Jirard The Completionist Character Removed from Sea of Stars game over Charity Controversy

By Todd Russell Dec16,2023

Please note the smiling, bearded character above, based on a real gamer, because he’s now been completely removed from the game, Sea of Stars. Patched completely out of existence. Why? You haven’t heard?

Am not aware of many situations in gaming where characters insides games are completely removed following some real world, non in-game controversy. In Sea of Stars (Steam, pictured below), one of the bigger indie games of 2023, Jirard The Constructionist in game (“Completionist” in real life) is part of a patch to specifically remove his character from the game due to a charity scandal explained below.

Sidebar: Sea of Stars was in competition for an Indie award alongside Dave The Diver (see: Dave The Diver Nominated for Indie Award When Made by Studio Owned by Billion Dollar Parent Corporation)

Btw, this is not quite to the level of Justin Roiland being removed from Rick and Morty (we would be TMZ, not PGM, if we dug into that), but this situation is still … ugly. Unless, you’ve been living under a gigantic gaming rock, you’ve probably heard something about the story that follows.

But before getting to the details of the scandal, let’s chat briefly about the charity that the guy with the beard in the game was raising donations for 10 years: finding a cure for dementia.

Bruce “Die Hard” Willis has dementia and it’s very sad to read and hear that this good actor isn’t able to recognize his ex-wife, Demi Moore, any more. Reportedly, he can still, sometimes(?), recognize his wife, but not his ex. Dementia is a terrible condition that needs a cure.

Die Hard, the movie, has had a number of games made, including a somewhat rare arcade game, that’s fun, if you can find to play it. There was a port to Sega Saturn, as well, AKA Dynamite Deka.

While we’re on the game — and fun part of this article — I’d be interested in seeing some sort of modern Die Hard game. The last Die Hard game, iOS and Android only mobile game, was released in 2013, according to List of Die Hard video games | Die Hard Wiki | Fandom. 10 years on, we need a modern, cool Die Hard game.

Ok, will stop stalling, let’s get to Jirard The Completionist.

Maybe you know a completionist gamer. Some gamers are obsessed with completing games. Get every achievement, beat the game, some are about both.

There is a gamer named Jirard that I was admittedly unfamiliar with until he became embroiled in a recent charity controversy (Ed. this is not simply YouTube drama, it’s far uglier) over a foundation he was part of pushing for and promoting charity donations for 10 years.

Unfortunately, none of these donations were actually being made to the advertised charities. The donations were, oddly, being left in the account, less some admin expenses.

After two investigative videos like this came out uncovering that over $600,000 of donations appeared to be sitting in a bank not donated as promised.

Following the videos, and only complete silence from Jirard for days (no Twitter, YouTube, Reddit, any type of comments), then past a week, which led to even more videos, more digging, wondering what the response would be?

Then, the foundation finally made a donation and Jirard published a video entitled, “my response” which had Jirard apologizing for making false and/or misleading statements, but defending that the foundation was on the up and up. Also, Jirard insisted he had done nothing legally wrong, and he welcomed an audit, should one be forthcoming. You can watch Jirard’s video below and draw your own conclusions on his response.

Jirard also states in the video that going forward he will no longer be doing the charity drive.

Oh my.

Where to start on gaming and charity drives, because to me, anyway, that’s the bigger issue here versus a gamer defending his reputation. At surface level this seems dramatic and personality-based, not really game-focused, but do think it fits here because of the fact Jirard is/was an active gamer, and he was doing something — completing games — that many gamers, especially those that play games more — aspire to do.

The charity part, however, is on multiple levels troubling.

After making a $600,000 donation, Jirard now wants to defend his reputation, that his foundation always intended to donate the money, only they had waited far too long. At the same time in his video, at least toward the end, he is angry that his reputation has taken a hit based on YouTube videos alleging wrongdoing. The original videos about the situation were questioning the activity and if Jirard had come out with his response right away, instead of lawyering up and being silent, the number of videos that followed during his silence would likely have been reduced.

Some YouTubers seemed to pile on with the golf charity accusation stuff that Jirard’s foundation was also involved with, yes, but again, if you’re Jirard, that admits to lying (but not in those exact words, conveniently enough), his better play is to apologize and keep apologizing, not sue. The only ones that will “win” in this suit are the attorneys, on both sides. I’m a root cause guy. The root cause is Jirard didn’t donate the money that he said he was donating for YEARS. Had he done this, there never would have been any YT videos, period and his reputation would be in tact.

What sort of nonsense comes out on YouTube after that is largely due to his own procrastination, stupidity or something else. Dude should have donated the money he said he was, period. And for that matter, why have a foundation anyway? Just promote donating directly to dementia research.
I’m not sure what Indie games and dementia research have to do with each other anyway? I get it, his mother died of dementia and that’s sad, but again, why not have people donate directly to dementia in honor of his mom?

Jirard makes the situation much worse at the end of his response video making not-so-vague legal threats aimed at his accusers. This only raised the ire of both original YouTube investigators. Next, Karl Jobst (“you absolute legends”) made an even snarkier rebuttal video:

Having been around on the internet for a long time, I’ve seen too many charity controversies. While this one seems to have a semi-happy ending (for actual charitable causes, not for Jirard The Completionist’s reputation) in that $600,000 was, in fact, donated to a worthy charity, there are too many cases where somebody or a group of people have embezzled the charity money for themselves.

Or, do what a lot of charities do right now, every single day: eat up the money donated in administrative expenses. Some (most?) individuals and companies use charity work as a front to reduce taxes. To essentially avoid paying as much taxes as they can instead of actually giving two craps about the charity they are actually for raising money.

Is it legal? Dubiously, it often is, but it creates an imbalance in perception vs. actual $$ donated to worthy causes which is very sus. Donors should have as close to 100% of their money donated actually go to charity, not making wealthier people even wealthier through creative bookkeeping and tax law loopholes.

This brings us full circle to the most current fallout in this scandal that we led this article with: the developers of the Sea of Stars indie game in a leaked Discord message decided to remove Jirard’s character from the game. Hat tip to JTSmash via: Jirard The Completionist: Sea Of Stars Dev DELETES HIM FROM THEIR GAME! – YouTube

If you can’t read the poor quality screenshot above, you can simply visit the Steam discussion page for Sea of Stars and see a bunch of gamer disruption over this as well as confirmation of the patch that removed Jirard’s character.

The developers clearly want to distance themselves from the situation and have made the decision to just get rid of Jirard’s in game character. Good call!

This bizarre story that probably becomes either a documentary or movie — and Jack Black / Bowser in the Mario movie could play Jirard, btw, if you want my casting rec — is almost certainly not over. It does make me wonder if YouTube Gamer personalities should ever be put inside games?

It’s one thing to put in fictional characters in games like Robocop or Terminator in Mortal Kombat, but putting real people in games, especially YouTube Gamer Influencers, or whatever we want to classify Jirard as — other than sports games of course — can be a whole other can of worms. Clearly, the Sea of Stars indie devs had no idea any of this would ever happen. They want gamers to enjoy playing their game, they don’t need to be dragged into some charity donation scandal.

Now, friendly readers, time to turn this over to you. There are a number of side topics related to this story that could be worth commenting on. Feel free to chime in below with whatever interests you most. Personally, I vote for the Die Hard modern game, but it’s up to you which way you want to roll. Yippie Kay Yay …

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