"Gamergate is now irredeemably toxic": The top 10 takeaways from Chris Kluwe's Reddit AMA

He warns all those associated with #Gamergate to drop the hashtag immediately


Sarah Gray
October 24, 2014 12:20AM (UTC)

Earlier this week, former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe wrote an incredibly descriptive screed against Gamergaters, those affiliated with the ever-morphing Gamergate "movement." On Thursday, Kluwe elaborated on his original points in a Reddit AMA about Gamergate.

Writing as a gamer, not a football player, Chris Kluwe waded right into the middle of the Gamergate quagmire (about which you can read more here), armed with the force of colorful insults and some well-reasoned points.  Below are some of the main takeaways.

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(You can read all of his answers here and the disturbing conspiracy theories here.)

1) On women who are #Gamergaters:

"I think that they're overlooking the misogynistic core of the movement, and it's troubling. Unfortunately, I've also seen women wearing Ray Rice jerseys, so it's not unexpected. If women in Gamergate are truly serious about changing video game ethics (or whatever the goal is this week), find a new hashtag."

2) On misogyny in gaming and the coverage of #Gamergate scaring women out of the industry:

"It's a societal problem, but one that is amplified in the gaming industry. The only way to change it is to confront it and fix it."

3) On what #Gamergaters who are NOT misogynistic pigs, and really concerned about gaming journalism should do:

"Have a stated goal, a roadmap for achieving that goal, and members and leaders that can be held accountable. Otherwise, you're doomed."

And

"I think that the majority of you probably want legitimate change, but you're unwilling to take the steps to make that change because it's hard work. If you want real change, you need a real movement, with members and leaders that are accountable, and you absolutely cannot continue associating yourselves with a brand that is as toxic as Gamergate has become."

Along with

"Publishers. They're the ones that hold the power in the relationship. That's one thing I've never understood - Gamergate claims to be about ethics in journalism, but you're not going after the root of the disease, you're going after a symptom. If you were really concerned, you'd be boycotting publishers, not the people who cover them.

"That's a lot harder target though, so I'm not surprised it hasn't happened. (Also the fact that a lot of channers have a personal vendetta against Gawker is a good reason)"

4) "Are you going to answer any questions of substance without insulting someone?"

"Fuck no."

5) On nerd culture and rising above stereotypes:

"I don't see where you're coming from. I am a nerd, and have been all my life. I also happened to be good at sports, but that did not change at all who I was. (Case in point, I would read sci-fi/fantasy on the way to high school football games). The incidents you're referring to show a disdain for a very specific part of nerd culture, and it's a horrible part. We don't have to be basement dwellers. Rise above the stereotype."

6) Why #Gamergate needs a new hashtag:

"Because this 'movement' has been going on for over a month and a half, and is showing no signs of getting remotely healthy. It needs to end. It's actively doing more harm to gamers than good."

And

"I would, especially if you had a clear idea of what you wanted to accomplish and how to go about doing it. The people saying 'no new hashtags' are unwilling to accept the fact that the movement as Gamergate is now irredeemably toxic, and will not survive as it is."

7) On how to combat misogyny:

"Education is the only answer, and that takes a while. They have to start seeing the world not as just their perspective, but from other's perspectives as well, and recognize that their personal situation is not necessarily indicative of the greater whole."

8) Kluwe's ability to generate insults:

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"I try to think of words that are both vividly descriptive, and also fun to say. Mouth-feel is the cooking term, I believe. A good insult has a certain rhythm to it."

9) On actually speaking out, and a possible end to Gamergate:

"No worries. All it's going to take is a South Park episode or Daily Show bit and this idiocy will go back into the corner where it belongs."

And

"Badly. In terms of branding, the hashtag is toxic now, and it's starting to pick up steam in the mainstream media. Don't be surprised to see John Stewart, John Oliver, or Colbert rip it apart in the next couple weeks."

10) On journalism ethics -- and where to aim frustration:

"ESPN is definitely in bed with the NFL, and if you really want ethics in journalism, focusing there would be a good first step."


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

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