We Discuss Nick Robinson, Harassment, and Power Dynamics on Waypoint Radio


#1

It was a long weekend, folks.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/43xkmb/we-discuss-nick-robinson-harassment-and-power-dynamics-on-waypoint-radio

#2

Hey everyone. We’re interested in having discussions on this topic on the forums but we want to make sure that our rules are followed. Rule 10* especially applies here. As the article mentions, the story is still developing and we do not want to get hip-deep in speculation about individuals in the industry who may or may not be involved. We also don’t want people to wind up with hurt feelings over arguments based in less than a full understanding of the situation (and the fact that we may never have a full understanding doesn’t change that.)

We encourage y’all to discuss the conversations had on this episode of Waypoint Radio. But let’s stick to that for now. Thank you all for listening!

(This post is subject to edit as the moderation team continues to discuss its policies!)

*Rule 10

Remember that the games journalism community is small, our community is visible, and other personalities have been active here - act accordingly. Do not speculate on hires or personal lives of staff or personalities of this or any other site; remember, this is a person’s livelihood, not fantasy football.


#3

Really good conversation, everyone. I was only a casual fan of Nick and Griffin’s stuff so I can’t say I was super into his community but I certainly saw him all over the place on Twitter.

Just wanted to say, and y’all pointed this out on the podcast, is that the reaction to this stuff has been largely good to see. Polygon is taking it seriously and fans are doing their best to try to make sure the victims don’t feel pressured into sharing anything they don’t want to. The receipts demanders are being met with a lot of resistance which, in this awful situation, is at least heartening to see.


#4

Apologies. Didn’t at all mean this to come across as defense of Temkin.


#5

I was one of those big fans of Nick’s work (mostly the stuff with Griffin) and being in various Facebook fan groups of McElroy and Polygon media it was good to see everyone completely understand the situation and not mindlessly jump to his defense. There were a few people demanding evidence but the majority of members and the mods have been very on point on stopping that stuff in their tracks. It’s been hard times in that community but we ultimately are just upset and angry at Nick for what he’s done and sending support to those affected.


#6

Thank you for discussing this with such patience, care, and intelligence. I’m proud to be interested and involved with games culture because of people like Austin.


#7

as someone who knew a number of people who were affected by robinson’s actions, the response to this has inspired a great deal of hope and relief in me as a woman in online spaces. as austin mentions, although the response seemed overwhelming and sudden, this was absolutely a known issue and had become more and more common knowledge among the women in the industry over the course of the last year or two.

something that i noticed about the way this played out was that, as the article mentions, there was a specific tweet of origin that started the discussion (the article refrained from linking or attributing said tweet, so i will also refrain out of respect and privacy for the original poster). the thing i noticed was that the tweet was not made by a victim but by a man, and i think there is a huge takeaway here for men who want to be feminist allies.

it’s my belief that said individual made that tweet with the deliberate intent to, as a man, open a discussion about a volatile topic safely so women who were affected could add their voices without feeling isolated or alone. the individual also made it a priority to not talk over the women who came forth, but to use his platform and relative security to amplify their voices and stand behind them as a supporter. to me this was a significant and important act, and men who want to learn from this event should look to that as an example of good conduct and what being an ally to a cause really means


#8

sigh

So… This weekend wasn’t very fun, and in honesty, my heart has been in a bit of pain regarding Nick.

For some context, I met Nick when he was still working at Rev3. We’d become friends by chance and we started to talk regularly. I’d also been moderating his Twitch channel for a while and was proud of our small but positive and chill community.

But… it was like Austin said in today’s episode, there were certain things I’ve known in taking to mutual friends/acquaintances that we’d kept on the down low about out of respect of their wishes. And part of was hoping they were isolated instances but as we got closer to now, it was becoming more clear something was very wrong and this was a problem.

The feelings around it have been awful. Part of it is an anger and frustration of people berating those involved or close to Nick, especially victims who want to distance themselves from it and especially friends of mine.

The other part though is just the feeling of betrayal. I’ve known Nick for sometime now and he’d been extremely kind and warm to me, and especially to a lot of my friends. He’s also the reason that I have quite a lot of the friends I’ve had now and I just think back to times we’ve had heart to heart talks about things and just…

My heart is broken. Everything that ever felt good from that friendship feels like a lie, and it’s been intensely frustrating when I have people coming at me and my friends with their hot takes on it, even being confrontational. Of course I’m upset and angry, but it hurts in ways that I’ve been unable to talk about with people that just don’t understand how this has been making my heart ache.

Still, I’m glad for the friends who I’ve been able to talk to about it this weekend, and I’m glad Waypoint talked about it in such a civil and understanding way. Still it’s hard to think what happens from here.

It’s like nails being pounded into my heart, and even though those nails will eventually be removed, it’s going to leave some deep holes that will never heal.


#10

I was a fan of some of the stuff Nick was a part of and followed him on Twitter until this weekend. This was upsetting news, but I hope this all leads to consequences for his behavior.

Thank you to Waypoint for talking about this. I think you handled a tough subject as best as you could have.


#11

I always got strange vibes from Nick and had him muted for a while, glad that my instincts were right.

I also had no idea he was Porter Robinson’s brother. This was a weird week to learn that information.


#12

I’m glad Waypoint talked about this openly. This was a weird story/scandal, it broke in a weird way, and the fact that it was (to some degree at least) an open secret before it became public knowledge makes it more unpleasant in my opinion. I agree with Jaguar that the tweet that started the domino chain was an example of good ally behavior, but I’m disappointed at how long it took for someone to take that step. Part of that has to do with the culture around games that discourages women from speaking out against popular male figures, and that absolutely needs to change, but I think the attitudes of the men who knew about this and didn’t try to do anything also needs to change. I’m not saying passive aggressive subtweets are the best possible approach, but as Jaguar said it at least opened discussion about a volatile topic safely.


#13

Thanks for sharing a really personal point of view on it.


#14

I really liked Nick’s stuff. I liked watching him and Tara Long hold down a sinking ship called Rev3 by themselves until the channel was shuttered. I liked watching his random Youtube bullshit before Polygon hired him, when he’d play whatever he liked with his friends, mainly Spelunky and Paper Mario. And Car Boys and the first bits of Touch the Skyrim are really fucking good. Car Boys has this dumbass moment a few episodes in that makes me laugh until I cry -every time- because it’s completely out of nowhere.

I had sort of wondered if he was a little bit of a creep or something, but I was still pretty blindsided by this like most people, and it really fucking sucks to have to figure out if I can ever watch Car Boys again. It sounds so dumb to talk about this stupid ass Youtube series about a busted video game but it was really funny, and I like really funny things. Polygon’s video of Griffin McElroy eating the banana showed up for me on Youtube to watch again, and, well, Nick’s sitting in it and it actually makes me not want to watch it. Maybe I’ll get over that?

I hope it’s not shitty of me to be thinking about this in these terms, although the podcast takes a question essentially about relating to a person’s work, so, I guess that makes it okay.

I’m disappointed like many others.


#15

yeah, it was a really wild thing to see go down, I was a pretty big Nick Robinson fan, well Nick and Griffin I don’t know of a ton of stuff he did solo but still. And there is definitely some vaguely gross voyeuristic part of me that is desperate for details and evidence, not even to prove it, just to know the shape and scope of it. some it is even just my anxiety which means I don’t like having unknowns. but at the end of the day there are enough people who I trust to not throw around accusations without solid reasons saying there is something to all this for me to have basically purged Nick’s social media out of my life. at some point if somebody tells you the house is on fire you get out of the house you don’t go check to see for yourself.

There’s another level to all this where I kind of feel betrayed that all these people who knew something was up never said anything, like how long has Austin known Things, I find myself wondering. it’s ultimately unfair, I think because it’s not Austin’s or any other confidant’s story to tell and I am never going to blame a victim of harassment or abuse for not coming forward (it actually kind of connects to the dangers of the hero narrative from the earlier part of the podcast). if I was someone closer to Nick like Griffin or the other former interns I might have more justification for wanting to have been told what they knew about this person I was associating myself with, but even then you have to know somebody pretty well before you tell them a terrible secret about their other friend and I don’t know what those relationships are like. so in the end I’m not blaming anybody but Nick for this and it is probably unhelpful to mine the depths of hypotheticals and second guess peoples interior motives. But I needed to work all this out and and posting it here helps me exorcise it and hopefully it will help somebody else who is grappling with similar feelings.


#16

This really isn’t me saying “I knew it!” because that reinforces the idea that creepos are easily identifiable, but something about Nick always felt off to me. Maybe it’s because I only ever watched content of him with Griffin McElroy, but he seemed to co-opt the good boy humor of Griffin. It never felt genuine coming from Nick.

It’s one of those things that’s hard to define and properly explain. I never thought he was capable of the things he’s done, but in the back of my mind I didn’t like him that much. I watched content he was in because Griffin was in it, not because I wanted to see more of him. I ended up following Nick on Twitter and Tumblr and I enjoyed most of his posts. It’s super weird thinking about how much more I liked his written humor over his spoken humor, even if he was an asshole more often on Twitter.

I’m still disappointed even if I didn’t fully like the guy. There’s a lot of fun memories and content that I can’t rewatch or talk about again. I’m not the kind of person who can separate good content from awful people.

I hope we get more from Polygon about this. I’d be upset if they kept it as hush hush as possible.


#17

This was a great and much-needed podcast exploring all angles of something like this with respect and knowledge, as well as breaking down the steps of what has happened to make the current situation clear to anyone who had been trying to follow the thread on Twitter.

Thanks, Waypoint :slight_smile:

I’m a little curious about the episode title being the person’s name when the conversation was less about them and more about this type of situation. I think the episode is about much more than this specific person and they’re not really owed that type of front-and-center attention. But maybe that’s the point? I don’t know.


#18

Thank you. It was something I was afraid to talk about the past couple days, but hearing Waypoint’s talk today helped remind me that this community is good and would understand how I’d be feeling after all of this.


#20

That’s kind of a weird rant - I don’t think anybody is saying “victims shouldn’t have proof”, or that concrete proof doesn’t matter. I think the point Rob was trying to make is that when you’re not the appropriate authority for the proof to be brought to (like, say, if you’re a listener of Nick’s podcasts), or if it’s an incident or pattern of incidents for which proof can’t exist (like repeated off-colour comments at lunch break or whatever), then listen and believe and don’t ask for proof. There’s no sense in which that’s a disempowering or defeatist narrative for victims, like you’re implying.


#21

Can’t say I can abide by this perspective. Supporting victims means supporting their right to withhold sensitive information. The tone in this post comes off as stranglely victim-blamey and selective when it comes to which victims’ voices to prioritize; we aren’t entitled to their emotional labor, and they’re not obligated to provide it.


#22

Somehow I’ve not actually watched anything featuring Nick Robinson in any way, although I knew he had a hand in Rev3 and Polygon and a vague sense that a lot of people saw him as this good soft boy of games journalism / personality driven shows.
That said this was quite shocking regardless, from seeing out of context retweets speaking vaguely about the things that occurred, to seeing the whole thing blow open and the numerous victims of harassment bravely stepping forward with their experiences.

Maybe it’s just the few outlets I follow (such as Waypoint) but I’ve felt a strange sense of joy and justice that the surrounding community have approached this so respectfully towards the victims.
It’s just so refreshing to see after controversies like JonTron–a YouTube creator I used to follow–had a fervent group of people, mainly gamergaters and 4chan folks, defending them or supporting their racist anti-immigrant views.

Dear me, it’s been a weird last week, with some deeply affecting personal tragedy weighing on the mind as well. Huge outpouring of support for the victims of harassment, hopefully this sets a precedent for future dealings with beloved internet celebrities and their repulsive behaviour.