Game Developer Brianna Wu Flees Home After Death Threats

10/11/2014 09:54 pm ET | Updated Oct 12, 2014
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Threats have once again forced a game developer to flee her home.

On Friday night, game developer Brianna Wu left her home and filed a police report after receiving tweets that included threats on her life and contained her home address, Kotaku reports.

Wu, the Head of Development at Giant Spacekat and host of the Isometric podcast on 5by5, has been outspoken on the subject of harassment against women in gaming. Earlier this week, she voiced criticisms of Gamergate, a movement concerned with protecting the identity of gamers but has also been said to be a source of harassment towards women.

An anonymous Twitter account that has since been taken down by Twitter, launched the attacks on Wu Friday night, stating that they were in response to her support for women in gaming, VentureBeat writes. "They posted my address, and within moments I got that death threat," Wu told Kotaku on Saturday. She posted screenshots of the account and threats it made on her Twitter account. As of Saturday one of her posts had been retweeted over 7,000 times.

The day following the attacks, she had not returned to her home, but she vowed that the harassment would not deter her from making games and affirmed that she would still be speaking at the New York Comic Con on Sunday.

Tweets sent from Wu's account late Saturday indicated that the attacks were continuing, saying that hackers were targeting the financial accounts of her company.

As VentureBeat notes, some members of GamerGate claimed that Wu had staged the whole thing to disparage the movement.

This is not the first time Wu has been the target of online harassment. In a piece she wrote for Polygon in July, Wu discussed attacks on women in gaming, revealing that she had received rape threats, attacks by someone else who had her address, and a barrage of hateful statements. Here too, her outspokenness fueled further harassment. Wu is certainly not the only victim. Game developer Zoe Quinn said she was driven from her home by threats from an early incarnation of the Gamergate movement earlier this year. Harassment over a video series criticizing video game depictions of women, prompted feminist Anita Sarkeesian to leave her home in August.

The gaming and technology is taking notice of the the trend of hostility towards women, as is the public at large. Calls for action are mounting. Kotaku's Stephen Totilo laments, "This is a potential new status quo," and "The kind of harassment that sends anyone in the gaming scene fleeing from their homes is detestable and should be condemned no matter where one stands on anything else."

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