We Talk About ArenaNet Firing Two People Last Week Over a Twitter Exchange


The worst examples of people perpetuating the bad faith arguments and unethical ideas about labor rights have been mostly attributed to pockets of Twitter and Reddit, but I don’t see anyone noting active threads on places like Reset Era where the majority of the community is overall in favor of the firings.

And notably these are communities that games news writers like Patrick Klepek and Jason Schrier are both very active on. I’m not trying to say that they should immediately renounce all interactions with those communities or suffer guilt by association, but I would expect them to call out times when forums they’re active on start to become heavy vectors for validating the actions of reactionaries.


A thing that just came to my mind is that it’s kind of strange how many people, even if they say that they found the firings to be unwarranted, still seem to awfully interested in discussing the tone of Jessica Price’s online interactions.

I said it in the other thread: Politeness is also a weapon that is very often being used to beat up marginalized people, who oftentimes don’t have the luxury or time to be nice to everyone.

A lot of folks still fall into the trap of valueing the tone of a message over its actual content.


Jessica Price has a twitter thread on her thoughts on this over here:


This string of tweets in that chain seems particularly important:

Which seems pretty clearly in response to this:

Whatever you thought of the tweets, Jessica and Peter were also part of the team that brought you the kidnapping scene in Episode 1, which was a wonderfully well-executed scene. That’s how I want to remember their time at ArenaNet.


Innes McKendrick of No Man’s Sky tweeted some about this, https://twitter.com/innesmck/status/1017002758560534530

Unrelatedly, NMS has a big update coming in a month, some hints of what it might include have been dropped here in the ARG (upper left “elements”)


Absolutely. I understand if you want to say “Hey, maybe this isn’t a great look”, or you want to say “Be careful with that because of corporate”, but so many people seem to want to make sure they get to dunk on her response (for balance purposes, because they’re the “civility” crowd, I can’t be sure).

There’s a lot of stuff I’ve read that makes me think if someone came along and said “So, instead of firing her, would it have been OK if she was made to apologize and make clear that nothing in Deroir’s response should have provoked that response?”, a depressing number of people would likely respond “Yeah, that seems like a reasonable solution!”


This is totally about being mean to gamerz, ppl. Not at all harassment against women.

Edit: Patrick’s quote tweet of this is very relevant.


The fact that they are using scripts to do this is both unsurprising and also deeply disturbing.


I mean, why wouldn’t they?

Regardless of the difficulty the gaming public has always had in wrapping their head around all of this, the GG groups themselves are extremely straightforward and you can always just go to their boards and see them directing the mobs at people.

Now that there’s a thread on ResetEra that lasted more than an hour, I’ve become even more disappointed. It’s all the same stuff as I’ve said before, but it’s remarkable to see it so fervently defended. People simply cannot get over the casual sexism thing, that Deroir can have caused this without being malicious.

Because they can’t get over that, they for some reason immediately pick up the GG torch and blame progressives. Deroir doesn’t even really matter, but people get so caught up on that because presumably they can imagine themselves doing something that they don’t see as sexist and being called out for it?

“The reason why all this happens is because you called sexists sexist, and that’s mean!”
It is practically the civility thing. I’ve genuinely seen people argue that calling out sexism is the reason why GG exists, both treating GG as a reasonable response and implying that if you’d just stop being so mean to men it’d all be fine.

Someone implied that I was a plant intending to make GG look good by taking issue with all of this, and the train of thought that would be required to reach that position is terrifying.


I want to respond to the more general discussion about twitter as a platform and engaging with people on twitter. Let me be clear, I don’t use twitter, I’m not a creative person and I’m not part of some minority. I’m also not from the US. I’m in many ways extremely ignorant. But… I need some explanation on twitter culture, because this thread and the podcast leave me with a lot of questions and potential misunderstandings.

One of the recurring topics in this discussion is empathizing with the fact that some people are flooded with the same ignorant and/or hurtful comments over and over, and that on occasion these people get frustrated and lash out. Austin and Danielle admitted to doing this. From a personal standpoint and in the context of the internet, that behavior baffles me and I want to know why people would do that. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the frustration and I understand the need to vent it, but why use twitter for that? Knowing what twitter can do, knowing that on twitter there is no need to immediately respond to something, knowing that twitter does not support putting things into the proper perspective or context, why use it for any form of emotional response?

I don’t understand that if the overall aim should be that we treat each other as people and with respect, that we sometimes forget to treat the people we don’t know as just that, people we don’t know. Still people, but not necessarily people you have to invest in or care about. I think Austin alluded to that as well. You don’t have to engage with people you don’t know, especially not on twitter. They might try to engage with you, but you don’t owe them anything, especially not on twitter. You can be selective.

I understand that people should think before engaging with other people, but I also think it’s extremely important (if not more important) that people should think before engaging with the people that are trying to engage with them. Final drop in the bucket or not, some people are obviously not worth engaging with, so why the desire to do it anyway? I don’t want to suggest inaction is the solution, but especially on the internet, shouldn’t it be about picking your battles instead of spur-of-the-moment reactions? That’s the beauty of the internet. You don’t have to immediately engage.


I was listening to the Giant Bombcast yesterday and Brad (I’m pretty sure it was Brad) made the point that, to paraphrase, he can guarantee that she did not want to be pushed to the end of her rope. But when it’s an endless string of people telling you how to do your job, you eventually reach a breaking point.

:Back to me talking now:
I guarantee she has done exactly as you said thousands of times. But we are all human beings with a limited amount of patience.

eta: Giant Bombcast segment on this was really good, continuing their ongoing Better Late Than Never, I Guess tour.


I liked hearing the waypoint crews perspectives on this, there was also the previous discussion on the illusion of familiarity in social media on this forum that’s relevent here.

I also started watching Riverdale last night, and I can blame waypoint for that


I don’t have a unique perspective to offer here. The way ArenaNet handled this is pathetic and cowardly. Gamers, gamer culture, whatever you want to call it is a cesspool.

I can’t believe how many people I saw trying to justify the firings in any way. I’m not talking about the pieces of human garbage that reside in the previously mentioned cesspool, but the “well meaning” people saying Price shouldn’t have reacted the way she did. This argument requires an ignorance of nuance and context of the games industry in 2018, the internet, Twitter, sexism, etc.

The whole thing is infuriating and tiring.


Here’s a random, completely innocuous tweet from PlayerUnknown, the creator of PUBG, wishing everyone a “crate day”:

Read the responses.

If, as a creator, you have a public-facing social media presence, you WILL be inundated with repeated, unhelpful, antagonistic, totally unsolicited feedback. Asserting that those who participate in social media (willfully or not!) should always have the emotional fortitude to take a deep breath, step back, and do nothing in the face of relentless, personalized ‘advice’ from strangers is optimistic at best. Sometimes, people snap. Everyone snaps. I snap. You snap.

Just as “we should think before engaging with the people who are trying to engage with [us]”, the people who are trying to engage with creators should think themselves. Is it likely someone has already said this? Is it likely that they’ve already considered this? Are they even asking for advice in the first place? Being the recipient of unsolicited, repeated, completely surface-level advice from complete strangers makes people feel like the people offering it either think they are smarter than them, or think they are complete idiots. It’s indirectly insulting, and sometimes it clears the air to say “Hey, everyone, and specifically you, the 900th person today to do this: stop fuckin telling me the same shit over and over again”

I encourage you to read the responses to just about any tweet from comedians, politicians, journalists, game developers. It’s 90% strangers indirectly telling them how to do their jobs better. Sometimes, people just want to say “hey idiot, shut the fuck up”, and the only people who blame them for responding that way are people who haven’t been on the receiving end.


I mean, they talked about it on the first bombcast they did after the firing happened, I wouldn’t exactly classify it as better late than never.


I think they’re referring more generally to GB’s slow willingness to delve into these issues at all, or in any sort of depth. In the past, you might get a very brief mentioning of something in passing and having them just kind of go “don’t be assholes” and move on. To the best of my memory, the rarely if ever mentioned anything at all when the gate was going on.


Yeah like a lot of places they tried to do the whole don’t feed the trolls thing. Unlike some places they seem to have at least learned something from that and are trying to get ahead of things more


What @CrimsonBehelit and @VulpesAbsurda said.


Let me be clear, I don’t blame anyone for venting their frustrations. I just don’t understand why you would do it via twitter and aim it at a group of people it’ll have no effect on. I read a lot of comments and threads. I wade through countless of terrible youtube comments trying to find a half-decent conversation. I’ve obviously not been exposed to this in person, so everything I say is speculation, but if I snap I would not take it to the people who make me snap. I’d go to the people who can actually help me. I don’t understand why you would want to take it to the commenters when it is so crystal clear that they’re ignorant, that they don’t understand, and that they won’t help you in any way?

I’m going to tread dangerous ground here and say that I can’t sympathize with this idea of ‘relentless, personalized ‘advice’ from strangers’. In my view, it is not relentless. You have some control over it, don’t you? You don’t have to be on twitter all the time. You can shut off notifications. You can filter and ignore certain comments. People are vile and awful and they most definitely shouldn’t be, but there SEEMS to be some level of self-inflicted pain here that I don’t understand. Again, I’m completely ignorant, but as someone with a modest level of social anxiety, I am aware of the stress that is involved with simply striking up a casual conversation and working hard not to read any form of body language or inflection in the voice as some hidden negative remark towards my person. That’s why I take time away from conversations. That’s why I talk to people I can have good conversations with.

I feel like I’m drifting off topic a bit, but let me just emphasize that I don’t think Price is reponsible for getting fired or that she doesn’t have the right to publicly vent her frustration without fear of losing her job (especially if her company didn’t have a clear social media policy and hadn’t warned her several times). I just wanted to respond to the broader discussion about handling yourself on twitter. The whole discussion seemed extremely focused on criticizing the people responding to tweets (for completely valid reasons), while we might also want to focus on ways to deal with those people as an individual. As I said, Austin talked about that with regard to his own conduct on twitter, but it was not elaborated upon. We all know what the commenters should do in a perfect world, but I assume we also know how likely it is that that will happen.

Edit: I just realized that I might be falling into the same hole as all the ignorant commenters with my ignorant rant. People have undoubtedly tried a lot of things to deal with the floods of commenters questioning their intelligence or simply being rude. Just bear with me. I’ll stop if it turns into something ‘I simply can’t understand’.


The answers to why people use Twitter; why people give unsolicited advice to creators; why it invariably, inevitably upsets creators; and why creators don’t always choose to let it slide off their backs are all out there. I recognize all of this has been in good faith, but as I write this, you’ve edited in acknowledgement of the irony in asking these questions, so I think we’re on the same page at this point.