“Gamers are dead”
The accusations of corruption surrounding Quinn and her affairs grew to encapsulate other problems with the videogame press, often accused of lack of professionalism. The term Gamergate was coined by actor and videogame vocie actor Adam Baldwin https://archive.today/OyJrl on 27 August 2014, who had taken an interest in the “Quinnspiracy” in the weeks prior. In the same day, feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian left her home due to anonymous threats https://archive.today/kbGbQ, as she had become a target of criticism as part of the gaming press and this inevitably attracted undue harassment.
The following day, there was a rash of articles in gaming websites and blogs, some of which were posted within minutes of each other, decrying the growing debacle which they characterized as purely a misogynistic harassment campaign while largely ignoring any accusations of malfeasance by certain journalists and developers, a narrative which was pushed by these same sites since then and has been used against Gamergate proper ever since. This narrative is the main excuse used by various sites in order to ban all discussion surrounding Gamergate, whether they involved Quinn or not.
The following list is sourced from a public pastebin http://pastebin.com/dWzF8Eqd:
- ‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over.; Leigh Alexander, Gamasutra (Aug 28, 10:00am)
- We Might Be Witnessing The ‘Death of An Identity’; Luke Plunkett, Kotaku (Aug 28, 8:00pm)
- A Guide to Ending “Gamers”; Devin Wilson, Gamasutra (Aug 28, 7:57 pm)
- The death of the “gamers” and the women who “killed” them; Casey Johnson, arstechnica (Aug 28, 5:00pm)
- It’s Dangerous to Go Alone: Why Are Gamers So Angry?; Arthur Chu, The Daily Beast (Aug 28)
- Gaming Is Leaving “Gamers” Behind; Joseph Bernstein, Buzzfeed (Aug 28, 8:29 pm)
- An awful week to care about video games; Chris Plante, Polygon (Aug 28, 1:21pm)
- The End of Gamers; Dan Golding, Tumblr (Aug 28)
- Sexism, Misogyny, and online attacks: It’s a horrible time to consider yourself a gamer; Patrick O’Rourke, Financial Post (Aug 28, 9:33pm)
- Misogynistic trolls drive feminist video game critic from her home; Callie Beusman, Jezebel (Aug 28, 4:05pm)
- A disheartening account of the harassment going on in gaming right now (and how Adam Baldwin is involved); Victoria McNally, The Mary Sue (Aug 28, 1:30pm)
- Feminist video bloggers driven from home by death threats; Jack Smith IV, BetaBeat (Aug 28, 10:50am)
- Anita Sarkeesian threatened with rape and murder for daring to keep critiquing video games; Anna Minard, The Stranger (Aug 28, 6:00am)
- Fanboys, white knights, and the hairball of online misogyny; Tauriq Moosa, The Daily Beast (Aug 28)
The number and similar tone of so many of these articles raised even more suspicions of collusion, fanning the flames of debate and kicking Gamergate off in earnest.
Bullying and gatekeeping
Before kicking off Gamergate proper, Alexander was known for openly bullying people out of gaming journalism and bragging about it. In a common theme within anti-gamers, these actions were supposedly excused by being made against “bad people” as it was termed by those actually doing the bullying.
“I am a megaphone and I won’t mind making an example out of you”
In a Twitter diatribe involving developer Russ Roegner https://archive.today/ftaqd, who stated that there’s “no issue with gender equality in the game industry” and argued that opportunity are open to everyone. In between more sane voices arguing against him, Alexander made threats http://archive.is/OQduY.
“Sorry. This is not gonna be a career for her.”
The context for this has been lost, and Alexander has since deleted the tweet http://archive.is/2tKxj.
“Leigh Alexander just killed another career, it’s a mild day”
The context for this has been lost, and Alexander has since deleted the tweet https://archive.today/sUQE7.
“As if I cannot instantly kill all their dreams”
Source http://archive.is/O0zqR#selection-5603.0-5637.125. The original has been deleted.
“I am game journalism”
Despite the anti-gamer narrative dominating the media that casts various female gaming journalists and critics as victims of harassment, Leigh Alexander is one of many who not only engaged in it herself as the sections on Lack of professionalism and Assorted attest, but made public calls for it https://archive.today/1VAJh https://archive.today/yTLUy https://archive.today/DWIl9 https://archive.today/IrUwI.
Undisclosed conflicts of interest
On September 2012, leigh Alexander promoted games by Christine Love in an article in Vice Media’s blog The Creators Project http://archive.is/gYTqa. There is no disclaimer regarding their previous friendship https://archive.today/1KkGs (the tweets from Alexander’s account from those dates are missing).
Leigh Alexander was a supporter and occasional contributor to Babycastles, a New york arcade and gaming space dating back to at least 5 August 2010 Deleted tweets from Leigh Alexander dating from 2010. They had since been saved by Alexander herself to a public PDF, which she has since deleted as well. The PDF is avalable here: http://www.4shared.com/office/SESn-BdYce/Buzz-0014.html. Its autheticity is offhandedly confirmed by her here: https://archive.today/14b2y.
On 15 August 2010, she promotes Babycastles in an article for the LA Times without any disclosure https://archive.today/zuxM5.
On 17 September 2012, she publicizes Babycastles in an article about indie games as spectator sports at Gamasutra, without disclosure https://archive.today/bKMdY. What is intriguing by this is that months prior, on 24 February, she had written a piece wholly about Babycastles at the same site but had actually written a disclosure https://archive.today/CN76M.
On 17 September 2012, Leigh Alexande rpublished an article in Gamasutra showcasing the work of developer Ramiro Corbetta https://archive.today/bKMdY. There is no disclosure in the article, despite the two of them having been friends for years Deleted tweets from Leigh Alexander dating from 2010. They had since been saved by Alexander herself to a public PDF, which she has since deleted as well. The PDF is avalable here: http://www.4shared.com/office/SESn-BdYce/Buzz-0014.html. Its autheticity is offhandedly confirmed by her here: https://archive.today/14b2y https://archive.today/PQSZp https://archive.today/pG9hX.
The information on this section comes mainly from the Gamergate.me wiki.
Alexander’s friendship to indie game designer Naomi Clark extends as far back as early 2012 https://archive.today/JW7UM https://archive.today/ckpSz https://archive.today/TLWk9 https://archive.today/CbaWZ. Despite this, Alexander has written two articles praising her games. Once on 3 May 2013 for Sissyfight 2000 https://archive.today/L85q5 and on 3 November 2014 for Consentacle https://archive.today/LvWET.
Leigh Alexander was a member of the GameJournoPros mailing listhttps://archive.today/i6gNp. The group connected to collusion and blacklisting in gaming journalism, although she hasn’t participated in those known cases. She is on record as stating she wasn’t a member https://archive.today/utUDS, altho she quit a few months before the “gamers are adead” controversy https://archive.today/eGYk5.
Under a common excuse of not being racist because she lives in the ghetto, Leigh Alexander used racist euphemisms to attack black people https://archive.today/vRIvY https://archive.today/hXsWw. Both tweets have since been deleted. Later she claimed to be decrying harassment, ignoring what a “violent cultural backlash” against black people entails http://archive.is/ti01k.
In a separate instance, Alexander mistook pro-Gamergate blogger Lee Williams (@demisaysstuff) for a different black man, @electrolemon, whose name Demi was part of Williams’ handle https://archive.today/1BWP5. Williams reacted to it with a satirical poem of sorts https://archive.today/LSmaa and mentioned she blocked him on Twitter.
Lack of professionalism
Contempt for her audience
Her articles have long included petty attacks on her own readerships and gamers https://archive.today/a6WuE#selection-225.0-273.78 https://archive.today/n5LES https://archive.today/z9Csm https://archive.today/xwfeh even before Gamergate broke out, despite self-describing as a “games & tech culture writer” https://archive.today/aMcgT#selection-941.0-941.27.
Despite her aforementioned jabs at gamers using stereotypes, she claims she and her peers tried to “dispell stereotypes about people who like games” https://archive.today/yPiar.
“I have no pretense of being unbiased, sorry I have an agenda”
At the XOXO Festival 2014 in Portland, Oregon, Alexander states the bias and agenda-driven nature of her reporting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEOUSoRBsvQ&t=10m.
“Let’s send Jack Thompson poison candy”
Jack Thompson is the natural comparison to be made with the current anti-gamers, yet despite Alexander’s support for the latter, she was staunchly against the former. To the point where she celebrated the fact that Thomson had heart issues and jonkingly told people to send him poison candy https://archive.today/77wqO.
Gaming Journalists Are Incompetent Fuckwits wrote of Leigh Alexander’s lack of professionalism in 1 july 2010 https://archive.today/ydCAJ.
[ + ]