Matt Conn, founder and organizer of LGBTQ events outfit GaymerX, today stepped down, following allegations of sexual harassment. Conn is also taking a break from running his game studio MidBoss, best known for its narrative adventure 2064: Read Only Memories.
In a tweet earlier today, Conn wrote: “Effective immediately I’m resigning from GaymerX and all activities involved in that and I’ll also be taking a leave from MidBoss once I can make sure the remaining employees payroll is handled.”
Last week, allegations emerged online that Conn had behaved inappropriately with employees, and had paid junior staff below minimum wage. One former employee, Tyler Gausvik, tweeted that there was “a lot of sexual harassment/misbehavior, emotional manipulation, and other really toxic behavior,” at MidBoss, adding that he experienced “inappropriate sexual workplace conduct/harassment, and grooming”. Other former employees and freelancers also came forward to make complaints about wages and treatment.
Founded in 2013, GaymerX is a series of events designed to offer an inclusive space for LGBTQ gamers and game developers. Events are held sporadically, with the most recent being held in New York and in Sydney, Australia, late last year. Speakers at GaymerX events have included leading developers such as David Gaider, Tim Cain and Anna Anthropy.
MidBoss’ 2064: Read Only Memories was released in 2015. Set in the future, it depicts a world in which LGBTQ characters no longer suffer from discrimination.
In a series of tweets, Conn wrote: “I assumed that 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.” He added: “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.”
He added: “In regards to my behavior, I’ve never intentionally tried to make anyone uncomfortable, but I know my intense management style and just unconventional lifestyle puts people off and if I wanna have a career I need to act right.”