Update: A friend who wishes to remain anonymous has stated that Near has tragically taken their own life:
Original story [Sun 27th Jun, 2021 18:00 BST]: Fears are growing for the safety of Near, the person behind the excellent SNES emulator BSNES, after they posted what appeared to be suicidal statements on Twitter.
Near’s work in the realm of retro gaming preservation and emulation is nothing short of remarkable. Work on BSNES began in 2004, with the aim of making an emulator which was as accurate as possible. Early versions of BSNES ran slowly on anything but top-level hardware, but, thanks to the fact that Near went the extra mile and actually decapped SNES chips to better understand them, it has become the gold standard of SNES emulators, boasting 100% compatibility with the entire SNES library. However, despite being focused on his own emulator, Near has taken the time to offer assistance to the developers of SNES9X to improve that project, too.
Outside of emulation, Near has also been a major force in the world of preservation and even bought an entire North American and Japanese SNES / Super Famicom collection so they could dump them and ensure the ROMs were as faithful as possible.
Near – who also goes by the names ‘byuu’ and ‘Dave’ and identifies as non-binary – posted a thread earlier today (UK time) which opened up about the bullying and harassment they have received online.
The full statement can be found below:
The honest truth is, I’ve been bullied, ridiculed, and humiliated my entire life. From my earliest grade school memories to now. It’s always hurt me deeply enough that I can’t describe it in words. I could only just tolerate it with heavy depression when it was 4chan.
But Kiwi Farms has made the harassment orders of magnitude worse. It’s escalated from attacking me for being autistic, to attacking and doxing my friends, and trying to suicide bait another, just to get a reaction from me. I lost one of my best friends to this. I feel responsible.
I can’t handle this anymore. I have tried everything. I have taken every medication available. I have tried multiple therapists. I have tried closing myself off from the world. It doesn’t help at all. Every night I am filled with panic attacks and dread and worry.
I have tried changing in every way possible as they wanted me to in order to get this to stop, but it just never does. Every few months, it’s something new. A new dox, a new thread, a new tangent. It’s too much to bear any longer.
I’ve always tried my best to be kind and helpful to everyone. And I didn’t do anything wrong other than be weird online. Maybe a bit too passionate at times. Their horrific claims are entirely baseless. Still, if I’ve hurt or upset anyone, I’m really sorry for that.
The internet is not a game. It’s real life. I’m a real person. This stuff really hurts. I poured my entire life into this. I have no real-life friends, I have no other reason for being. Only this. And now I have nothing.
It’s too late for me, but I pray that someone, at some point, will do something about that website. There’s too many people suffering, and no one seems to care because we are relative nobodies online, and they know that. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
Please don’t remember me for this. Remember me for what I’ve done. For my work and dedication. Thank you all so much for your kindness and support over the years. I’m very sorry, but know that I love you all very much. Here’s hoping there’s something better awaiting.
Please don’t hate me for this. As much as I know it will cause some of you to suffer, please understand I was suffering far more. I’m sure some will try to play this off as my fault. But it’s not. They didn’t have to do this and they could have stopped any time, but chose not to.
I would have kept going if Joshua Moon had shown me just the tiniest bit of compassion. But he chose not to. That’s not on me, that’s on him. That’s on every last person who pushed me to this point and didn’t let up. I never deserved any of this.
Thank you all so much for the kind messages. Please take care of yourselves. I love you all very much. Thank you for all your support over the years. It’s been such an honor. I’ll miss you all so much, but at least I can finally be at peace.
Kiwi Farms was spun off from CWCiki, a wiki focused on Chris-Chan. They’re a forum focused on cyberbullying other people. They especially tend to focus on people who are in vulnerable groups. For example, Byuu as far as I know, identified as non-binary, which is why they started harassing him. It seems like they’re a major catalyst for this situation.
Since issuing the statement, several Twitter followers have attempted to get in touch with Near, who lives in Japan, via the US Embassy.
This is a developing story and we will update this post as and when we know more. In the meantime, the entire team at Nintendo Life sends its best wishes to Near. If you’d like to help in some small way, please consider making a donation to The Samaritans, an organisation focused on helping those struggling to cope with mental health problems and depression.
Please note that due to the highly sensitive nature of this topic, we’ve taken the decision to close comments on this article.
This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News