The Other McCain

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Death by ‘Social Justice’: Zoe Quinn Drives Game Maker Alec Holowka to Suicide

Posted on | September 1, 2019 | 1 Comment


Who is Zoe Quinn?

“Zoe Quinn” was Patient Zero of the #GamerGate controversy. A tattoo-covered, mentally ill ex-stripper whose real name is Chelsea Van Valkenburg, Quinn was the creator of a tediously dull game called “Depression Quest.” She broke up with her boyfriend, a software geek named Eron Gjoni, and allegedly became intimate with a videogame journalist named Nathan Grayson. In August 2014, Gjoni published a nearly 10,000-word article exposing Quinn’s alleged misconduct.

Every time she makes news, I get a surge of traffic because of that concise biographical summary, and this week the cause of the traffic surge was that Zoe had accused an ex-boyfriend, Alec Holowka, of abusing her when they lived together briefly in Winnipeg in 2009. As a result of her accusation, Holowka was fired from the game-development company he had co-founded and then Saturday, Holowka committed suicide:

No formal investigation was conducted, no reports were filed, no police were involved, no evidence against Holowka ever surfaced. It was basically career execution by the court of public opinion. . . .
I’m sure there will be a number of people hand-waving away the allegations against him, claiming that they had nothing to do with the suicide, but having an entire industry turn against you based on unproven and unsubstantiated claims with the intent of making sure you never have a successful career in interactive entertainment seems too big to ignore.
In any case, the public castigation of Holowka courtesy of cancel culture did more than just cancel his career, it ended his life.

Recall that the #GamerGate controversy involved social justice warriors (SJWs) trying to gain influence in the videogame industry, with the assistance of unscrupulous journalists acting as publicity agents.

This #MeToo game of using unsubstantiated rape accusations to destroy men — we saw it in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings — is “social justice,” according to Zoe Quinn and her supporters. The issue involved here is not whether Holowka was a bad boyfriend. His sister, in reporting his death, said that Holowka had psychiatric issues, and Zoe’s psychiatric issues are notorious, so that the combination of the two was like combining two highly unstable chemicals. But whatever happened between them was never reported to police, and there was no way to establish the truth, just as we can never know what (if anything) transpired between Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford in 1982.


Think back to how and why the #MeToo crusade began in 2017. Feminists were angry because Trump was president, and they decided to expiate their wrath by destroying Harvey Weinstein, a powerful Hollywood producer who was a serial abuser of women. Once the Weinstein bonfire was lit, other powerful men in Hollywood, media and politics were tossed onto the flames — Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Al Franken — in a sort of social-justice carnival. One day, a guy was a millionaire celebrity and the next day — WHOOSH! — up in flames, his reputation destroyed and his career ended by a disgruntled ex-girlfriend. Amid the climate of witch-hunt hysteria, the distinctions were blurred between minor “offensive” behavior and serious crimes.

Weinstein had long been notorious in Hollywood, and his predatory behavior was more or less continual for decades, but some of the men incinerated by the #MeToo bonfire were never accused of anything like that. As the outrage mobs danced in the lurid light of the social-justice flames, the original reason for the bonfire was forgotten.


This was about Trump, and because feminists felt powerless in the wake of a Republican’s election, they had begun lashing out at men whose bad behavior was in some way Trump-like (“Grab ’em by the p***y”).

Now look where it has led. Whatever anyone might say about Alec Holowka, he wasn’t a powerful Hollywood mogul. He was a geek making videogames whose misfortune was that, 10 years ago, he invited Zoe Quinn to move in with him for a month. Anyone who cares to research Zoe Quinn’s biography will discover that she has a habit of causing drama and then claiming victimhood. For some reason, there’s always a “white knight” eager to rescue the tattoo-covered damsel in distress and, by reinforcing her sense of victimhood, these rescuers encourage repetition of the cycle. When other women see Zoe Quinn celebrated as a courageous heroine (there was even talk of her being played by Scarlett Johansson in a movie about #GamerGate), this inspires emulation: “Monkey see, monkey do.” Every emotionally troubled bimbo who has ever had a “bad boyfriend” situation with a guy in the videogame industry knows she can get attention by playing the heroic victim, and it’s not difficult to imagine the climate of fear this has induced.

Suppose you’re a game-developer guy in your early 30s, and you’ve had a dozen girlfriends since you graduated high school. Most of those girlfriends you’ve met through work, and how many of your ex-girlfriends might hold a grudge against you? Probably two or three, at least. All it takes is for one of your ex-girlfriends to go public with a #MeToo story, and it’s almost certain that every ex-girlfriend with a grudge is going to come out of the woodwork to add her victimhood tale to the narrative. Somewhere along the way, of course, you might have been in a situation that could be construed as “harassment” — an incident when you had a few too many cocktails at a party, or whatever — and you can bet that story’s gonna get told if you become that target of a #MeToo mob. Over the course of the past 15 years or so, then, you’ve got two or three ex-girlfriends trashing you on the Internet, plus the possible “harassment” incident, and these tales are piled up online, forming a sort of prosecutor’s brief portraying you as a serial abuser.

Your career is over. You’ve been “canceled,” as they say.

It was inevitable, from the moment the first spark of the #MeToo bonfire was lit, that eventually some man would commit suicide as a result.

R.I.P., Alec Holowka. Cause of death? “Social justice.”



One Response to “Death by ‘Social Justice’: Zoe Quinn Drives Game Maker Alec Holowka to Suicide”

  1. Saturday Links | 357 Magnum
    September 7th, 2019 @ 10:11 am

    […] The Other McCain – Death by ‘Social Justice’: Zoe Quinn Drives Game Maker Alec Holowka to Suicide […]