I love video games. I have been playing them since I was about seven and my parents bought my sister and me an original Nintendo. Technically, it was my sister’s, but she could never beat a game, so it ended up being solely mine for the duration of our childhood. From there I moved on to the original Gameboy (Tetris was my original addiction) then to the next system onto the next system. It is a major part of my life to this day as I try to keep up with the journalism, development, production, and the entire industry entirely.
It is because of my love of this medium and its amazing potential that events of the past week have completely disgusted me. If you are blissfully unaware of what has transpired, I suggest you simply Google (weird that this is a verb, right?) “Zoe Quinn“, “Phil Fish“, or “Anita Sarkeesian.” (I even helped a bit). All three have been at the center of a massive Internet shit storm, though more accurately Zoe Quinn is the epicenter and Phil Fish came under fire for defending her. Anita Sarkeesian is, at this point, a constant target for Internet trolls for her series of online videos.
Basically, all three have been harassed and victims of online attacks (hacks of private and professional information). As well, friends, family members, and colleagues have also been victims of this harassment. All this had been done because of supposed nepotism of gaming journalism and supposed sexual favors exchanged for positive game reviews. Yeah, you read that last statement correctly.
Honestly, I think Fish is kind of an asshole, I find Sarkeesian’s criticism shallow and lacking actual video game experience, and I am unfamiliar with Quinn’s work. Steam is currently offering her game for free, so I will check it out and then formulate an opinion of her as a developer. Here is the basic truth, regardless of what I think of these individuals or their work, they are not deserving of the harassment that has transpired, and there is no other word to describe what they have gone through.
Frankly, even if Quinn did do half the shit she is being accused of, it still would not justify the kind of crap she has dealt with in the last week. Look, video games are an amazing medium and the possibility of what they can become and do is mind melting. However, this kind of shit has to stop. We can do, be better. We have to.