While I’ve never played (or honestly heard of) the title “Homesick”, an indie title from developer Chloe Sagal, I was concerned when I heard about a possible suicide attempt by a game developer, let alone the fact that it apparently happened live on her stream on twitch.tv. I will try to explain this entire story the best I have uncovered from various different sources, ranging from NeoGaf to Eurogamer.
In March, Chloe Sagal launch an IndieGoGo to receive donations from the community to fund a vital, life saving surgery. The campaign was billed to remove life threatening shrapnel from her body that was still embedded after a near fatal car crash a few years ago. She asked for 35,000 dollars as the surgery would cost 29,000 and the remaining would be something to live on for a short period afterward. She would also release the following video and statement along with the campaign.
“My time frame for surviving this has lowered from a few years to a few months, with loss of many basic functions due to arrive prior to my passing. I don’t have time to futz with the system, right now I just need to get this thing out of me. I am a strong and independent woman, I can handle almost anything myself, but I’m setting this aside, because I do not want to die from this. I never wanted to resort to just donations (as opposed to asking for donations from people who’ve enjoyed my work), but it’s clear that this is the best option I have right now.” (Quote taken from http://www.destructoid.com/dying-indie-developer-needs-your-donations-to-survive-251111.phtml, could not independently verify this though as the campaign has gone down)
According to reports from both Destructoid and Eurogamer, the fund was successful but soon after the campaign disappeared from IndieGoGo. A representative from IndieGoGo told Eurogamer the following:
“Indiegogo has a proprietary and effective fraud algorithm and when suspicious activity is detected the campaign is immediately suspended and all contributors are refunded,”
“When suspicious activity is detected, the campaign is immediately suspended and all contributions are refunded.”
This came as a surprise to nearly everyone following the campaign and Destructoid writer Allistair Pinsof reached out to Sagal for comment, the following was taken from a TwitLonger post from May 13th by Allistar:
“I got in touch with Sagal shortly after the post, trying to get her feedback on why IndieGoGo initially shut down her charity (to which IndieGoGo did not directly respond to me about). She was very coy at first but she eventually opened up, as we talked videogames and general stuff in an honest, candid way; she considered me a friend and I soon realized this wasn’t something for my website anymore.
By the time IndieGoGo shut her charity down a second time, she was much more friendly with me. She suggested suicide and I suggested we chat. So we did for over five hours. The truth came out: She did not require vital surgery but rather felt a very intense need for an operation that would let her complete her transformation into becoming a woman. I’m not sure if what I typed is entirely politically correct or not but I can in the very least say it is the truth.”
According to the post, she would later threaten suicide if Allistair told the truth, and he also assumed IndieGoGo received a similar threat, After a failed suicide attempt later on Chloe had planned to release a four page apology to EuroGamer that would “tell the truth” (the truth being her campaign was for her to complete her gender reassignment surgery). This letter though has not yet seen the light of day.
On May 12th Sagal took to the IndieStone forum and posted the following:
I’ve failed at everything I love, I’ve even failed at saving myself countless times, all because I’m a coward.
If it wasn’t enough, everyone was quick to tell me that I had failed, as if no one else had bothered to tell me. Constantly barraging me over and over and over, as if I needed to know.
Just keep telling yourself that I’m just a drama queen, and I don’t know what pain is. It hurts so much, and I’m tired of feeling it. I’m tired of being afraid of everything, I’m tired of wearing this mask that kills me everytime I take it off.
Everyone has to be so sure of themselves, and would rather subject someone to a lifetime of pain than to bend just a little bit.
I don’t care anymore.”
She finished this post with a link to her twitch.tv page, which is now closed. According to reports from Reddit, NeoGaf and StickSkills.com, she took pills and the laid lifeless for 18 minutes before the stream cut out (presumably by twitch.tv itself stopping the stream). Thankfully, authorities were notified and their are unconfirmed reports from both NeoGaf and Reddit that she is, thankfully, still alive and receiving medical attention.
I will keep this story updated as we receive new information on the condition of Chloe Sagal as well as any information regarding the situation. We here at The League of Mediocre Gamers wish Chloe Sagal a speedy recovery.
By, Bobby Marquardt
If you have any additional information on this topic please send me a tweet @The_R3medy or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org