The Guardian is under the impression that if they keep doubling down on their Narrative on GamerGate, and now the Alt-Right, eventually people will start believing their rubbish. But that’s not how it works anymore:
The stark parallels between Gamergate and the political atmosphere of 2016 may come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t: both saw their impact and reach amplified by self-interested parties who underplayed the obvious nastiness they were also promoting. With 2014’s Gamergate, Breitbart seized the opportunity to harness the pre-existing ignorance and anger among disaffected young white dudes. With Trump’s movement in 2016, the outlet was effectively running his campaign: Steve Bannon took leave of his role at the company in August 2016 when he was hired as chief executive of Trump’s presidential campaign. Despite Bannon’s distance from Breitbart in an official capacity, the outlet’s ideology and relentless support of Trump remained unchanged – with editor-in-chief Joel Pollak notably sending an internal memo to staff that ordered them not to support Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields after allegations she was attacked by Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.
Breitbart’s aspirations to directly influence politics extend a long way into Europe, too – Bannon is openly keen to collaborate with the far-right Marine Le Pen in France, and hired UKIP’s Raheem Hassam to co-run the Breitbart London office. These movements are gaining ground by finding political figures who will legitimise them in return for the support of their swollen online communities. The young men converted via 2014’s Gamergate, are being more widely courted now. By leveraging distrust and resentment towards women, minorities and progressives, many of Gamergate’s most prominent voices – characters like Mike Cernovich, Adam Baldwin, and Milo Yiannopoulos – drew power and influence from its chaos. These figures gave Gamergate a new sense of direction – generalising the rhetoric: this was now a wider war between “Social Justice Warriors” (SJWs) and everyday, normal, decent people. Games were simply the tip of the iceberg – progressive values, went the argument, were destroying everything. The same voices moved into other geek communities, especially comics, where Marvel and DC were criticised for progressive storylines and decisions. They moved into science fiction with the controversy over the Hugo awards. They moved into cinema with the revolting kickback against the all-female Ghostbusters reboot. Despite colonising the world with pointless tech and plastering modern film and TV with fan-pleasing adaptations of niche comic books, nerds still had a taste for revenge. They saw the culture they considered theirs being ripped away from them. In their zero sum mindset, they read growing artistic equality as a threat.
The last two sentences demonstrate what I mean by the Alt-Right being the only ideological perspective that is rooted in reality. The West is our culture and it is being ripped away from us. Equality is not a threat because it is nonexistent; diversity is an existential threat. And demographics is, quite literally, a zero-sum game.
Meanwhile, all of #GamerGate is looking puzzled and wondering “when was Mike Cernovich ever one of our most prominent voices?” About the same time we were leveraging distrust and resentment towards women and minorities, one presumes. They know nothing and they’ve learned nothing. That’s why we will continue to defeat them.
We have no idea where this will lead, but our continued insistence on shrugging off the problems of the internet as “not real” – as something we can just log out of – is increasingly misled.
Well, perhaps they’ve learned that. Not that it’s going to do them any good, as long as they insist on believing their own revisionist histories.