"Journalists! Talking about 'bad apples' in gamergate is accepting a narrative. You might as well talk about 'bad apples' in the KKK" - Graham Linehan, The IT Crowd creator

Well that's actually an interesting question. Because apologies are not necessarily about having done something "wrong."

Then what are they for? I apologized today for stepping in front of someone when we both tried to go the same way, I was wrong to step in front of them. I apologized yesterday when I spoke in class without realizing the professor was talking to the student behind me; I was wrong to interrupt that student. But I can't think of any time I've apologized without being wrong. Maybe agree to disagree, but never apologize.

You can hurt someone without intending to.

It would be wrong to do so. Apologizing for hurting someone on accident is still admitting to wrongdoing. And I would admit to wrongdoing, if any wrong had been done by those who do wrong to those who had wronged them.

Even if you do not concede that Gamergate is, effectively, a hate group--and I don't expect you to--it is undeniable that it has been used to hurt people. Just because you didn't do the hurting doesn't mean you are not, at some level, responsible. Gamergate's rhetoric has been violent and angry since the beginning. Violent and angry rhetoric in a movement leads to violent and angry behavior.

Who was hurt? Why does someone who I never met misbehaving leave me at fault? You claim it was my anger that incited them to, harsh words on the internet, I guess. But it's obvious that any of these harassers you speak of would have harassed anyways. They simply use this movement as a way to hide from responsibility for their actions.

But Gamergate has never actually apologized for its rhetoric, or for its strongarm tactics, or for assuming that something was the case before verifying that it was so. It has never apologized for, at best, giving cover to assholes. Aside from the obvious reason that "there is no leader of Gamergate," which is a fig leaf that I'll thank you not to belabor in this discussion, I think I know a big part of why that is.

Why, exactly, should I apologize? For being angry that we were slandered? For being too harsh to the people who made a concentrated effort to silence us? And what did we assume "was the case before verifying that it was so."? That video game journalism was corrupt? Sure, there was no hard proof before August 2014, but the evidence was certainty pointing in that direction. And why, exactly, should we apologize for scumbags hiding behind us like cockroaches hiding from the light? Every home may harbor a rat in the cold of winter, but that does not make the homeowner filthy.

You have convinced each other and yourselves that the only true mistake you can make is to admit you've made one. Because your narrative tells you that you are beset on all sides, admitting a mistake by apologizing for it would open you to criticism. Many of you think you are at war and talk as if you were. But you're not.

We do not apologize because we have nothing to apologize for. For all your words you have said nothing. Only vague statements. "You harbor criminals, you have wronged those who I will not name." And that's all I ever get. Accusations with no proof. Claims with no credibility. You expect me to apologize without ever saying what I have done.

Here's my idea of an apology that Gamergaters could have made, and still could make: "I am sorry that I participated in such hateful rhetoric. While my intentions were pure, I allowed my passion to overwhelm me and I used mean-spirited language and rhetoric. To whatever degree that rhetoric is responsible for the actions of some Gamergaters, I am sorry for it. It was not necessary or appropriate."

Am I being punked right now? Is this some kind of joke? I want you to call your mother, and read her what you've written. Don't give her the context, just read that verbatim.

In good faith? You almost never do. Most of the time when I argue with gators, I get talking points and sophistry, not serious engagement. I get ad hominems about srhbutts or Brianna Wu. I get people talking about Anita Sarkeesian's videos without ever having actually watched them.

Who exactly are you talking to? And how are you talking to them. If the way you speak to them is anything like how you speak to me, then I'm surprised they even gave you the time of day.

And that last one kind of cuts to the core of the whole problem. When you hear "criticism" of you or your hobby, you get defensive. That's what this whole movement is: a certain subset of gamers getting extremely defensive over pretty mild discussion of problems in the hobby. Sarkeesian didn't say all gamers are pieces of shit for playing Hitman. Zoe Quinn didn't say anyone who doesn't play Depression Quest is an asshole. Leigh Alexander didn't say everyone who plays video games is a misogynist.

Am I in crazy town? Is this opposite day?

/r/KotakuInAction Thread Link - twitter.com