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GamerGate Target Zoë Quinn Pushes Back Against Online Trolls

The book cover for "Crash Override" by Zoe Quinn.
PublicAffairs Books
The book cover for "Crash Override" by Zoe Quinn.
GamerGate Target Zoë Quinn Pushes Back Against Online Trolls
GamerGate Target Zoë Quinn Pushes Back Against Online Trolls GUEST: Zoë Quinn, author, "Crash Override"

In 2014, Zoe Quinn was the target of a harassment campaign. She just Mac she received threats of rape and they stalked her and threatened her family. There was the beginning of what is called GamerGate. The ex-boyfriend accused Quinn of having an affair to get a favorable review. When and the journalist denied the claims that GamerGate became a rallying cry for people to attack prominent women in the game industry.She has written about her battle in a new book crash over right. She spoke with Michael Lipkin.You talk about your own relationship with online forms in the book. You say basically it GamerGate had happened back then and was about someone else cut you might have been involved also.What type of harassment you participated in and what made that appealing to you?The main thing I did was when you are the only girl in an online gaming community and when you are a girl at all, you and to the community and people kind of [ Indiscernible ]Show is picture of your boobs are leaf. It is usually ironic and it is to intimidate you or start off with you new to prove that you belong here. You need to talk back and show that you can dish it as good as you can take up. The problem with being the girl is that there cannot be two the girls. You are pitted against anyone who might take a spot you know they will never treat you like you are an equal. It is the best that you can help for her that is what you are convinced on a subconscious level. It was easy to lash out against other girls.We are going to scramble and climb each other to try to get this one person slot status. I have to take you down and show that I am tougher and cooler and can talk trash. A lot of it came from the fact that I was depressed in a rural town. I would see women that I thought exemplified women heard Avenue -- better than I could and I had my own misogyny. I would lash out and call them dumb slots. I am not proud of that. It is honest and it took me a long time to get over that.Not to humanize your attackers buzz -- does that experience give you an insight into what made GamerGate so appealing?Absolutely. I knew what this was. That is one reason I was able to track and document what was happening to me. I knew what they were coordinating. I sat in the chat rooms where they planned the legal stuff and recorded it for two or three weeks before saying anything. It gave me insight. You know, it gives you insight on what not to do and what things are not -- you do not want to engage with bad faith arguments when it is not really about what happens as much as fighting you are a stand-in for someone else and they are lashing out at you because it is the closest that they can get to dealing with anything.You started working with tech companies to help them escalate cases of abuse. What was it like working with those platforms ?The longer I did it, the more weird and garbage excuses I would find. We had some success with companies. I worked with almost every big player in technology. I found out just because they are talking to you does not mean they are listening. I would get excuses from everything ranging from this guy is harassing a client and posting nude photos and sometimes post about his lunch so you cannot prove that he is just an abusive user. It does not count as harassment in cases where criminal harassment charges were pursued by the state. It was frustrating.We have received responses after Charlotte Mills and some refuse to do business with hate groups and kick them off the platforms. Do you see the social media game companies taking a harder stand against abuse you have been talking about after that ?It is starting to get to a point where people cannot ignore it anymore. The people that were responsible for doing for what they did to my life, some are in the current administration and have been involved in that. You mean the White House ?Yes.D been in and bright part were the thing that brought GamerGate into what people call the altar right and escalated things to eight new level of dangers for my family. Back then, it was hard for people to believe that this existed. I remember three years ago after that happened and storm front which was one the biggest sites were white supremacy online. We should recruit from the GamerGate kids. They are in line with what we are doing. I was trying to tell people, there are Nazis involved. They have been doing stuff online for so long and people were not taking it seriously. I think people are starting -- it is harder to deny it exists. It is hard to look away when people are marching through the streets with torches.Peterson reviewed your book for NPR and she wrote that women in gaming are defined solely by harassment and the impact on their lives and not what they create and play. Do you agree? How do you see us writing this ship?I do agree. The entire last chapter of my book talks about this. It is hard to figure out the fine line if you are a target. Do I speak out and have that be the thing that everybody knows about me? How can I reassert who I am?The bad things that happen to you overshadow who you are and what you do and even what you've done about that.I had a lot of conflict in deciding to write this book or not because I do not want to be known as a person that bad stuff happens to. I want them to know me as a creator. Focusing purely on the abuse seems to accomplish the goal of this to begin with, which was to erase my creative voice and drive me out that you are stuck in a bind because if we do not talk about it, how will you fight back? How will we be honest about our experiences. That is a difficult line to walk.Do not just show up to support people who are affected by abuse. Anybody that is facing abuse, do not just show up for the rubbernecking misery but support the work. Support the life that people are trying to snuff out. View that as a sign and not just a consumption of misery.That was Zoe speaking with Michael Lipkin. When will speak about her book this Sunday afternoon.

Video game designer Zoe Quinn was the target of an online harassment campaign in 2014. She received rape and death threats, people hacked her accounts, stalked her in person and threatened her family.

It was the beginning of GamerGate. Quinn’s ex-boyfriend had accused her of sleeping with a video game journalist for a favorable review. Quinn and the journalist denied those claims, but GamerGate soon became a rallying cry for people to attack prominent women in the game industry.

Quinn was an online harasser herself when she was a teen. She wrote about her experiences in a new memoir, "Crash Override: How GamerGate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, And How We Can Fight Back Against Online Hate." Quinn said her attacks against women online were driven in part because she was depressed and a closeted queer person.

"I knew from the start what this was," Quinn said. "It's not really about what happened, so much as finding out you're a convenient stand-in for someone else's anxiety and hurt and they're just lashing out at you because it's the closest they can get to dealing with anything."

Quinn joined KPBS Midday Edition on Thursday to discuss her efforts since GamerGate to tamp down on abuse.

Zoe Quinn Book Signing

When: Sunday 2 p.m.

Where: Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, 5943 Balboa Ave.