One developer, Ben Spurr, took things to a terrifying new level by releasing a “Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian” game the following year.Women’s attempts to gain access to male-only spaces have historically been met with violence, and this time was no different.But limiting ourselves to just four themes each year—which were themselves limited by the print format—felt like a disservice to our community, especially since many of our readers consume media solely in digital form (no shade…). This feature, on the gaming culture, is the second of our monthly longreads on the topic of Fragility. Every month through December 2017, we’ll publish a new must-read perspective on the subject that we hope you’ll read, share, and make part of your routine.In June, we’ll explore the illusion of Chicago’s urban fragility. Most gamers knew the truth: there was a cancer at the center of their culture, a malignant growth of bitterness without direction and pain without cause.But while frequent PAX-goers often profess that the show feels like a tight-knit community despite its size, as of 3 in the afternoon that Friday, the illusion was dispelled for me; PAX no longer seemed like a episode where friendship was magic, but rather another reminder of gaming culture’s undercurrent of toxicity and harassment.If you think about it in a certain way, Gamer Gate is really depression’s fault.Quinn would later comment that she’s “was released on games distribution platform Steam in August 2014, however, the gaming community exploded.
Players attempt to help their character navigate everyday tasks and interpersonal events, but listed options like “confide in her honestly” are regularly struck-through and unselectable, leaving only damaging options—a simulation of how insidious depression can be.Most threatening of all were women, whose presence grew over time into a monolith of judgment and derision; they had no place in “gamer culture.” Until they did.Such was the scene in August 2014, when the cancer—eventually bearing the name Gamergate—finally metastasized.It’s on this central pillar that Holkins and Krahulik have built their once modest cartooning endeavor into a multimillion dollar corporation.This year’s PAX East in Boston broke 80,000 attendees, cementing it as the largest gaming convention in the United States.As the infamous movement’s three-year anniversary approaches, it’s time for gamers to ask: isn’t the only game that’s taken on a financial and cultural life of its own.