UPDATE: Alec Holowka’s sister reports that he has died, apparently of suicide.
By David Futrelle
#MeToo hit the gaming industry hard this week, with an ever-growing number of women and non-binary people coming forward to accuse men in the industry — including some big names — of rape and harassment and other forms of abuse.
One of the accusers is #Gamergate nemesis Zoe Quinn, who three days ago declared that indie game developer Alec Holowka (“Night in the Woods”) had been abusive and manipulative during a brief relationship between the two nearly a decade ago. “I was scared to leave. I was scared to tell anyone,” Quinn wrote in an account posted to Twitter. “I spent a lot of that time hiding in the bathroom from him.”
Several days later, Quinn returned to Twitter to signal-boost the allegations of another game developer who had accused Quinn’s former partner Alex Lifschitz of taking nude photos during sex without consent. Quinn said that they (Quinn’s preferred pronoun) had confronted Lifschitz with this and he had confessed. “[M]y faith in humanity and ability to trust people is severely shaken,” Quinn tweeted. ” I’m disgusted that someone I trusted with my life was capable of this.”
Many lingering #Gamergaters still hate Quinn with the same passion as they did that August five years ago when the
ethics harassment campaign began. So how have they reacted to Quinn’s accusations?
Would it shock you if I said they dismissed Quinn’s allegations against Holowka as false accusations from a perpetual liar — but that more than a few were happy to believe the allegations against Lifschitz because they made a male feminist that they already hated look bad.
In the Kotaku in Action subredit — which still bills itself as “the main hub for GamerGate on Reddit” — the regulars were predictably outraged by Quinn’s post on .Holowka, with some accusing her of slandering him in a bid for attention and money.
“With someone like ZQ, you can be almost 100% certain the allegations are false.,” wrote someone called IWantToTalkNow.
to people like ZQ, I’m sure the thoughts are “Yeah! That was abusive. Sure, it was like five years ago and I haven’t really thought on it since, but whatever he’s an abusive fuck. I’ll get some money from interviews, grow my sub count, maybe get some Patreon cash, and a lot of industry people are sympathetic and might offer me some more shit.”
“Gabtactic” had a similar take, throwing an assortment of unsubstantiated accusations of his own into the mix.
Woke Zoe is broke and stole tens of thousands of dollars from a video game kickstarter she stopped updating a year ago. She probably burned it on her luxury vacations in Japan. She’s in deep trouble and badly needs money as fast as possible. I would not be surprised if she started a GoFundMe for “legal fees” that she actually plans on using for something else and this whole story is her new plan to get attention for her e-begging lifestyle. Once a con artist, always a con artist.
The KiAers demanded “due process” for Holowka — which, since there is no such thing when it comes to public accusations that don’t go to trial, is effectively a demand that the public simply assume that every man who isn’t convicted in a court of law is therefore innocent of everything. Never mind that most abusive men never see the inside of a courtroom.
“Dude might be a piece of crap, haven’t really paid attention to him, but due process is a necessity,” wrote multiman000, “as for Quinn, I get the feeling she’s just full of shit.”
“There should be laws about accusing people on social media because there are no fucking fair trials there, ever,” declared CrankyDClown, apparently forgetting that libel laws are a thing.
But days later when Quinn offered support to Lifschitz’ accuser, more than a few of the Kotaki in Action regulars were ready to believe her.
After all, Lifschitz — Quinn’s partner and staunch public defender during the worst of GamerGate, as well of the co-founder (with Quinn) of the anti-cyberbullying organization Crash Override — is nearly as hated as Quinn herself in Gamergate circles, at least insofar as Gamergaters are capable of truly hating men.
“It’s inconvenient for the Narrative that an (alleged) anti harassment organisation was cofounded by a creeper, huh?” gloated someone called B-VOLLYBAL-READY, pointedly putting the “alleged” before “anti harassment organization” rather than “creeper.”
“ALL SJWS ARE RAPISTS!!” shouted Cosmicind89, apparently forgetting that not all SJWs have been found guilty in a court of law.
While many in KiA weren’t quite willing to fully endorse Quinn’s accusations, most were at least willing to accept that she might be telling the truth — with some positively gleeful at the prospect.
“Cartman laugh, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA,” snickered chucks47.
Oh, please be true. The “arch male ally” a fucking creeper, oh be still my beating a heart.
Others made jokes about the “due process” their KiA colleagues were declaring so sacred only a few days ago.
“I want to support due process always,” wrote NoPantsBaby.
But I will do so passively. From the sidelines. As these SJW losers fall on their progressive swords.
CrankyDClown, who only three days ago was sniffing that “there should be laws about accusing people on social media” found himself much less interested in “due process” when it came to Lifschitz. “I don’t care much for callout culture,” he wrote in a comment today, “but this one is way too fucking funny to ignore.”
On the anti-gamergate side, I have seen no similar hypocrisy. We (or at least the vast majority of us) believe Quinn on Holowka; we believe Quinn on Lifschitz.
There is a great deal of sadness at the moment as we learn the many troubling details of what has clearly been an epidemic of abuse in the industry.
But we also recognize that this is a necessary thing. It is far better for those who have been traumatized to feel empowered enough to speak out about their trauma rather than let it fester inside of them every day. The rest of us need to know about these things as well. And the guilty parties need to be held to account. Whoever they are, no matter what their politics.
NOTE: If you’re looking to keep up with the ever-growing number of accusations out there, Quinn’s twitter is a good place to start.
Send tips to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.
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