Content warning: this article contains discussion of suicide, sexual violence, and mental health issues.

Days after news of allegations against him, videogame designer Alec Holowka has died.

It appears that Mr Holowka committed suicide.

Days beforehand, Mr Holowka was accused by a fellow developer of sexual misconduct. Zoë Quinn said that Holwka had been responsible for sexual abuse and displays of aggression during their relationship.

On the same day, a number of women and non-binary people from the industry accused several prominent games industry figures of sexual misconduct. So far, no one has been charged.  

Mr Holowka was a well-known industry figure, famous for having multiple talents. Night in the Woods was perhaps the most famous title he worked on.

Mr Holowka ’s sister Eileen confirmed that he had passed away.

“Alec Holowka, my brother and best friend, passed away this morning,” she tweeted.

“Those who know me will know that I believe survivors and I have always done everything I can to support survivors, those suffering from mental illnesses, and those with chronic illnesses. Alec was a victim of abuse and he also spent a lifetime battling mood and personality disorders. I will not pretend that he was not also responsible for causing harm, but deep down he was a person who wanted only to offer people care and kindness. It took him a while to figure out how.”

Ms Holowka called for fans to respect Zoë Quinn and acknowledged that her brother had engaged in abusive behaviour in the past.

“So don’t use our grief as an excuse to harass people,” she wrote. “Go outside, take care of someone, and work towards preventing these kinds of things in the first place.”

If you feel depressed or need to talk to someone, Lifeline is available 24 hours a day on 13 11 14 or at lifeline.org.au.

Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor

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