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Brianna Wu speaks up about the GamerGate threats that chased her out of her home
“It was an absolute pleasure knocking you on your ass for the fine women in this field.”
Warning: This story contains explicit material that may be NSFW.
In an op-ed published this morning on xoJane.com, Wu speaks out about her experience, and defiantly refused to back down in the face of those threats:
“If you don’t know what Gamergate is, my God do I envy you. Gamergate is basically a group of boys that don’t want girls in their videogame clubhouse. Only, instead of throwing rocks, they threaten to rape you. And, if that doesn’t work, they’ll secretly record your conversations and release the lurid details of your sex life in a public circus. From seeing the #gamergate mobs plan this on 8chan.co, it seems like they’re having a lot of fun.”
Wu’s is the third high-profile case of a woman being forced to abandon her home after her personal information, including her home address, was published online. She fled on Friday, Oct. 9, and the incident helped spark a galvanized campaign against GamerGate. Since Monday evening, #StopGamerGate2014 has been at the top of the trending list on Twitter.
Wu recounts how Gamergate began with a blog post by Eron Gjoni, a bitter ex-boyfriend of Zoe Quinn, developer of the indie game Depression Quest. In the post, Gjoni accused Quinn of infidelity, and alleged that Quinn had a relationship with Kotaku reporter Nathan Grayson.
“Ostensibly concerned about ethics, GamerGate was very worried about Gjoni’s accusations that Zoe might have had a relationship with a journalist to get favorable reviews of her universally celebrated title, Depression Quest, which has been downloaded more than a million times and has helped countless people better understand their depression.
“It tells you everything you need to know about GamerGate that this mob went after Zoe and not the journalist.”
The threats against Wu occurred the day after she posted the results of a meme generator making fun of GamerGate—namely, the idea of a straight, white, male majority of gamers claiming oppression.
These threats were very detailed, specific, and—warning—extremely violent:
“I have to be honest. A mob telling you they will castrate your husband, make you choke to death on the parts, murder any children you might have, and then rape your ass until it bleeds has a way of scaring the hell out of you.
“But, you know, because I am the Godzilla of bitches, by Saturday morning I was pissed off. I’m talking Jack Bauer pissed off. So, I decided I was going to do everything in my power to stop these fuckers.”
Wu details how the financial assets of her company have been targeted, and the Metacritic score for her iOS game Revolution 60 has been targeted and lowered, and how noises in the room at night have made her fear for her life.
Wu has decided not to back down an inch in the face of this harassment. She recently spoke with MSNBC and CNN in regards to the recent school shooting threat in response to Anita Sarkeesian’s canceled appearance at Utah State University.
Mainstream media outlets like the New York Times and BBC have begun to take notice of the GamerGate phenomenon and to criticize the harassment and abuse against women that have persisted over the past two months. Gaming blog Kotaku and Jerry Holkins, the author of the popular webcomic Penny Arcade have also spoken up on the issue, decrying the use of rape and death threats to harass women in the video game industry.
“GamerGate, I have one message for you so listen up. When you take your last dying breath, I want you to know this. It was an absolute pleasure knocking you on your ass for the fine women in this field,” wrote Wu.
Photo via Brianna Wu | Remix by Jason Reed
Dennis Scimeca was the Daily Dot's gaming reporter until 2016. He loves first-person shooters, role-playing games, and massively multiplayer online games. His work has appeared in Salon, NPR, Ars Technica, Kotaku, Polygon, Gamasutra, GamesBeat, Paste, and Mic.