Do you remember Occupy Wall Street? OWS started out as a starry-eyed movement that was supposed to bring down the corrupt capitalist oligarchy, ending financial inequality once and for all. It culminated with police driving the remainder of the ragtag hippies out of the Zuccotti Park a month later. How did OWS fail so spectacularly yet GamerGate is still going strong? Let’s take a look at what the two have in common and why grassroots movements tend to fall apart.
OWS recruited people from all walks of life, which gave it immense momentum at first but became a problem later on, when everyone was supposed to start contributing to the discussion. The sad truth is that most people really have nothing to say but will speak nonetheless, if given the chance. When you force the smart people to shut up so that stupid people can talk, you have a recipe for disaster. When you add just a pinch of social justice, you get the wondrous “progressive stack” that makes everyone with an ounce of common sense leave.
The diversity of participants also made it impossible to settle on a single goal. The list of what OWS was supposed to achieve went from erasing student loans to less corporate lobbying to “better jobs.” Anyone could come along and declare the local OWS chapter to be against whatever perceived injustice and thus undermine the credibility of the entire movement. Each of these stated problems would probably take several decades to resolve; when put together, they doom any group trying to solve them all in one fell swoop to failure. Once the mainstream media stopped taking OWS seriously, the game was over.
It didn’t help that the government surveilled OWS from the start and infiltrated it thoroughly. The undercover agents gathered information on participants and most likely derailed OWS by inciting violence, drug use, and other illegal acts, which would then give an excuse to the uniformed policemen to come in and do whatever they please. The end result was total demoralization of everyone involved in OWS and a warning what happens to those who would like to organize against the government.
What about GamerGate?
GamerGate shares a surprising amount of similarities with OWS. The diversity in GG is astounding and all the minority checkboxes are filled: gay, lesbian, trans, black, Asian, hispanic, all of them and much more are gamers and care about their pastime.
But, there is no “progressive stack” nonsense. You don’t get any preference because you belong to some arbitrary oppressed minority. You have to prove your worth and earn your honor in some way. Gaming is actually manly in that it is the purest form of meritocracy possible. In gaming, women have none of the feminine privilege they do in real life.
Unless you’re a girl that likes to chew cords
The perfect weapon
Gamers are used to adapting to circumstances, to playing the same thing over and over until they beat it and have infinite persistence. Being called a shitlord doesn’t discourage a gamer, it actually motivates him. When you make gamers a part of the movement that wants to eradicate corruption in gaming journalism, guess what? They compete with each other on who will contribute the most, instead of demanding to be put in the progressive stack. Gamers make donations that cause SJWs to whine about “weaponized charity” and become triggered by politeness. All of that with a great sense of humor and constant self-deprecation.
The major difference between GamerGate and OWS that made the former last and the latter crumble is in the field where the battle took place. The government has all the material resources at its disposal and can outlast any protest or boycott. There is simply nothing OWS or a movement 20 times the size of it could ever hope to change. Government is the immovable object and the amount of force OWS exerted doesn’t matter.
But, when a relatively small group of gaming enthusiasts goes online and starts sending emails, sharing information, and asking questions, what is the government supposed to do? How do you stop an online revolution done by these virtual ninjas?
Character assassination doesn’t work, because we are all anonymous online and you can easily just pick up another nickname and keep going. GamerGate cannot be derailed because there is no leader to be subverted or a central figure that gives out orders. Infiltration is pointless because the agents can’t draw attention to themselves without earning merit and actually helping GamerGate.
When a scandal with false information did happen to GamerGate, they quickly added new rules for verification of all info. SJWs can try to shout down gamers on their own, but that is akin to punching the wind, so the big daddy government is bound to join the fight sooner or later.
Don’t censorship me, bro
Simply put, to stop online revolutions a government must go scorched earth and introduce radical censorship methods. These will have to be so severe, that a lot of normal internet and computer functions will become unusable. However, these draconian methods would probably alert even more people to what’s going on and where the real oppression is coming from, making them engage in online activism, thus spreading the word. GamerGate is like the Borg and there is simply no way to stop it.
What GamerGate has shown is that a grassroots consumer movement can actually make a difference, but not by fighting a physical fight. We’re now in an electronic age and the power is with those who have the information. Where Occupy Wall Street failed, GamerGate has succeeded, because it was exclusively online, where we’re all equal and physical force means nothing. This is how you effect change, not with guns, but with your mouse in one hand and keyboard in another.