Game developer Brianna Wu, an outspoken advocate of women in the gaming industry who face online harassment, is considering running for Congress in 2018.
A journalist and co-founder of the game development studio Giant Spacekat, Wu told the Daily Dot that one of the primary issues she’s hoping to tackle is hiring discrimination in the technology industry.
“We’ve been asking nicely for years, but the needle is not moving,” she said. “I don’t want catered lunches, I don’t want speeches about how much they care—I want them to stop discriminating against women, people of color, and people with disabilities. They haven’t taken it seriously, so maybe a few women in the legislature will motivate them.”
“I hear that passion, and I want to live up to it.”
Another top priority is online harassment and cyberstalking, she says, a problem that has garnered increased attention in recent years, in part thanks to the advocacy of Wu herself, a frequent target of such threats.
In October 2014, the Huffington Post reported that Wu and her husband were forced to flee their home after receiving multiple death threats on Twitter originating from Gamegate supporters. During an interview last year at the PAX East gaming convention in Boston, Wu said she had received as many as 48 death threats over a six months period.
(Disclosure: Wu has written for the Daily Dot as a freelance contributor.)
Wu said she has enlisted the help of Danielle Citron, a law professor at the University of Maryland who is noted for her expertise on cyber harassment. “She’s going to advise my campaign platform,” Wu told the Daily Dot, emphasizing that years of advocating for victims as a private citizen had yielded no quantifiable results. “They haven’t taken it seriously, so maybe a few women in the legislature will motivate them.”
“I also plan to introduce a broad consumer privacy bill, something I believe will have broad appeal to voters of all parties,” she continued.
Wu added that she’s been pondering the “passion” she’s seen in supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), whom she describes as having “tapped into a primal disconnect” between establishment Democrats and the voters who elect them. “I hear that passion, and I want to live up to it,” she said. “I see millennials getting an unfair economic deal, and I intended to address it.”
“I don’t plan to spend four years complaining,” said Wu, addressing the incoming Donald Trump administration, which she says has left some feeling terrified. “I intend to spend four years fighting them with everything I have.”