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To Slander – To Make False and Damaging Statements About Someone

I am not going to say much about “GamerGate”. If you don’t know the term, please don’t go looking for it. It is an appalling microcosm of some of the most vicious and hypocritical online harassment that I have seen in my relatively short lifetime.

I’m not a huge fan of Felicia Day in general. She’s reasonably cool, but she doesn’t speak for me as a female gamer, and I tend to shy away from spokesperson movements in general. Today she posted about her personal experiences and I recognized myself in her unwillingness to engage.

Now, she’s famous and popular (not always the same thing), so public response to her thoughts is going to be vastly different than my own. The saddest thing about this hopefully short event in gaming history is the pervasive culture of fear it has enforced.

Anita Sarkeesian cancelled a lecture after receiving credible death threats and not receiving assistance from law enforcement to prevent guns from entering the venue.

Felicia Day crossed the street to avoid two unknown gamers in black t-shirts.

And a lot of the rest of us are ignoring it because we would just like it to go away. Don’t speak up, and you won’t be a target. And that makes me sad about humanity in general.

I’m not linking to any of the memes or most of the discussion around this. It’s been covered very well by mainstream media, and the people I’d like to support are included above.

Just remember, the legal defense for libel is that the person speaking out is speaking the truth. Not the truth as they see it, or the “truth” as they have been coached to repeat by an embittered ex. Gamergate is not defensible by “truth” because it is not libel, it is slander and harassment and fear-mongering. Sometimes I wish more gamers were able to play well with others.

Posted in Wednesday: Current Issues.