A misstep on the long march

David Futrelle’s jumping on my failure to properly articulate my statement on what I believe #GamerGate to be is a good example of why the written word is reliably more powerful in the medium- and long-term than the visual medium:

Yesterday, I wrote about Vox Day’s extravagantly evasive — yet highly revealing — interview with David Pakman. But the interview also featured a few striking moments of candor. One of these came when Day — a sometime gave developer as well as the biggest asshole in Sci Fi — offered his answer to the question: “What is Gamergate really about?”

Suggesting that the issue of “corruption in game journalism” was little more than “the spark that set the whole thing off,” Day declared that

    what Gamergate is fundamentally about is the right of people to design, develop and play games that they want to design, develop and play without being criticized for it.

Which is an. er, interesting perspective, as there is in fact no “right” to be immune from criticism.

If you write a book, if you make a movie, if you post a comment on the internet — you should be ready for it to be criticized. Because that’s how free speech works. That’s how art works. And that’s how ideas work.

It’s too bad David Pakman didn’t jump on that or I would have corrected myself. But Futrelle is absolutely right for once. I shouldn’t have phrased it that way. It was a mistake. What I should have said, and what I believe, was this:

What GamerGate is fundamentally about is the right of people to design,
develop and play games that they want to design, develop and play.

Period. Although I will add that it would certainly be nice if we could simply design, develop, and play games without being harassed in the process. Now, as is normal for the average SJW, Futrelle hasn’t really thought this through beyond the chance to momentarily try to portray me as being anti-free speech. (DISQUALIFY!) It’s not a cheap shot, given the quote I handed him, but it is a silly one, because I have twelve years of evidence demonstrating that I am fairly extreme on the pro-free speech side, whereas Futrelle is considerably less staunch in that regard.

Of course, they will keep saying “you said it” and “no takebacks”, or as PopeHat rather absurdly tried to insist, “you can retcon all you like”. But that would only convince people if I had no previous statements on free speech, not to mention one of the more lightest moderating policies of any popular blog.

And it’s very easy for us to turn this particular line of attack around on them. In response, I asked Futrelle the following question:

A question for you re your two articles. Do you support the right of gamers to tell women they should not develop games?