APC Australia

Game developers reform their social media policies

In the wake of reactive firings, devs look to protect their staff.

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According to a report by Kotaku ( tinyurl.com/apc459-arenanet), many female developers have raised concerns over the willingnes­s of some game studios to cave to social media pressure. This came about after the firing of Jessica Price, a female narrative designer working on Guild Wars 2, who publicly called out a player on Twitter she felt had attempted to mansplain her job to her. This led to the usual online rampage of insults and threats thrown Price’s way. Days later, developer ArenaNet fired her for “failing to uphold [its] standards of communicat­ing with players” and attacking the community, supposedly also for prior unspecifie­d incidents online.

Despite the muddiness surroundin­g Price’s firing, other women in game developmen­t have since come out in support, shedding light on the continued abuse women receive from “organised” groups within the community. This has prompted some studios to issue statements reinforcin­g their support for their staff and calling out the online mob’s “entitlemen­t culture”. However, this is creating a balancing act between the need for studios to stay open and their willingnes­s to interact with their audience online, while also attempting to make a stand against a small and rather toxic percentage of that audience.

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