The Dark Side of Calgary Expo

 

ObeyConsumeGroupThink is a psychological phenomenon which occurs when a tightly knit group of people who work closely together stop behaving rationally, and, rather, begin to believe in their own infallibility.

To put it more colloquially, the group starts to believe their own press clippings.

This has, unfortunately, happened to Calgary Expo, the large annual pop-culture celebration that occurs annually down at Stampede Park.  Calgary Expo has spawned a number of “sister” events, such as Edmonton Expo, which follow a business model very similar to their own.

This past weekend, however, an organization named the HoneyBadger Brigade, got kicked out of Calgary Expo, and banned from any affiliated Expo.  For life.

Why, exactly?  Well, at first, it was because there were “25 complaints of harassment”, and then there were accusations of disrupting a panel discussion, and then it was something about them getting into the show under false pretences.  Calgary Expo did, eventually, release this statement:

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No “evidence” ever got produced, of course.  The panel discussion they cited was certainly not disrupted, nor was it derailed, nor were the panelists harassed or attacked, The proof is here, on YouTube.  As you will hear, the individual was given permission to speak, and spoke very politely and respectfully to the panelists.

However, Calgary Expo did what they do when they are faced with a successful rebuttal to their excuses:  They moved the goalposts.

The HoneyBadgers Brigade did have some GamerGate-related material in their booth, and some people wrongly thought that GamerGate themselves had a booth at the Expo, however, last I checked, GamerGate isn’t a hate group, or a group that advocates illegal activity, instead, it has some rather enthusiastic supporters who, from time to time, say some pretty stupid things, and it has earned the group a bit of a bad reputation as being anti-women.

Except the people affiliated with HoneyBadgers ARE women, and respectfully advocated their point of view, in accordance with social norms and appropriate manners in a controlled discussion setting.

And Expo threw them out for it.

This, however, is a pattern of behaviour for Calgary Expo.  How do I know this?

Simple:  They did the same thing to me last year:

This little blog of mine is no secret.  It never has been.

In 2010, I got invited to help out at Calgary Expo.  Because the position I was being offered to help out in was a rather cool one, I accepted it in a heartbeat.  The following year, I was back again, and this time, I elected to write a blog about it.  So, being cautious to not reveal anything intimate or personal about any celebrities, I wrote about my experiences, in an extremely positive way.  I wrote about what had been said to me, what I saw happen in public areas, about how some of the celebrities interacted with each other, and such.

I also wrote about two pieces of information which were in the public domain – a celebrity’s signing fee, and how quickly the celebrity was signing autographs.  There is nothing wrong with working quickly, nor is there anything wrong with the fee the celebrity charges, and I made that point at the time as well.   These were two pieces of information which were blatantly obvious to anybody who was there.  So I talked about it.

Three Years Later, just before Calgary Expo 2014, I wrote another blog entry about my experiences during the 2013 Expo.  I wrote about how I had been working with Weird Al Yankovic, and, just after my shift had come to an end, I asked him to sign something of mine.  Now this is a critical piece of information here:  I paid my money for my autograph like everybody else.  I also had a place in line like everybody else.  My spot in line came and went during my shift, and I remained at my post.

I wrote about a few other things as well, and decided to ask Expo to check the blog over for any issues with it before publishing it.  Eventually, I got an email asking me to come into the office to meet with them.  After confirming the meeting with them and asking repeatedly what it was about (they wouldn’t tell me – which is never good) I went in to the meeting.

That’s when they kicked me off the team.

Their reason?  They had gone digging through my blog and found the 2011 blog entry I talked about above – and they told me that it revealed information with which they had a confidentiality agreement with the guest, and, had the guest found the blog, they would have been subject to a lawsuit, and, at which point, they would have had to come after me.

I explained to them that there was no way that was possible – I didn’t have access to the actual numbers, and I had simply used information which everyone had access to, so, by definition, it couldn’t be covered by the confidentiality agreement.

(I also checked with a lawyer, who indicated that I wasn’t covered by any contracts with any celebrity guests, so I could say and talk about anything I wanted, so long as I honoured any commitments I had made in the 2011 volunteer agreement – a document they were unable to actually find, or prove that I had signed.)

So, of course, what did they do?

They moved the goalposts on me.  They then tried to tell me that I revealed intimate details about the celebrity guests.  Again, I pointed out that nothing I wrote about was intimate or private – I wrote about interactions between the celebrity guests within the public areas — and the photo ops area, despite the screens around the actual booth, is a public area, because there is no reasonable expectation of privacy, and paying members of the public have access.  I wrote about the celebrity guests’ interactions with me, and since they were direct interactions with me, if I choose to talk about them, that’s my choice.

I asked them to clear a blog entry.  They went digging.

I acted in good faith.  They didn’t.

In truth, they screwed me over.

What I think this comes down to is this – they believe their own press clippings.  The show has become such a success that they believe they’re infallible.  They can do no wrong.

The staff of the Expo also has a very serious left-wing, feminist, pro-environment slant.  That’s their prerogative, of course, people are, after all, entitled to hold whatever beliefs and ideology they want.  It’s also no secret that I’m a conservative.

I also named David Suzuki in my blog entry.  I pointed out that the man is arrogant, condescending, and can be downright nasty.  How do I know this?  I met him when I was in grade 9.

It seems that Calgary Expo had been in discussions with David Suzuki, and they were upset because my blog might have undermined their discussions.

Too bad:  I had no idea they were in discussions with him.  They keep all that information tightly under wraps (and so they should, by the way, for this very reason.)  But they cannot hold my opinion of David Suzuki, and my expression of that opinion publicly against me when I had no idea they were in discussions with him.

Here’s what I think went down:

I asked them to check the blog entry over.  They looked at it, and then went into my blog.  Because I’m outspoken, they read a few entries, and probably didn’t like what I was saying.  They then found my 2011 blog entry, and used that as justification to get me kicked off the volunteer team.

Just like they did to the Honeybadgers Brigade.

Calgary Expo does indeed have a dark side.  If you toe the “party line”, so to speak, you’re okay.  If you dare hold a different opinion than their leadership, watch out:  You’ll be excluded.

Fear Keeps You In Line

Or, in this case, it’s more than simply exclusion – it’s ostracism.  Shunning.

Now, I refuse to be a victim.  I don’t live my life allowing my experience with Calgary Expo to hurt me and continually affect my behaviour.  I’ve moved on with my life.  I give these people extremely little time and energy, which is why it has taken me more than a year to write a blog entry such as this.

However, now that they did it to the Honeybadgers, we can see that there’s a pattern of behaviour here, so I decided it was time to tell my story.

You may disagree with the Honeybadgers.  You may not like their message.  You may not like what they stand for.  You may not like GamerGate, their tactics, or what they stand for.

That is your right.  You can express your disagreement with them as well.  I certainly don’t agree with GamerGate on a lot of things, and I certainly condemn some of their tactics when it comes to outspoken women.  But, as long as nobody is advocating violence and inflicting harm on another, they have a right to express whatever opinion they want – even opinions you and I may find abhorrent.

So, here is what I think you should do if you’re considering volunteering with Calgary Expo:

Don’t.

Here is what I think you should do if you’re considering attending Calgary Expo:

Don’t.

Here is what I think you should do if you’re considering sponsoring Calgary Expo:

Don’t.

Here is what I think you should do if you’re considering being a celebrity guest at Calgary Expo:

Don’t.

Here is what I think you should do if you’re considering having a booth at Calgary Expo:

Don’t.

Calgary Expo relies on people like you.  They rely on a massive volunteer base to work for free for an entire weekend, so their ownership can make some money and put on the next year’s show.

After the way they treated the Honeybadgers this year, and after the way they treated me the year before, and, by their own admission I might add, a number of other volunteers, I think you want to ask yourself this question:

Are they worth it?

The answer, very simply, is “no.”

 

 

About Steven Britton

Steve is a freelance programmer, partial billionaire, dad, Recovering Atheist, Conservative, and occasionally prolific blogger.
  • Nami

    damn. these people are toxic.

    • benanov

      No need to use their terminology. They call people Toxic. They call things Problematic. They often don’t explain why, you’re just expected to go along.

      I’d prefer to use a word that describes a person as a result of their actions: they’re bullies.

  • Wirend

    Here’s the thing man – regarding #GamerGate, as of this moment, we don’t have a damn clue who did any of what the news has gleefully attributed to the lot of us.

    There are no suspects. There have been no arrests. There hasn’t been a single person named.

    So, why do I bring this up? We criticized our news for corrupt practices including political bias. That very same news reported the ‘tactics’ we use and took it a step further to suggest that the ‘tactics’ imply both a mindset as well as goals for the movement. Note just about every outlet is quoting the same few people who are absolutely certain they received these threats from #gamergate. Afterwards, they all have another message – buy my game, agree with my politics, or donate money to my non-profit. They’re receiving this coverage because they’re willing to say what the organizations we’re criticizing need them to say about us.

    The are all playing victim in order to receive press coverage. To what degree, we have no idea as everything involved But, at this point, I don’t think that anyone on the right side of the spectrum can’t think of half a dozen examples at least of someone claiming to have been harmed or afraid when a reasonable person wouldn’t. I also don’t think that there are many on the right side of the spectrum who hasn’t witnessed someone on the left injuring themselves for attention, coverage, or to demonize their opponents. So, whether or not there was a fake hate crime in the mix, there has been some of the most overblown victim playing perhaps ever.

    So, regarding our tactics – our organized operations have been as follows #OpDisNod or Operation Disrespectful Nod which is flood advertiser emails to deny the news organizations revenue. (We have also fired up DisNod targeting the Calgary Expo.)

    #OpUV This was a mass letter writing campaign to the FCC to apply traditional advertising disclosure rules to web news. This was an unqualified victory. That’s when we found out that approx 3/4 of the video game press content was native advertising.

    #Solution6Months This has been my favorite so far. Just in case of a full left wing takeover of the games industry, we are taking steps to become devs ourselves.

    #OpBabySeal This was an upgrade to DisNod, specifically targeting the larger aggregators. Apparently they don’t give a shit about press collusion.

    So, basically what I’m saying is this – we started a war with our press, our press fought back. The tactics you speak of were reported by the press we started a war with. So, I’m asking, please think about this – who goes to press with that many conclusions reached prior to as much as a suspect being named?

    • ArsenicSpritzer

      It kind of shows how damaging the media smear campaign has been when someone who should really be more familiar with the tactics of these authoritarian progressives, fails to recognize their propaganda when it’s presented to them. But I also recall #Gamergate taking a similar attitude towards MRAs whenever that subject was broached. We also assumed the propaganda we’d been fed for years was accurate.

      I’d like to think that after all slander and maligning we’ve been through, that we’re now capable of seeing when it’s been/being applied to others. But getting through to neutrals who have never had the misfortune of being the target of a “social justice” image makeover, continues to be a steep uphill climb. Even with those acquainted with the goals and tactics of cultural marxist zealots.

    • KiTA

      The “GamerGate is harassment I know that because everyone knows that” crap is the most frightening thing about all this.

      All these Liberal people I follow and respect are completely willing to take the narrative at face value with absolutely no evidence provided, and once they accept it they treat it as gospel — no amount of discussion or evidence gets through, and the scary thing is it’s almost always the same talking points parroted back. Worse these people know I’m extremely liberal myself, but the second they hear GamerGate come out of my mouth they flip, immediately turning on me like I’m Rush Limbaugh’s personal assistant or something.

      We mock the hell out of the Tea Party nutjobs for pulling this crap, but it seems no one’s truly immune to tribalism.

      • The only sympathy this whole thing has given me towards the left is it’s made me more sympathetic to Stalin. #StalinWasRight we should have kept a hard hammer over the ‘intelligentsia’s’ head.

        • benanov

          I’m a member of the intelligentsia, you insensitive clod!

          (Sorry. Old slashdot joke.)

          Horseshoe theory has a place, as does two-axis political theory. A lot of us gamergaters are big on individual freedom and socially liberal policies, making us libertarian (or “classical” liberals, before the ‘left’ as everyone else knows it as of late become very authoritarian, which is called “populist” in some of the two-axis graphs I’ve seen.)

          • Aguy

            Libertarians are not liberals, except perhaps socially – but even then, libertarians would allow racism, sexism, classism, and homophobia to flourish in the mistaken belief that unregulated markets would discourage it.

          • benanov

            Considering that the unregulated market is doing a fairly decent job with the internet outrage machine, perhaps this isn’t too far off the mark.

            Too bad it’s the SJW liberals doing most of the shaming.

      • Live the dream

        Thing is i think the anti sjw stuff is basically the left wing anti authoritiarians thinking this is nuts. The right wing were for the most part happy these insane people were making the left look bad. But once the crazy levels reached a certain level the anti sjw liberals said … hey this is getting out of hand we need some back up. The right wing looked at the situation and thought…. yeah its getting out of hand. The battle begins The left wing authoritarians only see the right wingers the other lefty anti authoritarians don’t know whats happening properly.

        Regardless … as a lefty i saw this shit getting out of hand years ago … look up sokal and science wars. We were warned. There are no excuses this could of been avoided. The nonsense statistics are known to be nonsense by a lot of political lefty to be bullshit. The source is academia its been becoming more and more leftwing over the years and kids are being taught this stuff as total truth. At best its a good social theory at worst it seems like a solution making the problem worse.

      • Wirend

        Yeah, I don’t know what the hell happened with the Tea Party. I’m one of those evil Republicans and was in on the ground floor with the Tea Party. I remember its founders describing what it was supposed to be, Glenn Beck talking about it, and I also unfortunately remembered what the Tea Party candidates actually *did* once they were elected.

        The Tea Party was originally TEA Party, an acronym; Taxed Enough Already. The underlying goal was focus on the economy and put the social absurdity on the back burner. So, elected they were and within a month we had a huge explosion of abortion legislation. What the hell? By 2012, Tea Party had come to mean ‘hyper-evangelical-no-compromises.’ So, here I sit, probably more libertarian than Republican, with the Tea Party that I had high hopes for being run into the ground.

        • #150

          I don’t understand why liberals and even SOME libertarians think that if you’re against abortion that you’re some religious nut. I’m not religious at all and neither are others i associate with.

          What’s wrong with fighting against abortion? Why in the last 5 to 7 years has it been considered women’s rights even though it requires both genders to make a baby? Why is it not considered muder despite the fetus being a growing human being? Why is being pro life vilified?

          These are all genuine questions that I have, please answer them without playing off your emotions.

          • Steven Britton

            Okay this is WAY off the topic of the original post…

          • Wirend

            There’s nothing wrong with it at all. I actually don’t care one way or the other, so I just stay out of the way.

            I was simply under the firm impression that the TEA Party was going to focus on economic issues, and frankly I think they could have done a better job.

      • My god. I’m also Left Wing and its horrible. You can see them co-opting our movements and political parties that advocate for equal opportunity and warping them with their insane agenda.

        • Aguy

          Real liberals are starting to push back. I see signs of it everywhere.

      • Aguy

        “All these Liberal people I follow and respect are completely willing to
        take the narrative at face value with absolutely no evidence provided”

        They’re not liberals.

        Liberals value free speech. They value a marketplace of ideas. They value debate, discussion, and skepticism.

        Your friends aren’t liberals; they’re poseurs.

        Sorry you had to learn this way.

    • DirkBelig

      >”The are all playing victim in order to receive massive quantities of Patreon dollars.”

      FTFYT

      Anita Sarkeesian’s Feminist Frequency scam outfit raked in $440,000 in 2014, $400K of that in Q4, right after she cancelled a talk in Utah after what the police deemed a non-credible threat was emailed demanding her appearance be cancelled or else a massacre would occur.

      How convenient; she gets a threat, damsels to the receptive and collaborative media, and the White Knights rushed forth with their dollars to help m’lady’s righteous cause.

      She pulled the same stunt when her Tropes vs Feminism Kickstarter was running. She shut off comments on all her videos then trolled men and gamers on Twitter. She then allowed one video to be the repository for the responses to her baiting at which point she cried, “Look at all the misogyny and hate for women. Please fund my Kickstarter so I can expose these brutes.” KA-CHING!

      She made $160K, stole footage from YouTube, cherry picked scenes and portrayed them in false light, is over two years behind delivering her promised schedule (she’s only made half of the videos) and has spent the past 8 months as the media’s Prom Queen of GamerGate, getting the front page of the New York Times, appearing on the Colbert Report (where she couldn’t even name 3 sexist games) and hanging out with Joss Whedon, inspiring him to insult and taunt his audience on Twitter because patriarchy. Or something.

      Victimhood has become a lucrative racket and anyone who dares point it out gets blocklisted and smeared by the SJW herdmind. The way the Sad Puppies reports read as if last fall’s GamerGate stories just had a find-replace run on them shows that as obvious and disingenuous the narrative being pushed is, the Left is going to keep calling those plays until everyone is cowed into acquiesce.

      Or people finally wake the frak up and start pushing back against these bullies.

  • Troushers

    Thanks for posting your experience, it was an interesting read. I feel considerable sympathy for the Honey Badgers – how could you not, listening to their recent account of the whole fiasco – and I hope they fundraise for legal action against Calgary expo. If their financial state is as precarious as you seem to hint, that holds out as the best hope of invoking change in the organisation. It should never be acceptable to take $10,000 from a group of people because of a malicious Twitter campaign and personal ideology.

    • I don’t doubt after reading this that a similar mentality is infecting WorldCon at the moment. Especially not after that statistical analysis came out.
      http://difficultrun.nathanielgivens.com/2015/04/14/sad-puppy-data-analysis/ (warning: VERY LONG)

      Seems like Calgary has been “THE” local place to go for any sort of progressivist shindig that they’ve taken it upon themselves to be the unofficial cultural authority. And doooon’t you tell them otherwise!
      (and as we’ve seen with the blame from Sad Puppy landing upon Goodread, and this upon HBB, not even being one of the so-called ‘protected class’ makes you safe, because that just makes them think you haven’t been educated properly, and so you must either be ‘re-educated’ to fit into the group better, or outright rejected)

      • benanov

        A lot of that is due to the US’s Vietnam war. A lot of anti-war people fled north across the border to dodge the draft and as a result Canada started to lean a lot more progressive/left/etc.

  • BlueLight

    Interesting.

  • scbritton

    Thanks for all the comments, folks, especially for the comments regarding #GamerGate. As I’m not a “gamer” and have no affiliation with #GamerGate (or the Honeybadgers Brigade) I think this whole news story is rather interesting. Especially given my similar experience.

    • EZehn

      I read this yesterday and it is the most comprehensive article I’ve ever read on this subject: https://medium.com/@aristoNYC/social-justice-bullies-the-authoritarianism-of-millennial-social-justice-6bdb5ad3c9d3

      • karen straughan

        Wow, that was a good article, thanks for linking it.

      • dsadsada

        Oh wow, that is entirely spot on. The author even mentions that bringing in the dictionary thing.

        A month or so back, I had been arguing with someone over the definition of rape. No, not even rape towards a person. But use of the word was “raping the English language”. He said GG was a “menace” and someone told him to stop reinventing words that already have a definition followed by the definition of the word “menace” and ended by telling him to stop raping the English language. His counter was to say that the guy was reinventing the definition of the word “rape” while saying he’ll believe in his own definition of the word and a few others. I brought up that the definition of rape includes ” plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation” and so isn’t limited to sexual assault then linked to an online dictionary while making a snide comment about how I just remembered that he doesn’t adhere to dictionaries. This follows with him admitting and confirming to not adhering to dictionaries. And then a bunch of stuff where he acknowledges and revels in the fact that he keeps making ad hominems.

        And just recently I argued with one who very clearly doesn’t even understand the very basics of businesses and markets while we were having a discussion about business. She thought that if a business stopped catering to another demographic that she didn’t belong to, they wouldn’t have a bottomline to meet if they stopped catering to that specific not-her demographic and then would be able to conduct business specifically catering to her. And then she went on to say that people not understanding other cultures is a problem and claimed we didn’t understand Japanese culture. This was followed by someone currently living in Japan correcting her misconceptions such as informing her about how conformist Japanese society generally is. This also took place on a forum where a good chunk of the userbase would have been at least moderately aware of Japanese culture, otaku culture, and other things that she had clearly and continuously been getting wrong such as thinking that otaku weren’t looked down on there or that they were the Japanese equivalent to the western dudebro thing.

    • Sealion #2484

      I bet, If you asked them they’d make you a guest on their show.

      http://honeybadgerbrigade.com/contact-us/

      • karen straughan

        Indeed, I shall discuss with my cohosts and see if we can’t extend an invitation.

    • Its interesting. A diverse group points out corruption in a left leaning industry and gets framed as far right loons.

      • Not to suggest that far right is bad, its just interesting that “right wing” means bad and once you’re characterized as that you hate minorities, etc.

  • Falcus

    It’s all good. The more they show they are intolerant and exclude people, the more it is clear that their false appeals to “diversity & inclusivity” are a thin veil to hide uniformity and exclusion.
    Don’t interrupt an enemy when he’s doing mistakes, show his mistakes to the world.

  • Dead Giveaway

    I don’t think this really has anything to do with party lines. I don’t care if someone is left or right. I do care if someone is behaving unethically. I consider myself left, but these SJWs are a nightmare whom do not speak for me. If we willingly divide ourselves along party lines, it only does us a disservice as a group..

    • karen straughan

      It has to do with power and human nature. Right now, the left is in power in academia (less than 20% of university faculty in the US describe themselves as conservative, and the number is likely much lower in Canada).

      There are a bunch of interesting dynamics going on here, one of which is that people who describe themselves as conservative actually give more money and time to charity than those who describe themselves as liberal. This is likely because the average “liberal” (as it’s defined by, say, the NDP and Green parties, or the Dems in the US, rather than in the classical sense) feels it is government’s place to help the disenfranchised and even the playing fields. Oddly enough, they feel that this ethic places them on the moral high ground. Essentially, they seem to think an ethic of forced redistribution of resources is morally superior to one where people are encouraged to voluntarily donate to or otherwise help those in need.

      Because they have claimed the moral high ground regarding helping the disadvantaged and disenfranchised, they feel they own the entire enterprise, and their position of power within that area (particularly in academia) is something they will fiercely defend against any and all dissent.

      Does this mean the right is not equally capable of such behavior? Of course not. It was, oddly enough, the academic hegemony of the political right that spawned the free speech movements on campuses in the US in the 1960s and 70s. Harvey Silverglate, who created the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) was among those liberal students, marching at the barricades for diversity of thought and opinion. What he calls the “Harvard bait and switch” is the situation now, where even people who were campaigning for free expression, freedom of conscience and individual rights, now that they are in power in academia, have become the very authoritarians they raged against in their youth. It’s now mainly campus conservatives who predominantly seek his assistance through FIRE to protect their rights, and as a principled [genuine] liberal he takes on their cases.

      This is a people problem, not a right/left one. Power will always seek to maintain itself. Groups fracture and polarize, start to impose ideological purity tests, and begin to define other groups as threats who must be put down and destroyed. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. The middle ground becomes an unsafe place to exist. Moderation is redefined as capitulation or collaboration with the enemy. From beneath the safety of the morally righteous umbrella of the group, all manner of atrocity and violation against the perceived enemy (and those who enable them through their neutrality) becomes permissible. Grudges are nurtured, emotional scabs are obsessively picked (“your father didn’t love you”, “your boyfriend raped you”, “the captain of the football team bullied you for being gay”, any trauma identifying the source as a member of the target group), no healing occurs only a constant re-opening of old wounds, and all the anger and resentment so painstakingly cultivated is then directed outward upon ALL whites, or ALL men, or ALL straights, or ALL whoever it is we hate today.

      Make the personal the political. Ask yourselves what that means. It’s a terrifying slogan when you really think about it.

      • Steven Britton

        I just reread your comment, Karen. I had put this whole discussion aside for a while as it was still quite raw at the time, and I wanted to sit on it and reflect for a while first.

        I have to say at the end of this comment, I think you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head: it’s become “us-and-them” or, as someone I know said to me a while back, “tribal”. As long as tribalism remains, nothing will get accomplished, because it becomes more about “sticking it to the other guy” than it does about positive action towards a goal.

        At the beginning, you mentioned men being recipients of hate, threats, harassment, bullying as much, if not more than women. My first reaction was to ask, somewhat rhetorically, “does that make it right?” I know full-well you’d probably answer, “of course not” because I get that the point is that it happens to men as well — and more than it happens to women — which means that it isn’t a “women’s issue”, but a serious medium issue.

        In any event, Karen, thank you SO much for taking the time to read and comment on this post.

  • Byron McAulay

    An interesting read. Thanks for writing it.

  • I’m not sure if, during your exposition to the GG debacle, you managed to read or hear about the Law & Order SVU episode “Intimidation Game” which aired around february this year. Various news outlets have deemed it as an episode inspired by the alleged actions of GG (despite being a 100% fictional show).

    The first scene of this episode depicts a girl attending a games convention and being approached by a guy telling her to “go home”. later on, this girl is physically assaulted in the bathrooms at the convention center.

    I mention this to you because, despite some people declaring this episode as either an “accurate description” of GG’s nature or a “what if” scenario of actions GG is capable of, it’s easy to realize that life is imitating art in quite the opposite way.
    The people who are supposed to vouch for diversity and equality for women and safe spaces managed to kick out a group of activists who happened to include women, out of the expo. The people who denounced the booth to the Calgary Expo staff happened to be GG detractors.

    I honestly hope that a it won’t take an escalation to a case of actual physical harm to GG supporters to make people realize that the actual harassers, abusers and gatekeepers in the industry are not the gaming community, but this group of politically correct radical leftists who won’t stop at anything to control what is and is not allowed in the gaming industry. That includes lying and misrepresenting people, as you have experienced.

    It’s sad to see a big entertaining expo engaging in such kind of behavior to appease a certain political mindset. Thanks for sharing your experiences with them, and as some other people have pointed it out, some people in GG are taking their effort to spread the word about Calgary Expo’s actions to their advertisers. Let’s see how this turns out.

  • “…it has some rather enthusiastic supporters who, from time to time, say
    some pretty stupid things, and it has earned the group a bit of a bad
    reputation as being anti-women.”

    I’m not disputing that some of us, having spent several months being unjustly accused of every atrocity to ever have been visited on mankind over it’s long history, may sometimes forget ourselves and say stupid shit. However, our reputation as being “anti-women” was foisted on us near the start of this whole mess by the very media that we criticized for its lack of ethics.

    Journalists from a dozen competing websites published similarly-themed articles within a 24 hour period, wherein they proclaimed us to be misogynists, having conflated the moral outrage that folks expressed over a developer’s gross mistreatment of her ex with the ethical concerns that gamers expressed upon the revelation that journalist Nathan Grayson had failed to disclose his personal relationship with that developer when he wrote about her on a few different occasions in the past.

    That moral outrage itself wasn’t misogyny no matter how hard the media may try to tell you that it was. It was, at worst, the sort of moral outrage that today’s video-game critics reserve solely for the depiction of fictional females, only less problematic because it was directed at an individual whose actions had demonstrable real-world consequences. However, even if the case could be made that criticizing a woman for mentally and emotionally manipulating her ex in order to facilitate her relationship infidelity is indeed misogyny, that developer’s sex life was never OUR concern. We simply felt that disclosure is not only appropriate whenever a journalist writes about a subject with whom he or she has a close personal relationship with, but it’s the ethical thing to do as well. If there’s even a small chance that those relationships might possibly influence their opinions, then journalists have a responsibility to let readers know about them so that they may make informed decisions.

    They conflated the two unrelated issues because it allowed them to frame our ethics concerns as being motivated by a desire to drive women out of the industry. They hoped it would intimidate us into relenting, but it also had the effect of giving them an easy tool to use to discredit anything we might happen to discover going forward as well. Because they control a wide-reaching platform, and because the mainstream media favors sensationalism over the facts, it’s largely worked.

    So…yeah. It’s not so much anything we’ve said or done that has earned us that reputation. People believe that the pro-ethics users of the GamerGate hash-tag are a misogynist hate group even in spite of the fact that the folks who use the tag cover a pretty impressively diverse variety of races, religions, sexes, sexual identities, political beliefs, nationalities, and so on, because a handful of childish cowards chose to abuse their wide-reaching platforms as journalists to portray us as such, rather than do the responsible thing and own their ethical improprieties and promise to do better in the future.

    • And then there’s this: ” I certainly don’t agree with GamerGate on a lot of things, and I
      certainly condemn some of their tactics when it comes to outspoken
      women.”

      Without knowing exactly what you’re on about, it’s difficult to directly address your concerns. However, after some several months spent having been libeled by individuals such as Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, and Brianna Wu, I hope you are capable of understanding why we might be a fair bit hostile towards them whenever these women self-servingly invoke the hash-tag under false pretenses in order to secure themselves some sweet Patreon victim bucks.

      But no, we have no tactics. We have none because we’re not a group. We’re not an organization, we have no leaders, we’re just a loose conglomeration of folks who share a common interest in ethical journalism, and the only thing that really unites us in any meaningful way is that we all use a hash-tag on Twitter to express it. We certainly don’t have any tactics which dictate how we handle “outspoken women”, which if I might digress for a moment is a rather disturbing implication. We don’t take issue with women for being outspoken, we take issue with PEOPLE who libel us for their own personal gain, and we give no consideration whatsoever to the junk that they’re packing downstairs. And that’s not a GamerGate thing, it’s a human-being thing, inasmuch as people generally have low tolerance for hucksters who libel them CONSTANTLY.

      Actually, if we do have anything resembling tactics, it’s our near-unanimous decision to police the use of the hash-tag to ensure that nobody’s using it to harass or abuse others, because it just so turns out that we don’t believe that any of that shit is okay no matter who is on the receiving end of it. Hell, we even go after people who issue threats without using the tag! We’ve got plenty of abusive accounts banned from Twitter as a result of our efforts, every single one of which was either a new account or had never used the hash-tag prior to sending an abusive message.

      Anyway, the point of all of this is to illustrate to you that whatever you take issue with? It’s probably better attributed to the individual, rather than to every pro-ethics gamer who uses the tag, We certainly don’t abide that shit, and besides, we’re not a group, and #GamerGate is just a hash-tag that anyone is free to use as they see fit.

      • Steven Britton

        I’ve seen a friend of mine being on the receiving end of the wrath of a number of GG supporters/hashtaggers/whatever the appropriate term is for people who use it. All she did was criticize Eron Gjoni for his blog post.

        Now, I’m not saying it was a coordinated GG effort to go after my friend, but it seemed like it at the time, because of the sheer number of messages she received.

        I can buy the argument that it’s individuals acting alone; but it certainly isn’t good PR for the collective.

      • karen straughan

        I still recall how all the attention was on the women “involved” (they seem to actively reinvolve themselves anytime their revenue stream dips), meanwhile Phil Fish was receiving so much flak he rage-quit the industry (again).

        Every study and survey done indicates that male public figures and journalists receive more hate, abuse and threats than female ones–the primary difference being that for women the abusive messages are more likely to reflect a sexual context. That is, instead of a threat to burn your house down with your family inside, a woman is more likely to get a rape threat.

        Of course, the proper response to such threats is typically to ignore them, or report them to authorities if they seem credible. Or, as I did with a commenter in a publicly viewable comment thread who said he would find out where I lived and come harm me, reply, “What, like, NOW? Well cr*p. The kitchen’s a disaster and I haven’t vacuumed in three weeks. Can we reschedule for Friday? I should be ready for company by then…”

        If you watch Anita Sarkeesian closely in her public appearances, she doesn’t seem remotely traumatized by the abuse and threats she’s received. She practically basks in them. Her eyes positively glow, and she can barely keep that one side of her mouth from quirking upward. And every time she tweets a screenshot of the latest threat (or “threatoid”, that is: “I hope someone rapes you.”) it’s followed within an hour with a link to where people can send her money.

        Clearly I’ve been doing things wrong–a recent post on reddit’s Kotaku in Action that my boyfriend stumbled on provided a link to my Patreon. Made by someone who’s been watching my videos for two years and had no idea I had a Patreon account. Clearly I have things to learn, business-wise, from Anita et al.

        I guess I just don’t know how to “woman” properly.

  • benanov

    Thanks for sharing. One incident is easier to write off as a “blip” or a “momentary lapse of reason” than two.

  • Philip Schuster

    I think they’re running scared because they know that individuals or groups with clout can create a legal nightmare for them. So they’ll get rid of anyone who irritates the wrong people.