On #GamerGate , heroes, and villains. #Checkyourselfbeforeyouwreckyourself

You most likely read comics. So, here's something that should be easy for you to picture: Your favorite hero pushed to his or her limits. The rules of the game seem to have flipped in favor of the villain, so the hero starts crossing lines. The ultimate goal and ideal is good and heroic, so the line crossing is acceptable, even necessary, to reach the goal. The ends justify the means. The heroic soul can endure and survive, scarred, but stronger. Having transgressed into the realm of the enemy, the hero now understands the dark areas of the heroic soul. Classic stuff. We love it.

And who is more heroic, the hero who risks his or her own soul to do what must be done for the greater good, or the hero who refuses to set foot outside the bounds of the heroic ideal? This is Superman vs Batman, Daredevil vs The Punisher, Cyclops vs Wolverine, Civil War, the last two years of Avengers. We love this stuff because it asks questions that we find hard to answer.

No matter how noble your ideals, how long can you take up the methods of the villain before you become the villain? How long before you look down at what you have done and find it indistinguishable from that which you oppose?

This defines the difference between hero and villain.

The hero has that moment of crisis. He looks down at the blood on his hands and says "What have I done? How did I go this far?".

The villain has this same moment, but it is not a crisis. It is an affirmation. "This is what I have done. This is how far I have come." 

When you are behaving badly, pray for that moment of crisis. If it doesn't come, you are the bad guy. In life, there may be times when doing what is right demands that you treat someone else badly, but if you never question yourself about it, you are the bad guy.  How long can you take up the methods of the villain before you are the villain?

I don't know anything about video games or the various scandals therein. I do know about comics, and I know that there is plenty of overlap in fan base and mentality. All of this has been in reference to what I have seen as the emergence of villainous #gamergate thinking surfacing in the world of comics.

If you read this, and you feel strongly about it, let that be your moment of heroic crisis. With the next action you take, will you he the villain or the hero?