Intel pulls ads at site critical of #GamerGate

Gamergate, the online backlash targeting a female game developer and critics of sexism in games, has a surprising new friend: Intel, the world's largest chipmaker.

According to game news publication Gamasutra, the company pulled ads from the site after being "flooded" by complaints from gamers upset at its criticism of the protest.

“Intel has pulled its advertising from website Gamasutra,” Intel spokesperson Bill Calder told ReCode. “We take feedback from our customers very seriously especially as it relates to contextually relevant content and placements.”

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A sprawling and rancorous knot of hashtagged rage, Gamergate is ostensibly a campaign against journalistic corruption, but comprises mostly of foot-stamping misogynist anger directed at developer Zoe Quinn, critic Anita Sarkeesian, and game journalists seen to be in cahoots with a feminist conspiracy to censor manly videogames. Quinn, author of interactive roman à clef Depression Quest, was targeted after an angry ex-boyfriend published a lengthy manifesto about her that falsely insinuated sexual quid pro quos with game journalists. Sarkeesian ran a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised $158,922 for a series of feminist video critiques, a popular installment of which was released last month. Each woman has since been subjected to an endless hum of menace online and off, with Quinn receiving abusive phone calls, having her websites hacked, and enduring her personal information being published online. Sarkeesian received a death threat that convinced her to flee her home.

The email complaint campaign, however (dubbed Operation Disrespectful Nod), was one of the crusade's more civilized tangents. Hoping to convince advertisers to drop major game sites Kotaku, Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun, and Gamasutra, it targeted journalists who were critical of the Gamergate cause—including Leigh Alexander, who is also a Boing Boing contributor.

Though it also attracted everyday gamers drawn to the anti-corruption messaging, Gamergate's broad appeal--if not its volume--began to shrink when the involvement of well-organized online trolls was exposed and conservative culture warriors pushed a more explicitly anti-feminist agenda. The move by Intel--a key player in the computer game industry--represents a coup for a cause that seemed to be on the verge of shriveling.

Speculation: Gamergate's implicit goal is to scorch the earth for game advertising in general. Even if making the market toxic harms their hobby and the industry that supports it, it's worth it to get the feminists out the clubhouse, to hurt websites that won't supplicate to them, and to own whatever smoking husk of culture is left afterward. It's only a "consumer revolt" in as much as adherents have a perverse sense of identification with a consumer product and hate anything critical of it.

Notable Replies

  1. This gives me a whole new appreciation for my FX 8350, the powerhungry little bugger.

    Also: Isn't it... curious that this ridiculously named "Operation" calls for a boycott of the (thoroughly excellent! seriously, if you're a PC gamer and don't read it, what are you even doing with your life?) gaming site Rock Paper Shotgun - when the specific reason given for the boycott are those "Gamers are dead"-articles the gators clearly didn't understand?

    Because RPS never published such an article. They did, however, publish one titled "video games are for everyone". Funny, that, when so many followers of GamerGhazi claim to be all for inclusiveness. It's almost as if... everything they're interested in is silencing dissenting opinions.

  2. adonai says:

    Absolute cock.

    Where were these angry masses back when Ben Paddon (of the now-defunct blog Games Journalists are Incompetent Fuckwits) was railing against bad games journalism? Other than reposting the original article, where was this groundswell of rage when Eurogamer got threatened with legal action over Rab Florence's article about games journalists & PR*? And I'm pretty sure that when Jeff Gerstmann was fired from Gamespot for giving Kane & Lynch a bad review, the editors of that site weren't doxxed or had their lives threatened.

    Face it, games journalism is hobby press. We read blogs & websites about a facking hobby/art form (depending on whether we're supporting boobs in games or defending the in-game violence from legislators). This is fundamentally unimportant, but people's actual lives are getting messed up as a result of neckbeards hiding behind their keyboards.

    So yes, demand better games journalism, but find another banner to rally behind, because Gamergate is (and always has been) a fairly transparent excuse to attack perceived outsiders in pretty vile ways.

    *oh, that's right - Lauren Wainwright was pursued by an angry mob, but oddly enough, none of the male journalists mentioned in the article were. What a surprise!

  3. A good question to ask, before "putting aside what started this whole controversy" is why and how false accusations against Zoe Quinn of sex for reviews started a "movement" and a "controversy" about how the culture of access affects games journalism when games journalism has been stagnated in a culture of access for the last twenty to thirty years with the mostly-quiet consent of 'gamers'.

    Also ask why someone who publicly used his twitter to insult an author and insinuate that her writing about sex was equivalent to actually being a prostitute should be explaining how GamerGate is totally not about shitty internet misogyny.

  4. DId you just seriously write, as your first sentence, "Putting aside what started this whole controversy, GamerGate still stands primarily for transparency in game journalism."

    Isn't that kind of like,"Putting aside that they are huge land mammals, elephants primarily stand for small delicate flowers" or "Putting aside that they started as weapons to kill hundreds of thousands of civilians, atomic bombs stand primarily for excavation and earthmoving."

    And to help you clarify the thinking in your second sentence, the "vitriol" - to use your term - being spewed under the Gamergate hashtag doesn't come from "the gross overgeneralization of a gamer being a white male...". Platonic ideals and abstract stereotypes don't post to Twitter et al. The vitriol comes from alleged males who - quoting you again - "hate anything to do with the female persuasion" and who identify with the so-called Gamergate.

    If there ever was anything there besides rancid hatred of women, it's long-buried now, and anybody who seriously cares about quality of game journalism should wait a while before bringing up the topic again.

    But seriously, was there ever anything else there? In your very first sentence, you seem to implicitly admit that it all started due to some asshole making up a bunch of crap to get revenge on his ex- by getting her harassed. (How nice of you to acknowledge that she "facilitated the discussion.") Where exactly was that noble cause?

  5. We do that so it doesn't seem like a stuffy men's club. Chicks dig that.

    And I'm of an age that anytime somebody says "Quinn" I think of either 1) Mighty or 2) Martha

    Also, "Anita" is relatively easy to spell and pronounce. Her last name begins with S, I've been lead to understand. Beyond that I'm winging it. I'd have just as much luck trying to spell Neitschze without using spellcheck.

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