GaymerX Cuts All Ties to MidBoss Amid Allegations Against Founder

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GaymerX Cuts All Ties to MidBoss Amid Allegations Against Founder

GaymerX, the gaming convention focused on queer gaming and development communities, has officially cut all ties to its founding company, MidBoss, amid allegations of sexual misconduct and labor rights violations by co-founder Matt Conn.

In a statement released Friday, the convention’s new executive director Katie Kaitchuck announced the end of their professional relationship with the game development studio due to the allegations leveled against Conn last month. She also revealed that Conn has not been involved with GaymerX since last year, and acting president of GaymerX Toni Roca, who also serves as MidBoss’ community manager, is no longer involved with the convention.

The shift away from Conn, who co-founded GaymerX in 2012, stems from accusations from multiple former MidBoss employees that Conn sexually harassed, emotionally manipulated and routinely paid employees under minimum wage for full-time work. Former MidBoss social media and marketing employee Tyler Gausvik recalled his experience working under Conn: “I was paid less than minimum wage for full time work, berated and belittled for hours over minor mistakes, called an unprofessional slut, and was also subjected to inappropriate sexual workplace conduct/harassment, and grooming.” Freelancers Ellen McGrody and Emi Spicer, who formerly worked for MidBoss, supported Gausvik’s comments, hinting that Conn’s conduct wasn’t exclusive to him. “The behaviours discussed are not just limited to Matt. However, it is important to note that there are many vulnerable people who need help who are employed by that company. Please protect ex- and current MidBoss employees,” said Spicer.

As the backlash against the 2064: Read Only Memories developer grew, Conn announced that he would step down from his leadership role within GaymerX and would be “taking a leave” from MidBoss “once I can make sure the remaining employees payroll is handled.”

He went on to apologize for his conduct, blaming his “intense management style” and “unconventional lifestyle” as reasons why he “puts people off.” “In regards to my behavior, I’ve never intentionally tried to make anyone uncomfortable,” said Conn in a since-deleted tweet. On the subject of paying unfairly low wages to his employees, Conn said, “I assumed when I asked people what they wanted for pay and they lowballed me that was OK but I didn’t realize what pain I would put them in and how badly I was abusing them … I have never ever not paid what I promised, but I realize as a community leader that doing business like that goes against the ethos of what GaymerX stands for.”

Kaitchuck may have severed GaymerX’s ties to its beleaguered creator, but she is not letting the situation created by his actions go unaddressed. “We at GaymerX take these accusations very seriously and want to apologize to anyone hurt by the conduct of our former staff … I will make sexual harassment training mandatory for all staff and volunteers as well as install reporting mechanisms for all HR violations,” said Kaitchuck.

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