#Gamergate is like the Tea Party, if the Tea Party was comprised mostly of 14-to-25 year old tech-savvy white boys on the Internet. Most self-identify as left libertarians, though I doubt these boys vote. Inasmuch as #Gamergate and its diaspora has an agenda, it is to roll back the achievements of "Cultural Marxists", "Social Justice Warriors", and the forces of political correctness by any means necessary. For many #Gamergaters, life is phrased in terms of a game, and progressives are their sworn enemies.
They don't think they're wingnuts. They believe they've been liberated, that they've taken "The Red Pill"; discarding subjectivity, religion, and feminist indoctrination from Mom along the way. To #Gamergaters, their opinions are objective fact, whereas opposing ideas are subjective nonsense.
Millennial Breaking Free of Cultural Marxist/Radical Feminist Conspiracy.
The boys in #Gamergate are wise to everything but their own boogeymen. They actually believe feminism and progressiveness are literal conspiracies perpetuated by Gawker, Kotaku and the Jews to foist a progressive agenda onto an unsuspecting populace. If you're not with #Gamergate, you're against it, a shill hired to smear the movement for the main stream media.
If you share #Gamergate's views, there's money to be made in telling these boys what they want to hear. Just like Tea Partiers get their news from spin jockeys like Rush Limbaugh, #Gamergaters tune in to their own talking heads on Youtube. These guys were uploading misogynist diatribes before #Gamergate for free, but #Gamergate gave them a following and a topic for endless discussion. Some of these talking heads earn hundreds, or even thousands of dollars per video.
Sargon of Akkad:
According to his Patreon, Sargon of Akkad is creating "Philosophy, History, and Satire."
In reality, Sargon makes Youtube talk shows against feminism and progressives, with great titles like "Feminism, Chivalry, and the Civil War in the Left", "Social Justice Weasels", or "Why Gamers Had to Die: Part 3." Sargon has a British Accent, which I assume justifies the $600+ cost of his videos nowadays.
Sargon relies on his income as a #Gamergate talking head to cover his expenses -- he has no other job.
Sargon likes ancient history, which he seems to have learned about after playing too much Rome Total War. Sargon's 'philosophy' (such as it is) amounts to whining about Laci Green, Emma Watson, and Jessica Valenti a lot; as well as nourishing a special anger towards progressive radio personality Matt Binder. Back in September, Sargon broadcasted an open letter to 'Based Mom' and fake feminist Christina Hoff Sommers (of the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute), begging Sommers to host 'The Sarkeesian Effect' instead of the producers Davis Aurini and Jordan Owen.
Essentially, Sargon of Akkad comes on twice a week to give #Gamergaters the play by play of what's going on in their movement, and to update them with the newest talking points.
What's It Pay?
Sargon's Patreon income has increased steadily since he started pandering to #Gamergate in August 2014, and continued increasing even as #Gamergate itself became discredited. Last month Sargon earned an all-time high of 7201.42 from Patreon before taxes and fees, which he may well exceed this month, provided he releases enough videos. Additionally, Sargon earns ~$1.50 per thousand views his videos get on Youtube.
According to his Patreon
Photo of Thunderf00t, aka Phil Mason.
, thunderf00t (real name Phil Mason) is creating "Science and Secular Videos on YouTube", with the intent of "fighting irrationality with the blade of knowledge."
In reality, Mason makes several thousand dollars per video releasing hateful diatribes against Anita Sarkeesian, with titles like "Feminism vs. FACTS (Re: Damsel in Distress)", or the popular sequels "Feminism vs. FACT" Parts 2 and 3. Occasionally, thunderf00t releases a YouTube chemistry lesson or shows off his new Saturn V scale model rocket. These science videos typically generate less than half the views than Mason's antifeminist videos do. Although his Patreon backers pay him the same amount whether his videos are about feminism or science, Mason stands to earn more money if he criticizes Anita Sarkeesian than he will if he talks about space.
To wit, this Brit seems to know where his bread is buttered. Mason's top videos all involve Anita Sarkeesian in some way or another. People looking to abuse Anita Sarkeesian often mention Thunderf00t by name.
What's it Pay?
Mason has some sort of lab job, which prevents him from making more than a couple videos per month. As Thunderf00t's pay per video has increased the number of videos he makes decreased, holding him just about steady in terms of income.
Mason makes fewer videos than Sargon of Akkad, but he's paid handsomely for them. He earns on average 4,000 per month from Patreon for his videos, in addition to income from Youtube views.
Because Thunderf00t's videos about feminism usually generate twice the number of views his other videos do, he's created fewer funded videos about science and atheism as time goes on. In fact, Mason hasn't released a funded video about Atheism since April 2014; out of 30 funded creations of his, only 4 were about atheism.
Winners and Losers
I don't think every #Gamergater with a Patreon Account expects to earn what Sargon or Mason do, but their continued existence on Patreon encourages copycats; encourages haters to turn a buck from their online harassment.
For every Sargon of Akkad or Thunderf00t there's at least five Mundane Matts, that is guys who work just as hard on their antifeminist videos, but who don't earn enough on Patreon to pay the rent.
Following the sucess of #Gamergate's talking heads, a lot of so-called "Men's Rights Activists" jumped on board the Patreon gravy train, both as individuals (like Karen Straughan and Sage Gerard of A Voice For Men) and in groups. These accounts are patronized by the same people paying Sargon and Thunderf00t for their videos -- that's how I found them.
AVFM was listed as a hate group by the SPLC in 2012. Their rhetoric and tactics have not changed since then.
Although Patreon's Terms of Service says that bullying, threats, harassment and hate speech are not allowed on the platform, these above-mentioned accounts evidently meet their standards.
I think these accounts stay because Patreon itself profits from hosting these haters. The platform gets about 10% of the donations to any creator, as well as collected interest from monthly donations. This gives Patreon a vested interest in not dumping accounts like Sargon of Akkad's, even though they generate cash by harassing other people.
I think in the future we can expect even more misogynists crowdfunding on Patreon and on similar platforms, packaging harassment as entertainment and earning money from it as a cottage industry.
Edit: Added a little more on AVFM's background, including links to the SPLC and We Hunted the Mammoth.