"zoe quinn"

20 years of blogging at Boing Boing

Twenty years ago today, Boing Boing became a blog. Mark Frauenfelder's first post linked to Street Tech, a now-dormant gadget blog. Now there are 160,000 more posts just like it and the impossible task of summarizing the best of them in yet another.

Founded as a print zine in 1988 by Mark and Carla Sinclair, Mark's personal retrospective posted earlier today is a must-read; following are a few of our greatest hits, proudest accomplishments, clickiest traffic monsters, and best features of all time.

Despite the tens of millions of words in our database – mostly wonderful things – it's oftentimes the shortest posts that get the most attention.

So it was with Xeni Jardin's Ralph Lauren opens new outlet store in the Uncanny Valley, a single-sentence reblog of a now-vanished post at another site highlighting the incompetently dysmorphic photomanipulations in one of the fashion house's ads.

Ralph Lauren tried to force us to remove the post, to no avail.

That wasn't our first rodeo, either. In 2008, were were sued by MagicJack, makers of a VoIP dongle, after criticizing its terms of service. We stood our ground and beat them in court. Ten years later, Playboy sued us for posting about someone else's uploaded cover collection, claiming that linking to things is a form of copyright infringement. We beat them too, with the help of able friends at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

It's not all law and chaos, though.

Mark Frauenfelder says he's most proud of his two-part series on the fortified residential mailboxes of Los Angeles, Survival of the fittest mailbox and Fortified mailboxes, part 2. Read the rest

Gaming's #MeToo moment: male fragility versus women's fundamental rights

The latest turn in the Gamergate sage: Zoe Quinn (previously) outed their former partner, game dev Alec Holowka as a sexual and emotional abuser, which prompted others to come forward with their own stories of abuse at Holowka's hands, which led to Holowka being kicked out of his Night in the Woods game project -- and shortly thereafter, Holowka committed suicide. Read the rest

Game developers, composer named in sexual assaults

Jeremy Soule, composer of game soundtracks such as Morrowind and Total Annihilation, was named by developer Natalie Lawhead as having raped her when the two worked together in 2008. Following her post, other game developers spoke out about having been assaulted by their peers, with Alex Holowka (Night in the Woods) and Luc Shelton (Gears of War) among the accused. At The Verge, Andrew Webster suggests that #MeToo may have finally reached the insular game-dev community.

Zoe Quinn — developer of games like Depression Quest, author of Crash Override, and a focal point of the misogynistic Gamergate movement — posted a harrowing account on Twitter, recounting alleged abuse from indie developer Alec Holowka, best known for his work on Aquaria and Night in the Woods. “I’ve been silent about this for almost my entire career and I can’t do it anymore,” Quinn wrote. The post includes disturbing accounts that include Quinn hiding in a bathroom to avoid an attack. It also notes that Quinn was inspired to come forward in part because of Lawhead’s post, which Quinn says “shook me to my core.”

In a statement on Twitter, Scott Benson, who worked with Holowka on Night in the Woods, wrote that “we believe Zoe’s account of Alec’s actions, we’re very sad and very angry.”

A third incident came to light when indie developer Adelaide Gardner wrote a lengthy Twitter thread accusing Luc Shelton, a programmer at British studio Splash Damage, of sustained psychological and physical abuse two years ago.

Read the rest

2017 Hugo nominees announced

The 2017 Hugo nominees were announced yesterday; attendees at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in San Jose, California will choose from among them to pick this year's Hugo Award winners. Read the rest

The Alt Right's journey from message-board to mass-media

Read Max Read's sharp précis of what happened to the internet over the last few years: the slow drifting of message-boards to the right as their inhabitants grew from sad kids to angry adults, then the sudden explosion of that pattern across social networks run by corporations with only an ambivalent interest in stopping it.

This was the core value of message-board political consciousness: sovereignty, a concept similarly important to the politics of the far right. Posters and trolls wanted to reserve for themselves on the internet the power and freedom they couldn’t find off it. And as the online and offline spheres slowly merged over the course of the 2010s, that sovereignty expressed itself as an abject refusal to resocialize — the reservation of a sacred right to be cruel. The puckish left-libertarianism that had characterized the early message-board political activity of groups like Anonymous transformed into a revanchism, seemingly intended to protect “Kekistan” — the joking name, from the LOL-like word Kek, for the safe spaces of the frustrated men of the internet.

This was the sensibility galvanized in 2014 by — what else? — a depressed and frustrated man’s rambling, 9,000-word post falsely accusing his game-developer ex-girlfriend Zoë Quinn of exchanging sex for video-game reviews

Tim O'Brien's painting of Pepe is fantastic: a poisoned meme made creepily, grossly real.

One of the interesting oddities about the Alt Right is a "geek fallacies" thing: loyalty to parasitic luminaries, even though they're crudely exploitative, too weird to be on television, and all seem to hate one another. Read the rest

Zoë Quinn's book about online abuse gets a release date

Zoë Quinn, creator of punk games, knows more than most about the sharp end of online harassment. But she also knows what it takes to fight back, an important skill now that the same playbook used against her is wielded broadly by abusive reactionaries of all stripes.

So I can't wait to read her book, Crash Override: How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate, which is finally available for preorder. The release date: September 5, 2017.

Update: Quinn stresses that it's not just about that one particular campaign:

Here's the blurb, from Amazon:

You've heard the stories about the dark side of the internet-hackers, anonymous hoards attacking an unlucky target, and revenge porn-but they remain just that: stories. Surely these things would never happen to you.

Zoe Quinn used to feel the same way.

Read the rest

The Offworld Collection available to order

The Offworld Collection, presenting the very best features and essays from Offworld, is finally available to buy directly from Campo Santo for $40. I had the pleasure of designing and illustrating this splendid 250-page hardcover volume, but it's the excellent writing, edited by Leigh Alexander and Laura Hudson, that makes it an essential buy. You get the ebook immediately upon purchase. Read the rest

Jigsaw: "wildly ambitious" Google spin-out aimed at tackling "surveillance, extremist indoctrination, censorship"

Technologists have a dismal pattern: when it comes to engineering challenges ("build a global-scale comms platform") they rub their hands together with excitement; when it comes to the social challenges implied by the engineering ones ("do something about trolls") they throw their hands up and declare the problem to be too hard to solve. Read the rest

Zoe Quinn and Chuck Tingle are making an amazing game

Gamergate bogeywoman Zoe Quinn is making a new punk game, in collaboration with Amazon deep weird porn-writer (and table-turning, MRA-confounding Hugo nominee Chuck Tingle, and It. Looks. Awesome. Read the rest

Weaponized shirt for demoralizing designers

Zoe Quinn's awesome $21 "I'm the best graphic designer" tee has it all: linebreaks, Comic Sans, all caps, weird kerning... Just the thing to break the hearts of your designer pals! Read the rest

Weird porn author who was dragged into Hugo Awards mess pulls off epic troll

For the second year in a row, a bunch of disgruntled "conservative" sf readers and writers are attempting to destroy science fiction's Hugo Awards by nominating slates of works that are, variously: rabid racist tracts; works by their ideological opponents; tepid military sf; works by bystanders; and weird porn by Chuck Tingle, a master of the form, who has nothing to do with any of this. Read the rest

Gamergate bogeywoman Zoe Quinn sells a memoir, movie about her harassment

Zoe Quinn, sometime Boing Boing and Offworld contributor and object of pants-wetting apoplexy by Gamergate's jerk-squad, has sold a memoir telling her tale of being targeted for one of the Internet's most grotesque and cowardly pile-ons, and had the film-rights snapped up by Pascal Pictures, with rumors that Scarlett Johansson will play Quinn. Read the rest

Zoe Quinn on growing past the online mob

Zoe Quinn knows what it's like to be lied about, harassed and generally made a prop in other people's angry inner lives. But she also knows what it's like to have been one of the internet's useful idiots—and how to build something powerful in response to the online mob. In her XOXO speech from September, she talked about providing targeted individuals with the means to unfuck their situation, but also about what the internet could be—should be—after years of growing failure.

Zoe Quinn continued to encourage new voices in indie game development with learning resources like Sorting Hat and Games Are For Everyone, and launched Crash Override, a volunteer-run task force for victims and targets of online mob hatred.

Recorded in September 2015 at XOXO, an experimental festival celebrating independently produced art and technology in Portland, Oregon.

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That time the Internet sent a SWAT team to my mom's house

When I set out to research the out-of-control harassment problem in gamer culture, I never dreamed my mother would be caught up in the middle of it all.

Hakim, the Masked Gamer of Minneapolis

Internet madness, Gamergate, and the special happiness of farewells.

You can start making your own games today. Yes, you!

There's a new, great resource-gathering tool designed for folks new to game-making. Here's why you should check it out.

Brianna Wu uploads Gamergate death threat to shame Ohio prosecutor

The game developer and Gamergate bogeywoman/survivor has furnished the authorities with the graphic death-threats she received for speaking out about online harassment of women, but they won't take action. Read the rest

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