This morning while going about my usual internet browsing I began seeing editorials about something called #GamerGate on nearly every video game website. “What the hell is that? A new console? A new game? Why does it have such a horrible title?” I asked myself. I then clicked the article to see what these huge commotion was, little did I know that I had just stumbled upon a whole shit storm of misogyny, internet trolls, and video games.
To catch you up, here’s a quick summary of the events: Zoe Quinn, an indie game developer, released a game called Depression Quest. In August, her ex published blog posts claiming she slept with video game journalists to get good reviews, leading to an online outcry about the ethics of journalists and their connection to products. While this discussion of ethics could have brought about intellectual discussion and possible change in this journalistic community, it has instead just caused a massive shit storm of misogyny related to the allegations of Zoe Quinn and other women in the gaming industry, most notably those who identify themselves as feminists. Throughout the internet, trolls have since been carrying out horribly misogynistic attacks, involving rape and death threats, against these prominent women. The two most notable women to receive these attacks were Brianna Wu, a writer and game developer, and Anita Sarkeesian, a spokeswoman for gender equality in gaming (she runs a p sweet website on it called Feminist Frequency). The attacks made against them can be found online, but TRIGGER WARNING: they are very fucked up to put it lightly. As of right now, this whole fiasco shows no signs of coming to an end, as even large publications are beginning to cover the events.
As an avid player of video games, I have found all of these events to be deeply disturbing. I think there definitely needs to be discussion regarding ethics and misogyny within the video game industry, however this whole GamerGate fiasco just seems to be making the situation worse. The number of females gamers and females within the gaming industry continues to grow each year; I hope that as women become more prominent throughout this massive industry, the misogyny will finally dissipate and gender equality can finally be reached.