by Glenn Brock
Zoe Quinn just wanted to help. Now, Quinn’s a target.
Quinn, independent developer of the game Depression Quest, became the target of retaliation by many gamers, turned hackers, reports Bright Side Of News. The situation began when Quinn’s former boyfriend, Eron Gjoni, had posted a lengthy diatribe detailing Quinn’s alleged multiple affairs, including one with gaming journalist Nathan Grayson, who has written for Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun.
The backlash was due to Quinn, a developer, sleeping with a games journalist tended to show that gaming journalism, and perhaps the gaming industry itself, lacked a moral code. Gamers then took to Reddit, 4Chan and Twitter to discuss the matter. It became such a hot point of contention. However, the diatribe turned malicious, to the point that Quinn’s Reddit account was hacked, Then, Quinn’s personal information, plus more hateful posts starting to appear.
Reddit then pulled the malicious and spiteful posts off the internet. This left many gamers feeling like their First Amendment rights were being ignored, at the most violated because not just the offensive posts were removed; all posts were removed. Reddit moderator el_chupacupcake later clarified that it was Reddit’s policy to remove all offending content and report users up to Admin for ToS violations. But further reports indicate that the moderator may have been biased and was “trying to cover his own back and stem the flow of hate caused by the amount of censorship.”
The result was not what Reddit, nor anyone else, expected. Sources from outside the gaming industry began to comment on moral ambiguity seemingly within the gaming community. The bad feelings have now reached a boiling point, where now accounts by persons involved, including Quinn, are being hacked, and personal information is being posted online (addresses, bank account numbers, etc.).
Theses attacks point out another concern in the gaming industry; internal misogyny. Quinn has pledged via Twitter that “No matter how disgustingly wretched people are to me, I still love my craft and I’m not done exploring it yet.”
Quinn has also shown the way within her craft. Kpopstarz reports the death of actor Robin Williams had a role in the release of Quinn’s game, Depression Quest, a game intended to educate players about depression or other possible mental illnesses. IGN, the games’manufacturer, had received the green light to launch the game the same day Williams had committed suicide. There were many calls to not launch the game, but Quinn made another decision; the game would be released for free.
Quinn didn’t want to take advantage of the tragedy for money and decided to put it out for free. Quinn explains, “There is no way, in my mind, to ethically put something intended to be a tool for helping people behind a paywall. None.”
Quinn explained further, “I know there may be a worst case of people assuming the launch somehow is trying to capitalize on tragedy. However, I would rather have those people hate me than the people who are currently quietly suffering with this illness sit at their dinner tables tonight and hear the discussion of today’s news, hear people not understand how someone who had so much could kill themselves, and lack a resource they could have needed right then to point to and say ‘this is why.’”
Now it’s up to Quinn and the rest of the gaming community to get itself back to a point of accountability and respectability before this kind of scandal can tear them apart completely.