Master self-promoter and professional victim Zoe Quinn, creator of the well-known game Depression Quest, announced earlier this week that she’ll be opening a new “anti-harassment” initiative called “Crash Override”. This announcement was greeted with waves of positive press coverage by the larger media, and skepticism from #Gamergate proponents.
Crash Override will, according to Ms. Quinn, attempt to protect the “victims” of Gamergate who are being doxxed and SWATted, that is, having their personal information revealed on the internet and then being the targets of fake 911 calls. “Our network,” her website states, “includes experts in information security, white hat hacking, PR, law enforcement, legal, threat monitoring, and counselling (sic).” This is particularly ironic in light of the allegations against Ms. Quinn by a prominent 1st amendment lawyer that she has engaged in exactly the sort of behavior her new initiative is attempting to prevent.
Crash Override’s activities as of this writing consist of a 5-page website with perhaps a thousand words of text, total, and one tumblr post on how to remove your personal information from the Internet. The site twitter also claims, with no evidence given, that they’ve worked in secret to prevent several SWATting attempts. It also claims that Ms. Quinn will provide “commiseration” and “moral support” to victims of abuse.
Ms. Quinn further states that she will be performing “community outreach and activism”, to “push for more effective policies on the Internet at large to better combat online hate.” This is code for ending Internet anonymity, and making it impossible to criticize someone without a swarm of angry SJWs attempting to get you fired. The crusade for this has already begun, for example, with this Washington Post article by failed child actor Wil Wheaton. He says that anonymity is necessary to allow “dissent in places where it would otherwise be quashed”, i.e. when people are going to say things that Mr. Wheaton would agree with. In the field of gaming, however, “those protections aren’t necessary, and they aren’t helping.” Look for Crash Override to promote similar rhetoric.
It would be incorrect, however, to view Crash Override as any kind of serious social movement. It is, at its heart, a cash grab. The funding for this site is coming from Ms. Quinn’s Patreon, which currently stands at $4,084 a month. That’s an easy $50,000 a year salary for a single website, a few blog posts, and some “commiserating” emails. Look for her to also make an attempt at grabbing some of the $300 million dollars that Intel has earmarked for just this sort of thing.
Game development, Ms. Quinn’s previous job, is very difficult work. The industry is flooded with games, and most of them are commercial failures. Her last game, Depression Quest, failed to earn any money whatsoever, and if #Gamergate hadn’t launched Ms. Quinn into the spotlight, she would likely be broke. So it’s only natural that she’s turned towards something easier: taking money from middle and upper-middle class women to “fight hate”. Ms. Quinn is essentially playing her donors for suckers, playing off her fame and taking vast amounts of money for doing almost no work at all.
Given Ms. Quinn’s skills at self-promotion, as well as her noted habit of exchanging sexual favors for positive press coverage, you can expect to hear more about Crash Override in the coming months. You’ll likely see comments from them whenever newspapers report on #Gamergate. Whenever something happens, Ms. Quinn will be there to give a brief 2-sentence statement, and perhaps a few twitter and tumblr posts. What you will not see, however, Ms. Quinn actually doing any work.