In nearly every article written lately about the various flash-in-the-pan videogame “scandals” (the critical ones written by sensible people, anyway), the same idea has popped up again and again: that the toxic, hateful shitnuggets slinging harassment and death threats on 4Chan/Reddit/etc. are a “vocal minority” of those in the gaming community.
This is not new; it’s been happening as long as I can remember. Nerdbro gamers commit mass acts of bigotry and violence and then everybody who writes about it posits that the bad actors are just squeaky wheels - a loud minority who uses the power of the internet (and anonymity, and their own lack of moral compass) to appear larger than they really are.
And maybe that’s true. It’s not an easy hypothesis to check, is it? It’s not like you can run polls asking people whether they are hostile bigots. But I think it’s time to consider the scary reality that it’s not true; that these guys are so loud and so vocal and appear so large precisely because they are in fact the majority.
Don’t get me wrong; I understand why the “vocal minority” narrative persists. There are several understandable reasons it is so ubiquitous: