Author’s Note: Apologies in advance for the memes. I realize some might see them as mean but I find them rather fitting in the context of today’s post.
The same wildfire of sexual harassment and assault allegations that blazed through Hollywood and Washington also scorched the gaming world. A fast, sudden torrent of accusations saw a number of persons in the gaming community forced out of their jobs or livelihoods and ushered into the status of social pariahs. The hits just kept coming, and there was even a period of about two weeks where it seemed that not a single day went by without at least one person being exposed for their sexual misdeeds.
Being on vacation in Asia during peak accusation season, I wasn’t able to keep up with events as much as I would have liked, but there was one thing that really stood out to me as I tried to follow along via Twitter. I couldn’t help but notice the sheer number of Males Feminist Allies and members of the anti-Gamergate community who were being accused. Men who had spent years virtue signaling their commitment to uplifting women and proclaiming the misogyny of Gamergate were now being exposed as sex predators. As several Internet commentators put it, the witch hunters had become witches, hunted. Day after day, more and more of them were outed, and soon I was waking up each morning wondering who was the latest target of accusations. Perhaps the most incredible thing to watch during the whole season of allegations was how proponents of the “listen and believe” movement were trying to make exceptions for themselves and their friends when they were the ones being accused of sexual misconduct. The very monster they had been feeding was now eating them alive. Had there not been terrible misdeeds committed that were leading to all these accusations it would have been funny in a really messed up way to watch the massacre.
It’s been a few weeks since I noticed any big accusations in the gaming world, so perhaps the storm is over, for now. Should another one blow up, however, I have a sneaking suspicion that we’ll see more “allies” revealed not to be allies at all.