International Game Developers Association may establish harassment support group
I think we can all agree that the level of harassment facing game developers of late from both gamers and the gaming press has, quite frankly, gotten ridiculous. For the number of developers who've quit the industry, are thinking of quitting, or have fallen into a depression, we should all be ashamed of ourselves.
The examples are myriad, and all of them are disgraceful - Jennifer Helper quit her job as an industry writer due to death threats, some COD players went so far as to threaten rape because Treyarch changed one irrelevant feature of a fictional gun, Phil Fish quit the industry because a 'journalist' went too far; BioWare's Dr. Greg Zeschuk admitted fan harrassment was one of his reasons for dropping from the industry...the list goes on and on.
The International Game Developers Association might not be able to curb the harrassment (so long as immature teenagers and maladjusted man-children can use the Internet, it'll remain a sad reality), but it can offer a shoulder for weary devs. With that said, IGDA Kate Edwards announced today that the organization is looking to establish a suport group specifically to assist game creators in dealing with harrassment.
"It's gotten onto our radar," Edwards explained to Polygon. "We're getting to a point where we're thinking, 'Yeah, it's becoming something we're going to need to talk about. It might be time to consider doing a more explicit support group or mechanism to help people who are dealing with this sort of thing."
It's not just game developers impacted by social media, either. Virtually every content creator has felt the sting of unfair treatment at one point or another.
"If someone as successful as George Lucas, someone who has been arguably both creatively and financially successful, is basically hanging it up because he's tired of hearing the negative feedback, that's a pretty serious thing," Edwards continued. "He is such a prominent person and to have him so publicly talk about that particular issue, it kind of resonates with a lot of people."
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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