The gamergate issue is now bubbling up from niche gamer press to mainstream media. The Washington Post has had a series of article, one every few days, with links right on their home page (today its about Felicia Day). The Rolling Stone did an interview with Anita Sarkeesian after the cancellation at a university due to threats.
Some things I've thought recently about this:
1) The criminal intimidation and recklessness and spite of the pro 'gamergate' community is horrid. There is no excuse for it, and I don't want to support it. However, it does not mean that anything goes, any personal attack is okay, in fighting back. If this is just a big sexist temper tantrum, as Anita Sarkeesian says it is, then the reaction should be to me more mature, not sink to their level. Partition out the saner heads who have legitimate concerns from the disturbed people making threats of violence, but lumping them all together is just going to make things worse. Push back on someone, and their first reaction is to push right back at you.
2) A professional at Gawker (and I use the term 'professional' in that he holds a significant and paid position, not that his demeanor is adult or mature) tweeted that nerds should be bullied. Supposedly it was some sort of joke, and it lead to some backlash from at least one advertiser. The comments about it on Gawker were almost universally supportive of the snark, and quite hateful to anyone who would say the joke was in poor taste. Comments about the Gawker tweet on other sites were more thoughtful, and generally considered Gawker to be somewhere between contemptible and inconsequential. I know if I attempted to make a bullying joke in my workplace, it would have negative consequences. Bullying, like other forms of intimidation and violence, is not a joking matter. Also, traditionally, nerds were people who lacked social standing, and often ridiculed for a variety of flaws such as lacking social graces, beauty, or physical skills. The tweet seems a deliberate personal attack. Maybe well intentioned, but its also how you fracture you own side in that people who agree that some pro gamergaters are hateful don't want to be associated with that Gawker tweet.
3) Some of this started with 'Gamers are over', since the demographics for who plays video games now includes so many people, and compared to 'moviegoer'. Okay, but only some moviegoers are film buffs, that explore the history of the media, and the state of the industry. People who play games, but don't care its history or the industry may need a different label. I drive a car but I really do not care about the auto industry. I use a refrigerator, but I don't care about the history of refrigerators. We've discussed terms like casual and hardcore before, but it shows that words, and labels, do matter. The Gamergate story, now popping up in places like the NY Times, also show that gamers are not everyone, but still the 'other' for a large part of America at least. Renee Zellweger gets a new face, its everywhere, but gamercentric stories are still in niche publications, or storys about gamers in mainstream publications.