• 20Feb

    The ire of the Internet gets it wrong

    Ah Internet. Sometimes you seem to only be filled with idiots. After reading Destructoid’s article on a BioWare writer being attacked on the internet, I can only feel disgust.

    BioWare, is an amazing company. They have an amazing track record and are filled with amazing talent. A couple of weekends ago we gave away keys to unlock the Mass Effect demo early. It was our most visited post all month. Gamers were begging offering bribes. It’s astonishing to think that only a week later there would be a group of gamers also attacking that same company.

    Everyone knows that fighting on the internet is a losing battle. Both sides look bad, no one wins and it’s just a bundle of negativity. This is the only fault I can see in BioWare’s GM Aaryn Flynn and Jennifer Hepler. It’s awesome to see Flynn come to her defense, but at the same time you just can’t win when being attacked on the Internet. In fact the talk right now isn’t even about the original topic and has moved on to attacking BioWare.

    Gamers involved in the attack should be ashamed of yourselves. This is why gamers are perceived badly and anything aimed at gamers has the humor a moron would enjoy. Shame on you for attacking this BioWare employee first for being a woman and second for having an opinion. That’s all it is folks….a fricken opinion. From what I understand it was a suggestion in an interview from months ago that Hepler did with her husband. Maybe you don’t agree with her idea. Maybe you don’t like her writing. But disagree with that. The fact that she’s a female has nothing to do with the matter. The only thing it proves is that Gamers on the Internet still are not accepting of women working at games companies. It shows that women are still second class citizens in their own fandoms and it’s ridiculous. Shame on you.

    Secondly, behave like adults. I’m extremely surprised (although maybe I shouldn’t be) that the people disagreeing with Hepler, have said very little about the thing they disagree with. Even fewer offer any points of discussion as to why her opinion won’t work. Instead they choose to attack her personally.  She’s a writer for some pretty big games in recent years, but lets not forget that it doesn’t just take one person to put a game together.  It takes an entire team of people to put these games together and release them.  Teams of people that are gender and racially diverse.  Her opinions about the way she might like to see games played (or not) has nothing to do with the writing she’s done on previous games, her gender, or her looks.

    But, what has happened, not only in the comments of the Destructoid post, but all over is that Helper has been harassed repeatedly for her opinion.  Her last post on Twitter is asking @support if there’s a way to delete her account.  People have called her all sorts of names under the sun, a good deal of them misogynistic nonsense that has nothing to do with her opinions on game play, and everything to do with the type of person she is.  People have called her house to harass her, and followed her, and it should be mentioned – those people supporting her- all over Twitter and Tumblr to continue to the harassment.

    What we need is to show BioWare, all women in games and Jennifer support.  Maybe we don’t agree with her.  That’s cool, totally your prerogative.  Not everyone is going to agree with every game developer, writer, designer, artist, ect.  Ever.  We’d be out of jobs if they did, because we’d love every game that graced the shelves.  We don’t.

    But the harassment has to stop.  Disagree with her opinion all you like, but let’s not forget that we’re all people on the other sides of these keyboards.  And, no one deserves to be treated this way.

175 comments
peterson483
peterson483

Just play the game the way you want and let others play the way they want, it's really as simple as that. If you want to play it on hardcore go ahead, if the next person wants to play it on narrative, nothing wrong with that either. I honestly don't get why everyone is giving this one woman, who had nothing to do with this game, so much flack for some decisions the development team made. 

 

Also, Bioware has even said they would prefer that male Shepard not be in a relationship with another male, but added it anyway so the fans that do want to can. I don't get why that is suddenly a big deal, since two females technically can and no one seems to be making a big deal about that.

 

It's quite disgusting how there's still so much sexism in the gaming community, people seriously need to grow up. Females are going to play games and that should be the end of the story, because all everyone wants is to have a good time doing something they enjoy and that just happens to be playing video games, whether it be on console or pc or handheld/mobile device.

GamingAngels
GamingAngels

We are getting attacked by trolls right now, but good to know the GA community gets it

Krissie Wade Richardson
Krissie Wade Richardson

This is why I'm going to go into EDI when I graduate this winter with my interactive multimedia degree.

GNitro
GNitro

The reaction around the internet, and the immaturity coming from fools hiding behind keyboards and the "anon" moniker is pretty disgusting. The woman is a writer plain and simple. You don't have to like to play games to be a game writer. Many video games have been worked on by numerous TV and Film writers, and many I would assume have never touched a video game.

Also why the anger towards an opinion of having the option to skip combat.The keyword in her suggestion is OPTION. You won't be forced to skip combat, but someone who may get stuck or just wants to run through story is able to. If they choose to spend their hard earned money to enjoy only the story so be it, and you can go spend your hard earned money taking in the entire experience.

I fail to see how she is specifically a bad writer. There are many writers on a video game, not just one. Do you know every line of the game she penned, every scene, description and so forth? I highly doubt it, and should stop making asinine assumptions.

Yes she fought back, but what do you expect? She was being viciously attacked, and in a very personal manner. Could she have taken the high road? Yes, and she should have. Regardless of that fact, it does not excuse the actions and vitriol thrown at her before and after she began her responses.

All I ask is what many of the more intelligent and civil people are asking, stop with the nonsense. It is not difficult to have civilized and respectful conversations on this. The more you act like the lowest scum of the internet wrongly caller her a cancer, the more these companies will act like your opinion doesn't matter.

starven
starven

@crunchychocobo Wow, reading some of the comments and I just hang my head in shame. Sad at how some people act online.

MTClifford
MTClifford

The problem is here you have made it about sex. It has nothing to do with her being male or female. It is the content of what she said. Are there some misogynistic trolls making hay out of this? Yes. But a lot of people are concerned with the content of her character and of the direction she said she wants to take games. The fact that you decide to turn this into a divisive male/female issue says a lot about your agenda.

Jack_Cade
Jack_Cade

Unfortunately, this is all getting predictable now. People like you write articles like this which, whilst entirely on the money, mostly repeat what has been pointed out time and time again elsewhere. Then you get bombarded with gibbering posts from a tiny portion of North America, from rich kids with no sense whatsoever of their own vast and unwieldy entitlement and privilege, who can't even see their own rampant fear and distrust of women in power for what it is.So you get blasted as being a 'feminazi' and other things for pointing out the obvious. But yeah, plenty of us can see exactly what's going on here. And ultimately, on a big cultural scale, the idiots are losing. That's why they're so frothy and incensed about it. They know damn well that in ten years, half the gaming industry could be made up of Jennifer Heplers writing games for a broader audience, and their sad little coterie will be relegated to bitchy fan sites, where no one will ever listen to them.

blow yourself candyass
blow yourself candyass

I don't hate her for being a landwhale, i hate helper because she is the cancer that is killing RPG

GamingAngel
GamingAngel moderator

Someone wrote me personally about their complaints and I wrote him back with this. I really appreciate the awesome discussion we are having:

Hi! Thank you for writing me personally to express your thoughts. I appreciate that. It seems that many people are stating that Bioware's forums are not conducive to discussion. They mention user bans etc. I haven't been on the forums so I can't say either way. Although it does disappoint me to hear this. I do believe in the voice of fans. That's why I started GamingAngels 7 years ago. I felt that the Industry wasn't respecting or listening to their female fans. I encourage and help others that want to start up video game sites to get their voice out. I was on a panel this year talking exactly about this. My fear is that BioWare isn't listening because honestly...look at how these people explain themselves. It's full of emotion and goes to horrible name calling pretty quickly. I can't tell if they are capable of a discussion. In order to get your point across you really do have to leave emotion at the door. I don't think you are being a dick. You're an upset fan. It does seem like this has been brewing. Many of my staff loved DA2, so I'm not sure why so many seem to hate the writing. But again, trust me that a company has an rss reader that looks for when they are mentioned. If you and your friends are upset with the way things are going and you don't want to stop buying BioWare's games, then start a tumbler or a site and have some real discussion about these issues. Break it down from every angle. See if you can get quotes from women and men about their feelings about what is happening with BioWare. Create a voice and they will be forced to listen. Because also trust me, get enough people and things going, and the other professional sites will mention you. The gender thing I am particularly sensitive to. This is because I know of many women that have left the industry because they have been harassed by trolls personally. Or their company doesn't support them. As a whole there are gender issues in the industry and while I know many people would wish I not point them out, I have to. Currently I mentor young girls encouraging them to go into a career in tech or games. I worked in tech for 14 years. We are giving away a scholarship to a girl to attend National Computer Camp. I also speak to young women about careers in tech at events. I do this because I believe with more diversity comes better ideas. Maybe not all are great ideas, but there are different perspectives and different ideas. This is what I support. Because a creative industry lives and dies by it's ability to create. It can't keep iterating on the past, at some point it has to move forward. The industry needs thinkers and imagineers. Thank you for writing me. I do appreciate it. I only hope you understand where I am coming from.

bourgtai
bourgtai

I look forward to the entire gaming industry's reaction to this. $2 says less than 5% of insiders defend the gaming "community"'s wrath.

spaghettiman
spaghettiman

"What we need is to show BioWare, all women in games and Jennifer support"

I'm assuming that means women should support Hamburger but I can't tell because of the horrid writing

gender neutral my ass

inb4 "UR NOT A BLOG WRITER YOU CAN'T TALK ABOUT WRITING", I don't need to be a writer to criticize writing, same way I don't need to be a writer to know shit writing when I see some

A concerned Netizen
A concerned Netizen

I don't hate her because she is a woman, I hate her because she is a no talent hack that turned a respectable Sci Fi series into stupid yaoi fan fiction.

anon
anon

Its so like a woman to start a crusade because someone doesn't like her.

Irespectyouropinion
Irespectyouropinion

Look, you're going to get butthurt comments for this for a while. These are people passionate about gaming, and they want good writing. DA2 for the serious gamers was a complete let down, and the only information we had as to why was Gaiden and Hepler. Hepler became the symbol of everything wrong with bioware because of her careless statments about "not caring for video games." You tell a crowd of passionate gamers that, and all hell breaks loose. It does resort to name calling, because most gamers do talk shit. It's hard to be civil with this type of subculture.

Jack_Cade
Jack_Cade

@MTClifford Yeah, right. It has everything to do with her being female. You really think there would have been thus much fuss if a male writer had made those arguments? If you do, you're wrong. There would have been disagreement, sure. Maybe even some long internet discussions. But a witch hunt campaign? Dream on. This incident is all to do with over-entitled male gamers petrified out of their tiny minds that games in the future might be made for people other than them.

Jack_Cade
Jack_Cade

@lolminecraft It does matter, because people like you are so achingly obviously incensed by women taking top jobs and having 'disrespectful' opinions of you.

Jack_Cade
Jack_Cade

Yes, yet again it's very telling that a hatred for DA2 (emanating from the kind of morons who buy games without finding out anything about them first) somehow ends up being directed entirely at a female staffer.

bourgtai
bourgtai

@Fringer Rick I got through three quarters of the video and realized something: the writers had nothing to do with choosing who you can and can not speak with, nor did they mandate the streamlining of combat, the conversation tree, the maps, or the party system. If these are your complaints, direct them to the scenario designer, core gameplay designer, world designer, and menu designer. Calling one of the writers fat in this instance is like blaming Industrial Light and Magic for Anakin being wholly unrelateable.

anon
anon

Sentence ends in a period "."

I can troll too, I just do it better.

Dialatroll
Dialatroll

You are a troll. You love the attention. You don't hate anything or anyone. You cannot care for gamers, or any of the bioware products. There is no anger, no frustration, no concern, no emotion to you at all... just that burning need for attention. Congratulations, you have all the attention you wished for. Shame it's worth less than nothing. Happy trolling! x

Jack_Cade
Jack_Cade

So to recap, you hate her because she's a woman who was involved in something that wasn't expressly made for you. Nice.

bourgtai
bourgtai

Hey, concerned Netizen. Watch some Torchwood. Then go fuck yourself.

bourgtai
bourgtai

@Anon It is not fair the way people want different options than you.

anon
anon

That's so unfair!

I can't believe you're comparing a mass ... of person to Joan of Arc.

Jack_Cade
Jack_Cade

"These are people passionate about gaming, and they want good writing."No, they don't. They want crappy writing that ticks all the right escapism boxes for young, imaginatively stunted hetero males. It's when the crappy writing betrays the involvement of people with other perspectives that they get their rage on.

GamingAngel
GamingAngel moderator

But why? Why must gamers be a subculture that lacks civility? We are an older group now. Stats show that gamers are actually adults more than kids. So why can't we have a healthy debate? Why is that too much to expect?

PatrickHurst
PatrickHurst

 @Jack_Cade While the people involved are certainly asshats; I do disagree with you, as would many people.

 

The majority of the inane and asinine comments are coming from children or teens or the same men who spout racist nonsense on xbox live all day.

 

Implying that these teens have an agenda based on entitlement and worry that their games will be taken in weird new directions seems to be giving them too much credit, honestly.

 

Also, let's not pretend these mouth breaths represent the gaming community. They do represent the worst of it; the screeching idiots; but with gaming more popular than Hollywood - or God - they certainly do not represent it's mainstream.

 

Internet anonymity unfortunately breeds this kind of cowardly bullshit.

anon
anon

I see what you did there.

tc
tc

@GamingAngel Because when nobody listens, people start to get upset. Bioware has been extremely condescending to those of us with issues, allowing their forumites to walk all over anyone with a problem, either technical or with the game itself. Some people with legitimate questions or criticisms get warned or banned for what any other company would consider "constructive feedback."

Most of us don't care if writers appeal to different crowds, but to disregard your core demographic IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME SERIES is a giant "screw you" to the fans. We're upset. I think we have a right to be. Maybe not to the point where personal attacks are warranted, but that's just the internet being what it is; this is how people express their ire when nothing else gets attention.

As for claims of misogyny, I think it's nonsense. I'm one of the people watching this from the opposite side as you; a lot of them are huge fans of one of the Guild Wars development who happens to be a woman. I, myself, am a huge fan of the voice actor for GLaDOS, Ellen McLain. Sex has nothing to do with it; we're just upset with the current state of affairs.

tc
tc

@GamingAngel Because when nobody listens, people start to get upset. Bioware has been extremely condescending to those of us with issues, allowing their forumites to walk all over anyone with a problem, either technical or with the game itself. Some people with legitimate questions or criticisms get warned or banned for what any other company would consider "constructive feedback."

Most of us don't care if writers appeal to different crowds, but to disregard your core demographic IN THE MIDDLE OF A GAME SERIES is a giant "screw you" to the fans. We're upset. I think we have a right to be. Maybe not to the point where personal attacks are warranted, but that's just the internet being what it is; this is how people express their ire when nothing else gets attention.

As for claims of misogyny, I think it's crap. I'm one of the people watching this from the opposite side as you; a lot of them are huge fans of one of the Guild Wars development who happens to be a woman. I, myself, am a huge fan of the voice actor for GLaDOS, Ellen McLain. Sex has nothing to do with it; we're just upset with the current state of affairs.

Irespectyouropinion
Irespectyouropinion

@GamingAngel Tell that to the sports fans, who riot cities when they get worked up. The passion becomes irrational, and people lose their senses and respond in a childlike mentality. Gamers don't riot towns, but the equivalent is blowing up the internet with trash talk and trolls. And this news about Hepler isn't new, it's just been recently viewed from the public and has gotten social media attention. Try checking out the bioware forums. There's unrest and anxiety about bioware releases now.

ThissiteisFeminazis
ThissiteisFeminazis

@GamingAngel It's not about civility, it's about people trying to change something you care about for your own personal tastes. How would fans of romance films like it if all the romance was taken out and replaced with violence because one guy wanted it? There are things like film and television and books for people who want stories with no interactivity. The issue is people like Hepler being selfish and wanting to change something just to fit them. It's disgusting that people like that exist, and it's even more disgusting that people like you support it.

Jackosfo
Jackosfo

@GamingAngel We have had healthy debates.

Bioware is a company that calls even well meaning criticism trolling.

And since they only listen to their own forum they have a series case of BANNU

Quinn
Quinn

TC, people getting upset is understandable, and I don't think there is a problem with expressing disgust that a writer for a game would say she doesn't like gaming--that is certainly not the sort of opinion you should be expressing publicly if that is how you make your living! But, to say that you are not misogynistic is not the same as saying the tone of the criticism in general is not misogynistic, or that it is not true that female game professionals get a much larger and harsher response when they say something out of line than male game professionals do. When you are not responding out of misogyny, it is harder to see that others are.

bourgtai
bourgtai

@blow yourself candyass You're pretty astute. Now tell me how a writer has anything to do with gameplay that you didn't enjoy.

bourgtai
bourgtai

Telling a bottom to go fuck himself will not win you any rage points.

bourgtai
bourgtai

"Some people with legitimate questions or criticisms get warned or banned for what any other company would consider "constructive feedback.""

....sssssuch as?

GamingAngel
GamingAngel moderator

Or I just want what's best for this industry I love. I have been gaming since before Pong and have always enjoyed it. As a fan, I want what is best for the industry. I started GamingAngels to get studios attention. To talk about what's good and bad about the industry and hopefully get their ear.

That's why I completely support everyone's right to an opinion. Because it only helps the industry grow. But personal attacks are no way to even start a discussion.

GamingAngel
GamingAngel moderator

I haven't been on their forums, but you are the second person to mention that as a fan you feel like you have not been treated well. I find that sad and disheartening. Hope that at some point a good discussion happens where things can be better for both sides.

Iconcurr
Iconcurr

@GamingAngel Honestly this. Hardcore fans of bioware are being pushed aside for mainstream development. We have lost credibility in Bioware's eye. They gained a very passionate fanbase when they released DA:O. When DA2 came around, they ignored feedback from disheartened fans of the first in order to gain a broader audience. A company can be about profit, I can respect that.. But a company that listens to the community is respected ten fold and would be defended to our dying breaths.

Dialatroll
Dialatroll

@GamingAngel LMAO "unrest" in the bioware forums....oh noes! Holy crap - you couldn't make this stuff up. Hilarious!

Quinn
Quinn

I am a bit late to this thread, but this is ridiculous. Is this one game the only option out there? And, do you really think that only one person might like different options, and no other gamers would like to see this? Creating options for other people is not the same as ruining the game industry. I am sure that Hepler is not working in the vaccuum of her own preferences, but rather responding to feedback she has heard from other people as well. If it were just her own preferences, she could write her own stuff and keep it to herself. She is a professional, I am sure she is aware that games need to sell.

Seriously, widening the types of game options available does nothing to change all gaming experience. Also, calling people disgusting for having different opinions than you do is just ridiculous. If I were a romance film fan and some guy (or woman, for that matter) came along and wrote one film that he called a romance but that turned out to be a violent action flick, I would simply not choose to watch that film. I wouldn't decry the filmmaker as a disgusting person who is trying to ruin romantic films, because that's just silly.

Jack_Cade
Jack_Cade

@GamingAngel "How would fans of romance films like it if all the romance was taken out and replaced with violence because one guy wanted it?"Then it wouldn't be a romance film, would it? Duh. Writers write according to their own ideas of what they would like to read/be involved in, and change things if they genuinely think the change is an improvement. Hepler is no different to anyone else in this regard and the only reason you have a problem with it is because unlike 90% of other game writing, it isn't written specifically for your narrow demographic.

Your 'disgust' is the whine of contemptible indulgence and privilege, and I thoroughly expect you to spend the rest of your days pathetically outraged at things in the world that aren't made just for you.

ThissiteisFeminazis
ThissiteisFeminazis

@GamingAngel Point and click is incredibly different from having no interactivity and just watching cutscenes. It's nothing alike in any way.

anon
anon

@GamingAngel

Have you ever heard of a book? you can go through those as quickly as you want, and there is none of that boring combat crap that has no business being in a game.

GamingAngel
GamingAngel moderator

Have you ever played a point and click game? These tend to be more adventure driven than action driven. There are games out there that do this. Maybe it could be it's own genre. Maybe it's not for you. It's not for me, but that doesn't mean I don't respect someone else's idea.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] few places have complained about how embarrassing this behaviour is for gamers, and have called on gamers to be more [...]

  2. [...] vicious personal attacks. I eventually got fed up reading comments left by more of these punks on a Gaming Angels’ article, and decided to finally speak my piece in the comments of said article. I since decided to post my [...]

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