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The mess started when an angry ex-boyfriend of Quinn’s posted a dirty-laundry double load of drama-laden chats with her that, he claimed, made her out to be a manipulative liar and a shameless self-promoter. One of his most contentious accusations: that she slept with a gaming journalist at Kotaku who helped secure favorable coverage and publicity for her game Depression Quest. The allegation roiled a youthful (I won’t say immature, but many of your brethren are in their teens) gaming community that already had a volatile relationship with an increasingly commercialized and clickbait-driven gaming press.
Such massive flame wars and trolling resulted that Reddit gaming mods aren’t even allowing the Quinn scandal to be discussed right now, mass-deleting hundreds of posts. Twitter exploded (of course), there’s a 300-page thread on Escapist’s gaming forum, and the discussion board–slash–“asshole of the Internet” 4chan.org is bubbling over with rage and conspiracy theories. Perennially high-strung game designer Phil Fish defended Quinn; in response, his own site got hacked—exposing his personal data down to his Social Security number—and he left the industry again. After game critic John Bain, aka TotalBiscuit, asked everyone to calm down, he was branded a misogynist and shouted down. The entire situation is a dismal feedback loop of rage and abuse.