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Giant Spacekat Withdraws from PAX East Over Death Threats from GamerGate

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  • Giant Spacekat Withdraws from PAX East Over Death Threats from GamerGate

    The Indie developer, Giant Spacekat, has decided to withdraw from being an exhibitor at PAX East over concerns for the team's safety. A constant stream of death threats from GamerGate to the Head of Development at Spacekat, Brianna Wu, prompted this decision.
    When Giant Spacekat was founded 4 years ago, speaking out on women in tech was the last thing on our mind. We just wanted to make games. But as founder Brianna Wu began working in game development, she felt compelled to speak out about her experiences.

    At first, Brianna felt that hers was a unique experience, and not nearly the widespread epidemic. Sadly, specific violent threats from Gamergate have threatened all we’ve accomplished as a studio. What started as contempt towards the inclusive Giant Spacekat ideals, has over time become a near constant barrage of unwarranted hatred, harassment, and threats.

    GSX has continually attempted to get support from law enforcement with tracking down and apprehending the individuals behind the explicit and detailed death threats. These are regularly sent, targeting Brianna by name and sometimes even with other identifying information.

    Despite the credibility of those threats, and despite even the attempted action by one of those threatening individuals to act on those threats recently, very little has been accomplished by law enforcement towards the goal of apprehending these criminals, let alone towards preventing future threats.

    As threats have recently come to encompass Brianna’s family, and appear to be escalating, Giant Spacekat has made the decision to prioritize its family, the employees, and their safety. Specifically, we have chosen to withdraw our presence from the Pax East 2015 Expo Hall, due to a concern that in a crowd of such a volume expected at Pax, the safety of our team can not be guaranteed.

    Of note, we are in no way trying to imply that the PAX teams have been uncooperative regarding security requests, nor are we trying to imply that PAX is unsafe, or that the admirable efforts of the volunteer Enforcer team would be inadequate. This is a company specific decision, made out of precaution.

    Unfortunately, as recent media culture has shown through the depiction of harassment and assault of a female game developer on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, even the best security plans can fail.

    The bottom line, is that our employees, our team, are more valuable to us than table space, and we are not willing to even consider risking their safety, or privacy, in exchange for a few more eyes on Revolution 60 and our upcoming Giant Spacekittens division title, Cupcake Crisis.

    While Giant Spacekat will not have an exhibitor presence on the show floor, Brianna Wu will still take part of various press meetings and panels during PAX East 2015.

    (via Brianna Wu's Tumblr)