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.
> 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.
That's unprofessional to do
This is true of non-women, in any field
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?"
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.
Since we've got a lot of hurt manfeels today
Who even talks like this in real life?
Polygon is not an unbiased source.
But hey - all hail our corporate gaming overlords, right?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
She even got into a video by the youtuber SidAlpha thanks to that clever tweet.
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.
> 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.
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.
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".
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).
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.
And the subsequent response by Price
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.
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.
>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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
> 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.
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".
> 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.
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.
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."?
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!".
> 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
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.
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.
“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.
She's toxic to any company, and especially other women.
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.
Is this guy analysis correct?
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.
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.
Price was fired for defending her from said mob.
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.
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?