GamerGate refers to a controversy in the video games industry on the ethics of video game journalism, accusations of using personal relationships to obtain favorable reviews and awards in the industry, and a debate over the increasing number of critiques of video games from feminist and predominately left-leaning perspectives.
In 2013, Chelsea Van Valkenburg or better known as Zoe Quinn, made a game called Depression Quest in which the player role-plays the life of a individual suffering from depression, and eventually got it green-lighted on Steam. Meanwhile, her ex-boyfriend published a WordPress blog called The Zoe Post showing evidence of infidelity, using sex with game journalists and developers as a means to gain favorable coverage for herself and her game amongst mainstream sites.. In addition to sites like 4chan, Reddit, and Tumblr (all which are also drastically different politically and culturally), calls from individuals such as Firefly actor Adam Baldwin and even people of diverse backgrounds and members in the LGBT community had rose to support change and unite under umbrella movements such as #gamergate and #NotYourShield.
Erik Kain, an editor for Forbes, argues that the GamerGate movement is in response towards the increasing left-leaning criticism of video games.
- "What it boils down to is many people feeling upset that the video game space has been so heavily politicized with a left-leaning, feminist-driven slant," he said.
Liana Kerzner, writing for Metal Eater, was, among other things, critical of the video game media's part in stoking the controversy, and apologised on behalf of her colleagues:
- "The fellow gamers I feel the absolute most sympathy for in all of this are the 'fat, white, heterosexual, cisgendered neckbeards' whose demographic was directly associated with bigotry. Columnists could have just said 'misogynist bigots,' but they didn't. [...] The generalizations were unprofessional, anti-intellectual, and dehumanizing. So, wearing my other hat as a member of the video game media, I am sorry for that. It was wrong, and you guys didn't deserve it. The intentions on all sides of #GamerGate are, for the most part, sincere. I believe everyone wants a free, safe, open and honest video game media and community. There is, however, a deep divide regarding how to go about that."
- Milo Yiannopoulos, "Feminist Bullies Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart". Breitbart, 1 Sep 2014.
- , "Depression Quest Now Available on Steam for Free". AusGamers, August 16, 2014.
- The Zoe Post
- William Usher, "#NotYourShield Hashtag Shows Multi-Cultural Support For GamerGate". Cinema Blend, 1 Sep 2014.
- Todd VanDerWerff, "#GamerGate: Here's why everybody in the video game world is fighting" Vox, 6 Sep 2014.
- Erik Kain, "GamerGate: A Closer Look At The Controversy Sweeping Video Game". Forbes
- Liana Kerzner, "A look at the controversy surrounding GamerGate.". Metal Eater