New allegations of sexual assault surface against established game devs


CW: Sexual assault

Numerous game developers have publicly revealed new allegations of sexual assault, perpetrated by prominent males in the game business.

The reports come years immediately after the #MeToo movement initially swept by means of Hollywood, outing potent males who utilized their influence typically against up-and-comers. People today privy to comparable sexual assault and misconduct in the game business have considering that wondered if the movement would sweep by means of the game business. Today’s stories – not all of which are even accounted for in this brief report – will virtually definitely not be the final.

Final evening, Nathalie Lawhead, an award winning game developer, designer, and artist, published a lengthy retelling of their rape in the post, “Calling out my rapist.”

Even though only published earlier these days, Lawhead’s post has kicked off a wider conversation about abuse at the hands of, in their words, “game business legends,” and prompted other developers to disclose comparable misconduct they’ve skilled. Even so, quite a few nevertheless say that they do not really feel protected sharing their personal experiences for worry that their stories will fall on uncaring ears.

In the weblog post, Lawhead identified composer Jeremy Soule, identified greatest for his operate on Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls franchise, but whose operate has been integrated in dozens of games, as the alleged assailant who attacked her about 10 years ago.

As factors went on, he began to develop into additional misogynistic and sexist,” Lawhead wrote. Their recounting described a friendship that went south as he created undesirable advances, putting himself in the part of the victim. The post also describes subsequent contracting jobs exactly where Soule and males at the head of studios would routinely demean and gaslight Lawhead.

“He talked about the mystical energy girls hold more than males with sex,” Lawhead wrote of Soule. “How males are helpless and they have to have sex. How he desires sex, and a connection, so he can create his music.”

Lawhead, who has considering that won the Independent Games Festival Nuovo award for Tetrageddon Games in 2015 followed by awards and nominations for Every little thing is Going to be OK, tweeted the blog post saying to share it and place it “on complete blast. I never want any lady to ever get hurt by him once more.”

Soule’s social media presence, like Twitter, Bandcamp, Facebook, and Instagram, have either been deactivated or have had all content material deleted.

Lawhead’s post prompted yet another notable game designer and writer, Zoe Quinn, to name game developer Alec Holowka, greatest identified for the games Aquaria and the well known indie game Evening in the Woods, as the man who allegedly sexually assaulted and emotionally abused them when going to Winnipeg. The connection took location shortly shortly following a prior alleged sexual assault committed against Quinn, who had just began their game improvement profession.

Holowka and Quinn have been romantically involved, although their connection devolved into physical assault and emotional abuse. His mood swings, according to Quinn, resulted in Quinn regularly hiding in the bathroom.

“I was scared to leave,” Quinn wrote. “I was scared to inform any one…When I got house [from Winnipeg], I sent a cordial and friendly breakup e-mail. He lashed out and banned me from an indie games neighborhood he ran…He attempted to ruin the profession I’d barely began. To a degree it worked.”

Whilst Quinn and Lawhead’s posts commanded most of the conversation about sexual abuse in the game business these days, their posts prompted other members of the game industry to bring their personal stories to light for the initially time — and some to repeat their stories, which have been previously virtually wholly ignored.

Mina Vanir, comms specialist at Black Forest Games, resurfaced a thread she posted virtually a year ago, this time naming her alleged assailant along with the chat logs in between her and Vlad Micu, a game business biz dev consultant.

“Now a lot of brave girls came forward and gave me strength,” Vanir wrote these days. “It is been two years now. Final week I discovered that I was not the final. I hope what I am going to do now will assist.”

We’ve reached out to Bethesda Softworks and Holowka for comment.


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