Muh Skeptic Community, The Devolution of GamerGate, & Why Labels Are Usually Cancer

Muh Skeptic Community, The Devolution of GamerGate, & Why Labels Are Usually Cancer

I fully admit to not being a huge student of YouTube culture.

When this site gained the meager prominence it now enjoys, I started to do streams on Hitbox, and those were eventually transferred over to YouTube. I just never really got into making standalone videos, until recently. For one, I make more advertising dollars from writing than I do with video content. I think that may be because I’m more well-known as a writer and they’re able to sell ad space here for higher prices because of that. I’m not sure. If I had 100,000 subscribers I guess it would be a bit different, although recent developments have made it to where even those with a large following on YouTube are no longer getting proper remuneration. Knock on wood, but my Adsense for the written word still does pretty well, and the revenues are usually reflective of the amount of work I’m able to put out. This month they are down, but that’s because I’ve had things going on that have made it to where I wasn’t able to write as much.

Something else has always put me off when it comes to YouTube, though. It’s very cliquish. You see that everywhere there are humans, but it is especially pronounced over there. Yes, part of it is me not taking the time to put the necessary work into the platform, but another part of it is that I’m pretty much persona non grata for a lot of the bigger personalities there. Not all, of course. Sargon of Akkad is someone who has always been cool about coming onto my channel. Bearing has come on, several others as well. However, it’s not so much the size of my channel that keeps most of these people from appearing (especially since I also have a decent sized written presence). It’s more about it being easy to signal your “moderation” by denouncing me.

(I would argue I’m pretty moderate, but that’s another column.)

A lot of these people are simply holier than thou, and it shows. I don’t begrudge anyone their success, even if I can’t understand how some of these mongoloids got an audience in the first place. But when it comes to acting like you have some sort of moral superiority? Yea, I can definitely say fuck that. Part of the reason I started going at SJWs in the first place was because they acted like they were better than everyone who didn’t co-sign their political agenda.

I could go through and name all the prominent anti-SJW personalities who have shit on me out of the blue, with us having had zero interaction previously, but this post isn’t really about individual people. It’s about the clubbish culture of what is called “The Skeptic Community.” I don’t even really know what that means. Are all these people atheists? I know a large majority of them are. But it seems to be more of a catchall term for the entire anti-SJW YouTube community nowadays.

I’m just going to be honest (especially after the last week of most of them accepting a bogus PTSD murder excuse at face value, how skeptical) the whole idea sounds really fucking silly to me. While I don’t consider myself a part of this particular community, I was a part of one you may have heard of: GamerGate. The main reason I see myself as dissociated from GamerGate is because of the co-option you saw in its later stages. The power of the brand name also made it easier for people to sneak in and subvert it however they saw fit. Shockingly enough, most of this subversion was directed towards making it more “friendly” and less “antagonistic.”

How could you make that joke, Ralph?

Why did you out so and so’s personal history?

Moderates won’t listen to us because Ralph is too mean!!

Whereas, at the beginning of GamerGate, it was all about wrecking SJWs using any legal means possible (and even some illegal ones). I outed all kinds of shit about Leigh Alexander and Zoe Quinn, among others, in those early days. I denounced them in some very nasty and personal ways. Yet, there wasn’t much kvetching about it. Most people knew this is how you had to go at entrenched media structures and a poisonous ideology. Even back then, there were those who didn’t agree with my methods. But they just did their own thing, while I did my own thing. Later on, you saw the attempted purges, etc.

Similar things seem to be happening now to the so-called Skeptic Community. You even see it in the alt-right. This is one reason I don’t want labels put on me anymore. It’s why I identify as an independent, not as alt-right, New Right, Super Saiyan Skeptic, or whatever. Once you pick up a label, people try to hold you to some mythical community standard that never really existed in the first place. They use your self-proclaimed designation against you in order to score points. It’s poor strategy. Hell, I’m even somewhat uncomfortable calling myself anti-SJW, although I obviously am.

Once you pick up a label, all it does is make it easier for your enemies and intragroup rivals to attack you. It can be helpful for a time, sure. A lot of pro-GamerGate people shared my blog, tweeted my stories, had me on their shows, all that stuff. You’ve seen YouTubers build each other up through similar methods, although I would argue their planning is much more concerted and centralized. But is it really worth it in the end? Isn’t it much better to just let the content you put out speak for itself?

It seems to me like that is the far better method.

Ethan Ralph

Founder, Owner, & Editor-in-Chief of TheRalphRetort.com. Political fiend, gamer, & anti-bullshit.

  • Maintenance Renegade

    I learned about refusing to publicly join political factions as a result of calling myself alt-right for months during the election cycle. I don’t care if people think I’m alt-right or not but because of Milo’s ill-advised attempts at co-opting that term as well as the media calling everyone supporting Trump alt-right I was calling myself alt-right barely having the feintest clue who the hell Richard Spencer really was. I thought it just meant being a kind of punk conservative faction directly opposed to the neocons and not much else more.

    Of course in retrospect that was the MSM’s baited trap, call everyone alt right and make it seem edgy and cool until they start calling themselves alt-right and then bring Spencer on all the shows for interviews to move the definition back to the real definition in the space of one rapid news cycle. Even being on the wrong side of that ambush I have to appreciate the artistry with which it was executed.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8ea2d981a0c1c664618b3f322c42a6ef6419868ce9bbb6b71287d72c2c221012.jpg

    • The other Ben

      I think a lot of people saw Trump as “Alt-right” even though he’s more of a moderate in a lot of ways, and Hillary more of a neocon.

      • Maintenance Renegade

        At this point I don’t think it’s at all clear what the hell alt-right even means when we’ve got both hardline christian capitalists and national socialists both proclaiming to be the true alt-right. Mostly all it even seems to do is bitch at itself and the only reason I still find it a bit magnetic is because of more punk internet figures like Ricky Vaughn.

        • The other Ben

          Feel totally free to correct me on this, but wasn’t it just a conglomerate of people like Malik Obama, trolls from /pol/, Milo and Cerno, an occasional black dude wearing a “Dukes of Hazzard” T-shirt, and >occasionally< you'd have asshats like Richard Spencer trying to lead everyone like moths toward the flame of white nationalism? A real hodge-podge at first?

          The main unifying feature seems to be a repudiation of the Republican establishment, whether it's working toward the "New World Order" talked about by the John Birch Society or whatever the establishment appears to be doing that's a bit weird– selling themselves out to illegal aliens for votes and so on.

          The whole "Cuckservative" thing seems to have come from "moderate" Republicans falling over themselves to condemn Trump while the Democrats were making him out to be a massive strawman for everything the Republican party supposedly believes in, all the while Trump himself not making any specifically racist comments.

          The "UniteTheRight" guy seems to have been a dem plant all along (at least the evidence says so), you've got guys like Lee Stranahan pointing out that the antifa flag bullshit and the imagery of the Svodoba party is practically the same– and chantards posting "Pepe" still, but it seems like, univerally, the Alt-Right is recognized as cancer now– except by the Alt-Right themselves.

  • ogunsiron

    i spent about 1 year hanging out at kotaku in action. towards the end i just couldn’t stand that place anymore and when trump happened i left KIA. is it still cuck central ? are they still loving that liana kerzner semi-sjw ?

    • Yep, same old place.

      • JasonC5

        Can confirm they are becoming more SJW like instead of SJW lite with their tone policing and being “moderate” shitbags when it comes to feminist bullshit narratives. They get really touchy if you harshly call out members being outright fuckwits pushing the bullshit narratives or don’t keep to moderate talking points.

  • Marcus Lawshe’

    Funny you should bring up Sargon and Skeptical Feminist. Apparently there’s a bit of a dust-up between him and thunderf00t about it.

    Still trying to get all the details, but apparently SoA’s calling tfoot out for lying about what he was ‘qoute mined’ vs. what he actually said in a recent YouTube feed right after the news broke out about the murder. Again, still trying to get all the info on all of this.

    • I am very much aware of it, yes. I side with Sargon and don’t really give a shit about cracking jokes at the expense of The Skeptic Feminist.

      • Maintenance Renegade

        I follow the youtube shit extremely closely, Thunderf00t doesn’t have a leg to stand on in his sudden feud with Sargon and that’s particularly sad when he’s the one who started said feud. I might write something for you about it. The personal motivations I suspect of being behind this feud are more interesting than the feud itself.

        • Marcus Lawshe’

          I’d be interested in reading that.

        • I’d like that. I’m gonna get your last post up tonight, just been tied up with so much family stuff.

  • Celerity

    I lost all confidence in Youtube and Twitch when I saw how many would sell out their alleged belief systems in a second for clicks. Yes, clicks equals money but people with actual intregrity will get clicks in ways that don’t make them lose any sleep at night. It’d be the equivalent of you unironically defending Zoe Quinn against other hardliners because that would mean 10% more clicks than remaining you.

    This is a good part of what has kept the anti GG side open as those are the perfect audience for shilling out walking simulators, and it’s also what red pilled me about GamerGate and the underlying political conflicts. It also showed me the correct technique for fighting SJWs before I even knew what that term was. Just tell the truth using hard, provocative language, wait for the emotional breakdown, narrate the outcome. Repeat until they get triggered and block you. Neither takes very long.

    • ExiledV2

      Yes, clicks equals money but people with actual intregrity will get clicks in ways that don’t make them lose any sleep at night.

      What makes you think those people are losing sleep?

      When the question of “actual integrity” comes up, I start laughing. There is no such thing. Everyone will sell out, everyone has a price. I do. You do. Ralph does. Everyone does. Offer Ralph enough money and he’ll go full SJW. You just have to meet his price. Same with you. Enough money and you’ll go full-on SJW too.

      Once you realize that everyone is a potential sell-out, you’ll be more at ease with things.

        • ExiledV2

          Now that do brighten my morning.

      • Celerity

        If Ralph goes full Ian the based shitlords he’s surrounded himself with will eat him alive. We’ll find him slain under mysterious circumstances that resemble an Islamic honor killing, behind Arby’s of course.

        As for me, bitch you don’t know me. I’m an entire “community”‘s personal Trump/Voldemort because I said fuck your shilling bullshit, you’re a fucking scam.

        They buy out everyone they can, obviously that didn’t include me. Cue them and Nathan Grayson crying bitch tears about me.

        • Toastrider

          “As for me, bitch you don’t know me. I’m an entire “community”‘s personal Trump/Voldemort because I said fuck your shilling bullshit, you’re a fucking scam.”

          Star Citizen? 😀

        • ExiledV2

          As for me, bitch you don’t know me. I’m an entire “community”‘s personal
          Trump/Voldemort because I said fuck your shilling bullshit, you’re a
          fucking scam.

          Dude, I can’t even translate what you’re saying. Honestly, this sounds schizophrenic, very word salad.

          • Celerity

            Here it is in simpler language then. If everyone was a shill, including me then when I crossed paths with an incredibly shill happy community I’d be one of their puppets. Instead they’ve spent more time crying about me than anything else, including actual game development because I would have no part of their shilling. Understand now?

          • ExiledV2

            I think you misunderstand something. Just because everyone can be bought, it does not mean everyone is a shill.

          • Celerity

            Is that so? If everyone can be bought then someone that eager about buying people would have bought me. They didn’t. Calling a shill something other than a shill is semantics at best. If you would do something you don’t believe in just because you’re bought off you’re a shill, just like the aptly named shoe on head.

          • ExiledV2

            If everyone can be bought then someone that eager about buying people would have bought me.

            Why? Who are you? As far as I know, you’re just some rando with a handle of Celerity. I don’t know why someone would be eager to buy your support or whatever.

            If you would do something you don’t believe in just because you’re bought off you’re a shill

            What you believe in and what you do are rarely, if ever, related. And again, everyone has a price. It may not be a money price, but it’s a price.

            For instance, I’ll use our illustrious host Ralph as an example. If I wanted to buy him out for something, his price might involve getting him out of the jail time he’s going to have to serve, or expunging his record. Or if I wanted to be cruel, the continued well-being of his wife or mother. Or both. Those are probably good places to look to buy him.

            Do you understand now?

          • Celerity

            A cynical, stubborn mother fucker who really hates shills. But that’s exactly the point. Shilling for these particular people is as simple as acting like a retard and lying profusely in a Steam review. No preexisting reputation is required.

            As for thoughts vs actions, I’m talking about stuff that has actually happened. A corrupt company is crying bitch tears with the likes of Nathan Grayson of all people because I would not parrot their lies and instead called out their corruption.

            As for your remarks, it’s very unlikely an SJW could actually do any of those things and regardless, I hate manipulative bitches that much.

  • Mykeru

    Jeff Holiday is cancer. He is the Steven Seagal of YouTube.

    • I really don’t understand his appeal at all. He’s not smart, looks like roadkill, and his humor is nonexistent as well. Not only that, he’s also a preening idiot who likes to get on his moralistic high horse…constantly.

      • Celerity

        I never heard of this guy before the Killstream. All I know about him is that he’s a fail troll who has nothing beyond the most basic techniques and needs a horde of followers so he stands a chance against one person. And it’s not even like you started picking a fight with him, you and Matt were going at it and apparently he was Matt’s mistake.

      • Mykeru

        All he cares about is networking and PR, he is trying to jump on the bandwagon of being a YouTube intellectual a little too late. He’s currently wearing a ‘Shitlord’ hat, the level of cringe is very high with him. Incidentally, I notice that he seems to cover his hairline a lot lately since you used that thumb-nail of him in the stream.

        • JasonC5

          He went on about his wife being a victim of the gender pay gap a while back all while saying the gender pay gap is bullshit. He’s already out there and since those fuckwits love to ask for proof of our claims why isn’t he held to the same standard? Also, he acknowledges living in an “At Will” state so maybe there was no goddamn wage gap issue and just piss poor negotiating skills or another case of the feels combined with listen and believe.

          • Mykeru

            He is a professional bullshitter. All he seems to strive for is networking.

  • Mr0303

    Great points about cliques. Like Nietzsche said for a society to function they need an enemy. Initially that enemy on YouTube was religion and now it’s SJWs. The thing is that most of the people don’t really have the knowledge or care to debate the actual points. After some growth they become lazy and just hang out with their friends – just look at the amount of livestreams going around.

    The Warski/Holiday idiotic response to TL;DR doubting Laci Green is a perfect example – they expected conformity in their “community” and got triggered when they encountered an opposing view. Same happened with Sargon and Harmful Opinions who exposed ShillOnHead, Armoured Sceptic™ and the Amazing Shill – no calling out my friends for the shady shit that they are doing.

    Ralph of course is another such example within GamerGate – ironically the tone policing brigade who wanted to keep everyone in check got triggered when one of the sacred cows was criticised in a manner they deemed unbecoming. These cliques inevitably lead to collectivist thinking and thus an echo chamber. Being an outsider/outcast actually gives you the ability to be more objective about any given situation.

  • Duce

    I miss the early days of GamerGate when humor was our greatest weapon and no one was afraid to use it. Once the “that’s mean” tone fags showed up and killed all the fun everything fell apart overnight.

    • Agree 100%.

      • masterninja

        back in the day gamergate ran like a train…sadly some of our own got in the way of the fun

    • The other Ben

      You didn’t have to listen to them.

  • Magnemite

    As I’ve said time and time again the whole thing just turned into one big “Let’s get Ralph!” thing. GG wasn’t even about cutting down the BS in gaming journalism anymore. Even the burnout crew became absolute shit with their stupid Jojo memes.

    Hard to listen to criticism of GG from some lisping retard in a cheap suit drinking box wine in a plastic glass near a reservoir but I digress. All the prominent names were nothing but opportunist and scammers who just wanted an audience for their brand of Autism.

    • Celerity

      You got a point. The vast majority of GamerGate is as lazy as any slacktavist. This is so pronounced they often won’t even click a downvote button on an obvious shill review but will virtue signal about how they won’t. If you won’t spend 2 seconds fucking with your enemies you have no interest in opposing them. Fortunately most of them are so weak you can practically solo hordes of them.

  • youareivan

    once any position starts to attract moderates it’s over as an effective movement. moderates don’t move anything, they sit on fences and watch shit happen. moderates are attracted to a position once they are sure there are no risks involved in taking that position so they can sit on your fence instead of doing something.

  • Typical

    entryism, I pointed it out and tried to get people to see the “let’s be nicer” dickheads were ruining all the progress made, and now, i’s just another little hiccup in gaming history, rather than the purge of those SJW jerkoffs it could have been.

  • Wanderer

    What killed gamergate and what kills all movements and subcultures is simple: it’s women. Allowing women into your group always ruins everything. Women are the ones that want to establish codes of conduct, tone police, silence jokes, concern troll and pr troll, and generally be a wet blanket. Women don’t give a shit about the movement. The movement is just an excuse to climb the social ladder. Once the movement dies the women go to the next trendy thing and repeat.

  • The early GamerGate was a movement that genuinely focused on defending against censorship, advocating for free speech/expression, rejecting SJWs/politics and advocating for ethics in journalism. The group mainly consisted of anti-SJW hardliners (people like Ethan, Internet Aristocrat, and Christi Junior), who took a no-nonsense approach to attacking and calling out SJWs and feminists.

    Unfortunately the movement is now just full of Moderates, fence-sitters, gynocentric cucks and SJW-Lites who tone police the movement and worship whatever comes out of Liana Kerzner’s mouth. “SHEZ NOT LIKE ANITA, SHEZ ONE OF US GAIZ”

    There’s just simply too many “we need to be nice, listen to SJWs and not act like them” retards now. No wonder that the movement is virtually dead and no real progression has been made.

  • TheOnceAndFutureKing

    The skeptic community has become SJW 2.0