I believe victims.
This is not up for debate. Try it, and I'll simply block and ban you. I'm not in the mood for dealing with your bullshit over this, and I won't.
Anyway, the news dropped with mention of several other accusations from the gaming sphere. The news did not shock or surprise me. I'm well past that by now. I exist in the world as a woman. I know exactly what it's like out there.
The news still hit hard, though, and I was far more shaken up over this than other, equally unsurprising revelations. This is for one reason alone:
I loved his music.
Music has a special place in my heart. It has been, for as long as I can remember, a place of solace, of release, and joy. It's the one thing that could calm my raging moods without effort on my part. All that had to happen was the music had to play. I have wept, held by beautiful melodies, and comforted by melancholic refrains. It has accompanied me everywhere. Music is where I turn when I don't have the strength for reading or gaming, and I need solace.
Part of what drew me so fully into the world of Skyrim, the game that got me into gaming at long last, was the music. It was not just perfect for the atmosphere of the game, but also for helping me sleep, pumping me up, and helping my imagination run. I would regularly listen to the soundtrack, just because the music was so wonderful.
Last week's news took that from me. I cannot listen to that music now without the few details of the rape that I could read without wanting to scream returning. Now the music is stained, and it has hit me particularly hard. I had a personal connection to that music.
The irony is when I'm feeling as sad as I am about a loss like this, I'd turn to music, this music specifically. Now I can't.
I spent a lot of last week vacillating between wracking sobs and intense ire. It perhaps seems silly to be grieving this much over something like this, but I am. Never mind how triggering it is to have read about, as a survivor. I have lost something so I was deeply attached to, and it hurts.
There are two schools of thought, really, when it comes to situations like this. The first is that the artist and the art are separate things, and we must separate the two. The other is that the artist and the art cannot be separated, and we shouldn't. We should turn away from the art so as not to reward the artist for their monstrous behaviours. I am struggling with this a lot. I do not want this man to benefit from my continued patronage. I don't want to support his art, especially if it is, as he claims, for its sake that he raped a woman. And still I struggle, because of how fully I love, and depended upon, the art.
Part of me rages against having something I love taken from me because the person who made it is terrible. My contrarian nature wants to defy it, to hold on tighter to the thing I am losing. The greater part of me rages against the composer, because I know I cannot support him now without my stomach churning. He ruined this for me, and I hate him.
The whole affair almost lost me my favourite game, Skyrim, which I have played so much; the world a place I disappear into whether I feel happy or sad. There was a deep internal struggle, which ultimately ended in a victory for Skyrim. This game was not just his. Many, many people worked on it. I can't punish them for what their composer did. I will continue to play and enjoy the world that they've built.
As for the music, though? Maybe I'll get to a place where I can enjoy it again. After all, the damage has been done. I purchased the soundtrack already. He's already benefited from my support, even if he never will again. For now, though, though it truly upsets me, I will have to file away the music and find another source of comfort.
Damn it. Damn him.