Creativity 50 2015

Creativity 50 2015: Zoe Quinn

Video Game Developer

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Zoe Quinn
Zoe Quinn Credit: Lindsey Wasson/Seattle Times

Zoe Quinn's former career as a standup-comic led her to video games. "The bulk of my work is comedy," Ms. Quinn said. "And I wanted to use the gaming world as a vehicle to deliver comedy." Yet her most well-known game, "Depression Quest," has a title that would suggest anything but.

Inspired by her own experience, Ms. Quinn developed the game to foster a greater understanding about depression, but it ultimately saw her become the primary target of the much-publicized "Gamergate," a widespread harassment campaign against women in the gaming community.

She now heads Crash Override, a nonprofit designed to help those suffering from severe online abuse. The role has its ups and downs. "I had to submit a report on four clients that had been targeted by one person who was posting revenge porn," she said. "I spent hours bagging and tagging all of this and when I requested it be taken down, my request bounced back. They said none of the material was in violation of the terms of service."

But 2015 had its high points too. Ms. Quinn is writing a memoir that's been picked up by former Sony Chairperson Amy Pascal, who plans to turn it into a movie -- with talks of Scarlett Johansson as the lead. "It would be very interesting to see someone I had a teenage crush on play me," she said.

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