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It's just a game people! Game developer harassment on the rise...

By on August 19, 2013 3:09:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

tjashen

Join Date 03/2009
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I was doing my internet rounds today, and came across this article:

http://www.polygon.com/2013/8/15/4622252/plague-of-game-dev-harassment-erodes-industry-spurs-support-groups

 

While I know that playtesting discussions, etc. can get heated at times, it is important to remember that, at the end of the day, we are talking about a GAME(s) people, and that death threats, etc. really are not appropriate!  I haven't noted that behavior here, but in the larger context this discussion is still relevant, as the game developers are a community too!

So, I'd just like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Stardock Gaming staff for 'putting themselves on the line' in order to provide us some fun time.  It is very much appreciated!

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August 19, 2013 3:44:51 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Well it's not surprising.., have you noted how violent people became the last 20years? Murders at schools, or very violent actions for no important reasons and mostly from young people who are affected by abundance of media violence. Now think people who are addicted to gaming their perfect virtual world, game release date is postponed, an update changes the rules or worse creates bugs and they freak out.

They will harass game devs for something not working, ruining their game experience and some of them crazy enough to go even further to make real threats.

Thats the beautiful world we live in today..

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August 19, 2013 3:49:50 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Some game developers need a thicker skin...

 

People dump food on the entry to a restaurant they think slighted them, piss on bathroom walls, cuss out tech support, all kinds of stuff.  Anyone that puts their ass on the internet like that is going to get verbally raped at some point just because they're asking for it.  It's not particular to games, it's not even particular to the internet.  Going to someone's house to call them a fucking fag because they wrote a story for a 3d shooter is just too much effort for zero audience.  You put up a twitter feed though?  Thanks for the platform, seconds to post, thousands of hits!

 

Life sucks.  Some of us are just assholes, and some assholes have a raging inferiority complex because of impotence issues.  Running away just gives them a sense of accomplishment.

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August 21, 2013 2:15:09 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It's mostly 15 year olds. They also make terrorist threats sometimes. They also threaten schools, teachers, their parents, police, government officials, anything and everyone they can. They just don't care and as the article states, there are no consequences. There's just no respect anymore. But it's a depressed and angry minority, you shouldn't take those things so seriously, they have to vent their own anger because they don't know how to handle it, because they haven't grown up yet.

I think the solution is simple: block posts or emails that contain the words KILL + YOU and let the sender know that it was blocked and that such language is harmful and not appreciated.

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August 21, 2013 10:02:06 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

It's mostly 15 year olds. They also make terrorist threats sometimes. They also threaten schools, teachers, their parents, police, government officials, anything and everyone they can. They just don't care and as the article states, there are no consequences. There's just no respect anymore. But it's a depressed and angry minority, you shouldn't take those things so seriously, they have to vent their own anger because they don't know how to handle it, because they haven't grown up yet.

I think the solution is simple: block posts or emails that contain the words KILL + YOU and let the sender know that it was blocked and that such language is harmful and not appreciated.

Well the problem with something like the FEZ incident was that a Journalist started to talk shit about him. And it just flamed up from there. Sure people complain shit on forums and nobody gives a fuck but when the media does the same. Of course there was probably more than that one incident but still...

How the hell do you block such a public message to "Not Buy this Piece of Shit and Block Him From Coverage"?

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August 22, 2013 1:12:42 AM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Actually, violence is very much down... and has been going down over any time span... centuries to decades to years... quite contrary to popular belief.  We have invited, into our homes, devices which are prone to show us as much violence as it can.

This creates a false impression that the world is more violent, when the opposite is true.

It's just that we didn't have 500 channels + bazillions of web pages 20 years ago.

The *information* has changed the color of things.

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August 22, 2013 1:25:01 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting rci137,
This creates a false impression that the world is more violent, when the opposite is true.

 

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September 5, 2013 1:43:13 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Game developers are going to be getting more famous/influential and since they wanted to appeal to the mass audience they get all the fun stuff that comes along with it.  Its a two sided coin, they shouldn't complain about their new problems, as their collective ambitions got them where they are to begin with.  

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September 5, 2013 2:44:15 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Just because a problem is accepted doesn't make it acceptable.

 

Just look at some of the crap Brad says he has had to deal with over the last decade (including death threats with some details)

 

 

 

 

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September 5, 2013 9:23:25 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I'm sorry but the anger out there directed at devs is the same passion they are trying to seek out when they make games. If you fuck shit up people get mad. If people were not getting that angry over your game they would not be spending even half as much money as they do currently on it because that would mean they didn't care about it one way or the other.

 

For every person who loves with the burning passion of 1000 suns your change to their favorite genre or your expansion of games as a whole there is another who hates it with every fiber of their being and maybe steals some fibers from the guy next to them to hate it more. That's how passion works.

 

If you don't like it do something else. I'll trade some internet death threats for those fans that put 1000 dollars into my game any day of the week.

 

The strength of emotions you bring out in the audience is where all your money comes from and you can't whine when you get hit by the other side of the coin.

 

This excludes certain things like bigotry against race/gender/ethnicity/orientation. That's got nothing to do with passion, its just bigotry. But wishing that that guy who ruined Diablo3 got run over by a bus is a natural continuance from playing Diablo2 and running Mephisto 3000 times for optimal barbarian gear.

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September 6, 2013 5:01:18 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Nice in theory, but lots and lots of crap will take its toll after a while.

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September 6, 2013 12:24:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

Nice in theory, but lots and lots of crap will take its toll after a while.

If they don't seek it, they need not worry.  If they feel the need to ask/observe mainstream fans they will have to take responsibility for the risk of negative feedback.  

I'm sure with the sad state of work culture across the US many people understand that constant criticism wears on people, so the "theory" remark is a bit unnecessary.  Developers should get a thicker skin and don't seek fights that they can't win and don't cry when they make obvious tactical errors.

There is a reason why PR people get paid, stop whining and foot the bill, and move on.  Perpetuating a confrontational relationship with your fan base is a good way to punch yourself in the balls, as your smarter competitors will kiss their fans asses and laugh their way to the bank(long term).

Think first, then act.

 

 

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September 6, 2013 3:42:15 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting sareth01,


Quoting GeomanNL, reply 10
Nice in theory, but lots and lots of crap will take its toll after a while.

If they don't seek it, they need not worry.  If they feel the need to ask/observe mainstream fans they will have to take responsibility for the risk of negative feedback.  

I'm sure with the sad state of work culture across the US many people understand that constant criticism wears on people, so the "theory" remark is a bit unnecessary.  Developers should get a thicker skin and don't seek fights that they can't win and don't cry when they make obvious tactical errors.

There is a reason why PR people get paid, stop whining and foot the bill, and move on.  Perpetuating a confrontational relationship with your fan base is a good way to punch yourself in the balls, as your smarter competitors will kiss their fans asses and laugh their way to the bank(long term).

Think first, then act.

But then what happens to the Small Indie Developer that can't afford a PR guy?

Thing is in the Gaming Industry as it is today, you need as much mainstream attention as you can. The problem is that it isn't developers going out and seeking this shit. Much of the time the shit comes to them because people just want to for really no justifiable reasoning.

I find the idea "Oh just get a thicker skin and take it like a man" remark really conceited. Not every person is the same in character and frankly it would be boring as fuck if it was. Lack of thick skin shouldn't be a determining factor if they should pursue their passions or not.

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September 6, 2013 4:49:13 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The Frog comes on the forum and dicks around with his customer base on a regular basis.  Every now and then he gets flamed for no reason as a result.  He also gets a bunch of people boosting his ego for similarly insufficient cause.

 

When you make a product, and people pay you for it, it's an act of commerce.  Thank you from both sides is a polite bit of fluff, an unnecessary nicety.  FOAD instead of thank you is just a bit of a polarity change.

 

Not everyone can do every job.  I don't like people, as can readily be identified from my posts, my diplomatic skills are zero.  I can't be a PR guy.  I can't be the Small Indy Developer that lives on his forum and hangs out with all his buddies.  I'd find the worshipers annoying, and tell the whiners to all go fuck themselves with the business end of a pitch fork.  I'd need to stay away from "personal" interaction.

 

I don't have what it takes any more than the sad sap that breaks down and cries because someone on the internet said mean things about them.  Know your limits, accept them, and get over it.  Expecting your fantasy land to accommodate you is an unrealistic outlook on life.  The world population will never be a wholly polite body of uniform responses.  If you can't grow a thicker skin, then stop standing on the line of fire.  Encouraging them does not make them stop.

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September 7, 2013 5:26:33 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Everyone can learn people skills.  That doesn't just mean developers, it means fans too.

You can be passionate about what you hate (or love) about a game without being nasty or creepy or ridiculous.  Just because someone posts something which you find provocative or wrong doesn't mean you should go in with PPGs a-blazin'.

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September 7, 2013 4:45:44 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Rovert10,


Quoting sareth01, reply 11

Quoting GeomanNL, reply 10
Nice in theory, but lots and lots of crap will take its toll after a while.

If they don't seek it, they need not worry.  If they feel the need to ask/observe mainstream fans they will have to take responsibility for the risk of negative feedback.  

I'm sure with the sad state of work culture across the US many people understand that constant criticism wears on people, so the "theory" remark is a bit unnecessary.  Developers should get a thicker skin and don't seek fights that they can't win and don't cry when they make obvious tactical errors.

There is a reason why PR people get paid, stop whining and foot the bill, and move on.  Perpetuating a confrontational relationship with your fan base is a good way to punch yourself in the balls, as your smarter competitors will kiss their fans asses and laugh their way to the bank(long term).

Think first, then act.


But then what happens to the Small Indie Developer that can't afford a PR guy?

Thing is in the Gaming Industry as it is today, you need as much mainstream attention as you can. The problem is that it isn't developers going out and seeking this shit. Much of the time the shit comes to them because people just want to for really no justifiable reasoning.

I find the idea "Oh just get a thicker skin and take it like a man" remark really conceited. Not every person is the same in character and frankly it would be boring as fuck if it was. Lack of thick skin shouldn't be a determining factor if they should pursue their passions or not.

 

Its the same thing as not being smart enough, or creative enough, or having a solid enough work ethic. Not everyone can be successful at game development for a multitude of reasons. Yet we don't ever hear complaints that its unfair that I can't focus well enough or work long enough to make a game.

That's my personal problem. Its extremely hard for me to sit down and do certain parts of game dev. My mind just refuses to cooperate. Although I haven't tried any medical help. People are always complaining about what they would do if they had my intelligence. Well, I think the same thing about their tedium tolerance.

Similarly, I don't have much patience for people who dream of millions loving their creative output who can't handle the reality that their work isn't up to par, or maybe is just the wrong direction for the current mainstream culture.

You are not entitled to have people like what you like, a lesson I learned the hard way in social situations over my life.

And if you are like Phil Fish, or myself honestly, and you enjoy shitposting, you need to accept the consequences of that.

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September 8, 2013 12:02:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

But then what happens to the Small Indie Developer that can't afford a PR guy?

As a small indy developer you need to be exceptional.  A lot is riding on you, so you must have the mindset to overcome your own weaknesses.  Yes, intolerance of other people's crap is a weakness, as the greatest strength in our society comes from team efforts.  Our society does love to laud the individual, yet most of those individuals are a part of a well organized, capable team.  

So, what I would do is this:  Read the book "Aristotle's Treatise on Rhetoric" for starts, you will realize that discussion is intimately detailed and worth your technical attention(this will have carry over effects, like you making better characters in your game because you understand people better, more intelligent dialogue, etc.).  Take a public speaking class overcome the fear based mindset that is usually indoctrinated into us from grade school.  If you can't overcome your own fear or inability, then you try harder.  In this case, the only real obstacle is you, practice, get it right.

To be a good team member you need to be a good communicator.  If you are not you will likely sink, as this skill is absolutely REQUIRED if you are going to succeed with a team.

If you don't need a team, good luck, you will more than likely fail.  But failure is good, as long as you learn from it.  

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September 8, 2013 2:56:13 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Excellent sareth   

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September 16, 2013 5:19:16 AM from JoeUser Forums JoeUser Forums

Quoting sareth01,


But then what happens to the Small Indie Developer that can't afford a PR guy?

As a small indy developer you need to be exceptional.  A lot is riding on you, so you must have the mindset to overcome your own weaknesses.  Yes, intolerance of other people's crap is a weakness, as the greatest strength in our society comes from team efforts.  Our society does love to laud the individual, yet most of those individuals are a part of a well organized, capable team.  

So, what I would do is this:  Read the book "Aristotle's Treatise on Rhetoric" for starts, you will realize that discussion is intimately detailed and worth your technical attention(this will have carry over effects, like you making better characters in your game because you understand people better, more intelligent dialogue, etc.).  Take a public speaking class overcome the fear based mindset that is usually indoctrinated into us from grade school.  If you can't overcome your own fear or inability, then you try harder.  In this case, the only real obstacle is you, practice, get it right.

To be a good team member you need to be a good communicator.  If you are not you will likely sink, as this skill is absolutely REQUIRED if you are going to succeed with a team.

If you don't need a team, good luck, you will more than likely fail.  But failure is good, as long as you learn from it.  

 

Truth for win! +1

However if you F-up a grognard-esque IP to cater to console playing bros, and your monetization strategy focuses on the 3% of your high paying customers and making them pay out the wazoo.... you better batten down the hatches and/or expect to go into hiding. (frowns in the direction of PGI)

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September 16, 2013 7:57:15 AM from Little Tiny Frogs Forums Little Tiny Frogs Forums

Quoting MarvinKosh,

Everyone can learn people skills.  That doesn't just mean developers, it means fans too.

You can be passionate about what you hate (or love) about a game without being nasty or creepy or ridiculous.  Just because someone posts something which you find provocative or wrong doesn't mean you should go in with PPGs a-blazin'.

Fez's problem was that he got too much spot light too fast. He didn't have time to build the thicker skin and gain the written communication skills to avoid a lot of grief.

Ive been online for over 25 years and I still make big PR mistakes. The toxicity of the millennials has outpaced my skill growth rate.  

The biggest problem game devs face is the tabloidizatiin of the gaming media. They profit from creating misery.

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September 16, 2013 9:48:03 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Frogboy loves it when I harass him!  Of course, my harassment, is the sexual kind

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September 16, 2013 11:08:19 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,

 

The biggest problem game devs face is the tabloidizatiin of the gaming media. They profit from creating misery.

Oh how I shake my fist!!!

I was trying out an IPad this past week and I gotta say, I'm soaring unimpressed and very much disappointed. Sure...it's easily accessable...but at such a high cost to processing power and effectiveness...that's tablets are still just truly not worth it to do anything worthwhile on.

Worst off is the app craze. The obsession with giving away free apps to lure players in...often children...only to encourage spending hoards of coin on frivelous and useless game elements. That money could be put towards high quality games!!! Instead, it's being put towards 'getting another spin'.

Misery is an understatement. I'm still throwing out the theory that when the cloud takes over and the majority of users transfer over to tablet, the end of the PC relvolution will be near. Technology will slow to a grind.

 

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September 16, 2013 11:47:47 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I throw out the theory that time speeds up, slows down and can do different things in different pockets.

Oh sorry, we were talking about rich cash-in dudes' pockets?  Oh yeah, less money for those pockets.

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September 16, 2013 2:14:19 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

The toxicity of the millennials has outpaced my skill growth rate.

Is it toxicity or passion?  The initial perspective/bias of the viewer has a demonstrable impact on how this is viewed.  I would also say that the culture of the corporate executive has its own bias, that you trust statisticians that coin this millennial term in their work so that they can define an undefinable bump on a curve, because "they know what they are doing".  I personally think they coin a different term for each successive generation to create a subtle bias that separates the next generation in a persons mind so that the divide and conquer strategy can be consistently exercised on society.  It happened to your generation, it will happen to ours, in a different way.  

I would say that the passion of this generation is far more subtle than the last(which is why it seems that the corporate world is scrambling for data), and a greater "threat" to our highly militarized society.  Yet, this passion is misunderstood.  This is how society regenerates, this passion is a strength to break old ways of thinking (assuming in this instance power systems are derived from controlling sexual need, like old religions). Thought diversity is important in a society, although western civilization has rarely ever seen in that way. 

Passion often fades with age and facing the passion of the new generation can be daunting and perplexing.  this passion is often misunderstood by the older generation because with age your hormonal production decreases and you just don't "feel it" anymore.  The biggest issue is that this is often used by media to divide parents from their children, employers from their young employees(mass media youth worship).  This employer/employee relationship helps to maintain the exploitative culture of business and to justify many actions that have little to no thought on morality for the older generation that preys upon the younger.  Its a mark of our militarized culture, that we don't care, and this is intended because the USA is a great tool in beating down unruly plebs in our worldwide society.   

You do not have the ability to fight the wave, its bigger than me and you.  This is a new wave that you are trying to catch, to stay competitive and you can't miss it.  I wouldn't get bogged down in metrics that don't address the core issues that millennials have, I haven't read one yet that is even on or near to the mark.  From the one's I have read, the metrics are more about using old ideas to apply to this new generation, which is a flaw in reasoning.  You can tell that these firms haven't hired many millennials, and the ones that they might have hired are probably so indoctrinated with dogmatic thought processes(an IV league education) that their analysis is mostly irrelevant.

Anyways, my thoughts, for what they are worth. The course of action remains up to you skipper, we are observing how you steer your ship because Stardock is an interesting company.

PS: I enjoy the delicate subtlety at which you approach a public conversation with me, maybe you should hire me.  

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September 22, 2013 12:22:54 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Frogboy,



The biggest problem game devs face is the tabloidizatiin of the gaming media. They profit from creating misery.

 

Most game journos would say they have pressure to do from the outside.  They don't really have that much independence.  It's really hard to make a living in gaming journalism.

 

 

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September 22, 2013 6:22:29 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Considering most of them are useless, I find that understandable...

 

I stopped reading articles on video games because I got tired of them being wrong.  Every time I bought a game based on articles, the decision was based on misleading and often outright false information.  Every time I read game articles on things I'd already played, they were filled with inaccurate information.

 

I've seen similar views to mine more often than not, if it's hard to survive in the industry, it's by their own doing.  Hell would freeze over before I wasted money on game reviews simply because I know I'm just going to get railroaded into whatever AAA POS it is they're pushing that month.  The advertisements will probably be less biased and inaccurate than the reviews.

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