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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Out 👏 them 👏 all 👏 Abuse, whether sexual, emotional, physical or verbal, should never have a place in a professional environment. These abusers are usually children who were first to a position of power in our infant industry. Fuck them.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
You know what? Fuck it, I'm going to say something. I've always been a huge proponent of outing abusers, but I've also been a hypocrite, because I've been keeping quiet about my own story, out of fear or something. Not anymore.
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Tony Coculuzzi
Here's my story about how I was abused to the point of depression and suicide, for two years, by indie superstar Ken Wong.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
I'm going to TRY to keep this brief. This thread should serve as a warning to anyone who may be dealing with him professionally or personally. I'm speaking on my behalf, and a surprising number of people (who will remain anonymous) who have come to me with their stories about Ken
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
First of all, I want to apologise in advance if my story affects anyone indirectly. He runs a company largely reliant on his own reputation and I can't help but feel like this might affect some of the good people there.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
However, this is also one of the reasons I want to go public. It seems like Ken has been hiring a lot of juniors/minorities who haven't really worked in games before, and I've witnessed AND been told that that's his typical target. I'm worried for anyone in this position.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
Also, the abuse done to me was not sexual. This was one of the biggest things holding me back from saying anything before, because I didn't want to detract from the stories or experiences of anyone else, especially the victims of rape. This is not at all my intention.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
I just feel like it's time I share my story too, for closure, and to help others avoid the same situation, or worse.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
That said, I've heard stories of how he's used his position to manipulate young women who are new to the games industry. I've also seen first-hand how he treats women.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
(Especially one in particular who worked for him, who he would berate until she was sobbing uncontrollably, Every Single Day, for months. This is a man who publically labels himself as a feminist and an ally. I'm telling you right now, he's a liar.)
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
So, where to start? If you knew me before, I've always been a happy, healthy, bubbly, social person. I was happy with my career, my friends, my life, and I was excited to move to a new city and work with an industry vetran.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
Fast forward to now: I'm taking medication for depression and anxiety, I've struggled with suicide, and I'm constantly doubting myself professionally. I've also been actively looking to leave the games industry, which I never, ever, thought would happen.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
This is entirely because of my experience working for Ken Wong. The man who immediately after meeting me, bragged about how he's so hard to work with that people have quit their jobs to get away from him. I didn't know it at the time, but I was going to become one of those people
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
Within the first week, I was doubting my decision to work for him. Every contribution I'd made, every idea, every opinion, was not only wrong to him, but also stupid. This was how he slowly started to wear down my self worth. I was being gaslit and didn't know it.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
I already wanted to leave, after a week, but I'd just moved to the opposite side of the world for this job. I had no way of moving back. I was stuck, and he knew it. Thinking back, I feel like this is one of the reasons he was so abusive towards me. I had no escape.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
Within the first month, I ended up getting very sick. I was in and out of work for a month. This happened a few times throughout my time working for Ken. What I realize now is, this was a major symptom of depression.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
My body literally stopped functioning because I couldn't handle the daily abuse I'd received from him at work. I tried to blame this on silly things like "oh maybe I'm not used to the flu over here" but I knew the real reason, I just didn't want to admit it to myself.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
I dealt with that for almost two years. Beforehand, I was a strong person, I KNEW I could handle anything. But this broke me. Ken broke me, and he knew it. He wanted it. He actively worked towards it. And he achieved it. Fucking asshole, he achieved it.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
Being told over and over that you're not good at anything takes it's toll. Being told that your work is "good, for a uni student" with such gusto, when you've have almost 10 years of experience is insulting and heartbreaking.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
When someone walks into a room and everyone else in that room goes from laughing and having fun, to complete freightened silence, that should tell you that something is up.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
When your work hires a professional workplace councellor to come in and try to fix company communication problems, and your boss berates her and takes every opportunity to tell HER how to do HER job, there's probably an issue with him, not anyone else.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
When you're told by someone you thought was a friend that if you go public about any of the abuse that happened to you or others at work, the company might need to take legal action against you. That should be one of the last straws.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
When you mention to everyone at work that you're starting to struggle with depression, and he laughs about how he stole your friends and now you don't really have anyone to talk to, that's when you should've quit and called him out for how fucked up a person he is.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
I know he's done this to others before me, and I'm afraid he's going to do it again. I'm afraid it's going to be worse for them, and I'm scared that innocent people are going to get hurt. It's been a year, and I still feel broken. I would never wish this on anyone.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
So, again, fuck the abusers. Out 👏 Them 👏 All 👏 Lets all help make this industry a safe place. The abusive few are sweating bullets, and they should be. If anyone, ANYONE needs someone to confide in, judgement free, my DMs are always open.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Also, and , you're both such brave people. I'm so sorry these things happened to you. Thank you so much for sharing your stories. You're both the reasons I decided to share mine. Hopefully together we can all start to filter the shit from this cesspool
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
There's more, I guess. When I left Mountains, people were telling me that Ken had told them "Things didn't work out with Tony" So let me clarify something: I left. I decided to leave. I quit on my own terms, because Ken was a garbage person who was literally killing me.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
In the short time since posting, more people have come forward to me about their own personal experiences with Ken which completely echo my own experiences. If anyone else needs to vent about this privately, I'm here to talk, judgement free.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
Some people have also come forward, telling me that after I left, they heard from Ken or others at Mountains that I was "weird to work with" That sucks, and it sucks that people might believe it, because I make a HUGE conscious effort to be approachable and easy to work with
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
It just goes to show, he and/or his company were trying to cover their tracks after I left, by discrediting me, in case I told anyone about my experiences there. Fucking shady.
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Tony Coculuzzi 27 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
Another thing I wanted to talk about was.. Melbourne devs, I'm SO sorry I didn't get the chance to be myself in the game development community while I was there. I was already so sad by my first week, and it became so hard to make friends and be social. But anyways, this was why
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Tony Coculuzzi 29 Aug 19
Replying to @tonycoculuzzi
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