The Dev Behind One Of The World’s Best SNES Emulators Has Taken His Life
Update: A friend who wishes to remain anonymous has said that Near has tragically taken his own life:
Original story [Sun 27th Jun, 2021 18:00 BST]: Fears grow for the safety of Nearby, the person behind the excellent SNES emulator BSNES, after posting what appeared to be suicide statements on Twitter.
Near’s work in the realm of retro game preservation and emulation is nothing short of remarkable. Work on BSNES began in 2004, with the goal of making an emulator as accurate as possible. Early versions of BSNES ran slowly on everything that wasn’t top-notch hardware, but, thanks to the fact that Near did the extra mile and really stripped the SNES chips to better understand them, it became the standard d gold of SNES emulators, boasting 100% compatibility with the entire SNES library. However, despite being focused on its own emulator, Near has taken the time to offer assistance to SNES9X developers to further improve the project.
Apart from emulation, Near has also been a major force in the world of preserving and even buying an entire SNES / Super Famicom North American and Japanese collection so they could download them and ensure that the ROMs were as faithful as possible.
Nearby – which also comes with the names ‘byuu’ and ‘Dave’ and identifies itself as non-binary – posted a thread earlier today (UK time) which opened up about the intimidation and harassment they received online.
The full statement can be found below:
The honest truth is, I have been intimidated, ridiculed, and humiliated all my life. From my earliest high school memories until now. It always hurt me so deep that I can’t describe it in words. I could only tolerate it with a heavy depression when I was 4chan.
But Kiwi Farms has aggravated the harassment order. It escalated from attacking me to being autistic, to attacking and kicking my friends, and trying to commit suicide to another, only to get a reaction from me. I lost one of my best friends for that. I feel responsible.
I can no longer deal with that. I tried everything. I took every medication available. I tried more therapists. I tried to shut myself out of the world. It doesn’t help at all. Every night is full of panic attacks and fear and worry.
I tried to change in every way possible how I wanted to get this to stop, but it never did. Every few months, it’s something new. A new dox, a new thread, a new tangent. It’s too much to bear anymore.
I always try my best to be kind and helpful to everyone. And I have done nothing wrong but be weird online. Maybe a little too passionate at times. His horrible claims are entirely unfounded. However, if I have hurt or hurt anyone, I am really sorry for that.
The internet is not a game. It’s real life. I am a real person. This stuff really hurts. I have spent my whole life in this. I don’t have real friends, I have no other reasons to be. Just this. And now I have nothing.
It’s too late for me, but I pray that someone, at some point, will do something for that website. There are too many people who suffer, and no one seems to care because we are naked relatives online, and they know it. Evil triumphs when good men do nothing.
Please don’t remind me of this. Remember what I did. For my hard 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. Here’s hoping there’s something better waiting.
Please don’t hate me for this. As much as it will cause some of you to suffer, please understand that you were suffering a lot more. I’m sure some will try to play this as my fault. But it’s not. They didn’t have to do this and they could stop at any moment, but they chose not to.
I would have continued to go if Joshua Moon had shown me only the smallest piece of compassion. But he chose not to. It’s not about me, it’s about him. It’s about the last person who pushed me to this point and didn’t leave. I never deserved any of this.
Thank you all so much for the kind messages. Please take care of yourself. I love you all very much. Thank you for all your support over the years. It was such an honor. I will miss you so much, but at least I can finally be at peace.
According to Theorem to ResetEra, “Kiwi Farms” – the site mentioned by Near – is focused on online cyberbullying individuals:
Kiwi Farms has been dropped from CWCiki, a wiki focused on Chris-Chan. They are a forum focused on other people’s cyberbullying. In particular they tend to focus on people who are in vulnerable groups. For example, Byuu for what his, identified as non-binary, is why they started harassing him. They seem to be a major catalyst for this situation.
Since the issuance of the statement, several Twitter followers have tried to get in touch with Near, who lives in Japan, via the U.S. embassy.
This is a developing story and we will update this post as and when we know more. Meanwhile, the entire Nintendo Life team sends their greetings to Near. If you would like to help in any way, please consider making a donation to The Samaritans, an organization focused on helping those struggling to cope with mental health issues and depression.
Please note that due to the highly sensitive nature of this topic, we have made the decision to close the comments on this article.