A friend's experiences with Mr. Wizard (with screenshots)
My friend wishes to remain anonymous, but confided in me to share the story.
Here is his story:
Nothing will give me true vindication. Yet in an effort to do what’s right, I can no longer be silent or feign ignorance like other community members have done these past few days. It’s a textbook response to play coy and remove any association by portraying gullibleness.
These community members owe it to themselves, to everyone involved, to the community... to just be real. This knowledge has existed, been passed, and subsequently hushed within our community for years. Because challenging MrWizard means exposing this monstrous knowledge that people have tried to hide or suppress. To challenge MrWizard means the possible ‘death’ and dismantling of EVO, the FGC, and everything built. But to let it go, to pretend to be oblivious to Joey and all the heinous things community members did... it’s not right.
Together, we were part of this insider circle for most of our lives. And we were wrong for keeping up “blissful” ignorance. I’m not free from sin and have my own share of being an asshole. But I have to be better. We have to do better.
I’ll be talking about my experiences with Joey Cuellar and why the stories against him aren’t so far-fetched.
Coming into the FGC, I was very young comparatively. I was there for the days of mIRC, Shoryuken, Kaillera tournaments, b3, fargo.net, etc. I was around for the constant stories, around for the “illuminati” chats. It was an extremely niche group of people and everyone gossiped, as any localized community does. I was made aware very quickly to not challenge the old heads and to keep quiet about certain things. It was an era of crassness and not caring.
I always kept to myself, focusing on competing or training. I never wanted to partake in any additional activities or mingle outside of my preferred group. I made it a point to stay entirely neutral and never get caught up in issues or cause problems. Given my background, I had sufficient means of protecting myself and was never afraid of anyone, nor did I shun anyone. It’s because of this that people consistently felt open to engage me and where I continued selective conversations, even beyond the red flags.
My experience with Joey coincides with all of the stories we knew, all of the “insider” behavior that we experienced.
SCREENSHOTS FEATURING CONDUCT BELOW (with explanations)
And it goes on.
It didn’t stop in person or anywhere else.
And he wasn't the only one.
I had deluded myself into believing that he was just joking in nature, ignoring all the stories I’d grown up with. I was told by peers not to rock the boat or bother. In the end, I felt guilty and invalidated to speak. I had confided in the people closest to me and have been laughed off, or told to get over it.
In his apology, Joey says he has matured and grown over the past 20 years. He claims he’s been changing. This is, again, common behavior. So common that the Cannons and everyone else has conveniently and immediately pulled away.
If the FGC is to rise from this, then it needs to burn and the people like me need to see ourselves out. Don’t meet your heroes. Most of the “OG” players or personalities are incredibly disingenuous and have done worse. But these aren’t my stories to tell. Some of these stories I still fear the backlash for. I can only hope to pay it forward and incite the courage needed for the next person who has a story to share.
I’m a parent now and pretty much all but removed from the FGC. I’ve learned pretty quickly that to truly cultivate the next generation and provide the brightest future that you have to be a hypocrite. You have to challenge yourself and everyone else around you to do what’s right.
It starts at Joey, but Evolution (and other organizations) are the product of the same old guard and boy’s club that have always run things on the West Coast.
It doesn’t end at just predatory or sexual behavior. Evolution in particular has never once cared about the player and the event shows. Despite this, we all loved Evolution for joining us all together for a year and it was always the climactic release of a generation built on “saving that shit for nationals.” But we were wrong for supporting these mega-tournaments blindly, resulting in the death of genuinely great events.
We have a generation of players thinking Evolution represents them or represents the Fighting Game Community as a whole. It’s time to stop the delusion as it’s already created a rift among the community and a negative atmosphere. For most players, their first and only tournament is the “prestigious” Evolution, only to see their heroes complain or lambast the event.
Support your locals. Support authentic tournaments that celebrate the community without privilege (Combo Breaker being the Gold Standard).
There’s a general dislike for Watson, who undoubtedly has his own demons, because he constantly blasted the old guard. But if you look and see, you’d know he was a part of the old guard. Despite this, he started speaking up. But he was laughed at or ignored. Watson tried to expose the truth, but he was repaid with disbelief and doubt. If someone like Watson couldn’t do it, then who the hell could?