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My Thoughts About Gamergate, And Introducing The Geek Alabama Geeky/Nerdy Code Of Ethics


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Gamergate, it is the one thing tearing the geek and nerd world apart. Gamergate got started in August 2014 when indie game developer Zoe Quinn’s ex-boyfriend alleged that Quinn had a romantic relationship with a journalist for the video game news site Kotaku. This led to harassment of Quinn, including false accusations that the relationship had led to positive coverage of Quinn’s game. Soon, other people who supported Quinn got harassed and threatened as well. Then, media critic Anita Sarkeesian, and indie game developer Brianna Wu talked about Gamergate, and harassment in women involving video games, and they got harassed as well.

Today, Quinn, Sarkeesian, Wu, and other women talking about Gamergate, have been harassed, sent threatening letters and e-mails, received death threats, and have even been driven from their homes for safety reasons. Gamergate is something I cannot understand, and something I cannot stand back and not talk about anymore. Yes, I have been following the Gamergate controversy for a while now, and I cannot believe that men would like to harass women, especially in the video game world. Gamergate is about treating women in video games, and the women who make the video games, as someone’s slave and a sexual object instead of a person, it’s wrong!

There have been many articles about Gamergate online, and men are being threatened if they stand up in support against the threats levied against the women in Gamergate. So, since I am a man, I can’t talk about women being harassed and threatened in the video game world because men want to treat women as sex symbols? Sorry, I cannot keep quiet! So I guess that means I am about to be fair game because I support women being successful, who are also geeky and nerdy as well. In other words, if you’re a man, keep quiet and you’ll be left alone. Speak out against them, though, and you’re fair game. Well, you people who support harassing women, come at me, and leave a comment below, I will respond!

Other well known people also support women, and are against this whole Gamergate thing. Felicia Day, who is with Geek And Sundry, and who is from Alabama, talked about Gamergate, and soon got bombarded with hate comments. And Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage has also come out talking about Gamergate. He said that sexism is directed at other women in science and tech as well, including at former Mythbusters star Kari Byron. Sadly, it’s not just video games where women are harassed, treated unfairly, or looked at more as a sexual figure than a human being. And here is something else to think about, not only women are sometimes treated unfairly in the video game and geek/nerd world, it’s also people with disabilities and minorities as well.

Sadly, the geek and nerd world has become corrupted, or politicized. Everything you see in the political world, from the bickering, fighting, and the it’s my way or the highway attitude, has somehow migrated over to the video game, and geek/nerd world. We should be better than this! If you are a geek or nerd, like I am, and like most of you who are reading this post on Geek Alabama, the motto should be treat everyone with respect, and never degrade anyone, no matter their sex, beliefs, skin color, disability, and other human aspects. Actually, that motto should be something everybody should follow, even if they are not a geek or nerd.

I am friends with many geeks and nerds, who are also raising their own kids. Some of the kids are daughters, and their parents are worried about what could happen when their daughters reach adulthood, and they leave for that big and wide open world. Women should be treated with respect, just like men are. Women should not be degraded, because they have sexy parts on their bodies. Women should be treated with equal status, just like the men are. And the same goes for minorities and people with disabilities. Since I have a disability myself, sometimes I even get mistreated and abused. It happened in my childhood, and it also happens in my adulthood sometimes as well, it needs to stop!

The internet is the best thing to come since the start of civilization. Yes, mostly everyone has a smartphone, and access to social media. This can be a good or a bad thing at the same time. There are always negative things you will find on the internet, and social media. Gamergate might be just that thing that forces some changes, especially on social media. The geek/nerd world should be always accepting. And a group that should let anyone join in, and I always welcome new people with open arms, no matter how different they are. If you think about it, geeks and nerds were the ones bullied while in school, who are made outcasts by some other adults, who sometimes have trouble dealing with other people, and are also sometimes depressed and also feel like they are alone. Geeks and nerds are mostly great people who are accepting of others, but there are also some bad apples as well.

Women, minorities, and people with disabilities, should be able to let their geek and nerd flag fly, without worrying about someone harassing or threatening them. These people should be able to go to conventions, or participate in gamer events, without having to look over their shoulder and worry about someone abusing them. Heck, I should be able to wear my Perry the Platypus, My Little Pony, or The Walking Dead t-shirts without someone harassing me, because it’s something I like, and something most geeks and nerds like too. I think Gamergate is something to think about, something all geeks and nerds should reflect on, and maybe change the way they treat other people, for the better.

So, I am going to introduce the Geek Alabama Geeky/Nerdy Code Of Ethics. These five ethics beliefs are something every geek and nerd should follow, from the time they enter the geeky/nerdy world, until the time they pass away. I wrote these five ethics rules because I am tired of seeing the harassment and bullying not only in Gamergate, but other fandoms and geeky and nerdy followings as well. It’s time geeks and nerds become the best role models anyone who is experiencing trouble can look up too, and follow.

  1. All geeks and nerds should treat everyone with respect. No matter what the person’s beliefs, sex, skin color, religion, or disability is. Everyone on planet Earth has the same equal chances to lead an successful life. And no one should have handicaps placed on them because other people’s beliefs are more important.
  2. All geeks and nerds should commit to see video games, TV shows, movies, online media, and comic books open up to people who are different. Women, people who are homosexual, people who are disabled, or anyone else who is different than the mainstream population, should have equal chances to star on video games, TV shows, movies, online media, and comic books.
  3. All geeks and nerds should welcome anyone who is interested in the geek and/or nerd fandom with open arms. No matter what they like, geeks and nerds should welcome, and be friendly to a newcomer who wants to be a part of any fandom in the geek/nerd world. If anyone rejects anyone who wants to join a fandom because of being different, that person should be kicked out of the fandom.
  4. All geeks and nerds should call out anyone who is harassing, threatening, making fun, or bullying anyone in any fandom or interest, no matter if they like that fandom and/or interest or not. All geeks and nerds should also provide a safe place for anyone who wants to comment, or talk about something that is controversial, without being harassed, threatened, made fun of, or bullied.
  5. All geeks and nerds should support the new or up and coming people/products that are doing something cool in the geek and/or nerd world. From new tech products, comics, games, cartoons, online media, apps, or anything else. Geeks and nerds should talk about things that might go otherwise unnoticed. Geeks and nerds are all family, and we should help out each other in times of hardship and need.

Being a geek and/or nerd is something you should be proud of! No matter if you like video games, roads, trains, TV shows, movies, space, cartoons, comics, board games, card games, horror, steampunk, costuming, puppets, anime, science fiction, science, or anything else, you should be proud and happy that you are a geek and/or nerd. You should not hide it, you should embrace it!  A final note, if the comments below get too nasty and controversial, I will turn off the comments. You can e-mail me at nathanyoung@geekalabama.com as well.  I will respond via e-mail if the comment is peaceful and not hateful.

Geek Alabama and Nathan Young also supports the pledge the blog GeekDad also made about the Gamergate controversy, you can read the link by clicking the link:  http://geekdad.com/2014/10/geekdad-gamergate

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