By Jamaal Ryan
Games journalist Josh Mattingly, founder and CEO of IndieStatik had issued an apology on his blog after a conversation he had with a female game developer, which quickly turned from semiprofessional to full blown sexual harassment, went public.
While investigating a game in an allegedly drunken state, Mattingly’s “recon” outreach to the developer quickly sprang to a form of sexual harassment with his third post ending with, “I’ll kiss you in the vagina if you do.”
The crude invite was communicated on more than one occasion, along with multiple posts offering sexual intercourse.
What’s amazing is how professionally dismissive the developer was, only acknowledging his sexual advances once before making constant attempts in redirecting the conversation to business only.
In Mattingly’s apology, he discusses suffering from the suicide of his younger brother which may have triggered or elevated depression along with struggling with alcoholism; he adds that he’ll be seeking to go to AA and attend therapy sessions for his bereavement.
Addiction and emotionally centered mental health only exacerbates underlying issues, it doesn’t create them. Depressed alcoholics don’t begin committing acts of sexual harassment; this is but a manifestation of the “root of poor choices” as Mattingly puts it.
He claims to be an advocate of respectful treatment of women in the industry. Perhaps his advocating was in part a defense mechanism as a way to mask his true motivations towards women. Last year’s reveal of former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner is an extreme example of this kind of behavior.
Giving Mattingly the benefit of the doubt, in relation to his recovery, he’s already graced steps 1 and 8 in AA’s 12 Step recovery, “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction - that our lives had become unmanageable” and “Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all”
Addiction and depression, especially in the bereavement process, are two immense challenges to face. Depression can cause one to develop symptoms of isolation, substance abuse, self-injurious behavior, and suicide (though none of which can be seen in the conversation Mattingly had). Alcohol abuse, as many of us know already, can allow us to drift away from anchoring ourselves with socially acceptable behavior where we do stupid shit like drunk message other folks over the internet before devolving into a series of increasingly catastrophic poor decision making. Alcoholism and any other type of addiction is even harder to break when one uses it as a coping tool after dealing with the death of a loved one.
It’s easy to jump on Josh Mattingly’s back for sexually harassing this poor game developer. But what’s done is done. Let’s hope that he pursues his recovery just as he said he would.
Be sure to read the full conversation and the apology in the source below.