A number of women have made a string of accusations against various men in the games industry. It began yesterday with Nathalie Lawhead’s blog post titled “calling out my rapist,” in which she accused Jeremy Soule, a veteran music composer (The Elder Scrolls, Guild Wars, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic) of raping her.
In her post, Lawhead claims Soule took advantage of her precarious and isolated situation, going into detail on the pressure he exerted on her job due to the high level of respect he held in both the company and the industry.
“He made advances on me and I explained that I didn’t want this and wanted a friendship. He was very threatening, and didn’t listen. He made it clear that it’s “him or bust”. He raped me. Throughout this time Jeremy acted like a victim, and blamed women he was in relationships with (or forced relationships on) for what he was doing.”
Lawhead went on to claim that, years later, Soule used his reputation to try and pressure her new employers to relocate her to Vancouver and live with him.
i wrote a post that you should read calling out my r*pist & naming names https://t.co/Cc3mHGfiBg please read it if you believe me please share it, please rt it, put it on full blast i don’t want any woman to ever get hurt by him again [TW: sexual assault, game industry “legends”]
Hours later Zoë Quinn—citing Nathalie’s post as motivation—accused Alec Holowka, an indie developer, (Aquaria, Night in the Woods) of abuse. Quinn claims that, after she was sexually assaulted by an un-named game developer, Holowka invited her to live with him in Winnipeg for two weeks, promising that he would purchase her return ticket home, something he never did. Quinn further alleges that Holowka abused, controlled and isolated her, not allowing her to leave the apartment without her. The full post is below.
Quinn was followed by others. Adelaide Gardner, a D&D and tabletop role-playing game content creator, accused Luc Shelton (Splash Damage) of assault and other forms of abuse. Mina Vanir, (Black Forest Games) accused Vlad Micu (VGVisionary) as the censored party in a private post from October 2018. In the post, the censored commenter, allegedly Micu, admits to pressing his erection against Vanir and repeatedly touching her despite being slapped away and repeatedly told no. Both posts can be found below
As of writing, none of the accused men has responded publicly to the claims.
The games industry has remained largely untouched by the Hollywood MeToo movement which began in October 2017. Many prominent women in the industry say this is because of the unbalanced management positions and close relationships the abusers have with other men they work with.
Since we’re on the topic of Alec Holowka and other game devs who are sexual assaulters, Luc Shelton of Splash Damage assaulted me and gaslit me and at least one other woman two years ago and plenty (former) mutuals told me to stay quiet about it but I won’t ever shut up anymore.
I was going to make it public anyway, but after I was told I should keep quiet because I could be marked as a potential risk by HR people, I couldn’t wait any longer. Please read it. Please share it. Please talk about it. https://t.co/FQQZDRx96v
Lead photo via Artistry Entertainment (CC BY SA 2.0)