She called herself TheIneffableSwede. It’s a name that is easy to Google, and in that I find a special charm. Sure, most journalists think it’s fun to turn over every stone in their research and so do I, however when I’m about to trace footprints online I choose to hunt a, say an af Praat rather than a Svensson any day. Less time spent on dead ends means more time for the exciting ones. That’s why I was happy that she called herself TheIneffableSwede.
“About 978 results“. That’s a Google-search result for that signature right now. Almost all of them stem from one specific event that is also the reason why I know she exists. It is the article in The Guardian – “Sexism and abuse isn't only on Twitter: one woman’s gaming experience”.
The British newspaper had published an article about the threatening sexism that had been directed at an activist on Twitter and in the commentary field TheIneffableSwede appeared. She claimed she had been subjected to something similar – in an online game.
“When I played and won, which I almost always did, some of the male players used to threaten to rape, maim or even kill me” she wrote in The Guardian’s commentary field. Her experiences came from a long time invested in an un-named role-playing game online with millions of players, and after having been ignored systematically by the game’s moderators she brought her complaints to the game’s CEO.
He reacted by cutting her off – he was tired of “the nagging about this problem”.
The claim was so remarkable that it was repeated almost verbatim on the Guardian’s own gaming blog, shared thousands of times on social media and became a subject of debate on several different British gaming forums.
It reached my desk in the morning on Wednesday August 7. A few hours later I tweeted this.