One of the biggest organizations representing game developers had some strong words for Nintendo’s recent actions.
Today, International Game Developers Association executive director Kate Edwards issued a statement about Nintendo’s dismissal of Treehouse marketing employee Alison Rapp last week. She’s concerned that the company’s action sends a negative message to game developers and other employees that publishers won’t support them against Internet hate mobs. Edwards also fears this gives a victory to those who organize harassment campaigns against people in the industry.
“While Nintendo’s official statement on the matter of Alison Rapp’s firing strives to distance the company from anything related to the orchestrated online campaign of harassment and defamation that was raging against her, their timing in dealing with the issue is dubious at best. Unfortunately, the company seems oblivious to the consequences of their actions, not realizing the perceived victory it handed to the online hate groups who are now pursuing the dismissal of other women game developers by derision and defamation to their companies. By now, we would expect that all game development and publishing companies would be fully aware of negative social media dynamics and be more discerning of online feedback, as well as more protective of their employees — especially their employees of diverse backgrounds. Many have become proactive and aware but this industry obviously needs to make more progress.”
The IGDA represents about 8,000 members worldwide. Edwards has been an advocate for those who make games, and recently, she’s been taking on the issue of “crunch time” (working long hours and weekends to make milestone and shipping deadlines) and how it affects game developers and other employees.