I had a bit of a meltdown today that led to me finally just outright saying this: Zoe Quinn is an abuser. They are a liar, a manipulator, a racist, a TERF, and just a generally shady person. A side effect of me getting mad is that I foolishly made a Twitter thread about this; the exact opposite of “getting a blog.” So I’m going to post about it here.
Another problem is that I don’t have any hard proof. I used to have a series of private messages that would confirm a number of things I’ll be saying here. They disappeared when my previous Twitter account was mass reported to hell, and ultimately suspended, coincidentally, the last time I had planned on making my thoughts Zoe known. As a result, everything I’m going to say is now circumstantial. Whether you choose to believe me, I don’t really care. I’m not writing this because I want this to go viral, or because I am looking for internet clout, or some other stupid reason. I’m writing this because I am sick and tired. Sick and tired of having to keep all this private. Sick and tired of having to be looked at like I’m the asshole because I dared to say that the internet’s golden child is in fact, a shitty person.
I’m also sick and tired of every alt-right scumbag coming out of the woodwork and thinking that it’s okay to put their metaphorical arm around my shoulder as though we’re friends. To have these nazis fucks talk to me like one of their own. Like, “Yeah man, I’m with you! She’s a whore who fucked a bunch of guys for good game reviews and literally killed the Night in the Woods guy! You know, Joe? Or Fred? Or whatever his name is. I’m obviously very torn up about this!” My problems with Zoe are actually real, and not some made up bullshit that came because some incel on Youtube was mad about the titties in Dead or Alive being slightly smaller.
So let me get this all out of the way now: no, Zoe is not censoring your games. Zoe did not sleep around for positive reviews of Depression Quest. And no, Zoe is not at fault for Alec Howlowka’s suicide.
Zoe did, however, exploit the labor of transgender women. Zoe did lie and convince us all that any backlash they got from “Punk Games” was out of jealousy and transphobia, not because it was a garbage article that tried downplaying the work that people of color had put in to pull the indie games scene out of the dark ages of Jonathan Blow and other interchangeable white men with bad politics who thought they were too cool for Halo, in favor of promoting the work of two alleged sex predators. They and their friends used a series of coincidences, misunderstandings, and a couple of actually shitty people’s actions to do this. I mean, hey, who’s going around calling me a retard over something I didn’t even write? Certainly not this group of people suddenly appearing all at once to tell me that I’m good, and trying to get me fired up at some community I had literally never heard of prior to all of this!
And this is where the anger starts to kick in. I’m more angry at myself for this than anyone else. Because I let myself get lovebombed and ultimately be the shield for someone to escape any negative criticism that they’re a fucking racist asshole. I let myself be used. If you’ve never been in a situation that left you feeling exploited or betrayed, know that it fucking sucks. No matter what you do, or what anyone says, that guilt stays with you. It’s one thing to have a shitty friend, it’s another when you don’t realize that you’re being conditioned into becoming a cult member until it’s too late.
Something I had been thoroughly convinced of by Zoe and friends for so long was that a game dev by the name of Soha El-Sabaawi had created a Twitter blocklist designed to target trans women who were fooled into believing Ian Miles Cheong when he was still pretending to be a leftist, pre-Witcher 3. Now, I’ll be real with you, here: I’m not entirely sure if that’s a lie or not. All I know is, I was told that she hated trans people, then we’re all suddenly getting blocked by people in games I’ve never heard of, let alone ever interacted with. Maybe she really did come up with the first trans-centered mass blocklist. Or, maybe it was all bullshit to hide Randi Harper creating her own “anti-Gamergate” list that, you guess it, targeted trans women first and foremost.
But, I will say this, and give credit where it’s due: Soha and I, we’ll probably never be friends; too much shit has happened in the intervening years that I don’t see that as ever happening. However, she was dead fucking right in telling Zoe to fuck off all those years ago. I just wish I was smart enough to have realized that then.
I was not a member of Crash Override. However, I’ve been friends with a number of people who were. Every single one of them, even the ones that don’t even like each other, all say the same thing: that they were promised to be paid to sift through people’s death threats, image spam of gore and child pornography, and given nothing. No money, no support when Breitbart and 8chan and Kiwi Farms all came knocking on their doors. No support when Zoe’s game industry peers were going around calling them pedophiles, nazi sympathizers, and abusers. Just a post on their private twitter that they were “glad to be rid of people I never want to talk to again.” I should have taken a screenshot of that. And while I was not involved with Crash Override, I can tell you that Zoe privately messaged me to let me know that they were the only “employee” involved with the project. Nobody else, not even their partner at the time, was involved. Just Zoe, tirelessly fighting online harassment using such brave methods as “telling people to change their email passwords.” Zoe also told me something else through these DM’s, which I’ll get to later.
And by “later,” I mean “right now.” Zoe also lied to me about CO’s involvement with Randi Harper, and the shameless fraud that was the Online Abuse Prevention Initiative. There was NO association, I was told. They didn’t even like Randi! It was totally fucked up that she went off on some bigoted power trip, teaming up with message boards full of school shooters to dox trans women! Totally sucked that you got your own thread on Kiwi Farms because you told her and Wil Wheaton to go fuck themselves!
Well, we know what the truth was:
My personal info is posted online. I get an eyeful of society’s worst talking about wanting to kill me every day. I get to spend years worrying about whether or not the shit I’m dealing with will do any splash damage to the people in my life. I’ll spare you all the details of the full year I spent having a panic attack that one of my friends or partners would have to deal with their own doxxing thread.
And someone who I thought was a friend is off playing a shitty video game with the person responsible.
To say I was angry would be an understatement. I had spent the last couple months being told by my friends that they all got fucked over and ripped off doing Zoe’s “anti-abuse” work, and now here they are, rubbing their and my misfortune in our faces. Ironically enough, playing as a fucking healer, when all Zoe has done is hurt people. I let loose on Twitter, ranting and raving. Other people made their Medium posts about the shit they had dealt with (now deleted). And what happens next? Zoe lets everyone know not to “believe any conspiracy theories you may have heard,” and goes running off to everyone’s favorite transphobic sack of shit, Jesse Singal, to run defense.
Do you know how insulting it is to see your face on that asshole’s timeline? To have it captioned, “these are the people who want to reignite Gamergate,” straight up telling people that I became a neo-nazi because I got tired of Zoe Quinn’s bullshit? The man has twenty something thousand followers, and, despite any degree of common sense, still gets work in a number of publications. That’s a lot of people who saw a synonym for “bigot” labeled under my face. Fuck that.
And you know what? A problem with writing this? Why on Earth would you ever believe me, or anyone else who has come forward with their own horror stories? Like, who would you rather listen to: someone who, despite everything I’ve written, actually did and does deal with shitty harassment on a day-to-day basis, or a group of people that includes Ian Miles Cheong, Peter Coffin, a guy who was run offline after being outed a sex predator, and a group of autistic trans women who spent the last couple years getting into it with a community primarily made up of queer people of color? Of course you would go with the former! Why would you ever want to listen to me? I’m a white person who was utterly convinced that some Arab woman I’ve never met was some kind of anime supervillain with a grudge against anything outside the gender binary. There’s a paranoid part of me that thinks that was done by design. That we were all useful idiots for a con artist to make a few bucks. And now that Zoe got what they wanted, who gives a fuck? We’re all discredited. All people that you’ve been told never to believe or support. It’s perfect!
It makes me fucking sick to see someone try to show me whatever pity party Zoe is throwing today. Like they’re not stable enough with their Marvel money and book sales, while everyone who got strung along and left to eat shit are still barely clinging to life, even four years later. You know who’s a victim? The trans women you fucked over and left to pick up the pieces of their lives. You know who’s a victimizer? Zoe. I mean, yeah, I got left with PTSD and a complete inability to trust people and everyone thinks I’m a racist scumbag, but at least I didn’t lose my fucking home! I didn’t have ostensibly leftist people buy into right-wing horseshit that I’m a pedophile or a domestic abuser, despite demonstrable proof to the contrary, because someone with a platform refused to stick up for me because it was too inconvenient for their bank account. I got off fairly easily by comparison.
We were all nothing more than people who wanted to do the right thing. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can tell you that I got involved because I was tired of right-wing assholes in my backyard (that backyard being “video games”). I was working on a group project a month before GG kicked off. Half the team left, in fear that they would be a target because of their own marginalized status. That was the final straw for me. Nazi Gamers Fuck Off was my state of mind. I wanted to help people; to change things for the better. I also realized I was no longer a cis man, and I was looking for a place to belong. In the end, I got fucked over, and most of it is probably my fault. I don’t mean to turn this into my own pity party, but I do sincerely believe that it’s probably too late for me to actually make amends; to properly atone for hurting others. I said a lot of horrible things. I did a lot of petty shit that did me no favors. I know that I’ve said “sorry” on multiple occasions, but I don’t think that’s going to be good enough. And I don’t what will be good enough, if anything. That’s something I have to take responsibility for.
But I can leave you all with this: Do Not Trust Zoe Quinn. Let me say this again, but in all-caps, for emphasis.
DO NOT TRUST ZOE QUINN
That will lead you down a path of pain and misery that you do not want to go down.
Here’s the thing: I don’t want money, or an apology, or anything like that. All I want is my life back. A time where I lived in blissful ignorance; where I only knew the name “Zoe Quinn” because supergreatfriend played Depression Quest on his stream, and I didn’t watch it because Bully Demise and Undertaker (Retro) weren’t involved. A time where I wasn’t a fucking cult member who lost any sense in my head and became a pawn in someone else’s grudges and bigotries. I want the time where I was marginally happier back. Of course, I’ll never get that, and I’ll probably always be mad about that. Always be mad about the lies, the gaslighting, the endless heart emoji’s, the “I love you”‘s, and rhetoric about trans pride that meant nothing. It was all bullshit.
Again, whether or not you believe me on this is up to you; I’m not really in any position to demand trust. I’m just making my feelings known, because I’m tired of having to relive it in my head, over and over.