Embarrassing Week in the Gaming Industry Concludes with #WeLoveGameDevs Twitter Campaign
This week has been a hugely embarrassing week in the gaming industry. For those who are blissfully unaware of what went down over the past few days (you have my eternal envy), I’ll bullet-point a rundown for you:
- Zoe Quinn, the maker of the Steam game Depression Quest, saw the ins-and-outs of her tumultuous relationship with an ex-boyfriend brought into the public domain, after said ex-boyfriend posted a lengthy blog detailing how she allegedly cheated on him with a few relatively well-known people in the industry, including Kotaku reporter Nathan Greyson.
- 4Chan users then hacked her Tumblr account and leaked her personal information online, including her cellphone number and address, with pornographic photographs she had taken for a website also being circulated. Some have debated that Quinn herself pretended that she had been hacked and posted fake information on her Tumblr page in order to court sympathy but, like many facets of this controversy, that’s all still up for debate and to my eyes, it seems unlikely.
- Tons of abuse began being hurled at her on Twitter followed by messages of support, which inevitably saw her become a trending topic on the social networking site.
- Fez creator Phil Fish defended her, which then led to yet more outpourings of abuse.
- YouTube personalities TotalBiscuit and JonTron passed judgement on the controversy in a rather ill-advised fashion, instead focusing upon the ethics of game journalism and bringing into question unproven “evidence” against Zoe Quinn’s case that claimed she’d “slept her way into” the games industry.
- Zoe Quinn repeatedly stating that her private life is no one else’s business, and refusal to discuss the matter outside of detailing the level of abuse she is receiving, continues to lead to calls that she MUST be guilty of all the accusations thrown her way, because anyone who doesn’t lay bare their soul for the Internet to dissect is a wrongdoer.
So that’s about it. There are obviously some pieces of the puzzle that I’ve skipped across in this whole mess, but that’s the general gist of what’s been the hot talking topic this week and, as previously mentioned, it’s embarrassing. It’s embarrassing because an individual’s private life is completely inconsequential, and those who are barking the loudest about this “controversy” are the ones who sound like deranged, misogynistic, hateful excuses for human beings.
If someone previously unacquainted with the “gaming community” was to have taken a peek into our world this week, they would’ve backed the Hell out and vowed to never return again.
But this whole controversy has inspired some degree of good will, after Keith Stuart of The Guardian started up the hashtag campaign #WeLoveGameDevs, which has seen users on Twitter posting nice things about game developers who they appreciate.
You can scroll through all of the posts that include the hashtag right here. Obviously this isn’t addressing the major point here, which is the rampant misogyny that is still so prevalent in this industry (even if you find Zoe Quinn’s actions questionable and are rooted in the camp that believe she has somehow set this whole thing up, there’s no denying that she’s had some awful sexist abuse lobbed at her), but it’s at least something nice that has come out of this whole mess.