Maria Elena Marinelli

The Real Issue Behind GamerGate

After reading many articles about GamerGate, my initial reaction is that the #GamerGate movement is a bandage for the original injury of females not being welcome in the gaming culture. Being in the technology profession, I’ve grown to have a critical eye for motives when a problem surfaces involving the stance of females in a male-dominated field.


This image states “Actually it’s about ethics in game journalism” but is it really?

Starting off, GamerGate seemed as though it was about one particular female game developer who had a sexual affair with a game journalist that later wrote a raving review about the developer’s game. Gamers had two issues with this situation because not only did they believe the developer was using her physical attributes to gain falsified publicity for her game, but they had a problem with the fact that her game did not fit the typical profile of a video game. Later on, sources revealed that the journalist wrote the review without ever playing the female developer’s game, thus controversy ensued.

Both gender discrimination and unethical journalism practices are valid issues that have arisen as a result of the GamerGate scandal. Not only should it not matter if the game fits the profile of a video game, but it also should not matter if the person that developed it was a male or female. I find myself questioning if this situation would have even gotten any publicity if the genders were reverse and a male developer had slept with a female journalist to receive a positive review.

It is this question and the likely answer that has brought me to the conclusion that GamerGate, while about implementing some sort of ethical code in gaming journalism, is really rooted in the general unacceptable presence of females in the game development industry.