• Crash Override

  • How Gamergate (Nearly) Destroyed My Life, and How We Can Win the Fight Against Online Hate
  • By: Zoë Quinn
  • Narrated by: Zoë Quinn
  • Length: 7 hrs and 9 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (303 ratings)

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Crash Override

By: Zoë Quinn
Narrated by: Zoë Quinn
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Publisher's Summary

You've heard the stories about the dark side of the internet - hackers, #gamergate, anonymous mobs attacking an unlucky victim, and revenge porn - but they remain just that: Stories. Surely these things would never happen to you.

Zoe Quinn used to feel the same way. She is a video game developer whose ex-boyfriend published a crazed blog post cobbled together from private information, half-truths, and outright fictions, along with a rallying cry to the online hordes to go after her. They answered in the form of a so-called movement known as #gamergate - they hacked her accounts; stole nude photos of her; harassed her family, friends, and colleagues; and threatened to rape and murder her. But instead of shrinking into silence as the online mobs wanted her to, she raised her voice and spoke out against this vicious online culture and for making the internet a safer place for everyone.

In the years since #gamergate, Quinn has helped thousands of people with her advocacy and online-abuse crisis resource Crash Override Network. From locking down victims' personal accounts to working with tech companies and lawmakers to inform policy, she has firsthand knowledge about every angle of online abuse, what powerful institutions are (and aren't) doing about it, and how we can protect our digital spaces and selves.

Crash Override offers an up-close look inside the controversy, threats, and social and cultural battles that started in the far corners of the internet and have since permeated our online lives. Through her story - as target and as activist - Quinn provides a human look at the ways the internet impacts our lives and culture, along with practical advice for keeping yourself and others safe online.

©2017 Zoe Quinn (P)2017 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"A worthwhile read for anyone interested in taking action against the realities - and devastating effects - of extreme Internet trolling...an informative and inspiring book." (Kirkus Reviews)

"I tore through this book. Zoe Quinn doesn't just present a clear-eyed examination of the Internet's endemic sickness (though she does that beautifully), she contextualizes her personal nightmare within our current national one. It's a gripping read with historical merit." (Lindy West, author of Shrill)

"We finally have a chance to hear what we've been eagerly awaiting: Zoe's real story in her own words. If you've been harassed, depressed, lonely, or lost, her story will inspire and empower you. After all of it, she still finds a way to be optimistic and a force for positive change. She gives me hope for humanity and the future of technology." (Ellen Pao, former CEO of Reddit, cofounder of Project Include)

What listeners say about Crash Override

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A waste of time...And I'm being kind about that.

I listened to this story twice, to make sure I didn't miss anything and went in with an open mind. And the second time I listened to this story (I got the audiobook) I was able to confirm that this is, in fact, a rehash of a series of events being told from a half-assed perspective of the narrator. For those wondering, Gamergate is about Ethics in Game Journalism, something that was uncovered after a lengthy blog post was posted about Quinn.

Quinn mainly had no real part in this, other than talking to her fellow friends who were game journalists who lacked this Journalistic integrity that is to this day so needed in the gaming industry. The threats and abuse Quinn dealt with could've easily been prevented by not talking out of her butt about the whole thing, taking a breakup better and being more careful to whom she talks to about her personal life.

I can't recommend this book, as its just a shameless, rehashed, re-telling of a story that really isn't relevant to the actual issues of online harassment that we all face (myself included), and comes off as a means to stay in the spotlight and make money.

14 people found this helpful

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Just what I wanted

At last we get Zoe Quinn's own story in full without any distractions, paired with very good and important advice on how to fight back online abuse, and how we can help heal the damage it has caused. Good stuff.

8 people found this helpful

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Engaging book about an important issue

This is a well written book covering a topic that should be of concern to everyone. Quinn has a good voice and narrates her own story well, using language that is informative while also being accessible. Even for someone like me, who was relatively familiar with the major events involved, there was a lot of new information and ideas, including practical advice for how to better secure your privacy online.

7 people found this helpful

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Informative, down to earth, and inspiring

First off, this was one of the best print-to-audio translations I've listened to. Some books lose important details or have really confusing spots when recorded, but Ms. Quinn does an amazing job narrating the images, chapter structures, and other bits that are usually more clear in print.

The book is true to Quinn's "feelings and farts" persona exemplified in her games; her voice clearly conveys the humor, the frustration, and the compassion felt as she shares her experiences and lessons. She also takes care to elevate other voices along with her own, ensuring other perspectives are given their due; additional resources -- and encouragement -- are provided to readers who wish to explore further.

I walked away from this book with concrete actions I can take to help reduce online abuse, breadcrumbs to find more books and people to learn from, and inspiration to live more authentically.

7 people found this helpful

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Heartbreaking and Hopeful

Whether you're like me and you thought you knew about the dark horror that is online harassment or if you only understand it as the vague spectre of "cyberbullying" that you heard the nightly news ran a story on once, this book will teach you more than you ever imagined there was to learn. Chronicling the tragic events of Gamergate, author and reader Zoë Quinn will tell you not only about the awful events that began one August day years ago, but also about ways to try to protect yourself and your loved ones from this terrifying phenomena. With a message of hope that we can all come together to create a world where something like this doesn't have to happen to anyone else, this is a book you would regret not picking up.

7 people found this helpful

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Incredibly informative

I don't think that anyone could have turned around what was such a bad experience into a tool for good. This book goes into a lot of what Gamergate is and what it represents of the internet, but it also shows how the book could be such a force for good too. And for anyone worried about their own privacy online, this book shows you the best ways to protect yourself while not resorting to "just go offline" advice.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Crash override

Interesting and engaging book presented well by the author. Alarming information about how users of the internet are vulnerable to personal attacks. Good suggestions on possible protections.

6 people found this helpful

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A must read

Essential reading for everyone with even the faintest presence online and how to help protect yourself against the darker aspects of it. Everyone thinks it would never happen to them. I know I didn't. Years after the height of Gamergate, I'm still trying to clean the stalkers and harassment out of my life.

6 people found this helpful

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Essential reading for understanding abuse

This book is essential if you wish to understand the spread of abuse and hatred on the internet, and what you can do to help. (And sometimes, what we can't or shouldn't do.) Is tough, and sometimes depressing, but not without hope.

5 people found this helpful

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I Had No Idea

Wow. My tall white able-bodied cis-gendered mind has been blown. Not only did I learn a ton from this book about the world of online harassment, but the book was actually really funny along the way. I don't know how this woman stays so positive given all the things she's had to face, but thank Goddess she has. Awesome book! I haven't seen anyone this good at fighting evil trolls since I read the 3 Billy Goats Gruff as a kid.

5 people found this helpful

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  • K8-bit
  • 07-01-18

Harrowing account

Wanted to hear this for some time. Excellent, if harrowing listen. I thought I knew Zoe's story, but it was worse than I realized. Really good book for people with interest in videogames, feminism, activism, and pushing back against online abuse and misogyny.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sam Gregge
  • 06-17-18

Great listen, highly recommended.

A heartfelt, well written and well read account of a series of god awful things. Providing a lot of insight not only about gamergate but many of the systems and apathy regarding those systems still in place and affecting the world today. A must read for anyone who spends any amount of time on the internet. It's also a story of hope to, perserverance and the type of strength that never looks like strength from the inside. Give it a go.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-25-21

An excellent account of Gamergate.

Zoe Quinn gives an excellent well balanced account of what happened during Gamergate. Offering mostly her story, well told, but also a larger picture. The later sections of the book on the broader dangers of online harassment and what we can do to combat it were well thought out and explained.