It seems insane that pointing out that many video games are loaded with sexual stereotypes would lead to death and rape threats, but that’s what happens.
Now victims of such abuse have banded together to create a new task force called Crash Override to combat online harassment. Crash Override is led by game developer Zoe Quinn and video game producer Alex Lifschitz and is staffed by folks who have been harassed.
Last fall the insanity reached epic proportions called Gamergate, when an internet mob fed up with what they saw as the unfair treatment of men in the video game industry showered various people (mostly women) with all sorts of threats, driving some from their homes and forcing others to cancel public appearances.
One tactic of harassment is something called “doxing.” That’s when harassers dig up and post around the internet personal information, things like home address, names of family members, run-ins with the law (real or imaginary).
“Once this information is out there and in malicious hands, it’s likely been backed up across several [internet sites], making it difficult to remove,” Crash Override warns in a Tumblr post.
Another tactic is “SWATing” where harassers fake 911 calls into dispatching an emergency response team to the person’s home or business.
Crash Override will help victims by providing a one-stop shop for support, working with law enforcement, media, and social media in response to threats.
“We’re highly specialised, tech-savvy, and here to help you in whatever way we can,” the organisation’s website says.
And the organisation is already getting some public kudos from victims willing to talk about it:
We reached out to Crash Override for comment and will update when we hear back.