David Pakman

Host of the syndicated political talk show that ebars his name, broadcast for radio, television and online.

 

Involvement with Gamergate

Pakman joined the discussion when he started doing interviews with several key figures from Gamergate starting late October 2014:

Others were invited on the show but their interviews didn’t come to pass for various reasons:

  • Stephen Totilo, who on 31 October was invitated via Twitter and politely declined [1]https://archive.today/v1exp
  • Zoe Quinn, who on 31 October was invited via Twitter, accused him of “public pressure” and enabling a “hate group”, among other claims from her and her peers, especially Alex Lifschitz. Please see the sections below for more details
  • Oliver Campbell, scheduled to be interviewed on 3 November, cancelled it [2]https://archive.today/QPKfW

Public reception of Gamergate interviews

Pakman’s very first piece on Gamergate, Brianna Wu’s interview, immediately drew criticism from the anti-GG side.

Brianna Wu’s criticism

Wu considered Pakman, who had so far not made any pronunciations on Gamergate, of being biased against her. During the interview itself, at about the 20:52 mark, she accuses Pakman of running a hit piece on her [3]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETVcInunAss.

Totalbiscuit commented on this on the Youtube, stating that she seemed to expect the interview to be a platform for her to uncritically expose her side and was surprised when Pakman contested her claims and put her on the spotlight:

dssdgdsdf

Soon after the interview, Wu took to Twitter to further her criticism of Pakman, whom she claimed was putting her “on trial” for being a victim [4]https://archive.today/T4cqM, fitting with the anti-GG narrative that casts Gamergate as a harassment campaign:

wu2

She ends her diatribe by announcing she will “answer all these tough question [sic]” soon in an interview with journalist Glenn Fleishman. A few facts not mentioned in that Twitter conversation are that Fleishman is a friend of Wu’s since before Gamergate or the “Quinnspiracy” controversy that preceded it [5]https://archive.today/3izMF [6]https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Aglennf%20to%3ASpacekatgal and donated to the Kickstarter of her game Revolution 60 [7]https://archive.today/3qEvW#selection-463.0-463.15, whereas Wu has collaborated twice to Fleishman’s publication, The Magazine [8]https://archive.today/CQ6Yp [9]https://archive.today/3w6os and donated to two of his Kickstarters [10]https://archive.today/EXQU2. Thus Fleishman’s bias in the interview is a foregone conclusion [11]https://archive.today/wEkiA, as was his open stance against Gamergate as whole [12]https://archive.today/FLFlq.

Milo Yiannopoulos gets involved

Yiannopoulos took umbrage at supposed lies about him that Wu said in Pakman’s interview [13]https://archive.today/8Q7Ms [14]https://archive.today/yusbO [15]https://archive.today/9TMM9. This eventually led to more misunderstangs, explained on their respective pages.

Ben Kuchera’s preventive refusal

On 31 October, after receiving Totilo’s recusal for an interview, David Pakman lamented that they were having trouble finding anti-GG people to be on the show [16]https://archive.today/4oHHz. After a random commenter suggested he ask Ben Kuchera, the latter preventively recused himself with a peculiar message that compared Gamergate to creationists [17]https://archive.today/7N7dU. This reinforced the anti-GG narrative that GG, as a harassment campaign, has no merit whatsoever and doesn’t even deserve to be debated.

dsgsgsgsdfg

Zoe Quinn’s invitation

Still on 31 October, as Pakman sought for more anti-GG voices to be interviewed, he tweeted at Zoe Quinn asking if she would like to be interviewed. She immediately responded by accusing him of applying “public pressure” against people [18]https://archive.today/U4oSF especially with GG’s “interference” involved [19]https://archive.today/hurQE, and of legitimizing a “hate group” via a golden mean fallacy [20]https://archive.today/LnIH4, before refusing the offer and requesting further conversations to be in private [21]https://archive.today/5IrEF.

The implication of her accusations, in keeping with the standard anti-GG narrative, is that Gamergate has no valid points and isn’t even worthy of being discussed. As Pakman defended himself from these accusations, she further berated him for not asking in private [22]https://archive.today/b3H77 [23]https://archive.today/qXHmb. He apologized, claiming her replies were appearing out of order because of the software he was using, Hootsuite.

Still later on 31 October, Alex Lifschitz went on a rant because of Pakman’s requests for an interview. It’s pretty much impossible to highlight the most egregious tweets because it was effectively a day-long tantrum [24]https://archive.today/L57Ze.

Regardless, on 1 November Quinn mentioned responded to David Pakman to talk about a possible interview deal in private [25]https://archive.today/39CUy [26]https://archive.today/h0W7V. As of yet, she wasn’t interviewed by Pakman.

Source: 8chan

Source: 8chan

The same day, Pakman mentioned on Twitter how he had received many accusations of “leading a hate mob against women” simply for stating his neutrality regarding GG during the previous day’s fracas with Zoe Quinn [27]https://archive.today/SinMV.

tjrjtyjytj9

Wu piles on again

Following the multiple attacks on Pakman that followed the fracas with Zoe Quinn on 31 October, Wu again weighed in against Pakman, accusing him of egocentrism and making this “about him”, which Pakman refuted [28]https://archive.today/zJFEW.

asdfghjj

Arthur Chu’s criticism

The interview with Arthur Chu happened on November 4.

The second and so far last anti-GG figure to be interviewed by Pakman, Arthur Chu already had demonstrated animosity towards Pakman due to perceived victim harassment when offering her an interview [29]https://archive.today/iAFxm [30]https://archive.today/gvlvY.

Chu started openly criticizing Pakman soon after the interview was done [31]https://archive.today/4HzQT, to Pakman’s apparent surprise as he claims they agreed more often than not on the topics discussed. Later Chu claimed that his contention was that “the shows were set up as ‘Gotcha!’ zingers and whaddya know we did a half-hour on zinging me” [32]https://archive.today/6HBsZ, which Pakman denied [33]https://archive.today/qdrBO, without any proof presented by Chu.

Throughtout these Twitter conversations, Chu tries to smear Pakman’s reputation by claiming he is an unethical journalist who owes his career to a 2010 interview with Glenn Miller [34]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNrKqjYfv74 [35]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH93qfvnxls, a white supremacist who came to national attention on 13 April 2014 after a shooting rampage in a Jewish retirement community [36]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overland_Park_Jewish_Community_Center_shooting. Pakman and other Twitter users point out that the interview happened literally years before Miller’s crimes, which makes Chu’s accusations of sensationalism patently false, and moreover the interview tapes were handed as evidence to the FBI. However Chu still insisted that Miller’s 2010 interview and 2014 rampage where the springboard of Pakman’s career, while claiming his feud with Pakman wasn’t due to Gamergate but due to Pakman being only interested in “dirt” on his interviewees.

Days later, Arthur Chu put his contention in more simple, honest terms.

tjrjtyjytj8

Yet a few days later, Chu wrote an article for The Daily Beast against Gamergate. Beside the usual narrative of misogyny and self-denefnse from personal accusations, he took the time to write Pakman “seems to enjoy doing sensationalistic clickbait interviews for the attention and the fireworks, without considering whether they make any positive impact” [37]https://archive.today/u511N. Pakman responded in a tweet that Chu had shown no objections to their research process at the time of the interview but now rants about how it’s “evil” [38]https://archive.today/W8H0j.


Further defamation and David Pakman’s defense

Besides rebuttals on Twitter seen in the section above, David Pakman has saw fit to follow the series of interviews with a few video “editorials” of sorts.

Pakman’s position on Gamergate itself

In the first non-interview video about Gamergate [39]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9fiz35EP2I published on November 10, Pakman clarifies his position on GG itself. Claiming to be accused of bias for both sides and that he accepts neither label, he explains he clearly sees harassment and trolling coming from both sides, states that issues of sexism misogyny clearly exists but has not be presented with evidence that such issues are worse in the gaming industry than elsewhere, and that it’s clear that there’s no doubt about collusion in gaming journalism even tho obviously the field is obviously not a serious matter in the grand scheme of things. In the next video, he clarified that tho neutral in the issue, he sympathized more with the anti-GG side.

CBC misidentification

In the second “editorial” video about GG [40]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kC7s7tfaEc, Pakman shares past instances where he was misidentified in the press (once as a former neo-Nazi, once as a dead gay suicidal teenager), and now it has happened again, thanks to CBC’s piece on Gamergate [41]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELZXPvdH9AY from 13 November.

During the segment, as the voiceover says that Gamergate began as a hashtag for the discussion of ethics in gaming journalism but has degenerated into a harassment campaign, the camera shows tweets and videos of several different people on the pro-GG side. Due to this lack of clarity, it can be implied that these specific people were labeled as either common gamers discussing ethics or harassers, and among the visible people is Greg Pakman. Worse still, the footage of Pakman that they used was precisely his previous video, where he states his neutrality. So the CBC article not only spuriously implies several people might be harassers, but it demonstrates they didn’t do any research at all in showing David Pakman as pro-GG at all.

The third “editorial” video is about CBC’s clarification e-mail to Pakman regarding the use of his image on the segment [42]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_782j_Cev8. It states that they didn’t imply he was a harasser, as his footage appears right as the voiceover mentions “initially a hashtag for the dicussion of ethics…”. However, it also states that his footage was chosen because he was an “early adopter” of GG discussion, which Pakman himself denies, claiming himself a latecomer to the debate. Thus the charge that CBC’s segment was badly researched remained.

ggautoblocker misidentification

During the fiasco of IGDA’s endorsement of the ggautoblocker program, it turned out that David Pakman’s personal twitter, @dpakman, was listed as one of the 10,000+ “harassers” within Gamergate [43]https://archive.today/d7WUG#selection-4902.1-4951.7, despite the fact that his maain account, @davidpakmanshow, had been whitelisted long before [44]https://github.com/freebsdgirl/ggautoblocker/commit/9fe7878983450b33f9fd716ae3799a2bd14b6e68

   [ + ]

1. https://archive.today/v1exp
2. https://archive.today/QPKfW
3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETVcInunAss
4. https://archive.today/T4cqM
5. https://archive.today/3izMF
6. https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Aglennf%20to%3ASpacekatgal
7. https://archive.today/3qEvW#selection-463.0-463.15
8. https://archive.today/CQ6Yp
9. https://archive.today/3w6os
10. https://archive.today/EXQU2
11. https://archive.today/wEkiA
12. https://archive.today/FLFlq
13. https://archive.today/8Q7Ms
14. https://archive.today/yusbO
15. https://archive.today/9TMM9
16. https://archive.today/4oHHz
17. https://archive.today/7N7dU
18. https://archive.today/U4oSF
19. https://archive.today/hurQE
20. https://archive.today/LnIH4
21. https://archive.today/5IrEF
22. https://archive.today/b3H77
23. https://archive.today/qXHmb
24. https://archive.today/L57Ze
25. https://archive.today/39CUy
26. https://archive.today/h0W7V
27. https://archive.today/SinMV
28. https://archive.today/zJFEW
29. https://archive.today/iAFxm
30. https://archive.today/gvlvY
31. https://archive.today/4HzQT
32. https://archive.today/6HBsZ
33. https://archive.today/qdrBO
34. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNrKqjYfv74
35. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cH93qfvnxls
36. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overland_Park_Jewish_Community_Center_shooting
37. https://archive.today/u511N
38. https://archive.today/W8H0j
39. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9fiz35EP2I
40. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kC7s7tfaEc
41. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELZXPvdH9AY
42. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_782j_Cev8
43. https://archive.today/d7WUG#selection-4902.1-4951.7
44. https://github.com/freebsdgirl/ggautoblocker/commit/9fe7878983450b33f9fd716ae3799a2bd14b6e68
Posted in | Comments Off on David Pakman

IGDA

International Game Developers Association. A non-profit organization that represents the interests of developers with over 90 chapters spread accross all continents. Mostly staffed by volunteers with very few actual employees, IGDA works more as a structure for its individual chapters to organize events than to actually work as a trade association.

 

Threat of blacklisting by founder

Ernest Adams, founder of IGDA [1]https://archive.today/pel4K altho not holding an official position, made a tweet on 24 October 2014 threatening supporters of Gamergate [2]https://archive.today/OM5aw. He argued that he was not threatening anyone by itself but merely saying that other professionals in the industry would remember who supported Gamergate. However, his support of the narrative that paints GG as a harassment campaign implies that GG supporters are by definition harassers and thus all of them warrant discrimination. This led to charges of blacklisting [3]https://archive.today/BhZiE.

This was considered particularly damning considering IGDA claims to “serv[e] all invididuals creating games” and states in itself: “Mission: To advance the careers and enhance the lives of game developers by connecting members with their peers, promoting professional development, and advocating on issues that affect the developer community.” [4]https://archive.today/4F4bJ

He has since deleted the controversial tweet.


 

ggautoblocker fiasco

Preamble: what is ggautoblocker

The ggautoblocker tool was developed by Randi Harper a.k.a. freebsdgirl to crawl Twitter, its goal being generating a list of Twitter accounts which followed more than one of the “ringleaders” of Gamergate. According to the initial readme [5]https://github.com/freebsdgirl/ggautoblocker/commit/f970f83dcef698bbbf95a1b9180616a44b5e6af3:

Takes a list of the 4 major idiots of GG, looks at their follower lists. Generatees a list of sheeple following more than one account.

This “idiot” blacklist (not the same as the “sheeple” list the algorithm generated based on the “idiot” blacklist) initially was composed of @CHSommers, @AdamBaldwin, @FartToContinue and @PlayDangerously [6]https://github.com/freebsdgirl/ggautoblocker/commit/0985008332c81d23e131862a496d41940ea52303. Also included was a whitelist, which initially consisted solely of @gamergatetxt. The “idiot” blacklist was constantly updated to add or remove the Twitter handles major supporters of Gamergate. The various alterations to the blacklist and whitelist can be seen here, here and here.

Based on these initial blacklist and whitelist, the algorithm generates a much bigger list of people to be blocked by anti-GG people in their Twitter accounts. However, the very design of the algorithm is severely flawed as it takes guilt by association to an extreme degree. See the next section for examples on the many shortcomings of the list generated by ggautoblocker.

IGDA recommends ggautoblocker

In 19 November 2014, IGDA posted an “Online Harassment Resource” aimed at game developers [7]https://archive.today/hEXWi. Among the various valuable tips and guides for helping game developers cope with harassers, it included a link to ggautoblocker, described as “[a] Twitter tool to block some of the worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment” [8]https://archive.today/yEhbK#selection-2317.0-2317.84. The description was changed to “[a] third-party Twitter tool developed to quickly mass block some of the worst offenders in the recent wave of harassment and also accounts that follow those offenders” [9]https://archive.today/hdmqF#selection-2333.0-2339.1 to clarify that ggautoblocker’s author was not affiliated with IGDA itself.

Initial complaints from pro-GG people about “authoritarianism” and “censorship” were rightfully dismissed as pointless, seeing as any person is entitled to talk only to whomever they want. The controversy begins, however, with the endorsement of ggautoblocker by the IGDA. The move was seen as extremely unprofessional for several reasons: the extremely flawed algorithm itself; its users’ conflation that presence on the list was tantamount to harassment or enablement thereof; and the IGDA’s claims of impartiality towards all game developers. These three factors added together made it implied but clear that IGDA itself was condemning a massive amount of people, some of which completely unrelated to the GG debacle, as harassers.

IGDA’s Online Harassment Resource was later ammended again to remove the link to ggautoblocker altogether [10]https://archive.today/GdAbv.

Non-comprehensive list of blocked accounts

Randi Harper keeps a Twitter account called @randi_ebooks which has itself blocked the entire list generated by her algorithm [11]https://archive.today/OKfoO, which can be easily transferred between Twitter accounts thanks to the Blocktogether site [12]https://archive.today/2amKc. As of the time of writing, the list blocks 10425 Twitter accounts of “harassers” [13]https://archive.today/d7WUG, with a few search-friendly Pastebin of all account names  [14]http://pastebin.com/2TmDLdJZ [15]http://pastebin.com/YjUk8yQn [16]http://pastebin.com/DyphBBLt [17]http://pastebin.com/0QMyMhXY. The people in this latest list of “harassers” include but it’s definitely not limited to:


Reactions to the ggautoblocker fiasco

Media blackout

As of the time of writing, not a single one of the main videogame news sites has reported on IGDA’s endorsement of ggautoblocker.

“Blacklist.txt” changed to “sourcelist.txt”

Following the controversy of IDGA’s endorsement of ggautoblocker, Randi Harper, in spite of not making any concessions for the lack of quality of her program, changed the name of the included file “blacklist.txt” to “sourcelist.txt” in a suitably inflammatory and unapologetic note [18]https://archive.today/bKpNJ. The change was seen as disingenuous at best [19]https://archive.today/qHANZ.

Response from blacklisted individuals

Robert Rosario

One of the most notable inclusions in the massive blocklist was that of Robert Rosario, chairman of the Puerto Rican chapter of IGDA itself and who had pointed out his neutrality towards the Gamergate debacle before [20]https://archive.today/Jbgtd [21]https://archive.today/UtmDQ. He has expressed his displeasure at being labelled a harasser on several tweets starting on November 21, indignant at being labelled a harasser without any evidence [22]https://archive.today/qitc8, to the point of threatening resignation of his position within IGDA.

When some anti-GG claimed he was guilty by association of being misogynist [23]https://archive.today/L9FAs [24]https://archive.today/YYkM8 [25]https://archive.today/jtmt6 [26]https://archive.today/F2gxo, he pointed out his contributions to anti-SOPA measures and pro-feminist activism. He also disparaged Randi harper’s ability as a programmer, as shown by the flawed results of her algorithm.

Randi Harper herself still laid the blame squarely at Rosario himself for “follow[ing] known harassers of women” and said he should apply to be whitelisted [27]https://archive.today/4N80J, to which Rosario responded that he shouldn’t have to defend himself against completely proof-less accusations in the first place, claiming it to be “pre-crime” and harassment.

Sdoctmd

A feminist, social justice advocate and early supporter of Gamergate who decided to distance himself from the it because of what they saw as toxic personalities intruding in on it. They have argued in the past that their awareness and support of Gamergate came from reading Eron Gjoni’s initial testimony. It led them to make the series of videos Understanding the Zoepost [28]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_UKErD0uGQ, wherein they explained how they saw in it a pattern of abusive behavior on Quinn’s part towards Gjoni, and thus argued that the widespread support that Quinn received was in effect enabling an abuser.

Even tho now distanced from GG, Sdoctmd saw themself in IGDA’s endorsed blocklist and thus cut off from their intended debating audience of gaming feminists. As they explained in a post in the subreddit Kotaku In Action [29]https://archive.today/Rukio:

But, the GG AutoBlocker, ironically enough, is hurting my ability to share my feminist views. I cannot discuss gender roles if I’m #1990 on the GG AutoBlocker. Why? Many of the people using the AutoBlocker are part of my demographic base. They are intersectional feminists interested in gender discourse within gaming. They are people who would view my project, and see what I have to say about harassment, emotional abuse, and gender representation in video gaming.

[…]But now we can no longer engage with our role models and base, because the AutoBlocker has rudely and inappropriately labeled us as “harassers.” And, choice or not, this kind of block list is seriously hurtful for a lot of us. We’re effectively blocked out from communicating with other feminists. Why? Because we (and thousands others) were curious enough to follow two people in an algorithm.

Several developers via Tech Raptor

Openly pro-GG website Tech Raptor has published an article compiling the opinions of several game developers on IGDA’s ggautoblocker endorsement [30]https://archive.today/obAzo.

Mothership Team

As a development studio who has stood neutral in regards to GG, Mothership Team has been tweeting their disagreement with IGDA’s use of the ggautoblocker list since 22 November [31]https://archive.today/wizNf. As IGDA removed their endorsement of the tool, Mothership reiterated their membership and support of IGDA’s mission [32]https://archive.today/4woqj [33]https://archive.today/J6m4q. Despite their continued neutrality, they cited a pro-GG interview [34]https://archive.today/R0ehG to reiterate that such lists have a malignant effect on developers’ employability.

GravTech Games

IGDA’s endorsement of ggautoblocker has driven the small game studio GravTech Games from a neutral stance to being openly pro-GG since 22 November [35]https://archive.today/lUNwN, and proceeded to do an AMA on the Kotaku In Action subreddit [36]https://archive.today/g1Y0M.

Ahsley Ross

Altho not included in ggautoblocker’s list, indie developer Ashley Ross has voiced criticism of IGDA’s endorsement of what amounts to a blacklist on the subreddit Kotaku In Action [37]https://archive.today/k689u. He had made his point before that he agreed with Gamergate’s stated goals but wasn’t a supporter, but still he had this to add to the initial post:

UPDATE Since posting this just a few hours ago, I’ve lost several friends including some that I was working on a game with. No words, just blocked, unfollowed, unfriended, removed on all social media.
I try to remain an open mind on this stuff. I really really try. As I stated, I don’t support gamergate, but agree with the stated goals. I try not to let my social media be an echo chamber, I have friends with differing views.
I’ll tell you what though, the ‘other side’ is making it increasingly harder to sympathize with. Not only in shooting down any attempt at discussion, but also going as far as to remove themselves from a friends life? That’s just crazy to me.
[…]
This is a fair warning to devs out there, if you even appear to support GamerGate, even agree with one thing in it, then prepare to have your career destroyed. I know I have. I don’t know if it’s 100% because of GamerGate, or if it’s because of some other factor, but in the past 3 months I’ve made less than 10% in contract work, and my game sales dropped to 0 except in one instance where I shamefully ‘ebegged’. I don’t want to call my career over, but it’s certainly had a huge hit these past few months.

APG Nation

Pro-GG videogame website APG Nation left implied a threat of legal action [38]https://archive.today/kp7dg.

Brennan Williams

Reacted with a lesson in good humor [39]https://archive.today/NsofX.

lkjhgf14jpg

   [ + ]

1. https://archive.today/pel4K
2. https://archive.today/OM5aw
3. https://archive.today/BhZiE
4. https://archive.today/4F4bJ
5. https://github.com/freebsdgirl/ggautoblocker/commit/f970f83dcef698bbbf95a1b9180616a44b5e6af3
6. https://github.com/freebsdgirl/ggautoblocker/commit/0985008332c81d23e131862a496d41940ea52303
7. https://archive.today/hEXWi
8. https://archive.today/yEhbK#selection-2317.0-2317.84
9. https://archive.today/hdmqF#selection-2333.0-2339.1
10. https://archive.today/GdAbv
11. https://archive.today/OKfoO
12. https://archive.today/2amKc
13. https://archive.today/d7WUG
14. http://pastebin.com/2TmDLdJZ
15. http://pastebin.com/YjUk8yQn
16. http://pastebin.com/DyphBBLt
17. http://pastebin.com/0QMyMhXY
18. https://archive.today/bKpNJ
19. https://archive.today/qHANZ
20. https://archive.today/Jbgtd
21. https://archive.today/UtmDQ
22. https://archive.today/qitc8
23. https://archive.today/L9FAs
24. https://archive.today/YYkM8
25. https://archive.today/jtmt6
26. https://archive.today/F2gxo
27. https://archive.today/4N80J
28. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_UKErD0uGQ
29. https://archive.today/Rukio
30. https://archive.today/obAzo
31. https://archive.today/wizNf
32. https://archive.today/4woqj
33. https://archive.today/J6m4q
34. https://archive.today/R0ehG
35. https://archive.today/lUNwN
36. https://archive.today/g1Y0M
37. https://archive.today/k689u
38. https://archive.today/kp7dg
39. https://archive.today/NsofX
Posted in | Comments Off on IGDA

GameJournoPros

A mailing list for several gaming journalism professionals. It’s membership and some conversations were leaked by member William Usher.

 

Reveal

On 17 September, Milo Yiannopoulos published an article about a mailing list of several gaming journalists called Game Journalist Professionals a.k.a GameJournoPros [1]https://archive.today/5iLCl, followed by another one the next day [2]https://archive.today/ypaNu and a dump of the e-mails corcerning Zoe Quinn [3]https://archive.today/u397Q

Yiannopoulos published two more articles in the following weeks [4]https://archive.today/TuCns [5]https://archive.today/EV7kl.

Accidental reveal of leaker

On 20 September, Yiannopoulos posted screenshots showing the membership list of GameJournoPros [6]https://archive.today/vXylK, accidentally revealing his source in the process [7]https://archive.today/4gDOM. He deleted the tweet about an hour later. On 22 September, the leaker, William Usher, claimed there was no harm done [8]https://archive.today/gTvlJ.

Former members

On 6 November, Usher revealed in his Twitter the names of four former users of GameJournoPros [9]https://archive.today/i6gNp. Among them were Leigh Alexander, who is on record as stating she wasn’t a member [10]https://archive.today/utUDS, altho she quit a few months before the “gamers are adead” controversy [11]https://archive.today/eGYk5.


Creation

All of the information in this section comes from a single article by William Usher, the leaker of GameJournoPros [12]https://archive.today/aIteI.

Started on 31 August 2010 by Kyle Orland, senior gaming editor at Ars Technica, and was ostensibly modelled after JournoList, the controversial Google Group which had been closed down a few months prior due to evidence of collusion between its members, American liberal reporters, to push specific narratives.

uP6HvaD

A little less than a month after the list’s creation, Ben Kuchera, then senior editor at Penny Arcade Report, joined it. Orland spcifically mentioned that Kuchera’s recommendationis what caused him to land his job at Ars Technica, which goes a long way towards explaining the influence Kuchera had on GameJournoPros.

KfrxeKT

According to Usher, Kuchera utilized this influence unduly on several occasions in the list’s discussions:

You see, this explains why Kuchera had such pull in the Game Journo Pros, why fellow member Ryan Smith was nearly kicked out of the group for snidely putting Kuchera in check on one occasion, and why Kuchera was allowed to bully Greg Tito in an attempt to close down the The Escapist’s #GamerGate discussion thread – a thread, I might add, that only stayed open thanks to a lot of intervention from The Escapist co-founder Alexander Macris, the same man who completely reorganized all of Defy Media’s ethics policies following the early days of #GamerGate.

The attempt to get Greg Tito to censor discussion of Gamergate on The Escapist is mentioned in more detail below.


 

“Quinnspiracy” narrative collusion

Yiannopoulos’ articles claimed that several members of the list used it to practice collusion, by planning concerted narrative efforts between supposed rival publications. The focus of Yiannopoulos exposé was a thread about the “Quinnspiracy” controversy, where some of the journalists, most notably Ben Kuchera, argued about penning “signal boosting” articles on Zoe Quinn’s support or if they should just ignore the issue. Kuchera himself had financial ties to Quinn in the form of Patreon support [13]https://archive.today/48pVJ. In that thread there was an attempt to pressure Greg Tito, editor-in-chief of The Escapist, into closing down discussion of Gamergate on its forums [14]https://archive.today/u397Q. It should be noted that The Escapist was one of the very few of the big gaming sites that did not ban discussion of the topic.

Other members voiced their worry at the ethics of this and chose to stay away.

Members of GameJournoPros defended the list as simple networking between colleagues [15]https://archive.today/LhhIT which might have been true for most of the list’s discussions.

The charges of collusion were further reinforced with another scandal, this one surrounding Allistar Pinsof.


Involvement in Allistair Pinsof’s dismissal

Please see the appropriate section in the Allistair Pinsof page.


 

References

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Daniel Vávra

Game developer, vocal supporter of Gamergate.

 

Criticism of Kingdom Come: Deliverance

Upon the announcement and beginning of the crowdfunding effort for the first game of Vávra’s Warhorse Studios, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, in early 2014, the developers found themselves amidst a minor controversy around the lack of non-white characters and possibly no female playable characters. [1]https://archive.today/8EOjm [2]https://archive.today/YIFGd. People arguing for or against social justice issues focused on whether, as the original article pointed out:

it’s still plausible for Kingdom Come not to feature any characters of color, particularly since, as one of its developers pointed out to a potential Kickstarter backer, the game takes place over a mere 9 square kilometers of land. Effectively, “historical accuracy” can be used to support both sides of the argument.

The blog MedievalPOC, which had been dragged into the debate, responded to the previous quote [3]https://archive.today/xLtYE:

That’s totally true.

Which is why I’m trying to emphasize the fact that these were conscious choices made by the game developers, not some kind of force beyond their control. Nothing was stopping them from including people of color aside from their own choices.

The problem comes into focus when the developers make these kind of claims:

Warhorse called its system, “the ultimate character customization tool ever invented,” and added that your gear will get bloody and dirty as you slog your way through battles, and that many parameters of an avatar’s body can be altered.

That’s a pretty hefty claim to make along with the total exclusion of women and people of color.

In an interview with Tech Raptor [4]https://archive.today/lpe1x in September 2014, as the Gamergate debacle was ongoing, Vávra said his opinions on the topic, among others:

[Tech Raptor:] Will the GamerGate issue have any real effect on your approach to your upcoming game, Kingdom Come: Deliverance? That could be changing a character, a story, or part of the world.

[Daniel Vávra:] No. We had a strong playable female character before all this started. We have gay characters in the game, and we have different minorities in the game, because all I want is to have a mature, strong story. A story that I wanted to tell for years, and I am not going to change it because of outside pressure.


 

Claim of blacklisting and stifling of speech

Vávra had in the past voiced concerns about him and his company being blacklisted from the vastly anti-Gamergate gaming press.

vavra

In the aforementioned interview with Tech Raptor, he especifically said about certain critics:

And they will never be happy. If you don’t have a gay character in your game, you are homophobic, if you do have gay character in your game, you are homophobic, because they don’t like the character. If women in your game look good, you are sexist, if they look bad, you are sexist, if you can fight with them, you are misogynistic, if you can’t fight with them, you are using them as objects, if you don’t have any women, because there is no correct way how to have them, you are misogynistic.

It’s a witch hunt and it’s affecting my artistic freedom.

However, there’s a lack of proof of how his freedom was actually stifled. Developer David Scott Jaffe, who has long been a vocal critic of the videogame press, mentioned how he himself had yet to see how bad criticism from journalists and bloggers was affecting developers’ freedom [5]https://archive.today/n69xc, with Vávra’s case being one of his examples altho not by name.

More substantially, Reddit user wideawekened has demonstrated that the claims of blacklisting of Kingdom Come: Deliverance to be provably false [6]https://archive.today/64g0w.


References

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