The ride never stops for GamerGaters. They’ve succeeded so well that only Trump Derangement Syndrome has a stronger hold upon the seared, tender amygdalas of Social Justice Warriors. Jeremy from the Quartering on YouTube turned me on to an astonishingly fiskable article from the Verge.
Alrightie, let’s do it!
GAMERGATE COMES TO THE CLASSROOM
By Megan Farokhmanesh, 21 August 2019
It was the phones that tipped off Bo Ruberg.
Ruberg, a UC Irvine assistant professor in the department of informatics, was teaching “Games & Society.” It was November 2017, and the course was a required class taught to 260 students, the majority of which are typically male freshmen.
SJWs are so freaked out over GamerGate that deprogramming male comp-sci students was made a mandatory class. I found the course description:
I&C SCI 60. Computer Games and Society. 4 Units.
The study and critical analysis of computer games as art objects, cultural artifacts, gateways to virtual worlds, educational aids, and tools for persuasion
and social change. Emphasis on understanding games in their historical and cultural context.
A mandatory class for BS Computer Game Science and BA Education (Digital Media and Learning). Ruberg also taught
IN4MATX 295. Special Topics in Informatics. 4 Units.
Studies in selected areas of informatics. Topics addressed vary each quarter.
Restriction: Graduate students only.
…which in Fall 2017 was “Tech, Sex and Gender”. Who took on student debt for THAT?
Ruberg kept a strict no-screens policy in their classes — an easy enough ask to keep students from texting or scrolling through Instagram when they should be paying attention. But this was different: a dozen or so people holding up their phones, recording their lecture on gender without even the effort of hiding it. The class felt strangely fuller. Ruberg paused, reminded students of the policy, and assumed they would put them away. They kept their cameras trained on Ruberg.
On a hunch, Ruberg asked their TAs for a head count. The final number? Eleven extra bodies. The intruders had made that part easy, at least. They took the day’s pop quiz under fake names along with everyone else. Ruberg’s experience was unnerving for many reasons, but above all, one thing was clear: this was a coordinated effort.
Lies. No professor could possibly sense that his class of “260 students” had picked up a few extra bodies. Especially given the infamously erratic attendance patterns (and senses of humor) of incoming froshes.
In the five years following Gamergate, sites like YouTube, Reddit, and Twitter shifted the power dynamics between student and teacher. The harassment-campaign-turned-online-culture-war paved the way for how abusers coordinate and systematically target victims. Online harassment has moved from the web and into real life. Marginalized figures have always known harassment existed in digital spaces, but Gamergate honed these tactics and pushed them into mainstream awareness.
With projection like that, space aliens are lucky. They get a perfect view of the show on Earth while maintaining a safe distance.
New York Times writer Charlie Warzel sums it up succinctly: “Gamergate’s DNA is everywhere on the internet … its most powerful legacy is as proof of concept of how to wage a post-truth information war.”
He didn’t make the Big Three cut at the end so… enjoy.
“YOU DEVELOP THIS SELF-PRESERVATION INTUITION”
Now educators face new challenges: teaching responsibly, while also safeguarding themselves from the very kids they hope to help.
You shouldn’t have weaponized the children against their parents, Commies. Didn’t you realize you were authority figures, too? LMAO.
“You develop this self-preservation intuition,” Ruberg tells The Verge. “You have to know what’s happening so that you know how to protect yourself.” As misinformation and hate continues to radicalize young people online, teachers are also grappling with helping their students unlearn incorrect, dangerous information. “It has made a lot of us teachers more cautious,” they say. “We want to challenge our students to explore new ways of thinking, to see the cultural meaning and power of video games, but we’re understandably anxious and even scared about the possible results.”
It’s a Scooby-Doo mystery why students no longer trust teachers who spy on them while banning private recording devices from the lecture hall.
Ruberg’s teaching focuses largely on the intersection of technology and society with an eye on games. Part of the pushback, Ruberg believes, is because game dev students are resistant to the idea that cultural issues should have an impact on what some consider a very technical job. For some of the most problematic kids, however, the root cause is far worse. “These students have been radicalized,” they say.
After the gender lecture, Ruberg and their three TAs spent the next few days patrolling local campus Reddit communities for the material.
For Fuck’s Sake, what did I JUST say about students not trusting teachers who spy on them?
To Ruberg and their TAs’ collective relief, nothing ever appeared — in their opinion, because there was nothing salacious: women in games have a hard time, and masculinity is constructed through gaming. But the experience left a mark on Ruberg, who says they’ve become more hesitant to include material about gender, sexuality, and race on their syllabuses. They’ve become wary, in some ways, of their students.
Re-read that paragraph. NOTHING HAPPENED. I even Googled for a 2017 scandal at UC Irvine and found nothing, but Ruberg was so paranoid that people were watching his gender screeds that he policed his own behavior.
The wicked flee though none pursue.
“I’m watching out for potential problems,” Ruberg says. “It makes me sad to say that, because I truly love teaching undergraduates, but it’s [hard] to tell when you’re teaching a student who is open to new perspectives and when you’re teaching someone who has the potential to do harm.”
The internet as a whole opens up impressionable kids to toxic beliefs, whether it’s forum culture or online multiplayer. Radicalization is an ongoing problem on platforms like YouTube, where viewers can easily tumble down rabbit holes of far-right content thanks to the platform’s algorithm.
More lies. If YouTube tried any harder to silence the “far-right” then it would ban its own moderators for watching us. In fact, it’s already trying to make them quit:
But continuing with the article,
If there were any lessons to be learned from Gamergate — from how to recognize bad faith actors or steps on how to protect yourself, to failings in law enforcement or therapy focused on the internet — the education system doesn’t seem to have fully grasped these concepts.
Who involved the education system in a consumer revolt against skank-ho journalists sleeping with game designers in the first place, huh? Huh? Huh? Not us!
“SUDDENLY EVERYONE WHO WATCHES JORDAN PETERSON VIDEOS THINKS THEY KNOW WHAT POSTMODERNISM IS”
Steve Wilcox teaches game design and development at Wilfrid Laurier University. Several months ago, he spoke to the president of his union about how they were preparing to tackle topics like ideological radicalization and misinformation. His takeaway? “I do not think that we are really prepared.”
A cis-male would recognize a lack of preparation as a signal to delay the battle. But Steve is no cis-male!
How we talk about these issues now, he adds, is often in the context of freedom of speech and expression. “The argument is that conservatives are being discriminated against, and people with these otherwise odious views about society and race and gender,” he says. “That fails to recognize that society is already kind of deplatforming people — women, people of color, and trans speakers, or people marginalized in society — despite the fact that our society is already predisposed to being prejudiced toward them in the first place.”
Joseph Goebbels did the “big lie” thing much, oh so much better than this. We aren’t just losing to the SocJus monsters, we’re losing to incompetent SocJus monsters. Father God, what are you waiting for? A good punchline to this cosmic joke you’re enabling?
It’s a problem that goes beyond just topics specific to the gaming industry, extending to topics like feminism, politics, or philosophy. “Suddenly everyone who watches Jordan Peterson videos thinks they know what postmodernism is,” says Emma Vossen, a post doctoral fellow with a PhD in gender and games. These problems with students are not about disagreements or debates. It’s not even about kids acting out, but rather harassers in the classroom who have tapped into social media as a powerful weapon. Many educators can’t grasp that, says Vossen.
“This is about students who could potentially access this hate movement that’s circling around you and use it against you,” she says. “This is about being afraid to give bad marks to students because they might go to their favorite YouTuber with a little bit of personal information about you that could be used to dox you.” Every word you say can be taken out of context, twisted, and used against you.
Cry us a river, ya hypocrites, wide and deep.
“Education has no idea how to deal with this problem,” Vossen says. “And I think it’s only going to get worse.
“EDUCATION HAS NO IDEA HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM”
The issue is not only with teacher safety…
…but points to a greater crisis in how the education system must fundamentally rethink how to instruct students. “How much of our classroom time do we dedicate to, rather teaching and learning, but unlearning?” Wilcox says. “Helping people unlearn the biases and prejudices that essentially that they’ve learned from the internet, all the way up to the age of 18, or whenever they enroll in university.”
The conventional model has always been to treat students as a sort of blank slate, using education and information to inform them and teach from point zero.
Which is a major reason Socialism always fails. Reality and the conscience are not so easily dismissed.
The combination of Gamergate hubs like subreddit KotakuInAction and unchecked alt-right personalities preaching harmful ideologies have changed that. An educator’s job is no longer just about teaching, but helping students unlearn false or even harmful information they’ve picked up from the internet.
There’s so much material worth highlighting! The Farce is strong with this one.
Deradicalization is the common question on educators’ minds, but some say steps need to be taken preemptively. It’s easier to circumvent poisonous thinking rather than scramble to find an antidote after the fact. “The issue is that they have a preconceived way of interpreting information, which then shapes how they interpret that data,” says Wilcox. You can’t just combat bigotry with stats or hard facts; you have to address the larger social and cultural factors that make them an issue in the first place.
Using hard facts has always been a losing proposition for you trans-genders. Have you found the Questioning sex chromosome yet? Little wanker never stays put, now does it?
“If we started teaching students the basics of feminism at a very young age,” Wilcox says, “they would have a far better appreciation for how different perspectives will lead to different outcomes, and how the distribution of power and privilege in society can influence who gets to speak in the first place.”
Even at its worst, the educators The Verge spoke to believe change is possible. These are still young people they’re teaching, who deserve the chance to learn and grow. “The behavior and games culture is this sort of microcosm of behavioral and larger culture,” Vossen says. “Gamers are not inherently sexist. Gamers are not inherently racist.” But much of the issue as an educator comes from the battle with what she calls living in an anti-intellectual time. “People will say [education is] brainwashing,” she says.
Figures like Peterson or Lindsay Sheperd will pose human rights discussions as one with two sides, rather than accepting that all people deserve basic rights. To combat this, Vossen will play leftist videos in her class from channels like Innuendo Studios. “I think that sadly, at the end of the day, we can’t actually change anyone’s mind,” Vossen says. “But we can present alternative options.”
Notice how they’re offering controlled opposition like Peterson as spokesmen for the hated GamerGaters. I’m afraid to look up Innuendo Studios. My spam/virus filter has limits.
Wilcox says that the overwhelmingly masculine, anti-political, anti-education tone common to some spaces in games already dissuades marginalized groups from entering the profession in the first place.
Relax. Barbie can’t do math, it’s that simple.
It’s a vicious cycle, in which the same hostile ideologies that make it difficult for other voices to enter the field continue to feed into each other and gatekeep. The problem ahead is a fickle one that requires a larger look at bias in culture and, more broadly, society.
“[That culture] is kind of already there, regardless of whether someone uses the talking points in my classroom,” Wilcox says.
Now then, let’s take a look at the people calling GamerGaters hateful, hostile, extremist people pushing unhealthy and marginalizing agendas.
Bonnie (Bo) Ruberg Ph.D.
The women who can code are the men who grew boobs.
Assistant Professor, Informatics
Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, 2015, Comparative Literature; New Media; Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies
B.A., Bard College, 2007, Creative Writing; Gender & Sexuality Studies; Literature
Holy FORTRAN, Batman! Ruberg is in the Informatics Department yet his academic background is literature! Remember what I said at the beginning: he taught a GRADUATE-LEVEL-ONLY research class on Information and Computer Sciences titled “Tech, Sex and Gender”… because, apparently, this fake woman can’t code either. But he has tried out a lot of genders.
video games, game studies, digital media, technology, queer studies, LGBTQ studies, gender studies, feminism, digital humanities
Bonnie Ruberg, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of digital games and interactive media in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Their [GQ: this is a ‘preferred pronoun’ thing] research explores gender and sexuality in digital media and digital cultures with a focus on queerness and video games. … Ruberg is also the co-founder and co-organizer of the annual Queerness and Games Conference. They received their Ph.D. with certification in New Media and Gender and Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and served as a Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Interactive Media and Games Division at the University of Southern California.
Video Games Have Always Been Queer (2019), monograph, New York University Press
Queer Game Studies (2017), edited volume, University of Minnesota Press
The Queer Games Avant-Garde (forthcoming 2020), single-authored collection of artist profiles, Duke University Press
“Not Gay as in Happy: Queer Resistance and Video Games” (2018) co-authored with Amanda Phillips, introduction to “Queerness and Video Games” special issue of Game Studies
You shameless homos were never happy. You never will be, either, because you perpetuate the sexual damage inflicted upon you by atheist perverts.
“Queerness and Video Games: Queer Game Studies and New Perspectives through Play” (2018), GLQ: Lesbian and Gay Studies
“Queer Indie Video Games as an Alternative Digital Humanities: Counterstrategies for Cultural Critique through Interactive Media” (2018), American Quarterly
Professor Bonnie “Bo” Ruberg (they/them pronouns) is broadening the conversation around digital media, expanding our knowledge of the diverse cultures at the heart of technology and the individuals who use it. “Technology is inextricably linked to issues of gender, sexuality, and identity,” Ruberg says. “The ways that we design, use, and talk about technology are fundamentally political and potentially radical.” Drawing from intersectional feminist frameworks, Ruberg’s work promotes social justice in and through digital media. With a background in the humanities, technology reporting, and community activism, Ruberg is an interdisciplinary scholar who combines insight and inspiration from a variety of fields—such as media studies, queer studies, American studies, and the digital humanities—to explore the cultural implications of technology.
One of Ruberg’s key areas of focus is diversity in video games. Ruberg is a leading figure in the emerging scholarly paradigm known as “queer game studies,” which argues that video games can (and should) be reconsidered through the lens of LGBTQ experience.
All must be made to Converge.
Ruberg’s scholarship is founded on the belief that research and activism go hand-in-hand. Though theory is important to their work, Ruberg sees their efforts to promote diversity in and through technology as directly related to pressing issues that surround computing today.
It’s Butt-Plug Buttigieg! No additional analysis needed.
I received my PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo in 2016.
ANOTHER non-programmer! A professor of game design and development at Wilfrid Laurier University is technologically illiterate! Learn to code, you fraud!
My thesis was argued, in part, through a videogame, a first for theses in the department. Prior to joining Laurier, I was a postdoctoral fellow at The Games Institute where I continued developing my unique approach to game design where I treat games themselves as tools for mobilizing knowledge across communities and cultures.
The Games Institute is one of two common factors between these “professors”, the other being the organization “First Person Scholar”. You can tell they’re entryist organizations because of the deceptive titling… just as “gay” no longer means “happy”, the Games Institute can’t make games and the initials of the other are meant to replace “first-person shooter”.
By their skin suits ye shall know them.
As a researcher my focus is on the intersection of media and learning. I’m interested in how we acquire new knowledge and, more specifically, how we might utilize games and game design to promote novel forms of learning. In “Illusions of space and time: An ethical approach to temporality in games” I focus on one particular concept in time, and what games can teach us about it. Historically, we typically view each moment in time as succeeding and, in a sense, surpassing the one that came before it. This gives the illusion of progress to the passage of time. We associate the past with ignorance and the future with insight. However, this illusion of progress can obscure patterns and cycles that are played and replayed throughout history such that conflicts and violence take on an almost predetermined quality—if time is inherently progressive, and if violent conflicts have brought us to the present moment in time, then perhaps violence is justified and conflict is necessary. This is often how games that play with time view the concept – as a means of replaying the past, oftentimes revelling in our most violent, combative moments.
An actually interesting idea. SJWs take the “newer is better” paradigm to the extreme of “the future is certain, the past is unknowable”. I don’t doubt that the idea of Converging the very concept of time excites them.
But games are capable of exploring other, non-linear forms of temporality… Games such as Her Story, Life is Strange, and Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, allow gamers to play with time in creative and emancipatory ways, freeing players from the illusion of time as linear progress and providing novel ways of thinking about where we’ve been, where we are and where we are going.
Yep. He wants to Converge time using video games as a proxy. Proof:
My research on temporality in games is part of a larger initiative to understand games as tools for helping us make sense of each other and the world around us. In this effort games bring together two related areas. The first is feminist epistemology which describes how certain forms of knowledge are situated within lived experiences; sharing that knowledge requires a degree of familiarity with that experience if it is to be accurately translated. The second area is cognitive science and the enactive theory of cognition which describes how our senses, bodies, and minds create or enact the world around us. Since our senses, bodies, and minds vary from person to person, we exist in and have knowledge of similar but distinct places or situations in the world. Games reside at the intersection of these two areas, providing us with unique tools for sharing these places and the knowledges situated within them.
Translation, he wants to make video games that are both feminist and postmodern, with no fixed definition of truth. It might be popular as a horror game but aside from that, his work is doomed to be intentional literary abortions… stories not meant to have a plot, climax or ending.
I can see it now! Legend of Zelda: Unassuming the Gender, in which you character alters his/her/hir/their gender as needed to repair/repeer/rep-hair the time stream that resulted in a second Christian Inquisition against “dog lovers”. With the optional DLC, you can also alter your pet’s fursuit at will!
Eh, Link has always been an androgynous faerie figure. No loss.
Okay, where’s my PhD? Come on, Marxist-indoctrination camp, I want my PhD! Not only did I provide resolution to Wilcox’s cutting-edge research in two minutes, I’ve forgotten five more computer languages than the last two Professors of Computer Game Science COMBINED ever knew! I’ve written computer games and animations since my parents bought me a VIC-20 at a yard sale and I couldn’t save my work because they didn’t realize the cassette player next to it was the disk drive! And I’m not even in the Gawddamned industry! Just like you experts!
Sinecure! I demand a sinecure on the basis of MERIT!
Da fuq… I wrote what I did about Link without knowing about her preferred selfie pic. Trying again:
Physiognomists call that the Innsmouth eye shape. It’s caused by women suffering sexual exhaustion at the crotches of unnameable abominations. Don’t think I’m joking.
Methinks another non-coder.
Emma Vossen received her Ph.D. in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo in 2018 and is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at York University helping run the SSHRC funded Refiguring Innovation and Games (ReFiG) network.
Yep. Non-coder with an English PhD.
She is the co-author and co-editor of the anthology Feminism in Play (Palgrave 2018) and her dissertation examines the accessibility of games, gamer identity, and games culture. Her dissertation focuses specifically on women’s comfort and safety while playing games, making games, and participating in discourse about games in both physical and virtual spaces. Emma is the former commentaries editor, podcast host, and editor-in-chief of middle state games studies publication First Person Scholar (FPS). You can read various bits of Emma’s writing about academic publishing, online harassment, The Legend of Zelda, community organization, and The Walking Dead on FPS. She is also the co-founder of the Games Institute Janes (GI Janes) and during her PhD she organized monthly gaming events for women and non-binary people at the Games Institute.
Emma has published on a variety of topics including but not limited to: issues surrounding academic poverty and academic publishing in the Journal of Working-Class Studies, issues of consent and the contemporary magic circle in Feminism in Play, the accessibility of pornography for women and the Fifty Shades of Grey series in Sexual Fantasies, post-capitalist romance and domesticity in The Walking Dead comics in Zombies and Sexuality, and the fetish art of Superman’s co-creator Joe Shuster in Masked Mosaic.
Emma Vossen and Elise Vist made the Lady Hobbits video in Neil Randall’s Lord of the Rings class in the coursework year of their PhD. Because of the critiques they leveled at Jackson’s adaptation of LOTR, Emma and Elise decided to make their own adaptation, using the LOTRO game to make a machinima. Their adaptation gender-bends and (somewhat, due to the limitations of character creation) race-bends the main characters of the LOTR in order to show that the story is just as interesting and relevant if the characters are not white men. It was very important to us that the story was still recognizable as Frodo’s journey, even with female hobbits. They also wanted to have some fun with the book, bringing in their own politics and making a few jokes that point out odd moments in the narrative, but they took care not to make jokes about the hobbits being female characters.
“On the Cultural Inaccessibility of Gaming: Invading, Creating, and Reclaiming the Cultural Clubhouse”
My dissertation uses intersectional feminist theory to develop the concept of “cultural inaccessibility”, a concept I’ve created to describe the ways that women are made to feel unwelcome in spaces of game play and games culture, both offline and online. At the same time, I also explore my own experiences as a female gamer and academic in the 2010s, using projects I have been a part of as a means of reflecting on developments in the broader culture.
Go away, you ugly feminist freak! Go make your own games! Oh, that right: you CAN’T. Can’t code, can’t level design, can’t 3D model, can’t storyboard. Can’t tell the difference between a variable and a vegetable. THAT is why computer games are inherently oppressive to you, because you can’t make your own.
Sucks to be you, condemned to enjoy White Man’s sloppy seconds.