Videogames, the Me Too movement, Alec Holowka, Jeremy Soule

I don’t remember which thread it was in, but there were a few posts about a couple of game developers getting metoo accusations in the past few days.

These various accusations have convinced me that I’m out of touch enough that I no longer know who’s considered a luminary in the video game industry. I haven’t heard of half of the people being called out as “industry legends”*.

*Not entirely true: I’ve heard many of the names, but wouldn’t have considered them to have any kind of fame or clout.

Jeremy Soule! Nooooooooooooooooooooo.

“Hey baby, did you I did the music for the Elder Scrolls games?”
“Baby? Baby? Hmmmm.”

What did he do?

Also, regarding Telltale Tweet, didn’t they go out of business like over a year ago? I hired their lead technical artist, I was under the impression they folded already.

Travellers Tales, who do the Lego-Franchise (Star Wars, Batman, etc), not Telltale Games.

My bad. I got those confused.

https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-08-27-skyrim-guild-wars-composer-jeremy-soule-accused-of-rape

If you read the blog post about it, it’s actually that and worse. Presumably he said he uses sexuality to create his music, and needs sex to create it. Weird stuff.

I think as a society we have to aim to separate an artist from his or her creations. While we shouldn’t accept behavior like this, we don’t want the artists’ behavior to contaminate their works – many of which involve other people, as in this case.

Yikes. However, couple things there. What’s with the plural form? Them?
Also, it sounds like he used his position as leverage to sleep with this … woman? person? That doesn’t sound like rape to me. She? jumped right from “I was desperate for the job.” to “he raped me.” There is a lot of ambiguity there.

Would be interested in his response. No word on that yet.

There have been some other names in the past few days, but Jeremy Soule and Alexis Kennedy seem to be the biggest ones. Certainly the most notable in the industry, if not household names.

I just read the blog post. I know the accusation is serious and should be treated with seriousness, but the blog post comes off as very whiney, immature and written by someone who is always on the brink of an emergency and insanity. There is so much self drama there. Makes me question this person’s state of mind.

Source WHO

2.1 Definition of sexual violence
The terms “rape”, “sexual assault”, “sexual abuse” and “sexual violence” are
generally considered to be synonymous and are often used interchangeably.
However, these terms may have very different meanings (and implications) in
varying situations and locations. More significantly, legal definitions of specific
types of sexual violence may differ from the medical and social definitions,
and furthermore, can vary between countries and even within countries. It is
important, therefore, that health care professionals are aware of the legal
definitions of sexual violence within their own jurisdiction, particularly as it
applies to the age of consent and marriage.

Sexual violence is defined as, “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act,
unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic women’s sexuality,
using coercion, threats of harm or physical force, by any person regardless of
relationship to the victim, in any setting, including but not limited to home
and work” (1). According to this definition, a very wide range of behaviours,
from rape at gun-point to sexual coercion under a threat of dismissal (i.e. with
false agreement), would be classed as an act of sexual violence.
False agreement to sexual activity can be obtained in a variety of ways; for
instance, through threats of physical violence, threats of withholding benefits
(such as a promotion at work or a good grade), psychological pressure or
blackmail. Agreement in such circumstances does not amount to freely given
consent. The same is true in cases of sexual acts involving individuals who are

Rape is bad, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with drawing artistic inspiration from sex (presumably; I’m not artistic.)

Abusers and rapists should be known and held accountable. Public Twitter accusations are a seriously problematic approach. All it takes is for one angry person who was not abused to bring a mob down on somebody and ruin their career/life. It’s a “guilty until proven innocent” platform. One fraudulent claim that is exposed and suddenly all of the other legitimate accusers will be completely discredited.

I don’t know how these folks should get their stories out there, but I certainly hope they’re prepared for enormous backlash. The entire situation is a giant mess and makes me feel sad for the industry.

Frankly, it makes me want to leave the industry, but then again, it’s naive to think this isn’t happening in every industry. Ugh…

Before MeToo, they simply didn’t. That’s part of the point of the whole thing.

I recognize that. I just worry they’ll end up potentially far worse off than they were before. Without proof, if the accused sue for libel, what happens? Like I said, it’s awful all around. I just spent 2 years up close and personal with multiple lawsuits related to similar activity (as Trustee of a school) and even when the claims are brought with evidence through legal channels and the victims are children, nobody “wins.” It’s a giant sad mess. To bring similar claims without solid evidence is super duper risky if the accused are belligerent.

We’ve been existing in the MeToo world for what a couple/few years… the other one for generations, decades of abuse. I think we can try and find middle ground with the latter in place instead of absolutely no or little progress that we had with the former in place.

Preliminary response:

Soule denied Lawhead’s allegations Tuesday in a text message to Kotaku : “These 11 year old allegations are false. I am shocked and saddened that these outrageous claims have been made.”

Alec Holowka, the Night in the Woods dev accused of sexual abuse this week, has taken his own life:

Boy, that is rather sad. But, reading her statement, it also seems that she is implicitly confirming the accusations.

What a mess all around.