Looking Outwards Zoe Quinn

Speaking of interactive artists who just happen to be women reminds me of some events last year we don’t really like to talk about. The #GamerGate movement targeted women in the gaming industry and sent death threats . The most prominent victim of harassment was indie game developer Zoe Quinn.

What makes this especially tragic is the truly innovative interactive story she was telling. Depression Quest depicts the chilling reality of living with depression in the modern age. It puts you in a position where you are often aware of the choices you must make in order to escape your depression and yet find yourself unable to make them. This is accomplished by subverting the tropes of most choose-your-own-adventures and blocking off one or two of the choices.

You are forced to sympathize with the situation most depressed people find themselves in. The scene is also set with the TV static motif, the use of photographs as if you cannot directly see anything you’re doing, and the eerie use of sound.

It’s a sad state of affairs when a woman in the industry can make a powerful work like this and be bullied and threatened as a result. Real change is needed for the inclusion of women in interactive media and computer science.

You can play Depression Quest for free here or donate money, some of which goes to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.