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At a conference Quinn said, "I used to go to game events and feel like I was going home ... are any of the people I'm currently in the room with ones that said they wanted to beat me to death? One such threat, reported in The New Yorker, proposed that: "Next time she shows up at a conference we...

give her a crippling injury that's never going to fully heal... I'd say a brain damage, but we don't want to make it so she ends up too retarded to fear us." Shortly after the Gamergate hashtag was coined, video game developer Phil Fish had his personal information, including various accounts and passwords, hacked and publicly posted in retaliation for defending Quinn and attacking her detractors.

Grayson had never reviewed Quinn's games and Grayson's only article for Kotaku mentioning her was published before their relationship began.

The attacks included doxing (researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual) and hacking of her Tumblr, Dropbox, and Skype accounts; she was also subjected to rape and death threats.

"The perpetrators", Sarkeesian went on to say, "do not see themselves as perpetrators at all... The initial threat proposed that "a Montreal Massacre style attack will be carried out against the attendees, as well as the students and staff at the nearby Women's Center", alluding to the École Polytechnique massacre, a 1989 mass shooting motivated by antifeminism.

USU's President and Provost released a joint statement saying that USU, in consultation with state and federal law enforcement agencies, had assessed that there was no credible threat to students, staff or the speaker.

Beginning in August 2014, supporters of the Gamergate movement targeted several women in the video game industry, including game developers Zoë Quinn and Brianna Wu, as well as feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian.

After Eron Gjoni, Quinn's former boyfriend, wrote a disparaging blog post about her, #gamergate hashtag users falsely accused Quinn of an unethical relationship with journalist Nathan Grayson.In February 2013, Zoë Quinn, an independent game developer, released Depression Quest, an interactive fiction browser game.The game was met with positive reviews in the gaming media, but some backlash developed among those who believed that it had received undue attention.The controversy has been described as a manifestation of a culture war over cultural diversification, artistic recognition, and social criticism in video games, and over the social identity of gamers.Many supporters of Gamergate oppose what they view as the increasing influence of feminism on video game culture; as a result, Gamergate is often viewed as a right-wing backlash against progressivism.Wingfield of The New York Times referred to the threat as "the most noxious example of a weeks long campaign to discredit or intimidate outspoken critics of the male-dominated gaming industry and its culture".

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