We’d like everyone to please keep in mind that there are marginalized members of our community living in all kinds of fear in our current climate. Our community is entitled to its fear as much as it is entitled to its joy.
I can see your view. I’m speaking on my personal experience of more than one woman over the years confiding to me of sexual harassment and / or assault. They spent a lot of time and grief choosing whether or not to call out their abuser(s), and I told both of them I would support whatever choice they made (and continue to make). I still do.
I’m not blaming them for anything, nor am I asking them for anything, nor prioritizing one victim over another. The effects of any violence ricochets around in someone, and when they confide in you, some of that hurt ends up in you. If I ever lightened their burden, it was totally worth it.
This whole thing set me off (sorry about that) and I can barely keep my handle on this. I have no idea how they’re so strong.
I was talking with some friends about this earlier… At this point as things are still being sorted out, we realize for now we need to focus on supporting and allowing people who have been affected to speak at their own pace, with people who will make them feel safe and respected.
There’s… So much complexity that surrounds this and it’s important we think about those directly involved and what they need right now.
In time, the way forward will present itself but for now, there’s a lot of confusion and hurt. It’s okay to feel frustrated and angry. I’ve been hopping wildly back and forth between that. But we just want to make sure that the effects of all of this create a better space and mind for people, so for the time, we’re just trying to be careful.
We’re glad people want to stand up for what is right, but we also want to make sure people don’t get more hurt and that they’re given ample time to heal.
So I rarely listen to Waypoint Radio, and was only a casual fan of Nick (am a much bigger fan of the McElroys). I am extremely disappointed and angry about what Nick has been doing. Still the question I have after all the discussion I’ve seen on this and from listening to the Nick Robinson discussion part of this podcast a couple of times is, what are we supposed to believe about Nick Robinson the person? I heard a couple of times on this podcast the words “sexual predator” used in reference to the situation. Is Nick a sexual predator? I don’t really know and I honestly found some of the discussion on the podcast confusing in regards to this. At a couple points they talk about him as a predator or an abuser, is he those things? Were women abused? I’m not denying any claims at all, I believe all the victims 100%. Maybe I’m hung up on terminology for no good reason but I have so many questions. WHAT is Nick Robinson to us and the wider online gaming community? Is he a sexual predator, a sexual abuser, or is he a reprehensible creep who can or could be redeemed? Do the results of a Vox Media investigation change these things in any way? Would his firing prove something? Would it be punishment enough? Could he get into criminal or civil legal trouble? What will his legacy in the games press be if he was forced to leave it? What, if anything, could he do to redeem himself? Honestly I’m just confused about almost everything these days so I understand if I’m the only one.
There was an incident a few months ago where Nick made an extremely crass tweet about Krystal from Star Fox Adventures. I was initially a little taken aback by the overwhelming, almost 24 hours of think pieces and tweet threads. Admittedly, it was a bad tweet, but the response just didn’t seem… proportional. He got dragged by an entire section of games journalism that he seemed to be a part of. Which is when it occurred to me that this was more than just a response to one tweet, it was a chance for people to let off some pent-up anger. It was pretty clear that there was something else simmering under the surface.
I always thought it was weird that people just went on as if nothing happened after that.
The other think that is sort of nagging at me with this whole Nick Robinson thing is that there’s an element of “There but for the grace of God go I” to it. I’m pretty sure I’m a soft boy, I’m certainly not a hard boy. but I also have thoughts and feelings and impulses that are not entirely consistent with the person I present myself to be. Is the only difference that I am not doing it to lay a trap and feed a victim to the monster which is my baser instincts? is the difference that I maintain the facade even in private? or does is it no longer a facade if you maintain it all the time? I guess it is just unsettling to see the devil wearing a friendly face and realize how much it looks like your own.
think of it as an invitation to think about how you interact with the women in your life
well I sure am wearing the sheep’s clothing anyway, I think I am probably mostly just a sheep though and not a wolf. also I realized a few minutes ago that I forgot to take my cipralex this morning which might be a factor in this whole train of thought.
Stuff like this is why I have a hard time calling myself a fan of anyone. It’s so easy to become disappointed when you learn someone isn’t perfect… or worse.
I don’t really know much about the guy in question(this forum and an odd tweet here and there are the extent of my social media experience) but I appreciate the way the discussion was handled. Have seen this kind of thing play out in both good and bad ways in workplaces over the year and it’s a minefield trying to stay objective.
So, I was listening to this episode at work tonight and thinking a lot about the idea of power dynamics between creators and fans as was discussed on the show…
I have always found something strange about the creator/fan dynamic. The power creators wield over their fan base is used either as a shield to distance themselves from people who may enjoy their work that they don’t know or–as been the case here–to exploit them. But on the flip side of this we have fans who (and I’m mostly speaking for myself here) look to creators, beyond their content, to potentially fill voids in their lives. Escapism though consumption of content is the obvious way, but they might also see something really awesome that person created and think that person might make a good friend and so they praise that person and a kind of trust in that person develops. Especially if, like in this case, the creator fosters an inviting and trustworthy persona.
This trust is unwarranted. We do not need to give our trust to people we do not know. Just because we become familiar with a persons work does not mean we get to be their friend or that we know them. I keep seeing this happen. It’s happened to me in the past. Hell it happened with the formation of this site during the 72hr livestream! I was introduced to someone who’s work I was previously unfamiliar with and really grew to appreciate them quite quickly. But I do not really know this person. This person is not my friend. This person could be the Brooklyn Butcher for all I know.
In an ideal world we’d all be friends sharing our content with each other and this power dynamic wouldn’t be necessary. However, we live in a capitalist society that, through the very construction of its hierarchies, creates alienation. I do think the power dynamic stems from that in some ways.
In an episode of Logged Off (maybe the first one?) Danika and Sam talk about how friends are made online… and it sounds very much like online friendship is a meritocracy based entirely around content creation. Content creators who enjoy each others work surely have a much easier time contacting each other and saying they like each others work and should be friends than the person who… just appreciates the creators work and has nothing.
Lest this start to sound even remotely victim-blamey I want to say I’m highlighting this stuff, not to tell other people who fall into the fan category to stop putting their trust in creators, but to say to creators… Hey, y’all have a lot of power over a lot of people. Some of us are really lonely, suffer from social anxiety, have few friends, and look to your content to fill in gaps, and you need to be more careful with your audiences. Please.
When I was younger and on the fan side of the fence I got legitimately depressed that I couldn’t be friends with these people online. I’ve tried. I’ve given up. But it really really pisses me off when people who otherwise create cool shit use their power to exploit their fanbase.
But maybe I’m wrong and my giving up my ability to trust is the reason I’m bad at making friends. lol
Sorry if this came across as incoherent. It’s 2am.
an interesting side-thing to all of this is (i think Patrick touched on it a bit in the podcast) how the fan-celeb relation shifted from a very clear-cut distant admiration sort of thing to a “i can just talk to this person on the internet!” thing recently. and i think a lot of today’s fanbase building is based a lot on either being easily approachable or fostering some sort of sense of community identity (the most obvious/direct example to me is Twitch streamers reading out donation messages or being like “hey wassup vegetaserval99 welcome to the wolfpack” when someone subscribes).
and i think although approachability is a very common uh, brand-building(?) strategy these days, from a fan’s perspective it’s very easy to mistake that for a more significant connection to a person than what it is. and i think that’s not that big an issue when the ‘celeb’ is a responsible person who at least partly understands the dangers of that interaction and can keep themselves at a distance, but when someone opens themselves up like that to someone who is manipulative it is super dangerous.
i think we as a society still haven’t figured a lot of things out about internet social power dynamics since we kinda thrust ourselves into the deep end of it, but i hope that incidents like these, shitty as they are, help us create a safer environment as we learn to deal with these things.
also: thank you for talking about this on the podcast! i wasn’t expecting a lot of websites to cover this while it’s still happening, but i think it’s important and y’all had a really good discussion considering the fact you’re limited in what you can and can’t say right now.
I would say the power dynamic is adding to existing ones. Men have been using their celebrity with their fans who admire them for a very long time - but you’re right in saying that the internet makes those lines very hard to perceive and it makes that contact and communication extremely easy.
But celebs of all stripes hold a lot of that power and need to be the responsible ones, as you said. I’ve seen this play out in game development circles at a few levels and people really need to not mix their audiences with their sex lives unless there’s a re-adjustment of that relationship. When someone wants something from you from the jump - validation, attention, a job, you cannot and will not use that identified desire as the basis for introducing inappropriate behavior. Because it is inappropriate.
But as someone who has been on both sides of the fence now - it’s hard for me to always describe what an appropriate relationship is outside of “don’t fuck your fans”. I’ve become friends with people who have found me through my work. I’ve met peers and bonded with them over stuff. A lot of it just has to do with recognizing essential humanity and that’s a two way street.
A fan who only sees my work (or anyone’s work) and not that I’m just a regular person is probably not going to be a good candidate for a friend though.
This sucks with what going on with Nick Robinson with how much of his work I enjoy. It sucky that, in a way, he did things behind my or his audience backs. I will stand by what the waypoint team said is enjoy the things they made but be sure to move on when things go downward. I enjoy Jontorn’s videos but wont continue with how he is now.
During the discussion, it kept coming up about how he had an image built up around inclusivity, and granted, I didn’t really see anything he did on Rev3 or his solo YouTube stuff, but I was wracking my brain to try and figure out why people had that impression, and I’m wondering if Griffin’s reputation rubbed off on him. I could be wrong, but I’m starting to think he may have been getting by through absorbing the goodwill that the people he worked with had built up through association with them.
I guess this is a long way of saying I agree.
And yeah, a lot of Polygon videos have become “that thing I used to like” which seems even weirder since I used to like them and watch them as early as last Thursday. But it’s not like this is the first time this has happened with a person who created things I enjoyed in the last, oh, say, 3 years almost to the month.
Clarification: I’m not comparing Nicks case to that of Roman Polanski or Woody Allen, in case it seems like I am
I feel kind of bad for this whole thing resulting in me (mostly) becoming introspective. I’ve never done anything as bad as this, but I was definitely a creepy fuck to at least 3 or 4 girls when I was 13-16. I’m worried I haven’t grown and changed as much as I want to think I have. And I hate some of the weird dismissive conclusions I’ve come to, like this one girl who I’ve known since we were young kids (someone I was definitely explicitly a creep towards when we were younger), told me she thinks I’m cute once. And somehow some part of me wants that to mean that the creepy behavior towards her is somehow OK or forgiven just because she didn’t think I was physically unattractive, according to a comment she literally made in passing (like in a hallway to different classes passing).
Aside from the introspection though, I’ve finally gotten around to looking deep into the Roman Polanski and Woody Allen sexual abuse cases, I’ve been meaning to for a while now. I’m too young for these particular cases to ever really be apart of my media-intake. The most recent example of this sort of thing coming to light being the Bill Cosby case. Where as originally my interest in these horrible cases was likely more do to morbid curiosity than much anything else, now I feel a sort of obligation to look into them to maybe learn something relevant to preventing these abuses from happening again.
I also keep coming back to how messed up so many aspects of US Society are though, because a lot of horrible people just get away this stuff, way more than seemingly anyone wants to acknowledge. How many people are currently against Colin Kaepernick over some activism, meanwhile the NFL knowing harbors rapists and murders (many of them likely serial offenders). Aaron Hernandez (allegedly) killed at least as many people as the Boston Bombers, where’s his “Patriot’s Day” movie? Is he somehow less of a villain just because the death and destruction he caused (probably) wasn’t politically motivated?
Sorry if it sounds like I lost the plot anywhere, I’m thinking about a lot right now.
So far the people I follow from video making, writing, and any sort of interest I have are people that are up front in ways that they aren’t hiding any dark past or are willing to admit to mistakes and are willing o improve. I think that the best way to know if the people you are following are true to you.
As much as I like Daniel, I feel like she exaggerates a lot that she likes.
So so so so so glad Waypoint talked about this issue. I was kind of out of the loop on it because I was out of town without internet, so the news hit me pretty hard when I saw it all on Monday. But it was good to hear the Waypoint crew talk about it in a mature and respectful way that gave context and thought to the situation. Without that, I would’ve been working entirely off overwhelming Twitter bullshit and people demanding receipts for their own personal (perverse) pleasure.