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Industry advocacy group targets Nintendo following Alison Rapp firing

'The company seems oblivious to the consequences of their actions.'

Feb 29, 2020, 9:00 am*

Internet Culture


Imad Khan

Regardless of Nintendo’s justifications over the firing of Alison Rapp, one the largest organizations representing game developers isn’t buying it.

In a statement given to Venture Beat by International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Executive Director Kate Edwards this week, Nintendo is accused of succumbing to Internet bullies. Edwards also called out Nintendo for not supporting Rapp while she was being demonized on social media.

While Nintendo’s official statement on the matter of Alison Rapp’s firing strives to distance the company from anything related to the orchestrated online campaign of harassment and defamation that was raging against her, their timing in dealing with the issue is dubious at best. Unfortunately, the company seems oblivious to the consequences of their actions, not realizing the perceived victory it handed to the online hate groups who are now pursuing the dismissal of other women game developers by derision and defamation to their companies. By now, we would expect that all game development and publishing companies would be fully aware of negative social media dynamics and be more discerning of online feedback, as well as more protective of their employees — especially their employees of diverse backgrounds. Many have become proactive and aware but this industry obviously needs to make more progress.

Rapp received online attacks from a pro-Gamergate sector of Internet commenters last month who felt she was influencing the way games from Japan were being localized for the West. (Games often go through the process of desexualizing their characters for American audiences.)

But Rapp was under Nintendo’s marketing department, and said she had no involvement in this process. 

This did not stop the Gamergate contingent from looking for any bit of evidence that could hurt her, and then passing it on to her bosses. Eventually they found that Rapp was allegedly working a second job under another name. This job was never specified.

The IGDA represents 8,000 members, with 90 chapters worldwide. Members advocate on behalf of anyone in the video game industry, from testers to producers. 

H/T Venture Beat

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*First Published: Apr 7, 2016, 7:10 pm