Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter.

We have received a number of comments noting that article titled “The Top Five: Black Characters in Gaming” by Grant Taylor is grossly insensitive.  As the owner of GrownGaming, I have considered this and made the decision to take the article down.

In my heart, I do not believe that Grant had any intention of being racist and I would like to stress that we as a platform (and I as a person) would find any such behaviour entirely unacceptable.  I completely support the Black Lives Matter movement and would expect any other decent human being to do so too.

The article was intended to promote black characters in gaming as a celebration of those characters rather than to be derogatory and certainly not to detract from the Black Lives Matter movement.  I am truly sorry that we have done that – it was never the intention.

I will consider republishing the article during Black History Month, which I feel would be a more appropriate time given that it is a time of celebration, however I will ensure that the comments on this article remain open to gauge thoughts on this.  I have changed the “owner” of this article so that only I should be able to delete comments, ensuring that I see them all.  I would also like to suggest that if/when we republish this article, the ads are switched for those that benefit the black community.

Update 1: After gauging opinions via the comments and emails (thank you very much for sending those through), the article will not be republished. 

I will take forward the recommendation to publish articles celebrating black people in the game industry during Black History month.  I will suggest the charity steam to Grant and will promote it via this website and our social media channels (along with my personal ones).  I will also ask Grant to write a response to this situation, too.

I am responding to individual comments the best I can – it would be appreciated if they could be posted in response to this article, but I’m trying to respond to them on other articles, too.

I cannot stress enough how saddened I am that this has happened.  We did not mean any offence and fully support the Black Lives Matter movement.  I and we made a mistake and got it completely wrong.  We need to do better.

Update 2: I will respond to comments below individually, but wanted to put a full update in here, too.

We are parting ways with Grant.  From my experience of him, I would like to stress that I do not believe him to be a racist person and he does not deserve to be tarnished as such.  I cannot defend his article or comments in the same way that I cannot defend the fact that I allowed the article to be published – it was misguided and there is no excuse.  I can only speak for myself, so from my own personal position, I am sorry and will do better.

While I understand that there is history between Grant and a message board (some of which has come to light in the comments), that is not the issue here and should not detract from what has happened.  Deleting the comments was wrong and would have given me the insight to have taken down the article sooner, but that wasn’t the biggest issue, either.  The key problem is that the article was written and published in the first place.  We have fed into the much wider issue that we see millions of people marching and campaigning for around the world, and I am sorry that we have.  It was not the intention, but it is what we have done.

To follow up on a previous action, I have installed a plugin called “Members” which allows me to restrict permissions for accounts on the site.  I have removed the ability to moderate comments from accounts of all levels but on testing it did not seem to have worked (which may be a caching issue on my end, but I cannot be sure), so as an added measure I have reduced the level of all accounts on the site to a level where they should not be able to moderate comments as default (along with other restrictions, but those are for me to manage).  While I’m usually flexible with contributors and allow a level of autonomy, this is definitely one area that I need to have full control of moving forward. If anyone ever finds a way around it and deletes or amends a comment without approval, I will remove their account from the site and give them the option to have their previous articles deleted so that they can publish them elsewhere.  I will take a zero tolerance stance on this.

I have also removed another entirely unrelated article which on reflection I do not feel is appropriate.

From now until the end of Black History month, I am going to remove the top and bottom site-wide banner ads and replace them with those supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.  Please give me a few hours to make this change.  I am also looking into how to implement them into mobile/AMP pages and will make sure that they are the same there too when I figure that one out.

I have always considered myself to be open and welcoming to everyone, but I have learned that actions taken without careful thought can be just as damaging as those by people who oppose equality.  I will no doubt make mistakes in the future, but will do my all not to repeat this one and to learn from it moving forward.

John

50 Comments

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  1. Please comment to give your thoughts on whether the article should be republished in Black History month. If it is deemed inappropriate, it will not be republished. Once I have received responses, I will make this page redirect to the official BLM website.

    Thank you.

  2. Maybe a better thing to do during Black History Month would be an article celebrating black developers, publishers etc.

    I don’t feel that Black History Month would be particularly honoured by an article that compared Dr King to a robot, but celebrating achievement in gaming by real life people of colour could be more respectful

  3. Hi,

    I appreciate this move, thank you.

    I’ve seen a lot of buzz on social media lately about doing gaming for charity, raising money for Covid, etc. Maybe rather than posting the offending article at a later time, Mr. Taylor could do one of these charity streams, with the money going to a BLM-affiliated cause?

  4. I agree with Richard Bowman. I think Grant doing a charity gaming marathon in aid of charities that support black lives matter would be a great way for him to make up for this article which, while I’m sure not deliberate, was in poor taste.

  5. What I find most concerning as an infrequent visitor of this site is the writer of the original article seemed to decide to delete negative comments. That sort of censorship is incredibly dangerous, especially in relation to racial inequality, which is what blm is all about.

    The oppression of people standing up for equality should not be tolerated and i would think long and hard about using this writer ever again. Shameful.

    As a parent and aslightly older ‘gamer’ I have always felt this site represented people like me but the original article was ghoulish and the censorship unforgiveable. You have lost a reader.

  6. John I’m a fan of yours but why are you wasting bandwidth defending and considering republishing the article?

    I read the article and it was bad. Really bad. I don’t know if it was ‘offensive’ but it was tacky. Oh look, another white man telling us what he thinks of black stuff because it’s trendy! Besides all of that, it read like it was written by a middle class white kid doing work experience at Buzzfeed for their Diversity GCSE and the scattered attempts at intellectualism were so bad I thought my eyes were going to fall out from rolling them so much. That’s the main reason for not republishing it – not its potential to cause offence, but its quality as a piece of writing.

    The article should be canned. Perhaps Mr Taylor could do some actual research and write an article on black developers and significant black people in the industry rather than resorting to lazy opportunism.

  7. (Sorry, this comment is not syncing to the correct comment it is in response to. It was in response to John and Richard’s comments and suggestion of a live stream.)

    Thank you for your comment and for the article recommendation – that sounds much more appropriate.

  8. Yeah, I like both the ideas here.

    I’m sure Grant wasn’t being deliberately offensive, and I feel the public rebuke he has received is probably punishment enough, I don’t want to see him #cancelled, but the article was tone deaf as hell. I think a comment from him personally apologising would have been nice (while the steps you are taking are great, John, a lack of any comment from Grant is a glaring omission), but I don’t want to drag him across the coals too much. He was being an insensitive idiot, but he wasn’t being malicious. Deleting the comments was wrong, but I gather from your post that there’s an implication that you didn’t know about this John? If so, measures have been taken to remedy that now, so if he’s not able to do that on any of his articles going forward then it’s a positive.

    An article about black *people* in gaming rather than black characters could be good. Grant could do the interviews with them, it could be a teachable moment for him.

    And the charity gaming marathon is a great idea. He could do a 24 hour live stream, and you could host it on this site, John!

    Look, the ideal would be that this article hadn’t been written, hadn’t been approved, and the comments about it hadn’t been deleted.

    But all that has happened now, and rather than dwelling on the negative (though it must be acknowledged and not forgotten) lets try and find a positive way of going forward.

    The live stream could be a lot of fun for all involved

  9. Thank you for your comment. The suggestion of an article on black people in gaming would be much more appropriate and I will look to take that forward in Black History month.

    The article approval falls to me and I need to do better when considering future articles. Grant did notify me that he was going to write the article as the next in his series of “Top 5…” and I thought that it would be a positive thing to do given the current movement, but I called it wrong completely. That is on me.

    The comments should not have been deleted – if I had have seen the comments coming through I would have instantly known that there was a problem and that the article was not being received as I thought it would be, and I would have taken action to remove it immediately. I will ask Grant to explain why he deleted them.

    For full disclosure, I do delete comments on the site myself, but usually the nasty, troll type. I leave the comments where people disagree with the articles and try to engage in conversation with those people where I can. Though I cannot see the comments that were deleted, I assume that they were similar to the ones that were posted on other articles that I can see, which are absolutely not troll comments and are instead opinions that should have been heard and action taken at the time. You cannot grow a community by only keeping the comments that say “great job” and you certainly can’t ignore the consensus when you’ve obviously got it wrong.

    I need to look into methods to stop anyone deleting comments but me – I genuinely didn’t know that was possible for anyone below “Administrator” level. I will take that offline though.

    I honestly do not believe Grant is a racist person or that this article was never intended to be received in the way it was – on reflection, we made a big mistake and got it wrong and I am sorry and I will expect Grant to give his take on it too. I think the live stream could be a positive step forward.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to comment.

  10. Thank you for the explanation John, it’s a level of transparency and open honesty you don’t see too often, so it’s very much appreciated.

    Looking forward (hopefully) to the stream!

  11. (In response to Ben in case this doesn’t sync)

    Thank you for your comment. The article will not be republished. There have been suggestions of much more appropriate articles that should be published instead, which I will action.

  12. (In response to Sam in case this doesn’t sync – sorry about the comments not lining up)

    I completely agree with you, and we deserve to lose you (and others).

  13. (In response to Courtney)

    I try, and I do genuinely appreciate your comment and the other comments.

    I know many people will rightly continue to be angry, and I will continue to apologise to those, but the key thing as you said is learning and moving forward. I will no doubt make more mistakes in the future but will do my all not to repeat them.

  14. I would like to speak in defense of Grant. While I feel the article was slightly off the mark with its tone, I think the offence here has been largely manufactured by a message board community from GameFAQs who don’t like Grant on a personal level (following a mishap where he failed to complete a gaming marathon that he collected money for, which is why you see references to a charity stream in some of these comments) and are trying to troll him. I strongly suspect that some of the comments on this article are from users of that message board pretending to be real readers. Please keep this in mind with any action you choose to take.

    • Thank you, Ted.

      I do know that Grant has been targeted by that message board on several occasions. However, even that being the case, we still got it wrong with this article. I know Grant well enough to know that he was not trying to cause offence or be racist, but we did make a big mistake and have to acknowledge that.

  15. Hi John. Relatively short time reader of the site but as a more ‘adult’ gamer with 2 kids I have enjoyed the different angle taken on the industry on here more often than not. The article in question was a bit weird and tonedeaf though. As somebody said above, the references to social movements in the black community were so shallow I almost had to do a double take that it wasn’t a pisstake, not to mention the whole ‘here’s some good black people!’ thrust of it in the first place. And truthfully, separate from these two points, as somebody who’s been big on indie titles the last few years I’d have preferred if the eventual article looked at black characters outside of a bunch of identikit AAA titles.

    However I’m not a fan of somebody coming on here under the name ‘Ted Danson’ and trying to stir the pot. I don’t give a crap about what the author does in his spare time or who he’s pals with: the article wasn’t good and we should acknowledge that instead of letting trolls try to make it into something it’s not.

    Appreciate the otherwise pro-active response though! All the best, Mike

    • (In response to Mike Olowu, in case this does not sync)
      Hi Mike, thank you for your comment. I agree with you – we should not lose sight of the fact that the main issue is that the article was written and published, and I am a key party in that for which I am sincerely sorry.

      Through these comments I have realised how much more effort I need to put into maintaining GrownGaming’s identity. I created it for two reasons: because I wanted to write and because I wanted to create a platform to meet fellow adult gamers. Along the way, that identity has become diluted. While I am open to more general articles, I think more focus needs to be put on writing specifically for adult gamers and the types of articles that they might enjoy.

  16. Just to give you a clearer picture from someone off that message board who doesnt really have a problem with Grant on personal level. I dont think he was targeted by trolls like is being made out so dont think its fair to paint the board specifically as the ‘bad guy’. Its more how his actions on the board became more and more toxic during and after the charity event and his tit for tat arguing with some users there.

    He was part of the forum for a long time himself and got donations for his charity gaming marathon from several members. There was some general banter beforehand on which games he should play as it came across as not much of a ‘challenge’ to play games he enjoys. So fair play to him he changed to a few odd choices from what I remember. But he failed to complete the challenge and the stream went idle for a good while towards the end from what was reported by a few people still up watching late on in the night. When questioned he became more and more unhinged snapping at people, calling them all liars, then eventually just ignoring all questions about it. Whenever he posted it would attract people questioning what happened and he admitted several times he loved the attention and would be posting in order to troll the board – his actual words. Seems he had taken money off some users it was fair to want an answer imo.

    Eventually he did admit he fell asleep and was generally given credit for dropping the act and admitting to the truth. But since all the attention went to his head he would repeatedly get himself banned from the board and then return under different account names in order to troll people.

    Now that doesnt make it ok to be trying to lose him real life opportunities – or indeed lose your site viewers under false ‘outrage’ regarding this article which doesnt seem offensive, just ill informed and a bit of BLM cash-in. And I feel sorry this has spilled over onto your site John. But I just wanted to give some further clarification on why there has been an ongoing back and forward between Grant and some people of that message board.

    • (In response to Joseph Lee in case this doesn’t sync)
      Hi Joseph, thank you for your comment and for the insight. I didn’t dig too deep when it was mentioned to me, but I always know that there are two sides to every story – there is likely more than has even been mentioned here, but honestly, it isn’t any of my business. While there is clearly history between Grant and your community, it is not for me to comment upon. What I do need to do is apologise to those I (and we) have hurt and move forward as positively as possible.

  17. Hi all, Grant here.

    As John has stated on numerous occasions now, it was never intended for this article to be offensive, pandering, or racist in any way, shape, or form. I will completely and wholeheartedly agree that the timing was monumentally incorrect; that was immensely naive judgement on my part, and I hold my hands up. I have agreed with John that this article will never see the light of day again and will certainly take on board recommendations for a complete revision of the subject.

    Let’s be totally and completely honest here: success when writing in the online space is quantified by viewership as much as it is the quality of content. When we post something has just as much impact as how we post something. I’m not the first and I certainly won’t be the last person to try and generate clicks and views based on current events. That’s me talking with complete transparency.

    Regarding the censorship concerns, I can confirm that it certainly wasn’t my intention to essentially silence innocent and genuine voices. As made apparent by this thread of comments, I have had issues over the last couple of years with an online forum that – quite frankly – made some months of my life very difficult.

    I may have made mistakes at some point, but two wrongs certainly do not make a right, and I was shown abuse and harassment in spades. I was effectively doxxed, all of my social media channels revealed and pursued, and was made the recipient of relentless streams of insults and slurs. I know it’s no real excuse, but there were/are people on that board that went to great lengths to dig up my personal life and reveal it maliciously, while remaining totally anonymous.

    I’ve had no contact with these people for several months now, but they still use the same agenda to chase me down. This is the sole reason those comments were deleted, and again, it was a wrongful action. I took on a ‘blanket delete’ policy, opting to remove comments by default as all I seemed to see was bare insults or thinly veiled, misleading comments by members of that board.

    To respond directly to some of the comments above:

    Colin, Richard, John: Very fair recommendations and I will definitely take them on board.
    Sam: I apologise profusely and ask that you don’t see the actions of one writer as the downfall of an entire website. In truth, isn’t this one of the things people are fighting against as we speak? That the actions of one person do not define an entire group of people?
    Ben: It’s unfortunate that you aren’t a fan of my writing, but that’s absolutely fine. Everyone is entitled to their opinion of course, and you are right, I should revise this article and refocus the aim of it.
    Courtney: Thank you for your positivity, those are great recommendations.
    Ted: Thank you for the defense. I’m not sure who you may be from that board, but it’s very important that there’s a second party to verify what I’m saying.

    Ultimately, I do apologise. The original article was indeed insensitive and inappropriate, and the subsequent censorship unnecessary and irresponsible. I hope that this level of transparency and honesty will help readers understand my position here and see that I am truly remorseful and will strive to do better.

    Thanks,

    Grant

  18. Hi Grant,

    While the fact that you are making a statement is relatively admirable, I can’t help but feel that your response to Sam is grossly ill-judged and, again probably inadvertently, really rather offensive.

    When you have been required to make a public apology for an ill-thought-out and insensitive article that completely takes advantage of and exploits the BLM movement, it’s a really bad reading of the room to compare the (completely justified) criticism of the piece to your own personal BLM moment.

    Apologies to John, who has been magnificent, but I respectfully ask that you maybe have another try at this…

  19. Grant,

    Your open admission to trying to effectively monetise a social justice issue is deeply offensive to me, you’re essentially saying your thought process when writing this article was how can I make money off the death of George Floyd. I suspected as such but to see you openly admit it, in a manner that’s almost begging applause for “transparency”, is galling.

    Then you try to co-opt said social justice movement to protect yourself from criticism, and at that point I wonder if you’re openly mocking the struggle of black people. How dare you try to compare the criticism of an ill judged article on a gaming website to the plight of minorities all around the world.

    In the hope that you’re just incredibly misguided and self centred, I suggest you take a long hard look at yourself and your privilege, and own your mistakes. Not only will it make your a better writer, a better judge of your audience but also a better human being.

  20. ” I apologise profusely and ask that you don’t see the actions of one writer as the downfall of an entire website. In truth, isn’t this one of the things people are fighting against as we speak? That the actions of one person do not define an entire group of people?”

    Wow. Just wow. No. The campaign against systemic racism and violence against black people is not the same as choosing not to visit a gaming website because you don’t like one of the articles.

    I admit I never saw the original article, but this is a particularly offensive comparison itself and you seem to be digging a bigger hole for yourself here.

    You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about and shouldn’t have been contributing anything toward BLM in the first place. I suggest you take some time out and educate yourself on the issue.

  21. “As made apparent by this thread of comments, I have had issues over the last couple of years with an online forum that – quite frankly – made some months of my life very difficult.”

    This is a flat out lie.

    I am a lurker from that forum. I only found out about this website through that forum, and have been reading it’s articles for a while now. I never interacted with you on the forum, but I saw everything that went on.

    You made multiple new accounts and came back to it many times to try and wind up the regular users. Constantly calling them jealous of your apparent success, insulting people, and baiting people into attacking you. You also said on many occasions you enjoyed the negative attention and kept coming back because you found it entertaining. You had multiple accounts banned for been abusive and kept making more.

    This claim that you were abused for no reason is simply absurd. You started every single conflict on the forum yourself, and revelled in it.

    You also lied, repeatedly. Like you are doing now.

    The owner of this site is clearly a great guy, and has a lot of passion for it. Clearly you don’t even respect him enough to tell the truth. Disgusting.

  22. Did you not think, when drafting an apology for an article that you didn’t think through in context and didn’t consider in terms of its very unfortunate implications, that you should get and/or proofread said apology to check for how it scans contextually and for unfortunate implications?

    It really is quite impressive that you’ve drafted an apology that manages to be even more ill-judged and offensive than the article you’re apologising for.

    So, to summarise – you wrote the article to try and capitalise on the BLM because it was what was trending, you deleted all valid criticism from people of colour who rightfully called out the insensitive nature of the article – effectively silencing the black voice by saying only the white man can speak – just because some people on an entirely different website weren’t very nice to you, and to top it all off you then make a comparison between the reaction you have received and BLM itself – and do so in a way that implies that the BLM movement is somehow about saying “not all black people are bad”.

    John seems like a very reasonable and decent guy, and as he’s the one who knows you personally, not me, I’ll defer to his judgement and allow the good will he has created to give the benefit of the doubt when he says he’s you’re not racist. But this apology has somehow made the situation ten times worse.

    John, I’d maybe ask Grant to send any comments he wishes to make to you so you can proof read them before he posts.

  23. I feel, unfortunately, that you haven’t taken this as the teachable moment that I had hoped it would be.

    The worst part of your behaviour in the last week was undoubtedly your attempt to censor the opinions of others, and – while John has been wonderful in rectifying this, thanks again – I feel your move to blame this on some other website is silly and shows a lack of appreciation for – or understanding of – the magnitude of your actions. I don’t know what’s gone on between you and this other site (I think it’s nice that we seem to be getting both sides of the story here, but to be honest I don’t think most of us who use this site regularly really care about any off site internet drama to be honest, it’s all very childish), but I really wish your apology hadn’t tried to deflect to make you the victim of this. You are not.

  24. As I said, the users of this forum pursue me relentlessly over the same agenda, even months and months after I’ve had no contact with them in any capacity whatsoever. There is literally a group of people that exist online who are completely anonymous to me, that have spent years pulling my online presence to shreds and constantly harrassing me. I never said I was abused for “no reason” – that’s comprehensively incorrect. I said I made mistakes. I also said two wrongs don’t make a right.

    These people tracked my social networks. They didn’t let me post undisturbed on any platform, they pursued innocent people in my real life, they took picture from my platforms and circulated them, they pulled my professional life to pieces and shared details of my workplace, my family, my relationships. They launched tyrades against me and branded me with countless insults and cases of mockery, even long after I came clean about my mistakes.

    And above all else, to this day, at this moment, I would bet hard cash that there are threads right now discussing me, pulling me to pieces, and sharing every ounce of this debacle.

  25. Grant, please have the respect to stick to the issues here. I don’t believe any of us have reason enough to be invested in the politics of another site, and I believe we are veering off point here.

    This was meant to be a positive discussion of how to move forward from the offense you’ve caused. Please don’t turn that into a tirade about a group we have never heard of. Trying to play the victim isn’t becoming.

  26. Hi Carly,

    I appreciate your position here, but it’s hard to avoid them when they’re actively pursuing me in this very chain: I’m merely defending myself at this point. I’m not “trying to play the victim”, in that instance I *was* the victim, and apparently continue to be.

    I’m not asking that you become invested in the politics of that site. This isn’t a completely linear comment chain and other conversations have erupted as a result of the ongoing discussion. I’ve addressed what everyone has had to say and stated my position here, and I don’t fully understand why I need to remain locked on one topic while people come in here seeking to besmirch me.

    With respect from my part, I didn’t start the tangent, I’m merely responding to it. I should be afforded the opportunity to defend myself, as everyone else has been afforded the opportunity to speak their own mind.

    Thanks.

  27. Hi Grant

    I think you missed the point a bit and got distracted by the GameFAQs discussion. The point is that *you* wrote an article that was tasteless, and then * your * apologies became more selfish and offensive than the article you apologized for. These are your actions, your words. Nobody from GameFAQs has a gun to your head and forces you to write it. The fact that people wrote trolling comments in your article doesn’t excuse *your* actions.

    I have the impression that you really didn’t take any of this seriously and that your apology was just a (bad) attempt to say what you think people want to hear to get off your back. I think you really need to think about the issues here and how you acted and how you may have to be less self-centered in the future. I understand that you have a complicated relationship (in which you are not innocent) with 313 that various users have not let go, but you cannot use it to distract yourself from your own insensitive actions.

    I sincerely hope that you can work through your issues as I believe you will continue to victimize yourself until this happens.

  28. John,

    Unfortunately I think I may have to bow out at this point.

    I was really looking forward to some positive outcomes, some learning experiences, and having fun watching a charity livestream. It could have been a wonderful moment for our little community.

    But I have to be honest, the so-called apology was, in my opinion, more offensive and upsetting than the original article, and it seems that rather than addressing the matter at hand Grant seems to be intent on blaming everything on some strange shadowy online cabal. It’s all very childish, it’s unfathomable to us at large, and frankly it’s the sort of nonsense that I try to avoid these days (and the absence of such childish toxicity was the reason that I so loved this site’s mantra about being for grown-ups).

    I hope you won’t mind my saying, and I do very much want to stress that this isn’t a result of your behaviour John, you’re a gentleman to the core, but I feel that with Grant’s behaviour this evening the whole mood of this site has changed from one of welcoming adult discourse to something that is at heart fundamentally nasty.

    I do wish you all the best, though, John, and I wish you success in any future endeavours.

    All the best,

    Courtney

    • (In response to Courtney Brigham – in case this doesn’t sync)
      Thank you for your comment. Honestly, everything that has come after me not saying “no” to the article is my fault – I am sincerely sorry and I hope that has come across, but that alone does not excuse me or put me in any good light. I cannot change the past, but I will do what I can to do better moving forward. I hope that any future mistakes I make are not as hurtful as this one.

      Thank you for being a reader and I wish you all the best too. There are other great websites for adult gamers like “Gamers With Jobs” who you might want to visit – they have a brilliant podcast and an active forum.

  29. Yeah, I think I’m gonna stop visiting too.

    The article and the censorship is one thing, but John dealt with that well, apologised professionally, and was very transparent. I really thought we were getting somewhere.

    But Grant’s super offensive comparison between himself and the BLM movement, his admission that he wanted to cash in, and his weird conspiracy theories and antagonistic attitude, as well as his acting like he’s the real victim in all of this shows that he just doesn’t understand what he’s done wrong at all.

    It’s disgusting and I want no part of it.

    Where did you find this guy, John? And can you put him back there, please?

  30. (I have removed this comment as it was offensive with 9/11, Holocaust and incest references. I understand that people are angry with Grant but I’d rather that we all remain civil.

    I hate removing comments – and it is no doubt going to look poorly on me when the deleting of comments is one of the issues raised – but this is one I do not want on this website. Sorry, Adam.

    John)

  31. Grant, I’m confused.

    You say that you routinely delete every comment on all your articles (used to, before John stepped in and rightly ceased this practice) because another site is stalking you, and that’s the reason you removed all the comments from people of colour who politely and respectfully pointed out the flaws in the offending article.

    And yet, the last line of the original article was “Let us know in the comments what your thoughts are on these black characters”. Why would you put that in the article if you have a policy of blanket removal of any comment on your work?

    That story just doesn’t add up, and you giving such a contradictory reason for silencing dissenting opinion makes the removal of the comments seem even more sinister than it already did, because you very much appear to be lying about the reason behind it.

    I don’t want to believe that you are a malicious or racist person, but the explanation you have given, and it’s easily disprovable nature, makes it harder to believe that this was an honest mistake.

    I welcome further clarification from you.

  32. Hi Callum, of course.

    I don’t employ a blanket delete policy by nature and do welcome comments, but the *initial* comments I witnessed bore the traits of those I’ve been at the recieving end of for years, from these people.

    Case in point, and very clearly defined, see the comment from ‘Adam Lazaruso’ above. That is absolutely and unequivocally a member of that forum. These are the kinds of banal and offensive things they post, without fail.

    Thanks,

    Grant

  33. Hi John,

    I would like to say it’s been a pleasure frequenting your site but I too shall be bowing out. Grant seems to have no self awareness and has completely missed the point here.

    Good day

    • (In response to A Great Individual in case this doesn’t sync)

      I understand, thank you for being a reader. You should check out Gamers With Jobs if you’re looking for another website for adult gamers – they have a great podcast and a wonderful community. If I’m honest, if I’d have found them before I started this site, I may have tried to become one of their team instead, they are brilliant.

  34. Grant,

    Thank you for the reply.

    I noticed that you’ve left up positive comments on other articles, such as your “Top 5 women in gaming” piece, so I can assume you didn’t believe them to be false comments.

    Am I to understand then that it was your policy to assume that any and all negativity or constructive criticism levelled at you – rather than being the opinion of your audience that you have openly saught and requested – just had to be false, and the result of a concerted effort from another publishing site where you used to work just to derail your current articles? That only any positive feedback you received came from real people?

    Does that not seem almost incomprehensibly self-absorbed to you?

    But, more to the point, do you at least acknowledge now that the criticism of your article was genuine, was justified, and that you personally have caused hurt to people by removing their comments?

    • (In response to Callum)
      Thank you for your comment. That article dawned on me this morning and it is the one I referenced above – it should no longer be accessible. I am going to look to redirect any traffic to a positive external website.

      The issues separate to this article are not for me to comment on. I can only comment on the article from my own perspective when I say I am sorry.

  35. He doesn’t take criticism well and that was a reason he was ridiculed on Gamefaqs. Unfortunately his way if dealing with that was to post abuse and then create multiple accounts to do the same. When found out he would then deny it until eventually admitting to it. Luckily many people have screenshots of this which I’m sure we would be happy to share.

  36. All,

    ^ This is exactly what I’m referring to, time and time again. These people from some obscure corner of the internet I haven’t seen sight of for over seven months trying to chase me across the net, causing me grief wherever I go. I cannot go to Twitch, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn – anything. They know where I live, they know where I work, they know about my relationships, my family, my friends… It just doesn’t end.

    I’ve been subject to this behaviour for well over two years now, these complete and utter strangers trying their utmost best to discredit and besmirch me. It blows my mind that people like this exist. There are many, many people who have essentially fled this board because of the extreme, almost unimaginable level of toxicity present there. New users are instantly attacked and belittled, and private groups existed for the specific purpose of conspiring against users that a small group of people didn’t agree with.

    It’s insanity.

  37. Grant,

    Your issues with this other website aren’t relevant here. You can ignore any comments they are leaving on this article. The issue is that you wrote an article in poor taste and you still haven’t had much to say about it beyond an insincere, offensive apology. There are people leaving comments here who are trying to discuss this with you and you can’t stop talking about this other website. I feel that you are trying to deflect away from your own mistakes by putting the blame on some mysterious website who are apparently trying to completely sabotage your life (I doubt this is really true, I don’t see anything in the comments here except some usual trolling stuff). You need to take responsibility for your own actions and let go of your feelings about this other website that you’ve had issues with. You cannot control their actions but you can control yours.

  38. Well this has all become a bit embarrassing, uncomfortable and confusing. What started as a public statement of apology has become a strange tantrum.

    I assume you have no intention of addressing the questions in my last message, Grant, so I’ll just wish you well and tap out.

    John, I’m sorry to see your original statement derailed this way, but I feel like I need to leave the conversation now, because to be honest I don’t really understand what Grant is even talking about now. Thanks for trying, though, John, your heart is in the right place.

    I may avoid Grant’s articles in the future though if you don’t mind. I’m a bit scared of what his comments may hold afterwards.

  39. Here’s the thing Grant,

    Whatever this “obscure corner of the internet” is doing, they didn’t make you write the article, they didn’t make you admit about trying to capitalize on a social movement to make money and they didn’t make you compare the criticizm you’re receiving to systemic racism.

    To me, you’re becoming more and more deflective. Your apology was so lacking and insincere, and all you’ve done since is childishly try to blame others. It’s simply not good enough

  40. Grant became a laughing stock on GameFAQs because he was a pathological liar – it took him about a year to admit he didn’t complete the gaming marathon and he spent the entire time in between attacking anyone that suggested he didn’t complete it, calling them jealous, obsessed, disgusting smearers, besmirchers, etc. We always assumed this pattern of mendacity and erratic behaviour was limited to GameFAQs, but he has proven here that he is like this in other aspects of his life.

    No one ever got involved in his personal life. No one knows where he lives. No one has ever engaged with any of his relatives. No one has ever engaged with him on social media. Everything we knew about his personal life, we knew because he told us, including his activity on this website.

    He is playing the victim here to distract from his own failings. It’s disgusting and pathetic.

  41. To Aron’s comment:

    “I doubt this is really true, I don’t see anything in the comments here except some usual trolling stuff”

    Despite all I’ve said, that is the ultimate, defining response.

    My opening comment was an apology and an explanation intertwined, and there was nothing more I could have done there. And at this point, if I were to revise my apology, reword it, reshape it, it still wouldn’t be accepted. I could say *anything* to show my remorse, and it still wouldn’t be believed.

    Casey, I’d also like to state that I don’t make a single penny for the viewership recieved on these articles, so I’m not trying to “capitalize on a social movement to make money”.

    There is nothing more to be said.

  42. The thing you could have done would to have been to apologise with some integrity, if you had stuck to the last two lines of your original response, this would have all been forgotten by now.

    What you somehow still seem to fail to understand is that most people reading this don’t care about your feud with another website and don’t think that your past with these people excuses the poor choices made in the original article. You also seem to oblivious to the fact that your “apology” is actually the bigger problem as it shows that you really have no understanding of the topic at hand or empathy for those impacted by system prejudice.

    I genuinely hope you don’t reply to this and that you take a long break from posting anything else online. Put down your spade son, you’ve dug yourself a deep enough hole.

  43. We have worked with Grant for some time, he produced some material for us only this past week, compromising of some pamphlets and a viral campaign. Although i believe he has some outstanding commissions for my bird’s old job, but that doesn’t really matter now.

    He shudn’t be censored for his views in the opinion of myself and the organisation i representthat sets an unfortunate president as all articlus matter ultimately. What about all the opinons that are forced on us by the media. This site does not need to go down the pan, and appeas people who only want to stay in their safe space.

    Due to unforeseen circumstances i have more free time at present to read his excellent articuls and will be looking to pay with him further so some patriotic Facebook pages me and the squad run.

    Don’t let them grind u down Grant mate. We need freedom of speech championed by people like u

    • Hi Jake, thanks for the comment. To clarify, Grant’s article wasn’t taken down because he went on a nasty rant which was silenced. It isn’t about appeasing anyone, it is about doing the right thing. The article wasn’t appropriate and did the complete opposite of what was intended. We didn’t intend for it to be offensive but it was, I can see why it was and recognise that it should not have been published. I think that Grant understands that, too – I know he has his own situation going on, but this was wrong. End of story.

      I know that some people who don’t like Grant for their own reasons will see this as some sort of a victory, but it isn’t. No one has won here. We all just need to try to do better in the future and not to repeat this.

      I won’t let this end GrownGaming, I just wanted to give this my full attention and we will resume posting new articles soon.

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Written by GrownGaming Team