#gamergate 4chan a woman is always to blame anti-Semitism antifeminism conspiracy theory creepy doubling down emotional abuse empathy deficit entitled babies evil sexy ladies gamebros irony alert men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny playing the victim post contains sarcasm zoe quinn

Actually, it's about Zoe Quinn. The midwife of #GamerGate has no regrets.


Do you remember when #GamerGate was young? You know, back before #NotYourShield and Vivian James and bizarrely complicated conspiracy theories involving Gawker, Weird Twitter and some sort of international Jewish conspiracy?

Remember when #GamerGate was still called #BurgersAndFries, and the angry gamebro army was focused on the real enemy of all that is good and true – a young game designer by the name of Zoe Quinn?

If you’ve been feeling nostalgic for those good old days, you’re in luck. A sprawling blog post by a female friend of Quinn’s obsessive, accusatory ex-boyfriend Eron Gjoni takes us back to the dog days of August when his even more sprawling thezoepost was unleashed upon the world.

Rachel M, who describes herself as an “engineer, designer, accidental writer,” recalls the months she spent with Gjoni as he began to process his breakup with Quinn and marshal his arguments against her. She was there when he posted thezoepost, making her a sort of midwife of what became #GamerGate.

It’s no secret whose side of this controversy she’s on. Her depictions of Gjoni are written with affection and indulgence; her portrayal of Quinn is brutal and a step or two beyond unfair. When Rachel M pretends for a moment that she’s not “someone with an ax to grind against Zoe,” that’s because her little hatchet is already buried in Quinn’s back.

If there is a point to GamerGate Launched in My Apartment, and, Internet, I’m Sorry (Not that sorry) beyond making Gjoni look angelic and Quinn look like a demon, I’m not sure what it is.

After presenting us with a series of uninteresting and unnecessary details of her own life, Rachel M repeats a number of largely discredited myths about Quinn and even seems to have made up a new myth of her own, accusing Quinn of “telling Eron she believed I was lying about my PTSD” in an online chat.

Never mind that the chat log itself, which Gjoni pasted into his zoepost, and which Rachel M also pasted into an earlier post of her own, suggests that Quinn was dubious not about Rachel M’s medical diagnoses but about Rachel’s intentions towards her then-boyfriend.

As I searched through the screenshots on Eron’s site to see if Rachel M’s recollections of this exchange matched the evidence, I was struck again by the utter surreality of #BurgersAndFries and its successor #GamerGate.

Because, the thing is, I don’t want to be reading these chat logs. I shouldn’t be reading these chat logs. These are private moments between two people at a vulnerable moment in both of their lives. They shouldn’t have been posted on the internet in an act of petty revenge against an ex-girlfriend. They shouldnt’ be on the internet at all.

The fact that the details of Zoe Quinn and Eron Gjoni’s sex lives and their messy breakup are so central to the conflicts now roiling the video game world that I have to turn to these screenshots to fact check this post is weird and wrong and rather depressing. Zoe Quinn isn’t the president, caught pantsless in flagrante delicto with a Haliburton lobbyist. She’s a video game developer, and the details of her sexual history are none of our fucking  business.

None of this matters much to Rachel M, who seems to have become trapped in Gjoni’s reality distortion field, borrowing some of his narcissism for herself. She describes Gjoni’s decision to “go public” with the ugly details of his breakup with Quinn and her various alleged infidelities and lies:

Eron talked about going public. He talked about panic, about awareness, about making sure that people knew what they were getting into, about taking a hit – there’d be a hit, for speaking publicly against a woman in any field, but especially against a woman with Zoe’s position and friends in progressive indie gaming – for the good of all, eventually.

This is so perverse and backwards and wrong it’s hard not to wonder if Gj himself wrote it.

He talked about evaluating the risk to his current job, his future jobs, his family, himself. You know, whether he’d get stalked or murdered for this. He talked about the danger to Zoe, about how he could minimize personal harm toward her, whether he could effectively defray harassment towards her.

Well, he did a bangup job of that, huh?

He settled on a few plans toward that end, and decided the risk to himself was worth it. Even the total loss cases for him still meant greater than zero public knowledge about Zoe’s manipulative behavior, her role as an abuser, and the number of lies she’d told. Anything was better than the way it was now.

Really? Because for a lot of people, not just Quinn, things have gotten a lot worse since Gjoni launched his attack against his ex.

Rachel M is actually quite aware of this; indeed, she notes explicitly that the movement that was born out of Gjoni’s long post has directed much of its fury towards women.

Zoe received floods of hate and threats within hours of the post going live. Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist media critic, was forced to cancel a speech at USU after receiving death threats referencing the École Polytechnique Massacre … Brianna Wu, Liana K, and anyone who identifies as a feminist within gaming — they’ve been getting smeared.

Women in games, creators and critics alike, are working through a tide of hate that’s reached the front page of the New York Times. Each new story makes me a little sicker.

Yet somehow she’s still “not that sorry” she helped Gjoni to launch the movement that caused all this. She thinks it’s all somehow … good for women. Because people now know what she thinks is the truth about Zoe Quinn. She ends her post with these bizarre assertions:

I want more women in tech and media, at all levels—in development, in journalism, in the games and books and comics themselves.

I want those women to be as safe, respected, creative, and supported as any man, and I do not want them unprepared in an industry with Zoe Quinn.

And this, I guess, is how someone who helped Gjoni to usher in a hateful, spiteful, reactionary “movement” that has left numerous women fearing for their lives convinces herself that she’s on the side of the angels after all.

EDIT: I corrected Rachel M’s name. No idea why my brain turned her name into Sarah.

424 replies on “Actually, it's about Zoe Quinn. The midwife of #GamerGate has no regrets.”

That’s usually the problem with unrealistic expectations, kiva. Peeps refuse to live up to them. You told us over and over that you were disappointed and nobody cared. I for one am surprised you came back and did not say “my bad” as you claimed you would if you ever got around to that evidence that had eluded you for so long. Nah, not really.

Policy of Madness

The fact that you think you possibly could be flooded by crap, and don’t know that you have actually been flooded by crap, means that you haven’t bothered to even start looking.


And no, Crissa, a group of people is not a resource that exists so that you don’t have to put even the teeniest bit of effort into looking for desired information, and attempting to frame things that way with the bonus snark will almost guarantee that other people’s desire to help you out will be minimal.

Really? You spent more time snarking than answering the question?

Do you know what ‘community’ means?

Also, there isn’t a way to search for multiple tags on a wordpress blog unless they installed it; and the comments here don’t say what page you’re on, so unless you know, there’s no way to find anything.

This is the part that makes me laugh when it’s all “I am so disappointed in you nasty women” – what makes ’em think we care? It’s not even stranger on the street level of irrelevance, it’s words on a screen. Moreover it’s the screen of a mockery blog.

It must be some sort of miracle that others know how then. What else could it possibly be.
Also community y is not a euphemism for servants.

Really? You spent more time snarking than answering the question?

Do you know what ‘community’ means?

Pull your head in, Crissa. Cassandrakitty’s been a member of this community far longer than you have. You don’t get to dictate terms, and neither does this stranger/troll you’re so busy defending. What part of LOOK IT UP YOURSELF is so hard for you and Kiva to understand? We’re not your goddamn nannies, we’re not here to handhold.

There is a certain irony in the fact that the link is at the bottom of this blog post for your researching convenience. Criminy!!

But Mom, I want you to click the link for me. Are we not a family, and does that not mean that you’re obligated to iron my socks for me even though I’m a grownup and have my own iron now?

It is rather dudely to interpret “community” to mean “go make me a link sandwich”.

Guys I know about the chat logs. I know how he shopped them to certain sites to get a reaction from people that loved zoe. I do know he went on 4chan to talk about zoe and gamergate, but I’m not 100% sure if he was the one that ever posted his blog post on that site.I do know he took advantage of the situation to post on 4chan which was not that good of an idea even though he said he was trying to save people outside 4chan from getting doxxed or harassed or something like that even though he did not really help the situation that much. I actually don’t sympathize with the guy anymore and I use to a bit when the whole quinnspiracy stuff started.He’s an actual trainwreck now. I actually despise him. His life is a mess anyway and I think he deserves what is coming to him in the future.The guy also has a tendency to leak shit about people whenever he feels that they are a danger to ruin there lives, but the other cases weren’t as big as what he did to zoe quinn The more I think about I shouldn’t have said he made a dumb mistake. I think the guy thinks he has the power to leak stuff about people who he thinks may be a problem like zoe quinn. I hope what happened to zoe quinn teaches him the mistake he is making by purposely leaking stuff about people online.

I’m surprised anyone kept defending Kiva after this turd..

Er, please don’t make me read a thousand pages of chatlog if I’m wrong and just link me, and please don’t get antagonistic for no reason because, whoa, this is what I hated about dealing with pro-GGer’s in forum threads at the Escapist.

Assuming that someone else should do the work for them/being too damn lazy to just skim the past few weeks or so of post titles on this site, while comparing everyone to gamergaters in the process. Wow, I really feel a tight sense of community with this asshole.

Seriously? What gives?

Kiva, way to completely miss what you were actually being told by many (not just Cassandrakitty). You were told to look for the bugers and fries post on this site. Searching for that wouldn’t have taken long. Whining that everyone is against you for not automatically agreeing with people is pretending to be a martyr for something that only happened in your pretend narrative.

Crissa, what are you going on about? I thought you were possibly trying to give Kiva a pretty undeserved benefit of a doubt. You’re really joining in on the ‘searching for stuff is hard, do it for me’ line?

Everyone else, I shouldn’t have even made my previous post. Obviously, I need to upgrade my trolldar.

And I’m clearly not welcome as a feminist and a gamer in this discussion. So I’ll leave you to your glad-handing.

This bit is getting really annoying. Hint: you’re being called out for behavior that has nothing to do with being “a feminist and a gamer.” Second hint: there are actually many commenters here who are feminists and gamers


This is kind of overwhelming and disappointing

Just disappointing, as the articles are actually quite funny, informative, and written from a viewpoint that I agree with and don’t get to see much of on the sites I generally visit.

And I’m clearly not welcome as a feminist and a gamer in this discussion.

Negging is shitty behavior when it comes from a PUA. What makes you think it’s less shitty coming from you?

Tipping my hand! Because I’m a troll for not immediately nodding along and saying “Oh, I agree SO MUCH with EVERYTHING said in the comments, just EVERY LAST THING!”

“Look everything up for me and hand it to me on a silver platter” != not nodding along and agreeing with every last thin said in the comments. You’re disingenuous and, yes, shitty for trying to equate the two things. People disagree in the comments sometimes. That’s not at all the same as expecting other people to do your homework for you.


Really? You spent more time snarking than answering the question?

You spent more time writing a couple of shit comments than spending literally seconds on a search engine to find your own answer?

When I was 8 or 9 years old, if I asked my mom what a word meant she started to not tell me. She’d tell me to go look it up in the dictionary. It got me into the habit of not expecting other people to do my homework for me. You and Kiva were obviously never given that lesson, but you fucking need it. I whined about it at the time, but I was 8 or 9. What’s your excuse?

Also, there isn’t a way to search for multiple tags on a wordpress blog unless they installed it; and the comments here don’t say what page you’re on, so unless you know, there’s no way to find anything.


Oh, for crying out loud!

If I want to get reminded of what a total disappointment I am, I’ll call my mom, OK?

If you can’t find something on the internets (after actually looking for it), try saying “I’ve looked, but can’t find that. Would you please be generous enough to provide a link, if you have one handy? I appreciate it, thanks.” Was that so hard? It’s the sense of entitlement that grates, and then the martyr act when said entitlement is called.

Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone abused here merely for disagreeing, although the back and forth can get a bit spirited. But, doubling down on a neg will get aggressive push back.

Well, and this week I had a librarian running around for an hour to help me find information about a possible old waterway.

Some differences: He is paid to help people find information, and also said the question was quite interesting.

Kiva and Crissa, please bear in mind your behavior strongly resembles a recurring (and tedious) brand of troll: The I-Demand-You-Explain-Everything-To-Me troll. The IDYEETM troll refuses to do any of his own homework; even a desultory google search or wikiwalk is just too much work for him (but not so much work he won’t ask it of others, repeatedly). Maybe that’s not your intent, but please bear in mind that’s very much how it looks from the outside. If people are mistaking you for a troll, perhaps you need to adjust your behavior?

Also, a new poster complaining about forum culture — on any forum, not just this one — tends to come off as smug and arrogant. The subtext is “I demand this place conform to my expectations.” Post a bit, make your bones, make friends, build some social credit. Then you can start making suggestions on how to terraform the forum’s culture.

1. Gamergate is shit and so is Eron,
2. Rachel is right about some things and wrong about others,
3. Middle-aged dude calls a woman “midwife” because she helped to create something? Wow, talk about creepy. You’re in the wrong here too.

Serious necro, but what’s so creepy about being, or calling a woman, a midwife? I don’t get it.

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