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Another woman in games driven from her home by harassers

Another woman in games driven from her home by harassers

October 11, 2014 | By Kris Graft

October 11, 2014 | By Kris Graft
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More: Console/PC, Indie



Another woman has been driven from home due to online harassment - and yet again, the victim is a woman in video games.

Brianna Wu is head of development at all-women game developer Giant Spacekat, the studio behind well-received mobile game Revolution 60. After receiving death threats last night from a Twitter user who accurately stated her and her husband’s home address, she informed police, who came to her residence. Wu’s Twitter states she and her spouse then went “somewhere safe” for the evening.

One of the several highly-disturbing tweets directed at Wu stated, “I’ve got a K-bar [a military combat knife] and I’m coming to your house so I can shove it up your ugly feminist c***.”

Wu attributed the threat directly to the online campaign #GamerGate, a group that categorizes itself as a “consumer advocacy” or a “consumer revolt” “movement,” though major tech blogs, mainstream media -- and more directly various #GamerGate chat logs -- have shown clear ties to organized harassment campaigns rooted in misogyny and sexism against women.

Wu’s decision to leave her house out of fear for her life is just the latest occurrence of women in video games coming under attack. This year, game developer Zoe Quinn and feminist game critic Anita Sarkeesian also left their homes following incessant harassment. In both their cases, authorities also got involved.

While Quinn, Sarkeesian, and Wu were subject to the most extreme degrees of harassment, it’s happening to varying extent to other women in games and tech, with some not leaving their homes, but instead leaving anything from their social media accounts to their careers in order to feel safe, or at least sane.

In light of recent attacks against people in games, the International Game Developers Association issued a statement saying it would be working with the FBI in regards to the harassment of game developers, for both men and women.

Via Twitter, Wu said despite last night’s incident, she would keep on fighting for women in video games. “Announcement: I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE,” she said. "I am going to keep making games. And I will keep speaking up for women in gamedev.”

[Disclaimer: #GamerGate proponents recently organized and successfully executed a campaign to have our ad partner Intel pull an ad campaign.]


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