Activists in Germany are again attempting to create narratives that the gaming community, particularly online, is rife with bigots and bigoted behaviors, such as racism, and misogyny.
The frustration of having such a large community that is unwilling to bend to their agendas is becoming too great and they’re back for another attack.
It’s now getting taken a step further with references to fascism. The campaign is strongly titled “No Pixels for Fascists,” and in the words of its representative Pascal Wagner, it is a network of bloggers, journalists, podcasters, YouTubers, developers, and others who are uniting against what is described as “anti-democratic and inhumane” gaming trends.
Specifically, the group aims to tackle those it considers to be Nazis, homophobes, sexists, and the like, who they say are using games and gaming to advance their cause.
According to Wagner, the campaign is promoting anti-racist, “LBGTQIA+” friendly and feminist game culture and wants to push back against its designated targets “both online and offline.”
In the interview, Wagner specifically mentioned GamerGate as a “hate movement” that was “used” by (pro-gamer /s) US President Donald Trump and his associates in the run-up to the 2016 election.
In another write-up about the new German campaign, blogger Michelle Janssen, who seems to specialize in the language police segment of the movement, speaks about what she perceives as the negative influence of YouTubers.
According to Janssen, people can be accused of being supporters of right-wing ideas even if they don’t actually espouse them; it’s enough to use right-wing rhetoric, “or to allow members of your own community to do so” – i.e., not exercise censorship diligently enough.
“YouTubers need to be aware that they have as much (if not more) influence as television, radio and other popular online media. They are no longer individuals who make problematic jokes in small circles, but propagate to millions of young people and young adults that such things are not only not right, but acceptable and normal.
Statements and jokes with right-wing rhetoric do not make you a Nazi, but they support the normality of these things, which are pushed ever further into our society, especially from the right, especially in gaming circles. They help right-wing organizations and groups to be classified as normal and harmless.”
Therefore, even YouTubers who are not branded as outright “fascist” are basically described as enablers and normalizers of bad behavior because they don’t exercise their influence with proper caution and Janssen’s entire argument sounds like an appeal to well-known creators, in particular, to engage in a form of self-censorship.
That, as well as the idea of fascism, would not be a foreign concept to Anetta Kahane, founder of one of the main backers of “No Pixels for Fascists,” the Amadeu Antonio Foundation. During the Cold War years, Kahane was an informant of East Germany’s secret police, Stasi.
“No Pixels for Fascists” is today also supported by the German government, and endorsed by gaming giant EA.