The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze

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After the SPJ’s AirPlay, I had made a decision to step away from Gamergate for several reasons that I’ve talked about prior:

1. I think that I will no longer be useful.

At the point that AirPlay has gone down, Gamergate will have been around for approximately 1 year, which is basically eternity in internet time. I’ve spent a lot of time interacting with people, learnin’ them some things, providing morale support, and other stuff. It is in my opinion that my usefulness to people will soon be exhausted after that, and there will be no need for me to stick around. There’s a lot of people that don’t know when to walk away from things when their need to be there has expired, but I’m not that type of person. I made a promise at the beginning that I would be here to help with fixing the ethical problems within the industry. Getting Gamergate to the Greek, er, I mean AirPlay and talking with the SPJ? I think that’s the penultimate of what I can do. Unless there’s some untapped potential that I don’t know about, that seems like the height of ethical discussion. 

2. I think that it’s time to let other people speak.

I understand the point and purpose of what I do within the context of Gamergate and dealing with ethical concerns, helping people learn and understand some of the more complex systems that created this situation in the first place. However, there are people who are just way smarter than I am that I don’t think are being heard.

3. I didn’t want to become famous for other people’s screw-ups.

There are some people who get so caught up in other people’s prominence (whether duly earned or not) that it creates a harmful situation where nothing gets accomplished. One thing that is a concern of mine is that I’ve gained a limited amount of prominence in this situation, but… I don’t think that I earned it based on the strength and merits of my own skill. Some journalists are so pathetically bad at their jobs that they made me appear exceptional, when the fact is that the stuff that I discuss are the BARE MINIMUMS. When the bare minimums are seen as extraordinary, you know that we’re in a fucked-up situation. For me, I’d rather people were paying attention to the things that I’m saying and doing because they believe that it is worthy of their attention and trust, and not because “everyone else” is paying attention. Doesn’t seem right to me.

4. Other smaller reasons.

The ones listed above are the major ones that were part of my thought process. There are more, minor things (in my opinion), but these are the ones I considered most heavily. 

These were my thought processes on this subject. However, there is one thing that I didn’t do that I should have done: Just flat out asked people what their take on it was.

I’ve always encouraged good communication between people, disagreement without being disagreeable assholes, sharing thoughts and ideas. In this case, I certainly didn’t. A great many of the decisions, ideas, and plans that I’ve come up with over the course of Gamergate were obviously affected by the vox populi; the overall feel of the hearts and minds of people is something that shouldn’t be ignored.

I’m talking about this stuff right here in this space, because twitter sucks for longform thoughts (I’m bracing for the jokes). In the time of my life I have found it consistently true that if you ask people what they think, they WILL tell you. So this is me, asking you what you think.

If you want me to stick around, well… that’s a conversation that we’ll have to legitimately have. People have come up to me and made some incredibly good arguments on why I shouldn’t, good enough that they’re making me reconsider my position (even though the above reasons are still true).

Don’t tell me what you THINK I want to hear: Tell me what YOU think. I want to hear your thoughts and how it makes you feel.

Poll here, and comments are open. I’m reading all of them.

25 thoughts on “The Sun Whose Rays Are All Ablaze

  1. GuitarAnthony

    I have told you many times, brother. You don’t have to go. You can scale back & just chill with us & if you feel like throwing some jabs on occasion, no one is gonna tell you different.

    Like

  2. King of Zeroes

    I’d rather you stick around.

    I’m not one for complaining about E-celebs. If you have something relevant to say, you’re alright in my books.

    Your choice in the end, but I shed a single manly tear for everyone who departs GamerGate. You motherfuckers are all my nakama.

    Like

  3. Stacy

    Honestly Oliver, though I’ve been in GamerGate for a very little amount of time, I’ve followed what you’ve done for the entire time I’ve followed GamerGate. I think you’re right that more voices need to be heard, and I think that your experience within GamerGate is something that can HELP that happen. If you step down completely you are leaving it kind of half done. There may be plenty of people out there that are better equipped to help out, or to get more stuff done, but you can help get them up and started. It’s hard to get up there sometimes, especially when there is so much pushing back against so many people, you know that.

    And with so much at stake for so many people, possibility of backlash in personal, professional, and of course the online sphere, you’re someone that can give serious and needed advice.

    That’s just my thought. I hope you’ll take it into consideration.

    -Stacy AKA Slyly_mirabelle

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  4. JM

    I personally doubt SPJ will amount to much. And I think you can do a lot of good simply by being around, if not as active. A lot of people like you, like your streams, like your style. At the very least, it’d be good to see the influence you have used to bump up other voices that might be missed.

    I dunno. You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, and I think we’re still gonna need that after Airplay.

    Like

  5. Len

    I think it’s extremely reasonable of you to want to step down and not be as vocal. As I agree, fresh blood is a very welcome sight.
    But to leave I think would be a mistake. You are not a leader, but you are one of the most reasonable, eloquent voices this revolt has ever had and that has been a huge boon.
    Moderates, neutrals and even game developers have seen what you have written and what you have said and I know it has swayed plenty of minds that were once vehemently against us. You have been a stalwart friend to many of us and you always listened to our grievances and concerns when we were at our absolute lowest and you vocalized them in ways we could not. You now dutifully carry those voices to Airplay but it is my most solemn wish that you stay with us beyond that. That is why I am voting yes Oliver.

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  6. To be perfectly frank, I think you should stick around. I feel that while Airplay is important, there are other issues that could use someone like you to provide counsel on. I’ve been a proponent since the beginning that new media is what is needed.

    That to win the battle for ethical standards, the old click bait unethical sites and standards need to be drowned out instead of letting them continue as they are. Sure, they have made changes to a page that says “ethics policy” however I do not believe these places do now, or will keep with, the policies they put in place.

    I’m not saying that you should be 100% all in all the time (quite frankly more people should take time off), but I do believe that you could help in an advisory role on how to build a better gaming press. Most of us out here are amateurs, so any help, no matter how small, can assist in that.

    Sure, right now most of us trying to build this are flying by the seat of our pants, but there is still work to be done, and I think you could be a service to help those of us that could use it.

    Like

  7. Nathan

    I agree that by and large people are so caught up in cults of personality, positive and negative, that very little gets done. We have become controlled opposition, a toothless boogeyman whose reputation is a vast exaggeration of our current effectiveness. Whether you choose to stay and try to right the ship, or bow out because you feel you’ve done your part is ultimately up to you and you alone. Given what you’ve dealt with over the past year, the fighting through health problems and all manner of nastiness from the other side, regardless of your decision, thank you for all you have done.

    Like

  8. Tycalibre

    I won’t vote, because it’s up to you what you do, and I don’t believe such a stark choice is necessary.

    1. If you’re no longer useful there won’t be anything for you to do, while there is, you are.

    2. Other people are already speaking, they don’t need you to make room for them any more than room was made for you.

    3. Possible, but it’s more likely you are where you are because you do deserve to be there. Let’s go with the razor on this one.

    Personally, I don’t want you to just stick around as much as I want you to want to stick around.

    Like

  9. benyar11

    Gamergate started with gaming journalism and has become a pretty strong foothold against SJW authoritarianism. Others have followed suit, possibly following the example of Gamergate. We know that we get bad press because the mainstream media is scared to death that they’ll be next, and that is the next logical step. To me, that’s the endgame for this corner of the world and Gamergate is just the beginning of that. The jackpot is when the rest of the world sees that they don’t have to kowtow to these people.

    You’ve been invaluable to the cause so far and I have no doubt you will continue to be should you stick around. In the end, though, it’s your life. I don’t think anyone would think less of you or feel like you’ve “abandoned” us if you do decide to hang it up. On the other hand, if you agree that Gamergate is the start of something much bigger and want to see it through, I’m sure we’d love to have you. On the third hand (?), there’s plenty of middle ground, e.g. come back later, maintain a less-prominent role, etc.

    tl;dr – What we are doing is big but it needs to be bigger. Love for you to stay, understand if you go.

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  10. Been following you since the early weeks of Gamergate. As I see it, stepping away at this point would not be ill-advised. Gamergate — the tag, not the condition that spawned it — has served its primary purpose of exposing bad actors and publicizing the ethical problems within the various segments of video gaming.

    Major GG figures are now less relevant as a result. The need to have articulate speakers convey the movement’s underlying philosophy and values, and challenge anti-Gamergate rhetoric, has taken a backseat to monitoring and documenting the on-going developments within gaming journalism. In other words, the priority has shifted from exposure and defense to monitoring.

    In the absence of major events, I don’t see a need for GG to be a priority for those who have other obligations or projects to devote their time to. With deepfreeze.it and the multitude of vigilant GG supporters, the underlying infrastructure exists to bring GG back in full force, at any moment. Stepping away and putting GG on the back burner for a while is simply responding to the current situation.

    Like

  11. An Engineer in Ichor (PXC_Macavity)

    In the end, Oliver, the decision is yours and yours alone.

    I personally would prefer it if you stuck around, if only because you seem so often to have valuable insights into things that most of us miss.

    But if you do decide to step away after AirPlay, I’ll respect that and raise a glass in your honor.

    And if you’re ever in my neck of the woods, give me a shout. First round is on me, mate; I owe you that much at least.

    Like

  12. First, your first point, about “You no longer being useful”. That is nonsense. As long as there’s a problem you will always have a rple to play. New people will come in who don’t know. I am an atheist, and even today I explain atheism, I explain evolution to creationists. Even if you said the same thing a billion times, you will still eed to do the same for new people. It’s not about doing something BETTER than what you already have, it’s about CONTINUING to do it. You are a great morale raiser, and a smart fellow to hear talk. Continue to do what you already are.

    Now, point 2. Your presence will not keep people from speaking. If you want to do recruiting, do so. Instead of backing out, how about you find people and RAISE their voices. Like Koretzky did with John Smith. I’m sure you know a few people you can give a platform to. You called yourself Suikoden Shu once. BE THAT.

    Point 3: Lots of people become popular from others’ screw-ups. You played plenty of RPGs. What’s a hero without a villain? The fuckups created the situation. It’s up to others to fix it, and you play a good role in that. Even in real life, a manager fucks up, is fired, and a new manager is appointed. That’s how life is.

    As for Point 4… We’ll need to know details before we can argue them. That’s my rant for now.

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  13. People who complain about ‘e-celebs’ never take a minute to sit back and ask themselves what caused that person to develop the large following they have.

    In your case, it is because you are both observant enough and articulate to not only see what is going on, but put it into a succinct statement that those who have made the same observations could not arrange into such effective combinations of words themselves.

    ‘Letting others speak’ is a noble thought, but your ‘e-celeb’ status is nothing more than people who agree with you electing you to speak for them because they believe you’ll do a better job of putting their shared thoughts into words than they will.

    Please stay. We need you, and you’re good at this.

    Like

  14. 1. Wrong, I’ll always want to listen to you on ANY subject. You are fucking smart and an inspiration to many.

    2. You are not stoping the voice of anyone. Nobody will “take your place”. People will not listen to others any more or less because you are present or not.

    3. Stop thinking this situation made you famous. Your own smart made you famous. People don’t follow you because of GG, they follow you ’cause they like you and pay attention to what to say, realizing you’re smarter and most articulated than most of us.

    Do I want you to leave GG? Well, being on this since the beggining I understand all too well the toll it takes on some of us. I love you Oliver, you did stuff that nobody else did and nobody would have done if not for you. I want what is best for you and your family. You don’t have to “leave” it or “stay in it”. GG is not a sect or a club. I want you to do whatever you want. There’s literally NO reason for you to step away other than your own mental health, which is very important. I will always continue to follow you on twitter and pay close attention to what you say, I don’t care what you talk about, I’ll always have something to learn from you.

    So I don’t think you have to decide anything. If you’re not feeling like talking about GG related stuff, just don’t, everybody will understand. Just be like “I’m taking a break” if someone asks. GG will always be here mate, it’s history now, it’s part of us, it’s an important part of many of our lives now and it will forever be.

    So that’s my take. Just do what you feel like, whenever you like; no need to compromise to anything.

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  15. OK, my thoughts is the Gamergate is a time drain. It takes away from other things in your life. Important things and things with family. It is not selfish nor even unreasonable to want these things more than fighting the fight.

    Dude, we love you and what you have done for us. We are not going to petulantly demand you fight forever for us. We understand. How could we not? Why would we NOT want whatever is best for you?

    That disclaimer out the way….Gamergate is important. You are NOT doing us a favour by leaving. You are a source of inspiration and strength and damn good at what you do. we don’t need you gone and we do not become better by your absence.

    This is the truth of things.

    Be aware though IF you do leave, the will be no hard feelings and though you will be missed, you would leave with our blessings and thanks.

    Like

  16. @query523

    I think you are missing the best thing you bring to the table. It’s positivity and moral. Things have gotten ugly/ angry a lot over this whole thing. And I always look to you when it starts to get me down. Especially the 3Dog round-tables (miss Kaine). Not to dismiss all the other great work you have done but for me personally you Oliver was who I would listen to when I was frustrated and mad. But real life comes first and you should do what is best for you. That said if you come back around I get the feeling we will still be here for the foreseeable future.

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  17. I vote do what you think best, because ultimately its your decision, but there is a caveat to that a multiple choice poll cant cover, for the record you are free to choose.

    What I really feel though is, please stay, SPJ is not the end, but to paraphrase Churchill, it is perhaps the end of the beginning. The real work will begin after SPJ, if SPJ goes well. For the first time our ethical concerns will be on the record, and in the feeds drawn on by the MSM, if they continue to drive the false narrative we will concrete evidence to dispute them and call them on, there will be massive amount of work to be done holding them to account for their actions over the last ten months, although you have been an asset up till now in this process you will be invaluable. I see you hand wringing and worried you will succumb to human nature, that is always possible of course, but everyone faces that, you have to trust yourself and know that you are trusted and that if you fail we will call you on it, as you’d do for us. I could go on, but really I’ve said all that needs saying……..

    Do as you think best, but please think it best to stay.

    /hug #GamerGateHugPatrol

    Like

  18. It’s your life, man. I think you’re a big enough boy to make your own decisions. As for my opinion, I’d like you to stay because I like you but I certainly won’t shed tears if you step away.

    Like

  19. I really hope you’ll stay. You’ve been one our most powerful and compelling speakers for a long time, expressing things many people like me have felt but don’t have the eloquence or nerve to say. I’d hate to lose that.

    There’s another, perhaps even more important reason I hope you’ll remain. This has been a psychologically gruelling 10 months for many, as you know well. For me, personally, it’s been pretty brutal- the “gamers are over” clique and their fans attacking me in the one place I felt accepted and safe, trying to destroy what had been my refuge when I was an autistic child growing up in a broken home. That’s not an uncommon story in Gamergate, and many other people have their own reasons for finding this time very painful- the constant demonization, ridicule, dehumanization takes its toll.

    You’ve consistently been one of the most supportive, inspiring, and consoling figures in Gamergate. I think a lot of people would agree with me. People like you and Lizzy Finnegan are the reason I didn’t crack up worse than I did during some of the especially bad times. Just being reminded on a regular basis that someone who genuinely cares about people like me as much as you do is out there means a huge amount to me- and to a lot of people, I bet.

    I won’t blame you if you go, when you’ve already done more than I could ever reasonably expect. But I really hope you don’t.

    Like

  20. @AaonCrea

    I would like you to stay. By all means, step down in terms of frontlines. But I’d like to address your points.

    1. You will always be useful. Nobody in the right mind has enough good honest friends. Even if you just RT and post your opinions, you will be useful.
    2. You can easily let others speak and still play a part in this all. Politely decline things similar to AirPlay in the future, if thats what /you/ want. I dont think you need to deactivate to do these things.
    3. You were the one to speak up. You became a strong voice for people. You have a natural charisma bro. You’re likable, funny, and chill. You have a level head and your heart is in the right place.

    Again, if you want to step down, by all means do what you gotta do bro. But you dont have to step out to do that.

    Would be happy to sit down and have a ftf talk, be on stream, whatever if you want to talk about it with me.

    -@AaonCrea

    Like

  21. Anonymous

    While I think you’ve got yourself concerned about nothing, I aint gonna tell you whether I think you ought to stay or go. That choice has to be yours and yours alone. After all, you’re not living your life for us, or at least you shouldn’t be. My only suggestion to you is that whatever you choose to do, just be true to yourself.

    Like

  22. anonme

    I’m going to be frank, and I hope it’s not mistaken for harshness.

    I think you should make the decision if you want to stay or not AFTER Airplay. To make the decision now feels like jumping the gun. Originally I was also thinking about dialing back my own participation after Airplay, when Koretzky first announced it. However after recent displays Koretzky has made, I’m dubious on whether Airplay really will be the Zenith of ethical discussion. It could be, or it could be just another debate, like the ones in the early days of GG. Our guys go in, do will in the debate, and still the dialog doesn’t change. I realize you think that Airplay will be a turning point. I respect that, but I will point out you have been wrong in the past. When the thunderclap for your Not Your Shield video went out, you were sure that it would create a huge cognitive dissonance in those who watched, and would create a turning point. While that DID happen to a degree, it didn’t happen on the scale you predicted. I think it would be best to take a “wait and see” approach to Airplay.

    Like

  23. SteveO@OgieNYC

    Hello Oliver,

    First.. I would like to Thank you again for all the time and effort you’ve donated to Gamergate. You and many others have laid a lot on the line by fighting a false narrative by the corrupt, unethical, colluding media.

    Second..IMHO you gotta do what you feel you have to do for you and your family. Personally I wish you wouldn’t quit. You want to take a break or scale back the GG time to recharge the batteries..No Problem..but pop in when you feel the need to comment.

    Third..I’m not sure if you know how much of an impact you’ve had on some of the younger people in GG with you’re insightful tweets. I’m not just talking Gamergate stuff…I’m talking about life experiences, overcoming adversity, ect.

    Like

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