BY BRIANNA WU
They threatened the wrong woman this time. I am the Godzilla of bitches. I have a backbone of pure adamantium, and I’m sick of seeing them abuse my friends.
The misogynists and the bullies and the sadist trolls of patriarchal gaming culture threatened to murder me and rape my corpse, and I did not back down. They tried to target my company’s financial assets, and I did not back down. They tried to impersonate me on Twitter in an attempt to professionally discredit me and I did not back down.
The BBC called me “defiant” in a caption. I plan to frame and put it on my wall.
My name is Brianna Wu. Ordinarily, I develop videogames with female characters that aren’t girlfriends, bimbos and sidekicks. I am a software engineer, a popular public speaker, and an expert in the Unreal engine.
Today, I’m being targeted by a delusional mob called “Gamergate.”
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, it seems like they’re having a lot of fun.
It started two months ago, when my friend Zoe Quinn dated Eron Gjoni. Their relationship ended, as relationships sometimes do. Only, rather than get drunk and play Madden, Eron decided to secretly record everything Zoe said, and released it on a blog he titled “The Zoe Report” in an attempt to destroy her.
If Zoe had been a man, the blog would have been laughed off as the work of a jilted lover. But instead, a mob formed to destroy her. 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 Gamergate mob isn’t a new thing, though it’s only recently been named. They targeted my friend, Samantha Allen, back in July, when she dared criticize Giant Bomb’s decision to remain the only major site in videogames with a 100 percent white, straight and male employee pool.
They ran through their playbook. They targeted her on Twitter, they harassed her. They researched her past. They questioned her personal relationships. They threatened her. And they have done everything possible to try to quash one of the videogame industry’s most insightful and powerful voices.
It’s a playbook that works. They used it against Jenn Frank until she quit. They used it against Mattie Brice until she quit. They used it against Leigh Alexander. They used it against Zoe Quinn. And they used it against Anita Sarkeesian who had to cancel a speaking engagement gig this week after a school shooting threat, and now they used it against me.
What was my crime?
A fan of my show on 5by5, Isometric, made a meme of some of my Tweets about Gamergaters.
I LOLed. I tweeted. And, by Friday I was receiving death threats.