June 12, 2015

#gamergate, 2014

A collaboration with Kyle Green.

This project operates as an interactive screen experience. Zoe Quinn, Anita Sarkeesian, and Brianna Wu are the 3 most visible women targeted by #gamergate, an online community of gamers that claims that their overtly misogynistic stance is in defense of their right to creative freedom in gaming. Their presence became top news as they used online communities like 4chan and twitter to blast rape and death threats to these women—angry about their feminist persepctives, their dating choices, their female existence in gaming community—seemingly paraphrasing the aggression of the social space they defend.

In collaboration with Kyle Green, footage from Grand Theft Auto 5 (scenes during which a player is required to kill a prostitute to move ahead in the game) was assembled together with comments from the unfolding #gamergate discourse on blogs. We created 3 spaces. Button mashing a game controller’s forward arrow zooms you into the details and displays the pro #gamergate comments in yellow. Clicking the back arrow zooms out, retreating from the violence and displaying the comments in opposition to #gamergate in white. In this way, the casual humiliation and brutality against women becomes the central story, rather than a marginalized accessory, for both the game discourse and the internet authored discourse. We are interested in where the line is drawn between these spaces/ discourses—emphasizing the user being the activator of these voices via the game controller.


the user clicks the right, or “forward” button on the controller:











As the user clicks the left, or “back” button, the voices opposing #gamergate aggregate with the scenes, and the scene reduces in size.