Angry Jack
Life on the Internet

Why Are You So Angry?

Ian Danskin (aka Innuendo Studios) has just posted the final part in his six-part series on the male gamer’s relationship to feminism.

Part 1: A Short History of Anita Sarkeesian

The internet is full of Angry Jacks, and Jack is not exclusively, but is typically, male. He’s also commonly white, and/or straight, and/or cis, and/or raised middle class. Which is to say, he usually looks like me.

To people who look like me, Jack is often a nuisance. To people who don’t look like me, Jack is frequently dangerous.

Part 2: Angry Jack

[…] And you’re thinking, or maybe even starting to say, “I shouldn’t have to have this debate right now. I just wanted to go to a fucking party. I’m normal! This is a normal thing to do!” And all she said was “no thanks, I don’t drink,” but that doesn’t matter, what you heard was “you’re a bad person.”

Part 3: Perception Is Everything

It is most useful not to think of Jack as a person. He’s a condition, similar to being drunk. He’s the belligerent and dangerous asshole some of us become when we feel our conception of ourselves as moral human beings is threatened.

Part 4: An Autopsy on GamerGate

“Ethics in games journalism” was selected deliberately to appeal to gamers like Jack, people who remembered a couple provable ethics violations from several years earlier, people who were nervous about how games culture was changing and wanted a boogieman to blame for it. People looking for an excuse not to listen to feminist critique of games.

One thing that jumped out at me was the Google Trends graph showing the interest in Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu: Particularly in how much of that ‘interest’ was apparently directed at Zoe Quinn.

Interest over time

Interest over time in Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu — Google Trends

Part 5: “The Good Guy”

Most of us are vaguely aware that a lot of popular shoes are assembled in sweatshops, and most of us don’t really go and read up on the subject, find out how bad conditions are in the sweatshops, which brands are the worst offenders, and which brands are (quote-unquote) “safe.” And we don’t look that stuff up because, if we had that information, we’d probably feel we couldn’t, in good conscience, keep buying the shit we’re buying. But we can so long as we don’t have the information. We’re still innocent, even if it’s a wilful innocence.

Part 6: Talking to Angry Jack

The war against social justice is something to do with his frustrated anger, but there is no win state for him. And that’s a big part of why he’s so angry: he wants his innocence back and he can’t have it. Not now, not ever.


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