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Default Developer harassment

August 16th, 2013, 17:59
Hello,

I just stumbled upon an article via another forum :

http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/15/462…support-groups

Developers get death threats nowadays for changing a game.

Fans are the sources.

If this is true, then this becxomes worrysome. The anonymity of the internet is seemingly able to bring out the worst out of some people, just because they feel like being behind an "shield of anonymity".

"Even the swatting thing, only now that Justin Bieber gets swatted, do prosecutors go, 'Oh, we should probably do something about this'," he said. "I couldn't get the Seattle police interested to save their lives, in prosecuting the kids who were doing this. I'm like, 'Come on, guys, they're sending your SWAT team out. What if you shot somebody. Don't you have an interest in going after these kids?' And they're like, 'No, because they are kids and at the end of the day it will be a juvenile sentence in juvenile court and that doesn't give prosecutors headlines.'"
toulouse

While adults certainly take part in online harassment, Toulouse believes that it is the younger harassers who are the worst.
Here, young people begin to try to switch to other towns because they believe that they'll get a lower penalty for beating other people down.

One thing they've found is that there seems to exist a disconnect between a person and their conscience when they go online.

"When individuals are online they are sort of separated from their conscience and from social conventions and morals and norms and even the law, and they feel a little bit more free to say whatever they want to say," Hinduja said. "You can be spontaneous online and just listen to your emotions and just go off on someone without taking a moment to sort of assess the situation."
Yes, this is very interesting. It's like … maving multiple personalities.

It's as if the internet hit a reset button for some people in terms of how they treat one another.

"It's almost like we're reverting to our primitive tendencies where we didn't know rules of social decorum and so forth," he said, and in the short term it seems to be getting worse, as if people are socially devolving online.
"I feel like how we've progressed over the years and decades, I feel like it's more and more normative to be cruel and then be JK, LOL, not really a big deal, even though we know that words wound," he said.
After Dragon Age 2 came out in 2011, Hepler told Polygon, many of the people involved in the game's development received angry emails, abusive forum posts and petitions calling for them to be fired. About that time, someone dug up an old interview Hepler participated in six years earlier. In the interview Hepler mentioned that her least favorite part of working in the game industry was playing through games and combat. Some of the interview was put in the official forums as evidence that Hepler was to blame for changes in the game's combat. The forum post was removed and Hepler went on maternity leave. But then the following February someone created a forum post resurfacing the interview and called Hepler the "cancer" that was destroying BioWare.

"I had opened a Twitter account a few weeks before that, and this poster or others quickly found me there and began sending threatening messages," she said. "I shut my account down without reading them, so I'm not certain what they said, but other people have told me they were quite vile."
Hepler also received harassing phone calls and threats on the BioWare Social Network.
And, most important in my opinion :

"It's something that comes up in almost every conversation with female developers," she said. "Overall, people seem to try to shrug it off publicly and fume privately, and younger women contemplating the field are reconsidering whether they have the stomach to handle what it currently asks of them. That's the biggest risk, in my opinion: that we will lose out on the talents of people who would make fantastic games that we would all be the better for playing, because they legitimately don't want to make themselves into targets. A lot of the best artists and storytellers (and quite a few great programmers too), tend to be sensitive people — we shouldn't lose out on their talents because we are requiring them to be tough, battle-scarred veterans just to walk in the door."
This means nothing but : Games will be dumbed down, because the at the same time more brilliand AND more sensitive people don't have the nerves to stand personal attacks.

Games will be badder, and dumbed down, because those who remain after these attacks are people not able to do the same brilliant things more sensitive people are able to do.

All that remains is degenerated gaming.

Meanwhile the brilliant & more sensitive people most likely flee to other console platforms like the PS or the Wii.

To indulge a community that is actively trying to alienate this powerful market segment (not to mention gay men, casual gamers of all types and anyone new to the hobby), is suicidal.
"I could go on and on about this, but I'm just going to consider one example: the word 'noob.' If you decide to take up almost any other hobby in the world, you can find beginning classes teaching you how to do it. If you want to knit, you can go to a yarn store and meet fellow knitters who will help you get the basics. If you want to play basketball, you can join a rec center or community league at a beginner level. And generally, the people already involved in those hobbies are thrilled to have someone with whom they can share their passion. But if you want to get started as a gamer, you get told, 'go home noob,' because people in this hobby hate newcomers so much they turned the word itself into an insult. How are we supposed to thrive as an industry if we are actively hostile to growing our audience?"
This is exactly what I know as "Fan Dumb".

Edwards points to George Lucas' very public semi-retirement last year as an example. In January, Lucas told the New York Times that he was retiring, blaming in part the negativity of fans.

"Why would I make any more," he said, "when everybody yells at you all of the time and says what a terrible person you are?"
Bold printing by me :

"It's definitely gotten worse," said Greg Zeschuk. "The threshold for a flip out or a major scandal has dropped. The smallest thing will set people off."
Death threats have become the routine, the sort of knee-jerk minimum among cyber harassers. And Zeschuk has a couple of theories why.
There is, as Zeschuk puts it, a new breed of opinion-makers who seem to deliberately inflame in order to grow their reach and popularity.

"A path to awareness on the internet is controversy and people drumming it up," he said. "I think it's almost like if more people throw fuel on the fire and there's more and more of that and some people think, 'Hey, I can do that. I don't need to work, I can be an internet personality and yell at people all day long. I win."
Dealing with online abuse, Zeschuk said, is now an integral part of being a game developer.

Related : http://www.polygon.com/2013/7/31/457…he-troll-peril


From the comments there - besides, it is interesting to see that a few people actually commented the way the article writes about - :

NeoShweaty

Honestly, what can be done? I was at Evo 2013 and encountered the sort of people that are written about at length here in person. There is no making sense of what these people think. They often choose to surround themselves with like minds who see no problem with their behavior thus it just gets reinforced over and over. They are the same people that cause you to burst a blood vessel when you argue with them about anything. Super opinionated and living in a bubble where they can do no wrong. Everyone simply must agree because there is no other way.
glenngunnerzero

This isn’t limited to just Video Games. A lot of people get this way about Politics as well and Sports.
AphelionXII

Fundamentalism is an albatross around the neck of reason and rational behavior.
christopher.brady.71

[Corrected Post, it’s near 5AM]

Social Media is a symptom, not a cause. It allows an outlet to people who would, in general, be considered raving lunatics. And like I said, it also allowed them to band together. Worse, the internet allows for a sense of anonymity, which allows people to be jerks and they feel they won’t ever get caught because of it.

The issue was always there. The problem is now everyone has a tool to allow shout to a wider audience. And unfortunately, if life taught me one thing it’s that whomever shouts the loudest gets heard, no matter what the message is.
thewolfkin

yeah social media isn’t making people dicks. But social media is making people BIGGER dicks. It’s one thing if you’re mean to people in your grade school. But you wouldn’t have written a hate letter to Miyamoto directly if you weren’t a fan of the blue shell. Social media allows us to do that. We can now write those letters to people we previously were completely unable to reach. And we can do it without a return address.
element187

You hit the nail on the head. Most gamers, especially the more vocal irrational gamer really does not understand that these are businesses, they literally think these game companies are their to stroke their ego and only their ego.

“What do you mean Nintendo didn’t want to do a new F-Zero?? Thats so stupid, They would sell a bajillion consoles if they remade f-zero instead of Donkey Kong.”

You tell them that the last fzero sold 200,000 copies and the last Donkey Kong sold 5 million “So what, its what I want them to do, who cares about sales”
lollermittens

Look, I’m a developer IRL but not for video-games. Customers have the ability to directly contact our marketing/sales department and some of them are very nasty.

But it’s all part of the game. If you can’t take negative feedback, if you’re soft, if you can’t understand that anonymity is a powerful tool in the hands of people who feel powerless and therefore can abuse people anonymously, then get off your fucking Twitter, shut down your Facebook account, and remove yourself from social arenas on the internet where you can be lambasted, threatened, or insulted.

The lady who wrote Dragon’s Age 2 really pissed me off in this article. Not because she participated in the creation of a shitty game but because of her dismissive stance of gamers in general. Because she’s never been one and will never be one.

Do my sentiments justify the use of death threats? Absolutely not. But I’m not going to agree with her stance that we need to reduce gaming to an activity available to everyone simply because the industry wants to generate revenue. She’s looking at the issue through a purely business perspective. She doesn’t have the empathetic capacity to understand the other side of the coin: the very people who were stupid (or crazy) enough to send her death threats.

Therefore, what moral authority does she have when she claims that gaming should be an activity for everyone? None. Her authority only comes as a writer for video-game scripts (the lowest common denominator in literature) and she’s admitted that she doesn’t even like to game.

Last but not least, all of the individuals utilized in this article had some kind of social media visibility. That hatred wasn’t misguided for the hell of it even though the reasoning behind it is non-sensical.

I’m not here to advocate for the despicable fools who send death threats over the internet. I’m simply here to point out that the people receiving death threats in this article were “high-value targets” and should grow a tougher skin.
nimzy

I think the best advice I ever got while I was working in game development was the hardest to follow: don’t use the internet, and for god’s sake if you do don’t use your real name and don’t ever talk about the game.

The public hates you and everything you stand for.
Sean Schoenherr

To put things another way, I don’t see spanking and the like as being directly antithetical to the death-threats people make online. If the child doesn’t internalize why misbehavior is wrong, then all they learn is to believe in a power structure that has the potential for abuse.

What I mean is that spanking, by itself, is a power structure where a person with power (parent) is displeased with what a person without power (child), and can thus use physical pain (spanking) to make the powerless person do what the person in power wants. When the morality behind that power structure is just (teaching proper manners), many people feel the ends justify the means, but the act of spanking itself does not actually direct relate to the moral concepts being taught.

And so, online, this power structure can be easily corrupted: a person with power (anonymous fan, safe behind their anonymity) is displeased with a person with less power (game developer with a public persona and publicly-known address), and can thus use physical pain (calling a SWAT team to their house) or the threat thereof (death-threats, rape threats, etc.) to make the powerless person do what the person in power wants (stop making games they don’t like).

If it were a video game using physical violence to teach people not to hurt each other, I’m sure plenty of critics would decry the ludonarrative dissonance. It’s like the father I once saw at Kmart, who saw one of his sons punch his other son, and responded by hitting the puncher upside the head and saying, “We don’t hit people in this family.” That dissonance between the lesson and the teaching method is there, and it can’t be denied.
GunFlame

Any good or objective criticism doesn’t get appreciated by the fan bases. Unless you are raging, you’re seen as the enemy. It’s illogical. Some people who didn’t have issues with the Xbox One connectivity, but may have offered other critique would have been drowned out and aggressively challenged.

The thing is, is that the aggression is what gets the spotlight. No one will pick out some constructive critique, but there can be articles about how mad everyone is (SimCity is an example of this).
digitalclover

Gaming in this current generation has taught me the same lesson as gaming while growing up: Remain anti-social, trying to make sense of humans is bad for your brain.
Rtas

Jennifer Helper left Bioware, and the game industry? The harassment is horrible and I hope all these lowlifes are punished somehow, but at least one tiny bit of good came from it all.
Khamsinvera

It’s a good thing for the games industry that she left … but the harassment must have been awful.
DurdensWrath

Oh I don’t disagree with that. I hate what caused her to leave.

But damn is it good for gaming she did.

Anders is the most blatent example of ruination she is responsible for.
Rtas

I find all of this really strange. According to this, you can tell someone “I’m going to kill you” on the internet without repercussions. Meanwhile, a kid says something like “yeah i’m crazy, i’m going to shoot up a kindergarten, lol jk” – not even threatening anyone in particular even if it wasn’t a joke, and gets prosecuted for it and has his life ruined.

Bureaucracy gone wild.
Poodlestrike

People (not just bureaucrats) have this weird disconnect, where anything said online isn’t “real” in the same way thoughts voiced physically are, be it in person or on paper. Frankly, I suspect this is the cause of vast majority of online threats as well. Still, as society acclimates to the digital medium, we’ll probably adjust.
Bold printing NOT by me :

LordPsyBorg

Yes, the video game community is as vitriolic as it can be passionate. This is plainly observable, and we can all agree that it needs to change and have its tone elevated to that of constructive criticism.

But this is no excuse for people like Hepler to support the degeneration of gaming and the unspoken fight against hardcore gamers, especially out in the open. Listen to this sad bit:

“Hardcore gamers want a product that is made specifically for them and is actively unfriendly to anyone new. They will beg and bully to get this product and then praise and wax nostalgic over any game that lives up to their standards even if the company that made it went bankrupt. They don’t care about keeping companies in business or artists employed. Their only job as fans is to say what pleases them, and it would be foolish to expect them to think beyond that. But to cater to those desires without thinking about how to bring new audiences in and make them comfortable will ultimately result in a stagnant and money-losing industry.”

This is the exact mode of thought that leads to games that generate anger and result in poor product reception. By catering to the casual gamer exclusively, you weaken your initial playerbase, fail to have long term success because of how simplistic your game ends up being, and ultimately attack video gaming by failing to elevate it to an art form; conversely, by accepting the input of hardcore gamers alongside the usual input of casual gamers, you instantly improve your product by creating levels of depth to your game. People like Hepler who do not recognize this are digging their own graves, both on an economic and personal level, by exclusively taking advice from those less qualified to provide it.

Also, hardcore gamers do not necessarily want games that are inaccessible. For example, in Mega Man Zero, less experienced players have the option to use energy tanks and cyber elves to become incredibly powerful at the expense of their mission rank. This became a staple of the series and was even expanded upon. It is possible to have safety nets and well-devised tutorials to encourage someone to gradually adapt to a game’s complexities and get better.

On a related matter, she also says:

“And generally, the people already involved in those hobbies are thrilled to have someone with whom they can share their passion. But if you want to get started as a gamer, you get told, ‘go home noob,’ because people in this hobby hate newcomers so much they turned the word itself into an insult.”

Hepler doesn’t understand the gaming community at all and she should reconsider working for it. The definition of “noob” is distinct from that of “newb”, and the mocking of noobs is not centered around the fact that they are new players, but that they seem to have refused to adapt to the game or acquire skills. Having a bit of fun made of them is not wrong because it encourages some of them to get involved and get better. (Really, who hasn’t been called a noob at some point?) This leads in to a broader point that needs to be made.

The biggest issue with people like Hepler is that they will not recognize that gaming is about getting better and overcoming your competition, and anything short of that cannot be recognized as gaming proper. What makes gaming unique is challenge, and all that hardcore (and core, and perhaps even casual) gamers want is more of it because that’s what we signed up for. When a game acts more like a movie and not a game, we are disappointed and naturally demand that our efforts have greater influence over the world before us. Complexity and skill ceilings are thusly a great thing for gaming, and they benefit everyone in the end.

I absolutely despise and cannot even remotely sanction death threats against people like Hepler, but I do not approve in the least of how she thereafter justifies being anti-gamer by writing off an entire group of important and devoted fans just because one or two of them can’t control themselves. She should reconsider working in this industry, not because she is receiving threats, but because she has outed herself as someone who despises the ideas of a good product and anyone who would like that.
Rtas

Yeah, she’s fantastic. I loved when they asked her her least favorite part of her job, and it was “having to play video games.”

Good riddance.
jimmypedersen

Let’s not defend that statement shall we. That is just baaaaaaaaaad… You don’t say that even if it’s true. For the company’s sake, I mean, kudos for being honest I guess? But that doesn’t really garner any respect or goodwill from the gaming community and honestly I think that is quite alright.

I mean, if she meant playing the game itself which she is starring in then I guess I can understand a little. But even then I feel like she should as to get more insight and inspiration to act even better in them.. if you catch my drift!

TimOLP

Or instead you could look at the full context of when she made that statement.

>Q: What is your least favorite thing about working in the industry?
>A: Playing the games. This is probably a terrible thing to admit, but it has definitely been the single most difficult thing for me. I came into the job out of a love of writing, not a love of playing games… I’m really terrible at so many things which most games use incessantly — I have awful hand-eye coordination, I don’t like tactics, I don’t like fighting, I don’t like keeping track of inventory, and I can’t read a game map to save my life.
>Q: If you could tell developers of games to make sure to put one thing in games to appeal to a broader audience which includes women, what would that one thing be?
>A: A fast-forward button. Games almost always include a way to “button through” dialogue without paying attention, because they understand that some players don’t enjoy listening to dialogue and they don’t want to stop their fun. Yet they persist in practically coming into your living room and forcing you to play through the combats even if you’re a player who only enjoys the dialogue.

She doesn’t like playing through the combat or the DA games but does like the interactive fiction elements. That seems a fairly reasonable point of view to have. There were huge chunks of DA:O where I felt the same way.
jimmypedersen

I really don’t have time or energy to find the full context, I was merely replying to two comments and the quote that was found inside one of these.

It does seem like a fairly reasonable point of view to have but I am not sure it’s commendable still.

And I would actually prefer actors and writers who have, a love for video games to work in this industry.

But yeah, you’re right, being presented with the full context does make the statement seem a whole lot more reasonable.
Humpledink

This is really a problem of bullying, which pervades far more than the gaming industry. And the solution has to be a cultural one. This type of ridiculous behavior was decades in the making. It’s not going to have an overnight solution.

I’m afraid we likely have not even seen the worst of it yet. There are large swaths of our culture that don’t see bullying as a problem, condone it and even praise it. They typically refer to it as another name, however.
DurdensWrath

In my day, we had bullies too. We also made it through all of that shit (mainly called Middle School) without blowing anyone or ourselves away. People are more fragile today.
nicole_nymh

Moderator, Polygon

Have you considered that it’s not that people are more fragile, but that there is an extremely higher rate of bullying. On top of that, if you were bullied as a child before 1990 or so, you were likely bullied in person. On the playground, in the lunchroom, on the bus. You could stand up for yourself, or you could get an adult involved. You could find ways to avoid the bullying sometimes.

In the last 20 years the majority of bullying went from in person, to online. Have you had someone slander you online, and have a rumor carry so far and wide that your entire life is ruined? Have you had tens, hundreds, or THOUSANDS of people bullying you all at once, from all angles, in a way that you can’t stop, or prevent, or avoid, or hide from? Better yet, when you do try to stand up for yourself it gets worse. If you try to get a metaphorical adult, like a law enforcement agency, involved- the laws are so behind that it is virtually impossible to prosecute or block someone hiding behind a screen name?

Unfortunately, opinions like those are EXACTLY why people do commit suicide, or try to. People who are the victims of cyberbullying, are in need of support and help to survive the attacks. Not condescension. Frankly sir, unless you have experienced the kind of attacks these folks have, at the frequency and volume they are or have, you are not really in a position to suggest that they are just too “fragile” to deal with it.
Cinnamon267

Uh. The old “if I did it you can” routine. Weak, dude. Really weak.
TimOLP

That being said, I felt that the article left out one very important aspect – video games appeal to the competitive nature in many of us in the same way sports appeal to us. Gamers get very passionate about their hobby in the same way sports fan feel about their team / player / sport of choice.

The odd thing is that the games that many of the developers cited in this piece aren’t like that. Fish made FEZ which is hardly high octane and competitive it instead focused on exploration and puzzle solving. Helper made Dragon Age which again is not a competition based experience and is much more about exploring narratives.

I can see how what your saying applies to CoD and other more competitive games but it’s really hard to see something like FEZ in the same light. I’m not sure how those things can be squared.

It’s a good thing for the games industry that she left … but the harassment must have been awful.

I see a whole load of people in these comments talk about how it’s a good thing Helper left the game industry because she wasn’t interested in helping make games that appeal to them. But she was interested in games that appeal to me and people like me (I actually liked her suggestion that it’d be nice to have an option to skip a combat sequence in DA). Harassment aside can’t reasonable people see that the industry should be big enough to have many different elements to it rather than wanting bits of it gotten rid of.
Aaron McQuaid

Sad to say but Polygon has really become a home for rampant crybabyism and political correctness recently. While death threats are always unacceptable behavior I resent the general tone of this article and its message that gaming must be dumbed down to please casual gamers and the widest possible demographic.

The idea that commercial success is impossible unless you embrace a leftest political agenda and ensure that your game is appealing to grandma is utter tripe. Tell that to CD Project Red who constantly delivers mature, focused gaming experiences that also meet with commercial success.

Raise your hand if you want your games to be sacrificed on the alter of political correctness and approved by the diversity police. Who wants cack handed leftist political messages enjoined upon to your game stories? I for one don’t want to play Whitehouse Down the game.

It seems that video games are the next front in the culture war. Leftists are trying to control the lexicon of the debate. If we concede them the power to define the normative terms of debate we have already surrendered the commanding heights of the battlefield.

So my message to conservative gamers is this: Be forceful but respectful in voicing your opinion. Do not let the leftists render your objections to leftest content and concepts in games illegitimate. Don’t lower yourselves to name calling and threats as this just makes their job easier.

The culture of hardcore video games is under political attack by leftest forces who have very specific cultural goals. They seek to enact a chilling effect on debate by defining a new norm. This norm is based on leftest orthodoxy and political correctness. They are attempting to brand any disagreement from this norm as illegitimate. Those of us who disagree have a duty to push back this tide.

He who is silent consents.
AvocadoHate

Game devs always find ways to blame others for themselves being bad.

The current fad is to victimize yourself to gain immunity to negative critics and just as always Game critics and gaming “journalists” cover their backs; don’t want the company that pays you look bad right.
This is just another step after the whole entitlement issue that was coincidentally started by Bioware as well.
While I do not support death/rape or other threats in any form, I would personally like to see Jennifer Hepler and similar persons leave the gaming industry as a whole. I also do not believe that the threats against game devs are as bad as they’re made out to be, people just like to exaggerate for attention and sympathy.

Game devs need to be able to take criticism to improve or at least keep their company’s quality up but sadly they refuse to admit their mistakes and instead blame their customers for their games being bad.
It is already a well-known fact that devs/publishers pay most gaming related websites and magazines for good scores and publicity but now they use every method to feel better about themselves and their work.

It’s an impossible coincidence that right after Phil Fish’s twitter tantrum more and more devs came out and tried to apply to the general public’s sympathy.
And an even bigger coincidence is that this only happens with devs that made terrible games recently and had a history of behaving poorly online or in front of press/fans.
I won’t say something ignorant like “they just need to make better games and everything will be fine” but they should at least admit mistakes and try to learn from them.

To sum it up I can say that devs who make good games don’t experience these problems BECAUSE they don’t need to desperately avert negative criticism.
One imho very interesting insight :

reckless-man

I think that people just become numb to the harassment when playing online. I know that when I first started playing games as a young kid I would at times become absolutely infuriated at the game to the point of breaking mice and controllers. I was getting ‘trolled’ because of these reactions.

It ended up becoming fun to get people to illicit the same reaction that I myself would give. After a while I realized that it didn’t matter and just played to have fun regardless of how well I was doing in a game. This didn’t stop me from enjoying trolling others in games. Corpse humping in a FPS or body camping in MMOs was something that brought me joy and still does bring me joy. Even still when it happens to me I no longer get angry and instead treat it as a game in and of itself to get revenge or simply get away with my virtual life.

I really don’t see myself actively trying to change my behavior online and will likely continue to troll others in a non-treating way even if it causes people to threaten me. The anonymity that exists allows me to troll and not worry about what people say to me because of the trolling. I get death threats and respond with ‘u mad bro?’ which often pushes people to say that they are going to find me IRL and take me out. This is just like what the devs are getting but they are not afforded the same anonymity that I am. They are public facing entities with everything to lose while I am a faceless nameless avatar that can do what I please and not have to worry about the threats I receive.

I even have to disagree with the statement that you should ‘never befriend the bully’ some of my best online friends that I have become friends with on facebook and openly share my contact information with were once the people who made me so angry. We all grew up and while we still love to throw jabs at each other we know that it is in good fun and enjoy the banter.



And, last, these are the - in my opinion - most interesting comments there - if you've skipped anything, then at least read them ! :

SteveDaWonder

I’m not a game developer, but I am a gaming enthusiast with what is becoming a very public face. I stream to Twitch.tv four to five times a week and have experienced the irk of the idiocy that is prevalent in this industry as an enthusiast with an opinion about the games that I play.

It’s really incredible the kind of immaturity that slimes its way into my channel. Not only do these immature individuals show up to insult the game and tell me it’s dumb, but they also like to insult the “fat ass” who is playing it as well. All I am doing is playing a game they don’t like and for some reason I suddenly deserve a verbal lashing that perhaps only the worst of proven criminals deserve. (Heck, even the criminals get a fair and just trial most of the time. I just get executed instantly for my opinion.)

Yes, I know I am opening myself up for public discourse by posting my gameplay and my opinions to a public place, but no one deserves the kind of verbal abuse and insane threats that are out there.

If I were thirteen years old and acting that way online my Dad would have had some very intense words and consequences for me to enjoy for a month or two until the behavior stopped.

Really, this is just the fruit of a larger problem as has been discussed. As the quality of the family degrades so do the children that it produces. Yes, I understand and work with (I am a teacher) many types of students in many types of dysfunctional families. A single parent can raise a child very well and a mom and dad can completely stink at raising a child. It all comes down to priorities.

I am afraid for when those who are thirteen and fourteen are twenty-four and twenty-five. Our world, specifically the USA, could become an incredibly scary place.
Xoimbarg

Ok, I am a dev, I have had death threats back in the late 90’s over an oxymoronic issue of “Realistic Star Trek Physics” – which of these words doesn’t belong with the other. Another producer I worked with a couple years later not only got death threats but was dox’d before it was a term. They published his home address, phone number, names of children and wife, left death threats at home phone, snail mail to the house and even a wonder package of dead animal parts sent to the home (of course all with no return address)

I don’t give a damn how upset they are about a game that didn’t turn out the way they and some buddies wanted it. This is unacceptable behaviour. They are behaving like sociopathic brats.

Bold printing by me :

FrankCSIS

Hardly surprising. We’ve built personality cults around bullies for so long we forget how toxic it can truly get. You raise people on talk radio and television, for two or three generations, and then you suddenly give them a way to broadcast themselves at large, and anyone is surprised by the results?

Combine this with a complete lack of empowerment in the social spheres of society, immense and complex government structures, an unprecedented level of cynicism, and the end result is a pack of wolves hungry for blood on the most mundane subjects.

You’d be surprised the kind of security detail surrounds some journalists, both online and in person. But those guys, they went from news broadcasters to opinion makers and bloggers, at the worse possible moment in our communication history. It’s as if no one suspected or foresaw how perfectly aligned the elements were getting for catastrophic results, and jumped into the cyclone packing dynamite. This is true for every possible sphere of the public world, including of course game making.

Seeing how the internet has drastically changed in fifteen years, especially more so in the last five, I would like to tell developers out there to hang on tight and strap themselves to whatever they can. Things are not about to get better. People say it’s the Far Web now, they know nothing. It was the Far Web ten years ago, and things were great. Now it’s the so-called civilised world, everyone is invested in it, everyone wants a piece, and everyone wants a public image online and offline. We were safe from this online before, now we have to deal with scum on the web and at the grocery store.
mdisen

I dislike the premise that the problem is especially bad in the video games industry. ESPN recently made sweeping changes to their website because of harassment and negativity in the comment sections. The problem revolves more around internet anonymity and not video games. Video games just happen to exist more in a digital space than other mediums.
cornbredx

While this visible of harrasment may be new, I would counter its not new to popular culture. Musicians and actors have suffered this level of abuse for a long time.
Notably, several actors have been killed by stalking fans, and musicians have written songs about crazy fans (one that comes to mind is Eminem’s ‘Stan’ but I know of a few others as well).
Its most certainly a problem, and one I personally will never understand. My problem is this idea that this is somehow new because of modern social media. It’s not in any way a new problem nor spurned by social media. Social media has only made it more transparent.
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Quite frankly, the best way to fight this hateful vitriol is to ignore it and not let it get to you

Unfortunately not everyone is able to do that. Constant threats against yourself can be dismissed but if you have young kids or older parents living with/near you it means you’re always worrying about them – and you can’t really ask them to just ignore it.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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August 16th, 2013, 21:40
Ppl are idiots.
If there is someone to hate anywhere, that's never devs (that are working on the game) but CEOs/managers. The head is what ppl should be after, you can't blame on hands!

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August 16th, 2013, 22:17


Some amazing whining. Help! I can't get free publicity for my shitty game without people pointing out how shitty it is!

The only reason they don't like me is because they are racist homophobe misogynists! This is like hitler complaining the jews say mean stuff about him.

All of this blaming everyone else for the bad reaction you get from fans is just disgusting to me. Want people to like you? Do your job properly. It's not a matter of social management, nobody owes you anything.

As far as "theats" go, show some proof. Oh, there is none. Because it's more lying to show how the bad reviews for your games are due to evul trolls and not unhappy customers with a genuine complaint (or in bioware's case, an endless list of genuine complaints).

If there are real death threats call the police and they will take it very seriously, but I will believe that only when they arrest someone.
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August 16th, 2013, 23:51
I can see were there coming from, and I'm sure people will find a way to justify their having no manners on the internet. Trolls will be trolls and pardon the expression assholes will continue to be assholes.

I have no problems with people expressing there opinion it's just how some go about.

(I apologize if the above bothered you just making a point)

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August 17th, 2013, 00:05
The problem is they are the boy who cried wolf. EVERYTHING is "trolls" and assholes and racist misogynists with them. Just like when txa called me a racist homophobe misogynist out of the blue when talking about trayvon martin, when there wasn't even any mention of women or homosexuals and I had said nothing racist whatsoever.

Sometimes maybe people are assholes but THEY are the ones who do the name calling most of the time.

I've seen about a hundred reasonable threads get locked like this.

I don't like how the RPG elements are so casual and you concentrate more on sex than any other aspect of the story.

Thread locked for trolling and homophobia!

The point I'm making is they are simply lying. And they are doing it for personal gain, to excuse themselves from all the bad reviews they get.

A few people are assholes about it but NO ONE has made a death threat, EVER. Like I said, if they have, PROVE IT. And 99% of the people who criticise hepler or gaider do so on very valid points.

When she says she skips over the games and hates play, well, what do you expect. She should be fired, or they should go out of business, if that is the type of people they think are appropriate creative employees at an RPG company.

A million people would love to have such a job, why not choose one who actually enjoys games? Maybe they can actually write something sensical, too, which most their writers seem incapable of.

No one else gets all these bad user reviews. It's not an industry phenomenon, it's a bioware has turned to crap phenomenon.

In short the war on trolls is a lot like the war on terror. Sorry we can't be active on the forums and can't allow free speech, there's terrawists about.
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August 17th, 2013, 13:06
They want to cater to console player mass market with substandard products (DA2), they have to deal with their immature responses. Can't have it both ways.

Also, Manwhojaped has a fair point. My criticism of encounters being filled with filler trash mobs and focus on immature teenage angst romance in DAO, got me called a "jaded homophobe" and threads would be locked/deleted and I got banned for encouraging "hateful homophobic sentiments".
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August 17th, 2013, 14:23
Originally Posted by ManWhoJaped View Post
Just like when txa called me .
Actually that was fully explained out in the thread. But since you have decided to make out-of-context personal attacks on my in a totally unrelated thread I will quote myself. Not that I think you will listen this time either:

No, I said it - and NOT to you - for someone who was tossing derogatory gender and sexual-orientation terms around as they noted justification of pursuing someone based on the color of their skin. Therefore my description in that case was accurate.

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August 17th, 2013, 14:28
Originally Posted by ManWhoJaped View Post
The point I'm making is they are simply lying. And they are doing it for personal gain, to excuse themselves from all the bad reviews they get.

A few people are assholes about it but NO ONE has made a death threat, EVER. Like I said, if they have, PROVE IT. And 99% of the people who criticise hepler or gaider do so on very valid points.

No one else gets all these bad user reviews. It's not an industry phenomenon, it's a bioware has turned to crap phenomenon.
Once again you are totally wrong, and there have been countless examples given through the years. I have no idea what agenda you are pushing, but once again all I can say is you have absolutely no clue about the real world.

This DOES happen. And it has gotten HUGELY worse in recent years.

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August 17th, 2013, 15:09
Death threats are ten a penny on the internet. My wife gets them for being a moderator on an internet support board for people with health problems, dickheads demanding to know her home address so they can come round and cut her up. All for trying to help people out voluntarily.

It's not exactly a surprise that devs get them. See for example:

http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/16/biowar…amily-3925970/
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August 17th, 2013, 22:13
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Actually that was fully explained out in the thread. But since you have decided to make out-of-context personal attacks on my in a totally unrelated thread I will quote myself. Not that I think you will listen this time either:
There's no explainging something like that, sorry. And it's not an "attack" it's an example of how so many people today can't disagree with someone without launching immediately into crazy polemics.
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August 17th, 2013, 22:15
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
Once again you are totally wrong, and there have been countless examples given through the years. I have no idea what agenda you are pushing, but once again all I can say is you have absolutely no clue about the real world.

This DOES happen. And it has gotten HUGELY worse in recent years.
I've seen them make false accusations about death threats many times, sure. They also complained people saying helper should be fired after her dumb comments were trolls, too. Well, I am certainly not trolling, she should be fired.
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August 17th, 2013, 22:27
Originally Posted by coaster View Post
Death threats are ten a penny on the internet. My wife gets them for being a moderator on an internet support board for people with health problems, dickheads demanding to know her home address so they can come round and cut her up. All for trying to help people out voluntarily.

It's not exactly a surprise that devs get them. See for example:

http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/16/biowar…amily-3925970/
I'll take your word for it. I've never seen a real death threat but have seen innumerable false accusations, especially from bioware.

Like I said, boy who cried wolf. I believe nothing from them unless I see it myself, all they do is lie. They don't even seem to talk about anything about their actual games any more just try to drum up sympathy publicity. I wouldn't be surprised if they had planned the twitter thing from the start, and if they didn't they were probably delighted.
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August 17th, 2013, 23:02
Originally Posted by ManWhoJaped View Post
There's no explainging something like that, sorry.
No - it is an accurate and factual description. If you repeatedly use derogatory gender-based language and make statements showing that you believe ability and social standing is based on gender - you ARE a misogynist. Period. Same for the rest.

Originally Posted by ManWhoJaped View Post
I've seen them make false accusations about death threats many times, sure. They also complained people saying helper should be fired after her dumb comments were trolls, too. Well, I am certainly not trolling, she should be fired.
The reality is women are particularly threatened in gaming, because (sorry you won't like this) the mostly male gaming audience tends to be less female friendly than sports. They are then expected to 'grow a thick skin' (i.e. accept harassment).

Are there false claims - certain, as there are in any situation. But the reality is that rather than become less common, these sorts of things have become MORE common as gamers (like celebrity followers) feel entitled, and less tolerant and so on.

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August 17th, 2013, 23:09
Originally Posted by txa1265 View Post
No - it is an accurate and factual description. If you repeatedly use derogatory gender-based language and make statements showing that you believe ability and social standing is based on gender - you ARE a misogynist. Period. Same for the rest.
BULLSHIT!

That's a very serious accusation and you can't throw around shit like that because someone simply disagrees with you on something where every single fact you had was completely wrong. You didn't even know the most basic facts just make up ridiculous BS and then called me names the second I didn't immediately agree.

And that's the real problem here, no logic. It's just people using every situation they can to make some demented political statement.

And to top it off you are a complete racist. You just can't disentangle race from facts. The race of people in something like that should be the last thing you look at not the first and only thing. Thank god you are not a lawmaker.

The reality is women are particularly threatened in gaming, because (sorry you won't like this) the mostly male gaming audience tends to be less female friendly than sports. They are then expected to 'grow a thick skin' (i.e. accept harassment).

Are there false claims - certain, as there are in any situation. But the reality is that rather than become less common, these sorts of things have become MORE common as gamers (like celebrity followers) feel entitled, and less tolerant and so on.
Well that's your "thinking" on the subject, anyway. Which is exactly what their huge media campaign wants you to think.

Mean misogynists wrecked bioware because they are racist homophobe misognists. No one dislikes them for any valid reason, they make the best games on earth.
Last edited by ManWhoJaped; August 17th, 2013 at 23:20.
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August 17th, 2013, 23:17
Anyway, I am done with you. I am so pissed right now, I can barely believe it. If you could have linked to me calling someone a nigger, queer, kike bitch, cunt or something then you would have. I just want to make sure everyone knows this is all a complete pack of lies and now I will put you on ignore.

txa, lying scumbag.
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August 17th, 2013, 23:23
It's simple:

a) Bioware should returning to make good classic CRPGs.
b) (Bioware) Forum users should behave, even if a) doesn't happen.
c) Criticizing in a factual/technical way is good, personal attacks should be damned.


PS:
b) und c) applies to RPGwatch, too. Shake hands, guys!

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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August 17th, 2013, 23:27
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
It's simple:

a) Bioware should returning to make good classic CRPGs.
b) Bioware forum users should behave, even if a) doesn't happen.
c) Criticizing in a factual/technical way is good, personal attacks should be damned.
Of course, I agree completely.

except add the following.

d) No more shutting down valid criticism pretending it's trolling of some kind.

This is the big issue. I have never posted on their forums but they constantly lock or delete any single thread with the smallest criticism and call it trolling or homophbia. Which is bad enough but then they try to get sympathy about it afterwards.

This is the most weasely conniving marketing I have ever seen and it utterly disgusts me.

I'm longing for the good old days of grandiose hyperbole from Bethesda. At least they didn't make excuses when things didn't work out like planned, they went right on tot he next thing.
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August 17th, 2013, 23:34
d) No more shutting down valid criticism pretending it's trolling of some kind.

This is the big issue. I have never posted on their forums but they constantly lock or delete any single thread with the smallest criticism. Which is bad enough but then they try to get sympathy about it afterwards.
I don't follow the Bioware forums - but the cause for shutting down threads can be
1) stop/prevent critical discussions
2) stop trolling
3) stop spamming / off topic

2) & 3) is okay 1) is poor forum handling/policy

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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August 18th, 2013, 00:19
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I don't follow the Bioware forums - but the cause for shutting down threads can be
1) stop/prevent critical discussions
2) stop trolling
3) stop spamming / off topic

2) & 3) is okay 1) is poor forum handling/policy
If they want to be gestapomoderators then fine by me but stop lying about it. And stop lying in the media as well. Not just lying, but exploiting it for their own ends.

This kind of behavior is bad enough from some random internet idiot. When it's against people who've payed hundreds of dollars to play your games it's inexcusable.

And if you are a mature person you find ways to handle it, and no one can bs me to say the hate on hepler comes from her being a woman, most the writers in MMOs seem to be women, most of them get worshipped. I don't mean hepler should suck it up I mean it's outrageous to me that bioware has decided to capitalize on all this for their own gain.
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August 18th, 2013, 00:19
You certainly have an interesting worldview, ManWhoJaped.

How can you claim that there have never been any death threats in the history of game development? It's a little ridiculous.
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