According to a tweet posted yesterday by John Gibson, the president of Tripwire Interactive—the studio behind Maneater and Killing Floor—he is “proud” that the U.S. Supreme Court allowed a new Texas anti-abortion law to stand earlier this week.
The controversial law bans abortion after six weeks and goes so far as to allow private citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone even suspected of helping a woman end a pregnancy. This essentially creates a bounty system targetting abortion-seekers and enforced by random residents of Texas.
Tripwire president John Gibson’s September 4 tweet, via his personal Twitter account, explained that he was “proud” of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to refrain from blocking Texas Senate Bill 8. The bill, which became law at midnight on Wednesday, September 1, bans abortions in the Lone Star State after six weeks.
However, the state’s police and elected officials will not be its enforcers. Instead, that duty will fall to private citizens, who are now empowered to bring lawsuits against any person or group that they believe is facilitating someone getting an abortion. This could even include people who merely drive a patient to a clinic, help them enter by pushing a wheelchair, or hold their hand for comfort. Any Texas citizen can now sue them for $10,000.
Texas has effectively created a surveillance system operated by private citizens, the sole purpose of which is to prevent women from safely accessing abortions. While abortions will still be legal within the first six weeks, a majority of women don’t yet realize they’re pregnant by then. As Jezebel notes, “Though patients in Texas are still guaranteed the right to an abortion by Roe v. Wade, after Tuesday it will be theoretical at best.”
Clearly this is an evil, misogynistic law that will hurt thousands of women and other folks with uteruses who lack the resources to travel outside of Texas to access safe abortions. Desperate women will face the unimaginable choice of attempting to access potentially dangerous, unsafe procedures away from prying eyes or to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term against their will. It’s an unthinkably awful law made legal only through the Supreme Court’s increasing abuse of the so-called shadow docket to rule on extremely consequential cases.
Yet Tripwire Interactive president John Gibson is happy about it all. In his tweet, he also described himself as a “pro-life game developer.” He felt this was very important to share with the world. Mr. Gibson also mentions he doesn’t “get political” very often. He clearly decided to make an exception to share a little excitement over this law designed to hurt women by stripping them of basic human rights.
Kotaku has reached out to Tripwire Interactive about Gibson’s tweet supporting the controversial anti-abortion law.
Reactions to the tweet came quickly as it spread across social media, with numerous video game devs, writers, designers, and fans dunking on Gibson’s troubling tweet. Many also expressed disappointment that Gibson’s statement will undoubtedly lead to greater stress for the folks who work under him at Tripwire and now have to deal with this shit. Plus, it can’t feel good to know that your boss is fine with Texas women losing the right to control their own bodies. Some people have sworn to stop playing existing and future Tripwire games, going so far as to block the publisher on their Steam accounts.
Update: September 5, 6:04 p.m. ET: Shipwright Studios, a self-described “co-development” studio, announced it is canceling all contracts with Tripwire Interactive as a direct result of Gibson’s tweet. The company had previously worked alongside Tripwire to help the studio develop Maneater and Chivalry II.
“We cannot in good conscience continue to work with Tripwire under the current leadership structure,” said Shipwright in a statement posted on Twitter. “We will begin the cancellation of our existing contracts effective immediately.”
Original story follows:
If you want to help women pay for safe abortions, you can donate to the Lilith Fund, Jane’s Due Process, or the Texas Equal Access Fund. These groups help women in the state afford abortions, provide support and resources for them, and other useful services. With the shocking passage of Texas Senate Bill 8, support from organizations like these has become even more important for Texas women, who face an uncertain future in a state that now denies them control over their very bodies.
Update 2: September 6, 9:23 p.m. ET: Gibson has “stepped down” from his role as CEO, and has been replaced in the interim by VP Alan Wilson. In a damning statement from his own company, Tripwire say “The comments given by John Gibson are of his own opinion, and do not reflect those of Tripwire Interactive as a company. His comments disregarded the values of our whole team, our partners and much of our broader community.”