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#gamergate #metoo allegedly false accusations emotional abuse harassment misogyny

Eternal Gamergaters attack Zoe Quinn for allegedly driving a man to suicide by accusing him of abuse

Alec Holowka

By David Futrelle

Last week, game designer and Gamergate nemesis Zoe Quinn publicly accused indie game developer Alec Holowka of being abusive during, and vindictive after, a brief relationship the two had some years ago. Several others stepped forward with similar accusations.

Now the story has gotten sadder and uglier: Holowka has reportedly died by suicide. And those we might call the Eternal Gamergaters have taken to the internet en masse to accuse Quinn (and in a few cases, Holowka’s own sister) of causing his death.

On Saturday, Holowka’s sister Eileen posted a note to Twitter announcing the shocking and unexpected death of her brother. Her statement was in many ways a remarkable one. While describing Alex as “my brother and best friend” and declaring that “deep down he was a person who wanted only to offer people care and kindness,” she also acknowledged frankly that he had led a troubled life and that she would “not pretend that he was not also responsible for causing harm,” a statement that seems to offer a corroboration of sorts for the accusations against him.

Anticipating the inevitable scapegoating of Quinn, Eileen went on to say that her brother had told her he “wished the best for Zoë and everyone else, so don’t use our grief as an excuse to harass people.”

“Nah we harassing her,” replied one Twitterer.

And indeed, few if any of Quinn’s enemies heeded Eileen’s advice. Almost immediately, social media sites were echoing with angry denunciations of the alleged “murderer” of Alec Holowka.

On Twitter, they were blunt and nasty with their allegations, trying to get hashtags like #ZoeQuinnBodycount and #ZoeQuinnIsAMurderer trending. Many took their hate directly to Quinn, who quickly deserted Twitter entirely. A sampling:





R0wax

@R0wax
·
Aug 31


Replying to 
@UnburntWitch
You just killed a man. Congratulations, monster. You're only one person that i hate and will be hating in my life.






1








AniGawd

@ani_gawd
·
Aug 31


Replying to 
@UnburntWitch
Good job murderer you got what you wanted with cancel culture






44








tsc0815

@tsc0815
·
Aug 31


Replying to 
@UnburntWitch
MURDERER! It's time you burn on a stake, witch!






1








professional dickhead

@cl0utbuster
·
Aug 31


Replying to 
@UnburntWitch
you’re a murderer.


1




3








Sweet__leaf204

@Sweet__leaf204
·
Aug 31


Replying to 
@UnburntWitch
Does the blood wash off easily Zoe? Fuck you, you clout chasing dumpster fire.






41








The Willhelm Giggle

@WillhelmGiggle
·
Aug 31


Replying to 
@UnburntWitch
How does it feel to drive a man to suicide? Do you feel empowered now? Does blood on your hands make you feel strong?


1




14








HyperLazerOranges

@HyperOranges
·
Aug 31


Replying to 
@UnburntWitch
You drove a man to suicide, I hope you can live with the blood on your hands while you pocket the money

Others directed their anger at Eileen Holowka … for acknowledging the harm her brother had done to others and asking his fans not to harass Quinn. (Eileen has since locked her Twitter account.)

And of course some Eternal Gamergate grifters — and Gamergate-friendly journalists — jumped into the fray.





TheQuartering

@TheQuartering


Zoe Quinn's quest for klout led a man to kill himself today.  That is her legacy.  I will do a video on it but it will be on the idea of this bullshit "metoo" and not talking about him directly much. heading downstairs now
Cathy Young O @CathyYoung63 • Aug 31	v
Meanwhile in the latest #MeToo \ news a man with a history of mental illness was driven to suicide because one person's claim about something that may have happened years ago was enough to destroy his life
heavy.
BREAKING
NEWS
Alec Holowka Dead: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know Alec Holowka is the Infinite Fall developer who died on August 31, a few days after he was accused of sexual ... & heavy.com
Q 70 tl 435 O 1.2K	1
Ethan Ralph O @TheRalphRetort ■ Aug 31	v
Zoe Quinn just drove a man to suicide with a rape allegation that was likely false. Of course, his cucked colleagues took her side.
In response, Alec Holowka took his life.
Polygon		^
4 *.. Eileen Mary Holowka
frf (Sderangedpoetess
Night in the Woods studio cuts ties with designer after abuse allegations
Indie developer Zoë Quinn alleges assault and abuse from developer Alec Holowka
By Nicole Carpenter on August 29.2019 11:40 am
OO
Alec Holowka, mi best friend, passe morning.	brother and d away this
	
	
‭	‬	
v ..	
12:44 PM ■ 31 Aug 19 Twiner for iPhone
d
Q 361 tl 2.3K	<0 6.7K 1

Note: I have obscured the picture that accompanied the Heavy article because it was a picture of the wrong guy. I should also note that, contrary to Ethan Ralph’s claim, Quinn did not accuse Holowka of rape.

There were a few on the other side of the political divide who said they were glad the alleged abuser was dead, but honestly I found more people complaining about the alleged vast numbers of those “celebrating” his death than I found, after much looking, actually celebrating his death.

While Quinn and to a lesser degree Eileen Holowka are, at least in the minds of the Eternal Gamergaters, the villains of this piece, I should note again that there were several other accusers. Not only that, but Alec Holowka’s former partners in the making of the celebrated game Night in the Woods also came out to say that they found the accusations believable. In a note to backers, Infinite Fall’s Scott Benson wrote that

enough of the allegations are extremely plausible and just about all of it we’ve corroborated with other sources. …

When people who have years-long real life experience with the guy, people who knew him in different situations, locations, ages, and contexts, all say the same thing, you can assume there’s more to this than you’d know from outside the situation, taking it in 280 characters at a time.

Suicide never has a single cause. It’s certainly plausible that the allegations from Quinn — and the allegations from others that folllowed or that Holowka suspected would be coming shortly — may have triggered his actions, but they didn’t cause them. We don’t know why he did what he did. We only know when he did it.

Suicide is a rash and almost always an impulsive act it is, as many have observed, a permanent “solution” to a temporary problem. If you ever find yourself contemplating suicide, please — please! — reach out for help. Call or text a hotline, contact a friend (offline or on), talk to a therapist. There are people out there who care and want to help.

I urge anyone who has been through a period of crisis themselves to post comments below listing some of the resources (online or off) that you have found most helpful.

I also urge everyone to think twice about any angry comments they might want to post, whether that anger is aimed at Quinn or either Alec or Eileen Holowka. I will be quick to delete any comments that go over the line. (And if you see some comment from someone else that goes over the line, please contact me.)

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kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Naglfar
Thank you. I’ve been taking breaks with some Tetris Effect and old movies.

Mels
Mels
1 year ago

@Ucalegont – I’m really sorry that I sounded accusatory. I was agitated by this news, and I was already anticipating an insensitive response, and that clouded my understanding. The assumption was entirely my own fault. Thank you for elaborating (and you too, @Delurking). I’m glad you’re not in that awful headspace nowadays; I’ve been there too and it’s hell.

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

At least one game dev was threatened at PAX this weekend.

https://twitter.com/Gaohmee/status/1168606141145743365?s=19

brian
brian
1 year ago

one of the iconic parts of all this, imo, is that, despite one of the above tweets to the contrary, I really don’t believe (m)any Gators probably felt anything but contempt for Night in the Woods or any of Holowka’s other work.
I have little doubt that before this went down he would have been pilloried by their ilk for “pandering to SJWs” or some other such nonsense.

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
1 year ago

You gotta love the guy who calls himself “professional dickhead” — though he probably intends for it to be taken ironically.

Nequam
Nequam
1 year ago

They might even need to lick the stamp! Cooties!

Not in the US anymore– all the stamps are self-adhesive. (My husband’s a mail carrier. I asked.)

GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
GrumpyOld SocialJusticeMangina
1 year ago

So then there’s the risk that the cootie-stamps will just stick to you, right?

Diptych
Diptych
1 year ago

When Scott and Bethany first announced that they believed the allegations against Alec and were cutting ties, there were people claiming that Alec was the sole creative talen behind Night in the Woods, that Scott and Bethany contributed nothing, that the game would fail without him, and so on.

Naturally, this is in conflict with the facts in every regard – Alec did the code and music, but not any of the art or writing; the game was released years ago and is already successful. The mere fact that he was accused of abuse was enough to make them swear that he was the sole creative talent involved. Talk about an example of loyalty over competence.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@Alan: *lots of giggling*

I didn’t see that before!

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

@Grumpy: yeah, I’m pretty sure cooties can be transferred just by looking at the stamp, so getting it stuck to you would be much worse.

Kestrel
Kestrel
1 year ago

@Frippertronics – Just another female gamer checking in. I would love to have face to face discussions with other women my age (early 40s) who are passionate gamers. I have tried for years to develop a circle of friends like that but I haven’t succeeded. So I talk to other people about games online.

The other thing that bothers me about your post is that you assume everyone can just go an find a friend circle. I was agoraphobic for about 7 years. The people I talked to online made me feel less alone.

Just my 2 cents.

BTW and totally OT: I got a kitty! My husband has taken 4 years of allergy shots to get to the point we have a cat. His name is Kismet. He is super lovey towards me. He is a grey and brown tabby. Just wanted to share my excitement. 🥰

kupo
kupo
1 year ago

@Kestrel
Congrats on the kitty!

Empress Penguin
Empress Penguin
1 year ago

@Naglfar and David

Thank you very much. This one hits home for me, so I appreciate it. Can’t believe I messed up the HTML on the link in my last comment, though. -facepalm-

@Kestrel

Congrats on the kitten!

Radiojane
Radiojane
1 year ago

I have to point out that Scott Benson also deleted his Twitter acct not long after Zoe. Gamergaters suck.

Ucalegont
Ucalegont
1 year ago

@Mels:

It’s very understandable. No problem.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Nequam, Yutolia
I haven’t sent anything by mail in years, so I haven’t used a stamp in a while. The whole licking stamps to adhere them can’t have been particularly healthy in the long run, so it seems like a good idea that it’s changed.

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

@Naglfar:

The whole licking stamps to adhere them can’t have been particularly healthy in the long run, so it seems like a good idea that it’s changed.

Yes, it always seemed fairly disgusting to me. On a positive note, though, the gum used by the Royal Mail is/was vegan.

Diptych
Diptych
1 year ago

Scott’s posted a piece detailing his own treatment by Alec, and some of what he’s aware of others’ experiences.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
1 year ago

Eron told everyone in sight to harass Quinn. Quinn did not tell everyone in sight to harass Alec.

Oh, and you got Quinn’s pronouns wrong.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@Schadrach

she seems to leave a trail of destruction (usually combined with her getting paid for it) behind her.

How is Zoë getting paid for this? They are getting mountains of harassment and is suffering immensely. The only trail of destruction is that left by Holowka, with all the people he hurt. Zoë’s not the only person who Holowka harmed. Everything they said is corroborated by others.

I find it telling she decided to follow Holowka’s suicide by hiding the amount of funding she’s receiving on Patreon – likely because she’s expecting a spike in income and doesn’t want to be perceived as profiting from a man’s suicide.

No, I think they hid the amount of funding to reduce the harassment they are getting. Same reason they closed down Twitter.

EDIT: Like Surplus said, Gjoni purposely created a harassment campaign against his ex (whom it seems he abused). Zoë explicitly said not to harass Holowka.

Katamount
1 year ago

Not sure if others may have drawn this connection, but I’m getting some flashbacks to the August Ames suicide, where a backlash incurred due to an ill-advised tweet was seen as the catalyst when in fact her battle with depression had been going on for several months and likely years. Those in Ames’ profession that were critical of her initial tweet (which was bigoted) were then inundated with hate spam blaming them for her suicide. It was a very flat and simplistic explanation of something that was much deeper than mere social media interactions, yet given that is the bulk of long-distance interaction, it was sufficient for most involved.

I also can’t help but notice the contradictory dynamics at play with their responses as David indicated. We know that they will simultaneously use the social norms to their advantage (such as concern-trolling about a guy’s mental state) and abandon them in a heartbeat for their own ends, but while they’re doing this, the glee they feel over Lifschitz is also revealing because it indicates to me that there’s an implicit assumption that everybody is secretly as bad as they are and if people are taking any kind of moral stand, then it’s done as a mask for their true awfulness.

I mean, Hugo Schwytzer is still a pretty notorious example of a terrible person masquerading as an ally. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t genuinely decent people out there.

Ariblester
1 year ago

Just wanted to point out that Schadrach (or a user with the same name and commenting style) has been active multiple times in the past, always making bad-faith arguments.

Using a different Gravatar
http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/3b007b70f84727d6ddb09ccc4d9ffa3a?d=identicon

June 11, 2014
July 16, 2014

Using a second Gravatar
http://www.gravatar.com/avatar/785d4cbc5ce5345ec1ec796b19022a24.jpg

November 6, 2015
November 11, 2015

Using the current Gravatar
http://0.gravatar.com/avatar/357a20e8c56e69d6f9734d23ef9517e8?d=identicon

September 8, 2017
July 26, 2018

Makroth
Makroth
1 year ago

And just like before, he will not respond to any rebuttals.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 year ago

For someone concerned with false accusations, he’s sure eager to accuse Zoe Quinn of making someone commit suicide with out any real evidence.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

@WWTH

For someone concerned with false accusations, he’s sure eager to accuse Zoe Quinn of making someone commit suicide with out any real evidence.

Because of course the only false accusations are those made against his side. All accusations made against people he doesn’t like are true, because the people he doesn’t like are all guilty. /s
Sort of like that time that Mike Cernovich went on a thing about false rape accusations, then was found at the center of a plot to make actually false accusations against Chuck Schumer.

Ariblester
1 year ago

@David

Could you also delete my previous comment? I thought I deleted it, but apparently it didn’t stick:

It’s this one.

Thanks!

Cat of Many Faces
Cat of Many Faces
1 year ago

I only just found out about this and made the mistake of clicking the hastags (Lol, i can add some new jerks to my block list! it’ll be no problem mentally! sigh) and it’s really frightening.

I swear these people are working their way up to murder. I hope Zoe is safe. 🙁

Sheila Crosby
1 year ago

OT: A bit of good news (I think we could all use some good news)

There are two new ebola drugs.

People who receive either therapy soon after infection have a 90% survival rate, according to data from a clinical trial in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02442-6

90% survival rate!

It can’t have been easy to run that trial in the middle of an ebola outbreak. Someone (probably a whole bunch of people) must have been absolutely awesome.

Naglfar
Naglfar
1 year ago

Zoë’s Twitter is back up but is now private.

BritterSweet
1 year ago

I wasn’t familiar with Alec, so I always associated Night in the Woods with Scott Benson of “Feminazis stole my ice cream,” and pretty much saw it as his game. Now when I type his name in the YouTube search, first thing that pops up is a video that has the buzzwords like “virtue signaling” in the description, and bloodthirsty comments blaming Zoe and Scott :’(

I’ve always been disgusted with these hordes of harassers, and they’re why no matter how much I like video games, I wouldn’t call myself a gamer.

Charlotte
Charlotte
1 year ago

I lost my husband to suicide last year. He was verbally abusive, bordering on physically abusive. He was also my happy goblin. I miss him dearly. Abuse is complicated. Abusers aren’t monsters.

I found a lot of help and comfort with Samaritans. Their helpline is not just for people in crisis. They are also trained to talk to and support loved ones of suicide victims. Their closed support groups are a lifesaver, and I never thought I’d be the support group type! (Old me would have said “well what can I say other than I’m sad?” There’s a lot more to say. And a lot of comfort in hearing some stories echoed in others.)

I also run a community space and the Center for Suicide Awareness was kind enough to send me a box with card and flyers that have helpful info about crisis hotlines, long term programs, support groups and the like that I was able to make available to people who knew my husband.

Both of these organizations did amazing work in alleviating a little bit of the pain. I’m sure there are many, many more. But those are the two I can personally vouch for. They do amazing work.

https://samaritanshope.org/

numerobis
numerobis
1 year ago

I just read this CBC piece about attacks of environmental activists and the federal environment minister, and it’s gamergate tactics all over again. With conservative politicians as the instigators, this time:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/threats-abuse-move-from-online-to-real-world-mckenna-now-requires-security-1.5274766