Could someone please tell me what an Social Justice Warrior is? No? Nobody wants to touch that? Fine, I’ll do it myself. Here are my 800+ words on getting to grips with the basics of whatever the fuck is going on in the gaming industry over the last two years…
At that start of August 2014 something happened in the world of gaming. An online earthquake rocked the world of games media, The tsunami that followed spread far and wide and created nuclear meltdowns across the internet. And despite the similarities to Japan tsunami of 2011, this actually seems to have completely skipped our Asian brethren. The outcome resulted in something called a Social Justice Warrior, or SJW for short.
Now before we go any further, I think its important that we look at this phrase, the words that create and the meaning behind it, because I for one, have no idea what it is and why this became a term thrown around so widely for the last two years. Lets start simple and just look at the words used to make up Social Justice Warrior. Of course, we will use the Oxford Dictionary to define each of these terms.
1. [ATTRIBUTIVE] Relating to society or its organization:
“alcoholism is recognized as a major social problem”
2. Needing companionship and therefore best suited to living in communities:
“we are social beings as well as individuals”
1. [MASS NOUN] Just behaviour or treatment:
“a concern for justice, peace, and genuine respect for people”
2. A judge or magistrate, in particular a judge of the Supreme Court of a country or state.
1. (Especially in former times) a brave or experienced soldier or fighter:
“the warrior heroes of ancient Greece”
From this we get a brave or experienced soldier who is is fighting for just behaviour relating to society. Right? Well here’s what the Oxford Dictionary has listed for the full terms Social Justice Warrior:
A person who expresses or promotes socially progressive views:
“these social justice warriors want to apply their politically correct standards and rules to others’ speech”
That doesn’t seem too bad really… so… what’s the big deal?
After a quick googling of the term I found a wikipedia article on GamerGate, the sad instigator of this whole mess, and tracked some of the sources (here, here and here – the blog itself). And with that, here’s what I learned in a short period of time; some dude posted some shit about his ex-missus. Loads of bros read it and got uppity about the content in which this guys accuses his ex-missus of manipulating players in the game industry with a good ol’ fashioned sexing. Like the good old boys (and possibly girls) they are, the internet began organizing itself for a lynching, because that’s what folk do when they get outraged.
In case you think I’m a tad dramatic – which I guess I am being, but for a reason – there was threats of murder and rape not only on the ex involved but anyone who defended it (see here, here and here). The defenders, now named Social Justice Warriors or SJWs, have become and still are targeted for abuse. The resulting campaign asked questions about sexism, journalistic ethics and some tough cultural questions. This quickly spiraled into a major movement from everyone and anyone with one side on the offense and other on the defense. One particular side (*cough cough* guess which *cough*) was also being a bit fucking crazy!
The thing is, the people who supported GamerGate are apparently trying to rebel against political correctness and to abolish poor journalistic ethics but if that’s the case they’ve really gone about this the wrong way. As even the industry is condemning their actions. In some weird way, that’s essentially the same as being told by your parents that you’re wrong about your views AKA being a teenager, which as a comparison, I feel is rather fitting.
Let me be very clear with this…
I do not understand this whole thing, how this became a thing, what exactly this thing is despite reading a bit about it and why people have such sore butts.
Please keep that in mind with everything I have said and will say below. I would suggest you do your own research rather than read my basic at best, understanding of this whole drama. Unfortunately for you, I only wanted to understand the top layer of this minefield and that’s what I took away.
I don’t particularly care for this whole debate if I’m honest, who cares if women game and are becoming influencers in games media? Who cares if journalists abuse power? Games should be able to stand on their own merit. Plus all industries are open to corruption, the key is finding reliable and honest reviewers (like me!). And finally, why bother being a total dick by organizing campaigns of abuse? Grow up and just argue on the internet like we all already do because you know who else organized campaigns of abuse against a particular set of people? The Nazis!
Oh, and Adam Baldwin coined this now infamous term GamerGate… eh… yay?!