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[flagged] ArenaNet ‘folded like a cheap card table,’ says fired Guild Wars 2 writer (polygon.com)
50 points by MilnerRoute 7 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 107 comments

Some important details many posters here might miss:

1. Jessica Price was seemly fired before for having conflicts with her costumers, in another company.

2. Jessica Price did some other stuff on twitter that were ticking fans off, for example she wrote a tweet commemorating TotalBiscuit death (instead of offering condolences)

3. The person she called a "rando asshat" that shouldn't give his opinion about game writing to her, is a official partner of ArenaNET, is wildly popular, has an NPC named after him, and he is famous because he analyzes the game lore. He probably knows more about GuildWars lore than she did.

4. She also attacked another official ArenaNET partner that tried to explain to her why she was overreacting.

5. She, and Peter Fries, made clear that when off the clock they don't have to pretend to be nice and that fan feedback is not welcome, thing is, Jessica Price had ArenaNET name in her twitter account, and the conversation started when she was on the clock, the initial conversation was on July 3th.

6. The person she called sexist and whatnot, was replying to her AMA, and he was very polite, also he was a super fan of hers, there is videos of him praising her, this is why he wrote he was "dishearted" with her reaction.

7. And for wider context, community got angry so fast because several other incidents like this been overlooked, for example Rami Ismail wrote a bunch of openly racist stuff on twitter and got no punishment over it, when the pair were fired, people were genuinely surprised, and now the subreddit and forum is littered with people praising the devs instead, or telling what their favourite part of the game is, and so on.

And disclosing: I never played Guild Wars 2, neither interacted with any of hte persons involved, neither used or bought any other products any of the persons involved worked on, I am just a bystander that was fascinated by what was going on.

I don't think commemorating is the right word, more like celebrating his death. Here is what she said:

> The kindest thing I can say is "I'm glad he's no longer around to keep doing harm."

Here is the tweet: https://twitter.com/delafina777/status/1000045432007938048?l...

Really really disgusting and distasteful thing to say.

Holy hell that is a messed up thing to say. Like "could and maybe should be fired for that alone" kinda messed up.

TFW the first comment is more substantive than the article it's about.

Thank you for the context

It sounds like the ArenaNet community is happy that talking about one's experience as a female developer is punished more harshly than being openly racist. That seems … un-good. I wouldn't be patting them on the back for that.

She didn't "talk about one's experience as a female developer", she implied a semi-important figure in the community was interacting in bad faith, when such a conclusion is non-obvious. She colored her view of the interaction with her own prejudices, and responded disrespectfully because of that.

That's unprofessional to do

No, she didn't. She said that a semi-important member of the community was not an experienced video game writer, which is accurate as far as I can tell. She also said that this was an example of the trend of people who aren't experts in a field trying to correct women who are experts. Assuming he is in fact not a video game writer, this is also factually true. She didn't suggest bad faith, just that the behavior is irritating.

>She also said that this was an example of the trend of people who aren't experts in a field trying to correct women who are experts. That is also factually true

This is true of non-women, in any field

Sure, it happens to men as well, albeit less often. That doesn't make it any less irritating for women. And remember, the other person who got fired was a male colleague who simply pointed out that he didn't have to deal with that much nonsense and he didn't think she should either.

I think ArenaNet made the right call. She was using her personal twitter account to represent her employer. Her reaction to a fan was over the top, and not representative of the company's values. What is Twitter if not a global discussion forum?

Deroir's comment was a polite disagreement. I have no idea how she would want people to phrase their disagreement, or is this a case of "don't @ me with your opinion?"

The article barely mentions the original messages that sparked this row, and it's really worth reading them before forming an opinion.

Deroir: "Really interesting thread to read! However, allow me to disagree slightly. I dont believe the issue lies in the MMORPG genre itself (as your wording seemingly suggest). I believe the issue lies in the contraints of the Living Story's narrative design ....."

Price: "Today in being a female game dev: "Allow me--a person who does not work with you--explain to you how you do your job."

Since we've got a lot of hurt manfeels today, lemme make something clear: ... I'm not your courtesan... Don't expect me to pretend to like you.

like, 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."

I get that it can be annoying when someone who isn't an expert disagrees with you, but her response was uncivil, rude, inflammatory and derogatory. It's unfortunate when people can't disagree without taking things personally.

I don't understand how anyone can defend Price here. Her reaction to a polite, innocuous question is so over the top ridiculous it almost reads like satire.

Since we've got a lot of hurt manfeels today

Who even talks like this in real life?

Agree, this would get you kicked from an AOL chatroom. A heuristic I still find useful for some reason.

Having read the exchange that triggered this, I feel like I would not want this person representing my company. The comment that the fan made was respectful and constructive, and apparently due to her prejudices, she assumed he was acting with specific negative motives, despite any logical evidence of this in his words. She asks (on Twitter) ‘ask yourself what would make him say that’... when all he did was respond to her ideas about game design, respectfully? I think her political beliefs are interfering with her job duties.

Jessica's actions were disgusting. There is no excuse for this behavior, and it's just pandering towards gender issues to disguise and sweep away her attack on somebody offering feedback.

Polygon is not an unbiased source.


I've find it profoundly disturbing just how many people feel it's perfectly fine, and indeed laudable, for companies to immediately terminate employees during a situation like this. Even if you think that Price's actions were wrong, the fact that she had no warning and no recourse seems wrong. Yes, I know ArenaNet is based in an at-will employment state (Washington) so they are legally permitted to do this, but just because it's legal doesn't mean it's right.

But hey - all hail our corporate gaming overlords, right?

I agree. Her reaction was ridiculous and aggressive and was done in public and in reference to her work. Her employer absolutely should have disciplined her. However, the increasingly aggressive presence of internet mobs saying "fire this person or we'll make a terrible fuss!" over minor matters is absurd, getting worse, and is being abused by people of all political identities. It's just not an acceptable way for our society to function and the idea that it gets lauded by whichever side gets it to "work" is disgusting. Unfortunately the internet appears just to allow amplifying the grievances of the loudest subset of any group.

I hope companies learn that picking sides by firing someone does not resolve the matter and just pisses off more people. Hopefully that tones down their response and then makes the internet mobs less aggressive because they don't get as much satisfaction out of it.

The folks leading the charge on how terrible and unacceptable this is were, from what I've seen, mostly the same folks campaigning to get folks who aren't part of their clique fired over non-work-related political views and social media posts. It feels like just another aspect of the same thing: fire the people we want fired and employ the people we want you to employ, or we'll make a terrible fuss and drag your reputation through the mud.

> However, the increasingly aggressive presence of internet mobs saying "fire this person or we'll make a terrible fuss!" over minor matters is absurd, getting worse, and is being abused by people of all political identities.

This is how free markets work, though. The beliefs of the customers drive their purchase decisions. It's completely rational for a customer to say "I don't want to support a company that employs someone who behaves like this". Threatening to take their money elsewhere is their sole recourse, and one that is effective only in large groups.

> I hope companies learn that picking sides by firing someone does not resolve the matter and just pisses off more people.

It's really simple from an economic perspective: does firing this person result in more lost customers than being silent? I strongly suspect the answer to this is "no", and firing the employee is the better path. After all, the whole purpose of hiring an employee is to generate more value than they cost. In this case, the employee's actions were a large net negative.

> Hopefully that tones down their response and then makes the internet mobs less aggressive because they don't get as much satisfaction out of it.

I really don't see this ever happening. Even if the vast majority of companies decided to adopt a policy of turning a deaf ear to customer feedback, the only result would be new companies stepping up to fill the void.

* Her employer absolutely should have disciplined her. *

If her reaction to polite and constructive criticism from a user, and a customer, was this over the top, the reaction to a harsher comment (a disciplinary one), from her employer, wouldn't have been any better. Better to terminate the relationship before it gets nasty.

It wasn't constructive criticism.

A bit of outside perspective: Insulting a customer is one of the rare occasions, besides crimes against the employer, that justify a termination in Germany. Where it is essentially impossible to fire a specific somebody.

My thoughts on this, too: If I were to pull a stunt like this in my industry, I'm pretty sure I'd be gone the next day.

As for disciplinary actions: From an outside perspective, I think we can't really tell if there wasn't any internal dialog prior to the firings. If you look at her follow-up statements, I kind of doubt Price would have shown any remorse when asked about the incident internally...

Edit: So, to say this more explicitly (since we're on the internet here): I don't think the outside public will ever have all the necessary facts to be able to judge if the firings were justified or not; especially since that decision alone is highly subjective.

I'm a bit torn on this, perhaps leaning a bit on the side of the firing being at least morally legitimate.

0) Her behavior was way out of line. No question about this.

1) There's no company out there that should be expected to look the other way when your employees are giving them a black eye on official channels. (And we can quibble about this, but when you're running officially blessed Q&A sessions and state your employer's name up front, it's "official enough" for most purposes)

2) Doing nothing or "handling it internally" would not have resolved the black eye. If anything, radio silence would have made ArenaNet look like they tacitly support rudely shouting down perfectly reasonable questions.

3) Making a public statement about how they don't support the words said (usual corpspeak PR nonsense that everyone can smell a mile away) would be recieved as cynical and noncommittal, possibly even making the brand perception issue worse.

4) Putting your employer into a lose-lose situation by your actions is generally a firing offense.

F2P games live and die on engagement in a way that paid titles do not, which magnifies the issue somewhat. Come to think of it, to memory, most firings that made the games media circuit that I can think of were F2P companies. Riot did it to someone making distasteful comments about a particularly infamous player.

The number of people I've seen lose their jobs over minor disagreements or having the wrong opinions for opinions I support means I no longer care about the people who lose their jobs over minor disagreements or having the wrong opinions for opinions I don't support. Briefly going over the Twitter feed/responses you can see the politics at play - even by parties not directly involved in the initial conversation. If you speak in a public forum - expect responses. If responses annoy you then speak in private and not public. I've seen people fired for engaging politely in a public place like how Deroir did. At this point to see the tables turned and the person attempting to shut down public discussion is instead fired gives me a sense of schadenfreude.

I hope that this culture will die out - but I only see it getting worse year over year. Maybe eventually when people realize that any form of public appearance is a risk to their livelihood people will begin to see the stupidity in instantly going for peoples' jobs when they upset you online.

If I recall correctly she also took great public glee in the slow, painful death of a prominent games reviewer/YouTuber from cancer, so I would be entirely unsurprised if she'd already been warned for something or the other and this was just the final straw.

do you have a citation for that?

Has been linked in this thread already but here it is; https://twitter.com/delafina777/status/1000045432007938048?l...

She even got into a video by the youtuber SidAlpha thanks to that clever tweet.

Thank you for that. Wow. That's inexcusable.

ArenaNet were in a tight bind here. Price was using her personal Twitter account to make a stand on some issue, on behalf of her employer. They could have given her a warning, and announced that her statement didn't actually represent them; but then I could see all people seizing on that as evidence that ArenaNet secretly agreed with her, and were using her as an off-the-record mouthpiece. It could have been just as damaging to their reputation as immediately firing her was, good labour relations aside - and as you pointed out, both entirely legal in WA.

(ha! ha! this is a reply, not an edit, oh well...) also consider the possibility that they knew (as another comment said happened) she had been fired for the same thing at a previous company, and had a pattern of inflammatory tweets. This might have been the straw on the camel's back for them, not an isolated decision.

I completely agree. I think Price was just a terrible employee that created a lose/lose situation for everybody.

We don't know this was her first infraction as recognized by the company. We do know this was not her first infraction as recorded on her twitter account (see sibling comment about TotalBiscuit).

Since we don't have their side of the story, we can only charitably assume that ArenaNet followed their internal procedures regarding hate speech and sexism.

Did you feel the same way when Damore was fired by Google? Most people I know who are supportive of Price, were also supportive of Damore getting fired.

Damore used company channels, internally, to speak to other employees. Price used her own twitter account who's only connection was having ArenaNet in the bio.

and talking about the arenanet process.

Yup, I think Rami Ismail has pretty good take on it[1]:

> I can't believe that the official ArenaNet statement is "the company that just made a public brutal example out of you & your co-worker could've protected you from feeling harassed if you just let us know".

In such a small industry it's such a stupid move. Quick way to drive out talent from the studio.

[1] https://twitter.com/tha_rami/status/1016480513857609728

Is this the same Rami Ismail that called the Dutch racist for Sinterklaas? I don't think he would make a good impartial third-party.

Considering her history I doubt she didn’t had warning before this isn’t her first rodeo, this isn’t even the first time she got fired exactly for pulling this kind of BS.

(Edit: Taken in isolation:) Over-reactions all around. Price's initial reactions were over the top (they are linked here), as well as ArenaNet's reactions.

When a dev drops a production database by accident, you shouldn't fire the dev. You train the dev, fix the issue, and get better policies in place.

Yet they fired Price for something much more easily repairable.

What do I think the proper solution entails? You get her a separate business twitter account, publicly apologize for the farce, and instigate a good personal/work social media separation policy.

Edit: I think the company lacks integrity. Instead of taking responsibility for a problem, they burned their employee.

> Yet they fired Price for something much more easily repairable.

Being a touchy dev is repairable. But trying to turn this into some sort of women developer issue is much worse, doing that is toxic to all the other women you work with because it makes people disregard them with: "oh she's just being a women".

They did the right thing firing her.

And she has made life much worse for all other women developers, who are normal and can take criticism as humans without saying "I'm a woman, you can't criticize me".

I think her post-firing reaction made this unrepairable and very toxic, but I think even her second tweet about being a female developer could have been worked around with an official apology.

Her reactions are unwarranted though - the small nit pointed to her on twitter is something I would raise with somebody, regardless of gender (disclaimer - not the one who posted it).

Dropping a production DB would generally be an accident - this seems more like poor judgment.

That's assuming this was the first and only incident - we don't know if it was.

We know she was fired for similiar actions before. We also know that going forward chances are she gets fired again for similiar actions.

Links please. I'm curious.

In the article Price states this was the first time the company talked to her about her twitter account - I'm willing to believe that. I think she's overly dramatic, but not a liar.

I find it hard to believe considering she caught flak before the previous incident before this one was her celebrating the death of TotalBiscuit who died from colon cancer by twitting “I’m glad he won’t be around to cause harm anymore”. And this is just one of many such pearls of wisdom and tolerance from Price.

Honestly she’s simply an asshat and if you are being an asshat in public while also being a prominent public figure of your company don’t expect your company to tolerate it.

She could choose to be an anonymous asshat but she doesn’t want too in fact many of her outbursts mention or point to her employer directly.

It seemed like Derior was engaging her in a respectful discussion, and the GW writer took it as a gendered offense for a reason that I can't seem to figure out. Maybe it's because Derior is a man? Either way, I do think that it's pretty ridiculous to get fired for something like that, I'd guess that ArenaNet wouldn't fire someone they though was truly valuable for an offense like this.

Here are the tweets that "triggered" this chain of event which the article fails to quote.


And the subsequent response by Price


Those two tweets are quoted by the article.

At least when I was reading, those seem to be linked (now?). Regardless, reading those is much more informative than hearing it from second-hand sources.

Why someone would willingly under their own name participate in these kind of flamewars that will be preserved for eternity is beyond me.

Considering how big that company is — they should have spent some $$$ on hr/twitter policy training/guidelines so mucky situations like this could be avoided. And also, if they persist, quick to be resolved as it would be more akin to a policy lookup in a legal contract

I’m struck by the apparent no-warning nature of the firing. Were internal expectations clearly set for how employees should behave when interacting with fans and customers? Do companies like ArenaNet with especially vocal fan communitiecs generally have codes of conduct for employee-customer interaction?

Seems to be partly answered by Mike Obrien:

Whatever Jessica and Peter felt internally about the situation, this was objectively a customer engaging us respectfully and professionally, presenting a suggestion for our game. Any response from our company needed to be respectful and professional. A perceived slight doesn’t give us license to attack.

We’ve all dedicated our careers to entertaining people, to making games for the purpose of delighting those who play them. We generally have a wonderful relationship with our community, and that’s a point of pride for us. We want to hear from our players. It’s not acceptable that an attempted interaction with our company — in this case a polite game suggestion — would be met with open hostility and derision from us. That sets a chilling precedent.

I'd like to get clarification because the way the article flows, it seems like they're saying Jessica Price was engaging with the fanbase aggressively via official channels, and not her own personal twitter account, which is a huge difference. Are we now in a place where your employer gets to dictate how you present yourself on social media? When I'm on the clock, absolutely, I have to stay on message when using the official accounts, but on my own? Fuck all of that, and fuck anyone who thinks that way. I am my employer's resource from when I come into the office to when I go home, and for brief moments whilist remote-ing in to handle an issue, and outside of that I should have legal protections to do whatever the hell my heart desires, and that includes talking.

And tangent-ally related:

> Today in being a female game dev: ‘Allow me — a person who does not work with you — explain to you how you do your job.’

That is beautiful, and the essence of my growing rage at my fellow nerds in various fandoms.

If you make posts on Twitter and social media with your personal account, but present yourself as "Employee of so-and-so" and muse about your product and engage people with that persona, you've blended your personal and work personas. Anything you do on your personal account now reflects on the company.

>I am my employer's resource from when I come into the office to when I go home, and for brief moments whilist remote-ing in to handle an issue, and outside of that I should have legal protections to do whatever the hell my heart desires, and that includes talking.

If you separate work and personal life so distinctly, then why talk about work and present your work persona on your personal accounts!

That it's a personal account doesn't even matter, the Internet outrage machine will come for your job, this isn't limited to any specific subculture.

Oh that is such a load. Who on earth goes through twitter accounts or Facebook accounts to evaluate the employees of a company before they decide to do business with them?

I simply can't envision a scenario where Bob's Hot Dogs is going to refuse to use a payment processor like Square because one of Square's marketing people posted to twitter once like 2 years ago that hot dogs suck. And where are we drawing the line here? So you're saying by virtue I'm saying I'm an X at Y Company that I'm now representing that company 24/7 until I quit? That's insane, full bore insane.

> If you separate work and personal life so distinctly, then why talk about work and present your work persona on your personal accounts!

Because who doesn't!? I follow hundreds of people who regularly discuss their careers and what they do at work, most of them being developers and admins.

>And where are we drawing the line here?

Answering most of your questions: Causing controversy. Just faffing about on social media, even negatively, generally won't be a problem until such time as you portray your employer in a bad light (say, by shouting at their customers apropos of nothing) and cause them a PR issue.

>> I follow hundreds of people

and thousands of us post under pseudonyms, take steps to conceal our employers, or if they do speak with their employers publicly and predominately listed they

1. Have their post cleared by the company 2. Ensure they have disclaimers their thoughts are not the opinions of their employers

This new (mostly with millennial's) notion that is a good idea to mix your work life and personal life on social media is a terrible one.

I operate 2 completely separate devices, computers, everything, I NEVER login to a person account on a work system and NEVER login to a work account on a personal system. My Work phone is my work phone, my personal phone is my personal phone...

100% separation from my employment and my personal life.

To an extent, (in the eyes of the business) she was actively acting as a representative of the product (discussing the development of the product) and bashing the users of the product (calling them asshats). If that is harmful to the business it doesn't matter if it's on "your time". I would view this differently if she was fired for a tweet that was political in nature or something like it. If I was in charge I'm not sure I would have done the same thing but I can understand the reasoning.

Your position here seems to be opposed to anyone who works for a company having any kind of free speech. Please consider whether this is a position that is maximally good for society. She didn't say anything offensive or harmful, just expressed frustration with a pattern of communication that she gets.

> She didn't say anything offensive or harmful

Well, this is what she said(during the incident, she's said much worse in other cases), do you still think she didn't say anything offensive or harmful?




Yes, I still think she didn't say anything offensive or harmful. All she did is express frustration at the way people interact with her. She didn't call for anyone to be fired, she didn't talk about how such-and-such people are subhuman, she just said she found a pattern of communication frustrating.

> having any kind of free speech

Exaggerate much? Don't speak as a representative of your company. It's not that hard.

You can talk about anything else you like, but don't make people think it's coming from the company.

Free speech doesn't give you the right to put words in other peoples', or companies' mouths.

She wasn't speaking as a representative of the company there. I don't see how you could possibly construe it that way. Here's what she said:

> Today in being a female game dev: "Allow me--a person who does not work with you--explain to you how you do your job."

If you did take that as an official company statement, it would seem to mean that ArenaNet's official position is that ArenaNet is a female developer who is tired of having her job explained to her by men. It's such a tortured and nonsensical interpretation of her comment that I can't see how you'd read it as anything but her personal feelings as a female game developer.

Playing this up so it is a gender issue does harm all who have suffered.

How could you see it as anything but a gender issue? Expressing frustration at the way female devs are treated is what they got fired for. What do you reckon it's actually about if not gender? Checkers? Ethics in gaming journalism?

How was she treated that's specific to female devs? Literally every decision made by Ghostcrawler/Holinka was scrutinized and criticized to oblivion. See this tweet(https://twitter.com/devolore/status/930185729120002048) by Josh Allen "expressing his frustration" at the way all developers are treated.

What Jessica Price did was much more:

- she insulted a polite fan(and big community figure) by indirectly calling them a "rando asshat"(https://twitter.com/delafina777/status/1014555719352213504)

- she insulted all fans trying to engage with her by saying "Don't expect me to pretend to like you here."(https://twitter.com/Delafina777/status/1014581433937981445). ANet has a culture of positive interaction between fans and devs, and devs share their love of the game with the community. This was pointlessly inflammatory and against ANet's image.

Maybe she didn't actually mean these things. Maybe she was just expressing her frustration, as you said. But her actions say otherwise - she did not apologize, she has only gone on further to attack her (now former) employer, the fanbase in general, to claim victimhood after flinging shit at them. Those are not the actions of someone who was just expressing their frustration - to me, it seems like she really has contempt for GW fans.

Why do you hold Jessica Price to such a low standard? I don't recall Ghostcrawler ever calling fans "asshats", and he had plenty more negative attention, including constant death threats. I don't agree that anyone should be subject to this kind of pressure, but I also don't agree that a dev should be supported when they trash the delicate connection between a company and its customers with careless comments like "Don't expect me to pretend to like you here".

This is actually addressed in the OP:

> Male game devs deal with it too. Gamers don’t seem to believe expertise exists. But it’s not the constant deluge it is for women. Which was the point of the tweets that Peter made that got him fired: He was saying, ‘Hey, this is about gender, because I’m out here talking about the same stuff she’s talking about, and this doesn’t happen to me.’

It's worth noting that Peter didn't call anyone an asshat, or use any naughty language at all AFAIK. All he did was say that this is an actual problem women have to deal with. That's what they fired him for.

Interesting - I hadn't caught that another employee was fired for defending her. Without seeing his exact remarks and their context, that strikes me as an overreaction.

> How could you see it as anything but a gender issue?

She is the one who verbally attacked someone in a public forum. She is the one who attempted to make it a gender issue. It is not.

The original issue was her aggressive and rude response to a player. When she responded by implicitly accusing the player of sexism, she injected politics into what was an otherwise nonpolitical event - which in turn incited a far larger group against her.

An employee being rude to their customer.

She called people who'd never worked in her field, who were telling her to do her job, asshats. And I feel that descriptor suits them.

More to the point, as I originally postulated: Are we now in a place where your employer just has free reign to regulate and permit your speech off the clock? Yeah, she talked about her job, like people have since time immemorial. She probably also called her boss a dick occasionally behind his back, and might've even left her desk in a bad mood. Are these all going to be fireable offenses? Are we just never ever allowed to say "you know I like my job and my coworkers, and overall am pleased with my career, but goddamn that guy Joe we sell to is an idiot."?

Freedom of speech means you can't be arrested for saying something, not that a business that employs you can't fire you for saying something the disagree with. When A&E retaliated against the duck dynasty guy for saying gay people are gross I was on their side too.

Her free speech was not regulated, she can say whatever she wants. She didn't break any laws. The state is not prosecuting her. And everybody else has the freedom of (non-)association.

Twitter allows you to signup using whatever name you wish. So does this site. People who choose to represent a company did under a real name with a link to the company can't cry free speach because they choose to represent something.

Yeah, the whole thing is just levels of stupid. The fact that a fellow writer who got involved was fired as well is just gasoline on the fire.

I spent a fair bit of time in that industry and generally the ones running the studios were not the most level-headed people. There's all sorts of abuse that happens because "Hey, it's games! You should be lucky to work in such an industry!".

> And tangent-ally related:

> Today in being a female game dev: ‘Allow me — a person who does not work with you — explain to you how you do your job.’

> That is beautiful, and the essence of my growing rage at my fellow nerds in various fandoms.

Perhaps you should temper your growing rage with the facts. Here is what Deroir actually said - https://twitter.com/DeroirGaming/status/1014280605599748096

He was not himself rude, but that doesn't mean his comment wasn't part of an irritating pattern of comments from lots of different people. For a completely different example of the same phenomenon, every individual person who makes the "People Eating Tasty Animals" joke at vegans is only making a mild jab, but in aggregate it gets very tiresome for the vegan who hears it over and over and over.

So because other men sometimes doubt the intelligence of women in general, I am never allowed to question a woman?

If you know more than her, go right ahead. If she is an experienced professional in a field and you've never done it a day in your life, then yeah, trying to teach her is kind of presumptuous. This isn't just a female thing — it's poor behavior no matter who you're dealing with — but women have to deal with it more often, so it can be more aggravating for them.

The person replying to her creates videos of the game and is quite popular among the playerbase. He even makes videos focusing on the lore of the game. He's qualified to discuss it.

And thinking that you're above the criticism of readers as a writer because those readers dont themselves write is arrogant, speaking as a professional developer who both understands how dumb the audience can be, but also gets irritated by other people in my field who belittle them.

I don't know, I feel like arrogant is using somebody's personal Twitter account to criticize them and expecting them not to have any feelings on the matter. Wanting not to spend all your free time being criticized by the entire peanut gallery is...pretty normal, I think.

If that's how one feels, Twitter is the wrong place to be. Seriously, blame the platform first, because in this sense it is really awful.

> women have to deal with it more often, so it can be more aggravating for them

While that may very well be the case - and I believe it is - that does not justify holding people to a different standard of behavior based upon their gender.

It appears it was her personal account.

“The message is very clear, especially to women at the company: if Reddit wants you fired, we’ll fire you,” Price says. “The quality of your work doesn’t matter. Your personal space, your personal social media, is not yours; you are on the clock 100 percent of the time. We own you.


And this is why she got fired. She turned this issue into a "women" thing, which it never was.

She's toxic to any company, and especially other women.

She was talking about her job, the fan was very polite, and after her response, sad when mistreated. You don't mistreat the people who pay for your product, even more when they're polite.

I can't see gender involved in this issue. Anyone treating a paying customer like that on a public forum, on a work-related issue, has high chances to be fired.

What a cesspool. Reading this makes me want to never spend another dime on a computer game...

You’re in luck! Guild wars 2 is free to play. I’ll see you in the plainsfields!

F2P if anything makes all of this worse...

How about analyzing the facts?


Is this guy analysis correct?

It would be more useful to present your ideas here instead of linking to a 20-minute YouTube video.

Of course if you try to write down your ideas, it forces you to think about what you are saying. At that point you realize that a 20 minute ranty YouTube video probably fits into a paragraph or two of refined thought.

I must be getting old but any controversy that involves any amount of YouTube bloggers is an immediate sign to not bother. It's intended to generate outrage and views, in that order.

I think the facts should precede any statements of ideas in this case. Since the article do not present the facts as a sequence of events, the video I linked seems to be useful.

The video is about the facts, you can dismiss the extra 10% of the video. Unless he's hiding some facts, it seems like a good summary.

On one hand, nobody should have the presumption of work-life independence on social media. If I go to a restaurant and act like a real jerk on Twitter and talk trash about the food and service without restraint or civility, I should not be surprised if my boss calls me in the next day to talk about how I am implicitly representing my employer’s institution, even though that has nothing to do with my job.

That being said, the response from ArenaNet was beyond disappointing. Any two-bit boss could have convinced the developer to write an “I’m Sorry, There Were Valid Criticisms from the Guild Wars Community” blog/Medium post, told the developer to keep quiet on social media for a while, and let the whole thing breeze by.

Instead, the boss decides to not only intensify the issue (and make the company look easily bullied by a loud minority of players), but hands ammunition to the online gaming rage mob to shut down or kick out anybody they don’t like.

And this is all well post-GamerGate. The implications of sexism are too obvious.

Bad move, ArenaNet.

"The implications of sexism are too obvious." How do you see this? ArenaNet fired Peter Fries (male) for doing the exact same thing.

It’s naive to think that in a post-GamerGate world, an enraged internet hate mob wouldnt attack a female developer for the slightest provocation. It’s awful and it’s ugly but it happens far too often to deny the presence of toxic sexism, even if the instigators didn’t engage in sexism to begin with. The mob then in turns threatens the company and scares executives into using blunt maneuvers to avoid extended online hate campaigns that can hurt sales, which are particularly sensitive in gaming because the capital costs for games are so high.

Price was fired for defending her from said mob.

Would it matter if the reddit group was all female or if this person was a male? No the person still should be fired.

I think you missed my original point. Nobody should believe in the existence of work-life social media independence. It’s a myth, like the Loch Ness Monster.

But it was an angry internet mob that caused the situation to resolve with firing. If the developer and the streamer had their disagreements - even nasty disagreements - and nobody else paid attention, then the developers would not have lost their jobs.

> That being said, the response from ArenaNet was beyond disappointing. Any two-bit boss could have convinced the developer to write an “I’m Sorry, There Were Valid Criticisms from the Guild Wars Community” blog/Medium post, told the developer to keep quiet on social media for a while, and let the whole thing breeze by.

Do we know that wasn't the case? Is it not possible that Price refuse to issue such a statement or to change her behavior?

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