In the world of misogynist gamers, apparently the funnest thing in the whole world is to try to destroy the life of feminists in the gaming world. Recently, there were the death threats against Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian after she dared to post videos making very rigorous and grounded analysis of the content of video games. But it turns out for a year and half, independent game designer Zoe Quinn has been the the subject of an internet witch hunt of such scale and it was reported in The New Yorker. The story is that a jilted ex decided to write some revenge porn about her and posted it on every forum he could find. A bunch of morons bit the bait and ran with it, because to them, Quinn represented a jezebel who had apparently ruined the whole of gaming by slutting her way to getting attention for her games and amassing a HUGE WEALTH (ha!) for things like her free text-based game about depression (which is now going on my simulation course syllabus).
Here, Quinn tells Cracked about the lessons she learned from this experience, the saddest of which is how easily all this game happen to feminists who work in gaming. I love video games. There is nothing inherently masculine about interactive multimedia, and yet there is a strong, angry contingent of players who seem to want to treat it as if gaming was they own private boys only club house. I want to see more games, diverse games that explore the potential of the medium, that simulate modes of interaction other than shooting your friends (as feminist game developer Celia Pearce has described it) and I think diversity among developers is much needed. Consider it the feminist standpoint theory of game development. This was goal of Pearce, Jacki Morie, Tracy Fullerton and Janine Fron’s Ludica Collective. If we want to open up this field, we need not only to include more women and other underrepresented groups and encourage them to create brave work that speaks to their own experiences and sensibilities, we also need to support them in through this bullshit and make clear, as Quinn points out, that a small group of bullies can’t fool us.