Game Developer Was Attacked Mercilessly, Turns Merciful

Brianna Wu, a prime target of GamerGate, speaks out about forgiveness
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2021 8:49 AM CDT
Game Developer Was Attacked Mercilessly, Turns Merciful
A 2016 file photo of game developer Brianna Wu.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

As a female game developer who spoke out publicly against sexism in the industry a few years back, Brianna Wu received torrents—and we mean torrents—of threats and abuse online. Now the Washington Post reports that Wu is forcing a different kind of conversation, one about forgiving the trolls who attacked her as part of GamerGate. A tweet by Wu this week sums it up:

  • "Over 100 Gamergaters have written me over the year asking for forgiveness, and I’ve thanked them and forgiven them every single time," she wrote. "If I can understand people can grow past their worst moments, I think the rest of us can too. We need a conversation about redemption in America."

  • As she explains to the Post, she's tired of the "mob justice" now prevalent online. Someone makes a mistake, apologizes sincerely, but Twitter mobs continue to punish. "For people that have messed up, what is the path back for them?" she asks. The answer might be in cutting people some slack, provided they are sincerely sorry.
  • In another tweet, she cites the example of Louis CK as someone decidedly not in that category. "His apologies have sucked," she wrote. "He’s turned his predatory behavior into a joke. It’s clear he has no interest in accountability."
  • Wu, 44, is still an independent game developer, but she also has her eye on Congress in Massachusetts and has created a liberal PAC called Rebellion. And she remains a voice against gamer sexism. While she wasn't involved in a recent suit against game-maker Activision, the Wall Street Journal made a point to reach out to her for reaction. "Things won’t get better in the industry until it’s more expensive to treat women wrong than it is to treat women right," she said.
(More gamers stories.)

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