Popular speedrunner Narcissa Wright yesterday deleted her Twitch account, citing abuse and online criticism.
Wright — who rose to fame prior to gender transition — specialized in speedrunning classic games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Castlevania 64 and Super Monkey Ball. Due to a hand injury, she recently moved over to standard streaming and personal vlogging.
She posted on Twitter that she had closed her streaming page, even though it is her main source of income. According to SocialBlade, she had more than 163,000 followers with more than 28 million total views.
"I've been so unhappy on the internet and it sucks because I feel like the internet is my home," she wrote on Twitter. "I feel like I can't be myself without getting shit on constantly. I feel like I have to constantly apologize for being myself."
Wright says she has been subject to abuse and harsh criticism from one-time fans and trolls. Her tweets referenced suicidal thoughts.
"Just so tired of the shit I get from people, total lack of respect makes me wanna give up on the world," she wrote. "Today feels like the worst day in a while, I want to die (painlessly please). I googled harmless suicide methods but they all seem cumbersome. I don't think I'd actually go through with anything but it sure is nice to fantasize about not having to deal anymore."
In a vlog update today, a visibly distressed Wright talked about the pressure placed on her to be defined as a speedrunner. She said that she has become obsessed with reading comments about herself. Here's an abridged version of her vlog:
"I'm constantly being judged, [compared] to my past self. In this moment in my life, when it's not easy. It's just like reading all the garbage comments. There's a lot of places where people talk about me. And I read all of it. Anything anyone says about me, I just read it.
It hurts. Everything is so twisted and fucked. Like, I was depressed before I started hormones and I started them and I felt good about that and I still feel good about it. But I still feel constrained and fucked. I'm not free.
Speedrunning is a dead end, going for records. It's just this endless repetition ... everyone equates me to speedrunning. It's like, fuck you. This huge cloud of what people say I am is like this presence and it's real and it's so rotten lately. Everyone just dragging me down and making me look like a freak and I'm not a freak. I'm not.
People won't let go and allow me to continue my life. Everyone holds onto the past and it fucking sucks. I wake up ... and there's nothing to do so I'll go read the internet, and I'll see what everyone says about me and I'll just refresh the comments forever. It just feel so damaging. It all builds up and then it just comes out like this."
A Twitch spokesperson said the company does not comment on individual members. Twitch does allow users to ban or time out people, disable the posting of links, ban specific words, and assign moderators to police chat on their behalf.
Wright's Twitter feed includes multiple messages of support from friends and fans today. Polygon is trying to contact Wright.