Brianna Wu

Wikis > Brianna Wu

Indie developer.

 

False claim of being driven out of her home

In the Gamergate controversy, Brianna Wu had been one of many ordinary people voicing their opinions, which in her case are firmly against it.

On 10 October 2014, she claimed that she had been driven out of her home by threats from Gamergate supporters, specifically pointing to a series of tweets by @chatterwhiteman [1]https://archive.today/SuPZX [2]https://archive.today/io7b0, an account seemingly created just for that reason [3]https://archive.today/h67k2.

The fact that it’s an easily made troll, the lack of any visible connection with Gamergate, the fact that Wu had already made a sockpuppet account before by the name of @BROLOLZ [4]https://archive.today/iIbOd [5]https://archive.today/SJH5M and the posterior proof that her claims of being driven out of her home led to suspicions of @chatterwhiteman being a false flag or even made by Wu herself [6]https://archive.today/K4njN [7]https://archive.today/4aL3J, but that remains purely conjectural. Of note however is that from the start, Gamergate supporters on twitter have criticized @chatterwhiteman and reported him.

This was followed by an outpouring of support and massive coverage by both the gaming and mainstream presses. The result was an immensely raised profile for someone who had until then being a minor mobile game developer, and now made headlines in local, national and international media, from specialist sites about videogames to global news outlets. See below for a noninclusive list.

In 11 December 2014, a Kotaku in Action thread [8]https://archive.today/ycbSP and the results of digging by anonymous people [9]http://pastebin.com/kcGqq7eY pointed to two important facts that demonstrate she seems to have never left her house to begin with.

Proof of lying about being driven away from home

1) Her own photos and videos always show the same house

Redditors noticed a pattern that the video interviews featuring Wu. The ones shot immediately after the weekend she claimed she left her house showed the same furniture and mansonry details as the ones shoot before or long after that weekend [10]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSBMx9gfykE [11]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1U1cT72JBc [12]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETVcInunAss [13]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4He6rNp1gUY [14]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtRFbsnUX4k [15]http://archive.is/L3hIZ [16]http://archive.is/OoruB [17]https://archive.today/mEm8C [18]https://archive.today/0rphQ#selection-93.203-96.1. In other words, in the days following her supposed expulsion, she was back on her home, even as news outlets claimed she was still away [19]http://archive.is/88JHF#selection-1087.0-1087.112 [20]https://archive.today/3DD5E#selection-503.0-503.191.

2) She had long planned to be away in the weekend she was “driven out”

Wu had divulged her claim to have been forced out of her house on 10 October , just in time to attend the New York Comic Con as a guest in a panel titled The Mary Sue Presents – All on the Table [21]https://archive.today/SytE8 on the same weekend, at 12 October. Her presence there was further confirmed [22]https://archive.today/NjxbB [23]https://archive.today/PRHu2. In her own Twitter, she stated that she had agree to attend back as far back as 16 September [24]https://archive.today/0sySH.

Wu’s retort

In her defense, Wu made a series of tweets claiming that the accusations of her lying about the incident were false [25]https://archive.today/FcOIR#selection-8389.0-9464.1. According to her, she went back to her house in order to shoot interviews because that’s where her computer still was, stating that the presence of journalists made her feel secure enough. Made explicitly is the claim that this was in accordance with what police had advised her.

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However, these claims contradict what she stated eaelier to Gameindustry.biz [26]https://archive.today/3DD5E#selection-503.0-503.191:

Wu did confirm that she briefly returned home to “make sure nothing had been vandalized and to pick up some computer equipment,” but added that she’s “not planning on being home for a while.”

More importantly, she made a false claimregarding the police’s advice. Standard police procedure in the USA is to advise victims of death threats to never return to their home soon after the threats were made unless in the presence of law enforcement. Thus, her claims of acting on police advice and thinking a “camera crew” would ensure safety are in direct contradiction.

Actual harassment

In these same series of tweets where she defends herself of the charge of lying about leaving her home, she mentions pictures of her house circulating. This referred especifically to the work of Youtube e-celeb PressFartToContinue, who, in the days following the discovery of Wu’s deceit, made a post on Medium showing various shots of her adress [27]https://archive.today/QKnE7.

Although the information is all available to the public, PressFartToContinue’s Medium post was censored and he had several Twitter accounts deleted. The post proved to be ultimately pointless as well, as the information he had drawn contributed nothing to the matter of whether or not Wu lied about leaving her home.

List of news regarding the incident

A noninclusive list of articles reporting Wu’s claim of expulsion from home follows, roughly in order of publication according to Google News. It’s worth noting that they don’t include follow-up articles that use her claim in order to build diatribes against Gamergate or “nerd culture” or any other ancillary topics. To this day these accusations are still made despite the proof that she never left her home, and the sheer amount of articles that repeat her disproven claim of victimhood are far too numerous to list.

Among these various articles, various other factoids and fabrications surface, such as Wu having being hacked and doxxed (her address, posted by @chatterwitheman, is publicly available), Eron Gjoni having claimed his ex-girlfriend Zoe Quinn slept with gaming journalists in order to get good press (a claim he didn’t make, even in The Zoe Post) etc.


Supporting censorship

Following the effective ban of indie game Hotline Miami 2 in Australia [28]https://archive.today/U9pRP, Wu joined the ranks of anti-gamer personalities who justify or excuse censorship of videogames she dislikes [29]https://archive.today/6I8ZB.

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Lack of disclosure in coverage and award

iMore

Macintosh-focused gaming site iMore has promoted Revolution 60, a game made by Brianna Wu’s studio, Giant Spacekat, on several occasions without ever displaying any disclosure, despite the fact that Wu is friends with several members of the site’s staff, including the editor.

The articles published include a glowing review [30]https://archive.today/Uokrj, a blatant ad in the form of an article (“Revolution 60 is delightful kickassary you need to download right now!”) [31]https://archive.today/fBbyc, her participation in several podcasts [32]https://archive.today/W7rQY [33]https://archive.today/v3T0M [34]https://archive.today/iRGcv, and naming Revolution 60 the iOS Action Game of the Year 2014 [35]https://archive.today/4ND4P. Following her false claim of being driven out of her home, she was again the subject of a friendly article [36]https://archive.today/JL6Os.

Wu is friends with Rene Ritchie [37]https://archive.today/dAQcQ [38]https://archive.today/6ic7Z, Peter Cohen [39]https://archive.today/hLufC [40]https://archive.today/Q5uPz and Serenity Caldwell [41]https://archive.today/FUBer [42]https://archive.today/UOAsv, respectively the editor-in-chief, managing editor for Mac and managing editor for iOS at iMore [43]https://archive.today/TEouY.

In her gloating tweets about the award Revolution 60 received, her prior connection to iMore is glossed over [44]https://archive.today/v1Svq [45]https://archive.today/9n3kw [46]https://archive.today/KDp3m.

Macworld

Brianna Wu contributed an article to Macworld [47]https://archive.today/bv7uo, and weeks later, her game was publicized as “the most ambitious iOS game you’ll play this year” [48]https://archive.today/pnrHL. The author of the article, Serenity Caldwell [49]https://archive.today/FUBer [50]https://archive.today/UOAsv, does mention being in a podcast with Wu, but fails to mention their friendship and Wu’s contribution to Macworld.


Cancelled interview with Milo Yiannopoulos and attempting to crowdfund a trip

In the immediate days following her claim of being driven away from her house, she was in talks with journalist Milo Yiannopoulos in order to have an interview and hopefully bridge the gap caused by the controversy. As the arranged interview was cancelled to to Wu being unresponsive, Yiannopoulos aired his grievance and released made public some details of the planned interview [51]https://archive.today/5Hi3P [52]https://soundcloud.com/radio_nero/series-1-episode-4-threats-and-harassment [53]https://archive.today/8u86j.

According to Yiannopoulos, he gave signs of good faith by allowing her to discuss the questions to be asked beforehand and to pre-record the interview so it could be edited if she requested. Wu initially was receptive, but as the marked date approached, she did not respond, and the interview had to be cancelled. Yiannopoulos claims that initially he thought it wasn’t her fault, seeing as she was under duress (as this was long before anyone had doubts about the false nature of her claims of persectuion) and was busy with various media appointments. However, as he saw her multiple media appearances, he became convinced that she was deliberately fanning the flames of controversy and had no intention of debating.

Two items Yiannopoulos revealed of his correspondence with Wu are particularly telling.

The first one is, she claimed that she originally made the same request of an interview to Adam baldwin, a game voice actor and voval Gamergate supporter, but that he had declined. According to Yiannopoulos, that turned out to be false, as Baldwin had proposed to talk when she was at Los Angeles.

The second one detail of their correspondence is that Wu spoke privately of crowdfunding an event where people both against and pro Gamergate could meet. In other words, people would pay for Wu, Yiannopoulos and potentially other people to travel to a chosen place (Wu suggested San Francisco, a notably expensive city), stay lodged at an hotel and have dinner in order to discuss the controversy. When Yiannopoulos wrote back that he was uncomfortable with the idea of crowdfunding it ad would rather they pay for it themselves, she didn’t write further.


Admitting to and underplaying privilege

As with many other social justice advocates, privilege is a common target of her criticism [54]https://archive.today/WTI1Y. But having openly admitted to have come from an extremely privileged family [55]https://archive.today/Ax2Hh[56]https://archive.today/sfi3Z before the Gamergate controversy.

However, since then, Wu has become dismissive of her privilege, going as far as saying that receiving the hand out from her parents as “[her] initiative” [57]https://archive.today/05Dqu. In a common theme among Gamergate’s detractors, she attributed the criticisms against her as misogyny rather than acknowledge any hypocrisy on her part on the matter of privilege [58]https://archive.today/rxQDC.

Wu later tried to downplay it when talking to a GG supporter [59]http://archive.is/6pC9r[60]http://archive.is/vSIh4[61]http://archive.is/Ed0nC. Other Twitter users followed her comments by pointing out her hypocrisy [62]https://archive.today/ZrvKE[63]https://archive.today/0uaLl.


Gamerfruit

On 15 October 2014, still caught in the furor of the publicity stunt of her false claim of expulsion from home, Brianna Wu tweeted frequently to admonish people and organizations as not being diverse enough. Intending to accuse the Swedish developer DICE, she tweeted such an accusation against @diceeurope [64]https://archive.today/UtOAD, which actually belongs to a small British produce import company [65]http://companycheck.co.uk/company/05468331.

This gave origin to the Gamerfruit meme [66]https://twitter.com/search?q=%23gamerfruit, which led to one of Gamergate’s charity campaigns. It collected US$2,095.00 for the benefit of Action Against hunger USA [67]https://www.crowdrise.com/gamerfruit/fundraiser.


 

Interview with David Pakman

For more information regarding reactions to Wu’s interview with Pakman, please see David Pakman’s page.

On 27 October 2014, Brianna Wu became the first person interviewed by journalist David Pakman in a series of talks with Gamergate-related personalities.

Wu considered Pakman, who had so far not made any pronunciations on Gamergate, of being biased against her. During the interview itself, at about the 20:52 mark, she accuses Pakman of running a hit piece on her [68]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETVcInunAss.

Totalbiscuit commented on this on the Youtube, stating that she seemed to expect the interview to be a platform for her to uncritically expose her side and was surprised when Pakman contested her claims and put her on the spotlight:

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Soon after the interview, Wu took to Twitter to further her criticism of Pakman, whom she claimed was putting her “on trial” for being a victim [69]https://archive.today/T4cqM, fitting with the anti-GG narrative that casts Gamergate as a harassment campaign:

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She ends her diatribe by announcing she will “answer all these tough question [sic]” soon in an interview with journalist Glenn Fleishman [70]https://archive.today/FLFlq, with whom she was friends, and both donate to each other’s Patreons. See the appropriate section for more information.

Milo Yiannopoulos gets involved

Yiannopoulos took umbrage at supposed lies about him that Wu said in Pakman’s interview [71]https://archive.today/8Q7Ms [72]https://archive.today/yusbO [73]https://archive.today/9TMM9. This eventually led to more misunderstangs, explained on their respective pages.

Wu speaks out again

Following the drama after Pakman’s conversation with Zoe Quinn on 31 December, Wu again voiced criticism towards Pakman’s neutrality, accusing him of egocentrism and making this “about him”, which Pakman refuted [74]https://archive.today/zJFEW.

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Interview with Glenn Fleishmann and lack of disclosure

In the same day of her interview with Pakman, Wu accused of running a hit piece on her and announced she would “answer all these tough question [sic]” in an interview with Glenn Fleishman [75]https://archive.today/T4cqM.

A few facts not mentioned in that Twitter conversation are that Fleishman is a friend of Wu’s since before Gamergate or the “Quinnspiracy” controversy that preceded it [76]https://archive.today/3izMF [77]https://twitter.com/search?q=from%3Aglennf%20to%3ASpacekatgal and donated to the Kickstarter of her game Revolution 60 [78]https://archive.today/3qEvW#selection-463.0-463.15, whereas Wu has collaborated twice to Fleishman’s publication, The Magazine [79]https://archive.today/CQ6Yp [80]https://archive.today/3w6os and donated to two of his Kickstarters [81]https://archive.today/EXQU2. Thus Fleishman’s bias in the interview is a foregone conclusion [82]https://archive.today/wEkiA, as was his open stance against Gamergate as whole [83]https://archive.today/FLFlq.


 

Kickstarter and Patreon misuse

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The expected release date given was August 2014, but the PC and Mac ports remain unreleased, and there was no clarification on the status of their development, until December 2014, when Wu launched a Patreon campaign.

According to her Patreon page [85]http://www.patreon.com/user?u=439829, one of the reasons of the Patreon is to help her shipping the PC port of Revolution 60 by “[hiring] someone to work at GSX to help deal with harassment, and assist GSX in shipping Revolution 60 PC, Cupcake Crisis and further the work of women in tech.” An important and undisclosed detail is that the new employee’s goal is to collect evidence of internet harassment, seeing as she is under no physical threat, as her lie about being expelled from her home on 10 October 2014 shows.

Attempting to crowdfunding a trip to discuss Gamergate

This is explained more in the appropriate section in this page.


 

Assorted

Virulently dismissing a professional’s criticism

One of Brianna Wu’s main topics of conversation is how women are underrepresented in videogames. When confronted with facts that contradicted her alarmist notions by veteran developer David Galiel, she proceeded to get extremely defensive and dismissed the criticism as “mansplaining”, not knowing about his experience in the field [86]https://archive.today/L0NCL, and told him to “shut your mouth” [87]http://archive.is/CFoYM. Galiel has later made his point in a Storify, showing Wu further trying to silence criticism by evoking identity politics and ad hominem fallacies [88]https://archive.today/OwWwz.

According to his company’s site [89]https://archive.today/ikUYH, David Galiel worked pro bono “as Advisor to the Founder/Executive Director and the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Chicktech from 2012 to 2014″. Chicktech is a Portland-based organization that fosters the participation of women in technology careers.

Videogame can cause rape

Source [90]https://archive.today/tmboH.

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Self-victimizing over videogame violence

Source [91]https://archive.today/rr6bO [92]https://archive.today/fE5L4.

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“[I am] now one of the best known devs in the world”

Source [93]https://archive.today/zSZwz.

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Spurious accusations and self-victimization

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   [ + ]

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2. https://archive.today/io7b0
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65. http://companycheck.co.uk/company/05468331
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