The cultural phenomenon that is Gamergate arose in 2014 following the release of game designer Zoë Quinn’s independent title Depression Quest. Coming after the critical acclaim that followed the game’s release, Quinn’s ex-boyfriend accused her of having an affair with a gaming journalist in order to garner said favorable reviews, which led to other men in the gaming community banding together to attack Quinn, fellow developer Brianna Wu, and video-game critic Anita Sarkeesian.
The fight for gender equality within an industry pervasively patriarchal has proven dangerous for all three feminist crusaders, and with Quinn’s new memoir Crash Override: How to Save the Internet From Itself on its way in September 2016, a feature film based upon the author’s trials and tribulations may soon prove to be an inevitability that will add more fuel to the fire.
According to Deadline, former Sony executive Amy Pascal has procured the rights to Quinn’s story, with Pascal Pictures set to produce a film proposal under the title of Control Alt Delete, with Scarlett Johannson (Avengers: Age of Ultron), among several other actresses, being sought after for the lead role. When asked for comment on the content of her new memoir and the production of a major motion picture based on her character within it, Quinn remarked on her personal and rhetorical aims, stating:
“Gaming and internet message boards used to be niche interests, mostly for young men. In the past few years, however, they’ve gone mainstream. Millions of people, including women and other marginalized people, have taken an interest in the platforms, image boards, and discussion forums that once belonged by default to a much smaller population. Most gamers give zero fu*ks about this. Like the rest of us, they’re just here to play games. But a vocal minority are clinging onto the brand of Cheetos-and-Mountain-Dew exclusionary identity [of the] ‘hardcore gamer,’ muttering ‘fu*kin casuals’ under their breath.“
Johannson is an obvious first choice for a project as volatile as this one, as her position as one of Hollywood’s most independent and dynamic female performers makes her perfect for the role of Quinn. It will be interesting to see just who the audience for the new film will be, however, as the Gamergate community, given its history, certainly has the platform from which to make their voice heard, which could affect the context in which Pascal’s latest production is received.
Going forward, if the story of Quinn and Gamergate is going to be approached with enough artistic precision and tact, Pascal will have to seek out her director and screenwriter carefully, with both sides of the controversy carefully considered in representation behind and in front of the camera. Something that may be difficult considering the definition of Gamergate is still somewhat nebulous, even amongst those who claim to be a part of it. Until more details come together, however, it’s impossible to tell what the new film will be, but hopefully it will successfully dramatize the cultural implications of the gaming community at large and offer insight into what has become a confusing and often pernicious situation.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on all developments relating to Control Alt Delete.