Prof allegedly sucker-punches critic of social justice gaming
A popular critic of identity politics in gaming was physically assaulted last Thursday, allegedly by a Quinnipiac University gaming professor who previously vowed to “fight” those who disagreed with his social justice views.
According to multiple witness statements, Professor Matthew Fantastic Loter approached Youtuber Jeremy Hambly from behind at the Indianapolis bar Tin Roof, put Hambly in a headlock, repeatedly punched him, and yelled “I’m going to f***ing kill you.”
When Hambly fled to the inside of the bar, the witnesses say, another patron blocked Loter from following, whereupon Loter punched a glass window of the bar, breaking it.
The incident happened after GenCon, an annual gaming conference held in Indianapolis, and appears to be politically motivated. Prior to GenCon, Hambly published a Youtube video criticizing GenCon for inviting well-known social justice advocate Anita Sarkeesian.
“Why would you bring the most toxic, the most divisive person in gaming, to the world's biggest gaming convention?" Hambly asked during that video.
Six days later, Hambly says he noticed that Loter had tweeted under the now-deleted handle @Prettiest_Matt, saying “Real talk: if you have a problem with [Anita Sarkeesian] being invited to @GenCon fucking fight me. I’m easy to find.”
Fearing for his safety, Hambly archived that tweet. He attended the conference anyway.
“At about 2:00 a.m., someone came up behind me and put their arm around my neck, and said: Hey, are you Jeremy Hambly?” he told Campus Reform by phone on Wednesday.
“At that moment, I sincerely thought it was a fan from YouTube. And then I turned my head and Loter started screaming and punching me, yelling ‘I'm going to f***ing kill you,” said Hambly. “It took four people to pry him off… then he punched a window and ran off.”
Loter is listed on the faculty roster at Quinnipiac University. But when Campus Reform inquired, a spokeswoman said “The person in question is not on our faculty and does not teach here.”
When Campus Reform pointed out that the professor is slated to teach “Introduction to Game Design” in Fall 2018, the spokesperson said “The university will have no further comment beyond the statement.”
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department took Hambly’s statement on August 2, and Hambly says a detective was assigned to the case on August 8. Campus Reform independently verified that a detective has been assigned to the case, and is currently waiting to speak with the detective.
Since the attack, Hambly has been recovering from a black eye, cuts on his body, and severe bruising.
Hambly says the attack hasn’t deterred him from raising awareness of what he says is the “crowbarring of identity politics into video games.” Gaming, he says, is where people “escape politics.”
“It's never about this character being gay or this character being a person of color,” he said. “It's when that's all they are, tokenism is annoying and lazy.”
Employees of the Tin Roof Bar have thus far declined to comment on the incident.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen