A year and a half ago, feminist battleaxe Leigh Alexander was one of the leading voices of a video games press dominated by progressives. Today, the situation is much changed. Alexander has announced her retirement from games journalism after Offworld, her diversity-minded games blog, failed to take off.
She is now crowdfunding a book celebrating Offworld’s features, which, incredibly, includes the work of Sarah Nyberg, who described herself as a pedophile in chat logs.
Announcing the news on her personal blog. Alexander insisted that she is happy: “Even though you all know these years have been at times heartbreaking and very difficult for me, I can be mostly happy with it all in the end … I can be really happy with Offworld and everything else I’ve done until now.”
“What I’m saying is that I can be finished with this, and be really happy,” she repeats.
However, elsewhere in the post Alexander writes of the “unrelenting spiritual cost” of her work, adding that being a games journalist was “at times hearbreaking and very difficult for me.”
Once a rising star of games journalism with bylines at respected publications like The Escapist and Paste Magazine, Leigh Alexander suffered a rapid fall from grace in September 2014, when she antagonised the gamers who made up her readership.
In a now-infamous Gamasutra article urging game developers to distance themselves from those who self-identified as “gamers,” Alexander attacked one of the most engaged and active consumer demographics on the web as “obtuse shitslingers” and “wailing hyper-consumers.”
“‘Gamers’ don’t have to be your audience.” wrote Alexander. “‘Gamers’ are over.”
A rebuttal by David Auerbach of Slate entitled “Gaming Journalism Is Over” proved to be more prescient. Alexander’s article was one of the chief catalysts of GamerGate, a web uprising of gamers against the poor standards and far-left biases of the journalists who covered the industry. Progressive games news sites, including Alexander’s, were bombarded with negative attention, losing millions of dollars in ad revenue.
Gamers even broke the dominance of the regressive left on social media, diminishing the ability of left-leaning journalists like Alexander to call down online mobs against her critics, as she once did against independent games developer Russ Roegner.
GamerGate saw the rapid decline of games journalists fortunes. Gaming news sites like Joystiq shut down, Gawker’s left-leaning games blog Kotaku lost millions of visitors, and previously-prominent progressive games critics like Bob “MovieBob” Chipman lost their jobs.
Offworld, launched against the tide of gamers’ discontent, was no exception to this trend. In yesterday’s farewell, Alexander attempted to put a positive spin on their traffic. “We crushed our traffic targets, doing 750,000 visitors a month at our best and generating millions of page views… whatever Boing Boing does next with the Offworld brand, we enjoyed the time we spent with it, and we finish it proudly.”
These are not impressive numbers. By way of comparison, @Nero, the personal account of Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos achieved 7.23 million visits and 74.1 million views for the month of January.
Despite the fact that Alexander’s tenure as editor-in-chief of Offworld lasted less than a year, she is now crowdfunding for a “gorgeous hardcover book” celebrating the work of the site’s writers and contributors. Astonishingly, this includes the work of Sarah Nyberg, whose disturbing proclivities have been systematically ignored, and even defended, by left-wing activists on the web.
Throughout her decline, Alexander has always remained defiant. At the height of the gamer-led backlash against her writing, she infamously pronounced that their efforts were futile:
silly kids. i AM game journalism
— Leigh Alexander (@leighalexander) September 4, 2014
It appears that position is now vacant.