Adam Sessler

Former gaming journalist.


False accusations of drug abuse

During Rev3Games’ coverage of E3 2013 which ran from 11 to 13 June, in several videos Sessler is seen behaving very erratically, presenting nervous tics, slurred speech and other symptoms often associated with drug abuse [1] [2] [3]

Soon the internet had plenty of rumors regarding the use of cocaine [4] [5] [6] [7] Although they were for the most part in mockery, nevertheless mean-spirited assumptions took some hold. There is no evidence whatsoever about drug abuse beyond conjecture based on the videos in question, which has been attributed to stress and overwork during E3 [8]

Justifies doxxing

During the ScrewAttack Gaming Convention 2013, which lasted from 11 to 13 July, Adam Sessler and Jim Sterling shared a panel to talk about the state of online gaming communities.

On the topic of hate speech and the trolls that use it, Sessler makes a perfectly valid point that just as its their right to free speech to behave in such a manner, he has the freedom of speech to call them out and offend them too. However, he follows this up by immediately justifying doxxing, namely by finding their address and publicizing it, to cheers from the audience and enthusiastic agreement from Sterling [9]

Accusing 4chan of “live hacking attempts”

On 21 August 2014, two days after Zoe Quinn faked her own doxxing, Sessler tweeted about being in a bar with her and “watching these hack attempts going down live”, with screenshot showing Zoe Quinn and her boyfriend Alex Lifschitz browsing what seems like a 4chan board (at the time, 4chan hadn’t banned Gamergate discussion), and soon afterwards he advertises her Patreon [10] [11] [12] [13]

Suspicions of favoritism arose from the event, considering the facts that:

  • journalists associating too much with devs and publishers being one of Gamergate’s contentions (although Sessler has left gaming journalism since April 2014, he remains a personality in the gaming press)
  • he flat-out encouraged people to donate money to one such dev
  • Quinn unsuccessfully attempt to fake her own doxxing only two days prior
  • she indeed hasn’t been hacked then, or at all

4chan’s /v/ board mocked Sessler’s accusations, which they saw as just another smear attack on Gamergate [14] [15]

However, hours after Sessler’s tweets, the site of Phil Fish’s Polytron site was hacked and with it his doxxes were leaked. The perpetrator is unknown as the message left on Polytron’s defaced site is purposefully sarcastic and obfuscating, which led pro-GG people to argue it was a “false flag” like Quinn herself had attemtped two days previously. However, Polytron’s hacking proved to be genuine. More details in Phil Fish’s page in this site.

Excusing conflict of interest

In a video uploaded to Youtube by Rev3Games in February 2013, Sessler essentially calls gamers “paranoid” for being distrusting of one of their reviews of an EA-published game which featured ads for EA itself [16]





Source [17]

Supports real-life harassment of pro-GG people


Source [18]

   [ + ]

Posted in | Comments Off on Adam Sessler

David Pakman

Host of the syndicated political talk show that ebars his name, broadcast for radio, television and online.


Involvement with Gamergate

Pakman joined the discussion when he started doing interviews with several key figures from Gamergate starting late October 2014:

Others were invited on the show but their interviews didn’t come to pass for various reasons:

  • Stephen Totilo, who on 31 October was invitated via Twitter and politely declined [1]
  • Zoe Quinn, who on 31 October was invited via Twitter, accused him of “public pressure” and enabling a “hate group”, among other claims from her and her peers, especially Alex Lifschitz. Please see the sections below for more details
  • Oliver Campbell, scheduled to be interviewed on 3 November, cancelled it [2]

Public reception of Gamergate interviews

Pakman’s very first piece on Gamergate, Brianna Wu’s interview, immediately drew criticism from the anti-GG side.

Brianna Wu’s criticism

Wu considered Pakman, who had so far not made any pronunciations on Gamergate, of being biased against her. During the interview itself, at about the 20:52 mark, she accuses Pakman of running a hit piece on her [3]

Totalbiscuit commented on this on the Youtube, stating that she seemed to expect the interview to be a platform for her to uncritically expose her side and was surprised when Pakman contested her claims and put her on the spotlight:


Soon after the interview, Wu took to Twitter to further her criticism of Pakman, whom she claimed was putting her “on trial” for being a victim [4], fitting with the anti-GG narrative that casts Gamergate as a harassment campaign:


She ends her diatribe by announcing she will “answer all these tough question [sic]” soon in an interview with journalist Glenn Fleishman. A few facts not mentioned in that Twitter conversation are that Fleishman is a friend of Wu’s since before Gamergate or the “Quinnspiracy” controversy that preceded it [5] [6] and donated to the Kickstarter of her game Revolution 60 [7], whereas Wu has collaborated twice to Fleishman’s publication, The Magazine [8] [9] and donated to two of his Kickstarters [10] Thus Fleishman’s bias in the interview is a foregone conclusion [11], as was his open stance against Gamergate as whole [12]

Milo Yiannopoulos gets involved

Yiannopoulos took umbrage at supposed lies about him that Wu said in Pakman’s interview [13] [14] [15] This eventually led to more misunderstangs, explained on their respective pages.

Ben Kuchera’s preventive refusal

On 31 October, after receiving Totilo’s recusal for an interview, David Pakman lamented that they were having trouble finding anti-GG people to be on the show [16] After a random commenter suggested he ask Ben Kuchera, the latter preventively recused himself with a peculiar message that compared Gamergate to creationists [17] This reinforced the anti-GG narrative that GG, as a harassment campaign, has no merit whatsoever and doesn’t even deserve to be debated.


Zoe Quinn’s invitation

Still on 31 October, as Pakman sought for more anti-GG voices to be interviewed, he tweeted at Zoe Quinn asking if she would like to be interviewed. She immediately responded by accusing him of applying “public pressure” against people [18] especially with GG’s “interference” involved [19], and of legitimizing a “hate group” via a golden mean fallacy [20], before refusing the offer and requesting further conversations to be in private [21]

The implication of her accusations, in keeping with the standard anti-GG narrative, is that Gamergate has no valid points and isn’t even worthy of being discussed. As Pakman defended himself from these accusations, she further berated him for not asking in private [22] [23] He apologized, claiming her replies were appearing out of order because of the software he was using, Hootsuite.

Still later on 31 October, Alex Lifschitz went on a rant because of Pakman’s requests for an interview. It’s pretty much impossible to highlight the most egregious tweets because it was effectively a day-long tantrum [24]

Regardless, on 1 November Quinn mentioned responded to David Pakman to talk about a possible interview deal in private [25] [26] As of yet, she wasn’t interviewed by Pakman.

Source: 8chan

Source: 8chan

The same day, Pakman mentioned on Twitter how he had received many accusations of “leading a hate mob against women” simply for stating his neutrality regarding GG during the previous day’s fracas with Zoe Quinn [27]


Wu piles on again

Following the multiple attacks on Pakman that followed the fracas with Zoe Quinn on 31 October, Wu again weighed in against Pakman, accusing him of egocentrism and making this “about him”, which Pakman refuted [28]


Arthur Chu’s criticism

The interview with Arthur Chu happened on November 4.

The second and so far last anti-GG figure to be interviewed by Pakman, Arthur Chu already had demonstrated animosity towards Pakman due to perceived victim harassment when offering her an interview [29] [30]

Chu started openly criticizing Pakman soon after the interview was done [31], to Pakman’s apparent surprise as he claims they agreed more often than not on the topics discussed. Later Chu claimed that his contention was that “the shows were set up as ‘Gotcha!’ zingers and whaddya know we did a half-hour on zinging me” [32], which Pakman denied [33], without any proof presented by Chu.

Throughtout these Twitter conversations, Chu tries to smear Pakman’s reputation by claiming he is an unethical journalist who owes his career to a 2010 interview with Glenn Miller [34] [35], a white supremacist who came to national attention on 13 April 2014 after a shooting rampage in a Jewish retirement community [36] Pakman and other Twitter users point out that the interview happened literally years before Miller’s crimes, which makes Chu’s accusations of sensationalism patently false, and moreover the interview tapes were handed as evidence to the FBI. However Chu still insisted that Miller’s 2010 interview and 2014 rampage where the springboard of Pakman’s career, while claiming his feud with Pakman wasn’t due to Gamergate but due to Pakman being only interested in “dirt” on his interviewees.

Days later, Arthur Chu put his contention in more simple, honest terms.


Yet a few days later, Chu wrote an article for The Daily Beast against Gamergate. Beside the usual narrative of misogyny and self-denefnse from personal accusations, he took the time to write Pakman “seems to enjoy doing sensationalistic clickbait interviews for the attention and the fireworks, without considering whether they make any positive impact” [37] Pakman responded in a tweet that Chu had shown no objections to their research process at the time of the interview but now rants about how it’s “evil” [38]

Further defamation and David Pakman’s defense

Besides rebuttals on Twitter seen in the section above, David Pakman has saw fit to follow the series of interviews with a few video “editorials” of sorts.

Pakman’s position on Gamergate itself

In the first non-interview video about Gamergate [39] published on November 10, Pakman clarifies his position on GG itself. Claiming to be accused of bias for both sides and that he accepts neither label, he explains he clearly sees harassment and trolling coming from both sides, states that issues of sexism misogyny clearly exists but has not be presented with evidence that such issues are worse in the gaming industry than elsewhere, and that it’s clear that there’s no doubt about collusion in gaming journalism even tho obviously the field is obviously not a serious matter in the grand scheme of things. In the next video, he clarified that tho neutral in the issue, he sympathized more with the anti-GG side.

CBC misidentification

In the second “editorial” video about GG [40], Pakman shares past instances where he was misidentified in the press (once as a former neo-Nazi, once as a dead gay suicidal teenager), and now it has happened again, thanks to CBC’s piece on Gamergate [41] from 13 November.

During the segment, as the voiceover says that Gamergate began as a hashtag for the discussion of ethics in gaming journalism but has degenerated into a harassment campaign, the camera shows tweets and videos of several different people on the pro-GG side. Due to this lack of clarity, it can be implied that these specific people were labeled as either common gamers discussing ethics or harassers, and among the visible people is Greg Pakman. Worse still, the footage of Pakman that they used was precisely his previous video, where he states his neutrality. So the CBC article not only spuriously implies several people might be harassers, but it demonstrates they didn’t do any research at all in showing David Pakman as pro-GG at all.

The third “editorial” video is about CBC’s clarification e-mail to Pakman regarding the use of his image on the segment [42] It states that they didn’t imply he was a harasser, as his footage appears right as the voiceover mentions “initially a hashtag for the dicussion of ethics…”. However, it also states that his footage was chosen because he was an “early adopter” of GG discussion, which Pakman himself denies, claiming himself a latecomer to the debate. Thus the charge that CBC’s segment was badly researched remained.

ggautoblocker misidentification

During the fiasco of IGDA’s endorsement of the ggautoblocker program, it turned out that David Pakman’s personal twitter, @dpakman, was listed as one of the 10,000+ “harassers” within Gamergate [43], despite the fact that his maain account, @davidpakmanshow, had been whitelisted long before [44]

   [ + ]

Posted in | Comments Off on David Pakman

Brad Wardell

Game and software developer with 20 years of experience, CEO and founder of Stardock.


Stardock lawsuits and Kotaku’s coverage

In August 2012, Brad Wardell’s company Stardock filed a lawsuit against a former employee over her supposed participation in damaging the production of the 2010 game Elemental [1] On its article about this, Kotaku’s Kate Cox brought up a past lawsuit from 2010 when the same employee accused Wardell of sexual harassment [2] The article went on to draw conclusions about Stardock’s lawsuit having an ulterior, retaliatory nature.

When Kotaku published its one-sided article accusing Stardock’s Brad Wardell of sexual harassment, Ben Kuchera, then at Penny Arcade Report, “signal-boosted” Kotaku’s article [3] As the URL shows, the original name of Kuchera’s link was called “Stardock CEO Brad Wardell sued for sexual harassment, with some pretty damning evidence”. The latter part was soon edited to “some heavy allegations” as it became clear that Kotaku’s article was heavily flawed, drawing all its accusations from one side of the litigation, namely that of Wardell accuser, and had never sought Wardell to hear his side of the story.

Both lawsuits were later dismissed with prejudice upon a settlement that involved the former employee issueing a public apology [4], and Kotaku updated the original article to add this fact [5]


Wardell has since then claimed on his personal blog and Twitter that Kotaku’s article was badly researched and one-sided to the point where it caused distress to his family. During Gamergate, as part of a series of interviews with developers, The Escapist talked to Wardell [6]Page 1, page 2, page 3, who provided further information on the results of the lawsuits and Kotaku’s article, among other topics concerning GG, claiming that his immediate family was harassed and to this day his and his company’s reputations are undeservedly tarnished because of Kotaku’s article.

He further delved into the matter on more in-depth posts on his blog [7]


Apologies from the media

So far, there have been only two apologies directed at Wardell regarding his slandering by the media.

One was by James Fudge, member of the now-closed GameJournoPros list and editor of GamePolitics [8] It was among of the sites that echoed the initial one-sided allegations against Wardell in 2012 [9]

The other apology came from Damion Schubert, developer and vocal anti-GG blogger [10] Although having never a member of the press himself, he apologized for not being critical of Kotaku’s claims, which he condemned.


Smear campaign

On 2 December 2014, Wardell was accused by Zoe Quinn of offering a job to the artist of Shredded Moose, who drew a pornographic strip involving her, clearly implying that said job offer was because of said cartoon and a shared bias as both of them have pro-GG views [11] [12] The fact that the supposed offer happened on 1 November, over a month before she complained on Twitter, later compounded claims of ill will, discussed at teh end of the article.

Wardell refuted both accusations, stating that he didn’t offer a job but merely stated to the artist in question that his company was accepting applications, and pointed out that he extended the same invitation to Quinn herself a year before. He further stated that he routinely tells people who express interest in games in Twitter that they can apply to Stardock.

Later in the day, Wardell said he wasn’t aware that the pornographic strip existed [13] [14] [15] [16] [17], as the artist deleted it from his site soon after publishing it months ago, and the remaining strips aren’t graphical [18]


As the argument escalated, Quinn referenced back to the sexual harassment case discussed in the sections above, and some of Quinn’s friends and journalists weighed in, including John Walker from Rock Paper Shotgun [19] [20] [21], Jim Sterling [22], Ian Miles Cheong [23], Brianna Wu [24], Chris Kluwe [25] [26], Arthur Chu [27] and Alex Lifschitz [28] [29]

As mentioned before, Wardell wasn’t even aware of the offending stip until after this blew up [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39]

Wardell claims ill will from Quinn

Wardell claims that Quinn hasn’t displayed any good will, as demonstrated by a conversation from 2013, altho it took place before the suits Wardell was involved in were dismissed [40] However, Quinn brought these claims up again in her 2 December accusations. Compounded by the fact that the supposed “job offer” had happened a month before on 1 November, and that Wardell wasn’t even aware f the offending strip until this blew up, it seems this was a wholly false accusation created to garner attention and smear Brad Wardell’s reputation further.


   [ + ]

Posted in | Comments Off on Brad Wardell