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.