Here’s a doozey of a story for you. If you’re not a huge fan of Kotaku or the infamous social justice warrior / indie developer Zoe Quinn, you’re in for a treat. There’s even a bit about bearded loudmouth Phil Fish. How did such a huge scandal unfold? Well let’s start at the beginning. Zoe Quinn is an indie game developer responsible for the recently published Depression Quest (which I said some nice things about here). It turns out that Zoe has become somewhat infamous online, often accused of playing the victim to gain publicity. Speculation turned to accusation yesterday, when Zoe’s ex-boyfriend make a post on his own blog, accusing her (with proof) of cheating with a number of prominent industry figures. Among them was current Kotaku writer Nathan Grayson, apparently solicitating sexual favours for positive press.
Pretty simple, right? The developer in question loses credibility, along with the gaming publication that allowed such a massive breach of professionalism occur. Except the rabbit hole has been going further than that. Not only has she been swapping blow for positive press, but also leveraging her sexual connections to stamp out anybody critical of her, most notably the organisers of ‘Women’s Game Jam’, who accuse the indie developer of encouraging a press blackout on the charity Jam to promote her own similar event.
Many industry figures and commentators have also had quite a lot to say on the issue, with both sides standing as far away from the fence as possible. Polarising figures like Anita Sarkeesian and Phil Fish have rushed to the aid of the controversy struck developer, the former offering support and the latter going on one of his famous explicit crusades, insulting anybody who calls themselves a gamer and picking fights with far more respected developers such as Marcus ‘Notch’ Persson. On the other side of the fence is YouTube commentator TotalBiscuit, also known as the Cynical Brit, who attacks both Zoe and gaming journalism in general for lack of professionalism and work ethic in a very lengthy twitter post. Also weighing as the loudest voice in the debate is YouTube user ‘InternetAristocrat’, who gives his thoughts in a half hour monologue attacking the corruption of the gaming press and the problems with blind Social Justice Warriors in his latest video, embedded below for your pleasure.
What are your thoughts on the matter? Is this a breach of standards that is in the interest of gamers, or should this issue be kept personal between Zoe Quinn and those directly involved in the scandal? Voice your comments below, but please, please keep it civil and free from personal attacks.