The Gamergate Pattern of Future Scandals

The Gamergate scandal is interesitng, not just because of the media firestorm, but because it predicts future firestorms.

The Gamergate pattern occured first in games journalism, given the high technical skill of many readers. But it will to other forms of publishing.

The basic pattern is as follows

1. Self-publishing platforms decrease profit of traditional publishing outlets
2. Traditional publishing outlets respond by decreases wages (and thus skill) of editors and reporters
3. Decreased attractiveness of traditional oulets because of low skill (#2) increase the draw of self-publishing platforms, giving them consumer-side economies of scale
4. At some time, traditional outlets consider an “outrage” (some behavior interpretted as both incompetent and hostlie) because of the low skill of their editors and writers (#2)
5. A significant fraction of the most engaged consumers mobile on self-publishing platforms (#3) because of the outrage (#4)

This is the pattern of the gamergate scandal.

We’ve also seen a pattern in how journalists have circled the wagons, but that is a post for another time