IGN and AV Club writer Rowan Kaiser has taken it to Twitter to attack the popular YouTuber and game personality TotalBiscuit. The big narrative is that TotalBiscuit popularized #GamerGate, actively perpetuating the false narrative that #GamerGate is purely about hating women. From Rowan’s Twitter account:
“Tot*l Biscuit is not a popular, adorably controversial figure in gaming.
He is a serial harasser who made GG (#GamerGate) mainstream.
When I was at ParadoxCon this year his name was said as someone who can sell games with mentions. I instantly felt worse about being there.
And, you know, I recognize that if your job requires selling games maybe he can be useful. But I don’t ever want to hear about him as normal”
If you’re anything like us here at Endless SOS, your first thought was probably “who the heck is Rowan Kaiser and why should I care?” to which I assure you, we’re still working on that one. However, what actually makes this news-worthy is the response from TotalBuscuit:
Listen to the audio blog. Wow.
“I’ve had about enough of this… [When I was in the hospital for cancer treatment] I had over 300 people send me tweets, many of which requested that I die, many of which hoped that the cancer would get me quicker. That’s what harassment feels like… Read that stuff from people who claim to be all about social justice… Read that from people who claim to have moral character. And then of course, for the next year, read day after day after day after day how you are a terrible piece of sub-human flesh… Have your life threatened, repeatedly. Have your wife’s life threatened. Have your child’s life threatened… Then come back to me and say with a straight face that I am a serial harasser… I’m in therapy for this stuff, it’s that bad.”
TotalBiscuit then goes on to talk about specific accusations from Rowan Kaiser and points out specifically is untrue. He distances himself from #GamerGate and “SJW’s (social justice warriors)” name-calling. The man does indeed talk about ethics in video game journalism. If you don’t think ethics in video games journalism is a problem, you’d have to be insane. TotalBiscuit does not proclaim to lead the #GamerGate movement nor does he specifically align himself with it. If in Actual Reality, #GG is about ethics in video games journalism, then they happen to be talking about the same thing, independent of each other. If #GG is about some other narrative, TotalBiscuit is still not a part of it.
TotalBiscuit goes on:
“Do you know what it is like to have everything you do scrutinized? Do you know what it’s like to have thousands of people just waiting for any little opening, just any kind of opportunity to stick one in to get their pound of flesh. Do you know what that’s like? No, you don’t know what that’s like. You have no idea. Women are not the only people harassed online. No, anyone with any modicum of fame is harassed online. Consistently. Unendingly. 24/7. It never stops. And of course, your job’s online. You can’t disconnect from it. I’m sitting here and I just want to vomit. I really do. Reading things like this. Reading attacks on my character consistently from people that should know better. People that actually have influence. People that work for websites. People that are reporters.”
He sums it up:
“When you engage in character assassination that has no basis in fact, you are a harasser.”
Couldn’t have said it any better. All sides of this and any issue need to relax with the harassing. Even when you believe you are on the side of justice, it doesn’t give you free-reign to act like a jackass. You’re still a jackass.