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NSFW Drama Zoe Quinn #meToo / Alec Holowka suicide -- Update: Article questions ZQ's account of events (link in OP)

Nov 15, 2014
Mod Up #3: For those late to the party TraceTheTong TraceTheTong has put together a personal yet informative summary of events so far. These are provided for convenience and are not meant to be used as an authoritative source

Fucking great, now I have to update this table again or it'll bother me. This is a table of claims from sources and how they match up. It is the result of only an hour or two's work. Now with added links to what others have been saying. This is a table made with the desire to catalog and compare evidence only.

Disclaimer: If you are a journalist and you are reading this post, don't use it. Gather your sources, create your own comparison table and compare it with this one. Because that's your job. Chance are you'll only spin it into a "hitlist" or battle plan or some bollocks.

* Zoe's Claims source is here
* Post Millennial article about Zoe's past tweets is here
* Post Millennial article about leaked DMs between Alec and an unnamed colleague is here
* Strong post by Scott Benson, fellow dev of Night in the Woods, detailing a lot about Alec's mental instability.

PRE-MARCH 2012 (Zoe goes on to say this she meets Alec "one month after the assault", so we can place this around about February-ish)Abuse from an Unnamed Assailant [zoe notes: paragraph 2 & 3]No comment in the PM article on thisNo conclusion - zoe doesn't name this abuser, and quickly mentions that "this isn't about him. I've forgiven him." We can ignore this claim, for now for the purpose of this Alec case. PM doesn't mention it.
START OF MARCH 2012Give that Zoe's notes gives us a rough date of the previous abuse at Feburary, she meets Alec "one month later", placing that around march. We can conclude that they start chatting around here.PM found multiple snippets from a podcast in which Zoe goes on to explain how she met alec, via DMs on twatter.
MARCH 2012Zoe doesn't specify when she gears up to go to Winnpeg to live with Alec in the zoe notes source.PM found, from archived tweets, that Zoe was preparing to go to Winnipeg around MarchWe can conclude that Zoe prepared to leave Toronto for Winnipeg in March
MARCH END / APRIL START 2012As above, zoe doesn't specify when she moves to WinnipegUsing dozens of archived tweets from Zoe's twitter, PM very reliably places the move date around this timeWe can conclude that Zoe moves from Toronto to Winnipeg around the start of April (if not the end of March)
APRIL START TO MID APRIL 2012During this period, zoe claims a bulk of things done by Alec in the zoe notes [paragraph 7] Part of Zoe's claims during this period is that Alec isolated her and locked her away from the 3 unnamed friends during this period.Around this time, Zoe and Alec appear together on a Podcast, explaining how they met on twitter, their relationship, and their project Not Ok Cupid (never released). Obviously, no mention of abuse happens on the podcast. Alec mentions that he spent some time on OK Cupid before meeting zoe. Hence the project. There are dozens and dozens of tweets detailing their time through-out april in Winnipeg. Including arranging a meet-up, shopping, and so on.We can conclude that Alec probably did not shut Zoe away and isolate her, at least for the most part, because they often tweeted about their movements. Assuming the tweets are true, for now.

NOTE: There's alot of say-so about Alec's mental instability (including gossip of his own posted in 2016). We can assume that he wasn't very stable. We can probably assume that the relationship wasn't all that easy, either.
MID APRIL 2012This is around the time (2 weeks later) that zoe would of moved back to Winnipeg after staying with Alec, as they supposedly agreed, according to the zoe notes source [zoe notes: paragraph 3] Zoe would by the ticket there, Alec would by her the ticket back. They were supposed to live in an "indie house" with 3 others (unnamed) this was what they agreed pre-zoe's-departure. She would claim to stay for a full monthThere's no real mention of the 2 week plan in the PM article.We can conclude that she definitely stayed longer than two weeks. What's debatable here is: was that the original plan? Was the "two week" plan a lie?
END OF APRIL/ MAY START 2012This is probably around where Zoe claims to have come back (one month later) using air miles provided to her by a friend, since Alec refused to buy her a flight back as they previously agreed. She claims to have flown back with no mention of other travels. As if escaping.The PM article has screencaps of a tweet dated May 2nd, that details a going to a Winnipeg meet up, then going to Montreal and Toronto (she heads to Toronto on the 4th)By Zoe's tweet, we can conclude that she did travel back to Toronto around a month later. She PROBABLY didn't use a friend's air miles to escape Winnipeg, as she obviously travelled to Montreal as well.
MAY 10th 2012-Is the last known tweet between Alec and Zoe, as detailed in the PM articleI can't conclude much here, apart from they stopped communicating. Could be because of the "amiable break up email" Zoe claimed to have sent after arriving back in Toronto
POST MAY 10th 2012In the zoe notes, she claims that here Alec "banned her from an indie gaming community he ran, banned himself, asked other industry leaders to help him commit suicide"None of this is detailed in the PM Article. But it does mention Alec's mental instability, and other people agreeing that he was suicidal.We can conclude that Alec is capable of lashing out like this given a history of instability.
We can perhaps conclude that the "community" in question is the indie meetup they arranged together called Windiepeg.
GAMERGATE START (earliest account, August 2014 ish, but we don't know what Zoe regards as the start of GG)Zoe claims that multiple people came forward with claims of Alec's abusive behavior.No mention of this in PM.We can conclude here that, using evidence of Alec's instability, that perhaps some people did contact Zoe about his behaviour. The 3 unnamed friends or one of the ~38 devs attending Windiepeg would be viable candidates
AUGUST 14th 2014Same claim as above, as this is around the same time.In a new article by PM (see third source above), DMs between Alec and an unknown colleague has surfaced, dated August 14th 2014. They go into detail about:
- Alec was scared to come forward about instances of Zoe's behaviour due to career backlash.
- During a party, Zoe got quickly drunk and flirted with multiple people. Later, she would complain to Alec about a woman flirting with her. Alec, in some attempt to dodge a fight with Zoe, suggested a solution. They fought any way, no surprise there.

- On the date that Zoe moves to Winnipeg (See row labelled MARCH END / APRIL START 2012). In the DMs Alex claims that he was in love with her around this time, and when the move was done they might go to couple counselling, in some attempt to keep the relationship together. Zoe was up for the idea at first. When Alec offers to pay for the counselling, Zoe is some what offended, but is more than likely just dodging the responsibility of paying for sessions and being defensive.
- In another DM, Alec expresses the opinion that those who view gamergate as a simple issue of sexism simply "arn't looking in detail." Probably drawing on his own experience of Zoe first hand. Later, he goes on to sum up the ordeal very succinctly with the phrase "It's not because she is a woman, it's because she is a shitty person." Aptly put, mate.
We can conclude that Alex regarded himself and Zoe as IN A RELATIONSHIP before Zoe moved to him. There is also NO mention of the "indie house" plan.

It's very obvious that Zoe was also a terrible partner in the relationship. That has always been obvious, but I didn't think it was to this extent. This is well within Zoe's character. It's easy to see just how difficult it was a relationship between the two of them, but it's a bit more skewed in Zoe's direction than before. We have yet to see solid evidence of the abuse from Alec's side. We've seen evidence of his instability, however, so it's doubtful he was squeaky clean as well. Saying that, we also know that Zoe has claimed abuse from assailants in just about every
combination and flavour. Lastly, we see that Alec puts some effort into making it a healthier relationship via counselling and great cost to himself.
August 28th 2019 (now)Zoe's statement about Alec's alleged abuse. Multiple people back her up in variable degrees, such as Laurie Pennie, and the other devs of Night in the Woods, to a very small degree Alec's sister alsoDuring this phase, Zoe deletes her twitter account only to reactivate it days later as "protected", someone archives lots of tweets and feeds them to PM, as part of the article. The article mentions that many tweets around the period specified in this timeline was DELETED, but managed to get screencapped in a video, sent to PM as part of the article.Alec commits suicide some time after. The vast majority of games news outlets just mention "died"; being unusually respectful. Zoe goes into twitter damage control, deleting tweets from the period with Alec, but she's too slow. The two other devs also delete their accounts, perhaps for the same reason. Though now their accounts are back online [1] [2]

Mod Up #2: Article presents conflicting evidence to timeline and credence of allegations

Mod Up #1: Tweet from sister confirming passing

Another one for the list.

Tweet now unavailable as twitter set to private

Whether it actually happened or not is up for debate. However, considering this is the person who started GamerGate.... ahem...

Innocent until proven guilty.
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Aug 20, 2019
This case on the other hand is a lot different than the Jeremy Soule thread...

Didn’t this woman just get done with false allegations and smearing of an entire consumer movement a few years ago? If this is actually true, and can be proven, I’m sympathetic, but... doubt.

Call it the girl who cried wolf.


Expansive Ellipses
Staff Member
May 30, 2004



Jun 14, 2019
She had better back that accusation with evidence. I think the Vic Mignogna case should have been a signal to all those wannabe grifters out there that crying wolf about sexual crimes doesn't work when you actually get to court. If I were in this devs' shoes, I'd stay quiet and wait until the need for a lawyer arises.
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Dec 7, 2010
Interesting. She could only muster the courage to come forward now. What a coincidence!

The Scrivener

Oct 21, 2014
NitW was a great game, up until the end with it's far left politics.

Is this the start of something big?

We only just got over Ogay-gate (what a win!) and Borderlands 3: The Pronoun Wars.

As I'm not on Reee, I'll say it now, GET THE POPCORN READY FOLKS!

Edit: After reading her Twitter story, is this really how one goes about reporting a rape? On a Twitter feed that reads like a diary? There are some highly dubious sentences in that story. Like the bit at the beginning - "yeah, he did it, it was him".

I couldn't even care less, these Californian indie devs live in a fucking bubble. Let them have their Twitter affairs!
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Aug 20, 2019
Part of me wonders if we just took the bait.

Bring this up > wait for people aware of her history to doubt > present quotes out of context > state how unfriendly the industry is to women > friends in the media pump out outrage articles > Zoe gets major Patreon bucks > Companies assign her to several adviser councils to stop this kind of thing from ever happening again, and hire her for speeches.

This historically kind of is Zoe’s modus operandi.


Oct 24, 2017
Yeah I am sorry. But I do not believe her anymore. After all these lies it has the effect of people no believing you cany more. If you cry wolves too many times and nothing did happen why should people believe you anymore?

Also the timing is rather fitting and very suspect. Guess she just needs some money right now or wants some victimhood attention.


Jun 14, 2019
Part of me wonders if we just took the bait.

Bring this up > wait for people aware of her history to doubt > present quotes out of context > state how unfriendly the industry is to women > friends in the media pump out outrage articles > Zoe gets major Patreon bucks > Companies assign her to several adviser councils to stop this kind of thing from ever happening again, and hire her for speeches.

This historically kind of is Zoe’s modus operandi.
And like I said earlier in the thread, if we are to stop people like this, take them to court. Vic Mignogna managed to beat the raps against him by suing his accusers and the company that fired him.

If Zoe is angling for more cash donations, then those donations should go fund her defense. A court of law will prove how true her accusations are.

Stilton Disco

Aug 22, 2014
That's a serious bloody accusation to be throwing at someone via the medium of a public tweet.

If he did it, then first fuck that guy, secondly, reset the clock on the "days since a Male femenist committed a sexual assualt" tracker, and last but not least, why the sodding hell has she not gone to the police instead? She even says she has other victims to back her up, friends she messaged at the time that could corroborate, and hopefully provide her with the text records?

Twitter does not help her or anyone else, does nothing to get justice, and will only make getting to the truth that much harder.

I mean I'd get it if she had already gone to the police, and was asking other victims or witnesses to come forward, but this just makes it look like she's doing it for the attention, because that's the only thing she can get out of it by making the accusation in this manner.

At best she's a classic case of someone having confused the Twittersphere with real life, at worst she's falsely accusing an ex of one of the worst crimes a person can commit to stroke her own ego.

Given the facts we do know about her dating history, deceitfulness and poor choices, how she allegedly behaves according to her ex's, and that she claims she's been to afraid to speak out about it, despite the fact she's built a career on the back of speaking very publically about exactly this kind of thing, I'm inclined to believe the latter.

But again, if he did rape her, then she needs to lawyer up and do something about it, because this is only making matters worse.


Oct 4, 2018
I wanna say maybe I believe the story. The composer guy sounds weird. Going to comp science many programmer types are weird, easy to anger and very egotistical, or not many but the ones that are fill the entire room.

My issue is that even if it was true, why do it this way? Even if he's a loony/awkward guy who took her co-workership for granted does it warrant publically ousting it to millions of pedestrians? And as someone said she probably did not go to the police even though they will obviously take rape accusations seriously.

It just reeks of attention-seeking, which people will use as a shield and say "how dare you, where is your basic decency!?" because now I'm "victim blaming". "Banned 3 days or permanent, cause: Rationalizing sexism and victim-blaming". Can't talk about it; illegal thought.