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Retro Gaming's Misogyny Is Brought to Light After a Violent Tragedy

Twin Galaxies
Guinness World Records
the Nintendo Entertainment System
Twin Galaxies’
Condé Nast
Affiliate Partnerships

Rudy Ferretti
Amy Molter
Catherine DeSpira
Patrick Scott Patterson
Girls Game
” DeSpira
Mel Paradise
Caitlin Oliver
Katy Barber
Jace Hall

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the Museum of Pinball

New Hampshire
Las Vegas

the Classic Gaming Expo

Positivity     43.00%   
   Negativity   57.00%
The New York Times
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It’s a miracle she stuck around; for nearly a decade, she says, a group she calls the “dog pile,” which included Ferretti, launched relentless attacks against her that, she says, changed everything about the way she lives her life—from how she walks down the street to how she makes friends.“Rudy Ferretti from the get-go was very upset about any women getting involved in what he saw as a maniverse,” says DeSpira. (Ferretti set 131 world records in the course of his retro gaming career.) DeSpira says she was brought on to give Twin Galaxies a fresh coat of paint, add in some new voices.“That’s where the trouble started,” she says. Ferretti posted regularly on his Facebook page and on YouTube telling DeSpira to “leave the fucking scene.” Ferretti publicly called DeSpira names, including “radical pig feminist,” “cunt despira,” and “one of the 4 horsemen who want to destroy all gaming.” He proliferated obscene memes about her and attempted to take down her social media accounts by reporting them to platforms, all while calling DeSpira’s credibility as a gamer into question. Wrote Ferretti on Facebook, “I finally have been added to the cast and will get to tell my side of things.” The documentary was renamed Girls Game, and was released in 2019.In 2016, DeSpira published and circulated a blog post detailing the harassment campaign brought by Ferretti and the “dog pile” titled “Radical Felines: When Harassment Becomes A Game.” “People didn’t take it seriously,” DeSpira says. I was a ‘LOLCOW,’ as they call it.” As she documented and shared the harassment with forum owners and convention organizers, DeSpira noticed that more mainstream gaming leaders took it seriously while the figures in hardcore arcade and retro gaming generally did not.DeSpira was one of several people Ferretti apparently targeted, many of whom are women. “I had literally never heard of these people, even spoke to them, before there was a barrage of random hate mail.” Now, she says, after dabbling in games journalism, YouTube, pixel art, and charity events around the gaming community, she’s “denounced the gaming scene at large as it’s just not fun anymore.”A year later, competitive gamer Caitlin Oliver set a new world record for the arcade version of Splatterhouse. “He hated me and stalked me for 3 years, until I quit and frankly after, and I can’t imagine how lucky I am to NOT BE DEAD,” she wrote, adding that “he would have friends in the community harass us and insult us.”In 2017, after Ferretti saw Patrick Scott Patterson—one of his primary targets—walking around a gaming convention with up-and-coming video game history podcaster Katy Barber, Ferretti sent her messages, Barber says, and wrote a blog post criticizing her appearance and credibility.“I can’t imagine the number of people who wanted to be involved in the community online or go for high scores but were harassed for expressing an opinion that didn’t fall in line,” says Barber.Ferretti believed that his gaming acumen justified his stewardship of the community.

As said here by Wired