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."