Kotaku and the Quinnspiracy

Despite having been involved with the game industry in various ways since 1992, I’ve never given a damn about Gawker media and its Kotaku site. It mostly strikes me as a sort of Gamers Lite site, more dedicated to pageviews than games, and full of the sort of “gamers” who wouldn’t know the difference between War at Sea and World in Flames. And while in some ways they are properly representative of the new breed of meaningless repetitive game with nothing but cartoon graphics that I, for one, can’t bother playing, it’s simply not the sort of site that I have ever bothered reading. I’m more interested in the latest VASSAL mod.

As for Zoe Quinn, she’s the same sort of no-talent nobody that has been getting serially promoted for simultaneously possessing a vagina while feigning an interest in games for as long as I can remember. I’m old enough that I can remember one of the early girl game pioneers, Brenda Laurel, putting her hand on my leg and expressing an inordinate amount of interest in whatever I was saying back when CGDC was still at the Santa Clara Westin, the only thing that is different now is that a) Laurel had genuine talent and b) the Johnny Wilsons and Chris Lombardis and Mike Wekslers and Terry Colemans of the gaming media had integrity.

However, with the exception of Computer Gaming World and my original game review column, (the second nationally syndicated game review column, I should note), gaming journalism has always been more or less corrupt. Even its better magazines, such as Game Informer, began as marketing vehicles. Unlike most game reviewers, I never accepted anything except games for review from anyone, certainly not sexual favors, and I never gave any game a favorable review that didn’t fully merit it. That’s why I was the only game developer permitted to do reviews in CGW.

However, Quinn and her foolish supporters are going to learn, as Nixon did, that the coverup is worse than the crime. Not that I would have been inclined to take her seriously anyhow, but whatever credibility she had with those less experienced than I am will be shot by now. Certainly Gamer Headlines seems unimpressed.

Speculation turned to accusation yesterday, when Zoe’s ex-boyfriend make a post on his own blog, accusing her (with proof) of cheating with a number of prominent industry figures. Among them was current Kotaku writer Nathan Grayson, apparently solicitating sexual favours for positive press.

Pretty simple, right? The developer in question loses credibility, along with the gaming publication that allowed such a massive breach of professionalism occur. Except the rabbit hole has been going further than that. Not only has she been swapping blow for positive press, but also leveraging her sexual connections to stamp out anybody critical of her, most notably the organisers of ‘Women’s Game Jam’, who accuse the indie developer of encouraging a press blackout on the charity Jam to promote her own similar event.

Seriously, who are these nobodies? Some guy whose one game sold 200k copies and a woman who begs for money to make videos complaining about games are supposedly figures of note?