The developer behind one of the world’s best SNES emulators has taken his own life
To update: A friend who wishes to remain anonymous has stated that Near has tragically killed himself:
Original story [Sun 27th Jun, 2021 18:00 BST]: Fears for the safety of Close, 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 game preservation and emulation is remarkable. Work on BSNES started in 2004, with the aim of making an emulator as accurate as possible. Early versions of BSNES ran slowly on anything but higher-level hardware, but thanks to the fact that Near went the extra mile and removed the SNES chips to better understand them, it has become the gold standard of emulators of SNES, with 100% compatibility. with the entire SNES library. However, despite being focused on his own emulator, Near took the time to offer assistance to the SNES9X developers to improve that project as well.
Outside of emulation, Near has also been a major force in the preservation world and even bought an entire collection of North American and Japanese SNES / Super Famicoms so that he could ditch them and make sure the ROMs were as faithful as possible.
Near – which is also known by the names ‘byuu’ and ‘Dave’ and is identified as non-binary – posted a thread today (UK time) they opened up about the harassment and bullying they have received online.
The full statement can be found below:
The honest truth is that I have been harassed, ridiculed and humiliated my entire life. From my earliest memories of elementary school until now. It always hurts enough that I can’t describe it in words. I could only tolerate it with severe depression when I was on 4chan.
But Kiwi Farms has made the harassment orders of magnitude worse. It’s gone from attacking me for being autistic, to attacking and doxing my friends, and trying to kill myself with someone else, 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 all the medications available. I have tried several therapists. I have tried to isolate myself from the world. It doesn’t help at all. Every night I am filled with panic attacks, fear, and worry.
I have tried to change in every way possible, as they wanted me to do, to make this stop, but it never does. Every few months, it is something new. A new dox, a new thread, a new tangent. It’s too much to bear any longer.
I have always done my best to be friendly and helpful to everyone. And I didn’t do anything wrong other than being weird online. Maybe a little too passionate at times. His horrible claims are completely unfounded. Still, if I have hurt or upset someone, I’m really sorry.
The Internet is not a game. It is real life. I am a real person. This hurts a lot. I dedicated my whole life to this. I have no friends in real life, I have no other reason to be. Only this. And now I have nothing.
It’s too late for me, but I pray that someone, at some point, will do something with that website. There are too many people suffering, no one seems to care anymore because we are relatively unknown online, and they know it. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
Please don’t remember me for this. Remember me for what I have done. For my work and dedication. Thank you all very much for your kindness and support throughout the years. I’m very sorry, but know that I love you all very much. We hope there is something better waiting.
Please don’t hate me for this. As much as I know that some of you will suffer, please understand that I was suffering much more. I’m sure some will try to interpret this as my fault. But is not. They didn’t have to do this and could have stopped at any time, but they chose not to.
I would have moved on if Joshua Moon had shown me the slightest compassion. But he chose not to. That doesn’t depend on me, it’s up to him. That’s about every single person who pushed me to this point and didn’t give up. I never deserved any of this.
Thank you very much everyone for the kind messages. Please take care. I love them all. Thank you for all your support throughout the years. It has been a great honor. I will miss you all very much, but at least I can finally be at peace.
Kiwi Farms parted ways with CWCiki, a wiki focused on Chris-Chan. They are a forum focused on cyberbullying of 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, so they started harassing him. They seem to be a major catalyst for this situation.
Since the statement was issued, several Twitter followers have tried to contact Near, who lives in Japan, through the US Embassy.
This is a story in development and we will update this post as we learn more. Meanwhile, the entire Nintendo Life team sends their best wishes to Near. If you want to help out in any way, please consider making a donation to Samaritans, an organization focused on helping those struggling with mental health problems and depression.
Please note that due to the highly sensitive nature of this topic, we have made the decision to close comments on this article.