Hi. You’ve probably heard some really concerning stuff over the last few days. You might have seen a video that has left you feeling worried, disappointed, and wondering what I have to say for myself.
There’s a part of me that wants to say, “No, you don’t understand, the video was edited in an extremely dishonest and misleading way, blah blah blah…” but, no, I’m not going to focus on that.
There’s a part of me that wants to do what I usually do, and type out a massive essay where I over-explain absolutely every single detail about the entire situation, provide context to absolutely everything, go point-by-point down the list of every possible fact that could make the situation easier to understand.
But, no, I’m not going to do that. This isn’t a blog post about how, “Actually, you see, I didn’t really do anything all that bad, if you consider all the facts…” I’m just going to take accountability and own up to a really, REALLY huge fucking mistake that I’ve made.
A few months back, a fan of the game DM’d me and wanted to chat. I normally just turn fans away and tell them I’m busy, but in this case, the fan seemed really funny and interesting, so I agreed to talk. After around 2 months, I agreed to do a voice chat with her.
Right off the bat, she let me know that she was 16. At the time, I didn’t even perceive this as a problem. “What do I care what her age is? She’s just a funny fan of the game who wants to talk to me. This is no big deal!” I rationalized to myself that it was fine. (This was massive mistake #1. More to follow.)
We talked for a while, and eventually, I started to feel really comfortable speaking to her. I started talking to her the same way I would speak to any of my other friends – like she was “One of the Guys.” I made the same type of vulgar jokes that I make when voice chatting with my other friends. This was an absolutely unacceptable mistake. No grown-up should ever use adult language or make adult jokes in the presence of a minor. Just because I “felt really comfortable speaking to her,” that doesn’t make it okay. That’s no excuse, not in the slightest.
Occasionally, she would say something flirty towards me. Most of the time, I would shut that down immediately, and refused to reciprocate. However, there were times when I didn’t shut it down, and let her talk to me that way without stopping her.
Obviously, it goes without saying that THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY NOT FUCKING OKAY. This was the point in time when I should have instantly disengaged and ended all contact with her. In any interaction between an adult and a minor, it is the adult’s responsibility to put an immediate stop to any inappropriate behavior. There is absolutely no excuse for tolerating this as if it was okay. “I didn’t want to be a buzzkill” or “I didn’t want to ruin the vibes” or “We were just having a lighthearted jokey conversation, it didn’t really feel like anything wrong was happening” are not acceptable excuses in the slightest.
At some point, she started recording our conversations so that she could share my jokes with her friends. However, one of her friends interpreted my remarks as showing sexual interest in her. They convinced her that I was trying to “groom” her, and that she should release all of her recordings to “expose” me.
Her friend pressured her into providing the recordings to a drama YouTuber who began producing a video about the situation. A preview of the video revealed that the intention of the video would be to characterize me as a predator/groomer by presenting clips of the conversation that sounded sexual.
(Obviously, it doesn’t matter how the recordings were made public, because the entire situation never should have been allowed to happen in the first place. I am just explaining why such a video even exists.)
Watching the recordings of the way I interacted with her has been mortifying for me. I keep thinking, “I actually did that??” and “You god damn idiot!!” whenever I’m reminded of something inappropriate that I said in conversation with her. I’m not going to spend a million years belaboring this point, but I want you to know that I have been kicking myself nonstop since this situation happened. I feel disgust and disappointment in myself on a level that I have never before felt on my entire life.
It was foolish – EXTREMELY damn foolish – for me to think to myself that it was possible to rationalize an adult becoming friends with a minor, because no matter what the adult’s intentions are in the beginning, there are so many potential things that can go wrong involving an adult and a minor alone together that the scenario should never even be allowed to happen in the first place. (Not to mention the inherent power imbalance, etc. I could write out every single reason why an adult and a minor can’t have a meaningful friendship, but then this blog post would be twice as long.)
Over the years, a lot of people have contacted me to tell me that they look up to me. That they admire me. That I inspired them. Right now, I’m thinking about all the people who ever said those words to me, and I realize that my actions have completely invalidated their words. No, someone who makes this kind of mind-numbingly stupid mistake is not admirable or inspiring.
“I let the fans down.” I keep saying that to myself, over and over. Years of trying my best to prove that I’m not the bad guy that people say I am, and then I go and screw up so badly that I’ve retroactively vindicated some of the hate that has been directed at me.
It’s ironic. I’ve always tried so hard to disprove the hateful remarks that people make about me by doing the opposite of what they expect of me. For example, if people say I’m lazy, I respond by working more hours than usual. If people say I’m greedy, I respond by turning down opportunities to make money. If people say I’m interested in minors, I respond by adding rules to my Discord server to actively discourage minors from participating. At every turn, I try my absolute best to disprove every ignorant and hateful false accusation that people make about me.
And now, look what I’ve gone and done. Instead of doing everything in my power to disprove the allegations that I’m attracted to kids, I made some remarks that sound really, really, REALLY fucking questionable. I’m not even going to say, “It only sounds bad because it’s out of context! If only you had the context, you’d understand that it wasn’t so bad…” I’m just going to own up to this one. The fact that it even happened at all is bad, regardless of the context. There is no excuse. It is an outright fuck-up, pure and simple.
After that video went public, some of the game’s volunteers started receiving harassment and abusive messages. Several of them have already contacted me to inform me that they can no longer be associated with me or my project, and want me to remove their assets from the game. I get it. There is a part of me that wants to profusely beg them to reconsider, but whatever they decide, I’m going to respect their wishes.
It’s one thing to make a stupid mistake that results in self-humiliation. It’s another thing to make a mistake that affects all of the people who associate with me. However, it’s a mistake on an entirely different level to make a mistake that involves an inappropriate interaction with a minor.
At this point in time, it’s difficult to determine exactly how much this is going to impact the development of Yandere Simulator. If I have to replace huge numbers of assets – hundreds of voice-acted lines, for example – I won’t lie, that’s going to be a pretty big setback. I really only have myself to blame for it, though.
For what it’s worth, I’d like to make you aware of the fact that the fan I spoke to has expressed her feelings on the situation. You can find her post here: https://www.reddit.com/r/yandere_simulator/comments/16ponuy/disrespecting_the_victim/
I feel like it’s going to take a really long time for me to forgive myself for such a stupid mistake. But, as the first step, I’ve donated $1,000 to RAINN, an organization that provides care and benefits to survivors of abuse:
I know that it doesn’t instantly wash away my bad decisions, but I hope it demonstrates that I’m willing to do whatever feels necessary to begin atoning for my mistakes.
I’d like to apologize to my volunteers, to my fans, and to anyone who has ever called themself my friend.
I am truly and sincerely sorry. Actions speak louder than words, though, so I’m going to try my hardest to grow as much as I can from this and make absolutely sure that nothing even remotely similar to this ever happens in the future.