Zoe Quinn has a critically lauded game called Depression Quest. It’s a minimalist interactive fiction game in which the player takes on the role of someone living with severe depression. It’s mainly just a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure game with super downer options. The interesting thing is that Quinn’s game will present options that a person without depression might choose, like “go to a counselor” but then strikes them out as invalid because a clinically depressed person would not be able to that. I thought that was a good way to put players into someone else’s shoes. I spoke about it on one of my first Quarter to Three podcasts.
Recently, Depression Quest was submitted to Steam’s Greenlight program. That’s when the harassment started. Apparently, the idea that Zoe Quinn’s work could someday be sold as a game drew the ire of some people that thought it wasn’t worthy. Unfortunately, since this is the internet, the people that were opposed to her game decided to focus on Quinn and women in general instead. Indie Statik captured some of the “discussion” amongst these jewels of the web.
The harassers sent insulting tweets to Quinn and negatively voted on her Greenlight page. The campaign progressed to the point that Quinn allegedly began receiving sexually graphic and threatening phone calls from the harassers.
Here’s the kicker. This is the second time this has happened to Zoe Quinn. Depression Quest was submitted to Greenlight before and Quinn removed the game due to the harrassment.
The good news this time around is that Quinn has decided to stand her ground and fight. She refuses to remove the Greenlight listing.