Believe it or not the –gate in #GamerGate does in fact refer to a scandal. The name ultimately became synonymous with a consumer revolt (or a misogynistic hate campaign if you believe the mainstream media), but back when Adam Baldwin coined the term, he was referring to the revelation that a game developer had literally been in bed with members of the video game press that covered her.
She goes by the name of Zoe Quinn, and according to Deadline, Hollywood has decided to turn her version of the events into a movie.
Amy Pascal’s Pascal Pictures has won a bidding battle for Crash Override: How To Save The Internet From Itself, a memoir by game designer Zoe Quinn that sold to Touchstone/Simon & Schuster and will be published September, 2016. The property was bid on by several studios and TV outlets, and several actresses are circling, with interest from Scarlett Johansson said to be keenest.
The movie deal was based on a proposal titled Control Alt Delete, and tells the story of how Quinn, creator of the hip interactive game Depression Quest, was targeted by a digital mob bent on upending her life when a blog post by her ex-boyfriend went viral. It sparked the widely-discussed Gamergate controversy and took a surprising turn when instead of running, she decided to fight back.
I can see it now…
Scarlett Johansson slaves away as the only woman in an office full of corporate coding drones. Even with the frumpy clothes, purple-colored hair, facial piercings, and stereotypical nerd glasses, her raw sex appeal somehow still shines through. She glances up nervously as her boss approaches, knowing full well the slimy bastard will proposition her yet again. This time he’s more forceful, touching her inappropriately and insinuating her days are numbered if she doesn’t respond to his affections.
At last he leaves, and she bolts from her desk desperately fighting back tears. In her haste, she collides with a handsome video game journalist. They share a tender moment in which she laments she’ll never get to turn her genius idea into a video game in this sexist industry. He’ll write about it if she does.
Later, at home, she’s treated like dirt by her jealous, abusive boyfriend. When he discovers the journalist’s info in her phone, he flies into a rage, but she’s able to fight off the overweight nerd and he storms out promising she’ll regret humiliating him. Steeling her resolve, she dries her eyes and grabs her laptop to begin the first of many coding montages.
Alas, her confidence is shattered again when she returns to work to find everyone snickering at nude pictures and videos of her that have appeared on the web. Her phone blings with the movie’s version of Twitter alerting her to creepy, sexually suggestive messages. E-mails appear in her inbox with vague threats of bodily harm.
She goes to the authorities, but they’re unsympathetic know-nothings. She turns to her new journalist friend, but he’s dragged away by the cops who discover child porn on his computer thanks to an anonymous tip. Scary men with guns break into her home, and she’s forced into a chase throughout the city, desperately typing on the laptop the whole time. When it seems all is lost, she reveals to her would-be rapists she’s used her elite hacking skills to steal and post their information for all the world to see.
The next day the news reports the FBI busting up a secret sex slave ring, of which her ex and her boss were members. Her revolutionary new game turns out to be a monumental hit, and she gives an inspiring speech before an adoring crowd about how women should follow their dreams and never back down. The now exonerated journalist applauds from the front row. The music swells, and the credits roll.
At least it’ll have to be something to that effect if they want anyone to go see it. Quinn’s “hip interactive game” is proof enough that anything she dreams up will be too boring for a film without that kind of Hollywood embellishment.
Frankly so is the real story, wherein a woman creates a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style webpage, calls it a game, and cries harassment when gamers criticize it for being terrible in every way. Her ex-boyfriend’s revelation of her affairs and all around hypocrisy confirms gamers’ suspicions that their press, which had fawned all over her, is corrupt, and it sparks an ever escalating Internet battle between gamers and the media that culminates in bomb threats and speeches at the UN. Even with Milo Yiannopoulos playing himself, that would need the full Michael Bay treatment to be entertaining cinema.
So if this story does makes it to the screen in some form, it’ll almost certainly bomb anyway. Not that it matters since the progressive Left is perfectly happy to throw away money if it means advancing their agenda, and when 80% of American gamers are expected to vote next year, getting their grubby mitts on video games is definitely on the agenda.
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