GameJournoPros: An alternate take on the entire debacle

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By Erwin Murillo – 22nd September 2014
GameJournoPros: An alternate take on the entire debacle
Disclaimer:
This piece is an update to my previous article on this matter, “Games Journalism: A closer look at GameJournoPros.”
Furthermore, this is in no way in support or opposition of any of the parties involved. This article is intended to simply lay out the facts as they have surfaced. It is wholly up to the reader to interpret the information as they see fit.
Lastly, this article is not representative of GamerHeadlines.com or any of its staff.

Now that Milo Yiannopoulos, editor at Breitbart.com, has published his latest article related to GamerGate and GameJournoPros, “The List: Every Journalist In The GameJournoPros Group Revealed,” gamers and GamerGate supporters around the world are clamoring for an explanation.

“Why would professional video game journalists need to establish a private mailing list in order to discuss happenings within the industry they are tasked to cover?”

No doubt a valid question, yet there has been a severe lack of response from the individuals within the GameJournoPros mailing list.

Fortunately, I have been contacted by a member of GameJournoPros by e-mail. My correspondence between the individual (who will remain anonymous until permission is given for the sake of professional courtesy) will be posted later in this article, albeit with certain parts of the messages redacted to preserve his or her anonymity.

Please keep in mind that the point of this piece is to simply show you what the “other side” thinks of the whole GameJournoPros debacle, and, as stated in the disclaimer, is not in support of or against any of the parties involved.


To preface the following, the content of the messages is indeed related to GameJournoPros, and, in the case of the anonymous journalist, attempts to give his or her perspective on the following points:

  • The existence of GameJournoPros
  • The sudden interest of Milo Yiannopoulos in GamerGate/GameJournoPros
  • “Video game/game industry news” and what that entails
  • Similar analogs to GameJournoPros (real world press clubs, et cetera)

You can see my e-mail correspondence between the anonymous member of GameJournoPros and myself below:

Note: I have boldfaced certain passages in the conversation that address the above points.


GamerGate, GameJournoPros: Another Look

Initial Contact:

“Hi, Erwin. This is [REDACTED].

You say in your article (and subsequent comments) that you need more evidence about the GameJournoPros group, but are you reaching out to anybody to try and get that info or are you just going to report on what others write about GJP?

The thumbnail is, it’s a discussion group for professionals within a job category. I’d assume there are similar discussion groups for bartenders, plumbers, etc. It’s not a “shadow government”  and we don’t plot on how we’re all going to cover a story. It’s simply a place to talk among us about our jobs. Usually it’s stuff like “when is XXX review code going to be available?” or “who do I talk to to get…” or “did you guys see this article?” or “did you hear XXX is leaving [company]?”

It just amazes me that all these people are writing about the group and indicating it’s a conspiracy without talking to any members to find out what it is. [REDACTED]. Yet, the Breitbart writer has billed me as [REDACTED] on Twitter, which has subsequently caused me to receive *a lot of harassment*. Yet no one seems to want to talk to us to clarify what we’re saying for context and follow up. (Note that the part of the GJP thread about the Quinn situation [REDACTED] is from August 19–a month ago–which is just a couple of days after the story initially broke. I, for one, wasn’t up to speed on all of the details [REDACTED], as they were still being determined.)

But the important thing is, this was just us stating our opinions on the situation, not decreeing how it should be covered. In saying what I did, I didn’t [REDACTED]–the same thing I would say if someone posted your personal information or harassed you in a forum post. Yet, somehow Yiannopoulos doesn’t mention this or contact me for comment, because it’ll take some of the wind out of his sensational story and remove his ability to make me one of the “villains” in his coverage. (Reminder: I’m a member of GJP, [REDACTED], so I have no influence or clout, and I’m not pressuring anyone. Just a guy [REDACTED] who is offering an opinion.)

Seriously, why isn’t anyone trying to get the full and *REAL* story of why GJP exists?”

My Response (#1)

“Hey [REDACTED].

First off, thanks for reaching out to me. To answer your question, I have been trying to reach out to others in regards to GJP, albeit to no avail. Why? I’m not sure.

In all honesty, I can see how GJP could just be a communal ground for innocuous gaming-related events as you suggest in the second paragraph of your e-mail. However, in the wake of current happenings in the gaming industry, specifically “games journalism,” it doesn’t paint many that have been called out in the best light (to say the least.)

I do understand your perspective, and am glad to hear a more grounded response to the situation.

If you don’t mind, could I quote various portions of your email for a future article I might possibly write? If not, I understand, but it would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you have any other information you would like to share, I would love to hear it.

Once again, thanks for the enlightening information.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Have a good one”

Their Response:

[REDACTED].

 “When Yiannopoulos tweets [REDACTED] it gives no context. To most of the people reading it (judging by the tweets I’ve received as reply to that), people think I just want to censor everyone/everything. Without context, there’s no perspective that this is in response to Escapist’s EIC talking about a forum thread on his site of people talking about Zoe Quinn and her sex life–which was made public by an ex-boyfriend, which is not only a shitty thing to do to someone, but might be illegal (and I believe that time of those forum posts, still not necessarily authenticated.

 My take on it is simple: Someone’s sex life isn’t game industry news. It’s potentially news that she slept with a writer, but probably only if there’s definitive bias shown and no one has done that. There’s lots of “he slept with her and he’s a writer, so there must be more to it.” To me (and on any forum that I’ve been a part of), there are always rules of the road, and one basic one is smearing someone or talking about their personal details is off-limits. Just because she’s in the industry and someone else made this stuff public doesn’t open the door (IMO) to the public discussing who this girl slept with. So, my statement above was made with that mindset–I don’t think Escapist should allow what is clearly gossip and likely harassment (albeit indirect, but still private details being discussed publicly) to be posted to their forums. It’s irresponsible and grimy.

 Now, if you think Zoe’s sex life is news, then we’ll have to agree to disagree, but I don’t see how this affects readers and games. It’s just gossip, not game journalism. And that’s the basis of what I was saying. Again, GJP is just a message board/e-mail digest, so none of this is people pressuring anyone. If stating opinions on where the line is, is pressure, then we’re guilty, and if saying a forum shouldn’t have this content is censorship and “Orwellian,” then we’re guilty. But it’s not. It’s just stating opinion. I don’t think Escapist did anything more than what Tito said, which was that they were heavily moderating the thread (IMO, still not enough by the peek I just took at it), so they weren’t swayed by our discussion; and I don’t think anyone wrote about it, so this conversation wasn’t “outed,” so to speak, until Yiannopoulos wrote about it the other day.

 So, with all that said and with the context I just offered, I’m curious why you think “it doesn’t paint many that have been called out in the best light (to say the least.)” I see it as discussion (sometimes heated, sometimes passionate) about where the journalistic line is in covering a topic like this. Some don’t think it’s news and vehemently state it; others felt it is news (or at least worthy of making money on clicks), so they want to “cover” it and allow their community to talk about it. I don’t see it as “doesn’t paint many…in the best light,” except when it’s provided out of context and without contacting people for comment. To do that, Yiannopoulos would risk ruining his ravaging the pro games press and call for “reform.”

 I’m sorry, press clubs have existed for years, and GJP is a virtual version of that. Add to it that there’s camaraderie between many of us doing the same thing–and a certain amount of “cooperation.” Importantly, to qualify that last word , the cooperation is along the lines of someone asking “hey, when does this game come out” or “did anyone get review copies yet” or “what time does the XXX event start,” there’s usually shared conversation about that. Not collusion on how to cover the same story, as has been insinuated; the Zoe Quinn thread Yiannopoulos posted is not “groupthink” on how to cover the story, but honest debate on where lines are and how certain outlets are covering it…which I think it 100x more responsible journalism than posting a *private* forum’s thread with e-mail addresses and phone numbers., and not requesting comment from those being written about.

 Look, these two Yiannopoulos pieces and all the tweets around it are clearly hit pieces meant to embarrass and discredit people in GJP…and personally I think it’s Yiannopoulos’ intent to see-saw us–knock us down so that he rises as “the credible voice in game journalism.” He’s baiting people, not offering rebuttal comment and in general finding ways to bring it back around to being about him. The Wikipedia page about him shows lots of attacking, hit-style press and conduct by him; and when you see an article he’s posted called “Why Men Cheat WITH Me, But Not on Me,” it’s clear a lot of his “journalism” will have a portion that’s centered around him. Seriously, is this someone who’s objective, when he said that he’s just “taking down the bad guys” and retweets this image with “I endorse this message”?

  https://twitter.com/Nero/status/512738073080131584

It’s 4:30am here, so I’m out. Please…look this over with an open mind and seriously tell me, how did we paint ourselves in a bad light–especially when this guy is the “reporter.”

BTW, if you haven’t already, you should read every single word–maybe twice–of this article Kyle Orland, who started GJP, wrote about the group. It’s a much clearer representation than I’ve given from the guy who started it. It’s not covering up or ducking anything; it’s spelling out in every detail what the group was for and how it’s actually helped how some of these writers/editors cover the industry and deal with issues of being journalists within the game industry.”

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/addressing-allegations-of-collusion-among-gaming-journalists/

My Response (#2)

“Sorry it’s taken me so long to respond. One question though, why are you reaching out to me? I am but a lowly staff writer/editor for an up and coming gaming news site.

I do however understand all your points. And yes, I have read Mr. Orland’s piece. I’m really tempted to write an article that points out the logic and rationale from the opposing side of the whole GJP debacle.

Would you mind if I named you as an anonymous source in that, I wouldn’t give a name, unless you give me permission to do so (out of professional courtesy).

Keep in mind that I’m not for or against either side, I try to stay as objective as possible, but it’s hard to do so.

Also, as for the “painting in a bad light” topic. It’s not so much the actual correspondence between game journos, but the environment and circumstances this whole situation has churned up.

Look forward to hearing back from you.

Have a good one”

End of E-mails (As of this writing)


Author’s Take:

Now that you’ve seen and read the e-mails above, what are your thoughts on the GameJouroPros member’s point of view?

Honestly, I’ve said as much as I can say about GamerGate and GameJournoPros without breaching objectivity (to the best of my ability).

If you’re really interested in what I have to say in regards to this situation, you can read my previous articles on the subject(s) here (I’ve exceeded my link limit, this is the link to my Author page. You can find my GamerGate and GameJournoPros articles there if you look for them).

I understand that the fact that I “REDACTED” some information may be a cause of concern in regards to the validity of the e-mails, but I can assure you that they are real.

I am also aware of the fact that this article may give off the impression that I am taking the side of those that are part of the GameJournoPros mailing list. Let me state, for the record, that I am not. I am merely revealing this information to you to invite constructive, sensible discussion on the topic. It’s not anti-anything, it’s not pro-anything. It is simply, “Look at this, what do you think about it?”

With that said, I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and opinions on this matter.

As always, I’m sticking to my guns, and being as transparent, honest, and ethical as possible. Please keep that in mind. I have, however, donned my flame armor for the possibility of trolls.

Let it begin.



Erwin Murillo

Erwin Murillo is a graduate of Union University. He has a Bachelor's of Science degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Exercise Science and Wellness/Sports Medicine, and is currently enrolled at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center's Occupational Therapy Program. As buff as he is nerdy, you can find him either throwing around iron in the gym, or working on his latest video game article...sometimes both. Follow him on Twitter @DesertFoxJr or email him at [email protected].

  • Falcus

    Although most of those mails were innocuous, there are 2 emails specifically worrying:
    1) The Polygon guy ACTIVELY PUSHING others to take Zoe’s defense, while also SHAMING whoever disagreed (which thankfully most did).
    2) That guy who said having sex with PR people as a journo is normal.

    If you see nothing wrong with the above, you are dirty as mud.

    • Yes, those two emails (and the associated subtext contained within) are indeed questionable. Objectionable even.

      However, this article is geared more towards the reasons for the group’s existence, not those specific e-mails.

      • duc748s

        It really doesn’t matter “why” it existed/was created; it could have been with the greatest of intentions. The issue is what it is NOW.

        I am kind of disturbed that a private group list of ‘competing’ bloggers are regularly in contact with each other discussing business. If I was a Managing Editor/owner of a Blog/news site I would never have my staff consulting with other sites about stories, reviews, etc.. I mean isn’t the purpose of the site to make money (click/read articles). Why would I have my staff possible discuss content to have another site beat me to the punch and lose money? I guess there is no completion between these sites?

        Been reading this site for a few weeks, haven’t registered yet, thanks for the neutral stance and quality articles. As an older gamer (40’s) I am tired of all the political crap in my games and news. I just want to play games!

        • xy

          peers in all career paths talk to each other, doesn’t mean they’re giving scoops to their competitors.

        • Glad you enjoy the site : )

          As for the reasoning behind the group: The only logical explanation I can come up with is to establish accurate information. Or verify certain dates (releases, demos, review code, etc)

  • Jorge Cervera

    Men, this guys do not learn.

    • Again, possibly true. What do you think of everything else that was said?

      • raze2012

        despite being a new email, nothing in it felt new. It;’s like he took every anti-GG statement in the net and made a email collage.

        Thanks for the update. They appear to not be open to discussion, but at least we know how steadfast they are about staying in August 19.

  • Kat

    Well usually the existence of press clubs are public knowledge.

  • JohnnyAppleseed

    What most people probably don’t take from all this scandal is the impact it will have on upcoming game developers. I’ve been studying game development for years and did homebrew development for twice as long. This whole thing has really made me question my career choice and If I want to continue pursuing game development. These people will have a large hand in my future success and I’m really not ok with that. I can only imagine I’m not alone in feeling this way.

    • From a game dev perspective, I can totally see the reasoning behind your caution.

      • Mr0303

        Hi Erwin,

        A quick unrelated question – I’m getting “Hold on, this is waiting to be approved by Gamer Headlines.” when I try to post my comment. Are there some sort of limitations when posting?

        • I have no idea. I thnk the Disqus system has a filter that deems comments need approval if they have curse words or something like that. Will check on the tech end of things. Sorry for the inconvenience.

          • Mr0303

            Thanks for the reply. I wrote a couple of paragraphs and then it simply didn’t allow me to post them. (No swears or anything).

    • SoundMatch

      Its okay dude, I’m in the process of compiling a list of Game journalism websites I can trust. I’d say try and use them, you don’t have to roll with everyone it’s good in some cases to be selective.

      Word of mouth is a good way to get your games sold. More and more people are gonna be aware so hang in there! In the end good games have always sold themselves!

      Hopefully we can make them too!

    • ZackRoyer

      Me too, I don’t want to be censored by some kind of “elite” that think they can think for all people. I want to make games like Postal 2 and say “f-word the world!”. Sadly I don’t have money to hold the sues…

      Still, I want to make my games, or work with other developers, to make games that are only restricted by our imagination, not some a-ss-genda from a prick.

  • Diamond Doges

    We really don’t care why it exists. Our interest is in seeing its members either producing something of value which serves our interests or being unemployed.

    Vives gladio, gladio morietur.

  • TheWastelander

    I read the full discussion they were having on Milo’s blog and there was one guy who was all for freedom of discussion, a host of others mildly against it, and one who tried to intimidate the rest of them into censoring their sites.

    It is obvious to me that this guy was for censorship of it to protect Zoe Quinn. The two are SJWs and he doesn’t like to see a comrade being ripped into. The fact that he thinks what Eron posted might be illegal seems to be an attempt by him to ease his cognitive dissonance. He knows it’s newsworthy given all her connections to the game industry and press but he wants to find any reason he can to censor discussion of it and Gamergate in general because she’s on his team and part of his religion.

  • Guest

    “Now, if you think Zoe’s sex life is news, then we’ll have
    to agree to disagree, but I don’t see how this affects readers and
    games. It’s just gossip, not game journalism. And that’s the basis of what I was saying.”

    This is an unacceptable answer from various sites (maybe even this guy) who have had no problem writing about this topic before.

    “It just amazes me that all these people are writing about the group
    and indicating it’s a conspiracy without talking to any members to find
    out what it is.”

    How about, oh I don’t know, write something clarifying yourself. Instead of, oh I don’t know, Gamers are Dead.

    Its just huge double standards. They write about false rape accusations, but not inter-industry entanglements. Then generalize gamers and wish to not be generalized in return.

    Protip: You have a platform to make the first step, why not do it instead of waiting for every person to ask for clarification?

    • Good points that are directed more towards Stephen Totilo rather than my source. But good points, nonetheless : )

    • zillk242

      it is weird he needs to be reminded. her sex life becomes news when she has relationships with journalist who endorse her patreon. just like the health inspector’s relationships become news if they were to sleep with restaurant owners, or the politicians with the secretary, or the government watchdog with the ceo, I personally don’t really care about that stage of the story anymore, but I don’t see why this has to be such a thing when we could discuss something like the affairs of General Petraeus without issue and as you’ve pointed out these sites have covered sex scandals before.

    • d0x360

      Zoey quinns private dealings were off limits but when there was scandal with male subjects they had zero issue with reporting on these personal matters. Even ones without merit.

  • Totheendofsin

    I have a few questions I would like to ask him, whether or not he answers is obviously up to him.

    1: What is the reasoning for there being non journalists in the group, such as the chairman of the IGF, or the “digital marketing guy’ at Ubisoft? In my opinion if they were at one point journalists they should have been removed from the group as soon as that was no longer the case.

    2: Why is it that people who honestly want to see game journalism inprove are lumped in with the people who are doxxing and harassing? (as a follow up, why is the media silent on the doxxing and harassing going on toward #gamergate supporters especially when most of the supporters being threatened are themselves female)

    3: Why was #gamergate blamed for the death threats against Anita Sarkeesian when there was nothing linking the two and AS has mostly stayed out of this?

    4: What is your opinion on the fact that there are devs and journalists who support Gamergate, but are afraid for their jobs if they speak out? in my opinion the fact that they are afraid to voice an opinion contrary to those many in the gaming media share is symptomatic of a huge problem in the gaming industry, whether intentionally or not you and your colleagues have created an atmosphere of fear in the industry, that needs to be fixed

    • I’ll try and get him to answer your questions in an update. Good questions though.

      • Totheendofsin

        Thank you

  • xy

    i really don’t think we should pay much attention to someone that writes for Brietbart. he’s just a shit-stirrer working for a shit-stirrer website.

    this gamejournopro group probably should be a public entity, like press clubs, to prevent charges of conspiracy.

    • Totheendofsin

      I think so long as his claims pan out (and so far they have) he should be listened to

      • xy

        i’m not saying ignore him completely. his facts might be right but any conclusion this guy jumps to is only for his own benefit and not to make anything else better.

        • Totheendofsin

          Fair enough, I misunderstood your post I guess xP

    • I don’t know much about Breitbart, although I’ve seen them called the “Kotaku of news.”

      Agreed, it should definitely be public. Even a public forum thread or something along those lines. As long as people could see the conversations.

      • Kain Yusanagi

        Here’s the thing: There’s already a public fora for writers and journalists to meet and discuss things like this on.

    • Thanatos2k

      You can ignore his spin on it, but you cannot ignore his evidence.

      • xy

        yes, that was what i was poorly trying to say. he may have the correct facts but any opinion from Breitbart can safely be ignored as sensational bullshit.

  • d0x360

    Here’s part of the issue. They were asked about such a list. They denied it. Once nws of that list broke and they couldn’t deny it they tried the narrative that the list isn’t bad or used for collusion.

    Well..why should we believe them? They started off denying its existence, they were caught and now they are claiming something else.

  • Dat one guy

    I’m still waiting for an explanation for the “lets pitch in and buy zoey a gift” thing. To even know someone SUGGESTED it, is ridiculous.

    • Yeah, that was probably the moment lines were crossed in terms of professional ethics.

      • Kain Yusanagi

        If not long, long before in all these four years it’s existed.

  • Nick Kamoen

    In saying what I did, I didn’t “pressure” [REDACTED] to remove the thread, as has been stated; I just said that I thought a forum thread about someone’s personal life was improper–the same thing I would say if someone posted your personal information or harassed you in a forum post

    This quote reveals the source to any who read the full logs of released emails.

    • Dat one guy

      lol its pretty damn obvious who the guy is imho

      • Nick Kamoen

        And that person is the worst of all.

    • Thanks for the heads up.

  • Thanatos2k

    See, the thing is – the mailing list COULD have been just a place for them to discuss random things and collaborate ETHICALLY on news.

    However, it never works out that way, does it? The biggest douches with the biggest opinions will quickly take command and start forcing their opinions on others. And that’s exactly what happened.

    Now with the “important” people pushing a narrative suddenly the other people won’t speak out, either because the douches will always respond violently (read: Ben Kuchera) and then they’ll have to defend themselves and they don’t want to go through that effort for no reason, or because they’re afraid the douches will damage their reputations.

    • GJP members’ response to the entire fiasco could have been handled with a bit more finesse, no doubt.

  • Thanatos2k

    “Someone’s sex life isn’t game industry news”

    *Runs articles about Max Temkin*

    • I lol’d. Hard.

    • Kain Yusanagi

      And what about Brad Wardell?

  • Ajt

    They based this thing on “Journolist” while watching that object go down in flames, destroy careers and become a “what not to do” ethics lecture in every School of Journalism in the world!?! And yet “oh it’s just a job related message board” no! No it’s not! In fact the introductory e-mail makes clear that it was inspired by Journolist without actually taking any lessons for it. It’s not a conspiracy, it is stupidity. It became civilly actionable conspiracy when an editor from Polygon used it in an attempt to intimidate an editor from a directly competing business to alter censor or remove content from his competing business in order to protect an individual that the Polygon editor had a direct unrevealed financial interest in. The list might have been created for innocent purposes but Kuchera and Orland clearly crossed the line. The reason the list itself is unethical is because it is frightfully easy to cross that line either accidentally, out of passion or with malicious intent. Journalism and Jurisprudence both operate under avoiding the appearence of conflict or inappropriate action. They are meant to be truth finders. The appearenes can distort the truth. So practioners of these professions must take greater steps than normal everyday workers to remain clear of conflicts of interest. This is part of the job. This is core to the job. Knowing this sort of thing is what steppe rates an undergraduate English major from someone trained as a Journalist or a Business major.

    • Thanatos2k

      That’s really it isn’t it. Even if there’s no corruption going on these people are the absolute worst at making it seem like there’s corruption going on. They tweet pictures of themselves at bars with each other mocking people who think they’re corrupt. They deny collaborating with each other then when it’s proven they are they try to play it off like “Oh that’s no big deal.” Every tweet they make insulting someone is preserved forever.

      How blind can you be? Do you not see how utterly stupid you appear? YOU HAVE LOST THE PUBLIC RELATIONS WAR.

    • Ørjan Kristoffersen

      That is actually one of the points in this that I also find highly disturbing. Kyle Orland himself has stated that he modelled the group on the infamous “JournoList”.

      Now, you can call the list whatever you want, and find it as innocuous as you want, but when your “inspiration” is known to have cost people their jobs becuase it was NOT OKAY, shouldn’t the warning lights start flashing somewhere?

      Now, I get that many of them were in tough positions when the whole ZQ thing broke, because they knew her personally, but there can be no doubt that they handled it in almost the worst thinkable way.

  • epy

    Too bad the whole “Death of the Gamer” coordinated smear campaign has not been adressed. I’m trying to be neutral, but these people don’t look good.

  • Mega24

    This is more deeper than anyone thinks it is. But you know, “Gamers are dead” so we don’t speak. Like a cyber group says; We do not Forgive, We do not Forget.

    • Gamers are definitely not dead : )

      • Mega24

        I know we aren’t, I’m just letting them believe we are. They wont expect a comeback.

  • “When Yiannopoulos tweets [REDACTED] it gives no context”

    What about when he released the entire discussion, and it was even worse in context?

    “Zoe Quinn and her sex life–which was made public by an ex-boyfriend, which is not only a shitty thing to do to someone, but might be illegal (and I believe that time of those forum posts, still not necessarily authenticated.”

    How is it not authenticated Zoe, herself confirmed it. It’s not illegal either. Also her cheating on her boyfriend with 5 people wasn’t shitty? Why defend her but not him?

    After those lines of bs, I found it to hard to continue. This is blatant attempt at forcing the narrative back onto the zoe shit. When the movement left that behind so long ago.

    • I’m sorry you found it hard to read on. It’s not my intention to bring back up any of the Quinn stuff. Those are the GameJournoPros member’s words. Just presenting them to readers.

      • Skiddywinks

        Don’t worry man, I don’t think that was in any way a criticism of you. In fact, I respect you making sure someone else’s point of view was made clear. I think Therandus is getting frustrated with the insistence from GJP peoples saying there is nothing wrong with this behaviour.

        • I know, I just don’t want anyone to think I’m taking a side by writing this piece. Thanks though : ). Frustration is understandable because of this whole situation. It’s an odd one for sure, but probably necessary.

          • FightTheGoodFight

            Erwin, I loved your response: “Why are you reaching out to me?”. It’s a question worth asking. If none of this is as big an issue as Milo has proven it is, why should this GJP member be concerned at all with how it’s covered? Something smells fishy.

          • Cadmus14

            It’s because there is a blacklist of websites among GamerGate supporters, and a whitelist of other smaller and overlooked blogs for people to look to for gaming news and more balanced coverage of the controversy. I have no doubt the source knows this. Erwin and GamerHeadlines has been critical somewhat of the larger sites involved in the scandal, but has been pretty even handed and fair, in my opinion, and mostly seems to stick to facts while not avoiding the story. I dare say he has served both the community and his site well, and the source thought they could possibly get a fair minded person to listen. I also suspect the source is seeing both their site traffic and PR take an unhealthy beating, while GameTrailer’s traffic and reputation are growing, from both bring on the whitelist and also just good writing and coverage.

          • FightTheGoodFight

            Seems more to me like damage control on the source’s part, rather than attempting to reach out to a fair-minded person.

          • Cadmus14

            I agree damage control on the source’s part, but why to Erwin and GamerHeadlines? As he asks “Why me?” Notice Erwin cuts himself short in this article before sliding into editorializing. Other outlets might butcher the quotes, say this is obvious crap, and leave not so subtle hints as to who most of us expect the source is, and pander to GamerGate in order to rake in the clicks fueled by righteous anger. But, in my opinion, that’s not really what people want from the smaller sites, and ironically a fair mind and lack of editorializing is what the source needs right now. These other sites are not dumb, just arrogant and hypocritical. I think they knew Erwin has the ear of their opposition, but would do the right thing and more or less stick to the facts, and I’m glad he did. Not that it will do the source much good I’m afraid.

          • FightTheGoodFight

            I’m glad he did, too. Erwin has impressed with his objectivity throughout this whole thing.

          • Once again, thanks for the love. In all honesty, I’m glad to have y’all here on the site.

            From my perspective, I don’t cater to readers per se, because I am a reader myself, we’re all on an equal level. I learn so much from other writers on GH, possibly even more from the comments sections on those articles. Ultimately, I’m just a gamer with something to say about what we all love…video games.

          • Thanks for the support. I try to write what I would want to read, and as a lifelong gamer in the midst of this situation, I attempt to do my best to achieve that goal. I respect the fact the my source did in fact contact me, which shows a semblance of a pro-active stance, which is more than what some others in GJP have been doing.

          • Once again, another possibility. Hopefully it’s the fair-minded person route, haha.

          • That may be a factor. Yes, GH writers have done their best to stay fair in terms of this situation, and I’m glad that it shows. Traffic to bigger sites have seen a great decline (check out gamasutra’s alexa rating), which may also be a reason.

          • Haha, glad you liked it. I did find it odd, however my source gave me indication that they would like to establish a dialog between them and upcoming gaming sites like GH. Interesting to say the least.

          • It’s all good, it wasn’t about taking sides, I’m just sick of the Rhetoric, the journalists in this debacle throw around, and the second email was so full of it, I just got so filled with anger.

            Keep on updating this stuff, and don’t ever take a side! I trust your stuff because you don’t force your opinions, or beliefs in your articles.

          • I definitely understand.

            I will. I’m actually trying to set up a full-fledged interview, so that may lead to more detailed info.

          • Awesome, can’t wait to see it, if you can get it set up!

      • It was only hard to read because I am just infuriated with the way they think this is going down. To see the justifications this person tried to make just made my blood boil.

        I’m sorry if it came about like I was talking about your writing. I actually like your writing style, and all the articles I’ve seen you write so far. It’s just the journalists attempting to bring it back to Zoe Quinn, right away that bothered me. I did continue after that though, and your response was fantastic.

  • UpperCaseT

    I dont think anyone has a problem with a professional forum for people in a specific industry to discuss industry related subjects.

    The problem is that it becomes impossible deny some sort of shadowy influence deciding what gets published when all the major outlets decide to say the same things all at once. I can’t imagine any group of individuals that thought the exact same thing at the exact same time (or close to it) without some sort of influence over them.

    And no, Zoe Quinn’s sex life is not newsworthy, but the things that have discovered as a result of it being exposed are. No one pays much attention to most of what tabloid writers say, that is until they come up with evidence of something hige that either no one saw coming or that everyone saw.coming but could prove.
    That’s when sensationalism becomes news, and that’s why shit disturbers still exist.

    Becomes sometimes beneath the shit, there’s some real dirt.

  • Jake

    Boy o’ Boy
    “The thumbnail is, it’s a discussion group for professionals within a job category”

    The title or ‘original’ intent of this doesn’t really mean anything..

    “It’s not a “shadow government” and we don’t plot on how we’re all going to cover a story.”

    Aside from the fact that in the excerpt of that email, thats precisely what they decided to do, with one journalist actually saying they don’t think thats a good idea..

    ” It’s simply a place to talk among us about our jobs. Usually it’s stuff like “when is XXX review code going to be available?” or “who do I talk to to get…” or “did you guys see this article?” or “did you hear XXX is leaving [company]?””

    Yes I am sure that was what it was intended for, there are no issues with that on my behalf.But unfortunately it could be used to do exactly what they used it to do..

    “It just amazes me that all these people are writing about the group and indicating it’s a conspiracy without talking to any members to find out what it is.”

    That does suck a lot… I wish we had gaming journalist that would actually inquire on what it actually is .. oh wait..Its not our job, we aren’t reporters.I do admit that Milo should have inquired a bit more afterwards, but I feel like it is up to the people in question to come out tell us precisely what this is and I commend you for doing so.

    “But the important thing is, this was just us stating our opinions on the situation, not decreeing how it should be covered.”

    But the actions of the sites in question did exactly what they said they would do in those emails..

    I completely understand about not wanting write about Zow and her sex life.But there are A LOT of ways they could have responded to it without even mentioning her name or the person she had an affair with, or the fact that they even had sex, by saying “We are aware of the claims of conflict of interest and we will look into it”.Instead they decided to get offended and tell gamers how much they are misogynist and are irrelevant to ..gaming.

    Then when that blew up in their faces, Kotaku decided to then acknowledge it by not actually acknowledging it ( am I the only one who realize no one claimed Arnot reviewed or wrote articles about her, but the concern was more so giving her exposure behind the scenes? was that not reason for all of the connections between various indie devs and journalist?) while still telling gamers they horrible people ( by still linking the gamers are misogynist and dead articles).With polygon response being laughable itself considering Ben said from now on, they will disclose personal relationships without actually disclosing that he is close with Zoe in that article..

    The reality of the situation is,

    -They are friends with zoe ( the people in question of course not everyone in GJP) and they wanted to defend her no matter what.

    -Then got offended by the gamers and various other personalities for calling them out.

    -Then decided to try to shame us, by using Anita’s threat and harassment over twitter by trolls and fake accounts as a key point while still throwing jabs about people attacking their friend ( bb but I thought you guys didn’t want to write about her?) within those articles.

    -The article garner lots of negative attention from the only people they care about. the Sponsors.

    – Kotaku, & polygon backtrack by acknowledging while not acknowledging, then dismissed everything as conspiracy..

    -Then the emails leaked and proved it wasn’t conspiracy..

    Now we are here, full denial mode engaged. Deflect blame- to Milo for being generally douchy and cynical about the whole thing, and to people not being journalist and asking journalist what the hell is this- mode engaged. Full ‘ I do nothing wrong stop attacking and harassing me’ mode engaged.

    tl:dr
    Play victim is solution.Play victim is love.

  • CarbonRevenge

    “It’s irresponsible and grimy.”

    Anonymous member of GJP talks about irresponsibility like they are the most responsible people. Ha. I had a laugh.

  • kirakila

    Could you please ask this person about simultaneous releases of the articles with exactly same narrative like “Gamers are Dead” and bashing Sommers as conservative critic from the members of the list. Just really curious what he/she has to say.

  • Billy the Squid

    I’d say they’re implementing damage control. They know their backs are against the wall at this point and what they’re now trying to do is go to publications which are ruining this and trying to lock it down. Notice how many of those publications have remained quiet on these topics?

    I’ve gone through the bolded points, and none of them bear up to any kind of scrutiny, I’d be inclined to believe that he’s lying or trying to regain control of the narrative which doesn’t show them to be hypocrites.

    “It’s not a “shadow government” and we don’t plot on how we’re all going to cover a story”

    Well the Emails from August between Kechura and Orland show differently when they’re colluding how to shut down the criticism aimed at the publications and how they’ll respond. It actually gives the context that these people so crave to the 12 articles claiming that gamers are dead, it’s fairly obvious how that was organised.

    “caused me to receive a lot of harassment”
    ie: people are criticizing me and I don’t like it.

    “this was just us stating our opinions on the situation, not decreeing how it should be covered”

    Yes it was, we’ve seen the emails between several stating how they wanted to act in response to direct the narrative.

    “Seriously, why isn’t anyone trying to get the full and *REAL* story of why GJP exists?”

    Well, no one wanted to get the real story as to why GG and NYS started, so why should we care? It’s apparent now that when the shoe is on the other foot, it’s not nice and they’re throwing a hissy fit.

    Email~2

    “My take on it is simple: Someone’s sex life isn’t game industry news. It’s potentially news that she slept with a writer, but probably only if there’s definitive bias shown and no one has done that.”

    Yes there is, we know via Stephen Totilo that this was going on and the positive coverage was given, it’s now expanded far beyond what’s her name to involve other people and Patreon. He’s lying to obfuscate the issue, call him on it.

    “It’s just gossip, not game journalism. And that’s the basis of what I was saying. Again, GJP is just a message board/e-mail digest, so none of this is people pressuring anyone. If stating opinions on where the line is, is pressure, then we’re guilty, and if saying a forum shouldn’t have this content is censorship and “Orwellian,” then we’re guilty. But it’s not. It’s just stating”

    That didn’t stop them dragging Brad Wardell, Max Temkin, Florence, Jaffee and other men’s names through the mud when it suited their agenda or create click bait traffic. He’s a hypocrite and he’s lying again.

    “I see it as discussion (sometimes heated, sometimes passionate) about where the journalistic line is in covering a topic like this. Some don’t think it’s news and vehemently state it; others felt it is news (or at least worthy of making money on clicks), so they want to “cover” it and allow their community to talk about it.”

    There has been no discussion as they’ve not reported on any of it, and only done so in a way that furthers their own narrative, in addition most of the forums are heavily censored. They don’t want a discussion they want a discussion in which they control what is and is not said. Which is why they’re now contacting you to get you to re write parts of the article or publish an additional follow up.

    “Importantly, to qualify that last word , the cooperation is along the lines of someone asking “hey, when does this game come out” or “did anyone get review copies yet” or “what time does the XXX event start,” there’s usually shared conversation about that. Not collusion on how to cover the same story, as has been insinuated”

    No, he’s lying. we’ve seen the push to cover this in a specific way and people trying to shut down discussion by telling Tito from the Escapist that discussions on the forum should be deleted.

    “Look, these two Yiannopoulos pieces and all the tweets around it are clearly hit pieces meant to embarrass and discredit people in GJP…and personally I think it’s Yiannopoulos’ intent to see-saw us–knock us down so that he rises as “the credible voice in game journalism.” He’s baiting people, not offering rebuttal comment and in general finding ways to bring it back around to being about”

    As opposed to the articles which were published in August calling gamers misogynists? Attacking and calling Devs sexist? Like the Dev of Dragon’s Crown, Divinity Original Sin, accusing Wardell of sexual assault. Claiming he shouldn’t deny it, but ask how it makes the accuser feel? These articles are all online, for people to check. And yet Milo is baiting? Wow, what a hypocrite.

    “Arstechinca”
    Orland, the editor who approved the gamers are dead articles and is colluding with Kuchera to shut down discussion in the emails. Because he is clearly a credible source and beyond reproach when it comes to writing about the topic.

  • SoundMatch

    I seriously don’t know who to trust anymore.. BUT at least I have this site and SIliconera! Thanks for the good work Erwin!

  • bird_of_yellow

    Yawn. Or we could just all get on with playing games…

    • Billy the Squid

      Shame they weren’t interested in that, rather they were more interested in telling us how we’re all sexist bastards, how women are victims, how we’re all trolls and should be ashamed for criticizing feminists or disagreeing with their holier than thou art articles is heresy.

      So no, we can’t because they’ve been more interested in slinging shit at us for the last 2 years.

      • bird_of_yellow

        1. They do have a point. Women tend to be portrayed in ways that are much more limiting than men are in the media.
        2. From what I’ve seen, people tend to use the internet for more than just criticizing a female journalist’s point of view. Usually, a female journalist writes a piece that goes against common consensus and her social media feeds fill up with threats of rape, violence and hate.
        3. Saying that you can’t move on from someone else’s criticism simply because they criticized you is one of the most childish things I’ve heard in a long time.

        • Billy the Squid

          1) No they’re not.

          2) As opposed to abuse and harassment that is never targeted at anyone who says something stupid or that someone just disagrees with.

          3)Why should we, they’ve not done anything to remedy this, only sling more insults and entrench themselves.

          Are you a shill? You sound like a shill.

          • JohnnyAppleseed

            Don’t become their cannon fodder. Set a better example.

          • bird_of_yellow

            1. Yes they are. How many female characters could you think of who could stand apart from the worlds created for their male counterparts? Most women characters are relegated to the role of sidekick or love interest, rather than beig actual participants in whatever events are going on in heir fictional worlds.
            2. Verbal abuse toward someone who has an ill-formed or uninformed opinion is bad enough. What I was talking about goes way beyond even that. Any journalist who writes about any aspect of pop culture who disagrees with the “common” consensus is bound to face some kind of extremely vocal opposition. If that person just happens to also be a women, the abuse gets taken to another level. I’m talking about threats of murder, rape and torture. That’s just plainly and simply unacceptable.
            3. Again with the childish response of “they did this, so I’m not going to do that”. You’ll find life a lot easier to handle if you realise that the people in question aren’t the ones being affected by your inability to accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, you could put some thought into some serious issues without dismissing an opinion immediately just because it’s different to your own.

            By definition, the actions and words of a “shill” are dishonest. How is it that any part of what I’ve said could be construed as being dishonest? All I’m doing is pointing out that by refusing to engage with a topic solely because someone else thinks differently about it just manages to prove the other side right – there are important issues that need to be discussed, and yet the short sighted and the small minded refuse to accept that there may be multiple sides to any complex issue.

  • Subjective

    I feel like there’s an elephant in the room that hasn’t been addressed, and I’m very curious what your contact would have to say about it:
    If the GameJournosPro group really is what they claim it is, why is it that writers for smaller websites, notably Gamer Headlines, have not been invited into it yet? How does it make sense, if they have nothing to hide, that this contact sends emails to defend the group, rather than inviting a fellow game journalist to join it? If they really seek to discuss and help each other about their profession, shouldn’t they seek, or at least make themselves known to smaller websites, trying to help them flourish?
    Of course, I don’t know what their criteria for entry are (or if they have any), but they have to realize that by defending the group that way (rather than opening it to all, or at the very least to select neutral parties), they are basically doing precisely what #gamergate criticizes them for: being a closed, tightly knit clique that prioritize each other rather than their readership.

    • That’s actually a fairly good point. I would actually ask to join the group if not for the backlash I might get were Milo to release another article on it, hahaha.

      Kyle Orland actually addresses the criteria to get in. To paraphrase, it just has to be someone who makes all, or part of their income writing about games. I fit the bill…hmm.

      • JohnnyAppleseed

        Should ask to join just to see what they say and then decline if they actually do say yes. Really doubt they’ll let someone in who writes for one of the GamerGate whitelist sites however.

        • That’s probably true, but imagine what I could unfold with that info, haha. I’m just messing.

  • EVERYONE: I thnk the Disqus system has a filter that deems comments need approval if they have curse words or something like that. It may be a system hiccup. Will check on the tech end of things. Sorry for the inconvenience. Rest assured we’re not trying to censor what you say, it’s probably something to do with our comment system.

    UPDATE: Never mind, comments that have links in them need to be approved due to spam, otherwise the comments section would be full of links to phishing and/or Viagra ads. Other than that, everything should be fine. Sorry for the inconvience, friends.

  • Erthwjim

    Late to the game on this article and didn’t read all the comments here, but you should have asked about all the gamers are dead articles coming out at the same time. If they aren’t “plotting on how they’re going to cover a story,” how did those articles all come out on the same day? Mere coincidence seems like it would be stretching it.

    They may voice opinions to each other, and that’s fine, but well known journalists opinions have more weight than less well known journalists, that’s just the nature of peers. If someone has been in the industry longer and is considered successful by industry standards you look to them for advice. I think the best thing these journalists that worked for more well known sites could have done was said, you can do it this way or this way, give an A or a B, not just an A, they should have been more careful in what they said because of their notoriety, especially when it came to possible politically charged issues.

    Also I think you could have asked this person what he thought of GPJ being modeled after JournoList? A list that was known to suppress news if it was harmful to their narrative. Obviously not everyone would know about that list, and some people might actually have had no issue with it, but the people that had no issue are the ones that should probably not be journalists.

    And finally I don’t think Milo has any intention of knocking gaming journalists down so that he rises as “the credible voice in game journalism.” He himself has said he’s not a gamer, so although people may look to him for coverage of this controversy, they won’t look to him for gaming reviews. And people will all go back to their political parties once this is all done and over with and Milo is pretty strong on one political party’s side. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and right now he’s the enemy of the anti-gg side, so he’ll be a friend of the gg side as long as this dispute is going on, even if they don’t agree with everything politically.