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This tribute to "the millions of gaming dead" is the most ridiculously overblown GamerGate video you may ever see

Today, the most pretentious, and also probably the most ridiculous GamerGate video I’ve seen so far.

Over black-and-white footage of assorted video game shooters, the YouTuber who calls himself PowerIndustry tries to provide a bit of inspiration to his comrades in the virtual trenches who have chosen, as he puts it, to “stand and fight.”

For those who can’t make it through the whole nine minutes– and there may be more than a few of you – here’s Mr. PI’s basic argument.

Be warned: his sentences can get a little long and convoluted and at times he doesn’t seem to know what the words he’s using actually mean. Roll with it.

He starts off with a description of GamerGate that might strike you just as a teensy bit overwrought.

This is a war. A war of the dialectics. A battle not just for the culture of gaming, for ethics in journalism, but perhaps the final battle of logic and reason in the modern Western world. Gawker, Kotaku and all the other political hacks know that they will have to break us and this movement, for if they do, with the most powerful medium at their disposal, they will be able to broadcast and control all intellectual ideas and messages for their corrupt and vile ideology, and video games, along with all mediums and media, will sink into a dark age not since seen or heard of, made only perhaps more sinister by the pollution of the pseudo-intellectualism that may very well dominate all it touches for generations.

Yes, that second sentence there was 92 words long.

But if we hold strong upon this war, if we endure upon the hit pieces and lies and fight back, if we remain sovereign and strong and respond with a resonating and sustaining yell of “no, not one step further” then not only will they be driven back to the idiological darkness from which they came but a new dawn shall shine its light back upon reason, back upon truth and honor. And not only will ethics return to journalism but the cultural Marxists who seek only to control and oppress those they pretend to speak for will find themselves for the first time in ten years on the defensive and the war taken to their front.

He goes on in this vein for some time, before finishing up with what he intends to be a rousing pep talk.

To you weary, who wonder now as I drivel on as I always have, wonder whether you will have the strength to continue, or if our battle has been in vain, and that soon GamerGate may plunge into darkness I say to you this: Do not despair. The shield of deception and lies has never once stopped even the weakest parry of the sword of truth, for it is truth that has driven back the darkness from the primordial age, it has turned huts to nations and nations to civilizations, it has pumped electricity into your home and put the sun at the center of the solar system, it has brought the world closer to becoming the sons of gods we were meant to be, [?] apes that we but a few million years ago closely resembled. …

Truth will prevail, as long as there are men who are willing to carry the light.

In his mind, the evil enemies of truth and gaming have

made a fatal miscalculation.

They have forgotten that we are gamers. That we on a daily basis fight and die a thousand deaths in a humiliating and ego-shattering fashion for perhaps a single taste of glory.

Or perhaps just a taste of Mountain Dew.

We are a breed that will fight a thousand wars for a chance of a single victory. … We will not stop fighting until the final boss falls at our feet.

He continues on with more of this “never surrender” nonsense, but I think you’ve probably gotten the gist of it. And I find myself too annoyed to keep transcribing.

GamerGaters love militaristic bombast, in this case borrowed from the tabletop game Warhammer40k
GamerGaters love militaristic bombast, in this case borrowed from the tabletop game Warhammer40k

Why? Because, Mr. PowerIndustry, YOU ARE NOT FIGHTING BATTLES, You ARE NOT FIGHTING WARS. You’re NOT SWINGING A SWORD OF TRUTH.

You are SITTING ON YOUR ASS PLAYING VIDEO GAMES.

You’re not defending TRUTH and REASON from the evil cultural Marxist Gawkerites. You’re HAVING A COLLECTIVE TANTRUM BECAUSE SOME VIDEO GAME JOURNALISTS CALLED YOU A BUNCH OF BABIES.

Which, by the way, YOU ARE.

Look , I enjoy video games too, including Call of Duty and other first person shooters.

But fucking hell, dudes, VIDEO GAMES ARE NOT REAL LIFE. REAL LIFE IS NOT A VIDEO GAME.

There are no “millions of gaming dead.” They’re PIXELS ON A SCREEN.

Your “movement” for “Truth” and “Reason” started off as a harassment campaign aimed at a female game developer. And at its heart it remains a harassment campaign today, albeit one with a somewhat wider range of targets and some nobler-sounding rhetoric.

Which often ends up sounding as ridiculous as this risibly bombastic little video does.

But the REAL problem with this video isn’t just that it’s ridiculous; that’s pretty much the only thing that makes it watchable.

No, the real problem is that it’s fundamentally dishonest as well. Its vague and pompous rhetoric is designed to hide what GamerGaters are actually doing in this “war” of theirs – that is, trying to ruin the lives and livelihoods of game writers (and critics and developers) who’ve gotten bored with hackneyed sexist tropes and endless Call of Duty sequels and who’ve dared to say so publicly.

In his famous essay Politics and the English Language, George Orwell tried to figure out just what made so much political writing so very bad. “As soon as certain topics are raised,” he noted,

the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated henhouse.

That of course is a perfect description of the rhetoric in PowerIndustry’s little video.

Orwell realized that this kind of bad writing didn’t just stem from a lack of imagination. No, he argued, political language sinks into clichés and vague writing generally because, in so many cases, political writers are trying to obscure the ugly realities of politics with pretty rhetoric.

In our time [he was writing in 1946], political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible. …Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenseless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. … Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them.

Obviously GamerGaters aren’t razing villages or throwing peasants off of their farms. But they are harassing and in some cases terrorising their chosen enemies in the name of “Truth” and “Reason” and “Ethics.

And while few pieces of GamerGate are quite as ridiculously bombastic and overblown as “For Those Who Stand and Fight,” much if not most of GamerGate rhetoric is as fundamentally dishonest in its attempts, as Orwell would put it, to defend the indefensible.

Most of us outside of GamerGate can see this propaganda for what it is. Which is perhaps why so much GamerGate propaganda – including this video – is intended primarily for internal consumption, as a way to shore up the flagging spirits of new activists and convince them what they are doing is a noble thing.

The best way for us to fight rhetoric like the rhetoric in this video isn’t with detailed rebuttals but with laughter.

So mock on, comrades, we have a culture war to win! With your help, and a little luck, we can defeat GamerGate and plunge western civilization into a new dark age just in time for Christmas.

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Bogdan Cvetkovic
6 years ago

@cassandrakitty

How many pages was that one speech in Atlas Shrugged again? A friend of mine counted at one point.

I don’t know. But I do know that YouTube videos containing the whole speech lasts over three hours. Three hours of hot air.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

I feel like a good general guideline for speechwriting is that ideally your audience shouldn’t be bored enough, and have sufficient time, to take an hour long nap in the middle.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

How many pages was that one speech in Atlas Shrugged again? A friend of mine counted at one point.

http://www.dead-philosophers.com/comics/2012-07-10-oranges.jpg

tinyorc
6 years ago

libarbarian:

But by all means continue to feed your pretensions to moral superiority by pretending that it was clear and obvious and that you would have definitely made the right decision in his place.

Most people here would have, because we have principles that help us make difficult decisions and lines we do not cross even if we feel personally betrayed. Also known as ethics.

Also, lol that you think “giving a shit about the welfare of trans folk” = “pretensions to moral superiority”. That’s a very low bar for morality you’ve got there.

libarbarian:

If I walk away because I am bored you will interpret that as “going out with merely a whimper” and it’s proof that you “won” … something. If I rage and rage then it’s just me losing my shit and that’s also proof that you “won” …. something. I suppose I could just apologize for my wrong-think and beg forgiveness which would mean that you “won” … something.

Nah, this isn’t GamerGate. We’re not trying to “win” by “defeating” you or some bullshit. That’s not how conversations works. The topic of this conversation is ethics and most people here agree that yours are f-ed up. Doubling-down ≠ winning, reconsidering your stance ≠ losing. Also, no one really cares if you come or go.

WatermelonSugar:

It also baffles me that the idea of outting a transperson is totally ok to these people, but they still throw temper tantrums about neck beard, basement-dwelling, Mountain Dewritos drinking, fedora wearing, woman hating sterotyping of GGers.

GG logic:
Exposing trans folk to harassment and real physical danger by outing them = morally ambiguous territory
Opinion pieces criticizing our subculture = BULLYING! HARASSMENT! LIES! MISANDRY!

tinyorc
6 years ago

kittehserf:

It’s more about the fact that this isn’t the place for trans matters dominating the conversation.

Ooops, missed this. Sorry kittehs, consider the subject dropped!

twincats
twincats
6 years ago

@Pavlov’s House:

I’m aware that my military contributions are “not for nothing” as they say. My point was that even though my training and experience are not battlefield training and experience (also more than 25 years out of date!) I’d still fit in and be of more use in the military today than a bunch of FPS gamerdoodz.

That being said, YAY for someone who knows what a real Broken Arrow is! (Not what the 1996 film of the same name would indicate; as far as the training and exercises I participated in, it’s when an aircraft carrying nuclear weapons has a less than ideal landing.)

13blues13moons
13blues13moons
6 years ago

Hey so Ive been following your blog throughout this gamergate thing and Im confused as to what exactly these people are mad about. That girls play videogames? That girls have critiques of the videogame lifestyle and culture? I dont understand. Cant they just….. not read the commentaries if it upsets them that much?

Kate
Kate
6 years ago

Im confused as to what exactly these people are mad about.

don’t worry, they’re confused too… they’re trying their damnedest not to say that they’re against women having any agency at all, but the only thing that’s left when you take away that point is the flailing and attacks we have seen to date.

kirbywarp
kirbywarp
6 years ago

@13blues13moons:

Trouble is, they believe there is a massive conspiracy (isn’t there always…) where the people making commentaries they don’t like are also secretly taking over the entire industry somehow and forcing everyone to obey them. They think it’s so completely unfathomable that the industry might have an interest in creating more diverse characters and stories that only a massive conspiracy and shady backroom deals could possibly create the effect feminist critics are creating.

And that’s the people who fell for gamergate’s cover of ethics in games journalism and took it seriously. The rest are just in it for the harassment.

fit-to-flip
fit-to-flip
6 years ago

I guess I still don’t really get why people can call out ableist words like cr@zy but calling out transphobia is too much? I’m not trying to be an asshole, it just seems like the same sort of thing to me.

Puddleglum
6 years ago

@fit-to-flip. Assuming you’re not a troll, it’s not the calling out of transphobia that was the issue. It was delving deeper into trans issues. Kittehserf explained it above. If that’s not good enough for you, please feel free to email the mods/David.

Crissa
Crissa
6 years ago

There’s nothing problematic about ‘gender identity disorder’ – it’s being phased out as a diagnosis to be more inclusive. Dysphoria causes trouble, hence being the diagnosis now, as mental health is supposed to focus on troubles.

It’s really irrelevant to those who have diagnosis of GID (or describing it). But it’s more like how engineers talk about ‘anomalies’ doctors talk about ‘disorders’ whether or not they’re really problems to be cured. The lay understanding of the word ‘disorder’ is the problem, not the diagnosis.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

fit-to-flip: we have had two occasions, as I said above, where regulars on this blog were reduced to walking on eggshells by a small group of people whose idea of “calling out transphobia” attacking anyone not into their extreme genderqueer politics – denial of biology as a physical fact, promotion of gender as some sort of immutable reality instead of a social construct (which is itself an extremely misogynistic stance). Referring to genitals as male and female, rather than pretending sexual dimorphism doesn’t exist, is not transphobia.

Calling out transphobia that actually harms people – like men attacking trans people – is one thing. Pandering to one of misogyny’s more bizarre forms is quite another, and doesn’t belong on a blog that’s about mocking misogyny.

marinerachel
marinerachel
6 years ago

Seventy pages in the first edition. Yes, that speech accounted for seventy pages of Atlas Shrugged in it’s first edition.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

Seventy pages … oy. ::smh::

fit-to-flip
fit-to-flip
6 years ago

Not a troll, legitmently wanted to know. Disagree personally with the response, but understand that this is not the place to argue about it. Thanks for the response though.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Please tell me it wasn’t more than seventy pages long in the subsequent editions.

marinerachel
6 years ago

A mere sixty-six, in fact!

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Progress?

marinerachel
6 years ago

Maybe? Baby steps?

I remember talking to my ex’s bigot mom about Atlas Shrugged and she said how much she liked the book. When I asked her about the seventy page speech she told me “I didn’t read that far.” 😐 Then how do you know you liked it?

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

So she liked the first chapter? Or, um, the cover maybe?

Also, it’s one thing for teenagers to like that book, but if you’re old enough to have kids who’re dating you really have no excuse.

kittehserf - MOD
6 years ago

Cripes, how early in the book does the speech start? D:

fit-to-flip – no worries!

marinerachel
6 years ago

Her kid was at least thirty-four at the time. :/

Yeah, I was drawn to Randian philosophy when I read Atlas Shrugged at seventeen. That lasted a couple weeks. Or a half hour, I don’t remmber. It’s a point of shame for me, like that time I tried to mash raw potatos or the one time I wore heels to work, tripped and fell while walking to the picnic table where my colleagues were sitting and everyone saw my bloomers (but I did not spill my quinoa.)

grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ marinerachel –

When I asked her about the seventy page speech she told me “I didn’t read that far.”

Isn’t that always the way with bigots? They have really strong opinions on things they know absolutely nothing about.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
6 years ago

Sometimes you trip and the world sees your knickers – we’ve all been there, so no shame needed. Feeling shame because you once thought Atlas Shrugged had valid things to teach about the world is a perfectly appropriate response, though, which is why it’s baffling that some people never develop it.

I guess not having read most of the book is somewhat of a mitigating factor in that situation. If people bring up particularly bad bits she can legit say “well, I didn’t read that part”.

Pocket Nerd
6 years ago
Reply to  cassandrakitty

I was never into Rand, but as a sci-fi buff I was quite the little Heinlein-style libertarian for a few years in my late teens and early twenties. It’s very easy to believe in Rugged Individualism when you’re white, male, and comparatively affluent; you’re surrounded by support structures so ubiquitous and so invisible you don’t think about them any more than you think about the air you breathe. I was certain I had everything all figured out.

Then I got a taste of real life. I saw people unable to make ends meet despite working two or even three jobs. I knew smart, hard-working college graduates who couldn’t find decent work because the jobs simply weren’t there. I watched friends go bankrupt, not from careless financial decisions, but from medical conditions they couldn’t afford to treat. Little by little, I realized I didn’t know shit, and I’d been completely wrong about everything.

There are two ways you can go, at a moment like this: You can admit you were wrong, abandon your old notions, and start learning. But that’s hard work — learning always is, and most especially when it means letting go of pleasing falsehoods. The alternative is to double down and find a way to rationalize how you were right all along: That homeless guy isn’t mentally ill and in need of competent care, he’s too lazy to get a job; poor people could enjoy better standards of living if they’d just stop wasting their money on things like cellular phones and refrigerators; the economy is struggling, despite record corporate profits, because of crippling regulation and taxation.

I can understand a 20-year-old being a libertarian. It’s much less forgivable at 30, and if you’re still a libertarian* at 40, you’ve either lived a very sheltered life indeed, or you’ve deliberately cultivated the kind of blinders necessary to avoid seeing the problems and contradictions inherent in your economic theories.

* Or an objectivist, which is a libertarian with philosophical pretenses.

grumpyoldnurse
6 years ago

@ Pocket Nerd – everything you just said, but double. Your comment can’t even be improved with chocolate ice cream.

Tim Byrd
6 years ago

Gamergate macht frei! Gamergate uber alles!

Harlan
6 years ago

I don’t know if I can bring myself to watch it…I mean, really? A 21-minute video takedown of *this very post*?

In response to David’s “The best way for us to fight rhetoric like the rhetoric in this video isn’t with detailed rebuttals but with laughter,”—
“Let’s answer laughter with logic, then laugh some more.”

Okay. I’ll dare the first minute or so. Maybe.

Harlan
6 years ago

Mea culpa. Ignore, ignore, ignore. After taking shots at mispronouncing David’s least name, the discussion seems to center almost entirely on comments opposing the original video (which could only have from cat-ferret-Furellle-sheep, I guess). Plus Nickelback.

Robert
Robert
6 years ago

I’ve told this story before, my apologies if you’ve read it before.

As a bright teenager, looking through the library stacks, I came across a book called The Fountainhead. It looked vaguely SFish, so I read the first couple dozen pages (I could do that standing on one leg back then). Very soon, several things became clear.

This book was going to be all about Howard Roark.

Howard Roark was, to put it politely, a raging asshole.

I did not care to read a book about such a person.

Thus was I saved from several years of being even more of an intellectual snob-prick than I was going to be anyway. Instead, I read everything Poe and Lovecraft and William S. Burroughs wrote, and got my brain bent in an entirely different way.

Pogona
Pogona
5 years ago

The Gapin’Goats seem to have a gigantic boner for Warhammer 40.000 and the ‘militaristic bombast’ of the Imperium of Man(you know, the uber-fascist orwellian dystopia where the population of entire planets risks to be exterminated or worse because of one inhabitant not hailing the Emperor loud enough)…It’s apparently way beyond them that Warhammer 40.000 was always intended as a gigantic, satirical middle finger to such concepts.

marinerachel
marinerachel
5 years ago

My time is too valuable for this.

davidgerard
5 years ago
Reply to  marinerachel

>My time is too valuable for this.

David watches this shit so you don’t have to.

Melaine
4 years ago

bookmarked!!, I like your blog!

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