GamerGate has once again made the headlines by threatening a female game developer with death threats to her Twitter page. The developer, Brianna Wu, has taken the message public after she and her husband were forced to leave her home from fear, when she went into hiding. Though GamerGate has targeted woman developers in the past, this time their twisted, masculine view of video game journalism ethics is getting morbid.
It was not long ago that Brianna Wu started receiving threats on her Twitter account, stating terrible things like that she made a game that nobody liked and was gonna die, that they knew where she lived, and the most recent one, threatening Brianna that her mutilated corpse will be on the front page though there is not jack s#!t she can do about it. These threats came from an account named “Death to Brianna.” Many of the other threats posted were of sexual assault to Brianna and finally murder.
It is heavily believed that these threats are from those behind the movement of GamerGate, in which those behind it are sexist in the technology industry. They state that their only concern is about ethics in video game developing, however, their messages in the past, mostly sent to woman, have made them seem like nothing other than a hate group.
According to sources Zoe Quinn was the first female developer that was targeted by the group. Her attacker was an ex-boyfriend who accused her of cheating on him with a journalist who covered gaming news. This is supposedly what started the whole movement, as many gamers after that began posting on social media sites about the unethical parts of gaming journalism. The ex was Eron Gjoni who originally published a 9,000 word WordPress that detailed his relationship with Quinn. Though his mother apparently told him to cool off, as he told her his plans of publishing the 9,000 word post, Gjoni is supposedly the one who started the movement. When reporters spoke with him about the movement they said he seems both disgusted and proud to have began such a movement.
Anita Sarkeesian was, then, another female developer who made big headlines after GamerGate sent threats. She began receiving threats of violence, including rape and death, from activists in the GamerGate society, which caused her to cancel a speaking event at Utah State University, after an email was sent to her threatening to make her speaking event “the deadliest school shooting in American history.” Though the threats have caused her much concern she has been speaking out against the attacks that female developers receive. The media believe that she was the target because of her support for female game developers.
It is believed that the threats to Brianna were not by chance, as she had created a meme that poked fun at the GamerGate movement, the attacks are just another example of the movement’s message that female developers are not welcome, in their eyes.
The amount that the group has grown since the month of August has become alarming to the authorities. Many female developers are pushing Twitter, asking them to make it harder for this group to target females on social media, as well as making it harder to find their personal information, after Brianna had to leave her home.
So far the messages have only been threats but female developers are wondering just how long, if at all, it will take for the threats to turn into real tragedies, especially when their threats are so heinous.
By Crystal Boulware