Photo via @MsMinotaur.
What do you do when an ex-boyfriend creates a blog to discredit you as a person and as a professional? You do what video game developer Zoe Quinn did and go undercover.
Yesterday, Quinn revealed in a Storify of chatroom screenshots that the movement #gamergate — created allegedly to expose conflicts of interests in the game journalism world — was actually engineered by 4chan to discredit women and feminists in the gaming industry.
GamerGate started when Quinn's ex-boyfriend, Eron Gjoni, created a blog detailing, in several acts, his relationship with Quinn, littered with personal photos and chats between the two of them. During his tell-all, Gjoni accused Quinn of cheating on him many times, implying that liaisons with game journalists were quid pro quo for good reviews of her games.
The nerd world went wild with, predictably, one community calling this an expose of undue influence on game reviews, and others calling it a smear campaign intending to discredit a woman leading in a male-dominated industry.
"Know that this has little to do with cheating — that was just the incidental context I had the most proof of to highlight the rest of her abusive behavior and character," Gjoni said in his blog (despite the fact that he made the entirety of the post about her cheating on him). He's continued to insist that this was a way for him to reveal nepotism in the industry.
Meanwhile, Quinn was subjected to a barrage of harassment, including death threats and having her personal information circulated on the internet. She's been outspoken on the matter and has involved law enforcement, after being the victim of death threats, nude photo leaks, and sexual harassment.
4chan has responded by saying that Quinn is in fact the engineer of Gamergate, so it looks like the saga may continue.
For now, Gjoni's expose on Quinn isn't a smoking gun proving journalist conspiracies, it's solid proof that the web is a dangerous place for a woman.