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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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  • Elyon McMickle

    So as alarmed as I am about this, I am also bothered that this counter-hate is being directed at Penny Arcade. I think most of the alarm at his quotes about himself are that he, unlike most people, tells the truth, on a very regular basis, about how he feels and felt. The people giving threats, those people have done something palpable and cruel and everyone needs to work against them. But the gang at Penny Arcade aren’t those people. They, (gabe usually) is/are just willing to be honest about his shitty childhood for the sake of both art and human connection. I think its brave, and it makes me angry that we direct out gaming economics by the bad stars of “who admits more about their childhood?”

    I do not respect people who have the ability to clean up their words. Most people live by the law of quieting their feelings, and not using themselves as an example in their work because they know that they aren’t idea humans. I don’t think it should be demonized when he describes himself as a “bully”, because it isnt a present tense harmful thing. Its a brave stance to take, telling truths about yourself that you know will not be well received.

    Basically I just think “Gabe” lies less than everyone else, and thats his only crime. Unfortunately, in the entertainment industry, telling the truth about yourself is usually the death of your career. Don’t make it the death of his. Don’t let something as horrible as friggn DEATH THREATS keeping people from attending conventions make you angry at anyone BESIDES the one making the threats. Don’t let all of your mad start affection two writers, make it affect the people involved in the security teams, the people making threats, ect.

  • Elyon McMickle

    Also I don’t blame law enforcement for not caring–as far as death threats go, this one is obviously not to be followed up on. I agree we should take this seriously, but how could something as incoherent and silly as that video stop someone from attending a convention?

    As women, we are told we will probably be murdered and raped if we step off a subway platform alone. Its a disgusting thing that this is a fear passed down and imprinted, but we also mostly IGNORE IT. As humans, we all know awful things can happen to us at any time, and we all know that statistics is the only thing that keeps us safe. If every person who was slightly famous let lazy death threats made by drunk people keep them from doing their jobs, the entire professional world would collapse.

  • metroidjunkie

    She’s BSing just like when she claimed threats forced her to relocate.