The reckoning within the video game industry continues. Skullgirls Lead Design Director and prominent fighting game community member Mike Zaimont has been accused of inappropriate behavior by multiple cosplayers. Cosplayer BunnyAyu was the first the level these charges after posting alleged messages he sent her.
She revealed this by tweeting out that she wouldn’t be playing Skullgirls because of Zaimont’s comments.
“I will no longer be playing Skull Girls [sic],” she declared. “The creator, Mike, was incredibly disrespectful in DMS and made me very uncomfortable. I have shared screenshots of the conversation to others in the FGC and to Combo Queens.”
BunnyAyu then followed up with a thread of his alleged messages that made her uncomfortable. The images also contained small snippets of the parts that caused her discomfort, including flirty remarks he made about validation. She ended the Imgur album by saying his responses were “creepy” and “demeaning” and that she thought he probably wouldn’t “talk to a man this way.” Before signing off, she then said more came forward with their own stories in her DMs.
This accusation fueled Carbonbae, another cosplayer, to post their story. They replied with a video accusing Zaimont of similar behavior.
“I haven’t yet read Bunny’s DMs,” they said. “I don’t what Mike said to her. I’m sure it was shitty and I know that because Mike has been making weird sexual comments at me in and out of cosplay at fighting game events for actual years. And I’ve been writing a lot of it off because when I tell people, they’re like, ‘Oh, he’s kinda like that. Sorry!'”
They then went on to say that he hasn’t changed over the five or so years as well as other people in the fighting game community. Carbonbae said that the people they have told don’t do anything about it before speaking in a following video to the broader problem of people staying silent on transphobic, racist, and sexist comments made by their peers. Commentator Ryan “Saint Cola” Collins also contributed, saying that the fighting game community knew of Zaimont’s habits for years, but did not check him.
Zaimont has not responded and this isn’t even the first time he’s hit controversy in the past month. Earlier in June while commentating an online Skullgirls match, he made a tacky “can’t breathe” remark that seemed to poke fun at George Floyd’s murder. He later apologized and said it doesn’t represent his views on racial injustice before bowing of commentating entirely if the viewers request it.