Mainstreaming Misogyny: The Beginning of the End and the End of the Beginning in Gamergate Coverage

Nieborg, David; Foxman, Maxwell

Nieborg and Foxman discuss the event known as Gamergate, a niche misogynistic online movement primarily targeting female game developers and critics. Drawing on both discourse and content analyses of a corpus of U.S. news publications, this chapter focuses on how Gamergate events were “mainstreamed,” or normalized and subsequently cited by mainstream outlets. Analysis shows that such coverage breaks down into two phases. First, Gamergate can be considered “the beginning of the end” of an era in game culture, during which an industry, developing and publishing games by and for young men, heavily favored masculine themes and marketing approaches. Second, Gamergate signals “the end of the beginning:” a new era in which online misogyny is increasingly recognized, scrutinized, and criticized by leading news organizations.