NeoGAF has been a popular gaming forum for over a decade now that has both helped and hindered the gaming community at large throughout that time. At the time of this writing, NeoGAF is still currently offline after the owner Tyler Malka has been accused, again, of sexual misconduct. Tyler Malka, who goes by Evilore on the forums, has been called out in a Facebook post by Ima Leupp detailing a situation which took place between the two in a hotel room years ago. The image of that post is below.
Over the years, many notable personalities have been members such as David Jaffe and Cliff Bleszinski, though both have left the site. NeoGAF has also been home to anonymous industry insiders who have leaked information about upcoming releases. Most recently, the Marvel Vs Capcom: Infinite roster was leaked ahead of its’ release. This prompted a lot of backlash from fans of the series and could have played a hand in the game’s underwhelming sales.
Being a gaming haven of discussion has also been the breeding ground for bouts of the horrible depths of gaming culture we might all love to ignore, but exists nonetheless. Speaking with Waypoint, Ima Leupp had this to say in response to her post becoming viral:
“I never meant to out him publicly. I never meant to have any of this happen. It was a story that had come up. Instead of just reposting a hashtag, I thought if I described some more details of certain situations that it would become more real for friends in my life.”
Following this post, many users took to the forums to express their outrages, as well as seeking to be banned in the wake of what they felt was the last straw in a long line of issues regarding Tyler Malka, and the content of the site itself. As of this post it has been rumored that more than half of the sites moderators have quit or stepped down as a result of the recent allegations.
Despite no official statement being released from Malka’s end, he did take the time to sit down and deny that his behavior was as unwarranted as Leupp’s post suggested. Malka stated that everything was “totally harmonious and consensual” and that her accusations are, “entirely baseless”.
Leupp responded by saying, “I pretty clearly remember closing the door. Maybe not closing it all the way, but closing it enough so that I was protected. I wasn’t getting naked in front of him and then going ‘Oh, I’m going to puke. You wanna come in the shower with me? That’s fucking gross,” while also claiming his version of consensual was “delusional.”
Leupp had deleted her original post, to which many cried that her accusations were false and even Malka himself said that it pointed to the lack of validity to the claims. She then went on to finalize her statements with:
“The only thing I gain from this is harassment. I’m not trying to ruin his life. I wasn’t trying to call him out. I was responding to a fucking hashtag about sexual assault and sexual abuse, and that story fit really well. Who gets into a shower with a naked girl who’s puking?”
As of the time of this writing, NeoGAF has come back online after a few days down. Malka is still very much, “at the helm”, so it remains to be seen if any real change will take place for the site. Situations like this can really speak volumes about not only the ugly side of our gaming culture, but our culture at large. For every women who has the courage to share her story, there seems to be someone wiling to step forward to call it a, “witch hunt” or attempt to delegitimize the claims, which is a shame. Hopefully as this story unfolds, we can understand the necessity for these stories to not only be heard, but understood as well.