So remember Gamergate? That whole thing where a woman was harassed endlessly because “attacking corruption in gaming journalism” and “calling an indie game developer a slut” are apparently synonymous? Well, it’s about to get a whole lot worse, because there is going to be a movie about it.
A deal has been made to turn Zoe Quinn’s memoir Crash Override: How To Save The Internet From Itself into a film, which mostly focuses on the Gamergate controversy. It’s the kind of story I could see being a very interesting movie. It’s also going to bring a shitstorm of backlash with it.
See, Gamergate isn’t known for being a quiet movement. Doxxing was rampant, and while it did occur on both sides, it was the primary weapon of the pro-Gamergate faithful, and their attacks were largely aimed at women. And even though it has been well over a year since this whole exercise in slut-shaming started, it hasn’t come close to slowing down. Just last month SXSW canceled two panels related to Gamergate after bomb threats were received. So yeah, we are dealing with just the most emotionally stable people here.
Now just imagine what is going to happen when this movie comes out. It’s based on Quinn’s memoir, so it is absolutely going to be critical of the Gamergate movement/quest to put women in their place. You can claim that it is biased, which it kind of is. But it’s hard to paint the side that relentlessly harassed someone, threatened them with sexual violence, and posted their private information online in a positive light.
This is not a group that takes any kind of criticism well, and we are going to be in for a whole mess of online attacks, threats against theaters, and maybe even an attempt to steal Christmas. Who knows what they’ll do to try and stop something from providing a different opinion than theirs.
Now, I’m not trying to say this movie shouldn’t be made, or that doing so would be too dangerous. As someone who followed the story I think it is important and relevant not just to the gaming community, but to how people act and react online in general. I just want everyone to be warned now so that if/when these kind of stunts happen, no one is going to be shocked or surprised. Also I like being able to say “I told you so.”
But most importantly, I want people to know ahead of time so that when the shitshow starts, they’re ready to push back against the bullying. Because allowing a group to dictate the discourse of any topic through violence is unacceptable.