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Death threats prompt PAX East exit for Brianna Wu's Giant Spacekat

A team vote indicated fears over safety, Wu has received 46 threats on her life in 5 months

Brianna Wu's Giant Spacekat has withdrawn from PAX East due to fears about the safety of the company's employees.

Wu was the target of harassment in October last year, forcing her and her husband to abandon their home when it became clear that the perpetrators knew where she lived. In a blog post published yesterday, Wu made it clear that the threats have not stopped since then; specifically, her life has been threatened some 46 times in the last 5 months

"They often target me by name," Wu wrote. "The most frightening ones say who, what, where, why and when I will be murdered... Despite the credibility of those threats, and despite attempts by one of these criminals to follow through on his violent threats, very little has been accomplished by law enforcement towards the goal of apprehending these criminals."

"In a crowd of such a volume expected at PAX, the safety of our team can not be guaranteed"

Given the difficulty of truly understanding the intent behind each one, threats of this kind remain a very real concern long after they are received. With PAX East fast approaching, and "two of our most serious threats" originating from the Massachusetts area, Wu decided to take a vote among the team planning to attend. The results have left Wu with no choice but to withdraw.

"I've have very difficult conversations with my husband about standing up to Gamergate, despite the death threats," Wu continued. "We don't have children, and we feel strongly enough about this issue to accept this risk. Our lives are our own, this is our choice.

"I cannot and will not make that choice for the people I work with... After talking to them, I made the decision to prioritize the safety of Giant Spacekat's employees. Specifically, we have chosen to withdraw our presence from the Pax East 2015 Expo Hall, due to a concern that in a crowd of such a volume expected at PAX, the safety of our team can not be guaranteed."

Wu also expressed frustration with the difficulty in establishing clear lines of communication with PAX about security at the event. Three calls on the matter were not returned, she claimed, though PAX has made contact since Giant Spacekat went public with its decision to withdraw.

"PAX is a big event, and I'm certain it was not a conscious decision on their part to ignore us," she said, noting that her conversations with PAX since have reassured her about being at the how in 2016. "Attending in 2016 will be a different story. I think the PAX Enforcers are awesome, and I think it's a safe event in general for people."

After her experiences since she became a target at the peak of GamerGate last year, Wu fully expects for her claims to be undermined by certain figures within the gaming community. For those people, she had prepared a document responding to the most obvious criticisms of her position.

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Latest comments (33)

Craig Burkey Software Engineer 4 years ago
I'm always weary when the news story is "Person A cancels their own appearance on their own accord, blames it on party B", I suppose if the authorities had advised them against attending, it would have salted my skepticism somewhat(doesn't seem to be the case here or with AS last year). That's not saying the threats aren't disgusting, uncalled for and unwarranted.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Craig Burkey on 20th February 2015 11:33am

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Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation 4 years ago
I know not everyone has tough skin to ignore silly threats, I also know that there is a microscopic probability that one of those threats could be carried out BUT if life has taught me something, giving in to these people and giving them attention will only make them stronger.

Death threats are disgusting and I'm always the first to ban anyone that even means it in a joking fashion but the one thing these people thrive upon is the power they gain when their goal is accomplished. THEY want Brianna to cancel, to not appear and this won't be the last time they will do it either.

If you want to "show these people" a thing or two, show them you aren't scared. Show them they can't stop you, show them exactly why women should be in gaming and do it all by ignoring them. Of course any that you feel could grow into something more harmful or sinister, report them to the authorities but you are simply playing into their hands and their strengths. At the end of the day the majority of the people sending the death threats are people that cannot adapt to change and use words over a global network of anonymity to empower those words into something more.

In fact there's more of a probability of you getting robbed by a complete stranger than someone actually acting out a specified death threat.
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Emily Knox Associate Designer, CCP Games4 years ago
@Adam If I've understood correctly, Brianna is still attending PAX despite the death threats, but they made the choice for the rest of the team not to attend for their safety.
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Show all comments (33)
Kenny Lynch Community Rep/Moderator 4 years ago
Some people have taken a very public stand against gamergate and its apologists which is a very brave move, if maybe not the wisest. It must be very difficult to 'give in' to the threats once you have publicly taken a stand but at thw same rime by continuing the fight you also give more ammunition to the bloggers, vloggers, crowdfunded harassers and all the rest to keep generating traffic and income to their sites. At this point a lot of the harassment is purely for the followers and supporters of the harassers, the victims' response is perhaps not so important at all.

That said, I commend anyone staying the course as a point of principle.

Other people's safety though is another matter. All it takes is paint thrown or a set pushed over, or a crowd pushed against something for someone to be 'inadvertently' hurt. Safety does need to come first, and I can totally empathise with someone not wanting to spend a whole conference wondering when someone was going to spray vinegar in their face or worse.
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Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation 4 years ago
@Emily
Yeah I reread the article and spotted that part but my sentiment still stands.

Although upon saying that, attending Gamescom last year and a few years prior, gaming conventions themselves are not fully thought out when it comes to attendance, in fact they are not thought out at all.

By that, I mean, the point (In my eyes) is to show off and promote games to consumers but due to them being closed off and acting as queuing simulators, as a consumer, you are either spending time stuck in queues or wandering around, dodging people. I'm not entirely sure how the US conventions are done but I can imagine it's not any better.

Either way, the people that threaten are still getting what they want and that's sad to see. I don't particularly follow Giant Spacekat's work or Brianna's for that matter but it highly pisses me off when...shall we call them bullies, stop progress of others
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises4 years ago
Wow 46 threats in 5 months. With 0 arrests.

Has she thought about moving to another city with a better police force?
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Dave Stansfield Reviewer/Comedian 4 years ago
It all depends on whether or not the threats have actually been credible. If there's no credible threat, the police aren't going to waste their time on it.
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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard4 years ago
I think Brianna was absolutely right to pull her team out of PAX. They've received threats. She asked the team "Do you feel safe going." they have responded "No, we don't.". At that point it doesn't matter if the threat is credible, if it's a hundred to one, thousand to one or a million to one chance of someone being hurt. You don't force your employees to do something that they have reason to believe, and have expressed concern could place them in danger. That's simply being a good employer, (not to mention being a human).

Standing up to bullies yourself is one thing, and I have huge respect for Brianna for doing so. Throwing your employees in front of bullies (especially after they have asked you not to) is not cool, and Brianna's decision should be applauded.

Incidentally, Craig B, see Brianna's prepared response 2 and 4.

2: Skipping PAX (where you go to do PR) for PR is baffling and
4: While the police may be sympathetic, there's not actually a huge amount that they are empowered to do. You don't have to look far to find stories where police have mistakenly overlooked a credible threat.

Overall, Brianna is the one who would bear the emotional responsibility if one of her people got hurt advertising her game for her. How would you feel if you sent a colleague to PAX and they took a beating for you after you had had threats?
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Charles Herold Wii Games Guide, about.com4 years ago
I understand the danger of giving into threats. It does give these people a sense of power and encourages them to keep on harassing people. But I also understand that Gamergate hate has a level of hysteria that will attract unbalanced people. Even if every threat she's received is nothing but a 12-year-old idiot, the fact is, the hatred is genuine, and all you need is one crazy person who thinks attacking Wu will make him a hero to create a disaster. So while yes, in an ideal world you stand up against threats, in the real world I understand it is a risk you might not want to take.
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Petter Solberg Freelance Writer & Artist, 4 years ago
Are games really that boring these days? Stop harrassing and play your games. Oh wait, looks like we need to go back to single player then, because obviously gamers don't know how to talk to each other. May the bullies be banished to MS-DOS for the rest of this decade.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Petter Solberg on 20th February 2015 5:51pm

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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
May the bullies be banished to MS-DOS for the rest of this decade.
Hey, now. You're only dooming them to play better games, then ;D

(Well, if it keeps them off the internet and NOT making stupid threats, it's all for the better, I say.)
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus4 years ago
@Craig - If you're still "weary" or "sceptical" after this has been happening to people since August - and really, years prior - then I don't know what to tell you. You're burying your head in the sand.
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Craig Burkey Software Engineer 4 years ago
I'm sorry it's just the cynic in me, saying that I wouldn't of read anything about her attendance, yet her non attendance is a big story on multiple sites.
I certainly respect her right to choose to go or not, but question its value as a news story its own right.
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Paul Jace Merchandiser 4 years ago
Despite the credibility of those threats, and despite attempts by one of these criminals to follow through on his violent threats, very little has been accomplished by law enforcement towards the goal of apprehending these criminals."
And there in lies the problem. I'm not sure how it is in the rest of the world but here in the US law enforcement doesn't take threats very seriously, let alone online ones. Even when women are being stalked they usually have to file more than one police report(I believe it use to be three for most states but that might have changed by now) before they are even allowed a restraining order. And even after that the police aren't going to do much if you are still stalked but the person doesn't physically harm you. Sadly, they most likely won't get involved until either A). you get physically assaulted by the assailant or B). you get killed by them. Obviously one of those scenarios is much too late but in reality both are past the time something should have been done.

In this country sometimes it seems that the only times they take threats seriously are when they have to do with schools(bomb threat or mass shooting) or anything to do with the President. I'm glad those two things are taken seriously but the same amount of attention should be paid to those threatening/harrassing anyone and their families online, rather the victim is male or female. And when put into perspective it seems even more unfair. For instance:

-a women gets an annonymous online rape and death threat.
-she contacts local authorities, they make her fill out a report and thats pretty much it unless something else happens

-the President gets an annonymous online death threat
-a suspect is apprehended in less than 24 hours and his pc is seized as evidence
-for the most part his life/freedom is pretty much over

While I'm sure most people would appreciate anyone making a threat being apprehended, in the case of the President there are Secret Service members following him around 24-7. Unfortuantely women(and men) getting similiar online threats can not make the same claim of constant protection/security.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Paul Jace on 21st February 2015 1:11am

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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
@Paul @John
I believe the reason the police do not act on any of these threats is because they assess them and see how legitimate they are. Going after someone who isn't actually going to commit a serious crime not only wastes a ton of time and money, but also means you are going to have to hire a lot more police officers.

As for their being a threat on the president? I am pretty sure it happens all the time yet we rarely hear about it. They certainly do take action, but not so much in the way you would think. They simply increase security, just like most places would do. I think the only time they really make it into a huge matter is if it involves terrorists or what not. Something they know isn't just a petty threat.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 21st February 2015 8:43pm

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Kenny Lynch Community Rep/Moderator 4 years ago
You are absolutely right, Brook, those people at Giant Spacekat are just hysterical and overreacting when they don't want to make a public appearance where people who have been harassing them online for months and months know they are going to be there. They are just weak and pathetic, anyone should know they are just trolls, and loads of websites tell us that that means there is no threat. Don't they watch youtube? It's hard to understand why they are still worried by just trolls, because it is not hate, it is just random noise. It's all a SJW lie that actual physical threats to people who know where you live or are going to be is anything to be concerned about.

Thank Thor's sweaty jockstrap that you are here as a voice of reason to keep us all from becoming over-emotional and hysterical.
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Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 4 years ago
@John
Which is why I differentiated using "serious crime." I know threatening is also a crime but I am pretty sure you already know what I meant and don't have to explain it further.

@Kenny
Are you being sarcastic? ...

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Brook Davidson on 22nd February 2015 9:21am

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 4 years ago
@Kenny

Assaulting a public figure in a public space such as PAX, a venue which is full of security, security cameras, huge crowds it's hard to escape through, and a host of other things that make such an activity incredibly stupid to even the most mental midget who might want to take a swing (at Brianna, no one cares about her employees), is incredibly unlikely and stupid

Any person that motivated has already obtained her address, which is very easy to find, and would wait for her to go out to get the mail, deliver flowers or a singing telegram on her birthday, Valentine's Day or anniversary, or a dozen other scenarios that do not involve thes extreme likelihood of being caught and photographed.

Brianna Eu cannot get arrests because it's not worth the cops time to chase mouthy children who just do it for the reaction. Any law enforcement officer will tell you not to publicize threats against you, because this only makes the, go to ground. A determined threat will wait until the heat is off, or even cancel their plans for you and turn to another target. This is counter productive to catching the, my father was a PI, and I have a Lot of knowledge int his area.

I'm forced to think that this is simply cover for something else. Perhaps as a small indy developer they don't haven he funds liquid to send a big team across country, house them and feed them along eith paying for a booth, and decided to use this as cover for the cancellation (certainly something you'd want to do given the animosity toward Brianna, so as not to give people who don't like you ammo). How many startups are huge on the PR, but the money starts to bleed out and you have to tighten the belts. I see this is a far more likely scenario, along with Brianna's attention getting behavior, than any real concern not stoked by waving some of her grew tests hits in front of some sensitive people. This would not be the first, second, or hundredth time something similar has happened

Read the Kotaku interview with the ex-Swatter. You'll find great insight into exactly ehat I've been saying for months. That these a children, mentally if not physically having a lot of fun watching the chaos they cause, and the people who know how to exploit it. If there was actual danger to these people, something would have happened by now to one of them.
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Rashad Foux Character Artist, Hi-Rez Studios, Inc.4 years ago
@Jeff:Why do you think you have a right to tell someone:

- "You shouldn't be concerned over what you're going through. You shouldn't be concerned about the threats of violence, rape, and the detailed descriptions of how both such acts will be carried out against you. And you definitely shouldn't be concerned that the people who are telling you these things also have your home address, and also know where you're going to be and who you're with."

It doesn't matter if the police think the threat's are legitimate, or can be prosecuted. It doesn't matter if the people behind the threats are serious enough, or capable enough to make their threats happen. It doesn't matter if you think the threats are legitimate or not. Because at the end of the day, you don't know, and Brianna Wu doesn't know. And when you have people as absolutely insane as this guy:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYPC-YMdJFI

It would be close to the most reckless and stupid thing possible to mark them all up as "completely harmless".

***

As for this being some kind of conspiracy:
Brianna Wu is here to stay. She's now a prominent figure in the games industry, and she will thankfully be helping to guide the direction our industry takes regarding women for years to come. She already had her own business and her own game before she decided to defend another female developer who was being unjustly attacked. And she did that because it was the right thing to do. Not because it was some "beep boop" calculated action to get attention and press by acting like a victim before anyone said anything to her.

Here is a simple, believable explanation:
Brianna Wu sounds like a feminist, and continues to say feminist things (despite being told by several prominent and "much smarter men" to shut the hell up).
Some "men" (I use that term very loosely) hated her for it, and want to punish her because she won't stop talking like a good woman.
Why is that believable? Because this is the internet, and whenever a woman starts talking about feminism, the general response from "men" is to either groan, or tell them in the most vulgar terms imaginable to shut up. And that's just what happens if women obey after the initial transgression of talking about feminism.

I find it difficult to believe that Brianna Wu would:

- Lie publicly about being harassed (Which she didn't. You can check twitter or youtube or 8chan any moment of the day and find that's occurring and ongoing)
- Create or pay people to harass her so that she would get publicity (that's absolutely absurd. But if there's any proof as to this element of the conspiracy, please share)
- Lie publicly about being harassed so that she wouldn't have to send her team to GDC because she's
A) Cheap
B) Incompetent as a manager
C) Sociopathic

The possibility of this being a conspiracy is so far fetched because it doesn't need to be. Any woman any where can mention feminism on the internet, and the same thing would happen with none of the accompanying effort you imply.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rashad Foux on 23rd February 2015 5:08pm

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Kenny Lynch Community Rep/Moderator 4 years ago
Jeff, you are simultaneously arguing that harassers are completely unaware of any real world consequences and that they would never do anything that would involve them being caught, even when the publicity of such an incident would be a very high chance of being one of the main motivations. You call the harassers children, yet compare them to professional hitmen.

The fact is that many incidents are opportunistic. Something happens because the two parties happen to come together. It could be a prank gone wrong, an argument between two visitors that gets out of hand, an impulsive action...

A threat where those making them have multiple motives and opportunity is credible. It does not mean that it is necessarily likely, that is a totally different kettle of fish.The very real possibility that something would happen and there would be no telling how it would play out I'm sure must be quite unnerving, even if that possibility is not very big. The antici.....pation throughout the event would not be pleasant.

And congrats, by assuming Ms Wu is a lying attention seeker you conclude that she is one. Top notch logic.

@John what he said seemed quite straightforward. I think he has been stung by the response from players and backers. I don't really see any spin as it only keeps the focus on him overpromising and underdelivering as opposed to distracting from it.

Edit: sorry John :) Brain was slightly sidetracked by the kids :)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Kenny Lynch on 23rd February 2015 5:47pm

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 4 years ago
@Rachael

Because it's reality. The guy you're linking to, we have really no idea if it's even a real thing, or just a show last I heard, or if he lives anywhere near where Brianna Wu lives. It sure got a lot of attention though didn't it? It's so comically unhinged, that this guy likely belongs to the Chris Chan crowd of autistics who are of no real danger to anyone except poor gamestop employees they pepper spray for throwing him out of the store. You know, after he destroyed a bunch of Sonic Boom displays because Sonic's arms are blue.

You're concern trolling, in fact, all this crying of wolf is actually counterproductive, as it makes the cops ignore even more. I told idiots the world wouldn't end in 2012, and that didn't stop them from believing. The anti-vax movement and Fox News thrive on spinning terrifying what-ifs, it's their bread and butter. You havecthe weigh the likely hood of something happening against the evidence, and it's simpky not there. Harlan Ellison had a shot taken at him (who deliberately missed) on stage, and told the guy to come up and fight him (the guy never left his seat). Bullies are cowards,

Brianna Wu trolled 8chan and then pretended to be surprised by the outcome. She's already lied, or she's incredibly stupid. She doesn't appear to be incredibly stupid to me. But it's a super way to get your name wagging in the national press and get back on TV in a place that's going to be full of mainstream media.

She doesn't need to hire people to write nasty things. They do it for free once you kick the hornets nest.

I think you should research Brianna's past, you'll find some outstanding instances of great mental instability. Don't forget to include her birth male name in your searches.

@Kenny.

No, I'm both illustrating prescident, and how stupid it would be to attack people at an event like PAX.

I suggest you consult your local law enforcement. They'll tell you the same thing.

You're concern trolling as well. None of these are planned malicious actions that you list, which is what threats are. None of the things you list would affect her staff unless they went looking for trouble, literally trying to start fights with people, which I find a highly implausible scenario. Seriously, they are in far more danger going out to a bar in Boston In a Yankees jersey for reandom acts of violence than an "I'm with Brianna" t-shirt.

I can be hit by a meteor tomorrow. But I don't worry about it, and this constant emotional attacks on people who dare propose using logic, standard police procedure, and prescident that sorry Virginia, Mommy put the presents under the tree us really counterproductive to protecting people who are actually in danger. I guarantee you that Brianna Wu could walk around that convention center unescorted wearing a &Hingis Brianna" sign, and while people may say nasty things to her, she will remain unharmed. Because people who don't like her or Anita want them in prison, but they lack interest in going there themselves. So please, stop freaking out because you think people are trying to oppress women. They're not. The people with legit beefs don't like professional victims and attention seekers and crooks, and those making the threats are looking to kick their own hornets nest and watch the fun. The more ink crap like this gets, the more you feed the trolls.
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Rashad Foux Character Artist, Hi-Rez Studios, Inc.4 years ago
Sigh.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 4 years ago
Hmmm. At the end of the day, isn't this is a civil rights issue when all is said and done? Perhaps folks need to take a stand against this nonsense like those pioneers did who had even more at stake? Nothing changes if it's all hand-wringing and worrying and dividing people into assorted thought camps where we battle on semantics and syntax while the trolls cackle away and type out their next threats because everything is going according to plan.

There needs to be some sort of mix of law enforcement, cooperation from ISP's, security at PAX and other events and common sense thought and discussion taking place. The end result being anyone can travel to any gathering and not need to worry about having to deal with threats from actual to implied.
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Caleb Hale Journalist 4 years ago
It's been six months, and we're still letting GamerGate dictate too much of the conversation about the industry. These people have done - and will continue to do - nothing more than rattle cages for the fun of it. Keeping this Internet sideshow going gives them the attention they crave and probably allows them to ignore painful personal problems in their own lives. Anyone still seriously reacting to these people are being way too gullible.

GamerGate no longer needs to be the driving catalyst behind conversations about diversity and better gender representation in games. It never needed to be. The conversation is happening because it was time for the conversation to start happening. The times are already changing, and the GamerGaters are doomed to join a lineage of misanthropes who stood on the wrong side of history.

Ignore their threats and see if they can muster the courage to make good on them. Let the court of public opinion get hold of misguided youths, who hurt someone because they said something they didn't like about a video game. Society - not mention their prison cellmates - will open their tiny minds to reality.
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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 4 years ago
Normally I'd have a lot to say on threads like this one, as ever, but lately I've been too ill to really keep up.

Thankfully, Frigg created Kenny, and it was good.

I will leave y'all with this, though - let's try a thought experiment.

Imagine YOU were getting a tidal wave of hate through your inbox on every medium you could imagine. If you need some examples to inspire you, check fatuglyorslutty.com. And all your friends and people you admire are getting it too.

And this has been going on, to a much lesser degree, for the last 10 years. Ignoring them has done nothing. It's taken all that time to even get a report function and they don't answer complaints for days or weeks, if at all, and when they do, it's to do NOTHING (unless, of course, you're reporting a picture of a woman with a mastectomy or breast-feeding - then they're on it like a shot).

So you choose to go public, to name and shame, because that's what works with catcallers and facebook stalkers. You speak out against the threats and the misogyny and the efforts to revolt, frighten and silence you. You speak up for your friends and you tell the perpetrators exactly what you think of them.

Now, which, logically, is a HUMAN BEING'S motive for doing this?

a) Because you're frightened and angry and fed up and they are threatening people you care about; or
b) Because you think you can make money out of it

If you answered b) then you are in some way bereft of emotions. Brianna Wu isn't - she's human and she's a woman and a passionate one at that. We don't get taught the whole emotional suppression "man up" toolkit from birth, we over-emotional and hysterical creatures. She speaks out because their tantrums are hurtful both to her and to those she cares about. It's a HUMAN reaction.

You know it's true - this rubbish about cynical profit ploys is an excuse, a way of demonizing the victim that takes away their means to defend themselves and allows a person to feel persecution is justified, but if the perpetrators say it often enough without a reply, everyone eventually will believe it's true. Using threats to elevate a personal profile is the way ebil wimmenz act on TV, it's not a thing that happens with actual people. Because actual people feel pain.

At the very least, you have to admit that kind of profit ploy would be passive aggressive in the extreme. And Brianna Wu is not even slightly passive-aggressive. She's aggressive, and that's why you hate her.
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 4 years ago
@Greg

Any large event like PAX is required by law and convention center regulations to have ample security from a firm contracted by the convention center. A firm like ReedPOP who runs PAX doesn't typically run staff security, so they hire even more rent-a-cops. If Boston is like every other city I've run events in, which I have no doubt they are, there will be ample police presence in the area as well. As I said, only a moron would pull anything at that kind of event as previously stated. I'm sure there will be additional threats made between now and the end of PAX, but it still doesn't mean any of them are credible.

@Caleb

The much larger problem is that the media has decided, with of course the help of Anita and the gang, that anyone who speaks out against them in any way is simply an evil sexist misogynist pig. People from the opposition are never interviewed on television, in newspapers, websites, etc. gamergate doesn't drive anything, as its a blNket catch all phrase to shut down debate, not an actual movement organized in any way. The feminists control the debate by waving the GG boogeyman, and that definately stirs legitimate anger among reasonable people, because they don't have a voice.

I'm going to add to your "let the cowards make good" sentiment with that there needs to be an expiration date on covering their professional victimhood.

@Bonnie

Would you like me to introduce you to all the people I know on the Internet who have received similar threats, some of which came from actual sickos, who were planning to shoot up a school on the videos of one of Anita's biggest critics, who were chased down and arrested by law enforcement, or were threatened and doxxed by a Muslim who said he'd send Thinderfoot to "the God he wished he knew"? That guy actually put his name and face on those threats too.

They don't make big public stinks about it (the Muslim guy and thunderfoot were already a public thing, as he didn't like the videos TF had made, just like he does with Anita Calling him out on his BS), because they know it's counterproductive. Your appeal to emotion is just an attempt t shut down the discussion. I'm sorry you have nightmares about these fantasies, but that's exactly how you're supposed to react just before opening your wallet. It's exactly the same tactics the NRA uses to shut down gun control, that was being used against the affordable care act here in the US (death panels!), and got us all into the war in Iraq (and despite the definitive direct and deliberate lies there, no ones gone to jail for that one either)

Watch this documentary, it's excellent, and deals with how fear gets good people to do things for the power and profit of others.

Fun bonus: how Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney inspired The Hunt for Red October with their phantom submarines for which the evidence of their existence was that we hadn't detected them.

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCD6007A025F1EE8E
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Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany4 years ago
Some of the comment I read here, I can't believe they are coming from members of the industry.
We are having death threat to fellow developers, what other excuse you need? where is room for any argument?

@Jeff:
You are kinda using the "feminist Boogieman" tactic here yourself. Regarding the "The much larger problem is that the media has decided" I'm not going to say anything there when you only need to enter any gaming website and see for yourself. that is some work I can't do for you, but considering a single death threat is already unacceptable, I think you have already chosen denial
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Darren Adams Managing Director, ChaosTrend4 years ago
I do think people need to remember there is no black and white, just may shades of grey....(yes, I was tempted, but this is a serious topic, so nope)

For some reason people these days have decided to deal in absolutes, which is the most dangerous way of thinking, just ask the Jews. True, there are many fuckwads out there who are making life a misery for others and in most cases people making death threats should receive a lifelong ban from twitter, FB etc at the very least. Can't play nice? Play by yourself then. GG, anti-GG, it doesn't really matter at this point in time, as they are both playing the same game.

It is more complicated than it looks and the polarizing views that I see here just hinder any progress that could be made by either side. There has to be give and take wherever possible and vehemently disagreeing with the other side is futile and narrow minded.

Sure, we don't want to see death threats and people fearing for their lives, but has anyone actually stepped back and said "Hmmm, death threats are bad, but why do some people feel pushed so far that they decide to make death threats to someone else?". There is an underlying problem here that is not being addressed.

Edited 5 times. Last edit by Darren Adams on 25th February 2015 9:57am

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Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation 4 years ago
@Bonnie

Rather than explain why I don't need to imagine all that, I will just say that I don't need to, then again I have tough skin and get on with my job and life, focusing on the people that do need help, that do want help, that ask for help politely and that I can help. My point is, if those people throwing their rage, frustration and anger were to voice it in a civil and constructive manner, then I would drop everything and listen but until they do that, they automatically hit my ignore filter and I focus purely on those that are civil, constructive and need help.

However to point out, I have had years both personal and professional of training, where I have built up tolerance and patience, two major requirements of community management, so I am somewhat an exception to trolls but my point still stands, when you have worked for one of the most hated companies in the world, along with sat 8 hours a day listening to angry customers on the phone in a cell centre (Which for some people they did break down and cry because of the abuse they gained) then I think I can safely say, been there, done that and will happily do it all again if it avoids one less person having to deal with it themselves.

P.S Just as a general statement, this isn't just to do with feminism, women in gaming or anything like that, it's just common sense that NO ONE, no matter their gender, race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, disability and whatever else that makes someone different should have to deal with death threats or abuse.

The fact it is is being made into something like that is the whole reason the world cannot see that diversity is what connects us.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Jordan on 25th February 2015 2:19pm

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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 4 years ago
I'll respond to he others later

But the threat video toward Brianna cited earlier?

As predicted, it's a faaaaaaaake

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/02/gamergate-troll-turns-tail-after-receiving-harassment-of-his-own/

Once again, for the Lulz. Ars spins it to the anti-GG narrative, so make sure to click through to Buzzfeed forvthe actual guy's words.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeff Kleist on 25th February 2015 7:49pm

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Kenny Lynch Community Rep/Moderator 4 years ago
I have to say that I cannot get my head around this issue at all. Threats, harassment, hate campaigns, they are all bad. And everyone has the perfect right to speak out about it if they so choose. I know pretty much nothing about Ms Wu - and she could be the devil incarnate for all I know, but that does not change that any harassment is bad. It does not change that support should always be offered to victims first, and they should never be attacked. I would rather 100 people take advantage of society's empathy and get sympathy that they do not deserve than risk 1 victim being attacked and blamed in place of their attackers.

It is nothing short of disgusting to see people look at a wave of hate against people and chalk off an arbitrary line, and anything that happens of that line is 'trolls' and irrelevant and everything under are people with legit beefs. It is the disrespect of another human being that is the crucial thing here. Such personal and ad hominem attacks have no place in a debate.

Gamergate does not and has not drive discussions about gender representations - the hashtag and all the other stuff (I'm pretty sure that the term gamergate does not mean exactly the same thing to two people) was the reaction to them in the first place. All the anger, the hate, the shouting, the threats, are all about not having to discuss the actual issues and i imagine that a lot of that applies to both 'sides' of the debate where many are far happier slinging insults than actual risk debating with someone that might have a valid point and be able to outsmart them.

And it is really weird to to take a wall of hatred that has included 46 death threats, and then claim that the only possible danger of anything happening is from those specific people. Because everyone else that has been communicating with her has just been lovely, I am sure.

It is also noticable how certain Jeff is in his statements. He guarantees that no one would get hurt. No cares about her employees. Those making the threats are in no way dangerous. And if anyone suggests that there are other possibilities, strong enough to not be worth the risk, then we are hysterical lunatics. Sounds legit to me.

On a related note I think the word misogynist is really misunderstood. If a homosexual man was campaigning for gay rights, or otherwise visible publicly in advocating LGBT issues, I think most people would be quite ok with those that attacked him personally be called 'homophobes' or at least would understand why the term was used. People personally attacking every woman advocating better gender representation in the gaming industry don't seem understand why they should be called misogynists. I have not ever seen someone called a misogynist for disagreeing with a woman (though I am sure that it happens all the time, but not on this website for example).
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Jeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 4 years ago
@Kenny

If that homosexual man went and trolled the Christian Right, in a direct and deliberate campaign to raise their profile and income as a victim of their abuse, while at the same time spinning eillful and definitive lies about the content of those objections, people would have the same issues.

The fact you admit you don't know anything abiut Brianna Wu is the problem. You're reacting emotionally to an issue, and not looking at who is saying it and why. Brianna trolled 8Chan, and then cried victim when they reacted badly. They want you to "listen and believe" the alleged victim, even in the face of overwhelming evidence against them. We have Anita Sarkeesian on videotape describing how she knows nothing about games, and is not a gamer, planning to start a project to show how terribly abided women are online mere weeks prior to her Kickstarter, and lying to the national media about it. Her punishment? Immunity from defending her position, and at least 3/4 of a million dollars, now tax free.

You can keep making emotional arguements, but I'm sorry, history is clear, once again the alleged threats are a mouthy kid, as I stated they would be with no intention of causing harm. When you bring harrassment on yourself for du and profit, people don't like you. When their voices are silenced in favor of your fabricated narrative, thry get pissed. Very few people who don't like Soe, Brianna, and Anita who bring these criticisms harass them, except in their own mind, where its harrassment to point out the disingenuous and stupid things they say. Anita even posted an "enemies list" to her Twotter to try to poison 4 of her biggest critics, saying that every time they post a video her harrassment goes up. Yes, becaue when you say stupid things, people say mean things about you in response, If I threaten to open a black hole in your office, chances are I'm not going to be able to do that.

The question is how long they're going to keep kicking e hornets nest, gets sing stung, and complaining abiut it is going to be permitted, rewarded and covered. None of these people are against women's rights, they don't like crooks and liars, and have a long history of this that well predates Anita.

I believe I've made a clear and well reasoned arguements why there is no danger, the cops agree with me. So please explain in your own words, without appeals to emotion why I'm wrong.

Do you understand now why people are mad?
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Kenny Lynch Community Rep/Moderator 4 years ago
Jeff, 'we' have Ms Sarkeesian on tape? Fine, good that your impartial position is made clear.

I have not made a single emotional argument. Support for victims is not an emotional thing. Agreeing that safety comes first, is not an emotional argument. Blaming victims for their abuse, is despicable. The women at the centre of gamergate and all that surrounds did not start the situation. Even if they are not unaware of any benefit to themselves or their cause, they are the ones that have responded to horrible attacks on women and have been targeted for that.

Even if you think that there is no danger, the facts prove you totally wrong. Just take your linked article. You say look its faaaake. And therefore harmless? Not really. The past stunts pulled by this man include 'performing' at a convention while the exit was deliberately blocked and hijacking a talk to deliver a homophobic speech. He also says they were all about pushing the envelope, so what might have happened had they gone further at convention as PAX? And even if you say that it not likely, it is not a zero probability. And if 'real' gamer gaters are so lovely, why is he now fearful of his physical safety? Why until his last rambling video featuring a crashed car was he indistinguishable from 'real' gamergators? The total inability of your 'movement' to denounce his actions before you found out that he was a fake is exactly what we are talking about Why do you take the opportunity to do so to attack his victim? The answer to that is fairly obvious.

The point is that the issues about gender representation, etc., don't just disappear because you discredit those that are discussing them. Ad hominem attacks are a logical fallacy, it is tantamount to admitting defeat in the intellectual argument or your lack of ability to take part.

The problems with the industry still exist, and are exemplified by your inability to deal with the actual issues but instead continue to personally attack all those who disagree with you.

And I would not be so sure that the cops agree with you, I would have imagined it is more a case of what exactly can they do? They should of course be attempting to trace those that send death threats as that is illegal, but I can imagine that is not necessarily as easy as some might imagine. If they really thought there was danger at PAX I imagine they would cancel it, or ask Ms Wu not to attend as far as I am aware someone needs to pay for police protection at such things as events - though don't just send hundreds of officers.

And as you asked me something, may I return the favour? Could you point me to single source of criticism of Sarkeesian's videos that actually addresses her arguments instead of blatantly misunderstanding her or just being full of the synonyms of stupid, or indeed both.
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