Arlington Police are investigating death threats made against a local video game developer.
The developer, Brianna Wu, who is head of development at Giant Spacekat, was targeted by someone using a Twitter account that was slugged “Kill Brianna Wu.” Before the account was suspended, Wu was sent death threats to her and her husband. The person also threatened to rape Wu.
Arlington Police have confirmed they have received a complaint about such behavior and are investigating.
Wu, for one, says she was targeted because she advocates for women’s rights in the gaming industry.
“It’s not a coincidence that every woman targeted by these people is an outspoken advocate of women in the field: Zoe Quinn, Leigh Alexander and Anita Sarkeesian and me,” she said. “The women that are the most visible in advocating equality for women are the ones that are the biggest threat to them.”
Misogyny and sexism is a significant problem within the industry, she says.
“We desperately need the game industry to take the same steps Google is taking to hire more women, educate their employees on their unconscious biases and include women at levels of leadership,” said Wu through an email.
“With gamers, they don’t understand that the absence of privilege is not oppression. Men enjoyed the majority of games being made for their tastes for (three) decades now. As women are asking to be included, they feel immensely threatened. They need to understand there’s enough room in the industry for experiences we can all enjoy.
Wu thinks the industry is in the midst of a “very uncomfortable growing period.”
“And I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” she said.