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letter from the editor

Game Informer’s Stance on GamerGate

by Andy McNamara on Oct 20, 2014 at 09:40 AM

From the failed relationship of two people came a firestorm known as "GamerGate." The episode brought to light how the media and the subject can intersect, which began a conversation about ethics and disclosure.

Game Informer has always acted with ethics and honesty, provides relevant disclosures, and takes the stand that discussing these things and improving game journalism is a positive thing. If journalistic ethics was all GamerGate was about, then it would be a movement worth discussing.

However, from the moment of its inception, GamerGate has been associated with harassment of women in the games industry, and has since repeated that pattern with Brianna Wu and Anita Sarkeesian (both of whom have endured being driven from their homes due to death threats). While the harassment may only be from a minority, it is harassment nonetheless and unacceptable at any and all levels when people fear for their safety.

Game Informer's stance on the issues is clear. The term GamerGate however is mired in confusion and is one that we reject. We have not covered the movement at Game Informer up to this point because we feel that the moniker misrepresents the issues. The GamerGate hashtag hides the true meaning of the speaker, muddying the water and giving defenses to the indefensible. 

Since the meaning of GamerGate is held in the eye of the beholder, we believe the label doesn't help those searching for answers or improvement on the real issues this industry has faced for some time. Being pro-GamerGate won't improve ethics in the games industry as its association with harassment and entitlement has forever tarnished its advertised goal. This forces anyone who believes women in the gaming community have the right to critical opinions, safe work environments, or even safety on the internet from rage and abuse to stand as anti-GamerGate even if it furthers the confusion and political backtalk. We think there are people on both sides who agree that these issues are important, and putting them at odds doesn't further the conversation.

We implore all involved to let "GamerGate" go, because GamerGate is not an issue. It is a nebulous term that has served no master, but has been misused by those who wish to divert us from the real issues that the game industry faces as it evolves from its humble beginnings to a place where gamers of all types are accepted. All it has done is furthered stereotypes of violence and misogyny that have set the video game industry back further than any other issue this century, and has once again created an environment where the fanatics have marred the image of gamers everywhere.

Game Informer is pro-ethics and honesty in game journalism. Game Informer is pro-women's rights, and advocates for diversity and representation for all within the industry and the games it creates. Game Informer strives to create a safe environment where opinions can be shared without fear of retaliation both in our workplace and in our products.

We welcome new thoughts, new people, and ideas so that we can all learn and grow to be better. Let's focus on the issues not some stupid hashtag from Twitter.



PS: I certainly didn't want this post to be about Game Informer, but I am aware that many times during this controversy Game Informer's ethics and standards were put in question due to our relationship with GameStop. We have been upfront with our relationship from the beginning and that GameStop has no say in our editorial decision-making process. My team and I have always worked to set the standard of truth and honesty when it comes to game reporting, and we will continue to hold ourselves to that lofty goal.