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Due to Threats Brianna Wu Pulls Out of PAX East

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Due to threats, Brianna Wu pulls out of PAX East, however will still be meeting with press. Let me be clear; Armed Gamer writer Deborah Crocker may have absolutely hated the game Revolution 60 released by Brianna Wu’s studio Giant Spacekat (sometimes referred to as GSX), but that doesn’t mean harassment or worse: legitimate death threats against her or those in the studio are in any way excusable. Now onto the fucked up story.

In a blog post written on Space Channel 6, Brianna Wu details her exact thoughts and rationale for pulling Giant Spacekat from PAX Eat (which I should mention I have a media pass to attend). There is a lot to dissect in the piece, including the mention of two specific death threats (one of which has been tied by other media outlets to the video embedded above).

“I think the PAX Enforcers are awesome, and I think it’s a safe event in general for people. But it doesn’t feel safe to us.”

In the video embedded above, you can see YouTuber ParkourDude91 reacting to rolling his vehicle on a slippery Massachusetts road. He seems to believe this was an assassination attempt by Brianna Wu in order to silence him. The creator of the video, Jace Connors, admits he has made multiple threats against Brianna Wu but says they were “designed to draw her out of hiding!” The accident apparently happened while he was on his way to “confront” Wu. The video also adds “My only weapon is TRUTH. Im [sic] Armed with the Truth of my Lord and Savior Jesus Chris, I will defeat this gaming conspiracy one time and/or for all.”

At the end of the video Connors states that he may have failed, but “my co-journalist Elijah is already halfway across the continent, ready to begin Phase II. This is not over.” The Ralph Retort and KingofPol conducted a video interview with Connors where Connors says he was going to “confront” her and maybe race her. Connors also seems to believe Christopher Poole, the founder of 4chan was working with “Islamic assassins” to try and kill him. After the interview The Ralph Report appears to believe Connors is “just trolling everyone.”

Despite the threats made against Wu and the developers of Giant Spacekat, the GSX statement states “very little has been accomplished by law enforcement towards the goal of apprehending these criminals.” According to the statement, Briana Wu has had 46 threats sent to her in the past five months. According to Connors in his interview with The Ralph Retort, he has yet to be contacted by the police.

According to the statement, PAX East has also failed to take steps strong enough for the developers to feel safe in attending the event. “I have personally been frustrated in trying to communicate with PAX about our security concerns,” stated Wu, “I called them on three occasions trying to talk to them about security concerns, and did not have my calls returned.”  Despite the concerns, Brianna Wu added in the statement, “I think the PAX Enforcers are awesome, and I think it’s a safe event in general for people. But it doesn’t feel safe to us.”

It seems that another factor also helped the team decide not to attend. “One of the things I struggle with every year in attending PAX East is writing a check to Penny Arcade. Mike Krahulik said himself that he is a bully, and I agree with that statement.” That statement directly references a blog post made by Krahulik (also known by his Penny Arcade alter ego, Gabe) where he wrote “As a young person I imagined myself a sort of vengeful spirit. A schoolyard Robin Hood who attacked the strong and popular on behalf of the social outcasts. I’m 36 years old now though and I realize what I am is a bully. I may have been the one who got beat up but I sent plenty of kids home in tears.” Several individuals have felt similarly about attending PAX East, including the Fullbright Company (developers of Gone Home) and the creator of Cards Against Humanity.

The decision for Giant Spacekat to withdraw wasn’t something decided by one person, but according to the statement it was decided in a vote by the team. Despite the fact that the development team itself won’t be there, Brianna Wu has decided she will attend. “I’ll still be taking press meeting at PAX East 2015 as best I can. […] I made a professional commitment to participate in PAX East panels and I will follow through on those commitments,” she said at the end of the statement.

According to the statement, after choosing to withdraw PAX East did get in touch with GSX and “attending in 2016 will be a different story.” I have reached out to Giant Spacekat as well as PAX East for comment, but so far there has been no response.  The article shall be updated if a response does come in.

About Stephen Crane

Stephen was hooked by the NES at a very young age and never looked back. He games on a daily basis and is currently trying to climb his way up the ranked ladder on League of Legends! Outside of the video game world he actually likes running and owns a rapidly growing collection of toed shoes. Stephen Crane is the owner of Armed Gamer.

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