EDIT: ANET staff publicly representing company should be held to their own standards — Guild Wars 2 Forums

EDIT: ANET staff publicly representing company should be held to their own standards

alaskasnowgirl.6047alaskasnowgirl.6047 Member ✭✭✭
edited July 6, 2018 in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

EDIT:
@Mike O Brien.4613 said:
Recently two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communicating with players. Their attacks on the community were unacceptable. As a result, they’re no longer with the company.

I want to be clear that the statements they made do not reflect the views of ArenaNet at all. As a company we always strive to have a collaborative relationship with the Guild Wars community. We value your input. We make this game for you.

Mo

My new addition/update: Mike O Brien posted this in another thread. I am grateful for ANET doing the right thing here, and doing it promptly. Thank you to everyone who expressed constructive opinions in this thread. While we might not all agree about the outcome, I think many of us can agree that prompt action and a clear statement from ANET on such a controversy so quickly is a good thing.

Thank you for appreciating your customers ANET <3.

ORIGINAL POST:
I will start by saying sorry for the text wall but I felt it was necessary for the issue at hand.

Like many other players, I have seen the Twitter remarks of a certain ANET Dev who not only could not take constructive criticism from a Guild Wars 2 player, and instead went so far as to accuse that player of sexism. I would like to see a constructive dialogue about this between ANET and we (the customers) about this issue. Below is my opinion, and I'd love to hear what other people think. NOTE: PLEASE do not personally attack anyone in this thread. While this is about actions of a dev that many consider to be reprehensible, it would accomplish nothing to attack anyone and would only likely exacerbate the victim mentality that some people seem to have about this topic. We also do not need this thread shut down which will likely happen if people can't be constructive.

My opinion: It is one thing to express private opinions, in private time, and on an account not affiliated with the company. It is another thing to accuse a customer of sexism who was giving feedback that was in no way sexist on a thread that someone (who publicly and prominently displays their relationship to ArenaNet) posted on a public twitter thread about Guild Wars 2. The person who offered constructive criticism was merely offering a possible solution of a branching story line to the problem of developing the character of the player character expressed by the dev. The person who offered constructive criticism did not even disagree fully with the dev's opinion, but rather was discussing potential options.

The response the dev gave was to say, "Today in being a female game dev: "Allow me -- a person who does not work with you -- explain to you how you do your job"". The person who had offered constructive criticism, both before and even after this accusation of sexism was not confrontational at all and did nothing to suggest they were trying to offend the dev. They even apologized for any perceived offense. However, the dev continued to complain about men giving her any sort of constructive criticism or even defending against her vitriol. Just a few of her tweets after this event will give any reader a good idea of the sexism against males this dev, who might I remind everyone is publicly representing the fact that she is an ANET employee on her profile, seems to hold (note: ANET will change any swear words to kitten):

"like, the next rando kitten who attempts to explain the concept of a branching dialogue to me -- as if, you know, having worked in game narrative for a kitten DECADE, I never heard of it -- is getting instablocked. PSA."

"Since we've got a lot of hurt manfeels today, lemme make something clear: this is my feed. I'm not on the clock here. I'm not your emotional courtesan just because I'm a dev. Don't expect me to pretend to like you here."

After reading those quotes, what do you feel about this person publicly representing ANET? How would you feel if, hypothetically, a male dev complained about the "womanfeels" of women who were calling them out for being rude to a gamer over that person's constructive feedback. I personally believe that this dev should be held culpable for their actions. As someone who has devoted a lot of time and money to the game, it bothers me that my hard-earned money has gone towards paying the salary of someone who insults players, lets their radical politics and anti-male attitudes influence their perception of constructive criticism, and does so all with seeming impunity from ANET and with the seeming approbation of at least one of the other devs.

I feel it should be necessary for ANET to take some action on this: at the very least publicly denouncing the employee's opinions as being her own and stating that ANET does not condone them, up to and including termination of employment.

Also, not that I should have to mention it because I don't believe in discounting opinions because of gender unlike certain radical feminists, but I am female, and obviously not being a sexist against my own gender. Furthermore, I have seen a lot of people of conservative political ideologies who haven't said half of the politically charged stuff on Twitter, and who aren't even affiliated publicly with companies, fired from companies over stuff MUCH more tame then the stuff this dev posts; her twitter includes posts in favor of and retweets of the ANTIFA terrorist organization, vitriol towards white people, Christians, and white males, and even a dismissal of the principle of peaceful political protests: she even criticised the humanitarian Ghandi for being too peaceful and posted "kitten. Ghandi" - f-word for when it is changed to kitten.

This kind of hate-filled person should not be representing your company, let alone interacting with players and speaking publicly about the game.

<13456710

Comments

  • @Blocki.4931 said:
    We already have a thread for this, but it is currently locked. I'm hoping it gets unlocked soon, I can definitely understand locking it though because it was pretty vile at times.

    So expect this one to be closed pretty quickly

    Oh I didn't see that one. Hoping this one can stay civil in order to stay unlocked/unclosed.

  • slayerking.3581slayerking.3581 Member ✭✭
    edited July 5, 2018

    @alaskasnowgirl.6047 said:

    @Kraitan.8476 said:
    Better get on reddit instead, matter of time before mods remove this post due to sexism reasons. Kappa

    People have already posted on Reddit and Facebook (where I saw it). Just wanted to make forum-goers aware too. Thanks :)

    Already a few topics about this on here and all of them closed.

  • AliamRationem.5172AliamRationem.5172 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Well, at least in the age of social media we're all equally sensitive to our own feelings. Progress?

  • Talindra.4958Talindra.4958 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I am still confused with what all this is about :P
    I think everyone should back off .. let the person deal with the other person directly.

    Death is Energy [DIE] in EU
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  • Belorn.2659Belorn.2659 Member ✭✭✭
    edited July 5, 2018

    @Haleydawn.3764 said:

    @Vash.2386 said:
    People keep mentioning that it was her personal twitter feed as if it was a private feed.

    It was not her private feed. There is a big difference personal and private.

    You can have a personal public twitter. Her Twitter account is not provided by Anet, which makes it her personal account. If it’s public, which it is, is also fine she can still say what she likes. It’s the fact her personal account is affiliated with working at Anet that’s the problem, and means she needs to hold herself to higher standards when using her personal public account. You can’t post about where you work and what you do, then basically trash talk others who want to have a constructive conversation with you because “it’s my personal account”. No honey. You’ve got a company to represent at that point.

    The problem with the idea of "personal twitter account" is also that it causes further problem since then anet would then not be able to ban or strike players who goes on twitter and harass developers, as then that would be that players personal twitter account. When a developer and player meets, through any medium, it carries with it the standards that we all agree should exist between player and developer.

  • Zoop.1360Zoop.1360 Member ✭✭

    @Belorn.2659 said:

    The problem with the idea of "personal twitter account" is also that it causes further problem since then anet would then not be able to ban or strike players who goes on twitter and harass developers, as then that would be that players personal twitter account. When a developer and player meets, through any medium, it carries with it the standards that we all agree should exist between player and developer.

    Does Arenanet actually do that, though? I've never heard of players being banned for what they do on Twitter. I'm assuming it's mostly because it would be very hard to match Twitter users with their game accounts.

  • Arzurag.7506Arzurag.7506 Member ✭✭✭

    ^^personal comment coming through^^

    "I´m not big on sermons, Broken bones teach better lessons."

  • Tyger.1637Tyger.1637 Member ✭✭✭

    @Haleydawn.3764 said:

    @Vash.2386 said:
    People keep mentioning that it was her personal twitter feed as if it was a private feed.

    It was not her private feed. There is a big difference personal and private.

    You can have a personal public twitter. Her Twitter account is not provided by Anet, which makes it her personal account. If it’s public, which it is, is also fine she can still say what she likes. It’s the fact her personal account is affiliated with working at Anet that’s the problem, and means she needs to hold herself to higher standards when using her personal public account. You can’t post about where you work and what you do, then basically trash talk others who want to have a constructive conversation with you because “it’s my personal account”. No honey. You’ve got a company to represent at that point.

    Her latest media post (July 1st at this point) talks about how she enjoyed working on the dialogue for Long Live The Lich with a youtube video compilation.

  • rrusse.7058rrusse.7058 Member ✭✭

    @Hevoskuuri.3891 said:
    I wish people would stop picking on her already. It should be crystal clear and obvious to every normal person that during the time when those tweets were sent, this dev wasn't completely in her right mind. In fact, her behaviour on twitter today strongly suggests a personality disorder of some kind; seeing personal attacks and insults where there certainly weren't any.

    Nobody in their right state of mind would go and toss around sexists comments and remarks like that, especially directed at the community of their own game. Yes, it's insulting and infuriating, but in this case it is us who should be embarrassed for making fun of a clearly sick person. We are supposed to be the better people, and forgive and understand, and hope they get the treatment they seem to be in need of. Not make fun of it, get insulted and throw her into the mud, demanding apologies and declaring boycott on the entire company. Would you do that to a person with tourette's, who simply can't stop shouting profanities at you because of their illness? I hope not.

    I really don't think whether she was in the right frame of mind or not justifies her current behavior. Also no one as far as I can see has been outright attacking her and have either been critiquing her or are taken aback by her responses. I personally wouldn't support any individual attempting to make any personal attacks towards her, another dev or any individual for that matter. If anyone has been toxic at this point, it would be her and her following.

  • Hevoskuuri.3891Hevoskuuri.3891 Member ✭✭✭

    @alaskasnowgirl.6047 said:
    1. No one is making fun of her or picking on her. That would do nothing constructive.
    2. To dismiss this behavior as mental illness (which it isn't, unless you consider every social justice warrior/radical feminist to be mentally ill) is likely quite insulting to the many people who actually struggle with mental health issues and yet somehow manage to not spew hate at people for constructive criticism.
    3. This is not a one-time mistake. She demonstrates consistency of behavior. Sure, this might be the first time she has blown up at a GW2 fan, but it is very clear from her twitter that she supports a lot of hateful activities including kicking people out of restaurants because you politically disagree with them or doxxing CEOs of companies that do business with US immigration control (she actually retweeted a link to said doxxed email addresses).
    4. Even if she has a personality disorder, why does that justify what she did? Why should ANET retain her as an employee or why would she be publicly representing the company after what has occurred? How is it in ANET's best interest to employ someone who does these things?

    1. Not here, but the three Reddit threads for example are full of pretty unconstructive comments right now, and I think that should be enough.
    2. I'm not dismissing it as anything; I'm simply telling how it is. To put your entire company in a bad light with impulsive social media comments like that, putting your job in jeopardy, and generally just insulting your entire customer base in a fit of rage isn't rational. You either have to be mentally unstable or just very, very stupid to do something like that. It's nowhere near any normal person's sensible behaviour.
    3. This could also support the theory that we are indeed dealing with a mentally unstable individual here; stable people rarely go picking fights without much reason to do so, and they usually can tolerate and respect people with different views up to at least a politically correct level. Again, this looks like mental instability to me.
    4. It doesn't justify anything, but I wanted to get people thinking. If someone starts furiously shouting at you, maybe we should think about it for a second before we start responding to hate with blind hate. I'm not talking about people who want to talk about this constructively, but rather about those mean Redditors and the like, who instantly take the 'eye for an eye' -stance here. It's not all black and white. As for Anet, I personally don't think they should keep her on as an employee after this lashing out, but I think it's silly to judge the entire company based on this and start declaring boycotts. Maybe they should have been more careful examining this dev's background before hiring her, but what's done is done.

    @Tenrai Senshi.2017 said:
    To be honest, I think assuming someone's frame of mind or mental health based on vague comments on a social media thread would be quite irresponsible. I also don't think it's appropriate to write off someone's behavior to such causes simply because that behavior does not coincide with our own expectations or ideals. Not only does it seem condescending to people who suffer from genuine mental illnesses (because we'd essentially be stereotyping them or creating a sense of expectation regarding their behavior), but it's also very presumptuous and in some cases, can redirect responsibility for a person's actions away from them and towards a phantom perpetraitor.

    I know something about mental illnesses, and I wasn't trying to underrate anyone's struggles with mental problems. But as I mentioned above, pulling off something like this dev did (lashing out on their own customer base, spreading accusations without merit, getting completely furious about a polite criticism) screams mental imbalance to me, and should be quite obvious to anybody. It's not really an expectation or ideal, but a definition of a normal person, I think, that we can all agree on. When you work in the game industry and represent a company, you simply don't do something like that. You should have the patience to withstand criticism, and lashing out like that is nowhere within the 'expectations or ideals' set on a mentally stable person. Let's say a store cashier would suddenly start furiously insulting you over some ridiculously small matter. Would you be happy to call them crazy? I would definitely assume they're not completely in their right state of mind at the moment.

  • Hevoskuuri.3891Hevoskuuri.3891 Member ✭✭✭

    @rrusse.7058 said:
    I really don't think whether she was in the right frame of mind or not justifies her current behavior.

    It justifies it as much as tourette's justifies shouting profanities at random people. I think justify is the wrong word here; the right one would be explains. Someone who is unstable and irrational could do something like that and not be able to help it. I honestly doubt someone completely in control would start pulling off stuff like insulting the entire fanbase on a whim.

  • Belorn.2659Belorn.2659 Member ✭✭✭

    I would like to add that talking about personal health does not create a constructive environment for discussion and for the topic of this discussion it is rather irrelevant. If those post on twitter constitute a violation of developer conduct then that is what we should focus on.

    Is the tone and language that this developer is using to talk to the game community acceptable or not? If not then Anet as a company and Gail as community leader need to step up and address the situation so that both developers community feel that it is safe to carry constructive discussions about the game.

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 5, 2018

    I’m on team Jessica.

    That “rando” person is trying to assume the limitations with personalized story telling through the mmo format, is not about the limited mmo format, but the problem lies with how Anet approaches personalized story telling through the “constraints of the Living Story’s narrative design”

    “option to meaningfully express their character through branching dialogue options”... Not even bioware, and their $100,000,000,000,000,000... stories, cut scenes, and dialog options can accomplish what the “rando” wants... Does “rando” expect the devs at Anet to create “meaningful” “branching dialog options” for every single player’s personality or each individual players’s RP character? Ridiculous expectations.

    ...I’d be annoyed too. And especially considering the abuse game developers face, I’d probably react the same way.

    “Rando” quote for context...

    “Really interesting thread to read!

    However, allow me to disagree slightly. I dont believe the issue lies in the MMORPG genre itself (as your wording seemingly suggest). I believe the issue lies in the contraints of the Living Story's narrative design; (1 of 3)

    When you want the outcome to be the same across the board for all players' experiences, then yes, by design you are extremely limited in how you can contruct the personality of the PC. (2 of 3)

    But, if instead players were given the option to meaningfully express their character through branching dialogue options (which also aren't just on the checklist for an achievement that forces you through all dialogue options), (3 of 4 cause I count seemingly...)

    then perhaps players would be more invested in the roleplaying aspect of that particular MMORPG.

    Nonetheless, I appreciate the insightful thread! (End)”

  • rrusse.7058rrusse.7058 Member ✭✭

    @Hevoskuuri.3891 said:

    It justifies it as much as tourette's justifies shouting profanities at random people. I think justify is the wrong word here; the right one would be explains. Someone who is unstable and irrational could do something like that and not be able to help it.

    I see your point. I do like and agree with your point that there is too much "eye for an eye" on other parts of the internet right now on this topic. People get their pitchforks and think that turning them on either her or the company is the answer and it just isn't. Something definitely needs to be done and said officially on this however.

  • rrusse.7058rrusse.7058 Member ✭✭

    @Swagger.1459 said:

    “option to meaningfully express their character through branching dialogue options”... Not even bioware, and their $100,000,000,000,000,000... stories, cut scenes, and dialog options can accomplish what the “rando” wants... Does “rando” expect the devs at Anet to create “meaningful” “branching dialog options” for every single player’s personality or each individual players’s RP character? Ridiculous expectations.

    The issue isn't so much about who is more correct or what is feasible anymore and the discussion has warped into being about something else now due to the devs response. Like you, I would agree that right now Jessica is correct with the way the story has to be conducted. In a world where there is unlimited resources and time I'd love to see a game where the PC is exactly the way you want them to be but only in a perfect world.

  • Swagger.1459Swagger.1459 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 5, 2018

    @Belorn.2659 said:

    @Swagger.1459 said:
    I’m on team Jessica.

    That “rando” person is trying to assume the limitations with personalized story telling through the mmo format, is not about the limited mmo format, but the problem lies with how Anet approaches personalized story telling through the “constraints of the Living Story’s narrative design”

    ...

    Are you criticizing the argument of the "rando" person because he is male or female, and are thus just doing a thin wailed sexist comment? Can you prove it?

    That is what this discussing is about. Not the pro and con of the different forms of personalized story telling, but rather if the comment itself was sexist. If the rando were employed by Anet and just now accused you of being sexist on social media and you may end up receiving death threats, would you think thats acceptable behavior?

    The artistic merits of using different techniques for personalized story telling is relevant for a discussion about personalized story telling. I wish that was what we were discussing, but its rather irrelevant for the person being accused on social media for sexism.

    I don’t care about any PC mumbo jumbo here, or anywhere else... I commented on the catalyst of the argument, so stick to that and don’t assume anything else.

This discussion has been closed.
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