Jagex investigates streamer following allegations of assault and sexual misconduct at RuneFest 2018

    
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According to a recent report from Polygon, RuneScape creator Jagex is currently conducting an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual harassment leveled against streamer Ali “Gross Gore” Larson by attendees of this year’s RuneFest, which was held this past weekend. Polygon spoke with two women who allege that Larson made multiple unwanted advances towards them, with one claiming that Larson attempted to kiss her on two separate occasions — a claim that is given additional credibility by a video that depicts Larson trying to forcefully kiss a clearly unwilling woman. Another RuneFest attendee claims that “Larson would walk up to women and make comments about their breasts . . . and other suggestive comments,” Polygon reports.

Fellow streamer Skiddler also took to Twitter to corroborate another of the claims against Larson, in which he approached a woman identified only as Rachel and “repeatedly commented on her breasts, and how attractive they were,” Skiddler says. “[Rachel] made is clear to Gross Gore that she was uncomfortable, however, he continued not only making comments, but fetched multiple people whom he was with to validate his opinion on her breasts,” Skiddler’s statement says. Moreover, Skiddler claims that when he approached Larson afterward to speak with him about his behavior, Larson escalated the situation into a physical altercation in which Skiddler was “thrown into the side of a moving car,” then held down by Larson’s friends while “[Larson] and another couple of his friends ran over and started repeatedly kicking [Skiddler] whilst [he] was on the ground.”

Larson, for his part, took to YouTube to attempt to clear up the allegations against him, but he seems to have succeeded only in digging himself deeper into the hole. In the video, Larson justifies his actions by saying, “the woman . . . was wearing a really, really, really revealing top, and that’s great, we live in 2018, you can wear whatever you want. But people have to understand that if you’re going to wear something so revealing, people will comment on it. That’s life. If I drove around in a Ferrarri, then people would comment on the Ferrari. That’s just the way people are.” Prominent Twitch personality Destiny responded to Larson’s statement, saying, “The comparison that you draw is so apt, and it summarizes your internal thought processes so much” because “what you completely, unintentionally have done is shown that in your mind, woman is analogous to car in this example . . . It’s literal objectification.” It remains unclear what actions, if any, will be taken against Larson by Jagex or other involved parties.

Update October 10th
Jagex issued a public statement at the conclusion of its investigation and says it has barred some participants from attending the con in the future.

“With almost 2,000 people attending RuneFest this year, we thank everyone for making it a very special event in the RuneScape calendar. However, after RuneFest had finished, we were made aware of allegations concerning a small number of content creators. While the alleged incidents did not take place at the RuneFest venue or within its opening hours, the safety and wellbeing of those in and around our events is of paramount importance to us. Having reviewed the allegations we have found that the content creators concerned did breach our code of conduct. We do not tolerate inappropriate or offensive behaviour in any way and, while we had a limited working relationship with some of the individuals, we will not be working with them, or allowing them to attend future Jagex events, going forward. As we look towards 2019, we will strive to keep future RuneFests, and all Jagex events, safe spaces where attendees can continue to enjoy the inclusiveness and positivity that comes from being part of the RuneScape community.”

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