27 November 2017
‘I don't want to become so bitter with one of the things I love,' says Christine Sprankle
A prominent Magic: The Gathering cosplayer has distanced herself from the CCG’s community after being targeted by online harassment.
Christine Sprankle began cosplaying in 2011 after attending the Magic World Championships as Elspeth, going on to become possibly the community’s best-known cosplayer and referred to as “the godmother of Magic cosplay”.
Sprankle announced that she had cancelled her plans to attend the game’s Portland Grand Prix on Instagram, saying she was “super tired of the harassment and would love to have some peace and quiet”.
She later tweeted that she was selling some of her Magic costumes and memorabilia and had no plans to attend major events in 2018 outside of local conventions.
The following day, Sprankle indicated that repeated online harassment by Magic: The Gathering content creator MTGHeadquarters, who also posts videos under the Unsleeved Media YouTube channel, had led her to make the decision.
“It has been a rough year,” she wrote. “And I have blocked and not said anything about him because I wanted it to die but without a doubt MtGHeadquarters/UnsleevedMedia has made my life hell this whole year with his unnecessary videos/tweets about me and other members of Magic.
“I feel like a terrible person. Like I am going through a horrible break up. I love Magic SO much I can't put it into words but I need my time apart from it. I don't want to become so bitter with one of the things I love.”
In response to the comments, Unsleeved Media posted a video on YouTube titled ‘This Is What Real "Harassment" Looks Like’, denying the claims of “continued targeted harassment” and linking through to a video described as “the evil video from six months ago that caused her to quit finally”, which was later removed for violating YouTube’s harassment and bullying policies. The MTGHeadquarters and Unsleeved Media Twitter accounts were similarly banned from the social media platform.
Magic: The Gathering publisher Wizards of the Coast released a statement alluding to the situation via its official Magic Twitter account, saying: “We're saddened by what happened in the Magic community this weekend.
“Cyber bullying and harassment are unacceptable, and we support those who come forward with their experiences. No one should be made to feel unsafe or unwelcome. We're working to be a part of the solution.”