Zoe Quinn, one of the primary targets of the GamerGate online harassment campaign, sat down with BBC technology reporter David Lee to discuss the personal cost of being the focal point of a hate campaign.
Quinn, along with critic Anita Sarkeesian and game developer Brianna Wu, has been the focus of a hate campaign that has included rape and death threats which have driven the women out of their homes and into hiding.
Developer of the game Depression Quest, Quinn became the target of choice for the predominantly male gamer community after her ex-boyfriend, Eron Gjoni, published a post on his blog accusing her of infidelity. Gamers began posting personal details about her life, threatening her, and accusing her of using sex to garner favorable reviews for her game under the cover of concern over “journalism ethics.”
Attributing the harassment campaign to Gjoni, calling it “glorified revenge porn by my angry ex,” Quinn explained how the constant harassment and threats have impacted her life.
“The first thing you lose is all perspective,” she said. “It’s like you’re constantly surrounded by nothing but hate, and it’s virulent and it’s everywhere. Especially with someone with anxiety disorder, It’s, like … I fell into it. It was like falling into static.”
Quinn detailed the loss she now feels, having been made to feel she no longer is a part of the gaming community.
“I used to go to games events and feel like I was going home,” Quinn said. “Now it’s just like… are any of the people I’m currently in the room with ones that said they wanted to beat me to death?”
“It’s terrifying. It sucks to not have any privacy. This has all been so public. It’s more scrutiny than a politician faces – it’s living with constant fear in a place I called home.”
Watch the video below from the BBC: