I know this feeling.
Instead of greeting two male gamers wearing Halo and Call of Duty shirts, prominent gamer and actress Felicia Day crossed the street.
“Seeing another gamer on the street used to be an auto-smile opportunity, or an entry into a conversation starting with, ‘Hey, dude! I love that game too!’ the Supernatural actress wrote on her Tumblr. But for the first time maybe in my life, on that Saturday afternoon, I walked towards that pair of gamers and I didn’t smile. I didn’t say hello. In fact, I crossed the street so I wouldn’t walk by them. A small voice of doubt in my brain now suspected that those guys and I might not be comrades after all. That they might not greet me with reflected friendliness, but contempt.”
I know that feeling. I know it so well. In certain crowds – crowds I would once have assumed were full of natural friends – I become a bit like a rabbit in open country: watchful, cautious, ready to bolt at any sign of contempt or loathing.
The change in Felicia Day’s case is of course GamerGate.
Day said she has kept quiet on GamerGate, which recently forced Intel to pull advertising from gaming site Gamasutra, largely out of “self-protection and fear.”
“I have been terrified of inviting a deluge of abusive and condescending tweets into my timeline. I did one simple @ reply to one of the main victims several weeks back, and got a flood of things I simply couldn’t stand to read directed at me. I had to log offline for a few days until it went away. I have tried to re-tweet a few of the articles I’ve seen dissecting the issue in support, but personally I am terrified to be doxxed (having personal information such as an address, email or real name released online) for even typing the words ‘Gamer Gate.’”
So, what happened? Don’t be silly, you know what happened. Of course it did.
In fact, Day was reportedly doxxed within an hour of writing her post on GamerGate. The immediate doxxing of female GamerGate critics, including Day, has been pointed to as an example of the sexism of the movement. Former NFL player Chris Kluwe, who wrote his own post calling GamerGaters “basement-dwelling, cheetos-huffing, poopsock-sniffing douchepistols,” said Day was only targeted because of her gender.
“None of you fucking #gamergate tools tried to dox me, even after I tore you a new one. I’m not even a tough target…Instead, you go after a woman who wrote why your movement concerns her,” Kluwe said onTwitter.
Well they’re not going to mess with a football player, are they. He might hit them.