Video games have become ubiquitous in the contemporary world, partly due to advance technology and partly due to the fact that video games have been embraced even in educational institutions. In his article titles “Can Video Games Survive? The Disheartening GamerGate Campaign: A Rhetorical Analysis,” Chris Suellentrop criticizes on line campaigns by GamerGate, an online gaming movement in opposition to various people in the society. Basically, Suellentrop portrays GamerGate in negative mild and is personally discontented with the discriminatory messages and strategies that the movement has directed at some key human beings in the video game industry.
Suellentrop presents the pressing problem of discrimination against some of the important people in the video game industry, thereby impeding the development of the industry. Additionally, some industry bigwigs have reportedly quitted. To press his message to the audience, Suellentrop’s takes sides and dissuades his audience against GamerGate. According to him, “GamerGate has made it impossible to overlook an ugly truth about the culture that surrounds them…” (para. 6). Basically, Suellentrop’s work serves as a warning to the public, especially the segment that is involved in one way or another; by playing, designing and criticizing. These form the main audience for the article. Additionally, since Suellentrop directly addresses GamerGate as a movement and condemns their actions on social media, this segment is another critical part of his audience.
From the onset, Suellentrop makes his purpose clear. He wants the audience to critically consider its involvement with the online GamerGate community as latter’s actions have been discriminative to certain sections of the video game fraternity. By exposing how GamerGate has treated some of the key members in the video game industry. In addition to making a large section of the audience cognizant of the GamerGate controversies, Suellentrop seeks to make the audience change their perception of the online community, the aim of which is to harm the video game industry.
Suellentrop makes several claims within his essay. However, as he quotes Cliff Bleszinski, the main claim is that “Despite the growing diversity in designers and in games … there is an undercurrent of “latent racism, homophobia and misogyny”” (para. 6). To support this claim, Suellentrop makes other minor claims including that GamerGate has subjected threats to three women, who reportedly fled their homes as a result. Additionally, the group has constantly pressured Intel to withdraw its advertising from Gamasutra. Further, Suellentrop claims that some of the prominent people within the gaming industry, mostly from minority groups, have been subjected to hacking attempts on their online accounts. This further paints a negative picture on GamerGate.
From the mentioned claims, it is evident that the author is against GamerGate’s maneuvers. Suellentrop further claims that the movement has made him “wonder if [he has] made a horrible mistake” (para. 3). Additionally, he confirms his worries over the group, which clearly shows his discontent.
Suellentrop starts off by deploying ethos, in which he conveys his professionalism in writing for video games and claims that he has been writing for five years. This instills confidence into the readers that the author is knowledgeable about his subject matter, thus uplifting his credibility as an author. Logos are also evident in the article. For instance, “Grand Theft Auto V, by comparison, has sold more than 34 million copies since its release in September 2013” (Suellentrop, para. 15). By using such evidence, the author improves the credibility of his essay. Finally, Suellentrop uses ethos to emotionally appeal to the audience, as he gives an example of Felicia Day, who was “saddened” by the actions by GamerGate (para. 12). This is to persuade the readers to the view that GamerGate is a malicious movement that aims to demean the video game industry.
Suellentrop, Chris. “Can video games survive? The disheartening GamerGate campaign.” The New York Times 25 (2014).