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Sophie Kruse

Gamer Girl: Threats and harassment to women in gamer world shown through Law and Order episode

The most recent Law and Order episode was about the Gamergate controversy, and it’s important for people to know about it.

Last week, I tuned in to the check out the newest Law and Order: Special Victims Unit episode. I tuned in, partially, to see the “kind-of” Bobcat Logan Paul, but I had heard rumors it was going to be based on the Gamergate controversy, so I knew it was necessary to watch.

While the episode was pretty far-fetched and hard to swallow, it was important because it showed the details of Gamergate to a mass audience of people who might not care about it otherwise.

Gamergate is an ongoing controversy in the gaming community about sexism in video games.

The episode revolved around Raina, a female game developer trying to release her game “Amazonian Warriors.” The character is based on game developers Zoe Quinn and Brianna Wu and game critic Anita Sarkeesian — three women who were bullied and received countless rape and death threats online. Raina even wears Sarkeesian’s signature gold hoop earrings in the episode.

In the Law and Order episode, Raina is also constantly bullied and threatened. It even shows a photo of her face that’s edited to appear beaten. At the end of the episode, she is kidnapped and held hostage. Ice T comes through, however, to save her in typical Law and Order-fashion.

While the episode had a lot of problems to it, it’s good that the show is bringing this topic into the limelight where viewers might learn something about the controversy. A lot of people don’t have a clue what Gamergate is or feel like it really matters.

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The three women at the heart of Gamergate faced threats similar to Raina’s. All three women were forced out of their homes at one point or another due to threats they received against themselves and their families. Wu was sent a video of a man claiming to come to her house and confront her, according to a Jezebel article. Later, he was found to have been in a car accident while heading to her home.

The type of Twitter threats these women received will give you goose bumps. One, from an account with the name “Death to Brianna,” said “I hope you enjoy your last moments alive on this earth. You did nothing worthwhile with your life.” Someone even went to her Wikipedia page and added a death date.

All that these women did to “earn” these threats was have an opinion and an interest in the gaming industry.

These threats need to be taken seriously. The controversy began in August, and there still hasn’t been much action taken against what’s happened. They weren’t empty threats — personal information, like addresses of these women, was put online for anyone to see. True harm could have come from these actions, and people need to be held accountable for their actions.


Sophie Kruse is a junior studying journalism. Email her at or find her on Twitter at @kruseco.

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