing that will allow gaming sites to stay relevant. However, it would be a nightmare for PR people if devs were allowed to speak with such candor. So we might actually have a situation where PR and journalists are at odds, like how it should be, rather than them being so buddy-buddy with each other like they are now.

    • As someone who pays for a PR guy everything you just said is true.

  • One thing I can’t figure out is why Gamergaters, who are fighting for “ethics”, allow any kind of association between them and Milo. He is probably the most unethical “journalist” there is. The proof is indisputable and extensive. Doesn’t make sense.

    • Guilt by association… this is why GG has gone on for so long.

      For the websites that reform there’s no reason to hold a grudge against them. For journalists that report factually and fairly, there’s no reason to hold anything against them.

      If there is something they report with factual inaccuracy then it can be brought out and the article can be amended.

      More than anything, why are websites found to have lied about #GamerGate not being called out more for the lies? It speaks volumes for the corrupt state of our media when blatant lies and propaganda can be spewed as truth and people believe it.

      • The things Milo writes in Brietbart are a great way of telling the lies from the truth. Just believe the exact opposite of everything he says and you’ll know the truth.

      • GamergateDunGood

        Hey joe…. Where you going with that kool aid in your hand…?

      • Major props for the Hendrix reference. 😉

    • Thanatos2k

      Because it’s possible to agree with some of what someone says and does while disagreeing with other things.

      Something the Kucheras of the world will never, ever understand.

  • kerriganmarois

    I’m essentially anti-gg I guess,whatever that really means, but kuchera 100% flew off the handle. Anyone can link to the articles you’ve written publicly. And to be so quick to that nasty, he needs other stuff to care about.

    • Thanatos2k

      It’s insane. Your content is publicly available, to be able to pretend like you can control the ability for others to link to it is batshit crazy.

  • Thanatos2k

    The devs are finally starting to realize that they’re next. First the SJW game journos silence their audience, then they silence the other journos who they disagree with, then they silence game devs, so that they’re the only people left allowed to speak.

    Game devs, YOU control gaming. Cut these corrupt fools off and they will wither and die.

  • Zanard Bell

    This is what just what we need: aGGros antagonizing the devs. I don’t care if they think GamerGate is a woman-hating movement, just as long as they start opening their eyes and see that their enemies are not their audiences, but these loudmouths with their overinflated egos and opinions.

    If we can just have a collection of dev that will finally say no to the politicization of their games, then I can rest easy and leave GG behind.

  • Sergio Nacher Fernández

    Another awesome article, as always!

    It’s always good to see more people put on the lens of truth and seeing the true face of gaming journalism, kept masked under a narrative of lies. The more the devs speak, the more cornered the corrupt journos will get.

  • renegadesix

    Kuchera couldn’t care less about the truth or fairness. Mancil threw it right down the middle and Benny Boy has struck out.

  • I have no sympathy for Mancil. Anyone in the business who has not figured out who their enemies are is just not paying attention. The fact he expected reasonable discourse from Kuchera… KUCHERA FFS… does not reflect well upon him. Mancil got bit by a dog known to bite people for extending a hand, and he deserved it.

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