- I really appreciate your apology, late as it may be. Although I've considered myself past all this drama for a while now, and although most of the drama was not your fault - but rather the fault of rabid and unthinking fans - I was still surprisingly happy to read your thoughts.
- Lemme tell a bit of my side of the story, since apparently we're doing this in public announcements, and I obviously have a lot of thoughts about the situation, so why not just express them to everyone and be done with it. This is gonna be long!
- The root of this drama, I think, actually goes back well before AGDQ. I never wanted to be a gimmicky streamer, only drawing an audience because of silly mannerisms unrelated to the content of my stream. Nevertheless, in the months preceding AGDQ13, I was drawing an inordinately large audience as a streamer in relation to my actual ability to execute a speedrun. I think a lot of the reason was because of gimmicks and rub-off popularity from your stream. It was never intentional or any kind of conscious decision, just how things played out. Nevertheless, I received a small but noticeable amount of backlash from certain elements of the community for, as it seems, not remaining in my "place" as a speedrunner not even close to in contention for any records (silly pre-dry-storage low% WW runs notwithstanding), that "place" being near the bottom of the SRL frontpage, not the top. It didn't bother me much at the time, and I guess it still doesn't bother me much. Like I said, I never intentionally exploited any factors relating to my own popularity, so I feel no guilt over it.
- That being said, as AGDQ came closer, I was feeling frustrated as a speedrunner. My times were not improving a lot, dry storage was making the Wind Waker route unpleasantly difficult, and I didn't have enough time in my life to practice glitches and mechanics to the point where I could actually execute them consistently in a run. At that point, I decided to focus more on supporting the speedrunning community than being a star of it, and I pretty much put all of my eggs in the AGDQ basket. I spent hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours of my free time (cutting back a lot on my streaming in the process) making the Triforce prize for AGDQ, I hyped the event as much as possible to as many people as possible. I asked my family and friends to pledge donations to AGDQ instead of giving me Christmas presents, and I set aside a pretty large amount of my own money to donate as well, in addition to my prize. Despite feeling frustrated with Wind Waker, I kept up with the delicate intricacies of every trick and glitch to the best of my ability, specifically in anticipation of commentating your Wind Waker run.
- At the event itself, I was actually a bit surprised how little most people at AGDQ seemed to care about the stream and the success of the donation drive. It seemed that you'd be more likely to find people playing Mario Party in a back room, or cliques of friends talking in the hallway, than being present in the streaming room, showing interest in the current runner's run, unless it was a very popular game like Super Metroid or something. I honestly felt bad for some of the runners of less-popular games and their small on-stream audiences. I'm not specifically saying anything like "the SDA and SRL communities don't care about their fellow runners" or anything like that, because there are many good reasons for the circumstances I witnessed: it's uncomfortable being on camera for hours at a time, people who knew each other in real life wanted to hang out, everyone has to sleep at some point so the less popular runs are the only time some people had to sleep, upcoming runners had to practice their games, etc. All I'm saying is the environment was not what I expected. In addition, I felt like a second-class citizen, being one of the few people at the event who was not good enough to actually be able to feature their own play on stream. Nobody made me feel that way (everyone was generally quite nice), but it's a feeling I got nonetheless.
- All of this is to say! Nearing the end of AGDQ, I was already feeling a little disconnected from the community. I will repeat: I bear absolutely no ill will towards anyone who actually attended the event, nor do I have any particular problems with the organization and execution of the event itself. All in all, AGDQ13 was a rousing success. I just didn't feel like I was fitting in: I wasn't part of any cliques, I didn't have a game to run, and my priorities seemed a bit different than many other peoples'.
- And then there was the Wind Waker run, and my complimenting commentary. I won't say a lot about the run and commentary specifically (even though I could), because anyone interested in exactly what happened can just go watch it on YouTube. I'll just say, I know I didn't do the best job as a commentator, and made mistakes with regards properly sharing the stage with you during your run. That was evident to me even before the run itself ended. I did my best with no malicious intentions whatsoever, but my best did not work out very well. (As an aside, I actually tried to find you to apologize right after leaving the streaming room after the Wind Waker run. I couldn't find you then, nor for the rest of the event, and we never did get to talk since then. That's actually the part of this whole situation that I regret the most. Working out beforehand exactly how the commentary would go would have improved things a lot, surely, but I don't think there is any way either of us should have known beforehand that such a thing would be so necessary. On the other hand, being able to talk *immediately after the fact* could probably have greatly limited the spread of backlash against me, and helped both of us resolve these issues that are still being discussed 9 months later.)
- Anyway, I don't feel like I did anything during the commentary that warranted a reaction any greater than "hey, I think you probably made a mistake when you did <such and such>" (talk too much during the super-swim gauntlet, touch the Wind Waker prize, respond to a question to you as if it was addressed to me, point out such-and-such failed trick in the run, etc.) These things were mistakes, but everyone makes mistakes. Now, obviously, I couldn't be reading the AGDQ chat while sitting on the couch commentating, but from what I have heard from others who were in the chat at the time, the main reason that I received such mindbogglingly intense hatred for my actions during the run is because there was a small faction of SRL community members - likely, the same faction that I mentioned earlier as being jealous of (or angry about or whatever) the popularity I had in the community last year - whipping everyone into a frenzy - especially people who had no knowledge of me, my background in the community and with your stream, etc. For example, many people criticized me for pointing out mistakes in your run as you made them. Anyone who knows my history with Wind Waker (I completely learned the game by analyzing mistakes from your runs) would know that that is *exactly* the type of commentary I should be expected to make. I think most of the blame lies with these chat denizens, although I do not know who they are and I don't really care to find out, since there is no point in accusing them directly.
- However, although this (I think) explains the intensity of the reaction against me, it's likely that, unaided, that intense reaction would have burned out just as quickly as it caught on fire. However, you, Cosmo, took two very small actions, which would have been fairly innocuous by themselves in normal circumstance, that caused the pinpoint blaze to spread into an inexplicably large wildfire. First, you expressed in some chat somewhere (I forget the exact details now) that you were disappointed in the run and the commentary, shortly after it ended. Second, you demoted me as a mod in your Twitch channel. The first action confirmed to the community that the hatred they were expressing towards me was justified because I did actually have an effect on you and your performance. The second action *implied* that it was actually a bigger deal than you were willing to admit, and that I really needed to be cut off from further influencing you. With this, your rabid and uncontrollable fanbase had all the reason they needed to turn me into a pariah. I don't think that is your fault, but rather just an extreme example of how people's emotions can be swayed in large mobs.
- For anyone who was not present in the SRL community in the weeks immediately succeeding AGDQ13, and is wondering exactly what I am talking about when I keep mentioning this "hatred" and "backlash", let me give you some idea of what was going on. I was accused of ruining Cosmo's run, for ruining his entire AGDQ13 experience, for ruining the AGDQ13 experiences of the viewers, pretty much ruining everything. People would regularly come into my Twitch chat just to say "fuck you Mirrored" and leave. There were copypastas, memes, insults, and drama occurring everywhere I looked in the SRL community. For weeks, I couldn't show up in any familiar Twitch chats without causing a huge scene. I actually created secret alternate Twitch account just so I could chat on Twitch a bit without turning chatrooms into huge hatefests against me, and even then, I overheard a lot of gossip about myself. I received mountains of hatemail in my Twitch inbox, containing insults, profanity, racial slurs, and more accusations of "ruining" everything in the world. Here's a *real* example of a Twitch PM I received:
- Subject: you are a mouthy cunt
- Body: who is more autismal than anyone I've ever seen, you dirty kyke
- This is definitely the worst one I received in terms of profanity, but a lot of other messages were in the same vein.
- To be fair! I also received quite a lot of supportive messages, ranging from "Yeah you kind of fucked up but it really wasn't a big deal" to "Your commentary was amazing and you need to ignore all the haters". In the end, I got more support than hatemail (although the hateful messages were much more immediate), and I think that reflects pretty well on the community, especially since it's much easier to type out a few lines of emotional insults than it is to craft a empathetic and encouraging message. For the record, I was never too worried about the hate I received in the first place. For the first week or two, it was a bit overwhelming just in its sheer, baffling quantity. I never imagined so many people could feel so strongly against me, but I mostly just laughed it off then, and I laugh it off even more thoroughly now. In fact, that vitriolic Twitch PM I just quoted cracks me up every time I look at it. Importantly, almost everyone in the community that I actually *knew* (and therefore, whose opinions I actually cared about), was supportive, so I didn't ever really feel like I was a hated person. For anyone who was/is worried that the backlash broke my spirit and caused me to crawl into a cave or something (and I did receive messages expressing worry that this was the case), nothing of the sort ever happened.
- Here's what I've really been doing since AGDQ:
- For the first couple of weeks after AGDQ, I was forced to lay low in the SRL community simply because I would cause a gigantic scene if I used my recognizable accounts. At the same time, like I said earlier, I was feeling disconnected from the speedrunning community and frustrated with my own speedrunning *before* the end-of-AGDQ fiasco occurred. I likely would have stopped running Wind Waker after AGDQ either way. While the hatred of the community was pushing me away, there was also nothing really drawing me back, so drifting away was a foregone conclusion.
- Shortly after that, I had to go back to work at my job, which is both seasonal and has pretty flexible hours. I intentionally took on a lot of extra work and literally spent most of the spring just working all day everyday. After a while, although I didn't feel like *speedrunning* anymore, I did still miss streaming. As I mentioned near the beginning of this gigantic essay, I never wanted to be a gimmicky streamer in the first place, so I thought that if I went back to streaming, I would try to be true to myself. I would just play whatever the hell I wanted to play in whatever way I wanted to, and anyone who didn't like it or who found it boring could just not watch. To that effect, I streamed a lot of Idolm@ster 2! (Anyone who thought I was gone at that time, it's just because Idolm@ster 2 was (is still?) blocked from appearing on the front page of SRL [super-aside: although it may look a little questionable at first, Idolm@ster 2 is a completely legitimate and speedrunnable game <even though speedrunning it is a bit boring> and should not be blocked from the SRL frontpage any more than any other speedrunnable game that people might possibly play casually]).
- Eventually, Idolm@ster 2 got a bit old, and I didn't really have much else I wanted to stream. I made plans to stream various things, even to learn another game to speedrun, etc., but in compliance with my decision to "play whatever the hell I wanted to play in whatever way I wanted to", I felt no obligation to follow through with any of my own plans unless I really felt like streaming on a particular day. And as time went on, the particular days on which I felt like streaming became less and less.
- And that's really all there is to it: I don't really feel like streaming much anymore, and I don't feel like I have any obligation to anyone to do so, so I don't. I have different methods of entertainment and ways to fill my time now. It's nobody's fault. Although the *abruptness* of my disappearance from the speedrunning community was caused mostly by the aftereffects of AGDQ13, I think that disappearance would have inevitably occurred anyway, eventually. Speedrunning is a difficult and thankless pastime, and I have neither the skill nor the motivation and patience for it. Props to those who do, especially you, Cosmo.
- To tie this up, and address you directly again: you don't need to feel especially guilty about your actions after AGDQ13, and you especially don't need to feel *any* responsibility for your the actions of your fans. I suppose, at most, I feel unwelcome in your stream chat since I was de-modded. Other than that, I'm not too worried about the hatred of the community anymore (I receive quite a lot more "omg Mirrored I missed you!" type responses whenever I pop up nowadays anyway). What's in the past is in the past, so don't worry too much about it. I'm grateful that you want to put it behind us, and that you had the courage to face me directly.
Cosmo apology response
Mirrormn Sep 25th, 2013 22,713 Never
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