Zoe Quinn, the indie game maker who developed Depression Quest, which went viral after Robin Williams' suicide, is under attack by anti-feminists and misogynists from the gaming world.
Gaming misogyny is a growing problem. Recently it was reported that Zoe Quinn was harassed by a vindictive ex-boyfriend in a battle being called "Quinngate." Reports say that Quinn's ex-boyfriend started a blog designed to humiliate and shame the developer, accusing Quinn of sleeping with video game industry biggies. According to the website Geek Feminism Wiki ""The anonymous blog author himself acknowledges the role of 4chan in proxy recruitment for further harassment of Quinn."
In her own blog, which begins "Once again, I will not negotiate with terrorists," Quinn says her ex-boyfriend's blog includes "the proliferation of nude pictures of me, death threats, vandalization, doxxing of my trans friends for having the audacity to converse with me publicly, harassment of friends and family and my friends' family in addition to TOTALLY UNRELATED PEOPLE, sending my home address around, rape threats, memes about me being a whore, pressures to kill myself, slurs of every variety, fucking debates over what my genitals smell like," all pushed by her ex and his use of "4chan as his own personal army."
Fruzsina Eördögh at Vice's Motherboard told media outlets that the harassment campaign "includes sharing her personal information, defamatory YouTube videos, and weird phone calls to her parents."
The developer reached out to other victims of harassment while she gets on with her life.
"I'm looking forward to moving on and getting back to work. To anyone else who has had to deal with this kind of indignity on any scale, you have my undying support and my ear if you ever want to talk to someone who might understand. To the people who support my work and can see this crusade for what it is, thank you from the bottom of my heart. To those people, I love you, I always have, and I always will," she concluded in her blog post.
Quinn developed "Depression Quest," which IGN called "an adventure in empathy." The game was designed to help people understand depression.
Zoe Quinn got notification that Depression Quest got launch approval on Steam just as news of Robin Williams' suicide broke. According to Zoe's site Quinnspiracy, "After a long uphill battle since getting Greenlit in January, Depression Quest was planned to, and approved for, launch on Steam today. Literally minutes after we got the notification, beloved actor Robin Williams was found dead from a suspected suicide after a long struggle with depression. We were all ready to hit the big red button the minute that the news broke."
Zoe didn't want to take advantage of the tragedy for money and decided to put it out for free, explaining "There is no way, in my mind, to ethically put something intended to be a tool for helping people behind a paywall. None."
Quinn explained "I know there may be a worst case of people assuming the launch somehow is trying to capitalize on tragedy. However, I would rather have those people hate me than the people who are currently quietly suffering with this illness sit at their dinner tables tonight and hear the discussion of today's news, hear people not understand how someone who had so much could kill themselves, and lack a resource they could have needed right then to point to and say 'this is why.'"