The #Gamergate hashtag is one of the most talked about topics on Twitter, which is why the gaming industry is still reeling from the recent news that an online petition had garnered more than 4 million signatures in less than two weeks.
The petition was backed by prominent gamers like Jenn Frank, who recently wrote an op-ed piece in The New York Times about her experience of being bullied online.
Jenn Frank (@JennFrank) March 8, 2020 Jenn Frank says that the #Gamergaters are “playing a game of semantics” and trying to claim that #Gamer Gate is a hate group because it has a hashtag.
“The truth is, they’re playing a game,” she told The Daily Beast.
“They’re playing semantics, because there is no hate group with #GamerGaters, because the vast majority of them are people who are passionate about games, who are gamers.
They want the games to be good and they want the medium to be free and they’re against censorship, and they have nothing to do with the hate group they are trying to label as a hate movement.”
This narrative of #Gamergal is not only inaccurate, it’s dangerous for the industry.
“If you look at what happened to #Gamer, the worst part of that is that they were trying to paint themselves as the victims of their own abuse,” said Chris Sims, CEO of the Interactive Entertainment Association, a trade group for video game publishers.
“This whole thing has been orchestrated by the very same trolls and the very people who have been attacking us, so this is a toxic situation.”
This toxic situation, which sims calls “the toxic gaming” narrative, is the most damaging to the gaming community because it fuels a cycle of violence against women, queer people, and people of color.
As Quinn and Quinns friends have explained, there is a clear narrative that says, “You’re either a gamer or you’re not, and if you’re a gamer, then you’re an asshole.”
Quinn and other women have faced online abuse for voicing their opinions on sexism and misogyny in the video game industry.
For Quinn, the online harassment became more personal after she had a boyfriend who repeatedly harassed her.
“When I was dating this guy, he would constantly come over to my apartment, yell at me in the middle of the night, and it was not just a random thing,” Quinn told The New Yorker.
“It was an expectation.
It was like, You’re my life.
You know what I’m talking about?
You know why I’m getting married?
You’re getting my money.
You’re telling me what I should think about my sex life?”
Quinn was able to confront her abusive ex-boyfriend but he threatened to kill her if she did not end her relationship with him.
“I could see him as this sort of dark, sad, lonely figure,” Quinn said.
“And I couldn’t see myself getting through this alone.”
After that, Quinn began to hear the stories of other women who had been sexually assaulted, and she began to see the effects of the toxic gaming narrative that she and her friends had begun to hear.
“There was this sense of entitlement that was there,” Quinn wrote to The New Republic.
“But then there was this fear of coming forward.”
Quinns boyfriend, meanwhile, continued to harass her online.
She had no idea that he was targeting her for harassment until one of her harassers posted an online photo of Quinns ex-husband and other online acquaintances that he had posted online, Quinn said, adding that the harassment continued for weeks.
“He would send me a photo of people he had been harassing, and I would say, ‘Oh my God, that is the person you are talking about.
This is my ex-fiancee,’ ” Quinn said in an interview with Salon.
Quinns partner, meanwhile , was able fight back, eventually confronting the abuser and helping to get him to apologize to Quinn and her partner.
“After that, he stopped harassing me,” Quinns said.
The abuse that Quinn and others faced online was just one of many examples of the vicious cycle that the online abuse and harassment of women has created in the gaming world.
This cycle has also contributed to a growing backlash against gaming itself, which has created an environment where women are less safe online.
“These types of attacks on women, these types of online harassment are part of a larger trend of harassment and violence against the women in our industry,” Sims told The Atlantic.
“So it’s a really sad thing to see that it’s so normalized.
We’re supposed to just accept it, to be normal, to just be gamers, to accept what our games are and the way that they are portrayed, because we’re not the target.
We are the target of these types (of attacks).”
A recent study found that 80 percent of online gamers have been sexually