It's easy to feel sorry for someone when they purposefully exclude facts and paint themselves as the victim.
Avid gamer Tyler Schultz tweeted Insomniac Games, stating that he wanted to propose to his girlfriend, Maddie Gamble, through a special message in their upcoming Spide-Man game for the PS4:
The game was released, the message appeared, and all seemed well.
Until we find out that Gamble cheated on him and left him for his brother before the game was even released.
Well, that's how Schultz told it anyway.
The truth? According to his girlfriend, their relationship wasn't a happy or healthy one. In her statement to HoustonPress, Gamble stated: "...He has done some things that I realized I really shouldn't have forgave him for. Our relationship had issues both mentally and physically... He never understood me, unfortunately."
She also describes the relationship as a "mother and son" dynamic: "I had to remind him about things, I had to deal with his financial mistakes, his violent outbursts, etc. We never did things normal couples would do like go out, dance, parties, sit under the stars."
Gamble also stated she didn't even like video games: "I sat through them because I loved him." So there's no arguing that Schultz even remotely cared about her or her interests. If he did, maybe his proposal would have been something a little more personal that took her feelings into consideration.
As it turns out, Gamble and Schultz's brother aren't even dating. They never were. They just have a close friendship.
It's almost as if Schultz pulled this whole stunt for attention. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised.
The proposal, it seems, was a manipulation tactic used by Schultz to try and guilt Gamble into staying with him. The lies he deliberately told sparked a large string of hateful comments towards both Gamble and Schultz's brother. Neither of them deserves this.
Schultz played the victim to gain sympathy points and avoid responsibility for being a shitty and borderline abusive partner.
Yes, expecting your partner to take care of you at every turn is shitty behavior. Expecting them to deal with your random outbursts of anger is abusive. I'm happy Gamble got out of that relationship.
Honestly, I don't trust male gamers as far as I can throw them, and there was something about the Spider-Man proposal story that felt off from the first time I read it. Male gamers are notoriously sexist. This story about a girl getting painted as this monster of a human being from a sweet ol' gamer bro who just wanted to do something nice for his lady was suspicious from the start.
And look at that. He turned out to be a selfish, manipulative, lying creep. Why am I not surprised.
There's something to be said about the treatment of women in today's day and age, especially in nerd culture. Gamble's personal life was thrown into the spotlight, and she was immediately demonized before she had the chance to defend herself. And for what? For Schultz to be pitied? He's the one in the wrong. He doesn't deserve any of our sympathies.
Next time, game developers, if you want to do something nice for a couple like this, make sure you reach out to the other party as well.
"But what if it ruins the surprise!?"
Tough. Proposals aren't a one-sided deal. There's always someone on the other end that you need to take into consideration. There's a pretty good chance the guy's just taking advantage of your public platform to pressure the girl into staying with him.
Women have enough to worry about in the gaming community. Don't let manipulative abuse tactics be one of them.