This morning began the long-awaited event of SPJAirplay, two-panel discussions focusing on the topics related to the Gamergate hashtag controversy and movement. The morning panel discussion focused on the definition of Gamergate and then proceeded to explore examples of gaming journalism that supporters of Gamergate had ethical issues. The panel consisted of Ashe Schow, Allum Bokari, Mark Ceb, Derek Smart, Lynn Walsh, and Ren LaForme.
The discussion was by all purposes constructive, as many of the neutral attendees such as Lynn Walsh appeared sympathetic to Gamergate supporters concerns and issues. However, in regards to the larger conversation between Gamergate supporters and Gamergate opponents was limited due to not having any anti-Gamergate supporters agreeing to attend the panel event.
But please, don’t take my word for it, the morning session in its entirety is available below and worth a watch:
After a short lunch break, the event continued into an afternoon panel with much more intense topics and conversation. Panelists Derek Smart, Lynn Walsh, and Ren LaForme returned and joined by panelists Milo Yiannopoulos, Christina Hoff Sommers, and Cathy Young. The afternoon debate whirled around the topic regarding how Gamergate has been handled by the media at large, and how the situation could have been prevented, improved, or changed.
The afternoon panel is below and please watch to come to your own conclusions.
Sadly, the afternoon panel was only about an hour long, being cut short by not one, but two bomb threats. According to attendees, a bomb threat was called to the venue during lunch. And during the afternoon panel a bomb threat was additionally called in not only to the Miami Police Department but the Miami Herald as well. This resulted in police intervention, evacuation of the building (including others attending non-gamergate related SPJ events), and cancelation of the streamed panel event.
— Milo Yiannopoulos (@Nero) August 15, 2015
Note: While Yiannopoulos comments on ten bomb threats, that fact is unconfirmed
— ¡Pixelated Parrot! (@PwnParrot) August 15, 2015
It’s unclear who would call in bomb threats or what their exact motivation would be. Regardless, the Gamergate movement is approaching the one-year mark and has no lack of continued controversy.