The last two weeks have been, for gamers, ugly. Anita Sarkeesian needs no introduction, but there was also the Zoe Quinn scandal, wherein a woman’s ex aired their (likely fabricated) dirty laundry and the gamers who hated her jumped all over it. It was a vast, ugly, and often misogynistic attack, and an embarrassment to gaming.
And gamers have come to a grand conclusion about this. Namely, that it’s someone else’s fault. Welcome to #GamerGate.
Back up: Who’s Zoe Quinn?
A game developer, best known for the indie game Depression Quest. Which in turn, is best known for the gaming press liking it a lot more than actual gamers, some of whom feel that the game only got the reviews it did because Quinn claimed to have been harassed, which would never happen, because gamers have never, in the history of the internet, acted like utter douchebags in large groups.
Recently, she’s been in the press because, as we noted, her ex-boyfriend has accused her of trading sexual favors for positive reviews. This immediately exploded on the Internet, because gamers have literally nothing else to worry about than the sex life of a developer whose game they didn’t like.
So how did this become a trending hashtag?
Essentially, the reaction to the accusations against Quinn got ugly pretty fast, especially on 4Chan and Tumblr. In turn, there were a lot of thinkpieces about gamers being awful and how this is a watershed moment in gaming. Which, to be fair, were pretty awful in of themselves, rife with the kind of dumb faux identity politics gamers have been so prone to lately. We’re consumers, not an oppressed minority.