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Thread: Allegations of misconduct

  1. #31
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    Jick on the KoL Forumz: http://forums.kingdomofloathing.com/...53#post5053153

    "A message to the KoL community

    The goal of Asymmetric’s work has always been, above all other concerns, to bring people joy. In this context, the pain and confusion that I’ve caused in the community has been incredibly difficult for me to deal with, and I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for you. I’m sorry I’ve been silent on it up to now -- I’ve been afraid, ashamed, and struggling to imagine what I could possibly say that would help anyone.

    When I started working on KoL, it was at a very bleak point in my life. I created the initial version as a way of processing grief, and didn’t expect it to amount to anything that anybody else would care about. But when it did, the warm and welcoming community that seemingly instantly materialized around it was like oxygen when I didn’t know I was suffocating. It became my entire life. My job and my social life and my emotional support network were all the same thing -- the same people.

    What I didn’t realize was that this also created a situation where I was at the top of the power structure in every aspect of my life. This came about so suddenly, and among so many other fundamental life changes, that it was invisible to me. I didn’t think of myself as being at the top of a hierarchy, but I knew that other people did, and… that’s what a hierarchy is.

    Looking back on events with a recognition of that power has been eye-opening. I spent years not realizing how much slack people were cutting me. I made comments and jokes that hurt peoples’ feelings, and they were afraid to call me out. I expressed terrible, immature opinions in public, not considering the weight they carried and the potential for them to justify bad behavior in others. I dated people without considering how privilege factors into consent. And acts that I thought of as generous were, in reality, acts of manipulation and control.

    Amid all of this, my marriage was a mess. My understanding of what kind of mess it was has evolved over time. During it, and especially during the divorce, I was certain that I was a victim. Later I came to believe that it had been mutually abusive, but even that was an abdication of responsibility. The truth is that I went into that relationship with every advantage. I had grown up in a stable family. I never wrestled with housing or food insecurity. I wasn’t victimized as a child. In short, I showed up to the relationship with everything except an excuse. When I lashed out, it wasn’t from a position of righteous indignation or self-defense, it was from a position of power and privilege.

    The person that I am now is deeply ashamed of the person I was then. I’m sorry to the people that I hurt. I’m sorry to the people who I failed by not living up to the responsibilities of my position. I’m sorry to the people I brushed off when they tried to tell me these things at the time. I’m sorry for the ways in which my actions, and the actions of men like me, have made the games industry and the world worse for other people, especially women.

    I have a lot of work and a lot of self-reflection left to do to become a better person than I was back then. I believe that I’ve been on the right track for the last few years, and I hope that reflecting on these experiences can help to make the way forward even more clear. I know some of you will never be able to trust me again. I get it, and I’m deeply sorry that my past behavior has put you in that position.

    I remain hopeful, though, because the KoL community is far, far bigger than me. It always has been. I believe that it’s still as warm and welcoming and amazing as it ever was, and I want more than anything for it to be a thing that you can continue to be proud to be a part of. We’ll be donating all of the revenue from this month’s Item-of-the-Month to RAINN, and continuing to donate 10% of KoL’s revenue to charities (at least half of them womens’ charities) moving forward."

  2. #32
    Developer fronobulax's Avatar
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    Thank you.

  3. #33

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    Really want to point to "This": http://forums.kingdomofloathing.com/...7&postcount=33 reply, though. Has been eye-opening on many factors I overlooked.

  4. #34
    Developer Veracity's Avatar
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    Me too. I was initially sorta OK with Jick's reponse. Not so much, any more.

  5. #35
    Developer Veracity's Avatar
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    FWIW, if I imagine that I will play this game in the future, I am considering PURCHASING (not “donating for”) a year’s worth of Mr. A’s this month, knowing that every cent of my money goes to RAINN.

    Unless HotStuff lied.
    Even though Asymmetric writes it off as a tax deduction.
    (You thought we didn’t see that?)
    Or donate to RAINN directly and take the deduction myself.

    Wish I had reason to trust the motives of the principals.

  6. #36

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    Even though Asymmetric writes it off as a tax deduction.
    (You thought we didn’t see that?)
    Originally Posted by Veracity View Post
    Getting money, giving it away, and taking that as a tax deduction is the same as never getting it, right? (I've never dealt with any complicated tax situations.)

  7. #37
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    Getting money, giving it away, and taking that as a tax deduction is the same as never getting it, right? (I've never dealt with any complicated tax situations.)
    Originally Posted by lostcalpolydude View Post
    Maybe, unless there are other taxes involved (is there VAT? Who pays it, and on which transactions?) and unless they hit the limit for deductions (my quick google says this limit es 50% of gross income, so it depends on how much of their income consists of buying/subscripbing for the current IotM; either that money is less than half of their income, or they are not writing off all of it)

  8. #38
    Developer Veracity's Avatar
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    Essentially.

    "Donations" are income. Since they are a for-profit company, that is balanced against expenses and the difference is profit, for which tax is owed. I have no idea how they are structured as a business, but if charitable donations offset income (as they do for non-businesses), it lowers the profit and therefore the tax owed.

    So, yeah. In the simplest case, giving away a chunk of income to charity means you don't get to spend it and don't owe taxes on it. Which seems reasonable to me, so my snark was unwarranted. Except for the part about how _I_ could take the deduction, if I wanted to donate to the same charity and forego getting Mr. A.s via "donation".

  9. #39
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    Really want to point to this reply, though. Has been eye-opening on many factors I overlooked.
    Originally Posted by fredg1 View Post
    And Phoenix's response to that post is here.
    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
    R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.

  10. #40

    Unhappy

    What really... disturbs me? I don't want to say "sickens" but... anyway, it's the fact he never addresses anything to Phoenix. He always generalizes it as something he's part of:

    Amid all of this, my marriage was a mess.
    The truth is that I went into that relationship with every advantage.
    In short, I showed up to the relationship with everything except an excuse.
    Iím sorry for the ways in which my actions, and the actions of men like me, have made the games industry and the world worse for other people, especially women.
    That's the closest he ever went to talking about his behavior regarding Phoenix.

    The first problem is this: In short, for someone not aware of the situation, there is NO WAY for this person to know even remotely what the allegations against him were; no way to know who has the OTHER VERSION of this two-sided situation, and therefore ask this person what that version is.
    He addressed "his behavior" in general while staying as vague as possible on the actual actions he committed.

    He's saying he's sorry and everything, and that he's trying to change... bla, bla, bla... but you can see that it's pretty much just a way to "reassure" those who still had faith in him.
    He's still distancing himself as much as he can from Phoenix, the one that actually suffered from/through this.

    And Phoenix, who is apparently trying to reach out to him personally on the forum, is being censored, which is why she had to release public statements on twitter instead.

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