Saturday, October 11, 2014

Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest

The only "good" thing to come out of the harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn is, perhaps, that it will bring her game to the attention of people who would otherwise not learn about it. "Depression Quest" is free to download here. (Players choose whether or not to donate to the suicide prevention organizations that are the recipients of any profits.)

It is designed as a text heavy "interactive fiction," a form of "game" I happen to enjoy. There is no "winning" or "losing" in this game. The objective of the game is to take the player into the mind of someone suffering from severe depression. In other words, it aims to educate players about depression, and to develop empathy for people who suffer from that condition. And in that objective, it is almost unbearably successful.

It is estimated by the World Health Organization that 350 million people in the world suffer from depression. According to the Center for Disease Control, one in ten Americans report being depressed. Severe clinical depression is debilitating and notoriously difficult to manage medically, as the suicides of David Foster Wallace, Robin Williams and many other brilliant artists have demonstrated.

Lost in the fracas surrounding #GamerGate is that its creator was a young woman who was motivated by her own experience of depression and love of game creation to raise awareness about a medical condition that cripples the lives of many of the brightest and most creative minds.

And somehow this makes what happened to Zoe Quinn even more... well, depressing.


  1. Replies
    1. You don't like the game for reasons you fail to explicate. Duly noted and as always, I appreciate your articulate and insightful comment.

    2. Its not a game, it's text with links. What did you like about it?

    3. I'm not a gamer, Yohami, and I'll admit I cannot evaluate its merits as a "game." This is an area where I clearly need more education and experience. What defines "a game" exactly, anyway? And who gets to decide?

      As a teacher I did think it was an effective tool for educating "players" about the topic. As a teacher, I think the potential of gaming technology to enhance learning is pretty exciting stuff. Yet I'll admit I couldn't play "Depression Quest" very long because, well, it is depressing as hell!

    4. That's so dumb... Was Zork not a game?

    5. My father (RIP) was the first person I knew who owned a "personal computer" (and spent hours writing personal programs for it cuz that was his idea of "leisure"). I remember playing "Zork" when I came home from college and my dad laughing at my frustration with it. You've brought a smile to my face, Shadow Nirvana, reminding me of that.

    6. Zork was amazing and far from being text and links.

    7. It's not for you, Yohami. It requires empathy.

      It does sound like a great tool for teaching and learning about depression though.

    8. @Yohami

      Y, your comment makes no sense: DQ *is* a great tool for teaching and learning about depression. Its merits as a game are debatable, and that's okay.

      And it doesn't sound like a match for you because you haven't displayed empathy for anyone but yourself. (Though it would be great to see you think of others for a change, for example, your unborn daughter and girlfriend.)

    9. Anon, refrain from personal attacks, thanks

    10. Y, what is the personal attack:
      *It doesn't sound like a match for you = TRUE
      *Because you haven't displayed empathy for anyone but yourself = Again, an observation, not an attack
      *It would be great to see you think of others for a chance = An opinion, not an attack
      *For example your unborn daughter and GF = This is your GF's first child, yes? And a new human coming into the world. They could use more of your attention and empathy, I am sure, and suggesting this does not mean a person is attacking you.

      I find it quite strange that you won't say the smallest peep about commenters here calling women here "cunts," and yet the mere suggestion that you don't display empathy is seen as an "attack."

    11. Anon, you're totally stretching out of reality. Why so negative? Either you're a victim reacting in a defensive way because of my presence here (in which case, sorry I didnt want to scare you), or you're a bully trying to pinch to find something that bleeds (in which case, sorry you're out of luck).

      Which one is you?

    12. @Yohami

      Interesting that you are negating my perception, that's a typical gaslighting technique. Do you do this often?

      The truth is, I fit into neither of the choices in your dichotomy.

    13. "I fit into neither of the choices in your dichotomy." so what is your motive?

    14. My motive is to call out narcissists.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. The worth of "Depression Quest" as a game is up for debate but there will be no slut shaming of its creator in my blog comments.

  3. I've done my homework. Aren't you the guy who wrote a blog post proclaiming himself as a narcissist? Narcissists, by definition, lack empathy.

    1. @NPS
      When I made the suggestion he lacked empathy it was seen as a "personal attack."

      I wonder how his life would change if Yohami was as thoughtful and sensitive to others as he expects others to be towards him?

    2. NPS, do your homeworks means: play the game or watch a full walkthrough on youtube, form a real opinion about the game. Same if you want to criticize me, get informed. You know nothing.

    3. Dear Yohami, let's get back to the point of the post. There may be reasons to concede that "Depression Quest" is not a good "game." Personally, I admit I am in NO position to evaluate its merits because I am not a game expert. However -- to get back to the point of the post (and I did have one) -- how on earth does its merits or lack thereof justify the incredible harassment its developer has experienced?

      Bad games (like bad music albums, books, etc.) are released every day. Why did this particular game -- for which, let us remember, the developer received no profit -- ignite such a firestorm of rage?

      This is the question I would like to read your answer to.

    4. Hi Cinzia. The harassment Zoe has experienced has no relation to the quality of the game. A portion of the attacks are underserved, from people who are offended with feminism or sarkeesian and find strawmen/adhominem ways to put her down "she's just a slut", "bitch" etc, they use her as a figure they can attack when they actually want to attack other things - that's the lowest form / less useful form of criticism of what's going on but lets say it's also human behavior, lots of people do it: you have those kind of commenters on your own blog.

      Do a search of "gamergate" and take a dip in, you'll find what are these other things people want to see addressed that have nothing to do with Zoe, and whats about Zoe specifically.

      So. Heres more or less what I've read:

      - Her game is crap and couldnt get greenlight on Steam.

      - She found out that a couple of dudes in an obscure 4chan of adult virgin suicidal shy males were saying bad shit about her game and about her, in a conversation to each other.

      - She blew up that issue and called it online harassment, which it isnt. Sent tweets saying she was getting phone calls with 4chan dudes masturbating, that she got "raided", got rape threats. etc.

      - The feminist / media journalism which is now feminist went to the rescue "talented female developer being harassed by female hating gamers"

      - The actual gamers were offended for being labeled when they did nothing wrong, while the 4chan virgin dudes started crying saying they couldnt have done it because they are too shy to even ask for Zoe's phone.

      - Zoe gets tremendous support from social warriors and victim supporters an her game goes on greenlight

      - Mainstream media reviews the game and say's its an amazing experience.

      - Gamers try the game and find that the game is utter crap, they give bad reviews

      - Mainstream media says anyone giving bad reviews is a misogynist that hates women (redutant, but funny)

      Do you notice a pattern?

      - Zoe's exboyfriend makes public the logs of their relationship with proof that she cheated on him. I assume (its not written there) that she was denying the whole issue and he couldnt live with it. Go read it.

      - A bunch of people read it and find that she had sex with people on the mainstream media game journalism, which makes them think that the support they gave to the game is under the influence of personal sexual relationships.

      - Gamers use this as a vent to push back feminism (which says all gamers are white male privileged homofobe female oppressors misogynist pig pieces of shit, basically) on mainstream game media, sometimes they attack the issue, sometimes they just say Zoe is a slut. Like I said, some people are dumb.

      - Mainstream media uses the issue to promote their agenda: hey this is proof that all gamers are white male privileged homofobe female oppressors who hate and objectify women, look at those angry people!

      = = = =

      If you search about Zoe's past you see an emerging pattern and she's been milking this kind of victimization for years. My guess is she's having a wonderful time and will get out of this more powerful.

      The One Who Defeated Gamergate - or something like it.

      She used it in the past to fight rival game jams, she trashes people and does libel, then pictures herself as a saint.

      The only reason why she's getting any support, in my opinion, is because she's a woman, and she becomes a symbol to reenact the "woman vs patriarchy", which is sad and disgusting, because she doesnt represent women, and people like her should be expelled from the industry, regardless of gender.

    5. A correction for the first sentence: the harassment has no relation to the quality of the game - but which what she did to get into the position of power where her game is being talked about.

    6. Yohami have you ever been doxxed?

    7. The part that I find interesting in your re-telling is the boyfriend "making public a log of events" when, in reality, the guy wrote a 10,000 word manifesto with the intention (and success) of going viral. When interviewed by Buzzfeed, he said if he had the chance he would do it AGAIN:

      Most people don't see ZQ as a saint. I certainly don't. Quite frankly I think the both of them are pretty messed up. But being messed up does not warrant death threats and doxing and massive harassment.

    8. "being messed up" = how is ZQ messed up in your opinion?

    9. I think cheating is INCREDIBLY messed up; it shows profound weakness of character. It's just about the most selfish thing you can do to another person; it exploits their trust.

    10. "Yohami have you ever been doxxed?" Yohami is my real name and I got nothing to hide, cant be doxxed

    11. So you're okay with your bank information, SS#, etc being made public?

    12. "bank information" of course not. Whats your point?

    13. That's what happened to people who helped ZQ.

  4. "Do you notice a pattern?"

    1) attack somebody
    2) wait for them to react, if they dont, attack them again
    3) when they react, put yourself as a victim, make it bigger, try to get press coverage, milk profits
    4) repeat, make it bigger, make it national, make it symbolic, make yourself a martyr, make it that any criticism of what you're doing means your original attack was justified
    5) repeat! for the money, the pain and the fame

    Forney / ROK are doing it. Zoe is doing it. Should be obvious to anyone but most people just align with one or the other in a slapstick comedy, and want to join in the attack and hopefully get some reaction they can put their fangs on it.

    It makes scratch my head but it's also fascinating in a way. How does somebody decide this is what they do?

    1. Yohami, are you kidding me?! The people who have helped ZQ have beed doxed and harassed. ZQ has had to move to an undisclosed location due to the harassment. Have you ever been harassed to the point of having to move house?

    2. I ran a search of gamergate and doxxings - and it sucks. Seems that the doxxings are happening on both sides, plus the mainstream media is using bans and stuff on redit and closing channels to silence, and ZQ is suing the ex boyfriend. What a mess. So no, doxxings are not fine - these hackers should be sent to jail.

      On the other side of the equation, the mainstream side IS using all of that to promote their own agenda, like what I described. It's so preditactable it's funny. Create disasters, milk them.

      "Gamergate is not about journalistic integrity, I don’t care what ANYONE says. It is about silencing women, harassing women (and those that support them), and with the threats made to Utah State University because of Anita’s speaking engagement, ACTUAL TERRORISM."

    3. The harassment of individual women involved in this fiasco, and particularly the explict threat of a massacre at USU, do constitue terrorism, Yohami. This is not a media or other "created" disaster. This is real.

      There is no room in a civilized society for that kind of behavior and it should be prosecuted more aggressively, as it is being done in Great Britain nowadays where cyberharassers face prison time.

      The terrorist who shut down Sarkeesian's talk at USU should face federal terrorism charges.

    4. Anita is a professional victim who thrives on harassment from a mob she loves to instigate. Im not going to defend the mob because they should all go to jail, but that's beyond the point. The point is here:

      "Gamergate is not about journalistic integrity, I don’t care what ANYONE says. It is about silencing women, harassing women"


      "I dont care about what anyone says, this is about (SELLING MY AGENDA)"

      The debate is stuck here:

      - Gamers use this as a vent to push back feminism (which says all gamers are white male privileged homofobe female oppressors misogynist pig pieces of shit, basically) on mainstream game media, sometimes they attack the issue, sometimes they just say Zoe is a slut (lets add doxing and threats). Like I said, some people are dumb.

      - Mainstream media uses the issue to promote their agenda: hey this is proof that all gamers are white male privileged homofobe female oppressors who hate and objectify women (lets add bannings and legal pressure), look at those angry people!

      Or better said, there's no debate, where there should be one.

      Bottom line, do you see yourself reflected on Anita / Zoe, are they heroines in an angry world, or do you see them as trolls comparable to Forney?

      They are all trolls for me. Making the world more murky.

      Forney btw has gotten death threats - from feminists. Are feminists terrorists because of it? o does this only apply when a woman is threatened? how about when the woman threatened belongs to the (dont even want to type it) MRM?


      Dont let the media confuse you.

    5. Anon, btw

      "The harassment of individual women involved in this fiasco"

      There are also men being harassed, they dont matter, or is the angle less juicy when it's not just about the suffering of women?

    6. Are men in the gamer debacle threatened with rape and killing? Are events planned and organized by these men threatened with massacres?

      If so, can you point out specific examples rather than immediately jump to offensive conclusions?

      If such cases exist, those who do the threatening should be put in prison. It is as simple as that.

      I don't know what your motivation for arguing in defense of harassers and abusers is, and, honestly, I don't care. I just know it is wrong and most decent people agree on it. So that's that.

      BTW, this is my second (including the earlier fiasco comment) and last entry on this thread. Unlike you (apparently), I don't have a vested interest in obfuscating what's plainly obvious or defending the indefensible. And no, I don't know Anita / Zoe, nor see myself in them or have much interest in this brouhaha. Injustice and terrorism are indefensible, period, no matter who their object is.

    7. Anon, I reject your implication that Im defending harassment, when I said they should go to jail. Read that again, please.

      As to your offensive conclusions - I repeat the question, why is this about hatred of women - only - when there are also men being harassed? To your question of if the men are being harassed as badly, well, in part. Obviously the epicenter of the harassment is ZQ. Followed by her male supporters, Phish, who got hacked an doxxed, a few of the "5 guys", and pretty much anyone who jumped on her defense, mostly men.

      "Are events planned and organized by these men threatened with massacres?"

      This is about Anita, rigtht? if so yes, the MRM meeting was threatened by massacres, by angry feminist voices. Google it. This aint very gamergate. But if Gamergate was to meet somewhere, do you think there would be threats against them? it's not like one side monopolizes all the stupid people.

      Again, in case you didnt get it

      "I don't know what your motivation for arguing in defense of harassers and abusers"

      They should all be in jail.

      Pointing at a few professional victims / drama queens / emotional vampires and their antics, and how the exploit the system for profit doesnt mean that I side with the angry mob they elicit and profit on.

      The mob should be constrained and disabled.

      The vampires should be removed from their power positions.

      Meanwhile, the vampires keep agitating the mob, the mob keeps feeding them.

      Do you disagree?

    8. "the MRM meeting was threatened by massacres, by angry feminist voices"


      (And how's this related to gamergate?)


      Its not Gamergate, but its similar to the Anita situation

    10. Tangential but related, "death threats"

    11. @Anonymous 11:14am

      Yohami is primarily useful for seeing how manipulators work. His "sources" like AVfM are incredibly untrustrworthy and

      You can play Manipulator Bingo with his comments, search for:
      *False equivalence
      *Denial/Invalidating reality

      This isn't about Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian at all. Yohami's defense of the misogynists is really about the defense of his own tendencies.

    12. Anon, of course AVfm is untrustworthy. Im calling Anita a professional victim - and comparing MRM to that. Do you even bother to read before turning yet again, everything into yet one more personal attack?

      "Yohami's defense of the misogynists"

      Dont you get tired?

  5. some commenters are alien to me.

    No, some commenters are on to you.

  6. I think those chicks literally get clit hard ons talking about the Big Bad Manospherians

    Which would still be bigger that what the average "Big Bad Manospherian" can produce. Steroids cause shrinkage, Morph.


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