I Help Make Video Games, And I'm Sick Of The Hatred From Gamers

I Help Make Video Games, And I'm Sick Of The Hatred From Gamers

Dear consumers and fans of video games, You don't know me. But you might know some of the games I've helped create. And as I come to a close on another one of the AAA titles I have worked on, I begin to get excited for all of the people that will love our game, and I begin to loathe those who will hate it.

This editorial was written by a developer who has been testing and making games for five years. The developer asked to be kept anonymous.

Out of the millions around the globe who will pick up our game and love it, only thousands will flock to the Internet and scream about how much it sucks — how it's broken, how it's buggy, how it stinks so much. Of course, there will always be critics. The world needs them. But I don't think there's ever justification for the personalised negative attacks, the hate speech, and the borderline cruelty to those who worked 12+ hours for days, weeks, months, and, in some cases, years, to get games in the best possible shape.

Granted, feedback is warranted. If we fucked up and our game is broken, you should tell us. I don't ever want to ship a broken product. But stuff like "I hope the idiot people who made this just kill themselves after they kill their family" makes me want to quit my job and move to another industry. Seeing statements like that spread across the Internet — seeing insults hurled at hard-working developers who love the games they work on — just makes me lose hope in people.

I'm not Cliff Bleszinski. I'm not Ken Levine. I'm just a guy who has seen a lot of hatred that is undeserved for a medium that really is just a piece of entertainment. I'm relatively new to the field — I've been working in games for five years — but I have never seen this level of hatred in any other industry. Do thousands of people say they want to kill Tom Cruise if he plays a scene in a way they don't like? They might criticise it, but they don't tell him to go kill himself because they disliked what he did. Honestly, at times this hatred makes me not want to work in games anymore.

I come to work and put in 80 hours some weeks not because I have to, but because I love what I do. There are many out there like me. For some, yes, it is about the money, but I'm a salaried employee. I want my games to do well. I want people to love them.

I'm not Cliff Bleszinski. I'm not Ken Levine. I'm just a guy who has seen a lot of hatred that is undeserved for a medium that really is just a piece of entertainment.

And if someone were to come out and say something horrible, like the type of insults I see on message boards, or on social networks, or in colleagues' email inboxes... It just baffles me that this has become the norm. How is it acceptable? Most gamers have no idea what really goes into software development — or how difficult it is to get hundreds of people coordinated and working together on a project — and it sometimes drives me crazy to see their vitriolic comments.

It's not that I want anyone to censor themselves. I just want more people to think about what it is that they're saying, and maybe think twice about degrading the people who put their time and energy into making games — even when those games don't turn out so great.

Let us not ever forget that games are made by people who love them. I eat, sleep, and breathe video games, and they will always be a part of my life.

It's important to remember that not every game is on the same playing field. Game developers that are not owned by first-party publishers like Sony and Microsoft tend to have fewer resources and smaller wallets, yet they are often asked to create games on par with the bigger guys, whose budgets tower over their competitors'. During the half-decade I've worked in gaming, I have had the opportunity to work for a publisher, a first-party developer, and an independent developer. In those five short years I have seen people turn their passion into products both good and bad, and what we've done together has been truly amazing.

Let us not ever forget that games are made by people who love them.

Game developers don't just sit in front of their computers drawing doodles and typing out code — we create fun out of thin air. We take hundreds of hours of discussions, refinements, and debates, and we make them appear on screen. Game developers make art.

So before you send death threats to people, or give out zeroes on Metacritic, or write unnecessarily mean things about games you've spent just a few hours on, remember that what you're playing is the culmination of years of someone's life. Usually it's not just one life, but tens, or hundreds, or even thousands of people who wake up every day at the crack of dawn thinking about the experiences they're going to create.

The video game industry is dominated by introverts — creative, passionate people who might struggle with depression due to the nature of their jobs, the long hours, the harsh criticism, and the harsher fans. One comment that seems insignificant to you might cut a developer's mind like a razor blade.

So if we the developers give you the fans a broken product, let us know. If our game has issues, talk about them. But please be respectful. Be kind to the people who help make and produce the games that you love — and especially to the people who make the games you don't love. Nobody deserves to be treated like less than a human being.

Remember that your words — yes, your words — have an impact on the people who make video games. No matter who you are. Yours might be the one internet comment that changes a developer's life.


    get good

      Some big game companies won't change their policies that we don't like **cough**starforce**cough** if we don't make a huge internet-wide tantrum

      What i don't get, is when a game is (presumably) internally and Beta tested, and then has game-crippling defects after launch. Is there something wrong if all the bug squashing hasn't made SOME headway to making games at least playable?

        I agree with this. The programmers/artists whatever are not at fault. It's all the managers fault. They are the ones who choose to implement broken designs, to ship the game when it's in a broken state, and just generally do a bad job.
        The programmers, if they were in charge, would usually ship the game when all the massive bugs are fixed, whereas the managers say, ship on nov 15th, then even if the exe crashes immediately on launch, they are still launching on nov 15th.

    Excellent article. All though I would be good to know at least what games you have helped create

    This seems to be more a problem about anonymous comments on the internet than gamers specifically. Check out public channels on facebook sometime. Going to have to deal with hate filled comments regardless of industry.

      Pretty much.

      If you have depression and are sensitive to negative feedback, don't go to 4chan.

      Agreed. The internet breeds it. Welcome to the information age.

        The Internet: Bringing us together, so we can tear each other apart

      It's not even due to being anonymous. I work retail in face to face environment and I've been called every name under the sun, threatened, had my wife threatened, spat on and told to do any number of disgusting things to myself. All usually over literally 2-3 dollars sometimes or simply the fact we don't do or even have the capability of doing what they're asking.

      People just suck in general.

      Last edited 15/01/14 10:10 am

        That too. I've done face to face retail. 'People' do have a habit of getting angry on principle. A lot.

          Yeah, "lost hope in people"... I was going to say don't fucking work in retail then, lol (as I do).

        Yeah. I can't stand the people who won't recognize that you've actually bent the rules in order to help them. And when they're still horrible to you - and refuse to compromise on something they're not entitled to in the first place - bundling up their product, or returning their money and telling them to go away, is the best feeling. Taking off your "salesperson" hat and putting back on your "human being" hat is the best, even if they never come back to the store. The business you work for may not appreciate that lost sale but sales should never come at the price of enduring personal slurs. A good business should recognize that and take your side when it becomes clear that there's just no pleasing some people.

      I used to think that it was anonymity that was the problem, then Facebook happened and I realized that a lot of people are just assholes and would say that sort of crap even with their actual name attached to it.

      It's just that some people are assholes.

        The only thing the internet does differently than retail is that it brings all the idiots out into the open in one place. And then quite easily pack mentality takes over and even more idiots join in.

        I think this developer is being a bit precious. It's akin to a celebrity complaining about paparazzi. Yes it's wrong, but it does sort of come with the territory. A lot of internet hate is way out of proportion, but it does start somewhere and for some reason. It usually goes too far, but it also usually starts for a reason.

        Telling someone to go kill themselves is never ok, but it sure as hell isn't limited to game development.

        Last edited 16/01/14 7:45 pm

    I'll judge a product on its own merits. If it's bad, it's bad, and the fact someone was paid to make it is irrelevant - asking people to "consider the humans who spent time on it" seems to be an admission of failure.

    Also, I've never seen the death threat mentioned at the start of the article. Ever.

      The author never said to give higher score due to their hard work. He is asking the community to not use extreme hatred words as comments. If it is broken then it is broken and it does not relate to the death of the developer or their family

      Asking people to "consider the humans who spent time on it" is asking people to turn on their brain/mouth filter before they hurl unproductive abuse at individuals involved in the creation of a product. It's asking people to be at least marginally respectful about their disagreements and treat humans like humans rather than emotionless robots.
      As to the death threat thing? Seen it plenty of times, the Jennifer Hepler episode about the writing in Dragon Age 2 comes to mind.
      Be pissy about something not turning out to your liking by all means but when you pick up the phone and call the object of your displeasure in their own home and abuse them? There's lines that shouldn't be crossed and it was quite a bit before that phonecall.

      Death Threats should not be made to anyone for any reason in the first place. No less over an anonymous forum like the internet. There is no reason for it. Look at games that have a helpful and resourceful community compared to those who hate on developers at any hint of a bug. Skyrim has had many bugs in its time, but because people provided helpful feedback the game was patched and fixed as much as possible by the developers and modders a like. Compare that to the current situation with Battlefield 4. The community has lashed out with direct hatred without the fact EA has halted all other work to concentrate on fixing it. The anonymous comment on the internet should be helpful, voice an opinion or express a specific point. Death threats and other vulgar hate comments should not exist in any for of conversation.

    I feel for this guy, but unfortunately I can't really see there being a solution apart from him just growing thicker skin and ignoring this kind of shit. What he want's is for people to act reasonable and understand that a lot of effort and a lot of love goes into making games, and while an article like this might help enlighten a few people, it's not going to change how the majority of people act.

    Most people are short sighted, they only consider what is directly in front of them and anything past that gets ignored, so if they aren't happy with the latest COD map, then they don't consider that all in all the whole package is still fun (and the fact that they will still gladly play the map). They only think of how their own high expectations haven't been met, so they react because the most important person in the world (themselves) isn't being completely satisfied by your product.

    This isn't exclusive to games, it happens to all media that people become attached to, TV shows, Movies, Comics, Books, everything. You can't stop people from needlessly hating, so in the end all you can do is choose to ignore it. Chances are there is just as much praise and positive critisism out there for your game, but sadly its the obnoxious and negative ranting that comes through the loudest.

    TLDR, you can't stop jerks from being jerks, it's just how the world is, so the best you can do is just try to ignore them and focus on the audience who actually are supporting you and your game. They will be there, even though they aren't quite as loud in their support. Keep doing what you love, and do it for yourself. Fuck the haters!

      Agreed. It's sad, but in my experience as a game developer you need to learn to filter the hyperbole and just try to distill what it was that made people angry so that you can improve on it.

      People overreact, and that's not cool, but it's good to look beyond their spite and see that somewhere on the other side of that puddle of bile is another human who has in some way been offended or hurt by your work. There's probably something you can improve next time around that will (hopefully) please them and a few hundred of their quieter, more respectful peers.

        Yeah it sucks but it's human nature. I've been playing a lot of BF4 and lately I've just been turning the chat window off. Too much negativity. I don't want to read all that when I'm trying to have fun.

        It feels like there's lots of gamers who actually hate the games they play the most often. Weird.

      Complaints departments have existed for a couple generations and they've always exposed their people to the most toxic elements of consumer society possible. There are people who have actually killed representatives of companies because they were upset about service provided by the giant corporation the rep worked for.

      This is not new, it is not exclusive to game development, it exists in damn near any industry that has a complaints department. Other industries must just do a better job of shielding their production/technical groups from the worst of it.

      I don't think that's a solution. Growing a thick skin is necessary for his/her survival, but it's not a solution.

      I agree that it will always be an issue (one that is not exclusive to video games), but we shouldn't just shush up about something that's a problem. Opening up dialogue like this encourages small changes in culture, and if we get small wins, we should keep talking about it.

      Never give up on higher standards - positive change can always be made.

        I agree, by just saying just accept it and grow a thicker skin is rubbish. That thinking implies that the hate filled comments are justified and acceptable.

        These commenters need to know the effects that these comments have. I think most people would change their tune if they knew that the developers are reading every comment and taking it to heart. I think the supposed anominity of the internet is playing a part in this.

        Best response ever to bad/hate filled comments comes from James Blunt... he personally responds to every tweet about his music. It is hilarious.

    Well said.

    Some forums and message boards can really be a cesspool.

    If I got that feedback from my work all the time, it would make me hate what Im doing too. I feel bad for those that are talented and dedicated and yet still are insulted on such a grand scale. But this isn't so much about gamers as it is about entitlement. You do see the same hatred applied to just about everything on the internet, and the internet is the perfect tool to spread that kind of hatred. It's generally unjustifiable, but thats too be expected from any kind of public forum without any kind of recourse.

    Unfortunately the haters have become the vocal majority. It's sad when developers judge all gamers by those who are most vocal, which are the haters.

      Oh no we sold 10 billion copies of this game but everyone is telling me to go neck myself.... I'd say numbers speak for themselves a lot of the time. It sucks to not be appreciated but c'mon it's the internet, people are a-holes.

    I've been a game developer for about a year now (I'm with Transcendent Games, we make dating sims) and I was not even remotely prepared for the amount of hate, abuse and personal attacks I was going to receive. When we launched on Indiegogo it was fine, but once we went to the mainstream audience and tried for Steam Greenlight I got daily messages telling me to kill myself, people saying I was the lowest of the low and just general game bashing.

    You learn to filter it out, but the first week was still a friggin nightmare. I talk about my game dev in public and it's totally fine, but when it comes to the internet, particularly non-visual novel websites, the internet hate is massive and insurmountable. I'm really hoping something will change but I seriously doubt it will anytime soon.

      I know this sounds cliche and perhaps a little silly, but I THINK it might be apt to go with the old fashioned "Sticks and stones....".

      I mean, in the end, they're just words from idiots. You know how you know they're idiots? Because only idiots would tell a game designer to go kill him/herself. So if you know the words are coming from idiots, you probably shouldn't let it bother you.

        It's a valid point for sure, but you can realistically only take so much before it starts to get to you and from there it snowballs, regardless of how well-adjusted you are.
        You have one off day and someone says something you would usually shrug off and you take it harder than you usually would, then you wind up in a depressed state and wake up in the morning with a pessimistic view on what the day will bring and it doesn't disappoint, because now it all gets to you and you crash and burn from there.

        But in theory yes, you are 100% correct, a single comment by some jackass rarely affects somebody, but you add some 20-30 more of them and repeat for a few days or weeks and that's when issues start arising, that's when people start going on tilt.

          We're at 500+ angry comments on Greenlight. It's by far the most hostile place I've ever had to post the game, but I can't delete the game from there, it's the only way to get on Steam now. So you do have to bear with it, and every day you check to see if there's something positive (which there is fairly often) or some feedback on the game or whatever, but anything positive is cancelled out by 5+ negative comments for every positive one.

            That sucks dude. Just try your best to ignore. In the end, they're dicks. They are literally just words on the screen, so try and treat them as such and know that there ARE normal people out there who either:

            a) Like your game, but are choosing to vote for it rather than comment on it

            b) May not feel the game is for them, but appreciate the effort that went in

            I generally only try to comment in a positive manner on games/consoles, but if I AM going to be critical, I'll ensure I try and keep it constructive. I'm not sure if any of you areon GAF, but any review threads that relate to Sony first party games are just.....something else. Death threats and such against reviewers.

            It's disgusting. Only seems to be Sony games too that get that reaction.

        Two things. Firstly your response is not only cliche but massively apathetic and naive. I don't care what you might think of the "anonymous masses", getting a lot of correspondence that is personal and sick/twisted/violent is hugely unnerving. Especially the first time it happens. The words have power and I defy ANYONE to undergo a sustained barrage (even just weeks let alone months) and not be affected.
        Secondly, your assumption they are "idiots" is the most naive of all. The whole point is you don't know who they are. They could be a 12 year old trying to show off. It could be a 30 year old sociopath. If they take the time and effort to contact you and tell you they want to kill you and your family then clearly they aren't balanced. How do you know which one is an "idiot" and which one is a real threat?

    It's like internet bullying, if you don't read it theirs no problem.

    I am sure Tom Cruise gets comments like that, James Blunt def does. I think you can find these sort of comments if you go looking for them - you've just got to read the critical review of your work but stop reading the trolling.

      James Blunt's twitter account is one of my favourites to follow. I'm not a fan of his music but my respect for him went through the roof after seeing each response to hate filled tweets he posts.

    Too many gamers are really selfish, both online and in forums.
    They want to buy games cheap or get them for free, do what they want in them and then get a good trade in and basically pay fuck all for the next game.
    They are far from fans in my opinion.
    If they think they are getting a dud deal they rant and rave like spoilt little brats.
    Any minor issues are generally blown way out of proportion, I just think many are immature and rude.
    I'd really like to see some major Moderation going on.
    Maybe Terms and Conditions re posting or joining a site and Moderators or Owners dishing out the Banhammer A LOT more.
    Even making a criminal offense to insult or degrade in extreme circumstances with the penalty being public naming and shaming or loss of internet for a time or something.

    the internet is run by children,,,, this makes you realize ...


    Last edited 15/01/14 9:01 am

    I find it interesting that there are comments on here that amount to, "just ignore it". If the issue was people talking about how much the game sucked, then yeah, I agree, let it slide. Everyone has their own opinion. The problem is, people are launching personal, hate filled attacks on individuals, making statements that are plain revolting. As a society, if we just turn our backs on those, then it pretty much sends the message that it's ok to do it. I've read various articles about developers/writers in the gaming industry who want to leave, based on the internet hate they get. I'm sorry, but it's not ok to just turn your back on people who say that want to kill/rape/harm you and/or your loved ones.

    How do we fix the issue? No idea, but pretending it's not there and hoping it will go away is not the answer.

    You really do need thick skin when dealing with the trolls. If you can't handle that then I would put the onus on you to avoid reading reviews from sites that are explicitly known for there crass comments and unmoderated content e.g. 4chan.

    Eh, your prob on the ES:O team. The hate is well deserved for turning a beloved sandbox IP into themepark clone #80873. If I'm right, you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Um, who the hell does this? If you don't like a game, don't play it. It's pretty damn simple. No need to insult the person. Constructive critism is a-ok but vitriol is not. I know the author won't read this comment, but I understand how he feels. And just because one person has to get their hate out doesn't mean others don't appreciate the work

      Welcome to the internet where you get a significant amount of people who "play" games they "hate" not for review purposes but for the express purpose of ragging on it and having some form of "higher moral ground" to rag on the creators "for the pain and suffering" they went through..

        That is a stupid reason to play a game. I think that the more we say this is not OK, the more likely they are to shut up.

        Also to those who are saying that you don't have to read them. As an artist, I require feedback to improve. The problem is that to find stuff that can help you, you have to trawl through shit. It's really easy to say "don't read it" but doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, or anger the person reading it.
        As for those who blindly love the game, the reason he hasn't mentioned it is because humans tend to remember the negative parts of things, rather then the positive.

    So do these 'haters' kick down your door and force you to listen to them? Do they tie you up and subject you to their rantings? Or do you go out there, looking for praise on Twitter and Facebook and forums, and then get upset when some people predictably don't like what you've made?

    You're in a creative industry. You don't make toasters, you make entertainment products. Inherent in that is that you are volunteering your creations for criticism, good, bad, intelligent and stupid. If you just want to make games for the love of it, make them at home. If you want to make them and publish them to the world at large, you had better learn to deal with idiotic criticism.

    I notice this guy isn't complaining about the equally stupid people who will blindly love every game he works on, no matter what problems it might have. So apparently the problem is really just this: he wants universal praise, or at most totally reasonable criticism mixed with universal praise.

    The world just does not work that way.

    I think that if someone has this much trouble coping with the fact that a large segment of the public are unreasonable idiots, then he might be in the wrong job.

    I understand that a lot of people (myself included) have grown up on forums, IRC, chatrooms etc and have been desensitised to this kind of abuse but the fact still remains that it's wrong and in some cases incredibly harmful. Just saying 'this is how it is, deal with it' is exactly why the behaviour is spreading into every facet of communication in the digital age. I understand that some ribbing is perfectly fine but threats of death, rape and torture aren't necessary at all.

    It's not good enough any more. speak out against it. If you sit by the wayside you're just as bad as the perpetrators.

    Last edited 15/01/14 10:02 am

      It's a noble goal, but ultimately doomed. No. The rule of the internet is, 'Don't feed the trolls'. They LOVE when you speak out against it, it FEEDS them.

        the thing that disappoints me the most about this is that years ago, trolling was annoying, subverting and frustrating people in interesting ways without being caught out. now it just seems to be synonymous with internet abuse, looking for a cheap way to solicit an angry reply.

        As for the goal being unattainable, I disagree. I find more often than not if I'm the one providing honest feedback it confuses and frustrates the hell out of the people who's purpose is to prey on other people. You can see it everywhere - I won't go into details but Anita Sarkeesian's recent efforts are a good example. Keep fighting the good fight and change is sure to come.

    Why are there so many people apologizing for the haters? It's not OK, ever, to threaten someone's family or tell them to kill themselves. Saying 'it's just the internet, get over it' is just making it seem like this is acceptable or excusable behavior. You'd never do this sort of thing in real life, don't do it on the internet. Basically, grow up. We should all condemn hateful behavior, on the internet or anywhere else. It's the only way it'll get better.

      Right, but there are a lot of places which are nothing but infinite vortexes of self-magnifying hate. I have NEVER seen that sort of commentary the dev talks about on any of the communities I've visited, be it individual bloggers, Penny Arcade Report (while it existed), Polygon, Gameindustry.biz, Kotaku (AU - never go to the US site, that way lies madness), Rock Paper Shotgun...

      If you're seeing that kind of hate, you really fucking have to go looking for it, or be hanging out in the worst parts of the internet like 4chan or reddit or god, I dunno... gamespot or Kotaku US.

      Why would you go visit a foreign country where it's normal in their culture to ritually kill fornicators or adulterers by stoning them in the street, then go and be all horrified at it happening? There are places where shitty things happen because that's how they do things there. It's not 'the Internet' in general, you won't see that shit here on Kotaku AU.

      So yes, 'It's the internet get over it' totally applies if you qualify, 'It's 4chan, get over it - what did you expect, actual human beings?' Trust me. Telling devs of mediocre games to kill themselves is the least of their crimes against decency.

      And 'the only way it'll get better' is NOT going to go complaining publicly about it. That doesn't make it get better, that FEEDS it. Do you understand these people? They LOVE when they can make someone upset, they love the attention. The only way to make them go away is to ignore them completely, treat them as if they don't exist. And step one in that, is not going stepping into those vile places where this shit is the norm. It has the added bonus that you won't go seeing things that upset you and make you lose faith in the industry.

      EDIT: Though now that I think about it, someone mentioned Steam Greenlight, and a game's own official forums. And in THAT instance... yeah. That's why Community Managers exist - to try and pick the rare gems from a steaming pile of shit. And a prerequisite of the job is a thick skin. Which... NOT new, and NOT exclusive to video games. Ever known anyone who's worked in a complaints department? Yeah. 'Go kill yourselves' etc? Not new at all. Not in the slightest. Game devs might just be taking this on harder because they consider that as the bug-fixers, they ARE the complaints department. Noop. Don't do it, man.

      Last edited 15/01/14 10:50 am

        Emails. Private Messages. Phone Calls. Letters. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

        Ignoring it is NOT the only way to go about it. If you can encourage small changes in culture of support and gamers thinking of the humanity behind their communications then you can make a larger difference. The small group will always exist - but if you can create a more positive culture as a whole the small group's impact becomes tinier.

          Like I've said elsewhere, this falls into the wishy-washy category of 'wouldn't it be nice if everyone was nice'?

          This shit is not exclusive to video games, it is not new, just ask anyone who's worked in a functioning complaints department for the last few generations. Upset customers say - and do - foul shit, and they'll do it to your face. People in other industries have been killed. There are training manuals and everything on the dangers and why personal information isn't given out in call centres with some pretty catastrophic examples of what happens when people get careless.

          Fire is hot. Human nature can be foul. You're not changing either, no matter how hard you try.
          And if you think you can try and change it with some well-meaning words, then by all means, join the others in history who have unsuccessfully done the same thing - far more evocatively and impressively. Maybe write a song, those are always popular. Everyone else in the world in all previous generations didn't have that special idea that you have which will totally succeed if only enough people believe.

          Negativity isn't something you change, it's something you manage. And this guy? Is not managing it very well at all.
          He's venting.
          And that's cool, that's normal, understandable, human. But anyone who encourages the guy to actually believe in some delusions that complaining on the internet will SOLVE anything is doing him a huge disservice. The last thing anyone needs is to waste their time and energy and emotion on that quixotic crusade.

            I explicitly agreed with you that the small group will always exist - I am not disagreeing with you there. I also agree that it needs to be managed - because the negativity will always be there, it will be intense and it will burn. Dev needs to deal with it better him/herself for their own health, because it's not ever going to disappear. I am not suggesting that this kind of abuse is some kind of enemy that can be overcome. I am telling you that as a whole, our internet gaming culture can become more positive over time.

            You don't think a culture can change for the good? Look at the way we treat women now compared to the way we did 100 years ago. Homosexuals worldwide. Black people in America. Not denying there is a shit load of problems - but can you not see the greater change in culture, and the betterment of those involved? How do you think those cultures were changed - by people telling the victims to 'accept it'?

            We can never, ever just accept it. We need to speak out against it, we need to shun those who do the wrong thing because when things that are wrong are generally implied to be acceptable and that the 'victims' need to just 'deal with it' gives more and more people the idea that it's permissible to continue. They need to stay a minority, and they need to become an increasingly shrinking one.

            Last edited 15/01/14 1:15 pm

        /v/ doesn't often get to death threats, it's usuallly more considered. I believe /v/ is much better than reddit is.

    Dude needs to hang out in better online communities.

    Try Kotaku AU sometime, devbro. I've never seen anything like that said in the comments here. (And if so, it was probably moderated out of existence so fast even the poster isn't sure it ever existed.)

    I attended a panel discussion at PAX AUS that turned to this topic. While it seemed to be agreed that there isn't a lot that can be done about this, it was also agreed that it didn't mean nothing could be done, and there's a responsibility on everyone who isn't engaging in this behaviour to try and help dial it down, at least. Things like calling people out who get involved in this sort of behaviour. If you see hateful comments like that in forums, report them. Don't just criticise "bad" work - compliment developers for "good" work. Just generally make a small amount of effort be a positive force. No, it won't stop jerks being jerks and haters being haters, but at least it can help balance it out a bit.

    He should try being an online tech journalist for a few weeks. Moderating Gizmodo comments would drain his will to live.

      lul hu r u ur commt sux go kil self!!11!!1one!11!!!!

      Am I doing it right?

      Last edited 15/01/14 10:54 am

        Needs moar "111!!11!!!"

        J00 Failz at IntarNetz!

    I'm going to put some of the blame on this guy. He's reading random frustrated venting as unified personal attacks. When people say 'I hope the people who made this gets AIDs' they're not actually wishing you had AIDs. They're just pissed off that what should have been a good experience has been turned into a negative one. They don't expect you to be reading their comment. Hell, most of them don't even know you exist (even if you are Cliff Bleszinski).
    The other day I said something along the lines of 'god damn it. I hope whatever asshole designed this gets one shoved through their head' when talking about a good tool that had been ruined by a basic design flaw (essentially they screwed when they should have welded). I didn't actually wish any harm on specific people, I was just frustrated because I was digging holes in the sun and the job would have taken half as much time if someone had of put just a little more thought into the design.

    You love making games? You get passionate about making games? You really care about the stuff you release? You take the games you make really seriously? Well some people feel that way about the games they play. People love Fallout, so naturally they're going to be emotionally invested enough in the game to get really pissed off when one releases and it's so full of bugs that the game is borderline unplayable.
    They may be within your 'well, accidents happen' quota of bugs but for gamers it's like having someone turn on the lights in a theater and start playing a vuvuzela. A handful of bugs at the wrong time can take everything you like about a game and throw it out the window. Suddenly you've spent $75 on a game that not only completely fails at it's sole purpose, but goes into the negative and actually ruins the free time you spent playing it.

    I don't like saying 'toughen up' because it's usually just justification to continue being a jerk, and these comments are definitely bad things to say, but in this case I really think he's got just as much growing up to do as the people upsetting him. Not everyone is going to give you an A for Effort when their only interaction with you is handing a significant chunk of money over to a completely different company and investing several hours of their free time into your game. He needs to learn to read these comments for what they actually are rather than reading them as though he's having an actual conversation with these people.
    You're making a transaction where your side of the agreement is to entertain people, and you get off a hell of a lot easier than pretty much any other artist or performer.

      I don't think the author was expecting an A for effort.

      All he wants is rather "This game is so buggy go get AIDS and die" he would like "This game is so buggy in these areas. Can you fix it?" or "I didn't like this game, here's why..." There is a proper way to deal with frustration over something you are emotionally invested in and it doesn't involve death threats...

        Again, I'm not saying there's no room for improvement on the other side. I'm just saying that he needs to learn to read these comments for what they are and not take them so personally. "Go die" means I'm really angry. It's not a death threat. These awful comments are mostly just the text equivalent of blasting on the horn when someone cuts you off in traffic or swearing when you hit your thumb with hammer.
        Humans need to scream out their frustrations from time to time. Some more than others. It seems savage when you look right and pause but it's a passing moment not meant to be put up on display. It's like taking a photo of someone pulling their hair out with frustration and insisting that's how they are 24-7.

        I appear to have worked way closer to my audience than him, for zero money working around other more pressing obligations, and even though I don't sound it I am rather sensitive/self-conscious about my game work. I learned pretty quickly that players simply don't know me. They know that I must exist but all they see of me is the game I produce so they almost never separate the two (like how people think Jason Alexander is George Costanza even though they know it's a TV show full of actors).
        If they say 'I hope you die' they're either angry at the game or at my handling of the game, and their feedback is either valid or invalid. It doesn't go any deeper than that.

        [Edit: Just for clarity I don't write things like 'go die', about video games or anything really. I tend to just ramble when complaining, sometimes loudly, and over examine everything. =P]

        Last edited 15/01/14 1:24 pm

      How have people got the idea that this guy is only talking about comment sections of the internet?He specifically talks about personal attacks and people sending death threats. Nothing he says limits the delivery method to comment sections. People could very well be sending threats directly to him or people he knows, as has been shown to have happened before. That is not just venting from frustration, that is action designed to cause hurt and emotional harm. And it is not acceptable in any context at all, and should always be challenged. He isn't even doing that in a particularly aggressive way, he is simply asking people to think about what they say before they say it. I am astonished that anyone can reasonably consider that he is in any way blameworthy for doing so.

      Last edited 15/01/14 5:47 pm

        How have people got the idea that this guy is only talking about comment sections of the internet?

        Obviously it's because no one read the article. And why would they? Just another tl;dr tearfest.

        So before you send death threats to people, or give out zeroes on Metacritic, or write unnecessarily mean things about games you’ve spent just a few hours on

        He's talking about 'meanness' in general. Again, he has valid points and showing up on his lawn with a gun is obviously crazy, but a huge part of this article is how he's digesting feedback across the board.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now