#GamerGate is ostensibly about ethics in gaming journalism. It started as a gamers' protest against the gaming press' perception of having a corrupt and progressive agenda. Unfortunately, the hashtag movement has become one laden with misogyny and threats to women who want the video game industry and culture to evolve and become more inclusive and less of a boys' club.
Anita Sarkeesian is a video game critic who comments on tropes and female roles within games on Feminist Frequency. She's also one of the main targets of GamerGate. She recently had to cancel a speaking engagement at Utah State University after she received threats that there would be a mass shooting if she proceeded with her talk.
Sarkeesian appeared on The Colbert Report last night to discuss about how far GamerGate has evolved from a campaign to keep video game journalists from blurring the line between game manufacturers and producers. Colbert came at her with the fire of a thousand misogynists. "You first attacked male gamers for enjoying looking at big-breasted women with tiny armor that barely covers their nipples. What is wrong with that? I like what that looks like. I'm a man, baby. Newsflash: I like it."
Sarkeesian slowly talked Colbert off of his chauvinistic ledge. Eventually, she reached the crux of the GamerGate problem. "Ethics in journalism is not what's happening in any way. It's actually men going after women in really hostile, aggressive ways. That's what GamerGate is about. It's about is about terrorizing women for being involved in this industry, for being involved in this hobby," she explained.
After she made her case, Colbert asked, "As a man, am I allowed to be a feminist?" Sarkeesian said he can be as long as he agrees that women should have equal rights to men, and we should fight for those rights. He agreed.
That's where he lost the support of many of his fans who are also involved with the GamerGate movement. Vox posted a round-up of a few post-interview comments that appeared on Reddit and 8chan. One redditor said that "all my heroes are turning their backs on me." On 8chan, user The Leader of Gamergate noted, "And now you all see the truth about what a dipshit Colbert is."
And so, #GamerGate rages on. Watch Anita Sarkeesian's interview with Stephen Colbert below.