1. For months now, members of the the embattled gaming community have been at war with each other over everything from accusations of biased video game journalism to reports of widespread online harassment against women within the industry.

    The web has come to know this ongoing saga as GamerGate — a term that is as difficult to define as it is to keep track of.

    First used by actor Adam Baldwin on Twitter in August of 2014, the #GamerGate hashtag was initially used to organize a heated online conversation about ethics in gaming journalism.

    That conversation was sparked by one man's claims that his ex-girlfriend, a noted game designer named Zoe Quinn, had cheated on him with several men in the gaming industry — one of them a writer for the Gawker media-owned blog Kotaku.

    Quinn's ex-boyfriend appeared to imply within his post that her relationship with a Kotaku writer earned her game, Depression Quest, favourable coverage on the popular video game-themed blog — an implication that many online ran with.

    "Quinn turned into the victim of an aggressive attack on her personal life, which included threats of rape, hacking attempts, at least one death threat and doxxing, or the Internet-based practice of publishing private information about an individual," explained Abigail Elise of the IBTimes. "Those who attempted to defend Quinn from the attacks were given the label 'social justice warriors,' quickly escalating into a virulent attack against Quinn and the ethics of video game journalism. Journalists who refused to cover what seemed to be a very public examination of a woman’s private life were labeled gaming journalism conspirators, and a black list was even circulated by gamergate supporters."
  2. The conversation around ethics in video game journalism is ongoing within the gaming community, but the #GamerGate hashtag has expanded in recent months to include — if not become completely overtaken by — several other diverse themes.

    One of the discussion threads now most commonly associated with GamerGate revolves around misogyny within the gaming community and, specifically, the harassment of females within the industry.

    Canadian-born media critic and blogger Anita Sarkeesian has become somewhat of an inadverdent poster girl for targets of GamerGate-related abuse recently after suffering months worth of harasssment at the hands of internet trolls.
  3. Sarkeesian, who hosts the YouTube show Feminist Frequency, made headlines around the world in 2012 after she was brutally harassed online for launching a Kickstarter campaign to create an online video project analyzing the ways in which women are stereotyped in video games.

    At the time, Sarkeesian dealt with everything from threatening emails and misogynistic social media posts to the creation of an online video in which players could beat her face black and blue.
  4. Sarkeesian has continued since that time to be the target of much vitriol from internet trolls, but one video in particular — released around the same time as the Quinn controversy was taking place — prompted a particularly harsh round of tweets and threats that many have related to GamerGate.

    "The threats were so specific that Sarkeesian feared for her life and went into hiding," explained Vox's Todd VanDerWerff. "All of this led to a series of essays published on the "death of the gamer" as an identity... to a lot of #GamerGaters, it looked like collusion — an attempt to silence them and deny their right to exist."
  5. The subject of gamer identity has indeed emerged as part of the GamerGate discussions, with many coming to defense of the subculture in light of how much heat it's been taking over the harassment of women.

    "Ostensibly it's about good people saying, hey, playing games doesn't make us bad people or doesn't identify us all as misogynists/racists/bigots," writes Kotaku's Stephen Totilo. "To anyone who loves video games, this is the least controversial position to take. Does anyone disagree with this at all? Does anyone who cares about video games think that playing games makes you a bad person or indicates that you're scum?"
  6. While there are members of the online community pointing out that not all gamers are misogynists, many more on Twitter are taking aim at GamerGate in general, particularly in recent weeks as harassment against high profile members of the gaming community has intensified.

    On Saturday, a prominent female video game developer named Brianna Wu claims she was forced to flee her home after a number of violent, sexualized threats were hurled in her direction on Twitter — her home address included.

    According to Business Insider, the harassment appeared to be in response to a tweet in which Wu poked fun at the GamgerGate movement.
  7. But, once again, it's Sarkeesian who's got the world buzzing over GamerGate today — and many online, both within and outside of the gaming industry, are saying enough is enough.

    Sarkeesian, who had been scheduled to give a presentation on the portrayal of women in video games on Wednesday evening at at Utah State University, announced Tuesday that she had made the decision to cancel her appearance due to safety issues.

    According to the Associated Press, University staff members had received an email threat on Monday night from an unknown person who vowed to carry out a mass shooting if the event was held with Sarkeesian.

    "Feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge, for my sake and the sake of all the others they've wronged,“ wrote the anonymous letter writer, promising to carry out "the deadliest school shooting in American history” if the event were to take place.

    After learning from university officials that concealed weapons would be permitted at the talk in accordance with Utah laws, Sarkeesian pulled out.
  8. Following Sarkeesian's announcement that her speech had been cancelled, the hashtag #StopGamerGate2014 emerged on Twitter.

    First tweeted by Toronto-based freelance writer Veerender Jubbal, the hashtag gained traction almost immediately. In less than 24 hours, it's already been used more than 72,000 times.

    "For many observers who have been watching the GamerGate situation unfold, this latest threat of a mass school shooting was the final straw," wrote the Daily Dot's Michelle Jaworski. "They had enough."
  9. Today, many are using the hashtag to vent their frustration over "the constant rape and death threats many women—particularly those in geek or gaming culture—get and have been getting for years for simply daring to speak up or have an opinion that differed from others," as Jaworsk put it.

    As of Wednesday afternoon, #StopGamerGate2014 was one of Twitter's top trending topics in Canada as prominent writers, game industry veterans, and even celebrities voiced their opinions on the topic.
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