Ken Levine on Phil Fish, David Vonderhaar, and Internet Rage

July 31, 2013 -

BioShock Infinite developer Ken Levine says that the abuse directed at Call of Duty's David Vonderhaar and Fez developer Phil Fish over the last week has made him sad. Speaking to Eurogamer, Levine explained how he deals with abuse from fans and what he thought about how Phil Fish handled the situation with Marcus Beer from GameTrailers earlier in the week.

"Look, I'm very fortunate, Tom," he told Eurogamer's Tom Bramwell. "Don't play a violin for me. I've got a pretty good life and I get to do cool things. I think it's more actually that it can end up being counterproductive for the gamers' own interests.

Like, for instance, Vonderhaar. If I were him... Especially to start bringing your family into it. I mean, I've had people say threatening things to me. You know, it's like, why would he want to get up the next morning and go try?"

Levine is referring to some in the Call of Duty community who threatened Vonderhaar last week after a patch for Black Ops 2 made some minor changes to a handful of weapons in the game.

Speaking on how Phil Fish handled his interactions with Marcus Beer on Twitter, Levine said:

"I don't want to speak for anyone, but you've seen some major developers starting to... You know, Phil [Fish] I think was probably a... Probably a bit of a... I don't know how well he thought out that reaction. I don't know him very well."

Levine goes on to say that he can understand why some developers who have taken public abuse would decide that it is just easier to walk away from the industry.

Speaking on his own experiences with fans, Levine says that most of his fans are "sweethearts" and that over-the-top criticism and uncouth behavior ultimately hurts gamers:

"And that's what I worry more about is how it affects games. As a gamer, game comes out, I hope it's good, and if I like it I play it and if I don't like it I don't play it, and I think you can get in a strange space where it ends up being counterproductive for the gamers. But for me, it's just part of the job at this part, but I don't think it helps gaming."

Source: Eurogamer


Comments

Re: Ken Levine on Phil Fish, David Vonderhaar, and Internet Rage

> "I don't want to speak for anyone, but you've seen some major developers starting to... You know, Phil [Fish] I think was probably a... Probably a bit of a... I don't know how well he thought out that reaction. I don't know him very well."

 

Really, really like that response, whatever Beer did wrong, that pretty much nails what I think about Fish's reaction.

Re: Ken Levine on Phil Fish, David Vonderhaar, and Internet Rage

I don't think Phil should arbitrarily have to censor himself just because he is (rightfully) a more public figure than Marcus.  That just doesn't make sense.

Re: Ken Levine on Phil Fish, David Vonderhaar, and Internet Rage

Really this whole fiasco would have been avoided (and several other ones in addition) if the concept of the golden rule hadn't been completely neglected because of the internet. If you don't want to be treated with hostility, don't treat people with hostility. This applies to Beer, Fish, or anyone.

Re: Ken Levine on Phil Fish, David Vonderhaar, and Internet Rage

No. That mentality is at the core of "people who get bullied must have done something to encourage it." It's as bad as rape victim asking for it or people segregated somehow justifying their stereotypes. Sometimes it's plain 1 sided and, even when it's not, no side excuse or justifies wrong doing from the other one.

Re: Ken Levine on Phil Fish, David Vonderhaar, and Internet Rage

I'm not excusing any of it. There's no excuse for Beers comments and there's no excuse for the vitriol thrown at fish after the fact. In the same concept, there's no excuse for Fish's attacks either. This entire thing was two grown men acting like five year olds in a name calling fight. As I said before had both men been civil, this would never have blown up like it had.

I'm not giving anyone a free ride here, Why are you giving Fish one?

Re: Ken Levine on Phil Fish, David Vonderhaar, and Internet Rage

I'm not. I have a problem with : "If you don't want to be treated with hostility, don't treat people with hostility."

You shouldn't have to expect hostility. End of story. No if nor but. And, yes, you shouldn't treat others with hostility, no if nor but either. The two aren't linked.

 
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