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Under Pressure From Gamers, Intel Pulls Advertising From Gamasutra

To stop discussion about representation of women in videogames, protesters are targeting the media.


More than a month after it began, ripples of the online protest known as “Gamergate” are still being felt. Having previously driven a feminist academic out of her home, protesters seeking to beat back a movement urging changes in gender representation in videogames have now notched a victory against the industry news website Gamasutra.

Intel had been advertising its experimental RealSense platform on the site, which is owned by Game Developers Conference organizer UBM Tech. That ad campaign has ended early, Intel and Gamasutra confirmed to Re/code, in response to an organized email campaign from Gamergate supporters called Operation Disrespectful Nod.

“Intel has pulled its advertising from website Gamasutra,” Intel spokesperson Bill Calder said. “We take feedback from our customers very seriously especially as it relates to contextually relevant content and placements.”

The specific target in Gamergaters’ crosshairs was Gamasutra’s editor-at-large, Leigh Alexander, a well-known critical voice in the industry, who wrote in August that “gamers are over.” Her column characterized the protest as the last gasps of a dying sexist-consumerist culture, and urged game developers to turn their backs on that culture.

“Traditional ‘gaming’ is sloughing off, culturally and economically, like the carapace of a bug,” Alexander wrote at the time. “This is hard for people who’ve drank the Kool-Aid about how their identity depends on the aging cultural signposts of a rapidly evolving, increasingly broad and complex medium. It’s hard for them to hear they don’t own anything, anymore, that they aren’t the world’s most special-est consumer demographic, that they have to share.”

An email attributed to Intel support said the campaign began “much earlier this year before Gamasutra’s recent controversial articles were published.”

Protesters celebrated Intel’s surrender online and urged each other to continue pressuring other advertisers to follow suit.

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