A prominent Magic The Gathering cosplayer has reportedly been forced to withdraw from her hobby, stating that targeted harassment within the trading card game’s community had caused her to make the difficult decision.
Christine Sprankle is a popular cosplayer in the Magic The Gathering community, though her work has also attracted negative attention, most notably from Jeremy of the YouTube channel Unsleeved Media. According to Sprankle, Unsleeved Media has repeatedly harassed her, with her seeking some “peace and quiet” from these attacks and therefore withdrawing from a Magic The Gathering tournament in Portland.
In a post on Instagram, Sprankle wrote:
“Canceled GP Portland plans and I also deleted pretty much everybody off my private Facebook account so please stop sending me messages asking if you did something wrong or deleting and resending your friend request. Super tired of the harassment and would love to have some peace and quiet. Thanks.”
This news eventually made its way to Reddit, with r/MagicTCG users initially supporting Sprankle, though as the post detailing her claims started to gain momentum elsewhere on the site as a result of it reaching its front page, users from outside the Magic community began brigading the subreddit and reportedly increasing the level of harassment.
The subreddit’s moderators attempted to prevent the more incendiary comments from breaking through the woodwork by way of banning users posting personal attacks against the cosplayer, though it seems that Sprankle’s mentioning of harassment inadvertently led to her receiving more harassment, causing her to take to Twitter and address the community, specifically naming Unsleeved Media as being the main source of making her life “hell” with his “unnecessary videos/tweets about me and other members of Magic.
Sprankle wasn’t alone in her condemnation of Unsleeved Media. Brian Lewis, who operates under the pseudonym “The Professor” and is one of the most well-respected members of the Magic community, encouraged Jeremy to reassess his behavior and see how his actions have harmful consequences. He tweeted:
No one has made me more miserable than that man, no one has spread more vile lies and attacks. I’ve lost sleep, had panic attacks. No more.
— Tolarian Community (@TolarianCollege) November 25, 2017
In a video posted to his channel the Tolarian Community College, The Professor pointed out how Jeremy had made multiple derogatory comments about Sprankle’s appearance, suggested that she was preying on “beta male cucks” for money via Patreon and that videos containing such statements inevitably lead to the targeted individual receiving an increase in harassment from Unsleeved Media’s followers.
With over 140,000 subscribers on YouTube, Unsleeved Media is one of the biggest Magic The Gathering personalities on YouTube, with The Professor encouraging him to therefore conduct himself responsibly in front of his audience, and to not use his platform to berate Sprankle et al.
However, Unsleeved Media has responded by mocking the reaction to the insults he leveled at Sprankle, posting a reference to a tweet he made calling her a “3/10 at best.”
Goodnight my friends. Twas a great day. pic.twitter.com/dWF9pSYttc
— UnsleevedMedia (@UnsleevedMedia) November 28, 2017
Sprankle has yet to post on social media since announcing she was withdrawing from GT Portland, though Magic The Gathering publishers Wizard of the Coast spoke out against the controversy. “We’re saddened by what happened in the Magic community this weekend. Cyber bullying and harassment are unacceptable, and we support those who come forward with their experiences,” the official Magic Twitter account tweeted. “No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome. We’re working to be a part of the solution.”
(H/T Kotaku AU)