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Alec Holowka (Night in the Woods, TowerFall) accused of sexual assault [Update: Alec Holowka has reportedly passed away] [See staff posts/threadmarks]

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Psychonaut

Member
Jan 11, 2018
2,431
Fuck, I am so sorry that this is the life that Zoe has been forced to live. If she has been able to push through all the bullshit of from five years ago, then I'm sure she can tough it out now. But I still wouldn't wish this on anyone.

The original line I saw on this was something like "Night in the Woods creator accused of abuse." It still fucking sucks that a co-creator of one of my favorite games of all time is a sack of shit, but I would have been devastated if this were Scott. I hope Benson and all of this dude's past collaborators stand by Zoe and give her all the support they can.
 

HooAmEye

Member
May 17, 2019
740
maybe the problem isnt gamer culture but their coworkers who somehow are always so shocked and didnt suspect a thing despite spending so much time around them
Except that that is often a very real thing. You don't spend every moment with your coworkers, they aren't obligated to tell you of their past or private moments. Victims don't come forward, oppressors don't admit it. Is it really a surprise that their fellows might actually not know what is going on?
 

Juan29.Zapata

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,764
Colombia
Holy shit, it's Zoe, god damn. Poor woman has gone through a lot. Fuck this guy. What a piece of shit. If it weren't for the other devs, I'd feel bad for having purchased NITW.

Just for your FYI, two of the three devs of the game founded a new studio (not including the POS) called The Glory Society, so I don't think they are currently affiliated with him, but it'll be good to see what their response is.

Bless Zoe for being this strong. Hope this helps her and others heal.
 
Oct 28, 2017
193
Fucking hell. Massive kudos to Zoe for being brave enough to come forward like this, especially after all the GG harassment she’s endured. Hopefully this guy gets what’s coming to him.
 

Herr Starr

Member
Oct 26, 2017
429
Norway
maybe the problem isnt gamer culture but their coworkers who somehow are always so shocked and didnt suspect a thing despite spending so much time around them
No. People can be absolute scumbags to their victims while still acting all charming and kind towards others. Unless a victim specifically told them, it's unlikely that they could possibly realize what kind of person the perpetrator was.
 

aerobinson

Member
Jun 6, 2019
95
Nobody should have to experience this shit once let alone multiple times. And having the courage to speak up--more than once!--is nothing short of amazing. I couldn't do it. Hell, I couldn't hope for rehabilitation for that scumbag like Zoe. Somebody would be six feet under before it was all said and done.
 

Joqu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,669
The Waffle Kingdom
Fuck, I feel so bad for Zoe. She has gone through so much shit. Only now reading about that Jeremy Soule thing too, fucking hell.

Holy shit, it's Zoe, god damn. Poor woman has gone through a lot. Fuck this guy. What a piece of shit. If it weren't for the other devs, I'd feel bad for having purchased NITW.

Just for your FYI, two of the three devs of the game founded a new studio (not including the POS) called The Glory Society, so I don't think they are currently affiliated with him, but it'll be good to see what their response is.

Bless Zoe for being this strong. Hope this helps her and others heal.
Also important to note however, is that it's Holowka who talked about there being new NITW content in the work only recently. NITW was such a special game to me, so even if the things I cared the most about (the writing being the absolute highlight) were created by others it sounds like he's intrinsically tied to the IP? Ugh.
 

neon/drifter

Member
Apr 3, 2018
1,293
Fuck, I feel so bad for Zoe. She has gone through so much shit. Only now reading about that Jeremy Soule thing too, fucking hell.



Also important to note however, is that it's Holowka who talked about there being new NITW content in the work only recently. NITW was such a special game to me, so even if the things I cared the most about (the writing being the absolute highlight) were created by others it sounds like he's intrinsically tied to the IP? Ugh.
But I mean... If a sequel were made it wouldn't hurt to have an updated gameplay (programming) and different music (composer)

Alec could easily be replaced and the world of NITW would never lose its charm.

That said, I just hope Zoe can breathe a little easier sooner than later. And that Finji won't be taken down with Alec.
 

janusff

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
9,799
Austin, TX
what a harrowing read for the morning. feel so sorry for zoe, hope she recovers from this trauma quickly. and wow fuck alec. back when i was on twitter regularly, i'd see him retweeted constantly so the name rang out to me as soon as i heard. hadn't yet got night in the woods but i wanted to eventually get it. don't think i will now.
 

Just_a_Mouse

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,978
maybe the problem isnt gamer culture but their coworkers who somehow are always so shocked and didnt suspect a thing despite spending so much time around them
The problem is a toxic culture that violently attacks victims when they try to come forward. Zoe and others have been dragged through hell and back.
 

Tigerfog

Member
Oct 28, 2017
147
Montreal
I'm in complete shock. NitW was one of my favorite adventure games.
Props to Zoe for speaking up. I hope she'll get over it and will have enough support this time around.
 
Jun 20, 2019
597
maybe the problem isnt gamer culture but their coworkers who somehow are always so shocked and didnt suspect a thing despite spending so much time around them
The Golden State Killer worked at a grocery chain warehouse for decades without any of his coworkers suspecting what he was. Do you think that’s “the problem” too?
 

RpgN

Member
Oct 25, 2017
517
The Netherlands
maybe the problem isnt gamer culture but their coworkers who somehow are always so shocked and didnt suspect a thing despite spending so much time around them
I can tell you first hand that it’s easy to hide and manipulate without others being aware. In my case, a family member was not aware for a good while until I came forward.

I’m sure there will be assholes who try to turn a blind eye, but don’t assume all do the same.
 

Joqu

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,669
The Waffle Kingdom
But I mean... If a sequel were made it wouldn't hurt to have an updated gameplay (programming) and different music (composer)

Alec could easily be replaced and the world of NITW would never lose its charm.

That said, I just hope Zoe can breathe a little easier sooner than later. And that Finji won't be taken down with Alec.
I agree, I don't need him involved in the slightest. I admit I really liked NITW's music but there's nothing irreplaceable about him. But what I'm saying is that I'm worried he has like, co-ownership of the IP. Wouldn't that be a possibility? Or do we know it's all Finji or something like that?

Anyway, that's not what's most important here of course. I hope Zoe can heal.
 

Jazzem

Member
Feb 2, 2018
1,636
scott rulz ok

This is a terrible story, but I find it heartening that after everything she’s been through, Zoe still believes in rehabilitation. There are good people in the world.
Yeah I was so taken by that, it's such sheer strength to still believe in redemption when you've experienced what she has. I struggle to fully invest in the concept myself in these extreme cases and I haven't been through even 0.0001% of what Zoe has.
 
Dec 30, 2018
1,681
Is this the same guy?


If so, there is nothing worse than men who pretend to care about women and then turn out to be the biggest abusers of them all.

That's the first tweet that comes up on Google when searching "Alec Holowka twitter"

That being said, I hope this lady gets justice.
 
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Candescence

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,412
Just a side-note, I don't think you need to automatically go "welp, there goes my like for this game" or "welp, not buying this game now" just because someone shitty worked on it, otherwise that would encompass a lot of games. Statistically speaking, sadly, some of your favourite games may have been worked on by terrible people, but that's no reason to throw their less terrible co-workers under the bus as well. The vast majority of games are collaborative efforts. Sometimes you have to put a little more effort into thinking about whether it's worth not supporting a game to spite a specific person or whether it's still worth supporting the other devs even if a little bit of your money might go to that shitty person, because a lot of the time said other devs aren't aware of the terrible stuff their co-worker did, and in the case of the other NiTW devs, just as appalled and horrified about hearing about it as we are.

In this case, I think it's best to hold off until the other folks who were working on NiTW make their own proper statements and settle Alec's involvement (or likely non-involvement, hopefully) in any current and future NiTW material going forward.
 

Kafkaa

Member
Oct 28, 2017
983
Zoe has been through the absolute worst abuse by the dregs of those in gaming circles when GamerGate was in full force, and now to find out that she was physically and mentally abused like this is just awful. She has to be an extremely strong person to put up with all this abuse at the hands of her contemporaries and STILL want to be a part of the community that made her life miserable. This is awful.
 

neon/drifter

Member
Apr 3, 2018
1,293
I agree, I don't need him involved in the slightest. I admit I really liked NITW's music but there's nothing irreplaceable about him. But what I'm saying is that I'm worried he has like, co-ownership of the IP. Wouldn't that be a possibility? Or do we know it's all Finji or something like that?

Anyway, that's not what's most important here of course. I hope Zoe can heal.
Yes. Finji is figuring out how to approach this at the moment. Which is for the best.
 
Aug 22, 2018
124
NC, US
maybe the problem isnt gamer culture but their coworkers who somehow are always so shocked and didnt suspect a thing despite spending so much time around them
Hey, this isn't really how this works. Sex offenders put a lot of effort into concealing their true nature. Jerry Sandusky was amazing at this, along with Larry Nasser. Both deceived people closest to them and their victims, and that's a big part of maintaining a steady stream of victims. It protects the offender from accusations from people lower on the social ladder, along with possibly attracting more victims. I don't know exactly where you're coming at this from, but I understand the impulse to blame everyone around them for not doing enough. Unfortunately, someone being a serial rapist and sex offender can be hidden well for years, with no one near them the wiser.
 

whatsarobot

Member
Nov 17, 2017
380
Is this the same guy?


If so, there is nothing worse than men who pretend to care about women and then turn out to be the biggest abusers of them all.

That's the first tweet that comes up on Google when searching "Alec Holowka twitter"

That being said, I hope this lady gets justice.
What's scarier is that he might not be pretending. People who abuse aren't monsters unlike the rest of us, they are often just sick people themselves who don't get the help they need to avoid harming others. Full accountability for anyone who is assaulting or raping, but they aren't "special bad guys" all that different from other people. Seeing the worst in others should cause us all to look in the mirror and see the small ways those impulses and controlling narratives live in us.
 

adumb

Member
Aug 17, 2019
468
Is this the same guy?


If so, there is nothing worse than men who pretend to care about women and then turn out to be the biggest abusers of them all.

That's the first tweet that comes up on Google when searching "Alec Holowka twitter"

That being said, I hope this lady gets justice.
This doesn't surprise me. Men who truly are allies know the most useful thing they can do is shut their god damn mouths for once, listen, and amplify the voices of women instead. Performative crap like this is a big ol' red flag in my book.
 

chubigans

Vertigo Gaming Inc.
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
757
This doesn't surprise me. Men who truly are allies know the most useful thing they can do is shut their god damn mouths for once, listen, and amplify the voices of women instead. Performative crap like this is a big ol' red flag in my book.
That’s a great point. I really wonder if he’ll come to PAX now. I sure as hell hope he doesn’t.
 

Batatina

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,578
Edinburgh, UK
This is a bit shocking to be honest. I was just listening to Night in the Woods soundtrack on spotify, which was composed by him. He clearly has mental issues he needs to work on, but that can't be an excuse for the suffering he has been causing his partners. I hope they find a way to work through that suffering and come out stronger people. As to him I wonder what he can do to get better as a person, hope he does.

I'm glad the writers of the game apparently didn't know about any of this. They worked remotely so I'm not surprised they don't actually know a lot about each other's lives.
 

Landford

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,033
Man, it is astounding what a piece of shit that guy turned out to be. Holy crap.
Mod Edit: Image removed. Please do not post images that may create cross forum drama.

I mean, dont people there realize evilore is just using them to get some scraps of money? dude has become full pathetic. Irrelevance must really fucking hurts if it makes you become so miserable.
 
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chubigans

Vertigo Gaming Inc.
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
757
I mentioned that earlier. The whole forum is radioactive now, with posts like these:
Mod Edit: Image removed. Please do not post images that may create cross forum drama.

I mean, dont people there realize evilore is just using them to get some scraps of money? dude has become full pathetic. Irrelevance must really fucking hurts if it makes you become so miserable.
Wowwww, gosh I didn’t know how bad it was over there. Wow.
 
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merf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
510
Night in the Woods was the most I've ever been moved by a video game. This news has literally made me sick to my stomach.

Going to spend the day playing NitW and being deeply sad.

Fuck.
 

mbpm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,469
Man, it sucks that it's Zoe Quinn again who had to go through this. She's hella brave. I hope justice is found here, but it may be too late.

I mean, dont people there realize evilore is just using them to get some scraps of money? dude has become full pathetic. Irrelevance must really fucking hurts if it makes you become so miserable.
From what I hear, Lore was always this way. He just didn't have a name, or at times, an opportunity to act out.
 

Kyuur

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,672
Well that sucks.

Sexual assault is not really the right headline here. It's one line from a multi-paragraph recount. Pretty sure she was trying to focus on the emotional abuse, manipulation and shit like getting blacklisted from industry events because of his status.
 

Javier23

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,014
Well that sucks.

Sexual assault is not really the right headline here. It's one line from a multi-paragraph recount. Pretty sure she was trying to focus on the emotional abuse, manipulation and shit like getting blacklisted from industry events because of his status.
What the fuck is this "yes, but..."? What she is describing is simply the most horrific kind of sexual assault, I don't know what the hell to tell you...
 

Jbourne

Member
Oct 31, 2017
4,355
Stop bothering with GAF. It's pointless. No one should be surprised that Tyler Malka defends his fellow rapists.
 

deepFlaw

Member
Oct 25, 2017
14,552
Would be real useful if there was a website where you could search for the name of a game and it'll tell you if, by buying it, you'd be giving money to someone who truly doesn't deserve it. Stuff like this, and the Ion Fury shit, the THQ shit, and however many other things, there's just more than I can possibly keep track of and it'd be so handy if there was an easy way to find all this stuff out pre-purchase. There's no game I'd ever need to play badly enough to give someone like this a sale.

The state of this industry.
I’m not saying that there’s not something valuable in what you’re suggesting, because making it easier for people to be informed about that’s definitely a good idea, but... I do worry a little about what the implications of this could be? Because it can be impossible to know for sure that a game that isn’t listed is actually clean of this, right? NitW is 2 years old, Aquaria’s 12 years old; it can take time for this stuff to come out, if ever. So I guess I’d just hope people wouldn’t feel betrayed if they bought something based off of this.

And I guess you also have the issue of who has the authority to decide what goes up (because as much as I’d believe any accusation by default, once there’s a place like this to just submit this stuff to, you know channers/GG types are gonna start some shit) and if they’re trustworthy to begin with, etc. etc.
 

War3190

Member
Oct 27, 2017
223
It pains me to read the post about the explicit portion. How could you do that to a human being and think it is okay.

Zoe is one tough woman and I am glad she came out with this information, she is definitely someone we should all look up to. I hope that the gaming industry will one day acknowledge her and maybe one day the industry will change for the better.
 

LiK

Member
Oct 25, 2017
20,664
Just a side-note, I don't think you need to automatically go "welp, there goes my like for this game" or "welp, not buying this game now" just because someone shitty worked on it, otherwise that would encompass a lot of games. Statistically speaking, sadly, some of your favourite games may have been worked on by terrible people, but that's no reason to throw their less terrible co-workers under the bus as well. The vast majority of games are collaborative efforts. Sometimes you have to put a little more effort into thinking about whether it's worth not supporting a game to spite a specific person or whether it's still worth supporting the other devs even if a little bit of your money might go to that shitty person, because a lot of the time said other devs aren't aware of the terrible stuff their co-worker did, and in the case of the other NiTW devs, just as appalled and horrified about hearing about it as we are.

In this case, I think it's best to hold off until the other folks who were working on NiTW make their own proper statements and settle Alec's involvement (or likely non-involvement, hopefully) in any current and future NiTW material going forward.
Exactly.
 

Robotoboy

Member
Oct 7, 2018
358
Tulsa, OK
Jesus this is fucked up. This shit always comes out of no where like a fucking truck. I'm glad these pieces of shit are being outted, but damn. It always feels like whiplash. Like BAM! That said I don't really think I'd call Alec a legend. I didn't even know who tf he was. I played Night in the Woods too... and I was like, "who!?"

But yeah he's a monster, so are these other assholes. Hope they get what's coming to them. Not a fan of horrific abusers making games about mental illness.
 
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