UPDATE: A paragraph has been removed that contained personal information.
(Warning: Many of the sources I link contain strong language and some include less-than tactful approaches to presenting information.)
I look back on my original article about Zoe Quinn and see just how timid I was in approaching it. If you read through, it is quite obvious that I was not trying to invoke the ire of any kind of group. If you have followed this issue at all, you have seen how both the supporters and detractors of Zoe Quinn have come out and said vicious things, from just general hatred to threats.
Now I realize that is exactly how certain groups would like me to feel.
When the first article was written, I was pretty certain that I was never going to go into discussing Zoe Quinn’s character as I saw that her as a person was just a sideshow to the real issue, which I have discussed now when the news first broke out and yesterday. But the more that journalists have tried to spin the issue to remove attention from themselves has made me realize that exposing Zoe Quinn’s true nature will really show the hypocrisy of said journalists.
I will say this first though: this has nothing to do with her being an indie developer, a woman, a social activist, or anything else that you wish to define her as. It has everything to do with her actions however. I’ll also say this: I am still not entirely convinced that the accusations against her are true, but I wouldn’t say they are out of the realm of possibility either.
Again, this is not about Zoe Quinn. I don’t care to know her, as a person, developer, or anything. She shouldn’t be discussed at all. The bigger issue here is the fact that game journalists are trying to conceal their involvement while at the same time making the issue into something that it is not. They are making this about misogyny because some accusations, only some but definitely not all, have to do with sex. They are blatantly lying and using a cheap tactic to deflect from the real issue.
As long as they can make those who disagree with them look bad, they will win. Nothing will change.
So who is Zoe Quinn? Well I asked that question before, but now I want to answer who is Zoe Quinn really? I’m not looking to answer that with what she would like to be seen as, nor what others would like her to be defined as. Her actions should be more than enough to evaluate her as a person.
One of the first things that seems quite possibly true about Zoe Quinn is the fact that she plays heavily into self-victimization. Now I will concede that I am not entirely knowledgeable about the psychology behind self-victimization, but what it is defined as makes it fairly easy to identify.
The most high profile example of this was Zoe Quinn’s claim that Wizardchan raided and doxxed (acquired and revealed personal info) her. That whole affair is best summed up here. Basically, the takeaway from that is that her accusations hold little if any merit at all. What is consistently seen throughout that is how easily she puts herself forward as a victim and asks for consolation from a variety of personalities and sites. Even if you only read the text surrounding the images of her tweets and other communications, you can see this.
Many sites jumped on the story and spoke about how women in the industry are treated. Those same sites even admitted that there was no evidence of such a raid ever existing, yet still took the opportunity to give Zoe Quinn press, while at the same time spouting about internet misogyny (hmm, seems so familiar). I will not give such sites attention, but if you just Google “Wizardchan Zoe Quinn” articles will pop up about the incident, where many will then admit that the accusations held no water.
[Ed Note: TechRaptor made an accusation against Zoe Quinn that has been proven false, which also contained personal information. It has been removed.]
That kind of self-victimization leaked out from just her as well, to one of her biggest supporters, Phil Fish. The recent news of Fish came out dramatically, as he seems to do every now and then, where he had similar claims to Zoe’s above with Wizardchan. But take a look here. It seems that Phil took a play from Zoe, helping her out in the process.
Now her tumblr response to this whole mess. Here it is in image form. If you read through it, Zoe Quinn insists that we should all respect her privacy over something that is inherently a private issue. The accusations should not be talked about publicly, but she should be left alone to deal with matters herself.
That is a completely fine way to approach the issue, however, as I have said before she is not even the issue. And even more than that, her whole response is anything but personal. Take a look at some quotes from the response where you will see that she is clearly making the issue about something bigger, using her own supposed personal and private matters, to try and make herself a face for women in gaming.
… all of these things are inexcusable and will continue to happen to women until this culture changes. I’m certainly not the first. I wish I could be the last.
Sexuality is one of the most personal, hurtful, and easy things to demonize a woman over, and also has nothing to do with my games.
This is another example of gendered violence, whereby my personal life becomes a means to punish my professional credentials and to try to shame me into giving up my work. I’m still committed to doing my small part to create a world where no woman is at risk of experiencing this.
These kinds of accusations have been levied against any woman of status in any industry, ever.
I have been judged because, if you are a woman, you are expected to constantly “prove” yourself, and even mere accusations can somehow undo all the good you’ve done and justify any measure of depraved brutality against you. Meanwhile, I see major support thrown the way of my male colleagues when they are accused of any sort of wrongdoing.
She is doing everything in her power here to do a variety of things, all of which will help her cause. First, as I mentioned before, she is trying to make herself look like the victim and someone who can be an example for all women to follow afterward. She will gain status if that happens, while at the same time making anyone that discusses her negatively look bad. And second, she is deflecting again, changing the issue into something that her critics should be ashamed of. She is not in the wrong, but other communities and journalists that dare speak out against her are perpetuating sexism and misogyny.
She is making this a misogyny and sexist issue – when it is not. This is about game journalism corruption, censorship, and hypocrisy. Here you can see her encouraging censorship.
That is her go to tactic, now let’s see what she has done. In my original article I only briefly mentioned that she is accused of also cheating a game jam out of money, as well as doxxing them herself. She hasn’t responded per se, but she did go on a tirade about the whole game jam held by The Fine Young Capitalists. But as seen in that, and in this, she claims to have done nothing at all. Regardless of whether you agree with her or not about this game jam, can you not see just how terribly she went about the whole thing? Just because she disagreed with them. The whole thing is full of viciousness and immaturity. She is not a person I would be proud to know or spend time with.
And just as it would happen, Zoe Quinn happens to have a game jam of her own that she is hosting called Rebel Jam. This is a game jam that has no start date, but has been accepting donations since April. There is no transparency as to where the money is going, as we would get through Kickstarter or Indiegogo. What is even worse, is that the Paypal you donate through goes directly to The Quinnspiracy Paypal account – which is basically just Zoe Quinn herself. This is not something set up directly for the game jam at all. How is she going to keep track of what donations are for what? Are we expected to trust her in separating the payments? It is all too fishy – particularly since this is something that has been set up for four months with no real new information about when it can be expected to start.
So, that is Zoe Quinn. And that is really just scratching the surface. Her twitter, even right now, is full of hateful and sexist remarks towards men. I have collected here just a few things among the many to hopefully help inform some people into evaluating her themselves. I know, now that I know more about her than I ever wanted to, that she is not a good person. She is manipulative, sexist, and exploitative. And that is just nicely describing her.
If you feel even remotely similar to I do about Zoe Quinn, ask yourself now why do journalists feel the need to defend her? In my previous article I asked the same question. I feel like that is something impossible to understand, other than the fact that many journalists do seem to have close ties with her – not even counting those she supposedly slept with.
They all seem to be defending her for some reason, and if you can figure out why that is, please let me know.
But just how are they helping to defend her? Well, just as she is trying to do (as evidenced in her tumblr post) many media outlets are trying to change the issue into one of internet misogyny. Places like The Daily Beast, Motherboard (VICE), Forbes, The Daily Dot, and Rock Paper Shotgun.
It is categorically not about her being a woman, or any kind of sexualization due to that fact. Misogyny is not the issue, sexism is not the issue. Zoe Quinn is not the issue. Yellow Journalism, corruption, lying, hypocrisy, and censorship are the issues.
If you look back through all that has just been discussed, the fact that Zoe Quinn happens to be a woman is only mentioned once – and that was because Zoe herself mentioned it in her tumblr. I only mentioned off-hand about the alleged cheating. That has nothing to do with it.
Regardless of those accusations, there is obviously something more going on here with journalists coming to her defense, when she does seem in the wrong, not only this time but multiple times in the past. This is seen with the current event, the Wizardchan problem, the Rebel Jam discussions, as well as the supposed 4chan doxxing. Time and again they come to her defense, and time and again the discussion seems to change to the fact that the internet is a horrible place full of misogyny and sexism.
That Zoe Quinn should be applauded for weathering through the storm as a victim of that same hatred that the internet seems to be full of towards women. That she should be the shining example for women developers everywhere as she is taking on the internet. Take a look here, here, and here about what genuine female game developers think about that.
Deflection. That is all this is. They are attacking the accusers and if they succeed in making the accusers look bad, the accusers lose and corrupt journalists win as they suddenly seem to have at least a shred more credibility. Which will then allow them to censor, lie, and fill their pockets while they ignore conflicts of interest.
I think I have said my peace on the issue and this will be the final time (hopefully) I ever have to mention Zoe Quinn in an article again. Only if something major happens will I address this again.
But, I would like to end with just this: A compilation of evidence of the massive, and growing, problem of journalists ignoring ethics. Conflict of interest is not something they seem to care about.
- Polygon’s conflict of interest with Gone Home
- The many journalists who have been paying Zoe Quinn
- The Doritocracy incident
- Nathan Grayson and Robin Arnott
- Anna Anthropy and Leigh Alexander
- Patricia Hernandez and Anna Anthropy
- Using Twitbots to increase hits on their articles