What is Gamer Gate?
Okay, so it’s like this… *clears throat*
Some bare facts and foundations for context:
- Video game journalism is totally a new thing and it kind of sucks most of the time.
- Zoe Quinn is a video game developer who speaks out…
Okay I’m going to break my rule about not engaging in stupid internet debates here because I think it’s important to point out that the guy who made the posts in the first place was not just a run-of-the-mill vengeful ex-boyfriend. He was trying to publicize the fact that she was emotionally abusive. Here’s some notable quotes from here:
"In advance of any trilby-wearing e-sleuths, allow me to save you some time — yes, that means she was having sex with Josh Boggs right before he hired her. No, that doesn’t mean anyone’s going to risk their game’s success on an unqualified narrative designer for side benefits. Zoe is in fact a pretty solid narrative designer."
"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."
So essentially, on one side, we have a bunch of obnoxious gamer dudes using an abuse survivor’s account as a soapbox while disregarding the abuse part in order to shout “wahhh there are women involved in video games and it’s threatening to me” and generally being misogynistic jerks. Then, on the other side, we have a bunch of feminists who either (a) only have secondhand information about the issue and don’t actually know about the emotional abuse part, or (b) are conveniently ignoring the abuse issue in order to focus on their pet cause.
I will grant that most people on the SJ side of the debate fall under Category A, but the fact that there are any people in Category B is worrying and sad. And while I won’t deny that addressing misogyny in gaming circles is an important issue, standing up for abuse survivors is much more important, and this is a situation in which it would be very easy to do both at the same time, yet very few people are doing it.
is there any evidence that she was actually emotionally abusive though?
I mean this is coming from a dude who has been trying to destroy her life by trying to create some “conspiracy” about her.
I really don’t trust anything that he says about Zoe Quinn to be honest. If she WAS abusive, then that sucks and should be dealt with, but what he’s doing right now, in my eyes, destroys any credibility he could possibly have without some solid evidence. It’s pretty clear they have no qualms about lying about shit she did just to wreck her reputation.
First off, I’d like to respectfully point out that “he’s probably just lying to ruin her reputation” is not, in general, a good way to approach accusations of abuse.
Second, if you haven’t already, I would recommend you read the blog that started it all. Here, have another link. If you have not already read it, please note the all-caps, bolded note under TLDR telling people not to harass Zoe or her friends, the part (which I quoted above) where he says that he doesn’t believe Zoe was sleeping with her boss just to promote her game, and the many times he provides proof of what he’s saying. If you have already read it, then I’m really curious to see where you’re getting this “conspiracy” thing from. Maybe I’m just bad at reading comprehension, but that’s not the vibe I’m getting from it (although, to be fair, I only had time to read about half of it).
Also, I have stuff I need to do tonight, so if you reblog this with a response and I don’t reply, that’s probably why.
1, From Eron Gjon’s account of it, it’s clear that ZQ was emotionally abusive. She didn’t just cheat on him; in covering up her cheating, she lied, she was a hypocrite, and she gaslighted EG. It was emotionally abusive. Furthermore, she had to know in advance that what she was doing would end up hurting EG horribly, even though she said that wasn’t her goal.
I think you and I agree that what ZQ did was abusive and horrible. For that reason, I’m not going to spend more time establishing that point.
2. It’s also clear that Eron Gjon is abusive. Taking a ton of private communications with your ex - carefully edited and extensively annotated to paint as ugly a picture of her as possible - and releasing them to the public is a betrayal, it is knowingly cruel, and it IS abusive.
This would be shitty behavior from anyone - but it’s particularly shitty because EG’s release guaranteed a torrent of misogynistic abuse which he anticipated and quietly participated in (for instance, EG was the one who made up the “Burgers and Fries” nickname for ZQ, and he said in an interview that he anticipated the joke would take off.) He had to know in advance that ZQ would end up being exposed to a ton of misogynistic abuse and threats, although he says that wasn’t his goal.
3. EG’s descriptions of what ZG did are sometimes biased. For example, he describes her as “ostracizing” him, a term that means isolating someone from society - something abusers often do to their victims. When I read that term, I thought “that figures, abusers ostracize their victims all the time.” But in fact, he’s using the word to mean when she chose not to talk to him over the internet, because (according to EG) she suspected he intended to publicly humiliate her by releasing any electronic communication she had with him.
Refusing to talk to someone is not “ostracizing” them. And contrary to what EG seemed to think, she had every right to refuse, ESPECIALLY if she (correctly) suspected that he only wanted to IM with her in order to hurt her.
4. It really bothers me that this whole situation has ended up with both of them seemingly incapable of recognizing that they’ve been abusive. I suspect that both of them will continue to be abusive in their future relationships, but I hope I’m wrong.
Normally, leaking private communications is shitty and abusive. But he was doing it specifically to provide evidence that he was abused. There is no way to win here. If he had not shared those chatlogs, the same people criticising him for sharing them would be saying “where is the evidence?”
It’s like… if person A and person B have consensual sex, and make a private film of it, and then person B leaks it without permission, person B is a scumbag abuser. But say person A and person B agree to have sex and film it, then person B changes their mind, and says “no, please stop” while the camera is rolling, and person A ignores it and rapes person B on camera. Under those cricumstances, it is perfectly legitimate for person B to leak the sex tape in order to prove they were abused (if they choose to do so.)
I am not saying that gaslightling is as bad as rape, but it is still bad. It was bad enough that it resulted in EG having significant health problems as a result.
And he shouldn’t have called her a mean name, but a mean name is not abuse. Especially when he called her a mean name for being an abuser. Am I an abuser for referring to the person who abused me as Creepy Ex? (I admit I have a personal stake in this issue.)
I don’t think we’re going to reach agreement here (although I respect you a lot). A few points:
1) I don’t take either ZQ or EG at their word. You seem to be assuming that what EG says is reliable. I think that’s a mistake. Most abusers will, if asked, say that what they did wasn’t their own fault, the other person made them do it, etc etc..
2) I just can’t see what ZQ did as even remotely the same as rape. I think pretty much anything someone does to their rapist is justified, but I don’t agree that the abuse ZQ committed makes abusing ZQ in turn okay.
Millions of people have gone through exactly what EG went through without deliberately attacking their ex by sharing private chats and setting off thousands of misogynistic attacks on their ex. It’s not something EG did to survive, it’s what he did to abuse.
3) Before addressing if there was another way for EG to “win,” I want to point out that I don’t care if he “wins” in the sense of getting to attack and humiliate his ex publicly. It’s important that he gets what he needed to get out of a toxic relationship, and to get the support he needs to recover from ZQ’s emotional abuse. But if he doesn’t get to set off a misogynistic shitstorm and public shaming at his ex, that’s an acceptable outcome, even if it means he doesn’t “win.”
4) EG had other options. For instance, he could have offered to share the documents with anyone in his life who doubted his description of what happened. That’s a real and legitimate need - being believed by those in your life, getting their support and understanding. And if doing that meant that ZQ was humiliated in their social circle and lost some friends, well, fuck ZQ.
But what EG wanted was for people who *aren’t* in his life - people like reporters, 4chan, the general public, ZQ’s parents, etc - to know about ZQ’s sex life and hate her for it. That’s not something he needed to do to survive an abusive relationship. It was just being abusive.
5) My point about “Burgers and Fries” wasn’t that name-calling is always wrong - you call your ex whatever you want! :-p My point was, EG consciously set up and contributed to the enormous misogynist storm, even while he said he was against it. We know from interviews that it didn’t take him by surprise; he expected it to happen.