EDITOR’S NOTE: The viewpoints in this article do not represent the opinions of The Writer’s Bloc.

If you’ve been anywhere on the Internet these past couple of months, then you’ve probably heard of and/or are completely sick of something called “Gamergate.”

This whole mess started back in August when a man named Eron Gjoni created a blog post claiming that his then-girlfriend independent game developer Zoe Quinn cheated on him with at least 5 men involved with the video game industry in order to gain favorable reviews on her game Depression Quest.

Later on it was found that one editor for Polygon who had reviewed Quinn’s game was contributing to her Patreon. Gjoni’s claims went viral and incited a mass discussion on corruption within the video game journalism industry.

Within a week of its creation, the hashtag #Gamergate was retweeted nearly 250,000 times. The online movement left the Web, reaching as far as the pages of The New Yorker.

On the surface, Gamergate seems like a great idea. The gamers are finally taking control of their industry back from the corrupt masters! Except, that’s not what’s happening.

In an article she wrote for the humor website, Quinn detailed the nightmare her life has become since the movement began. She has received death threats. She has had her character torn apart by complete strangers. She has become the subject of rape fantasies. The Gamegaters even found her home number and called her father to tell him that his daughter is a whore.

Regardless of whether or not Quinn actually cheated on her ex, her treatment has been absolutely vile. Any movement that can’t get its point across without resorting to rape threats is not a movement worth following.

Quinn is not the sole target of the Gamegaters. Video game critic and feminist Anita Sarkeesian had to cancel a talk at Utah State University due to death threats she received. Sarkeesian had a negative reputation in gaming even before Gamergate due to her controversial series “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games” and her unclear use of Kickstarter funds, so it is understandable if not excusable why she is getting this kind of backlash, but fan favorites are being thrown under the bus as well.

Fandom darling Felicia Day, known for her role as the witty and charming Charlie Bradbury on “Supernatural,” was doxed less than an hour after making a post about how the current environment in the gaming industry made her fear for her safety. Game developer Brianna Wu was forced to flee her home over online harassment.

Gamergate has its extremists, as does any other ideal that reaches this magnitude. But these actions are not the work of extremists as much as they are a reflection of the current sense of entitlement within the gaming community. There is a status quo within gaming, and once that is breached, the floodgates of Hell are opened.

Not all gamers are committing these horrible acts, but enough are sitting back and just letting them happen to reflect poorly on the entire community.

It should be noted that former NFL player Chris Kluwe has spoken up against Gamergate, yet he has yet to receive any serious threats of violence. No matter what some on Twitter may say, women are being unfairly targeted through this.

No matter what the original intentions may have been of Gamergate’s creators, the movement is now little more than a toxic mass witch hunt that seeks to blame the very people who it is meant to protect. Those who support it are willingly siding themselves with people who threaten violence and harm to get what they want.

Things need to change in the video game industry. Something needs to be done about the intensely toxic environment and the way that corporations can now pay major reviewers for good reviews, among other things. However, Gamergate is neither the movement gaming needs nor the one it deserves.

writersblocheadshots14Rosie Brown is a sophomore prospective journalism major and can be reached at

2 responses to “Blog: Gamergate – a New Era of Online Witch Hunts”

  1. Frank Furter Avatar

    Rosie, you are a prospective journalist and therefore understand the need to stick to facts, right.

    You said Gamergaters did this that and the thing. It is what you wrote as a fact based claim. So you MUST have evidence or some proof for us to see it WAS actually gamergaters, right?

    I mean this is not just speculation…

    You have been fair and balanced in reporting that just as many people who are supporting gamergate (gamergaters) are getting targeted with doxxing and death threats right? No?

    Why the Hell not?!

    This is precisely the kind of thing we are fighting against,

    To save you the actual need to investigate both sides of things I will fill you in

    Gamergate is online. On a semi-anonymous media. It is very active. It has two polarised camps and the tensions are high.

    Who BESIDES people that are either for Gamergate or against Gamergate may wish to tap into the high tensions between two camps? Trolls. Trolls like the Brazilian hack journalist that posted as AnitaChristian and AnitaforJesus and threatened Anita. Each time he appeared Gamergate supporters quickly reported him and condemned his actions. As we did DeathtoBrianna.

    GNAA and SomethingAwful have been linked to at least a few attacks…..which you would certainly know if you did a modicum of journalistic investigation right?

    You also know that the people (whoever they were) that threatened Zoe Quinn were not “gamergaters” because you know that the hashtag was not even invented at that time, right?

    I mean what research have you actually done? No, I am serious. Who did you speak to? Which supporter of gamergate? You say what it is not about and you have no idea of what is going on? How does that work?

    Is this an indication of the level of journalistic integrity and skills you will go into the workforce with?

  2. Gamer Activist Avatar
    Gamer Activist

    Most sensible people would agree the #Gamergate movement went too far. There have been ridiculous apologists of this mob mentality by writers like Scott Cameron of Arlington, Washington who penned the book “Understanding #Gamergate.” #Gamergate brought out the lowest common denominator within the gaming community and gamers like myself are more than happy to call it out.

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