UPDATE at the end of this article
Originally published September 18, 2018
After the news broke that an assault on Jeremy Hambly, a YouTube personality and Magic the Gathering enthusiast, by a vendor and shop owner at GenCon 2018. Most people thought the next steps for GenCon would be to investigate the matter and remain neutral until all the facts were in.
As Society Reviews reports:
If you don’t recall, Last August, Hambly was attacked by Matt Loter, owner of Elm City Games just outside of the massive gaming convention GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana. Loter who objected to Hambly’s criticism of the convention booking Anita Sarkeesian for one of their events sought out Hambly at a bar in the area and physically attacked him according to Jeremy and witnesses at the scene. A police report was filed after the incident and the convention refused to make a comment about the situation.
To recap the event, according to Jeremy Hambly who runs the YouTube channel “The Quartering”, he was off site on the patio of a local bar not far from GenCon with some other guests who were sharing drinks and stories where he was approached by a person unknown to him and assaulted violently by being punched repeatedly in the head, neck and chest.
As he was being assaulted he made his way into the bar proper and his assailant proceeded to punch a window at the front of the establishment when he found he could no longer continue with the assault. Witnesses said that he was wearing his four-day GenCon vendors pass around his neck.
Jeremy Hambly said:
“I thought this person was going to kill me. What if he had a knife? What if he had a gun?”
Yes, indeed Jeremy…what if…
The alleged attacker, later identified as Matt Loter is not only the owner of Elm City Games located in New Haven, Connecticut, but is unbelievably, a Justice of the Peace for the state of Connecticut. In the state of Connecticut the person swears (or affirms) the following oath when becoming a Justice of the Peace:
“I (person states their name) do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of the State of Connecticut so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully discharge, according to law, the duties of the office of (person recites the office) to the best of my ability so help me God.”
So much for an oath to uphold freedom of expression and speech…right?
After the incident, GenCon went into full memory hole mode and tried to silence all news and commentary of the incident. They had shut down their live stream chat feeds on Twitch and deleted all posts that refer to the incident on their Twitter feeds and even banned users who made comments or asked questions surrounding personal safety issues. In the minds of some, this was to avoid embarrassment or negative exposure but many others have stated that this was simply tacit approval of the assault of a person whose opinions they obviously disagree with.
This was complicity as far as I’m concerned and since it appears that this is an intentional, premeditated crime it is even more disturbing. GenCon knew or should have known that an incident was imminent and have done nothing to stop it. They have made matters much worse by trying to silence questions, comments and concerns from attendees and fans alike.
Well, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, GenCon has finally responded to Jeremy’s attack, by banning him from the convention. Jeremy can’t say too much, since he is still litigating this attack from Matt, he did take the time to respond via Youtube.
GenCon also banned Matt Loter from GenCon events, but I would strongly advise all other similar events to ban him permanently as well and they should rescind their ban on Jeremy. This is disgraceful and I think it is time for everyone who display such intolerance and hatred of others who think and speak differently to take a big long look in the mirror.
You do not have the moral high ground, you are authoritarian collectivists and you have no place in a civilized democratic society. It is long past due that society made that clear to all of you who feel and behave in this way.
Update May 8, 2019