Game developer Brianna Wu and her husband called the police and left their home last night after receiving a credible death threat on Twitter. The threats appear to be the latest in the "Gamergate movement," which has led to several attacks on those criticizing the treatment of women in video games.
According to posts on Twitter, Wu, who is the head of development at Giant Spacekat, became a subject of attack after posting a series of memes poking fun at Gamergate and its supporters. Posters on the image board 8Chan took the opportunity to attack Wu, before an unidentified person set up a Twitter account for the express purpose of harassing and threatening her. A series of disturbing tweets from the account, which has now been shuttered by Twitter, publicly posted her home address and included the death threat that led Wu to contact law enforcement.
I want to be crystal clear - I am scared of the death threats I've gotten. I am terrified of the #gamergate blame-the-victim witch hunt.— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) October 11, 2014
Announcement: I AM NOT GOING ANYWHERE. I am going to keep making games. And I will keep speaking up for women in gamedev.— Brianna Wu (@Spacekatgal) October 11, 2014
Wu isn't the first person in the gaming community to be attacked seemingly for being a woman and expressing her opinion publicly. Gamergate supporters previously drove feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian from her home after a series of similar threats. Another game developer, Zoe Quinn, has faced a barrage of harassment from people who identify with the same group. These supporters, supposedly rallying under the banner of ethics in video game journalism, also led a coordinated campaign against industry site Gamasutra for a "controversial" article published by editor-at-large Leigh Alexander.
Earlier this year, Wu published an opinion piece on our sister site, Polygon, detailing the harassment she and other women in the game industry have faced. In response to this week's threats, Wu said in a statement: "I don’t know what else to do but stand tall, not let people intimidate me and keep doing what I love."