Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Quinnspiracy, also known as generic internet drama

I was really hoping I'd not have to make something about this, but seeing that it's the only thing I've been able to see on the internet recently I figured I might as well chime in.

For those of you who are uninformed on what exactly armchair internet sleuths are dubbing "The Quinnspiracy", the story goes as follows:

Recently, a game by the name of Depression Quest was greenlit on Steam, made by a Zoe Quinn. This game was, as it turns out, not a game at all -- rather a shitty visual novel. This is a fact.

Where things tend to get a bit shady is where the conspiracy part of this quinnspiracy lies. Apparently, the creator of the aforementioned game, aforementioned herself, allegedly was having "special relationships" with five men, some of which were married, and even more shockingly some of which worked for the games journalism industry.

Now, AS FAR AS I KNOW, there is no SOLID proof that Zoe Quinn was sleeping with any of the alleged five guys, besides a large blog post made by her ex-boyfriend. If anyone has any information on this part that is TRUE and SOLID, please send it to me at the email or twitter that I'll provide at the end of this post. As for now, I'm not going to bother getting into this part, but rather a section with a considerable amount of proof which seems to trouble me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Equc1QnQ9rw

What I've linked above is a video made by a man with the charming internet mask "Mundane Matt". The content of this video however, is not important. What is important is the story behind it.
Figure A -- MM video claim

A few days ago, when this conspiracy first began (also forgive me for bringing this up on this event's wind down; as you know with me I tend to think late and write later) Mundane Matt released this video, only to have it removed via copyright claim by "Zoe Quinn". I put that in quotes because, as we all know, anyone can take down content with practically any reason. This "no reason" is the fact that the Quinnmystery claimed that the video contained screenshots from the game that were not available "for public use" -- a thing that turned out to be absolute bullshit, as it was later shown that the screenshots were directly from the game's store page on Steam. However, there is one more thing we shouldn't overlook, and its the "anyone". Just because this person is Zoe Quinn, doesn't mean she's actually Zoe Quinn right? Right?

Figure B -- Censorship on Steam Discussion Boards

Figure C -- Extremely probable censorship by /r/gaming moderator (may need to open in separate window to see)
Figure D -- Deletion of correct content on Wikipedia

Figure E -- Censorship by 4chan moderator (though some may say it is irrelevant)
Figure F -- Censorship on the website GamesNosh, likely by Zoe Quinn herself.

Figure G -- Censorship on 4chan -- content posted features information related to video game journalism, a subsidiary of video game discussion.


What I have posted above are 6 images that I believe are the closest to resembling actual censorship by Zoe Quinn and her compatriots. I got all these images from a compilation made by an anonymous /v/ user, and it is available here. Feel free to check all the content in it at your own pace.

Now as a writer I have a soft spot for censorship of any kind, because I believe it is more destructive than it can ever be creative. The censorship revolving Zoe Quinn is an excellent example of that; in the end, it doesn't even MATTER if the rumors surrounding her are true. At the end of the day, what we do have is exemplary evidence of wide censorship.  Surely, you'd say, you shouldn't send death threats to her, and you're right -- but deleting ALL of the negative content associated with a person is without a doubt censorship, and there's no way to retort against that fact besides sugarcoating it yourself. The internet gives us, all of us, one basic right -- to start discussion about whatever topics we want as long as they follow a set of country laws. You can't say video game journalism discussion isn't relevant to 4chan's /v/ board. You can't say discussion of a video game personality's view of an active video game related event isn't relevant to reddit's /r/gaming. And you certainly can't say that an entire website deserves to be taken down for it's non-threatening opinions on another person, no matter if its negative or positive.

If you wish to discuss this article with me directly, or have any content that can help bolster the quality of this article, please contact me at my email jrobins855@gmail.com or at my twitter, @JohnMcGroover. And no, I'm not taking it down. Ever.


- Jacob Robinson, writer of the Codex of Aegis

Edit 8/20/14 8:31 PM
An anonymous emailer sent me a link to this Kotaku article. In short, the editor in chief of Kotaku Stephen Totilo states that "he [Nathan Grayson] was in a romantic relationship" with Zoe Quinn, but that during his time at Kotaku had not written anything about Zoe Quinn during there relationship with the exception about an article concerning the Game Jam situation. While this is true, it also explains the fact that Zoe Quinn did indeed cheat with at least one of the five men rumors have explained, and it does leave the additionals up for some more serious consideration. I continue to encourage all of you to send me any solid information you may have on this, as well as critique on any factual errors I may have made in the article.

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