Brianna Wu has become the third woman advocating for changes in how women in the gaming industry are treated who is being forced to leave her home due to threats on her life. Like Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian before her, Wu is being targeted for her candid criticisms of misogyny in the gaming community.
According to Polygon, Wu, who lives in Arlington, received several specific, violent threats aimed at her and her family over Twitter. The Polygon piece said that local police and even the FBI are investigating. (There is a link in the Polygon article that connects to some of the tweets; they are definitely NSFW and disturbing to read.)
Wu, a video game developer and founder of gaming company Giant Spacekat, has been outspoken about the exclusion and treatment of women in the gaming industry, even posting an editorial in Polygon about the harassment of women in the gaming world.
Just as Anita Sarkesian, who creates the video series Tropes vs. Women in gaming, and fellow outspoken developer Zoe Quinn, have both been forced to go into hiding due to nasty threats through social media and beyond, Wu felt unsafe by the latest Twitter threats, which occurred on Friday.
Wu told Boston.com that she is “harassed on a daily basis,” often with threats of rape and unwanted pornographic images. She said however that Friday night’s messages “crossed a line to the point [she] felt scared.”
Wu also told Boston.com that after some back and forth with a group called #GamerGate, claiming to be advocating for “journalistic ethics” in the industry, that her “personal information—including her address—was posted on online forums.”
“I am a target,” she said in an email to Boston.com. “My entire agenda in the industry is to make it possible for more women to pursue a career in this field…and that simple goal scares the hell out of these people.”