Quick Update: The AbleGamers Foundation and Gamergate

There has been some confusion over the situation with the AbleGamers charity that is breeding a lot of anger. Here are the facts so that hopefully this can be laid to rest. This was NOT Anti-Gamergate’s fault, this faux pas was completely on Gamergate. However, there is no evidence linking Gamergate to AbleGamer’s site being down.

Background

The AbleGamers Foundation is a “501(C)(3) nonprofit public charity that aims to improve the overall quality of life for those with disabilities through the power of video games.” [1]

Details

AbleGamers has come out with a statement regarding their view on things.

Here is a summary of the timeline of events (from AbleGamers side)

  1. They receive a request for a Mercedes Carrera/AbleGamers charity. They agree.
  2. The event is put up on Reddit with the OP saying that they “cannot mention directly that this is a GG stream” so “for now it will be a charity stream.” The Reddit also received such comments along the lines of “Gamergate has just weaponized porn.”
  3. AbleGamers voices their concerns and declines their involvement in the event.
  4. The organizer says that the person who posted on Reddit did so without the organizer’s consent and they they have been removed. Talks seem to resume.
  5. Yet another Reddit post is made with the AbleGamer’s email trying to decline the event, which results in predictable anger towards AbleGamers.

Lets look at all the ways Gamergate went wrong with this.

  1. “cannot mention directly that this is a GG stream”
    • This isn’t bad on its own. However, if the intention was to have this be a Gamergate related event, then the AbleGamer’s foundation had a right to know. They are completely right that this shows a complete “lack of transparency.”
  2. “for now it will be a charity stream”
    • Even if it was just poor wording, this just screams sleazy. This implies that there are ulterior motives beyond it being a charity drive
  3. “Gamergate has just weaponized charity.”
    • THIS is definitely one of the worst possible things that could have been said. Seriously people? I understand that the comments were made in jest towards anti-GG, but people outside of GG do not know about it. How could you think that AbleGamers would NOT see this and feel insulted or used?
  4. Second Reddit Post [2]
    • Seriously? Why would anybody want to continue after these continual breaches of trust? Does anyone realize that emails are meant to be private? And of COURSE a post like this will just make people angry and lash out at AbleGamers. There was absolutely nothing that could have been accomplished through this.

So, how exactly was Anti-Gamergate at fault for this? Because right now it looks as though the extent of their meddling has to do with tattling on you. The AbleGamer’s Foundation was completely within their right and reason to decline a charity event with the organizers. Lets ignore the idea that they only declined because “omg anti-gamergate lies” or “politics.”  Lets look at everything else, at least from how they would have seen it.

  1. The organizers were being intentionally cryptic with the event.
  2. It looks as though their Foundation was just being used as pawns rather than partners.
  3. The organizers have no control over the other people working under them.
  4. Which resulted in continuous breaches of confidentiality. Emails are meant to be kept private.
  5. Being attacked for wanting to decline the event.

After how Gamergate conducted themselves with this “charity event,” they would be damn lucky to find ANY sponsor willing to give them a chance. And even if the potential sponsor doesn’t have any idea of what happened here, Anti-Gamergate will be quick to show them.

Also, apparently the AbleGamer’s site is down. I wonder who they’re going to blame?

While the official Ablegamer’s Twitter does not seem to want to point fingers [3], their Editor in chief seems to think differently. [4]

However, in Gamergate’s defense, there is no evidence linking them to the AbleGamer’s site being down. It’s apparently very hard to tell whether a site is down due to DDOS or due to high traffic. Doubtless that the current situation has brought a lot of attention to the AbleGamer’s site that they did not have before. It could very well be that their servers could not handle all of the sudden attention.

People have brought up concerns over what they feel doesn’t seem right over the situation.

  1. There is no coding in the site, which should have remained intact despite a DDOS. [5]
    1. Their response. [6]
  2. There have been claims that the site was still up and running properly during the supposed DDOS attack, however I have found no proof of this.

*Note* If you are truly interested in donating for altruistic reasons, than you can always do so anonymously. However, if you’re only interested in donating under a Gamergate banner, then who is the one being political here?

If you think I’m being unfair then let me know. But right now, pretty disappointed with you Gamergate.

[3][4][5][6] = Screenshots taken personally by myself during the time of writing this article.

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3 Comments

  1. It’s really hard to prove after the fact, but both their community and store part of the site were up. Their main content management system uses WordPress, and it is extremely easy to make a theme that’s a blank page and switch over to it (Just edit a theme to have nothing in the index.php template and bam) Of course I can’t say for 100% sure this is what happened, but the whole thing is more or less being used against GG, and it needs to be pointed out that any number of things could be going on in here (though it might not be worth really going into it as it just makes us seem a lot pettier than we are)

    True, our reactions and handling of the situation was rather poor. I agree with most of what you said. The only thing that I would add is that people using the term “weaponize” on the GG side, in my own experience, tend to be joking by calling it what they think anti would (at least I hope they do. Otherwise I’m disappointed as well)

    Like

      • Well like I said, that’s hard after the fact. I saw a friend post about the shop part of the site working on mobile, I checked it and it worked. Then I did some searching about other areas of the site and found the community was also unaffected.

        Then again there’s tons of things that could be going on. Ablegamers is probably the only party that could provide clear definite proof one way or the other on the issue of an actual DDOS. Though it does sound like they don’t want to get involved with this and it’d be best to respect that. I mean they’re not pointing the fingers at anyone, and as long as they’re not doing that, we don’t really have to say anything about it. Just have to move on and do something more productive.

        Liked by 1 person

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