Game Developer Harassment As Bad As Ever?

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Is game developer harassment as bad as this article makes it seem or does the game industry just need to grow thicker skin?

So what difference has a year made? Not much, it seems. Developers are still harassed, the IGDA decided against support groups but are creating a special interest group to investigate mental health. It is also looking at ways to train gamers to be more polite in their interactions with developers.
 

russo121

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You should never treat your clients as shit, EVER!
The industry should adapt themselves to the real world, and who is not prepared to deal with it have 2 options:

- have a PR department;
- change job / industry
 

WaltC

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This is one of the strangest articles I've ever read. I really wonder if by "harassment" they actually mean "criticism" or even "constructive criticism." I've been computer gaming for almost 30 years and the idea of harassing (or threatening) a game developer for any reason at all has never entered my mind--right up until I read this article. What on earth would be the point?

Yea, there are a lot of mean, brainless people posting in places on the Internet. But that's true for everyone, not just game developers. The trick is simply to stay away from the kinds of forums where people write horrid things about one another. Playing the violin and complaining about "gamer harassment" almost makes me want to puke it's so helpless and whiny. These developers need to take control of their lives and simply stay away from forums where people say stupidly abusive things that have no redeeming value whatever. Ignore such nonsense, is all that they need to do.

Is everyone going to agree with you? No. Is everyone going to like you, even if you go out of your way to befriend them? No. That's just life. A**holes abound...;) But the first thing developers have to do when they grow up is to learn the difference between honest criticism and "harassment." I'd like to think they know the difference, but the article here doesn't provide me with much hope on that score.
 

spugm1r3

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The only difference between software development in the gaming industry and software development in the rest of the world is how vocal the audience is. Software development, in general, is an industry where the only indication that you've done your job right is that no one complains. Sometimes, even, the closest you get to that is a slew of suggestions of what could have been better.

Thankfully, in the rest of the software world, the collective age of your audience is somewhere beyond your average college sot, so you avoid the bulk of the vitriol.
 
D

Deleted member 204526

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This is one of the strangest articles I've ever read. I really wonder if by "harassment" they actually mean "criticism" or even "constructive criticism." I've been computer gaming for almost 30 years and the idea of harassing (or threatening) a game developer for any reason at all has never entered my mind--right up until I read this article. What on earth would be the point?

Yea, there are a lot of mean, brainless people posting in places on the Internet. But that's true for everyone, not just game developers. The trick is simply to stay away from the kinds of forums where people write horrid things about one another. Playing the violin and complaining about "gamer harassment" almost makes me want to puke it's so helpless and whiny. These developers need to take control of their lives and simply stay away from forums where people say stupidly abusive things that have no redeeming value whatever. Ignore such nonsense, is all that they need to do.

Is everyone going to agree with you? No. Is everyone going to like you, even if you go out of your way to befriend them? No. That's just life. A**holes abound...;) But the first thing developers have to do when they grow up is to learn the difference between honest criticism and "harassment." I'd like to think they know the difference, but the article here doesn't provide me with much hope on that score.
Some people take the oddest things deadly serious. Deadly serious gamers fall into the same category as deadly serious pro wrestling fans. All I can think is . . . C'mon people, get a fuckin' life already! Such shallow minds are—ironically—beyond my ability to understand.
 

Ashbringer

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#1 You're on the internet then you better be ready for criticism. When Egoraptor approached JohnTron he asked him to join him to create GameGrumps, but he has to be ready to take hate from YouTube commentators.

#2 If you make a shitty product then expect a lot of hate. I don't care what IGN or reviews sites say, there's a 9/10 chance that your game is gonna suck.

#3 If you make a good game then be ready for trolls. Just the way some people are. Deal with it.
 

Json23

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Ignore the trolls and respond to the rest. Any type of trolling you can't simply ignore should be relegated to the police. Problem solved.
 

Croaker

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Problem is this can go way over the line. This happened to a friend of mine in the industry: Getting docx'd. Getting death threats on your home phone - great when the first one is when his wife answered the phone; getting boxes of dead animal parts mailed to the office and home. Just ignoring them is not always the answer. Also know of another one more recently where a person was dox'd and the info was sent around by the troll urging people to rape the person.

Some of these trolls are seriously broken people...
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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There are some really sick people playing and complaining about video games. It seems like this is worse than other hobbies. The kinds of people doing this sort of stuff may have a certain mental disorder tendency that attracts them to playing video games or the violence in the games themselves is possibly at the root of the problem. Either way, the creepy things people are doing should be enough to warn off people and companies from making games so the insane death threat types go back to harassing political figures.
 

cageymaru

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Yes, people threaten the lives of game developers all of the time. I see it on Twitter. In the Steam forums. Perfect example would be WoW. Ever read the World of Warcraft forums and wonder why there are so many moderators, community moderators, MVP's, etc? It's because some obsessed gamers will DDOS each other to win. They will SWAT each other if they lose an arena match. They come to your home and fight you for beating them. Their avatar is real fucking life to them. These people are truly obsessed to the max!

And if a developer changes something about how their character plays or even how they look, you see multiple death threats posted. Or the obligatory I hope you die in a fire tonight while you sleep. And these people are 100% serious. I would liken it to a stalker being attracted to a celebrity and showing up in their house one night. Sorry but most developers aren't used to the attention. They simply don't know how to handle a fan sending them mail, phone calls etc with messages saying that they are going to rape their children and cut them into pieces.

These are just everyday people that went to college, got good enough grades to get a job, moved up in the company enough to be mentioned in a company highlight, and then the stalkers and crazies are attracted to them. It's happened to authors, actors, public figures like mayors, presidents, etc.

Some people are just mentally unstable.
 

B2BigAl

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No, gamers need to realize there are real people on the other end of their vicious, hateful attacks, and grow the hell up. If I get a shitty hamburger at a restaraunt, I don't go tell the cook back in the kitchen to fuck himself and wish his family dead. Don't give me that shit about being "on the internet" either. If you use that as an excuse to berate people, you're the one who's fucked up.
 

cageymaru

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Problem is this can go way over the line. This happened to a friend of mine in the industry: Getting docx'd. Getting death threats on your home phone - great when the first one is when his wife answered the phone; getting boxes of dead animal parts mailed to the office and home. Just ignoring them is not always the answer. Also know of another one more recently where a person was dox'd and the info was sent around by the troll urging people to rape the person.

Some of these trolls are seriously broken people...

Didn't you make a game recently? Warmachine Tactics? If so what is the release date so I can grab a copy. We need more discussions about games that developers that frequent [H]ardocp on the boards. I would love for you to start an Official Warmachine Tactics thread in the PC Gaming section with some screenshots and stuff.

Sorry about your friend getting harassed like that. There should be an easier way to trace people so they can be arrested and charged.
 

Zion Halcyon

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SWTOR is notorious for this.

They refuse to comment on anything until a week before it hits test center. It leads to a lot of unrest in the community in terms of even knowing where they hell they are going
 

Staples

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If the article mentions whinny PC gamers who have tantrums, this is the forum where a lot of them hang out.
 

spugnor

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How did i know this article was written by a woman. <sigh>

Not a misogynist, but it was pretty easy to tell it was written by someone who can't handle criticism.
 

rudy

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The developers open themselves up to it. Exactly like this. They say they care and are going to improve things so that more people preorder their junk. But really its junk and its all lies to get cash up front, then they take your money and let you into an alpha called a beta. When people complain that things are not working or are buggy the developers often do 1 of 2 things. First they might say we are going to fix it, but it never gets fixed. The other thing they do is say that it cannot be fixed due to something out of their control, or their is a silent majority that disagrees with the discontent. This happens in game after game and its no surprise that some people get really pissed off about it.

Take a hint from valve they don't do much of any communication, they just make games and release them then they let the people do what they want with them. They just don't have huge amounts of broken promises and excuses.

Also this brings up another point, a lot of these game developers actively try to stop the community from fixing their own issues another item valve doesn't do. You cant run your own servers, you cannot make your own maps, you cannot make your mods or anything else. So is it really a surprise that customers demand perfection when the developer has stripped them of any chance you have to make yourself happy and create your own perfection?

The real question is who would bother defending the industry against a problem they have brought on themselves. Remember in the late 90s and early 2000s. You really didn't hear that much about people freaking out about how a game turned out or this or that bug. People either played games for what they were, or they improved on the game to make it what they wanted. And it cost developers less since they didn't have to micro manage map packs, servers and every thing else under the sun. But that was then when most companies were running a similar model of getting the community involved. But in the game companies infinite wisdom they decided to go against everything that was working pretty well, create a bunch of problems for themselves, then talk about low profits and being harassed. Cry me a river....
 

crusty_juggler

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Problem is this can go way over the line. This happened to a friend of mine in the industry: Getting docx'd. Getting death threats on your home phone - great when the first one is when his wife answered the phone; getting boxes of dead animal parts mailed to the office and home. Just ignoring them is not always the answer. Also know of another one more recently where a person was dox'd and the info was sent around by the troll urging people to rape the person.

Some of these trolls are seriously broken people...
Jesus effing Christ.

The responses in this thread from people saying, "they brought it on themselves" and "cry me a river" are embarrassing and pathetic.
 

pothb

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Dead animals? Death threats? what's wrong with people. There are definitely devs who say incredibly stupid shit and do incredibly dumb ass things. but it's hardly that level... really.
 

dcds1

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I agree that no one should be threatening people and their families. That type of behavior has no place in a civilized society.

But I must say that when it comes to games lately, it would be nice to receive a completed working game. I am getting so tired of spending for $40 to $70 to receive a broken glitchy game.I would have to say that 90 percent of the games that I have bought in the last year have been that way. Some of the games they have fixed and others it seems like they have your money so they don't care anymore.

This trend of putting out a beta/alpha game to attract more money is getting old also. I have made the mistake of purchasing 4 games like that and they done a great job of really annoying me. The one that really looked like it had a lot of promise, Wasteland 2, I couldn't even play it for about the first month I owned it.
 

Exavior

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I agree that no one should be threatening people and their families. That type of behavior has no place in a civilized society.

But I must say that when it comes to games lately, it would be nice to receive a completed working game. I am getting so tired of spending for $40 to $70 to receive a broken glitchy game.I would have to say that 90 percent of the games that I have bought in the last year have been that way. Some of the games they have fixed and others it seems like they have your money so they don't care anymore.

This trend of putting out a beta/alpha game to attract more money is getting old also. I have made the mistake of purchasing 4 games like that and they done a great job of really annoying me. The one that really looked like it had a lot of promise, Wasteland 2, I couldn't even play it for about the first month I owned it.

But that isn't the fault of the game devs. The people making the games don't get to select when a game is released. They are told by the shareholders and CEO when a game must be released.
 

Hornet

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If the article mentions whinny PC gamers who have tantrums, this is the forum where a lot of them hang out.

I honestly do not recall anyone in this forum here making death threats or wishing horrible things upon any dev that make crappy games. We may be more vocal here, but the people here do have their own reasons to be harsh in criticizing the games the dislike. You can't say everyone must be nice and not hurt the feelings of the dev, that won't do any good. People have to be honest and call things the way they see it. (Not referring to you specifically of course, but those dev who complains about harsh criticism.)

And I'm glad people who were critical of games like ACM and Sim City were very vocal about their criticism, as they've saved my money from being wasted on those titles :D
 

Kinsaras

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But that isn't the fault of the game devs. The people making the games don't get to select when a game is released. They are told by the shareholders and CEO when a game must be released.

^This

I find it sad people actually believe developers sit down and purposely make a crappy game. At the end of the day it’s still a business and the suits make the calls.
 

HoffY

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I find it amazing no one has mentioned this.... i can't say i've ever seen an actual game developer communicate with the customers. Perhaps way back when Quake 3 Arena was around was the last time i heard actual words from the guy writing code. Since then... all i hear is squawking PR monkey's spinning BS!

there are many people "correct" points in this thread so far. for both sides. Those juveniles that hide behind the internet need to be ignored and its not right how they act... anyone with half a thread of decency knows this. Also these whingers have to realise their shit sucks. Thats why there is backlash (as i said... others have pointed out). But we dont actually get ot speak to developers. *THAT* is the issue. To many middle men sticking their nose in where its not wanted.

Make mature games.
Do what you say you'll do.
Be honest.
Ignore the fools (we know there are many on 'here').
We all want a good game in the end. If you listen to the (mature minded) gamers... you'll get good suggestions on how to achieve this.
Reek Benefits.
 

Armenius

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No one should be making threats of physical violence against anyone over a video game. We have enough real problems in this world to deal with without wasting energy over something so petty.

That being said, I think the people mentioned and interviewed in the article deserved the ire they received from the community, and the industry is better off without them.
 

Youn

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I find it amazing no one has mentioned this.... i can't say i've ever seen an actual game developer communicate with the customers.
Nobody mentions it probably because it happens all the time. Hell, just look at the next Unreal Tournament for a fine example of developers talking with customers, and most of these kickstarter games as well.
 

HoffY

Gawd
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kickstarter games. your funny :p

jokes aside though. i hadn't seen many communicate. Didnt mean NONE communicated. But if you say there are "more then just 2" that do it. Then great. But i think my point still holds some water when referring to popular/AAA titles.
 

Staples

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I honestly do not recall anyone in this forum here making death threats or wishing horrible things upon any dev that make crappy games. We may be more vocal here, but the people here do have their own reasons to be harsh in criticizing the games the dislike. You can't say everyone must be nice and not hurt the feelings of the dev, that won't do any good. People have to be honest and call things the way they see it. (Not referring to you specifically of course, but those dev who complains about harsh criticism.)

And I'm glad people who were critical of games like ACM and Sim City were very vocal about their criticism, as they've saved my money from being wasted on those titles :D

Point taken.
 
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