PSA: G*m*rG*t* is still a thing; online hate mobs still target women with distressing regularity

This started in August, and it's still happening. Games culture - and geek culture in general - is a wounded monster, lashing out at the skyscrapers around it as it falls to the ground.

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

It's been roughly ten months since GamerGate was birthed to this world by a pathetic man lashing out at his ex in a tedious, hateful blog, and sadly - oh god, so much sadness - it's still A Thing. It may have fewer members than before, but that has just made the core that remains denser, more concentrated, more loathsome.

This week's target is Anne Wheaton, wife of former Star Trek actor (and all-round polymath and geek hero) Wil Wheaton. Her crime? After going to the Calgary Expo earlier this month she wrote a blog post talking about how much she enjoyed it, and how touched she was by people telling her that they'd found her writing to be a source of comfort in bad times. Oh, and she briefly mentioned that there were some "angry and unhappy people" there who were looking to be "hurtful and harmful", but that it was OK, because the convention organisers "handled the situation immediately" and everything turned out great.

Turns out, those "angry and unhappy people" really are angry and unhappy - she was referring to Honey Badger Radio, a GamerGate-affiliated men's rights activism group who were planning to run a stall at the expo, sell some merchandise and put forward their views at some of the discussion panels. However, since they didn't actually apply for exhibitor/vendor status - plus a bunch of other stuff, below - they were in violation of the expo's rules, and were subsequently expelled on the second day. Click over to The Mary Sue or to Comics Alliance for comprehensive breakdowns of what happened and why, but the short version is: it made some people angry.

Wheaton's blog post, then, attracted some of these angry people:

Feminist Frequency is, of course, the feminist media criticism website founded and run by Anita Sarkeesian, one of GamerGate's most ancient and venerable enemies. Supporting her - especially financially - is brave, and should be applauded:

Unfortunately, not everyone can handle being this defiant. It's incumbent on the rest of us - especially those of us who know we aren't the main targets of GamerGate - to support those who do come under fire, and to promote and share exactly the games, writing and creativity that this hate group so passionately fights against.

Someday, this bullshit must end.

Ian Steadman is a staff science and technology writer at the New Statesman. He is on Twitter as @iansteadman.