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Crash Override

March 11, 2018

An award winning game designer tells what it was like to be at the center of Gamer Gate.

Zoe Quinn was Gamer Gate’s patient zero. Quinn’s abusive ex started an online harassment campaign that spread like a disease. The mainstream media really didn’t know what to do with Gamer Gate and got duped into believing it was about “ethics in games journalism.” Quinn gets to tell her story here but rather than focus on the bitter parts, she focuses on her unlikely path to video game design. The parts about being a working class kid who fell in love with the internet were undeniably my favorites. The irony that she was a "teenage shitlord" (her words) that used to troll other women online is not lost to her. Quinn is willing to admit her past mistakes. She was a noted game designer before Gamer Gate. Post-Gamer Gate it was hard for her to be known as anything other than the internet’s most famous victim. Speaking for myself, I’m waiting with bated breath for her game The Tingler made in collaboration with certifiable genius Chuck Tingle.

One project she did create directly in response to her experience with online abuse was Crash Override, a resource center to help other survivors. The Crash Override site has great practical advice about staying private online. Checking that out is a great pre-game to online privacy workshops NPL will be offering this spring.



Bryan is a librarian at Nashville Public Library. Bryan enjoys board games, bikes, and free software. His only star is Trek.