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Scott Benson details his history with Alec Holowka

Error 52

Member
Nov 1, 2017
1,782
If somebody is drowning the responsible thing to do is to try to save them. But there should never be an obligation to get pulled into the water with them, not even for a friend, not even for family.

Despite Alecs issues which I absolutely empathize with it should never absolve him of his abusive behavior. To the people in this thread saying that more could have been done to help Alec the folks who were trying to help him weren't trained to handle people with mood disorders, all that could really be done is to encourage him to seek councelling and take his medication, which was what Scott and probably countless others did.

And Alec Holowka dragged down and harmed, over and over.

Sometimes life doesn't give you solution.
His mental health problems weren’t his fault, but they were his responsibility.
 

Spyder_Monkey

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,341
I lost some respect for Scott after reading this.

It seems like everyone knew about Alec and his mental illness but no one ever talked with him about it. It's even sadder because he talks about how one time Bethany made those twitter posts how she's done with Alec and he listened and got better etc.

You would think, after that, they would talk with him more about it but it seems like they were again just silently suffering.

They made a beautiful game about friendship and mental illneses, that friends should help each other but in real life they just didn't do much.

This is just a huge fuck up on all sides.

That "I survived Alec holowka" sounds really bad. He's successful thanks to Alec.
He could have waited some more before badmouthing him. He died just a few days ago. Let his family mourn.
How could you lose respect for Scott when you obviously didn't read his post.

Especially in the bolded. Alec all but left the project midway through its development and was a no-show most of the time anyway. It's a large part of the story. What he helped get the idea going? That's some Michael Scott "I gave you your paycheck therefore I paid for your wedding" bullshit. I don't know what your end goal is with this post besides trying to fence sit. They handled it the best they could given the situation. You think they all wanted Alec to commit suicide? At the end of the day, trying to "both sides" a suicide is super fucked up.
 

whatsarobot

Member
Nov 17, 2017
366
HOLY SHIT. He killed himself? The old thread was no longer being bumped so I didn't see it, and assumed that Scott's write up meant he like, "died" in the sense of cancelled.

Zoe and others clearly dealt with a guy who was acting awful, but also he was someone who was sick. This forum and others need to take this as a serious warning sign, and become able to talk about people doing wrong things without the toxicity of saying they are evil people just because they do bad things. The culture in that last thread seemed to revel in attacking a guy who we must continue to say (clearly and directly) did really horrible stuff.
 
Oct 25, 2017
228
No I don't feel ashamed and this is my real account.

Yes Scott is a victim of abuse and all the other people Alec abused. That's why you should talk about it when it starts and not let it go for years and years. I understand that Scott was afraid it would damage the game or his brand and that Alec was threatening them with suicide, but if you know he's abusing everyone, don't let it bubble in pot for so long.

I dunno man, he's dead and I feel like this was preventable.
1) Scott didn't know for a long time of anyone else Alec abused. The premise of Scott's story is about the isolation of abuse. Which leads into...

2) Scott not realizing he was an abuse victim until after the fact. That his attempt to take care of Alec and respond to his threats led to his own mental and physical deterioration.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
HOLY SHIT. He killed himself? The old thread was no longer being bumped so I didn't see it, and assumed that Scott's write up meant he like, "died" in the sense of cancelled.

Zoe and others clearly dealt with a guy who was acting awful, but also he was someone who was sick. This forum and others need to take this as a serious warning sign, and become able to talk about people doing wrong things without the toxicity of saying they are evil people just because they do bad things. The culture in that last thread seemed to revel in attacking a guy who we must continue to say (clearly and directly) did really horrible stuff.
He was a serial abuser. For years. I'm sorry, but nobody is under any responsibility of playing kid gloves with someone who spent more than a decade destroying people's lives and then moving on to new targets whenever he got bored or whenever they started calling him out for his behavior.

Again, acting like Era (or anyone else) caused this to happen by daring to talk about it is a completely disingenuous read on the situation that basically tells victims they should never call out their abusers and nobody should ever signal boost a victim when they do because it might make the abuser do something brash and stupid.
 

Hero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,332
This forum and others need to take this as a serious warning sign, and become able to talk about people doing wrong things without the toxicity of saying they are evil people just because they do bad things. The culture in that last thread seemed to revel in attacking a guy who we must continue to say (clearly and directly) did really horrible stuff.
I would absolutely call Alec an evil person for what he systematically did to numerous people for years.
 
Oct 25, 2017
5,642
Brooklyn, NY
HOLY SHIT. He killed himself? The old thread was no longer being bumped so I didn't see it, and assumed that Scott's write up meant he like, "died" in the sense of cancelled.

Zoe and others clearly dealt with a guy who was acting awful, but also he was someone who was sick. This forum and others need to take this as a serious warning sign, and become able to talk about people doing wrong things without the toxicity of saying they are evil people just because they do bad things. The culture in that last thread seemed to revel in attacking a guy who we must continue to say (clearly and directly) did really horrible stuff.
regardless of what your intentions are (I'm not looking through your post history), if you establish "people should be really careful what they say about abusers out of concern for said abusers' well-being" as a ground rule for discussions about abuse allegations, it's extremely hard for me to see how that doesn't end up having a huge chilling effect on victims and those who want to support them
 

spineduke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,136
I would absolutely call Alec and evil person for what he systematically did to numerous people for years.
Alec suffered, and made others suffer - but despite it that, its not what I would label as evil. He tried to better himself, he just failed. There are many others like him.

from the Medium post
Like a lot of people who do this, I don’t think he ever consciously did any of this in some knowingly evil way. He was aware that some of his paranoia was due to conditions he suffered from. That’s understandable. But that didn’t stop him from behaving the way he did. This is how he could physically menace people while still thinking he was under constant threat. This is how he could entrap multiple women over the years and still think they were all out to get him. When I’ve talked to people this week a thing that’s been common was his threats to commit suicide if someone didn’t do what he wanted. If someone held him responsible for his actions. Several people messaged me to say that they knew about him, and apologized for never telling me. Now I find myself writing this. Too late. Whatever Alec felt in his heart about what he did to people, what actually made it out into the world was often abusive. Alec is gone. What he did to people remains.
 

fiskyfisko

Banned
Mar 23, 2018
107
How could you lose respect for Scott when you obviously didn't read his post.

Especially in the bolded. Alec all but left the project midway through its development and was a no-show most of the time anyway. It's a large part of the story. What he helped get the idea going? That's some Michael Scott "I gave you your paycheck therefore I paid for your wedding" bullshit. I don't know what your end goal is with this post besides trying to fence sit. They handled it the best they could given the situation. You think they all wanted Alec to commit suicide? At the end of the day, trying to "both sides" a suicide is super fucked up.
My end goal is that a dev of one of my favourite games is dead and I wish this have never happened. I was excited for their games and what would they do together next. This all came out of nowhere.

Also I read Scott's post 2 times.
 

whatsarobot

Member
Nov 17, 2017
366
He was a serial abuser. For years. I'm sorry, but nobody is under any responsibility of playing kid gloves with someone who spent more than a decade destroying people's lives and then moving on to new targets whenever he got bored or whenever they started calling him out for his behavior.

Again, acting like Era (or anyone else) caused this to happen by daring to talk about it is a completely disingenuous read on the situation that basically tells victims they should never call out their abusers and nobody should ever signal boost a victim when they do because it might make the abuser do something brash and stupid.
Definitely not saying we shouldn't signal abusers, especially when their behaviour is serial, but the level of anger, even self-righteousness, in the first thread was scary. You can encourage people to speak out, and boycott purchasing products, without the extreme vitriol.

Edit: to the comment above "Again, acting like Era (or anyone else) caused this to happen by daring to talk about it is a completely disingenuous read on the situation that basically tells victims they should never call out their abusers and nobody should ever signal boost a victim when they do because it might make the abuser do something brash and stupid."

If anything the #metoo movement is helping us realize that culture has a huge impact on abuse. The culture we set around calling people out also does. We can confront abusers, call out their actions, and still humanize them and push for reparative justice.
 

Just_a_Mouse

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,885
HOLY SHIT. He killed himself? The old thread was no longer being bumped so I didn't see it, and assumed that Scott's write up meant he like, "died" in the sense of cancelled.

Zoe and others clearly dealt with a guy who was acting awful, but also he was someone who was sick. This forum and others need to take this as a serious warning sign, and become able to talk about people doing wrong things without the toxicity of saying they are evil people just because they do bad things. The culture in that last thread seemed to revel in attacking a guy who we must continue to say (clearly and directly) did really horrible stuff.
Fuck that, abusers should be called out wherever they appear. Zero acceptance for anyone that did what he did. This seems to be placing blame on Zoe, who was the true victim in this.
 

Jessie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,963
Alec suffered, and made others suffer - but despite it that, its not what I would label as evil. He tried to better himself, he just failed. There are many others like him.
Did he try to better himself, or did he just play that card to make people drop their guard around him?

After Bethany called him out in 2015, he got his shit together around the NitW team, but he was still isolating and abusing people behind the scenes. It doesn’t sound like he actually bettered himself at any point. And it went on for years later.
 

Razmos

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,107
The man sounds like he was an absolute nightmare. It's a shame how it all ended but it's good that his victims came forward and should hopefully be able to move on.

I dont blame a single person for coming forward about him even with what it led to. They didnt kill him, he did.

From what I just read his abuse sounded systematic and calculated, and mental health problems does not excuse that.
 

Shaneus

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,844
Part of Scott's ending here really helps detail something that everyone tip-toes around and no one wants to say. The idea that sometimes everything's fucked and no happy outcomes can emerge gets right at the heart of a massive ordeal a lot of us have seen with manipulative abusers.

Not everyone can be saved.

We have countless narratives surrounding us in every form of media and in our own lives all reinforcing the concept of a redemptive arc for abusive people. And put simply, that's not always a realistic option, for myriad reasons. From everything that has come out about this entire situation there some very consistent and immutable statements that can be made. Alec corroded everyone in his orbit, especially those closest and most willing to offer him help. Dozens of people attempted to help him as an individual and each appears to have absorbed untold long-term ramifications from it. And by all accounts, even when Alec seemed to be better he was simply deflecting, opting instead to choose a new target unaware of what he could do to them.

At what point does an individual's extreme response merit more sympathy than the relatively less severe but still unimaginable pain they visited up so many?

Sometimes there is no redemption coming.

I'll offer an anecdote. My grandfather was a pretty terrible person. He was manipulative to everyone around him and very few people saw him for who he really was. I kept my distance as much as I could but my grandmother still had to live with him, and he made sure to lob verbal abuse, gaslighting, and other means against her whenever he could. I saw him casually throw a knife at her because she had just brought him dinner and he didn't like something she said.

When he suffered a stroke a couple years ago she and I spent 5 months doing everything for him no matter how terrible he was. We handled the dozen or so medications he took per day, got his diet in order to handle his diabetes, tried like hell to get him to do his exercises, installed new handrails and such throughout the house, drove him to social events and doctor's visits. We did what you do for a person. And he was making amazing progress, at least physically. Mentally, though, he stayed a real bastard.

And the best way for him to win an argument was to tell my grandmother he should just blow his brains out. Didn't like that he couldn't have ice cream or wine every day? "I oughta just blow my brains out." Didn't like that he legally could not drive as an 83-year-old stroke victim? "I oughta just blow my brains out." He weaponized suicide threats.

And then one morning he shot his head off. The last thing he ever said to her was, "You'll be sorry."

He was clearly a mentally unwell man. I think, in hindsight, he always was. But to a certain degree he was a vortex. If you got close enough to help him he'd simply drag you down with him. Rest assured, there was no way to help him without harming others.
Jesus Christ, I hope your grandmother and others finally found some peace.
 

spineduke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,136
Did he try to better himself, or did he just play that card to make people drop their guard around him?

After Bethany called him out in 2015, he got his shit together around the NitW team, but he was still isolating and abusing people behind the scenes. It doesn’t sound like he actually bettered himself at any point. And it went on for years later.
I personally like to believe he did - the same way one can struggle with dropping a bad habit, Alec struggled with giving into his minds projections. I have my own experiences of dealing with abusers, and its often a rocky and exhausting road full of repeated mistakes. Just because he kept doing the same hurtful things doesn't mean he didn't try. The thing with trying to stop its a battle of wills. Some days you can adhere to what you want to be, and other days? You're back to where you started. And that support network of friends and roommates around Alec? Nobody was equipped to *really* help him. It comes from a good place, but often more than not, it amounts to nothing.
 

patientzero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,674
Just because he kept doing the same hurtful things doesn't mean he didn't try.
Have you ever seen firefighters try to contain a blaze, even after it's clear the building cannot be saved? They do that only so the fire doesn't spread to surrounding structures. They already know the fire is too much for that single spot.

If someone keeps "trying" (and I'm placing that in quotes, because how much a manipulator really tries or simply mimics the appearance is a fine line) but every attempt keeps burning more and more people around them there may not be a happy ending for all involved. You have to just try to rescue what is still left.

Jesus Christ, I hope your grandmother and others finally found some peace.
She's mostly fine at this point (save certain holidays where nightmares come into play), though in one of his other final acts he clearly amended some of his accounts so that she wouldn't inherit them, which has led to some severe financial distress for us both.

Again, some people can't be redeemed.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
I personally like to believe he did - the same way one can struggle with dropping a bad habit, Alec struggled with giving into his minds projections. I have my own experiences of dealing with abusers, and its often a rocky and exhausting road full of repeated mistakes. Just because he kept doing the same hurtful things doesn't mean he didn't try. The thing with trying to stop its a battle of wills. Some days you can adhere to what you want to be, and other days? You're back to where you started. And that support network of friends and roommates around Alec? Nobody was equipped to *really* help him. It comes from a good place, but often more than not, it amounts to nothing.
You (and others) will probably call me a monster for this, but after growing up with two abusers in my family - my brother AND my grandmother - I finally hit a point where I had to just cut them out completely. There is no benefit in repeatedly re-engaging in a doomed death spiral of a relationship with someone who only pays lip service to getting better in order to illicit sympathy out of their victims or to deflect criticism.

I think what we saw was a lot of people who earnestly wanted to help Alec improve but every time they did he would just relapse (or shift focus for a while until things calmed down, then re-focus back a previous victim) until finally everyone just had enough and let go.

Choosing to go to therapy is a nice step. It's a great step, even. But if one is engaging in the same kinds of destructive behaviors in 2019 that they were in 2005 despite numerous attempts to better him or herself, it's entirely possible that they don't actually want to get better at all. At some point it's better to just walk away rather than continually walking into a building that catches fire every weekend and hoping that it won't this time.
 

giblet

Member
Oct 28, 2017
59
User Banned (2 Weeks): Inflammatory Rhetoric
I would absolutely call Alec an evil person for what he systematically did to numerous people for years.
You have no idea what evil is you absolute coward. Mocking the dead. This mob continues to cheer his death. For shame.
 

spineduke

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,136
Have you ever seen firefighters try to contain a blaze, even after it's clear the building cannot be saved? They do that only so the fire doesn't spread to surrounding structures. They already know the fire is too much for that single spot.

If someone keeps "trying" (and I'm placing that in quotes, because how much a manipulator really tries or simply mimics the appearance is a fine line) but every attempt keeps burning more and more people around them there may not be a happy ending for all involved. You have to just try to rescue what is still left.
I agree with you - I gave up myself trying to help my ex-partner - it was only years later did they come around and come back and acknowledge all their past. It's a lesson to those to establish safe boundaries (although in the case of your grandma, she really didn't have much of a choice anymore).

i
You (and others) will probably call me a monster for this, but after growing up with two abusers in my family - my brother AND my grandmother - I finally hit a point where I had to just cut them out completely. There is no benefit in repeatedly re-engaging in a doomed death spiral of a relationship with someone who only pays lip service to getting better in order to illicit sympathy out of their victims or to deflect criticism.

I think what we saw was a lot of people who earnestly wanted to help Alec improve but every time they did he would just relapse (or shift focus for a while until things calmed down, then re-focus back a previous victim) until finally everyone just had enough and let go.

Choosing to go to therapy is a nice step. It's a great step, even. But if one is engaging in the same kinds of destructive behaviors in 2019 that they were in 2005 despite numerous attempts to better him or herself, it's entirely possible that they don't actually want to get better at all.
Not at all, your well-being comes first before anyone elses. Its easy to get dragged down though. I'm not arguing that there was a way to save Alec, I'm arguing that the process of help is often tortured, full of failures, and often, one with no respite.
 

Orbit

Member
Nov 21, 2018
1,135
You know, whenever someome commits suicide, you have that moment where you feel sorry for them and the usual human empathy comes into play - and I still feel that for Alec Holowka. But the thing that upsets me is that his suicide felt more like his 'out' than truly feeling awful about everything he had done. Good vibes sent to Alec's family and friends but...the more I read about him, the more it seems he was more of a crap person as opposed to consumed by mental illness.
 

Nora

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,300
You have no idea what evil is you absolute coward. Mocking the dead. This mob continues to cheer his death. For shame.
People don't become saints after they die when they inflicted incredible harm, over and over, when they were alive. No one is cheering, stop the grandstanding.
 

d00d3n

Member
Oct 27, 2017
746
Sweden
The man sounds like he was an absolute nightmare. It's a shame how it all ended but it's good that his victims came forward and should hopefully be able to move on.

I dont blame a single person for coming forward about him even with what it led to. They didnt kill him, he did.

From what I just read his abuse sounded systematic and calculated, and mental health problems does not excuse that.
Are you saying that his death by suicide would make it easier for his victims to move on?
 

Xaszatm

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,865
You literally have people saying he got away with this, see above for example "His out"

He's dead.
Abusing people for years isn't evil? Should those victims just wallowed in their abuse because their abuser might have committed suicide? Do you realize what message that sends out to people that are being abused? Those who personally struggle with coming out with the truth because they believe that they deserve the abuse they are given? You accuse others of being a fucking coward while you spout that fucking garbage!?!
 

apocat

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,444
Can you At least correct me or tell me what's wrong please instead of replying to me with seriously?

Some people that replied to my post I agree with and see their point of view, that's great.
I was at work, and was on a short break, so I didn’t write an essay. The suicide was in and of itself a tragedy, no question there. But we have a situation where a deeply troubled individual has been actively harming people for a significant amount of time. People who have apparently, even if you don’t seem to see it, gone to great length in trying to help him. Someone finally called him out on it, and was immediately turned into a target by an angry internet mob, something that intensified even more after the suicide in qustion. Now a person who knew him intimately and suffered his abuse over the course of many years and a throughout a huge work project gives a very well written statement to confirm that the original story is not unfounded, but seeems to be in character with how Holowka treated others.

That is a good thing. The people who were abused gets comfort in that their experiences have been validated, we even have one such statement in this very thread. It also helps to disarm the gamergaters who are using the situation as a weapon to hurt Holowkas victims.

In the end, there isn’t a ”right time” for something like this. There are very real people who suffered extensively because of Holowka. It’s okay to have cognitive dissonance about things, as the world is rarely black or white. Holowkas suicide is a tragedy, and so was his mental health problems. But his abuse was very real too, as is the suffering that it brought. No-one has the right to take that away from his victims. Invalidating them because the man in question is no longer with us is absolutely not the right way to handle this situation.

I’m also not sure it’s fair to say that Benson was successful thanks to Holowka. NITW wouldn’t exist without him, true, but the hard work that led to the game actually being released is certainly not on Holowka. If anything, it seems to be in spite of him. The Bensons writing is the heart and soul of the project. I’m certain that that talent would have spawned other, equally beautiful projects, had NITW not been made.
 

giblet

Member
Oct 28, 2017
59
Abusing people for years isn't evil? Should those victims just wallowed in their abuse because their abuser might have committed suicide? Do you realize what message that sends out to people that are being abused? Those who personally struggle with coming out with the truth because they believe that they deserve the abuse they are given? You accuse others of being a fucking coward while you spout that fucking garbage!?!

I'm talking about the reaction here, to his death.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,111
Derek Yu was close to Alec or worked with him on Spelunky right? Can’t remember clearly what their relationship was from what I read in the BFB of Spelunky. Has Derek said anything about all this?
 

Wintermute

Member
Oct 27, 2017
591
anyone in this thread, wherever you stand, just remember the previous thread was locked eventually because people couldn't talk about it responsibly. so please keep it chill. i've no doubt everyone here cares a lot, whatever your opinion is.
 

Hero

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,332
You have no idea what evil is you absolute coward. Mocking the dead. This mob continues to cheer his death. For shame.
How am I mocking the dead by calling him an evil person for the despicable acts he did to others for years? Who here is cheering his death? The only one here that should be ashamed is you.
 
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HanSoloCup

Member
Oct 27, 2017
883
Richmond, VA
That was a very powerful, personal, and necessary article that I'm glad Scott took the time to write. I hope those affected by Alec are able to get closure, move on, and follow their dreams.
 

Danielsan

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,392
The Netherlands
Whether you hold Alec 100% accountable for his actions or not, I think one thing needs to be very clear. The people that were affected by his abuse should not take any blame for coming out and telling their stories. They have every right to do so.
 

Phellps

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,103
Reading texts like this is so fucking intense. I hope everyone who was a victim can find peace and recover from all of it.
 

Caeda

Member
Oct 25, 2017
158
Rochester, NY
God bless him for telling his story. Hopefully it'll help other men who have endured abuse come to terms with what they've been through, since one so rarely sees stories of men being on the receiving end. I hope Scott eventually finds some level of peace and not be frequently haunted by the events he's gone through.
 

fiskyfisko

Banned
Mar 23, 2018
107
I was at work, and was on a short break, so I didn’t write an essay. The suicide was in and of itself a tragedy, no question there. But we have a situation where a deeply troubled individual has been actively harming people for a significant amount of time. People who have apparently, even if you don’t seem to see it, gone to great length in trying to help him. Someone finally called him out on it, and was immediately turned into a target by an angry internet mob, something that intensified even more after the suicide in qustion. Now a person who knew him intimately and suffered his abuse over the course of many years and a throughout a huge work project gives a very well written statement to confirm that the original story is not unfounded, but seeems to be in character with how Holowka treated others.

That is a good thing. The people who were abused gets comfort in that their experiences have been validated, we even have one such statement in this very thread. It also helps to disarm the gamergaters who are using the situation as a weapon to hurt Holowkas victims.

In the end, there isn’t a ”right time” for something like this. There are very real people who suffered extensively because of Holowka. It’s okay to have cognitive dissonance about things, as the world is rarely black or white. Holowkas suicide is a tragedy, and so was his mental health problems. But his abuse was very real too, as is the suffering that it brought. No-one has the right to take that away from his victims. Invalidating them because the man in question is no longer with us is absolutely not the right way to handle this situation.

I’m also not sure it’s fair to say that Benson was successful thanks to Holowka. NITW wouldn’t exist without him, true, but the hard work that led to the game actually being released is certainly not on Holowka. If anything, it seems to be in spite of him. The Bensons writing is the heart and soul of the project. I’m certain that that talent would have spawned other, equally beautiful projects, had NITW not been made.
Thanks for the reply. I see what you mean.

Also I wanna add that I'm usually lurking here and when I post something, it's because I'm angry or salty, which is bad I know.
So if you are going through my post history, it's usually me being salty.

Just wanted to say that because I already see someone policing people here.
 

datschge

Member
Oct 25, 2017
378
Yes Scott is a victim of abuse and all the other people Alec abused. That's why you should talk about it when it starts and not let it go for years and years. I understand that Scott was afraid it would damage the game or his brand and that Alec was threatening them with suicide, but if you know he's abusing everyone, don't let it bubble in pot for so long.
1) Scott didn't know for a long time of anyone else Alec abused. The premise of Scott's story is about the isolation of abuse. Which leads into...

2) Scott not realizing he was an abuse victim until after the fact. That his attempt to take care of Alec and respond to his threats led to his own mental and physical deterioration.
Indeed. Scott wrote his text in hindsight. He wrote himself about 2015 onward with a quick cut to last week:
I’d been gently encouraging him to reach out and make amends with people he’d hurt during his bad years. He said he had been, as well as he could.(...)

Over the next year I think I can say I really became friends with Alec. Or rather he’d become my cousin or something.(...)

But Alec had changed! We’d seen it. We’d watched it happen. We’d put a lot of work into it. It was suddenly 2019. We learned that Alec had a new team together. It had been years since he was ever a problem. It was suddenly 2019. We learned that Alec had a new team together. It had been years since he was ever a problem. He was doing talks at conferences, had made new friends, talked about boring stuff like coffee and time management, and seemed to have really healthy relationships both personally and professionally. I checked in on him from time to time. I checked in with people who knew him now. Smooth sailing. I was really proud of the guy. No need to worry. Happy ending.

And then it all fell apart.

I’ve spent the last week
tracking down and talking to people close to Alec, people who knew him years ago, people who knew him now. It’s shocking how many of us had eerily similar experiences.(...)

Suddenly a lot of what Alec said back then about his exes, his bile about the subject, back when I barely knew him, made sense. It made other comments about his past make sense, comments he made to me and other people over the years about there being things in his romantic past he was afraid of coming out. They were small comments, not things you latch onto. But they were there.(...)

Right after this, as often happens when a silence gets broken, several people came forward. I found out that while I thought Alec had been changing, he had been treating other people like he had treated me in 2015.(...)
Alec essentially led a double life, the extend of which is only slowly becoming clear to all the people involved.
 

Toxi

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
8,877
My end goal is that a dev of one of my favourite games is dead and I wish this have never happened. I was excited for their games and what would they do together next. This all came out of nowhere.

Also I read Scott's post 2 times.
This is an incredibly selfish perspective. Alec Holowka hurt many people for years and killed himself after a history of suicidal behavior. Your favorite games should not be dictating your take here.
 

Doop

Avenger
Oct 28, 2017
143
it's extremely cruel to say that the victims are somehow at fault or that they didn't do enough to help alec. the people around alec clearly did want him to improve, and they tried their hardest to get him that help, and when it finally seemed like alec was changing and getting help it turns out he was still abusing people. what choice did his victims have? the only thing they could do at that point is warn others about alec. zoe did something incredibly brave by speaking out and sharing their experiences with alec. nobody knew alec would kill himself, and nobody is at fault for it. any attempt to blame the victims for alec's death is just plain cruel. you can mourn his death without forgetting about the awful things he did in his life. the victims will have to live with the effects of their abuse for years, possibly the rest of their lives. ptsd doesn't just go away, it stays with you, and all you can really do is learn ways to cope with it. nobody deserves abuse.
 

the_wart

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,368
Alec was a deeply unwell person and victim of abuse (as per his sister, who I have no reason to doubt) who hurt many other people quite badly. There is no contradiction between these aspects of him. I see no value in posthumously stripping him of his own victimhood. Doing so accomplishes nothing other than permitting third parties to consider the situation in terms of comfortable, simplistic binaries.
 

Toxi

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
8,877
I'm talking about the reaction here, to his death.
It was a shitty thing to happen to an overall shitty person, and now a lot of his shitty fans are being shitty to the people he hurt.

As someone who has dealt with thoughts of self-harm before, the last thing that I ever would want is to have people blamed for calling me out on being cruel to them.
 

PlanetSmasher

The Abominable Showman
Member
Oct 25, 2017
31,985
My end goal is that a dev of one of my favourite games is dead and I wish this have never happened. I was excited for their games and what would they do together next. This all came out of nowhere.

Also I read Scott's post 2 times.
One of the things about these kinds of situations is that they rarely do build up in a natural way like we see in the movies or on TV. Abusers regularly fly under the radar for years until something happens that exposes them and then everything shatters. I didn't know my grandfather was a rapist for 18 years of my life until I found out. Everything just seemed "normal" because nobody talked about it until the truth came out.

This whole situation sucks - Alec's abuse (both received and given), Zoe's experiences, Scott and Bethany's experiences, the attempts so many people made to help Alec that didn't work, Alec's eventual suicide - but I'm asking you to realize that "I'm disappointed I won't get more games from these people" isn't exactly a great reaction to have right now while people are still processing a very, very heavy situation.

I'm not calling you a bad person or anything. I understand the desire to want more games from a developer you care about. But Alec and Scott weren't exactly a studio and Scott made it pretty clear he was not planning on any long-term collaborations in the future even before the shit hit the fan.