How Silverstring Media fought GamerGate and ADHD to make compelling games

For four months, this Vancouver studio was at the centre of an internet maelstrom. But it had overcome bigger challenges

“Recent events have thrust our company under a spotlight …” It was with those words, in September 2014, that Lucas J W Johnson, one of the founding members of Silverstring Media, began a blogpost about his company. “Under a spotlight”, it turned out, was something of an understatement. Silverstring Media had been targeted by the burgeoning online movement GamerGate, a loose affiliation of Twitter, Reddit and game forums users claiming to target corruption in the video games media. Connections were established between Silverstring and the original GamerGate target Zoe Quinn. Then everything snowballed.

“[GamerGaters] got it into their heads that Silverstring Media was a PR firm, and that as such we must have been behind a conspiracy to release a series of ‘gamers are dead’ articles all at once from multiple different venues,” Johnson said. “As conspiracies do, that then spiralled into further corruption with the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), and eventually allegations that we work with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa). We became ‘the final boss’ of GamerGate, responsible for all their woes.”

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