Troy Leavitt on GamerGate and the Religion of Identity Politics

Game developer Troy Leavitt recently released a video on YouTube called GamerGate — Thoughts of a Game Developer. It’s very good, and I recommend you watch it.

But the thing that most caught my attention was his extremely clear and concise description of what he calls “The Religion of Identity Politics”—which could just as well be called “The Religion of Social Justice” (as I would probably call it) or “The Religion of Political Correctness.”

And he understands GamerGate, correctly, as a revolt against this aggressive Religion.

His words are good, so I am going to share them, because that’s what I do.

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troyleavitt

My explanation is that GamerGate was a consumer revolt against the Religion of Identity Politics.  I think the word ‘religion’ is the right word here, because there’s kind of a central dogma in identity politics, and that is that you are defined not by your behavior, not by your character, but by your demographic identifiers. For example, you start with your sex, whether you’re male or you’re female; then you move on to your race, whether you’re white, or black, or asian, or indian or whatever that might be; and then your sexual orientation, gay, straight, bi, and so forth—and this is supposed to be your political group. It’s how you’re supposed to be IDENTIFIED. And the Religion of Identity Politics goes on to say that the more rare your particular instances of demographics are, the more oppressed you are, and hence, the more righteousness within the religion you can assume. Conversely, the more commonplace are your demographics, the more oppressive you are, and hence the more evil secretly resides in your very existence.

To me, this is very much like original sin. If you just happen to be born into a majority position, within the Religion of Identity Politics, you are automatically sinful. Your behavior doesn’t really matter. That’s what they mean by ‘privilege’—it’s your position, you’re just born into it. Note that this is the exact opposite of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s plea that people should be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Now also within the religion, the only way you can really be redeemed is to accept your inherent sinful nature as on oppressor—to whatever degree that is—and you confess your demographic markers. You say, “I’m sorry I’m white, I’m sorry I’m male, I’m sorry I’m straight!” and then you promise, you promise to do better, to have a change of heart, to strive to overcome your inherently sinful ways. And you do that be denigrating yourself, by putting yourself down, and elevating others who might be in a more oppressed state. It doesn’t matter if you’re a good person. Within the Religion of Identity Politics, it’s purely your demographic.

Go back and look at those articles [about gamers] that all dropped on the same day of August 28, and you can see pretty clearly that they’re evangelizing this religion of identity politics. And they’re saying “This is the solution to this scandal we see over here.” The authors, the press people, were kind of like priests and priestesses of Identity.

No! I reject your religion. I reject what you’re saying about me! And I’m going to push back. I’m going to fight back against anybody who says I have to suddenly buy into your religion to be a good person.” To me, that’s what GamerGate was all about and what it continues to be all about.

It’s a rejection of the Religion of Identity Politics.

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4 comments on “Troy Leavitt on GamerGate and the Religion of Identity Politics

  1. tryanmax says:

    Very good thoughts. My only caution is that we not let the idea that identity politics/social justice/political correctness overtake the reality that, while very much displaying religiosity, it is still a political movement at the same time. As a religion and a political system, it is a particularly nasty one, not least for being founded on a divisive caste system, a.k.a. the progressive stack.

    The Enlightenment notion that religion and state ought to be separate has, to my purview, convinced many people that they are necessarily separate, which is obviously not the case. It’s this thinking that hampers some from fully recognizing Islam for what it is. The YouTube “rational skeptic” community seems to have an instinctual grasp on the connections between social justice politics and religion, but I haven’t heard any of them express it as more than a metaphor, let alone explore it. I think it’s important to recognize the political and religious connections simply from the stance of understanding what is at issue.

    Thanks for your blog.

    Like

    • Eve Keneinan says:

      I agree. The basic problem is that the concept “religion” is both undefined and indefinable. I’m fairly certain that it is a Wittgensteinian family resemblance concept and not a true natural genus. Thus, in speaking of “religion” we are often left talking about something we only “kind of sort of” understand what me mean.

      I would say that it is the identifying characteristic of what we could call “political religions” that, having dispensed with transcendence, they divinize something in time or history, usually some kind of Utopian ideal, and operate on that basis.

      Exactly like the Marxist ideal of “a classless society,” Social Justice has an ideal of “equality” (a very vague one, never defined precisely), and it is willing to do anything and everything to realize this ideal—which would be impossible, since the ideal is undefined, except it also shares with the Marxism that spawned it the secondary belief that this ideal is in some sense the natural state of things, and all that needs to be done to realize the perfect ideal is to destroy all the things holding it back or standing in its way. Thus Marxism and Social Justice/Cultural Marxism becomes the enemy of reality. Reality is the obstacle that is preventing the True Utopia, so it must be smashed.

      A lot of what drives Marxists and SocJus Utopians is hatred of the real.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Troy Leavitt says:

    Hi Eve!

    I received a message with a link to your blog in which you mentioned me here. Thank you for the kind words and I’m glad you enjoyed the video!

    Like

    • Eve Keneinan says:

      Hi Troy,

      Thank you for your good words! It’s such a breath of fresh air to hear someone speaking insightfully and fairly about GamerGate. It’s frustrating to hear endless MSM claims of “sexism” or “misogyny” when you know from your own personal experience, absolutely, 100%, that the people of GG are some of the most friendly, decent, and welcoming people there are.

      I think many non-gamers don’t understand the passion of gamers for their hobby, or don’t understand fully what happened here. My view is that GamerGate was a kind of Battle of Lexington and Concord in the contemporary culture wars. Identity politics has swallowed academia who. It’s swallowed the mainstream media almost totally—how could a bunch of “nerdy gamers” resist it? Which is much like the British in 1776 asking “How can a bunch of ragtag colonials resist the greatest army in the world?”

      But that’s what GamerGate did. Despite the unrelenting defamation and attempts at shaming and silencing through the controlled media, GamerGate never quit, never backed down, never stopped. Gamers fought and gamers won. Gamers defended their hobby, their rights, their identity.

      And by doing so, gamers showed that the monster of identity politics could be fought, that it could be wounded, that it could BLEED. And as a wise man once said, “IF IT BLEEDS, THEN WE CAN KILL IT.”

      Like

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