GamerGate is seven months old. It’s been seven months since gamers have revolted against the gaming press, who have been vilifying “gaming culture” for years, insisting that “gamers” are sexist, misogynist, racist, cis-het white men who are afraid of sexual, racial, and gender minorities in the gaming industry.
For three months, gamers have fought tooth and nail to restore integrity to gaming journalism and buck the “gamer” stereotype that’s being pushed by the gaming press.
How can this help the moé fandom?
To be honest, I, to a certain extent, saw #EducateAnime as a GamerGate for anime. It was lacking the journalism ethics angle, but I saw seeds of a similar movement in its focus on fighting against blind hatred and encouraging reasoned discussion. Unfortunately, it was largely a flash in the pan, and didn’t seem to reach the level of recognition necessary for it to have any real, lasting impact.
The reason EducateAnime couldn’t take off is more interesting, however. When we look at the anime fandom, we’re looking at a fairly balkanized community. What that means is that the “anime fandom” is actually more like a collection of fandoms, formed around similar interests, that are, for the most part, hostile or, at the very least, uncooperative with one another. This differs from gaming because, outside of console wars, the console vs. PC debate, and the social justice crowd, gaming is largely cooperative and live-and-let-live with one another. When the gaming press decided that they didn’t want to be cooperative, and didn’t want to live-and-let-live, gamers of all walks of life rose up against it.
Attempting to bring the balkanized, segmented anime community under one banner to promote discussion without a specific event to unite them against something resulted in a movement that was segmented and contested from the very start.
EducateAnime attempted to appeal to too broad an audience to get everyone on-board with it, and collapsed in on itself as a result, but what if, for the sake of argument, we attempted to unite one of the sub-sectors of anime fandom in a GamerGate-styled movement?
Let’s take the moé fandom, for example.
Consistently misrepresented and vilified by their fandom’s news and editorial media? Check.
Constantly accused of sexism, misogyny, and other damning accusations? Check.
Have common factors attempting to push them out of the fandom in order to advance the fandom in some nebulous way? Check.
That’s not to mention the fact that the media they enjoy is often dismissed as misogynistic and criticized for not being art and for supposedly holding the medium back.
I often say there are a lot of similarities between the anime fandom and the gaming community, and this is especially true if you look at the GamerGate crowd and the moé fandom. In addition, it’s no surprise that plenty of people infamous for being anti-moé are out there ridiculing GamerGate.
Outcasts seek the company of other outcasts. They understand each other.
I’ve got this crazy idea in my head of moé fans jumping into GamerGate, if just to let the GG folks know that they aren’t alone, and that the fight extends through more than just gaming.
Not only that, but there’s plenty for the moé fandom to learn from GG. The defiant positivity, the discussion, the support for one another, and the sheer sense of community are all things the moé fandom can bring back and use to better fight the battles we’ve been fighting.