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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Mewmew
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Mewmew

The dude is a disgusting pig, and yet there are two sides to every story, even if it still doesn’t excuse him in the end.

The video they have of him trying to kiss someone – the girls are all laughing and giggling and smiling about it. While that’s not remotely close to an invitation, it does send the wrong message about how they felt about it all. She’s comparing herself to someone being drugged and date raped? Because he tried to kiss her and she turned away laughing and smiling. Hmm.

I wish she had sternly told him off instead of laughing and smiling about it. Yeah, he *is* a pig and is doing something wrong, but let him know that, don’t make out like you’re all having a good fun jokey time about it.

And the breasts he commented on, for at least one girl I’m seeing her posing for provocative pictures for strangers at the convention, pushing her breasts out with her hands and sticking her tongue way out… It sort of lends a different story to the whole thing than just saying he was going up and randomly commenting on breasts. There was a type of behavior happening there that may have made someone more likely to make a comment about the breasts of one girl anyway.

I don’t know all the details and I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one to defend the guy, but I’m seeing some other sides to this that make me not want to immediately burn him at the stake either. He needs to be punished yes, but in deciding the extent of that punishment there may be other things to consider than just the one side of it.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

I do feel sick that I’m even slightly giving any bit of defense to any of this, because it simply isn’t defendable and the guy disgusts me. It’s just that – if that dude tried to kiss me I’d have been pretty angry, yelled at him, asked him what he thought he was doing etc, not laughed and smiled and made like it was a big joke.

I wasn’t there and don’t know the whole story of it, but it’s more than one sided, even though he definitely is in the wrong. They knew they were recording it and the girls still acted like it was sort of a funny joke. So when she says how traumatized she was and compares herself to people that were date raped it really bothers me.

And for at least one girl who’s breasts he commented on, when I saw the pictures she was posing for at Runefest from people who posted them later, I sort of understand maybe why he said something. I hate to say that but… I think (am pretty sure) that if I linked the pics I’m talking to here they’d get deleted. If you do a bit of searching you might find them if you’re interested though. They’re very provocative and she really was showing off her breasts…

I literally felt sick last night trying to go to sleep thinking of giving this guy any defense in any way because it really isn’t excusable and yet at the same time it just isn’t as totally one way as some of the stories make it seem. I’m worried that we’ve got a sort of Witch Hunt going where we overreact sometimes about smaller things that while they do also need to be dealt with they are all their own unique situations that aren’t always cut and dry. It’s gross and he shouldn’t have done it but it’s also *not* the same as if he date raped someone. Especially with the girls making out like it was all fun and games to him (again that’s not an excuse, but I just don’t understand and makes me wonder what we’re missing. As a female I would have reacted really angrily at him personally especially if he tried it multiple times).

Anyway I’m going to go see if I can wash my brain of thoughts of this for a while.

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Armsbend

Having seen a few Runescape Twitch clips I just assume it’s players are the worst. It has served me well in the past so there is no reason to change going forward.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

I wonder if he was stupid enough to try this if they had a boyfriend or husband present?

Look either way it’s wrong don’t think for a second I support this D Bag in anyway, but I find it shocking that he was acting like an ass hat at a convention and not one person shut this guy down like a cop with a taser on that show Cops.

I just read that one guy called this guy out and then got ganged up on by this scumbag and his followers; he should be charged with assault as well.

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NeoWolf

Its an old tale… a little fame amounts to a lot of ego and the belief they can do whatever they want without consequence.

Thankfully tolerence for that Bs is now ZERO. Yay social progress!

Xijit
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Xijit

*eyeroll*

Why the fuck is this the responsibility of a video game company / being investigated in the Court of social media?

Back in my day you called the cops, not “courageous took to Reddit in order to valiantly call out her abuser!”

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Greaterdivinity

I imagine he has some ties with them? Influencers frequently partner up with developers for games that they spent a lot of time playing and will have all kinds of official relationships with them. A bunch will have core groups of influencers that get advanced access to information/content, get free perks, get stuff to give away to viewers etc. because they essentially become a paid/unpaid part of the companies marketing arm.

So if that’s the case here, it makes total sense. Even if that’s NOT the case, he was at Jagex’s event when this behavior apparently took place. Jagex has every right to react to reports on social media and if they agree that his behavior was unacceptable can ban him from the event moving forward.

Him being an asshole to women isn’t illegal, there’s nothing the cops can do. That’s precisely why it’s in the “court of social media”, as there are ongoing pushes from gamers to get rid of this kind of toxic bullshit from their communities in many places. The apparent assault? Absolutely report THAT shit to the cops, that’s for them to handle. But the rest is absolutely within the realm of social media, and if it leads to him losing followers that’s a fair consequence for his actions. Social repercussions are very much a thing and that’s fine.

Xijit
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Xijit

Uhm, there are pretty clear rules about being an asshole to women & while it isn’t illegal to look … It is pretty arrestable if you follow her around, repeatedly yell “nice tits” at her, try to kiss her when she tells you to stop, and then assault some dude who attempts to intervene.

All of that sounds like a job for the police, not the community manager for a fucking video game company … Well, outside of a statement that “we do not condone such actions, take such issues seriously, have ended our contract with this individual until this issue has been favorably resolved, and are assisting the authorities in THEIR investigation.”

The court of social media is literally slanderous statements & nothing else until she walks in to a police station and fills out a god damned report (as she fucking should have done the very day it happened) … It honestly is a very good thing that there seems to be video evidence from the event, or this dude could sue the shit out of her.

It is not that fucking hard to report a criminal & if you want action done right then and there she should have whipped out her phone, dialed 911, and reported that she was being sexually harassed and terrified that she was going to be raped.

That will get just about every single cop car in the city there in less than 10 minutes.

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Cypher

So much this! If one feels threatened, call the police! This is not a defence of this guys actions at all, in fact until she makes an official complaint via the police, he’s essentially getting away with it!

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Kay

“That will get just about every single cop car in the city there in less than 10 minutes.”

Not really. The reason these are so often not reported, is because too often so little is done.

Not all the time and everywhere, but if the objective is to avoid harassment, not reporting it will let you avoid the attention and negative blow back.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Yeah. The idea that the police would care about this is literally laughable, in the UK (where this is) or elsewhere. If anyone shows up at all, they’ll just tell people to move on. They might have shown up for the physical assault on the dude streamer, but it’ll be treated like any bar fight, broken up, and probably nothing done unless someone’s bleeding badly enough to need stitches.

Would be interesting living in a world where low-level assaults, robberies, harassment, stalking etc. was taken seriously or where calling the cops even when you’re the victim wasn’t more a risk to you than to the perp.

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Leiloni

In most situations if a crime has been committed, the cops have to arrest the person. So you should always call the cops and make sure they have the full story. Sometimes it’s not up to them – for a bar fight for example, the owner often merely wants the person to leave and will often tresspass them so they can’t come back. But if they don’t want to press charges, the cops can’t do anything. So in many cases if you as a victim want action taken, you need to file a report and go from there – press charges if desired, or get a protective or restraining order, etc. However you should always call the cops because at the very least they’ll deal with the immediate situation and also keep a record of it, so if it happens again they have it on file that it’s not the first occurrence.

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Armsbend

If the police shrugged you off on a legitimate complaint they could find themselves in serious hot water in today’s political climate.

That being a fact, this entire event is horseshit.

Xijit
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Xijit

That is bull shit in caps lock.

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Philip Armstrong

If I was falsely accused, not saying one way or the other that this is false, and the police were never involved but my livelihood was impacted I would sue and I would probably win.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

Of course harassment is illegal, they could have at least ticketed him, just the attempted kissing alone would have nailed him for sexual assault.

Xijit
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Xijit

There is nothing defensible in his actions and the prick should be in jail, but at the same time I am guessing that you don’t get the same kind of internet famous for “courageously calling the cops on a drunk pervert.”

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Armsbend

Same thing I thought. Someone throws me into a car so I call up Jagex. Some of these people are desperately looking for attention.

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Bruno Brito

Gotta love when they hang themselves explaining it.

I hope this is dealt with swiftly and in a fair manner for the victims. They shouldn’t have to deal with this.

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Greaterdivinity

Every time these assholes try to “explain” themselves they only make it worse, and I’m totally alright with that. The more of them that have their influencer careers crash and burn the better.

It’s not bloody hard to simply not be a dick, ffs.

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Utakata

…though seem to become supreme court judges on the political circuit. Maybe they need a change of careers? /bleh

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Tobasco da Gama

Super gross. I’m glad Jagex seem to be taking this seriously.

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ting

Welcome to 2018

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Bruno Brito

Gotta say, i’m enjoying it. Seeing these people actually answer for their BS is giving me hope for the times to come.