A Wave of Sexual Harassment Accusations Is Sweeping the Games Industry

In the last few days, numerous people have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment, abuse, and assault allegations against people in the video game industry. The victims and the accused come from every corner of the industry, and the companies they work for or are associated with have issued statements or say they have opened investigations into abusive and inappropriate behavior.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/akz3b8/sexual-harassment-alligations-gaming-ubisoft-bungie-cards-against-humanity

My fond feelings of Chris Avellone’s previous work are always gonna exist

But fuck that fucking dude, those accounts of him acting like a washed up rockstar at conventions sound incredibly shitty. It makes me curious to revisit why he actually left Obsidian

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Out with all abusers. These accounts have been horrifying to read and as always it’s frustrating to see how common this is in the industry. My sympathies go out to all victims and I hope they get justice, but that isn’t enough. Becca Hallstedt says in this post that, “your damage is exponential. it is not a simple wound. it is a toxin that spreads out of control and infects everyone within proximity.” The rot has to be removed.

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Hey, uh, remember that time chris avellone signed up to this very forum to be weird about an article about him? Maybe that was a sign he was a creep, huh.

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The Avellone one has been the hardest for me. I can’t think of many happy moments in my life that weren’t at least bolstered by a game he wrote or worked on. That said, no room for predators in my life. Get fucked, Avellone. I’m going to go play something else by someone better.

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I’m not gonna link to specific allegations because it’s been a “yikes” kinda weekend, but there have been multiple, well-known names named at Ubisoft as well.

Just a quick word to my fellow dudes out there: there’s never been a better time to take inventory of your behavior and strive to be/do better.

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Meg Jayanth has been collating, and it is a lot: https://twitter.com/betterthemask

edit to be clear: not just a lot in the sense of the harrowing accounts being hard to take in, but also a lot numerically

also this medium post by https://twitter.com/JessyQuil

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Not sure what else to really add. Thought of writing a piece on my feelings of the Avellone situation in particular but then I remember this isn’t about me - it’s about Avellone’s victims.

How I write about his old work is going to change in tone in the future, but that’s nothing compared to what he did to real people. As one angry yelling wolf once said, sacrifice the heads of your heroes at the alter for a better tomorrow.

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I actually met Chris Avellone years ago when I was helping a youtuber friend of mine cover Dragon Con in Atlanta. You can probably guess who he is… I was filming it for him.

He seemed like a lowkey dude, but then again neither of us were women in the industry. I do remember distinctly my friend, who’s an actual journalism major, seemed genuinely perplexed about the reporter/subject relationship in a space like Dragon Con, and he wondered towards Avellone aloud if their discussion while having drinks was ethical. Chris seemed like he had no idea himself… I remember him being like, “Dang, I dunno.”

I feel like there needs to be training for those in the game industry, no matter your level, how to represent yourself in these spaces. It can’t just be ‘workplace’ training, because the workplace could also be outside the office in spaces that have a ‘party-like atmosphere’ like Dragon Con. I bet a number of men who work in the games space see conventions as a place to let loose, and that can lead to so many lines being crossed in professional environments.

But yeah, fuck that dude. Getting drinks after a panel was probably how he roped so many people in.

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I don’t want to get on a Prohibition high horse here, but I’ve never seen an atmosphere that alcohol can’t make worse.

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It’s good that we’re finally having this reckoning. If nothing else, it will get the information out there to people who might otherwise have been victims of this behaviour.)

(Re: Chris Avellone in particular, it makes me wonder who wrote all the Fisto! stuff. And the porn studio thing from FO2.)

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Many, although not all, stories that have been told mirror alcohol being used to coerce the victim at cons and developer meetings. BTW, anyone remember when TwitchCon had an open bar with uncovered drinks, and that one woman got her drink spiked from it while some big-name streamer laughed at the thought of this being an issue?

I’m not in the games industry but I’ve been to large scientific conferences where free alcohol during networking sessions have been an element, and I know that sexual assault and harassment does occur at them. Meghna Jayanth posted this tweet about making safer networking spaces and alcohol being prohibited is on that list. As much as I’ve liked getting a free drink every now and then, safety is so much more important. Keep this out of professional gatherings.

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I think people also need to recognize that industry conferences are work, and no different from working in the office when it comes to behavior standards. And that means no drinking*.

As I get older I have gotten increasingly skeptical of workplaces that allow or encourage drinking. If people need alcohol to get through the day I am extremely concerned about their judgement and competence. Stay sober when you’re working, be a goddamned responsible adult you man children.

*Note: I am not saying the presence of alcohol is the excuse for sexual assault, but rather that it induces an environment of looser professional standards that predators are all too happy to take advantage of.

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This talk of alcohol abuse reminds me of that one Game Grumps episode of Super Mario World where Danny let it slip that one of Archer’s executive producers, Matt Thompson, drunkenly assaulted him, and that it apparently happens a lot

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Okay that’s gonna need more context holy hell

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The clip is here, but it cuts out the part where someone who works with Matt Thompson came up to Danny and was like “Oh yeah, this happens all the time, give me your info and I’ll send you a care package”
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jesus christ what the fuck

they posted all that on their channel???

I assume that they didn’t even realize that what happened was wrong, hence Danny just laughing it off

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I have no data and I have no sources, but off the cuff I’m going to say this isn’t just a video game industry problem and that it happens in any industry you can name. Sexual harassment is an ongoing societal issue that everyone needs to more aware of and providing safe ways for victims to report incidents.

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Yes, but the demographics of the games industry make it a far more pronounced issue

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