What’s happening, friends? Ah, nothin’; just browsing the internet about this latest trending thing called “#gamergate.” These dudes really seem to hate this woman I’ve never met, they make her sound like a camp monster. I made a list of some of the dumbest things #gamergaters actually believe about her.
5. Zoe Quinn slept her way to prominence in indie gaming.
According to #gamergate canon, allegations about Quinn’s sex life were the straw that broke the gamer’s back. Way back when Gjoni published thezoepost in August, the putative #gamergate read about Quinn’s relationship with Nathan Grayson, a Kotaku journalist and they all just flipped.
#gamergaters somehow believed Quinn’s relations with Grayson was tantamount to her sleeping with him to obtain a favorable review of Depression Quest. However Grayson never reviewed Depression Quest, and never published anything about Quinn in Kotaku once their relationship began. If Grayson had written anything about Zoe Quinn after beginning their relationship, the ethically culpable party would have been Grayson. But Grayson never reviewed Depression Quest, so no ethical breach occured.
Still, this spun out to create the wider myth that Zoe slept with more people (the “Five Guys” of which Eron wrote, and then even more people) as if each liason earned her Video Game Industry Points or something. I probably shouldn’t have written that though; in case someone makes a flash game.
4. Zoe Quinn exploits her supporters for personal gain.
This one is a favorite of Lawfag’s and was a popular mission in the #burgersandfries chat room back in mid-August. The primary evidence cited in the logs (as I covered here) was some successful crowdfunding campaigns conducted by Quinn, some about games and others not (one was to replace a stolen pocketbook.)
Suspicious of her success at raising money, #gamergaters were eager to prove Quinn had embezzled donations… so they tried to get her audited by the IRS. But during his extended Q&A Gjoni didn’t have any evidence of financial misconduct on Quinn’s part, and was reduced to criticizing her for doing things like
negotiating contracts and having industry friends I mean, arrogance and rank nepotism.
To date I’ve found no evidence that Zoe Quinn is somehow stealing the funds people give to her as donations. The semantics of that are essentially weird. And as Save the Queen noted on We Hunted the Mammoth, Depression Quest costs nothing on Steam. (You may donate money if you choose.) This is hard to reconcile with #gamergater’s conception of Quinn as greedy.
And it’s not just about money. According to this reddit thread from yesterday about my most recent exploits, Zoe Quinn is a manipulator and I’m her thrall.
Triple Score: reddit user Hells-Drunkard goes directly from calling me “easily manipulatable” to grousing about Zoe Quinn’s Patreon Account and “playing the victim.”
She is good at manipulating easily manipulatable people. Don’t give her so much credit.
All she has to do is tell her followers who to hate and they jump. They pay her 3k a month for playing the victim and making nothing of any quality.
3. Zoe Quinn fakes the threats she receives, thus playing the victim.
This is probably definitely not true, unless the entire 2,500-page, 10-point type bulk of the IRC chatroom #burgersandfries (which was dedicated to harassing the holy hell out of Quinn) is fiction.
Which it’s not; the entire log was posted by pro-#gamergate folks to try and exonerate them, or prove that these comments were cherry-picking when the whole damn log was like that. The interview Eron Gjoni gave for #burgersandfries shows that they thought ZQ made shit up even then; e.g. about being mugged or with regards to past cases of harassment.
For a few days after #burgersandfries broke, #gamergate also tried to pass off the screencaps Quinn published as fake; as if she’d fabricated them herself in IRC using confederates. #gamergaters believe Quinn is capable of such devious cover-ups because #gamergaters themselves use the exact same tactics to cover their own asses.
2. #gamergate isn’t about Zoe Quinn (anymore)
Even today in 8chan, everybody’s happy to start a bandwagon hating on Zoe Quinn. Here’s a thread from 8chan about a blog post written by part-time internet attorney, full-time beserker MRA Mike Cernovich; where he screams Quinn’s legal name from the rooftops of the internet in response to my posting a photograph of his house on the internet yesterday; so this is very recent.
Cernovich and the rest of #gamergate immediately attack ZQ for something I did; Cernovich by publishing more court documents, like I expected he might and #gamergate by discussing all the reasons they never liked Zoe Quinn anyhow.
And lest you think I’m cherrypicking, or that hating Quinn is somehow unusual for #gamergate, the thread goes on in this vein. Posting pictures of Zoe Quinn, unflattering photoshops of the same, discussing her appearance, weight, how ZQ makes one 8chan anon want to “blunt a kitten with a sledgehammer.”; it’s all in there! But #gamergate lacks this self-awareness, and would like to think Quinn is so over, even as they spout bile about her at that very moment.
1. Zoe Quinn killed a man
According to a photographer on Facebook, Zoe Quinn hired her to take pictures for a “softcore/ alt erotica” photo shoot in 2007. According to the photographer, whose name is Malorie Nasrallah, Quinn and she chatted; and during that conversation Quinn said she was attacked by a man and stabbed him in the face. There’s even a smoking gun:
You’ll notice that I summed it up pretty quickly, although Malorie’s piece is 1,350 words long. That’s because most of what she wrote is actually Malorie grousing about Zoe Quinn as a client.
By time I arrived in Albany, Zoe had cancelled one of the three shoots we had planned. She lived in a tiny apartment with her boyfriend / spouse / lover (I did not ask personal questions) and her roommate. I had been assured I could over night with them, and that they had room to accommodate a guest, and room to shoot in. They had neither. We ended up doing an impromptu shoot in the extremely crowded apartment, in the middle of the night, to try to save the shoot.
– Malorie Nasrallah, grousing
I understand why this might be frustrating. That certainly does sound unprofessional. But it sounds like Nasrallah’s poisoning the well: because Quinn did not perform to her professional standards at a photoshoot, this is supposed to lend credence to the claim Quinn stabbed someone.
While we tried to plan a shoot for the next day Zoe, and Co. chatted with me. She claimed to have stabbed a man – attempted rapist – in the face, who had grabbed her. She relayed to me no less than three other accounts of alleged violent assault. I will not share the details here, I feel that would be fundamentally indecent. I was alarmed at this, and I admit, by the time she made the claim that she stabbed a man in the face with a knife* and ran away, I was skeptical as well. Two claims involved alleged workplace incidents, and were her prime explanation for why she could not hold a job. I was mildly disconcerted, because true or false, these stories have good cause to make one uneasy. She also claimed to have reported nothing to police, or management at her work.
That was not all we discussed, we talked about modeling, the websites, and erotica/porn in general. It was what we both did for a living, and candid conversation on the subject was not unusual.
I believe that being told by someone that they stabbed a man (who shall remain nameless) at some point in the unspecified past is hearsay. But there are other reasons the story bugs me.
For example, I try to beware of excessive details. They usually imply that someone is lying, adding more and more details so that their story seems credible. And 80% of this account is about Zoe’s softcore porn shoot (what is this, fanfiction?); complaints of how totally unprofessional she was, it’s mostly excessive details designed to make one think ill of Zoe Quinn.
Nasrallah even writes that Quinn still owes her money for the services rendered & clearly dislikes her. You might call that a “conflicting interest”; she seems to care more about her own interactions with Quinn than anything about this proposed murder. Still she offers herself up as a “character witness”; because people who hate Zoe Quinn will obviously only tell the truth about her.
Then are the factual things. According to Nasrallah, ZQ went by the name “Valentine Locke”, so in reality all the facts here are about someone who called themselves “Locke” at the time. Nasrallah came into contact with ZQ after the fact; (“When I realized Locke was Zoe”) and only comes out with the story now, post-#gamergate.
The smoking gun is a mostly censored email exchange between Nasrallah and Locke/Zoe. These weren’t the first messages exchanged between the two, and Nasrallah gives us no sense of context to Locke’s/Zoe’s words because most of her prompting message is censored. So when Locke responds by discussing killing someone in self-defense we have no context for this message, save the one Nasrallah is telling us.
So basically this is a rumor, with no evidence, no dead body and no time frame. Just an undated email written by ZQ under an alias, allegedly boasting about having stabbed a rapist in the face (in self defense.) I wonder what Malorie is leaving out when she blacks out text that says “here am I allegedly saying I should have let her be murdered? etc.” I kind of wonder if it isn’t some rape-apologetic handwaving about that poor nameless, mysterious man she wants to protect.
Eron Gjoni was promoting this libel on October 8, directly linking to Malorie’s accusations in this series of tweets.
This might be libel, since he’s CCing some of the popular names of #gamergate in these Tweets. And did Eron Gjoni just say Zoe Quinn makes false rape claims? Gross. Don’t let this guy into your social justice club; whatever he thinks theoretically, this is who he is when the rubber meets the road.
But hey, Mike Cernovich believes it. On Oct 18 he asked #gamergate if Zoe Quinn admitted to killing someone on Twitter.
More on Mike Cernovich as he screams Zoe Quinn’s legal name from the rooftops like it’s a magic word. – ID