IGDA calls for transparent guidelines on game studio social media and harassment following Guild Wars 2 dust-up

    
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Regardless of who you believe had the right and wrong of the ArenaNet Twitter fiasco last week, game developers have expressed concern over the way it was handled and the potential impact on the greater industry. As Gamasutra noted, the International Game Developers Association has put out a blog post urging developers to demand that companies “clarify the guidelines and expectations around social media use, both in professional and personal accounts,” specifically referencing the recent Guild Wars 2 firings. Moreover, IGDA says, companies should be transparent about how they will “protect [their] talent from internet harassment mobs.”

“Game developers are also frequently targeted for harassment, particularly if they are members of under-represented communities,” IGDA Executive Director Jen MacLean writes. “Companies must plan for how they will support their staff members in the event of online harassment, and should clearly communicate the resources they will make available to their team to have safe, productive, and positive interactions online, especially if they are expected to do so in their roles.”

Relatedly, MMORPG veteran Raph Koster reposted slides from an older talk on Twitter that homes in on how community management has changed thanks to the “culture wars.” The 2015 GDC talk, which would’ve come out on the heels of the initial round of Gamergate, discusses large-scale communities, the problems of anonymity, the blurring of lines between communities and staff thanks to things like Kickstarter and social media, the rise of mobbing and harassment, and how game companies can head off the “negative feedback loops” that create just these kinds of fiascos without necessarily putting all of the hard work on the very people most at risk.

Further reading on the incident and ensuing fallout:

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kalamari_
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kalamari_

okay, then again:

Bree: “the sub is in full fanboy mode to go to war with the press for giving JP airtime.”

this is not true. the gw2 com (I dont speak for all the asshat GG OR SJW bandwagoners that flooded that sub to fight for their agendas) is NOT at war with the press for giving JP airtime. we are pissed that the press reports mostly one-sided and deliberately lets facts out out of the picture to ONLY support JP side.

thats what pisses us (the gw2 com) off.

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Jason

Ah, the narrative has been shifted from “Toxic arenanet devs fired for bullying a player” to “Innocent devs thrown to misogynistic internet lynch mob by evil arenanet”

Did it really take some people suffering consequences for their behavior for gaming companies to say “Okay we need guidelines for twitter”

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AUTiger0325

From an outside view it would seem that ArenaNet was allowing her to use her twitter the way she always had. She did not get fired over other tweets that many would find offensive. However when she started attacking the GW2 community it had an adverse reaction not only on Reddit and Twitter but also on the official forums for GW2. In any industry you work in, if you do something that damages the image of the company, you risk being fired. A few years ago a girl took a picture of herself being disgraceful to a tombstone of a soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. She also had pictures of herself at work in the same feed. They fired her. And most of the country celebrated that. This is only different because she is claiming sexism.

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???? ???'? ???? ??'? ??? ?????.®

You mean the woman shouting at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier flipping the bird next to the sign that said “silence and respect”? I found an article where she was crying about how “she lost her job, can’t date and now lives in fear”. OK, the fear of backlash and career, sure. I am not heartless. But “I can’t get no nookie now!”, really? Maybe there was an issue before why you had a hard time finding love. What could that be?

Tizmah
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Tizmah

It’s like these people never actually held a real job before.

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starbuck1771

They haven’t. They expect to say what they want and not accept the consequences for their actions. Welcome to the real world. They should conduct themselves professionally at all times.

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starbuck1771
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kgptzac

If something good comes to fruit following this fiasco, then this is probably the best candidate.

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Fred Douglas

Game developers are some of the most mistreated workers around. They have almost no stability. I abandoned it for teaching because of how corporate dominated and powerless the workers are.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

I may be ignorant as to how but I posted this article on the GW2 subreddit and it immediately got brigaded with down votes. It shows a 55% user up vote and (puts tinfoil hat on) ANet has been known to control voting on their own sub… very strange indeed.

Cyclone Jack
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Cyclone Jack

A company shouldn’t need to tell their employees, “Don’t be an ass.” It should be common sense for a grown adult.

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Brown Jenkin

Frankly a great idea imo. In plenty of walks of professional life social media is best avoided, from the past week or so it seems clear that game development is one of those spheres. Not much to gain (aside from infamy/fame I guess) and plenty to lose.