Actress Felicia Day wrote a blog post about the #Gamergate controversy
Soon after, an anonymous commenter posted her real-world address online
Episode made Day the latest prominent woman to be harassed over #Gamergate
In a blog post late Wednesday, actress and avid gamer Felicia Day weighed in on the roiling #Gamergate controversy, saying that by doing so she feared retribution from someone who might leak personal details about her online.
“I have had stalkers and restraining orders issued in the past, I have had people show up on my doorstep when my personal information was HARD to get,” wrote Day, best known for her roles on the CW show “Supernatural” and the web series “The Guild.”
She added: “To have my location revealed to the world would give a entry point for a few mentally ill people who have fixated on me, and allow them to show up and make good on the kind of threats I’ve received that make me paranoid to walk around a convention alone.”
As it turns out, Day’s concerns were justified.
Within an hour, an anonymous commenter had posted her real-world address and personal email. The practice, called “doxxing,” involves publishing someone’s vulnerable personal information online as a form of punishment.
The episode made Day the latest prominent woman to be harassed online over #Gamergate, the term for a loosely defined movement defending hardcore games and gamers against criticisms from feminists and others.
Some of the vitriol has spilled from the Internet into the physical world. In recent weeks, game designer Zoe Quinn, gaming critic Anita Sarkeesian and game designer Brianna Wu have all received threats of violence on Twitter and other platforms.
Observers on Twitter noted this week that Day was targeted while notable #Gamergate critics who are male, such as actor Wil Wheaton and former NFL player Chris Kluwe, had escaped being “doxxed” as of Thursday afternoon.
In her essay, Day urged people not to let fears over #Gamergate drive them away from gaming.
“Games are beautiful, they are creative, they are worlds to immerse yourself in. They are art. And they are worth fighting for, even if the atmosphere is ugly right now,” she wrote.
She later added: “I know this entry will probably draw contempt from people in the Gamer Gate movement. Something to scorn, something to rile them up against me and everything I’ve ever made. Especially, and most hurtfully, to mock my vulnerability. I just have one thing to say to you who do that: I’m genuinely sorry you are so angry.”
By Thursday, the actress seemed to be taking a more optimistic view.
“I posted this essay yesterday afternoon on Tumblr. Yes, personal information was leaked shortly after, but the better thing to concentrate on is that the majority of replies were overwhelmingly kind and supportive on social media,” she wrote on Facebook.
“It gives me hope we can heal the world of games a bit. It needs it.”