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Zoe Quinn reveals the grim details of her pre-GamerGate harassment
Online harassment of female game developers is nothing new.
Trigger warning: The video below includes footage of graphic threats delivered online via text.
It’s too easy for someone to dismiss stories of rape and death threats when they’re responding to words on a screen. When someone tells the stories to their face, however, it’s a much different experience.
The documentarians behind GameLoading: Rise of the Indies, a film about the global explosion of indie game development which is currently raising money on Kickstarter, have released footage of women talking about the harassment they have to deal with on account of entering the video game development industry.
The footage includes Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn describing some of the earliest harassment she faced as a result of her work being recognized. Quinn is only one of several speakers in the video who collectively discuss where this hatred comes from, and how their love of video games spurs them to confront that hate.
The producers have told the Daily Dot that these videos were shot between March and May 2014, which would put them well before the rise of the Gamergate movement that formed in the wake of a controversy involving Quinn. Gamergate is ostensibly about ethics in game journalism, though it was recently identified as a hate group by a social researcher. It has been linked to continuing harassment, including threats of a school shooting in the face of a lecture appearance by video game critic Anita Sarkeesian.
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.