Tag Archive: footnote


The aggression that pushes people out that I am referring to is the gendered slurs, the homophobic slurs, and the general conversation that leaves many people feeling gross for having participated in the video game community. I have been toying over collecting the evidence that demonstrates this is still, despite great strides, very much a part of the video game community, of which #GamerGate is simply a quick snapshot, but that will have to join my list of writing for the Interim. But if you don’t think this is still part of it, and you play any games with a Global Chat (even Clash of Clans) spend a few minutes on that and you’ll more than likely see what I’m referring to at this moment.

Advertisements

On gender

I have been using both terms “woman” and “female” throughout this paper. I do not mean this as an exclusionary word. In my own experience, I use them interchangeably. When pushed, I will demarcate along biological lines and cultural lines, much in the way Gia Milinovich explains. But for everyday instances, and especially when people are being attacked for both claiming woman as their gender or people assuming they identify as a woman, I will claim solidarity with anyone who identifies as a woman. And in the instance of #GamerGate, since many tweets were sent with gendered and sexist harassment, this resolve is only strengthened. I just wanted to clarify that I am most comfortable a including all the disparate incarnations of femininity (or womanness) and not inclined to draw lines regarding what being a woman looks like, acts like, sounds like, loves like…… Please leave your thoughts in the comments!

Update – I realized that I did not explicitly state here that these same thoughts apply to all genders. Please share your pronoun preference, and I will gladly use it. Gender is already socially complicated to pin down, and I find the labels rarely help in understanding the person.

I feel like everyone knows that there are always dark alleys  regardless of how bright the streets are. The Internet has always had dark alleys the size of California freeways. The most recent incarnations of these are 4chan and 8chan. The forums most pertinent for the GamerGate conversation on 4chan (boards.4chan.org/v/) and on 8chan (8chan.co/gg/). They are absolutely Not Safe For Work! They are barely safe for people who actually like other humans to tread through. The addresses for the dark alleys will change, as they have through time. The users always feel like wherever their current home exists sells out, which precipitates a move to a new, more welcoming space for what has always existed online.

Trolls live on the Internet. The traditional stories of Europe may have them under bridges threatening and being threatened by goats, but with the creation and rise of the Internet, we have learned they live in the forums online.

In the stories they turn to stone in the sunlight and are generally giant oafs who will eat anything they can catch. Online, they post comments wherever they think they can get a rise. They are generally anonymous, and their posts are generally targeted to be the most offensive they can get past the moderators. The comments are generally easy to pick out, because they are designed to illicit the most vitriolic response from the other people in the forum. The rationale that has been gleaned over the years for this behavior is that the troll is looking for attention and enjoys the discomfort of the people who post responses. Years ago, I saw someone explain that they had created a game with a friend where they would go onto comment sections and post tolling comments in order to gain points for all the responses, and for the types of responses, they each received.

The long standing admonition has been, “Don’t Feed the Trolls“. This advice is to ignore the people posting the outrageous comments with the thought to starve the poster of the attention that they desire.

Recently, though, there is beginning to be some resistance to this ancient wisdom of the interwebz. Whitney Phillips reframes trolling as a form of bullying and creates space for nuance in the activities that have historically been grouped together under the term troll. Phillips then argues that the long-standing advice actually turns into a form of victim blaming if the target speaks out and receives more attention in response.

As the Internet continues to become a home for more people from diverse backgrounds, trolls and how people deal with them will continue to change.

%d bloggers like this: