IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened Game Developers

August 16, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) revealed that it plans to start a number of support groups for developers who have found themselves on the business end of harassment and threats of violence by angry gamers on a regular basis. The news was revealed as part of Polygon's report on online harassment and threats that are frequently leveled against game developers.

IGDA director Kate Edwards told Polygon in the report that the organization dedicated to developers plans to set up groups for developers who are the victims of death threats, threats of sexual violence, or generally repulsive comments from the community.

Edwards says that, while harassment isn't having a huge impact on the video game industry yet, "we're at the cusp of where it could... Harassment silences and repositions content creators in ways that protect the interests of certain fan groups, which again is no justification for the kinds of abusive behavior and language seen online today."

"We're getting to a point where we're thinking, 'Yeah, it's becoming something we're going to need to talk about.' It might be time to consider doing a more explicit support group or mechanism to help people who are dealing with this sort of thing," she added.

Source: Gamasutra

 


Comments

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

Sad thing is, from watching this topic on a number of boards, Neo_DrKefka's attitude is a pretty common one.  Any time I see someone ranting about why abusive behavior is ok because the victims somehow deserve it I wonder just how much it bleeds into their offline life.  I have known too many victims of real life bullying, abuse, assault, and rape where their attacker manages to come up with some 'cry me a river' reason for why the victims deserved whatever they got.

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

Cry me a river problem is most of these developers are former teen nazi administrators at your ancient infopop or vbulletin boards who have poor or no social skills. Problem is they feel the average gamer is a fan and not a customer which leads to them treating their customer like a little peon like at your local final fantasy fan site forum. If you cannot sell or talk to people then you need not become the face of your company. It's like Stanley Woo of Bioware. If you have to talk down to your customers what makes you think they will respect and keep buying your product. Think of Dennis Dyack. Even after starting a new company their company cannot escape from the bad press he causes and the way he spoke to the community and now he is paying IGN, and Gamespot for good interviews to talk about how kind he is. Game developers do need support groups though. They need to come to terms if you act like the local grammar nazi to your customers you will have problems. If companies like Best Buy, JC Penny or honestly any company out there would you expect customers to give those people respect? But fellow nerds and liberal activist bloggers will give a pass to their local game developer and they expect their customers to be silent. Think of the ME3 debacle well the gaming press went after Bioware customers for daring to question Bioware the real news outlets actually made a huge story with Bioware.

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

I do admire your attempt to demonstrate the level of crazy the support groups are to help against, but there's not quite enough "I'm going to kill your dog and rape your kids" in there.

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

Again we see game developer apologists. It's like some people who support these developers see them as 'innocent' and above criticism. They are never wrong and anyone who questions them had to be a homophobe or just bat •••• crazy. When a major league player or CEO attacks customers or says things to tick off customers people rightfully speak out against them. But for game developers any criticisms is an attack on their holy virtues. Maybe the hardcore minority and game developers don't get it but like any other company if you make a product and it pisses off people customers will complain. Now most companies would have a copy and paste marketing response but a game developer with no public relations skills nor experience talking to people goes out and talks to customers like they don't get it and they are the little people. In the real world the customer is always right. In the game developers mind and with the hardcore minority of the gaming world they feel the developer is always right and the customer must shut up and know his place.

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

In the real world the customer is always right.

I'm pretty sure more than 95% of people who have to deal with customers in the "real world" disagree strongly with that sentiment.

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

We've all dealt with that demanding customer. In fact we have one who comes in and works at a bottom end job but he expects a service done. If we or someone at the company does not do their job correctly or says something out of line he makes sure to get the service he deserves. Many get upset at him but he is asking for nothing different then what I would expect if I where to go to his job and expect him to bag my groceries correct and smile. If you do not do a good job I have a right to complain and be serviced. The mentality that the customer is always wrong and they should know their place is an uppity attitude of yuppies who prob should leave the customer service and the marketing to the professionals.

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

"The customer is always right" is a foolish mentality as well.

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

It's brilliant if you apply it in its original spirit, which is to say, "The customer is never right, but you patronize them and treat them like they're smart and right and important and special and then give them nothing except a light ego rub."

Businesses never put the customer on this pedestal they supposedly once did. "The customer is always right," is one of the most insidious ways they demeaned and victimized customers.

Re: IGDA Planning Support Groups for Harassed and Threatened ...

The mentality that the customer is always wrong and they should know their place is

a mentality I did not voice, nor did the people who started those support groups, and it is disingenuous to say otherwise.

 
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