Corrupt ethics in gaming media sparks controversy

Photo by: Amy Bridges

GamerGate is a movement that calls for gamer media to be held accountable for their actions and to follow an ethical standard.


The movement is the result of several scandals in gaming media that started with a game developer and game journalist in an intimate relationship for the purpose of getting good reviews, according to


The game media company involved remained silent, which started a social media conversation on whether the company was being ethical, or not.


Articles littered gaming media sites such as Kotaku and Gamasutra posting similar statements in a short time frame about why gamers are attacking media sites.


“On August 28th, 2014, a series of 11 articles were published within the span of 24 hours, some of which were linking to each other while going up within minutes of each other,” according owned by William Usher.


The articles released spoke to their own audience, ‘gamers’ saying they don’t matter anymore.


Gamasutra, a gaming media company posted an article saying, “’Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience. ‘Gamers’ are over.’”


Gamasutra was calling its own readers things such as, ‘obtuse’ and ‘wailing hyper-consumers’.


“Longstanding passive-aggressive tensions and divisions between games media and their customers instantly became something much more significant,” said Moltar, Editor-in-chief of, who requested that his full name not be released because of the continuous harassment and death threats sent to people involved.


“There has been a vicious campaign of aggression and intimidation against prominent GamerGate supporters since this whole thing began,” says Moltar.


Another scandal surfaced when a secret forum was found called ‘GameJournoPros.’ The list was created so all of the game media people on the forum could talk to each other about what to do about certain game companies and reviews, according to


“GamerGate wants a game media that is accountable to their audience and respects their rights, both as consumers of video games and readers of the press,” said Moltar.


Gaming media companies started claiming misogyny was what GamerGate was about, according to The Guardian. Gaming media companies were reportedly claiming that GamerGate supporters were mistreating powerful women because they believe women don’t belong in the gaming industry.


Women started speaking out using ‘#notyourshield, telling the gaming media industry that they can’t use women to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. Stating GamerGate was about stopping unethical journalism, trading money for reviews, collusion and bias within gaming media companies, according to


“When it comes to GamerGate, it has been heavily misunderstood as a social revolt against women and minorities and that is essentially not the case. If it was, I wouldn’t be sitting here,” said Jennie Bharaj, YouTuber and professional gamer in a Huffpost Live interview.


GamerGate supporters are being threatened as well as people who are anti-GamerGate causing both sides to blame the other.


Briana Wu, Head of Development at Giant Spacekat, a game development company in Boston was directly threatened and had to leave her home with her husband out of fear for her and her family’s life on October 10th, according to CBC.


Though none of these threats can directly be linked to GamerGate, it all reportedly happened in the same time frame and to specific important people in the gaming industry.


“For [them] to discuss these harrassments and misogyny and all of that in relation to GamerGate, I find that offensive because GamerGate does not stand for that at all,” said Bharaj in a Huffpost Live interview. “GamerGate is not about threatening other people, we are all human beings. All we want is journalistic integrity.”


GamerGate is a movement trying to bring the same ethical standards of journalism into gaming journalism for ethical reasons but also for moral reasons.


“The content of these media sites and the games they inevitably influence by their reviews and ratings are often consumed by children. Children do not have the same capacity to critically evaluate political opinions that adults do,” said Moltar. “Children who enjoy games should not be told by their favourite game sites that they are dead, and that they should be ashamed for considering themselves gamers.”

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