Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Risking Her Life Standing Up to Gamergate

Brianna Wu, writing for Bustle:

My name is Brianna Wu. I develop video games for your phone. I lead one of the largest professional game-development teams of women in the field. Sometimes I speak out on women in tech issues. I’m doing everything I can to save my life except be silent. 

The week before last, I went to court to file a restraining order against a man who calls himself “The Commander.” He made a video holding up a knife, explaining how he’ll murder me “Assassin’s Creed Style.” He wrecked his car en route to my house to “deliver justice.” In logs that leaked, he claimed to have weapons and a compatriot to do a drive-by. 

After the crash, he sent me a deranged video that Jezebel called “bizarre” and “terrifying.” Sam Biddle of Gawker said that if this happened to him, he’d be “locked in a closet rocking back and forth.” For me, it’s just another Tuesday. My capacity to feel fear has worn out, as if it’s a muscle that can do no more.

Nobody in their right mind thinks death threats are okay, to anyone, in any capacity. But there is a deep-seated resentment of women baked into much of tech culture — specifically, gaming culture, but it’s pervasive throughout the industry too — and it culminates in threats and assault. This has to stop.