#Gamergate and gamers in general are cool and if you don’t agree you are just objectively wrong, so when I heard there was a meet-up in London I had to go. Yeah, I know, it happened ages ago and I am slow to print this, but hey, who cares?
I grabbed my partner in crime Ieuan (it rhymes with Iron) and skedaddled off to London. We were to meet up at Finch’s Pub for 1800 hours on Saturday 17th October, but we turned up late as first we needed a cheeky Nando’s – yes, we are one of them sorts. We got there at around six thirty and there were already thirty to forty people there, collected together at the back. We approached unsure if these were the correct people; a man came over, leant in and said “Gamergate?” “Yes”. No need for such secrecy, I thought, has anything ever gone wrong at a #Gamergate meet up before? True though, there was little indication that this was a #Gamergate meet-up, no signs, just a load of discarded socks with the toes folded in…
It wasn’t until gone half seven when the main act started to arrive, after which many of us had already had a few and in the process thus made some new friends. This, might I add, was incredibly easy as all of us there were united by very similar beliefs; I got talking to a man named Ed who said there was the worry that people would turn up and not talk much as we were all strangers but in actual fact we all had so much to talk about. He was right, the air was a living, breathing electrical storm of conversation and debate, like throwing together a collection of loose cogs and gears and they fall to form a clock. Magical.
First order of the night was Milo hijacking #GGinLDN to make it his birthday bash
Despite my getting in late with the recording it is easy to see what kind of atmosphere there was, not the sort you’d hear about us from Salon, Kotaku or Polygon. There’s no evidence to suggest the existence of the animosity that the aGGer’s claim we exhibit. And to think we even taken on board the advice of the “Progressive Left” and used Jazz Hands rather than clapping, albeit we were a bit slow to remember to do so but at least we tried. Six out of ten for effort?
Ain’t she the sweetest?
It was very easy to see how people were starting to fan-girl, not gonna lie, I did a bit too. By a bit I actually mean a lot. In fact, very many seemed to be fangirling to a point of visible noticeability, faces were red and smiles were hiding behind cuffs of shirt sleeves. Whether the collective atmosphere had influenced this behaviour in people or this was their genuine reactions I don’t know. It was indeed a very real, human experience. To calm this in myself I had the radical idea that I would drink to stem the nerves, except they didn’t really disappear. It seemed the nerves and the drink would constantly counter each other out, adding level by level to my altered state of mind. It is safe to say the bar earned a pretty penny out of my pocket that night.
Nevertheless, people kept their cool, they’re trained gamers goddammit; it’s a design trait of theirs to be able to remain calm and level headed in such environments. There were no floods of screaming tears or people losing it on the phone over how much they loved someone, even though many of us were on the verge. Here were these gamers who have had their hobby, their passion, constantly lambasted since day one, be it from the authoritarian right or now the authoritarian left, meeting with the very people who dared to stand up and defend them. I think therefore, it is justifiable … no … downright acceptable and correct of them to shed a tear or two of joy. For they were meeting with the people who are leading a crusade that is fighting for them, not against them. We are but iron filings to the great magnets of #Gamergate.
“Sorry, no offence, but it’s true”
Meeting Milo Yiannopoulos was pretty chill, though I was kinda caught off-guard. I was speaking with a young aspiring journalist when he said “Oh, you want to meet Milo?” only to promptly turn around, tap his shoulder and say “Milo, have you met Jordan?” … jinkies! He shook my hand (which I will never wash again), we exchanged pleasantries and talked a bit about ourselves and our involvement in #Gamergate. How I presented myself I am unsure, as autopilot kicked in and some guy other than myself did all my talking for me. I’m just a run of the mill guy who sometimes writes stuff and here’s Milo, right here in front of me. Ahem. I think I did well.
Thusly as a local Bristolian I was quite pleasantly surprised to hear of the possibility of Milo speaking at Bristol University and yet even less surprised at the controversy surrounding his appearance, considering he was banned from University of Manchester. Having met the guy I can safely say to all who read this is that he is not that dangerous, however I do agree with the idea of him not talking at these universities. In brief, I take a similar prosecuting stance to his “trial by social media” (or however you want to tally it up) as what Dominique Francon took at the Hopton Stoddard Temple trial to Howard Roark. The ten photographs have already been presented, now smash down the temple.
I took this photo at the best possible time, no question.
As a fan of Christina H Sommers, which I have been since I first picked up ‘Who Stole Feminism?’, it is fair to say I was somewhat caught off-guard when, having just spoken to Milo, I turn and *shazam*, there she is. If you’ve ever heard the metaphor “deer in the headlights” then picture it like that, because that’s how I was. I felt like a child hiding behind a mother’s skirt, shocked into mindless, babbling incomprehension. I reached out and started jabbing into Ieuan’s shoulder with the brutish force of forty-niner gold prospector, goddammit man; look! Don’t leave me standing here, alone! He turned and just as I did fell into a panic, some base form of cognitive function, holy god, it’s … her! If, dear reader, I am giving the impression that I had regressed to nothing more than a child of nervous disposition granted free roam in a candy shop, or that I am in any way sucking up, allow me to say that at least 142% of the people who attended the meet-up felt a similar way. I’m not kidding. The only difference was they had much better composure than we did.
People would circulate around, sharing stories, listening contently
What was most interesting was the openness people shared, how they would talk about the issues they have faced, not just #Gamergate but all sorts. People openly embraced talking and sharing, asking advice, telling stories, laughing along with each other. They would move from group to group, integrating, sharing, and moving on. Rather quite beautiful to watch. And that was the real winner for them, being able to meet with these icons and discuss their work and ideas with them. Christina Hoff Sommers’ Factual Feminist series and her work with #Gamergate for example was a great discussion starter, many flocked to her to discuss her views and opinions, be it #Gamergate or her criticisms of modern day feminism and gender warriors. Such is the way of #Gamergate, a large cohesion of people from all walks of life each with their own unique, differing views. Not incompatible, no, but many voices in a harmony of collective spirit, a conflux of idea and thought.
I should just accept this as my signature facial expression
You can see the pure bliss of meeting #BasedMom etched all over our faces
Mike Cernovich is a real great guy, buy his books (full transparency, he may have bought me a pint)
It’s hard to imagine how these people could be described as misogynists, racists, or any other form of nasty indignation. Instead of these “villains of society” or what-have-you that we are told to expect of #Gamergate, I met some of the nicest people on the planet, they were so open and honest to each and to all, they were willing to engage everyone no matter who they were. They are not these right wing nutjobs the mainstream media claims them to be, but members of a grass roots movement of cultural libertarians. They are everyday people who just want to see their hobbies and livelihood defended and presented as the wonderful colourful pastime that it is. Moreover, they just want to have fun.
All the “mother’s-basement dwellers” who turned up
The night finished just as it had lived, a lively explosion of fun and smiles. We were all gathered together for a final photograph, all cuddled round on that warm Autumn night, laughing gaily and glad to have spent a night in each other’s company. What is really interesting though is when you realize there were only five actual people present and the rest were just sock-puppets, and those five gamers were in fact, dead (long live the gamer). Huh. When the photos were finished we went our separate ways, some carried on with their night, but they were of tougher mettle than I. For us, it was a sobering train home. That being said though, it was an honour and a privilege to have spent the evening with such fabulous people.