I was sitting here wondering why the hell I sat up all night, when I noticed a new hashtag going around. It’s called #DeathEaters, and it was started by anti-gamer DiGRA flunkies so they could trash GamerGate on Twitter without us seeing it. There’s only one problem: they were too stupid to keep it under wraps. Of course, their little gay conference is over now, so maybe they no longer care. Either way, we’ve been having a blast with it all morning. Here’s some highlights from the tag: 







Anyway, I think you get the idea. It’s another hashtag domination, courtesy of GamerGate. But something else was also discovered, and that’s the notes from their get-together up in Canada (hello Canadian readers, btw!). I’m just going to reprint these in full, and let you all discuss them. I still have a reader piece to edit, and I will sleep again…eventually.

Wednesday, June 3rd: CSDH/SCHN and CGSA

The third day of CSDH/SCHN overlapped with the first day of CGSA. We had a digital demo / poster session at 8:30. Then there was a joint CSDH and CGSA session on gamergate – the topic that can’t be tweeted. It was interesting that we actually had a discussion about tweeting the topic at the beginning.


A. Budac: #GamerGate: Distant Reading Games Discourse

Budac gave a paper I helped with a project on gathering and studying the gamergate phenomenon. We have shared some of our data on Dataverse. We also have an interactive for explore keywords.


E. Vist: Idiosyncratic tagging and the creation of intimate publics on Tumblr

Vist started by commenting on how we were promised an internet that has no race, gender and so on. Vist talked about how women started creating spaces where they could have “intimate publics.”

The other dream for the internet was a true democracy. That is also dead. There isn’t a debate anymore. The filter bubble is supposed to be bad, but for many women it is needed to avoid harrassment.

Some of the affordances for networked publics include:

  • Scalability
  • Replicability
  • Persistence
  • Searchability

These affordances cause people who don’t want to be blasted to take various defensive measures to create intimate publics. Twitter doesn’t let one create such publics. Tumbler does. Twitter structured the gamergate discussion in ways that privileged certain types of participants. Twitter let people search back to show that people critical were hypocritical. Twitter made it easy for gamergaters to investigate voices they wanted to silence and sea-lion.

People use ideosyncratic tags in Tumblr to exclude an audience and then to maintain the boundaries. Tumblr indexes only the initial tags so you just put in a bunch of useless ones.

Twitter is built for the internet we wish we had. The reality is that certain practices and publics are privileged. The impossibility of creating intimate publics in Twitter means that people are leaving for Tumblr.


S. C. Ganzon: Nerdy Cupcakes, Boob Cams and Girl Gamers with Evil Boyfriends: Gender Capital and Constructions of Gamer Identities in Let’s Plays by Women

Ganzon started by talking about how popular “Let’s Play” You Tube? videos are. There are very few women Let’s Play videos. Various features of You Tube privilege male voices.

Alas those women who do post videos get seen as a woman wanna-be gamers or sluts.

The Let’s Play genre may go back to a screen shot version of Oregon Trail. LP are not walk-throughs. They focus on the subjective reactions. One of the popular early versions is GameCenter CX – the Fuji TV show in Japan.

Those who are popular use branding to make money. They create a persona for an audience in order to get views (and money.) The constructed gamer identity has a lot to do with brands and is gendered. Let’s Play feeds a toxic gamer culture by reinforcing attitudes.

She talked about the pixel pack that collaborate. It is a common practice on You Tube and helps people gain subscribers. Few womenL Pers? have a face cam or use their

Trolling and sexist comments were common, but on the more subscribed channels it was shut down by other subscribers. A lot of the discussion is around “fake girl gamers” or branding women as “attention whores”. Broadcasting for women is perilous – if you do too much you get called names.

On You Tube a hierarchy among gamers will remain.


S. Murray: Three Faces of Aveline: Difference, Gamer Gate? and the Visual Politics of Play”

Murray does games and the history of art (visual studies.) The recent gamergate culture war has shown how political representations are. They show how difference and power are at the forefront.

She talked about the attempt to keep gaming safe from social justice issues. The idea is that normative group is constructed as not political and not doing identity politics and they are just asking people to stop doing politics in gaming. Of course, the normative group is doing politics when they pretend not to.

It isn’t really useful to point out racism/sexism in games as if it is a case of ignorance. Murray thinks gamergate made clear the deep structural racism/sexism in gaming. See Male Protagonist Bingo.

Game culture is the least progressive form of media representation despite being the newest. Given how large a percentage of gamers is women

She then talked about Assassin’s Creed III Liberation. The main character is a lady assassin slave. Murray talked about the aesthetic origins and the persona of the main character.

Assassin’s Creed owes a lot to Prince of Persia and swashbuckling movies. AC was envisaged as Prince of Persia – Assassin. It became its own title, but there is still a swashbuckler aspect with an orientalist aspect. There is a deployment of powerful images of the orient (Middle East) in the games. Tropes of cruelty, harems, and so on are common. Games often draw on durable myths and fantasies from the cultures that create them.

In AC III the main character is both slave and assassin. The core mechanic, combat, stealth, navigation creates a particular relationship to place.

She talked about Stuart Card’s discussion of adventure as a form of colonial tourism. (I’m not sure I got this right, but there is a way in which AC seems to deploy adventure, in the sense of adventuring through different times and places, as a colonial appropriation.)

There is a tension between the character that disavows the masculinist construction, but underlying the game is a collection of tropes that reinforce an orientalist perspective.

She closed by talking about the different versions of the main character and passing between being a lady, slave and assassin.

There was an interesting question about the differences of methods between the papers. Ours was distant reading the others were close.

Lemme know what’s up down below in the #BasedCommentSection. I’ll be back with that reader submission in a little bit.