Zoe Quinn, the creator behind the indie game ‘Depression Quest’ and the support group Crash Override spoke during a Congressional briefing dealing with cyber stalking and online harassment.
The briefing was put together by the National Taskforce to End Sexual and Domestic violence, the National Council of Women’s organization’s, the National Organization of Women(NOW) in conjunction with Massachusetts congressional representative Katherine Clark. The briefing was created to bring focus on the growing problems of online harassment & cyber stalking.
Quinn was among a number of experts who would speak to the prevalence of these issues and express some ways in which solutions can be found in combating online harassment and cyber stalking. Other interested parties that will be present during the briefing will include Michelle Garcia, Director of the Stalking Resource Center, The Prosecutors’ Resource on Violence against Women among many others.
During the briefing, it was noted that nearly 1 in 5 of all internet users had experienced severe forms of online abuse which would include physical threats, stalking, sustained harassment and/or sexual harassment and that women between 18-24 are disproportionately affected by such harassment and abuse.
Quinn, herself became a target for this type of harassment and abuse, mainly associated with the ‘Gamergate’ movement which sprung up this past August to supposedly bring better ethical practices to how Video game journalists cover games. However, it became very apparent early on that ‘gamergate’s true targets were prominent women working in video games(of which Quinn was one) which included gaming cultural critic Anita Sarkeesian, Giant Spacekat head Brianna Wu,former gaming journalist Jenn Frank among many others.
I’m glad that Zoe Quinn and many others are speaking out like this, it seems to be the best way to bring the issues of online harassment and cyber stalking is to take it to those in government so that they hear their concerns and the possible solutions to the issues and maybe it will spark legislative action. I hope that is the case but simply bring awareness to the issue will hopefully make those who have the power to take action to stop the tsunami of online harassment and abuse will be compelled do so.
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