Yesterday, a thread full of conversations between a handful of speedrunners gained traction on Twitter. Said to be screenshotted from a private Discord, these conversations included derogatory comments about women as well as transphobia and antisemitism.
After some initial hesitation, speedrun charity organisation Games Done Quick said last night that these streamers will no longer represent them at events.
The Twitter thread, posted by a speedrunner named Andrea, contained screenshots of conversations primarily involving two fellow speedrunners, R. White Goose, who chronicles the history of speedrunning on his YouTube channel and has done speedruns of games like Super Mario 64 and Goldeneye, and Graviton, who plays games like Doom 64, Goldeneye, and Pilotwings 64.
Graviton had been scheduled to play Doom 64 at the upcoming Awesome Games Done Quick 2019, which takes place in January.
“I’m thinking I might ban women from my discord tbh,” R. White Goose said in one of the screenshots, complaining that they dominated chat and singling out one who he said “fucked 70 dudes,” which he found “disgusting.”
“The worst part isn’t even the trannies,” said Graviton in another screenshot. “It’s like having the tranny fear for all women that are actually normal - you like zooming in on pic looking for adams apple or man hands or the chin.”
In other screenshots, the two—along with a handful of other people—discussed everything from Jordan Peterson to women’s role in society (care-giving, of course) to the “Jewish question,” referring to rhetoric used by the Nazis in the early 1900s.
Initially, GDQ elected not to take action against the speedrunners, saying it couldn’t verify the conversations’ veracity.
“To be clear: the statements made in the reports are unacceptable,” read a message from the official GDQ Twitter account posted yesterday evening.
“They do meet our criteria for action. But we cannot verify that the statements were made, or who made them, due to the private nature of where they were purported to have occurred.”
This did not sit well with Andrea, who felt she’d provided ample evidence, both in the form of Discord screenshots and further information, which she told Kotaku about in a DM shortly afterwards. “I have Discord IDs that are from all messages,” she said, “and they can use those in a report with Discord. I also sent active images from all channels and with userlists and names.”
It didn’t take long for members of the GDQ community to speak up in opposition of GDQ’s decision.
“In regards to your notice of non-action to this evidence, I, as a long time view [sic] and donor, am absolutely disappointed,” one community member said to GDQ on Twitter. “Gaming is already a knife pit for women, POC, and LGBT people. You choosing to do nothing only reinforces that behaviour as acceptable. Smh.”
“Extremely disappointed that Games Done Quick doesn’t feel that this warrants a serious investigation,” said another. “You can’t claim to help children while abiding misogynists, transphobia, and just straight-up nazism.”
A few hours later, GDQ reversed its non-decision.
“After receiving additional information on the situation that was brought to our attention today, we were able to confirm the authenticity of the screenshots we received,” the organisation said. “As such, the people in question will not be representing us at any GDQ events indefinitely.”
It did not specify exactly who “the people in question” are, however. GDQ did not respond to a request for comment.
R. White Goose confirmed to Kotaku last night that he will not be able to participate in future GDQ events, though it’s worth noting that he’s been a divisive figure for a while now and hasn’t done a run at a GDQ since 2014.
“I completely understand GDQ’s decision,” he said in a Twitter DM. “Those screenshots show conversations which contain hurtful concepts, ideas, and conspiracy theories which I have come to fully and completely reject. What I’ve said in the past is indefensible and inexcusable. I completely understand why people are hurt and angry, and the reaction to my comments is absolutely justified.”
Kotaku also reached out to Graviton, but as of publishing, he had yet to reply. He did, however, react to the recent turn of events on Twitter. “When your wrongthink gets you more followers than your GDQ run would have got,” he said.