Excellent, heartfelt, gut-wrenching article. Thanks for sharing this with us.
I give Braid more credit than some - if it really is about someone coming to terms with the bad stuff they've done, and it really is a personal story from Jon Blow, then I give him plenty of credit for making this "his big statement." I think the happy-go-lucky protagonist and the gorgeous art and music are perfect for such a statement: if you're a rich cis-straight-white dude, you're afforded the luxury of skipping non-chalantly through certain forests. Like you, though, I wish it was slightly more obvious in earlier levels (and that the writing felt more real-and-human and less first-year English major.) And I wish he'd been more obvious about the meaning - from a sheer storytelling perspective, mostly, but also because - if you're going to say something as important as the thing I think you're saying, then say it, because people need to hear it!
On his Gamergate quote... it was a crummy comparison. No one doxxed Joss Whedon, nor did "angry feminists" even chase him off Twitter. I sort of get what he meant, maybe, given that GG started because of a dubious essay about some guy's ex-girlfriend, and a hypothetical, non-existent review of the ex-girlfriend's game, and the Age Of Ultron controversy started because of a dubious reading of a scene in that movie, where dialogue that was (probably) meant as "I'd be a bad partner because I'm a trained assassin who killed her own parents, and incidentally I can't have kids, but that's not the worst of it" was misread as "I'd be a bad partner because I can't have kids, which is all women are good for, but don't worry, I still make a fine cup of coffee and don't worry my pretty little head about nothin'." OK, I get it, it's two groups of people over-reacting about a thing that probably didn't happen. It's just that one of those groups sent a lot of angry Tweets to a guy, and the other group actually caused a few people to have to flee their homes. Bad comparison.
No one's perfect, though. Cis straight white men will screw up over non-cis straight white men things, but find me an example of a single human being who's never said/done anything unfortunate.
I give you a lot of credit, though, for not only writing a game that served as your response and reaction to another piece of art, but for putting so much of yourself into it, and into this essay as well. I liked how you arrived at a place, near the end, where the ways people misinterpreted or misunderstood your game seemed to give you a certain empathy towards Jon - an empathy you'd felt before, but lost. Those of us who Put Ourselves Out There need to be receptive to criticism, but those critics need to understand that Trying, And Falling Short, is 100 times better than Not Trying At All - and that tearing apart the folks who don't get it exactly right only serves to discourage others from trying at all.