Game de­vel­op­ers re­form their so­cial me­dia poli­cies

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

APC Australia - - Downtime -

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by Ko­taku (­nanet), 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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