For Sale: Gamergate

The sign was hand made, ‘For sale: Gamergate.’ A young man stopped and looked puzzled by it. Then he noticed the gate, wooden and painted with characters and locations from video games. Or maybe it was in the shape of Pac Man. It doesn’t matter.

‘How can I help you?’ said an old man with a smile and the kind of eyebrows that should have been a moustache.

‘That’s our word. You can’t have it,’ said the young man.

If they’d been a moustache, the old man’s eyebrows might not have looked as confused. ‘What is?’

‘Gamergate.’

‘But it’s a gate. For gamers. What else would I call it?’

‘I don’t care. That’s our word, you can’t use it.’

The old man looked at his gate and then back at the young man, holding up his eyebrows with his hands so he could see. ‘Well, what do you think gamergate means?’

‘It’s about ethics in games journalism.’

‘What’s that?’

‘Ethics is…’

‘No, what’s games journalism?’

The young man searched the question for traps, found none, then answered. ‘Journalism, but about games.’

‘Why would a journalist write about games? There are wars going on.’

‘Games matter to some people.’

‘Your haircut matters to some people, it doesn’t have its own branch of journalism. Caring about the ethics of ‘games journalism’ is like caring about the ethics of TV guides.’

The young man went back to firmer footing. ‘It doesn’t matter, Gamergate is our word.’

‘Wait, Gamergate as in Watergate?’

‘And?’

‘You named your movement after the scandal that took down the most powerful man in the world?’

‘So?’

‘So what’s this big scandal that’s so important you named it after Watergate?’

The young man looked at his toes and muttered. ‘Feminism.’

‘What?’

‘The social justice warriors are trying to force their gay feminist agenda on games.’

The old man stroked his eyebrows like a beard, trying to understand. ‘I thought it was about games journalism.’

‘Social just warriors are trying to -‘

‘Wait, the social justice warriors are the bad guys?’

‘Of course.’

‘How could a group called ‘social justice warriors’ be the bad guys? What are you called?’

‘Gamergaters,’ said the young man proudly.

‘Like, alligators who play video games?’

‘No, like, Gamergate… people.’

‘So, they fight for social justice, which is bad. What do you fight for?’

‘Not letting video games evolve into a legitimate art form.’

‘And how do you do that? ‘

‘We threaten to rape and murder any woman disagrees with us, and leak their private pictures and information online.’

‘I thought it was about journalists.’

‘Video games should only be for me and people exactly like me!’

The old man considered this. ‘I’m going to keep the sign.’

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