The developer behind one of the world’s best SNES emulators has died

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To update: A friend who chooses to remain anonymous has stated that Near tragically committed suicide:

A message via Near from a mutual friend.https: //t.co/L5MuTsNGe1– Hector Martin (@ marcan42) June 27, 2021

Original story [Sun 27th Jun, 2021 18:00 BST]: Fear for the safety of Near, the person behind the excellent SNES emulator BSNES, is growing after posting seemingly suicidal statements on Twitter.

Near’s work in preserving and emulating retro games is nothing short of remarkable. Work on BSNES began in 2004 with the aim of developing the most accurate emulator possible. Early versions of BSNES slowly ran on anything but top-level hardware, but thanks to the fact that Near went the extra mile and actually de-encapsulated SNES chips to better understand them, it has become the gold standard of SNES emulators that are 100% compatible with the entire SNES library. Although Near has focused on its own emulator, Near has taken the time to offer support to the developers of SNES9X to improve this project as well.

Aside from emulation, Near was also a major force in the world of conservation, even buying an entire North American and Japanese SNES / Super Famicom collection to dispose of and make sure the ROMs were as true to the original as possible.

Near – who is also known under the names “byuu” and “Dave” and identifies as non-binary – published a thread today (UK time) that opened up about bullying and harassment on the Internet.

The full explanation can be found below:

The honest truth is that I have been bullied, ridiculed, and humiliated my entire life. From my earliest elementary school memories to today. It has always hurt me so deeply that I cannot describe it in words. I could only take it with severe depression when it was 4chan.

But Kiwi Farms added orders of magnitude to the nuisance. It escalates from attacking me for being autistic, to attacking and assaulting my friends, to trying to coax someone into suicide just to get a reaction from me. I lost one of my best friends as a result. I feel responsible.

I can’t handle it anymore. I’ve tried everything. I took all available medication. I’ve tried several therapists. I tried to cut myself off from the world. It doesn’t help at all. Every night I get panic attacks and fear and worry.

I’ve tried every possible way they wanted to change myself to make this stop, but it just never does. It’s something new every few months. A new dox, a new thread, a new tangent. It is too much to take any longer.

I always tried to be friendly and helpful to everyone. And I didn’t do anything wrong other than being weird online. Maybe a little too passionate sometimes. Your terrible claims are completely unfounded. Still, if I’ve hurt or upset someone, I’m really sorry.

The internet is not a game. It is real life. I am a real person. This stuff really hurts. I’ve put my whole life into it. I don’t have any real friends, I have no other reason for it. Just that. And now I have nothing.

It’s too late for me, but I pray that someday someone will do something about this website. There are too many people who are suffering and nobody seems to care because we are relatively nobody on the internet and they know it. Evil triumphs when good people do nothing.

Please don’t remember me for that. Remember me for what i did For my work and my commitment. Thank you for your kindness and support over the years. I am very sorry, but I know that I love you all very much. Hopefully there is something better here.

Please don’t hate me for that. As much as I know that some of you will suffer, please understand that I have suffered much more. I’m sure some will try to play this off as my fault. But it is not. They didn’t have to do this and could have stopped at any time, but decided against it.

I would have continued if Joshua Moon had shown me a little compassion. But he decided against it. It’s not me, it’s him. That’s every last person who pushed me to this point and didn’t let up. I never deserved any of this.

Thanks everyone for the nice news. Please take care of yourself. I love you all very much. Thank you for all of your support over the years. It was such an honor for me. I will miss you all so much, but at least I can finally have peace.

According to Theorymon from ResetEra, “Kiwi Farms” – the site mentioned by Near – focuses on cyberbullying people on the Internet:

Kiwi Farms has been spun off from CWCiki, a wiki focused on Chris-chan. They are a forum focused on cyberbullying other people. They particularly focus on people who are in vulnerable groups. For example, Byuu was identified as non-binary as far as I know, which is why they started harassing him. It seems that they are an important catalyst for this situation.

Since the statement was released, several Twitter followers have tried to get in touch with Near, who lives in Japan, through the US embassy.

https://twitter.com/CRTpixels/status/1409023622858088451

This is a developing story and we will update this post as we know more. In the meantime, the entire Nintendo Life team sends its best wishes to Near. If you’d like to help a little, consider making a donation to The Samaritans, an organization focused on helping people struggling with mental health issues and depression.

If you are faced with similar problems, the Samaritans can help – you can reach them here.

Please note that due to the high sensitivity of this topic, we have decided to close comments on this article.

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