I have seen several arguments brought up against GamerGame like:
- Why aren’t you concerned about AAA game publishers buying favorable reviews of their games?
- Talking about Zoe Quinn’s sex life is shut shaming.
- If you’re concerned about ethics in game journalism, then why do you keep bringing up Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian (or feminists and social justice warriors)? They aren’t game journalists.
There’s more arguments like these than you can find, but this covers examples of a problem I have noticed. The problem is assuming that corruption is purely about money. Ideological corruption is at least as relevant as financial corruption. In fact, ideological corruption can be much worse.
Take the issue of game publishers buying favorable reviews for their games. First of all, there have been plenty of complaints about this. Read up on DoritoGate and GerstmannGate for examples. However, favorable reviews for games can be “purchased” by other means such as sexual favors (which Zoe Quinn is accused of doing). Or what about the whole issue of journalists supporting various indie game developers via Patreon because they agree with the political message of the game or the politics of the developer. (This is an example of ideological corruption and how ideological corruption will eventually lead to financial corruption.) It’s likely in such a scenario that favorable game reviews will be given on the basis of politics and not the game itself. This is just as bad as a AAA game publisher buying a favorable review of their games. In many ways it’s actually worse due to the ideological group think involved. Just because no money changed hands does not mean that there isn’t corruption.
Ideological corruption provides a new set of weapons for the corrupt to attack anyone trying to end corruption. If the gaming press isn’t fought and defeated right now, in the future anyone who wants to purchase favorable reviews for their games can just provide hookers instead of money. Hookers have a built in defense if they get caught because they can scream “Slut shaming!” and “You have no right to talk about a woman’s sex life!” to anyone who would expose this type of corruption. As long as their corrupt acts can be turned into false accusations of misogyny, they will be safe.
This is the reason why the gaming press is fighting so hard with the “gamers are misogynists” and “gamers are dead” angles. With DoritoGate and GerstmannGate, the gaming press had no way of fighting back. Thanks to Anita Sarkeesian and other feminists and social justice warriors, the gaming press found the ultimate defense against any and all attempts to expose their corruption, accuse their enemies of being misogynists. By doing this the gaming press get lots of women and white knights (including those in the wider media) who will reflexively support them without actually analyzing the facts of the situation. There’s an article on The Escapist where some female game developers share their views on GamerGate which naturally includes plenty of nebulous accusations of “harassment” against female game developers. Many comments to that article ask for evidence of that harassment but none gets produced and apparently asking a woman to prove she’s being harassed is misogynist. This example makes it clear that the gaming press has found the ultimate weapon to allow them to continue their corruption thanks to the feminists. Exposing corruption is now misogyny (since there’s always some way to tie to women). Asking for evidence that something happened to a woman is now misogyny.
The most important reason that ideological corruption is worse than pure financial corruption is that ideological corruption leads to a massive jihad not just on anyone who opposes the corruption but large masses of people. The gaming press has declared war on gamers. (In additon to all of the “gamers are dead” articles that appeared within 48 hours of each other, just see anything written by Leigh Alexander for evidence of that.) On top of that people who have been publicly opposed to corruption in gaming journalism have been fired from their jobs and had their bank passwords hacked. If a AAA game publisher is buying favorable reviews of their games, that is where it ends. They don’t go on a jihad against their customers.