He's a game developer, whose two most high-profile releases were probably The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and Bulletstorm; both well regarded games.
Yesterday, Vice Gaming ran a profile on Chmielarz, and within minutes of it going up, a whole heap of nonsense started crashing down onto the site. From the response, you'd have thought it was the single worst piece of journalism in history.
It wasn't, but it was undeniably flattering towards somebody who has been blacklisted by the anti-Gamergate side, and embraced by the pros.
That was its biggest error, and it's only an error in the context of the current climate. However, from the reaction it got, you'd think it was a puff piece about Charles Manson, which fawned over his contribution to popular music and lovely beard.
From what I can gather about the objections to Adrian Chmielarz, he has gone on the record to criticise Anita Sarkeesian's Feminist Frequency - particularly over her argument that The Witcher 3 was sexist, and that the series' impact is damaging to gaming. He has also suggested that not everything bad he heard about Gamergate was true.
I read a couple of interviews with Chmielarz, and certainly he seems to have major issue with FF... but nothing I read suggested he was overtly pro-GG, or particularly anti-feminism - though I accept that maybe I've missed the times he came out as such. I didn't agree with a lot of what he said - I think the debate about the representation of women in games is absolutely vital and valid - but he seemed pretty level headed on the whole.
At this point, you might be going "Hang on... didn't you say you weren't going to talk about Gamergate again? Why are you doing this, Mr Biffo? Why are you not doing a funny list of George Osborne's 10 Most Horrible Bodyparts?"
Yeah, I did say I was done. And then yesterday happened, and I got irritated all over again. And then I had an epiphany. Well, I say epiphany... it was a sort of dim realisation while I was having a bacon roll.
The knock-on effect of the pressure on Vice is that the Chmielarz piece was taken down and re-edited, before being returned to the site this morning.
Editor Mike Diver clearly felt battered by the response to the piece, and has spoken this morning on Twitter about not sleeping well last night, and feeling bothered by 'being seen as a "bad" person, here. Cos I'm actually really nice, y'know!'.
Thing is, and why I'm writing about it today, is that this is important. It demonstrates very, very clearly why Gamergate is so toxic and damaging to the games industry.
If people who work in the industry are paralysed by fear of misrepresentation, of being perceived as "bad" or "good" by the wrong side, of being labelled... and if we don't have the balls for open and objective discussion, if certain people are considered untouchable because they're a feminist, or because they're a Gamergater, or whatever... then we're screwed. Games journalism is over and done. We can't walk on eggshells, sticking only to safe subjects.
All that does is tip the games media towards a perceived bias, and fuel the conspiracy theories.
THE ONLY WAY IS ETHICS
I don't much care about ethics in games journalism - I mean, Digi used to go on about it back in the day, but that was only because we wanted to be the ones getting freebies.
However, I do care about people not having to tie themselves in knots for fear of accidentally elbowing an amorphous mob in the face. Providing it isn't hate speech, harassment or abuse... freedom of expression, be it creative, journalistic, or artistic, is an absolute human right.
We have to be able to debate - but Gamergate (the conflict, not the side) has zero nuance, and ceased to be a debate. Its biggest achievement to date seems to be stopping people on the outside - those who might be more capable of objectivity - from debating or discussing or even mentioning anything about it. Or, it now seems, from even writing a profile on somebody who has been labelled a Gamergater.
Last week I started out trying to suggest that maybe some people aren't always helped by being helped, that some people might sometimes play the victim, and some might play the role of rescuer. And that this might not help the overall cause of your side. And that got me labelled a Gamergater, while Kotaku in Action labelled me a "neutral". Okay... Really? Okay.
I've no idea whether those labels have stuck now. Frankly, I don't care. It's hard to, when both sides are utterly incapable of seeing a bigger picture, because their focus has become so painfully myopic, like they're all walking around with a microscope strapped to their eyes.
I mean, after all the nonsense of last week, that 'rescuing' I spoke about even happened to me - I felt a bit like I'd spent a month cramming for an exam, but other than that nothing which happened really got under my skin.
Yet it didn't stop lots of very lovely people offering me sympathy that I never particularly asked for.
Don't think I didn't appreciate it, if you were one of those people - I mean, it's always nice to feel cared about, and there's nothing so fragrant as the kindness of strangers - but I didn't "need" it, if you get my gist. I didn't need to be rescued. I felt a bit like KiA had tried to recruit me into Scientology, or something, and for a day or so, I wasn't sure what Gamergate was actually about. The kindness of those who reached out to me was - on those days - very much a guide through the fog.
Most importantly, though, now that I've come out the other side, I have a better understanding of what I believe.
I'm not "a neutral". I'm not a "gamergater". I'm not anything other than a dad, a son, a brother, a partner, a friend, and a bloke with a blog. I want nothing to do with your cause whether you're pro or anti. I think you all need to get a life, frankly. Get some perspective. I don't subscribe to some blind, off-the-peg, them-or-us, ideology.
I'm all for empowering women, and hating harassment... and ethical journalism - but these are problems with all of society, not just gaming.
Unfortunately, even making that statement is apparently open to such levels of interpretation - through the jaundiced eyes of people who are capable only of putting others into one of two camps - that I appreciate it could be spun either way. That is what I take from the response to my Digi articles from last week: I'm not going to be "right" - ever - unless I come out in explicit support of one side or another. Which automatically makes me wrong to the other side. And which I am never going to do.
So why bother trying to appease people who are only ever going to see a distorted view of what I say anyway? Why bother trying to censor myself when individuals who've never met me are going to make massive assumptions about who I am, regardless of what I do or say? I don't need their approval. I'm surrounded by love in the real world.
What I've realised from all this, and from what happened with Vice, is that the likes of myself have a role to play..
Digitiser2000 is completely, 100% independent. Beyond our PayPal and Patreon donors I'm accountable to nobody.
We don't have advertisers - not that I'm averse to them - and I have virtually no contact with PR people. Not that I'm averse to them either. Nobody will be scared off by me getting labelled as something considered toxic.
I'm in my mid-40s, and I've been around the block more times than I'd have liked. But it means I've got a crust of scar tissue a mile thick, and the people that matter to me know who I am. And I've come to know who I am too.
Furthermore, I'm also not a freelance games journalist. I wrote a piece for - yes - Vice last year, and I write occasionally for Tech Radar, but that's as far as it goes for freelance games writing since Digi came back. Now that I've failed to pin my flag to the "right" side of the Gamergate debate, I've probably been blacklisted anyway. I've had my career in the games industry.
The point is... I still care about games, and the industry, and games journalism. But I've nothing to lose here. I have another job in an industry that cares as much about Gamergate as an amoeba does. When I die, Gamergate won't even be the tiniest of footnotes in my life.
I'm not going to go on and on about it, but I was wrong to say I'm shutting up about Gamergate permanently. It's doing too much damage to be able to ignore it. If the rest of the games media is running scared, is paralysed by it, then the industry needs all the independent voices it can get.