Radical Felines: When Harassment Becomes a Game

rad-fee

 Watch Video First:   RADICAL FELINES

*Note: The above video has been removed multiple times by the subject discussed in the video. I think this speaks volumes regarding the subject’s reluctance to take accountability for his actions. Since the publishing of this article the subject has continued to defame me on radio podcasts and is still being supported by some members of the classic gaming community.

Prologue

It’s August 2014, and he’s up at 4 a.m. logging into multiple fake Facebook accounts from a small, dimly lit bedroom in a dry and dusty Nevada suburb. I’m up early, sitting at my computer, talking to a friend over the phone before she boards a flight back to Japan, when I notice via Facebook that my “other” file has 4 new messages.

 “Cease and Desist”, “Endless Snow”, “John Carpenter” and “Marco Maroni” have all left me messages. All of them are from him.

According to “Endless Snow” I’m a “fat pig cunt” and “a waste of sperm” –whatever that means.

John Carpenter” says I’m a “fraud’ and “a radical feminsit (sic) pig cunt” who’s “an abomination against nature” and that I will be “destroyed”.

Marco Maroni” posts a link to a stalker blog where a mash-up of my social media posts have been copied and pasted from my private Facebook page along with dozens of my friend’s posts.

Cease and Desist” poses a question: “Know how easy it is for me to desroy (sic) you?”

I block all of the accounts, an almost involuntary action by this time in my life and add four more fake accounts to a block list that has grown to include over 60 since April.  Roughly five months. That’s an average of around 3 per day. This is a normal for me now. Receiving online insults from “strangers”. Something I’ve had to get used to. By the end of the year the average will increase to 12 per day and my block list will swell to over 400 blocked proxy accounts on both Twitter and Facebook from him and his pals.

rudy-damgeLater, and apparently angered that I either didn’t respond back and/or blocked the accounts, he unleashes a litany of obscenities against me on his public Facebook fan page using the word “cunt” to describe me 19 times in 11 consecutive posts all entered in under 10 minutes. An energetic little bastard. These unparagraphed posts are punted –not written- in an alarmingly illiterate heap of unpunctuated sentences, painfully fractured with misspellings and typed in All CAPS; the epitome of grammatical anarchy itself. He is, after all, The GG Allin of Shit-Posting, an obsessive-compulsive online revenge stalker who has been actively pursuing and slinging shit at targets in the classic gaming community since 2001.

On this particular day he has another target in his sights as well, “A DICK SUCKING FAGGET(sic)”and a “FRAUD KNOWN LIAR IN GAMING” who’s also, according to him, “A FAT HAIRY PANTY SNIFFER SECTION 8 LOSER”. Heavy intellectual stuff. But none of what he posts is either surprising or unusual to anyone who’s been around the classic gaming scene long enough to notice his presence. After all he’s been slinging the same insults and accusations against numerous targets for 15 years, routinely twisting The First Amendment like he’s Stretch Armstrong in a taffy pulling contest; contorting “facts” and twisting rumors into unrecognizable shapes with no traceable origin or reason. This is what he does best.

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As fate would have it, I’m his latest and greatest obsession now. Like those who came before me, I’ve become his number one reason for what’s wrong in his world. Every setback he has in his life; every time he loses a job, a woman or a friend; every moment of doubt and every time he feels the vibrations of anxiety arising from his own loss of confidence, I am now his designated excuse for every failure he’s ever had, past or present. I will become his everlasting excuse for the next four years.

When he fails to obtain respect from the classic gaming community he desperately seeks adoration from, I am his reason for why that is so.

When he fails to convince others to buy into his ludicrous delusions that playing the NES professionally is a skill worthy of being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for, I am the reason why that is not so.

And when he fails to make national headlines for taking a world record on an NES game title, like Home Alone, Jaws or Duck Tales, his delusions of grandeur are never to blame. I am.

For some strange reason he’s convinced himself that my entire existence on this earth is to use my supernatural powers to make or break him.

keyboardWithout missing a beat he moves over to Twitter and begins machine-gunning tweets. Due to Twitter only allowing 40 characters per post it takes him 22 successive tweets to get his message of doom across. But somehow that doesn’t satisfy his compulsive rage: Two hours later he’s linking a new series of expose-style blogs about on me on Facebook and Twitter, warning the world to be on the lookout for “A KNOWN FRAUD AND PATHOLOGICAL LIAR” and “A RADICAL FEMINIST IN GAMING” as well as a “CUNT BITCH NEEDS TO BE STOPPED“. I report his tweets and move on. There’s not much more I can do.

However he’s still not finished yet.

Later in the afternoon a friend informs me that this shitposter has taken to Twitch TV and has assembled an audience to hear his latest rant about me.  I get the link and reluctantly watch it, a sick apprehension flooding my nerves. Why am I doing this to myself? Part of me doesn’t want to see it as I’ve seen others he’s done over the years on other targets; crazed paranoid rants about “corruption and collusion” and how everyone is out to hold “The World’s Greatest Gamer” back from his intended stardom. So I know what to expect. However this one is different  –very different, indeed.

turbo-trumpWhat I discover is terrifying to me because I understand the psychology behind what I’m seeing and hearing: I see a man transitioning through various states of emotion without pauses; one second he’s raging in uncontrollable anger at me, and the next he flips into a calm state, smiling and leaning back in his chair nonchalantly as if he has no memory of the moment of rage before. This is a man who’s not in control of his reactive emotions at all. When he speaks of me he stares right into the camera, his vile comments directed at me as if I’m in the room with him and he wants to hurt me with more than words. Radical feline bitch. Fucking feminazi bitch. You dumb, fucking cunt bitch. Profanities that spill forth with unchecked abandon. “You’re an abomination against nature,” he seethes, his jaw clamped tight around every word, chin lowered menacingly to his chest as if he’s about to charge through the screen. “You are nothing. You are no one.”

He doesn’t view me as being human at all.

These are not the actions of a troll. This man isn’t protecting his anonymity. He’s using his full real name. He’s full-blown  confrontational and can neither distinguish nor separate his feelings of anxiety from that of his own self-deception in believing that someone else is the reason for it. This man is troubled. This man is a revenge stalker. He could be dangerous.

On this particular day, there are nine men watching his stream. Men I know by name. Men who are competitors in classic gaming and some who are regular supporters and forum fixtures at Twin Galaxies, the American world record tracker on video games. One of them, peculiarly enough,  is a Twin Galaxies pod cast host. He calls in to the show via Skype. I find that odd. This is the last place he should be. Among the viewers are men I was once regularly in touch with on social media, men who I had helped and supported at live events, wrote articles on and was generally friends with, many of them for years.

In what I can only describe as the single most surreal moment in my life, I watch as the chat reveals just what they all really think of me because they aren’t just there for the freak show. They’re participants acting in support of it. They are without mistake aiding and abetting my stalker’s behavior. They’re his support group.

mister_yuckSomewhat dumbfounded, for 55 minutes I watch as they insult and deconstruct me and my character in the chat, telling bizarre tales of my alleged corruption and collusion, offering words and statements that further provoke the obsessive-delusional podcaster to rage more violently about what  a “danger” I am “to the “gaming scene”. As the minutes tick by more and more increasingly arcane “facts” are thrown up about me as the chat bursts into chaotic banter, where ridiculous “facts” are thrown about like mismatched clothes from an old suitcase in an attic. Some claim they know where I live and another claims he has“proof” that I’m quite possibly a transsexual, might have been a stripper, and that I’m “definitely a cunt”.

They type over each other, none of them pausing to question or answer a comment. Some accuse me of sexual debauchery with various men, while others accuse me of “conspiring against gamers for money”. Some claim I live in Washington State. Another says Oregon. I’m wondering why they want to know where I live.

Although the stalker podcast host may be the engine of hate, the men in the chat are without question his gasoline. Without them he’d have no momentum. No reason to continue.

From this moment on they will be his rage-filling station for the next 2 years. They will also serve as his pit crew, aiding and abetting his obsession with me and covering for him, and their numbers will multiply quickly from 9 to nearly 40 and span several different countries. In the end his supporters will become worse as a collective and do more damage to my reputation  and my sense of personal safety than he could have ever done alone. Promoters. Producers. Iconic social personalities. Arcade proprietors. My once friends and peers. All of these men in the coming years will be ruled by their fear of him or either their sadistic admiration of watching him hunt me like an animal…or both.

Everything and everyone I ever cared about will be swept away in a wave of hatred, attacks and defamation sprees. I will lose everything…except one thing: My will to fight back.

HIM
tarsier

The walls of his sparsely furnished room are painted dull rental-white, and lit by a single desk lamp they relay feelings of awkward social isolation. There are no photos of loved ones in the room. No posters or pictures on the wall to provide visual inspiration save a crude comic depiction of another target he obsesses over and harasses online. It’s pinned to his bare wall like a special memento.

There is no warmth of color from a single thing beyond the dead-pan shadows of sepia black and white. The only thing identifiable in the foreground of most of his video-slams on me is the raging face of an obsessive-compulsive maniac lit by the cold blue-glow of a computer screen.

He often wears an oversized t-shirt to hide his middle aged paunch and a baseball hat to conceal male pattern baldness. He’s in his late 30s, single, no children and claims he’s a professional gamer, actor, director, former model and The Console Player of The Century. A pair of plain-looking, black glasses, strapped tight around the sides of his bloated, round face give him a Mr. Potato Head effect. Sometimes when he looks at the camera the thick lenses of his glasses over-magnify his eyes giving him the eerie look of a crazed tarsier.

His name is Rudy J. Ferretti and he has stalked and harassed me online for almost 4 years straight; first because I refused to write a feature article on him in 2013 for Twin Galaxies and, secondly, because I was the writer and concept creator for No Princess in The Castle,  a documentary film on women in gaming that he was somehow convinced he should have been cast in.

Ferretti lives in a world inside his head where everyone and everything he can’t control or deflect with a tantrum or a threat must be eradicated. He equates power with the act of inflicting emotional pain, fear and/or embarrassment upon anyone who resists his attacks or refuses to comply with his wishes or demands. Those wishes and demands are always in conjunction with video games, particularly the NES or Atari 2600, classic platform consoles he bizarrely believes hold the keys to professional gaming stardom for him.

Before you even think of laughing  –he’s serious.
Okay…now you have a right to be scared.

He’s honestly persuaded himself into believing he’s a “gaming celebrity”, the “Console God of the Planet Earth” and a world famous professional gamer deserving of DOTA 2-esque media coverage, pay and perks. I’m seriously not joking.

If you disagree with his opinion of himself, or worse, fail to deliver service to his insatiable demands for worship, fame, media hype and celebration, you’ll end up on his wanted list. This means you can expect one or more (often times numerous) defamation videos to be created about you…for years.

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2007 Defamation Videos on Twin Galaxies/ Walter Day  over a single incident.

Because his desire for continuous media coverage, film-time and praise is so great, his common targets for stalking and harassment tends to be Twin Galaxies personnel (past and present), writers, journalists, media people and producers who fail to recognize his “greatness”. Occasionally he’s gone after a fellow gamer/competitor but only if the gamer/competitor has beaten one of his scores or gives an indication that they might be able to.

His methods of defamation and harassment include successive shit-posting,  constructing blogs with vilifying headers, circulating offensive memes, stalking, creating various proxy social media accounts for impersonation purposes and, of course, saturating the internet with defamation videos.  A quick search of his online history reveals a 16-year habit of this sort of dysfunctional behavior. He’s perma-banned from Twitch TV and numerous gaming forums for this behavior alone.

Yet –how funny– he’s still active in the classic gaming community, particularly Twin Galaxies, America’s most known and often controversial video game score tracking entity. Why? The answer is easy. People are afraid of him. I mean, grown men.

For those unfamiliar with the classic arcade gaming community, it’s a very small niche entirely separate from the media-heavy multi-billion dollar modern gaming scene and it exists exclusively online. Collectors of arcades, historians and competitors are connected primarily through Facebook, a handful of arcade related gaming sites, like Twin Galaxies, and rarely meet face to face except at one of the few yearly events, the largest one being The Kong Off. These graying aficionados of The 80s era are held together by their love and lore of the video craze, for the most part 35-50 year-olds (many even older) who are trying to keep alive and preserve both the games and the initial gaming culture that the rest of the world has pretty much forgotten about.

Media attention on the classic gaming niche is exceedingly limited and usually reserved for larger yearly events or the rare occurrence of someone breaking a long-standing arcade record on an important game title, usually Donkey Kong. So because the media attention from the outside world is so slight, the last thing anyone concerned with preservation efforts and the classic scene’s reputation wants to see is bad press or internal drama of any sort. Avoiding Ferretti’s wrath and his victim’s wails, believe it or not, has been a habit that the classic scene, and particularly its social leaders, have found hard to break…

Until I came along.

The Lie That Started It All
Lies

Twin Galaxies personnel, past and present, has a long, pathetic history of suffering at the hands of revenge stalkers and trolls ticked off about a ruling on their high score, and who were routinely pacified by personnel just to keep them at bay. This inaction to deal expeditiously with anti-social behavior over the years created a pattern of abuse to flourish and spill out onto the classic community at large, in turn often affecting others in the community who had nothing to do with the initial incident. When dealing with dysfunctional and threatening personalities the last thing anyone should ever do is give an anti-social person power over you and your decisions by appeasing their demands thus allowing the behavior to continue.

So in 2013, even though I was not personnel at Twin Galaxies at the time, when I was asked by  Twin Galaxies personnel to write a feature article on Ferrtti to “shut him up and get him off our backs”, I flat out refused. Find someone else, I told them. Not interested.

ferrettiFerretti, of course, went ballistic, and the Twin Galaxies personnel, no doubt fearful of Ferretti’s wrath and absolutely envisioning the coming defamation videos, redirected the wrath upon me by falsely telling Ferretti I’d been pre-paid to write the article on him and now refused. It was a shockingly unethical thing to do; a bold-faced lie fabricated and applied out of fear…fear of a fit-throwing 30+-year old manchild convinced that all shall kneel before him, The God of The NES, Champion of Home Alone.

Pretty sad state of affairs. Embarrassing, really. But little did I know the absolute hell I was in for.

Ferretti immediately took to social media, namely his Facebook, posting rants  and posting “exposure videos” about me, no doubt trying to utilize the same forms of coercion that had worked on others before me. Didn’t work. I ignored him and his attempts to coerce me by harassment. Some of his friends, other anti-socials/disgruntled former Twin Galaxies supporters, got in on the fun and for awhile it got kind of heated.

A long-winded and thoroughly ludicrous 25-page pants-shitting post erupted later on some obscure forum that year but I never responded to it. I ignored that, too. It’ll burn out, I thought. It can’t continue on forever. But I was wrong. God, was I wrong.

In April of 2013 Twin Galaxies was deep into a new reformation, and feeling things had really improved, I signed on as Lead Writer hoping to do what I loved to do: write about gaming champions…real ones.

To make a long story short, it proved to be a reformation rife with the same old internal problems it’d always had, and after 8 months Twin Galaxies collapsed due to an internal break-up, eventually sold to a new owner, and me and Twin Galaxies sadly went our separate ways…or so I thought. Ferretti and his troll friends immediately took to the internet blaming me for Twin Galaxies’ failure, accusing me of “running it into the ground” although I’d served no function at Twin Galaxies except writing articles on champion players and working live events.

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The author with Twin Galaxies and The Kong Off Competition, Denver, Colorado

The amount of defamation hurled at me by Ferretti and his group concerning “the fall of Twin Galaxies” was by far the largest siege on my character up to that point. Terrible rumors erupted onto the internet about anything and everything concerning Twin Galaxies operations, including but not limited to, claims I had:

*falsified the scoreboard
*denied coverage of players
*absconded with money
and the most horrendously arcane one of all
*had sexual relations with several men at The Kong Off.

Look at the above picture: Which ones were they?  Sure as hell wasn’t Billy Mitchell because he doesn’t want to mess his hair up. Just sayin’…

But, seriously, the online defamation became so bad and so distressing to me that on December 20, 2013, Richie Knucklez Arcade Culture Show, hosted by Richie Knucklez, Donkey Kong Champion Hank Chien and Q*bert Champion George Luetz, issued me a public apology on behalf of the arcade community and condemned the online defamation I was facing at the hands of trolls. It was a comforting moment for me, coming at a time when I really needed to hear it. Years later I still appreciate it and look back on that moment as the last time I ever felt connected to the “scene” I loved so much and the men I was so damned proud of and still am. NOTE: Since the publication of this article Richie Knucklez has become an open supporter of Rudy Ferretti as well as the producers of No Princess in the Castle.

However in hindsight and upon closer inspection, the comment section gives me the willies now.

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Richie Knucklez Arcade Culture Show, December 20, 2013

Interestingly enough, three of the men in the Twitch comment section -namely joelwestgamer, Datagod and Ozsteve71- went on only two months later to hail my doom online and deep behind the scenes in spite of the efforts of the three gentlemen above to restore peace to the community; Datagod and Ozsteve71 joined up with Ferretti and spread via proxy copious amounts of defamation about me.  joelwestgamer, a man who had the ear of Walter Day and other respected people in the community and who was at the time a very dear friend, spread even more defamation far and wide that permanently severed my relationship with not only Twin Galaxies but Walter Day himself. He did it for revenge, over something related to Twin Galaxies’ sale. Something trivial, juvenile and ridiculous.

rudy-ggThese three defamers got creative. This time the defamation wasn’t about Twin Galaxies, what I had or hadn’t done there or anything truly related to it. It was about something entirely different, something political that I never saw coming, and if I had I would have never thought anything so mundane could have the kind of long-lasting impact on my life that it did. They  spread the rumor I was a “radical feminist writer”. They began referring to me and my female friends as “radical felines”.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, an underground sociopolitical movement against feminists in tech and gaming was underway across America, led by an illusive bunch of internet chan-trolls so far removed from the classic scene that it’s a wonder the bigotry of this movement even surfaced in the classic arcade scene at all. The movement later came to be known as Gamergate in 2014 and it made national and world headlines, spawned TV episodes and ruined lives.  Ferretti and Datagod drew excessive inspiration from it and branded me a “radical feminist” just so I’d fit the mold although I’d never written a feminist-related article in my entire life. joelwestgamer backed up Datagod like the buddy he was, lending a important sense of credibility to what would have appeared to most as a just another unimportant drama if he hadn’t.

The dark triad was now complete and the game was afoot. It’s mission was to destroy me and have a lot of fun doing it.

Some Kind of Feminist

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Assortment of misogynist memes created by Ferretti and his supporters

2014 is the year I’ll always remember as the year I lost my identity; a year of unending harassment, defamation, social media raids, online attacks and project sabotage by Ferretti and his mob of Gamergate-copycats, many who had previously been my friends.

Although Ferretti had always been an irritant in one way or another, the aggression of his online mannerisms and methods of attack increased exponentially month by month and especially after the release of the Kickstarter for the documentary project team I was working with on No Princess in the Castle. For some odd reason he was convinced that I and other crew members were writing a movie to seek revenge on him and/or other men in the classic community although it was painfully clear by the trailer and accompanied ephemera, including the title, that this was a multi-biographical project on several people joined as a collective.

npitc
Early 2014 movie poster by Director Dave Danzara. Note I’m listed as a  “writer” on the project and not a cast member. The movie was never about me or any opinions I had about women in gaming which cancels out any criticism that the project was a political feminist piece. It wasn’t.

A collaborative vision between myself and film maker, Dave Danzara, NPITC was to be (at the time) a never before seen glimpse into the history of women in gaming and intended to  shed light on the tremendous progress women have made in the field since The 70s; half a dozen women programmers, competitors, writers and developers were assembled to tell the story, young and old. We were quite excited about the venture, and as sensitive as this sounds, I was completely relieved and ecstatic about embarking on a new form of writing that would allow me the opportunity to do something I felt was in the best interest of the public.

NPITC  wasn’t in any way a “radical feminist film” by far (there are men in it) and it wasn’t about exploring sexism in a way that shames men or blames them for anything. Both Danzara and I felt that since every gaming film available at the time had been made about men (and often the same ones) that it was about time one was made about women and their history in gaming. It was as simple as that. The only political statement we agreed upon was to show an “evolution of women in gaming ads sequence” from 1977 to 1986 and only as a way to show where the marketing attitudes evolved from the woman being an active player to an object. That was it. That was enough.

The Kickstarter wasn’t up an hour before Ferretti and his group, including the newly formed Women Against Feminist Gamers (WAFG), a group comprised of mostly MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists) and led by an absolutely mad Englishwoman, attacked it and began making anti-NPITC videos and posts.  But their main target was me, The Radical Feline. After all, Ferretti’s attacks weren’t incited by the film as much as he saw it as an opportunity to disrupt something he sensed I cared about. He also had an axe to grind against a female competitor cast in the film who had beaten one of his world records as well as yet another vendetta against another woman who’d rejected his romantic interest.

Some of the anti-NPITC activity at the time looked like this. This is only a small selection out of hundreds. Some of them are too profane to publish here:

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The executive producer was harassed as well as publicly  accused of moral misconduct by Ferretti and his group which was false and completely fabricated.

Unfortunately as time went on and the film progressed Ferretti and his group’s public attacks and defamation of my character took on a more aggressive misogynist and rather sexual tone, often accusing me of sexual misconduct. Ferretti himself, backed up by Datagod, began publicly stating he had a near sexual relationship with me although we had only met once at an event and only briefly. Both Sparta and Datagod repeated these statements numerous times over a two year-year period. Ferretti and Datagod still push these lies.

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Clyde Sparta is an account registered in Australia.  William McEvoy is Datagod.

In April 2014, the Kickstarter had met its goal and the directors and executive producer immediately left the project for what they told me would be 8 months to work on another project, leaving me alone to handle the rest of the casting and to keep contact with the cast.

That 8 months turned into a year and half.

Meanwhile the harassment raged on and I dealt with it as best I could. It’s a difficult thing to keep your head on straight when it appears as if the whole world is yelling at you every day, all day long. By August I was weary from social media “false flag raids” and endless defamation videos. I also began to notice something more than just distance growing between me and the directors of NPITC.

The seeds of dissension planted by Ferretti and his group over the last 2 years had grown.

Falloutcastle

By the summer of 2015 I noticed the directors of NPITC were speaking less and less to me and appeared aloof and disinterested whenever I got them on the phone. Since my name was associated with the project, and I was still listed as the writer, I was concerned about the time span growing between the Kickstarter pay-out and the development of the film.

I was also concerned that my harassment by Ferretti and his group were making the producers/directors doubt my morality. They assured me I had no reason for concern but deep down I knew better. I noticed photos being posted on social media that showed the producers and directors of the film hanging out at events where many of my attackers were present, meaning attackers also of the film. They were posed in photos with them, laugh-happy like long time friends. Datagod was even billed as a “celebrity” at one.

I also became aware that their silence with me over the project wasn’t really silence at all but a complete retraction of faith in me. They had sided with my attackers, particularly ones closest to Walter Day, Billy Mitchell and Twin Galaxies’ new owner. They’d been swayed by the perceptions of a malicious mob. It was obvious for a long time to everyone but me. Hating me had become socially acceptable. A way to get into the  ‘in’ club.

Having known other women who’ve been harassed online, and especially ones who endured the Gamergate siege of late 2014, I knew that sympathy for the victim runs thin eventually; that after a period of time your supporters -even your tried and true friends- lose faith in you and grow frustrated by constantly seeing and hearing you being defamed. They wonder why you can’t just ignore it, move on and start again and resume who you were before the attacks. What they don’t realize is that once you’re targeted by a revenge mob, and once it’s gone on for over a year, you change. You have to to survive emotionally. Plus, ignoring it is the last thing you want to do. There comes a time in every targeted person’s life when you have to decide what you’re going to do  -fight or flight?

I chose to fight.

What prompted me to stand up to Ferretti and his horde was seeing the film’s IMDb listing vandalized with Ferretti’s name added to the cast and then learning it wasn’t vandalism at all. Behind my back the executive producer , Eric Tessler, had added Ferretti to the cast…in a film about women. They were pals now. Bizarre.

Just as bad, the Director refused to speak to me by phone and only corresponded to me via FB messaging before blocking me when my emotions about the deception grew too large for him to handle. I had a right to be angry. He’d just fed me to the wolves.

The executive producer, Tessler, was at least respectful enough to address me over the phone…but later referred to me publicly as a “cunt” on Facebook. I guess he’s tougher behind a keyboard.

tessler-calls-me-a-cunt

He explained to me Ferretti was cast in the film as a ruse, and that they were going to use him as a tool and then make him look as foolish as possible.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How does it make sense to cast a man who has stalked and harassed your main concept creator and writer for years, in a film where you plan on throwing him under the bus?  Don’t you think that would only exacerbate the harassment and perhaps even lead to more complicated matters for the victim?  Isn’t that a little bit dangerous? Unethical, even? Of course it is but they didn’t care.

I’ve no doubt in my mind that when shit would have hit the fan (and it would have) they’d have done what every other person has done with Ferretti and passed the blame to someone else…which would have been me because, in their minds, I was expendable. Sort of  the  Part II of “The Lie That Started It All“.

I resigned on the spot. Fuck you’s were said. It was heartbreaking, terrifying and ugly. The most painful conversational moment I have ever had with people I was linked with professionally. Maybe some people are used to such things. Not me. I try to to live my life with  hearts intact. I don’t get off on hurting people and I don’t like people who do.

First thing I did was tell people privately what had gone on  –everything. This led to several resignations from the cast, particularly mavericks Ciji Thornton and Caitlin Oliver, who left a trail of scathing opinions on this subject on the internet because they, too, had been targets of Ferretti before. This also led to Executive producer, Tessler, gaslighting me on Twitter and threatening me ala’ Ferretti with more “expose blogs” as punishment for telling people what had happened to me and “lying” about Ferretti’s harassment of me which he vehemently denied ever occurred although he was unquestionably aware that it had:
tessler cat exposed
eric tessler oh its coming

During his Twitter rage, and although I never responded to him, he kept tagging me in post after post until settling on something I had previously thought he’d never stoop to.  He posted a link to a video that claimed feminists were “fat, ugly women who can’t get men” and that they should “give more blow jobs”. When challenged by people on Twitter for posting such a thing, he claimed the statements in the video were “true”. It was shocking to me and others looking on that someone connected to a film, whose subject matter was intending to explore the successes and struggles of women in gaming, was exhibiting the very same behaviors and attitudes that create the problems to begin with. If the surreal has a defining moment in my life it was contained in that Twitter feed.

Then I let it all rest, tried to take a deep breath and rethink how I fit back into a community my image had just been burned in effigy in, before coming to the obvious conclusion:

You can’t put ashes back into shape. They only find form again in the wind.

Epilogue

To date I’m still being trolled, stalked and defamed by Ferretti and his newest entourage of lackey’s, online thrill seekers and low-viewer podcast hosts looking for a cheap break. Why not, even seagulls eat from trash heaps during storms sometimes.

I’m still Ferretti’s target and I’m still his latest beat-meat manifesto on Facebook and LiveLeak or anywhere else he’s not banned yet. He’ll be ranting about me still in 10 years, donning a toupee and convincing himself it looks real, much like the Snap-On-Smile he’s donning lately in videos while telling me what a “fraud” I am to the world. Just a hint: Go three shades darker. No one’s teeth should be visible two miles away.

Oh, and yeah…he left this call to arms on his Facebook page in response to knowing I was publishing this article:
rudy-mob-family

To anyone who made it this far in this long and terrible story, don’t ever let anyone tell you who you are, who you can be or where you can go. Your life and happiness actually depends on what you accept as treatment from others. Teach them how to treat you

Peace.

March 2017 Update: This article hit the classic arcade gaming community like a bomb, causing a great number of people to accept that what they had thought was just general trolling had, indeed, been something far more deranged and aggressive than they had initially believed. Support for me rose exponentially, especially from men who were appalled to learn that the harassment campaign had continued for so long and been supported by people who were once respected participants in classic community’s affairs. Because of this sudden awareness many of the aggressors, now spotlighted for their deeds,  began to cease their activities against me and the online harassment stopped after a few weeks save for Ferretti and a new supporter, podcast host, Josh Houslander, who chose to see this article as a chance to gain “publicity” by defaming me on their show. That venture failed to draw even the most remote interest and was quickly abandoned.

Ferretti is still writing defamation blogs, posting lewd and sexist observations on women competitors he meets at gaming events, and is still supported by the producers of No Princess in the Castle.  The below post was made following Arcade Expo 3.0., in Banning, California, an event Ferretti was personally invited to and given free passes to attend:

rudy carrie booty

Related Links:

Stalking and Harassment in The Classic Arcade Community

Suicide Gaming: Who Will Protect Gaming’s “Male Minority”?

No Princess in the Castle Runs Into Tons of Hate

The Vendetta Against Feminists: Compiling The Damage

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14 thoughts on “Radical Felines: When Harassment Becomes a Game

  1. Man, this is so fucked up. I’m so sorry you have had to deal with this garbage. It’s wrong, it’s dangerous, and it’s scary, and sadly so many women deal with this shit in the gaming world. Makes me more angry than I can handle sometimes.

    I wish there was more I personally could do, but other than being a good person myself, I’m unsure how to create any sort of lasting change. If one thing this year has taught us with the election, there are a LOT of unstable, hateful people out there :\

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is 4:34 am here in NJ. The link to this article hit my phone a little past midnight. How am I to sleep now? I am personally embarrassed for not standing up taller for you Cat.. You have always been a dear friend and always will. I am so sorry you had to endure all this crap. I feel even more personally responsible because this reminded me that it was I, who asked you to join the team to reform TG. I never saw my life imploding and the shit show that inevitably followed. I am so very sorry. much love my sister. ~your buddy Richie “FiFi Bag” Boner

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You aren’t responsible nor is/was Jourdan. Even the new owner had no clue what he was going to end up dealing with and was himself a target for Ferretti in the same fashion I was. I hold Ferretti and his close supporters/fellow trolls responsible because he wouldn’t have continued without their support nor have been so empowered to keep upping “his game”. The whole fallout with the film was largely influenced by that group’s opinion of me, or rather their fabrications of my intent as a writer. They succeeded in making me a fashionable pariah. Some people are very susceptible to being persuaded by that.

      Like

  3. You know, I’ve often lamented the fact that I live in the middle of nowhere and haven’t had opportunities to participate in classic gaming events and meet people. After reading this, I think maybe that was a good thing.

    I’m surprised at how persistent and repetitive this guy’s attacks are, but I suppose those are the same traits that help him break world records. Either way, nobody deserves how you are being treated. Hope it ends peacefully.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He’s an absolute anomaly in regards to the behavior of classic gaming champs. No other champion behaves like this or does these things presently. Not one. Just him.

      I encourage you to join in classic competitive gaming, particularly the arcade division. You’ll find an amazing group of people far removed from the behavior you see in that film. I promise you.

      Thank you for the wish of peace. I appreciate it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The subject the video was about challenged my right to post it…for obvious reasons. He had the video removed…twice. First from YouTube and then LiveLeak’ then went out to do a radio podcast show and broadcasted even more for defamation. He believes in free speech only for himself.

      Like

  4. Hello Cat,

    Whilst we’ve never interacted directly (and perhaps never will) when I saw this article linked elsewhere I recognised the name. As a historian and gamer (with a passion for where the two overlap) I’ve encountered various aspects of your work before but had no idea at all that this was happening to you.

    That you have been able to carry on doing what you do whilst putting up with this both emotionally and logistically is an incredible testament to who you are and what you believe in. I cannot put into words how much I respect you both for that and for just writing it all out here so eloquently and openly.

    On a daily basis part of me wants to cry out in rage at the people who do stuff like this and Gamergate. People who ruin what should be an open, inclusive and above all FUN world to contribute to and be part of. Where possible I try to be an ally to both friends and strangers who end up on the receiving end of it, but that can never make it stop.

    I won’t – and indeed can’t – apologise for the members of my gender and (general) interest group who have, and continue, to put you through this. I am deeply ashamed of them but apologising on their behalf just feels like another way of trying to dismiss their behaviour or minimise its very real consequences for you and others. They are to blame for their behaviour and they need to be seen as owning it and be held accountable for it.

    All I can say is thank you for writing this because, if there’s a tiny positive here it’s that you’ve made me very aware of something I’d not realised before which is this:

    “I knew that sympathy for the victim runs thin eventually; that after a period of time your supporters – even your tried and true friends- lose faith in you and grow frustrated by constantly seeing and hearing you being defamed.”

    Reading that made me sit up and realise that I’ve been guilty of doing that sometimes. It was just something I’d never considered before. And now that I’m aware of it I will do my utmost to avoid it in my own interactions.

    I know that’s a tiny fraction of a percentage of the changes that need to happen in the world of gaming, both retro arcade and on a wider level, but simply as one gaming aficionado to another: thank you.

    And, above all, please keep doing what you do.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Cat, this is such a demented story I started a new thread about it on the Wikipedia Sucks forum, and am also adding it to the database for our book on Wikipedia’s history. It is NOT an unusual occurrence on Wikipedia.

    http://wikipediasucks.boards.net/thread/401/who-rudy-ferretti

    If this continues Ferretti will end up in state prison or a psych ward. And all his little gamer buds and supporters will disavow know him. Furthermore, you cannot trust the operators of Twin Galaxies to tell the truth–8 years ago they used Wikipedia to glorify themselves, violating Wikipedia’s own policies in the process.

    Sorry this happened to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Furthermore, you cannot trust the operators of Twin Galaxies to tell the truth…”.

      I realize that. Neither past or present has a good grip on reality. One of the things that lead to me being dog-piled upon not only by Ferretti’s supporters but TG’s as well, was that I called TG out on their constant historical revisionism in 2014 and again 2015. I firmly believe that if one decides to document a point in history, that that history needs to be as concise and as true as possible without speculation and also must be consistent in refraining from the urge to record “history”that serves to support loose-media hype and/or personal agenda.

      We disagreed on that. I was seen as someone who was “raining on the parade” rather than the one who exercised ethics in reporting facts regardless of my relationship to the source or individual(s). Shame, really, because I had their best interests at heart at all times. There are some amazing things that they certainly did do that they aren’t even aware of or seem to care about at all. For instance, they created the very first reward system for video game high scores (not competitive gaming) by instituting an organized scoreboard which helped redefine and separate the social identity from “player” which was a participant of the consumer market at the time and nothing more, to “gamer” which eventually evolved into a cultural identity. But instead of focusing on the things they did they began taking credit via revisionism for things they either didn’t do or had very little influence on…like eSport.

      They claim they created eSport now, are the sole reason why competitive gaming began yet ignore the fact that organized competitive gaming existed long before them. They’re also big on putting lavishly expensive vanity plaques up in honor of themselves on Iowa streets and giving themselves vainglorious titles which further alienates themselves from focusing on real cultural history that was comprised of a vast array of people, from just about every State in America.

      They’ve basically taken the vast frontiers of early arcade cultural history and are using only the parts about themselves to construct a Pyramid to rest their “legends” in.

      Like

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