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Talkingship – Video Games, Movies, Music & Laughs | October 30, 2014

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No, Zoe Quinn’s Sexual Affairs Aren’t a “Private Matter”

No, Zoe Quinn’s Sexual Affairs Aren’t a “Private Matter”

| On 19, Aug 2014

The gaming media this week has been rocked by a lengthy blog post from Eron Gjoni, the ex-boyfriend of games developer Zoe Quinn. You can read the full thing here, but in summary: it appears that Quinn cheated on Gjoni with several other men. Normally, this thing can be dismissed as a private matter. But a closer investigation reveals that this is something that is most definitely in the public interest. Here’s why.

The crux of the situation is this: according to Gjoni (and the many chat logs he published), Quinn cheated on him with other members of the games industry. Most importantly, those involved included Joshua Boggs, Quinn’s boss; and Nathan Grayson, a reporter for Kotaku who has previously covered Quinn. This raises all sorts of ethical issues and quandaries – did Boggs treat Quinn more favourably (or even hire her) because of their relationship? Has Grayson’s, or indeed Kotaku’s, coverage of Quinn’s games been influenced by Grayson’s private affairs with Quinn? Now, I am not saying that either of these things are true – there is every chance that Boggs and Grayson are professional, upstanding individuals, and can detach their private and public affairs. Indeed, Kotaku’s EIC Stephen Totilo says that “at the time of that article [Boggs] had not begun a relationship with the developer”. But the possibility that decisions could have been swayed by sexual relationships remains.

But these ethical reasons aren’t the only problem. Of greater interest is that all involved have been revealed to be (allegedly) at the very least dishonest (Boggs was married at the time of his relationship with Quinn, and Grayson was supposedly aware of Quinn’s relationship with Gjoni), and at worst manipulative. If Gjoni’s logs are to be believed, Quinn pathologically lied and continuously misled him. Although I would hesitate from making a moral judgement on having an affair, the knowledge that Quinn and co. are (allegedly) not trustworthy individuals has profoundly affected my opinion of them. Can we trust anything they say in future? Is there anything underpinning Quinn’s social justice campaigns, considering that she appears to have callously ignored her own principles of sexual consent?

Knowing that these people are (allegedly) not as honest as we may have first thought is an important and useful thing to know, and in the context of the industry it is crucial. In politics, the revelation of an affair is considered to be a big deal, as it calls into question the integrity of the individual. The same is true here, if not more so. In fact, if it was discovered that a senator or congressman was having an affair with a journalist, the politician would basically be forced to resign. That gives you an idea of just how serious this matter could be. For games journalism (and the games industry) to mature and be taken seriously, we can’t dismiss events like these as “private matters”. The people in games are just as important as the games they make and cover, and we must try to gain as good an understanding as possible of who these people are. Knowledge like this provides a necessary insight.

Of course, the abuse that Quinn has received in the aftermath of this is utterly unacceptable and unhelpful. Gamers, too, need to mature and address events like this in a calm manner, rather than attacking people. But when Quinn and her proponents (such as Fez developer Phil Fish) try to stem the abuse by sweeping the whole issue under the carpet or slandering Gjoni, they are trying to bury a matter that is too important to bury. The public have a right to know the inner workings of this industry. Often, exes dig up dirt in an effort to vent their anger. And admittedly, it seems that this is why Gjoni published his blog. But it just so happens that on this occasion, a vengeful ex-boyfriend brought something both interesting and significant to light.

Update: as some Twitter followers have pointed out, the affairs haven’t technically been proven to have taken place – although Grayson has confirmed his part, Quinn has not yet commented on them. Thus the article has been updated to clarify that the scenario is still an alleged one, not a confirmed one.

  • Felix Ray

    Oh, don’t be such a fussy baby.

  • Felix Ray

    It don’t remember now, but I seem to be having fun.

  • Felix Ray

    >>This final bit is just rumor at this point, but given everything else I’m inclined to believe it;

    I’m inclined to believe that you’re inclined to believe it.

  • Felix Ray

    >>Knowing that these people are (allegedly) not as honest
    as we may have first thought is an important and useful thing to know,
    and in the context of the industry it is crucial. In politics, the
    revelation of an affair is considered to be a big deal, as it
    calls into question the integrity of the individual. The same is true
    here, if not more so. In fact, if it was discovered that a senator or
    congressman was having an affair with a journalist, the politician would
    basically be forced to resign. That gives you an idea of just how
    serious this matter could be. For games journalism (and the games
    industry) to mature and be taken seriously, we can’t dismiss events like
    these as “private matters”.

    >>Now, I am not saying that either of these
    things are true – there is every chance that Boggs and Grayson are
    professional, upstanding individuals, and can detach their private and
    public affairs. Indeed, Kotaku’s EIC Stephen Totilo
    says that “at the time of that article [Boggs] had not begun a
    relationship with the developer”. But the possibility that decisions
    could have been swayed by sexual relationships remains.

    >>But these ethical reasons aren’t the only
    problem. Of greater interest is that all involved have been revealed to
    be (allegedly) at the very least dishonest (Boggs was married at the
    time of his relationship with Quinn, and Grayson was supposedly aware of
    Quinn’s relationship with Gjoni), and at worst manipulative. If Gjoni’s
    logs are to be believed, Quinn pathologically lied and continuously
    misled him. Although I would hesitate from making a moral judgement on
    having an affair, the knowledge that Quinn and co. are (allegedly) not
    trustworthy individuals has profoundly affected my opinion of them. Can
    we trust anything they say in future? Is there anything underpinning
    Quinn’s social justice campaigns, considering that she appears to have callously ignored her own principles of sexual consent?

    I’ve never read such crap in my life. This is your plan for being taken seriously?

  • JenkPac Shakur

    No, she’s a horrible person for being a cheater (on her boyfriend) and a pathological liar. She’s also a horrible person because she has made it clear in “TheZoePost” that she is conscious of her mental illness (Borderline Personality Disorder) and it’s destructive effects but she apparently refuses to go and get treatment for it so as to avoid her continuous cycle of hurting other people.

  • JenkPac Shakur

    Zoe’s not a witch. Nothing so special or magical as that. No, she is a simple and very tiresome Borderline Personality Disordered female who needs to be exposed for all of the wrongs she has committed against masses of people just like every other Borderline out there that has tricked, lied to and manipulated entire social communities getting everyone at eachother’s throats. That you are white knighting her simply makes you both another one of her victims as well a part of the problem. You have fallen for her con like so many others typically do and thus serve in a pathological role as one of her many enablers to harm and damage society as well as herself.

  • JenkPac Shakur

    No, DF tiresome femtroll what makes Zoe Quinn a “human crapstain” once again is that she cheated on the man who loved her that being Eron Gjoni with five guys (but in reality probably far more than that). What part of “she’s a cheater” don’t you understand little troll?

  • retrogradesnowcone

    nowhere in the zoe post does she mention having borderline personality disorder

  • retrogradesnowcone

    saying she’s a rapist is insane and dishonest. rape is a specific crime, one which she clearly did not commit

  • Shinku

    Because statistics are never wrong amirite?

  • vanessa ray

    Men get away with all the time too. You’re “I hate women” bias is showing.

  • Circuit Ben

    My

  • Circuit Ben

    Well, that’s weird, considering all three people I know who MAKE video games are feminists. D

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    You mad?

  • TheScienceEnthusiast1130

    LIES

  • Circuit Ben

    Well, I’d give you their names, but you’d only start doxing them. See how the bully-boy tactics stifle debate? You guys are about as fair and balanced as Fox news.

  • Circuit Ben

    No, because she’s a human being she gets a pass. Nobody cheated on you, it doesn’t effect you directly whether a game you don’t like gets a good review or not, therefore it’s non of your business, keep your beak out.

  • olbaiD4283

    Wow that is some messed up logic….Also it’s his opinion, there is no wrong or right opinion. There is nothing that validates or invalidates that contrary to your comment…

  • olbaiD4283

    Karma, and that person may say yes but you did ask for their opinion. If said user said yes to your question, then you would vindicate them surely; By the context of your post I see what you think. Everyone has a opinion, don’t like it then just ignore it…

  • olbaiD4283

    You don’t get to choose that though…You came into the article knowing what this piece was going to be about. I think your just reaching…

  • olbaiD4283

    By going off your comment’s in this article, I can say that you should probably just shut up. You are a lightning rod for criticism, but I think that is what your trying to evoke anyways. Zoe is not a good person, everyone sees that and we can comment on it. We are free to do that just as you are able to defend her, but you are white knighting here. You also sound to have a huge ego and are very hypocritical in your post. Your are insulting users that don’t see things from your point of view, how naive is that? You are acting like a petulant child and when challenged with what the point on hands really is you deflect and insult, berating other users just to get a rise; which by that definition is trolling. You are the same as your detractors who spew out the same verbiage your doing. People like you should not have the right to comment because your just being counter productive in a matter that is already sensitive, and rather bring something constructive to the table you just decide to troll. I pity you, I really do. Please do not procreate, your ideals do not need to spread, they are “vile” and biased.

  • punkchobit

    “cheating on her boyfriend (which according to Zoe herself, is rape)”

    Can I please have proof? Someone asked me for it.

  • punkchobit

    “defined by some (including Ms. Quinn, in her own words) as being a “violation of consent””

    Link?

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  • Toro Delmar

    Your last sentence proves your bias, but do you hold yourself to the same standards of evidence to make the claim as you maintain the others don’t posses?

  • Toro Delmar

    By your exact logic, the fact that you mention men get with it too, you “I hate men” bias is showing right?

  • Toro Delmar

    But if we seriously take a few trolling/humorous comments as indicative of the larger, more intelligent conversation then what does that make us.

    Also, there is a well known correlation with feminist comments and them sock puppeting their own comments with insults to have a “look at dis meowsogyny” moment.