ArenaNet throw two Guild Wars 2 writers to the wolves

guild-wars-2-wolves

ArenaNet have fired two Guild Wars 2 writers for tweets they made this past week. In doing so, they’ve thrown their lot in with players and harassers who make unreasonable demands of game developers. Good work, ArenaNet. Let’s start at the beginning.

On July 3rd, Jessica Price wrote an interesting Twitter thread about the challenges of writing compelling player characters in MMORPGs. In response to one of those tweets, Guild Wars 2 YouTuber and ArenaNet content partner ‘Deroir’ responded to disagree and argue in favour of branching dialogue. On July 4th, Price quote-tweeted Deroir’s response, correctly connecting it to the all-too common situation of women game developers being condescended on Twitter.


Price followed up immediately by tweeting that “the next rando asshat who attempts to explain the concept of branching dialogue to me–as if, you know, having worked in game narrative for a fucking DECADE, I have never heard of it–is getting instablocked. PSA.” The reaction to those on Twitter was negative, prompting Price to elaborate further a couple of hours later by further tweeting, “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.” and “The attempts of fans to exert ownership over our personal lives and times are something I am hardcore about stopping. You don’t own me, and I don’t owe you.”

Fellow ArenaNet writer Peter Fries defended Price on Twitter with a short set of Twitter replies that have since been deleted but which are currently archived here. Those tweets say nothing other than reiterating that these are personal Twitter accounts, and argue that Price should be treated with more respect. By this point, users were tweeting Price in their droves to argue against her comments, with a lot of ugly name-calling. Deroir for his part defended his initial tweets and backed out of the conversation.

Posts about the Twitter exchange and both writers had by then been created on Reddit and to a thread on the official Guild Wars 2 forum. In the latter on July 5th, ArenaNet co-founder Mike O’Brien posted to say that both employees had been fired:

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.

Which is a failure to understand the context of the situation and to stand by your employees.

For further context, Jessica Price joined ArenaNet around a year ago and the r/Guildwars2 post announcing her arrival was eventually locked by moderators because some posters took instant umbrage with Price’s Twitter account, fearing that the game might be affected by “SJW agendas.” Price worked previously at Paizo Inc, makers of the Pathfinder pen-and-paper RPG, and had been open on Twitter, in interviews and in PAX panels about sexism in the tabletop industry, including specific instances of harassment she had experienced.

Price’s tweets on July 4th were clearly responding not to a single tweet but explicitly addressing the broader reality of “being a female game dev” today. By this point, it’s no secret that women in online spaces are frequently condescended, bombarded with criticism not levied at male peers, and often held to a standard that requires them to be silent or play nice.

ArenaNet’s decision to fire both Price and Fries re-inforces that standard: if you are a game developer and you are regularly patronised and harassed, then you should stay silent. If you speak out against that treatment – or even simply defend a colleague who is speaking out and asking that they be treated with respect – then that constitutes “attacks on the community” and you will be fired, because ArenaNet value the community more than their developers no matter how that community acts.

Even if you disagree with the tweets, ArenaNet’s statement is poor. By stating that Price’s and Fries’ tweets “do not reflect the views of ArenaNet at all,” they’ve written a blank check to Guild Wars 2 players who believe they should, as Price put it, be able to exert ownership over developer’s personal lives. By stating uniformly that they “value your input,” they’re saying that the when, where and how of that input does not matter; developers must always be polite, always be “collaborative”, always be on. Price’s Twitter mentions are currently a wall of gloating and abuse from the usual suspects, who have just been told that their actions are justified.

Update: ArenaNet gave a follow-up statement to Eurogamer. “We strive to cultivate an atmosphere of transparency around the making of our games and encourage our teams to be involved in open, positive discussion with our community. Earlier this week, two of our employees failed to uphold our standards of communication with our players and fans, and they are no longer with the company.”

514 Comments

  1. Kolbex says:

    There doesn’t seem to be any good reason to have a Twitter account. The platform is a caustic cesspool that exists entirely to generate short-lived but destructive outrage. It’s been made clear over the past couple of years that stepping “out of line” (and where that line is depends entirely on who’s drawing it) in any way in public can and probably will cost you your livelihood, which in America is tantamount to assigning you to the garbage heap. Much of the modern internet was a mistake, but Twitter is the biggest one.

    • caerphoto says:

      It’s been made clear over the past couple of years that stepping “out of line” (and where that line is depends entirely on who’s drawing it) in any way in public can and probably will cost you your livelihood, which in America is tantamount to assigning you to the garbage heap.

      This is one of the things I find so upsetting about this whole fiasco – all the people celebrating the firing of Price and Fries show astonishingly little empathy for what is a massive upheaval in one’s life, especially in a country with such a weak safety net as the US. So she got a bit annoyed at someone, big fucking deal, she doesn’t deserve to have her life ruined over it.

      • Khamous says:

        Agreed, but the moment she realized the shitstorm that was forming you should at least apologize. Sucks to be fired over a major holiday tho.

      • dosan says:

        Maybe she should apologize? I dont know, show that she went over the board and try to show that she really care for the community after saying that “NOBODY OWNS ME” and ” I ONLY PRETEND TO BE NICE ON DUTY, ON MY TWITTER ACCOUNT I DONT CARE ABOUT OPINIONS”??

        • Cyrano says:

          Dosan, almost anyone working in a customer facing role, from waiting tables to selling you milk is pretending to care because they’re on the clock.

          I used to work in a bookshop, and while sometimes I’d have interesting chats with customers, I was often pretending to find people funny, interesting and engaging because that’s professional when you’re dealing with the public.

          If I was having a drink with my friends after work, and telling them about my day and some stranger came over to take issue with my work from a position of ignorance, I would indeed tell them to get lost, because they are being extremely rude.

          • BaaBaa says:

            “If I was having a drink with my friends after work, and telling them about my day and some stranger came over to take issue with my work from a position of ignorance…”

            Twitter is not a private booth at your local pub. Just ask Adam Orth.

            “Adam Orth, Microsoft game exec who insulted fans on Twitter, has left the company”
            link to venturebeat.com

          • dethtoll says:

            @Baabaa — if you really can’t tell the difference between Price and Adam Orth I don’t know what to tell you.

          • BaaBaa says:

            “if you really can’t tell the difference between Price and Adam Orth I don’t know what to tell you.”

            Both thought they could have a private conversation with a friend on Twitter, both engaged with the comments of a third party instead of blocking or ignoring the third party, both felt their arguments were more valid on account of their professional designations (and rightly so), both thought they were on their personal time and could therefore freely insult the person they were engaged with, both were shocked to find out the brand they were associated with did not take kindly to their interpretation of the events, both lost their jobs over the incident. Adam Orth is a man, Jessica Price is a woman. The gender difference does not invalidate all the other parallels.

            Conflating one woman’s professional misjudgement / miscalculation with the plight of all women online does not serve any feminist cause.

          • CapnSensible says:

            Bad analogy. By speaking about game development on a PUBLIC (not private as she and others claim; anyone can see and comment on it; not officially tied to Arena Net does not equal “private”) social media account, she implicitly invites people to respond.

            Furthermore, it’s traditionally accepted that when you are well-known as an employee for a company, your actions reflect upon the company regardless of whether or not you’re on the clock. It’s been the way things work in the business world for almost a century and is common knowledge.

          • junglist724 says:

            That’s a terrible analogy, twitter is more akin to going to the pub, then posting a giant poster on the window with your opinion with a photo of yourself next to it along with contact information for them to directly respond to you.

            Deroir is hardly coming from a point of ignorance, he is an arenanet partnered content creator and has been playing and critiquing the game many years more than Price has been working on it(a grand total of 1 year) and he even has an in game NPC vendor named after him. He definitely knows more about the game’s story and systems than Price. And his first tweet was more about the game’s gameplay systems than the story.

            The worst part of this is that Deroir was a huge fan of Jessica before this happened. He even said these kind things about her the day before all this happened: link to clips.twitch.tv

      • CMaster says:

        I think that people see this as something to celebrate about is more of a sign of things being very wrong than anything else.

        Somebody said something inadvisable, in a private capacity but very much associated with their work.

        Said somebody was dismissed for this. (It seems overkill, but it’s not like plenty of people haven’t been dismissed before for saying things about customers on social media, even when they thought it was private)

        And people care enough about seeing another person suffer for this so much to celebrate? It’s an alarming indication of people grouping in to “us and them” and trying to take any blood they can, for any reason.

        • Kolbex says:

          (It seems overkill, but it’s not like plenty of people haven’t been dismissed before for saying things about customers on social media, even when they thought it was private)

          It is overkill. Just because something isn’t rare doesn’t make it right.

          • makaramus says:

            it appears like not overkill… since still instead of saying “sorry” she keep claiming she is right all this time! I MEAN YOU ARE FIRED AND STILL BEHIND YOUR IDEA!
            yea sure good
            if she atleast said she was sorry I would agree with you BUT SHE STILL CLAIMS SHE IS INSULTED AND IT WAS BECAUSE SHE IS WOMAN! AND ALSO SHE CLAIMS SHE IS FIRED BECAUSE SHE IS WOMAN TOO! HOOOOLY***********!

      • I Got Pineapples says:

        So that actually does beg the question, with these consequences in mind, what do you plan to do the next time someone has an opinion or does something on social media, given they will almost certainly have no power to enact said opinion in a meaningful way, that you find personally offensive?

        • I Got Pineapples says:

          This isn’t a ‘Hah gotcha, you hypocrite’ or similar. I’m actually curious.

          • jgw says:

            Curios are you younger and not in the workforce? There is a simple way to look at this taking the whole twitter thing out of it. So you are at the grocery store with a friend or significant other discussing a subject related to your job. A customer who recognizes you as an employee of the company overhears you and decides to comment on or ask a question about your discussion. As an adult professional you can either politely decline to respond further or choose to answer the question. If you go for option C and blow up at the customer for daring to come up to you in grocery store you are likely to be reprimanded for it if the customer complains about it to your employer. Further if your coworkers or other customers happen to witness it as well the fallout will be worse. And finally if the whole thing is recorded and posted on Youtube where tons of other customer and likely most of your coworkers view it you are more then likely going to be fired.

      • forbiddenone says:

        You feel the same way about James Damoore and the guys that Adria Richards got fired, right?

    • BockoPower says:

      Nah. Especially in America being publicly known is power and can open more doors that it closes. Often the most controversial people in Twitter are the most famous and get rich enough. In Price’s case she just gained 1k new followers (10% raise) in just a week (she previously averaged ~10 followers a day) and growing. She can easily find a new job in gaming or start writing a book or whatever her desire is.

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        That’s cool that America’s started letting people pay for things in Twitter followers

        • Baines says:

          Connections do matter, though. And the first step of establishing a connection is for someone to know of you.

          More eyes cast upon her mean more people who might be able to offer her a job. The controversies over her firing will shut some doors, but it will also open other doors. I’d figure the odds are good that she’ll get a few job offers out of this, though I won’t guess as to whether or not they’ll be offers that she finds acceptable.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      I read about Twitter a lot in the media. The tweets can be sorted into “toxic”, “nonsense topic” or both but it generates a lot of copypasta content without work for magazines I guess.
      Additionally I don’t know a single user personally be it family, friend or co-worker (IT), makes me wonder who would generate this stuff in the first place. Trump and Kardashian?

      • MrBehemoth says:

        Well, I use twitter a lot, but I don’t use facebook. The only person I communicate with who I know uses facebook is my mum.

        • Chaoslord AJ says:

          Yeah I use FB only to keep in touch with my literally global family.
          I could see how people have deep discussion or something on Twitter or do something useful with it – it’s just never demonstrated anywhere in the media.

    • Yglorba says:

      I mean, on the other hand, it also gives people like Price a voice, which is valuable; as she says, her only real regret at this point is that she recommended the company as safe to other women, when it’s clear that that wasn’t the case.

      Social media allowed angry harassment brigades to dissect and track everything she said there in an effort to whip up a controversy that could get her fired, sure, but it was the voice Twitter gave her that made her their target in the first place. I don’t think we’d benefit from going back to a world where people like her didn’t have a voice at all.

      (And, of course, for all that the angry mob cost her her job this time, her outspoken presence on Twitter means that they’ve failed to silence her entirely. If anything, her stature has been raised by being at the center of such an obvious injustice.)

  2. Merijeek says:

    So, someone starts with a chip on her shoulder, tries to turn attacks on her into sexist attacks on her, and it blows up in her face.

    • MasterPrudent says:

      I can’t believe you would make such a caustic statement in public. Clearly you should be fired from your job.

    • Andrew says:

      tries to turn attacks on her into […] attacks on her

      Uhm.

      • Merijeek says:

        Do you read “Today in being a female game dev” as someone not bringing gender into it?

        • dethtoll says:

          Imagine thinking gender isn’t an incredibly important factor in how people are treated.

          • ea4x says:

            Do you think Deroir, an upstanding member of the community, only tried to have a constructive conversation with her because she was female…? Because obviously from the very beginning he had no ill intent and even tried to make amends when she took offense to him.

          • junglist724 says:

            Nice job randomly changing the subject to gender just like Price. She responded to a polite critique of how story interacts with the game’s living story system by immediately turning it into another unrelated issue entirely.

      • caerphoto says:

        You don’t paraphrase by missing out essential context like that.

        • Andrew says:

          I’m pointing out the absurdity of a comment, where you first agree that person was attacked, but it’s suddenly OK, because that person played “the gender card” (which is also BS, but let’s leave it for now).

          • caerphoto says:

            It seemed like you were missing the point of what you quoted, by emphasising the wrong parts. To my mind it should have been

            tries to turn attacks on her into sexist attacks on her

            The ‘sexist’ part being the entire point of the quote.

          • Andrew says:

            @caerphoto I wasn’t, but I understand the confusion. Yes, “sexist” is the most important part, but I was pointing out that it doesn’t make any sense even without that word.

        • Merijeek says:

          I didn’t. I also didn’t throw out the word “courtesan” with all its unsubtle connotations.

    • Ztox says:

      Exactly what I was thinking lol

    • Rack says:

      They weren’t even attacks. Someone just disagreed with her and she thinks her sex makes her immune to disagreement.

      • Eater Of Cheese says:

        No, that’s complete bullshit.

        • Baines says:

          A guy disagreed with her in a polite and rational manner.

          Rather than respond in a polite and rational manner, or even choosing to remain quiet, she instead publicly derided the guy with a response boiled down to: “Men who don’t know anything about a job will still always tell women how to do it”. She then threw out some insults directed both at that guy and those she felt were like him.

          Again, this was the response to a guy who simply disagreed with her opinion. He didn’t attack her. Her sex wasn’t relevant.

          • Connatic says:

            Out of context, that’s what it looks like, But thanks to this very article, we can see there was a history here. Her professionally ability has been attacked before, so obviously it touched a nerve.

          • Magimay says:

            Everyone who works on MMOs and has contact with players gets to deal with attacks on their professional ability. From blatantly rude “you bleeping bleepholes have no bleeping idea how to run an MMO and your bleeping stupidity is killing this game” to long “50 things you can change to make the game better” that are 90% sheer stupidity. As a general rule, they avoid using any sort of vulgar or dismissive language because they know just how fast people can move onto the next MMO. Her nerves being touched is no excuse.

        • citizenmaimed says:

          You noticed how you disagreed and didn’t call the person an asshat and tell them to fuck off? That is the difference between your reaction and Jessica’s.

    • Stromko says:

      The difference is she didn’t ‘turn’ these comments into anything, she was pointing them out for what they were.

      Gender roles being what they are, women frequently have to deal with men’s unasked-for explanation of concepts regardless of relative experience in the field being discussed.

      She may have been venting because this is a situation she’d had to deal with a lot and got fed up with it. As a man if I had to put up with this kind of crap I’d definitely rip into people a lot more savagely than this developer did, but since she’s a woman the ‘community’ clearly wasn’t okay with this.

      • Baines says:

        Except she wasn’t pointing these out for what they were.

        Male developers see the same treatment. Heck, she wasn’t even attacked. Someone simply disagreed with her opinion, and seemed to take a fair amount of care in how they worded in an attempt to avoid offering offense.

        Her response was to pull the “mansplain” card. She completely ignored the other person’s opinion and belittled them for the sin of being a man who dared to disagree with a woman. Then she went ballistic in general.

      • Magimay says:

        EVERYONE has to deal with “unasked-for explanations”. MMO forums are full of people telling the publishers/devs how to do their jobs. But, I guess, men are just better at handling it and teh poor wamyns can’t control their emotions so we should just let it slide, maybe she was on her period or something.

  3. Andrew says:

    ArenaNet: What, Nintendo fired someone for being a target of a harassment? Hold my beer, we can do better! Two people!

    • sbooyah says:

      Being politely disagreed with is not harassment.

      • Andrew says:

        Yes, it is. Look up “microaggression”. Those things look innocuous enough, but they wear you down none the less. And then you “all of a sudden” flip out, they call you “hysterical” and other words I’m not gonna repeat.

        • Frosty Grin says:

          Is it microaggression only when a man does it to a woman?

          • Andrew says:

            No.

          • caerphoto says:

            Do you understand the concept of institutional sexism?

          • Frosty Grin says:

            If it’s OK for a woman to “flip out”, but not for a man – then it is institutional sexism. Except not against women.

          • Andrew says:

            @Frosty Grin Look up “institutional” at least.

          • Stromko says:

            There are actually tons of male developers who are raging *-holes to their communities or at least react very negatively to productive criticism or input, and it’s not news, nothing happens to them.

            There’s always a little oppression on everybody in this world, and in some ways in this very open and post-privacy society we’re moving into, self-expression is being curtailed for everybody a bit more. Even so, it’s a (common) delusion to think that the lion’s share of oppression isn’t still on the same people it’s always been on.

            As a cis white male I can recognize that there’s things about society I don’t like, while simultaneously being aware that if I were different I’d have to deal with way more problems.

        • Horg says:

          Nothing in that tweet conversation would qualify as ”micro aggression”. It could be summed up as:

          (J) ”I don’t believe we can make MMORPG characters compelling due to players pre-existing expectations of what those characters should be like.”

          (D) ”Interesting topic, difficult to solve when you want every players outcome to be the same, but I disagree and I think we can solve that problem with branching dialogue.”

          (J) (full quote) ”thanks for trying to tell me what we do internally, my dude 9_9.” (9_9 is ‘eye roll’)

          It looks an awful lot like mislpaced frustration on the part of Jessica, at least from their public interactions. Perhaps these two have some behind the scenes history we will never know about, but that’s speculation. All we can say for now is that this Deroir guy was not being aggressive in any sense, and was even fairly courteous.

          • Andrew says:

            Ok, that’s a possibility. But why you immediately jump to that ridiculous conclusion, and not dismissing her frustration outright? What are you, a reasonable person or something? :)

            But I still do think that his tweets can be interpreted as microaggressions (as I said, they often look very innocuous), especially if you put them in a context of a zillionth man telling her that.

          • Horg says:

            No man can know they are the ‘zillionth’. I don’t think anyone should avoid constructive disagreement or refrain from offering reasonable opinion from fear of being perceived as micro-aggressive. Disagreements are simply a part of life and are often productive if all parties can maintain self control. It’s easier to pull this sort of conversation off face to face, of course, being able to read emotion and empathise with your conversation partner is quite important. This is often overlooked when considering online conflict and how something seemingly benign can ‘escalate quickly’.

          • Magimay says:

            “But I still do think that his tweets can be interpreted as microaggressions (as I said, they often look very innocuous), especially if you put them in a context of a zillionth man telling her that.”

            That sounds very micro-aggressive to me. What, if Deroir had been a woman, it would’ve somehow made a difference? What if he identifies as a woman or did so at the time of tweeting? How dare you assume Deroir’s gender!!!

            But you do make a great argument for firing her. The MMO world is full of people making suggestions and disagreeing with devs. If that wears her out, she’s better off not working for such a popular MMO that is full of people who hurt her feelings.

        • Fredward says:

          Being politely disagreed with is a microaggression?

          Being politely disagreed with is a microaggression.

          I wish I could laugh cuz it feels laughable but honestly every time I see this kind of sentiment a part of my soul ossifies and just sloughs right off.

          • Stromko says:

            If you were a plumber on Twitter and had to deal with random sink-users telling you how you’re fucking up day in and day out, I think you’d feel pretty micro-aggressed and want to express that.

          • Stromko says:

            On top of that if it becomes obvious that they’re only criticizing how you do your job because you’re outwardly a certain type of person who they feel entitled to talk down to, then you’d probably be boiling angry?

          • Fredward says:

            I could be sassy here and say that you need to stop microaggressing me but this is actually something I DESPERATELY want to understand because it genuinely scares me.

            Is this specific instance of interaction a microaggression because of its nature as a sexist (I, as a man, with hobby level interest probably know more about this subject than A Woman regardless of her supposed professional status) staple that’s very commonly repeated. While not overtly hostile or aggressive it sort of has a ‘micro’ level of paternalism to it, thus the act’s badness harbors in its accrual rather than any one individual instance.

            OR

            Does the mere act of polite disagreement always have the potential to be a form of aggression or hostility because it questions your lived experience, who you are what you feel and what you know as a person.

            Usually when I have these conversations the disagreement arises at what exactly counts as polite disagreement, but since everyone seems to agree in this instance that the disagreement was polite but it’s still problematic hopefully I can get some actual meat on an answer for once.

          • GamerSlug says:

            Fredward – (I hope this appears in the right place, it’s my first RPS comment reply) I think both things you describe are good things to keep in mind, but the first is the concept at play here (“the act’s badness harbors in its accrual rather than any one individual instance”)

            It’s fair to call her response an over-reaction, but it was more of a “straw that broke the camel’s back” situation. It’s also possible (probably likely) that most of the men who have done this didn’t mean to at all. You can show with a study that women get this more than men (and people have), but that doesn’t mean that any of the men had sexist intentions, or that SOME of those instances wouldn’t have happened in exactly the same way to a man. “Microagressions” are tricky specifically because of the “micro” part.

          • Ragnar says:

            You seem to be focused on the way something was said, rather than what was said. The tuber’s comment was phrased politely, but the content was (probably unintentionally) very insulting.

            When I first read his comment, I was similarly puzzled because it seemed a polite disagreement and nothing more. But when I read through the posts she made to which he replied – where she laid out in detail the challenges of making a playable RPG character and the strategies used to do so – I could see why his polite comment was very insulting. He basically said, “Allow me to *slightly* disagree, but everything you said is wrong, and the real issue is this basic design principle. Let me explain how this basic principle works.” He clearly failed to read or understand what she wrote (because that principle is the foundation for the advanced elements she was discussing), but decided to tell her how to do her job anyway. I think you can understand how having a stranger who has never worked in your field telling you how to do your job, albeit politely, is very insulting.

            And this is where the micro-aggresions finally come into play. Because the first time a stranger tells you how to do your job, you may shrug it off as someone just being rude. The tenth (hundredth?) time this happens, it may have you seeing red, and threatening to block the next person who decides to tell you how to do your job.

          • danielfath says:

            Of course it is. Microaggressions may include: looking, reading, politely disagreeing, breathing or consuming water.

      • Ragnar says:

        Allow me to *slightly* disagree, but I think the issue is not whether polite disagreement may constitute harassment, but the issue lies in your inability to read critically and comment. Please allow me to explain to you how to properly read and comment.

        See how what I just said is incredibly insulting, even though I said it politely? And I bet you don’t even comment for a living.

        Because while the tuber’s comment seems polite disagreement by itself, if you look at it in the context of responding to her posts it comes across as, “Hi, I clearly failed to read or understand what you wrote, but allow me to tell you how to do your job by explaining basic principles to you.”

        Could she have handled things better? Certainly. Should she have lost her job for losing her cool after an influential stranger sought her out and proceeded to tell her how to do her job? I don’t think so.

        This is why 99% of developer interviews are now passed through PR filters that render them devoid of information or personality or anything else that could incite the online mob.

        • Rankith says:

          I don’t quite get it. Are you implying that no one should ever offer criticism to someone or even disagree with them on something because it could be “mean”? Regardless of how good you are at your job or anything else, outside opinions and ideas from other people are often still helpful. Especially in game dev, where the point is to make an enjoyable experience for your players. Many a terrible game has come and gone because developers didn’t want to listen to the community feedback and just thought most criticisms were dumb as the players jobs are not “game development” like theirs is.

          I am curious, how could he have worded his tweets to not come across as “Hi, I clearly failed to read or understand what you wrote, but allow me to tell you how to do your job by explaining basic principles to you.” according to you while still offering a differing opinion or disagreement.

          Can constant disagreement from idiots or whatever be annoying? Hell yes, but that doesn’t mean no one should ever disagree or criticize…

        • danielfath says:

          Yeah, but context was different. You didn’t post a youtube video praising Sbooyah. You don’t have an history praising his or her work. Your post is also subtly insulting, while Deroir’s isn’t. It’s just a twit from a fan.

        • Magimay says:

          “See how what I just said is incredibly insulting, even though I said it politely? And I bet you don’t even comment for a living.”

          Actually, no, I don’t. I’m not quite sure what you mean but I assume you are implying that I somehow misunderstood a previous comment you made and you’d like to explain it to me. It is possible that I might not be interested in said explanation or believe you just expressed yourself poorly but, nonetheless, I’m not in any way, shape or form insulted by your comment.

          See how I managed to respond without resorting to name calling despite being a woman? I know this might be hard to believe for some people here but women are perfectly capable of acting like adults.

        • misesfan says:

          If you cannot guarantee that you wont be ‘micro-aggressed’ in a public forum, perhaps you shouldnt be posting in one. If your customers see that you act in a seemingly irrational manner by being micro-aggressed – they wont see the micro, they will see a nut developing a game. And now – they will be less likely to buy and play that game. In ‘man-splainy’ words – the customer is king. Customers are to be treated professionally and with dignity, always. There is no debate on this, and ArenaNet is properly justified terminating this person. And woe be to the company this person goes to next.

    • calibro says:

      Can you point out where the harassment is? All I see is a guy replying to her original thread in a polite way.

      • Obi-Sean says:

        While I wouldn’t call it harassment, it’s maddening to be told that you’re not doing your job correctly for the last decade or so, by someone that’s never done your job. It was more the straw that broke the camels back than anything. Sure, it’s easy to write a branching story. But, it’s not easy to write a *good* branching story. What if she had given them their branching story, and it didn’t live up to someone else’s standards even if it exceeded yours? Remember this is the Internet, where everyone is capable of being an anonymous critic. No matter how polite, there will always be critics. She was damned if she did and damned if she didn’t.

        She could have handled it better by just avoiding the platform. At very least, never read the replies.

      • Andrew says:

        How about everywhere? Do you honestly think that it’s just one single occurrence that just happens to be the one that would draw all that attention to her, make her risk her job, and backlash, and all that fun stuff or do you, you know, radical thought, believe her that she deals with that bs every day?

        • Horg says:

          Weather or not she deals with harassment every day is irrelevant. There was no harassment evidenced in the relevant tweet exchange. Jessica’s frustrated response at the attempt to open up a debate was baffling and not justified by past grievance.

          • Obi-Sean says:

            Would you defend the thing you do for a living against a stay at home parent armed with an opinion article written by someone that has no expertise in your field? Not for very long. At some point – no matter how polite they are – you’re going to snap at their constant posts of disapproval of how and why you do what you do.

          • Horg says:

            For what I do for a living facing unjustified criticism, see the initial commander of the Grenfell tower fire against the roasting he received from the inquest panel and press. From a professional perspective, he did nothing wrong, but he’s taken a lot of heat from poorly informed critics who seem determined to put the blame for the loss of life on his shoulders. Critically, despite the immense stress he’s under, he hasn’t snapped or lashed out. That’s a display of professionalism far beyond expectations for his rank, and it’s keeping people on his side. If he’d lashed out in frustration, he’d have lost all the good will and likely his job. Compared to a display of discipline like that, venting your frustration over a seemingly harmless tweet does not generate sympathy, and in fact indicates a notable lack of self control.

          • napoleonic says:

            Obi-Sean – No, I wouldn’t snap when talking about my work. I constantly get idiots of both sexes telling me my job is easy. I don’t get mad at them, I just explain why it’s not, and if they turn obnoxious I ignore them. Their behaviour isn’t sexism, or harassment, or misandry, or anything like that: it’s just people being ignorant. How I respond to that is down to me.

          • SBLux says:

            ‘Treat others as you wish to be treated yourself’. It’s a very simple rule and if everybody did it then the world would be a way better place.

  4. Urthman says:

    Deroir’s comments seem reasonable and possibly insightful, but Price is 100% in the right saying “This is a personal account, I don’t feel like having a debate about this.”

    Anyone arguing with that by talking about whether Deroir was sufficiently polite or reasonable or insightful is completely missing the point. Nobody is obliged to have a discussion with you just because you read something they wrote on the internet.

    • CMaster says:

      If it’s a 100% personal account, why are they talking in public tweets about the details of a work project, and tying it in to an event they did on company time to promote the company product?

      • Andrew says:

        Because you can?

        • CMaster says:

          Well, I’m not sure my employers would be pleased to see me doing that sort of thing for example. They’ve got a certain way they want to present projects, and don’t necessarily want random staff going off talking whatever about it in a public forum.

          But my point is that there’s trying to have cake and eat it here. If you want to talk about a project that lots of the public engage in, in public, you can’t really get angry when people interested in that project join in the conversation. Twitter is not sitting around the BBQ chatting with friends, it’s writing on a billboard for the whole world to see.

          God knows why any of this was worth forming a hate mob over, or starting dismissals over mind.

          • Runaurufu says:

            But it does not matter. Statement from Arena is very clear here “Their attacks on the community were unacceptable.”. They were not fired because of private account usage during work hours – they were fired due to “attacks on community”… and if they were not obligated by contract to provide any level of professionalism during interactions with community outside their workplace then Arena should be sued and make to pay a lot of money for that outrageous decision. What employee is doing with his/her own account or in his/her private time is his/her business and not of company which employs.

          • napoleonic says:

            Runaurufu: You’re 100% wrong – every employment contract includes terms such that if you bring the company into disrepute, be it on company time or on your own time, then that is cause for dismissal. And rightly so.

          • Premium User Badge

            ooshp says:

            Every contract I’ve signed in recent memory has had specific social media clauses in the non-disparagement section.

            I find it hard to believe an IT related employment contract would be missing these.

      • Urthman says:

        She’s talking in her personal feed about game development *ideas* and using details from her job as an illustration of those ideas.

        She wasn’t saying, “Hey, Guild Wars fans, we’re thinking about doing X, what do you think?”

        The inability of people to tell the difference between those two contexts is what’s exasperating and probably why she expressed her frustration with this guy coming along and pretending her thoughts about game development ideas was a forum for Guild Wars 2 feedback.

        • DigitalParadox says:

          Twitter is a public forum, people comment and reply to things you say, that’s how it works. If you don’t want to talk to them you ignore them, or block them even. And if you don’t want the public to see your posts then you make your account private.

          Posting about a topic on your public account on a public forum and then being upset that people respond to it is insane.

          • Lawsoneer says:

            Nope. Twitter isn’t a right that’s paid for by tax dollars. Twitter is privately owned, you opt in, and it gives users certain powers over small parts of it’s property.

          • danielfath says:

            @Lawsoneer: So, you’re saying Trump was right?

            A district court in New York has ruled that Donald Trump cannot block people on Twitter, because it violates their first amendment rights to participate in a “public forum”.

        • Sunjammer says:

          Anyone who has ever worked a real job the past decade should be able to tell you that in the context of public behavior you represent your employer both on and off duty.

        • danielfath says:

          Saying it’s a personal Twitter feed, is like saying look this is my private 120dB MEGAPHONE.

      • SableShrike says:

        Worked zoos for a few years, am now in the veterinary field:

        Rule Number 1: You are NEVER free to publicly post about your work and shit related to it on social media. There WILL be serious blowback if you do, I guarantee it.

        I’ve seen three employees canned for such offenses over the years, and you better believe your employer will throw you in the trash if you tarnish their business. You are expendable; their business is not.

        You work for them. You are not irreplaceable, and if you damage their brand/business you will pay for it. They will NOT care if you do this crap on your “private” time. You can not just flip some magic “Private” switch and then act like an asshat in full view of the public.

        Twitter is public, as they were using it. It was incredibly bad PR for her to act as she did, justified or not. ArenaNet is a company. They shitcanned her. I’m not surprised at all.

        • Geewhizbatman says:

          Ew. This is incredibly gross [you’re not, just to be clear — as seemingly have to these days. I just take issue with the circumstances that has led to the sort of world where this is a reasonable statement.]

          The amount of Dickensian-Rand love baby statements in this make me very sad. People are the only thing, either with their time, attention, or money that give said business owner the belief that it wasn’t just luck that lets them believe they’re not nearly as disposable as their workers. When a system is so broken that people have to choose between survival and becoming the sort of sociopath who not only talks, but fully walks, the life of smiling servitude to the thing that both depends on them and treats them as consumable then cruelty becomes a noble trait.

          I’m sadly, not surprised either. However, I’m glad she doesn’t work there anymore, though what frustrating circumstances. I’m glad to know this about Arena as a company. I’m also glad to know that I can now say I hate zoos and worry about vets because they mistreat humans too, luckily this isn’t Twitter and your bosses won’t see what a terrible PR statement it is. It would be really rough for you or anyone to have to balance their private experience with marketing off the clock for their employers or something vile like that.

          • Baines says:

            One would think that not biting the hand that feeds you is common sense. You can still do it, but you risk facing consequences for your action.

            Sadly, we’ve reached a point where businesses feel the need to completely regulate the daily lives of employees, but even that started as a means for businesses to protect themselves. You end up with these draconian policies so the business can say “You were notified of the rules. You violated the rules. You are being terminated for violating the rules.” Otherwise, you risk the other party taking you to court for wrongful termination, claiming that they were fired for some other non-fireable grievance.

            I’m not saying these draconian policies are good. Employees do get the shaft from them. Of course without policies like that, you have employees shafting the businesses. Bad eggs ruin everything for everyone, and there are bad eggs on all sides.

          • tlwest says:

            When a system is so broken that people have to choose between survival and becoming the sort of sociopath who …

            It was always thus.

            The difference is that if I was an embarrassment to the company, there was no technology that would let my company know. Stay off social media (as most older people do), and you’re still likely to be free to be whoever you are.

            And let’s put the shoe on the other foot.

            First, let me say that in this case I don’t think the behaviour merited firing.

            However, if a company chose to continue to employ someone who has outed themselves as a Nazi(tm), then I would happily punish it for ignoring the private life of this employee.

            In other words, my disagreement with ArenaNet is over which employee behaviour should be punishable, not whether private behaviour should be punishable at all.

    • Khamous says:

      I agree, she doesn’t have to engage at all. It’s her Twitter account and it’s her hands on the keyboard. This is not the problem tho. The problem is that she chose to engage (even if indirectly), and she chose to engage very poorly. Had she just literally not answered, not quoted, just said *to herself* “boi oh boi this sucks” or hell just have made the same tweet without the quote (and so not engaging directly with the comment/commenter) nothing would have happened.

      • Andrew says:

        Women are so nice when they are silent, aren’t they?

        • sbooyah says:

          If you can’t handle being politely disagreed with, then you definitely should just stay silent, whether you’re male or female.

          • Chris D says:

            Sir, I believe these remarks such as these could only be made by someone with an abundance of privilege, negligible empathy and almost zero understanding of the systemic nature of abuse and oppression.

            Sincerely

            Chris D

          • ea4x says:

            @Chris D

            As an american-born nigerian male, I wonder if YOU have experienced any oppression whatsoever. But that’s irrelevant to this discussion.

            There is no way to celebrate the fact that these people got fired. Maybe Deroir struck a nerve and the writer’s actions come from someone who has experienced a lot of opposition in their career. That is something anyone should be able to empathize with.

            Yes discrimination is still alive—I live it, think about it daily. Yes the crime rate of African Americans is only so disproportionate to that of other demographics because of age-old institutionalized racism. But That doesn’t keep me as an individual, or my brother, or my son from being held accountable for mistakes.

            And it’s unfortunate, but context is often overlooked under the public eye and even in court. In this case, all the public can see is one twitter user blowing up on someone and losing their job. No one on the outside has the full story. All we are doing is extrapolating and then picking sides.

        • Khamous says:

          Why is it about gender suddenly? Did I make it about gender? I didn’t mean it at all. Sorry, I’m a guy and I would have also stayed silent. It’s what the situation calls for, regardless of what’s going on under your clothes.

          • Andrew says:

            If you say “it is not about a gender”, then you dismissing her opinion that it is about a gender, and that makes it about a gender by default.

          • Khamous says:

            Damn this is going to be a long one. I didn’t make it about gender and I’m not even addressing the bit that she made it about gender. As I said, she could have said the same thing without quoting the dude and so generating and engaging in the conversation. Then she would have made her gender point but not open the door to the conversation she then regretted (as far as I guess losing one’s employment is regrettable, I guess). The only person making it about gender in this point of discussion is not me or her, it’s you in your answer. In that sense making it directly or indirectly about gender is on you and so you’re indirectly putting words in her mouth, because to add the reply (my point) is not the gender charged argument. And so if you think it is only because she’s a woman that she quoted the other tweet directly, then we could discuss this at length at the end you’re the one being sexist. So don’t.
            Back to the statement that you left and that then ignored my answer to with some interesting rhetoric (that while has weight in other subjects doesn’t carry here as I stated above), it’s not about a woman being silent. It’s about a person knowing how to react to a situation. And ironically enough, about a writer knowing how to communicate.

          • Andrew says:

            @Khamous It is about a gender. Why? Because woman said so in the first friggin tweet! Is it so hard to listen to a woman for once? That was the whole point of her outburst, men who do not know anything about her job mansplaining it to her. Is it more clear now, when a person with a man’s name explains it to you, or do I need to do an interpretive dance or something?

          • Donkeyfumbler says:

            Just because she says it’s about gender doesn’t mean she’s automatically right. It certainly doesn’t seem that way at first glance – it reads like someone fairly politely engaging in a discussion with someone else on a public platform. That is of course unless a man is not allowed to offer a contradictory opinion of any kind to a woman any more for fear of being accused of ‘mansplaining’. Just because it’s her job doesn’t mean that she automatically gets to claim the higher ground in any discussion about it and then accuse anyone disagreeing with her of being sexist.

          • Crugore says:

            @Andrew So what your saying is its would have been perfectly fine for a woman to have criticized her.

          • danielfath says:

            @Andrew: Looks like you are obviously attacking @Khamous because you dislike his gender. What is your issue with his gender?

        • dosan says:

          Dude, you are not a girl, stop pretending they are made of glass lol. They can speak, they do it all the time :) Men or woman ,if you said something rude or attack somebody, you can always apologize. According to you, woman are silent and when they speak should not be judged for what they say? Like saying “i am a woman” nowdays its a free ticket for saying whatever you want?

        • Sunjammer says:

          Andrew you are not helping anyone by escalating to Maximum Strawman at a moment’s notice. All it does is make this hard to talk about at all.

    • fiendling says:

      There are 2 problems with her and your arguments:
      1) She added “ArenaNet Narrative team” to her account description thus affiliating the account to ArenaNet directly.
      2) Her Twitter account is not set to private, it is very simple to do and handily keeps away any public tweets.

    • Some101 says:

      She could perfectly well have said “I’m sorry I just don’t feel like debating this” and that would have been fine. What she did say is “Hey this publicly available tweet which I also advertised on Reddit, if you reply to it or give any form of arguments for other opinions then you’re basically trying to tell me, a professional, how to do my job” and “oh it’s probably a sign of misogony too if you do it”.

      The amount of apologetic nonsense some of you go through to alleviate any responsibility from Price for being an outright shitty person is just bonkers. I bet she didn’t mean she was glad TB was dead either. She probably just got cut off by a guy on the freeway that day so no wonder she reacted that way to somebody dying. I’m amazed at the amount of defendants she has in these comments. No wonder social media are shitty. People like you condone and excuse that kind of behaviour.

    • shaamaan says:

      If Price had NOT mentioned she works at ANet in her PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE Twitter profile, you might have been right. However, her Twitter is set to public and she wrote that she works for ANet on the description to boot.

      This is like going to a public park and talking out loud to everyone who would listen (with an ANet badge pinned to your shirt). You can say whatever, sure, but if you start bashing people and your employer notices, they’re fully in the clear to fire you (should they terminate all relationships or not is a different discussion).

      A private account is one visible to a select number of people – in this case, it’s like inviting people over to your house for a debate. If you get hostile then, at worst your “friends” will decide to not be friends with you any more, but in that regard ANet likely wouldn’t have any leverage.

      On a side note: the fact that companies take a look into the social media profiles of potential candidates and / or employees is both a bit scary… and very sensible at the same time. If a company lives or dies by its public image, then you do NOT want to associate with people who act like assholes in public.

  5. necrosmash says:

    Isn’t this the woman who said she was glad TotalBiscuit was dead?
    link to twitter.com

    • MasterPrudent says:

      What’s your point?

      • Yglorba says:

        It provides important context for why she’s being targeted now – she criticized one of the heads of the harassment mob, so now they’re taking any opportunity to descend on her in force.

        The comment she was ostensibly fired for was just an excuse for the angry harassment mob that TB whipped up and directed when he was alive to raise an astroturfed outcry and get her fired in revenge. And the members of that mob are so broken that they don’t recognize that chortling and crowing about how they got her fired for critizing one of their leaders only reaffirms the fact that, yes, they’re a mob of thugs.

        • Komutan says:

          TB was never the head of a harassment mob.

          • Chris D says:

            He was an apologist and an enabler and in doing so he hurt a lot of people. That hurt doesn’t magically disappear just because he’s dead. If you don’t want people to speak ill of you when you’re gone maybe don’t be a fucking arsehole while you’re alive.

    • Kolbex says:

      Eh, so what? Pretty disingenuous to say, “isn’t this” and then link to it, thus proving you knew it was her.

      • OpT1mUs says:

        Pretty sure that’s called a rhetorical question.Also if that tweet is “eh so what” then same goes for her being fired.

        • Kolbex says:

          No, that doesn’t follow at all. There’s no connection whatsoever between the two things.

          • OpT1mUs says:

            Yes, yes there is. TB tweet proves the writer in question is a shithead, and prone to questionable behavior online, that the current incident isn’t some random exception. And she was fired for that behavior.

          • aepervius says:

            Actualy, it does. If you read the twitter thread and copy thereof rather than the quite sugar coated summary from rps, you would see she has a history of being obnoxious. Applauding the death of a normal person is one part of it. Her explosion at a normal twit another. Arenanet are not idiot and i am quite certain they saw her whole “work” in context and let her go, it isnt because she is a woman. It is because her personality is caustic and obnoxious. Replace her gender keep the same twit and maybe you can understand why some of us are raising quite a few eyebrow at the people coming to the defense of such actions and abrasive persona.

    • Scelous says:

      Ah, okay. That explains a lot.

    • FairyNuff says:

      This is a good thing btw.

    • Frosty Grin says:

      Rock Paper Shotgun just ignored his death – probably because they had nothing good to say. Correlates rather tellingly with this article.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Glad I’m not the only one who noticed that. RPS’s lack of even a brief, matter-of-fact article regarding his death was extremely out of place for such an important PC gaming figure. I don’t care if you don’t agree with him, that he was important isn’t opinion.

        Shame that RPS is once again placing their moral crusade first.

      • aexia says:

        Toxic asshole who jumped on board with misogynist gamer movement dies. Why shouldn’t you celebrate that?

        • Rack says:

          Because you’re a decent human being?

          • April March says:

            As I decent human being, I celebrate when the aggregate amount of pain inflicted upon people suffering hardships is likely to decrease.

          • Hoot says:

            Spoken like someone who has never known actual loss. “Pain” over the words of a game critic.

            Just…wow, man.

        • DeusExMachina says:

          I mean, I for sure will celebrate when your worthless existence ends (hopefully in a painful way), I understand you.

    • Andrew says:

      Yes, and she was wrong: he is going to do harm even in his death. Clearly.

      • GardenOfSun says:

        I don’t know if people like you are more pathetic or more terrifying. I wonder how you go through your days, constantly recategorising absolutely everything, even people’s deaths, just in order to constantly think “I’m right and everyone who doesn’t think like me is wrong! Because I’m good! I’m MORALLY RIGHT!” To this day I’m amazed at how quickly this madness spread in the anglosaxon world – including, alas, this once welcoming website.

        I guess, if there’s a bright side here, is that you once again proved just how much Mr Bain was right from the start.

        • April March says:

          I don’t know if people like you are more pathetic or more terrifying.

          Me, I used to think people like you were pathetic, until you elected one of your puppets as the most powerful politician in the planet.

          • DeusExMachina says:

            I mean, I for sure will celebrate when your worthless existence ends (hopefully in a painful way), I understand you.

      • Yglorba says:

        100% this. All his fanatical followers are accomplishing here is proving, once again, that all the criticisms about them were correct. They want to scare people into never criticizing them again, and they think that by claiming a scalp here they’ve accomplished that goal. It doesn’t work like that; all this has done is tainted his already-ruined legacy even further.

    • tres says:

      What a garbage human being. Firing her was long overdue apparently.

  6. sbooyah says:

    “ArenaNet’s decision to fire both Price and Fries re-inforces that standard: if you are a game developer and you are regularly patronised and harassed, then you should stay silent.”

    Speaking out against harassment is one thing. Someone disagreeing with you politely is not harassment. She may have been frustrated by real issues of harassment, but to respond the way she did to what she did is absolutely unprofessional and unwarranted.

    • Kolbex says:

      Being “unprofessional,” the yuppie cardinal sin.

    • Andrew says:

      unprofessional

      What part of “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.” you don’t understand?

      • sbooyah says:

        Was the person disagreeing with her responding to her personal tweets, or were they talking in-depth about Guild Wars 2 specifically?

      • CMaster says:

        So your job lets you loudly mention the products you are associated with, and then abuse customers, but its ok, because it’s a personal space? What.

      • jeremyalexander says:

        She’s a game dev posting on a public account about game developing and someone dared disagree with her posts and somehow she’s being harassed? I got the same crap for a tweet to Pete Hines saying it was his personal account. First of all, there are no personal Twitter accounts. They’re public and if you don’t want public responses to your public posts, don’t open a Twitter account, go to facebook and change your privacy settings.There was nothing sexist about the response to her post, she’s just looking to be a victim.

        • dosan says:

          Totally agree.

        • bacon seeker says:

          Yes exactly. if you don’t want to engage with internet people in relation to your work (and especially if you have a thin skin) than use a private/separate twitter account, or don’t use twitter, or don’t discuss your work on twitter. getting in a visible shite-throwing fight with a random person on the internet when you can be construed to be representing your company is stupid, even if you are 100% sure you have the moral high ground.

          • bacon seeker says:

            Although I did just take a look at her twitter profile and a lot of nasty men are tweeting at her gloating that she lost her job. So I can see why she would lash out after putting up with that for too long. But still, that doesn’t excuse public unprofessionalism (at least, from a company’s perspective), and apparently she herself gloated that Total Biscuit died??? Which is just gross. I guess the moral of the story is stay the hell away from Twitter.

      • wraithgr says:

        The part where she has her employer’s name on her personal feed.

      • Abacus says:

        Human resources are regularly known to look at ‘private’ (i.e. Publicly visible) social media feeds for candidates.

        Isn’t it incogruent to label yourself as part of the ArenaNet narrative team and then think that whatever you say or do will in no way influence people’s perception of that brand?

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Yeah, this is a clear cut case of someone overreacting by calling people asshats and then their employer overreacting by firing them. The punishment doesn’t fit the “crime”. I don’t see how deroir was mansplaining to her or whatever, but I can understand that she dislikes (as she sees it) a layman telling her how to be better at her job. Still, it was uncalled for to insult people the way she did, but even more uncalled for to ArenaNet to go all “red alert, PR damage control needed urgently” by firing the both of them.

      What really irritates me is that the person defending his colleague is also fired. Shouldn’t you expect someone to defend their colleagues, even when they express themselves a bit too harshly? That shows some backbone, some humanity, something which ArenaNet seems to lack by firing them both.

      • Sunjammer says:

        Nobody wins here. Deroir didn’t deserve to be Put In His Place, and she did not deserve to be fired. It’s a big sad mess.

  7. Zealuu says:

    ArenaNet’s idiotic decision to immediately cave to a harassment brigade has sufficiently emboldened the worst people on the internet to such a degree that they are now gleefully declaring that they can get anyone fired.

    “Nobody at ArenaNet is safe from the hand of Reddit […] The moment a dev steps out of line or try to talk back to a player, guess what, they’ll know we got their hands on their throat and we can squeeze any time we like.”

    link to twitter.com

    • I Got Pineapples says:

      Everyone can get anyone fired and has been able to do it for years. Why is this knowledge suddenly a cause for alarm now?

      • sbooyah says:

        The argument is about where you draw the line. You can’t fire someone because you discover they’re part black. The argument is discussing whether or not someone should be able to be fired over personal comments made when off the clock.

        • Shaneenee says:

          Just to be clear. Those people are totally fine with an elementary school teacher posting reviews of the latest cannabis strain they tried or the last lapdance they enjoyed from a stripper on their personal Twitter feed. That’s the argument?

        • Someoldguy says:

          This is not the first time somebody in the US got fired for saying or doing something unwise when off the clock. The stories have been pretty commonplace in recent years. The first amendment protecting freedom of speech doesn’t seem to offer much protection any more.

          I don’t know if that’s a change in employer attitude or the increasing reach of modern media to report less high profile stories in overseas countries. Probably both. This is just the first time to my knowledge it’s been game devs affected.

    • EwokThisWay says:

      But if they decide to let it pass without any consequences, they would be caving to the outrage brigade and emboldening the other worst type of people on the internet.

      Either way you can’t win.

    • darghan says:

      That particular reddit thread was heavily downvoted by the GW2 community and then deleted. There’s consequences for attacking your employer’s customers.

      The major negative thing came from this issues spilling onto other sub reddits with a less savoury bend.

  8. Funso Banjo says:

    Price went way over board there. Swearing and being aggressive before any of that was necessary.

    • MasterPrudent says:

      But God forbid we cut anyone slack when they have a bunch of fanboys loudly insisting they could do her job better every day of week despite having absolutely no clue.

      • sbooyah says:

        She was responding to someone politely disagreeing. You can speculate all day about what hypothetical harassment she was receiving, but this specific situation is her blowing up over someone politely disagreeing. You can not, in any context, label the tweet she blew up about as “harassment”. It is not.

        • MasterPrudent says:

          It’s not hypothetical.

        • kinyajuu says:

          It’s not at all hypothetical. Game developers deal with this kind of stuff from dozens upon dozens of fans a week (and I work on a game with a much smaller fan base). Women game devs aren’t the only target though, ALL game devs deal with it daily. Some just can’t shrug it off. This isn’t a field for those with oversensitive emotions regardless of sex, race, or religion.

          Is it right? Not really but it’s the way the world is, much easier to change one’s own actions than it is to change the rest of the world.

          An quote from an old friend – “If it’s everybody else, it’s you.”

        • Mokinokaro says:

          She politely asked to be removed from the conversation replies and only blew up when folks refused to do so.

          • XavTheOne says:

            I think you need to read the whole twitter chain again because that is absolutely wrong.

            Derior made the polite disagreement post, JP answered aggressively, Derior said he only wanted to create dialogue and appologized, JP posted another aggressive post, Derior appologized again.

    • Kolbex says:

      Do you think anybody who swears should be fired?

      • dosan says:

        Since the moment she is making her opinion known to everybody, all what she says sadly is accounted against her. And the worst is , if she was offended, then she should have told it and wait for an apology, not act like an entitled writer that cant be questioned, and when people dont follow her act, then make it a gender issue.

      • jeremyalexander says:

        Any employee that swears at the customers in my business would be fired on the spot and I’ve had to do it before, yes.

        • Kolbex says:

          Thank you for your service, you brave, brave troop.

          • Sunjammer says:

            Welcome to “Having A Job”. I’m baffled this is lost on some people. If you want a surefire way to unemployment, treat your customers poorly.

    • dosan says:

      Completely agree, i just read all this tweets from beginning to end, and the guy that started it, wasnt insulting or unpolite, he just said that he was slightly disagreeing with her. THEN she took it personal and started to make it a gender issue thing. Hell, even other woman said it to her, she exploded for nothing. And instead of seeing what she was doing, she continued calling an “asshat” to the guy that gave his opinion in the first place.

      Rockpapershotgun, usually i agree with all your articles, but for this one, i think you are pretty wrong. This has nothing to do with her being a woman, its about her being too rude to a fan.

      • MasterPrudent says:

        Being rude to a fan isn’t a fireable offence. Or at least it isn’t for the likes of Hideki Kamiya, who just so happens to be a dude. And this particular criticism might have been mild but if you find yourself constantly racked over the coals by folks who’ve never done your job you might understand why she snapped this time around.

        • sbooyah says:

          To clarify ‘being rude to a fan’:

          They were actively discussing Guild Wars 2. She was openly talking about what she works on and the details therein. Someone politely disagreed with her. She blew up on this person. This is definitely fireable lmao

        • gunny1993 says:

          TBF we are looking at this in a vacuum, this person may have been walking on thin ice for various reasons and this is the excuse they needed. If this person was truly valuable or deserving it would be far easier for a simple disciplinary.

          • MasterPrudent says:

            Maybe Arena Net should’ve said so in their statement then.

          • gunny1993 says:

            I mean it would be refreshingly honest for a company to go “These people are really just a fucking hassle to work with and aren’t that valuable, thanks for giving us an excuse to cut some dead weight”

            But being upfront an honest isn’t usually a valued trait nowadays

          • Someoldguy says:

            Yeah, don’t see that getting past the lawyer. Companies are about as transparent with the exact reasons behind hirings and firings as they are about the exact reasons why games get canned or turn out to be a mess.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Not just a fan: Deroir is an ANet partner. He does a lot of coverage for the game and ANet farm out a lot of marketing to their partners.

        Lashing out at him would be bad enough if he were just a fan, but as a partner they actually have a business relationship with him.

    • Funso Banjo says:

      Just to be balancing here, while Price was clearly out of line, Peter seems to have been relatively benign, and it seems harsh to treat him in the same manner as Price.

      • FriendlyFire says:

        Pretty sure they just had no choice not to fire Fries. If they didn’t, that would’ve been cause enough for Price to be able to start a costly gender discrimination lawsuit, and somewhat justifiably so since he backed her up on everything she said.

        • Hoot says:

          So in this case the dude is actually being discriminated against as he got the shaft just so legally the company could say gender wasn’t an issue as a man and a woman were both fired?

          But, but…but where is his white male privilege that should have allowed him to avoid being fired?

          • April March says:

            1. White male privilege doesn’t stop bad things from happening to you, it just makes it more likely that (certain) good things will happen and makes it less likely that (certain) bad things will happen.
            2. White male privilege is a self-sustaining paradigm. If protects you the most when you believe in it the most. A man that speaks against white male privilege loses a lot (but not all) of the privilege he gets from being a white male.

            Since this is 101 stuff I’m giving you these two for free. Cheers 😘

          • Hoot says:

            Thanks, Sheeple. Can I also get a free invite to your world, please?

          • Josh W says:

            Why would you want to? If you are able to live in a world where other people’s problems can be ignored, why would you force yourself to confront them?

  9. EwokThisWay says:

    Basically, the only mistake this Deroir person made is… being a man ?

    I can’t find anything disrespectful with his response, wether in the response itself or the way he made it.

    The guy even praises the thread for being interesting and tries his best to be nice and open to discussion.

    • Kolbex says:

      Who fucking cares? The issue isn’t Deroir, it’s whether or not someone should be fired for brusque statements on their personal Twitter account.

      • dosan says:

        LOL? This is the issue? The issue is what she did and the reaction it had, thats the article about. Deroid was polite, and she coudnt handle criticism so she exploded. And the justification she gave was: It is because its a gender thing….help me, help me , i am being repressed :(

      • I Got Pineapples says:

        And the established precedent for this is yes. You can be fired for anything.

      • Premium User Badge

        Malarious says:

        Not sure I agree with this, but I understand you’re coming from a good place.

        There’s a difference between punching up and punching down. Firing a woman because she got mildly annoyed on her personal account is absolute bullshit no matter which way you swing it, but there are some valid reasons to fire someone for things they say on twitter! I’m thinking open white supremacists, stuff like that. I’d be horrified if any company *didn’t* fire someone who espoused those kinds of views, even if it’s “on a personal account”.

    • MonkeyMonster says:

      It can be easily seen that the way he phrased his points, however (supposedly) polite it seems, were indeed condescending and mansplaining in how they were structured. Her reaction was understandable in that context. How she reacted on twitter could have been different and engineered a positive discourse. Once again, RPS writers are correctly pointing out issues involving sexism in the gaming world.

      • Someoldguy says:

        Really? I thought he was asking her why you couldn’t do multiple-response choices to dialogue “because it’s an MMO”. You can do it in single player RPGs, what makes it impossible in an MMO? I may be missing JPs point by a mile – probably am – but isn’t this exactly what SWTOR was doing with their open world environment interleaved with single player instances so you could have those meaningful interactions and express your character personality without 548 other players turning up to talk to the same NPC in the middle of your high-tension dramatic plot scene.

      • aepervius says:

        Having read his twit by your token Anything but complete agreement with a woman is mansplaning. Or maybe you are trying to justify a person obnoxious behavior by pulling stuff out of thin air.

        Also i am suuuuure that her being happy with TB cancer death and anybody disagreeing with her on that point was mansplaning.

      • Rack says:

        It’s a public forum, he’s explaining for the audience, not for her specifically.

    • Urthman says:

      The mistake he made was being unable to distinguish what context she was talking in.

      It wasn’t a Guild Wars 2 forum where she was asking for fan feedback about Guild Wars 2. It was a personal forum where she’s talking about game development ideas and using her work at ArenaNet as an illustration of those ideas.

      If you can’t tell that that’s not the place to barge in and say, “I THINK YOU SHOULD DO X IN GUILD WARS 2!” then learn to read better.

      • Menthalion says:

        Considering Twitter a personal forum is proof enough you’re not suited for any job more involved than boxing matches.

  10. NeuroNiky says:

    “Which is a failure to understand the context of the situation and to stand by your employees.”

    No, I think it’s you not understanding the context of the situation. The comment was left during an AMA session, which is, by definition, a situation where people *will* interact with you. Deroir simply gave his opinion, which could be right or could be wrong, in a polite manner. And both Price and Jessica went too far in the aggression without any apparent reason. AGAINST AN ARENANET CUSTOMER. AND PARTNER. WITH ARENANET NAME CLEARLY DISPLAYED IN THEIR PROFILE.

    Just go and insult your customer in whatever company you work for and see what they will do about it.

    • Butler says:

      Thank you for bringing some reason to an otherwise inane comment thread, and a somewhat dubious news post.

    • DarkFenix says:

      Yup. If I throw verbal abuse at a customer of my company on a random street corner on my day off, not a big deal. If I do so right outside the company’s store, wearing the company’s uniform, you’re damn right they should fire me.

  11. WMain00 says:

    Or, the company decided to fire both persons in question for violating communication and PR terms that they will have agreed and signed to when they started on board with the company. That they proceeded to have a very public spat, drag a community into a trolling nightmare and create a public embarrassment, will certainly not endear them toward the company they are employed too.

    Corporations have little time to unpick and unwind these sort of things. They will have been told to follow strict communication guidelines, they failed to do so (in dramatic effect), and this is the end result.

    ArenaNet are perfectly in their right to do so and made the right decision.

    • MrWolf says:

      It’s a sadly frequent state of affairs that I had to scroll this far down a comment section to find something so totally reasonable posted.

    • DasBilligeAlien says:

      While they may have the right to do so (no clue about work law in what ever country arenanet is)I think it is debatable if it was the right decision. Because social dynamics don’t really care about the given law.

      The aggressive community figureheads will start to intensify the already rampant harassment even more. That will have huge impacts on morale an increase the loss of experienced staff in the long term.

      ArenaNet just publicy exucuted two games writers. The game writer community will not react kindly to that. Even if theyagree that she over reacted.
      They could have issued an apology together with the writers, talk to thier influencer person and have it settled in a much less damaging way.

      This is the worst outcome for everyone besides the harassers.

    • April March says:

      Corporations have little time to unpick and unwind these sort of things. They will have been told to follow strict communication guidelines, they failed to do so (in dramatic effect), and this is the end result

      Then they should make more time.

      This is the same kind of logic that makes it OK for companies to cause massive environmental disasters as long as the CEO isn’t going to open the oil valve himself while cursing Captain Planet. Just because corporations are entities that exist to profit it doesn’t mean that they live in magical worlds where everything other than money is important, and they should be held accountable to things they do wrong.

  12. Khamous says:

    Oh boy, goodie it’s here too. I want to see which side wins here. Honestly I just find it amazing the toxicity in which she just answers stuff, as if he was just angry all the time wanting to explode. The initial dude couldn’t have been more apologetic at trying to start a conversation but apparently that is super condescending? And then there’s the whole argument about apparently twitter being private (which made me laugh because I hope no one dares answer to this comment I’m writing right now)?
    And then there’s the tweet she sent when Totalbiscuit died?
    Now I’m not saying ANet might be right not defending *any* of their employees, I’m just saying they might not be wrong not defending this particular one.

    • Kolbex says:

      And then there’s the tweet she sent when Totalbiscuit died?

      What does that have to do with any of this?

      • Khamous says:

        Sets a standard as to behavior. As I said:

        “Honestly I just find it amazing the toxicity in which she just answers stuff, as if he was just angry all the time wanting to explode.”
        (I can’t use the cooode I suck sry for readability).

        It’s being toxic for the sake of being toxic, nothing needed to be said then and nothing needed to be said here, it wasn’t a personal attack and she made it one.

        (Sorry I wasn’t clear on this connection I just didn’t want to make a super long comment).

        • Mokinokaro says:

          Look at her history before even that.

          She was fired from a good job when she exposed sexual harassment occurring at the company. This made her a target for the GG brigade at reddit.

          Her overreactions didn’t start until after they’d decided she was ripe for harassment. When she was hired by Arenanet, the KIA folks outright made it their mission to bring her down from day one.

          She’s definitely a very bitter person, but there’s external reasons for that. Even her tactless celebration of TB dying stems from that as GG really benefited from his promotion even after he decided to shun them over the harassment brigade they hid.

          Frieses’ firing shows this entire thing was just Arena Net catering to the harassment groups though. He didn’t say anything that warranted being fired at all except to politely ask that she be left alone on her non-company twitter.

          • skaarjkiller says:

            As a fellow game developer, all I can say is good riddance.

            There are hundreds of extremely talented, driven, good people in this industry. I’ve been fortunate enough only to encounter one other like Jessica Price, but that same kind of toxic chip-on-the-shoulder attitude can quickly turn an awesome studio into a battleground where people are afraid to speak their mind or contribute for fear of triggering the perpetually offended.

            People who just want to keep their heads down and work and make an awesome game shouldn’t have to live in fear of those who seek to turn every discussion or disagreement (as we saw with this Twitter debacle) into a platform to spout their hateful ideology.

      • April March says:

        What does that have to do with any of this?

        When you want to insult a woman, but you know that insulting a woman because she’s a woman is transparently sexist, you search ways to justify it in any way. This way it looks like you’re insulting a woman for a rational reason, so you can be opaquely sexist, and people need to fight this layer of deception before they can properly call you out for being sexist.

      • Yglorba says:

        It’s the real reason she was being targeted; the comments were just an excuse (hence why they’re so bafflingly mild.) He led a harassment mob when he was alive, and his followers want to try and bury that fact by… organizing harassment brigades to ruin the career of anyone who criticized him now that he’s dead. Woo.

        • Warcloud says:

          Fascinating narrative you are spinning here about a dead man. I don’t suppose you have any proof of TB commanding a ‘harassment mob’?

  13. I Got Pineapples says:

    Hey. You know when the time would have been to object to companies throwing people to the wolves? About eight years or so ago when we decided to open up everyones employment, even beyond public figures, to a morality test over bad posts (Because really, your ability to work and feed yourself should largely be decided by angry people on the interent) and ignored that companies are essentially cowards and will fire anyone over anything regardless of the nature of it because that is the simplest solution rather than assuming that your personal beliefs will be the thing to dictate the line in the sand and will extend no further than those you wish to see punished for their misdeeds.

    That would have been a real fucking good idea. Because I am seeing a lot of people who advocated for that standard being shocked and horrified by this and frankly it’s a house that they built and decided to live in because hey, you could build an entire internet brand by taking problematic scalps for a while there. You had the chance to object to this thing and you didn’t and now this is what happens, regardless of personal beliefs.

    And as an aside, the whole turning Deroir, who frankly comes across fairly reasonable and aggressively apologetic, into the villain of the piece, seems a little shitty given that any sins he comitted at all were relatively minor because you know that guys not gonna have a good time over the next few weeks.

    • Kolbex says:

      You had the chance to object to this thing and you didn’t

      Who exactly are you talking to here?

      • I Got Pineapples says:

        Everyone. ‘I demand to speak to your manager’ has been possibly the only universal principal shared across the political spectrum at this point and it’s something that we should have taken a stand against.

        • Kolbex says:

          You don’t speak to/for everyone, obviously. There are plenty of people who have been saying that firings like this are bad for as long as we’ve been aware of them. What power, exactly, do you think we have?

          • I Got Pineapples says:

            My point is that it’s too late. We have no power. We chose to reward it with social capital and a feeling of accomplishment back in the day and now it’s just how things are.

    • caerphoto says:

      And as an aside, the whole turning Deroir, who frankly comes across fairly reasonable and aggressively apologetic, into the villain of the piece

      Where in the article does this happen?

      • I Got Pineapples says:

        Painting t him as some aggressive mansplainer and symbol of all the ills of the industry that women face and the response he got as proportionate goes some way towards it.

        • caerphoto says:

          Sorry, I don’t see any of that in the article. It mentions Deroir commenting on Price’s Twitter thread, and says how she connects that act of commenting with women being condescended to, but that’s all. It’s not about Deroir’s comments specifically, it’s about the concept in general of people being condescending towards women.

          • I Got Pineapples says:

            Painting someone fairly innocent in the matter as being symbolic of broader social ills is about the cruelest thing you can do to a human being on the internet.

          • Chris D says:

            I would have to rank the systemic disrespect and disenfranchisement of an entire gender, the organisation of systematic campaigns of harassment and abuse and organised misogyny under the guise of “ethics in games journalism” as considerably crueller.

          • April March says:

            The villain in this article is ArenaNet. They only mention that Deroir stood by his statements and (quite wisely) left the brouhaha. If ArenaNet had stood by its employees (rather than the harassers) then there wouldn’t have been any problems, even with his tweets.

  14. Canazza says:

    The fact that Peter Fries has also apparently been fired too suggests there’s more going on here than just this twitter spat.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      He’d been with the company 10+ years.

      All it says to me is that ANet has decided to kowtow to harassment brigades.

  15. kagechikara says:

    I think that’s the real debate here–are people under obligation to be ‘at work’ on their public-facing social media feeds?

    (The answer is, unfortunately, yes.)

    However, I think firing her sends exactly the wrong message and firing the other guy is a really terrible approach. Also it’s amazing how much the ‘I will defend your right to an opinion I disagree with’ crowd never shows up for these comments. Suddenly it’s all ‘of course ArenaNet can fire people, duh, private company, back to complaining about how a controversial game on Steam being disallowed is censorship’, like these were two completely different concepts’.

    And now, to make my own SJW statement, I wonder if she would have been fired if she were a male dev making an angry comment about “assholes who never worked in the industry telling me what branching dialogue is” and swearing to block the next person who told them how to do their job.

    My bet is everyone would have gone ‘woah, dude, calm down, that was way too aggressive’ and then gone on with their lives, but I guess we’ll never know for sure.

    • Frosty Grin says:

      She surely could have been fired if she were a male developer talking like that to a female customer and making it about gender. Except a male developer would probably just agree to apologize.

    • Doogie2K says:

      That’s the thing that gets me. The same people celebrating this are the people who shit their pants when fucknuts there at Google was fired last year. I’m pretty peeved over this firing here, but at least I can kind of see where ANet’s coming from on her. I don’t like it, but I get it.

      The dude just said “hey, don’t be mean to my coworker.” How is that a firing offence?

    • bacon seeker says:

      These days people being fired for their expressing their right-wing views on the internet seems to be more common than people being fired for their expressing their left-wing views. And backing your side seems to be more common than standing up for free speech. As for the companies, they just appear to care more about minimizing bad press than standing up for their people.

  16. RosalietheDog says:

    I think Price’s response was inappropriate. You can also ignore people you don’t want to discuss with, rather than putting their comments on display in a negative way. (Dear twitter followers: look at this sexist male.) However Arenanet’s decision to fire her is shameful and unwarranted. I hope there are labor laws allowing her to contest this decision.

    • X_kot says:

      Labor laws? In America? Just look at the robustness of the National Labor Relations Board to see what good those laws are worth.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      She misread his intentions and then politely asked to be removed from the conversation only getting rude when replies were still being directed to her after.

      While I agree she probably should have apologized later as he meant no harm, none of this warranted her being fired.

  17. Uglycat says:

    I’m still trying to get my head around

    >correctly connecting it

  18. colw00t says:

    Meanwhile, Kamiya blocks people and calls them idiots left and right but people love him for it. Hmmmmmm.

    We’re going to be stuck in 2014 for the rest of our lives, aren’t we?

    Game devs need to unionize.

    • calibro says:

      Kamiya made a lot of good games and, more importantly, Japan is very different.

    • NeuroNiky says:

      You’re making an example of the most notable exception to the rule that you can find in the whole videogame industry. AND: he’s the freaking founder of Platinum Games. He can do whatever he wants cause he IS Platinum Games. He’s not just an employee.

      Don’t make this about genre, or culture, or whatever. If you are an employee in a public company, you have a code of conduit to follow in public, because the freaking reputation of the company is at stake if you act in the wrong way.

      • Jekadu says:

        Oh no, someone was rude in public on their free time.

        (Arguing that companies “own” you during work hours is pretty bad, too.)

        • Taintslapper says:

          They certainly don’t own you, but they do own their product and care very much about the manner in which their employees reflect upon that product.

          • Andrew says:

            Did she said anything bad about that product? Did she said anything bad about her workplace? About her employer? I don’t know what you do, but for me, it would be like if I was angry about JavaScript, publicly, out loud, and then got fired from my job as a web designer.

            But who am I kidding, I would not be fired, because it’s totally cool to be an angry guy in our society.

  19. InfiniteSubset says:

    Yeah, I agree with RPS most of the time, but this seems like someone was a jerk on the internet and got fired for it. I get that they get much worse all over the internet, but that isn’t an excuse to take it out on someone who isn’t making demands or even seriously criticizing her work or her person. It was a small disagreement about the scope of the problem she was detailing and his throughts on how a known approach was useful for this. This seems like polite and professional discourse. If you don’t want people to read and comments on your posts, they why post them?

    • kagechikara says:

      What are your feelings on the other dev who was fired for defending her? (Genuine question)

      • InfiniteSubset says:

        Seems like they both were pretty rude to a featured community member, so I’m not sure there is much difference between the situations. After reading a bit more about this I think that firing might be a little extreme, perhaps a reprimand would have been more appropriate, given their history on social media, but I don’t know their overall status in the company, or if there have been previous incidents.

  20. jeremyalexander says:

    They both deserved to be fired. Any employee of mine that swears at my customers is gone on the spot, end of story. Second, there’s no such thing as a private twitter account. If you want to interact with friends and colleagues without public interference then Twitter is the opposite of the platform you want to be on Go to something like Facebook and crank up the privacy settings. Third, there was nothing harassing, demeaning, or in any way an insult to her as a woman in that persons response. It was a polite response that she didn’t like because it didn’t agree with her and she flipped out for no reason. As for listening to people that aren’t game dev’s, that’s the weakest excuse possible. You don’t have to be a chef to know you’ve had a bad meal and you certainly can say something about it. Gaming, or anything else for that matter, is exactly the same. I don’t have to be a programmer to know what dialogue systems suck and which ones don’t. If she can’t handle criticism, then she should open her own studio, or give living in reality a try. Glad they both got canned and I hope they never work in the industry again.

    • Horg says:

      ”If you want to interact with friends and colleagues without public interference…….Go to something like Facebook and crank up the privacy settings”

      Don’t even do that if you work in the public sector (UK), most government bodies now have the authority to look at their employees internet history and search for information relevant to the agency. That’s the standard of online privacy right now, it barely exists. Treat everything you post online as if it’s tattooed on your forehead.

  21. Axyl says:

    Ooh… I know this one!!

    *ahem*

    “I’m glad she’s no longer around to keep doing harm”

    Nailed it.
    Karma’s a bitch. Zero sympathy for her.

    • aexia says:

      Being glad TotalBiscuit is dead is a positive thing though.

      • Abacus says:

        Yeah, you seem like a real ray of sunshine in this comment section.

      • Yglorba says:

        Yeah, it seems to me that the fact that the mere mention of his name can summon a harassment brigade to ruin your career even after his death proves that she was 100% right about him (with the only caveat being that the harm he’s done to the industry sadly continues.)

        • Hoot says:

          Looking back through her tweets reveals her to be a pretty vile misandrist as well as just a generally unpleasant, toxic person.

          It’s actually true social justice that people like her have their careers ruined.

      • Axyl says:

        I’d be glad to hear news of your death, but I still wouldn’t post about it on Twitter like some fucking ghoul.

  22. Kem0sabe says:

    It’s disingenuous to say that “this is my personal account, all opinions are my own”, when many large companies have clauses on their contracts that specifically say that if an employee compromises the public image of the company then that is a valid excuse for termination.

    She states on her twitter profile, which is public, that she’s a developer for Arenanet, so right there she is establishing a relationship with her employer and anything she says or does on that profile has a direct effect on the image of that employer.

    She wants the credibility and status that having “dev for big company” on her profile allows her, but doesnt want the responsibility of maintaining a good public image that that entails.

    For me the previous tweet about being glad that someone died was ground enough for termination, as that demonstrates not only crassness for the family of the deceased, but also a notable lack of empathy and sociopath tendencies.

  23. LadyInRed says:

    What an incredibly one-sided text. Do you, for sure, 100%, know that they just got fired for what they said on Twitter? Do you know, for sure, what went on behind closed doors at ArenaNet? They’re not idiots. And most importantly, they wouldn’t immediately fire someone who has worked there for 12 years. There are extremes on both sides, but you can’t deny she was being a jerk. If you don’t want any responses to what you say, write it in a diary. If you want an echo-chamber, set your account to private – but if you let people know you are a developer, you even have the company name on your profile (in Fries’ case), then you are – whether you want it or not – 24/7 representing the company. She turned a flee into an elephant, she was incredibly disrespectful and insulting. While I agree that this shouldn’t get you fired, this is where my previous point comes in: we do not know if they got fired, what options they got, whether they left on their own devices. So please, stop being so damn one-sided.

    • NeuroNiky says:

      The article is so blatantly biased that it left me speechless. I used to work for a Bank, and you actually had to actively defend the company policies even when out of office by contract. It’s nothing strange. It’s part of standard PR clauses of big companies. It’s got nothing to do with the sex of the person we’re talking about (and – incidentally – two persons, one female and one male, got fired, even if all the defending is being done to the female one).

      Or, as my grandfather used to say: you don’t shit where you eat.

  24. calibro says:

    So, wait.
    A guy politely responded to her thread about writing. And instead of muting / blocking him (if she doesn’t want a discussion) she outright insulted him for no reason? And then she’s surprised she’s fired from a big public company?
    Am I missing something here?

  25. Roberticus says:

    “On July 4th, Price quote-tweeted Deroir’s response, correctly connecting it to the all-too common situation of women game developers being condescended on Twitter.”

    Is this really a case of condescending to women? Deroir’s comments seem quite tame and constructive to me.

    link to twitter.com

  26. Bbox says:

    I find you’re completely off base with this article.

    Did you even read the tweets? Deroir was completely courteous and noncondescending in everything he wrote. There was zero gender bias in anything he said. So you 100% missed the boat, there.

    Anet’s response was completely appropriate. She was unnecessarily toxic and rude. And if you bother to check her Twitter history, this is not her first time. She has a history of toxicity. This is simply a case of the chickens coming home to roost.

    • Urthman says:

      It’s possible to be courteous and still out of place when you barge into a discussion about game development ideas and act like it’s a forum for giving feedback suggestions about a particular game.

      • twixter says:

        Why? It was a discussion about game development ideas, and he was talking about game development ideas using a specific example with which they would both be familiar. If she didn’t want to have a discussion, then why did she start a discussion?

        • April March says:

          Just because Twitter allows you to answer to any post it doesn’t mean every post is a discussion.

          • Warcloud says:

            I’ve been on Twitter for years now and I’ve never heard of this notion that there are, apparently, certain tweets where merely RESPONDING to the tweet (on this totally open discussion platform) in any way is offensive. But there is no indicator as to which tweets these are, the prospective responder must divine this information. I got a lot to learn!

  27. Kinsky says:

    I don’t see this as a subjugation of developers to irrationally demanding players and armchair critics so much as a subjugation of employee to employer, as well as a demonstration of the overpowering presence of digital entertainment and social media in our lives. Audiences care about who’s making their entertainment; social media gives them direct access to creators; creators are inextricably linked to their creation and don’t really get a break from representing it. The refrain of “But this is a private account!” seems laughably feeble in this world. However, this has been the state of affairs for a while now, and I feel that predicting this sequence of events is within reasonable expectations of foresight for somebody in her position. As somebody who thirsts for a job opportunity like that, it’s painful to see somebody squander it by being a chode on Twitter.

  28. RedCap7 says:

    She attacked her companies customers which is 100% not okay. In fact, it’s pretty much a guaranteed dismissal in most if not all instances.

    To be clear, this is NOT a gender thing. The only person who brought out the gender card was JP herself. She couldn’t accept the criticism and so played the victim.

    This article clearly highlights how you guys always want to fight against something. If people say black is black, then you make an article stating it’s white and that anyone who says it’s black is a bigot, racist or sexist.

    Not sure why anybody reads this blatantly biased crap.

    • theliel says:

      Things I’ve learned today, that telling people you don’t owe them work off the clock is insulting your fans.

      • twixter says:

        She started an open discussion, and then got upset when someone chose to participate. If she didn’t want to talk about work during off hours, why’d she publicly start a work-related discussion in the first place?

      • Abacus says:

        You really ought to take a look at an employment contract at some point. Company handbook? HR policies?

      • Josh W says:

        It’s a little more complex that that, when the work she said she didn’t owe them was making them feel respected despite their lack of professional experience.

        “Emotional labour” is a very broad category, like “social capital”, it can either allow you to bring non-economic thinking into the domain of economics, valuing things economics doesn’t normally cover, or it can allow you to bring economic thinking to normal social interactions.

        If you said to someone,

        “if you want me to consider your feelings and be polite to you, you have to pay me”

        that sounds absurd, if you say

        “being polite to you produces costs for me that I am not willing to resource right now”

        it sounds a little more reasonable, although still risks being a little sociopathic, but if you go all the way towards saying

        “I’ve had a lot of people undermining my ability lately, and I’m not in the mood to be questioned, or to pretend I’m not hurt by things”

        then you can go too far towards revealing your own discomfort.

        Talking about emotional labour lets you slide back and forth on a kind of “vulnerability to sociopathy” scale, and that’s a strength in making people feel powerful when they have few resources available to them, giving them a tool to say no to social expectation.

        But fundamentally it is not an imposition to demand emotional labour of people.

        Listening to criticism when someone thinks you are being racist is emotional labour, being patient and listening to victims of abuse is emotional labour, not getting angry with someone who beats you in an online game is emotional labour, not swearing at people on the road is emotional labour, and so on.

        The concept is supposed to reveal that society puts greater demands on some groups than others, and explain why people working in service industries often have frayed nerve endings when they come home. But we should understand the limits of applying it in the justification of people’s actions. It should be a source of forgiveness, and understanding of why someone did something wrong, not a generic justification of such outbursts.

    • Andrew says:

      Not sure why anybody reads this blatantly biased crap.

      You read it, ask yourself.

  29. Lawsoneer says:

    Well, this has escalated quickly.

    Still, I should be glad for RPS providing me a long list of the people I should be blocking. You know the ones; heads full of dirt, souls made of dust, and poison in their hearts; malign actors viciously defensive of the system of oppression that benefits them.

    Happy Friday.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      Honestly. The internet is such a tiring place.

    • Orchids says:

      I’ve pretty much worn out my little blocking finger on this comments section. I find it strangely depressing that so many of these people *read* RPS in the first place – surely there’s a game reviews equivalent of the Daily Fail they could be reading instead?

  30. Horg says:

    The content of the twitter conversations is largely irrelevant to the dismissal, what has happened here is yet another example of professionals failure to understand that social media is not, and never will be, ”personal space”.

    Like Facebook, despite being marketed as a personal and social space, they do not own their twitter accounts in any capacity. All dialogue on those accounts is archived and publicly open to view. It’s a permanent record held and owned by a 3rd party, and in using the platform to discuss work they have inseparably linked these accounts to their employer. Any content that reflects negatively on publicly viewable social media will also reflect negatively on the employer, and no employer is going to tolerate an employee who lacks the self control to moderate their own public image.

    Personal space hasn’t changed since the dawn of social media. You have it at home, in physical space around friends and family, and to a lesser extent in private or encrypted communication methods. Once a conversation becomes publicly viewable, searchable, and sharable, it’s not personal any more. Employers are really trying to hammer home the message that publicly viewable social media is not personal space, usage will be monitored, and responsible use is a condition of employment. This is not an unreasonable position to take, as everyone should be more concerned with what they upload to the internet. I feel like this message is slowly seeping through society, but will take a generation before it becomes accepted common sense.

    These employees may disagree that the content of their twitter accounts are no one elses business, but simply holding that opinion has no value when you have no power to enforce that belief. Irrespective of where you stand on the content of their disagreements, the lesson to take away from the story is either avoid public social media, or use it with extreme restraint and keep your uploads corporate friendly. My employers advice even extends to ‘be careful who your friends are if their content can be seen on your account(s)’. It sucks that we have to take such precautions in digital space, but that’s simply the way the world is right now, and it doesn’t appear to be changing for the better any time soon.

  31. wraithgr says:

    It’s called conduct rules. She was happy enough to use her employer’s name when it would give her tweets extra weight. Her employer requires her to “uphold a certain standard of conduct” as her contract of employment doubtless states. She clearly did not, and therefore she was fired.

    The thing I find most surprising is that Graham doesn’t seem to know how conduct clauses work and is trying to turn that into some “bad corporations throw poor innocent writers to the wolves” thing. I guess that way you get more clicks than “person violates conduct rules, gets fired”.

    • Urthman says:

      It’s sad that you think listing her job experience is “using her employer to give her tweets weight” rather than “using her own accomplishments to give her tweets weight.” As if the company makes the employees great rather than the other way around.

      • wraithgr says:

        You see a distinction where none is being made. The fact she is employed by a famous company speaks to her accomplishments. The assumption being that she deserves her job (well, not after this maybe, at least according to her employer), which is what was meant. Having (or having had) that job means she must be good at what she does, since any other assumptions would be disingenuous (that she doesn’t deserve the job or that the company is not good at hiring skilled individuals)

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      That would be Journalism.

      “On July 4th, Price quote-tweeted Deroir’s response, correctly connecting it to the all-too common situation of women game developers being condescended on Twitter.”

      This is RPS once more circling their wagons around the entirely wrong issue in order to leverage sentiment.

  32. atomaweapon says:

    I knew you guys were about as left wing as “game journalists” come, but this is ridiculous. You can read the whole convo yourself, and this guy was as polite as they come. Completely reasonable to give respectful feedback to a game dev, putting “herself” out there on a discussion forum. She was abusive, hateful and spiteful and started using her gender as a reason to not be criticized. It’s FINALLY good a developer stood up and said this is not acceptable. She WAS NOT being “harassed” in any fashion, and her ugly attitude is the reason she got canned.

    You guys are so out of touch with REAL gamers.

    • kagechikara says:

      RPS comments section are terrible for any sort of discussion but I need to know–what is a ‘real’ gamer?

      • forbiddenone says:

        Someone who plays games rather than viewing them as a potential outlet for propaganda (however well intentioned it may be).

    • Mokinokaro says:

      She wasn’t harassed by the initial commentor, but Price has been a popular target of the misogynist hate brigade since GG was a thing since she got fired for exposing sexual harassment at her employer.

      Even her comments about TB (which were horrible) sprung from the fact he cultivated the movement that was harassing her and still does to this day.

      Literally less than a year ago when she was hired by ANet, KIA folks were bragging that they’d get her fired.

      She definitely overstepped her bounds here but at the same time I’m not sure if it deserved a firing. Frieses definitely did not deserve one for standing up against a coworker who was being harassed by that point.

  33. Zorgulon says:

    In this comment section: people are jerks online in celebration of people getting fired for supposedly being jerks online.

    I sure hope no-one here gets fired for an angry comment online.

  34. Sargonite says:

    It’s too bad people like Deroir don’t understand how to have these discussions without being obnoxiously rude.

    Here’s a tip: instead of saying “You’re wrong, Mr/s Professional, here’s the True Truth(th)”, maybe ask questions? Something like “Interesting! What are some of the barriers to using branching dialog?” respects someone’s professional expertise and invites them to share knowledge rather than condescending them.

    But oh well, some people love harping about their right to act like trash.

    • Shaneenee says:

      Here’s a tip: Don’t use here’s a tip. It’s condescending. We’re not Deroir, don’t write what you’re criticising when you’re not even directly addressing him.

    • Asurmen says:

      Except your tip here is utterly useless, seeing as that isn’t how Deroir phrased their post.

    • CalvinCoolidge says:

      Did you even read Deroir’s post? The reply was as courteous as the internet gets! Your tip suggests Deroir should begin with “Interesting!”
      The reply literally started: “Really interesting thread to read!”

    • Rack says:

      She (was) a games writer. Not God. That’s a really severe level of deference you’re proposing.

  35. Taintslapper says:

    The bottom line is that she was reflecting negatively on her employer’s product and image in a public conversation with her customers. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the clock or not; they’re still your customers and the product still belongs to your employer.

    Do I think she should have been fired? Probably not, nor do I see this as a case of gender inequality. You can claim that other male devs have gotten away with this in the past, but how many of those have been with ArenaNet?

  36. Ben King says:

    This is prompting me to look back on my own interactions with developers (and writers here at RPS) and put a critical eye to my own words and actions online. I’ve definitely put in my own two cents where it wasn’t needed, wanted or even valuable more times than I wish, but I hope I have the wits to recognize and the humility to apologize when i hurt people. I seriously get my wires crossed in beta testing sometimes where I’ll get on a roll offering criticism and bug reports in Beta forums then drop back into twitter and look at some OTHER developer’s item placement in a level and begin running my mouth as though I’ve been solicited for help… when really i’m intruding and making their lives harder for no good reason.

  37. Daymare says:

    I think it would be good if somebody in this comments thread could explain why Price initially reacted the way she did. Explain why that “politely disagreeing” comment pissed her off in the first place. I feel like it’s an important point to make, but I’m really really tired right now, so I’m not gonna try for now.

    I think a lot of people arguing against her might not understand how she could find it sexist. I do understand, but I wonder if she wasn’t biased in her own way.

    Anyhow, getting fired for that — even if Anet are in their right to do so — seems awful.

    • kinyajuu says:

      It’s because, as a game developer, you deal with these well-meaning, but condescending comments almost daily. I’m sure this was more of a “last straw” overreaction. I deal with it a lot as well, but I’ve learned that they are just excited about the product and want it to be great. You have to read between the lines on those kinds of comments and not take them personally, which she very much did.

      Being that the other person was fired as well, I get the feeling that they had some kind of “us vs them” thing going on, even around the company. You would be surprised at how quickly a team can go from happy to burnt out and mad with just ONE always angry person on the team. Her type is poisonous, always on the lookout for anything that might constitute as a slight on her gender. She was a gun looking for a target basically.

      • Mokinokaro says:

        Price has a long history of being targeted by misogynist asshats online as I noted above.

        She was a primary target of GG and even the current incarnation of KIA were deadset on getting her fired from ANet from the day she signed up with them.

        • kinyajuu says:

          The problem is that she chooses to respond to those kinds of things. The world is full of others trying to drag you down using whatever they can. It’s not okay but it’s how the world works. She needs to learn to play the game of life, yelling at the world for not being fair is what a child does, an adult accepts it for what it is. I’ve had my fair share of people trying to use autism against me as well as many other things. She just chooses to whine loudly about her problems.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            So it’d be better if women being harassed just stayed quiet then?

            It’s a catch-22 situation.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            That’s not what he’s saying man.

            He’s just talking about the constant barrage of nonsense from fans.

            I think it speaks more to how god damn awful Twitter is. But surely everyone understand this? Like, it’s not private. It’s like going to the town square, speaking really loudly and hoping nobody hears you, if you want a wee chat. It’s garbage.

            Not a single day goes by it seems, where I don’t find reason to think Twitter should be burned to the ground, the ground salted and then burned and then scooped up and catapulted into the sun.

            I cannot fathom why anyone would ever use it.

          • Josh W says:

            The problem is that she didn’t respond at that moment to explicit or subtle but intentional harassment, but to good faith desire to discuss things, framing it incorrectly as an example of such harassment.

            The problem is that harassment provided a frame of reference in which reasonable and friendly disagreement was interpreted as an attempt to signal something about worth.

            In fact that’s incorrect too, I don’t think even she was conceptualising this in terms of harassment, but firstly in the sense that women can receive a higher density of criticism and advice than men, both legitimate and illegitimate.

            In other words, even if the argument makes sense, you know that as a women, you are more likely to hear that argument than if someone considered saying it to a man and subconsciously self-edited due to social biases.

            And secondly, she was irritated by the implication that something she had already discarded as a solution was being re-suggested, with the implication that she had not considered it sufficiently.

            That last part is something that can be tied to harassment, because although I definitely see that as an example of poor judgement, and saying “here’s my problem, actually I don’t want to talk about it at all”, (paradoxically, itself a request for emotional labour, in the sense that people usually do this in personal communication in the hope that a friend will give them permission to let themselves off the hook, as people often do when complaining to friends, and potentially getting irritated if they offer solutions instead) you can see how being frequently harassed might put someone in a more defensive frame of mind, leading to them to react with more severity than is warranted.

  38. hatlock says:

    I wonder if firing was excessively harsh if we are talking about just that interaction featured in the article.

    Also, I have to say Deroir’s comments seem incredibly benign (or at least the tweets that are a part of that thread). I think it might illustrate the difficulty with having conversations on the internet. He or she seems like they were not very knowledgeable on the topic and was talking out some solutions to aid in his or her understanding.

    There are a lot of different arguments being made in this topic. Do women suffer harassment? Yes, absolutely! Does being open minded and exploring this topic further invalidate or validate that point. No!

    This is a topic too complicated to fully discuss on an internet comment forum.

  39. Thulsa Hex says:

    What’s with all the apologist fanboys posting on here these days?

  40. DarkFenix says:

    What a horribly biased article. Having now done my reading around the happenings, ArenaNet were absolutely right to fire them.

    Whether or not you’re on the clock, you’re still a representative of that company (while you can be identified as such) and must behave accordingly in public.

    Deroir was nothing but polite, Price then turns around and absolutely goes for him in the most aggressively toxic manner possible, simultaneously trying to play the victim and drag irrelevancies of gender into the matter. Twitter is not a private space, it’s extremely public and anyone whose name is tied to their employer absolutely represents them there.

    Her behaviour was disgraceful and she richly deserved what she got. Furthermore, this isn’t the first time her character has been revealed to be utterly vile, it wouldn’t surprise me if she’s an extremely nasty person to work with and ArenaNet were simply looking for an excuse to get rid of her.

    This isn’t a victory for “players and harassers who make unreasonable demands of game developers”, this is a win for common bloody decency and the notion that you can’t dodge accountability for your actions in public. Shame on you RPS.

  41. mitrovarr says:

    Well, ArenaNet has added itself to the list of developers I won’t deal with or buy anything from. Throwing your employees away like they mean nothing to you at all is infinitely more damaging to your company’s reputation than one of them getting in a twitter slapfight.

    • John Titor says:

      $10 says you never dealt with them to begin with.

    • Josh W says:

      I think it depends why and how they get into a twitter fight. What people say matters, and I think it’s more reasonable if people get fired for, for example, trying to recruit people into a harassment campaign, other kinds of intentional significant cruelty, trying to associate their company’s brand with their own personal projects, other stuff that materially influences their companies commercial position etc.

      I’d prefer if they talked to the respective people and put out a public statement affirming how their developers are expected to engage with the public, and condemning harassment etc.

  42. Andrew says:

    I’m pretty sure that we not gonna have a polite discussion about it now, but maybe a thought for a later day: companies that if not create, but encourage this rampant entitled fanbase. You know, how you constantly hear “it’s all about fans”, “this was only made because of fans”, stuff like that. People in marketing love that, but they are not the ones that actually deal with said fans (it’s a job for community managers, and any dev with a Twitter account, apparently). And if it’s gonna blow up in their face? If the community becomes toxic? Hey, there already got the money, right? Right?..

    • Horg says:

      The fans did not get her fired.

      • Andrew says:

        I blame ArenaNet, what you read in my comment instead of that?

        • Horg says:

          My point is that the fans had no impact on the decision to dismiss, therefore the personal quality of the fan base, and weather or not ArenaNet passively or actively foster an atmosphere of toxicity or entitlement, is irrelevant.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            I wouldn’t be too sure, a rabid portion of the “fanbase” were after her from the first day she was hired.

            ANet might have been getting a lot of hatemail mentioning her and had enough.

          • Horg says:

            If she was based in a ‘right to work’ state (which I think the majority are) she could have been dismissed for practically any reason. If the fans were impacting this decision, ArenaNet wouldn’t have need to wait for a social media meltdown, which is a sackable offense in its own right, to give her the boot.

          • Arglebargle says:

            We call them, ‘Right to Fire’ states…..

    • Taintslapper says:

      At the end of the day we can agree on two things maybe? That the safety of a keyboard brings out a lot of vile qualities in people and that maybe we should all strive to be more patient and understanding of one another, and that as an employee of a company you should be more aware of what you say and where you say it.

      • Andrew says:

        You are not your job. Is that simple enough statement that we can agree on maybe? Also, you should not be fired by being shitted upon constantly by so-called fans and venting about it. If you can’t vent about your job (not even your workplace, but your job), there is no freedom in this world. RPS people vented about this exact thing and no one fired them. RPS is a better employer than ArenaNet, clearly.

        • Taintslapper says:

          What do you think would have happened if a Dev wearing a badge clearly marking them as an employee of a company went to E3, walked on stage, and engaged in a disrespectful confrontation with her customers? Would it be justified because they had said something disrespectful even if that Dev was off the clock?

          There is a huge difference between venting about work to your chums over a beer and flying off the handle over a public platform.

          • Andrew says:

            I would pay money to see that!

            Too bad it wasn’t at all that happened here, that wasn’t disrespectful, not a confrontation, on clearly her personal twitter, during her clearly I’m-not-an-employee-at-this-moment holiday time, and without any badges.

  43. kagechikara says:

    Also it’s bizarre to me that no one has mentioned the other dev who was fired in this story? Is his firing for standing up for her okay?

    • Mokinokaro says:

      I read the theory on another site that he may have been let go to avoid this looking like a discrimination case.

      Even if that’s true it shows ANet does not care much about their employees.

    • Doogie2K says:

      This is the thing I keep coming back to. You can make a case for firing Jessica Price. It sucks, and I don’t personally agree with it – I think ANet needed to stand up for their employee here – but it’s a reality of Twitter as a public forum. Fine. Whatever.

      What the hell did Peter Fries do, aside from support his coworker? And civilly, at that. Even if wading into that was technically a no-no, that is at worst an awkward conversation with your manager the next day.

  44. Lastknown says:

    So let me get my arms around this issue, the company was wrong to fire a employee who was discussing her work on a public forum and when respectfully disagreed with, not even saying he was right, she responded in a very disrespectful and unprofessional fashion and even called him a a..hat. After he apologized. Then had a huge tantrum online that potentially damaged their business. Maybe firing wasnt the only solution but it was A solution.

    I work with a job with clients, I dont discuss work on my social media. And if I did and a client or potential client responded to me in a manner like this and I called them an a..hat I am pretty sure my boss would fire me too.

    Now dont get me wrong, women have a tough time in gaming to say the least. Look at what gamers did during the whole Andromeda fiasco. But in this case she behaved very unprofessionally. I also think rock, paper, shotgun didnt give the full context in their reporting of this incident. Read what was actually the criticism and tell me that was gender based at all. He hit her at like a 1 and she hit back at a 10.

    Male or female, if someone responded in that manner after discussing their work in an explanation that appears geared towards the community on their private…is twitter really private?, feed. Then someone says hey that’s wonderful, but I think we could pursue it this way. And your response could be A. nothing (very simple), B. Say I disagree and explain why your 10 years of experience tells you why they are wrong, I am assuming here he may not have agreed but the tone of his posts seems like he respect it. Or C. Throw a tantrum, make it about sexism, and then bad mouth the person. If the person is trolling you go ahead, or block them, etc. But I think he was trying to engage in a meaningful discussion.

    My post isnt to glorify her being terminated, nor is to say women in her position dont face unfair work environments everyday. (something I am lucky not to have to deal with) But she should have chosen her battle and maybe when someone who deserves it gets hit then she can hit them back. This isnt victim blaming because objectively she wasnt the victim here.

    Do we want to live in a world on the polar opposite of today? Say I disagree with the conclusions of a co-worker who is female but now I am afraid of even talking to her about it because Ill be labeled a sexist, simply for disagreeing with her. Cant there be a middle ground when both parties are free to actually discuss subjects with out one side shutting them down based upon their sex. right now it is heavily in favor of men shutting women down but is the opposite any better? Point in fact, AFTER I wrote my criticism of this website’s coverage, I looked to see if it was a women who wrote this article. Why should that even matter? Maybe, I’m wrong maybe the site is right but the sex of the authors should have no play at all in that determination.

  45. ZakG says:

    Well ArenaNet just made it onto my boycott list.

    There are ways of dealing with this situation (many companies do all the time) but this felt like maybe they were looking for an excuse to fire these people OR had an ideological stand they wanted to make public. I’m glad they decided to make my choice easy either way.

  46. Nyxx says:

    I feel like we (you) are forgetting that it does not matter if your account is personal or not, talking about your work/responding to your customers about work requires a certain amount of patience (or you can simply ignore it). I see some pots saying that there is some kind of rampant fandom going around, bht the gamers did not get her fired. She got herself fired for acting unprofessional towards a customer. If you were to verbally shit all over a customer in any kind of business regardless if it was during or outside of business hours you would get fired.

    In this case I only see someone that’s passionate about the game and story telling the writer how they feel (after they share their story). In a non-offensive mstter.. Only to be completely what upon by the writer. You cannot and should not be a dick to your customers – they will leave unless they are addicts.

    I mean it’s also completely against what this website says about comments: respect others, think before you post.

    I agree with Arenanet’s decision to get rid of these people, and yes whether or not it’s your core job to take care of customers or not, you do not shit all over them. It is unprofessional.

    Also apologies for any typos or brevity… Typing on a phone is a pain in the backside.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      Frieses wasn’t rude at all, though?

      All he did was point out that she was talking on her private account and had asked to be removed from the conversation already.

      Nothing at all that deserved a firing even if you agree her attitude was terrible.

      • Nyxx says:

        I agree with you on that point… I feel like they were in the wrong there. I disagree with what he said, but what he said was definitely not enough to fire him.

        U guess I got distracted by the article focusing on the accounts being personal overall – that doesn’t matter when you work for a company that relies on reputation (i.e. all companies).

        Him defending her was fine, her shitting all the people that indirectly make sure she had a job was not.

        • plebman182 says:

          Looking at a lot of the comments about how her firing wasn’t warranted makes me feel a lot of these people haven’t worked anywhere in recent years. Since social media has become a thing companies can and will regularly check your social media to make sure you are not representing them in a bad light. Even stupid things like having pictures of yourself on a night out in your work uniform can get you sacked these days cause they might think it makes them look bad.

          Her personal account or not, she had that she worked for arenanet in her bio so essentially that is her representing the company with everything she says on her twitter.

  47. Jekadu says:

    So many people here missing the forest for all the trees. My block button is getting a workout.

  48. ShinGlacier says:

    It’s not about being a woman, man, chair or whatever. She flipped out with no reason at all, so face the consequences.

    • Chris D says:

      Spoken like a straight white male.

      • Amarinth says:

        This had nothing to do with her gender, ever. Not in this specific instance which found her getting herself fired. Deroir said nothing offensive ever. He simply responded to her with polite discourse that she then turned into ‘HOW DARE YOU DISAGREE WITH ME ON MY PERSONAL TWITTER ABOUT MY JOB WHICH I JUST TWEETED ABOUT ON MY PUBLIC PERSONAL TWITTER? THIS IS MY PRIVATE SPACE THAT I MADE PUBLIC, THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY JOB, BUT I TWEETED ABOUT MY JOB ON IT ANYWAY BUT YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO COMMENT. THIS IS SEXISM AND YOU’RE AN ASSHAT FOR DARING TO TRY AND TALK TO ME LIKE A HUMAN BEING!’
        She was rightly fired. Her co-worker was rightly fired. He should have stayed out of it. There was absolutely no reason for him to defend her. She wasn’t being attacked by Deroir. You point out to me where, anywhere, in his responses did he ever attack her. I’ve read the entire thread. And then I heard her response on this stupid article, which is obviously heavily biased and, while complaining about context completely misrepresents and ignores the context of this very happening in such a blatantly biased manner that I *had* to make an account just to say that.

    • Stromko says:

      I’m pretty sure she didn’t ‘flip out’. She was mildly snarky to a guy and then a pack of MRA’s descended like vulture-sharks smelling blood. Got fired for not being polite to worst people on planet.

  49. sosolidshoe says:

    More accurate title: game developer takes out frustration with society by ranting at random person who politely disagreed with her point of view, made angry responses to the inevitable bad reaction to that behaviour, and then got fired for her own bad behaviour.

    Based on the archived tweets though, I’m not sure why the other guy was fired – he was categorically wrong in what he said, but unlike the instigator he didn’t resort to abuse and namecalling.

    Like, seriously, this is even a discussion? If I sling abuse at a customer(or, for that matter, anyone) in public while identifying myself with my employer, it doesn’t matter if I’m actually on the clock at my employer’s premises or not, I would be fired and absolutely rightly so.

    Sharing an opinion in public is, by definition, an invitation for that opinion to be challenged and discussed, you don’t get to pull “nyeeh not my work account” as an excuse, Twitter is *not* private and if you can’t handle having your opinions challenged even politely then don’t post them in a public forum.

    And trying to present this whole thing – both by her and by this article – as being indicative of sexism is ridiculous. Is the author genuinely going to sit there and pretend male game developers who state specific opinions about game development never have those views challenged? That people wouldn’t react badly to that male developer responding to polite disagreement with abusive behaviour? That an employer would step in and defend a male developer who engaged in abusive behaviour rather than quite rightly sacking them?

    If you want to rant and swear and slag off your customers or anybody else in the privacy of your own home or your buddies’ WhatsApp group, go nuts, but if you’re so incapable of handling criticism of an opinion – not her, not her appearance, not her personality, an opinion she expressed – which you chose to express on a public forum that your only resort is to start a namecalling tantrum that misappropriates feminist terminology to preemptively play the victim, your employer firing you is not “throwing you to the wolves” or “caving in to toxic fandom”, it’s the entirely deserved consequence of your own actions.

    • elwood_p says:

      Bang on the money.

      To me, this article has reported the story from a very unbalanced perspective.

      These type of discussions can often devolve into accusations and name-calling from two sides diametrically opposed. It’s good to see many of the comments on here written with actual common sense and reason. It’s a pity the article itself isn’t quite as even-handed.

    • BaaBaa says:

      They should be reminded of what happened to Adam Orth and his views on XBone always being connected.

      link to venturebeat.com

    • Stromko says:

      She didn’t seem abusive at all, but if she were, then another developer coming in to her defense would also be culpable.

      It’s funny that so many commentators are damning the first developer but willing to let the second developer slide. It’s almost as if there’s something different between these two people we’ve both probably never heard of before today. Like their pronouns.

      Anyone who thinks RPS is some hive of SJW-villainy should really get some perspective in life.

      • Hoot says:

        Erm…no.

        The guy jumping in to defend his former colleague wasn’t attacking random fans or the guy who basically just said “Good read, here’s my thoughts!” (which, on a public platform, is by every measure completely reasonable to say and could only hope to illicit discussion or affirmative/negative acknowledgement, unless you have a chip on your shoulder and you wanna project your own issues regarding gender onto a discussion that has gone nowhere near the subject), he was just offering some words in defence of his friend.

        It has nothing to do with him being a bloke.

        Harsh that he got the sack but completely justified that she did. Just like that dude at BioWare who was basically an open racist (and undoubtedly a far more despicable human being) deserved to get the sack.

      • citizenmaimed says:

        Do you notice how you disagreed with members of this discussion without calling them names and telling them to fuck off. That is what makes your discourse a better example of how people should interact than how Jessica Price did.

      • danielfath says:

        It’s funny that so many commentators are damning the first developer but willing to let the second developer slide

        Second developer, didn’t respond to Deroir with “You tell me how, my dude 9_9”.

    • smallfry says:

      Very well said, sosolidshoe.

    • triesleast says:

      Amen, I really don’t understand why people are getting so worked up over this. How you conduct yourself on social media and your work life have been closely linked for quite awhile now, and I don’t know why this article, which complains about context not being taken into account, refuses to actually take context into account, or even supply accurate context. Derior is one of the biggest streamers of GW2, he knows the lore better than many of the devs, and he’s been so involved with the game he has an NPC named after him. You’d think that if you are part of a company with a set standard for communicating with players, are using your twitter account that is tied to that very same employment, and you want to wrongfully demonize and harass your customers in direct violation of those standards, at the very least you might not want to do it to one of the biggest names in the community, while they are being polite in their disagreements and trying to start a conversation. Also, this isn’t the first time Price has done something like this, I believe she was also fired from Paizo for being unprofessional with fans.

    • Hoot says:

      Have to agree with you. Well said.

    • plebman182 says:

      In this day and age of social media, almost every company has social media policies because the company does not want to seen in a bad light in any way. You can get sacked these days if you were to put up pictures of a night out while your in your work uniform, even if those pictures have nothing inherently bad in them but the company won’t see it that way, they will just see you out, representing them and potentially acting a drunken fool etc whether your on the clock or not. This has been a thing for years now.

      Her having in her bio on twitter that she worked for arenanet, is pretty much the equivalent of her being out in her work uniform, her twitter is representing the company whether it is her personal twitter or not and speaking to customers the way she did would get you fired from pretty much anywhere. Plus like that bioware dev she was celebrating the death of John Bain which says to me she is a pretty shitty person who likely had this coming regardless.

      • Hoot says:

        When you celebrate the death of a games critic who was well known for his candour and anti-greedy corporation views then you reveal yourself to be a turd.

  50. Crossbit says:

    “Price’s tweets on July 4th were clearly responding not to a single tweet but explicitly addressing the broader reality of “being a female game dev” today.”

    While she may have been responding to a larger experience, the fact still remains that in doing so she publicly lambasted and insulted someone for trying to engage with her in a perfectly civil and polite manner, and then… just kept going.

    However frustrated you may be by your experiences in any job, venting like that in *a public forum* is never going to do you or your employer any favours. While I definitely agree that she and her colleague didn’t deserve to be fired, Price was absolutely due some form of *significant* disciplinary action for a PR disaster of that scale.

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