It’s Come To This

Chris Avellone
23 min readJun 26, 2021

Since “updates” can usually get lost in the noise, the most recent updates are put first.

If you want to skip to the main article below, just skim past the italicized sections, but some updates frame the rest of the article in a different context (usually with witness testimony or additional proof).

8.31.21 Update: In the evidence submitted to the Court of Los Angeles, among them you will find Exhibit 6, where Kelly Bristol’s own witness denies her story (p.88). Again, this wasn’t my witness, it was hers. She identified and called out this witness, not me. Her witness, however, completely discounts her story. But don’t take my word for it — read the evidence and decide for yourself.

In the same list of evidence, you can also find the texts and testimony of Karissa Barrows in her own words, where she indicates both a desire to hang out again, a desire to get me drunk, and frustration over not being able to date me. I had no idea about any of this. I had no idea she wanted to date. I thought she was just upset over the break-up I had with the friend she set me up with, so this was all news to me.

In addition, there is correspondence and additional texts from witnesses who observed Karissa Barrows during the same convention where she related a much different story about what occurred, in many respects, and it does not match the story she told in 2020, far from it. But again, don’t take my word for it-read the evidence and decide for yourself. The full legal brief can be found here, and a more casual-but-easier-to-read version of events was broken down by the press here.

7.23.21 Update: Audio from conversations involving the allegations in the accuser’s own words was recently uploaded in an article “The Truth Will Always Find You.” The audio gives Karissa’s perspective on events, which is worth listening to. While I recommend reading the article, the actual uploaded video with the audio clips can be found directly here.

7.9.21 Update: For new information and screenshots regarding the allegations, please see Jeff Johnson’s Medium article, “Beyond Politics, Beliefs, or Life Choices — This is About Right and Wrong.” It’s best you read Karissa’s perspective on our interaction in her own words, not mine. If unfamiliar with the background regarding these events, please read on.


I’m Chris Avellone. I’m a game writer. I’ve worked on Star Wars, Fallout, and Dying Light 2, among many other games.

In 2012, I met a woman named Karissa at a convention in Atlanta called “Dragon Con.” We met at a bar after the convention. This gathering wasn’t a sanctioned convention event. She looked my age. She had no idea who I was, acted that way, and has admitted as much. She didn’t know who I was, but she did know I was buying rounds for everyone. Like many in this story, she wasn’t a colleague, she wasn’t my employee, I wasn’t her boss, and she wasn’t in the game industry.

Karissa and I, Dragon Con 2012, Night After We First Met (Photo and Tweet both posted by Karissa) This tweet was deleted, but can be found archived here.

At the end of the evening, two other writers and I escorted Karissa back to her room. When we got to the door, I made a move to kiss her, she reciprocated, and we made out enthusiastically in the hallway outside her room. We never went into her room. She had a roommate, of which I was unaware, who apparently, in the roommate’s own words, slept through it. After several minutes, Karissa told me it wasn’t a good idea (to keep making out in a hotel hallway, which made sense to me), so I stopped and we parted ways.

We met up for drinks with the same group on the next few evenings and had fun. Everything after that seemed great. We didn’t make out again. Correspondence, of which there was a lot, was enthusiastic. She wanted to hang out with me and the others again at other conventions, including future Dragon Cons. Our last kiss was at ~5am when I walked her to the train station at the end of the convention so she could get to the airport safely. She seemed cool, I liked her, and she seemed to like me. In her own words, we were friends.

7.9.21 Update: For additional context to these interactions and screenshots of Karissa’s view on our interactions, please see Jeff Johnson’s Medium article, “Beyond Politics, Beliefs, or Life Choices — This is About Right and Wrong.”

A year later, 2013, we met up at the same bar at the same convention where Karissa and I had first met, drinking again. Her friend Jackie was there. Karissa encouraged me to get together with Jackie, whispering to me, “you should hit on Jackie.” I did. Jackie reciprocated, and we spent the night together. I liked spending the night with Jackie a lot (and she liked spending it with me, as her correspondence indicated), so we continued to see each other.

Back to Karissa. While Karissa and I made out in the hallway outside her hotel room and had a goodbye kiss at the train station, we never did more than that. We were friends for about a year and a half, meeting not only at Dragon Con 2013, but also at other game conventions, like PAX East in 2013 (see photo). We exchanged enthusiastic correspondence and made plans to see each other. I helped her out with interviews for her friends and networking favors for her, and everything between us seemed great.

Karissa and I, PAX East 2013 (Picture not taken by me or Karissa)

The friend she set me up with, Jackie, and I saw each other for about a year. We weren’t dating, we weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend (Jackie lived very far away from me, and I was working very long hours at the office, which didn’t leave a lot of free time so I told her I couldn’t commit to more).

Midway through the year I was hanging out with Jackie, things started fraying between Jackie and I. Jackie became unhappy. I do not fully know the reason for this, but I assumed that Jackie wanted more from me, which I couldn’t give her at the time because of work and stress. Worse, she seemed to be communicating something different about our interactions to Karissa and her friends, and this was evidenced in both Karissa and Kelly’s accusations in 2020 — they called me Jackie’s ‘boyfriend’, and that I was in a committed relationship with Jackie, neither of which was true.

When Jackie and I began to develop problems, Karissa’s attitude toward me changed. She became increasingly negative, then hostile. Recognizing that Karissa was Jackie’s friend, I made efforts to continue to be nice to Karissa, despite her anger. In September of 2014, again at the same convention where I met her, Karissa eventually became so hostile in texts I chose not to speak to her any longer. Also, in no small part to Karissa’s insertion into our affairs, Jackie and I argued, and I stopped seeing Jackie not long after (although Jackie indicated she still wanted to continue to see me). After September 2014, while I still corresponded with Jackie, I didn’t speak or communicate with Karissa ever again.

Fast forward six years. In June 2020, to my surprise, Karissa went on Twitter late on a Friday night and delivered a long list of accusations based on our first encounter way back in 2012. I believed she was changing the narrative of every interaction she had had with me to put me in the worst possible light. Her motivation felt petty — but the accusations were not, they were very serious.

She accused me of forcibly getting her drunk, of targeting her with drinks even though I was buying rounds for a crowd of people, of using the “company dime” to do so, of assaulting her, and a whole host of other accusations, too many to list. One of her friends and another close friend of Jackie, Kelly, also chimed in, supporting Karissa and adding an odd story of her own that supposedly took place in 2014. I took these stories seriously, but I didn’t respond at the time. I’m responding now.

This is the first time I’ve spoken about it in-depth. Part of the motivation for this is because it was brought to my attention that, later in 2020, Karissa started deleting a large section of her past Twitter postings, almost 60,000+ tweets. She did this a short while after some of her older, questionable posts that contained conflicts with her original accusations were discovered in her timeline — many of which were recovered and stored, but it made me uncomfortable she might do more and caused me to examine the ones that had been saved in more depth, and a pattern emerged.

This is the story about Karissa, Kelly, Jackie, and I… and more. I hope you’ll be willing to read it, and take it as seriously as Karissa’s accusations, because both merit attention. This isn’t the last that will be said on this subject, but it’s an introduction, and it’ll widen the perspective on what happened.


I’m in the game industry. And there are many problems in the game industry that need to be addressed. We should not be silent about them, and when people come forward, we should listen to their voices. I have. I listened for a year.

When someone feels they have been wronged, their story should not be dismissed. These stories should be investigated as if they are true. I also believe all facts should be put forth before judgment is delivered.

So when Karissa and her close friend Kelly accused me of being a sexual predator on social media in 2020, I didn’t try to shout them down or silence them. I listened. My only response, which I maintained at the time of their accusations, was I believed that Kelly and Karissa made these claims because of the bad split I had with their friend Jackie, many, many years ago in 2014. This felt like revenge. At the time of Karissa and Kelly’s accusations, I had little evidence to show this change except for Karissa’s own pattern of correspondence, a correspondence that changed dramatically when Jackie and I began to have problems.

As one example, in 2014, well after our initial meeting but more importantly, before Jackie and I started having problems, Karissa posted the following statement.

Karissa, posting on Twitter in 2014 — before Jackie and I had problems. This tweet was deleted but can be found archived here.

She adds to this, in another tweet, “And strangely enough, when it does, it’s USUALLY another woman.” I have no idea what she meant by that. This tweet concerning women is archived here.

I’d also stress the abuse/harassment tweet above wasn’t made in direct “reaction” to another post, it’s not any sort of reply to another post at all — it’s something she gave thought to, then posted. This was one of the 60,000 tweets she deleted, a short while after this particular statement (and others) was discovered and shared on Twitter.

Addendum: 7–1–21: Rekieta Media was able to show this on their video covering this topic through Social Blade. You need to scroll down to the graph of “Monthly Gained Tweets,” but the specific graph is captured here for ease.

Social Blade Twitter Analytics for Karissa’s Tweets (Year is 2020)

I’ll repeat this: Jackie is someone Karissa set me up with, at a bar, at the same convention, a year after Karissa and I had our make out session.

Setting a friend up with someone you believe to be a sexual predator is an unusual way to treat a friend. It is not something I would do to any friend of mine.

Note: In Jeff Johnson’s Medium article, “Beyond Politics, Beliefs, or Life Choices — This is About Right and Wrong” and subsequent discussions online, there is some possibility that Karissa trying to set me up with her friend was a “test” since Karissa herself was interested in pursuing a relationship with me, even though I didn’t know it. I do not know if that’s the case, or if she’s done it with anyone else, but the possibility remains. Again, I was unaware of Karissa’s intentions because she did not communicate her feelings to me.

And I believed that Karissa, years later in 2020, not having any other way to hurt me after the bad split with Jackie, decided to attack me another way. Why 2020? That’s another story: I believe she was triggered by seeing me in a seemingly-prominent IGN interview. Seeing me featured on IGN may have made it seem I was still in the industry, still employed, and I was getting enough ‘attention’ that IGN would want to do an interview.

There’s much, much more to that IGN interview and the press in general, but I’ll elaborate on that later. It was handled poorly (they cropped my female lead’s input and presence completely out of the video), and the handling of it disgusted me.

Please be aware that what I say here is only a very small part of the story, and what I am sharing is a very small part of all the receipts, facts, correspondence, pictures, and witness testimony that has been gathered over the course of a year since Karissa made her accusations. There is simply too much to share, and here is not the place to share all of it at this time — there’s a reason for this, which I’ll get to.


As I said at the time of Karissa and Kelly’s accusations in 2020, their seeming motivation in attacking me was something I understood — they were still angry about my breakup with their friend Jackie many years ago. This wasn’t in doubt. It was referenced explicitly in their accusations.

This struck me as strange because it didn’t have anything directly to do with their stories on the surface, unless of course, it was the reason for their claims.

It seemed like they wanted “justice” for Jackie, even though Karissa had already gotten what she wanted from me years ago: to make me break up with Jackie. To be 100% clear, this isn’t what Jackie wanted, which makes the whole situation even more messed up, and the end result was it caused a lot of hurt feelings.

But I had done what Karissa demanded. I had broken things off with Jackie. This was wrong of me, as Karissa shouldn’t have influenced things at all. But I did it anyway and broke things off in no small part due to Karissa’s continued insertion into our relationship and threatening texts to me.

To this day, I don’t know exactly why Karissa wanted this. These escalating texts and anger from Karissa seemed to be fueled by what I can only guess was some unhappiness about my relationship with Jackie that Jackie was fueling to Karissa in private, to which I had no defense because I wasn’t part of the conversation. The only time I was aware something was wrong was when I got a notification on my phone… and the Karissa text doom scroll would start.

Again, breaking up with Jackie is not what Jackie wanted, not at all. There are many receipts to this effect. She wanted to keep seeing me. But Karissa did not approve of us seeing each other, so she tried to convince me, then threatened me to break things off… and I finally decided to give in because I just wanted Karissa to stop. I wanted Karissa out of my life. I had never asked for Karissa in the relationship, and her continued insertion into our relationship took its toll. I was seeing Jackie because I wanted to see Jackie, not Karissa.


It doesn’t end there. Even breaking things off with Jackie was not enough. Karissa continued her attacks, by her own admission. At no point did Karissa ever go as far as she did in 2020, at least publicly.

June 2020, eight years after we had first met, Karissa’s attacks changed and went in a new direction. Karissa leveraged the social climate to begin a new round of attacks, repainting the one time she and I made out almost eight years ago into something worse. Her ridiculously long list of accusations can still be found on Twitter. She presented many of them as facts, some as implied speculation that was equally damaging. Speculation isn’t a crime. Facts that are untrue and can be verified are different.

I haven’t mentioned much about Kelly, Karissa and Jackie’s other friend, but I’ll do that now, since she chose that moment to also publicly join in the attacks with a new story of her own. This is likely the last I’ll speak in detail about her because she’s a strange case. She is a friend of Karissa’s I don’t remember meeting (not because of drinking, but because I’ve seen her picture, and I don’t remember her at all). She claimed I touched her inappropriately and propositioned her at a bar in 2014 while Karissa and Jackie, who were nearby, never noticed anything and never knew about it until Karissa made her accusations. It was very strange she had never said anything to Karissa, since apparently they had many negative conversations about me and Karissa was clearly an ally. Kelly also claimed she and I spoke, and I’ve never had any conversation with her I can recall, ever. Furthermore, her story, which made no sense to me, seemed to be worded so that it couldn’t be confirmed except by her. However, I looked into it further — and contradictions started to pop up. I wasn’t sure what to think, but the worst conclusion was that, as Jackie’s friend, she felt she needed to join in the attack to create the illusion of multiple incidents of improper behavior on my part. Also, to be clear — like Karissa, Kelly is also not in the game industry and has no professional connection to me.

Karissa and Kelly, for better or worse, have posted a great deal about Dragon Con (all years) and many details of their lives on social media for all to read. Many of them relate directly to their claims. Some of this social sharing was deleted after making their accusations, but not all. Some deletions, notably from Jackie, were done before the accusations to erase any past friendly correspondence between us or any suggestion of good will. Some were done for unknown reasons, but all of these posts (both the ones they deleted but were saved, and the ones that still exist), have provided further evidence against their claims. When canceling someone, you need to be careful about how much of your life you’ve shared on social media related to your accusations… and if you’ve shared contradictory information, deleting it won’t “help” you.

In short, Kelly’s story doesn’t hold up, and I wouldn’t have been able to confirm this if she herself hadn’t accidentally revealed “witnesses” (even though apparently, in another version, there were no witnesses). When speaking to these same individuals, they were surprised they had been mentioned and completely discounted her story. Nevertheless, Kelly jumped on the bandwagon to call me a sexual predator, so I’m including her story here because that’s the accusation she chose to make on social media, and you should hear it for context.

8.31.21 Update: In the evidence submitted to the Court of Los Angeles, among them you will find Exhibit 6, where Kelly Bristol’s own witness denies her story (p.88). Again, this wasn’t my witness, it was hers. She identified and called out this witness, not me. Her witness, however, completely discounts her story. But don’t take my word for it — read the evidence and decide for yourself.

Karissa and Kelly’s accusation of predation is untrue, as were a number of the other falsehoods Karissa accused me of — and make no mistake, Karissa accused me of everything she could, for which I have no explanation beyond she hoped at least one of her false accusations would trigger someone to believe her — and if even if they did not believe her explicitly, perhaps she hoped to trigger someone who believed strongly in taking a stand against the broader subject of what she was claiming, regardless of what had occurred.

I have never violated consent with anyone, ever. Even Karissa’s story of the two of us making out outside her hotel room was consensual. It didn’t matter, though, the result of her accusations were the same.


The results of these attacks shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Virtually no one will leap to defend someone accused of all the many things Karissa and Kelly claimed, regardless of whether they believe the story or not. It’s not culturally appropriate to defend anyone accused of these things, even if the accusations haven’t been verified.

That is why, rather than assuming guilt for either party, our society has other means to settle accusations such as these, in order to ensure all voices are heard. Social media is not one of these places, Twitter being one of the worst.

For those of you that did ask questions about what Karissa and Kelly claimed — thank you. For those who offered support — thank you. For those of you willing to listen before rushing to judgment — thank you.

I believe all these same people will also agree I did not do anything to fight Kelly and Karissa and others saying accusations, far from it — not because of guilt, but because, as I said at the time of these accusations, I do not want to silence anyone. That is not how the truth comes out.

As of this posting, it has been a year since Karissa and Kelly made their claims. Karissa has been heard, Kelly has been heard, and so have the voices of others. The problem is, what Karissa, Kelly, and others have said contain serious falsehoods that not only hurt the individuals involved, but hurt others — including other accusers, harming them as well when they parroted Karissa’s false accusations. I’ll get to that in another post, since it was a symptom of what happened here and it’s damaging for both Karissa and those individuals, but for now, I want to focus on Karissa and Kelly’s falsehoods.

‘Falsehood’ is not a word I use lightly. There are receipts, evidence, and testimony from even Karissa and Kelly’s own “witnesses” that directly contradict all of their stories — and contradict the stories of others who jumped on the bandwagon.

I wanted to clarify this point again: Some have claimed Karissa, Kelly, and others who believed to be wronged by me were colleagues of mine. They were not. I have never worked with any of them. They were not coworkers. They were not my employees. I was not their boss, ever. They claimed I bragged about where I worked. This is ridiculous, especially considering my work situation at the time and the trouble the company was in. Bragging about the company I was working for at the time, as one person said, would be a “weird flex” for me. They’re right. Even without that factor, I don’t brag about the companies I work for, even though I am proud of the teams and the projects I am part of, and say as much in person and on social media to give credit where credit is due. There was no display of managerial or “star” power — Karissa herself didn’t even know who I was when she met me, by her own admission.

In the end, I very much doubt Karissa cared if I even had a name when she met me beyond seeing a guy buying rounds of drinks for everyone. No one was “targeted.” But the falsehoods came out, nonetheless.

After the initial night when Karissa and Kelly attacked me on Twitter (Friday, June 19 of 2020), I chose not to respond further for a number of reasons. I am at fault for many things, even if they are not what Karissa accused me of. I was not always kind to her friend Jackie and others. Feelings were hurt. But the crime of hurting someone’s feelings does not merit the fabricated accusations of sexual assault.

I did try to reach out to Karissa, and was rebuffed. Told, in essence, I didn’t deserve an answer, that Karissa owed me “nothing” concerning her accusations. Like the accusations themselves, this is untrue, but we’ll get to that in a bit.

Why did I reach out? It is because in the past, whenever it became apparent I had hurt someone emotionally (Jackie being one of them), I apologized at the time. When I had the unpleasant breakup with Jackie in 2014, I apologized then and I (unwisely) apologized to Jackie again in 2020. When someone communicates they have been hurt, my first instinct is to make amends because that is how I was raised, and it is how I strive to act in my daily life. I don’t believe any human being wants to hurt another, and when hurt is expressed, it is human to try and make amends. Karissa has called my behavior in the past, that of a “gentleman,” but she’s wrong: It’s basic human decency.


There were consequences to their accusations, of course. When Karissa and Kelly made their allegations, I was cut off from almost every studio I was working with.

None of these studios did any investigations I’m aware of. Some didn’t have time (they only had the weekend, and rarely is everyone in a company working on a weekend), or they didn’t take the time.

I say “didn’t have time” because the accusations were made late on a Friday. I believe this may have been done deliberately, since Karissa herself admitted she had delayed her accusations, and furthermore, it’s difficult for companies (especially HR or legal) to respond over a weekend. This allowed Karissa’s and Kelly’s accusations to spread and become viral. For companies overseas I was working for, like Techland (Dying Light 2) and Gato Salvaje (The Waylanders), her accusations effectively hit on a Saturday.

So when Monday morning hit, I received calls and emails, and in many of them, notably Techland and Gato Salvaje, separation agreements and statements had already been drafted before they communicated to me directly.

This next bit might surprise you: I didn’t fight any of this. You can’t. Cancel culture being what it is, the companies can’t fight it either, or else they are attacked, too. Companies can’t even ask for time to “look into it” without coming across as not believing the accusations, as unfounded as they are, because even the hint of a delay or wanting to find out more will be judged and will get them canceled, too. And no one wants to get canceled, even if it means turning your back on someone else getting canceled, even someone you’d worked with in the trenches for years.

I understood all of this, tried to be gracious, and tried to not make it difficult for them. This is because I understood cancel culture, how it works, and the difficult situation that any show of hesitation would put these companies in. Many of the developers I worked with at these companies were friends and colleagues. I didn’t want to hurt them, nor did I want to hurt the projects I was once a part of.

The subsequent public statements some of these companies made seemed to reinforce my guilt, even if they didn’t directly condemn me. Karissa, with apparent glee, thanked Techland profusely for letting me go — it may have been what she had hoped for all along.

Techland’s Statement — and Karissa’s Response, June 2020, the Monday following her Friday night accusations.

Please know that even saying this, I don’t bear Techland any ill will. I still consider myself fortunate that I lasted longer than the other writers for Dying Light 2 (there were a lot, some I never even got the chance to meet before they were gone), even though I doubt anything I contributed still remains in the game, and I’m fine with that. I will admit, though, both of their statements, especially the Gato Salvaje one (The Waylanders, and the studio that had pushed for the unwanted IGN video) were painful to read.

There’s more to Karissa’s behavior, what triggered this, and the company responses and the companies in general, but I’ll leave that for another time. For now, I’ll focus on what happened next.


While a few, not all, of the press reached out to me, I could not respond. I was in a pretty dark place, and I took steps to avoid the internet and to avoid any contact with the outside world. I confess I was considering more drastic steps, and this isn’t unusual when one is the target in these situations. Fortunately, I had family and loved ones around me, and they provided enough stability to keep going. But for the most part, I avoided email and avoided the internet.

The press didn’t check facts either, despite Karissa claiming their articles were further confirmation of her story. At some point, Karissa appeared to stop relying on her own words and kept pointing to companies, press, and others as validation, which wasn’t proof, they were just echoes of her own story and sometimes, echoes of the falsehoods she told. She even publicly stated that she essentially dictated her story to the journalists who interviewed her, criticizing Kotaku for being the only outlet that gave her any pushback.

I should point out that some of the press didn’t reach out to me at all before painting their own lurid interpretation of events with their own embellishments — Sean Murray of The Gamer, in particular. You can read it in his article, and you can see the unedited url that references it to this day.

To be clear, the game press don’t need to check the “facts” — all they need to do is report that someone said something or fall back on the word alleged, and it’s a story. And so they did, and the clicks started rolling in. As soon as the press “report” something like this, however, it carries the same validation as if it was researched and fact checked, which no press publication to my knowledge did. Either they didn’t take the time, or they may not have cared because it’s not really “on them” for the truth. All they have to do is report someone said something, which is technically the truth, but it’s far from the reality of what actually occurred.

Now that things have calmed, I have the strength to respond, and so do others who were cited or involved in these accusations. I don’t want them ignored or silenced — I want their words elevated, and I want them heard.


When Karissa and Kelly posted their falsehoods on social media, I got a great deal of conflicting advice from friends and colleagues. Among the advice was (1) never apologize, and (2) use the legal system in the manner in which it is intended. Both of these are contrary to my nature.

The “never apologize” rule felt inhuman to me. I quickly learned my mistake the night of Karissa’s accusations when I publicly apologized to Karissa’s friend Jackie for the bad break-up in 2014, and then I watched as that apology was taken, warped, and then upheld as an admission and an apology to Karissa herself. It was not true then, it is not true now.

Others suggested the legal route. I didn’t want to do this. Often, the legal system is used to silence others. I do not believe any good ever comes of this. I do not want to silence anyone — I want the opposite. I want Karissa’s and Kelly’s story to be not only heard, but elevated, and I want them to speak more about what happened.

And after they have spoken, I want my response and the responses of others who witnessed the allegations to be heard as well… but Twitter and Facebook are not the place for these conversations because they are unlikely to be heard.

I spent the last year trying to persuade myself that these acts were done out of a misguided sense of self-righteousness. I have tried to correct the record, dispel misconceptions, allow voices to be heard, but it is clear I was wrong; the attacks against me were made from malice. I’m ready to defend myself, and setting the record straight is the first step.

There is more to the story. I believe you’ll want to hear it, too, in the right time, in the right place, for everyone to hear.

Thanks for reading this far. More, much more, to come.

7.9.21 Update: For new information and screenshots regarding the allegations, please see Jeff Johnson’s Medium article, “Beyond Politics, Beliefs, or Life Choices — This is About Right and Wrong.” It’s best you read Karissa’s perspective on our interaction in her own words, not mine, as they put the allegations in a much different light.

7.23.21 Update: Audio from conversations involving the allegations in the accuser’s own words was recently uploaded in an article “The Truth Will Always Find You.” The audio gives Karissa’s perspective on events, which is worth listening to. While I recommend reading the article, the actual uploaded video with the audio clips can be found directly here.