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#GamerGate: A story of advocates exercising collective power

An examination of how the discussion marked on Twitter as #GamerGate came to be, who the various advocate groups are and attempt to understand what they demonstrate about power as discussed by G. William Domhoff through a Critical Feminist Theory perspective as discussed by bell hooks.


  1. This essay is a hybrid using Storify to develop the concept of the Twitter Essay into a mode that facilitates the long form of an essay, while using the brevity required for a Twitter post.
  2. #GamerGate began with a long series of posts all on 1 dedicated website from a jilted lover regarding the author's ex-girlfriend. The author retold his account of the end of their relationship and shared his theories regarding her actions, specifically focusing on who he thought she slept with before her job change.
  3. After thezoepost went live, there were some on the Internet who started to post abusive tweets about and to the focus of the initial post, Zoe Quinn.
  4. Because of the alleged collusion between Quinn and a journalist for a the website Kotaku, there began a string of criticism that claimed it was arguing for ethics in gaming journalism. The earliest incarnation of this break in ethics centered around the perceived conflicts of interest due to personal relationships and connections between the parties.
  5. The type of connection being discussed in the infancy of the #GamerGate discussion was mapped out in the image below. (posted by Frontporch Man as comment 20 on InternetAristocrat, who uses YouTube to post ideas, shared a 24 minute rant argument that narrates many of these supposed connections and the alleged effects of these relationships on the content covered by game journalists.
  6. It was during this time that actor Adam Baldwin christened the online conversation #GamerGate. While Quinn remained the focus of the conversation, the conversation shifted focus to include Anita Sarkeesian, a cultural critic best known for a YouTube series Tropes vs Women in Video Games. Her video Tropes v. Women in Video Games: Women as Background Decorations Part 2 was released in August 2014. It is pasted below, and contains graphic content.
  7. Women as Background Decoration: Part 2 - Tropes vs Women in Video Games
  8. Sarkeesian examines popular culture and discusses the ways that women are presented in movies, television shows, and video games. Her series focusing on the presentation of women in video games was fairly early in its run as #GamerGate was beginning to spread.
  9. At the end of August and the beginning of September 2014, the conversation began to complicate further as various gaming and pop-culture blogs began to decry the end of gamers. The conversation began to question the culture of gaming. Several of the articles discussed the ways in which the video game industry helped foster the toxicity of the community through the marketing decision to cater to the consumer desires of the part of the customer base that identified with or as white males between the ages of 16-25.
  10. And almost immediately, there was a counter-point that reclaimed the identity of gamer.
  11. Simultaneously, corporations in the industry signed onto an open letter condemning the violent and sexist harassment.
  12. This moment marked a brief calm before an increased level of discussion and tweeting. The type of response from people who felt attacked, tended to reply back with the images below. Though the example provided is from a bit later in the conversation, it was the best archive of they type of response people such as Quinn, Sarkeesian, Wu, and others received.