The Hivemind Swarmed: Conversations on Gamergate, the Aftermath, and the Quest for a Safer Internet

The Hivemind Swarmed: Conversations on Gamergate, the Aftermath, and the Quest for a Safer Internet

Written by:
David Wolinsky
Narrated by:
Noah Debiase
Coming Soon

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
August 2024
7 hours 50 minutes
An incisive oral history that brings together the voices of major figures in gaming, tech, media, and politics to reflect on the long shadow of Gamergate

With The Hivemind Swarmed, oral historian and documentary researcher David Wolinsky invites readers to sit in on a series of urgent, intimate conversations between some of the most distinguished voices across entertainment and media as they reflect on the longstanding impact of Gamergate. What went wrong, and what can we learn from Gamergate to help us build a more equitable online world?

The backstory: 10 years ago, a disgruntled software developer named Eron Gjoni posted online to accuse his ex-girlfriend, game developer Zoë Quinn, of sleeping with game critics in exchange for positive reviews. He offered no evidence to back up his claims. However, his posts were picked up by extremists in the gaming community who built a vicious online movement targeting women, minorities, and progressive voices. Rallying under the hashtag #gamergate, they sent their victims round-the-clock death and rape threats. Game companies, for the most part, declined to take action as their female employees were harassed out of their jobs. The FBI launched an investigation but found 'no true threat.'

Gamergate holds the grim distinction of being the first modern online harassment campaign. It arguably served as a model for the alt-right movement that would help propel Donald Trump to the White House. And it highlighted a toxic media culture—not just in gaming, but in film, TV, journalism, and more—in which leaders, through their passivity, took the side of the oppressor. Now, ten years later—in the wake of #MeToo, Charlottesville, the Trump years, and the January 6 insurrection—the questions discussed here are more important than ever.
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