Gaming

Silence is deafening: update

Yesterday, I wrote a post about Nintendo dropping Alison Rapp due to GGs harassment and continuous threats for her and other Nintendo employees. But the past few hours have been characterised by brand new elements that gave a different look to the story. But not that much at the same time. Also, in a hilarious coincidence, the first major development happened mere minutes after I finally posted yesterday’s article here on the blog. No, I’m serious: at 1:35 BST I published my article and maybe even as soon as 1:36 BST IGN posted their own article on the story, with a statement directly from Nintendo themselves. Yeah, Nintendo released a statement through a spokeperson. So…everything’s alright now, right? Well, no. But first, let’s recap the most recent events.

First of all, the aforementioned Nintendo’s statement

So, it seems the “official” reason for her working relationship’s termination was a second job “in conflict with Nintendo’s corporate culture”. Also, something about what she got from the hate groups. Now, after this statement, Alison herself went deeper on Twitter. Here’s her tweets.

Credits for the images to the discussion thread on NeoGAF, that you can find here

http://neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1202656

Sooo, in short, this is the whole course of event, by combining what said yesterday with today’s further clarifications of sorts

  • Alison gets harassed more and more in the past few months
  • This escalates when GGs finds out her thesis about anti-pedophilia legislation while getting the support of a major anti-sex trafficking foundation back in March
  • It escalates so much that even other Nintendo employees, who are near to her, are threatened. So much that some of them reduce / think to stop social presence
  • This causes Nintendo to a “lateral” move, away from the public
  • In the meanwhile, she starts a second job with a different identity. The second job, in itself, is NOT an infrigment of Nintendo’s internal workers’ code-of-behaviour
  • Someone finds out about that job and its nature is not something that respects Nintendo’s “image” to the public
  • This adds up to everything else, and causes the contract’s termination

Now, these new elements paint a slightly different picture, because, let’s face it, Nintendo’s final decision is a bit more legitimised due to actual code infrigment alongside other workers being in danger (again, this is so fucked up). But, again, by focusing way too much on her thesis or on the second job’s nature, we’d lose the real point to see here. By that, I mean…well, what I said yesterday: both the harassment and the silence.

Because we can’t forget how much she suffered from despicable actions from even more despicable hate groups who can actually destroy public lives thanks to the worst side of social media. And, again, this is not the first time it happens, and it won’t be the last. Not at all, especially because, as said yesterday, the industry itself is way too quiet about the problem.

Yes, the silence is still a major point. Oh yes, Nintendo said something on the matter today…after they fired her. And they didn’t say anything for her when the whole GGs action started going crazy. Or back in October, when things were just starting escalating. It’s true, it would have been very difficult for Nintendo to properly defend her if her thesis, “properly” broken into the pieces that can create media outrage when taken out of context (and, unfortunately, Rapp’s thesis is about such a delicate topic that it isn’t difficult), was going to be used by the harassers backed by the Wayne Foundation in this occasion. Nintendo was in a difficult place. But they could’ve still standed for her, or make a statement not just in the aftermath (call it an aftermath: Alison won’t stop getting harassed unfortunately, and she’s not alone), but they didn’t. Nothing. Just like the rest of the industry.

Since this is a follow-up to another post, I think it’s better to go a bit more into detail for the silence theme. Personally, I think there are times when “growing a toughter skin” or being indifferent towards people who “bully” you can be a solution to what could be considered a small problem. “Just ignore them and carry on with your life” can be a decent advice for many cases in life, both real and virtual. Unfortunately, though, there are way too many times where this line-of-thought is misused and brought right when the situation can’t be solved just by indifference, and the victim blaming circus starts. As with almost everything in life, it all depends on the context itself. Now, if that bully is not alone, is prone to go into investigating mode enough to show to the world evidences of whatever their theory is, is ready to continue attacking you just because they targeted you, they said that you are the next, and is violent both with words and actions, actually creating consequences in real life that can be damaging to your friends and family…grow a thicker skin my shiny metal ass. This is extreme, and indifference is not a solution, it becomes a weapon for the harassers who feel legitimised to continue their actions since silence = consent. Heck, now they’ll feel even more powerful because something happened due to their vile actions, someone lost a job. Again.

The entire industry has to do something, to show that they not only respect their female employees, but are ready to defend them against hate groups of any kind that use vile tactis. it’s good to see more outlets reporting the news, but the industry has to make a clear statement that they firmly, absolutely condemn these acts without any possible different interpretation. Otherwise, the industry we love will never mature. You see, a mature industry is ready to include different perspectives, different people, different ideas and to respect them as much as the others, even more than the others. The gaming industry is not mature at all, and these attempt to exclude people like females because they don’t DESERVE to love this world are just disheartening. It won’t ever be as inclusive as it has the power to be, because the potential…oh man, the potential. But, who cares about that, probably the silence will reign again. Until the next time a female loses a job due to major harassment work, we all rage about it, a few outlets report, companies stay silent and silence come again. And the cycle continues. Eh.

See you soon, world

P.S. #westandforfemalesingamingindustry

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