A senior Riot Games staff member went on a bizarre, unprovoked Twitter rant about GamerGate, declaring anyone who identifies with the consumer-driven movement to be a “monster.”
The League of Legends champion designer, Daniel Z. Klein, then spent a good portion of his evening meditating on his privilege, prompting some people to voice concerns about his wellbeing.
The outburst echoes that of another Riot staff member, Becks Hernandez-Gerber, who has made a string of anti-GamerGate Twitter posts as well as aggressively spouting the usual social justice warrior rhetoric.
In October last year he was a vocal proponent of banning the GamerGate panel at South by South West (SXSW), stating, “safe to say no woman, PoC or trans person in tech is safe at @sxsw unless they support GG.”
The stance is an odd one as it was only in September he publicly stated that GamerGate had never “stalked” him and that after a brief period of some unidentified nuisance phone calls he had mostly been left alone by those identifying as GamerGate supporters: “If you’re going to use what’s happening to me now as proof that GG is active, you can fuck right off and I’ll call you out because this isn’t GG.”
Contrast that with the dual outburst alongside from colleague Klein and you can see that GamerGate seems to have become the boogeyman once again, despite previous admissions that they were not active. “GGers are criminals. I wish them nothing but pain and misery,” he said, following it up with, “There isn’t a single GGer I wouldn’t laugh at if they were on fire. No regrets.”
This type of language is at complete loggerheads with the “anti-toxicity” stance that Riot Games has adopted publicly and made central to their philosophy. Riot staff members, especially those in the player behaviour team, take great pride in talking about how they strive to make the Internet a better place by eliminating verbal abuse and hate speech. It’s hard to think of anything more hateful than actually stating you would laugh if someone burned to death because they were part of a consumer driven movement. Through the years, though, we’ve seen that Riot’s biggest concern isn’t practicing what they preach but rather public perception, which they seek to control through stifling the flow of information into the public domain, particularly through their relationship with Reddit staff and moderators.
Despite having mysteriously not made it on to the League of Legends subreddit, the matter was picked up by r/Kotakuinaction, a forum where those sympathetic to the GamerGate movement post relevant topics. In that thread, another poster claimed to be involved with the two, using a throwaway account that was verified as belonging to a credible source by moderators, and published the following about Klein and Hernandez-Gerber’s alleged behaviour:
Daniel is p. miserable ever since he met Becks. Every issue Becks has, he gets sucked into. It is an abusive relationship! Domestic violence is very real Daniel and you are being abused. When you read this thread and you easily dismiss all the anti-Riot comments – which you will, since certain plebs are making about cancer (grow up tryhard edgelords, Riot is not failing or anything) – I hope my comment sticks with you. Becks has poisoned your life. I’ve watched you decline to half the person you were. You used to love life. Now-a-days you hate it. You actively seek out enemies to fight, enemies they have constructed for you out of their own delusions and victim complex.
It fuckin sucks to see. If you want to hate GG be my guest, have your opinion even if a lot of GGers seem to be great people to me. But youre not HAPPY hating them and my guess is you love games and gaming in general. Why the fuck are you spending all your time reading comment wars your fiance gets sucked into instead of doing what you love (designing champs and playing vidja?)?
Riot Games did not respond to a request for comment.
Editor’s note: Kotaku in Action moderators contacted us to clarify that comments were from a verified credible source associated with the Riot employees but not necessarily a Riot staff member. This has been corrected.