The speedrunning community was thrown for a loop last month when screenshots were leaked that featured two prominent speedrunners saying sexist, transphobic, and antisemitic comments.
RWhiteGoose, a famous GoldenEye speedrunner, and Graviton, known to speedrun various N64 games, have both been removed from participating in future Games Done Quick (GDQ) events indefinitely when conversations were posted online showing the two speedrunners spouting tasteless and hateful things. Goose made disparaging comments about a female user in his chat who he claimed had slept with “about 70 dudes” and how it was “disgusting” while Graviton frequently used the termed “tranny” while negatively referencing the disenfranchised group.
Further screenshots showed the two speedrunners discussing controversial people such as Jordan Peterson, talking about women’s roles in society, and there were also references to the Jewish question (a theme used by the Nazis to demonize Jews in the 1930’s,) as well as the usage of triple parentheses, a symbol adopted by antisemites in the past few years.
GDQ, while condemning the rhetoric in the screenshots, did not immediately take action against the speedrunners, citing a lack of verification that the statements were made.
This caused a massive backlash, with many users citing GDQ’s reluctance to take action as a disappointing effort to reduce the misogyny and disdain for minority groups that
Goose came forward with an apology shortly after the fact, condemning his past actions and stating that they weren’t his current views.
He vowed to do better for the community and right the wrongs he committed, but his apology was viewed with skepticism, as some of the screenshots were from as recent as June 2018, prompting many to wonder if someone’s strong views could be changed so quickly.
Of course, this apology, while rightfully under scrutiny, is much better than what Graviton came forward with, not owning up to any of the disparaging things he said, instead focusing on the increase of his Twitter followers.
The issue here with these two speedrunners is part of a larger problem of toxicity within the gaming community. These small groups can be a boon for people who need to find a sense of community and grow into themselves, but it can also become a hub where horrible thoughts can fester. More actions need to be taken to start changing the narrative that is pervasive within the gaming world.