History of GamerGate

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While the Zoe Quinn Scandal ultimately led up to #GamerGate, #GamerGate is a consumer revolt/movement that began in late August after concerns over journalistic integrity was met with the claim that "Gamers are Dead". An argument that is made is that #GameGate as we know it would never have gotten to its current point if conversation about the Zoe Quinn Scandal was not met with bannings from websites and deletions of comments.

For full history of #GamerGate, see Timeline.

August 2014

16 August
  • Eron Gjoni--programmer and ex-boyfriend of indie game developer Zoe Quinn--publishes "thezoepost", a blog post detailing the emotional abuse and manipulation of Gjoni from Quinn and her infidelity with at least five different individuals. Of the five, three are named and include Nathan Grayson, a gaming journalist associated with Kotaku and RockPaperShotgun, and Quinn's employer Joshua Boggs.[1]
17 August
  • YouTuber MundaneMatt uploads a video in which he discusses "thezoepost".[2] The video is taken down due to a DMCA copyright claim made by Zoe Quinn on the grounds that the video used images from her game Depression Quest. YouTuber InternetAristocrat uploads his own video discussing thezoepost soon after.[3]
19 August
  • YouTube game reviewer and critic TotalBiscuit publishes a Twitlonger post criticizing the use of DMCA takedown requests to censor critical works.[4] His Twitlonger is posted on the /r/gaming subreddit where it receives over 25,000 comments. The comments are eventually deleted and several users are shadowbanned.[5]
21 August
24 August
  • The IndieGoGo page for TFYC is hacked and changed to show that the campaign was shut down. TFYC is able to restore the page and no money is lost as a result of the attack.[9]
26 August
  • Likely in response to several discovered conflicts-of-interest involving many video game journalists, Kotaku editor Stephen Totilo announces that writers affiliated with Kotaku would be prohibited from contributing to the Patreons of video game developers.[10]
  • Polygon announces that their writers may continue to contribute to developer Patreons on the condition that their contributions are disclosed in articles related to the developer or their work.[11]
27 August
28 August
  • Seven "Gamers are Dead" articles are published by separate gaming journalism outlets, including Kotaku, Gamasutra, RockPaperShotgun, and Destructoid. The articles decry gamers, gamer culture, and the gamer lifestyle. Over the course of four days, the number of articles would increase to fourteen. The fact that most of articles were published within hours of each other caused many gamers to grow suspicious that several gaming journalism outlets were colluding with each other and attempting to push a singular narrative.

September 2014

1 September
15 September
  • Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has an AMA on reddit's /r/technology subreddit. [14] User "ShaskaOtselot" asks for Julian's opinion on reddit's censorship of GamerGate, [15] and it is revealed that ShaskaOtselot has been shadowbanned by the admins. Initial speculation led people to believe ShaskaOtselot was banned for asking a question about GamerGate, [16] but further digging concluded they were banned prior to the AMA.[17] However, some users speculate that ShaskaOtselot was shadowbanned for GamerGate-related reasons.[17] It is not known if there has been any confirmation from the admins.
16 September
  • The American Enterprise Institute uploads a YouTube video as part of Christina Hoff Sommers' Factual Feminist series, titled "Are video games sexist?". [18]
17 September
  • Milo Yiannopoulos of Breitbart publishes an article exposing the "GameJournoPros" Google Groups list and emails. [19]

October 2014

17 October
  • Gawker removes its page of partners after Operation Disrespectful Nod succeeds in getting some advertisers to pull ads or denounce that they had active ads on Gawker.
18 October
  • Emails from the GameJournoPros list reveal that the firing and subsequent blacklisting of Allistar Pinsof, a former writer for Destructoid, was the result of collusion between Destructoid owner Yanier "Niero" Gonzalez, Destructoid editor-in-chief Dale North, and other GameJournoPro members. [20] Gonzalez responded by denying any collusion was involved in the firing of Pinsof. [21]
22 October
  • Max Read of Gawker publishes an article claiming GamerGate (through Operation Disrespectful Nod) caused Gawker to lose "[…] thousands of dollars already, and could potentially lose thousands more, if not millions". [22] [23] [24]
27 October
  • The American Enterprise Institute uploads a YouTube video as part of Christina Hoff Sommers' Factual Feminist series, titled "What critics of GamerGate get wrong". [25]

See also


  1. Wordpress - thezoepost – Eron Gjoni – August 16, 2014 (archive)
  2. YouTube - Hell hath no fury like a lover scorn - MundaneMatt - August 16, 2016 (archive)
  3. YouTube - The Five Guys Saga (mirror) - The Internet Aristocrat
  4. Twitlonger - What the hell just happened? - Totalbiscuit - August 19, 2014 (archive)
  5. Reddit - TotalBiscuit discusses the state of games journalism, Steam Greenlight, ethics, DMCA abuse and Depression Quest. - SpiritualSuccessors - August 19, 2014 (archive)
  6. APGNation - #GamerGate: An Interview with The Fine Young Capitalists - Nicole Seraphita - September 9, 2014 (archive)
  7. GamesNosh - The Fine Young Capitalists Funded With 4chan’s Aid - Stephen Welsh - September 12, 2014 (archive)
  8. YouTube - Quinnspiracy Theory - In-N-Out Edition [mirror - Internet Aristocrat - August 21, 2014] (archive)
  9. TechCrunch - Indiegogo Campaign Hacked This Weekend, But Wasn’t Part Of A Widespread Attack - Sarah Perez - August 25, 2014 (archive)
  10. Kotaku - A brief note about the continued discussion about Kotaku's approach to reporting. - Stephen Totilo - August 26, 2014 (archive)
  11. Polygon - On Patreon support - Christopher Grant - August 26, 2014 (archive)
  12. Twitter - #GamerGate: - Adam Baldwin - August 27, 2014 (archive)
  13. (archive) Rock Paper Shotgun: The Monday Papers; By Graham Smith on September 1st, 2014
  14. reddit: I am Julian Assange. AMA about my new book, "When Google Met WikiLeaks."
  15. reddit: comment by ShaskaOtselot
  16. reddit: comment by doodep
  17. 17.0 17.1 reddit: comment by lukeyq
  18. YouTube: American Enterprise Institute - Are video games sexist?
  19. Breitbart: "Exposed: The Secret Mailing List of the Gaming Journalism Elite by Milo Yiannopoulos
  20. BlogJob: "#GamerGate: Destructoid, Corruption and Ruined Careers" by William Usher
  21. BlogJob: "#GamerGate: 'Nowhere On My Site Does It Say We Are Journalists' Says Destructoid Owner" by William Usher
  22. (archive) "How We Got Rolled by the Dishonest Fascists of Gamergate" by Max Read
  23. Columbia Journalism Review: "Gawker: The internet bully" by Sarah Grieco
  24. Breitbart: "Gawker: 'Dishonest Fascists' of GamerGate Could Cost Us 'Millions'" by Milo Yiannopoulos
  25. YouTube: American Enterprise Institute - What critics of GamerGate get wrong